RETURN TO RNC
Re: Larry Thornberry’s Listed for Life:
Like Mr. Thornberry, for the last ten years I have sent the requests by the RNC back to them at their expense. If in a foul mood at the time some of the garbage readily available in the round file is included as well, the idea being if the RNC continues to send me unwanted trash I’ll do my best to keep the USPS busy hauling it. As long as they spend to buy votes Republicans continue to waste taxpayer’s money like a drunken sailor in a foreign port I’ll be damned if I make a contribution.
Bravo! I have been sending notes back to the RNC’s solicitations (alas with no monetary contribution) for years now, and I am still henpecked by their constant mailings that contain no hint of the true Republican messages that were evident during Ronald Reagan’s stay in the White House. How incredibly sad; they’ve obviously ignored my notes for the past 18 years (I often think they have some third party service opening the return envelopes and they toss everything away but the money) and I am now in a quandary as to what should be done next. I suppose they have enough wealthy Rockefeller-type Republicans still contributing and will keep the party afloat, although it will no longer retain the conservative element (i.e., the rest of us who are more average, less wealthy, less influential) it once had. We’ll just have to try and wrestle it away again, assuming it doesn’t die of its own stupidity, or maybe start another party. It’s been done before; isn’t that how the Republican Party came into being in the first place?
— David P. Bennett
As Mr. Thornberry points out, it’s bad enough that they can’t (or won’t) get the message; it’s worse that they deign to proscribe a minimum level of support. The check-off boxes for contribution amounts always begin with $25, as though anything less than that is insulting, not worth bothering with, and a reflection on the donor’s lowly and laughable economic status.
It’s like the Seinfeld episode in which the director of a homeless shelter indignantly refuses to accept a big bag of perfectly good muffin “stems.”
— Chuck Vail
Love this article. I have also sent mine back with the caption of, when you stop wasting my tax dollars on pork, just maybe I will send something. In the meantime just take my contribution out of that pork.
— Elaine Kyle
I agree with Larry Thornberry. Since sending a small contribution during W’s 2000 campaign I have been deluged with various solicitations from the RNC and other republican committees. I would add my comments to the forms and surveys, and return without contributions. I am convinced they only look for a check and my comments go unread.
— Phil Warnecke
I am not really surprised to read I am not the only one writing messages on Republican solicitations for money and returning them in postage paid envelops sans contribution. Of course I suffer pangs of remorse when I hear of wise and principled Republican political moves like, for example, “non-amnesty” pardons for violations of the immigration laws (“Hey, it worked before!”), or $100 “gas rebates” to taxpayers instead of say, lowering taxes on gasoline or, heaven forbid, reopening the debate on drilling off-shore or in ANWAR (home of the world’s largest mosquito herd, as noted by columnist Mark Steyn). Avoiding perhaps irreversible commitments to long term solutions for perennial problems is the mark of true statesmen.
Still I can hold my remorse in check and can still sleep at night because in my replies I always suggest how the Party might redeem itself and earn my future contributions. Unfortunately, by their behavior it appears the Republicans do not seem to miss my contributions much. Hopefully they won’t miss my vote much either.
— R.A. White
I don’t know why you thought getting mail from the RNC warrants an article. I am bombarded by crap from DNC. I have never voted with the Democrats and don’t know why they send me emails and junk mail all the time. I just save it and then have a little party and burn all of it in my fireplace. Get proactive, man.
— Tom Callahan
Mr. Thornberry’s column is so true to my experience, and my sentiments, that I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, so I did both at the same time. Over the last five years, I have learned that the modifier “compassionate,” when used with the word “conservative,” has the effect of canceling or reversing the meaning of the word “conservative.” George Orwell would be so proud of George Bush.
Mr. Thornberry does not mention my own personal favorite missive. I get them from the RNC, Speaker Dennis Hastert, and used to get them from Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich, and from the appropriate senator at any given point in time. I refer to the opinion survey missive. I am always assured, in terms most solemn, that the RNC or Mr. ________ (fill in the blank) awaits, with bated breath, my own exalted opinion. Without it, they simply can not go through another month. Of course they also want my most generous possible contribution.
