We always knew the NY Times was biased by jennyyingdi

VIEWS: 2 PAGES: 23

									We always knew the NY Times was biased. Now we learn it is corrupt. Gail Heriot at
The Right Coast comments on a front page ad for Macy's masquerading as news.
I find this scary. I know that many conservatives worry about the New York Times' liberal bias. And
they should worry. But geez louise I don't expect the New York Times to turn over its front page news
section to what is most likely its biggest advertiser--and to distort the facts to boot. That's either
craven, rock stupid or both.

Why would the New York Times refer to Terry Lundgren, Macy's embattled CEO, as "one of the
brightest stars in American retailing" in a front page story? This is utter fantasy, and the New York
Times presents no evidence of its truth. In the last few months, Macy's stock has declined 40%.
Profits are down a whopping 77%. Sales have slumped. The only important marketing decision that
Terry Lundgren has ever made in his life was to gamble on the Macy-fication of American retailing--
terminating successful regional department stores across the country and turning their locations into
Macy's. That gamble has turned distinctly sour. Lundgren's not a bright star; he's a supernova, and
Macy's seems well on its way to becoming the black hole of American retailing. ...


The Captain with a lengthy detailed post on WaPo whitewash of Anita Hill.

... Besides, Marcus leaves out some testimony herself. For instance, J.C. Alvarez flew back to
Washington to testify a second time in front of the panel, because she could not believe her eyes and
ears when Hill testified. Alvarez, who worked in the same office at the same time, had a few choice
words for the panel:

No, Senators, I cannot stand by and watch a group of thugs beat up and rob a man of his money any
more than I could have stayed in Chicago and stood by and watched you beat up an innocent man
and rob him blind. Not of his money. That would have been too easy. You could pay that back. No,
you have robbed a man of his name, his character, and his reputation.

And what is amazing to me is that you didn't do it in a dark alley and you didn't do it in the dark of
night. You did it in broad daylight, in front of all America, on television, for the whole world
to see. Yes, Senators, I am witnessing a crime in progress and I cannot just look the other way.

Alvarez had more to say about her recollection of Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas:

On Friday, she played the role of a meek, innocent, shy Baptist girl from the South who was a victim
of this big, bad man.

I don't know who she was trying to kid. Because the Anita Hill that I knew and worked with was
nothing like that. She was a very hard, tough woman. She was opinionated. She was arrogant. She
was a relentless debater. And she was the kind of woman who always made you feel like she was not
going to be messed with, like she was not going to take anything from anyone. ...

And he posts on the phony soldier stuff.
... this is a story. It's a story of intellectual dishonesty, partisan gunslinging, and distraction tactics
designed to protect a major Democratic Party fundraiser. That's the real story behind this latest
absurdity. ...


Power Line posts with a great answer to 'phony soldiers' with "Phony Democrats."
Ilya Somin in Volokh illustrates one of the reasons for Russia's backwardness, the
Russian Orthodox Church.

Alexy II, Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church recently made a speech before the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe denouncing homosexuality as "an illness" and a "distortion of the
human personality, like kleptomania." He also claimed that homosexuality is part of "a new generation
of rights that contradict morality, and [an example of] how human rights are used to justify immoral
behavior."

Such homophobia is hardly unique to Alexy and his Church. However, they are in a particularly poor
position to lecture the Europeans on human rights in light of the fact that the Russian Orthodox
Church is hand in glove with Vladimir Putin's repressive regime, endorsing that government's
authoritarian policies and even using the power of the state to harrass other religious groups and
suppress art they disapprove of. ...


Charles Krauthammer celebrates the great changes in French foreign policy.

... This French about-face creates a crucial shift in the balance of forces within Europe. The East
Europeans are naturally pro-American for reasons of history (fresh memories of America's role in
defeating their Soviet occupiers) and geography (physical proximity to a newly revived and
aggressive Russia). Western Europe is intrinsically wary of American power and culturally anti-
American by reflex. France's change from Chirac to Sarkozy, from foreign minister Dominique de
Villepin (who actively lobbied Third World countries to oppose America on Iraq) to Kouchner (who
supported the U.S. invasion on humanitarian grounds) represents an enormous shift in Old Europe's
relationship to the United States.

Britain is a natural ally. Germany, given its history, is more follower than leader. France can define
European policy, and Sarkozy intends to.

The French flip is only one part of the changing landscape that has given new life to Bush's Iran and
Iraq policies in the waning months of his administration. The mood in Congress also has significantly
shifted. ...


Hugh Hewitt reminds us Hillary is a radical.

Senator Clinton can be pleasant, is certainly intelligent and is absolutely the front-runner for the
Democratic nomination and perhaps even the favorite right now to succeed George W. Bush in the
Oval Office.

But as the past three weeks have made abundantly clear, Hillary is no "liberal," or even a
"progressive." She is a radical, and one far outside the mainstream of American politics. In the
growing recognition of the true nature of her political ideology is the obvious strategy for whoever the
GOP nominee is: Throw the light on what she believes and proposes and keep it there. ...


Max Boot posts a couple of times on Blackwater.
LA Times Op-Ed says Ahmadinejad walked away with a win thanks to the folks at
Columbia who have yet to meet a fascist they don't like.
One of the world's truly dangerous men, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left New York a
clear winner this week, and he can thank the arrogance of the American academy and most of the
U.S. news media's studied indifference for his victory.

If the blood-drenched history of the century just past had taught American academics one thing, it
should have been that the totalitarian impulse knows no accommodation with reason. You cannot
change the totalitarian mind through dialogue or conversation, because totalitarianism -- however
ingenious the superstructure of faux ideas with which it surrounds itself -- is a creature of the will and
not the mind. That's a large lesson, but what should have made Ahmadinejad's appearance at
Columbia University this week a wholly avoidable debacle was the school's knowledge of its own,
very specific history.

In the 1930s, Columbia was run by Nicholas Murray Butler, to whose name a special sort of infamy
attaches. Butler was an outspoken admirer of Italian fascism and of its leader, Benito Mussolini. The
Columbia president, who also was in the forefront of Ivy League efforts to restrict Jewish enrollment,
worked tirelessly to build ties between his school and Italian universities, as well as with the powerful
fascist student organizations. At one point, a visiting delegation of 350 ardent young Black Shirts
serenaded Butler with the fascist anthem. ...

Jonathan Turley, card carrying liberal, thinks maybe the NRA gets something right about
the second amendment.

... Considering the Framers and their own traditions of hunting and self-defense, it is clear that they
would have viewed such ownership as an individual right — consistent with the plain meaning of the
amendment.

