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Dishwasher Gate

The world of Madame Clin Tong. Plus: The Huckabee campaign's Chip shots. Fred's a friend of McCain too. Pastors need friends too. Plus much more.

10.29.07

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THE EGG ROLL CONNECTION
Re: Lee Cary's More Peking Duck:

There is no question that China represents a serious long-term commercial, political and military threat to the United States and the West in general. That their spies, criminals and agitators are attracted to the Clintons and eager to support them financially should be a red flag to all Americans. Mr. Cary's piece leaves unanswered the question what the Chinese intend to do with the influence they purchase. Fred Thompson tried to address that issue with a Senate investigation into Chinese contributions to Bill Clinton's administration, but his efforts were effectively thwarted by the Democrats, led by John Glenn. I've always wondered what the Democrats were so keen to hide and have felt that by his actions Senator Glenn slumped from legitimate national hero to cheap political hack.
-- Robert M. Bulk
Wilmington, Delaware

Is there not one courageous person who will investigate the Wicked Witch of the East? Where are the Bernsteins and Woodwards in this century? Are all the journalists and investigators cowering in the corner while this awful woman runs for the most important seat in the country? I am very, very disgusted with the media with the exception of Fox News. The newspapers in this country are even worse.
-- Ruth
Colorado

First, anyone who thinks the money given to the Clintons by the Chinese dishwashers et al. was their own money must have willingly suspended their disbelief. (Back at ya, Madame Clin Tong.)

Second, it's clearer than won ton soup that the Chinese couldn't have a better surrogate in the White House than Hillary if they were allowed to choose one themselves.

Who wants to bet that she won't have the White House painted red within a month? (Leaded paint, of course.)

Two fortune cookies and an egg roll says she does.
-- A.C. Santore

IF IT'S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE
Re: Chip Saltsman's letter in reply to Quin Hillyer (under "Chip Shots") in Reader Mail's Banking on Rush and John "Chip" Saltsman's letter (under "The Huckabee Record") in Reader Mail's Huckabee for President Responds:

What a poor attempt at damage control by Gov. Huckabee's national campaign manager. After two tries, he still can't get it right.

What Mr. Saltsman fails to acknowledge, or even understand, is that the Parole Board members involved in the decision to re-hear the parole request (and reverse their initial vote) stated that they were put under direct pressure by the former governor (as well as his prison liaison, Butch Reeves) to release Wayne Dumond. Those members included board chairman Leroy Brownlee, Ermer Pondexter, Dr. Charles Chastain, and Deborah Springer Suttlar.

As payback for the re-vote, Brownlee was reappointed to the board by Huckabee According to the Arkansas Times, board member Suttlar noted that just prior to Huckabee's appearance before the board, the board had voted 4-1 against Dumond's parole. After Huckabee's board appearance, her colleagues largely reversed themselves, voting 4-1 for Dumond's release.

"Why did all the votes change?" Suttlar asked. "The board members knew the governor's position. And Huckabee knows what influence a governor has over a board. Who's going to turn down a governor?"

And that's not all. Again, according to the Times, Gov. Huckabee announced his intention to commute Wayne Dumond's sentence to time served prior to the board's re-hearing. The governor and his staff were unprepared for the public outcry that followed his announcement that he was likely to free Dumond.

Under state law, the governor had to wait at least 30 days -- but not more than 120 -- after his clemency announcement to allow the public, legislators, prosecutors, and other interested parties to present their views before he made a final decision. As it turned out, the board voted four days before the deadline to parole Dumond, sparing Huckabee from the decision.

Essentially, the Parole Board saved Gov. Huckabee from a major political embarrassment, and a potentially career-ending decision.
-- Owen H. Carneal, Jr.
Yorktown, Virginia

The very first time I heard the story of Wayne Dumond was back in the mid- to late-nineties when Rush Limbaugh was lamenting his plight.

Mr. Limbaugh recounted the story of how Dumond had been hogtied and castrated by a deputy sheriff. In vivid detail, Mr. Limbaugh described how the sheriff placed Dumond's (well, you know) into a jar of formaldehyde for prominent display on his desk.

My distinct recollection is that Mr. Limbaugh was coming to the defense of Dumond. In fact, Mr. Limbaugh used the Dumond story to illustrate the excesses of the Clinton machine.

Now, if my recollection is wrong, I apologize in advance to Mr. Limbaugh. But if my recollection is correct, I think we need to be consistent about this story.

