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Senator Craig Announces Resignation

GP Update – Saturday, 12:50PM Eastern…. Senator Craig Announces Resignation….

“The people of Idaho deserve a senator who can devote 100 percent of his time and effort to the critical issues of our state and of our nation,” said Craig, speaking under a clear blue sky at 10:30 a.m. (12:30 p.m. ET) outside the historic Boise Depot in Idaho’s capital city.

“Therefore it is with sadness and deep regret that I announce that it is my intent to resign from the Senate, effective September 30th.”

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Original Post by GPW: 

As I was working on a post about my conversation with a woman from Americans for Truth, I read on the web that Senator Craig announced that he will resign. I understand that this was a tough decision for him to make.

Whie I have been critical of the Senator’s judgment, I do think it unfortunate that, in the future, a man who, by all reports, for over a quarter-century, had diligently worked on behalf of the citizens of the Gem State, will likely be remembered primarily for this one thing.

I believe he is doing the right thing. And hope and pray that this decision will help him find some peace of mind — and the support of his family and friends will make it easier for him to get through this very difficult time.

My Conversation with an Ex-Gay Advocate

Among the many interesting people I’ve met at Breaking Stories, Breaking Waves, the LGBT Media Summit and National Convention, has been an individual I least expected to meet here. Allyson Smith, a Reporter/Researcher for Americans for Truth, a “national organization devoted exclusively to exposing and countering the homosexual activist agenda,” has been attending the convention and even sat in on my panel, “The Right Approach: Covering LGBT Conservatives.”

A few hours ago, while chatting with the Washington Blade‘s Kevin Naff in the hotel bar, we saw her walk back and asked Miss Smith to join us. Not only did she agree with alacrity, but when she spoke with us, she offered conversation that was both interesting and engaging — and of particular note, given one of my primary concerns, she was above all quite civil.

Her views of the conference were similar to my own, saying that “everyone has been very nice to me.” Wayne Besen, who moderated our panel yesterday and has written extensively on ex-gays, noted her attitude was similar to that of many such conservatives. When Allyson, Kevin and I discussed her civil reception, we all agreed that often we let political disagreement create animosity.

“If we disagree with people,” I said, “we feel we have to hate them.” Fortunately that wasn’t true with this representative of a group which holds a view of homosexuality at odds with the reality of the lives of so many gay men and lesbians.

Smith noted the amount of destructive behavior in the gay community, with people having promiscuous sex and often not taking precautions to prevent the spread of STDs. Kevin and I acknowledged that such behavior persists in the gay community, but noted that it is not limited to gay men—and that a number of straight men (and women) are also promiscuous, often destructively so.

And I pointed out that while there are exceptions, lesbians tend not to have the same self-destructive sexual behaviors as gay men, havings relationships which correspond with the heterosexual married ideal.

When she talked about how Christian values offer an alternative to homosexual behavior, I countered that gay men can bring (indeed many have brought) such values into their relationships with other men. Somewhat agreeing with her point defining a monogamous marriage between one man and one woman as the ideal, I pointed out that gay people could also be inspired by that ideal. (I even noted how I have blogged about it in posts filed under this category).

We did agree that promiscuous sex can lead to shame and emptiness.

And I pointed out that while there are exceptions, lesbians tend not to have the same self-destructive sexual behaviors as gay men and tend to for relationships which correspond with the heterosexual married ideal.

In all, it was a good conversation. I regretted having to end it so I could attend a panel which was considerbly less interesting than our exchange.

I very much appreciated her coming to the conference and taking the time to listen to a great variety of gay perspectives here. While we disagree strongly, I hope our conversation helped her see that there are gay men who define our orientation as involving more than immediate and frequent gratification of our sexual desires. That many of us are seeking the same sort of things that straight people are looking for, including socially conservative individuals of faith.