I am sure that the completed survey answers are not tallied or entered into any relevant data base. If they were, the POTUS, the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, etc. would NOT be pursuing the course that they are on such issues as border control, spending, entitlements, court appointments, accommodations with the Dems on policies and/or procedures, the Minutemen, “dissing” of the conservative base voters, etc., ad infinitum.
Ain’t political fundraising a hoot?
— Ken Shreve
Larry Thornberry’s article on the RNC mailings was terrific. I get about five a week and it only reminds me how ineffective the party is. I can only imagine how their contributions have fallen off.
— Bernard Richter
Re: Doug Powers’s Governmental Viscosity Breakdown:
Doug Powers certainly comes through with a delightful skewering of Congress and the hacks that populate it in regards to their recent howls of “price gouging” and “collusion” relative to the recent hikes in gasoline prices. What is even more ludicrous (and we’re not talking that no-talent rap nit-wit) is resident Dummycrat spinster librarian (with apologies to all decent librarians out there) Chuckie Schumer demanding a break-up of “Big Oil,” just like what John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil went through back in the early 1900s.
Tell you what — let us demand a breakup of “Big Government” in the same way. Max Schulz at TCS Daily reports that, according to the Tax Foundation, the Government has collected “more than $1.34 TRILLION (after adjusting for inflation) in gasoline revenue taxes since 1977 — more than TWICE the amount of domestic profits earned by all major U.S. oil companies during the same period. As Schulz writes, “Sounds like a monopoly to me.”
— Jim Bjaloncik
Keep more of Mr. Powers coming. He puts a comedic spin on the current events, and it’s a very entertaining read. I like the part about the rum runner and the gigolo!
— John P.
It should be required by law that every gas pump has a sticker with the amount of tax being paid on each gallon, then maybe voters would know who to go after about the cost of gasoline.
— Elaine Kyle
BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD
Re: Mark Tooley’s The Founding Believer:
One thing that seems to be lost on secular biographers and many others who tend to claim that Washington was a deist is that he, of all people, understood the reason why this country was founded to begin with — religious freedom. From his writings, this concept of religious liberty free from the constraints of a government controlled church was clearly evident and probably was one of the reasons for the deist crowd’s claims. George Washington understood clearly the meaning of freedom of religion and its importance, something that is lost on the secularists and most modern scholars, who apparently give no thought to such an idea.
— G. Sorrentino
Great article. I’m reading this book right now. George Washington was an amazing man who was so humble in his submission to and reverence to God. Washington’s perseverance is inspiring; he had so many failures but continued on knowing God would sustain him.
Minimizing, if not dismissing, George Washington’s Christianity is simply another short-term victory for those secular-humanists who revise our country’s history to suit their belief it is we, humans, who are the divinity, not the Lord God. And that life has no sanctity nor prayer, value.
It is time that we who differ with them remember it is we who must stand, accountably and publicly, for the same faith beliefs as President Washington had. And, yes, write and speak about it all over this land when that is what’s required.
— C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia
Re: Jed Babbin’s CIA’s Castra Praetoria:
I read Jed Babbin’s fantasy in your online issue, “CIA’s Castra Praetoria,” with mixed emotions. I am flattered that he thinks that I am so powerful and so influential that he needs to misrepresent my thoughts and actions. I will frame one of the passages from his article that comments on what I have written with respect to Mary McCarthy. According to Babbin:
“Johnson has been indiscreet before about what he learns from inside the CIA. His bias is manifest, and his reliability is — at best — questionable. But what he says in this case makes sense.”
Now, that is a news headline — JED BABBIN BELIEVES LARRY JOHNSON MAKES SENSE.
