AS ALWAYS this post will remain at the top of the page for the next twenty-four hours. SCROLL DOWN for updates throughout Thursday.
First up, as always, our esteemed editor Thomas Lindaman starts us off with his very own, personally-delivered State of the Union speech. Pay attention because he makes more sense than the president did.
Tom Adkins addresses what's gone wrong with the war, and why it's taken longer than we expected.
The media's inability to see anything clearly is thge focus of Vincent Fiore's piece this issue, and believe me when I say his point is well-founded. (Just ask CNN if they like presenting terrorist propaganda.)
Patrick Shanahan address "Liberalism's gray zone (which should be where their gray matter is, but apparently not), and talks about how they keep pushing things supposedly scientifically defined, but just can't seem to measure up to true scientific muster.
Robert E. Meyer's piece this issue is virtually connected to our own as he's discussing the same troop surge the Democrats and wobbly Republicans are trying to stop.
Nightmare scenarios are running through Anthony Schiavo's mind as he asks a simple question: Could the violence we're used to seeing int he Middle East on TV possibly end up happening here?
A rose by any other name is still a rose, and JB Williams makes a similar allusion to the idea the Left has reembraced for the third time in "Universal Health Care."
And, as always, Larry Simoneaux delivers laughs and common sense thought. This time it's regarding cloned animals and our sudden need for them. To give you a preview, I'll quote this from his piece: "Somewhere, a group of scientists with a hammer (genetics) decided that "Bossy" looked a lot like a nail." If you just spit your Seven and 7 all over the screen (like I did) then you need to read his piece.
Doug Patton rounds out this issue with a discussion about us bestowing rights on animals, but continually revoking rights that we, as humans, have enjoyed for some time. Definately an eyebrow raiser.
And now, for those three fans, our original column (just to show you were weren't slacking off this month):
Passing Thoughts In Life's Rearview Mirror: January--The Month That Was
Happy New Year, and welcome to 2007. Too bad the news didn't give us a breather at the beginning of the year. Gerald Ford's passing at the end of 2006 was still in the forefront of the news as interviews that he had given before his death were finally revealed. And his thoughts on more than one president were none too kind. Iran still rattled its saber, and Bush Derangement Syndrome still ran rampant throughout the liberal's ranks, and those of their willing media accomplices. But that is just the tip of the iceberg for the news of the month ...
Democrats: Large And, Um, In Charge ... We Think
Yes, the Democrats took control of Congress this month after the loss of Republican control in the last midterms. Nancy Pelosi proclaimed herself the "most powerful woman in America." But did she prove that point? Did she fulfill her "first 100 hours" pledges? No, the Democrats partied for four days, and then decided that the BCS Championship game was important enough to call off all business for one day. Then, prior to the president addressing the nation on the war in Iraq, the Democrats busied themselves with doing absolutely nothing. Yes, we must hand it to our ideological opposites. Not only did they try to pass the same ethics reform package they obstructed under the GOP controlled Congress, but they dithered and dawdled their first 100 hours away, and asked for a redo. If it were not for these people, there would simply be no comedy in the world.
The Ethiopians Know How To Conduct A War
Somalia--the name of the nation harkens us back to 1993 when 18 Army Rangers were killed in a firefight with half of the city of Mogadishu. We retreated from that country after that debacle. But just six short months ago, Islamofacists seized power, and began to make waves for their neighbors. Ethiopia was one of them, and decided enough was enough. After being threatened by the ruling Muslims of Somalia, Ethiopia--with the assistance of pro-government Somali forces--invaded Somalia, and met the Islamofascists head-on. The war between them lasted about two weeks before the final stronghold was crushed, forcing the Islamofascists, already in rout, into hiding. And that was after Kenya reinforced its borders against the retreating Muslim forces, and the US conducted an airstrike with AC-130 "Spectre" gunships that targeted people we believed were being harbored. Granted, the Islamicists vowed to carry on the fight, but when your lines are in shambles, and your best people are trying to outrun 30 mm chain gun fire, you're not sticking around long to fight. The Ethiopians just sent a message around the world--loud and clear--that these animals can be beaten if you've got the will. Hopefully, some people were listening.
