Head West, Turn Right

The Joint Blog of the Conservative Northwest Blogging Alliance: Red State Points of View from a Blue State Point on the Compass.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Hugh Hewett's SCOTUS Poll

Hugh Hewitt wants to take the temperature of the blogosphere when it comes to the nomination of Sam Alito to be supreme court justice. So take the poll here .

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Scooter Libby

The whole "Joe Wilson - Valerie Plame is a supposed supersecret undercover operative who Karl Rove went and spilled the beans about" is one of two big MSM stories of the last year that I've never blogged about in any way. But now that charges have been brought in connection with it, I'll say this much about it. If Scooter Libby lied to the grand jury while he was under oath --and I really hope he didn't-- it's a crime. Period. It makes no nevermind what else was going on, or if the whole underlying case is bogus as a partisan get-Bush witch hunt, or whatever. It's a crime to lie under oath. In fact, it's a felony.

Just like it was a felony crime when Bill Clinton lied under oath in a civil deposition. Same same. Yeah, then it was about whether Clinton had sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky. Yeah, it was just about sex. And, yeah, Paula Jones was being egged on by the conservative right wing to bring her suit, but none of that matters. What matters is that Clinton swore to tell the truth, and he lied.

The same standard applies to Libby. I don't know if Libby lied to the grand jury, but if he did, it's a crime. Like I say, I hope he didn't. But if he did, that's that.

Why do I say I hope that Libby didn't tell these lies to the grand jury, as alleged? Lots of reasons. First, for his own sake. He is reportedly a good and smart man, a man with a remarkable career. If he did this, it'll all come crashing down. I also hope he didn't do it for the sake of this administration. Bush has, thus far, run a squeaky-clean ship, as far I as I can see. If Libby did this, it becomes a blot on it. Waltzing in front of a grand jury and blithely lying through one's teeth is just so Clintonesque. I had believed that the Bush administration was better than that. Much better. I also worry about the system of justice, but not too much. The system seems to take care of itself.

But the main thing I worry about is what this portends. By reputation, Libby is anything but stupid, and in fact he is well known as a very shrewd lawyer in his own right. The word "circumspect" is used to describe him too. So, that being the case, the question quickly becomes --why? Why would he do it? What was so important that he would risk his reputation, his livlihood, his career, his very freedom over it? Was he protecting someone, taking the all arrows in the chest on behalf of someone else? Who might that be? What is it that he's protecting? Who is he protecting? Who would that logically be? What would Occam's Razor predict? I worry about where that takes us. And that's why I hope he didn't do it.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Now Let's Just Try To Keep Some Promises

Thankfully the "doomed from the beginning," nomination of Harriet Miers is over.

Unfortunately GW Bush tried to break another political promise and this time his base, those that worked so hard for him, said "enough is enough."

The opposition to Miers was not, as the administration elitists would have you believe, about sexism or elitism. Those were just all excuses made up by some folks that made a mistake and lost the idiological high ground. As we have seen over the last ten years, the idiological low ground is not a good place to be.

So now we are back. Back at looking at nominees. Some things for Bush to consider this time around. First is, remember the promise you made to the American people while running for office. You said "I will appoint justices in the line of Scalia and Thomas." Sorry Mr. President but is it too much to think that you meant it?

Point number two to consider is that now the base is as united as it ever has been. Now is the time to enter into a battle of ideas.

So, as noted over on my blog NWRepublican the rumor mill is sending out two names. They are:
Emelio Garza


Michael McConnell

Now, check the intellectual background of these two fellas. There is some firepower there.

Yip Yip

Just the beginning

I won't be sappy and say this is a tragedy because it's totally the president's prerogative. I'm sure he had his reasons for withdrawing Harriet Miers’ nomination. I guess I figured it would be better to just give her a shot at the hearings instead of preemptively "borking" her. Not only did a potentially good justice not get a fair shake, the White House also just shot itself in the political foot. What chance is ANY candidate from Bush going to get if he is subject to the whims of political know-nothings like you and me and the far left in an area that the constitution gives him the sole prerogative. It's his job to do the nominating. The only veto we have is from the Senate. So why didn't the Senate get it's say?

I have never seen so many political opportunities open for the Democrats. Not only did they get to say she was a bad choice--and have Republicans agree--they also get to criticize conservatives for acting like liberal jerks. So what now? If the conservatives are happy with the next nomination, the liberals will be mad. Oops...

Crossposted at Meneltarma

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Amy Goodman teaches reporting

So I spent over half an hour listening to a far left propaganda machine this afternoon.

