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Back to the Future

Reviving the Barrett Report. The Civil War left. Payback time: Day two. Driving like snails. Plus much more.

10.18.07

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RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE
Re: Quin Hillyer's Crooked Hillary:

Quin Hillyer has kicked it straight through the uprights again. All of Hillary Clinton's corrupt activities are going essentially unchallenged, and it is baffling. Once she is elected, there is no turning back. This is madness.
-- Cara Lyons Lege'
Frisco, Texas

Quin Hillyer's piece regarding skeletons in the Clinton closet is right on target. I would add one more scandal that really hasn't seen the light of day. It's told in the report of Special Counsel David M. Barrett.

Mr. Barrett's report deals with former HUD secretary Henry Cisneros's false statements to FBI investigators during his pre appointment background check. Equally important, it's also a report on abuses of the nation's taxing authority during the Clinton Administration. It details how the tax investigation of Cisneros was killed by transferring it out of channels to Washington where the Justice Department could write its epitaph. And there were additional problems relating to IRS records and tax returns. Interestingly, they arose at the same time the White House was requesting the FBI files on prominent Republicans. Think "Filegate." Margaret P. Richardson, IRS Commissioner at the time, was/is a close friend of Hillary Clinton and Cisneros.

In 2005, however, Democratic members of Congress effectively suppressed Barrett's report, resulting in a heavily redacted version being made public. They criticized the length of time required to complete the investigation -- this, despite the fact that Clinton attorneys were responsible for the major delays in issuing the report. Furthermore, their "concerns for privacy" were nothing more than political gambits. Moves to suppress the Barrett report were, in reality, the actions of justice-obstructing wolves dressed in the sheep's clothing of privacy concerns.

Consider the situation where a miner works all month in a bone-chilling Alaska stream panning for gold. By month's end he's accumulated a large leather poke stuffed with gold dust. Then, upon orders from Congress, he dumps the precious metal back into the river. Visualize a diamond miner spending a year digging far below the surface in a shaft where temperatures exceed 100 degrees. Congress gives him the "word" and he too, empties his bag of treasure -- right down the shaft. Then he dynamites the mine. "Throwing it back down the hole" is precisely what Democrats in Congress did with the Barrett report.

Someone in Congress, either a Democrat or a Republican, needs to reopen that mine, as there's more political treasure waiting to be found. After all, it's just a matter of knowing where to dig, whether one is seeking treasure -- or skeletons.
-- Stan Welli
Aurora, Illinois

Quin Hillyer replies:
Mr. Welli makes some great points. The suppression of the Barrett report was a travesty of justice. Where were the watchdog media on that, the ones who usually clamor for openness?

In the Clintons' pocket, that's where. Shame on them. And thanks to Mr. Welli.

RHODES CALLERS
Re: Shawn Macomber's Mugged by Unreality:

This incident brings us face-to-face with deranged paranoia fueled by irrational hatred. The fringe Left has never let the facts get in the way of fomenting contempt for their political enemies but these folks are really beginning to scare me. Now they assume that an unfortunate accident that befell one of their own had to be the result of some sinister conspiracy plot concocted by demented right-wingers? Anyone this delusional should be considered unstable and a threat to others. To think these people represent a well-financed and mobilized partisan voting bloc is indeed a chilling thought. Instead of being sedated and confined to rooms with padded walls, these individuals are free to enter voting booths to select leaders who share their paranoid vision for America. Even if were possible for them to exorcize the demon of conservatism, how would they contend with the problems in the world they wrought, one that contains only people like themselves? Who would they then blame for things that go wrong when supposedly there is no longer anyone left to hate or be suspicious of? If they truly believe that purging the world of all perceived threats to their ideology will lead to heaven on earth, they are crazier than I initially thought.
-- Rick Arand
Lee's Summit, Missouri

Shawn Macomber wrote a good article in "Mugged by Reality." I would only add two points to the liberal wish to matter: First, until this incident I did not even know who Randi Rhodes and Jon Elliott were -- although I think I have heard Rush mention Randi Rhodes before.

