Wednesday, December 31, 2003


I've added an area where the few people that read my rants can comment if they so choose. Say whatever you want, I don't care.
Don't Go to Times Square on New Year's Eve:

"I wouldn't go to Times Square. That is my opinion. It is one based on the reality that the government has declared a Code Orange," said [Rep. Christopher] Shays [Rhino-CT].

I've been to Times Square on New Year's Eve and it's really not any fun. It's too crowded, it's smelly, and it's loud. Plus, by the time that ball drops, it's cold and you're tired. I'd rather be in bed sleeping. As for Shays, he'll be home in Stamford.
Dean's Courses at Yale.

US News and World Report has done a expose entitled Yale Men, disclosing the college backgrounds of the presidential hopefuls that were Elis. This little tidbit turned up on Dean:

"I had a strong feeling about social justice," he says. "But politics was discredited in my eyes because of Nixon."

Dean also avoided campus organizations, which were widely seen as too "establishment." He'd been active in prep school extracurriculars, and, while he played intramural football at Yale, he reveled in his freedom. He got decent grades without trying too hard. "After Howard had the formula down for getting through, he went into a period of introspection," says a former roommate, Ralph Dawson. While not politically active, Dean was a political science major with a predilection for courses in revolutionary movements. A college transcript obtained by U.S. News shows Dean took classes on international communism, Chinese politics, Soviet history, and Marxist existentialism.

I realize that in college you take a lot of crap (Intro to Visual Arts was my favorite), and as a political science major at Yale Dean probably delved into courses that may not be available at other schools, but these courses are a little beyond "social justice." Last time I checked, Marxism and Stalinism weren't high on the list for doling out social justice. Then again, that's nothing new in the democrat party.

As for the Nixon comment, I believe much of the left's disdain for Nixon occurred as a result of Watergate, long after Dean graduated from Yale.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Here's an interesting article from today's Hartford Courant. I'm posting the whole thing because you may not want to get a password. It accepts the LATimes password, if you have one. Since it's Yale, I'm not surprised that three of the four (one is undecided) is going for Dean. Even fairly smart people are fooled by this guy.

Yale Teachers Size Up Candidates

When A Former Student Runs For President, What's A Professor To Think?

Courant Staff Writer

December 30 2003

Although teachers like to dream they are shaping the minds of tomorrow's leaders, few really get a crack at those leaders, and far fewer get the kind of bragging rights attained by a group of old Bulldogs.

"Many of us had the sense we were preparing future leaders," said Robert Dahl, who presided over Yale University's political science department during a span that history is recognizing as epic.

"But I don't think any of us had any idea we were teaching so many presidential candidates."

Between the mid-1960s and the early 1970s, President George W. Bush, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Sen. John Kerry and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean all studied at Yale. Each studied history and political science, and although none were in the same class, they did share professors and mentors.

Beyond the pervasive dynamics of the day - the Vietnam War and the transition of a campus moving beyond an elitist enclave - these students were also all privy to the same lessons.

Kerry graduated in 1966, Bush in 1968 and Dean in 1971. Lieberman received his undergraduate degree in 1964 and then graduated from Yale Law School in 1967. While Bush and Dean left more of a mark on their social circles, Lieberman and Kerry achieved top student leadership positions - Lieberman as chairman of the Yale Daily News and Kerry as Class Day speaker.

Yale historian Gaddis Smith, who has been cited by Dean and Kerry as an influence, said a few men with powerful intellects and personalities defined the campus when these presidential seeds were growing:

John Morton Blum, chairman of the history department and renowned liberal; H. Bradford Westerfield, hawkish political science professor; Robert Dahl, chairman of the political science department; and the activist chaplain, the Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr.

All are in various stages of health and retirement; they live near or in New Haven, except Coffin, who lives in Vermont. They are all, including Smith, finding minor fame on the campaign trail as the candidates praise them as mentors and influential teachers.

Some skeptics accuse the candidates of using their former teachers to bolster credentials that may be lacking. But the professors aren't sure what to think.

Few of them remember the president or the candidates as students, and fewer still recognize their own teaching in any of the current campaign platforms. Almost all of them tend to believe the presidential contenders, with one exception, are too conservative.

"As every alumnus knows, they have the right to disagree with what the faculty said when they were young men," said Blum, who had Bush, Kerry and Dean in his course "Politics and American Culture in the 20th Century."

Blum said he used to deliver objective lectures on historical events but paused occasionally to offer what he called a "parenthesis."

"I'd stop a minute and say this is a parenthesis, this is what I think, closed parenthesis," he said. "I thought it was important that students were aware of my biases."

For Blum, the biases tended toward the left. He opposed American foreign policy in Vietnam and told students he thought the Bay of Pigs was a mistake. He was quick to denounce McCarthyism.

While he taught his sprawling survey course, he also presided over the Yale history department, a responsibility that barred him from getting to know many undergraduates, including the president and the candidates.

But they remember him.

On Dec. 15, Dean cited him in a foreign policy address. Kerry spoke about his classes to author Douglas Brinkley for the biography "Tour of Duty" due out next month.

Most often, however, Blum is cited as one of Bush's favorite teachers. The president praised Blum in 2001 when he delivered the commencement address at Yale, a fact Blum described as "embarrassing."

