THAT CULTURE OF CORRUPTION
Re: Jeffrey Lord’s A Tale of Monica and Pat Leahy:
I was dismayed when I heard that a Justice Department official was planning to take the Fifth, if necessary, before Mr. Leahy’s committee. After all, even the Democrats acknowledge that there is no air of criminality surrounding the attorney firings.
However, after reading Mr. Lord’s account of his own and other’s experiences in dealing with Leahy’s minions, I’m surprised that anyone would dare walk into that hearing room, voluntarily or otherwise. Why should Ms. Goodling open herself up to charges of perjury, which would surely follow if she forgot the slightest detail of the most innocuous conversation with the most minor of officials at Justice?
From his leaky sojourn on the Intelligence Committee to his Stalinist rule over Judiciary, Mr. Leahy is a disgrace, and has been for over two decades.
— Richard Meade
Bayside, New York
The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is indeed a banana republic-type thug. It turns my stomach to think that he is a United States Senator. The voters of Vermont should be ashamed, but lovely Vermont apparently has been overwhelmed over the years by the influx of too many left-wing nutcases (think Howard Dean) Too bad, too, that so much of the MSM has been captured by the extremist left, so that Leahy and his ilk won’t get the close-in public attention they deserve. Goodling is absolutely correct to invoke her Fifth Amendment right not to testify; and as long the committee includes such as Leahy, and his lefty cohorts no member of any Republican administration should fail to do so. What are these despicable partisans doing to our system of government?
— John G. Hubbell
Why would anyone in their right mind agree to testify at ANY congressional hearing? The inquisitors, politicians all, when not pontificating on every subject under the sun, are neither under oath, nor are they are bound by any rules of interrogation, while the person testifying is under threat of perjury should they make a misstatement.
Hell yes, I’d take the fifth. Or a quart. Or both.
— Al Markel
San Francisco, California
Thank you so much for the having the column, and to Mr. Lord for writing it. I now know what some of the comments I have heard mean about Ms. Goodling. I had watched O’Reilly with the law professor on, and they were talking about the situation with Ms. Goodling… and the Fifth. I now completely understand.
As an American, I want to thank you both for getting the info on Leahy out there. It is so important. I personally can not stand the man, and he is “another” of the Democrats that is/was just a foot outside a jail cell. It is depressing now, with the Democrats acting like children, especially since they are putting my family in danger. It is also depressing that history is repeating itself with the votes in the Congress concerning the troops and the funding. THIS happened during the Vietnam war, all this same stuff. I know. My family/friends were on the receiving end of those Democrats. I am so angry. I personally think many of the Democrats are ruled by the devil. I am moderate, independent voter, not a radical, crazy Christian, and I deeply love this great country.
I hope that people like you, Mr. Editor, and Mr. Lord keep trying to save us with the truth. It must be like a speck of sand against the appeasers, but I pray that you and others make a difference, and somehow the Leahy, Kennedy, Clinton, Reed, Pelosi, Durbin… all of them, including my two Senators (Baucus/Tester), get what they deserve, and that the American people stand up for this country.
Thank you, and keep getting the truth out there.
— Linda Airhart
Reading Jeffrey Lord’s article about the execrable Patrick Leahy just confirms the opinion I’ve had of that man since I first heard words from his mouth.
I truly am fearful of what is happening to the Democratic Party. It seems no rule or law can stand in their way since the mainstream media just looks the other way when Democrats do truly outrageous, illegal or unethical things. We conservatives must hang together or, as Ben Franklin said, we shall most assuredly hang separately with Democrats in charge. One can hardly fault Monica Goodling for protecting herself in the climate of “get any Republican we can” that has emerged since Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats took over in January.
The radicals on the left have taken control of the Democrats, the Congress, the media, the campus and the legal profession. What happens when they take the White House as well? And, if there is a close election, any guesses which party will come out on top — regardless of who really wins? (Just check the results of the Washington state governor’s race for a clue. Hugo Chavez would be proud.) Better hang on to your wallets and go buy a gun while you still can — oh, and if you’re Exxon-Mobil, good luck keeping your profits since Hillary said she would take them. Can you say “banana republic”?
— Deborah Durkee
A big thank you to all those self-described conservatives who punished the Republicans in 2006 and empowered Democrats. Because of your continued efforts to punish and humiliate Republicans, 2008 looks to be even a better year for Democrat politicians. That heralds even higher taxes and more tyranny from Patrick Leahy and the resurgent Democrat majority. Happy days are here again.
— Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Forget all the legalese, I would like to do the mashed potato on Leahy’s head, and then follow up with Soros and his crew. The Democratic Party is worse than the KGB and the Nazis. They are corrupt and nasty people.
Tell them to send their linebackers after me, they will leave in an ambulance.
