You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.
-- John F. Kerry, to a California high-school assembly.
Kerry's statement, a broad implication that all United States military servicemen and women are either dumb or unachieving, has been rightfully condemned by a variety of persons, including John McCain, who had previously defended Kerry during the Swift Boat fracas of the 2004 election.
It is amazing how someone who thinks himself so far superior, enlightened and more intelligent than everyone else in his presence would be foolish enough to verbalize his internal feelings in such a way as to practically hand Republicans a hot and spicy gift-wrapped talking point just days before the 2006 election.
The Kerry team has since attempted to backtrack, saying they meant to say "You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq," an insult towards Bush, not the troops. Now this is the same John Kerry who testified in 1971 with heresay from another soldier that American troops in Vietnam, "had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam." Kerry didn't need to prove it, you see, he just had to say before Congress that another soldier told him this and thus it must be fact. In the process Kerry smeared and indicted the character of the entire US military, from general to foot soldier.
So don't get his backtracking wrong. Kerry means just what he says no matter how insulting and off base it is. This is just par for Kerry's course. Some may think, then, what's the big deal that Kerry would say what everyone knows he thinks. The problem for the Democrats is that Kerry's words put the spotlight on a clear cultural divide among American citizens and leaders.
Conservatives believe - as do I - that the Democratic Party simply cannot be trusted to fight our enemies whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea or Portland for that matter.
Far worse for Democrats, for months the Republican base has been frustrated, apathetic and in some cases rebellious towards a Republican Party whose message has been off the tracks. So to give Republicans a way to galvanize its base in the eleventh hour just underscores Kerry's lack of political aptitude.
And they call Bush stupid?
But on to the charge itself. Remember that Kerry was speaking to high-school students. Thus he's implying that those who earn poor marks or don't graduate will end up in military service in Iraq. Actually, the reverse is more true - those that do graduate are more likely to end up in Iraq. More about that in a moment.
But first, Republicans need to exploit the situation by pointing out that Kerry is hardly the only Democrat who has peddled this inaccurate and fabricated philosophy. Representative Charles Rangel and 13 other Democrats, including Michigan's John Conyers, Washington's Jim McDermott, and California's Pete Stark, proposed a bill (HR 163) to implement a military draft based on their theory that our current all-voluntary military pulls from the economically disadvantaged.
Writing to the NY Times in 2004, Rangel explained, "It's no secret that the poor and minorities are overrepresented in the military. How many children of the wealthy sign up to be put in harm's way so they'll have money to go to college? How many rich kids join the military because there hasn't been any work in their community for the last 20 years and there's no sign of things changing anytime soon?"
Too bad for Kerry, Rangel and the other Democrats seeking to place an unwanted victim status on our soldiers the data shows the exact opposite of their argument: The average education and class status of the soldier is above the general population.
A paper by Tim Kane, Ph.D., of the Heritage Foundation studing the recruiting classes between 1999 and 2003, found that "on average, 1999 recruits were more highly educated than the equivalent general population, more rural and less urban in origin, and of similar income status." Additionally, "We did not find evidence of minority racial exploitation (by race or by race-weighted ZIP code areas). We did find evidence of a "Southern military tradition" in that some states, notably in the South and West, provide a much higher proportion of enlisted troops by population... We found that recruits tend to come from middle-class areas, with disproportionately fewer from low-income areas."
Kane found that, "Comparing 1999 enlisted recruits to 2003 recruits showed an increase in collegiate experience. In 2003, a higher proportion of recruits had college experience and diplomas, and a lower percentage had only a high school diploma -- a shift of about 3 percentage points." Kane emphasizes that this is not a sample but the full class because they used the entire recruiting pool in their study.
In short, everything that Kerry Democrats believe about our military is wrong. That's nothing new, though. They were wrong in 1971. And they're wrong now.
If Republicans are wise they'll persistantly remind voters between now and the election that the Democrat's are bankrupt on matters of military and national security.
Michael Steele is an African-American lieutenant governor running for the Senate in the state of Maryland. Here's a quote from someone who doesn't want Steele to win, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer: "[Steele has had] a career of slavishly supporting the Republican Party."
Slavishly? Oh, I get it, Steele is black. Did I mention that Steele's also a conservative Republican? That, naturally, is the ultimate offense to the Democrats. It's also the epitome of race-related double standards that a white Democrat can compare Steele's with slavery a la Uncle Tomism and get away with it, with not one single peep from our racially conscious press.
