Here's what I thought you'd like to hear about today:
- Driving God out of the Public Square - Secularists and Bigots Attack Romney
- Gates on the NIE - It's not Policy, it's the Independent CIA
- More Progress in Iraq - Permanent Progress
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Driving God out of the Public Square - Secularists and Bigots Attack Romney
On my last podcast I played a clip from Mitt Romney's
Faith in America speech. Since then, he has been praised by Republicans, and condemned by Democrats. Big surprise I guess. But the criticisms have all been over his statement that
Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Some have claimed that this would exclude agnostics and atheists from government. Is anyone surprised that a speech called
Faith in America is calling for more faith? Some are claiming that he is calling for a theocracy. I missed that part, somehow.
Here is Newt Gingrich on This Week with George Stephanopoulos challenging the host's views on Romney's speech and American History.
I was intrigued, so I found an audio clip at American Rhetoric of an actor reading Lincoln's second inaugural address. It was given less than two months before he was assassinated. And it is frankly religious. Listen to the last half of this very short address. I think you will recognize the last few lines.
Stirring words, indeed. But the talking heads on This Week were ready to hang Romney for his modest effort. Listen to Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts.
Sam claims that
it's getting much much closer to a theocracy;
Encroachment into the government. All Bunk.
But for a really off the rails criticism of Romney, we have to go to MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell. Never one to hold back on his true feelings, Lawrence dragged up ancient history on the LDS church to attack Romney with both barrels. Here he is on The McLaughlin Group. Hold on to your hats.
Good for Pat Buchanan, one of my least favorite Republican pundits for asking if Romney's Mormonism disqualifies him from being President, and if past condoning of slavery by Christians disqualify them from running for office. O'Donnell is unhinged.
He appeared on Hugh Hewitt's show after this rant to continue the bile against Romney. Hugh asked why he was only criticizing the politely religious, instead of the Islamofascists.
What a wimp. Only point out the flaws of the safe groups, not the dangerous ones.
Gates on the NIE - It's not Policy, it's the Independent CIA
Last week's release of the National Intelligence Estimate has been very controversial. Some have cited the cessation of the Iranian nuclear weapons program to call into question the
belicose rhetoric of the Bush administration. World War III and all that. Secretary Robert Gates spoke on the subject of the NIE to some of our allies in Bahrain last week. I'm going to play to excerpts, the first from the speech and the second from the questions after the talk. Thanks to the Pentagon Channel Podcast for the audio.
I can see what trouble this
independent intelligence community is to those responsible and accountable for government policy. How can our allies trust us when those who must formulate and implement the policy are tossed to the wolves by unaccountable spooks bent on bringing down Bush?
More Progress in Iraq - Permanent Progress
I have tremendous respect for Maj. Gen. W.E. Gaskin, the top man in Anbar Province. As the Pentagon Channel described it:
MajGen W.E. Gaskin, Commanding General, MNF-West, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), provides Pentagon reporters with an update of ongoing operations in western Iraq, Dec 10, 2007I joined a conference call with the General on a previous podcast, #66 on July 20, where he reminded us that
Most of the dumb ones are dead.Gaskin is getting close to the end of his tour, due out in February 2008. So I was anxious to listen to his press conference on December 10 to the Pentagon Press Corp. I'm going to play two excerpts from that audio file. The first is in answer to a question of permanence of the success.
Let's hope we can get something done in the six generations of animosity that Al Qaeda in Iraq has generated in Anbar.
The next clip illustrates one of the talking points of the anti-war crowd. I've heard two false claims recently. The first is that ethnic cleansing and newly constructed walls and baricades separating Sunnis and Shia is resonsible for the decline in violence in Iraq. The second is that Anbar province was starting to calm down before the surge, so the Marines have nothing to do with the decrease of violence there, now about 90% less than before. Here is Gaskin responding to the latter of those two canards.
Here's another index of the success in Iraq. It's part of a news conference with Marine Commandant Conway at the Pentagon talking about the requirement for MRAPs, the Mine Resistant Ambush Protection vehicles that the Pentagon convinced Congress to pay several billion dollars for last year to prevent the loss of life and limb that IED's were causing in Iraq. The MRAP is more resistant to IED's than the Humvee. Now the Marines have cut their request, ever since the violence has gone down. Here's Conway:
Want to know how much better things are going? Look at how bad the stock price of Force Protection is. Force Protection (FRPT) is one of the only
pure play MRAP companies in the market. It's down from $24 in October to $6 this week. On WizbangPodcast.com you can see the chart.
Live by the sword, and all that.
Of course all of this success is having little effect on the Democratically controlled House. Nancy Pelosi's strategy is to continue to seek to pull troops out at every opportunity, regardless of the futility of the gesture. So far, I think she has passed a dozen resolutions, bills, budgets, and other actions in the house, all of which have either been killed in the Senate or vetoed by the President. It's clear that her strategy is to loose as many times as she can, in the vain hopes that it will frustrate her Democratic base enough to increase her majority in the House and Senate. But the frustration she must be feeling at her non-stop failures appears to have affected her brain. Here she is at her last weekly press conference before the holiday break, railing against the Republicans.
No, Nancy, we don't love war. We hate losing. We like to win. And we value a stable, secure, and self defensible Iraq that can be an ally in the war on terror. And we just might get it, too, despite your efforts to force a defeat on our military. Bozo.
That's it for now, Podcatchers. I'm Charlie Quidnunc reporting from deep beneath downtown Seattle in the Passat studio.