Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 Tops Lists are Rolling In

NR's Best and Worst of 2006 - A Symposium
A bit of poetry from Bill Reilly - Ode to '06
Human Events: In and Out in 2006 and Top 10 Junk Sci Moments of '06
Times Watch - Top 10 Lowlights of the NY Times of '06

Toby Harnden, of the Telegraph, has posted his "Top 10 American Political Moments of 2006." Dick Cheney gets the top spot.

Here's the Top 5:

  1. Dick Chaney goes hunting.
  2. Bush the Decider.
  3. Mark Foley likes pages.
  4. George Allen calls-out maccaca.
  5. Cynthia McKinney punches a cop.

Read the rest here. Will find and post more lists later.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Update: Uncut Saddam Execution Video

The Jawa Report has posted this video showing the execution of Saddam Hussein. Though it is a bit shaky - apparently shot with a camera phone - it takes you far beyond what you have seen in the MSM.

I do want to echo what Allah Pundit has said, "I don’t know whose bright idea it was to let three punks in leather jackets and balaclavas take care of business instead of the Iraqi army, but the more I watch it, the more it looks like a hit instead of a state execution."

AP also is correctly troubled by the following:

The room was quiet as everyone began to pray, including Mr. Hussein. “Prayers be upon Mohammed and his holy family.”

Two guards added, “Supporting his son Moktada, Moktada, Moktada.”

Mr. Hussein seemed a bit stunned, swinging his head in their direction.

They were talking about Moktada al-Sadr, the firebrand cleric whose militia is now committing some of the worst violence in the sectarian fighting; he is the son of a revered Shiite cleric, Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, who many believe Mr. Hussein had murdered.

Moktada?” he spat out, a mix between sarcasm and disbelief.

It is a serious concern that those chosen to carry out the execution appear to be supporters of Moktada al-Sadr, himself an impediment to peace in Iraq. Perhaps Moktada day at the gallows will come soon.

Daily Kos mourns the death of Saddam

How do our friends on the left feel about the execution of Saddam? Here's the Kos take:

I have just read that Saddam Hussein is dead. Hung by the neck until dead – isn’t that the phrase they always use on television? And I feel an overwhelming sense of sadness. Everybody has to start by saying that it isn’t bad that Saddam Hussein is dead – he was an evil man. But what is evil? It is a religious denunciation, a way to set a person apart from humanity. We need to do this I suppose. And if we say that Saddam Hussein is an evil man, don’t we then have to say that other men are good? Who is good I wonder? Where do we find these men of goodness? To say Saddam Hussein was evil is too easy, it lets us off the hook. Saddam Hussein was a cruel man, a selfish man, a desperate man, a sad man. (hat tip LGF)

It is cruel and sad to be that confused!!

Does Saddam's execution set a precedent?

Mario Loyola of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (for NROnline) thinks so.

There’s plenty to be miserable about where Iraq is concerned these days. Few still think the sacrifices the U.S. and its partners have made during the war worthwhile; and the world watches in horror at the convulsed specter of Baghdad in flames. Of course, the good news does not get reported. But just as important is the fact that the American-led Coalition and its Iraqi partners have established a historic precedent: Dictators had better watch how they treat their people today. They may have to answer for it tomorrow. (Read more)


Loyola goes on to quote Bush from his "Mission Accomplished" speech:
In defeating Nazi Germany and imperial Japan, Allied Forces destroyed entire cities, while enemy leaders who started the conflict were safe until the final days. Military power was used to end a regime by breaking a nation. Today, we have the greater power to free a nation by breaking a dangerous and aggressive regime. With new tactics and precision weapons, we can achieve military objectives without directing violence against civilians. No device of man can remove the tragedy from war. Yet it is a great advance when the guilty have far more to fear from war than the innocent.

It's a shame that the profound gets lost in the liberal hyperbole about that speech.

The End of a Disgraceful Era


Sic semper tyrannis

"Now, he is in the garbage of history," said Jawad Abdul-Aziz, who lost his father, three brothers and 22 cousins in the reprisal killings that followed a botched 1982 assassination attempt against Saddam in the Shiite town of Dujail. (from AP)

Not all are happy about the execution. This from Human Rights Watch:

The execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein following a deeply flawed trial for crimes against humanity marks a significant step away from respect for human rights and the rule of law in Iraq, Human Rights Watch said today.


The Times has a fitting obituary.

Saddam Hussein was a tyrant whose actions brought down unimaginable catastrophe on Iraq and its peoples. From an early age, he had enjoyed inflicted suffering on those around him and, when he came to positions of political power, those whom he could not force or corrupt into submitting to his will, he maimed, murdered or made to flee. (Read more)


An eyewitness lets off some steam. Who could blame them:

“This son of a bitch is lying under my feet. … I can’t talk now because of all the cheers!” a witness said.


Hot Air has a lengthy post with video.


Here's the statement by President Bush from LA Times:

Today, Saddam Hussein was executed after receiving a fair trial -- the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime.

Fair trials were unimaginable under Saddam Hussein's tyrannical rule. It is a testament to the Iraqi people's resolve to move forward after decades of oppression that, despite his terrible crimes against his own people, Saddam Hussein received a fair trial. This would not have been possible without the Iraqi people's determination to create a society governed by the rule of law.

Saddam Hussein's execution comes at the end of a difficult year for the Iraqi people and for our troops. Bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not end the violence in Iraq, but it is an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain, and defend itself, and be an ally in the War on Terror.

We are reminded today of how far the Iraqi people have come since the end of Saddam Hussein's rule - and that the progress they have made would not have been possible without the continued service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.

Many difficult choices and further sacrifices lie ahead. Yet the safety and security of the American people require that we not relent in ensuring that Iraq's young democracy continues to progress.


More later.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Arlen Specter joins the parade to Syria

U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R) joined the list of American politicians that have made the pilgrimage to Damascus.

DAMASCUS,(SANA)-US Republican Senator Arlen Specter stressed on Tuesday that President Bashar al-Assad is interested in achieving peace, stability and prosperity in the region, calling US Administration to hold a dialogue with Syria as to realize these purposes.

In a press conference held before his departure at Damascus Airport after a two-day visit to Syria, the Senator called the US Administration "to conduct a dialogue with Syria to solve the problems in the region," emphasizing that nothing cannot be reached out without the dialogue with Syria.

He rejected US Administration's refusing stance to hold a dialogue with Syria, describing the current US policy towards Syria as" not successful."

Bryan at Hot Air asks:

Why do we have so many squishes in Washington eager to bow to the whims of Arab and Iranian dictators, while they do nothing but bash and smash the US and its allies in Israel, and often on the soil that the dictators themselves rule?

Covering the Non-events of the Duke Lacrosse Case's Mary Katharine Ham gives us the things that "did not happen" in Durham.

FL-13 Update: House must decide next week

Update: Jennings loses in FL court.

