Welcome to one and all to this most intense nightly read anywhere on the ‘sphere… The BitsBlog Nightly Ramble

  • ANOTHER 20 INCHES: Another 20 inches of snow for the DC area, we are told. Too bad. It’s holding up the Global Warming Legislation.
  • SPEAKING WELL OF THE DEAD…. WHO DON’T DESERVE IT… There’s been a lot of running commentary the last 24 hours or so about the death of the walking corruption factory… John Murtha.  One of the places this discussion has popped up is over at Outside The Beltway where James Joyner says:

    While I didn’t always agree with Murtha’s tactics and frequently disagreed with his politics, he was a lifelong public servant and most of the vitriol directed at him from the Right was unjustified.

    This is one of those rare instances when Joyner and myself disagree.   Someone in the comment section there brings up Murtha’s military service, claiming it deserves respect. I’m not so sure. I tell him:

    As I said about John Kerry… his military service deserves our respect, assuming it was in fact service. Given what we know of his activity following his exit from the military I think we know sufficient of his personality to give one pause, there.

    That point about his military background aside, I will quote Janet Jackson: “What have you done for me lately?”

    This is not merely a situation of politics but of corruption.. and well- documented corruption at that.

    You’ll pardon me if I don’t shed any tears, please.

    You see, I question the sacrosanct nature of the time anyone spends wearing the uniform.  Do not mistake me; those who serve us true most certainly deserve our respect.  But for example, should we regard Major Nidal Hasan and his time spent in the uniform as having benefited us?  Granted, that this is an extreme situation that I’m using as an example.  From there, however,  it seems to me a matter of degree.  So, let’s cut that back just a bit to a discussion that we’ve had in these spaces previously.

    In the quote from OTB’s comments section, I draw comparisons to John Kerry, who in my mind unquestionably gamed the system to procure himself more medals, for the sole purpose of being more electable once he got back to these United States.  We documented that scam very heavily when it came up during Kerry’s presidential run.  As I said at that time, I don’t regard that as service.

    It seems to me, that there isn’t much of a leap between the “service” of John Kerry, and the “service” of John Murtha.  Take that, as you will.  Frankly, though, given the level of corruption that we saw out of Murtha during his tenure in government, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to question the quality of his “service ” while he wore the uniform. Either someone has a criminal streak in them or they do not.  For all the John Murtha was known for fighting for defense spending, it turns out that a large number of those dollars went into his pocket means of his family’s many defense contractor holdings.  Demonstrably, given the well documented corruption of the man once he got out of the uniform, it doesn’t seem to me unreasonable to wonder about the quality of his service while he wore it.

    Then of course there’s the questionable stand on Iraq.

    That’s just something to think about as we see accolades being piled on this man’s burial mound.

  • THE MAN’S NOT EVEN COLD YET…. And already, the mainstream media is in full speculation mode as to who will take over  Murtha’s seat.   Democrats already had a hell of a time in the last cycle hanging onto his seat, because of the amount of corruption involved with the man.  Couple that with the idea that the district has long had fairly conservative leanings, and you begin to see what a crapshoot this is going to be.  The governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, is going to have to set up a special election within the next ten days.   Personally, I look to see that elections sometime around the middle of may, but we will see.  I notice that there are a couple of republicans already in the race for the next cycle, who will probably step up for this special election.  Tim Burns being one of them, and William Russell, who ran in the last cycle unsuccessfully.  I’m not seeing much in the way of Democrats ready to run for the seat, just yet.  Perhaps that has to do with the fight Democrats have in front of them to hang on to the seat.  The democrats on exactly flush with cash, and this particular district is going to take lots of money if they’re going to be successful in maintaining their control.  Frankly, I don’t see Democrats as willing to spend that kind of money with so much stancked against them, just now.  I notice that Stacy McCain is watching this one closely.
  • SITYS: The Wall Street Journal today contains an article by William McGurn, with the headline:“Bush Was Right, Says Obama”


    This weekend, Americans were treated to something new: Barack Obama defending his war policies by suggesting they merely continue his predecessor’s practices. The defense is illuminating, not least for its implicit recognition that George W. Bush has more credibility on fighting terrorists than does the sitting president.

    Now, if you’re a longtime reader here, you’ll remember that I wrote over Pajamas Media over a year ago now:

    It will be interesting to see if, in four years, President Obama has his ratings similarly thrashed by the New York Times and CBS. In fact, I predict Obama’s approval ratings will be staggeringly low in four years. Already, there are strangled screams of betrayal coming from the far left. They see what’s coming, though they won’t yet say as much because the honeymoon isn’t over. There’s a rather nasty reaction coming, however, which I predict is not long off. We’re about to see it in its full-throated roar.

