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Friday Digest

Digest

Oct. 5, 2001

Quote of the week…

“Let those who say that we must understand the reasons for terrorism come with me to the thousands of funerals we’re having in New York City – thousands – and explain those insane, maniacal reasons to the children who will grow up without fathers and mothers and to the parents who have had their children ripped from them for no reason at all. On this issue – terrorism – the United Nations must draw a line. The era of moral relativism between those who practice or condone terrorism, and those nations who stand up against it, must end.” – New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani addressing the UN

On cross-examination…

“By now you should realize the potential for ridiculous air-safety measures. Also, you should realize that some mandates (such as banning knives) won’t improve air travel safety by one iota. … Instead of meekly going along with the FAA’s new, costly, oppressive and stupid safety regulations, Americans should rebel against them. Are we so timid and feminized that we’ll accept anything politicians do in the name of safety?” –Walter Williams

Open Query…

“How can a citizen be called educated if he has been trained to misunderstand the world?” –Robert Conquest

The BIG lie…

“CNN is sensitive about reporting information that could jeopardize lives or ongoing military operations.” –CNN **One need only recall how sensitive Bernie Shaw and John Holliman were, broadcasting from Baghdad on the night the Gulf War started.

News from the Swamp…

In the Executive Branch, President Bush addressed the homefront economic aspects of his multifront plans to subdue Jihadistan. Recalling Ronald Reagan’s justification for additional tax cuts, Mr. Bush is pressing for tax cuts to prevent the economy from sliding into a deeper recession. And not a minute too soon…. Two weeks ago, a New York Times editorial argued: “To secure true bipartisanship, Congress needs to…reconsider the gigantic tax cut enacted earlier this year…. Mr. Bush and Congress ought to be willing, in effect, to conscript [future tax reductions for additional government spending now].” Daschle-Gephardt and their Sociocrat cadre concurred. The Federalist responded, “Contrary to the Times’ position, we think Mr. Bush should move aggressively to restore economic confidence, and propose additional tax reductions – and social spending reductions – now.”

As the President has intimated that such proposals are coming in the next two weeks, some newly converted Democrat supply-siders (oxymoron, we know) are lining up behind him. House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt was not among the reborn, referring to rising disagreements about tax cuts as the “second phase of bipartisanship.” Kinda reminds us of The Federalist definition of “bipartisan” – as a policy or program that, once it fails, can be blamed on Republicans. Not that we think the tax cuts have failed – only that we think they didn’t go far enough.

And speaking of supply-siders, President Bush rightly concluded that Ronald Reagan National Airport should be reopened, which it did Thursday, under tightened security measures. Announcing the move, President Bush stated, “There really is no greater symbol that America’s back in business than the reopening of this airport. By opening this airport, we’re making yet another statement to the terrorists: You can’t win.”

As friend of The Federalist Lyn Nofziger recounted Wednesday, “Today one Washington paper’s headline read, ‘Reagan Airport to Reopen Tomorrow….’ The other paper’s headline read, ‘National to Reopen Tomorrow.’ Guess which paper couldn’t bring itself to use the word ‘Reagan’ when [referring to the Reagan National].” Hint: It was not the Washington Times!

In the House, the Judiciary Committee unanimously agreed on a House bill titled, “Provide Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001” (forming the acronym PATRIOT). The Federalist will be watching the progress of this measure as it moves to conference committee, to alert you as to whether some of its provisions might be traitors in “Patriot” clothing.

In the Senate, the $345 billion defense spending bill passed unanimously, 99-0, with only temporarily ailing Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) absent, and providing funding $1.3 billion above President Bush’s requested amount. The legislation allocates $8.3 billion for missile defense, although allowing Mr. Bush discretion to shift $1.3 billion of that to anti-terrorism programs, in addition to appropriating $6 billion specifically for anti-terror programs.

The Senate continued its consideration of legislation to expand “anti-terrorist” capabilities as well as to increase airport security. But as Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) noted, “You could have a police state, and you still wouldn’t have one-hundred percent airtight security.”

And lest you think we aren’t paying attention to other matters of import to patriots, the Senate approved, 88-12 , H.J. Res. 51, “normalizing” U.S.-Vietnamese trade relations. The House approved similar legislation last month, and the bill now goes to Mr. Bush, who is almost guaranteed to sign the trade agreement negotiated by the Clinton White House last year. However, Senate patriot Bob Smith (R-NH) has a serious question: “If those who want to normalize relations with Vietnam choose to ignore the numerous human rights violations of that country, is that right?” We suppose PNTR with China answered that question….