A judge ruled Friday that the Democrat who narrowly lost the race to succeed Rep. Katherine Harris cannot examine the programming code of the electronic voting machines used in the disputed election.

Circuit Judge William Gary ruled that Christine Jennings' arguments about the possibility of lost votes were "conjecture" and did not warrant disclosing the trade secrets of the voting machine company, Election Systems & Software.

Reuters has just reported that the disputed election for Florida's 13th district will be among the first issues to face the 110th Congress when it convenes next week.

Rep. Rush Holt, a New Jersey Democrat who has pushed for better safeguards on electronic voting machines, said on Friday he would make a procedural point to establish the swearing-in of Florida Republican Vern Buchanan does not prejudice ongoing challenges by his Democratic opponent, Christine Jennings.

"This is a district, Sarasota area in Florida, where there's no way of knowing whether the result presented by Florida's secretary of state is valid. In fact, I think there is significant evidence that it is not," Holt told reporters.


Kevin Smith, a spokesman for House Republican leader John Boehner, said the matter was settled.

"Florida authorities conducted a thorough audit of the voting machines used in the district and found no system breakdowns or abnormalities." He added: "The election is over. Vern Buchanan won."

Look for a raucous start to the Democratic Congress. We'll keep an eye on it.

Saddam Seeks U.S. Intervention

Update: A top Iraqi official said Saddam will be executed before 10 p.m. EST Friday.

William F. Buckley, Jr. has given us the go ahead to appreciate the execution.

But this is the point at which we are entitled to a measure of satisfaction precisely over what Saddam is going to experience. Even if it is prideful to take his life, it is something other than sinful to take satisfaction — pleasure, even — at its forfeit.

It was rumored, in 1946, that the hangman in Nuremberg adjusted the nooses of some of the condemned to magnify the pain of suffocation. Such sadism was not called for then and is not called for now. But if fornication is wrong, there is no denying that it can bring pleasure. The death of Saddam Hussein at rope's end brings a pleasure that is undeniable, and absolutely chaste in its provenance.


Saddam Hussein has asked a U.S. court to block his execution.

Read at

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Cancer or Not, the end is near for Castro

A Spanish doctor, Jose Luis Garcia, held a press conference in Madrid on Tuesday to issue his findings during a visit to Cuba last week. Here is a summary of his statement:

For now, no more surgeries are being considered.

Castro is in stable condition after the very serious surgery.

His mental condition is ''exceptional and fantastic,'' and he has a surprising ability to recount historical anecdotes.

His recovery includes nutrition and physical therapy.

This was the first time he examined Castro, but they had met previously.

The president of the Madrid regional government made the obvious observation:

''If the comandante has to ask for help . . . what happens to the rest of the Cuban citizens, especially the political prisoners?'' Esperanza Aguirre, president of the Madrid regional government, said on Spanish TV.

Even if Garcia is correct, the end is clearly near for the Cuban dictator. The real question: Is the U.S. prepared for this eventuality?

AFP tells us that Cubans were kept in the dark about the doctor's statement. Big surprise!
Tightly controlled state media published no news Tuesday of the Spanish surgeon's health update on the ailing leader.

Good News - FL leaders re-affirm support for embargo:
With Fidel Castro's health waning, Gov. Jeb Bush, Gov.-elect Charlie Crist and other federal and state officials reaffirmed their support of the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba in hopes it will lead to the communist government's downfall upon his death.

Business Week looks ahead to post-Castro Cuba:
Castro's illness has generated much debate among Cuban exiles and the Bush Administration over what would happen on the Caribbean island of 11 million people if Castro, the world's longest-reigning leader, were to die in the coming weeks or months. Here's an analysis of possible scenarios: Read here!!

Gov. Bush & Gov.-elect Crist Remember Ford

The Buzz has comments from Bush and Crist:

Bush: "This morning, Columba and I join Floridians and Americans across the nation in mourning the passing of former President Gerald Ford. President Ford was an honest man with courage and conviction. He provided reassurance during times of uncertainty, and his thoughtful leadership was a guidepost for a nation at war. President Ford will be remembered as an honest steward of the public trust and a beloved family man."

Crist: "Today we mourn the loss of a great statesman who brought our country together at a time when America was challenged with the struggles of the Vietnam War and Watergate. Florida holds President Ford and his family in our prayers as we join in offering the thanks of a grateful nation."

President Gerald Ford, RIP

Statement by Mrs. Betty Ford:
"My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald R. Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, has passed away at 93 years of age. His was a life filled with love of God, his family, and his country."
From AP:

The nation's 38th president, and the only one neither elected to the office nor the vice presidency, died at his desert home at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday.

"His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country," his wife, Betty, said in a statement.

Ford was the longest living former president, surpassing Ronald Reagan, who died in June 2004, by more than a month.
Bush on Ford:
President Bush on Wednesday remembered former President Gerald Ford as a "man of complete integrity who led our country with common sense and kind instincts" and helped restore faith in the presidency after the Watergate scandal.

"On Aug. 9, 1974, he stepped into the presidency without ever having sought the office," Bush said. "He assumed power in a period of great division and turmoil. For a nation that needed healing and for an office that needed a calm and steady hand, Gerald Ford came along when we needed him most."

Martin Schram reflects on Ford in an article just one month ago:
Ford became America's 38th president and, most importantly, America's first never-elected president & the only person whose name never even appeared on a presidential ballot before taking the presidential oath. While his presidency was just two years and five months long, it was no mere historical blip. He was uniquely suited for the challenge he inherited & calming the nation after the implosion of a presidency, vice presidency and administration of criminals.

When Vice President Spiro Agnew was proven to be a crook and resigned, President Richard Nixon appointed Ford as veep. Nixon, already trapped in his Watergate web of lies and deceits, figured that the lightly regarded Ford would be insurance against his own impeachment. (It was neither Nixon's first nor worst miscalculation.)

Just eight months later, Nixon resigned, fleeing sure impeachment and conviction; and Ford became president. In his presidency, Ford traveled to China and to a U.S.-Soviet strategic arms summit in Vladivostok. South Vietnam collapsed on his watch. And, of course, he pardoned Nixon. But Ford may have met his greatest challenge and performed his greatest service to the nation on Aug. 9, 1974, the day he took the oath of office.

In his inaugural address in the East Room, President Ford famously told a shaken nation: "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works . . ." In his speech, he also spoke a line that I've always liked best & because, in its simplicity, it summed up all that was wrong with the Nixon White House and all that would be needed to make things right: "I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together . . ." It was true that day and it is every bit as true today. It is why we always will appreciate Jerry Ford.

More links:
White House Bio
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum has collected some Ford quotes.
Hot Air: "stone cold mack-daddy Prez"
Paul Mirengoff of Power Line (has also posted an old campaign add):

My favorite Ford moment came in his 1975 state of the union address when he declared, "the state of the union is not good." Do you think we'll ever hear another president make a statement like that when his party has controlled the White House for an extended period?

