Imperial Requiem

Friday, October 28, 2005

Not a bang but a whisper

Pat Fitzgerald, the Special Prosecutor in the Valerie Plame case finally came out with indictments today......but they have nothing to do with the case. And no one important in the Bush White House was even charged with anything (

This effectively amounts to a kerfluffle. And a rather weak one, at that. Does anyone care that "Scooter" Libby was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice? I'm sure Libby does, and I for one hope that he can find he's innocent (because on those charges, he' got alot of explaining to do). But as for the rest of the White House? Nada. Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Condi, Card, et al. are all in the clear. Well, Rove isn't completely but I think that nothing will come of it (if they haven't yet, they won't, now). This effectively amounts to a non-issue to the continuance of the Bush Presidency. All the talk about Bush being a "lame duck" and completely screwed because of the Plame case are overblown, and quite frankly, being thrown out there by political hacks and wannabes who really have nothing better to do than live, breathe, and die for the Beltway 24/7. Guess what, CNN? America doesn't give a ding dang darn about Scooter Libby. I give this a week, before it's forgotten.

The media, as usual, flubbed this. They acted like it's the WATERGATE OF THE 21ST CENTURY (italics mine, intent was theirs). They cut out soaps in mid-day to showcase this farce as though it's Watergate, Iran-Contra, and WhiteWaterGate/Monica all rolled into one. To be honest, there are bigger stories out there (Harriet Miers and the Iranian President unveiling his master plan to eliminate Israel) and this just doesn't cut it. The Plame case was incomprehensible to begin with, and the public at large doesn't really care about it- especially since they know darn well that the media's been out to get Bush for quite some time. So this is nothing new for them.

Oh, and probably as early as next week, Bush will be announcing the new SCOTUS pick to replace Harriet Miers. If it's a McConnell or Luttig or Brown, that'll be bigger news than anything that happened this past week. Well, unless Israel and Iran go to war within the next month or so.

I really can't wait for 2006, when Katrina/Rita, Plame, Miers, etc, etc, are all behind Bush...and the Dems have to actually go before voters. And the media will have overplayed themselves in 2oo5 too much to be effective in 2006. Again.

And no one will remember who Scooter Libby is by then. Sorry Scooter, but your name will be off the headlines and buried in page 58 by mid November.

Friday, October 21, 2005


I just saw the headline at National Review Online, where at The Corner, they said:


Now, I don't have a problem with them disagreeing with Harriet Miers, per se. But I do have a problem with HOW they are saying it. Who's at charge in this debate, NRO? You, Bush, or Congress? The way that they ultimately word it, the power brokers are......NRO. I really don't think that their editorial will matter ONE IOTA to the Senate. Simply because not everyone in the Senate jumps at the mere mention of NRO. It's influential, for sure, but it's not what the New York Times is for the Democrats. So, stating that their "new editorial on Harriet Miers turns the heat on the Senate" is more or less NOT about Harriet Miers; but about NRO themselves. They want to exert their influence (as well as they should want to), and Miers is just the means and the ways to do it. The problem is that they're not being honest about it; they want their Shangri-la and they'll have a hissy fit if they don't get it. They want to set the table in the debate, and be the end-all to the debate. That's not really debating- that's dictating. Yeah, try to talk to the Senate, but don't try to make your arguement the only one that's out there.

Another thing that alot of pundits have been doing in regards to Miers, is that they've been assuming things about her that we just don't know about. Some have been saying that she's "going to have to cram for constitutional law in three weeks"- well, how do they know that she will have to? Or not have to? How about the upcoming hearings she'll go through- just because some of the Republican Senators will grill her doesn't mean anything. She could handle the questions with grace and ease, or she could flub them. But the pundits are automatically assuming that she'll flub them. Why? I don't know. They're not looking at her impartially, is what it means. They wanted someone else- which NRO has stated that they wanted- and will fight for that. And as a result, the views about Miers isn't so much about HER, as it is about THEM being right. Btw, much of the folks at NRO and the Conservative establishment were also against John Roberts, to start things off (and eventually warmed up to him). How quickly people forget. The whole thing nauseates me, the high school bullshit we're dealing with, here.