Given my commitment to civil discourse, I have offered Miss Smith a chance to respond to this post. I will post it as an addendum, even if I disagree with her ideas. And invite you to reply to her thoughts in the same manner (and tone) that she offers them.

ADDENDUM FROM ALLLYSON SMITH:

I appeciated the opportunity to speak with you and Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff at the NLGJA conference today. Our exchange was interesting and civil, and I was pleased that we were able to discuss our respective views in a respectful manner. And everyone else whom I’ve personally encountered at Breaking Stories, Breaking Waves has treated me with civility and kindness, which I didn’t expect and deeply appreciate. Thank you.

Even though there are many issues we will likely never agree upon–some of which arose in our conversation–I was happily surprised to find we concur that promiscuous sex persists in the homosexual community. “Our side”–we Christian conservatives (CCs)–often feel that when we point out such a fact, we are labeled with epithets such as “haters” or “bigots” or worse, when all we are attempting to do is point out the truth in love and concern.

[The rests of her addendum continues below the jump:]

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(Surprisingly) Warm Reception at Gay Journalists’ Conference

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:39 pm - August 31, 2007.
Filed under: Blogging,Gay America,Gay Politics

I had hoped to live-blog parts of Breaking Stories, Breaking Waves, the LGBT Media Summit and National Convention, I’m now attending in San Diego. I had been invited to participate on the panel, “The Right Approach: Covering LGBT Conservatives,” along with the BoifromTroy, Scott Schmidt and James Vaughn, the Director of Log Cabin California.

Anyway, the reason I’m not live-blogging this is that the hotel we’re staying at the Westin Horton Plaza, while otherwise an excellent hotel, only has spotty wireless in the lobby and conference areas. It does not have wireless in the rooms. Odd that the sponsors of the conference, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association would choose a hotel without inadequate wireless for a journalists confab. That notwithstanding, the group has done a great job organizing the event.

I’ve been impressed with the convention program, the facility in registration and the diverse offerings of their continental breakfasts.

The other thing that has impressed (and kind of surprised) me has been the reception I have received here. Normally when I attend gay events, I find the mostly left-leaning participants heaping scorn on me because of my politics. But, while I do get some ribbing for my politics, it has all been in good fun and those doing the ribbing don’t seem to be judging me adversely for it

In our panel, Scott, James and I all agreed that we are better received as gays in conservative/Republican circles than as Republicans in gay circles.

I felt the questions that moderator Wayne Besen asked were largely good, but a little leading. And he, like many others, has been focusing on the Larry Craig story, confirming the observation which sparked my last post about the saturation sensationalization of this story.

I’m pleased to note that when I introduce myself, many people are familiar with the blog, most having a largely favorable impression of it and many (even on the left) appreciating our presence in the blogosphere. Some have asked how we have been received among the conservative blogs and have been intrigued (for lack of better word) about our generally favorable reception among other blogging conservatives, particularly some of the leading blogs.

One guy from an MSM outlet, who had not heard of the blog, upon learning of its rightward leanings, said there was a need for gay conservative voices, holiding that it’s a mistake to assume all gays are liberal. (I did not get to ask if it was okay to use him name and will ask him the next time I see him.)

And while people here have not been dismissive of me because of my politics, they do identify me for it. Being a gay Republican is still (to many) an anomaly, that it seems that’s the one thing they’ll remember me for, even if I have waxed eloquent about my love for movies and mythology, particularly my dissertation topic, and have recited lines Beowulf in the original.

I’m also met some interesting people, some with whom I’ve corresponded or about whom we’ve written and linked on the blog, including Chris Crain who is much taller in person than he looks in his pictures on the web. :-) And I met the Washington Blade‘s Kevin Naff who appeared on our BlogTalkRadio podcast after the Logo Presidential Forum. Nice guys both.