— Mike Garland
I’d like to suggest to Ms. Goodling that should she find the need to answer Senator Leahy, she should ask Vice President Cheney for help in drafting her response.
WEBB BEHAVING BADLY
Re: Enemy Central’s Fields of Dishonor:
While Webb, with his complete disregard for civility, is a worthy choice for EOW, I would have given the award Mr. Teresa Heinz for his mean spirited petty abuse of Sam Fox. Kerry went into a world only inhabited by world class sore losers, namely the Peanut Farmer and Algore. However, this week, the award has to be bestowed on the Democrats in Congress who voted to surrender to the Taliban. Perhaps Nancy has yen for velvet burqa’s, or was it Harry’s desire to reduce the supply lines and fight in Chicago instead of Baghdad. In any case, it’s a sad day for the Republic when the leadership of the once proud Democrat Party votes to surrender to terrorists rather than strive for victory.
— Jason Stewart
It’s very fitting that the Senator Jim Webb be designated Enemy of the Week. I found it interesting that part of Webb’s explanation for his aide’s behavior was completely in keeping with the senator’s considerable boorishness and egomania. To wit, the senator’s excuse that his aide formerly served as a Marine. With that statement does Senator Webb mean to imply that Marines are expected to break laws? Or does he rather mean that laws don’t apply to those who served as Marines?
I believe that statement provides a window into Senator Webb’s philosophy of governance. Taking inspiration from James Taranto, Senator Webb, who, by the way, served as a Marine, apparently fancies himself part of a special benighted class of citizen that is above following the laws decreed upon the rest of us. Perhaps the most dangerous people throughout human history are those who believe they are entitled to arm themselves while those they govern are not. It is a reminder to me that the NRA is the world’s most important secular organization.
— R. Trotter
I enthusiastically agree with Enemy Central’s award of EOW to the most dishonorable senator from Virginia. I did not believe Webb could dishonor himself or his office anymore than he had already done so when he insulted the President at a White House reception for Congress but once again just when you think a Democrat has taken bad behavior as far as it can go a new record is reached. I just wish Webb had taken a swing at President Bush and given the President or the Secret Service an opportunity to lower the boom on the foul mouthed little popinjay.
— Jack Wheatley
Royal Oak, Michigan
Very good. However, I think there are more Democrats who are just as deserving of this award. Keep up the good work.
— Joseph D’Ambrosia
In today’s EOW, you make the same mistake than many do when writing about former VP Al Gore. He did not win an Oscar. The movie he narrated did, as did the producer of the movie, but Gore is not listed as an official winner by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
— Name withheld
Enemy Central replies: Please reread. We refer to Al Gore as an Oscar wiener. Unlike Mr. Gore, we’d never claim to have no controlling legal authority.
ROMNEY’S TANK IS READY
Re: David Hogberg’s Mitt’s Epiphanies:
It seems to me having Mr. Hogberg as a regular contributor has been a very good thing for your site. I appreciate his insights and direct way of putting them in print. Issue Position by epiphany, very clever. I have been less troubled by the claimed flip flop concerning abortion than many groups would like to see I am sure, and while I generally like Mitt Romney and am surprised he has failed to move higher in the polls it was the end of Mr. Hogberg’s piece that will have m watching closely for round 2. The biggest issue I have had with Mitt Romney was his support for, and cheerleading for the health care debacle that Massachusetts seems to have gotten into. He helped get that particular camels nose under the tent to start that ball rolling and for this conservative that is probably too big an issue to overlook. Is there a parallel currently? Perhaps in a slightly different context. Think McCain /Feingold, too many politicians helped it pass expecting a President to veto it and/or SCOTUS to overturn it and looks what we got. What is the saying about evil triumphing because too many good men do nothing?
— Roger Ross
When Mr. Romney ran for the Senate against Ted Kennedy, I watched closely from my perch in New Hampshire. We, northern New Englanders, knew that, regardless of news reports to the contrary, it would take a Herculean effort to defeat Squire Ted. Mr. Romney seemed like a nice fellow, and he had, allegedly, pulled off a miracle in bringing in the Denver Olympics on time, on budget, and in the black.
We watched as Mitt ran one of the most inept campaigns seen in modern times in America. He not only lost, he was buried. The outcome was never really in doubt. As they say, the score did not adequately reflect the humiliating nature of the defeat. Mitt made Dukakis look like a genius in his campaign for the White House. Senator Allen seems to have achieved parity with Mitt in his recent re-election defeat, but I need a bit more evidence.
Apropos to the article by Mr. Hogberg, it seemed that all that was required for Mitt to change his mind about an issue, was for his opponent to “get in his face” about it. Does that suggest a lack of true core beliefs? I will let you decide for yourself. I merely report the observations from that time and that race.