"It's very hard for me to believe, considering where he stands on policies," Blum said.

Blum instead is supporting Dean.

Westerfield has a different story. He was, at the time, the young political science professor who stuck out for his adamant defense of American policies in Vietnam. He said he believed - and argued on campus - that "the spread of communism was held at bay by valiant Cold War warriors."

In his "Contemporary Introduction to American Relations," he taught Bush, Kerry and Vice President Dick Cheney, who left Yale before graduating in 1962. Cheney has since publicly and - Westerfield said, personally - thanked him for fueling his interest in public affairs.

But it is Lieberman whom Westerfield remembers best. He said when Lieberman was chairman of the Yale Daily News campus newspaper, he recruited Westerfield for teach-ins on Vietnam - teach-ins during which Westerfield remembers he and Lieberman defended the "hawk line, the Johnson administration."

After Lieberman graduated and anti-Vietnam sentiment pervaded the campus, Westerfield had a political and intellectual conversion. He said his about-face began in 1967 and affected the way he taught his course. But by then, the current leaders had already passed through.

Now retired, he is a liberal and tired of regrets, he said.

"I don't blame myself any longer for having misled those students," he said.

Yet, Westerfield still seems dismayed by his effect on Cheney. "He has said I inspired his interest in public affairs, not in public policy," he said.

Westerfield isn't supporting any of the students he remembers. He's supporting Dean.

`Absorbed Every Word'

Smith was one of the youthful faculty members who attracted scores of students with an engaging teaching style. Long before he was appointed historian for the school, he taught "American Diplomatic History" to Bush, Kerry and Dean.

One of the main themes of the course, he said, was to get students to think about the reasons for the United States to engage its military internationally.

He was personally opposed to the policies toward Vietnam and once invited a student who was a Vietnam veteran to describe U.S. troops' attitude toward the Viet Cong.

"[The veteran] said, `If it runs, it's VC. Waste it. If it hides, it's VC. Waste it. If it's dead, it's VC. Count it and wait for your promotion'," Smith recalled. "The other students were stunned."

Smith was mentioned alongside Blum in Dean's recent foreign policy speech, but the retired professor doesn't remember Dean or Bush well.

"Kerry," he said, "was the one who stood out."

According to the Brinkley biography, Kerry used Smith's lessons to form a Class Day speech that criticized the Vietnam War he was about to join.

"What was an excess of isolationism has become an excess of interventionism," Kerry said in 1966.

More recently, Kerry told Brinkley that he "absorbed every word uttered in Gaddis' class."

Smith doesn't think the lessons aged too well, however. He is now a Dean supporter.

Two of the other major influences on campus had a broader effect on students' intellectual and extracurricular life. Dahl and Coffin, historians say, are what made Yale at the time unique.

Dahl does not recall teaching any of the candidates, but as head of the political science department from 1957 to 1962 he had the distinction of transforming it into an expansive, top-rated program that drew professors from a diversity of views and global perspectives. His course covered Plato to Marx, and he said he challenged students to seriously consider challenges to democracy.

Where the political science department previously drew students using it as a steppingstone to law school, Dahl attracted students interested in preparing for public life and, he said, "those who saw it as a way into this modern world."

As for his politics now, he said he has made only one decision: He will not support Bush. Otherwise, he is undecided among the Democrats and may even support a non-Yalie.

In terms of life outside the classroom, it was Coffin's presence that made Yale, well, Yale.

Coffin, a vigorous civil rights agitator and anti-war activist, is an oft-cited Lieberman mentor, inspiring the student to participate in voter drives in the South.

Coffin remembers Kerry for his Class Day speech, which he recalled as "very good," but does not remember Dean.

Bush has credited Coffin with inspiring him to turn his back on what Bush perceived as intellectual elitism.

Bush has said that one day on campus Coffin made a cutting remark about Bush's father.

Coffin said he does not recall the remark or the young Bush, but has said he and the president have exchanged apologies nonetheless. Bush, for his part, has had a rapprochement with his alma mater. His daughter is a student there (as is Dean's), and Bush's commencement address seemed to close the earlier chapter.

Coffin has chosen to support a Yalie for president, but not his former protégé, Lieberman: "He's much too conservative for me."

He recalled a recent conversation with Lieberman. "I said, `It's too bad you're an Orthodox Jew and a conservative Democrat. It'd be much better for the country if that were reversed.'"

Like three of his four colleagues, Coffin is supporting Dean, the former student they collectively remember the least.
Punks For Dean?

Here's a follow up on an issue I touched upon yesterday concerning how Dean is tapping into groups that normally don't vote.
A few months ago, Kimmy Cash was just another disaffected 28-year-old California punk with a pierced nose looking for a cause to believe in. Then she stumbled on Howard Dean, the man who would be George W Bush's Democratic challenger in next November's presidential election, and her life changed in dramatic and unexpected ways.

Her website, www.punxfor, is receiving thousands of hits each day. In less than three months, she has signed up a staggering 13,000 volunteers to hand out literature at punk clubs and concert venues across all 50 states. She is organizing a nationwide series of concerts, the first rule of which is that every attendee must be registered to vote. (The registration forms will be on hand at the door.) Next month, her site is putting out a CD of underground punk bands named after the Dean slogan "Taking Back America". By now, interest has grown so high from other youth groups that Cash is thinking of starting up new websites catering to hip-hoppers for Dean and skaters for Dean.