Second, when Air America went bankrupt, I did not know they remained on the air in New York. I guess being part of the vast right-wing conspiracy, I should be more aware of these little voices with great pretensions on the extreme left.
-- Jack A. Summers
Detroit, Michigan

Considering that a Hillary Clinton Administration would likely be drawn from a pool of such deranged, sick, hate-filled, devout believers, as presented by Shawn Macomber, "Mugged by Unreality" might become their de-facto motto.

Hillary would have to increase her reliance on her copy of the FBI files (remember them?) in an attempt to silence her critics through coercion and similar persuasion.

Neither Bill nor Hillary ever understood that only by the 'grace' (inappropriate use of the word) of the MSM, with not a little help from Sandy Berger and Company, did their political life survive.

It is chilling when considering that there are millions of people who are ready to impose the Clinton ilk on the U.S. once again.

Will we ever see the last of them, or are we destined to see a rebirth of the old U.S.S.R. type of governing here in America?
-- Bennett Bishop
Baldwinsville, New York

The "Right" does not want to silence folks like Rhodes. We want the whole country to hear the psychosis this person projects. Hit men hired from Blackwater? This is so rich. I suppose Halliburton was involved. Maybe it wasn't a mugging, maybe enraged Christian Conservatives put grease on the sidewalk and Ann Coulter teased the dog with a pork chop. And these people want to control the government and "fix" my health care? Wow.
-- Frank St. Clair
Lexington, Kentucky

Took less than 70 years for the passion and hatred surrounding Slavery to erupt into mass violence like this country has not seen since. This is how it starts and if left to fester, it will cost this nation dearly some day. Between the blatant legalized slaughter of the unborn (1 in 5 conceptions) and the total absence of rational thought on the left, more and more of this Nation's population are being radicalized to violence. We stop it now or suffer enormously in the future.
-- Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

PRECIOUS DELUSIONS
Re: Garin K. Hovannisian's The Liberaltarian Delusion:

Well, is anybody surprised that liberals and libertarians mix like oil and water? In my younger days as a card carrying member of the Libertarian Party I can tell you that unless there has been a radical change in what libertarian means why would they even 'think' of joining with people who want to babysit us like a bunch of children; abscond with our earnings so as to treat us like slaves and sell out the only system that ever raised the standard of living of millions of people.

I must be out of date with what is going on over at the Cato Institute and if this is the kind of oatmeal coming out over there -- well, then I'm mortified. A very fine book called Cowboy Capitalism was published by them. This does not compute. Unless libertarianism has also
gone by the wayside. I could never in my wildest dreams think there was ever common ground between liberals and libertarians.

Unfortunately to read Lindsey's article online I'd have to subscribe to the New Republic. If I'm way off here, people feel free to let me know. But if I'm way off, the world indeed has turned upside down inside out.
-- Paula Carmen

GRANTED
Re: Ralph R. Reiland's It's the American Way:

All joking aside, Mr. Reiland has it exactly right. In the bizarre world of federal money giveaways, every local, county and state government has mastered the art of grant writing, in order to feed at the trough. After 9/11, the term "first responders" became the prerequisite term of art in order to access the pot of gold. Any ordinary expenditure could and can be obtained from the Feds, without risking the ire of the local taxpayers, just by using the magic words. I wonder what words we'll have to use when Hillary and the Dems get control of our healthcare system? I'm betting on HELP and PLEASE MAY I.
-- A. DiPentima

OUT OF THE WOODWORK
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Payback for the Chicken Lady and Reader Mail's Fantasy Politics:

It is amazing that The American Spectator has so many Democrat readers! Who knew? Leslie Klein, John Jordon, and C.A. as well as other unnamed Democrats will have the last laugh for sure. They know that once Madame President Clinton takes office she will crush her Republican opposition, befitting the worms they are. The only reality for us old Republicans is that a new crop of young Republicans will begin the long journey to retake the Congress and the White House at the conclusion of Mrs. Clinton's second term. The issues that will give the Congress back to the Republicans will be a return to the bed rock of Republican strengths in the past namely, fiscal responsibility and low taxes, and national defense. Illegal immigration fits into both issues. Although the eight years of Hillary will be tough to bear, they are the crucible that will give rise to a new Republican party. I think the disaster of her reign will prove once and for all the idiocy of American socialism (aka the Democrat party) -- if our country can survive. Hopefully the future Republican members of Congress will not forget the stupidity of so-called Republicans who wanted to be liked more than to be right (no pun intended). The roll call of Republican shame is a long one with Senator Warner of Virginia at the very top.
-- Paul Moody
Gainesville, Virginia

I just read "Payback for the Chicken Lady" by Jeffrey Lord. Mr. Lord must be kidding. Yes, those Republicans are just ferocious! That is why Sandy Berger obviously committed serious crimes and got a slap on the wrist and Scooter Libby was hammered for having a difference of recollection with Tim Russert. Whatever happened to the investigation of pardons by President Clinton? Those Republicans are wild! That is why the tax cuts were not made permanent? How many judges gave up waiting for those tough republicans to get their nominations to the Senate floor?

The Republicans have lost their way. They proved when they controlled the congress that they are not conservatives. They are a bunch of pansies who'll roll over for Mrs. Clinton the same way they've done for years. I and many others won't give them any more money and hang up on them when they call at dinner. As a group, they have no courage, no honor, and are mostly worried about being re-elected to their pathetic little jobs.

Mrs. Clinton will take their lunch money, give them a wedgie, and send them to go sit quietly in the corner.
-- David Freeman
Green Bay, Wisconsin

In regards to Mr. Lord's article "Payback for the Chicken Lady," I am reminded of taking care of my grandchildren...but not in a good way! We have had enough infantile, ad hominem, counterproductive behavior from one of our national parties, we do not need to have them both behaving this way!

At least one party has to behave in a way that supports the functioning of our system of government if we are to survive as a nation. I know "it isn't fair!" and I know that "that's what she did last time!" I've heard it from my grandkids too.

Listen, if one party doesn't grow up soon our whole way of life is doomed!
-- John Perney

I read Jeffrey Lord's article with a mixture of amusement and sadness. It was amusing to imagine the justifiable actions of the Republican Party for the outrages behavior of the Democrat Party over the last eight years while at the same time sad when all I could think was, "If only." The premise of the article is based on a mistaken assumption. This assumption is that the leadership of the Republican Party actually stands for something and has the temerity to stand up to the Democrats in a meaningful way.

I believe a Hillary victory and an expansion of Democrat majorities in both legislative bodies is all but inevitable. Given the recent behavior of the Republican Leadership, (doing everything possible to stick a thumb in the eye of its "Values Voter" base), Republicans in leadership will take an electoral sweep of the 2008 elections as an indication of the leftward tilt in public sentiment. Every effort will be made to show how "Progressive" Republicans can be. Their leftward stampede will be fueled by the so-called main stream media and encouraged by the Rockefeller Republican punditocracy (such as George Will, Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol). Below is what I believe is a much more likely scenario:

As Hillary exercises her presidential prerogatives by firing every single federal prosecutor and replacing them with more suitable, (to her leftist base), Democrat prosecutors, Republican Senators led by Arlen Specter will quickly fall in line with her and support her right to do so as President of the United States.

While the call for a Special Prosecutor may well go out from the increasingly alienated base of the Republican Party, Senators Specter, Collins, Snow, Lott, McCain, etc. will preen, prattle and puff themselves up with assurances that the Republican Party is a big tent and they will not be dictated to by the extreme right wing of their party. This process will play itself out over and over again as President Hillary pushes through her Federal Prosecutor appointees, cabinet level appointments and judicial nominees both on the appellate level and on the Supreme Court.