After all, if the most prominent voice of the conservative movement came to the defense of Dumond, then the American Spectator needs to lambaste Mr. Limbaugh for making Dumond a figure of sympathy.
-- M. Daniel Wilson
Starkville, Mississippi

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS
Re: Liz Mair's Running Interference for Rudy:

In her article, Ms. Mair makes a couple of almost off handed remarks about McCain and Romney not liking each other, then remarks that McCain and Rudy G. are friends. Ok, so be it. I do wonder, however, if friendship is not a sometime thing among politicians, and something that can change at a moment's notice. It has been said that McCain and Thompson were friends when in the Senate together. Are they no longer friends? Why would McCain not back Thompson as a fall back position, since Thompson backed some of McCain's bills in the Senate?

No one within the punditry seems to want to publicly note McCain's volcanic, hair trigger temper. I can only assume that no one considers temperament important in an American President. I do consider it important, very important. I do not want someone in the Oval Office, with his/her fingers on the controls of the most mighty, most lethal military in the world today, that is subject to unpredictable fits of temper at a moment's notice. I would argue that the Vietnam War blew up when a president with a volatile, hair trigger temper, LBJ, got mad over the Gulf of Tonkin incident, lost his temper, and whose ego would not allow him to thereafter admit a mistake. I would submit that, for good or ill, Sen. McCain has the same temper characteristics and same ego characteristics as LBJ. I don't want Sen. McCain sitting in the Oval Office making decisions in a fit of pique that cost Americans their lives unnecessarily.

That is one of the things that I like about Fred Thompson. Many folks, particularly the GOP leaning pundits are talking about Fred not being fiery, and aggressive in attacking the other candidates. They fault him for his calm, reasoned pronouncements of where he stands and where we, as a nation, should go. I see that as a distinct plus. I believe that he would make life or death national decisions coolly, deliberately, in a timely manner, but after logical dispassionate discussion and deliberation. In short, he won't get us in a war because he lost his temper. In my mind, he "looks Presidential." I can't exactly define that term, but I know it when I see it. None of the Dem. candidates and most of the GOP candidates simply do not "look Presidential."

We demand that Supreme Court Justice Nominees be of a certain temperament. We need to do the same regarding the candidates for the most powerful office in the world today, the American Presidency.
-- Ken Shreve

Whether John McCain is running interference for "America's Mayor" is irrelevant. What is important is that all the GOP hopefuls are brighter and more principled than any of the self-serving, pro-terrorist appeasing, tax thieving and degenerate Democrats. That includes coquette wannabe Mrs. Bill Clinton "the Nancy Pelosi of the US Senate."
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

FALLS FROM GRACE
Re: Lawrence Henry's What Happened:

Mr. Henry's piece filled me with sadness -- I have no doubt that his preacher had few friends in the congregation, not just "after" the drunk driving arrest, but before it as well.

We expect our pastors to have all the answers, to have their lives in perfect order, to never, ever slip up. We attend churches which profess that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God"...and then we deny our pastors' own humanity by insisting they must not ever fail at anything.
-- Brad Bettin

Lawrence Henry does an excellent job telling the story of his Pastor's fall from grace. I can empathize with him. Last year a former church where I had been a member and had served on the Deacon board, found that its Senior pastor had been involved in homosexual relations. Although my family had left the church several years ago due to an out of state move, we were still shocked to our core. This church went through the same stages as Mr. Henry describes. And as he describes, our Sr. Pastor really had no close friends in the congregation. Now almost a year later this church is beginning to grow again and is carrying on with its ministries. This speaks well of the remaining pastors and congregation that continued to focus on God and His work.

As for the former Pastor, he was a great preacher that could communicate God's message to where it could be understood by all. I know that many people came to know Christ as their personal Savior because of this one man. Yes, the Pastor fell from grace, but that is the beauty of having a risen Savior, all of us have sinned and fallen short, but we can be redeemed through our Savior, Christ Jesus. I believe my once fallen Pastor can and will be forgiven just as Mr. Henry's pastor will be.
-- Lee Schafer
New Caney Texas

Lawrence Henry's fine essay, "What Happened," reminds us while we can find God in our circumstances, we must serve others in theirs.
-- LeRoy Hurt

ENDLESS CHILDHOOD
Re: Christopher Orlet's Forever Young:

I couldn't make heads or tails out of Christopher Orlet's review of Diana West's book -- except either he or she dislikes old geezers riding Harleys. And it's true that across our nation older folks are indulging themselves with expensive and unnecessary toys. Was that the intended message? Yes, affluence is a terrible thing.

Or, maybe West or Orlet object to the flaunting which goes with the lifestyles of "Demon Grannies" and "Hell's Grandpas." Not only do these big Harleys start around 15 thousand, but then hundreds of additional dollars are wasted on leathers, boots and after-market exhaust pipes to replace the quiet, factory installed pipes. I could point out that even large bikes average 38 miles per gallon, while the smaller ones average 55 miles per gallon. But, I don't think Orlet meant older folks shouldn't drive fuel-efficient vehicles.