The Ford family is in our prayers today. God speed President Ford.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from The Tallahassee Sentinel.

Luke: Chapter 2 (New King James Version)
Christ Born of Mary
1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,[a] who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold,[b] an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”[c]15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely[d] known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
Hot Air brings us a Christmas message from Chaplain LTC Jim White in Baghdad.

NR interview with Stanley Weintraub - 11 Days in December: Christmas at the Bulge, 1944
Books by Stanley Weintraub

The Sentinel will resume daily postings tomorrow. Have a wonderful Christmas Day!


Saint Peter's Basilica
Sunday, 24 December 2006

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have just heard in the Gospel the message given by the angels to the shepherds during that Holy Night, a message which the Church now proclaims to us: "To you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger" (Lk 2:11-12). Nothing miraculous, nothing extraordinary, nothing magnificent is given to the shepherds as a sign. All they will see is a child wrapped in swaddling clothes, one who, like all children, needs a mother’s care; a child born in a stable, who therefore lies not in a cradle but in a manger. God ’s sign is the baby in need of help and in poverty. Only in their hearts will the shepherds be able to see that this baby fulfils the promise of the prophet Isaiah, which we heard in the first reading: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder" (Is 9:5). Exactly the same sign has been given to us. We too are invited by the angel of God, through the message of the Gospel, to set out in our hearts to see the child lying in the manger.

God’s sign is simplicity. God’s sign is the baby. God’s sign is that he makes himself small for us. This is how he reigns. He does not come with power and outward splendour. He comes as a baby – defenceless and in need of our help. He does not want to overwhelm us with his strength. He takes away our fear of his greatness. He asks for our love: so he makes himself a child. He wants nothing other from us than our love, through which we spontaneously learn to enter into his feelings, his thoughts and his will – we learn to live with him and to practise with him that humility of renunciation that belongs to the very essence of love. God made himself small so that we could understand him, welcome him, and love him. The Fathers of the Church, in their Greek translation of the Old Testament, found a passage from the prophet Isaiah that Paul also quotes in order to show how God’s new ways had already been foretold in the Old Testament. There we read: "God made his Word short, he abbreviated it" (Is 10:23; Rom 9:28). The Fathers interpreted this in two ways. The Son himself is the Word, the Logos; the eternal Word became small – small enough to fit into a manger. He became a child, so that the Word could be grasped by us. In this way God teaches us to love the little ones. In this way he teaches us to love the weak. In this way he teaches us respect for children. The child of Bethlehem directs our gaze towards all children who suffer and are abused in the world, the born and the unborn. Towards children who are placed as soldiers in a violent world; towards children who have to beg; towards children who suffer deprivation and hunger; towards children who are unloved. In all of these it is the Child of Bethlehem who is crying out to us; it is the God who has become small who appeals to us. Let us pray this night that the brightness of God’s love may enfold all these children. Let us ask God to help us do our part so that the dignity of children may be respected. May they all experience the light of love, which mankind needs so much more than the material necessities of life.

And so we come to the second meaning that the Fathers saw in the phrase: "God made his Word short". The Word which God speaks to us in Sacred Scripture had become long in the course of the centuries. It became long and complex, not just for the simple and unlettered, but even more so for those versed in Sacred Scripture, for the experts who evidently became entangled in details and in particular problems, almost to the extent of losing an overall perspective. Jesus "abbreviated" the Word – he showed us once more its deeper simplicity and unity. Everything taught by the Law and the Prophets is summed up – he says – in the command: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind… You shall love your neighbour as yourself" (Mt 22:37-40). This is everything – the whole faith is contained in this one act of love which embraces God and humanity. Yet now further questions arise: how are we to love God with all our mind, when our intellect can barely reach him? How are we to love him with all our heart and soul, when our heart can only catch a glimpse of him from afar, when there are so many contradictions in the world that would hide his face from us? This is where the two ways in which God has "abbreviated" his Word come together. He is no longer distant. He is no longer unknown. He is no longer beyond the reach of our heart. He has become a child for us, and in so doing he has dispelled all doubt. He has become our neighbour, restoring in this way the image of man, whom we often find so hard to love. For us, God has become a gift. He has given himself. He has entered time for us. He who is the Eternal One, above time, he has assumed our time and raised it to himself on high. Christmas has become the Feast of gifts in imitation of God who has given himself to us. Let us allow our heart, our soul and our mind to be touched by this fact! Among the many gifts that we buy and receive, let us not forget the true gift: to give each other something of ourselves, to give each other something of our time, to open our time to God. In this way anxiety disappears, joy is born, and the feast is created. During the festive meals of these days let us remember the Lord’s words: "When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite those who will invite you in return, but invite those whom no one invites and who are not able to invite you" (cf. Lk 14:12-14). This also means: when you give gifts for Christmas, do not give only to those who will give to you in return, but give to those who receive from no one and who cannot give you anything back. This is what God has done: he invites us to his wedding feast, something which we cannot reciprocate, but can only receive with joy. Let us imitate him! Let us love God and, starting from him, let us also love man, so that, starting from man, we can then rediscover God in a new way!

And so, finally, we find yet a third meaning in the saying that the Word became "brief" and "small". The shepherds were told that they would find the child in a manger for animals, who were the rightful occupants of the stable. Reading Isaiah (1:3), the Fathers concluded that beside the manger of Bethlehem there stood an ox and an ass. At the same time they interpreted the text as symbolizing the Jews and the pagans – and thus all humanity – who each in their own way have need of a Saviour: the God who became a child. Man, in order to live, needs bread, the fruit of the earth and of his labour. But he does not live by bread alone. He needs nourishment for his soul: he needs meaning that can fill his life. Thus, for the Fathers, the manger of the animals became the symbol of the altar, on which lies the Bread which is Christ himself: the true food for our hearts. Once again we see how he became small: in the humble appearance of the host, in a small piece of bread, he gives us himself.

All this is conveyed by the sign that was given to the shepherds and is given also to us: the child born for us, the child in whom God became small for us. Let us ask the Lord to grant us the grace of looking upon the crib this night with the simplicity of the shepherds, so as to receive the joy with which they returned home (cf. Lk 2:20). Let us ask him to give us the humility and the faith with which Saint Joseph looked upon the child that Mary had conceived by the Holy Spirit. Let us ask the Lord to let us look upon him with that same love with which Mary saw him. And let us pray that in this way the light that the shepherds saw will shine upon us too, and that what the angels sang that night will be accomplished throughout the world: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased." Amen!

Friday, December 22, 2006

With a portrait and a library Bush says farewell

Bush appeared at his final official public appearance on Thursday. He met with the press and supporters at the governor's mansion to dedicate an addition to its library built in his honor. He also unveiled his official state portrait.