I briefly talked to one man whom I have long respected while strongly disagreeing with his politics. When Larry Kramer asked a question in the Plenary session on the 40 years of the Advocate, he noted that being gay was about “more than just sex.” Interestingly, that magazine’s deputy editor said that she had asked disgraced former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey to write a piece on Larry Craig. No word yet on whether he accepted. But, she did respond favorably to my criticism on their absence of conservative columnists.

More on much of this anon.

Overheard at 35,000 Feet

A man on his way to New York City was a couple rows behind me on my flight today from Birmingham to Charlotte:

“I don’t think people elsewhere understand that the other sport in Alabama besides football is dodging State Troopers on the interstates.” – On cultural differences between the South and other parts of the USA.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

US Rep. Myrick Urges DOJ To Withdraw From Islamic Conference

Keep in mind folks that from Jan. 2000 to Dec. 2005, my Congressional representation was from Jim Moran (D-VA).  Just do a Google search with “Moran” and “controversy” and you’ll understand…..

Now, I have the utmost pleasure to be firmly planted in the 9th Congressional District with my outstanding Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-NC).   Not only is she a leader in cracking down on illegal immigration, but she now appears to be poised to be a Congressional leader on cracking down on Islamic terrorism.

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Myrick has co-signed a letter with terror warhawk US Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) urging the US Department of Justice to withdraw its sponsorship of an upcoming conference by the Islamic Society of North America.

According to Myrick and Hoekstra’s letter….

ISNA’s roots in the Muslim Brotherhood and activities in support of HAMAS – designated by the U.S. as a terrorist group – should disqualify ISNA from DOJ outreach efforts to the Muslim community.

“In light of the threat that our nation, and the world in general, is currently facing from radical Jihadists, and because of the President’s commitment to fighting the War on Terror on all fronts, we believe it is a grave mistake to provide legitimacy to an organization with extremist origins, leadership and a radical agenda,” the representatives wrote in a letter dated Tuesday to the Attorney General’s office.

It continued, “Establishing a partnership with ISNA is exactly the wrong approach at this critical juncture in history, setting a precedent that radical Jihadists should be the conduit between the U.S. government and the American Muslim population, and we urge you to reconsider your decision to establish an official relationship with ISNA.”

Thank you, Congresswoman Myrick for standing up (again and again) for what is the RIGHT THING TO DO.

Why isn’t Speaker Pelosi joining the call against taxpayers’ money being used to put up a DOJ booth at a radical Islamic conference?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Idahomosexual T-Shirt: “I’m Not Gay!”

Oh, it was only a matter of time…..

shirt.jpg

…get yours today on eBay!

And here I vowed to do my part to end the Larry Craig discussion today…..   I’m so weak.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

WMD Vials Found At United Nations?

Just when you thought you wouldn’t be surprised by anything anymore…..

Nerve Gas Found at UN Building – ABC News (h/t – Instapundit)

ABCNews has learned that United Nations weapons inspectors discovered six to eight vials of a dangerous nerve gas, phosgene, as they were cleaning out offices at a U.N. building in New York Thursday morning.

Federal authorities said the office, in a U.N. building near headquarters, was being evacuated and the White House had been notified at 10 a.m.

New York police and fire officials said federal authorities had not notified them of any problem at the U.N. building, as of 11 a.m.

A U.N. spokesperson said a statement would be issued shortly.

Authorities said the phosgene was believed to have been discovered in Iraq and manufactured prior to 1991.

Say what??!!??

And then again, it could just be a sloppy mistake of monumental proportions….

Former U.N. weapons inspectors told ABCNews.com that vials of phosgene had also been used by inspectors in Iraq to help calibrate air sampling instruments.

The former inspectors said the remaining vials were supposed to have been destroyed.

“If it is properly sealed, it should not pose much of a threat unless it is dropped,” said former New York City emergency services director Jerry Hauer, an ABC News consultant.

“They need to get it out of there and put it in a safe canister,” Hauer said. “It shows immense stupidity to have that kind of thing sitting around as a souvenir.”