The problem is, is that they might NOT get someone else, and might NOT get their candidates. They don't even know what they really want, and parts of their arguement that they're making against Miers is hypocritical. I mean, they wanted Congress to have an up or down vote on the nominees for SCOTUS, but here they are now, advocating a dismissal of Miers BEFORE she's even gotten a chance to defend herself. And they also wanted a nominee who was outside of the elite law school positions, to bring a different and more practical viewpoint of law and studying law to SCOTUS. And here they are now, arguing precisely against such a candidate.

And they might also alienate significant parts of Congress and the President. Yeah, I don't think that NRO is getting any interviews from the entire Bush team, right now. That's the price you pay for being uppity jackasses, folks.

For counterveiling viewpoints, look here here here and here

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Looking to the future

Democrats seem to be thinking that there's some sort of shift in the air, politically speaking, that Republicans are breaking apart and the Democrats will win in 2006 and then 2008. They point to Katrina/Rita, DeLay's indictment, the PlameGate story, and the Harriet Miers fallout as the main reasons for the GOP problems which will lead to a Democratic victory in the near future.

One very big problem: does anyone think any of those problems will exist come 2006? Let's face it, Katrina/Rita was a huge mistake by the media to overplay, and increasingly the real news about the hurricanes is coming through. Plus, by 2006, no one will really remember the media spin on the hurricane. And it'll be a non-issue come 2008. Oh, as an asides, it HAS done something the Dems don't want to see; the GOP listening to it's base and cutting costs and taxation dealing with the hurricanes. It'll be very hard to run against GOP candidates who are in the process (or would join the process if new nominees) of cutting taxes in the here and the now.

Secondly, there's the Tom DeLay indictments, which the Dems are jumping with glee over, since they ostensibly get to tackle one of the most powerful GOP leaders, and pull him out of the political game. Quite simply, the whole trial is a farce. The charges against DeLay are so thin that the prosecutor had to go fishing to find a grand jury that would press charges- and tried to hide that fact. The prosecutor, Ronnie Earle, has a long history of trying to bring Tom DeLay down, and the current situation that Earle's in is a really bad one- he jumped the gun and realizes that no one (unless the judge is a type) is going to buy it. And he'll be out of a job by the end of the year. It's also had the effect of giving DeLay and the GOP an added incentive to close ranks with one another, rather than bicker amongst each other.

The whole Valerie Plame story is effectively overblown, and I'm not even sure where or what it's doing at the moment. But suffice to say that it doesn't look likely that anyone will get charges pressed against them, unless the Special Investiagtor could produce evidence about who leaked the info about Valerie Plame (if, in any event, that info means she's a covert operative) and smack a few people with conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges. But that's highly unlikely.

And lastly, there's Harriet Miers. At the end of the day, I really don't think many GOPers will vote against her in Congress. The only way she won't get nominated is if she completely flubs the Senate committee hearings. And I think that's highly unlikely. Bush will get his way on this- and the GOP knows that if they reject Miers (effectively to have Bush nominate "their" preferred candidate), there's no sure bet that Bush will get any chance to nominate McConnell, Lutting, or Brown. Plus, this issue isn't going to kill the Bush administration, or the GOP. It'll end up as just another media story fizzling.

Well, now that I've effectively taken straw man arguement that the Dems uphold against the GOP, what do I see happening in the 2006 and 2008 elections? Barring another major terror attack in the US, I think we'll see a few things happen:
1) With America once against watching for politics (it's a mid-term year, after all, in 2006) Bush will help the GOP campaign across the US. Bush alone drums up votes; the Dems don't have anything to counter that with.