The portrait of Bush was presented by Lt.-gov Toni Jennings:

(St. Pete Times) Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings noted Bush's formal portrait, by Pensacola artist Jeff Bass, includes a bookcase filled with books, including the Bible, Majorie Kinnan Rawlings' Florida memoir Cross Creek, and the 1899 motivational essay A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard. In the portrait Bush stands between a high-backed leather chair and the bookcase, which is topped with a portrait of Bush's immediate family and a Blackberry, a wireless e-mail device, in a nod to his proud prolific e-mail use.

Aides to Bush say that the library will stand as a testament to his focus on reading over the last eight years:
The governor sat just outside one of two doorways into the new library, which adds roughly 20 percent more public space to the 50-year-old mansion. Speakers said it is only fitting that Bush, a fanatical reader who launched a "Just Read, Florida!" literacy initiative, would leave a library behind. Aside from books about Florida and by Florida authors, the library is designed to eventually include Florida artwork. Its $500,000 cost, including the adjacent outdoor 740-square-foot portico, was financed with private donations.

"He believes every child can learn. ... And there will be books in this library some day where authors will chronicle his impact," said former Bush chief of staff Kathleen Shanahan, now CEO of WRS Infrastructure & Environment in Tampa and a fundraiser for the library project.

Bush also reflected on the last eight years:
"It has been an unbelievable, fun job. It's been the best job in the world," Bush said as he closed his remarks. "I had one of those moments where I said, 'Get over it and stop worrying about it and start thinking about what the future holds.'

When Bush finally stood to address the crowd, he cracked a joke about his first lieutenant governor, Frank Brogan, who left office in 2003 "for a cushy job in South Florida" as Florida Atlantic University's president. "That's something I'm looking for, by the way.," he quipped, rattling off his well known e-mail address.

Bush's comments were brief, personal and philosophical. He appeared to briefly fight back tears as he thanked his wife, sitting in the front row, for her support.

"I think when an anthropologist looks at my life down the road when I'm a skeleton that's dug up, they would probably have to categorize it as BC and AC: Before Columba and After Columba.

"You guys didn't know me Before Columba, I'll just leave it at that," Bush said.

The governor told the crowd he would miss the mansion, its staff and its chef Joshua Butler - "I don't think a guy could survive his good food a third term."

And he thanked his supporters, "for making it possible for me to serve," singling out U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Al Hoffman. The southwest Florida developer and founder of WCI Communities was instrumental in Bush's campaign financing, and headed the committee that raised money for the library.

"I really, honestly believe we have made a difference," Bush said. "My core belief at the end of the day is that if we can just build the field of dreams, just build the fertile ground if you will that allows people, individuals and families to pursue their own dreams there will be more prosperity, more innovation and more good things happening than any government program ever created.

"I believed that when I got here. And I believe it just as much as I leave."

We believe that Bush made a big difference in Florida over the past eight years, and we hope the Crist will carry forward that legacy.

God speed Governor Bush.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

What is the Christams terror threat?

Robert Spencer weighs the possibility of Christmas terror attacks.

Watch Jihad Watch here.

It's Baracksmas Time!!

Saint Kansas has put together a great Baracksmas video (hat tip Allah).

It's must see holiday fun.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Rosie vs. The Donald

Allah Pundit at Hot Air has put together a post - with video - chronicling the Rosie vs. Trump war. I guess this is video day at the Sentinel.

Rosie: "Donald, sit and spin my friend"

Donald: "Rosie is a loser"

See: Trump and Rosie go nuclear on each other

Gay Nativity in Italy

And you thought we had Nativity problems in America.

(AP) ROME — Two deputies with Italy's small but vocal Radical Party caused an uproar among legislators in this predominantly Catholic country on Wednesday when they placed dolls representing two gay couples in Parliament's nativity scene.

The gesture by deputies Bruno Mellano and Donatella Porretti was intended as a show of support for a law that would give unmarried couples, including gays, some of the same rights as married couples. However, it prompted swift and stern condemnation from shocked legislators on all sides.

Well, at least they're outraged.

Former VA Governor Looks to Fill Conservative Void in '08 Field

Former VA Gov. Jim Gilmore is considering a 2008 presidential run. Gilmore says that he is motivated by the lack of a true conservative candidate in the GOP field.

(AP) Citing what he said was the lack of a true conservative in the field of GOP White House prospects, Gilmore said Tuesday he will charter a federal committee in January that would allow him to assess his chances for the race himself.

"There is not a committed conservative in the field who can put together a national campaign. I am and I can. I have people on the ground right now in Iowa and in South Carolina," Gilmore, 57, said in a telephone interview from New York.

His comments were directed not only at others preparing for a GOP presidential run, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and departing Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. It's also yet another of his many slaps at lavish federal spending by the current Republican administration and Congress.

"I am not someone who has to evolve as a conservative. I don't have to evolve my position," he said.

Everyone that I talk to on the street expresses the need for a conservative in the race. The Sentry welcomes the entry of a true conservative. We now look forward to Newt's kick-off.

Another good holiday video!

Check it out here!! (hat tip Hugh Hewitt)

Zawahiri Christmas Message

Courtesy of Scrappleface:

If only he meant it - Merry Christmas.

The Pilgrimage to Assad Continues

Two more U.S. senators visit Syrian President Bashir Assad. That's John Kerry, on the far right, and Chris Dodd, second from left.


What do conservatives believe?

Terence Jeffrey, editor of Human Events, helps us out by listing the ten core principles of conservatism.

As a very political year approaches an end, and a new presidential election cycle looms, it’s a good time for conservatives to step back from partisan politics and reflect on their cause.

What do conservatives believe? Here are 10 principles worth pondering.

Go there and keep this list in mind as you consider who deserves your support over the next year as the presidential race moves forward.

Update: It looks like Ros-Lehtinen did say it! But does anyone care?

Back on December 11, we reported on the Ros-Lehtinen YouTube assassination video. The congresswoman claimed that the film must have been tampered with because she had not called for Castro assassination.

Well it now looks as if she may have after all. As we asked in our earlier post: Does it matter?

VIDEO MOMENT: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen speaks about Fidel Castro during an interview for a documentary.

The YouTube contributor has now provided the Miami Herald with a copy of the entire video. Click on the photo and follow the link on the Herald site to see the extended clip.

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen has declined to comment on this latest tape. We stand by the point we made a couple of weeks ago. Who could blame her if she did go that far? We don't!!

Faith-based Job Training Program is Making an Impact in Tampa Bay

This is just one more example of how private charities - and faith-based charities in particular - are more effective at solving problems. The St. Vincent de Paul center in St. Petersburg has taken a $248,000 grant from the Labor Department and used it to turn around lives.

ST. PETERSBURG - Rodnick Moore is no stranger to sensory gratification, though he's paid for it along the way.

Early in life he developed a taste for drink. Later, crack cocaine provided a virtual vacation from the mind-stripping monotony of prison.

But that was several surrenders to God ago, and now the Vietnam War veteran has abandoned illicit pursuits in favor of a single savory one: food.

