Cheat-Seeking Missles

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Scan


Joy around the GOP political campfires is muted on the news that Ralph "Upchuck" Nader is in the race, because as I said a couple days back:
It would be nice if a Nader run would steal votes from the Demobama candidate and seal the deal for the GOP, but just put the sour, dour, fatalistic Nader up against the Man With Hope and you can see that a Nader campaign will be utterly without consequence.
The Dem responses to Nader's announcements were interesting, per AP: Obama lied and talked nice; Hillary didn't lie and told it as it was:
Obama, promoting his specious persona of the man who brings people together: "In many ways he is a heroic figure and I don't mean to diminish him."

Hillary, being transparently Clintonesque: "A passing fancy."
I run into Nader-like people all the time in my work; they are, basically, my consistent opponents. They fight change and progress, because they are utterly distrustful of corporations, and just as distrustful of government, which they see as sold out to the corporations.

Sounds like perfect model for a president from Hell, eh?

Imagine That!

60 Minutes is doing a Karl Rove expose tonight. Libs are giddy in anticipation: "This piece will undoubtedly be worth watching," says Glenn Greenwald. Here's the jist of the story:
A former Republican campaign worker claims that President Bush's former top political adviser, Karl Rove, asked her to find evidence that the Democratic governor of Alabama at the time was cheating on his wife, according to an upcoming broadcast of "60 Minutes." (AP)
Hold the presses! A political campaign operative looking for goods on a member of the other party! The only reason this story is being covered at all is because the subject is Karl Rove, and the BDS-sufferers in the media frequently show symptoms of Rove Derangement Syndrome as a side effect of BDS.

That said, stories like this are why I'm a public affairs guy who doesn't do political campaigns.

Most Ridiculous?

I've found a post I'm considering including in this year's competition for Most Ridiculous Post of the Year. It's from Chris Floyd Online, and it's called Empire and Burlesque: Permanent Bases Rise While Public Gawks at Geeks.

I complement the writer on a well-written piece, bringing us up to the cliff of his torrid anti-Americanism through a discussion of the remaining 2008 candidates as chicken-chomping carnival geeks ... but I fear him as a man so obsessed with America as evil that he can't recognize true evil when he sees it. In that, he reflects the thinking of the Left quite accurately, so it's a piece worth reading ... even if it sets your teeth on edge with passages like this:
It is also obvious – albeit far less openly acknowledged – that these policies are themselves a form of terrorism: state terrorism, on a massive scale, which has already killed at least a million people in Iraq alone.
Besides overstating Iraqi war fatalities by four-fold, Floyd manages to call us the terrorists of the world. Perhaps Floyd will join the geeks voting for Nader.

Military and Corporations? Puh-leeze!

With Nader and the rabid Left blog post noted above, there's been a bit of an anti-corporate theme today, tied at the ankle in a global three-legged race with the companion anti-military theme.

So a quote like this, from Thomas P.M. Barnett's weekly column, must drive Nader and Floyd nuts:
Gen. John Abizaid, former head of U.S. Central Command, says the role of the military is largely to buy breathing space for better, nonmilitary solutions to emerge. That's something America needs to remember as we work the Middle East in this long war: The lasting solutions will arrive wearing business suits, not desert cammies.
Specifically, Barnett is talking about FDI in MENA, or Foreign Direct Investment in the Middle East/North Africa region. FDI is "sticky money," in that investments in business and infrastructure create long-term benefits of jobs and income -- which is particularly important in the MENA region, where idle hands can lead to terrorism. Look at Jordan as an example:

... I can't help but be struck by what a huge difference America's 2001 free-trade agreement with Jordan has made in that country's future.

Jordan is the size of Indiana, where I currently reside, and it possesses approximately the same population. The big difference is that Indiana is full of arable land, so agriculture is big here. In Jordan, only 3 percent of the land can be farmed, so 85 percent of Jordan's GDP originates in the service sector. If you're a small, resource-poor and service-heavy economy, the only way you can really grow is to super-connect with the global economy - the Israeli model.

