Review:Strange Green Object2003-04-30 00:00:00
A strange green object has been found in the Capitol.
A strange green object has been found in the Capitol.
More indications that the House is out of reach for Democrats for a decade, barring a GOP catastrophe. The Hill reports that vulnerable Republican congressman have outraised vulnerable Democrats by 2-1. And there are many more vulnerable Democrats than Republicans, as you can see from this study, which has been very reliable in previous cycles.
More 2004 Arkansas Senate speculation today. The Hill says that Governor Mike Huckabee is waiting until the state budget battle ends to decide if he’ll run, while Roll Call says that the other dream candidate, Asa Hutchinson, has indicated that he isn’t averse to running.
Obviously, the two potential Republican candidates are trying to ensure that whoever gets into the race will have an uncontested primary. It’s wonderful to see GOPers training their sights squarely on vulnerable Senator Blanche Lincoln.
My full 2004 Senate analysis is here.
Claudia Rosett thinks that the only way to deal with North Korea is to rid the country of Kim Jong Il:
The truth is that there is no deal the U.S. or its friends can strike that Pyongyang can be trusted to honor. There is no aid we can offer North Korea’s famished people that Kim will not abuse. And there will be no decent peace until he and his regime are gone. The reason is simple. North Korea’s system needs enemies; take that away, and the entire ideological foundation of the Kim cult starts to crumble. There would be no one to blame for all the misery and militarization but the actual source: the Pyongyang regime itself.I couldn’t agree more.
As for the theory that with just a little more talk, aid and understanding, Kim would be so gullible as to try to truly reform his ways, well, forget about it. Unless Kim is willing to risk his own welfare for the greater good of his fellow citizens–and there is zero precedent for that–he cannot for one instant leave himself vulnerable to anything even approaching free choice among his subjects. Whatever the mythic status of the country’s 22 million or so brainwashed citizens accord the dead Kim Il Sung, too many North Koreans these past nine years have tried to survive under the younger Kim by eating rats and dirt; too many have seen their loved ones die under Kim’s guiding hand.
The numbers are in and Fox News is the winner by a mile.
While browsing C-SPAN’s web site I stumbled upon a video of that infamous interview Peter Arnett granted to Iraqi TV. I found Arnett’s words during the interview disgusting. You can judge for yourself by watching the video here.
The solution to Democratic filibusters of judicial nominees is recess appointments:
The main problem with a recess strategy is that it makes the GOP’s best nominees temporary second-class judges. Not only would this fail to realign the judiciary, but it would deter the most promising judicial candidates from accepting. For this reason, recess appointments, as currently conceived, are not a credible threat. Well, until you add a twist.
President Bush could threaten to line judicial openings with committed conservative and libertarian recess appointees, people who are too old, too young, too smart, too conservative, or too burned by previous failed nominations to ever be considered for ordinary judicial appointments. Unlike practitioners who cannot abandon their practice for a short stint on the bench, professors who can take a few semesters off and judges with no prospects of higher judicial office would be ideal. It would be like a judicial clerkship program for conservative and libertarian law professors that can continue as long as there is a Republican president.
If the Democrats don’t think they like “stealth” candidates like Miguel Estrada, just wait until they experience the delights of judges Richard Epstein, Lillian Bevier, Bernard Siegan, Lino Gragia, and dozens more like them on the Courts of Appeals. Or how about Morris Arnold, Alex Kozinski, Richard Posner, Frank Easterbrook, Edith Jones, or even Robert Bork as recess appointments to the Supreme Court? For the White House, the point of the exercise would be to propose a list of bright and articulate judges who are far more ideologically objectionable to the Democrats and their activist support groups than the president’s current nominees.
Of course, these recess judges and justices would serve only until the end of this session of Congress, but for an academic or near-retiring judge with no future judicial ambitions, this would not serve as too great a deterrent. Imagine the fascinating opinions we would get from these “untenured” judges before they exit the judicial stage.
Castro’s latest crackdown is our fault, of course.
There were no reporters “embedded” with the Iraqi Republican Guard; but, if there had been, this is what they would have seen:
“We were surprised when they [the U.S. pilots] discovered this place,” said Khalidi, 28, a Republican Guard captain from a military family. It was late at night, a strong sandstorm was blowing, the vehicles were hidden under the trees, and the soldiers thought they were safe, he said. But two enormous bombs and a load of cluster bombs hit their targets on a tract of agricultural land in the Sabaa Abkar ("Seven Virgins") area of northern Baghdad, killing six members of Khalidi’s unit and destroying much of their equipment.
“This affected the morale of the soldiers, because they were hiding and thought nobody could find them,” he said. “Some soldiers left their positions and ran away. When the big bombs hit their target, some of the vehicles just melted. And the effect of the cluster bombs was even greater, because they covered a larger area.”
One of those Republican Guard divisions, the Medina al Munawara, or Medina the Luminous, had been targeted for destruction by the 3rd Infantry. U.S. commanders planned to send the division’s M1 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles sweeping west of Karbala, then east across the Euphrates River to engage the Medina Division from behind as it braced for an attack from the south.
The annihilation of the division that was supposedly Hussein’s pride and joy, U.S. commanders thought, could trigger his downfall without the need for U.S. ground forces to fight their way into Baghdad.
But before elements of the 3rd Infantry got into position to launch their main assault, the Medina Division had disintegrated. Repeated heavy airstrikes, rocket barrages and an attack across the Euphrates by the 3rd Infantry’s 1st Brigade had rendered it “combat ineffective.”
[Khalidi’s] unit’s spirits soared once more when U.S. troops attacked Baghdad’s international airport and ran into resistance. Khalidi said the Iraqi military’s official report of the battle, which he believed, described a glorious victory. The Iraqi counterattack had destroyed about 80 tanks and other vehicles, killed 400 U.S. soldiers and taken 200 prisoners, the report said.
So it came as a shock when, the next day, the 3rd Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade staged its “thunder run” of tanks through southern Baghdad.
“It was just as if that last battle had no effect,” Khalidi said. “It was a very big shock. Everyone was surprised that a military force could pass through all the Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard forces surrounding the [presidential palaces], and everyone became afraid.” With the forays into Baghdad came “unimaginably heavy bombing,” including the use of low-flying A-10 Thunderbolt II tank-killer planes, Khalidi said.
“After it was all over, we knew [the airport counterattack report] was an exaggeration,” he said.
In fact, according to [US 3rd Infantry Division, 1st Brigade commander] Grimsley, the 1st Brigade lost 14 killed and 38 wounded in the entire campaign.
“In the end, when [U.S. troops] entered Baghdad, everything was messed up,” Khalidi said. “There were no orders. We didn’t know where the commanders went. We didn’t know what to do. So everyone just went home.”
Now that Tim Robbins, the Dixie Chicks, etc. are grumbling about their “loss” of free speech (on national TV. The irony!), I wish they’d read this article. Saddam’s opponents didn’t just lose their right to free speech. They lost their right to all speech.