"My biggest joy, besides my children, is my cooking," said Moore, 55. "I like the expressions on the faces of people when they eat my food."

Moore graduated Tuesday evening with nine classmates from an 18-week employment training program at the St. Vincent de Paul center, the only one of its kind in Pinellas County that focuses exclusively on helping the homeless develop skills to get the jobs they need to keep them off the streets.

While it's probably far too early to pass final judgement on the program at St. Vincent de Paul, they seem to be off to a great start.
The program aims to help the homeless who, like Moore, are in transition. Because he is a veteran, Moore qualifies for a bed in the homeless veterans dormitory at the Bay Pines VA Medical Center. Moore said he hopes to save up enough money to get his own apartment in a few weeks.

He says he owes his newfound success to St. Vincent de Paul and to God.

"This is my greatest moment, next to my children," said the father of five daughters.

"If it weren't for God, I wouldn't have made it."

Just a bit of good news to start your Wednesday.

St. Vincent de Paul of St. Pete

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Eldridge Questions Bush's Conservatism

Washington Times managing editor David Eldridge is questioning the President's conservatism.

Unchecked spending and unprecedented expansions of federal power, squishy policies on protecting our borders, and now the specter of tax increases, too?

Is there anyone who still thinks George W. Bush is guided by any conservative principles at all?

Bush the Son once said he’d learned a valuable lesson when Bush the Father lost his base by reneging on his “Read my lips: No new taxes” pledge. The lesson didn’t stick, obviously.

Though he has not yet convinced the Sentinel, he does make some good points. Let's hope he's wrong.

David Zucker Compares Baker with Chamberlain

Director David Zucker - known for classics like Airplane! and Naked Gun - has put together a response to the Iraq Study Group report. This is a must see. And it's funny!

David Harnden of the Daily Telegraph gives us a little more on Zucker (hat tip Harnden):

Zucker was a campaign adviser to Bill Clinton but saw the light - to use the parlance of his new Republican friends - after the 9/11 attacks. He told The Washington Times recently that he was sick of the "talk, talk, talk" of Democrats and their beloved United Nations.

Hollywood happily forgives drug-addled or drunken directors "but I don't think a Republican can be rehabbed", he said.

He sees himself as the anti-Michael Moore. "You have people like Michael Moore going into foreign countries saying Americans are the stupidest people in the world. I want to tell the real America story, that America is a force for good."

In 2004 he produced the "taxman" ad attacking Democrats.

The RNC - not known for its squeamishness - rejected a second Zucker spot that mocked the Democrats as weak on defense and "making nice" by singing kumbaya with America's enemies.

The ad, leaked to YouTube, featured a Madeleine Albright lookalike handing a basketball signed by Michael Jordan to Kim Jong-il, the North Korean leader - an event that actually took place in 2000.

Zucker's new ad on the "appeaser" Baker and the ISG report is even more far out, comparing Baker to Neville Chamberlain. It also portrays President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Adolf Hitler - which is certainly how the Iranian leader is viewed within the White House.

The ad contains a serious point: Is the approach of Baker, the ultimate Washington dealmaker and political horse trader, really one that can yield dividends with the likes of Iran?

Certainly, the White House thinks not. But it is trying very hard to be terribly polite about the Baker report while doing everything it can to ignore it and is thus unlikely to endorse Zucker's latest biting effort.

Make sure you click on the YouTube links in the text - more funny stuff.

Are British Air Carriers Caving to Radical Islam?

Pulling imams off of planes for displaying suspicious behavior - such as requesting seat-belt extenders, spewing anti-American rhetoric, and chanting Allah loudly in an American airline terminal - is a rational response.

Prohibiting British airline employees from traveling with a Bible or wearing a cross on a necklace is far from rational. Unfortunately, this is the point at which we find ourselves. And why has British Airways (also see this) and British Midland taken these steps?

In the case of British Airways, the cross violates uniform codes. You can see from the picture of the BA employee below how this could be considered offensive or threatening. Maybe not.

For Midland, the stewardess in question was known for always traveling with her Bible. Not wanting to upset Saudi Arabia, Midland instead adopts the Islamic country's discriminatory policies.
The Foreign Office website informs travellers to Saudi Arabia: "The importation and use of narcotics, alcohol, pork products and religious books, apart from the Koran, and artifacts are forbidden."

A spokesman said last night that the Saudi authorities would automatically confiscate a Bible from anybody trying to bring one into the country and it would not be returned.

A spokesman for Christian Solidarity Worldwide said: "It is worrying that a British company should be instructing its staff to conform to practices which are in violation of international standards on religious freedom.

"The Saudi government prohibits the public practice of other religions and the possession of non-Islamic religious objects has often led to arrests."

I guess the Brits figure - If you can't beat 'em, you might as well join 'em.

(hat tip Michelle Malkin)

Ed Gamble looks forward to new Congress

A little holiday humor in anticipation of the new Congress. Thanks Ed Gamble.

Update: Tsunami Relief Outrage

Yesterday, we reported on the misuse of tsunami relief funds by the Sharia police force in Indonesia.

Michelle Malkin has devoted today's Vent to the subject. Have a look.

Will Democratic Congress Bring Us Closer to Cuba?

The move to break down barriers between the United States and Cuba may get a boost from the new Democratic Congress. At least that's the hope of Reps. like William Delahunt of Massachusetts.

U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, a leader in the fight to end sanctions against
Cuba, says the push to end the U.S. travel ban to the island nation will get a
boost in the new Democratic-controlled Congress.

The Massachusetts Democrat, fresh from a weekend visit to Cuba as part of a
congressional delegation, said Monday he and other House members planned
hearings early next year to spotlight the issue and to build momentum for their

"If we have hearings, we can increase the pressure for ending the ban,"
said Delahunt, a member of the House International Relations Committee. "These
will be important hearings."

This will provide Republicans with an opportunity to draw a stark distinction between themselves and Dems. Look for Reps. Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen to lead the opposition to the Closer-to-Castro group.
"You have a group of members of Congress who want to unilaterally give the
regime what it wants, which is billions of dollars in U.S. trade and tourism,"
said Diaz-Balart, a longtime supporter of the U.S. embargo on Cuba. "Every year
we fight."

Delahunt was one of a group of members of Congress that traveled to Cuba this weekend. Like the U.S. Senators that traveled to Syria, the visitors to Cuba were used by the despotic government to sell the party line - Castro is not dying and will return to power. Our Congress is beginning to look like the office of public relations to despots everywhere.

O'Reilly Reminds Us to Support Wounded Warrior Project

O'Reilly reminded us on Monday evening to support the Wounded Warrior Project. You've seen the logo in our right column for several weeks now. If you haven't clicked on it, do so now.

Here's what the WWP is doing:

The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) was founded on the principle that veterans are our nation's greatest citizens. The WWP seeks to assist those men and women of our armed forces who have been severely injured during the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations around the world.