If Jed had simply given me a call I could have disabused him of the notion that I found out deep dark secrets from colleagues inside the CIA about what Mary McCarthy was doing (or not doing). After being told by several reporters that Mary had been working in the Inspector Generals office, I did something that the The American Spectator‘s writers ought to try — I sat down and did some reflective, analytical thinking. Using something called logic, I was able to point out that Mary’s lack of service on the clandestine side of the CIA meant that she was really not in a position to know much about secret prisons unless the issue was being investigated.
I am very concerned, however, by The American Spectator‘s complete ignorance about the history of the last thirty years. You allow Jed Babbin to make what is probably one of the stupidest claims in the 21st century. Babbin states:
The only victories the CIA has achieved since the Cuban Missile Crisis have been in the arena in which it is legally forbidden to operate: in the domestic politics of the United States. The Joe Wilson Niger trip was set up to produce publicity adverse to the Bush administration and its case for war in Iraq. Wilson was sent to Niger without a security agreement, which is normally required of everyone working in intelligence.
I am a fan of hyperbole as much as the next guy, but have you folks lost your mind? Let us recall for starters the victory achieved over Soviet backed insurgents in Central America and Africa during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. CIA played a critical role in those victories. Let’s not forget the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. A book by Milt Bearden and James Risen, The Main Enemy, lays that story out in some detail. You might want to pick up a copy. Reading is a great way to learn things.
Apparently Babbin (and your editors) also were asleep at the switch when CIA officers Gary Schroen and Gary Berntsen led the clandestine U.S. war against Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. We won that operation (even though George Bush shifted intelligence and military resources from the hunt for Bin Laden to prep for war in Iraq). The CIA has had several important victories besides the one acknowledged by Jed.
With respect to Babbin’s claim that Joe Wilson’s trip to Niger was set up to “produce publicity adverse to the Bush Administration,” that is sheer utter nonsense. While I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Valerie Wilson (the former Valerie Plame), I have never known her to be a clairvoyant. Jed asks us to believe that Valerie Wilson, a GS-13 intelligence officer (who was in a non-official cover capacity at the time), convinced Dick Cheney to ask his briefers for additional information about an intelligence report claiming Iraq was trying to buy uranium in Niger. Using her magical powers, she anticipated in February of 2002 that George W. Bush would be on the verge of going to war in Iraq in January of 2003 and would use the claim of Iraq’s uranium buying spree as one of the key justifications for starting the war. Blessed with this advance knowledge, the blond Mata Hari, a.k.a. Wilson, manipulated her bosses at the CIA to ask her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, to go to Niger and come back with news that the intel was bogus. Then, she controlled the CIA reports officers and kept the information secret waiting to strike until Bush announced at the State of the Union that Niger was trying to buy uranium (even though CIA kept telling him no).
You guys could not sell this crap to a B-movie producer in Hollywood. What actually happened is becoming clearer with every passing day. George W. Bush was told repeatedly in intelligence analysts, including the Deputy Director of the CIA (i.e., John McLaughlin) and the National Intelligence Officer for Africa (Ambassador Robert G. Houdek). We also have learned that the Chief of the Directorate of Operations European Division, Ty Drumheller, warned the President directly about false intelligence being used to justify war planning.
I guess it is fair to say you folks are strong supporters of the methods of George Bush. Like him, you ignore history, you butcher facts, and you have a healthy fantasy life. God save the United States of America.
— Larry C. Johnson
I don’t have much faith in the FBI either. I worked at a bank once that had a night time robbery and the FBI could not figure out how it was done. I tried to tell them and they did not want to hear it and it was never solved, but the employee that did it was still at work. This was a no-brainer to figure out.
— Elaine Kyle
From your article “CIA’s Castra Praetoria”: “The CIA’s firing of Mary McCarthy, who reportedly leaked the CIA secret detention facility program to Dana Priest of the Washington Post, is a case study of the CIA’s interference in American policy-making. As a top-secret program, the terrorist detention facility program was apparently compartmented: the information about it divided into small chunks so that only a few people at the top could know all about the program and be in a position to do damage by disclosing it. McCarthy wasn’t one of the top people, so how could she learn?”
