“Clintonian respose”… Yeah, you wish he did half that well. Here’s a news flash for all you neocons in the media: After we get the incompetent morons out of the White House, we’re coming after you traitors next.
— Wm “Cid” Newman
How extraordinary to describe the Bush debacle in New Orleans as being “Clintonian.” This administration has been rife with incompetence and cronyism from the get-go. Why should it now seem like news that the brightest and best talents in government have quit because they felt their careers would be blighted to favor those with no talent but with connections?
This administration has turned the U.S. into a third-world nation. Our only real growth industry is personal debt — which is then outsourced to China. In what manner is this conservative? And what will our awakening bring?
— Stephen Temperley
The president should resign for the good of the country. Thank God he wasn’t able to use his capital. Can you image how much damage he would have done then???
— Diane Duffy-Patyjewicz
Okay, so everything is going to hell in a hand basket. Now what? How far did expounding this pessimism get you?
— John Branca
I waited before I decided to reply to your “Bush is Dead” article to see what the reaction would be. I kind of figured TAS would be pilloried by the true conservatives and you were. You should be. True friends you are not. Like one respondent pointed out, you have been around doom and gloom politicians a little too much. Another one pointed out the “conservative” mentality of cut-and-run when times get rough. Why is it that the worst enemy most of us true conservatives have are people supposedly on our own side? I found this to be true in my own past political career. I spent more time watching my back among some of my “supporters” than fighting the liberals. Whenever victory was within reach, some weak-kneed fool would upset things. Now that Bush seems to be on the ropes, a few of his “loyal supporters” have decided the King is dead, joining the chorus calling for his head. One quote that hasn’t been used yet is that famous one by Mark Twain about how his supposed demise had been highly exaggerated. The same is true about Bush and his agenda. Let me point out that Bush’s agenda is a conservative one and will survive his presidency no matter what. He is not alone in pushing it and there are some very capable conservatives behind it. Maybe we won’t get it this round but we will eventually push it through. That is because true conservatives (like their liberal brethren before them) have long-term plans and are not swayed by these short-term setbacks. No, neither Bush’s agenda nor his presidency are dead. We have merely found out who the true believers are and who to keep an eye on.
— Pete Chagnon
“Clintonian response”? Whoa, is that supposed to be a low blow to the Bush White House: to say their response to the Katrina disaster was “Clintonian”? Would that it were so! Can you seriously doubt that, if Katrina had hit while Clinton was President, then he would have been up for 48 straight hours, working the phones, getting things done? Not sitting around with his thumb in his bum waiting for his staff to recommend something? Get serious.
— Steve Vinson
South Bend, Indiana
I agree. Bush has squandered whatever chance he had to make major changes in Social Security and national security. But I’m not sure what you mean by his “Clintonian response to Hurricane Katrina.” James Lee Witt headed FEMA during Clinton’s administration. FEMA was a quick and able responder. Now, because of this current administration’s incompetence, FEMA is itself a disaster. I think you meant to say George Herbert Walker Bush’s response to Hurricane Andrew, did you not? Just making sure.
— Chris Woods
What has happened to the Grand Old Party? The party of Eisenhower and Rockefeller?
Given the dismal failures of the conservative agenda to beef up weapons spending, downsize social services spending, and neglect infrastructure maintenance in favor of fat, no-bid contracts to Bush campaign supporters (but otherwise under qualified) was highlighted by the way Bush’s good friend, “Heck -of-a-Job” Brown did not perform as FEMA head nearly as well as he did for the Arabian Horse Assn (who gave him the boot), I cannot think of why anyone with an income of under $250k and wasn’t heir to a fortune would vote for a GOP candidate again. Ever.
The master plan to replace competent second, third, and fourth tier government employees with party-loyal grads from no-name colleges where they majored in Bible study, was a loser that is going to take us years to recover from. The voters are meeting those badly trained people and are turning away, not from big government, but from the Republican Party. Without knowledgeable people in those support jobs, it is not going to be possible for high profile guys like Brown to succeed. Let’s face it: every administration puts cronies and supporters to work after winning office, but in the past they could always look to the lower echelon employees to carry the load and make the guy at the top look good. Now we have bozos below and above and it doesn’t take a liberal Democrat to see the screw-ups anymore, my friends.