    You see, while the numbers suggest that there has been no president since Richard Nixon or — depending on how you judge these things — Harry Truman who has left office with a lower approval rating, I dare to suggest that Mr. Bush is going to be vindicated over the next four years by President Obama himself. Vindicated not in rhetoric, since left-wing rhetoric is always and forever vitriolic against any successful Republican. No, Bush will be vindicated thanks to the policies sure to be adopted by Mr. Obama and the Democrat-run Senate, House, and State Dept.

    (Emph is added for this post) I wonder if I should be forwarding that old PJM article to McGurn?I think is response with at least be interesting.  I may even give him a phone call.  This Ain’t Hell has some thoughts, here. Funny thing; the same thing comes up when adding Dick Cheney’s name to the mix.

  • SPEAKING OF APPROVAL RATINGS: Obama’s are now at 44%. He’s managed to hit record lows on very specific points, too… Question: Where is the breathless, frenzied coverage of falling approval ratings that we saw from the MSM, when Bush was president? Too busy being worried about what was written on Sarah Palin’s hand, I guess.  Are you getting all of this?
  • SPEAKING OF THE LEFT’S OBSESSION WITH PALIN: Check this collection of leftie headliens about those hand written notes courtesy of The City Square
  • TOYOTA: As a rule, I will be the last to be defending Toyota. I’m of the firm belief, that the Prius is the worst piece of crap on the highway today… The physical manifestation of environmental non -thought as promulgated by such mental midgets as Al Gore, and backed by reams and reams of falsified information from various left wing dominated agencies.    But frankly, I can’t help but wonder how much of the current spate of Federal government investigations and recalls that they are currently engaged in are a direct result of their most direct competition … that is, American car companies like GM, being a wholly owned subsidiaries of the selfsame Federal government.
  • BEING CRITICAL OF SULLIVAN It’s easy to do, but Leon Wieseltier does a fair and complete, if somewhat understated  job of it.

    Sullivan is hunting for motives, not reasons; for conspiracies, which is the surest sign of a mind’s bankruptcy. These days the self-congratulatory motto above his blog is “Of No Party or Clique,” but in fact Sullivan belongs to the party of Mearsheimer and the clique of Walt (whom he cites frequently and deferentially), to the herd of fearless dissidents who proclaim in all seriousness, without in any way being haunted by the history of such an idea, that Jews control Washington. Sullivan might have a look at the domestic pressures-in lobbies and other forms-upon American diplomacy toward China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Cuba, and give a thought or two to the elaborate and sometimes exasperating nature of foreign-policy-making in a democracy; but he prefers not to dive deep into the substance of anything. It is less immediately satisfying than cursing and linking. Does Sullivan think that Obama’s engagement with Iran-which, accurately described, is an engagement with the Iranian dictatorship and not with the Iranian people-is paying off? Does he believe that the Israeli war against Hamas was an unjust war, or that Israel should have continued to absorb Hamas’s rocket attacks-which were indisputably criminal-and not acted with force against them? His answers may be inferred from his various ejaculations-“the pulverization of Gazans,” for example, is a phrase that is calculatedly indifferent to the wrenching moral and strategic perplexities that are contained in the awful reality of asymmetrical warfare-but they are not so much answers as bar-room retorts; moody explosions of verbal violence; more invective from another American crank. Worst of all, the explanation that Sullivan adopts for almost everything that he does not like about America’s foreign policy, and America’s wars, and America’s role in the world-that it is all the result of the clandestine and cunningly organized power of a single and small ethnic group-has a provenance that should disgust all thinking people.

    Precisely so….And an interesting turn of a few phrases, there. Should we for example be concerned about the homosexual lobby?   But Wieseltier  goes deeper and I think correctly:

    And this is not all that is disgusting about Sullivan’s approach. His assumption, in his outburst about “the Goldfarb-Krauthammer wing,” that every thought that a Jew thinks is a Jewish thought is an anti-Semitic assumption, and a rather classical one. Bigotry has always made representatives of individuals, and discerned the voice of the group in the voice of every one of its members. Is everything that every gay man says a gay statement?

    Well, I think with Sullivan it is.  I’ve said for a long time that Sullivan’s Charles Johnson-esque political about face was solely and completely based on his chosen lifestyle, and who would and would not support that  choice, not on any great truth.  So why should his judgment of what the thought processes of others being centered on their cultural identification instead of the truth, be so much a shock to us? It’s directly in line with how Sully thinks,  himself.(And mind, in that setting the word ‘thinks’ is used in the loosest way possible)

  • CHARLIE CRIST IS DONE: Or so suggests Dan Riehl, over at Riehl World View. I’ve been hearing rumblings like this for a few weeks now, and I think he’s right.

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