2) The GOP message will be most likely centered around tax cuts/spending cuts, continue the GWOT, energy issues, and securing the borders. The Dem message? They've effectively admitted that they really don't HAVE any issues, just noisy rebuttals of anything the GOP says. I mean, if the GOP's message is "we like butter" the Dems would follow with the message of "no to butter!" That's effectively where their campaign and platform is at, right now.

3)By 2006, the US will start to pull troops out of Iraq (unless there's an Iranian invasion of Iraq, or an American invasion of Iran/Syria), and that'll effectively take the "no blood for oil!" rhetoric off the table. It'll become a non-issue. Not to mention, if the Dems DO try to use their anti-war rhetoric in 2006, it'll not only feel old, but trite, and piss alot of Americans off, once again. One of the major failings of the Kerry campaign in 2004 was that he could never reconcile his largely anti-war platform with the American people; he could rant about how bad he thinks the Iraqi war is going (and most of the country didn't buy it), but when it came time to substantiate his arguements, he waffled it every time, and ended up being stuck with absurdist statements that amounted to "Put me in office, and not only will I walk on water, but I'll make Iraq grrrrrreat!" And that's not even covering the issues dealing with Iran and Syria. Going into 2006 and 2008, do the Dems want to once again be seen as chickenshit on defense issues? Or, to put it bluntly: if Bush wanted to declare war on Syria, or launch airstrikes against Iran, would the Dems want to risk the political fallout of them holding a Daschle-like (remember Daschle's "Bush is a failure" speech the DAY AFTER combat operations commenced in Iraq? Senator Thune does.) hissy fit with the rest of the nation watching? They can get away with the Mother Sheehan crap now, because no one's really watching. But in an election year? For an example, even Kerry had to give a harsh speech against the Bin Laden tape that came out a few days before last year's election.

4) Mounting energy problems will most likely force this issue to the forefront in 2006 and 2008; Katrina and Rita have already done that (and that'll probably be their lasting impact) to some extent. The rising costs of heating oil this winter will continue it. The country does need an energy overhaul; more domestic drilling for oil and possibly a return to nuclear energy. The GOP will put forth a multi-front arguement for this; the Dems will just let their anti-intellectual and anti-capitalist eco-activist groups speak for them. That'll amount to a non arguement- and it'll completely disregard anything the GOP will say. It'll look like this: GOP- "We want drilling for oil, and new refineries built in the US to offset our dependence on the global oil industry. Also, it could boost GDP twofold; more US money being used in the US, and extra export industry for the US. Secondly, we want a return to nuclear energy- with better safeguards and efficient controls that before." Dems- "No! Don't listen to the Halliburton people! Live for the forests! Protect the wildlife of America- they'll be worth the hit your wallet will take! And down with American energy companies! They are Evil! Evil! Evil!" I know it's a bit overblown, but that's essentially what their arguement will come down to. Alot of hot air. Also, expect NASA to come up, and see how both sides handle it.

5) Possibly the most contentious issue will be illegal immigration. The Dems will fight this tooth and nail, but they'll fail because of a simple reason: The Global War on Terror. I expect the GOP to turn the immigration issue into a terror security threat. That'll take alot of wind out of the Dems' multiculturalist rhetoric that they'll bring forth, simply because the Dems have all but waived a white flag at dealing with national security. And with the polls showing that 2/3rd of the US wants a stronger illegal immigration policy, the Dems really can't win this, even with their media friends helping them.

6) If things continue the way they are, Bush won't have any 2nd term scandals or slowdown to really deal with. Nixon had WaterGate; Regan had Iran-Contra; Clinton had Monica. Bush has....nothing, of yet. And I don't think PlameGate will count for anything but a really osbscure farce. That alone will help Bush to formulate plans for 2006 and 2008.