Get ready for a huge swing to the dark side in voter preferences in ’06 if we don’t drop some of these dumb ideas quick. The far right had its chance and blew it. It’s time to swing back to the middle or even the Rockefeller wing.
— Steve Munzel
Are you crazy calling “the political and policy debacle that the White House created with it response to Katrina” as “Clintonian”? Pres. Clinton may not have got many things right but he did have FEMA running like a well oiled machine. Pres. Bush, with his political cronies and attitude that a non-responsive Federal Government is good government, screwed up the Katrina relief better than anything Pres. Clinton could have done. Stop being so partisan.
— Eric Jochym
Bush response “Clintonian”? I am just curious to know why you describe the Bush White House’s response to Katrina as “Clintonian.” The way I see it, James Witt and FEMA performed magnificently well in responding to disasters, and had people in staff positions who were well experienced in disaster response. They weren’t appointed merely on the basis of political connections or as paybacks for campaign work.
— Larry Jordan
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is the Prowler? He’s supposed to be smart. He has the nerve to criticize CLINTON with this half-wit in office?
Where has he been during dumbo II’s reign? How about the biggest spender? The biggest deficits? What’s a little more on Katrina — to save his political hide.
— Mike Pupis
Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
If ONLY Bush had responded in a Clintonian manner, this fix we are in might not be so bad. The Rove Neo-Con brigade is an unmitigated American tragedy. We may never recover from the idiocy of the last five years and a media that has gone along with these fools as they destroyed America — but if we do, it will take unending sacrifice — a sacrifice that must be borne disproportionately by the rich.
The GOP has dug its own grave. The country is about to shove it in — and it can’t happen soon enough. I assure you that “grumbling” you hear on the right will become panic if Hurricane Rita hits Houston. If Rita veers, that panic will merely be delayed until home heating bills hit this winter.
Bush sold this country to the Chinese. Those of us who love America more than profits know this. As soon as the rest of the country realizes the evil disaster you and your ilk have visited on this great nation (Clinton helped spread the word yesterday) the W administration will disintegrate entirely.
We need leaders. The only viable leaders are on the left because the right sold its soul to a bunch of small-minded, depraved, moral hunchbacks. You have destroyed America’s solvency. You have lost a war, a pointless war. You are responsible.
If conservatives are just now waking up to the train wreck that is George W. Bush it is only because you are fools and sycophants. The left will not lose America. We will beat you barbarians back and save the republic.
Shame on you, all of you. W as a lame duck is the very best thing that can happen to help us now.
— John Smart
Los Angeles, California
“What happened was that some of the best people who were working in the Administration during the first term, but who weren’t necessarily Bush campaign members or weren’t particularly close to the White House, jumped when they saw opportunities being filled by under-qualified but more politically connected people”
Thank you for publishing this article. As a Republican since Reagan who voted for George W. Bush, I must admit I have lost faith in the man and his handlers. The man has not brought corporate efficiency to the office but instead has undermined the effectiveness of all components of government by handing every appointment and position to ineffective cronies or corporate lobbyists. He has gone way too far and is unbalancing this great nation.
I want a Republican government. Not a self-serving, fiscally irresponsible, party of insiders. I find no solace in the Democratic Party, but I am ashamed of what has become of the Republican Party and President Bush. It is time for Republicans who believe in what this party stands for, to break rank and restructure this Grand Ol’ Party.
— Byron Whipple
“…Allowing the media and Democrats to paint the GOP into a corner.”
The Democrats have been spineless for years now. Go read the Democrat boards and witness the agony of the rank and file over Dems’ refusal to talk about what’s being done to America.
Look at the board of directors of all the “liberal” media and you’ll find interlocking Boards with the biggest weapons makers, chemical makers, drug makers, and bankers on the planet. Every one of them. And they’ve let your Cult of Delusional Millionaires get away with manifest deception, incompetence, corruption, and delusion, day after day, issue after issue.
Decide if your loyalty is to faction or country. If you choose country, you will then admit we’ve been witnessing the destruction of every single pillar of America’s greatness under Holy King George.