None of this is easy for someone raised to believe that the Second Amendment was the dividing line
between the enlightenment and the dark ages of American culture. Yet, it is time to honestly
reconsider this amendment and admit that ... here's the really hard part ... the NRA may have been
right. This does not mean that Charlton Heston is the new Rosa Parks or that no restrictions can be
placed on gun ownership. But it does appear that gun ownership was made a protected right by the
Framers and, while we might not celebrate it, it is time that we recognize it.




The Right Coast
"Product Placement" Hits the New York Times' Front Page
by Gail Heriot
I find this scary. I know that many conservatives worry about the New York Times' liberal bias. And
they should worry. But geez louise I don't expect the New York Times to turn over its front page news
section to what is most likely its biggest advertiser--and to distort the facts to boot. That's either
craven, rock stupid or both.
Why would the New York Times refer to Terry Lundgren, Macy's embattled CEO, as "one of the
brightest stars in American retailing" in a front page story? This is utter fantasy, and the New York
Times presents no evidence of its truth. In the last few months, Macy's stock has declined 40%.
Profits are down a whopping 77%. Sales have slumped. The only important marketing decision that
Terry Lundgren has ever made in his life was to gamble on the Macy-fication of American retailing--
terminating successful regional department stores across the country and turning their locations into
Macy's. That gamble has turned distinctly sour. Lundgren's not a bright star; he's a supernova, and
Macy's seems well on its way to becoming the black hole of American retailing.

The meat of the Times story is that "Given Fewer Coupons, Shoppers Snub Macy's." That's half
right. Customers of the former department stores, especially Marshall Field's, have deserted the
behemoth Macy's in alarming numbers. But this has little, if anything, to do with coupons, and Macy's
management knows that. It's a convenient excuse for Macy's dismal performance, since it suggests
Macy's conversion problems can be corrected without too much fuss. If it's believed, it will pacify Wall
Street for a little while--long enough for Lundgren to collect a few more paychecks before investors
finally demand his head. But things don't look too good for this "brightest star" these days.

How do I know that the coupon excuse is baloney? I've been pretty active in the movement to save
Marshall Field's in Chicago. I wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal about Marshall Field's and did
a broadcast on NPR's Marketplace. (For my previous posts on Marshall Field's, try here, here, here,
here, here, here and here.) As part of that I've corresponded with more than 2500 (count 'em)
unhappy Marshall Field's shoppers from all over the country and abroad. I even get phone calls from
Marshall Field's shoppers, whom I've never met, but who want to let off some steam. I've spoken at
length with dozens of Marshall Field's shoppers in Chicago (and more briefly with hundreds). I've
read thousands of comments to newspaper stories and blog entries. They refuse to shop at Macy's,
but not one has ever mentioned the lack of coupons as a reason. Let me emphasize that: NOT
ONE.

Marshall Field's shoppers are angry about a lot of things. They hate Lundgren for terminating the
store they love, and they want it back. They're upset at the complete exit of upscale brands from
what previously was Chicago's (and likely the nation's) finest department store. (No, I don't agree that
the retention of Armani perfumes is the equivalent of the retention of Armani Collezioni. Macy's
spinmeisters keep reporting this, and some reporters have dutifully repeated it, but anyone in the
media ignorant enough to buy that line should be taken off the retail beat fast.) Some shoppers
complain that service has declined precipitously as veteran Marshall Field's salesmen are replaced
with witless, minimum-wage teenagers. Others are concerned about the quality of Macy's house
brands. And yes, everyone seems to be baffled by Macy's faith that it can increase sales by re-
packaging Martha Stewart--a longtime K-Mart brand--for the department store trade. It didn't work for
the now-bankrupt KMart, and it is unlikely to work at any department store, let alone the former
Marshall Field's.

Is it possible that outside the Midwest, in areas where the converted stores were less upscale than
Field's, lack of coupons is a problem? Well, here in San Diego, the local Robinsons-May did indeed
run coupons in local paper. But in the last year I've been deluged with direct-mail coupons from
Macy's. It's difficult to imagine that they should have sent more.

Today's article is not the first front-page flattering piece about Macy's CEO. Last year, on August 26,
2006, the Times ran a puff piece on Terry Lundgren as the brains behind the conversion. In the
article, entitled "After Smooth Sales Talk, Stores Take Macy's Name," the Times acknowledged that
Macy's focus groups showed that the conversions would be a disaster, but it claimed that Lundgren
"had won over detractors"--even in Chicago. It reported that in Oregon, the great grandson of the
founder of Meier & Frank originally pleaded with Lundgren to spare Oregon's store, but later changed
his mind and claimed that today he "would jump off a building" for him. (Chicagoans wondered how
much he was paid for this.) The piece observed that on the eve of the conversions, the threat of
protests seemed remote. Everything was apparently going according to Lundgren's plan.

Obviously, the Times spoke too soon. It was apparently unaware that several hundred protestors
would indeed protest the Marshall Field's conversion and that they would return in equally-large if not
larger numbers the next year.

Maybe it was forgivable for the Times to simply parrot Macy's press releases back in 2006, since
even Wall Street hadn't caught on to the problem then. But today is different. Anyone who follows
retail securities know what hot water Macy's is in. And anybody who lives in Chicago surely knows.
Tens of thousands of folks wear anti-Macy's pins or lapel stickers or have bumper stickers on their
cars. Didn't anybody at the Times think that maybe they should be skeptical of Macy's self-diagnosis
of the reasons for its failure? (For evidence that the Chicago Sun-Times is also guilty of kow-towing
to Macy's, see my earlier post here.)


Captain's Quarters
Ruth Marcus, Cherry-Picking
Ruth Marcus picks up the cudgel left by Anita Hill's earlier rebuttal to the memoirs of Clarence
Thomas and tries to score a few points in yesterday's Washington Post. Claiming that "Clarence
Thomas is no victim", Marcus underscores her belief in Hill's version of events. She points to what
she sees as corroborating evidence in the testimony of three witnesses to the Judiciary Committee
hearing, claiming that Thomas deliberately omitted evidence from his account (via Bench Memos):
First, Hill did not wait 10 years to complain about his behavior. Susan Hoerchner, a Yale Law School
classmate of Hill's, described how she complained of sexual harassment while working for Thomas,
saying the EEOC chairman had "repeatedly asked her out . . . but wouldn't seem to take 'no' for an
answer." Ellen Wells, a friend, said Hill had come to her, "deeply troubled and very depressed," with
complaints about Thomas's inappropriate behavior. John Carr, a lawyer, said that Hill, in tears,
confided that "her boss was making sexual advances toward her." American University law professor
Joel Paul said Hill had told him in 1987 that she had left the EEOC because she had been sexually
harassed by her supervisor.