My professor admitted jokingly he was probably force-feeding...his reasons for playing a pod cast of DomocracyNow! in class is still a bit obscure, besides the fact that he "highly recommends it." You see, he probably thinks it's time we graduated from the elementary and archaic elements of journalism like, say, objectivity.

The pod cast was an interview with British Indy journalist Robert Fisk, a "veteran" of numerous conflicts and, from what I could tell, a pacifist as well. His rant was one continuous stream of deranged pessimism regarding Iraq and how it is simply a mess and he suspects he might not be brave enough to risk another trip.

One half-hour later, as he finished his rant, Goodman asked a final question after the audience finished applauding...

After all you have been through, and all the wars you have covered, all the death you have seem, "what gives you hope?"

...*silence*... "...Nothing...nothing. *shaky voice* I'm sorry, maybe ordinary people speaking out, but nothing really."

I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. I should choose the later I suppose because, as a Christian, I hurt for people who have this kind of empty hopelessness. That's got to be an awful way to live.

The prof finally made some point about this can teach us that we should never hesitate to challenge power...

Ok...is that all? Can I go now?

Crossposted at Western Washington Unraveled

So conservative they look liberal

I had an early distaste for the tactics that GOP haters...er...critics of Harriet Miers have employed in trying to scuttle her nomination. They have fooled themselves into thinking they are taking a stand for principled conservatism, while all the while missing their own hypocrisy. The confirmation of Roberts was won primarily by debunking the myth that nominees needed to answer personal question and reveal privileged documents. Roberts stood fast and refused to answer hypothetical questions, brilliantly citing the Ginsberg confirmation hearings as precedent for his silence, winning general admiration even among those who were frustrated by his dodge.

And now...as soon as the "base" thinks they can't totally trust a nominee to be a carbon copy of themselves, they jump on the liberal bandwagon demanding the very hypothetical answers and privileged information Roberts and co. fought so hard to protect.

So for the first time, I suspect we are having conservatives partaking in the so-called "borking" of a nominee. I'm incensed. I began with just as much skepticism and disappointment as everyone else, and now I find I am totally dismayed. You see, if Miers is successfully borked by her own friendlies (as seems likely), there is an even greater chance of never again getting a strong constitutionalist on the bench of the United States Supreme Court.

Crossposted at Meneltarma

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Conservative benchmark: Sen. Tom Coburn

I wonder if he will ever go to another dinner party again. Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma defied the Washington establishment by introducing legislation to slash pork spending to pay for Katrina rebuilding. Other senators, interested in keeping their precious pets back home happy, were quick to get hopping mad, as Mark Tapscott from the Heritage Foundation explained:
What Coburn got in response was pure bipartisan outrage. Sen. Patty Murray, the very liberal Washington Democrat, warned that any senator supporting the Coburn amendments would find projects in his or her own state getting the evil eye by annoyed colleagues who don't want to rock the log-rolling boat.

And Alaska's Ted Stevens, the Old Bull Republican moderate who has been one of the biggest obstacles in Congress to conservative reform since the Reagan administration, stood on the floor and thundered that he would leave the Senate if the Coburn proposal passed.
The amendments fail by a huge margin. Tapscott is a good read, though. Check it out. I heard elsewhere that Murry was angry at Coburn for condemning a proposed statue park (or something like that) somewhere in Seattle. The only way they have justified the project is by saying that they just need to make the land useful...

Coburn is one of the most principled people in America. He first served in the House of Representatives, but didn't stick around because he believes in term limits for congress members and had promised he would only serve a set number of terms. He kept his promise, took time of and then ran for the Senate and won.

Go get them again Tom!

Crossposted at Meneltarma

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Slippery Slopes in the Cascades

(Cross-posted from Memento Moron):

Here's the dilemma I face as both an Oregonian and a Non-Idiotarian: Pride in my home state, its natural beauty and pioneer spirit; and embarassment for my home state, its extreme politics and stupid government.

Here's what we're now famous for: Not our rugged coast, our majestic mountains, our lush forests; not Lewis and Clark, mountain men, the Oregon Trail. No, when people think of Oregon, they immediately think of Legalized Pot, Assisted Suicide, and now, Live Sex Shows. I doubt that's exactly the definition of "Westward Ho!" the pioneers had in mind.

This is what Bill O'Reilly talked about night before last. This is what's being discussed in newspapers and media outlets across the country. We're rapidly overtaking California as the Granola State -- the nuttiest, flakiest place in the nation.

I'm used to hearing (L)ibertarians, libertarians, liberitines, and liberals to one extent or another tell us that what kinds of activities consenting adults engage in in the privacy of their own bedrooms is their own business.