We should "act our age" -- whatever that means since neither West or Orlet bother to define that particular dictum. And, thanks for the tip about the popularity of Cartoon Network, but does any adult with an IQ over 80 actually watch CNN? Among the statistics Orlet didn't quote was the number of kids put through college by us irresponsible oldsters, the welfare and charity programs funded, the communities built -- in fact, all the tax money and discretionary income spent on someone other than ourselves.

Next January, the leading edge of 79 million Boomers will begin to enter retirement. By 2030, 60% of the federal budget will be needed to support retirees within an American population where those over 65 constitute a full 20%. But where will the untold billions come from to pay for the care of these aging Hog riders? I suspect the money won't be there in the future, it certainly isn't there now. Faced with the inevitable bankruptcy of Social Security, maybe the only meaningful consolation is to get on your Harley and ride.
-- Patrick Skurka
San Ramon, California

One group of Americans is bucking the trend personified by an aging and irrelevant Bill Clinton, perpetual adolescents and irresponsibility, the volunteers of the United States military who make possible the gutless and juvenile behavior of at least a plurality of Americans.
-- Chaplain Michael Tomlinson
1st Battalion 2d Marines
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES?
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Dr. Dobson and Justice Bork:

As a fiscal and social conservative, I too am conflicted about the political choices we face in the near future. I have read with interest the numerous comments concerning statements made by Dr. James Dobson. While I recognize that no candidate nominated by any party will perfectly embody every principle each individual feels is important, does this mean no one should set priorities to determine which issues are non-negotiable? To all those who have chosen to harshly criticize social conservatives for making the issue of life the top priority, why would you assume that a given candidate, especially one whose record shows a consistent disregard for the life of the unborn deserves to be the standard bearer for other life and death issues? If said candidate believes that one segment of the population does not deserve protection, how can we be sure there aren't other groups that would fail to pass muster according to his arbitrary standards? Just because a potential candidate makes a promise to appoint conservative judges, does that guarantee he will remain true to his word? How many times have so-called principled men reneged on campaign promises and opted instead for political expediency?

I find it interesting that only ones being asked to fall on their swords to preserve unity in the Republican Party are social conservatives. They are expected to abandon their highest principles and do their part to defeat the dreaded Hun; all at the urging of their conservative brethren for whom the specter of a Hillary Clinton led administration is the equivalent of hell on earth. It seems to me that Republicans have lost just as much credibility with voters because they abandoned their first principles in important areas such as: failing to curb profligate spending, offering amnesty instead of real immigration reform and their mismanagement of the war in Iraq. Why aren't the bean counters tallying the number of potential votes lost because of the party's dereliction in these areas? Why are those so concerned about the stance taken by James Dobson not decrying similar stands taken by those who have left the fold because of the party's other betrayals of conservatism and imploring them to remain loyal?

It is clear to me that the majority of the readers of TAS who have chosen to render an opinion regarding the recent remarks made by Dr. Dobson are persuaded that if a significant number of values voters bolt the Republican party, the Democrats are sure to win in 2008. That may be true but, according to all the polling information I've seen, Hillary Clinton leads all Republicans, even the darling of a lot of conservatives, Rudy Giuliani by a significant margin. Granted, it's too early to make any predictions about an election still over a year away, but I think Republicans have a lot of work to do within their own ranks to shore up their tarnished image and win back the trust of those who now feel disenfranchised. Finger pointing and making one faction the scapegoat for a defeat that has yet to occur seems to me to be counter-productive to that goal.

Some think that we must be prepared to accept a half-a-loaf approach to this year's election. My question to them is: How much mediocrity are we willing to accept just because some among us are quaking in their boots at the thought of Hillary Clinton in the White House? Do you really believe this type of alternative is likely to resonate with voters disgusted by the recent failures of the Republican Party and restore their confidence in the GOP? I don't consider the acceptance of a nominee based upon a presumption that he isn't as bad as the other guy to be a ringing endorsement.
-- Rick Arand
Lee's Summit, Missouri

HERE'S REALLY WHY
Re: Paul LaRue's letter (under "Here's Why") in Reader Mail's Banking on Rush:

I do not know Benazir Bhutto, Lech Walesa, or Vaclav Havel. Corazon Cojanco -- of the "coconut Cojangos" -- did not become a "housewife" upon marriage to Aquino, and aside from a failed "land reform" that stole the land of successful individual farmers to buy the votes of the "poor" while protecting the vast estates of the Cojancos did essentially nothing when she achieved power.
-- Paul Nelson

HUMOR ME
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s The Merry Sage of Broadcasting Excellence:

Thanks to dear old Bob for the Rush column. My wife and I were driving to Michigan last week when the final bid came through and simultaneously the pathetic REID horning in to try and earmark some credit for himself and his 'more than 40' humorless bounders. We nearly wrecked the car laughing...'Mayes'...'Mayes...Mayes...