O'Reilly reports that since NY Yankee star Johnny Damon appeared of The Factor, WWP has raised over $200,000. Let's help drive that number up!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Will FL-13 Bring Trouble for Pelosi

Speaker-elect Pelosi's pledge of bipartisanship may get an early challenge when Congress convenes next month. That's when she'll have decide whether or not to intervene in the Florida District 13 election mess.

(Bradenton Herald) When the Democratic-controlled Congress convenes in January, Pelosi might be faced with a decision on whether to seek to deny certified Republican winner Vern Buchanan from taking his seat.

Buchanan was declared the winner by 369 votes. But Democrat Christine Jennings has gone to court seeking a new election, asserting that the electronic voting machines malfunctioned. A court hearing is set for Tuesday. And Jennings plans to file papers with the House by Wednesday's deadline contesting the election results and seeking to block Buchanan from taking the oath of office in early January.

Republicans are preparing for battle.
Republicans have made clear they would view a Pelosi embrace of Jennings' challenge as a call to arms.

Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., said Friday that if Democrats attempt to prevent Buchanan from taking the seat, it would be a "poisoning of the well by depth charge."

"This is a first major test for Nancy Pelosi," added Ed Patru, a spokesman for the House Republican Conference. "Will she side with the voters of the 13th district? . . . Or will she make a blatant partisan power grab?"

As usual, we'll keep our eye on this issue and keep you up-to-date with any developments.

Tsunami Donations Used to Enforce Sharia

Did you send in your Tsunami relief dollars back in 2004? Millions did and now the Sunday Times is telling us that those dollars (or pounds) are being used to enforce Islamic Sharia. (hat tip Little Green Footballs)

WHEN people around the world sent millions of pounds to help the stricken Indonesian province of Aceh after the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, few could have
imagined that their money would end up subsidising the lashing of women in public.

But militant Islamists have since imposed sharia law in Aceh and have cornered Indonesian government funds to organise a moral vigilante force that harasses women and stages frequent displays of humiliation and state-sanctioned violence.

Sharia policemen have largely supplanted regular police. These Muslim radicals are bent on imposing their strict brand of Islamic law.
The transgressor can be a man accused of gambling or drinking alcohol. But if it is a woman guilty of wearing “improper” clothing or being caught in proximity to a man, there is a particular ritual to the punishment.

She is dressed in white robes and veiled. Policemen escort her up on to a stage erected before a jeering crowd, which, witnesses say, is usually almost exclusively male.

Forced to kneel, the woman waits while a masked man ascends the platform. He is carrying a cane with a curved handle designed to give the inflictor of God’s punishment a better grip. From the loudspeakers, a man’s voice sonorously recites the appropriate religious chastisement. Then he begins to count. With each number, the cane descends with a vicious lash.

According to witnesses, male onlookers often roar in delight and hurl pious imprecations at the victims, working themselves up to a pitch of excitement.

In one collective punishment last summer, four women denounced for gambling were given between six and 10 lashes. One passed out as she was dragged off the stage.
This is just one more example of the savagery that is radical Islam. When will those practitioners of the "peaceful religion" that we keep hearing about begin to stand up to savages that bring shame upon their faith? We'll keep waiting.

Wackos Strike in Chapel Hill

Sorry for the long break......but, we're finally back.

This is not exactly the kind of story that we want to get back rolling on, but here goes.

Support the troops. Not exactly - not in Chapel Hill. Mary Katherine Ham alerts us to the anti-military welcoming of an Army recruiting station.

"Go home," troops that we totally support. You're "not welcome," good men and women of the armed services, whose service we appreciate so sincerely even though we don't necessarily support your mission in Iraq. Riiight. Tell me more about it.

From the News & Observer:
"We thought it was important to not have this recruiting station open quietly," said Emily McFarlane, a UNC-Chapel Hill junior who helped organize the protest at the Army Career Center, 1502 E. Franklin St.

About 30 protesters -- members of Students for a Democratic Society, The Raging Grannies and others -- held signs, walked in a circle and shouted, "Out of Iraq, out of our schools! Out of town, shut the war down!"

They also spray painted their rantings on two government cars parked outside the station.
In addition to the protests, two government cars parked outside the recruiting station were vandalized with spray painted messages, "Go home!" on one and "Not welcome!" on the other.

Well, surely the local Chamber of Commerce showed their support. Not so much.
About 4 p.m., just before the ribbon cutting, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce pulled out of the ceremony. "Because these planned disruptions undermine the purpose of the Chamber's ribbon cuttings and threaten the safety of Chamber staff and volunteers, the Chamber has decided not to participate in this afternoon's ribbon cutting," Executive Director Aaron Nelson wrote.

This is not the first time moonbat artists have struck in Chapel Hill. MKH points us toward a Michelle Malkin flashback.

We our, of course, not surprised when stories like this pop-up. Even so, we are always disgusted when these moonbat wackos arise.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Legal Abortion in America

In case you missed it on O'Reilly......take a look.

Everyone in America should see this clip - post it, pass it, email it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Is Sen. Bill Nelson Sleeping with the Enemy?

OK - I know that I'm under a blogging pause, but this is too important to wait.


U.S. Senator Bill Nelson - that's right Floridians, your Sen. Nelson - took it upon himself to meet today with Syrian President Bashar Assad. I'm aware that the Baker-Hamilton group urged talks with Syria, but I do not recall it mentioning that those talks should be initiated by a rogue U.S. senator.

Here's the AP story:

In a direct affront to the Bush administration, a Democratic senator spent an hour Wednesday with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus, emerging from the meeting to say Assad was willing to help control the Iraq-Syrian border.

Sen. Bill Nelson (news, bio, voting record) of Florida, a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, met with Assad after the State Department said that it disapproved of his trip. The United States has limited
diplomatic ties with Syria because of its support of Hezbollah and Hamas, which
the U.S. deems terrorist organizations, and President Bush has expressed
reluctance to seek help from Damascus on Iraq until the Syrians curb that support and reduce their influence in Lebanon.


"We don't think that members of Congress ought to be going there," White House press secretary Tony Snow said, adding that the United States continues to denounce Syria's meddling in Lebanon and its ties to terrorist groups.

Snow noted the existing diplomatic ties between U.S. and Syria. "I think it's a real stretch to think the Syrians don't know where we stand or what we think," he said.


The senator shrugged off suggestions he was challenging Bush's authority by sidestepping administration policy that the U.S. have no contact with Syrian officials.

"I have a constitutional role as a member of Congress," Nelson said.

Meanwhile, Bush criticized Damascus anew and called on it to free all political prisoners.

In a statement, the president expressed support for the Syrian people, and said they "deserve a government whose legitimacy is grounded in the consent of the people, not brute force."

The U.S.-backed government in Lebanon led by Prime Minister Fuad Saniora is being challenged by the Hezbollah-led, pro-Syrian opposition. Bush said Syria should disclose the fate of the many missing Lebanese citizens who disappeared following their arrest in Lebanon during decades of Syrian military occupation.