But now the supreme court has extended the definition of "bedrooms" to include "Joe's Tavern". As I've hinted at before, once we've established that any given system of morality is not applicable as a basis for law, NO system of morality can maintain its applicability. Each time ground is given way, it becomes harder and harder to defend the ground that's left. I'm wondering how far they'll eventually go before people have had enough. Heck, we have homeless people sleeping in our parks and under overpasses, that makes them bedrooms too, right? How long will it be before the defense of sex acts in public as Freedom of Speech is applied to ANY public place, not just private businesses?

I'd leave, but I fear that once the idiots are done clearcutting decency and good sense here, they'll just come after the next place. This is as good a place to make a stand as any.

Elitist fury: Miers in the line of fire

It's coming to the point where the liberals may look on all she has endured and say, "you've earned a seat on the high court. Here, if it really makes Republicans that angry, take it."

It's getting beyond the point of pathetic. I'll admit to being a little disappointed at first at Miers nomination, but only because she didn’t fit into what I considered was the only thing we needed–a carbon copy of Scalia or Thomas. I'm definitely over it after, having gotten a more complete picture. One thing is perfectly clear--it's no longer ordinary pro-life advocates who are blubbering. Indeed, they should be very pleased with her appointment if they know anything about her.

Since the initial din of protest, the current noise seems to be mostly from Washington insiders upset she isn't stereotypical. No Ivy League school, no long record in politics, no party-line Republican history, nothing...nothing except a pristine record of skillful practice and conscientious, selfless service to God and country–how shocking someone would think that enough!

I think we've spent so much time fighting a politicized judiciary, we've forgotten what it could and perhaps should look like!

I half expected WORLD Magazine to reflect this kind of exasperation when I read their cover piece on Miss Miers. Marvin Olasky, in his usual level-headed way (as opposed to a Coulteresque tirade), examined her in great detail and as well as some of the reactions that have been going around. He did a lot of talking to those who know her best:
They see her as an evangelical who is meek—in the biblical sense of humble strength. For 25 years she has been a member of Valley View Christian Church in Dallas, a conservative evangelical church and not one of the city's fashionable ones. Never married, she has devoted herself to work, her extended family, and her church, serving on the missions committee for 10 years, teaching children in Sunday school, making coffee, and bringing donuts.

At the same time, she's practiced corporate law in a major Texas firm. Mr. Kinkeade calls her "a superstar here in Dallas before George Bush ever entered the picture." He believes that some critics are attacking her because "she's not from the East or West coasts—didn't go to an Ivy League law school. They don't like that."

I think it's time some people shut up and sit down. Stop ranting about Souter, OConnor and judicial trends, and just recognize that she is different from any previous nominee. If I black out all the naysayers and just look at her for who she is, I really like what I see.

One more thing: Rehnquist wasn't a judge before he was nominated to the supreme court. Why should that be a problem now?

Crossposted at Meneltarma

Monday, October 03, 2005

The premise

Throw everything you have at him and hope something sticks.

That's the new rule of thumb for Ronnie Earle and co, the prosecutor leading the charge on Tom "the hammer" DeLay. You should have seen the utter giddiness of Western faculty when the first indictment was handed down. It was the first meeting of the College Republicans that evening and everyone had a story to share about their professors mentioning it in class. One prof. even went so far as to mix DeLay up with Senator Frist. What next!?

Good question. The judge had to throw out the first indictment because it was for a crime that wasn't a crime when he was alleged to have done it. Now they have gone back to the loading station to find a better caliber round. From the AP:
The new indictment, handed up by a grand jury seated Monday, contained two counts. The money laundering charge carries a penalty of up to life in prison. The charge of conspiracy to launder money is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
One thing is clear and indisputable from the events as they have unfolded: Earle has started with a biased premise: DeLay is a bad man and must have done SOMETHING wrong. (Is it door one? Door two?) Unfortunately for him, finding the right charge for DeLay is like playing a lively game of Pin the Tail on the Elephant.

Crossposted at Western Washington Unraveled

The Pick

I don't know. It just seems like a wasted opportunity more than anything else that can be said for or against her at this point.

--also posted at The Jaybird Nest--

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Two cities: the concise answer

Horace Cooper (from National Center for Public Policy Research) writes in his column, A Tale of Two Cities, what many have been thinking and few have said out loud. He is to be commended:
While it’s true that the two hurricanes hit at different intensity levels, the important differences can best be described as a tale of two cities – New Orleans and Houston.

No two neighboring towns better embody the differences between the two main political philosophies competing in the U.S. today – Houston, Texas which is the embodiment of the Lone Star State’s can do spirit of limited government and self-reliance versus New Orleans, Louisiana, aptly nicknamed the “Big Easy” and perhaps the embodiment of welfare state dependence in the South.
Catch the complete piece at Townhall.com