Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Why So Glum?:
Yes. Let’s not panic. To me, things are not even going all that badly, but maybe I am not tuned into the Washington wavelength. I saw the cavalry arrive in New Orleans on Friday morning and it looked pretty good to me.
When I heard der schlickmeister (bow to Rush) deliver his broadside against Bush’s policy in Iraq it occurred to me that his ear was failing him. Why go after Bush just when it looks like we are breaking the back of the bad guys, the Iraq Army is kicking in, and we are moving toward a vote on the constitution? Sort of like declaring WWII a disaster after the Battle of the Bulge. Bad timing.
Bush has Reagan’s advantage: He simply doesn’t care what they think in the more rarefied reaches of the mainstream/Democratic press. Nor should we.
— Greg Richards
“The shrieks heard from the Democrats these days puts me in mind of one of my most deeply held beliefs about politics, to wit: Rather than being shaped by principles or by interests, most political issues are shaped by mental illness, namely the need of some citizens to be perpetually angry.”
I love these words; they are so apt at this time!
I believe President Bush will be seen as a success, and it time will be seen as a great success.
Outstanding. As usual, Mr. Tyrrell made a series of on-the-mark observations in a short piece. Bush is far from finished. The only thing that could — will — de-rail his presidency is abandonment by his party’s right. And that won’t happen unless he selects a moderate — even a John Roberts-type moderate — to replace O’Connor. Presidents who survive do so because they hold on to their base party support. It’s why Reagan and Clinton survived, and why Nixon and Carter didn’t. Bush ought to show his loyalty — and make the most historically significant Court nomination in history — by naming Janice Rogers Brown to the Court. She’s black, female, daughter of a Southern sharecropper, and attended Cal State-Sacramento and UCLA law school, instead of Stanford or Chicago or an Ivy League joint. She’d be the people’s choice on a Court soon to have 5 Harvard members and eight from Ivy schools. She’s the natural nominee of a principled, combative president — especially one who says he admires Clarence Thomas.
— William G. Borges
All this Bush bashing by so-called conservatives is, to say the least, disheartening. For me, it evokes unlikely image of a home team quarterback being booed by the boosters club while trying to save a close game. I think some linguine spines could learn a tad about loyalty from the Dems. Remember how they defended the INDEFENSIBLE during the late Clinton years? This president has faced some unprecedented challenges, and some of the magnitude that only a few presidents have faced, and for the most part, has performed admirably. With all this carping, I wonder if you would like to see him replaced, and if so, by whom? Try to imagine, if you can, ANY of the current presidential prospects being in similar circumstances and similarly trying times as these. In my opinion, the president’s biggest handicap, besides a lousy PR team, is the shortage of loyal republicans to do what he wont do for himself, and that is, defend him against incessant , and mostly unwarranted partisan attacks. Cut the man some slack!
— H. Cannon
Candler, North Carolina
I know it’s hard for you to get the image of Bush with his arm around the fireman at ground zero out of your head, but give it up!
You are giving Bush entirely too much credit. He is not all that great of a politician. Yes, he did respond well to 9.11. But he pretty much erased that gain with Iraq, and is keeping himself down with Katrina…
Ain’t it grand?
On what planet are you living? In my 50 odd years I have seen “ups and downs” but it is now clear that the Republican Party has been drifting farther and farther away from its “values.” They clearly made a HUGE mistake with George W. Four years after 9/11 we have yet to find bin Laden and are barely “in control” in Afghanistan. Iraq is increasingly OUT of control, a meat grinder that we may never escape.
The “conservative” view of limited government has been a joke with EXPANSION, INCOMPETENCE and WASTE beyond measure. We have spent MORE on government, and gotten LESS for our money than in any past administration.
Having worked hard in my life to achieve the “American Dream” I see it floating away and expect it will be beyond the grasp of my children who will be paying the cost of this administration’s financial excesses.
The Republican Party I know runs LOCAL government competently and efficiently, providing reasonably good value and service for our taxes — obscene as they are. Yet I cannot say the same of ANY level of government beyond the village level.
It is clear that the Republican Party I was a member of is gone. Limited government staying OUT of MY life, financially prudent, COMPETENT in providing necessary functions. Anyone else remember those days?