Imagine had Steele been a Democrat and Hoyer been Republican -- think that would have made your nightly news?
Yesterday Federal Judge John Koeltl lavished adoring praise for infamous civil-rights attorney Lynne Stewart. Judge Koeltl issued Stewart a sentence of 28 months thanking her for performing "public service, not only to her clients but to the nation." Separately, minions of foolish Stewart supporters were falsely claiming that damage had already been done to the Bill of Rights simply because Stewart was doing "her job" by defending the terrorist Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, convicted in 1994 for his authorization of the "Day of Terror," in which his companions planned to bomb the Brooklyn Bridge, Lincoln and Holland tunnels and the UN building in NYC.
Now, that Stewart was defending such a disreputable gentleman and role model (his son was captured fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan) isn't despicable. That she volunteered to be a conduit for illicit communications between Abdel Rahman and his followers visiting him is; that she bragged about what a fine job she did of distracting guards from conversations between Rahman and his followers is (the conversation was by warrant secretly recorded). And that her defenders lightly gloss over this fact, to imply that she was simply engaging in everyday attorney-client privilege just shows you how dangerously warped the mind of the far left (some would say fifth column) has become. And that a Federal judge would basically slap her wrists just goes to show you how important it is to keep Democrats out of office so that they can appoint and confirm no more Koeltls.
It's one thing to defend a dangerous man; indeed, our system promises just that. But it's another to go above and beyond that defense to actually assist the promotion of communications for purposes of terrorism against the United States. Make no mistake that Rahman is a very bad man, whose followers included some of the actual bombers of the World Trade Center in 1993.
Here's a final thought courtesy of the Wall Street Journal:
It was a case of radical chic and the radical sheik. Yesterday in New York, Lynne Stewart, a self-styled "civil rights" attorney whose past clients include the Black Panthers and Weather Underground, was sentenced to 28 months in prison for illegally passing messages between her imprisoned client, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, and his followers in Egypt's Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, the terrorist group responsible for killing 62 mostly European and Japanese tourists in Luxor in 1997. Some of those tourists were beheaded; others were disemboweled. The Sheik was also involved in planning terror attacks in New York, for which he is serving a life sentence.
In an age when courts routinely impose five-year prison terms for drug offenders, and life sentences on former CEOs, 28 months may not seem an appropriate sentence for a terrorist accomplice, especially when the government sought 30 years. Ms. Stewart certainly had the sympathy of the judge, John Koeltl, who praised her as a champion of "the poor, the disadvantaged and the unpopular." She herself seems to have had few misgivings about her actions: "The government's characterization of me and what occurred is inaccurate and untrue," she told the judge. "It takes unfair advantage of the climate of urgency and hysteria that followed 9/11."
In similar circumstances--albeit with a different defendant--a case could be made for leniency. Ms. Stewart is 67 and recovering from breast cancer. But remorse is also a prerequisite for mercy, and Ms. Stewart shows none, either for her crime or for the arc of a career which flows too naturally from championing the "liberation" movements of the 1960s to the Islamists of the present day. What her clients have in common is that they loathe America.
Now she basks in the pity and praise of her fellow radical travelers, who haven't seemed to spare much thought for the victims of Luxor. It says everything about her, and about them.
According to the Washington Post some of the loudest state critics against the detainment of Talaban and Al Qaeda fighters in Guantanamo Bay are those who refuse to allow the citizen terrorists back into their state! Euro-Hypocrisy supreme.
According to documents made public this month in London, officials there recently rejected a U.S. offer to transfer 10 former British residents from Guantanamo to the United Kingdom, arguing that it would be too expensive to keep them under surveillance. Britain has also staved off a legal challenge by the relatives of some prisoners who sued to require the British government to seek their release.
Other European governments, which have been equally vocal in assailing Guantanamo as a human rights liability, have also balked at accepting prisoner transfers. A Turkish citizen who was born and raised in Germany was finally permitted to return from Guantanamo in August, four years after the German government turned down a U.S. proposal to release him.
In addition, virtually every country in Europe refused to grant asylum to several Guantanamo prisoners from China who were not being sent home because of fears they could face political harassment there. The Balkan nation of Albania agreed to take in five of the Chinese in May, but only after more than 100 other nations rebuffed U.S. pleas to accept them on humanitarian grounds, State Department officials said.