"Nobody's ever tapped into this demographic, and it kicks ass," she says on the phone from Arizona, where she is setting up new chapters of her organization. The way she sees it, she's helping to effect a seismic shift in the way American politics operates by energising the half of the electorate that never usually votes.

I still believe this won't work. Dean may galvanize them for the primaries, but when the time comes for the general election he's going to be forced to the center to get the major voting block he needs. These jokers on the fringes will become even more bent out of shape than they are now and dump Dean like a load of bad concrete by either going to some other nut on the left (oh where oh where is Ralphie Nader) or not voting at all. Of course, Dean's move to the center won't work because Karl Rove is going to tie him in knots from all the kooky statements he's already made to speak to his base. Ahh, fun indeed.
You Tell Them Joe!!

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) charged yesterday that former Vermont governor Howard Dean will "melt in a minute" under Republican attacks if he becomes the Democratic presidential nominee and said it was "outrageous" of Dean to suggest that Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe step in and shield him from growing criticism by his rivals.

I mentioned this yesterday and it appears that the dems are (or at least one dem is) jumping on the bandwagon against Dean's comments. Although Lieberman is a horrible presidential candidate, I think what he's saying on foreign policy and national defense is far more sensible than anything the current crop of clowns is saying on those issues. Dean, for one, is going to get butchered during the general election campaign, if he's the nominee. By the way, yesteday I bought a W. 2004 hat off the Bush website. Go there if you want to buy one. (I get nothing from this, but I wish I did.) I can't wait to wear it wherever I go in my liberal state.
It's good to see that we haven't abandoned Afghanistan despite the left's claim that Iraq was a distraction. Those twits need to remember that the US can chew gum and walk at the same time. But maybe it's about time we did more gum chewing.

The U.S. military said Tuesday it killed 10 suspected rebels and captured more than 100 other people in a four-week old operation it has billed as the largest since the fall of the Taliban two years ago.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Candidates Criticize Bush on Beef Safety

Several Democratic candidates said they plan to make beef safety a major issue as they campaign this week in Iowa, which is the eighth-largest cattle-producing state and where presidential nominating precinct caucuses will be held Jan. 19.

Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) issued a five-point plan for responding to the mad cow discovery, including more inspections and federal aid to the beef industry. "The current mad cow investigation underscores the urgent need for a national system to make diseased livestock easier to track and contain," he said. "I urge President Bush for once not to listen to the demands of corporate America and act on behalf of the health and economic needs of all Americans."

Wow, that's a surprise. When have the candidates not complainted about Bush on any issue. One thing they need to remember, this issue reared its head too early to make a difference in the general election and last time I checked, BSE (mad cow) has killed exactly 0 (yes, zero!) people in the US, while it's killed 143 in Britain. I realize there is potential for an outbreak, but our food supply is the safest in the world. Sure, there are addition safeguards that we could apply, but at this point there is no cause for alarm. People just need to be sensible about this issue and go to their local McDonald's and have a Big Mac.
Howard Dean's Cry for Help:

Former Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont said yesterday that the people drawn to politics by his campaign might stay home if he doesn't win his party's presidential nomination, thereby dooming Democrats in the fall campaign against President Bush.
"If I don't win the nomination, where do you think those million and a half people, half a million on the Internet, where do you think they're going to go?" he said during a meeting with reporters.
"I don't know where they're going to go. They're certainly not going to vote for a conventional Washington politician," Mr. Dean said.

This sounds like a shot at the democrat establishment to accept him or else. Up until 1996, I was a registered democrat. During each primary, I would vote for the biggest democrat loser on the ballot, even to the point where I voted for Jessie Jackson in 1988 and Jerry Brown in 1992. I feel I was instrumental in handing my state (which one could that be?) to Brown, almost destroying Clinton's chances that year. Oh, but I digress.

As for Dean, if he does or doesn't win, a large group of dems will be turned off in the general election. He either galvanizes or divides voters, it's that simple. He's trying to find people who don't typically vote in elections. The last two presidential candidates that tried that were George McGovern and Barry Goldwater. I wonder what happened to them?
The Miracle of Baghdad
Startling new Army statistics show that strife-torn Baghdad - considered the most dangerous city in the world - now has a lower murder rate than New York.
The newest numbers, released by the Army's 1st Infantry Division, reveal that over the past three months, murders and other crimes in Baghdad are decreasing dramatically and that in the month of October, there were fewer murders per capita there than the Big Apple, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

The Bush administration and outside experts are touting these new figures as a sign that, eight months after the fall of Saddam Hussein, major progress is starting to be made in the oft-criticized effort by the United States and coalition partners to restore order and rebuild Iraq.

This is good news, but I don't think I'll be moving there anytime soon.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Sorry, I've been away for the past week. I will start posting again tomorrow. Thanks for the few people that have shown up.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

I was perusing the Official Howard Dean website and found this link to Republicans for Dean. Be careful, you must self-lobotomize before reading too deep into that site. I'm glad we can dump our nuts into that campaign. Anyone who claims to be a Republican but roots for Howard Dean is no Republican. We're happy to be rid of you.
Madame Albright has finally exposed herself as part of the loony left. She told Mort Kondracke in the FoxNews green room that bin Laden was being held by the Bush administration and they would probably unveil him right before the election. She claimed yesterday that she was joking.