Marcus is being disingenuous in this passage. She waited 10 years before taking action, which
seems very strange indeed for someone who claimed to have been so traumatized. That was the
objection to her wait for complaint -- and that time did damage to any intention of seeking the truth,
because as any lawyer will know, waiting 10 years to take testimony or depositions makes them
much less reliable, not more so.

Besides, Marcus leaves out some testimony herself. For instance, J.C. Alvarez flew back to
Washington to testify a second time in front of the panel, because she could not believe her eyes and
ears when Hill testified. Alvarez, who worked in the same office at the same time, had a few choice
words for the panel:

No, Senators, I cannot stand by and watch a group of thugs beat up and rob a man of his money any
more than I could have stayed in Chicago and stood by and watched you beat up an innocent man
and rob him blind. Not of his money. That would have been too easy. You could pay that back. No,
you have robbed a man of his name, his character, and his reputation.
And what is amazing to me is that you didn't do it in a dark alley and you didn't do it in the dark of
night. You did it in broad daylight, in front of all America, on television, for the whole world
to see. Yes, Senators, I am witnessing a crime in progress and I cannot just look the other way.

Alvarez had more to say about her recollection of Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas:

On Friday, she played the role of a meek, innocent, shy Baptist girl from the South who was a victim
of this big, bad man.

I don't know who she was trying to kid. Because the Anita Hill that I knew and worked with was
nothing like that. She was a very hard, tough woman. She was opinionated. She was arrogant. She
was a relentless debater. And she was the kind of woman who always made you feel like she was not
going to be messed with, like she was not going to take anything from anyone.

Somehow Marcus failed to mention this testimony in her recollections of her coverage as a journalist.
Nor does she recall the fact that Ted Kennedy tried to shut down the panel of witnesses on which
Alvarez sat just after her scathing opening remarks. It led to an argument that lasted several minutes.
When Alvarez got the opportunity to continue, she told them she knew what sexual harassment was,
and how it made her feel about the men who conducted it:

You see, I, too, have experienced sexual harassment in the past. I have been physically accosted by
a man in an elevator who I rebuffed. I was trapped in a xerox room by a man who I refused to date.
Obviously, it is an issue I have experienced, I understand, and I take very seriously.

But having lived through it myself, I find Anita Hill's behavior inconsistent with these charges. I can
assure you that when I come into town, the last thing I want to do is call either of these two men up
and say hello or see if they want to get together. To be honest with you, I can hardly remember their
names, but I can assure you that I would never try and even maintain a cordial relationship with either
one of them. Women who have really been harassed would agree, if the allegations were true, you
put as much distance as you can between yourself and that other person.

What's more, you don't follow them to the next job—especially, if you are a black female, Yale Law
School graduate. Let's face it, out in the corporate sector, companies are fighting for women with
those kinds of credentials.

Alvarez said this about Thomas:

The Clarence Thomas I knew and worked with was also not who Anita Hill alleges. Everyone who
knows Clarence, knows that he is a very proud and dignified man. With his immediate staff, he was
very warm and friendly, sort of like a friend or a father. You could talk with him about your problems,
go to him for advice, but, like a father, he commanded and he demanded respect. He demanded
professionalism and performance, and he was very strict about that.

Nancy Fitch, who also worked in the same office at the same time and with Thomas for nine years,
had this to say about Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas:

There is no way Clarence Thomas—CT—would callously venally hurt someone. A smart man,
concerned about making a contribution to this country as a public official, recognizing the gravity and
weightiness of his responsibilities and public trust, a role model and mentor who would, by his life and
work, show the possibilities in America for all citizens given opportunity, well, would a person such as
this, Judge Clarence Thomas would never ever make a parallel career in harassment, ask that it not
be revealed and expect to have and keep his real career. And I know he did no such thing.
He is a dignified, reserved, deliberative, conscientious man of great conscience, and I am proud to be
at his defense.

Diane Holt worked closely with Anita Hill at the DoE and EEOC as his personal secretary for six
years. She developed a friendly relationship with Hill, and never heard a word about harassment:

Both Ms. Hill and I were excited about the prospect of transferring to the EEOC. We even discussed
the greater potential for individual growth at this larger agency. We discussed and expressed
excitement that we would be at the right hand of the individual who would run this agency.

When we arrived at the EEOC, because we knew no one else there, Professor Hill and I quickly
developed a professional relationship, a professional friendship, often having lunch together. At no
time did Professor Hill intimate, not even in the most subtle of ways, that Judge Thomas was asking
her out or subjecting her to the crude, abusive conversations that have been described. Nor did I ever
discern any discomfort, when Professor Hill was in Judge Thomas' presence.

Additionally, I never heard anyone at any time make any reference to any inappropriate conduct in
relation to Clarence Thomas.

Now let's go to the record of another Post journalist, written at the time of the confirmation hearings.
Juan Williams had reported on the EEOC and Department of Education during the tenure of Thomas,
and had written extensively on his work in government. As it turns out, Williams asked Hill to
comment on Thomas before the hearings, and got a very different answer (emphases mine):

But that fair process and the intense questioning Thomas faced in front of the committee for over a
week were not enough for members of the staffs of Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and Howard
Metzenbaum. In addition to calls to me and to people at the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission, they were pressing a former EEOC employee, University of Oklahoma law professor
Anita Hill, for negative information about Thomas. Thomas had hired Hill for two jobs in Washington.

Hill said the Senate staffers who calied her were specifically interested in talking about rumors
involving sexual harassment. She had no credible evidence of Thomas's involvement in any sexual
harassment, but she was prompted to say he had asked her out and mentioned pornographic
movies to her. She rejected him as a jerk, but said she never felt her job was threatened by him, he
never touched her, and she followed him to subsequent jobs and even had him write references for
her.

Hill never filed any complaint agahst Thomas; she never mentioned the problem to reporters for
The Post during extensive interviews this summer after the nomination, and even in her
statement to the FBI never charged Thomas with sexual harassment but "talked about [his] behavior."

It's clear that Kennedy and Metzenbaum and their staffs created this smear, just as Thomas says in
his book, in order to get him to withdraw his name from contention. Not only did they seek out Hill,
they coached her what to say and when to say it. The woman who called Thomas several times
between her departure from the EEOC and his marriage in 1987 had nothing to say to Post reporters
when first asked about Thomas' nomination.

