Fiscal Conservatives, My A$$

Uggh:

A mid-year White House report will tout fiscal progress with a projected U.S. budget deficit for this year of around $420 billion — nearly $100 billion less than the forecast offered five months ago, congressional sources said on Tuesday.
A congressional aide who declined to be identified told Reuters that the $420 billion figure is “what people are talking about” on Capitol Hill.

The budget projection will be part of a mid-session budget report that the White House will be putting out, possibly as early as this week. Originally due on July 15, the document was delayed after officials in the Office of Management and Budget sought extra time to update their figures in light of improving economic conditions that have fueled higher tax revenues.

The greatest failure of the Bush presidency so far can be attributed to that fateful date when the Supreme Court ruled the presidential veto unconstitutional. Wait- you mean that didn’t happen?

Sure- the deficit is smaller than projected. But $420 billion?????? Jeebus.








Abortion

After reading this piece, I am re-thinking my position on abortion.

What a disgusting human being.








Ricky Williams

This is old news, but here is my 2 cents:

Ignore everything you’ve read and heard.
Ricky Williams did not retire.

Call this breaking news, a scoop, this just in, or any other hackneyed media phrase you can conjure.

Just know this: Ricky Williams did not retire.

He quit.

Exactly. Williams gets the nod for most self-centered athlete in the history of the Universe. How he could wait until now to do this to his teammates is reprehensible and inexcusable. You don’t do that to people who are counting on you.

While we are talking about football, congrats to Coach Cowher:

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher signed a two-year contract extension Monday — the second time since 2001 he has agreed to a new deal after his team missed the playoffs the preceding season.

The extension, which carries through the 2007 season, is expected to keep Cowher’s salary competitive with those of the game’s highest-paid head coaches. Cowher’s current deal pays him $3 million per season, and team president Art Rooney II said the coach was given a raise in his new contract.

Cowher agreed to his current contract, which runs through the 2005 season, after the Steelers rebounded from consecutive losing seasons by going 9-7 in 2000 but still missed the playoffs.

The 47-year-old Cowher has a 115-76-1 record in 12 seasons, with only three losing seasons. His seven division titles are the fifth most in NFL coaching history, and the Steelers have reached the playoffs 12 times under Cowher despite missing them four of the last six seasons.

Not long before my beloved Steelers take the field.








9/11 Commission

I have to admit that I am pleasantly surprised with the 9/11 Commission Report- it has exceeded my expectations so far. I guess thta is not difficult, because after watching the preening and posturing of Gorelick and ben Veniste, I did not expect much. I underestimatd them.

At any rate, Gary Farber has some comments.








Well What Do You Know

I see that Ken Layne has re-emerged after spending a year going all Buddy Holly on us, and has started blogging again. Before you get confused, Welch is the one with the goofy glasses- Layne looks like a younger Steve Earle. Which reminds me- Welch is blogging up a storm, too.

I suppose I should be all pissy for Layne leaving me in the lurch for a year, especially after his first real return post is this stream of conciousness screed against all bloggers telling us how we have let him and the medium. I am not- welcome back.








Andrew Sullivan Takes Psilocybin

Check out this tongue kiss between Sully and the Kerry campaign:

I’m still somewhat in shock at the first night of the Democratic Convention. I kept thinking I was at a Republican convention. Tightly scripted, elegantly choreographed, seamlessly on the centrist message of war, unity, maturity and judgment. Foreign policy was front and center; faith was showcased; military service was held up as the ideal; prudent leadership was touted in a time of “peril,” in Hillary’s word. I wonder if they can keep this up. But I’m amazed they’ve tried. I’ve been writing for months now that Kerry’s most effective message would be that he’d conduct the war on terror with more allies and more wisdom than Bush. But I never actually believed he’d be canny enough to do exactly that. But he has!

I guess I watched a different show…

*** Update ***

Kevin Drum:

Andrew Sullivan is practically a one-man cheering squad for the first night of the convention. Weird. He sounds like a guy who very desperately wants to believe in Kerry.

Does this mean that David Brock is a Republican again? My head hurts.








Day 2 of the Convention

Apparently, a large part of today’s proceedings in Boston will be the lionization of the senior Senator from Massachussetts, Ted Kennedy, for all of his years of service.