7) God help the Dems if Rudy Guiliani or Condoleeza Rice run for President. They have nothing (including Hillary) who can beat either of them. Nothing.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Magazines play games with history

The American Society of Magazine Editors just released their list of the"40 greatest magazine covers in the past 40 years"( I have two reactions to it: the first is to yawn, the second is to snort at it's lameness.

I'll be fair, some of the covers are classics- who could forget the National Geographic cover of the Afghani woman from the mid 1980s? Or the Life magazine's 1969 photo of Neil Armstrong on the Moon? And I'm fishing to understand a few of them: like the Andy Warhol in a Campbell's Soup Can one (Esquire 1969), which doesn't really go anywhere or say anything. And it strikes me as very......small minded. Not in any ideological sense, but in a "do you honestly think that the people from 1980 through to present day give a flying rat's ass about the avant garde movement?" I mean, today you could ask alot of folks about Andy Warhol, and they'd just give you a blank stare. So it's historical worth is dubious on that level. And then there's Blue, Oct. 1997. I just don't get that. At all.

Otherwise, it's a yawner because it just tries to uphold the magazine editor's political ideologies as a dominant force. That kind of naked maneuvering is usually called "projectionism", basically to project your personal feelings or beliefs onto an issue in which it doesn't necessarily relate to directly.

Let's face it- the Entertainment Weekly cover of the Dixie Chicks isn't famous. No one's going to give a crap about it a few years from now. Same goes for the Ellen Degeneres "I'm Gay" Time 1997 cover (btw, she's not "gay" she's lesbian. Grammatically speaking, the cover says she's happy, not a lesbo. If Ellen was a guy, the meaning would be true, but as it is, it's not), which was really overblown back then, and in fact, got her tv show off the air simply because alot of folks started watching it to see the hubbub......and found it not to be funny. Don't get me wrong, I like Ellen's standup, her talk show's fun, and she did a GREAT job in Finding Nemo. But the cultural and historical impact of her Time cover is really limited.

Take examples like these and what are you left with? The Magazine editors wanted to portray what they thought was culturally and historically relevant, but they made the mistake of superimposing their own views of what's relevant and not upon the nomination process. No one really cares about the Dixie Chicks and Ellen. They should know this, it's not a hard thing to figure out. It's like someone asking me to list the greatest tv shows of all time- I'll include Babylon 5, Batman: The Animated Series, and Family Guy. Why? Because I like them. And that's effectively what I'm seeing here, with this list of magazine covers. They ultimately liked the Dixie Chicks, and Ellen. And we're all damned if we don't like it, as well. Because they chose it and we better accept it!

Lastly, look at the issues that dominate the list (there is some overlap):
-gun control (1 cover)
- anti-corporations/business/capitalist (3 covers)
-Vietnam (3 covers)
-Gay/Lesbian issues (1 cover)
-anti-religion (1 maybe 2 covers- if you include the Wired one)
-anti- republican (2, maybe 3 covers- if you include the Newsweek election one)
-anti- flyover country (1 cover)
-"Oh, that muslim extremist stuff is overblown, so I'll build a straw man arguement up and make it a silly farce" (1 cover)
-anti- Bush (1 cover)
-Pro Bill Clinton (1 cover)
-women (or men) in provacative poses, either clothed or unclothed (8 covers)
-women/minority rights (3 covers)
- 9/11 (3 covers)

And there you have it. If their political views weren't obvious by now, all you'd need to do is look at the "George W. Bush as Alfred E. Neuman" The Nation, 2000 cover. Firstly, The Nation is a leftist magazine which is effectively a socialist rag; at least the New Republic has pretenses towards centrality and occasional bursts of decency. But The Nation? No, I wouldn't want to touch them, unless I'm adhering to a strict political ideological line. And that's what the ASME editors are clearly doing; creating a structure of history that's devoid of Republican or moderate thought or ongoings. I mean, there's nothing referencing 1989 with Europe and the USSR. It's as though Carter, Regan, and Bush sr. never existed (gee, I wonder why- the former's an abject failure as president, and Regan's one of the greatest presidents of the 20th Century). What about Challenger or Columbia? Or the Oklahoma City Bombing? Gulf War 1, or the current Global War on Terror- I'm sure they could have found something from the Afghani War, the Fall of Baghdad, Madrid, Beslan, etc, etc. What about Newt Gingrich? Ariel Sharon? How about anything on the refugees from Vietnam?