Judicial Benchmarks…

The U.S. Supreme Court, beginning its new session Monday, ruled that former President Bill Clinton may not practice law before the Supreme Court – not that he had any plans to do so. The Justices, without explanation, disbarred Clinton from practicing law before the nation’s highest court. “Whenever a member of the bar of this court has been disbarred or suspended from practice of any court of record, or has engaged in conduct unbecoming a member of the bar of this court, the court will enter an order suspending that member from practice before this court,” Supreme Court rules say. In April, the Arkansas Supreme Court suspended Clinton’s Arkansas law license for five years, for lying under oath in the Paula Jones case.

In the halls of justice on the right, the Honorable K. Michael Moore issued a federal court ruling that former Attorney General Janet Reno can be sued for her role in the Florida raid to snatch Elian Gonzalez from his Miami relatives in order to return the child to Cuba’s Communist leader Fidel Castro. In rejecting government claims that Reno should enjoy immunity from any personal liability for harm resulting from the raid, Judge Moore said she should have known the law forbade her from execution of a warrant approving unjustified force against peaceful protesters and bystanders. Did someone mention “Waco”?

On the Left…

Unfortunately, the “Give Peace A Chance” has reared its anti-American head … less than a month after terrorists murdered thousands of our countrymen in mere moments. Washington Peace Center coordinator Maria Ramos said of last weekend’s anti-war demonstrations near the White House, “We’re here to honor and mourn the victims of the violent attacks. Calling a criminal act an act of war gives it too much dignity.” What we’d like to know is how terminology can increase “dignity” for evil that rises to the level of an act of war.

Effluent from “Most Ethical Administration”…

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) annual awards dinner in Washington, D.C., honored former President Bill Clinton last weekend. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), chair of the all-Demo caucus, said Clinton “took so many initiatives he made us think for a while we had elected the first black president.” Clinton has spoken at the caucus every year since his 1992 election, and he made reference to the September 11th terrorist attacks, likening them to “attacks” in this country on black Americans – oh, say, like himself. Clinton described the terrorist philosophy as “somebody who thinks that only people in their community count and we’re not part of their community; that only their reading of the scripture counts and we don’t read the way they do. We have been on the other end of that, and we say no, no, no.”

“We”?

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) was quizzical about Clinton being called “the first black president,” commenting, “I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what that means.”

The Commissars…

We will also be watching closely to see how proposed additions to airline safety actually work – and whether those changes unnecessarily burden law-abiding citizens. As Fred Smith of the Competitive Enterprise Institute noted, “Governments tend to adopt the nanny approach during a crisis, and we’ve seen that with the FAA introducing a bunch of silly rules since Sept. 11. What beats me is why we should reward a bureaucracy that a fortnight ago proved to be utterly incompetent. What we need is to throw the emphasis more on the airlines and the airports.”

From the department of military correctness…

A quick save by the few “adults” at the head of the Department of Defense, as up to 50,000 reservists and added National Guard members are expected to be called soon to active service: Clintonista holdovers among military planners drafted plans for assignment of newly activated troops, both male and female, including females “with child”…. “It wasn’t even an option of whether to activate them,” said one U.S. official familiar with the plans. “It was a formal recommendation to include pregnant women for these rugged missions. The only options proposed were whether such soldiers should be exempted at the second trimester or third trimester,” said another exasperated U.S. official.

Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness David Chu concluded, overriding this lingering Clintonista foolishness, “There will be no pregnant reserves activated for warfare as soldiers under the Bush administration.”

From the states…

Connecticut’s State Supreme Court dismissed a suit brought by the city of Bridgeport against gun manufacturers to recover costs expended for unsuccessful medical treatment of local painter and shooting victim Zoltan Kiss. The court ruled that Bridgeport had not suffered such direct losses from malicious shootings as to be legally able to pursue reimbursement.

Out on the Left Coast, Rep. Gary Condit quietly began distributing petitions in lieu, soliciting signatures for a reelection bid to hold his congressional seat – in an attempt to demonstrate widespread community support for his continuation in office, despite his involvement with still-missing Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy.

In economic news…

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan dropped federal funds overnight interest rates a half point, to a 39-year low, which most economists expect will have little to nil effect on the economy’s performance. Mr. Bush said Tuesday, “The definition of a stimulus package that’s needed is that it’s big enough to get the economy moving in the short run but small enough so that it doesn’t affect long-term interest rates.”

Championing Mr. Bush’s request for an economic stimulus plan costing between $60 billion and $75 billion to alleviate recession exacerbated by the September 11 terrorist attacks, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill remarked: “If your principles were right pre-crisis, they’re still right. This is not to say that you don’t make changes. We need to do ‘ready, aim, fire,’ not ‘fire, aim, ready’.” Good advice for both the military and economic fronts in this war!