Yesterday would have been Mary Jo Kopechne’s 64th birthday, and it was 35 years and nine days ago that Ted Kennedy left her stranded in the bottom of a canal to drown in order to save his political career.








The Speeches

I really can’t comment on the Gore/Clinton/Clinton speeches last night, because I didn’t watch them. After watching Jimmy Carter lecture me on foreign policy (really- what Jeff said), I decided to view something less absurd and threw in ‘Starsky and Hutch.’

I have looked at some of the text of the speech, and it seems to me that the recurring theme from all of them was not leadership, but tax cuts. It seems like they mentioned the tax cuts over and over and over again. I sure hope they keep it up, and we can get Kerry really on record as in favor of raising taxes. If you remember, even Bill Clinton was afraid of a campaign based on raising taxes. His solution was to simply lie and promise tax cuts, and then, of course, never deliver.








I Am Back

I am back- I had thought about just taking the whole week off and letting the Donks have their week in the sun, but last night was just too preposterous for that to happen. I have to comment. At any rate, the other day I wrote this about the self-serving lying twerp and document thief Sandy Berger:

I really want this liar to go down- too many of the Clinton era swine managed to weasel their way out of everything. Now we have one dead to rights.

To which, in the comments section, Gary Farber wrote:

Which makes clear that John has no interest in justice. No interest in dealing justice to those who violate the secrecy of documents, or commit far worse crimes against national security and our nation. No interest in dispassionately seeing that former NSAs who violate our trust don’t work in government again.

No, it’s about getting “Clinton era swine.”

All I can really say about this is that it takes a special type of Clintonian compartmentalization to make such an assertiion. Berger broke the law and he should be punished. I want to make sure that this member of the privileged class, the Clinton Cabinet, members of which are notorious for evading due process, receives the punishment he deserves. How, exactly, are these mutually exclusive desires?








Still Here

Still working on MT and stuff, and I have a lot of comments I will respond to later.

Meanwhile, Oliver is showing off his sexy big ass.








Sloppy and Indavertent, pt 2

Here is about the only thing Sandy Berger did sloppily and inadvertently- his document pilfering was soblatant that the staff was supiscious after his first visit. They then set up a little sting operation:

Last Oct. 2, former Clinton national security adviser Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger stayed huddled over papers at the National Archives until 8 p.m.

What he did not know as he labored through that long Thursday was that the same Archives employees who were solicitously retrieving documents for him were also watching their important visitor with a suspicious eye.

After Berger’s previous visit, in September, Archives officials believed documents were missing. This time, they specially coded the papers to more easily tell whether some disappeared, said government officials and legal sources familiar with the case.

The notion of one of Washington’s most respected foreign policy figures being subjected to treatment that had at least a faint odor of a sting operation is a strange one. But the peculiarities — and conflicting versions of events and possible motives — were just then beginning in a case that this week bucked Berger out of an esteemed position as a leader of the Democratic government-in-waiting that had assembled around presidential nominee John F. Kerry.

As his attorneys tell it, Berger had no idea in October that documents were missing from the Archives, or that archivists suspected him in the disappearance. It was not until two days later, on Saturday, Oct. 4, that he was contacted by Archives employees who said that they were concerned about missing files, from his September and October visits. This call — in Berger’s version of the chronology, which is disputed in essential respects by a government official with knowledge of the investigation — was made with a tone of concern, but not accusation.

I really want this liar to go down- too many of the Clinton era swine managed to weasel their way out of everything. Now we have one dead to rights.








Oliver- The Last Man Defending Berger

This kills me– Sandy Berger is caught red-handed pilfering documents in a sting, and Oliver is pissed that someone leaked information about the investigation.

My bad- Terry McAwful is still defending Berger. You just know Michael Moore can’t be far behind.








Ketchup Gate

I am with the Instapundit– Heinz ketchup rules. Whenever I see a knock-off or generic ketchup, I think- “Is that really the place to cut the budget?”

As far as mayo, Hellman’s. People who think Miracle Whip is mayo need to be sent to gulags and re-educated.

As far as yellow mustard goes- what beat Plochman’s?

*** Update ***

Woah- I love all types of mustardn ad actually use brown mustards and horseradish mustards FAR more than I use straight up yellow. I was just listing generic yellow mustard because thatis what most people eat.