By passing through each and every one of President Hillary's nominees no matter how objectionable, the discussion will be about "bipartisanship," and the "decorum" demanded by the "Upper Chamber." It will be said, "This is how civil discourse should be conducted in Washington." In addition, the phrase of the day will be how Republicans are restoring "a new tone of Civility in Washington

There will be no discussion whatsoever about keeping a 5 to 3 majority on the Supreme Court, instead John McCain, Arlen Specter, Olympia Snow, Susan Collins, and the remaining culprits from the "Gang of Thirteen" will lead the charge to resolve the "constitutional crises" resulting from a vacant seat on the Supreme court and at all levels of the Federal Judiciary They will then begin making every compromise possible with their Democrat masters to ensure an expeditious confirmation process.

As far as Hillary's new commander in the Iraq Theater, Republicans will fall all over themselves to show everyone in America how they continue to support the troops. Mistakenly believing their continued misfortunes at the polls are a direct result of their support for victory in Iraq and not their betrayal of their constituency, they will fall all over themselves at Armed Services Committee hearings and will fall in line with Reid and company to vote for an immediate withdrawal of all troops form the Iraqi Theater. As for Senator McCain, he too will fall in line with the rest of these spineless Republicans and vote for the withdrawal all the while telling anyone who will listen that we could have won if only President Bush had listened to him.

While "Impeach Her" tales, may well sweep the house cloakroom and while the House may well pass articles of impeachment should Republican fortunes turn in the 2010 elections, Senator Lott will no doubt repeat his performance in her husband's impeachment by telling uppity Conservative House Republicans that they're not going to dump their trash in the Senate and will do everything in his power to limit the scope of any impeachment trial to the lesser of any charges brought.

As with everything else; Senators Snow, Collins, and other Republican Establishment Senators will fall in line with her on her "incremental approach" to providing Health Care. After all, we have to "for the children." Later healthcare will be expanded to cover all Americans starting with seniors, later expanded to the poor, then the "working poor" and so on until there will be no one left who will be able to escape the clutches of socialized healthcare.

As is always the case the so called "Main Stream Media" will continue to paint them as heartless Nazis and Fascists despite their compromises. In addition, these same appeasers will continue to slink up to their Democrat Masters with their tails between their legs hoping for a scratch between the ears only to be kicked across the room once again. This is a cycle that has repeated itself over and over again since the days of FDR, and I see no reason that it will not continue into the future.

Starting after the Democrat Party nominations the Clinton machine will kick into high gear lead by James Carville and Paul Begala. As Rick Lazio found out in the NY Senate race, her campaign will be shameless by simultaneously arguing that she is as tough and qualified as any man and at the same time attacking any male opponent for daring to attack a lady. Any criticism of her, any challenge to her policies, any discussion at all about her competence to hold the most powerful office in the world will be assailed by the Clinton Attack machine as a scurrilous and un-gentlemanly attack on a poor defenseless woman by bullies supported by the vast right wing conspiracy. Once elected this same strategy will be used throughout her time in office to shove through tax increases, government controlled health care, Baby Bonds and who knows what else and the only thing we will be able to count on from the Republicrats is a continuation of the blubbering and confusion that is so prevalent today. Thanks to John McCain and "Campaign Finance reform, the grass roots of the party is hamstrung and powerless to assert itself as it once did during the Reagan and Gingrich Revolutions. Since midway through her husband's tenure the IRS has managed to hamstring the church using the tax code to prevent Christian participation during elections.

I agree with Jeffrey that it's too bad that "out the window will go solid criticism based on genuine philosophical differences." Indeed it has gone out the window over the past 6 years due to the Democrat's outrageous behavior, but if he expects the current leadership of what Tony Snow once coined "The Stupid Party" to fight fire with fire, I'm afraid he is sorely mistaken. I've been asked what I would do to change all this? As much as I'd like to remain optimistic that we will be able to turn this around, I am increasingly afraid that we have been painted into a corner by our own leadership. Much like Dr. Dobson, I am beginning to think that we won't get out of this by remaining attached to the "Stupid Party." Much like the Republican Party was born out of an unresponsive Whig Party, maybe it's time to look for answers somewhere else.
-- A.C. Swiger
San Antonio, Texas

What WONDERFUL responses to the Chicken Lady/payback column!

