Politics As Usual

Captain Ed has a post up tonight that shines the bright light of the Blogosphere on a time honored tradition here in South Carolina (and other states, too, we’re sure)…….that of Bag Money.

Your scribe has been on the outer inner circle of a few local campaigns, and knows that Bag Money is real, and effective. It is also implicitly bribery, or payola, or outright vote buying. It stinks, and it’s a core value in political campaigns.

Which is worse, the pol that buys the votes, or the operative that delivers them, or the voter that sells his/her vote for $10?

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Profiles In Courage

From the Blogosphere, two profiles in courage. One from a stratum of society that may still hold with the values of personal courage and duty regardless of cost, The other from a stratum that holds with the values of the post modern, morally relativistic world that confuses venality with principle.


He’ll be a huge target for Al Qaeda Iraq, and he knows it. The thought
of Harry, abandoning his life of incredible luxury, to stand up and
defend the crown gives me goosebumps. That’s leadership, folks. There’s
simply no other word to describe it.


Mr. Murtha said he would attach language to a war funding bill that
would prohibit the redeployment of units that have been at home for
less than a year, stop the extension of tours beyond 12 months, and
prohibit units from shipping out if they do not train with all of their
equipment. His aim, he made clear, is not to improve readiness but to
“stop the surge.” So why not straightforwardly strip the money out of
the appropriations bill — an action Congress is clearly empowered to
take — rather than try to micromanage the Army in a way that may be
unconstitutional? Because, Mr. Murtha said, it will deflect accusations
that he is trying to do what he is trying to do. “What we are saying
will be very hard to find fault with,” he said.

Sic Transit Gloria.

H/T: Neptunus Lex

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Our “Informed” Congress

We all understand and accept principled opposition to our beliefs and opinions. When pressed, your scribe will also allow that strong dissent, well reasoned, can help us achieve a stronger, more balanced position on any issue.

Where the disgust level, and the suspicion meter, rise is on those occasions when opposition and disagreement seem based on petty politics and/or gross ignorance.

John Murtha, D-PA is witness number one in the case listed above. Leading the charge against the Administration’s policy in Iraq, he proposes "solutions" that reek of politics and are void of principle. Known in the Congress as an "operator" and an "appropriator", his term in office has been defined by his sailing up to, and sometimes across, the line of ethical propriety. Known not for legislation, but for his skill in using the "process" to curry friends and favors, he does not seem to be the shining example that the Democrats in the House would push forward.

The proof of this assumption comes from the Washington Post, certainly no supporter of the Administration in the War in Iraq, in an editorial in today’s paper:

Mr. Murtha’s cynicism is matched by an alarming ignorance about
conditions in Iraq. He continues to insist that Iraq "would be more
stable with us out of there," in spite of the consensus of U.S.
intelligence agencies that early withdrawal would produce "massive
civilian casualties." He says he wants to force the administration to
"bulldoze" the Abu Ghraib prison, even though it was emptied of
prisoners and turned over to the Iraqi government last year. He wants
to "get our troops out of the Green Zone" because "they are living in
Saddam Hussein’s palace"; could he be unaware that the zone’s primary
occupants are the Iraqi government and the U.S. Embassy?

This portrait of misinformation brings to mind the utterances of the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Silvestre Reyes, D-TX, who has had a bit of trouble understanding the nature of the conflict.

Principle or politics? Is there any difference? Does it matter?

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Worrying About the Big Things

There’s an old joke out there that says: "I worry about the big things, nuclear war, the clash of civilizations, the future of Democracy…..while my wife worries about the little things, you know, the children’s tuition, paying the bills, keeping food on the table…."

Well, for you big thinkers out there, here’s a big problem …..


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De-Commercialization or Sanity

Your scribe has been on the case of the increasing frequency of commercials in college football (here), with another link embedded. Now, we are being told that the NCAA committee charged with re-visiting the whole clock issue has issued its report. The Wizard of Odds has more here, with encouraging news. But we search in vain for any verbiage in the report that recommends a reduction in the number of TV time-outs, particularly after changes in possession.

Reporting from the nerve center, we’ll pass along any new information as it develops……..

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Moqtada al-Sadr

Well, this is an interesting development. Worried about the US dropping a bomb on him? We should be so bold. Wonder if he took the sniper rifles with him back to Tehran?

Several points come to mind with all this information pouring in from the Blogosphere. First, does anyone really think we should negotiate with Iran? Second, does anyone really think they are just going to pack up and send back to Iran the EFPs 060401_sadrprofile_vlwidecthat are killing our soldiers, recall their special forces that are training, abetting, and supporting the insurgency, AND stop supporting Hezballah in Lebanon because we commit to multi-lateral negotiations?

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