When will the so-called democrat establishment distance itself from these loopy theories. I was a democrat up until 6 years ago when kooks like this pushed me to the Republicans. Although I vote my mind, the dems still believe nuts like this have a legitimate point to make.

By the way, Trent Lott claimed he was joking too.
Madonna Endorses Clark After One Hour Meeting:

"I think he has a good handle on foreign policy, I think he's good with people, and I think he has a heart and a consciousness," pop singer Madonna said. "He's interested in spirituality -- I mean, those things mean a lot to me."

The singer and children's book author met Clark a few weeks ago for over an hour. In an interview recorded last week with CNN's Denise Quan, Madonna said they discussed his becoming president.

Madonna's previous presidential endorsements include Walter Mondale, Mike Dukakis, and George McGovern. I hear Tiffany is announcing her presidential endorsement later today.
A resourceful reader tipped Andrew Sullivan on the duplicitous views of the NYTimes editorial board regarding Saddam Hussein and the threat to the world.

"Saddam Hussein has long been an obsession for the world, and particularly the United States. Yet Iraq was so cut off from the outside that it was impossible for anyone — including, it seems, American intelligence officials — to get a clear picture of who he really was... George W. Bush's Saddam Hussein was both vicious and efficient — a combination that made him a clear and imminent threat to international security. He not only had the will to harm his neighbors and the United States, he had the means. He was rapidly expanding an arsenal of biological and chemical weapons while steadily moving closer to becoming a nuclear power. He was so clever and well organized that he might surprise the world with nuclear weapons at any time. And although his regime was a secular one, it was so single-minded in its anti-Americanism that it was undoubtedly working with the radical Islamist terrorists of Al Qaeda." - New York Times editorial, December 17, 2003.

"Mr. Bush's blunt assessment of the Iraqi threat and the need for a firm, united response by the United Nations were well put. Iraq, with its storehouses of biological toxins, its advanced nuclear weapons program, its defiance of international sanctions and its ambitiously malignant dictator, is precisely the kind of threat that the United Nations was established to deal with. Betting on the good faith of Saddam Hussein or trusting that the problem will fade away is unrealistic. As Mr. Bush said, after a decade of Iraqi defiance the U.N. faces a defining moment and a test of its purpose and resolve." - New York Times editorial, September 13, 2002.

And yes, the UN punted with the democrats and the liberal media proving the blocking.
"Dean the Fibber"

The Washington Post this morning has a front page article reciting the false statements and shoot-from-the-hip attitude Dean has taken over the years. It's a good read although it's irritating when compared with the slant they put on Bush in that he outright lied concerning weapons of mass destruction, al-Qaeda, etc. Jerks.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Despite capitulation from the Euroweenies, we're still playing hardball with Canada. Sorry my beer-swilling friends from the north, we aren't going to forget whose side your were on in this war. We realize that you have troops in Afghanistan, but throw us a bone by making an offer to supply troops in Iraq. Otherwise, go screw yourself.
Bush gets a diplomatic victory by compelling France and Germany to ease the debt burden on Iraq. With all the handwringing last week by the left, you would think maybe someone would cover this in the news. But no, it barely warrants a mention.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Asswipe Alert:
Howard Dean declared on Monday that "the capture of Saddam Hussein has not made America safer".

Joe Lieberman responded:

"If he truly believes the capture of this evil man has not made America safer, then Howard Dean has put himself in his own spider hole of denial," Mr. Lieberman said. "I fear that the American people will wonder if they will be safer with him as president."

I fully expect Dean will be the nominee for the democrats. With words and beliefs such as the above, he is going to go down in flames. I can't wait.

Okay Jim, time to take off the tin-foil hat.

In an interview Monday with a Seattle radio station, McDermott said the U.S. military could have found the former Iraqi dictator "a long time ago if they wanted."

Asked if he thought the weekend capture was timed to help Bush, McDermott chuckled and said, "Yeah. Oh, yeah."

McDermott went on to say, "There's too much by happenstance for it to be just a coincidental thing."

When interviewer Dave Ross asked again if he meant to imply the Bush administration timed the capture for political reasons, McDermott said: "I don't know that it was definitely planned on this weekend, but I know they've been in contact with people all along who knew basically where he was. It was just a matter of time till they'd find him.

"It's funny," McDermott added, "when they're having all this trouble, suddenly they have to roll out something."

McDermott in Hot Water for Saddam Quip

I have to call a friend in Seattle today and ask her if they will ever vote this clown out of office. This guy has to go.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

It's good to see that the EUnichs are finally taking it on the chin. Lefties have been telling me incessently that Europe is going to unite and take the US down economically. Well, so much for that as the EU Stares Into the Void Without Constitution. They're too divided to make this work. Plus, their proposed Constitution was nothing more than a leftie wish-list of "fundamental whinings". They should be happy this thing may fly into the dustbin where it belongs.

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union's future course was cast into uncertainty Sunday after summit talks on a new constitution collapsed just five months before the bloc is due to expand into eastern Europe.