These are other items of evidence that Marcus omits from her review of the Thomas case. As a
journalist, shouldn't she be interested in all of the evidence? Shouldn't she ask herself the same
question that Alan Simpson asked Judge Susan Hoerchner, a completely hearsay witness, at the end
of her testimony?
So, here is, this foul, foul stack of stench, justifiably offensive in any category, that she was offended,
justifiably, embarrassed, justifiably, and that she was repelled, justifiably. And I ask you why, then,
after she left his power, after she left his presence, after she left his influence and his domination or
whatever it was that gave her fear—and call it fear or revulsion or repulsion—why did she twice after
that visit personally with him in Tulsa, OK, had dinner with him in the presence of others, had
breakfast with him in the presence of others, rode to the airport alone with him in the presence of no
one, and we have 11 phone calls initiated by her from 1984 through the date of Clarence Thomas'
marriage to Ginni Lamp, and then it all ended and not a single contact came forward.

It all adds up to a deliberate character assassination campaign. If one looks at all of the evidence, as
Marcus insists, one cannot come to any other conclusion. Only when people cherry-pick for hearsay
testimony and one witness who had an axe to grind against Thomas for firing her can one believe
Hill's version of events.

Andy McCarthy: Run That One By Me Again
Quite frankly, the entire pseudo-controversy over Rush Limbaugh's remarks headlined the Theater of
the Absurd for the past week, and apparently continues its meager run on the stage. Michelle Malkin
sees the strategy for exactly what it is -- a payback for the beating that MoveOn took over calling
General David Petraeus a traitor on the pages of the New York Times. Andy McCarthy practically has
to pick his jaw up off the floor over the target selection of the Left:
There really was a news story, generated by the mainstream media of all people, about phony
soldiers — poseurs who falsely claim to have put their lives on the line in our country’s armed forces,
at least some of whom engage the pretense precisely to libel real heroes as terrorists and marauders.

Rush Limbaugh, one of this nation’s single-most ardent supporters of the military, was briefed on the
news story by his staff and was, unsurprisingly, offended by it.

Rush alluded to the said phony soldiers during his hugely successful daily radio broadcast, prompted
by what he reasonably believed was a caller’s reference to it.

As a result, he is being castigated for dishonoring authentic troops in a trumped up controversy
generated by Media Matters — a left-wing propaganda machine with pockets lined by left-wing
activists. The charge is being led by top Democrats who, when not busy defending other top
Democrats for smearing our troops as “reminiscent of Genghis Khan,” terrorists, murderers, and
comparable to “Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no
concern for human beings,” fall mute when the vanguard of their hard-left base, MoveOn.org (abetted
by the New York Times), describes the general heroically leading our forces in Iraq a traitor.

And this is a story?

Yes, this is a story. It's a story of intellectual dishonesty, partisan gunslinging, and distraction tactics
designed to protect a major Democratic Party fundraiser. That's the real story behind this latest
absurdity.

Let's start from Square One. In order to believe that Rush Limbaugh meant to slander the troops, one
would have to believe that Limbaugh has some animus against the military. Anyone who has listened
to Limbaugh even occasionally would laugh aloud at such a notion. Limbaugh has been one of the
most vocal supporters of the American military -- much more supportive that most of the mainstream
news agencies now reporting on this supposed slur issued by Limbaugh. How many defenses of the
American military does one read in the New York Times or San Francisco Chronicle -- or Media
Matters or Daily Kos?
The transcript of the show, as I wrote last week, shows exactly what Limbaigh meant by "phony
soldiers", as Byron York points out. He meant the phonies like Jesse MacBeth, who claimed to have
been in Iraq and never was, or Scott Beauchamp, who claimed to have witnessed atrocities that
never occured. It has become such a phenomenon that ABC News reported on it a few days before
Limbaugh discussed it. After taking a couple of calls, Limbaugh explained exactly what he meant.

This isn't about protecting the honor of American soldiers, a mission Media Matters has not exactly
adopted in its reporting on Haditha, for instance. It's a blatant attempt to misrepresent what Limbaugh
clearly meant and what he clearly said on his show in order to discredit him and dent his popularity.
At the heart of it, it's about the fear that Media Matters has for Rush and the power he holds from the
work he does on behalf of conservative causes.

The Theater of the Absurd continued yesterday, with Tom Harkin lashing out at Rush for possibly
being "on drugs again". Harkin lied about his own service record when he ran for President in 1992,
when he claimed to be a combat fighter pilot in Vietnam. Harkin flew jets and served honorably, but
did so stateside; he never saw combat. Why he felt the need to lie about his otherwise outstanding
service is anyone's guess, but clearly he's the last person to publicly render judgment on Rush's
honesty.

This is all a stage, directed by Media Matters and its financial backers, and all of the Democrats
howling about Rush merely its players. They may strut all they want, but they produce only sound and
fury, signifying nothing -- and in the process, put their intellectual bankruptcy on display for all to see.

Power Line
Phony Democrats
In the recent past prominent Democratic officeholders have made remarkably insulting and/or
counterfactual statements about our soldiers and their leaders. Among the recurring themes are the
proposition that our troops are stupid and their leaders are liars. Has anyone compiled these
statements? I think they would provide useful context for the phony "phony soldiers" controversy
orchestrated by Hillary Matters and executed by HM's dutiful Democratic poodles. I have a few that
come to mind this morning.

Harry Reid (on "the surge"):

Now I believe, myself, that the secretary of state, the secretary of defense and you have to make your
own decision as to what the president knows: that this war is lost, that the surge is not accomplishing
anything.
Dick Durbin (on Guantanamo):
If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done
to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis,
Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human
beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their
prisoners.
Hillary Clinton (to General Petraeus):
[T]oday you are testifying about the current status of our policy in Iraq and the prospects of that
policy. It is a policy that you have been ordered to implement by the president. And you have been
made the de facto spokesmen for what many of us believe to be a failed policy.

Despite what I view as your rather extraordinary efforts in your testimony both yesterday and today, I
think that the reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief.
John Kerry:
Education -- if you make the most of it and you study hard and you do your homework, and you make
an effort to be smart, you can do well," said Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat. "If you don't, you get
stuck in Iraq."
Charles Schumer (on "the surge"):
[L]et me be clear, the violence in Anbar has gone down despite the surge, not because of the surge.
The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from al Qaeda said to these tribes we have to
fight al Qaeda ourselves. It wasn’t that the surge brought peace here. It was that the warlords took
peace here, created a temporary peace here.
Charles Rangel:
If there’s anyone who believes that these youngsters want to fight, as the Pentagon and some
generals have said, you can just forget about it. No young, bright individual wants to fight just
because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from
communities of very, very high unemployment. If a young fellow has an option of having a decent
career or joining the Army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq.
John Murtha (on Haditha):
It's much worse than reported in Time magazine. There was no fire fight. There was no IED that killed
these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed
innocent civilians in cold blood. And that's what the report is going to tell.

