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The Perfumed General

Wes Clark's star turn. Also: Yale, K Street, and following in Arnie's shadow. Plus more.

9.17.03

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IN OUR COMMON SELF-DEFENSE
Re: The Special Report, "We Shall Prevail":

We thank you for noting online the remarks by Solicitor General Theodore Olson, "We Shall Prevail," from September 11, 2003. We are moved by a respected federal official who grieves along with thousands of others who lost loved ones. Yet his message that Americans will one day recognize their bonds to terrorism's victims everywhere in the world was especially compelling. Therefore, how can any rational and compassionate mind not allow Israel the same right to self-defense as we have taken?

After two years of 9/11 video reruns, we hope everyone realizes his call to be a part of the action against terrorism's disease.
-- Brad and Adrienne Pueschel
Merlin, OR

BING
Re: Tracy Robinson's A Renegade Ruling:

Great article on the 9th circuit fiasco. Keep up the good work.
-- J. W. Webb

STAR TURN
Re: Jed Babbin's Clinton's General:

While Mr. Babbin's analysis is basically correct, I feel he missed an important aspect. He is correct is saying that the dems can't have a Dean candidacy for the reason he stated, namely that it would put the dems out of the mainstream for many years and Hill wouldn't have a shot in '08. But what he misses is that they (the Clintonistas) can't have a dem, any dem, elected in '04. If there were, Hill would be running against an incumbent in '08 and they can't have that. No, the Clinton team wants the good General to win the nomination but lose the election. I think they're probably pretty sure he won't win. And just to make sure, look for behind the scenes maneuvering by Team Clinton to make sure he doesn't win. That's why they're sucking up to Clark now. They want him under their control. Clark may be his own man and not want the second place prize, but he doesn't stand a chance against the Clintonistas. So the good General gets used again by his friends, the Clintons, and Hill has a free road to the '08 nomination.
-- Bill Deady
Manchester, NH

How like the Democrats to fish in the military pond when they are starving! Wes Clark seems to be the resurrected ghost of George McClellan -- 140 years later by the same party -- for almost the same reasons: that being the Democrats don't have a viable presidential candidate during time of war. George McClellan was a paper General who wouldn't fight and made Lincoln his scapegoat. Wes Clark is making Republican President George Bush his straw dog for this one last promotion.

Many (in his own party) say Clark was running for president while still in uniform in the Balkans. Many tragic failures took place on his watch: the Russian Army seizure of Pristina Airport -- and who could (or would like to) forget Task Force Hawk or the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade? At one point Clark was publicly stating the necessity of a ground war in Serbia. Didn't go over well with the "granola Democrats" the first time. Won't play any better eight years later. This was Clinton's art of war with Wes Clark as his chief instrument. If history serves us right -- both Clark (will be) and McClellan are failed Presidential candidates -- Clark will never make it past the primaries. With all due respect to General Clark; his achievements, his accomplishments and his valor were seriously damaged by his jumping in bed with the military's enemy. Like former JCS chairman ADM Crowe stumping for BJ Clinton during the first campaign -- one could only wonder -- "what the hell was he thinking?"

The main difference between these two Generals was McClellan's father was a Whig.
-- Mike Horn
Tracy, CA

Silver Star is not second to the Medal of Honor. That would be the Navy Cross (former Marine, my pride is showing, sorry.) I assume the Army has the equivalent decoration. That aside, I agree with the central premise of Mr. Babbin's column. The Clintons will use General Clark like Bill used Monica. If Clark isn't smart enough to see that, he's not smart enough to be president. If Clark is smart, he'd know that even in a weak field, the chances of the voters electing someone with no political experience is close to zero.
-- Mark Delles
East Syracuse, NY

You were incorrect to state the Silver Star is just below the Medal of Honor it is actually just below the Distinguish Cross, Navy Cross or the Distinguish Flying Cross. If you are incorrect on this elementary point, you might not understand what a Perfumed Prince is.
-- SFC Kenneth E. Miller USA (RET)
Tonica, IL.