Poland and the Czech Republic warned against Franco-German talk of a "two-speed Europe" while Britain said Saturday's breakdown of negotiations to devise a new rulebook for a union of 25 nations would have little effect.

EU leaders Saturday aborted a summit due to approve the landmark constitution -- two years in the making -- when a clash over voting power pitting giants France and Germany against Spain and Poland proved insuperable.

"We got him!"

A salute to the boys in the 4th ID and Task Force 21. I suspect attacks may pick up for a short time and then drop off as their enthusiasm for the return of Saddam finally hits home.

This is a great day indeed. Maybe this news will give a shot in the arm to the search for bin Laden. Let's hope.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Related to the post below, it looks like the folks at PNAC don't agree with the decsion by the Bush administration. I note this because a whole host of lefties believe that PNAC was a conspiracy to invade Iraq before Bush became president. Of course, if you go to PNAC and read what they have to say, especially Rebuilding America's Defenses, it says nothing of the sort. In fact, for years they supported an internal revolt where the US would assist with enlarged no-fly zones. The lefties of course, have their ears plugged on the grassy knoll.

December 11, 2003



SUBJECT: Contracts for Iraq: Reverse the Pentagon's Decision

President Bush, we suspect, is going to overrule the Pentagon's attempt to exclude from the bidding for Iraq reconstruction contracts certain countries that have opposed U.S. policy in Iraq. He might as well do it sooner rather than later, so as to minimize the diplomatic damage done by the Pentagon's heavy-handed and counterproductive action.

We hold no brief for the Chirac, Schroeder, or Putin governments. We are also very much in favor of finding ways to work more closely with other governments -- such as those of Britain, Spain and Poland -- who have courageously stood with us, and who hold the promise of continuing to be more helpful to us. We have even been critical of the Bush Administration for a certain lack of imagination in finding ways to work constructively with these friendly governments. But this particular effort by the Pentagon to reward friends and punish enemies is stupid, and should be abandoned.
Over the last two days, I've heard lots of whining about certain non-coalition countries being barred from participating in US funded prime contracts. I've also read quite a bit of misinformation from people claiming that our government is engaging in cronyism by favoring US contractors, specifically a report from the Center for Public Integrity published in October. The following article from Slate blows some good holes in their report.

Fables of the Reconstruction
Bush isn't really favoring Halliburton and Bechtel.
By Daniel Drezner

A new report by the Center for Public Integrity attempts to prove something that many people simply assume to be true: that the Bush administration has strongly favored cronies and campaign contributors in awarding reconstruction contracts for Iraq and Afghanistan. The CPI devoted six months to research and filed more than 70 Freedom of Information Act requests and appeals to get to the bottom of the story. The conclusion of the report, "Windfalls of War," is that a clear quid pro quo exists between government procurement and campaign contributions to George W. Bush. Charles Lewis, the group's executive director, released a statement arguing that the report reveals "a stench of political favoritism and cronyism surrounding the contracting process in both Iraq and Afghanistan."

There's just one problem: The CPI has no evidence to support its allegations.

The basic hypothesis of the report is that campaign contributions must have affected the allocation of reconstruction contracts; Halliburton's and Bechtel's large reconstruction contracts and generous support of politicians hint at such a finding. However, a closer look at the guts of the CPI report—the list of contract winners and the list of campaign contributions—exposes the flimsiness of this charge.

Consider the top 10 U.S. contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan in terms of dollars. The Washington Post story on the CPI report suggests a sinister connection:

The winners of the top 10 contracts for work in Iraq and Afghanistan contributed about $1 million a year to national political parties, candidates and political action committees since 1990, according to the group, which studies the links between money and politics.

However, a glance at Table 1 shows that of the 10 largest contractors, only four firms made contributions greater than $250,000 over the entire 12-year span of the study. Another four firms among the top 10 averaged less than $1,000 per year in campaign contributions, a pittance by Beltway standards. The Post's statement is technically accurate but conceals the fact that over 85 percent of the total figure comes from only three firms.

Table 1: Top 10 U.S. Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan

Company Size of reconstruction contracts (in dollars) Campaign contributions (in dollars)
Kellogg Brown & Root (Halliburton) $2,329,040,891 $2,379,792
Bechtel Group Inc. 1,029,833,000 3,310,102
International American Products Inc. 526,805,651 2,500
Perini Corp. 525,000,000 119,000
Contrack International Inc. 500,000,000 2,000
Fluor Corp. 500,000,000 3,624,173
Washington Group International 500,000,000 1,185,232
Research Triangle Institute 466,070,508 1,950
Louis Berger Group 300,000,000 212,456
Creative Associates International Inc. 217,139,368 10,300

On the other hand, if you look at Table 2, top 10 campaign contributors, you find that only four of them received more than $100 million in contracts—and none of those top four donors are in the top 10 for contracts. General Electric, the biggest campaign contributor, has actually spent more in contributions than it has received in reconstruction contracts. Bechtel and Halliburton have given millions in political contributions, but the top 10 lists don't support the notion that those campaign contributions were responsible for their winning bids.