According to the Web site of the Centers for Disease Control, phosgene at room temperature is a poisonous, colorless gas with a suffocating odor like newly mown hay.

If UN weapons inspectors can’t keep track of their own deadly chemicals, how can we trust them to find ones being hidden by rogue regimes?

Ah, but things might not be as simple as a dumb weapons’ inspector with a love for phosgene….

Here’s this addition…

According to an article in Foreign Affairs, the chemical was allegedly used by Iran in the Iran-Iraq war in 1987.

So there is one easy question to answer before we get into the more difficult ones:   Whose UN office were the vials found in?

UPDATE!  We have an answer to my question, folks!

The Iraqi weapons inspectors came across the material as they were closing their offices, which are housed in a building near the U.N. headquarters in Manhattan, said Ewen Buchanan, a spokesman for the inspectors.

I really do hope (and expect) that complete incompetence by UN bureaucrats is the explanation.   I also really do hope we actually get an explanation.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Larry Craig Story–Fitting the Media Mantra on Social Conservatives

One of the things which has struck me about is how the media has become saturated with sensationalistic* stories of Senator Craig. When I e-mailed my Pajamas piece on the Senator’s lack of judgment to my Mom, she wrote back, praising my piece and noting how “sick” she was of “hearing about Larry Craig. . . it was all over NBC New followed by CNN.” While working out at my gym, it seemed every time I looked up at a television news channel, it was either reporting on the Senator’s indiscretions or running some report in the scroll at the bottom of the screen.

The story headlined the news on Yahoo! as well as AOL. I’m sure it made the front page of many papers.

I wonder if the saga of former New Jersey Governor Jim Greevey saturated the news media as this story has. Unlike the latest sensationalistic story of gay sex and politics, that story, as Scheie noted, also included a “financial scandal.” The Garden State Democrat used state money to pay off a lover (or as that alleged beloved contends, a man the Governor wished were his lover) (Via Instapundit).

Perhaps this story has generated more coverage because Craig has denied being gay while McGreevey came out as a “gay American.” Or because Craig is a Republican and McGreevey a Democrat.

I mean, it’s generated far less coverage than did the assault and battery charge against Democratic Congressman Bob Filner of California.

Perhaps, if Filner were a Republican, the media might pay more attention to his airport antics. But, then, the media didn’t entirely ignore McGreevey despite being a member of the press’s preferred politcal party.

I think we have seen saturation coverage of the Craig affair for a variety of reasons, one of which it that it allows the MSM to downplay stories of success in Iraq. But, let’s face it, the real reason is that sex sells.** The media’s been ever eager to explore the private lives of politicians, particularly if they’re Republicans.

But, this story has an added wrinkle which makes today’s media increasingly interested. It’s a story they want to tell, exposing the supposed hypocrisy of social conservatives. At least since the publication of Elmer Gantry eighty years ago, the chattering classes seem to believe that those who preach traditional values use their faith as window dressing to cover their own sexual indiscretions. Members of the media (and cultural) elite seek to dismiss the social conservatives’ defense of such values as mere subterfuge, concealing a sinister agenda to subjugate the non-believers. Or some such nonsense.

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More Thoughts on Larry Craig

In my first post on Larry Craig which I had to write in a rush as I was chairing a meeting that evening, I wrote that I expected I’d have “more to say about this at a later time.” Well, as I was collecting my thoughts, Pajamas Media asked me to write a piece on the situation which is now up on their web-site.

To whet your appetitie, I’ll give you the first paragraphs and then encourage you to read the rest at Pajamas:

When I first read about the arrest of Senator Larry Craig in a restroom at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Aiport earlier this summer, I was stunned. I wondered how a man in his position could have shown as little judgment as he had.