While I agree with most that you said about Clark, I was surprised to find that the Silver Star was second only to the MOH. When I was doing my thing in Korea and Vietnam, the Air Force Cross, Navy Cross and the Distinguished Service Cross were superseded only by MOH. Of course with the past CINC all things seem possible.

"A person should be measured not by the honors he receives, but by those he deserves."
-- Chick Evans

The Silver Star, especially when awarded for courage under fire, is a laudable award for outstanding performance. It doesn't need to be presented as more than it is.
-- Richard McEnroe

Clark is just trying to muddy up the water a little more and insure that no one candidate gets enough primary votes to win the nomination on the first ballot at the convention next summer. He's fronting for the draft Hillary movement.
-- unsigned

Jed Babbin seems to have forgotten his political history when he writes: " ... the Clintons are fighting against the Dean candidacy because they recognize that if Dean is nominated -- and goes down like McGovern did -- it will take a decade or more for America to again take the Dems seriously. That would mean Hillary would never make it back to Pennsylvania Avenue." Four years after the Democrats nominated George McGovern they recaptured the White House.
-- Joel Margolis

The editor replies: Yes, shame on us for overlookiing the reign of Jimmy George Washington Abe Lincoln Carter.

PREEMPTED
Re: John Tabin's K Street Junkies:

I was looking forward to K Street to round out one of the best TV viewing nights of the week. However, following on the heals of this year's final episode of Sex & The City, and then the premiere of Carnivale, K Street was a frenzied bore. And that was just the first few minutes. I switched channels at that point.

I'll let greater minds than mine deal with the equal time issue, which K Street may face. Although knowing Hollywood, they're probably salivating over the prospect of a Bush vs. Carville episode (Cowboy vs. Serpenthead). As for me, I doubt I'll give it another try. I'm not interested in a stream of consciousness from the self-absorbed (flyover country for Hollywood, DC), regardless of their political affiliation.
-- Kitty Myers

THE WAGES OF YALE
Re: Matthew G. Alexander's Striking a Pose:

A good article; especially in providing the details of what the unions are asking for.

To quote: "(At present, Local 34 workers average $33,000 a year; Local 35, $30,000.) In response to these worker grievances, Yale has offered a generous package of pay increases: an immediate raise of up to 14 percent for Local 34 and a total raise of 44 percent over the life of the contract."

Let's see... an immediate 14% raise on a $33,000 salary is $37,620 per year for clerical/technical workers. That is $18.00 per hour plus what sounds like a very generous benefits package.

But wait, there's more... what looks like 6% per year for 6 years bringing the salary to $47,520 per year, almost $23.00 per hour for clerical work.

That is the Yale offer; the union thinks that is not good enough. ("The union bosses scoff.")

I suspect Mr. Jackson arrived at the university not to lend his support, but to learn. He had to be envious of the unions ability to 'PUSH' the salary envelope.
-- Richard Renken
Chesterfield, Mo.

I think the workers at Yale making an average of $30-35K a year (plus benefits) would be better off using their manpower not striking for more concessions from their employer but for getting the state to lower taxes.

Connecticut may be a state with high incomes, but it's also one of the top five taxed states in the union.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, TN

SAFE SICK
Re: Francis X. Rocca's Not in Front of the Children:

This article, and the current phobia toward alcohol, brings to mind a buddy's lament on the high school prom.

Entering the ballroom, students are greeted by the chaperone: "Please sign this pledge that says you won't drink and drive tonight.... Thank you.... Wait a minute, you forgot to pick up your free condom!"
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, PA

GO ARNIE!
Re: George Neumayr's The Greening of Arnie S.:

Nice article, but you don't have to work hard convincing me about Arnold. He is just not up to the task. His sound bites are pathetic and non-substantive. The disconcerting thing is he comes across like he actually believes his slogans and child like analogies of California's problems are somehow going to be useful.