If Mrs. McCarthy supposedly leaked classified information where are the charges against her?
Please. You have allowed another shill to print bogus sensational information that misleads the citizens of this country.
Maybe you should spend more time focusing on the real leakers. Those who the Justice Department has setup special council for such, someone like Patrick Fitzgerald comes to mind.
Or maybe you should send Jed Babbin over to the Administration where he could serve “dutifully” with Tony Snow.
— William F. Gardner, “a former Spectator reader”
P.S. How much does your company make from covering up the political dismissal of long time government employees from federal agencies because they have dissenting views that oppose the administration?
Sounds like the US taxpayer could save himself $40 billions a year by closing down the CIA and relying on the old KGB. The KGB and the CIA both hate America and try to undermine it, but the KGB does it for free.
— Christopher H
Re: Carol Platt Liebau’s Primo de Mayo:
Our cheap-labor President and Republican leaders and Vote-Loving Democrats have sold the country out. Human nature tends towards selfishness and these work walkouts by the illegal aliens were so very predictable years ago. I will make two more predictions. First, these walkouts and protests will calm down for awhile. Second, within 20 years the same people who walked out today will be rioting and burning American cities, along with millions more of their relatives and progeny.
— Steve Cade
A RACE TO SECOND PLACE
Re: Shawn Macomber’s Plantation Oblige:
Living in North Carolina and having to stomach John Edwards overly syrupy good old boy Southern charm is more than a human being can stand. This Charlotte trial lawyer is neither good old boy nor charming. John Edwards is as ruthless and cunning as Hillary Clinton and will stop at nothing or cares who he uses and tosses away to get to the White House. The majority of North Carolinians who voted for Mr. Edwards feel like all day suckers because when John was sworn in, he was so intent on getting the VP spot on the Democratic ticket he completely forgot what state he represented. This is exactly why he didn’t run for reelection because the polls indicated he wouldn’t get enough votes for dog catcher. John Edwards burned his political bridges in North Carolina and it won’t be surprising if he pops up in another state like a bad rash that won’t go away.
— Melvin L. Leppla
Jacksonville, North Carolina
AUSSIE, MEET CONSTITUTION
Re: Nathan Maskiell’s letter (“Aussie Cultural Advice”) in Reader Mail’s Langley’s Last Legs:
I found Nathan Maskiell’s missive “Aussie Cultural Advice” to be both interesting and curious. His comment about New York “running” the U.S. (“If New York could run the U.S., rednecks and hillbillies [read Southern Republicans and god-botherers] would be a thing of the past, and China would be working for the U.S., not the other way around.”) has some Constitutional problems, I think. I don’t remember the section of the Constitution that enables single state dominance over the remaining forty-nine. Also, it brings to mind a lovely French saying that roughly translates to “If my Aunt had b—s, she would be my Uncle.”
— Marc O’Dell
IF YOU DARE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s A Cautionary Tale:
Once again, thanks for a great column. Sorry I’m a bit late, but, as always, I send my response in verse:
On September eleventh, two thousand and one
I stood on a pier in the late morning sun.
Across the Potomac I expected to see
The United States Capital cease to be.
With the smoke from the Pentagon dark at my back,
I waited with friends for the likely attack.
For just at that moment, it was around midday,
We were sure that the forth plane was heading our way.
Friends and family still living in my old home town
Saw on the skyline Two Towers burn down.
And into the breach of black ashes and dust
Stepped a Wartime Leader whom we could trust.
Forget? I will never, and who else will dare
To pretend the continuing threat isn’t there.
To all those who snivel and shrivel and bleat,
Whose only solution is to whine in defeat,
I say run as far and as fast as you can.
Get away from each decent woman and man
Who despises you for giving our freedom away
So that you can regain your power someday.
“Be kind to our enemies, show them we care.
Don’t tap their phone lines. It isn’t fair.”
The word used to be treason, but be aware.
We’re on to you now. Bait us more if you dare.
— Mimi Winship