What about any right-wing magazines? No National Review? I'm sure they had something to add. But why then, the preponderance of leftist magazines- Life, Time, Newsweek, The Nation, The Economist, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and Esquire?

I think they're just fundamentally trying to hide the real history, which they know is coming. It's going to hit them like a freight train at full bore, in the coming years. Regan's funeral was a wake up call to these guys; America came out to support a great president one last time. The media couldn't shake the belief in Regan and his ideals from the American public. That kind of public show of support is what they fear- that they will be relegated to the dustbin of history, just like their Soviet comrades. So they pretend they know what's relevant and what's not. Because if they don't try to hide the truth from us, there'll be hell to pay. We're only now just waking up to the realities of Vietnam and the 1960's, and the real legacy both have left us. And we're not happy.

Btw, it's a safe bet 20 years from now that there'll be a statue of George W. Bush in Baghdad, praising him and America's committment to Iraqi freedom. And ASME? The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley( 1792-1822) says it best, about how the future will view ASME and their ilk:

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Oh, go pound sand

Congrats to the Iraqi people for successfully voting yesterday, in what appears to be mostly uninterrupted voting, with little terrorist activities throughout the country. Even the Sunnis voted in record numbers!

An extra shout out goes to the Iraqi and Coalition forces, who did a bang up job of ramping up security and pinpointed offensives in the Al Anbar province. I surmise that the bombing of a Sunni political party's headquarters a few days ago was the last straw that broke the camel's back- and why we're seeing Sunnis vote in larger than expected numbers.

The terrorists mounted some 13 attacks this election. Thirteen. While the last time out, they managed some 300+ attacks (most of which were highly ineffectual). Neither time, they were able to influence the election, and with increasingly null and void results. This pretty much shows that the terrorists fighters are stuck on the border territories, fighting the coalition forces just to keep their rear supply lines open (and are failing at that). It also shows that foriegn influence from the Syrians, Saudis, and Iranians isn't working.

Oh, and a giant middle finger to the American media, who completely overlooked the elections in favor of bullshit news in the US. I'm sorry, but the Nazi riot in Toledo, Harriet Miers' nomination, and the rain in the Northeast really do take a backseat to the Iraqi story. Shame on you- even Fox News- for not agressively pushing the Iraqi story. It really is a "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality. The news is so dominated with people who think that overt conflict and struggle is the dominant form of news, and good happenings, well, just don't matter. They don't get raitings. Plus, the CNN/CBS/ABC bastion of news doesn't want the American public to know the good things of Iraq. Something like the Iraqis voting in elections, with little terrorist activities....would put giant egg on their faces. If you'd been watching their programs, you'd think that the Iraqi war was going bad, and we were on the verge of having a civil war there. But then news like this breaks out, and if they let the genie out of the bottle, a whole slew of questions arises!

This wasn't the media's finest hour. This was one of the Iraqi people's finest hours.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Let's see how you like the other shoe fitting

I saw someone wearing a Kayne West shirt yesterday, and couldn't help but think:

"Kayne West hates white people!"

Now, Mr. West, how does it feel to get bitchslapped? You better like the bitter taste of it. Bitch.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Smurfs and War

This past week, UNICEF had a commercial with Smurfs being bombed out of existence by warplanes and tanks, ostensibly to show children that "war kills" in an effort to raise awareness about the plight of child soldiers in Africa. Alot of folks in Europe are A) pissed off with the commercial ("how dare you use the Smurfs like that! I mean, they're the SMURFS!!!") B) wondering why the hell it was necessary, since it's so clearly over the top propaganda C) kids really shouldn't watch it. (

There's only one really glaring problem. It has clearly nothing to do with Africa.