No Circus Antics This Time
The Ninth "Circus" Court of Appeals actually acted with adult respoonsibility in it's most recent appeal dealing with seven individuals charged with aiding a terrorist organization. While few noticed this particular case, many practically fell out of their seats when the judges dealing with the appeal refused to accept their defense. The defense? Their activities constituted "speech," and fell under First Amendment protections. The judges were not impressed, and one judge--the honorable Andrew J. Leinfeld--stated that "Sometimes money serves as a proxy for speech, and sometimes it buys goods and services that are not speech. Guns and bombs are not speech." Those words could never be more true, and it is about time that this sort of precedent was set by US courts. Funding terrorism should NEVER be construed as freedom of speech. Were that so, then any terrorist-loving group in America (read: CAIR) could sue to protect their ability to enable these animals. It is not often when the Ninth "Circus" gets something right, and it should be recognized when they do.
Negroponte Steps Down
Anyone who's been paying attention to the embattled Director of National Intelligence knows that John Negroponte has been doing the best he can with what he has. In short, that's next to nothing. The sixteen intel agencies the US has in it's arsenals have been less than forthcoming with solid intelligence for Negroponte to use. After about four years on the job, Negroponte has decided it's time to end his stint there. He's taking a deputy secretary's role at State, which means, probably, he'll be handling the catering side of things. Far better for him there than as the director of a bureaucracy that was doomed to failure from the get go; proving once again that the 9-11 Commission doesn;t know it's @$$ from a hole in the ground. We warned about the possibility of internal conflict when this occured, And we were not alone.Retired Vice Admiral J. Michael McConnell is the proposed replacement, but nothing on the radar shows that anything will change. The best bet we have is to scrap the DNI's post, and force the intelligence agencies to report directly to the National security Council so they can make decisions based on the intelligence in hand, rather than having another bureaucratic go-between eating up taxpayer money. We'll miss Negroponte at the DNI's post, though we rarely recognized him to begin with.
Concessions Do Not Denote Leadership, Or Faith From Supporters
President Bush made a disturbing and irritating decision this month. The NSA had been conducting warrantless surveillance of our enemies here in America, bypassing the FISA courts, in a program that not only legal, but perfectly and logically justified. He has now decided that he will not seek its renewal, and turned over all oversight to the same court he claimed was not giving him the room to manuever in this war. As supporters of this program, Thomas and I joined the cadre of bloggers who presented legal precedent that advocated the program's legality. But rather than stand beside us and foight for it, the president has taken the path of less resistance, and conceded the battle in Congress before it has even begun. This was not an intelligent move on his part. He said that the FISC constrained him too much. Now they have control over the program. This is not something that will be forgotte, or forgiven by the base. We understood it's necessity. The president appears to be capitulating to his adversaries rather than fighting them. And that was not the sort of message the base wanted to see form a man they put so much faith and trust in.
The Offensive Is Working
e're watching the Democrats up on the Hill throwing a hissy fit over the president's plan to insert 20,000 more troops into Iraq to finish our job there. And before a single new boot has hit the ground, those over there right now have taken the gloves off. They've gone into Baghdad, have started killing or capturing members of the Mahdi Army. And it's working. A recent news report shows us that members of the Mahdi Army have taken downt heir checkpoints, they're not openly walking the streets with AKs and other weapons, and they're fleeing Baghdad. Heck, a few of them are even getting their passports, and trying to get our of Iraq. And the people in Baghdad are helping those forces find these people. We recently caught some of al-Sadr's chief aides, including his media director, and al-Sadr is supposedly trying to get al-Maliki to protect him. Aside from al-Maliki's comments that he wishes us to notify and coordinate with the government when we make raids, he's not shielding al-Sadr. So despite what critics are saying we are winning this right now. Will it continue? That depends not only on the Iraqi government, but also if the admnistration can withstand the critics at home.
We definitely had a wide variety of subjects this month to deal with, though the news does not always present us with such opportunities. And much of that news was split between good and bad. There are still things unfolding, such as the new offensive in Iraq and the Somalia conflict, that will continue to play out in the coming weeks and months. We will sit back and watch, reading the tea leaves, and watching life go by in the rearview mirror ...