Table 2: Top 10 Campaign Contributors Among Contractors for Iraq and Afghanistan

Company Size of reconstruction contracts (in dollars) Campaign contributions (in dollars)
General Electric Co. 5,927,870 8,843,884
Vinnell Corp. (Northrop Grumman) 48,074,442 8,517,247
BearingPoint Inc. 143,683,885 4,949,139
Science Applications International Corp. 38,000,000 4,704,909
Fluor Corp. 500,000,000 3,624,173
Bechtel Group Inc. 1,029,833,000 3,310,102
Kellogg Brown & Root (Halliburton) 2,329,040,891 2,379,792
American President Lines Ltd. 5,000,000 2,185,303
Dell Marketing LP 513,678 1,774,971
Parsons Corp. 89,000,000 1,403,508

The CPI report covers 70 firms that have received money for reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq from the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Department of Defense. That's a large enough sample to provide an imperfect test of the Center for Public Integrity's underlying argument that contributions lead to contracts. If the corruption argument is true, then the size of campaign contributions should be strongly and positively correlated with the size of government contracts.

Running the numbers, the good news for the Center for Public Integrity is that there is indeed a positive correlation between contributions and contracts. The bad news is, the correlation coefficient [What is the Correlation Coefficient? The correlation coefficient a concept from statistics is a measure of how well trends in the predicted values follow trends in the actual values in the past. It is a measure of how well the predicted values from a forecast model "fit" with the real-life data. The correlation coefficient is a number between 0 and 1. If there is no relationship between the predicted values and the actual values the correlation coefficient is 0 or very low (the predicted values are no better than random numbers). As the strength of the relationship between the predicted values and actual values increases so does the correlation coefficient. A perfect fit gives a coefficient of 1.0. Thus the higher the correlation coefficient the better.] turns out to be 0.192 and not statistically significant. To understand how weak those numbers are, go to this Web site and move your cursor to 0.2. An old joke among statistically minded social scientists is that "the world is correlated at 0.3."

A conscious effort to reward Bush cronies with lucrative government contracts would require a lot more coordination than the CPI uncovers.

Apparently, Dennis Kucinich went on a date with a conetest winner up in New Hampshire. The runner up got two dates. I hate to say this, but the winner looks like a female Eddie Munster.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

This is a new ad put out by George Bush on his official website. It's a start, but I know they can do much better than this. Come on Karl, I can't wait to see the real dicing and slicing to begin.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Howeird Dean's website has a Donation Page that plays up the 2000 election. Wow, the dems are still delusional over that? This is the same thinking that undid the dems against Jeb in Florida. It looks like they're going to go over the cliff again. This is going to be fun to watch.

Monday, December 08, 2003

We need to find these weapons:

He also insisted that the information contained in the dossier relating to Saddam's battlefield WMD capability was correct. "It is 100 per cent accurate," he said after reading the relevant passage.

The devices, which were known by Iraqi officers as "the secret weapon", were made in Iraq and designed to be launched by hand-held rocket-propelled grenades. They could also have been launched sooner than the 45-minutes claimed in the dossier.

"Forget 45 minutes," said Col al-Dabbagh "we could have fired these within half-an-hour."

I still believe that Saddam had wmds, but somehow skirted them out of the country or buried them, biding his time to use them at a later date. I still don't understand why the lefties cry about how Bush lied on this issue. It's not over yet. Remember, Iraq is the size of California and the weapons we're looking for can fit in a couple of tractor trailers. Imagine giving someone five years (starting in 1998) to hide something and then trying to find it. It took the government how many years to find Eric Rudolph hiding in the woods in NC. And for people they have to come up for air, while wmds can just sit forever. The left is jumping the gun on this, just like they jumped the gun on the looting of the museums. We all remember what happened (or didn't happen) there. Time will tell.
I've been to Madras (actually Chennai) and it would be terrible to see it sink into the Bay of Bengal, but this sounds fishy. Could it be the typical bellowing from the left? The sky is falling. In any event, the last place that can afford the billions claimed to fix this problem is India. Plus, who the hell knows what needs to be fixed and how to fix it. It's all a bunch of hooey.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Googling: You want a miserable failure, here's a miserable failure.
The Democrats have found their issue for the 2004 campaign with the Halliburton turkey. I think I'll hire Halliburton for my next dinner party. My liberal friends would scream.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Justices Hear Case on Using Death Photos of Official
New York Times ^ | December 4, 2003 | LINDA GREENHOUSE

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 — Although Vincent W. Foster Jr., the Clinton administration's deputy White House counsel, killed himself more than 10 years ago, the controversy provoked by his death has yet to run its course. The Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday on whether the Freedom of Information Act obliges the government to make public the graphic photographs that the police took of the death scene in Fort Marcy Park in McLean, Va.

The question was whether the release of the photographs, sought by a California lawyer who questions the official conclusion that the death was a suicide, would be an unwarranted invasion of the privacy of Mr. Foster's surviving family members.

While the Freedom of Information Act broadly requires the disclosure of government records, it has an exemption for law enforcement records that "could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."


Mr. Favish has maintained, and repeated in court, that the photographs would demonstrate inconsistencies in the official reports of the death and show that the government had been negligent in determining what really happened.

Justice Antonin Scalia, for one, was not impressed.

"You've just demonstrated some foot faults," Justice Scalia told Mr. Favish. "Who cares?"