Again, I love Plochman’s- I also love Stadium mustard, but that is hard to come by around here.

My absolute favorite mustards are tubes of German senf- but you cant find that anywhere (except maybe Germany).








“Sloppy” Talking Points and Their “Inadvertent” Bad Reasoning

It should come as no surprise to veteran watchers of the Democratic party that the absurd defenses of Sandy Berger’s document pilfering should have come as quickly and as coordinated as what we have witnessed in the past few days. Smear campaigns and damage control are what the party of Clinton is really all about, and, is anyone really so surprised that the party that tried to redefine ‘is’ in defense of perjury would launch another assault on the English language- this time defending the theft of national secrets?

Let’s go through what happened, and then discuss the talking points and blog reactions. The story:

Clinton administration national security adviser Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger, under criminal investigation for removing copies of highly classified documents from the National Archives, severed his ties to John F. Kerry’s campaign yesterday…

A government official with knowledge of the probe said Berger removed from archives files all five or six drafts of a critique of the government’s response to the millennium terrorism threat, which he said was classified “codeword,” the government’s highest level of document security…

Berger’s attorneys have acknowledged that he removed numerous classified memos, and apparently discarded some, as he reviewed materials on behalf of the Clinton administration for the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. They said the removal of documents was inadvertent but that Berger was aware he was violating the law when he removed his handwritten notes without submitting them for review by National Archives staff…

Archives officials discovered that some documents were missing after Berger’s review of the files on Sept. 2, and again Oct. 2. The archives inspector general’s office alerted Berger and former Clinton aide Bruce Lindsey, who is overseeing presidential documents. Berger returned two of the after-action drafts within days, according to his attorneys. Other drafts of the after-action document, they said, were apparently discarded. The archives inspector general began an investigation in October.

Breuer said he does not believe the Justice Department and the FBI are as interested in the handwritten notes as they are in the documents. “We have not been officially told how many documents they actually think are still missing,” said David Fagen, another of Berger’s attorneys. “We believe there are probably no more than two additional versions missing, but we don’t know.”

In other words, on numerous occassions, Berger knowingly removed notes on documents that are one of the most secret classifications possible, as well as pilfering numerous copies of the same memo. Berger ‘accidentally’ and ‘indavertantly,’ while making his mistake, secreted the documents out of the highly secure National Archives in his socks, drawers, jacket, shirt, and leather tote.

That is the story, and it really is that simple, as some of the documents have been recovered in Berger’s possession, and he has admitted to taking the documents. On to the talking points:

1.) These actions were ‘inadvertent.’

Attorney Lanny Breuer says Berger made an “inadvertent mistake,” and adds he has no idea who recently leaked the story.

Indavertent, to most adherents of the English language, means not showing due caution, being careless, or being inattentive. For an example of doing something inadvertently, I will explain what happened to me at a 7/11 like store the other day.

I needed a pack of gum, so I walked down tothe aisle, picked up a big 99 cent pack of extra, and got in line. The line was slow, so I put a piece of gum in my mouth, and indavertently slipped the rest of the pack in my pocket. When I got the front of the line, I handed the clerk $1.05 (West Virginia has been run by Democrats for 100 years, so of coursewe have a regressive 6% tax on foods), and he looked at me and said “How can I help you?”

I then realized, rather sheepishly, that I had inadvertently slipped the gum in my pocket, out of habit. I luaghed, pulled the pack out of my pocket, and joked with the cashier- “Guess I would make a pretty lousy thief.”

That is how you inadvertently do something. Compare that to a former NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR, who on three separate occassions (frequently enough that a sting was set up), uses his high security clearance to access sensitive documents in one of the most secure buildings in the government,and then crams numerous copies ofthe same sensitive document down his Joe Boxers before leaving.

In other words, inadvertent, my ass.

2.) This was just a ‘sloppy’ mistake.

Bill Clinton defended his embattled national security adviser Tuesday as a man who “always got things right,” even if his desk was a mess.

“We were all laughing about it on the way over here,” the former president said of the investigation into Samuel “Sandy” Berger on classified terrorism documents missing from the National Archives. “People who don’t know him might find it hard to believe. But … all of us who’ve been in his office have always found him buried beneath papers.” – The Denver Post

Mr. Berger said his lapse was “sloppy,” but House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said “sloppy” wasn’t the right word.