This is where America's free-trade agreement, along with King Abdullah II's ongoing trade liberalization and economic reforms, has dramatically brightened Jordan's prospects. That agreement, along with a similar one concluded with the European Union in 2002, allows Jordan to serve as regional gateway to more than three-quarters of a billion consumers with disposable income.

Jordanian exports to America have skyrocketed since the treaty went into effect, increasingly 14-fold since 2000. The kingdom, which attracted $50 million of FDI annually in the late 1990s, pulled in roughly 36 times that amount last year.
Jordan still has 30 percent unemployment, but by Middle East standards, that's not all that bad, and it's moving in the right direction.

Wow. The U.S. military for temporary stability and corporate investments for long-term stability -- what a nightmare for the Lefties!

Speaking Of The Military/Industrial Complex ...

Right on cue, I came across a briefing out of Iraq that underscores the way the U.S. military buys time for home team to build up its security and economy. Speaking is Colonel Tom James, the commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division:
The brigade combat team also conducts numerous operations focused on extremists and criminals over the past two and a half months. In December we conducted Operation Marne Roundup, a successful combined operation to clear AQI in the Euphrates River Valley west of Iskandariyah, in the vicinity of the town of Khidr. During the operation and with assistance of SOIs, or Sons of Iraq, and local citizens, we killed approximately 18 extremists, captured 25, found and cleared 51 IEDs, and found and cleared 43 caches. We established Patrol Base Kelsey, named after a soldier that gave his life during this offensive operation.

Since we established the patrol base, 100 families have returned to their homes. We initiated numerous projects, to include rubble removal, school refurbishment and electricity repair, just to name a few. We also organized a local sheikh council to capture the needs of the people, as required.

Just south of Khidr is the town of Jurf al-Sakhr. Four months ago, it was a war zone dominated by extremists. It is now a secure community with positive governance and economic growth. An active police station and Sons of Iraq program secure the area, and over 40 businesses are growing, based on small-business education and microgrant stimulation.

This is a model community concept that will be adopted throughout our AO. Just the other day, I was at Jurf and witnessed a government-funded road crew paving a once war-ravaged street.

We continue relentless pursuit of the enemy and denying extremist sanctuaries throughout our AO. Over the past 83 days we conducted over 70 combined operations, both coalition and Iraqi security forces. We captured over 50 high-value enemy targets, cleared over 100 caches and cleared over 70 IEDs.

With the security window opened, we continue the exploitation phase, focused on governance and economics. We have an embedded reconstruction team resourced with governance and economics experts. Mr. Van Franken (sp), our EPRT leader, has a team, and as his team is an essential part of our brigade combat team, we include them in all operational planning and execution.

Under economics, they focus on developing small businesses, agricultural associations, poultry and fish farms and reconstruction projects. Under governance, they focus on local governance training, governance linkages and beladiya assistance, which are the public works and the essential services for the people.
Just another profile of the ruthless bloodsuckers who make up our military, eh?

Up against stories like this one, the rabid tirades against our military by the Left -- calling them fixated only on violence, and not smart enough for "real" work (like, oh, being a social worker on the government dole) -- just make me sick.

Pity The GM PR Guys

The GM PR department is going full-tilt on establishing GM's reputation as a green company -- not an easy task under the best of conditions -- so they must be reeling in light of this:
General Motors Corp Vice Chairman Bob Lutz has defended remarks he made dismissing global warming as a "total crock of s---," saying his views had no bearing on GM's commitment to build environmentally friendly vehicles.

Lutz, GM's outspoken product development chief, has been under fire from Internet bloggers since last month when he was quoted as making the remark to reporters in Texas.

In a posting on his GM blog on Thursday, Lutz said those "spewing virtual vitriol" at him for minimizing the threat of climate change were "missing the big picture."

"What they should be doing in earnest is forming opinions, not about me but about GM and what this company is doing that is ... hugely beneficial to the causes they so enthusiastically claim to support," he said in a posting titled, "Talk About a Crock."
How about truth as a defense? Works for me.

Cat Haiku

I'm a dog guy, and this cat haiku just may explain why:
Humans are so strange.
Mine lies still in bed, then screams;
My claws are not that sharp.
Or this one:
The rule for today:
Touch my tail, I shred your hand.
New rule tomorrow.
For 13 more cat haiku, click here.

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