Most all were in agreement that the Republican wimps shall probably remain gutless and Trent Lottish ("inclusion," remember?); excellent observations!

Unfortunately!

The pathetic performance(s) of the GOP and the inept, miserable excuse for a president we presently find inhabiting our White House spell some really sad times ahead -- it's satire only too likely to become fact. Political Correctness run amuck.

Worst part is, the Republican National Committee will probably continue send out its Pabulum Puke pleas, and then wondering why there's no positive response. Then too, we're outnumbered -- too many dummies willing to accept socialistic "promises" in lieu of freedom...

I don't pretend to have the answer, unless it's Rudy Giuliani. He appears to be the only guy with a chance to overturn Jeffrey Lord's scenario -- the only guy with the guts to beat back the growing, parasitical Islamic-fascist incursion into our country/lives. He's the only guy ('cept Ron Paul) with the strength to call Hillary on her crap in future debates.

Yet, in the meantime, there's Dobson and his bunch railing against gay stuff, eliminating the word "choice" (while peaking thru bedroom windows) and pushing their sanctimonious priorities that obscure the important things, virtually insuring the demented Democrats' three-way win next November.

Have said it before, and I'll say it again: you people have a terrific readership and very often those responsive "letters" offer a bit of hope in a very trying world.
-- frost

Do you plan on running a correction to dispel the bogus notion that Democrats set some high standards regarding the replacement of U.S. Attorneys? I don't recall the Democrats making any noise when Bush replaced, with the possible exception of one, every U.S. Attorney during his first half year in office.

What you also failed to mention was that those who, without president, were fired were lied about and slandered in regards as to why they were fired. We were told they were incompetent; when it turns out they were fired because they refused to participate in the Sovietization of the DoJ. They were either investigating Republican corruption contrary to what the Administration wanted, or they refused to bring bogus charges against Democrats for political reasons.

And the last time I checked; most of Bush's judicial appointees were approved, and that by 2006 we had the lowest rate of vacancies on the federal bench in a long time.

I look forward to running the above correction and attempting to regain some form of journalistic integrity.
-- Kuni Leml

You act as if the behavior of Bush Bashers isn't justified. Did you forget how right-wingers tried to rip Bill Clinton a new one 24/7 for eight years? He didn't deserve it. Despite dallying with Monica, Bill Clinton had an approval rating 30 points higher than George W. Bush. Payback from the left was coming in 2001 no matter how well Bush performed.

In time, GWB's arrogance and incompetence will become legendary. His adventure in Iraq is a disaster. His handling of Hurricane Katrina was embarrassing. During his first term, he became the first president since Hoover to see more jobs lost than added to our economy. The signing statements, our significantly tarnished world image, trying to turn American port security over to Dubai, demanding amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants -- quite an unimpressive list.

Instead of thinking about payback for the new Democratic president in 2009, the right wing should lick their wounds and promise themselves that they'll never support a candidate like George W. Bush again. I hope that the polarization that Karl Rove strove for will fade away and a new era of cooperation between Dems and Reps will emerge.
-- Steve
Racine, Wisconsin

Just where does Mr. Lord expect to find the Republicans with the brass to do any of the things he suggests. They've certainly been invisible in recent years. It's a wonderful dream, but it ain't gonna' happen.
-- Fred McCarthy
Indianapolis, Indiana

RESPECT THINE "ELDERS"
Re: Lawrence Henry's Church and Me:

Your article the "Church and Me" strikes a cord with many of us who have observed the church and ourselves and the relationship between the two. You mention the Church of Christ in your example. The Church of Christ has a belief that I think is right on the money, and speaks to the since of your article. That is, that there is a distinct difference between the visible church to which you refer and the universal church. The visible church, populated as it is with sinners on the mend, some times seems never to stop providing fodder for the critics of our faith.