No, it’s inexorable reality that’s painted Bush and Co. into a corner. It’s not partisan to notice reality. It is partisan, and disastrous, to ignore it.
— Jim P.
Re: P. David Hornik’s A Tale of Two Cities
Your essay on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem (easy, now) dialectic was thoughtful and very well articulated. It was subtle, too — much better than it seems at first. I like it a lot.
I had the perhaps somewhat odd experience of becoming well-acquainted with Jerusalem and her post-1967 environs for some years before ever setting foot in Tel Aviv. Entering or leaving the country, it was always B-G Airport to Jerusalem, Jerusalem to B-G Airport, do not pass Tel Aviv, do not collect $200.
Boy, was I knocked for a loop the first time I rode into Tel Aviv, which must have been about 1972. I remember being stunned by what looked like third-world shanty towns along Derech Lod as it passed through what I later came to know (for I found my bride there, and resided there myself!) as Kfar Shalem and Shchunat Hatikvah. Then came Dizengoff, Bavli, and finally my destination, the lecture hall at the university in Ramat Aviv.
Holy cow! As the Texas Board of Tourism now proclaims about that state: “Like A Whole ‘Nuther Country!”
Really nice job. I hope to see more of your work in the online (and paper!) TAS. The TAS folks are good peeps. I like ’em a whole lot, and I think the readership is very interested in getting more deeply into the Israeli experience behind the headlines.
— Paul Kotik
Plantation, Florida, USA
Re: John Connly Walsh’s Preparing for a Showdown:
— Doug Santo
Great article. Every time I hear or read Tony Blair, I wish he was ours. When he retires, can we invite him to move to New Jersey and run for the Senate? He would have my vote.
— Chris B.
My thanks to John Connly Walsh. I follow his work closely in your publication. He is both an insightful and good writer, and delivers accurate information concerning conditions in-country.
My information is very similar to his regarding the direction of Iraq and bears no true resemblance to the accounts found in the major media, including Fox News. My information has a military slant, however, and it is always nice to have another perspective to compare it to. His accounts of the feelings and objectives of the Iraqi people are especially enlightening. This is their country, after all, and will become what they wish it to be, not what we wish it to be.
Once again, thank you for the good work.
— Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Great article today from Mr. Walsh. I have been addicted to his postings on your site since his debut. He appears to be a straight shooter and is not afraid to describe the scene as he sees it — even when what he sees is not good. So, it was great to read that he is seeing positive change in Iraq.
It is first-hand accounts like Mr. Walsh’s that keep me in a positive mood and hopeful that we will win this war. I hope that he can continue to bring us good news in postings to come.
— James Siegler
Re: Peter Hannaford’s Do Justly, Love Mercy?
The actions of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in the early 1970’s resulted in my leaving the Presbyterian Church. This unelected body, then as now, decided to support the World Council of Churches’ stand on an issue completely unrelated to religion, to contribute to the Angela Davis Defense Fund. I personally did not feel qualified to judge the innocence or guilt of Ms. Davis, but felt it inappropriate for any Christian church to support an avowed member of the Communist Party.
For those readers whose memory doesn’t extend back that far, Angela Davis was on trial for advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government by violence. She was not convicted, and is currently a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. I haven’t kept up with her position on issues, but suspect she is still well to the left of the average American on political issues.
It is disturbing to hear the Presbyterian General Assembly still governs the church as an unelected body.
It is gratifying to hear that “this week a delegation from eight Protestant denominations is in Israel at the invitation of a group of American Jewish organizations.” Non-Evangelical Protestant churches have been bleeding membership for several decades. Maybe this meeting is a sign they are finally starting to ‘get it.’ One can only hope.
— R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida
I am also a Presbyterian and have been disgusted with our national “leadership” for years. I know some of my weekly offerings do go to the Presbyterian hierarchy but I have completely stopped giving to any Presbyterian organization beyond my own church. This must be how a conservative member of the AFL-CIO feels about the political use of his union dues.