Now, you can imagine the impact this is going to have on those troops for the rest of their lives and
for the United States in our war and our effort in trying to win the hearts and minds.
Do you have any additional nominations for consideration? I'll update this post with additional quotes
sent in by readers.

UPDATE: Our readers respond. Robert Dodd gives us Edward Kennedy:

Shamefully, we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management: U.S.
management.
Kyle Christensen gives us more John Kerry:
And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis
in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of
the -- of -- the historical customs, religious customs.
Steven Ives gives us Barack Obama:
We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just
air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there.
As a bonus, Mr. Ives gives us the Hillary Matters link for the Obama quote.

Michael Costello gives us more Harry Reid:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid confirmed Thursday that he told liberal bloggers last week that he
thinks outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace is "incompetent."
Ed Morrissey trenchantly reminds us that those whom I refer to as phony Democrats are of course
"Real Democrats, unfortunately." Posted by Scott
Volokh Conspiracy
Sinner Casts Stone
by Ilya Somin

Alexy II, Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church recently made a speech before the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe denouncing homosexuality as "an illness" and a "distortion of the
human personality, like kleptomania." He also claimed that homosexuality is part of "a new generation
of rights that contradict morality, and [an example of] how human rights are used to justify immoral
behavior."

Such homophobia is hardly unique to Alexy and his Church. However, they are in a particularly poor
position to lecture the Europeans on human rights in light of the fact that the Russian Orthodox
Church is hand in glove with Vladimir Putin's repressive regime, endorsing that government's
authoritarian policies and even using the power of the state to harrass other religious groups and
suppress art they disapprove of.

Unfortunately, the ROC's current policies are an extension of its long and disreputable history of
collaboration with both czarist and Soviet tyranny in Russia. Although there were certainly individual
priests and lay activists who became dissidents under Soviet rule, the ROC leadership generally
supported the communists once the latter consolidated their grip on power and removed those priests
and bishops most opposed to their rule. As the Library of Congress puts it, "the church espoused and
propagated Soviet foreign policy and furthered the [forcible] Russification of non-Russian believers,
such as Orthodox Ukrainians and Belorussians."

There is, perhaps, a limit to the amount of condemnation the ROC deserves for its record in the
Soviet era. Open resistance to the communists would have landed anyone engaged in it in a Gulag or
worse; that degree of heroism is too much to expect as a matter of course. However, the fact remains
that the ROC collaborated with the communists to a much greater extent than most of the Soviet
Union's other religious groups (many of which engaged in active or at least passive resistance) and
its record also pales in comparison with that of the Catholic Church in Eastern Europe, which played
a leading role in organizing resistance to communist rule. The ROC's conduct under communism may
deserve only limited censure, but it certainly does not justify placing any confidence in the Church's
moral judgment.

And today, the ROC should reexamine and repudiate its past and present collaboration with tyranny
before its leader presumes to lecture the Europeans on "morality" and human rights.

UPDATE: To avoid possible misinterpration of my point, I am not arguing that Alexy's position on
homosexuality is wrong merely because he and the ROC have been egregiously wrong on other
issues. That would be a logical fallacy. However, Alexy's critique of homosexuality is based not on
logical reasoning but on an appeal to the moral authority of his Church and his "brothers in faith;" and,
presumably, he was invited to address the Council of Europe because of his position in the ROC
religious hierarchy, not because he has any independent standing as a deep thinker on morality and
human rights. The ROC's overall record on morality and human rights is therefore relevant to our
assessment of his speech. And that record is far from admirable.

UPDATE #2: I was going to write a brief response to some of the points made in the comments. But
nearly all the things I wanted to say have already been said by other commenters. So, I will note just
two points. First, I am struck by how so many more people are interested in the pros and cons of
using the term "homophobia" (a tangential issue in the post) than in the ROC's longstanding record of
collaboration with tyranny (the main focus of the post). Second, it is true as some have pointed out
that many of the ROC's pre-1917 leaders were repressed and replaced by the communists. I noted
that in the original post. This, however, is not enough to get the ROC fully off the hook for its record
under communism. Other Soviet and East European churches were subjected to comparable or even
greater repression under communism, and yet most did not end up collaborating with the communists
to anything like the same degree. And, of course, the ROC has collaborated with Putin's tyranny,
notwithstanding the fact that the risks of refusing to do so are much less than in the communist era.

UPDATE #3: It is perhaps worth noting that there is considerable continuity between the ideology and
personnel of the Soviet-era ROC and those of today. For example, Alexy II was himself a high-
ranking archbishop and Metropolitan under the Soviets - a position he could not have reached had he
been opposed to the ROC's close relationship with the Communist regime. Thus, the Church's
actions under communist rule are not mere ancient history, and remain relevant to any evaluation of
its moral authority today.


Washington Post
France Flips While Congress Shifts
By Charles Krauthammer

Ahmadinejad at Columbia provided the entertainment, but Sarkozy at the United Nations provided the
substance. On the largest possible stage -- the U.N. General Assembly -- President Nicolas Sarkozy
put Iran on notice. His predecessor, Jacques Chirac, had said that France could live with an Iranian
nuclear bomb. Sarkozy said that France cannot. He declared Iran's nuclear ambitions "an
unacceptable risk to stability in the region and in the world."

His foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, had said earlier that the world faces two choices -- successful
diplomacy to stop Iran's nuclear program or war. And Sarkozy himself has no great hopes for the
Security Council, where China and Russia are blocking any effective action against Iran. He does
hope to get the European Union to join the United States in imposing serious sanctions.

"Weakness and renunciation do not lead to peace," he warned. "They lead to war." This warning
about appeasement was intended particularly for Germany, which for commercial reasons has been
resisting U.S. pressure to support effective sanctions.

Sarkozy is no American lapdog. Like every Fifth Republic president, he begins with the notion of
French exceptionalism. But whereas traditional Gaullism tended to define French grandeur as
establishing a counterweight to American power, Sarkozy is not averse to seeing French
assertiveness exercised in conjunction with the United States. As Kouchner put it, "permanent anti-
Americanism" is "a tradition we are working to overcome."