"In practical terms, it's not enough to say, 'Guantanamo should be closed,' without suggesting the next sentence: What do you do with the people who are there?" John B. Bellinger III, the State Department's chief legal adviser, said during a visit to Berlin last week to meet with German counterterrorism officials.
There are about 435 prisoners from about 40 countries at Guantanamo, according to the Pentagon. Military tribunals have concluded that about one-quarter of the prisoners are not a security risk, or are otherwise eligible for release or transfer.
Ultimately, Bellinger said, U.S. officials expect 60 to 80 prisoners to face trial by military commission. The rest will be released, though many of them might face charges or other restrictions in their home countries.
Hmmm, maybe it's because they realize that these detainees are truly dangerous? In October of 2004 the Washington Post reported that at least 10 of 146 released detainees had been recaptured or killed fighting in Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Europe, of course, has a very big and growing problem with home-grown Islamic radicals. The last thing they want are more of them, especially ones with combat experience.
I think the Wall Street Journal is becoming somewhat the apologist of Denny Hastert, but their points are worth mentioning:
In our admittedly traditional view, this was odd and suspect behavior, especially because Mr. Foley was well known as a homosexual even if he declined to publicly acknowledge it. And Mr. Hastert was informed that fellow Illinois Republican John Shimkus -- who oversees the page program as part of a six-member board -- spoke privately with Mr. Foley, who explained that the email was innocent.
What next was Mr. Hastert supposed to do with an elected Congressman? Assume that Mr. Foley was a potential sexual predator and bar him from having any private communication with pages? Refer him to the Ethics Committee? In retrospect, barring contact with pages would have been wise.
But in today's politically correct culture, it's easy to understand how senior Republicans might well have decided they had no grounds to doubt Mr. Foley merely because he was gay and a little too friendly in emails. Some of those liberals now shouting the loudest for Mr. Hastert's head are the same voices who tell us that the larger society must be tolerant of private lifestyle choices, and certainly must never leap to conclusions about gay men and young boys. Are these Democratic critics of Mr. Hastert saying that they now have more sympathy for the Boy Scouts' decision to ban gay scoutmasters? Where's Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on that one?
Mr. Foley's explicit emails -- which were sent to a former page who had returned home -- clearly crossed the line into "vile and repulsive," as Mr. Hastert put it yesterday. And the Floridian has now resigned in disgrace and is being criminally investigated. This is harsher treatment than was meted out in the past to some Members of Congress who crossed another line and actually had sexual relations with underage pages. Democrat Gerry Studds of Massachusetts was censured in 1983 for seducing a male teenage page, but remained in the House for another 13 years and retired, according to the Boston Globe, with a rich pension.
Mr. Foley lied to many people over the years, most notably to himself. It's one of those human mysteries that someone so prominent, and so active as a spokesman against sexual predators, would send emails that he knew would destroy his career if they became public. That kind of psychoanalysis is above our pay grade.
Yes, Mr. Hastert and his staff should have done more to quarantine Mr. Foley from male pages after the first email came to light. But if that's the standard, we should all admit we are returning to a rule of conduct that our cultural elite long ago abandoned as intolerant.
Scandal: Right after Mark Foley was revealed to have had inappropriate e-mail conversations with a 16-year-old page, he resigned and checked into rehab. Now, what did Democrats know, and when did they know it?
Yes, you read that right: the Democrats. It's of course clear that Foley, a Republican representative from Florida, resigned for good cause. We don't defend him or his inexcusable behavior -- good riddance.
But it didn't take long at all after Foley's resignation for the Democrats to call for an investigation of the entire Republican leadership in the House, charging that GOP stalwarts knew early on that Foley, as they like to say in the rehab business, had a "problem."
Democrats have begun losing their once-significant lead in the polls, and a mere five weeks remain until the midterm elections. Is this scandal the Democrats' own "October Surprise," meant to throw the GOP into a tailspin shortly before the vote?
Recent polls show Democrats aren't doing very well on several key issues. What better way than a good, old-fashioned sex scandal to get people's minds off such things as the importance of winning the war in Iraq, our ongoing vulnerability to terrorist attack and the necessity of keeping the Bush economic boom going?