— Chris Bramley
…Concerning the Presbyterian hierarchy… sorry but you can not find that form of church government in the New Testament. Each separate congregation of Christians had elders and deacons. That’s all. If you had a problem with where the money was being directed, you could go immediately to the person responsible. That simple, that wise. What gives us the “right” to change what Jesus established?
— Kevin W.
Morgantown, West Virginia
Re: George Neumayr’s I Am Somebody!:
I just wanted to thank you for, again, exposing the real Dan Rather. Now that I see him again after he was force to retire, he is completely insane. (He really works to hide it, too.) The man actually believes his own bull!
— Joni Ramm
Los Angeles, California
No sooner had George Neumayr written his spot-on observations about what liberal MSM players Brokaw and Rather really mean when they sense a swinging of the political pendulum rightward, does Pinch Sulzberger provide the following ditty about the job cuts at the NY Times:
The Company plans to manage the staff reductions in such a way that we continue to provide our readers, users, listeners and viewers with journalism of the highest quality and that our operations function smoothly on a day-to-day basis. This will help ensure that we achieve our long-term strategic goals.
In other words, “I don’t care how out of touch our left-wing point of view becomes — we’ll keep on firing staff to match our shrinking circulation before we’d ever admit that the 40-year old tenets of the Great Society were wrong.”
— William H. Stewart
If Ms. Nevins and Mr. Rather are bemoaning the fact that they now must verify and document their personal assertions and opinions, which up until now have passed as “news,” and are defining that new necessity as “fear,” they have truly missed the entry of journalism into the computer age. Just as the business world can now instantly ferret out information about potential customers and competitors, the reading public can instantly ferret out the facts supporting or demolishing any news story. Furthermore, that same reading public can comment on the story itself. This obviously upsets people such as Mr. Rather and Ms. Nevins. I wonder why access to information would upset people whose professed desire is to inform the public. If Ms. Nevins wants to do a documentary on evolution, I suggest that she do it on the evolution of news gathering and dissemination. Perhaps it is less controversial than Charles Darwin’s work, but it certainly would be as interesting.
— Joseph Baum
Newton Falls, Ohio
Thank you so much for a succinct statement of the liberal hegemony. My Dad always said “from a liberal the word equals the deed, from a conservative there must be proof of the deed, and that proof is defined by the liberal.” For years I have watched (and read) the media. For example, though there exists empirical proof that President Reagan’s economics did in fact “trickle down” the media says merely “there is no proof.” One replies “there are studies!” The media responds “false studies!” and the debate ends.
American liberals have become mental automatons, unable to think critically or connect in any substantial way with reality. God help us if they gain control. I recall what a Nicaraguan friend told me about the difference between Somoza and the Sandinistas. “Somoza controlled what you said and did in public. The Sandinistas wanted to control that and also what you could think in private.” Viva La Revolucion!
— Jay W. Molyneaux
This was a good article by Mr. Neumayr. He all but said it: here’s the great generation of liberal journalists, heroes all [to hear them tell it] going out on a lie and a whimper. And who among them is the only one actually ready to throw a punch? Friday, their gal. (Psst. Watch Hillary come out swinging, lefts and rights.)
I revised the last paragraph:
In short, the “climate of fear” consists in the fact that the liberal media’s claim to non-partisan neutrality no longer serves as an impenetrable shield against critical examination of the media’s own motives, agendas, and truthfulness. What James Kalb has called “The Tyranny of Liberalism” has begun — but only begun — to break down before our eyes. Yet there’s not much comfort here for traditionalists, since, alongside the modest loss of liberal power, that which is called conservatism keeps moving to the left, and the net power of liberalism keeps increasing.
— Lawrence Auster
I see that recreant, Dan Rather, is riding to his own rescue one more time. I don’t believe he ever got the proper help that time he was found wandering in a seedy part of town, muttering “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?”
For those who want to understand this egomaniac fully, I suggest a book by respected news woman, Liz Trotta, years ago after she did “hard time” at CBS working for him, Fighting for Air.
As for Dan’s tears on cue, he may just have rheumy eyes, a condition of the elderly. And Dan is elderly, you know. Rheum collects in the eyes of old folks and just spills over now and then. A kind of eye drooling.