This French about-face creates a crucial shift in the balance of forces within Europe. The East
Europeans are naturally pro-American for reasons of history (fresh memories of America's role in
defeating their Soviet occupiers) and geography (physical proximity to a newly revived and
aggressive Russia). Western Europe is intrinsically wary of American power and culturally anti-
American by reflex. France's change from Chirac to Sarkozy, from foreign minister Dominique de
Villepin (who actively lobbied Third World countries to oppose America on Iraq) to Kouchner (who
supported the U.S. invasion on humanitarian grounds) represents an enormous shift in Old Europe's
relationship to the United States.

Britain is a natural ally. Germany, given its history, is more follower than leader. France can define
European policy, and Sarkozy intends to.
The French flip is only one part of the changing landscape that has given new life to Bush's Iran and
Iraq policies in the waning months of his administration. The mood in Congress also has significantly
shifted.

Just this week, the House overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for very strong sanctions on
Iran and urging the administration to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist entity.
A similar measure passed the Senate on Wednesday, 76 to 22, declaring that it is "a critical national
interest of the United States" to prevent Iran from using Shiite militias inside Iraq to subvert the U.S.-
backed government in Baghdad.

A few months ago, the question was: Will the Democratic Congress force a withdrawal from Iraq?
Today the question in Congress is: What can be done to achieve success in Iraq -- most specifically,
by countering Iran, which is intent on seeing us fail?

This change in mood and subject is entirely the result of changes on the ground. It takes time for
reality to seep into a Washington debate. But after the Petraeus-Crocker testimony, the reality of the
relative success of our new counterinsurgency strategy -- and the renewed possibility of ultimate
success in Iraq -- became no longer deniable.

And that reality is reflected even in the rhetoric of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the most politically
sophisticated of the Democratic presidential candidates. She does vote against war funding in order
to alter the president's policy (and to appease the left), but that is as a senator. When asked what she
would do as president, she carefully hedges. She says that it would depend on the situation at the
time, for example, whether our alliance with the Sunni tribes will have succeeded in defeating al-
Qaeda in Iraq. But when asked by ABC News if she would bring U.S. troops home by January 2013,
she refused to "get into hypotheticals and make pledges."

Bush's presidency -- and foreign policy -- were pronounced dead on the morning after the 2006
election. Not so. France is going to join us in a last-ditch effort to find a nonmilitary solution to the
Iranian issue. And on Iraq, the relative success of the surge has won President Bush the leeway to
continue the Petraeus counterinsurgency strategy to the end of his term. Congress, and realistic
Democrats, are finally beginning to think seriously about making that strategy succeed and planning
for what comes after.


Townhall
Hillary Clinton (D.-MoveOn.org) Is A Radical
By Hugh Hewitt

Senator Clinton can be pleasant, is certainly intelligent and is absolutely the front-runner for the
Democratic nomination and perhaps even the favorite right now to succeed George W. Bush in the
Oval Office.

But as the past three weeks have made abundantly clear, Hillary is no "liberal," or even a
"progressive." She is a radical, and one far outside the mainstream of American politics. In the
growing recognition of the true nature of her political ideology is the obvious strategy for whoever the
GOP nominee is: Throw the light on what she believes and proposes and keep it there.

First, Hillary refused to denounce the MoveOn.org assault on General Petraeus' patriotism, and then
doubled down by telling the general and the country that she had to suspend disbelief during his
testimony --meaning of course that he ought not to be believed, meaning of course that he was lying.
Such an accusation, no matter how calmly delivered, is not mainstream, but radical.

Then she announced co-sponsorship of James Webb's measure requiring the president receive
Congressional approval before any use of force against Iran, indicating that she would not use force
against Iran without Congressional approval, thus signaling to the mullahs that she will arrive with a
fresh round of appeasement measures as her policy. She and her colleagues would rather inflict a
political defeat on President Bush than join with him to send a crucial signal to the Iranian terrorist
regime that the West --not just the Bush Administration, but America, along with France and
Germany-- will not allow the mullahs to possess nukes. Such a view of presidential power, especially
vis-a-vis an expansionist terrorist state is not "liberal" but radical.

Hillary has unveiled her far-reaching reworking of American health care, blowing right past the efforts
at the state level to devise new solutions in favor of a one size fits all top-to-bottom restructuring and
expansion of government mandates. This is not a "progressive" approach to problem solving, but a
radical shift in authority and size of the federal role in health care.

And now her $5,000 bonus for every baby born --HillaryCradleCare, a boondoggle reminiscent of
George McGovern's $1,000 per person pay-off from 1972.

This is not a liberal's targeted tax cut, but a massive expansion of federal spending --a new
entitlement that no one had even previously thought to suggest!

And this look back over the past few weeks doesn't begin to review her record in the Senate or her
pledge to end the war in January 2009 regardless of the situation in Iraq. Recall, this is the senator
who stood on the floor of the Senate with a newspaper with the headline "Bush Knew."

Hillary is not mainstream. She's not even on the far left bank of the mainstream.

She is way, way out there --a genuine '60s girl, and the ideas and staff she would bring to the White
House would represent a sharp break with all that has gone before in American politics.

With as many as six appointments to the Supreme Court in the next eight years (six Ruth Bader
Ginsburgs!) a Hillary Court would be like a Hillary presidency--a radical Bench to back up a radical
Administration.

That's the 2008 campaign in a nutshell.

Hugh Hewitt is a law professor, broadcast journalist, and author of several books including A Mormon
in the White House?: 110 Things Every American Should Know about Mitt Romney.



Contentions
Men in Black
by Max Boot

The assault on Blackwater in particular and on the private military industry in general continues
unabated, largely because leftists are eager to “prove” that the Bush administration, in cahoots with
out-of-control mercenaries, is raping Iraq. For examples, see these typically simplistic columns by
Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman, which essentially parrot the one-sided brief against Blackwater
prepared by Rep. Henry Waxman’s Democratic staffers.

The fact that Blackwater’s founder, Erik Prince, happens to be a conservative who has donated to
Republican candidates and is part of a wealthy Republican family in Michigan makes his company a
particularly attractive target. In reality, as viewers of Tuesday’s hearings before Waxman’s committee
could see, Prince does not easily conform to the image of a greedy and corrupt capitalist. With his
blond crewcut and ramrod posture, he is about as all-American as you can get, and, though he came
from a background of privilege, he volunteered to serve as a Navy SEAL officer—one of the most
dangerous and demanding assignments in the entire armed forces.