— Ken Shreve
BLINDER LEADING THE BLIND
Re: John Tamny’s Blinder’s Blinders:
Recently I read a column by a British writer, who was amazed at Great Britain’s new found prosperity. As he surveyed the wreckage of past industries that have long since diminished, he couldn’t understand where all the wealth was coming from. The UK once had a proud tradition of industrial might. Its steel mills, mines, shipyards, auto plants, motor cycle plants, tool and die shops, etc… are largely gone. Yet, today he visits malls, stores, vacation retreats, and new homes filled with happy consumers. Where did all the money come from? What were people doing that generated such wealth in the UK?
Since Thatcher’s reforms 25 years ago, the UK has unconsciously or consciously gotten out of the traditional manufacturing sector. UK firms still own them, but the actual brick and mortar infrastructure has moved to Asia. The real value of their firms lie in the management and ownership of the enterprise, and not in the manufacturing division. The old skills needed to forge steel, machine, and fabricate, are gone due to automation. What was once high skilled (manual too and die) is now unskilled due to wire EDMs, CNCs, and laser cutters. The value lies in getting the product designed, and to market at the cheapest price. The UK now employs more corporate lawyers, engineers, project managers, finance specialists than ever before. In the realm of global finance, London has replaced Wall St thanks in large part to Sarbanes Oxley. A medium sized multinational corporation of 50 employees now generates more wealth than a large piece parts firm that employs 500 machinists.
This transformation didn’t come about overnight. And it should be a lesson to those policymakers here that wish to tinker. We have no idea what skills will be needed a decade from now, let alone 3 decades. Ten years ago, job counselors were pushing hundreds of thousands into the IT field. Yet, even in IT the outsourcing bug has hit. It may surprise some, but even programming skills can be commoditized.
Re: Ellie Binder’s letter (under “Remember the Troops”) in Reader Mail’s At the Foot of the Master:
Two of my sons and my daughter (U.S. Army) served recently in Baghdad, I know your anguish well.
Steyr-Mannlicher (weapons manufacturer) of Austria , a so-called ally, sold 800 50 caliber sniper rifles to Iran. Each sniper rifle costs $20,000. These sniper rifles can hit a target over one mile away. The ammunition used is armor piercing. It is estimated over 150 soldiers have been killed by this weapon.
Austria assured Britain and the U,S. that Iran had guaranteed them an end-user agreement that these weapons would only be used in Iran for drug smuggling interdiction.
If you search the Internet, “Austria-sniper- rifle-Iran”, you will see a picture of this deadly weapon.
I urge all Spectator readers to write their congressmen and demand sanctions against Austria and a moratorium on any weapons purchases from Steyr-Mannlicher.
My third son left for Afghanistan two weeks ago.
— Fred Edwards
Re: Lisa Fabrizio’s Too Late?:
Well, Lisa, I’m not sure what to think of Fred after reading the Daily Kos comments you cite, then reading the comments of Dr. James Dobson. Down here in Texas, if you’re “baptized into the Church of Christ,” as Thompson’s spokesman put it, you ARE the church. Of course, the “Church of Christ” baptizes unto the same end as the apostle Paul describes in Romans 6:3, that is, “into Christ.” It may be that Dr. Dobson as an “evangelical Christian” baptizes for some other reason, but it’s rather disconcerting, at the very least, to think that Fred puts the fear of God into the Daily Kos, and the fear of Satan into Dr. Dobson’s evangelicals, despite Fred’s confession of faith in the Lord. I do hope we can clear up this confusion, as I am of the opinion that we can’t have a Rudy, Newt, and Fred all claiming to be conservatives, yet not fully satisfying Dr. Dobson’s definition of Christian, and thus possibly losing the support of millions of evangelicals who, by the way, would do well to learn to think for themselves.
— Mike Showalter
FAIR AND BALANCED
Re: Quin Hillyer’s Hillary’s Real School for Scandal:
Hillary’s wrongdoing is chump change compared to the out-of-control government over which George Bush rules. (Hillary’s Real School for Scandal, March 29) The U.S. Justice Department’s bungling of federal attorney firings is nothing compared to Gonzales turning two border patrol agents into political prisoners for defending themselves against an illegal alien drug smuggler, in order to pacify the Mexican government and discourage arrests of illegal border crossers.
Hillary’s cattle futures is minor compared to the billions of dollars in earmarks the Republican Congress helped itself to by stealing from taxpayers, and how does one explain the enormous wealth legislators always seem to end up with upon leaving office?
Whitewater and Castle Grande hurt retirees and taxpayers for a bank failure, but the billions of dollars wasted in government mismanagement of Katrina and catering to the financial demands of illegal aliens dwarfs Hillary’s activities. California alone pays billions of dollars annually to incarcerate illegal alien criminals and educate illegal aliens and their children. As for fundraising and pardon scandals, have Republicans already forgotten Jack Abramoff and Bush’s multiple pardons of criminals, including a mineworker union member convicted of a role in bombing a West Virginia coal mine?