As it is, Republicans deny knowing about the explicit text messages that Foley sent to a 16-year-old congressional page back in 2003. In repudiating Foley, House Speaker Dennis Hastert called the messages "vile and repulsive."
Despite this, the immediate take by Democrats and much of the mainstream media was that this was a classic example of Republican hypocrisy -- talking "morals" and "values" while all the time shielding a child predator. But it was nothing of the kind.
If anything, the episode reveals the Democrats' hypocrisy about their own behavior. The fact that Foley resigned virtually within minutes of being told that ABC News had copies of his salacious e-mails and text messages indicates he at least felt shame for his actions. Can the same be said for Democrats?
Sadly, it doesn't seem so. How else can you explain the following?
In 1983, then-Democratic Rep. Gerry Studds of Massachusetts was caught in a similar situation. In his case, Studds had sex with a male teenage page -- something Foley hasn't been charged with.
Did Studds express contrition? Resign? Quite the contrary. He rejected Congress' censure of him and continued to represent his district until his retirement in 1996.
In 1989, Rep. Barney Frank (news, bio, voting record), also of Massachusetts, admitted he'd lived with Steve Gobie, a male prostitute who ran a gay sex-for-hire ring out of Frank's apartment. Frank, it was later discovered, used his position to fix 33 parking tickets for Gobie.
What happened to Frank? The House voted 408-18 to reprimand him -- a slap on the wrist. Today he's an honored Democratic member of Congress, much in demand as a speaker and "conscience of the party."
In 2001, President Clinton, who had his own intern problem, commuted the prison sentence of Illinois Rep. Mel Reynolds, who had sex with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer and pressured her to lie about it. (Reynolds also was convicted of campaign spending violations.)
You get the idea. Democrats not only seem OK with the kind of behavior for which Foley is charged, but also they protect and excuse it. Only when it's a Republican do they proclaim themselves shocked -- shocked! -- when it comes to light.
We have a lot more questions about this whole affair. The timing of the revelations, as we noted, couldn't be more propitious for the Democrats. Turns out both the Democrats and several newspapers seem to have known about Foley's problem as far back as November, according to research by several enterprising blogs.
Why didn't they come forward then? Who dredged up these e-mails -- and why did they hold them until now? This reeks of political trickery.
We're glad Foley's gone. He betrayed Congress, his party and the trust of the 33 pages who serve in Congress, and their parents. He behaved immorally, and we won't be surprised at new revelations.
That said, if this scandal is the Democrats' answer to their problems at the polls, it's pretty pathetic. It shows a base contempt for the voters.
-- Investor's Business Daily
In a recent interview with Bloomberg News, Mr. [Rep. Charles] Rangel [D, NY] was asked specifically if any of the Bush first term tax cuts were worth preserving and he answered that he "cannot think of one." Then last week, Mr. Rangel was asked by Congress Daily whether he'd consider tax increases across the income spectrum. "No question about it," he said. "Everything has to be on the table."
"Everything" would mean repealing the 10% low-income tax bracket, the child tax credit and marriage penalty relief, all of which passed in 2001 and expire in 2010. According to the Treasury Department, repealing those provisions would raise taxes on the average middle income family by about $2,000 a year. Most Democrats say they only want to raise taxes on the rich, so give the would-be-chairman points for honesty.
Mr. Rangel has also been clear in saying he wants to "stop this war" in Iraq, and last week he was asked by The Hill newspaper how he might accomplish that. He responded: "You've got to be able to pay for the war, don't you?" That sounds like a vow to cut off funding for the war, a la 1975 in Vietnam, a point that California Democrat Lynn Woolsey reinforced by telling the same paper, "Personally, I wouldn't spend another dime [on the war]."
Republicans have jumped all over Mr. Rangel's tax comments in particular, but at least in one sense the New Yorker should be congratulated: Unlike his fellow Democrats, he isn't hiding what he believes. He's merely being candid about what he'd like to do at Ways and Means, and as a long-time Member he may feel he'll have a better chance of achieving his tax-hike goals if he talks about them more openly during the campaign. Voters won't be able to say they weren't warned.
Oh, by the way, the DOW JONES broke 11,727 points, breaking its 2000 record. When they raise people's taxes again think they have that extra cash to still be buying stocks... let alone giving money for the next Katrina or Tsunami?
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