Tom Brokaw is taking this “dying breed” a little far. I am surprised it has not occurred to him to label the BIG THREE “Band of Broadcast Brothers.” My choice would have been the Three Muckateers. It is astonishing how much damage and loss of credibility they managed on the little actual “news” time (I’ve heard it was 17 minutes) they presided over.
But it’s come to this — there stands Rather, stripped of his royal raiment (not a pretty sight) mewling and puking over his ruined career. To paraphrase the old Nelson Eddy tear-jerker, here’s my tribute:
“Sweetest little feller
Don’t know what to call him
But he’s mighty lachrymose.”
Now, would Dan Rather just get off the stage? Do we have to get the hook?
— Diane S. Smith
South San Francisco, California
Clueless. I think we now know what brought down the dinosaurs: no self-knowledge.
Dan was paid as an entertainer, not a newsman. A newsman might make $60,000 a year; Dan made $7 million per year. What did he think that was for? The best anchor award should be a straw hat and a cane (Brit Hume always excepted).
As you say, Dan longs for the good old days of monopoly — no pesky questions from the peanut gallery. That “fear” that Dan detects is TRUTH knocking on the door.
Now we know that the MSM report the news as they think it should be; not as it is. The great mystery that has arisen is what was Vietnam really like?
— Greg Richards
RHYMES WITH RATHER
Re: K.E. Grubbs, Jr.’s Memo to Dan:
Mr. Grubbs’ article castigating Dan Rather is a prime example of sick yellow journalism. I hate to call it “journalism,” but I’m too tired to try to think of anther word.
— Mildred Miller
K.E. Grubbs, Jr. gave me a good laugh about Rather-gate. Thanks!
— Anne Burkart
Great minds think alike, so it is with Messrs. Neumayr and Grubbs. I’d been thinking of a favorite English professor of mine, who some 30 years ago opined that the hallmark of great literature was its ability to withstand the passage of decades and epochs. So it is with Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. Virgil and Dante descend into Hell to view God’s unique “symbolic retributions” bestowed upon sinners for the excesses exhibited in their mortal lives. Fast forward to Dan Rather and his hubristic evocations on the golden era of electronic journalism, as he wanders liberal Hollywood and graduate schools searching for his lost innocence. This once great anchor was reduced to tears as he disingenuously warned of a chill wind blowing through corporate journalism today.
Not only was this an old canard but a plagiarized one at that. I recall the actor/activist Tim Robbins invoking the same imagery during the 2004 election. Robbins’s version was better performed. The demise of Dan Rather is indeed epic. He honed his skills during the heady days of the great troika of Cronkite, Huntley/Brinkley, and Reasoner. This impenetrable wall of liberal news controlled American thought for decades. Their power was so great that Cronkite was able to pronounce the Vietnam Tet Offensive a failure, when militarily, it was a great success. He was able to turn a war-weary nation against the war and help sink the presidency of LBJ. It was also an era with genuine factions within the Democrat Party.
Nonetheless, liberal hegemony was safe. Rather had his own “Cronkite moment” when he took on Nixon in 1972. But one man’s chill wind is another man’s fresh breeze and great walls over time collapse. So it was that the late 80s came to pass as Ronald Reagan and Rush Limbaugh quaked the very epicenter of liberalism. Rather, his contemporaries, and the network suits never knew what hit them. Living in a decade of denial, Dan and company mingled in each other’s networks and the safe cable stations to congratulate each other on their high-minded devotion to independent journalism. Fox was a cancer to be irradicated. Oh, but when Rather attempted his own version of an election hit piece, the ground beneath swallowed him whole. His “true” but unverifiable Guard story, complete with 3rd grade-quality fake memos, was surgically destroyed in moments by bloggers and Limbaugh. The entire liberal media establishment had been exposed for the frauds they are. “Tear Down This Wall, Dan.”
So what of Dan Rather? He is left to scurry through the ruins of the once mighty liberal establishment, teary-eyed, and tormented by the harpies of the new media. As Virgil would say: Welcome to Hell.