For a list of the assorted lowlifes given a second chance by Bush, see this. Law enforcement officers railroaded by Gonzales’ Justice Department are not on that list. Hillary’s transgressions look smaller by the day, compared to Bush’s crony appointments, Republicans selling out the country with amnesty schemes for illegal aliens and legislators that care nothing for the struggle of ordinary Americans.
— Caroline Miranda
North Hollywood, California
Thanks for the recitation of the most prominent scandals with which Hillary Rodham Clinton has been involved. But I wonder if your statement that “the ‘mainstream’ media doesn’t know what a real scandal is,” is accurate.
I believe they know quite well what a real scandal is. Why else have they gone to such great lengths in the past few years to non-report or ignore things like John Kerry and the Swift Boat unpleasantness? The women in Bill Clinton’s past who’ve accused him of rape or other things? Vince Foster’s “suicide”? Dan Rather’s and CBS’ smearing of President Bush? The real story about Valerie Plame and her husband? Etc.? Etc.? Etc.?
Face it: They don’t want to report the story. It’s counter to their ideology. And it’d offend their masters or their lackeys, depending on your view of the Democrats/liberals/leftists relationship with the mainstream media.
— C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia
BE MY GUEST
Re: W. James Antle’s Comprehensive Confusion:
The big problem with any Guest Worker bill is that it will eventually allow the admission of skilled tradesmen into the country to compete against our own skilled workers.
Here is an example of what will happen.
In November of 2005 the INS investigated a complaint that illegal aliens were employed at a construction site in Schuylkill County Pennsylvania. Wal-Mart was constructing a large distribution center in a new industrial complex adjacent to Interstate 81. When the complaint was investigated the INS discovered that the Private Contractor building the center had hired close to 130 illegal Mexican workers. All of them were skilled in the construction trades having worked in them while home in Mexico. They were planning to return home after their current job ended. The INS had to get buses from the Schuylkill County Transportation Authority to haul them off.
Wal-Mart, of course, denied any knowledge of these infractions, but the fact remains that they could have hired any number of Contractors from the immediate surrounding area who used non-union American workers. But then, they would have to pay higher wages and the bottom line was more important to them than their fellow citizens were. As Thomas Jefferson famously said: “Merchants have no allegiances.”
— Bob Keiser
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Re: Quin Hillyer’s reply to Abe Grossman (under “An Inconvenient Truth”) in Reader Mail’s At the Foot of the Master:
Quin Hillyer’s reply to Mr. Grossman’s defense of Hillary Clinton’s corruption was refreshing and right on target. The Clinton’s are wealthy, because Bill took bribes for pardons and now will say anything for a buck to anti-American mobs. As for Obama his sleazy land deals and dishonesty about his Muslim heritage make it clear honesty is not a virtue he enjoys. Mr. Grossman is proof that Democrat voters prefer gross dishonesty, corruption and lies to honest and clean government.
When Republicans find corruption in their midst they remove it. DemocRATS on the other defend it, praise it, protect it and promote it. Who are real purveyors of a “Culture of Corruption?” DemocRATS.
— Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Re: James Srodes’s Terms of Enrichment and the response from Mr. Roger D. McKinney (under “Wealth and Poverty”) in Reader Mail’s At the Foot of the Master:
I agree with you but for one point: When LBJ decided to fight his “War on Poverty,” he needed a target. Hence, the totally artificial poverty level. Many people in this country are poor, with or without welfare, but NO ONE lives in poverty! Once again, figures don’t lie but liars figure!
— C.D. Lueders
OUT OF SEITZ
Re: Paul Beston’s AmSpecBlog entry Paging Margaret Thatcher:
In “Paging Margaret Thatcher,” Paul Beston asks:
“At what point does an outgoing prime minister’s patience run out for the national humiliation that is being perpetrated on the British? If Tony Blair thought his chance to go out in a blaze of glory had vanished, he was wrong. The chance has presented itself, provided he has the gumption to take it. And I hope if and when he does, he has a populace behind him that is equally galvanized.”
I hope Tehran hears the Alliance message on the kidnapped Cornwall crew loud and clear , and am all for Tony Blair going one way or another, but how do you intend persuading Chalabi, or the new guy in the Green Zone, to declare the Falkland Islands the Sixth Province Of Iraq, so you can start beating the drums for a galvanizing Argentine build-up on the Iranian border ?
— Russell Seitz
Re: Amy K. Mitchell’s Double Trouble:
JACK BAUER, OF COURSE
He’s an American idol. He’s the guy next door.
He’s just like us, but a whole lot more.
Not sophisticated, not smooth, but we all know
He’s our new John Wayne. He’s G.I. Joe.
There is no doubt about it, there’s no contest.
Jack Bauer is the best of all the rest.
— Mimi Evans Winship