Thank you Justice Scalia, my sentiments exactly.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Man Burns Life Savings, Fails Suicide Bid
Tue Dec 2,10:31 AM ET

PARIS (Reuters) - A Frenchman who burned his life savings to a cinder before swallowing two bottles of pills is facing life with an empty bank account after neighbors foiled his suicide attempt.

The man, in his 40s, has been recovering in a psychiatric hospital since late October when neighbors in the southwestern town of Bordeaux saw smoke coming from his house and called the emergency services, the daily Liberation reported on Tuesday.

The man, who lived alone, had cleared out his bank balance of 240,000 euros ($288,500) and set fire to the pile of 500 euro notes in his bath before swallowing the pills, hoping to leave nothing behind after his death.

However, he was now eager to start a new life, his lawyer Dominique Remy told the newspaper. "He is not dangerous. It's just that he's destroyed all his worth," he said.

Next time, jump into the burning euros.
Howeird Dean Wants to Break Up Media Companies: (Hat tip to Drudge)
MATTHEWS: Are you going to break up the giant media enterprises in this country?

DEAN: Yes, we`re going to break up giant media enterprises. That doesn`t mean we`re going to break up all of GE.

What we`re going to do is say that media enterprises can`t be as big as they are today. I don`t think we actually have to break them up, which Teddy Roosevelt had to do with the leftovers from the McKinley administration.

Dean explained how "11 companies in this country control 90 percent of what ordinary people are able to read and watch on their television. That`s wrong. We need to have a wide variety of opinions in every community. We don`t have that because of Michael Powell and what George Bush has tried to do to the FCC."

This guy is dangerous. I realize this appeals to the wacky left that votes in the primaries, so there shouldn't be any worries that the general populace would touch this guy, I hope, but how can someone running in 2004 actually believe this stuff. I think he needs to spend more time in the real world and less time in Vermont with the cows and the kooks. Maybe he's a "retro-sexual" of the Stalin-type readying us for one of his Five Year Plans?

Monday, December 01, 2003

Howard Dean assails Bush on defense.
Howard Dean launched a full-throated attack on President Bush's foreign policy acumen Sunday, saying Bush has "no understanding of defense," is conducting diplomacy by "petulance" and lacks "the backbone to stand up against the Saudis."

Amid a crush of well wishers seeking autographs at a high school here, Dean said of Bush: "I think he's made us weaker. He doesn't understand what it takes to defend this country, that you have to have high moral purpose. He doesn't understand that you better keep troop morale high rather than just flying over for Thanksgiving," as Bush did in visiting Baghdad.

At another town hall meeting, in Manchester, Dean added: "Mr. President, if you'll pardon me, I'll teach you a little about defense."

Thanks for the lessons Howard but our President doesn't need your vitriolic rantings concerning something you no nothing about. It's laughable that a two-bit governor of a state with more cows than people and more vietnam draft-dodgers than any other state, would dare to speak on defense and foreign policy issues. Maybe you can give President Bush some moguls or slalom lessons, but that's about it. I can't wait for the general election to see yet another Northeastern liberal get wiped off the electoral map.
This is the Reid Sentencing Transcript. I know it's from earlier this year but it should not be forgotten:
On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutive one with the other. That's 80 years.

On Count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years consecutive to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you on each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 for the aggregate fine of $2 million.

The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

The Court imposes upon you the $800 special assessment.

The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need not go any further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and a just sentence. It is a righteous sentence. Let me explain this to you.

We are not afraid of any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is all too much war talk here. And I say that to everyone with the utmost respect.

Here in this court where we deal with individuals as individuals, and care for individuals as individuals, as human beings we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or that happens to be your view, you are a terrorist.

And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not treat with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists.

We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You're a big fellow. But you're not that big. You're no warrior. I know warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal guilty of multiple attempted murders.

In a very real sense Trooper Santiago had it right when first you were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where the TV crews were and you said you're no big deal. You're no big deal.

What your counsel, what your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today? I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing.

And I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you. But as I search this entire record it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose.

Here, in this society, the very winds carry freedom. They carry it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely.

It is for freedom's seek that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go on in their, their representation of you before other judges. We care about it. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties.

Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms.

Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. Day after tomorrow it will be forgotten. But this, however, will long endure. Here, in this courtroom, and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done.

The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged, and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag still stands for freedom. You know it always will. Custody, Mr. Officer. Stand him down.

I lost a friend from college on 9/11 and I won't forget. We need to drain the swamps where the Richard Reids of the world swim and kill them. They deserve no mercy.
U.S. Forces Kill 54 Iraqis After Ambushes
2 South Koreans, Colombian, Killed In Separate Attacks
By Alan Sipress
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, December 1, 2003; 10:52 AM

BAGHDAD, Dec. 1 -- U.S. forces killed at least 54 Iraqis in fierce fighting Sunday while repulsing a series of ambushes against two U.S. military convoys in the central Iraqi city of Samarra, military officials said early Monday.

After putting down the attacks with tank and cannon fire, U.S. troops discovered that many of the dead and wounded Iraqis were wearing uniforms of Saddam's Fedayeen, a militia loyal to former president Saddam Hussein, according to Master Sgt. Robert Cargie, a spokesman for the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division.

The fighting erupted around 1 p.m. Sunday after more than 100 insurgents ambushed the separate U.S. supply convoys, military officials said. The convoys were carrying Iraqi currency into the city as part of a program to replace old bills bearing Hussein's picture with new money.