Firstly, in the African wars, there's a paucity of any heavy weaponry. Not many tanks, not many warplanes. Most of the African wars have been fought on a local scale, with infantry and mobile light units (pickup truck with a machine gun attached to it, more often than not). They're local for two reasons- more often than not, they're not state on state violence, but rather, tribe against tribe. That limits their range. Also, they just don't have the money for heavy equipment. It's much easier to buy older machines and simple handheld weapons. The economies in Africa are generally unable to afford the upkeep of tanks, planes, and warships (with exceptions, but the exceptions are well, largely democratic and out of the fighting). So, it's limited to a local range by the sheer lack of any truly significant modern technology, or economical infrastructure. It's largely a 18th and early 19th century style of warfare (along with the 10th century "off with their heads" police state mentality) being done with mid to late 20th century weapons.

Plus, the smurfs are blue. They're not, fuchia, mauve, opal, vanilla cream, or anything else. They' I'll get to this in a second, but keep in mind that they are BLUE. And not any other color.

Now that I've established that there is little to do with the commercial and Africa, what is the commercial about? I'm tempted to say "why do you even bother asking- you know the answer!" but I won't.

Ok, I lied. I will ask that. The answer really IS easy.

What country out there has modern weapons of warfare- tanks and planes and all that- and is a common enemy of the leftists who hate warfare (except when it's in their interests, or they can forget it is happening!) and routinely depict it's soldiers as baby killers who eat baby seals for breakfast and like putting underwear on people's heads as a form of torture?

The United States of America. They use a commercial ostensibly for raising awareness for the children stuck in the African wars, and make it a not-so-subtle attack on the American military. I mean war kills, right? And soldiers only target civilians, right? And they're dastardly eeeeeeeeevil minions of the Dark Lord himself, right? And they never, ever, ever, ever, ever do anything for the good of the world, right? And the are RED staters who want to ethnically cleanse BLUE staters, right? (I told you I would get back to the blue issue!)

Someone needs to tell UNICEF to go fuck themselves. Preferably, an Iraqi or Afghani should do that. And maybe, just maybe one of these days, UNICEF will need the US military's help. And we'll remember their Smurf snuff film.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Harriet Miers and the Conservative movement

Harriet Miers was the nomination that no one expected for a Supreme Court Justice. I certainly didn't expect it. Hell, I'll admit, I was probably looking forwards to a McConnel or Luttig as Bush's nominee. But that doesn't mean that Miers is a good or a bad nominee, just that I was expecting something else.

The problem I have so far with the Conservative movement is that they were ALL expecting something else, and unlike me, they're pissed off that they didn't get what they wanted. None of us really knows what Harriet Miers is like, yet. She could turn out to be a great Supreme Court Judge, and I'm not ready to dismiss her from the equation just yet. She is Bush's pick; I want to run on the assumption that she's pretty good at what she does. Yes, she's from his administration, and it does have a bit of cronyism involved in there. But when she's on the short list of candidates that the Democratic leadership said they'd consider as a Justice. Maybe this is because they never thought Bush would nominate her; maybe it's because they also see in her a candidate that they won't be hoodwinked like they were with John Roberts. And I don't mean that in terms of "we can fight her, and win" but in terms of " we won't be made to look like giant frickin asses on the national stage with her, like we were with Roberts".