I expect that I am not alone in feeling NOBODY represents ME and the rest “in the middle” anymore. Rhetoric over religious issues does not take the place of real accomplishments. Frankly I believe in the separation of church and state. I do not want religious issues spilling into politics. Government should stay OUT of my personal life, and that of others.
I find the lack of real “leadership” in this country appalling. This current administration seems to have perfected “image” over substance, but the image is now shot. Reality has intruded. Inept political appointees and skilled “spin doctors” cannot deal with REAL problems where competence in government is necessary.
I have the sickening feeling that I am witness to the decline and fall of the United States of America. At least in the past another party could have broken off and given us, the majority, a chance to make our voices heard. But the powers that be do not want competition so we are stuck with a “two party” system that represents a minority and accomplishes nothing.
T.R.’s Bull Moose Party was 100 years too early.
— J.M. Heins
Re: David Hogberg’s Endangered Specious Acts:
I have yet to see anything come out of Congress but their “so-called” good intentions, especially folks calling themselves conservationists. Most write quacko provisions within bills at the last minute. From a family that has ranched with great care and conservation for over 120+ years, I am still reminded by true story my Dad told about a group of Washington staffers and conservationists who were taken on a tour of his ranch in the Texas hill country, west of Austin, sometime in the 1980s.
While driving them around his near 2,000-acre ranch, one lady looked at his beautiful cattle and asked him, with all seriousness, where the cows went to the bathroom at, and didn’t that stand a chance at polluting the water. My father, ever the Southern gentleman and not used to ladies asking such direct questions about such behavior was stricken. He said he didn’t want to laugh out loud but knew this fruitcake was a few nuts short. He said to her, “Ma’am, cattle have been going where they want to for centuries here in Texas!” The Washington nut then said aloud to the group that she wanted to go back and write up a bill to make ranchers but some sort of diaper on all their cows.
Dad said he knew then for certain that conservationists were one screw short of any normal intelligence and to be feared in all cases!
— Beverly Gunn
East Texas Rancher
Even if the Federal Government puts in controls, it is the state and local governments that have been encouraged to use the Kelo Decision. It does not matter to me if the government, state, local or federal, wants to take or modify your property rights to generate either a higher economic use to get more tax money or a lower economic use to get more habitat for endangered species, property rights are still diminished without full compensation. This whole idea that you can take or partially take and partially compensate for taking the use of property is a tar baby. Even though controls on what you can do with your property, especially with water, are centuries old, we started slapping this tar baby when zoning was given credibility by the Supreme Court. The more you slap it and kick it, the bigger the mess you make of property rights. Just because the Republicans are taking a crack at it does not mean that they will do any better.
— Danny L. Newton
ON A CLEAR DAY
Re: Lisa Fabrizio’s Shake, Rattle, and Poll:
Hey, here’s another reason for the liberal funk. Not only are things going well for America, as Lisa Fabrizio points out, but at the same time things are going noticeably badly for the liberal media. For example, just earlier this week, it was reported that there big layoffs are coming to the newsroom of the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News.
The politically correct spin on this development is that these newspapers are suffering from competition from new and alternative news sources like talk radio and the Internet. This is true but there is also another factor. The public is getting sick and tired of the liberal media’s blame-America-first posture, its anti-Christian bias, and its knee-jerk support for left wing causes ranging to homosexual rights to abortion to higher taxes.
The liberals are even having nightmares about one of the main foundations of the progressive movement: evolution. Their stonewalling is being steadily eroded away by openness to Intelligent Design.
As astute liberals know, their demise has just started. No wonder liberals are the dourest people you’ll ever meet.
— Peter Skurkiss
All you wailing, so-called “wanna be” conservatives can borrow some backbone from Lisa. Thank you, Lisa, for seeing things so clearly.