I'm voting for Tom. He is any sane person's (Republican or Democrat) only choice.
-- Jonathan
Castro Valley

A.S. is Barbra Streisand Lite. There is absolutely no reason to vote for him and many reasons to either sit it out or vote for McClintock. I live in Minnesota and despite all the talk about how CA financial mismanagement is of national importance, what really concerns me is that drivers licenses for illegals issue. I'm a lawyer (America's Best) but cannot understand why Homeland Security, operating on its own or in tandem with the AG and DOJ, has not sued that one out. That dangerous idiocy has transparently obvious national implications. Arnold's position on that issue? Nothing, but maybe we'll find out more on Oprah (oh, forgot, I don't watch that show). Beware of Buffet.

I am a conservative and I believe in Jesus, family values, morals and the United States. I am 100% for the recall of Governor GrayOut Davis because of the mess he has made in California.

I've been somewhat excited that Arnold Schwarzenegger began to run for Governor, because he seemed for real and it seemed somehow refreshing to get a different mindset in the Governor's office. Then I read the above-entitled article. I'm definitely not happy with the way he is surrounding himself with left-wing liberals, but I must ask why it's so wrong for us to be more friendly to our environment? I'm not one of the environmental wackos, but I am concerned about pollution, recycling, etc., and it seems to me that Arnold has some pretty good ideas, especially about getting rid of old, polluting cars, etc. Why is this considered so wrong by us conservatives?

Just need to know.

Thanks,
-- Tina

I'd rather see a pit viper with an "R" behind the name than ANYONE OR ANYTHING with a "D." This is no time to adhere to purity of hypothetical ideals. The reality is, Davis recently won with the message that his opponent is a RIGHT WING REPUBLICAN. Get it? Putting Arnold in charge can ONLY help the GOP, both in CA and its spillover effect on the rest of the nation. Give the guy a break. He has a real chance to win, and maybe to illustrate to the rest of the way left CA electorate that maybe the "R" can be a good thing.

I gaze in wonder upon the ideological purists who would rather lose this election than put in a Republican who doesn't adhere to the correct litmus tests. The fact is, the Republican organization in California has served as an example of how NOT to do anything. We now have a real opportunity to take control there and change the equation with the only "R" candidate who can win.

Come on, people. Let's get behind Arnold, win that election, and build upon that victory in the real world in which all of us live and breathe, as opposed to sabotaging our opportunity to change things in CA because he isn't a PURE "R."
-- Craig Wallace
Boca Raton, FL

I am a registered Republican -- have been since I was 21 years old, many years ago. I am getting more and more frustrated by this party. Instead of using money available to put out commercials to vote YES on the recall in California, this party is spending money battling between McClintock and Arnold (sorry, can't spell his last name). This is sheer stupidity! Why can't the Republicans be organized, with a plan -- like the Democrats. That party has the whole scheme planned out and it seems to be working very well.

This is one Republican family, that in the Spring and Summer of 2004, will be traveling to Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington to find another place to live. We can't take it here in California anymore! And we are both native Californians. The sooner we are out of here, the better off we will be. I hope other middle-class, fixed income folk do the same.

We are the population that is hurting the most. I don't know if any Republican in the U.S. Congress or the California Congress knows what is happening to the people in our situation. My husband and I are angry, frustrated, and ready to call it quits being political activists. Voting is becoming a travesty! In California, if a proposition passes, it is taken to court immediately and overturned by some dumb judge. The voice of the people means absolutely nothing anymore! You can bet your sweet bippy that this family is ANGRY!
-- Barbara Abel
Rancho Cordova, CA

FIGHTING MEAN
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Butchered by Schumer:

You are wrong. The Republicans won't ever fight for the nomination of Estrada or anyone else the Democrats block.

The Republicans are wimps. I so want to use a stronger term, but I controlled myself.

The Republican Party better wake up and see that we are in a war with these Liberals. They will do and say anything to win. We have to fight fire with fire.
-- Jerry Manriquez
Norco, CA

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