Oh Christmas Tree

Some time in the 1990s, the annual spruce placed on the Washington Capitol grounds started being called the “Holiday Tree” instead of “Christmas Tree.” Nobody seems to know why it was changed, but it was at about the same time Bill Clinton was in the same city and struggling to keep his pants up. Coincidence? I think not.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert is going to have it renamed back to “Christmas Tree.” Huzzah!

If it’s a spruce tree adorned with 10,000 lights and 5,000 ornaments displayed on the Capitol grounds in December, it’s a Christmas tree and that’s what it should be called, says House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Hastert, R-Ill., in a letter to the Architect of the Capitol, recommended that the annual Capitol Holiday Tree, as it has been called the past several years, be renamed the Capitol Christmas Tree.

“I strongly urge that we return to this tradition and join the White House, countless other public institutions and millions of American families in celebrating the holiday season with a Christmas tree,” Hastert wrote to Architect Alan Hantman.

His office said the tree began to be referred to as the Holiday Tree in the 1990s. Spokesman Ron Bonjean said the reasons were unclear.

On Dec. 8 Hastert will flip the switch to light the tree, a 65-foot Engelmann Spruce from the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico. On Tuesday workmen were erecting the tree on the West Front of the Capitol.

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Setting the Record Straight

Finally, the White House is addressing the liberal media for making outrageous claims about how Bush lied, led us into war, yada yada yada. Conservatives have long read the Washington Post and the New York Times and pointed out the errors, errors embraced by the liberal media to make their point.

Two days ago, the Washington Post got switchin’ from the White House. After an editorial implied that Bush led the nation to war by manipulating inteligence data, the next day the White House set the record straight.

This morning the New York Times says that foreign intelligence services disagreed with U.S. intelligence. Off to the woodshed, the White House sets the record straight.

I love it. If the liberal media is going to push their left-wing agenda, they’re going to have to learn to do it using, you know, facts and stuff.

Update: Check out this video.

Update 2: If that above link doesn’t work, it’s mirrored here.

Ill Wind May Not Blow to the Whitehouse

Will Hurricane Katrina spell the end of George Bush’s Presidency? Almost certainly yes, with a few caveats. 😛

As the full horror of Hurricane Katrina sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if this is the end of George Bush’s presidency. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that every copy of the US Constitution was destroyed in the storm. Otherwise President Bush will remain in office until noon on January 20th, 2009, as required by the 20th Amendment, after which he is barred from seeking a third term anyway under the 22nd Amendment.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if the entire political agenda of George Bush’s second term will not still be damaged in some terribly satisfying way.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that the entire political agenda of George Bush’s second term consists of repealing the 22nd Amendment. Otherwise, with a clear Republican majority in both Houses of Congress, he can carry on doing pretty much whatever he likes.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if the Republican Party itself will now suffer a setback at the congressional mid-term elections next November.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that people outside the disaster zone punish their local representatives for events elsewhere a year previously, both beyond their control and outside their remit, while people inside the disaster zone reward their local representatives for an ongoing calamity they were supposed to prevent. Otherwise, the Democratic Party will suffer a setback at the next congressional election.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if an official inquiry will shift the blame for poor planning and inadequate flood defences on to the White House. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody admits that emergency planning is largely the responsibility of city and state agencies, and nobody notices that the main levee which broke was the only levee recently modernised with federal funds. Otherwise, an official inquiry will pin most of the blame on the notoriously corrupt and incompetent local governments of New Orleans and Louisiana.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush contributed to the death toll by sending so many national guard units to Iraq.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody recalls that those same columnists have spent the past two years blaming George Bush for another death toll by not sending enough national guard units to Iraq. Otherwise, people might wonder why they have never previously read a single article advocating large-scale military redeployment during the Caribbean hurricane season.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnist are asking how a civilised city can descend into anarchy.

The answer is that only a civilised city can descend into anarchy.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush should be held responsible for the terrible poverty in the southern states revealed by the flooding.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody holds Bill Clinton responsible for making Mississippi the poorest state in the union throughout his entire term as president, or for making Arkansas the second-poorest state in the union throughout his entire term as governor. Otherwise, people might suspect that it is a bit more complicated than that.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush should not be concerned by accusations of racism against the federal government.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody remembers that Jesse Jackson once called New York “Hymietown” and everybody thinks Condoleezza Rice went shopping for shoes when the hurricane struck because she cannot stand black people.

Otherwise sensible Americans of all races will be more concerned by trite, cynical and dangerous political opportunism.

As the full horror of that sinks in, this columnist is simply glad that everybody cares.

* From a tip from Right Voices and Slugger O’Toole. Original article by Newton Emerson in the Irish Times.