In business news…

Domestic airlines reported their operations and passenger loads were approaching normal levels. United Airlines, America’s second largest air carrier, flew about 175,000 passengers Monday, almost two-thirds its typical daily passenger load prior to September 11. The airline has immediate plans to install steel bars and locks inside its aircraft cockpit doors. At Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, operations were estimated at about 79 percent normal levels. (DFW, one of the nation’s busiest airports in the nation, usually hosts 2,300 flights daily.)

Carol Hallett, president of the Air Transport Association, a lobbying group for major airlines, commented, “I believe that people across America believe that it is safe and secure to fly and they are ready to start flying again.”

Speaking of returning to the skies, now that our tax dollars have been used to bail the airlines out for not providing safety measures that they should have provided – like installing steel bars and locks inside aircraft cockpit doors, for example – where do we line up for our dividends once the airlines are profitable again?

The “Dumb and Dumber” Department…

But wait…just when you thought it was safe to go back in the air comes this revelation: “What percent? Eighty percent of the people checking for terrorists at Dulles Airport are not American citizens? What is wrong with this picture?” –Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) to Kenneth Mead, inspector general for the Department of Transportation. Mead replied, “I think it’s about eighty percent. It may be somewhat more.”

Culture comment…

In case you missed it, while thousands of Bush administration nominees wait in the wings for confirmation, the administration did manage to appoint an openly homosexual ambassador to represent our nation abroad. Secretary of State Colin Powell administered the oath of office to Michael Guest, the administration’s new ambassador to Romania – with Guest’s “domestic partner,” who will live in the embassy at taxpayer expense, beaming broadly in honored attendance.

On the frontiers of science…

While the U.S. is attempting to understand its first case of pulmonary anthrax, the largest outbreak in history of a highly contagious fatal disease was documented on Pakistan’s frontier with Afghanistan this week. Over 75 people are confirmed to have manifested Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, and eight have died. An isolation ward, screened off by barbed wire, has been set up in the Pakistani city of Quetta, and an international appeal for help has been lodged. Evidence suggests the outbreak emanates from within Afghanistan, raising fears of an epidemic if millions of refugees flee across the frontier into Pakistan. CCHF has similar effects to the Ebola virus, as both of these viruses damage arteries, veins and other blood vessels, leading to the eventual collapse of major organs.

Around the world…

In Middle East diplomacy some observers view as key to building and maintaining a multinational coalition against terrorism, President Bush became the first Republican president to, publicly, go on record with a U.S. position in favor of a Palestinian state, explaining that objective had “always been part of a vision so long as the right to Israel to exist is respected.” While this is an important switch in diplo-babble, the goal of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority has obviously been either a state or a proto-state for Palestinians, once the security of Israel is assured.

Of course, Palestinian Authority head Yasser Arafat was delighted to have his continuing sponsorship of terror not only ignored but rewarded: “After reading the important statements made by His Excellency President George Bush today, in which he announced the U.S. support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, I would like to express my thanks to, and welcome, this U.S. position.”

Zalman Shoval, foreign policy adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said the change in comments at this time would only encourage the murderous attacks on Israelis such as those continuing this week: “I see [the comments] as an ill-timed and ill-conceived effort to induce the so-called moderate Arab countries to draw them into the [anti-terror] coalition. Add to that the failure of the State Department to include Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah to the list of terrorist organizations….”

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted: “President Bush…said that such a state must recognize Israel’s right to exist. We know very clearly where Yasser Arafat and his dictatorial regime stand on that. The only difference between they and the Islamic terrorist groups that they harbor is that the Hamas and Islamic jihad say both in Arabic and in English that they wish to destroy Israel. And Arafat says it only in Arabic. But the goal is the same. And the method is the same. …So, we’re faced with a regime, Arafat’s regime, that both wants to destroy us and carries out terrorism and harbors terrorists…. And if after you murder Americans you get concessions out of America or out of Israel or out of anyone else, what that does is tells the entire terror network that if you kill Americans, you will get what you want.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich agreed in a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell: “Both Hamas and Hezbollah have recently repeated their commitment to suicide bombing and to terrorism. To ignore them will be to weaken the moral basis of our efforts.”

Of course, as previously noted in The Federalist, the upside of a Palestinian state is that it will provide better defined target factions in offensives against Jihadistan.

And last, the Freudian parapraxis from Clintonistas in the last week is almost too much to bear. They sound like your Federalist Editorial Board is writing their lines. For example, explaining how his administration missed several opportunities to eliminate bin Laden, Bill Clinton said, “We did not have the necessary intelligence to do it.” Yes, we always knew that was the case! And then Wednesday, former National Security Council adviser Nancy Soderberg piped up,“…Clinton put terrorism on the map….” Indeed – most notably New York City at the World Trade Center (twice), Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania.

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