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February 02, 2008



Good morning everyone. One day to Superbowl Sunday! It feels like Christmas around here.
In the words of a local sportscaster: "Arlen Spector is an Eagles fan, a petty Eagles fan"

On the subject of Romney, I hope he makes it to AZ tomorrow. Show us you are a regular guy Mitt!

hit and run

The WSJ is not headquartering the Stop McCain movement with this piece.

The WSJ is on the comprehensive reform side of the immigration debate...

Other Tom

Can anyone believe Specter's latest? Utterly nuts.


With Tom's permission, I'd like to run this story (or non-story, as the case may be) by everyone's B.S. meters. Gang, please tell me if you think this story has legs or not:

The London times recently reported:

"A WHISTLEBLOWER has made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt government officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets.

"Sibel Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator for the FBI, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office...

"Among the hours of covert tape recordings, she says she heard evidence that one well-known senior official in the US State Department was being paid by Turkish agents in Washington who were selling the information on to black market buyers, including Pakistan."


Now Annie Jacobsen did a write-up at Pajamas Media where she identifies the senior official as being Marc Grossman, he of Plamegate fame.

Having no experise in the area, I have no idea whether this is old news, B.S., or something worthy of further investigation.



URL screwed-up on London Times. But you can find it in the Pajamas Media link.

hit and run

DubiousD -- go back to the Republicans (Sans Rudy) Have At It! thread...

Sibel is all the rage...


Yes I saw that too. It kind of adds a new twist to Plamegate. It's been a while, and I can hardly remember who Grossman was, but if I remember correctly, I came up with a conspiracy theory about him. Wasn't he the guy who must have early on informed Joe Wilson about Armitage's conversation with Novak, as I surmised that he was the only link between the two. Either he was the street guy who confronted Wilson and told him about Novak, or the guy who told the street guy.

Anyway, I was always a little suspicious of Armitage, and how he just happened to "innocently" mention Plame. If there were some backhanded dealing with Pakistan about nukes that he knew something about, this might add another element to the story.


funny information

The lead prosecutor in the government's corruption case against Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, says the government doesn't intend to mention the congressman's "Dollar Bill" nickname, used by his political enemies, unless the defense claims he is the "victim of entrapment or outrageous government conduct."

Interesting stuff on Grossman in the other thread. But back to Romney for a moment. I think he's being unfairly treated. Yes he might have changed his ideas on abortion, but what other candidate hasn't changed a few ideas? I always hear about him changing his mind, but what are these other instances?

As a casual reader of the news on him, I haven't seen any other details on what these changes were. I don't really know if it's true or not, as I haven't researched it yet. But everyone around me is repeating this mantra on him, but when I ask them, ok, so what are all these changes, no one has an answer for me. They are repeating the mantra without the information and without questioning it, so the propaganda against him is successful in this instance.

Obviously he is not an idealogue, but I think that can be a good thing. He seems like a practical guy who likes "data" and likes to get things done. That could be what we need to "fix Washington" as he likes to say.



Romney ran as a pro-choice candidate in MA when he ran against Kennedy for senate and lost and again when he ran for governor. He says he changed his mind while in office but he made no changes in the law as governor, perhaps because that would not be possible given our legislature. He also became actively anti-gay marriage, which has cost him more votes from where I sit than the abortion change which at this point in time is nothing but a nuance. If you look back, Clinton did the most to harm gays in this country. Bush has left them completely alone. Romney says he will pass a marriage amendment, but I suspect that is more pandering than resolve.


There is a hopeful post (link under my name at the Corner:

A Different Perspective [Victor Davis Hanson]

Worth reading.

Other Tom

Jane, I find myself taking a lot of encouragement from VDH these days--he's a genuine national asset.

For those who hold McCain in minimal high regard, let me warn you: Newsweek is out with two fawning, barf-alert pieces by Evan Thomas and Howard Fineman. They appear to be in the tank--but maybe they'll do one of these on each candidate. Anyhow, if anyone needs to blow lunch I'll understand.