Ten months ago, he was the subject of rumors in the blogosphere, talk radio, cable TV and even a few mainstream newspapers that he had engaged in sexual acts with other men in restrooms at Union Station in Washington, D.C. At the time, I was skeptical of the claims, but also thought that if they were true, the Senator, realizing that his restroom activities were not as anonymous as he had assumed, would have ceased seeking them out.

Last October, he escaped the public humiliation he is experiencing today. Indeed, his local paper, the Idaho Statesman had followed up on the allegations against him, but until this Monday, “had declined to run a story about Craig’s sex life, because [it] didn’t have enough corroborating evidence and because of the senator’s steadfast denial” (Via Hugh Hewitt). The paper even interviewed the Senator. He was thus well aware that people knew about his actions.

Just click here to read the full piece.

Senator Craig… For the Love of God… Shut Up!

So I’ve been traveling since 4am on Tuesday.   So as I spent yesterday away from TV and the internet, the most I knew about the world was that both Sen. Larry Craig and QB Michael Vick had admitted guilt for respective crimes.  End of story (for now), I assumed.

And then last night at a work event, I turned to a colleague who is also politically-connected and asked, “So what do you think about Larry Craig?”   He just shook his head and said, “Wasn’t his press conference today unbelieveable?”

My jaw dropped. 

“No he did NOT!”, I protested.    My friend: “Oh yes he did.  He must have said ‘I’m not gay’ three times.”

“No he did NOT!”, I said.  This time I continued:  “And let me guess, his wife was standing next to him?”  Well, of course!

I just shook my head.  “So by the end of the week, I bet he is an alcoholic, goes to rehab, and was molested by his priest,” I deduced.   Unreal.

Mark Steyn has a similar reaction to Craig’s unending stupidity.

Yes, I feel sorry for Mrs Craig and the family, too, but come on, the Senator’s statement in Boise this afternoon invites only a wholly deserved contempt. What was all that stuff about there being a “cloud over Idaho”? There’s no cloud over Idaho, there’s a cloud over him. The State of Idaho wasn’t in the stall of the men’s room at Minneapolis Airport, and the State of Idaho didn’t choose to cop a plea. If you’re going to dissemble, at least try not to be so pompous and narcissistic when you’re doing it.

And what was all that business about blaming it all on the “strain” brought about by The Idaho Statesman? What kind of excuse is that? “I wouldn’t have wound up in that men’s room if you guys hadn’t been investigating my secret gay sex life.”

This was a ridiculous performance.

The funny thing was, not having even watched or known about the press conference last night, I concluded the same thing!

The other immediate thought I had was… don’t these Washington politicians understand that this isn’t the 1960s and 1970s where people were either scared or in awe of US Senators and Congressmen?   Now, we have a collective borderline hate/disdain for them all…. so there ain’t no one gonna protect ‘em anymore.

My next revelation, along those same lines, was:  “Hmmm… if Ted Kennedy drove home drunk, wrecked a car, and left a body at the scene of the crime in 2007…. he’d not only be out of the Senate, but most likely in jail.”

Ah, the 21st Century.  Good times.

[Related Story:  A great internal debate by the Slate editors over the Craig foot tapping revelation.]

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Embedded At Front Lines of World War III:Michael Yon’s Latest Dispatch from Iraq

If you don’t regularly read Michael Yon’s dispatches as an embedded blogger in Iraq…. you are missing the real news.  His latest, The Ghosts of Anbar – Part II, highlight how General Petraeus’ counterinsurgency plan is being conducted and has been effective. 

Over the past several years, while working into a strategic fatigue, our military has made an amazing transformation in how it conducts this war.   Gone, for instance, are heavy-handed tactics, replaced by multi-dimensional counterinsurgency strategy rolled out simultaneously with targeted kinetic battles, like those recently with the 3/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Baqubah.

Arrowhead Ripper was merely the latest experience that underlines the Army’s rapidly-growing expertise.  Yet the Marines have adapted faster and seem poised to win the war in their battle space.  In fact, it’s been Army officers who have told me repeatedly over the past several years that nobody is successfully morphing to meet this war faster than the Marines.  Of course, Army officers who compliment Marines always say, “But that didn’t come from me.”