"The Syrian regime should immediately free all political prisoners, including Aref Dalila, Michel Kilo, Anwar al-Bunni, Mahmoud Issa, and Kamal Labwani," Bush said. "I am deeply troubled by reports that some ailing political prisoners are denied health care while others are held in cells with violent criminals."

Doesn't Nelson know when he being used as a public relations tool?


Yes, it's the same Bill Nelson (hat tip Hot Air).

Little Green Footballs has been following the story all day and has some good stuff.
From Blogmiester USA: Dodd and Kerry will be meeting with Middle East leaders.

The idea that Dodd and Kerry are going to talk to leaders in Iran and Syria
when the administration is reluctant to do so (and hoping to pass on messages
from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice) does nothing for our nation. It shows
those countries that we continue to be divided on key policy issues such as
national security. All these two are doing is stroking their own egos.

We'll keep following this story. For now the pause is back on!!

** Blogging Pause **

The Tallahassee Sentinel is in the midst of a short blogging pause. As soon as we get the Fall semester wrapped-up here in Tallahassee, we'll be back and posting.

Look for new posts by this Friday. Thanks for reading the Sentinel.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Kofi Update: O'Reilly and Malkin Tee Off

Bill O'Reilly had Michelle Malkin on to discuss Kofi's departure and legacy.

Hot Air has the video here.

You'll also get a little Obama thrown in for good measure.
Here's our post from earlier today.

Again, good riddance!!

What did Ros-Lehtinen say? Does it matter?

(hat tip Allah Pundit)
A YouTube video is circulating that shows a clip of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, apparently welcoming any assassination attempt on Fidel Castro. Here is the clip:

The controversial line is this:

I welcome the opportunity of having anyone assassinate Fidel Castro and any
leader who is oppressing the people.

Over on Kokonut Pundits, Mike McConnell has closely analyzed the clip and believes that it has been altered:

If you listen closely she says "I" twice as if she was stuttering right
before she says "welcome." This is where I believe the audio splice took place
to cover up the word "won't" if you lip read it closely without the sound.

Give it a try. I think Mike may have it right. For her part, Ileana is claiming that the tape was altered to give the wrong impression:

Ros-Lehtinen, who has never hid her loathing for Castro, says the clip was spliced together.

Watch the video closely, she says. She says her lips aren't saying what the audio says she is. At one point in the clip, a sharp-eyed viewer can see what appears to be a skip in the filming.

''It's twisted in a way that gives the viewer a totally wrong impression,'' Ros-Lehtinen said Friday. ``I've said the community has moved on, that those strategies are not being used today, but apparently the filmmakers think we're still in a '60s

That said, Ros-Lehtinen, born in Havana, says she will celebrate Castro's death -- whether by old age, illness or at the hands of an assassin.

''The day that Fidel Castro dies is a day that all freedom-loving Cubans will celebrate,'' Ros-Lehtinen said. ``I've been saying that for many years and I'm not shy about saying it.''

Anyone who has paid attention to politics in Florida - especially South Florida - knows that both Ileana and her colleague Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Belart have long said many unflattering things about Fidel. For someone who has represented the Cuban-exile community for so long and witnessed the results of Fidel's brutality, we can certainly understand if Rep. Ros-Lehtinen had gone as far as calling for the Evil Dictator's assassination.

We have known the Congresswomen to be honest in the past, so will trust her here.

National Review Pays Tribute to Jeane Kirkpatrick

Click over to the Symposium put together by NR. A fitting tribute to the "Iron Lady" of America.
Also, see our tribute - posted Friday.

Good Bye and Good Riddance

UN Sec. Gen. Kofi Annan is set to make his farewell address today. The USA Today reports that Annan will "blast" the United States in the major thrust of his speech. Having led a scandal ridden administration - remember the oil-for-food program - Annan will have few, if any, real accomplishments to speak about. He will instead follow what has been his line for years - blame the U.S. for all of the world's problems.

From the USA Today:

In a farewell speech on U.S. soil today, retiring United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan plans to deliver a tough critique of President Bush's policies. He will accuse the administration of trying to secure the United States from terrorism in part by dominating other nations through force, committing what he termed human rights abuses and taking military action without broad international support.
These ideas can be advanced only "if America remains true to its principles, including in the struggle against terrorism," the speech says.
Response from Malkin:
Like Kofi Annan knows anything about remaining true to principles? He leaves behind a feckless, corrupted, global bureaucracy incapable of policing the predators in its ranks, unwilling to stand up to evil, and useless in the struggle against terrorism--or any other global threat.

__________(more from USA Today)
In the 61-year history of the U.N., no secretary-general has ended his tenure by criticizing U.S. policies so sharply, said Stanley Meisler, a historian of the United Nations and author of a new biography of Annan.
The speech, to be delivered at the presidential library of the late Harry Truman in Independence, Mo., contrasts Truman's support for the United Nations with the Bush administration's unilateral actions.

Annan acknowledges terrorism and other global threats but cautions against nations acting alone. "Against such threats as these, no nation can make itself secure by seeking supremacy over all others," the speech says.
Why not speak about accomplishments?

Critics of Annan in Congress, including Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., faulted the Ghana-born, U.S.-educated diplomat for lax management of the $64 billion U.N. oil-for-food program. The 1996-2003 effort was tainted by $1.5 billion in kickbacks to the regime of Saddam Hussein.

"Annan's legacy will be one of missed opportunity and failed leadership," said Coleman, who urged Annan to resign last year.

From Redstate:
Kofi Annan has never done anything well, unless you count marrying his wife. His family has benefitted from the corrupt culture of the United Nations, he has personally benefited from that same corruption, and his tenure at the United Nations has seen scandal, rape, and failure. Yet, today, he will feel so bold as to go to the Truman Library and attack American foreign policy.
From AllahPundit:
Rwanda, Kosovo, Darfur, Oil for Food, child-sex scandals, twelve years of unenforced resolutions against Saddam, paralysis in the face of an accelerating Iranian nuclear program, a North Korean bomb test this summer, and an antagonism towards Israel so relentless as to border on the persecutional.
From Captain Ed:
Kofi Annan has an op-ed column in today's Washington Post that must be read to be believed. The column, which serves as a valediction of sorts, talks about what Annan has learned from his time at the United Nations. If his rule hadn't resulted in such worldwide misery and despair, it would be one of the funniest pieces of opinion journalism so far this year.
Some gems from the WaPo piece:
First, in today's world we are all responsible for each other's security. Against such threats as nuclear proliferation, climate change, global pandemics or terrorists operating from safe havens in failed states, no nation can make itself secure by seeking supremacy over all others.
Second, we are also responsible for each other's welfare.

Third, both security and prosperity depend on respect for human rights and the rule of law.