Grossman, pops up in pg 101, of Douglas Frantz's "Nuclear Jihadist'(about A.Q. Khan
as the political officer in Islamabad, in 1978-79; when Gallucci, then with ACDA, visited the Kahuta nuclear plant; some time
later, they visited the plant again, and the
plant upgrades weremysteriouslydisappeared.)
Interestingly, his name does not appear in the index, a deft touch of 'memory holing'
characteristic of the treatment of the first
expose mentioning the Pakistani nuclear program; Weisman's the Islamic Bomb; which almost made AQ's tale superfluous probably
under pressure from Pakistani authorities.
Long after that, he rose to a high level State Department official, and as pointed out before; one of the prosecution witnesses
in the Libby case. Much like Fitzgerald's fumbling the case against Ali Mohammed before the central African bombings; or Armitage's (and by extension Powell, Baker, Scowcroft's) role in Azeri oil contacts, which are at the very least a confict of interest, in the "Two Year Hate" against Libby. These details have met the fate of Comrade Ogilvy a heroic unperson in Orwell's 1984.


Hit and Run:

Thanks for the link. I had a feeling you guys would be all over it.

By the way, Ace of Spades has a piece about how Strobe Talbott may have inadvertently been used as a Soviet intelligence source.

Looks like this isn't a good week to be a US diplomat.



I am outside Mass, but it appeared to me that Gov Romney pushed to make the legislature vote on the gay-marriage issue. This was after the legislature tried to execute a sort of pocket-veto of the petition to bring up the issue. Romney at least to some extent took the issue out of the hands of the courts, which tried to rule by decree, and put it in the hands of the legislature to vote on the matter?

Seems to me he fought the good fight, and then accepted the loss after the legislative branch voted. This is exactly what I would like in a candidate, or am I interpreting the events incorrectly.

Terry Gain

Being pro life and pro family is more about how you live your own life than what you tell other people to do. Yes, you can vote against third semester abortions and embryonic stem cell research but substantial changes in these areas will not come through legislation or even Court challenges. They will come about, if at all, through cultural change.

Mitt Romney and his wife of more than 30 years have raised 5 children. They obviously have a good marriage. His family life was anticipated by Norman Rockwell. Not only is he conservative in theory but at his core. He has been more conservative than Reagan in his private life and he will be just as inspirational as President. The GOP desperately needs a leader who can articulate the party's values and dreams.

Romney is the quintessential conservative and a dream candidate. Smart, decent, of good humour, humble, articulate and yet plain spoken and a proven executive with a fabulous record of success in the private sector.

He has the right position on all of the important issues and is the only GOP contestant who can beat Obama. I, frankly don't uunderstand what motivates the malice toward him of people like Tom Maguire.

Yes, Romney's positions have evolved. Those of thinking people usually do.


Don't worry, TG, he'll still win. He can outmoney anybody, and I'm not talking about his own.


I'm still betting on a brokered convention, and McCain will self-destruct before then. It will be amusing to watch the MSM keep him on life support, though.


Terry Gain,

You said that beautifully. Except, there is no malice here, just a rational discussion of the candidate's many flaws.

Terry Gain


Maguire saying he didn't know Romney had been indicted. I like humour as much as anyone but I din't find that funny or rational. And I don't find it funny that it seems like the GOP is going to nominate a snarky 72 year old who will get creamed by Obama.

McCain might beat Hillary but he can't even debate Romney without telling a blatant lie about what his opponent said. McCain's been strong on Iraq but he wants to close Gitmo because he lacks the rhetorical skills to explain why it's necessary and he thinks it wasn't a good idea to waterboard KSM. He's not up to fighting the Jihadists.

And I won't even mention the border. I can well understand why the Democrats want Mexican voters to stream by the millions across the border but if the GOP doesn't understand the implicatons of this for their future perhaps in their search for purity they deserve the oblivion that's coming.