“I think its gravely, gravely serious what he did, if he did it.” – The Washington Times

Last night when I was making spaghetti, I forgot to reduce the heat on the sauce after I added some wine and sugar. It then spattered all over the stove. That was sloppy.

Examples of sloppy writing can e found all over this website. Misused words, (there instead oftheir), comma splices, mis-spelled words, etc. Sloppy writing.

Mr. Berger’s theft of government documents was not sloppy- it was botched. It was not an accident, it was not a mistake, it was not from someone being sloppy with his work. It was an intentional theft. The motive remains unclear at the moment, but the next time you hear one of the Clinton kool-aid crowd try to call this a ‘sloppy mistake,’ feel free to launch the foam brick at the big screen.

3.) The timing of this ‘leak is suspicious.’

On the other hand, Democrats raised questions about the timing of the leak about the investigation, which has been going on for at least nine months. The news broke just days before the 9/11 commission issues its final report and a week before Democrats gather in Boston to nominate Kerry at their national convention.

“I do think the timing is very curious, given this has been under way now for this long,” said Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota. “Somebody leaked it, obviously, with intent, I think, to do damage to Mr. Berger, and I think that’s unfortunate.”

Who cares when this information was leaked, and who cares how much damage this does to Berger. It should ruin his career, and he should never work in government AGAIN. He should probably do time in prison for this, if it is proven in court.

Regardless, as Matt Yglesias notes, this ‘leak’ was not timed to do the most damage- it will be knocked off the front page by the 9/11 report tomorrow, and if anything, it has increased my interest in the 9/11 report. Was Berger trying to withold Documents from the commission, doing some Clintonian CYA?

At anyrate, as this post shows, there never is a good time for leaks that are damaging to Democrats.

4.) This was just ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid.

Dumb is believing that Bush had information about the WTC attacks before they happened and yet he did nothing to stop them.

Stupid is continuously employing conspiratorial rhetoric and embracing polemicists and propagandists such as Michael Moore until such dumb thoughts pass as mainstream thought within the Democratic party.

Apparently, dumb and stupid acts are rewarded kindly by Democrats, so maybe that is what they mean when they say Berger’s document theft was ‘dumb and stupid.’ In other words- it was a good thing.

Keep your eye on the nonsense as it spews from the left. The facts remain clear- Berger intentionally stole the documents and secreted his notes from the National Archive. Why he stole them- whether to prep the Kerry campaign, to cover for the Clinton administration or to cover his own ass, or to withhold information from the 9/11 commission- those are serious questions that deserve to be answered. Don’t let the Democrats spin you on this one.








The Usual Suspects

Regarding the Berger pilfer, an interview with Wolf Blitzer and Berger’s lawyer:

BLITZER: All right. The notes are one thing. Much more serious is the classified document. This is a highly sensitive document. I don’t know what — if it’s code word or top secret or a compartmental, secure — whatever the classification is, he knew he should not take that document out of that room.

BREUER: Well, let’s talk about that document. That’s a document that Dick Clarke authored because Sandy Berger asked him to do it.

BLITZER: Dick Clarke was the White House counterterrorism czar, if you will.

BREUER: Exactly. And at the time of the millennium in 2000, if you remember, there were lots of threats about terrorism. And the White House and the United States addressed those concerns. And most people look at the time of January 1, 2000 as a time that we can be proud of. We thwarted terrorist cells. Berger was the national security adviser and he was very proud of what they did. But he didn’t just rest on his laurels. He said to Clarke, “I want you to take a hard look. Tell us what we did right and tell us what we didn’t do right.” And to Clarke’s credit, he did it. To Berger’s credit he asked him to do it.

Now with respect to what this document is about, it is widely known. Its existence is widely known. It’s written about in books and in magazines.

BLITZER: So why did he have to take it out of that room?

BREUER: That he did it inadvertently.

BLITZER: What is inadvertently?

BREUER: Let me tell you what happened.

BLITZER: Sandy Berger doesn’t do things inadvertently.

It appears that the Democrat spin machine is losing its wheels- all the usual suspects are here. Sandy Berger pilfering highly classified after-action reports authored by Richard Clarke. How interesting. Is there a Joe Wilson in the congregation?