John Roberts Replaces Karl Rove

What happened to all the Karl Rove stories? Karl Rove go *poof* as the news media gears up to oppose John Roberts for the Supreme Court.

The Karl Rove stories were just like the Tom DeLay stories. There was no meat to them, no substance, just media frenzy looking for something to damage Bush. The DeLay stories about inappropriate travel all disappeared when it was obvious the Democrats had far more egg on their collective face. Likewise, there’s no “there” there to the Karl Rove Stories. Let me summarize –

  • There may not have been a crime committed. The same news organizations pushing to fire Karl Rove simultaneously argue no crime was ever committed as they try to spring their reporter from jail. Valerie Plame wasn’t deep undercover, hadn’t been for over 5 years, all her neighbors knew her identity, her husband probably outed her in the first place.
  • Rove didn’t disclose her identity anyway. Apparently the media disclosed it to Rove, and Rove agreed with the media.
  • What about the President’s promise to fire the leaker? If the media had bothered to do their homework, they’d have discovered that Bush said no such thing.

    THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. There’s leaks at the executive branch; there’s leaks in the legislative branch. There’s just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.

No substance to the story. *Poof* So they gear up to pounce on John Roberts instead.

And pounce they will. Special interest groups are planning to spend $50 million in advertising so far to oppose his nomination.

My prediction is that there will be a lot of huffing and puffing by the Democrats, but that Roberts will be approved by October. For one thing, the Democrats have realized that the filibuster is a losing proposition and it’s giving the Democrats the image of obstructionism. And second, this same Senate approved Roberts for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 2003 with Democratic support.

It’s a very strategic move by Bush – if the Democrats oppose him now, they risk exposing their hypocrisy if 2 years ago John Roberts was perfectly acceptable. And conservatives deserve a conservative to be appointed, just like Clinton deserved to have ultra-liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Court. Conservatives ought to get past their worry that anything conservative will send the liberals into a tizzy. As Sean wrote last night in an email this fictional White House conversation:

“Hey, Rummy, how should we spin this Roberts character tonight?”

“Damnit, Dick, I think we should line the cage with NYT metro additions and let the parrot poop land where it may!”

“Uh, Don, I don’t think I follow”.

“Look, Dick, lets tell ’em that we want to trigger a tumultuous tantrum of tremendous tripe from the left”.

“Sure Rummy, but lets loose those lousy alliterations, and I think W will wise-up well.”

“Damn, veep, no more schnapps for you, ok, but its sort of along the lines of Nattering Nabobs of Negativity, you know…sort-of.”

“Hmmm, let’s just tell the Dems to ‘bring it on’ – it worked for OBL’s boys in Iraq.”

“Sure, sure….you know, I love this job, Dick”.

“Me too Don”.

Restricting Senate Filibusters

NY Times, January 1, 1995 NY Times, March 6, 2005
In the last session of Congress, the Republican minority invoked an endless string of filibusters to frustrate the will of the majority. This relentless abuse of a time-honored Senate tradition so disgusted Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa, that he is now willing to forgo easy retribution and drastically limit the filibuster. Hooray for him. . . . Once a rarely used tactic reserved for issues on which senators held passionate views, the filibuster has become the tool of the sore loser, . . . an archaic rule that frustrates democracy and serves no useful purpose. The Republicans are claiming that 51 votes should be enough to win confirmation of the White House’s judicial nominees. This flies in the face of Senate history. . . . To block the nominees, the Democrats’ weapon of choice has been the filibuster, a time-honored Senate procedure that prevents a bare majority of senators from running roughshod. . . . The Bush administration likes to call itself “conservative,” but there is nothing conservative about endangering one of the great institutions of American democracy, the United States Senate, for the sake of an ideological crusade.

No liberal bias there. Nope, nada.

Weekly Standard via Protein Wisdom.

Another Hillary Conspiracy Theory

The cynic in me suspects this is an attempt to get Americans used to having a female President in an attempt to add support to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid.

The next President of the United States

Geena Davis Elected to ABC’s White House Drama

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Oscar winner Geena Davis will star as the first female president of the United States in ABC’s drama pilot “Commander in Chief.”

Friendship Over History

I’m going to applaud the decision by Doug Wead made last night; Wead admitted earlier this week that he had secretly taped Bush. He denied he was doing it for profit, and acknowledging that he may have betrayed a friendship.

After pressure from fellow evangelists (not from the White House), Wead has reconsidered his position. The tapes will be returned to President Bush, and all proceeds from the book will be sent to charity.

On Wednesday, Wead said he decided to change course because of “the perception that I have tried to exploit the tapes and make money off of it and hurt the president and had all kinds of agendas,” he said. “This seems like the best thing to show that isn’t the case.”

“Nobody believes my story that I saw him as a figure of history,” Wead said. “I guess I have got a story that is unbelievable to people.”