I think it's time we brought back the body counts. All we ever hear about are American dead. I'd like to know the kill ratios to put down liberal spin.
More proof Bush was right.
Saddam sought missile factory, Iraqi files show

New York Times

WASHINGTON -- It was Saddam Hussein's last weapons deal -- and it did not go exactly as he and his generals imagined.

For two years before the American invasion of Iraq, Saddam's sons, generals and front companies were engaged in lengthy negotiations with North Korea, according to computer files discovered by international inspectors and the accounts of Bush administration officials. The officials now say they believe that those negotiations -- mostly conducted in neighboring Syria, apparently with the knowledge of the Syrian government -- were not merely to buy a few North Korean missiles.

Nevertheless, you won't see this on BrokawRather or that idiot Canadian tonight.
Update: I forgot to add, it's nice to see Saddam get screwed by Kim. Hahahahaha.
An interesting read on Presidents' attending funerals. The left has been hammering Bush on this non-issue. In fact, this is a policy that started in 1991, and only recently has been enforced because of settled civil suit.
The Faux outrage. over this "political decision" from Clinton's former spinmeister Joe Lockhart is especially galling. But we'll let that go and simply point out that, as Milbank had to acknowledge, this policy started - military-wide - under Bill Clinton. And the original Dover policy actually dates back to 1991. The only thing that's changed is that, a civil suit against the restrictions at Dover having been won by the government, it is now being enforced.
As usual, the left needs to get a life and take their hits. In line with that, I can't wait for the Dean juggernaut to fall off the tracks.
The French are doing a bang up job in the Ivory Coast.
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (December 1, 5:30 a.m. PST) - A pro-government mob was laying siege to a French military base in Ivory Coast's commercial capital Monday, and French forces were firing tear gas and rounds to try to break up the crowd.

French soldiers, in Ivory Coast to enforce a cease-fire in the former French colony, left the base in armored personnel carriers to confront the 250-strong, rock-throwing mob.

Shots could be heard from the base, but it was not clear whether they were rubber bullets or live rounds. White fumes rose from tear gas fired by the French, and black smoke billowed from a roadblock of burning metal drums set afire at the base gates by the loyalist young men.

White smoke or white flags? Time to start the surrender talks.
Hate Bush bash, Hollywood style...




Top Hollywood activists and intellectuals are planning to gather this week in Beverly Hills for an event billed as 'Hate Bush,' the DRUDGE REPORT has learned!

Laurie David [wife of SEINFELD creator Larry David] has sent out invites to the planned Tuesday evening meeting at the Hilton with the bold heading: 'Hate Bush 12/2 - Event'

The message reads:

"This is the most important meeting you can attend to prevent the advancement of the current extremist right wing agenda. Do not miss this meeting. This will be a high-level briefing to discuss the strategies... to affect what happens next November."

Political heavies Harold Ickes, Former Deputy White House Chief of Staff and Campaign Manager for the ¹96 Clinton/Gore re-elect, and Ellen Malcolm, Founder of Emily¹s List, a political action committee that elects pro-choice, Democratic women, will chair the gathering.

Names included on the "HATE BUSH" invite, obtained by DRUDGE, include:

Julie Bergman: producer ("G.I. Jane," "The Fabulous Baker Boys," "Washington Square"), daughter of lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Came up with the anti-Iraq war "silent protest" idea for Oscars where celebrities wore blue-and-green quarter-sized peace sign pins.

Scott Burns: "Got Milk?" campaign creator and producer of Arianna Huffington ad campaign which linked SUVs with terrorism.

Steve Byrnes & Jamie Mandelbaum: Jamie is an entertainment attroney at Armstrong, Hirsch -- represents Hillary Duff, Tori Spelling, among others.

Ariel "Ari" Emanuel: Emanuel is a founding partner of Endeavor Talent agency. Brother of White House Rahm and agent to West Wing Sorkin.

Naomi Foner: Screenwriter of RUNNING ON EMPTY, LOSING ISAIAH; executive producer of HOMEGROWN a comedy thriller set in northern California about inept but lovable pot farmers.

Cami Gordon: Children's book author lives in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Member of Mothers for Natural Law. Husband Howard, producer ("X-Files", "Strange World").

Robert Greenwald: Executive producer of the 2002 documentary, UNPRECEDENTED: THE 2000 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, about the "stealing" of the 2000 presidential election in Florida. Also produced CROOKED E: THE UNSHREDDED TRUTH ABOUT ENRON. He and Mike Farrell started "Artists United," a group of actors and other stars opposed to war in Iraq.

Lyn Lear: Wife of Norman Lear.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: 'SNL', 'Seinfeld' alum. Married to fellow SNL alum and sitcom producer Brad Hall.

Laure & Daniel Stern: Daniel is actor (CITY SLICKERS, HOME ALONE).

Marge Tabankin & Earl Katz: Tabankin is Barbra Streisand's philanthropic and political guru. Ran the Hollywood Women's Political Committee.

Heather Thomas: Actress ("The Fall Guy"), 80s pin-up model. Married to Skip Brittenham, top Hollywood lawyer.


Hate Bush

Who are the extremists? Bush or the ones putting on a Hate Bush bash? Idiots.