With daily amazement,
— Marvin Hill
Lewisville, North Carolina
TAKING ONE’S MEDICINE
Re: David Holman’s Unsafe in Any Dose:
In your article promoting continued government restriction of prescription drug imports, you assume to possess a basic knowledge of economics, yet you have forgotten one crucial lesson that Adam Smith gave us: all voluntary exchanges are mutually beneficial. The government has no right to intervene if an individual in the United States want to purchase anything from anyone, as long as both parties are in agreement. By purchasing and using any drugs, consumers take the risk that the seller may not have been completely honest, but again from Adam Smith: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our meal, but from their regard to their own interest.” Drug retailers in any part of the world could not long make money by selling counterfeit drugs, and in response to the fly-by-night operations that might try, the free market would generate the incentive for independent companies to conduct random tests and certify (at a price) only sellers that proved reliable. Similarly, consumers would have the incentive to purchase only from sellers that had prove to be trustworthy. Granted, there could be no long term economic gain from re-importing drugs from Canada. If the Canadian government did not give up price controls (which would certainly be a beneficial side-effect), the drug companies probably would restrict sales there. Even still, it is immoral for the government to interfere in the voluntary transaction of its citizens.
The right to conduct one’s own business and to dispose of one’s own property freely is the basic foundation of our nation. It seems, though, that most of us have forgotten this, as evidenced by the massive regulatory role the government now plays in many different industries.
Regardless, we must recognize these trespasses as wrong, and never argue in their favor.
— Scott Bennett
Dave Holman makes two significant errors in his article, one of omission, another of language.
The omission is failing to note that many pharmaceutical factories outside the USA are subject to U.S. FDA inspection, and the only “reimportation” that is being considered by Congress is from those factories. If you can’t trust those drugs, then you can’t trust the Made-in-the-USA versions either.
The language error is stating, “Pharmaceutical companies sell their products at market prices,” then actually documenting how those very companies sell at non-market prices to every country in the world, the only exception being to the American consumer.
Regardless of how large or how little the American consumer subsidizes drug prices in Canada, Western Europe or wherever, this non-market price practice has got to end, and “reimportation” is the wooden stake in the vampire’s heart that will do it.
— Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey
David Holman replies:
On the market prices point, no correction is needed. I stand by the sentence that they sell at market prices. They do, in the U.S. Mr. Natoli’s point is rhetorical: he apparently wants to mandate indirectly that the pharmaceutical industry charge foreign consumers higher prices. This is a fallacy for two reasons: the industry will probably stop selling to these foreign countries. That doesn’t mean those countries will open their markets. Further, that segment of the overall market is not significant to lower prices enough to the drug import crowd’s satisfaction.
On the omission, the Food and Drug Administration inspects many of these factories, but that does not guarantee the safety and security of the drugs once they enter the market. Americans and American pharmacies wouldn’t be importing directly from factories, but through wholesalers and other middlemen. In fact, the FDA itself discourages drug reimportation. As the Dr. Randall Lutter, acting associate commissioner for policy and planning at the FDA, wrote to Texas Gov. Rick Perry in June, “In our experience, many drugs obtained from foreign sources that purport and appear to be the same as U.S. approved prescription drugs have been of unknown origin and quality. We cannot provide adequate assurance to the American public that the drug products delivered to consumers in the United States from foreign countries are the same as products approved by FDA.”
Regarding the letter from Mr. Bennett, it seems he would have us abolish the FDA and nearly every government regulation. I too yearn for a smaller government. As sympathetic as I may be to Mr. Bennett’s ultra-libertarian argument, basic regulation is appropriate in some areas. Drug quality is one such area. Practically speaking, his proposal is simplistic. Without adequate control over the exchanges of drug shipments, the industry is quite vulnerable to expert forgerers. And then, for all you know, your heart medication could be talc.
DELUSION AT THE TOP
Re: Patrick Devenny’s Trouble in Damascus:
I want to thank Mr. Devenny for his fine article regarding Syria, the Assads and the Assad regime.
For many years now is has been a mystery to me where we find so many people like Mr. Flynt Leverett, that can find innumerable reasons to believe that our foes are really nice people and are not really our foes after all. Several have even made it to flag rank in the Navy and are determined to teach all of us, the government included, that the Communist Chinese are really not nearly as bad as we might think. How many told us that Saddam Hussein wasn’t really an evil murderer in Iraq. Then there are the Mullahs in Iran and their friends the “moderate” politicians. How can supposedly intelligent people be so naive, so stuck on stupid?
I also often wonder why we want to find such people and why we don’t just tell them to sit down and shut up while the adults actually run the gubmint.