— A. DiPentima
Re: Jed Babbin’s Reconstruction Redux:
President Bush’s promise from Jackson Square that New Orleans will be rebuilt will encounter some hard realities. I haven’t seen any pundits discuss the fact that the overall effort will be the largest and most contentious feat of social engineering the nation has ever tried. Cities such as San Francisco and Galveston were able to rebuild with private funding and local control because of their growing economies, and it took a long time. Other than the Port and tourism industries, New Orleans doesn’t have much to bank on, and has a high number of poor people requiring additional help.
Of course, Congress must vote to provide the funds, tax incentives, and legal framework to spearhead the rebuilding; Mr. Bush can’t just write the check. The constituencies of most members of Congress have housing, jobs, and other needs for poor people; how long will the Members be able to justify massive funding outside their own districts? $200 billion equates to a few hundred thousand dollars per displaced New Orleans family.
The timing of the rebuilding effort is already contentious between local and federal officials, and issues of overall control will take time to sort out. Even so: will the population be restricted until the levees are rebuilt to pre-Katrina levels? Will the city be rebuilt in contiguous sections, and will the lowest areas ever be rebuilt? What areas of the city will house the poor? Who will pay? Sorting out these and many other questions will involve many constituencies, and will take more time than envisioned.
Hats off, my man. Thank you for this article. And now, brace yourself. Put Vice President Dick Cheney in charge of the whole mess. And yes, most definitely Halliburton. If we are going to do this, let’s close the borders and get to work. Put Americans to work. Thank the Brits and the Israelis for the generous donations of food, and throw the stinking Democrats out of the money-handling business. The mayor of New Orleans, and the Governor of Louisiana should take the same road as the Head of FEMA, and get out of town. The federal government needs not to reward poor performance with a blank check. I don’t trust them with a cent.
— Martin N. Tirrell
Lisbon, New Hampshire
Re: David Hogberg’s Price Control Politics:
Apparently, there’s something in the D.C. water supply which adversely affects the sense of humor. In his rumbling over Louise Slaughter’s price-control plan, Mr. Hogberg concluded with this lamentation:
Two days earlier, Majority Leader Tom DeLay declared “ongoing victory” against government waste, suggesting that there was no fat left to trim in the federal budget. Thus, it’s not hard to imagine a point in the future when price controls are included in the definition of Compassionate Conservatism, and a member of the House declares victory in the GOP war against deregulation.
Cannot Mr. Hogberg understand that the Majority Leader’s tongue was spot-welded into his cheek when he made that pronouncement? It was intended as a challenge to his colleagues to identify fat in their own bills so that it could be excised. It’s a literary device known as “irony.” One might expect “a writer” to recognize it.
— David Gonzalez
THE FEMININE MISTAKE
Re: Jay D. Homnick’s In the Eye of the Storm:
While it is greatly appreciated that Mr. Homnick recognizes the efforts of the Coast Guard, it would behoove him to properly recognize the “men and women” of the Coast Guard. Instead, he only makes mention of the “boys” and the “fellows.” In this day and age of reporting with tact, credibility, and complete facts, I would hope his future articles reflect the gender of both men and women of the Coast Guard who responded to the call of duty.
— LCDR Christine Traettino
D14 Director of Auxiliary
Re: Christopher Orlet’s Alone Again, Of Course:
Mr. Orlet makes some interesting points, and I have no issue with the main thrust of his argument. He does, however, make at least one factual error that is common for many Americans. When he states, “America going it alone (with occasional support from the UK) has been the rule, not the exception for the past 60 years,” he is ignoring history. During the Korean War we were supported by an alliance of numerous countries under the auspices of the UN. During Vietnam there were also numerous countries that stood with us, shedding blood alongside American soldiers. The Gulf War, Somalia, OEF and OIF all have seen numerous other countries supporting us. Mr. Orlet ascribes loyalty to only one country — Great Britain. While it is true that they are a great ally, there is one country that has stood with us in every major conflict we’ve been involved with since World War I — Australia.
Passioned arguments aside, it’s vital to get the facts right. We are not as alone as we sometimes think.
— Patrick B. Collins
FORMA IN FORM
Re: Shawn Macomber’s Miles Forma in Action:
Glad to see Shawn Macomber is back — even if only temporarily!
— Tim Birdnow
This was an excellent article. I’ll be passing it along.