Nor do most of Prince’s employees conform to the stereotype of drunken gunslingers shooting up a
town for fun. Most are straight arrows like him with extensive experience in military Special
Operations or big-city police SWAT teams. That is not to say that some of them don’t make mistakes
or misbehave. But so do some soldiers. The attempts to demonize an entire industry based on the
misbehavior of a few are akin to attempts by some to demonize the entire American armed forces
based on what happened at Abu Ghraib.

In the Los Angeles Times this morning, I try to put the promise and problems of the private military
industry into perspective. One of the points I make is that if we can impose more accountability and
oversight on security contractors, we can make more extensive use of them in certain situations
where we are not willing to commit our armed forces.

One example I mention is Darfur. Another example is provided in the newest issue (not yet online) of
the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s journal Orbis, which contains an essay called “Blackwaters for
the Blue Waters: The Promise of Private Naval Companies.” The author, Claude Berube, a professor
at the Naval Academy, suggests reviving the ancient practice (explicitly recognized in the
Constitution) of issuing “letters of marquee” to “privateers,” who would supplement the efforts of our
navy in combating drug smugglers, terrorists, and pirates on the high seas. This seems to me a
compelling idea. Our navy now has fewer than 300 ships and every single additional ship will cost
billions of dollars. Employing private companies at sea could be a cost-effective alternative.

War Profiteers?
by Max Boot
Amid the frenzy of Blackwater-bashing in recent days, this story hasn’t gotten the attention it
deserves. It describes how, after Poland’s ambassador was ambushed in Baghdad, he was airlifted
for medical treatment by a Blackwater helicopter. I’m told that this kind of thing happens pretty
regularly, with Blackwater coming to the assistance of embattled coalition forces, sometimes by
providing fire support, but more often by helping to evacuate the wounded. Blackwater operates Little
Bird helicopters; these are smaller and more maneuverable than the Black Hawks favored by regular
U.S. Army forces. (The U.S. Special Operations Command also uses Little Birds.) They can land in
the narrow streets of Baghdad or other Iraqi cities much more readily than can a Black Hawk.

Blackwater gives its personnel, most of them military veterans, full freedom to carry out these types of
missions (which they are not obligated to do under their State Department contract). Sometimes they
are able to arrive more quickly than military aviators; there have even been occasions when a landing
zone was judged too “hot” for a military flight—but Blackwater went ahead and landed anyway.

Is this how out-of-control war profiteers act?
LA Times
Ahmadinejad walks away with a win
His Columbia engagement gives him what he wants -- legitimacy -- and his hosts look rude to
Islamic eyes.
By Tim Rutten

September 29, 2007

One of the world's truly dangerous men, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left New York a
clear winner this week, and he can thank the arrogance of the American academy and most of the
U.S. news media's studied indifference for his victory.

If the blood-drenched history of the century just past had taught American academics one thing, it
should have been that the totalitarian impulse knows no accommodation with reason. You cannot
change the totalitarian mind through dialogue or conversation, because totalitarianism -- however
ingenious the superstructure of faux ideas with which it surrounds itself -- is a creature of the will and
not the mind. That's a large lesson, but what should have made Ahmadinejad's appearance at
Columbia University this week a wholly avoidable debacle was the school's knowledge of its own,
very specific history.

In the 1930s, Columbia was run by Nicholas Murray Butler, to whose name a special sort of infamy
attaches. Butler was an outspoken admirer of Italian fascism and of its leader, Benito Mussolini. The
Columbia president, who also was in the forefront of Ivy League efforts to restrict Jewish enrollment,
worked tirelessly to build ties between his school and Italian universities, as well as with the powerful
fascist student organizations. At one point, a visiting delegation of 350 ardent young Black Shirts
serenaded Butler with the fascist anthem.

Butler also was keen to establish connections with Nazi Germany and its universities. In 1933, he
invited Hans Luther, Adolf Hitler's ambassador to the United States, to lecture on the Columbia
campus. Luther stressed Hitler's "peaceful intentions" toward his European neighbors, and, afterward,
Butler gave a reception in his honor. As the emissary of "a friendly people," Luther was "entitled to be
received with the greatest courtesy and respect," the Columbia president said at the time.

It was such a transparently appalling performance all around that one of the anonymous authors of
the New York Times' "Topics of the Times" column put tongue in cheek and looked forward to the
occasion when "the Nazi leaders will point out that they were all along opposed to any measures
capable of being construed as unjust to any element in the German population or as a threat to peace
in Europe."

Arrogance, though, is invincible -- even to irony.

Three years later, Butler sent a delegation of Columbia dignitaries to participate in anniversary
celebrations at the University of Heidelberg. That was after Heidelberg had purged all the Jewish
professors from its faculty, reformed its curriculum according to Nazi educational theories and publicly
burned the unapproved books in its libraries.

It would be interesting to know if any consideration of these events -- and all that followed a decade of
engagement and dialogue with fascism -- occurred before Columbia extended a speaking invitation to
a man who hopes to see Israel "wiped off the face of the Earth," has denied the Holocaust and is
defying the world community in pursuit of nuclear weapons. Perhaps they did and perhaps that's part
of what motivated Lee Bollinger, Columbia's president now, to deliver his extraordinarily ill-advised
welcoming remarks to Ahmadinejad.

Bollinger clearly had an American audience in mind when he denounced the Iranian leader to his face
as a "cruel" and "petty dictator" and described his Holocaust denial as designed to "fool the illiterate
and the ignorant." Bollinger's remarks may have taken him off the hook with his domestic critics, but
when it came to the international media audience that really counted, Ahmadinejad already had
carried the day. The invitation to speak at Columbia already had given him something totalitarian
demagogues -- who are as image-conscious as Hollywood stars -- always crave: legitimacy.
Bollinger's denunciation was icing on the cake, because the constituency the Iranian leader cares
about is scattered across an Islamic world that values hospitality and its courtesies as core social
virtues. To that audience, Bollinger looked stunningly ill-mannered; Ahmadinejad dignified and
restrained.

Back in Tehran, Mohsen Mirdamadi, a leading Iranian reformer and Ahmadinejad opponent, said
Bollinger's blistering remarks "only strengthened" the president back home and "made his radical
supporters more determined," According to an Associated Press report, "Many Iranians found the
comments insulting, particularly because in Iranian traditions of hospitality, a host should be polite to
a guest, no matter what he thinks of him. To many, Ahmadinejad looked like the victim, and hard-
liners praised the president's calm demeanor during the event, saying Bollinger was spouting a
'Zionist' line."