— Ken Shreve
MUST BE THE PRODUCT
Re: George Neumayr’s I Am Somebody!:
Rather and company forget one thing. The public left them, not the other way around. Danny Boy et al. can wail, quiver and gnash their teeth all they want. Simple fact, viewers caught on to the bias and abandoned them. And from the say it ain’t so file, the New York Times has hit the skids. Punch just announced layoffs due to a decline in circulation. How’s that; the newspaper of record losing readers! Might it have something to do with inaccuracy, fraud and histrionics on the editorial page?
— Bob Montrose
Fort Lee, New Jersey
THE SLEEPING PRESIDENCY
Re: “Huffingtonian” letters in Reader Mail’s Clintonian Reactors:
I assume that you culled these particular letters for a purpose. The strident negativity was jarring.
I am the last person to defend the Bush administration for everything that it does. Personally, I feel that it was a mistake to promise the moon as far as providing aid to the victims of Katrina is concerned. $150 to $200 billion in federal spending is staggering and now we have Rita bearing down on Houston. How much will the administration pledge for relief there? But is this administration a disaster? No. Why not? Let’s take a look at it.
This administration inherited two big problems, a looming worldwide recession and radical Islamic terrorism. Added to this was a hostile press corps, the likes of which had not been seen since the Nixon administration. Compound that with a President who is not a true fiscal conservative and is, in many ways, a social moderate and you have a sure fire recipe for mediocrity.
Yet, this administration stepped up to the plate and effectively handled the recession and set back the effectiveness of radical Islamic terrorism by several years. It removed a vicious dictator and put the problem children of the world on notice. None of this was perfect, but it has been effective.
At the beginning of the second term, the administration saw an opportunity to get on with what it considered its true calling, making fundamental changes in the societal safety nets in this country.
And that is where it all went wrong. This administration does not have a clear view of its legacy. This President was never destined to be the Social Security president. He was destined to be the physical security president. The lunatic left, for all their problems, sense this and it terrifies them. Social Security reform will take decades. Fiscal responsibility may come about a bit sooner, but not until the war against terrorist radicals is completed.
The realization of a conservative Supreme Court is still years away. But, physical security of this nation can be accomplished by the end of this President’s term. That should be this President’s goal. Social change can be started, but there is just not time to facilitate the changes that this administration wishes to promote. It is time for the President to sit down and re-evaluate the direction in which he wishes to proceed. One road leads to mediocrity, the other to near greatness. We’ll just have to what the future holds. But, this Presidency is not dead, merely sleeping. Perhaps it will awaken.
— Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Led by reader Wm. “El Cid” Newman, the Lefties-in-need-of-a-Lobotomy are comin’ after us traitors. But before we are buried in 2008 as in 2004 when George Soros, the architect of that splendid Demo-victory he engineered and bank-rolled, took deadly aim and misfired, allow me to take umbrage (if there is any left) at El Cid’s “incompetent moron” remark. Our morons are as competent as they come. They got the White House for us two terms in a row, didn’t they?
But it is heartening to see that the Left has stirred from its torpor, torn itself away from the MoveOn.Ugh website and is reading TAS online. Either that or they have been directed by MoveOn to storm the column to defend their hero, Billy Jeff. Incidentally, that Jamie Lee Witt made a good FEMA Director is no surprise. Wasn’t he a favored Arkansas State Trooper rewarded for his loyalty with a cushy job? Bimbo Eruptions (remember those?) made a good training ground.
I don’t recall, did FEMA go in to clean up the carnage created in Waco by Janet Reno (incompetent moron?) while “saving” those children from David Koresh? I guess Bill Clinton’s FEMA was not far-reaching enough to do a little street-cleaning in Mogadishu — but Billy Jeff did fire that incompetent moron, Les Aspin. Positively Clintonian!
— Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California
James Lee Witt is an Arkansas native and FOB, but no former Arkansas state trooper. Ms. Smith is likely thinking of R.L. “Buddy” Young, the former Arkansas state trooper whom Clinton appointed southeast regional director of FEMA in 1993.
The Prowler speaks of the Clintonian response to the Katrina-Bush debacle. What is he talking about? Clinton and James Witt came to represent the best in emergency response. Witt was highly regarded by right and left. If anything Bush’s response and his reorganization of FEMA is completely opposite of the way Clinton would have responded: Bush was out of touch and inept.
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That’s right, the Grinch (Joe Biden) is coming for your pocketbooks this Christmas season with record inflation. Just to recap, here is a list of items that have gone up during his reign.
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