If the Reagan of 1980 were running for the GOP nomination today he would be found wanting by reason of aspects of his liberal past.


I agree with Terry. McCain's demeanor wasn't at all Presidential in this last debate. In fact, it wasn't even that of an experienced leader. McCain was gloating and rude.


Get this - Obama's local campaign headquarters just opened here - it's in First Baptist Church.

How do they get away with this, and conservative churches get sued for handing out voter guides?

I really don't get this.


It's cause they are democrats Sunny Day. Sheesh don't you know anything?


Yeah, SD, what are you, dishonest or unintelligent?


Call the ACLU, I'm sure they'll be over in a jiffy!


I could go bug them every day. I could go in and ask "How come you get to operate from a church?"

Maybe the local TV stations will carry it?

ACLU is busy with terrorists rights, wouldn't want to interrupt this important activity. :/


Well, at least the Virginia Beach police made Abercrombie and Fitch take down their nearly nude suggestive posters at the mall. I think Mrs Oberndorf doesn't really want to be on O'Reilly again?

All kind of interesting stuff going on here. At least we don't have to compete with the super bowl to vote.

Link is under my name - sorry no pix. it was 3 or 4 guys with their jeans pulled down, backs to the camera.


From SunnyDay's link:

In 2002, Abercrombie & Fitch pulled a line of thongs from its shelves that were aimed at girls age 10 and under.


Remember A & F before its conversion to preppified Spearswear? It was like a sportier Brooks Brothers. They've come a long way down.


A link on Drudge about some company pulling the "Lolita" bed - designed for girls ages 6 and up. Store personnel said they didn't understand what was wrong with it, had never heard of Lolita (book or movie). OK. right.

I'm glad I'm not trying to raise kids now. Even kids movies are loaded with sexual stuff. First line in Homeward bound II was about butt-sniffing. In a dcoumentary about animals, fine, but in a children's story - it's designed to break down children's natural modesty boundaries.


SunnyDay, I have two daughters under 5 and I can already see the influence you describe. If we could afford it I'd seriously consider homeschooling - but I do think the social benefit of school is really important. Unfortunately it comes with tradeoffs.


Porchlight, my business partner has 2 and 5 year old daughters. What spectacularly fun ages those are.


Have you looked closely at home schooling - there is a large association, athletic teams, classes for some subjects. My brother homeschooled all 4 of his kids. They are at ease around anyone. IMO the socialization is even better - but they do have to be taught about the bad things, in order to live in this world.

I inadvertently called my nephew during a "lesson" on how to handle trouble - couldn't talk to my nephew, because, at 12, he had taken an elderly lady to the emergency room and was staying with her. He learns, she gets help.

By age 10 they have all flown somewhere by themselves. Armed with lessons and real practice on how to handle themselves, they go out and really do it.

I taught school for a while right out of college. Then a few summers ago, I subbed for a teacher who had just walked out of her 12th grade English class (she couldn't deal with it) - people need to see what's actually happening in public schools. Nothing is perfect, but the things I saw were awful and don't fall into the "nothing is perfect" category.


Jane, yes, mine are 1 and 4 and they are great fun. It's hard to believe that they're really going to grow up!

SunnyDay, that's amazing about your nephew. I've thought about homeschooling semi-seriously. My brother and his wife homeschool their three in Santa Cruz and they are the greatest kids - helpful, creative, mature. It's a financial issue for us more than anything else (my job carries the insurance, husband is a musician and is on the road a lot). But it's not out of the question. We have some friends in town with three kids around the same age as ours who are interested in the possibilities of doing it together.

Just thinking about the public schools makes me sigh. We are in a pretty good district (for Texas), but even so, it seems like all they learn in the elementary school is that recycling is the most important activity on the face of the earth.

Ralph L

They've come a long way down.
I don't believe it's the same company. They just bought the name.


Thanks, Ralph, I looked it up and saw you're right. Still, it is sad to see the brand changed like that.

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