Rush is a gift from God, he literally makes my day some days. As does Mr. Tyrrell on a fairly regular basis. Lots of serious stuff recently, however, and not as much humor. El Rushbo inspired Bob and it was thrilling. Please keep the comedy coming, Bobby, a few whacking guffaws are good for what ails you.
-- Ben Hester
Worthington, Ohio

THE STUFF OF HISTORY
Re: Judd Magilnick's Celebrate Victory on Crispin's Day, the letters under "English Speaking Easy" in Reader Mail's Huckabee for President Responds, and James Murray's letter (under "English for Starters") in Reader Mail's Banking on Rush:

All those who castigate Magilnick for referring to the "British" victory at Agincourt upon St. Crispin's Day should be made aware that while that army was led by the King of England (and putatively France
as well), its composition was in fact British, since the majority of the archers were from Wales, while there were also contingents of Scots and even a few Irish to be found in the ranks. In the Middle Ages, national allegiance was a fuzzy concept -- one's loyalty went first to one's feudal overlord, though in the 15th century many fought for money and went where the cash was found. The French army, for its part, had quite a few mercenary contingents, mainly to provide specialized skills. In between "official" wars against the French, those English and Welsh archers were in great demand in the wars of the Italian city-states, too.
-- Stuart Koehl
Falls Church, Virginia

Mr. James Murray of Ayrshire is correct in chiding Judd Magilnick for his use of the term "British" for King Harry's army and thereby implying the inclusion of Scots. It was Shakespeare with his character "Captain Jamy," no doubt, who created that mistaken impression, and it has stuck.

Mr. Murray errs, however, when including the Irish in the English state. Though subject to English dominion from the Twelfth Century, Ireland was a separate kingdom with its own parliament until its incorporation by the Act of Union in 1801.

Mr. Magilnick, meanwhile, should not blush at having referred to the Soviets as "Russians": the terms were interchangeable throughout the Cold War, even when the dictator was of some subject minority, be it Kalmyk, Georgian, or whatever. What should make him blush is his attempt to use "not proven" as a plea. While his legal counsel would likely urge him to enter a plea of not guilty, Scotland's -- and that weasel Specter's -- "not proven" is only a possible verdict.
-- Stephen Foulard
using God's Own English
in Houston, Texas

A MIGHTY WIND
Re: Patrick O'Hannigan's Remembering the Ramonans:

I enjoyed your article, but having grown up less than 40 miles from the Alamo and knowing some of the history, one spelling error drew my attention. According to Wikipedia (granted, not always the most reliable source), the Santa Ana winds get their name from local geographical features, not the 19th century dictator who terrorized Mexico. Santa Anna, the self-styled "Napoleon of the Americas," was an ambitious tyrant. You certainly got your historical reference accurate, although it may not be PC.

It might have made a nice literary flourish to the essay, but it was not necessarily correct.
-- Mark Long

Patrick O'Hannigan replies:
Mr. Long's point is well-taken, in that many scholars do argue that the seasonal winds were named for Santa Ana Canyon by people who wrongly thought they originated from that part of Orange County, California. It's also true that even when their spellings vary, coastal mountain ranges in California and old Spanish and Mexican surnames draw from the same canon of saints recognized by the Catholic Church since before Columbus landed in the New World.

But according to a January, 1958 issue of the Journal of San Diego History that I found online, the theory that these fierce winds were named for the blustery Mexican general who died in 1876 has been circulating since at least 1933, so my usage has a distinguished pedigree, as well as a bit of the literary heft that I'm glad Mr. Long found entertaining.

CAR MAN
Re: Greg Barnard's letter (under "Natchez Mobiles") in Reader Mail's Banking on Rush:

As I read the letter submitted by Greg Bernard about the antique cars on the Natchez Trace Parkway, I could not help thinking about the original article and letter regarding same. If anyone wants to know about what has happened to the antique and classic cars in America, all one must do is watch the multi-day Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction on the SPEED channel on TV. It is held every year in January from Scottsdale, Ariz. When you understand the sums of money that it takes just to register and bid, the fees and other expenses for a winning bidder, and the prices that are obtained for those truly beautiful autos, you will realize where all the restored old cars have gone.

I spend those days each year wishing that I, too, could own an original Carol Shelby Cobra, or a '54' two seater Thunderbird, or the early Vettes before the plastic bodies, or maybe a fully restored, matching numbers 'Cuda' with a big Hemi in it. Then I come to my senses and remind myself that I could not afford the gas to drive it. But it sure is fun to watch and drool. Just ask Jay Leno or Reggie Jackson.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

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