Bush knows that the Dems don't want someone who's so iconoclastically to the right that they have no choice but to pander to their base, and reject that candidate. That doesn't mean that Bush doesn't want to stuff the Dems whenever possible. I'm sure he does (and he probably wishes he had a voodoo doll of Ted Kennedy. But then again, we all wish we did), but you have to pick and choose your battles. With Katrina/Rita still in the fallout stage, John Roberts the new SCOTUS Chief Justice (something the Conservatives forget!), Tom DeLay's legal problems (which are total bullshit, btw), Frist being Frist, and the continuing GWOT (and the upcoming Iraqi elections), Bush doesn't need a fight right now. Oh, and don't forget the 2006 mid-term elections, where the GOP could easily stand to win more seats in Congress.

Imagine this: Bush nominates Janice Brown. The Dems would characteristically freak out, and do whatever they can to block her nomination. The filibuster would come into play, and there would be a shutdown of the Senate, and thus, in effect, the American government. Remember the LAST time that happened, in the 1990s? It wasn't pretty then, and it'd be even uglier now. Especially in a critical moment in the GWOT- the Iraqi Elections. I have no doubt that the elections will go down, and be a landmark in Iraqi and modern history, but it's something that's going to take up ALOT of the gov'ts attention. If Bush has that shutdown of the government coinciding with the Iraqi elections, that only spells bad things.

Thus, this has all the earmarkings of a nominee that may well be the best choice outside of the better choices. I'm not saying that I support her nomination fully, or am against it. But what I am saying, is that I understand what the President's most likely rationalization for it is. He's worked with her for over 10 years, and knows who she is. She doesn't lack credentials nor have an over abunance of credentials (which is why everyone wants to know more about her). Most of the attacks from the right against her have sadly been of the ad hominen variety, comparing her to the candidates that they wanted. How quickly people forget that they did the same thing to John Roberts. They're entitled to want different candidates, but that's not what everyone's going to get, every time out. John Roberts turned out to be a brilliant choice. And all of a sudden, the world's falling in on everyone just because Harriet Miers isn't the candidate they wanted Bush to pick? Please, spare me the high minded indignity. I'm willing to see what she's made of- and if she makes mistakes in the nomination process before Congress, she should be thrown to the wind- but not before.

Bush is definitely looking ahead to 2006 and beyond. He most likely will have another chance at nominating another Supreme Court Justice in the coming years. He sees the GOP as needing to continue to move forwards towards 2006, and also to keep the GWOT going. A governmental shutdown, while it would energize the base, would also create the huge potential for alienating the center, and the moderate Dems. It's the type of thing that could totally backfire for 2006, and Bush knows it. And he also knows that the GOP will need him to help them campaign in 2006- like he did in 2002 and 2004.

So, in conclusion, my message to the Conservative movement is this: stop hyperventaliating. Now. Get over the fact that Bush didn't nominate the next coming of William F. Buckley. Take Miers seriously as a candidate until she makes a mistake. Until then, give Bush your support, since ditching Miers now won't get the Conservatives any closer to a Luttig or Brown- in fact, it'd push them further from it. And start looking at the grand picture. You've already got John Roberts in there- with a whimper, not a bang. The GWOT will continue to be fought.

The establishment needs to grow up. It's not in the best interests of the GOP to constantly hammer at the Democratic party and it's liberals. While it is certainly a part of the GOP functionality to hammer at the Dems, it's not viable every five goddamn seconds. Picking and choosing when to use that hammer is more important than just trying to go for a frontal assault every moment. This isn't a street corner where you and your gang can beat up on the smaller gang- the stakes here are much higher than pandering to the party base every five seconds. Think, damnit. Think.

Katrina: What Went Wrong, Part 2

Sorry it's taken me so long to do part 2, but I've been busy with schoolwork and the high holidays. Well, I'm here now, so better late than never, right?

I've already covered the local problems, now I'll cover the state problems. Kathleen Blanco was the Governor of Louisiana, and she's tried to say repeatedly that Bush was at fault. The problem with Blanco was that she was hopelessly out of touch with what she needed to do in response to the hurricane. Mayor Nagin shirked his duty, while Blanco was just totally unsuited for it.