My fourth lesson, therefore, is that governments must be accountable for their actions, in the international as well as the domestic arena. Every state owes some account to other states on which its actions have a decisive impact. As things stand, poor and weak states are easily held to account, because they need foreign aid. But large and powerful states, whose actions have the greatest impact on others, can be constrained only by their own people.
Kofi must of just learned the lesson on accountability this week.
Check out this Times (UK) article - a ringing indictment of Kofi's term. (hat tip Betsy Newmark) Here is a taste:
The bodies were still warm when Lieutenant Ron Rutten found them: nine corpses in civilian clothes lying crumpled by a stream, each shot in the back at close range. It was July 12, 1995, and the UN-declared “safe area” of Srebrenica had fallen the previous day. The lush pastures of eastern Bosnia were about to become Europe’s bloodiest killing fields since 1945.
Annan’s term has also been marked by scandal: from the sexual abuse of women and children in the Congo by UN peacekeepers to the greatest financial scam in history, the UN-administered oil-for-food programme. Arguably, a trial of the UN would be more apt than a leaving party.

Charge one: Rwanda

That in 1994, Annan and the DPKO refused the UN commander General Romeo Dallaire (below) permission to raid Hutu arms caches, despite his warning mass slaughter was planned, that they failed to inform the security council, and failed to clarify the extent of the genocide

Charge two: Srebrenica

That from July 6 to July 11, 1995, Unprofor, the UN mission in Bosnia, repeatedly failed to authorise air strikes to save the town, despite having the means to do so, and was in grievous breach of its obligations to protect civilians

Charge three: Darfur

That the UN, in particular the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), repeatedly ignored reports from humanitarian officials of atrocities because they were politically inconvenient, and that the UN still refuses to take action to stop the slaughter.

After reading that, one can not argue with the tone of Kofi's speech today. After all, it is easier to wag the finger at someone else than to face a record like his.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

FL-13 Update: St. Times Urges Jennings to "Bow Out"

Yet another major Florida newspaper has added its voice to the call for Christine Jennings to end her partisan fight over the FL-13 seat. The St. Petersburg Times is telling Howard Dean to "Butt Out" and Jennings to "bow out".

The race's troubling aspects have morphed into absurdity. It is time to bring finality. Jennings should concede defeat and the Democratic Party should butt out.

Jennings accomplished what she set out to do with her initial protest. The state Division of Elections did a thorough audit of touch-screen voting machines used in Sarasota and found no system breakdowns or abnormalities. While that doesn't resolve the mystery, analysis by the media and election experts indicates what likely happened. It appears ballot design played a key role in the undervote. The District 13 candidates were listed on a screen dominated by the governor's race, so voters who hurried could have overlooked them. Many voters reported spotting the mistake on the review screen and correcting it.

Unfortunately, Jennings is still blaming voting machine malfunction for the outcome despite contrary evidence. Perhaps that's because the only reason a court would consider ordering a new election is proof of widespread fraud or machine error. While Floridians should be concerned and election officials more careful about ballot design, there isn't sufficient reason to throw out the results.

It would be a big mistake for House Democrats to heed Dean's advice. No election is perfect, and Americans likely would resent a partisan political effort to interfere in the will of voters, no matter how misguided or inattentive they were in casting their ballots.


It's time for Jennings to bow out and for Democrats to stop fanning fears about electronic voting machines without much more than suspicions.

The SP Times is but the most recent in a string of editorials calling on Jennings to call it quits:
The Tampa Trib: "Time for Jennings to throw in the towel"
The Tampa Trib: "Jennings wants to count until she wins"
Bradenton Herald: "Give it up"

We just wonder when Jennings will get the message.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

FL-13 Update: A Partisan War in the Making

Both sides are preparing for battle as the fight over FL-13 heads toward Congress. Republicans are bracing for the possibility that the now Democrat speaker will refuse to seat the winner of the FL-13 race, Republican Vern Buchanan.

Republicans are warning Dems not to bring the FL-13 fight to Washington, which they say will "poisen (the political) well".
From SP Times:

"If that happens ... forget about any possibility of pretending to be civil," said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami. "That would be an affront to democracy."

Rep. Jeff Miller, a Panhandle Republican, predicted Friday that Democratic
leaders, including incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, would do just

"Nancy Pelosi will not seat Vern Buchanan. I expect that," he said. "I expect the Democrats to try to take that seat."

"Clearly if the speaker and the House Administration Committee do not seat Buchanan it will be a slap in the face to voters in the 13th District," said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Brooksville.

For there part, FL Dems say that niether Buchanan nor Jennings should be sworn-in. This despite test that prove bad ballot design and voter error were to blame for the undervote.

More later.

Vent TV Keeps Light on Mumia Outrage, 25 years later

Watch Michelle Malkin's piece on the disgraceful saga of Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted murderer of Philly policeman Daniel Faulkner. See Vent with Michelle Malkin here. This disgusting crime took place 25 years ago today. From the "Justice for Daniel Faulkner" website:

On July 3, 1982, having heard weeks of testimony, a jury of 12 citizens sentenced Mumia Abu-Jamal to death for the premeditated murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. Over the next 19 years, Jamal's case has become one of the most publicized Death Penalty cases in the world. It has also become the most misunderstood. The twisted tales about this case are many. They have been told and retold by countless individuals who know little or nothing of the actual facts of the case.

You really need to go there and look through the whole site.

The following is from Michelle Malkin: (hat tip)

In case you missed the roll call vote on the resolution protesting the decision by the city of St. Denis to honor Faulkner's convicted Death Row murderer with a street name, here are the 31--all Democrats--who voted against the measure (via BOTW):
Neil Abercrombie (Hawaii)...Carolyn Kilpatrick (Mich.)...Robert Scott (VA)
William Clay (MO).........Barbara Lee (CA)..................Jose Serrano (NY)
Emanuel Cleaver (MO)...Cynthia McKinney (GA)...Fortney H. Stark, Jr. (CA)
John Conyers (Mich).............Gregory Meeks (NY).........Edolphus Towns (NY)
Jim Cooper (TN)...........Jerrold Nadler (NY)..............Tom Udall (NM)
Danny Davis (IL).........James Oberstar (Mich).........Nydia Velazquez (NY)
Raul Grijalva (Ariz)........Major Owens (NY).................Maxine Waters (CA)
Maurice Hinchey (NY)..........Ed Pastor (Ariz).............Anthony Weiner (NY)
Mike Honda (CA)...................Donald Payne (NJ)........Lynn Woolsey (CA)
Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL)............Charles Rangel (NY)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX)..Bobby Rush (IL)
(sorry about the formatting)
Delaware County Times: Supporters Rally for Fallen Officer; others cry foul

MyFox Philadelphia: Pilly D.A Honored by Fallen Officer's Wife

Philly Daily News: The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal - a time-line

NBC 10 Philly: Slain Officer Daniel Faulkner Remembered 25 Years Later

AP on Faulkner remembered on 25 anniversary of his slaying