All of this was bad enough, but the almost willful refusal of commentators in the American media to
provide their audiences with insight into just how sinister Ahmadinejad really is compounded the
problem. There are a couple of reasons for the media's general refusal to engage with radical Islamic
revivalists, like Ahmadinejad. He belongs to a particularly aggressive school of radical Shiite Islam,
the Haghani, which lives in expectation of the imminent coming of the Madhi, a kind of Islamic
messiah, who will bring peace and justice -- along with universal Islamic rule -- to the entire world.
Serious members of this school -- and Ahmadinejad, who was a brilliant university student, is a very
serious member -- believe they must act to speed the Mahdi's coming. "The wave of the Islamic
revolution" would soon "reach the entire world," he has promised.

As a fundamentally secular institution, the American press always has had a hard time coming to
grips with the fact that Islamists like the Iranian president mean what they say and that they really do
believe what they say they believe.

Finally, there's the fact that the neoconservative remnants clustered around Vice President Dick
Cheney are beating the drums for a preemptive military action against Iran before it becomes a
nuclear nation, as North Korea already has, thereby constraining U.S. policy in northwest Asia. After
being duped by the Bush administration into helping pave the way for the disastrous war in Iraq, few
in the American media now are willing to take the Iran problem on because they don't want to be
complicit in another military misadventure.

Fair enough -- but that anxiety doesn't exempt the press from being realistic about who Ahmadinejad
really is and the danger he really does pose to all around him.


USA TODAY
A liberal's lament: The NRA might be right after all
by Jonathan Turley

This term, the Supreme Court may finally take up the Voldemort Amendment, the part of the Bill of
Rights that shall not be named by liberals. For more than 200 years, progressives and polite people
have avoided acknowledging that following the rights of free speech, free exercise of religion and free
assembly, there is "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." Of course, the very idea of finding
a new individual right after more than two centuries is like discovering an eighth continent in
constitutional law, but it is hardly the cause of celebration among civil liberties groups.

Like many academics, I was happy to blissfully ignore the Second Amendment. It did not fit neatly
into my socially liberal agenda. Yet, two related cases could now force liberals into a crisis of
conscience. The Supreme Court is expected to accept review of District of Columbia v. Heller and
Parker v. District of Columbia, involving constitutional challenges to the gun-control laws in
Washington.

The D.C. law effectively bars the ownership of handguns for most citizens and places restrictions on
other firearms. The District's decision to file these appeals after losing in the D.C. appellate court was
driven more by political than legal priorities. By taking the appeal, D.C. politicians have put gun-
control laws across the country at risk with a court more likely to uphold the rulings than to reverse
them. It has also put the rest of us in the uncomfortable position of giving the right to gun ownership
the same fair reading as more favored rights of free press or free speech.

The Framers' intent

Principle is a terrible thing, because it demands not what is convenient but what is right. It is hard to
read the Second Amendment and not honestly conclude that the Framers intended gun ownership to
be an individual right. It is true that the amendment begins with a reference to militias: "A well
regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and
bear arms, shall not be infringed." Accordingly, it is argued, this amendment protects the right of the
militia to bear arms, not the individual.

Yet, if true, the Second Amendment would be effectively declared a defunct provision. The National
Guard is not a true militia in the sense of the Second Amendment and, since the District and others
believe governments can ban guns entirely, the Second Amendment would be read out of existence.

Another individual right

More important, the mere reference to a purpose of the Second Amendment does not alter the fact
that an individual right is created. The right of the people to keep and bear arms is stated in the same
way as the right to free speech or free press. The statement of a purpose was intended to reaffirm the
power of the states and the people against the central government. At the time, many feared the
federal government and its national army. Gun ownership was viewed as a deterrent against abuse
by the government, which would be less likely to mess with a well-armed populace.

Considering the Framers and their own traditions of hunting and self-defense, it is clear that they
would have viewed such ownership as an individual right — consistent with the plain meaning of the
amendment.

None of this is easy for someone raised to believe that the Second Amendment was the dividing line
between the enlightenment and the dark ages of American culture. Yet, it is time to honestly
reconsider this amendment and admit that ... here's the really hard part ... the NRA may have been
right. This does not mean that Charlton Heston is the new Rosa Parks or that no restrictions can be
placed on gun ownership. But it does appear that gun ownership was made a protected right by the
Framers and, while we might not celebrate it, it is time that we recognize it.
Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and
a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors.




Borowitz Report
Bush Vetoes Candy for Babies
Move Takes Candy From Over Four Million Babies

In a move that seemed guaranteed to stir controversy, President Bush today vetoed a bill that would
give candy to over four million babies.

With one stroke of a pen, Mr. Bush vetoed the Candy for Babies Act, a law that would have expanded
candy benefits to America’s hungriest babies.

At the White House, aides to the president said that Mr. Bush was “unconcerned” that his veto would
create the impression that he was, in effect, taking candy from babies.

“Being president means making tough decisions,” said White House press secretary Dana Perino. “If
that means taking candy from babies, so be it.”

Mr. Perino said that the $3 billion saved by vetoing the Candy for Babies Act would be used for one of
Mr. Bush’s pet projects, a new program that would pay people to kick old ladies who are trying to
cross the street.

The funding of the Kicking Old Ladies Act comes on the heels of another potentially unpopular move
by the president, an executive order that would force puppies and kittens out of animal shelters and
onto the streets in time for the winter.

In other White House news, President Bush responded to criticism of the Blackwater security firm by
hiring a new firm to take over security in Iraq, a company called Bongwater.

“I met with the Bongwater folks and I liked them,” he said. “They seemed a lot more laid back than
Blackwater.”

Elsewhere, Britney Spears said she regretted losing custody of her children “because I was just
teaching them how to drive.”




Scrappleface
ACLU Defends Limbaugh, Sharpton Demands Reid Apology
by Scott Ott

(2007-10-04) — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) today offered free legal services to
defend talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, whose civil rights, the ACLU contends, “are in jeopardy from
powerful officials in the U.S. government.”
“This is not just an issue of simple slander,” said an unnamed ACLU spokesman, “This is a
coordinated campaign at the highest levels of government specifically targeting a private citizen,
attempting to use the power of government to squelch his freedom of speech, distort his words,
destroy his career and smear anyone associated with him.”

The ACLU source added that, “If this were happening in Myanmar, the U.N. would send an emissary
to intervene and the Security Council would impose sanctions.”

Meanwhile, the Rev. Al Sharpton has invited Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV, to appear on his satellite radio
show “to apologize to all wealthy, white Americans who were offended when Sen. Reid intentionally
misquoted and maligned Rush Limbaugh from the floor of the senate.”

								
To top