To lay it out, Blanco tried initially to declare a state of emergency ahead of the storm, and she requested provisions and shelter from the Federal government. She didn't ask for military assistance (when it was offered to her) at the time. Nagin actually wanted that military assistance either on the state or federal level, because despite his ineptness, he knew that he'd need their help one way or the other (

Blanco also knew that she didn't have enough National Guardsmen to physically handle the task in LA (actually, she didn't call enough up). President Bush was repeatedly trying to get her to give him the ok to bring in troops from the federal level. But, as per Blanco's own admission, she didn't do that until 2 days after the storm. Two full days of underpreforming national guardsmen and failing local resources (the latter's not Blanco's fault, but recognizing their deficiencies for what they were is), while the federal gov't was forced to sit and wait for a go ahead from the state level to get into Louisiana( . Btw, for reference, Barbour in Mississippi did call ahead for federal aid as soon as possible.

What that means, precisely is that Bush, the military, and FEMA all had to wait to get the majority of their resources into Louisiana and weren't capable of being in place when the levees broke in New Orleans, or even capable of rebuiding the infrastructure (ie; transportation and communication) until AFTER the call went out. What's really scary is that FEMA was already IN Louisiana and New Orleans before the levees broke, which came as a suprise to me. You'd think they were inefficient from listening to the news, but they had services already in place. The problem is twofold- first, FEMA saw that there wasn't enough national guardsmen and knew that the President was unable to get the federal military forces into the state yet. So when they saw how bad it looked in places like New Orleans, they bolted since they had no protection. FEMA did the right thing- they removed themselves from potentially becoming part of the problem. Also, FEMA doesn't HAVE any authority with the military or police, either on a state or federal level. And their main resources are local, not federal, when they first arrive in town. FEMA isn't a first responder, they're more of a second responder within the first week of a tragedy. In this case, they couldn't BE there until Blanco helped get resources from outside the state, in (

And what does Blanco do, in televised interviews? Cry. While folks are trying to get into Louisiana and get the job done, she's effectively sitting there, and saying "why me?" When you get someone who is totally unsuited for crisis management, this is what you get. She's a political player who got into Louisiana politics through the machine politics route, and proved that when push came to shove, she was no leader. In fact, all she could do was lamely blame everyone else for the problems that went down. That's a key in learning how much of a political junkie she is, and how little she really knows about what's going on. She's no Guiliani- her tears weren't for the dead, wounded, and dispossessed. They were for herself, plain and simple. She wasn't crying for anyone else, but the fact that she knew she was out of her league with the disaster, and bumbled her way through. And couldn't escape it.

And on top of that, was her now infamous quote "Does anyone know anything about buses here?" when she got to NO to try to figure out just what went wrong. Even on the state level, there wasn't much planning done in terms of transportation. The most they planned for was "contraflow" evacuations, using both sides of the roadways for single exits from the areas to be hardest hit. And even that plan was faulty, since the police had concerns about actually keeping it open, and they knew at most, it was a half measure. So, there was no state plan in place that they were training for mass evacuations, especially of the poorer people in the state (

Lastly, the state government KNEW that federal assistance would be limited for the first few days. The federal gov't had repeatedly told Louisiana officials, since the near-miss of Ivan in 2004, that it would take at least 76-98 hours for a federal response to be put on the ground from the moment that assistance as asked for. Plus, it would also take the combined Federal and State resources 10 days to get everyone out, with the plans that were in place. So, the Louisiana officials KNEW how things would turn out, and never made the attempt to fix the system (

They turned to blaming others as their goal, instead. I have a feeling that both Blanco and Nagin will find themselves out of a job very soon. And guys like Rudy Guiliani- a true crisis manager- will just get an extra coating of luster added to their resumes when they're compared and contrasted with the likes of Nagin and Blanco. A shame, really, that so many people were affected by those that couldn't see the forest for the trees, and played the political game until the very end. Nero would be proud, fiddling on his violin.