But your article raises an important point. If you see a need and the elders or the preacher or a Sunday school teacher doesn't address it -- what about you? I'm not trying to be too personal, because it applies to me just as it does to you. The culture of the visible church is not some abstraction, it is the sum total of the actions of the visible individual members there attended. A preacher is a preacher in the visible church, because he is recognized by the visible church, perhaps even employed by her, but what if God has given you [in your morning bible reading] the word of exhortation to that poor soul in the back row. Aren't you then the preacher of our Lords invisible church, at least to him? The same is true of meeting a financial need, providing a life line as a friend, or any other act of grace.

The word "Elder" is synonymous with pastor. Perhaps you should play the role of a shepherd to someone who needs light where God has graciously granted it to you. For all you know there is a host of prayers that God is only interested in answering if you yourself play a key role in the solution. You think that the answer to these prayers are about someone else, wouldn't it be ironic to find that the blessing God had in mind in answering them, was primarily intended for you?

In the chronology of the book of Acts, an important point gets easily lost. Following his conversion, Paul spent 13 years doing something of little enough note, that Luke didn't bother to say a word about it. We read of his conversion and then we pick up the action so far as he is concerned 13 years further down the road. What was God doing about Paul for that length of time? Preparing him? Perhaps God is bringing just such an awareness of need to your mind. Perhaps you are the one for which God has prepared a clarion call. It's just a thought.
-- Eric Stroud

SNAIL'S PACE
Re: Eric Peters's Engine Turnoff:

Get used to it. Buy your "muscle car" while you have the chance. By the looks of things your 18-year-old of 2050 will be in charge of driving low speed heavily guided maneuvers, and that is all.

A. Automobiles will be powered by fuel cells coupled to a 4 wheel drive chassis. There will be a computer controlled cross wheel transmission system, and an electric motor on each wheel (motors will cut out as momentum builds).

B. On top of the chassis (or built around it, will be something akin to whatever taste or need the customer requires. Sporty looking coupe, eggy shaped family bubble... grandma/grandpa sedan.... whatever can be dropped on the chassis.

C. There will be a set of low speed maneuvering controls that directs a "drive by wire" computerized harness. This setup will allow the driver some modicum of control over the vehicle when the sensor rigs, road boundary RFIDs, and satellite tracking systems will be challenged. HOWEVER... the control will be limited in both speed and input.

D. All "antiques" will be limited to closed courses and tracks... hmmm, maybe a business opportunity there....

E. The new computer cars will, using their sensor rigs, the RFID markers that I mentioned, and GPS systems... drive themselves, navigate to the location requested, and deliver their passengers in a very strictly controlled manner. Your choice might be... "Take the scenic route, please."

Why? 40,000 plus road fatalities a year are unsustainable over time, at the current rates of insurance and populations. Eventually the insurance industry, working in concert with the government will require it.

Of course with all of those law abiding computers rolling around the place at sedate paces, what are the County Mounties and State Troopers going to do for extra revenue? Come to think of it how will roads be funded with all of those fuel cell powered electric rigs? Wow... talk about unintended consequences...
-- John Schneider
Bristow, Virginia

RICH MAN, POOR MEN
Re: Arnold Ahlert's letter (under "Unqualified Success") in Reader Mail's Fantasy Politics:

Arnold Ahlert of Boca Raton, Florida asks "a question in response to Mike Roush's letter regarding Al Gore's success: if Al is 'right about global warming,' why didn't he win the Nobel Prize for Science?"

1. There is no Nobel Prize for "Science," or in mathematics for that matter, a mathematician having run off with Nobel's significant other.

2. Along with Al, the Peace Prize was won by the 2,000 scientists who worked on the 4,000 page report of the International Panel on Climate Change.

It hardly seems fair. Al never cracked a physics or chemistry text when we were at college, but he gets a cool five million Kroner, while the folks that did all the heavy lifting get just a dime per man-page, or forty cents a word.
-- Russell Seitz
Cambridge, Massachusetts

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