<…> 

In mid-May, 2007, days before I arrived, the Iraqi Army and Police had conducted a “Combined Medical Exercise” in the village of Falahat, wherein Iraqi doctors saw about 200 villagers.  About two days after that, the Iraqi Police opened a police station at the Falahat train station. That was just about the same time I was driving out to stay with a small team of Marines who were assigned as “MiTT 8” (Military Training Team 8).  MiTTs are familiar territory for me; this is a vintage Special Forces concept used the world ’round.

Marines and Soldiers are far outnumbered by Iraqi forces in many areas around Iraq.  Many people have protested this, saying the teams could be kidnapped or killed.  This is true.  But this is war, and it’s a chance we need to take. In fact, some Soldiers had just been kidnapped and were missing in action in another province. (They had been taken in combat, not as part of a MiTT.)

The men of MiTT 8 are living along with their Iraqi protégées in filthy shipping containers on a highway. Several months ago they were attacked by a car bomb.  But at about 0900, while I was traveling to their location with Marines in a Humvee (with sparkling glass) some Falahat villagers went to the new police station to report the presence of a culprit they knew to emplace bombs on the road.

It happened that quickly.

Within mere days of opening the station, people spoke up.   The Iraqi Police (some of whom freely admitted to having been recent insurgents) called the tip into the Iraqi Army who were living with the Marines of MiTT 8.  The Iraqi Army in turn told Marine Captain Koury, whose Command Operations Center is conjoined with the Iraqi Army unit there.  Finally, CPT Koury told Staff Sergeant Rakene Lee to take care of the developing situation.

Read the whole thing

(Oh, and it is worth mentioning that Yon’s accounts are non-fiction and include photos and named sources…. unlike a certain “dispatcher” from The New Republic.)

Michael’s on-the-ground reporting is months ahead of where Congress thinks we are in Iraq.  He should testify with Petraeus and Crocker in two weeks!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Idaho’s Craig Should Resign

I join Hugh Hewitt in saying that Idaho’s Senior Senator, Larry Craig, should resign.

For those of you who haven’t heard, he was arrested, “at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom” (Via Hugh).

I first read about this earlier this afternoon (Pacific Time) on Townhall’s blog. When I saw the headline, I thought it was a reference to old unsubstantiated reports about the Senator seeking sexual liaisons in public restrooms.

Given those reports (which now apparently have more substance than I once believed), this man should have been understood that people were aware of his unsavory behavior. That he continued (despite the reports) suggests a terrible lapse in judgment. Terrible.

Not only that, a grown man, particularly a man in public life, should know better than to do what he did. Public restrooms are not trysting spots.

I expect I’ll have more to say about this at a later time.

UPDATE: Just saw that Glenn posted on this, asking “And what is it with these guys?

Welcome Instapundit Readers!!

UP-UPDATE: I re-arranged the order of the paragraphs for better flow.

Chris Wallace Delivers Major Smack Down To Bill Moyers

I saw this yesterday on “FOX News Sunday”… and wanted to record it and upload it to YouTube myself.  But then I realized I was lazy and figured someone else would probably do it because it is THAT good. I was right! (h/t – Powerline)

ENJOY!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Attorney General Gonzales Out… Chertoff In?

Eh, I could care less.  AG Gonzo never impressed me much.  I just hate that the Democrats invented the “US Attorneys Scandal” which was a lot of wailing about nothing.

But I’m sure some of you care….. so have at it.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

MAJOR POLITICAL PROGRESS TODAY IN IRAQ

Hot off the wires…. Dateline Baghdad, August 27 (Monday). 

ABC News/Reuters is reporting

Iraq’s top Shi’ite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish leaders announced on Sunday they had reached consensus on some key laws that Washington views as vital to fostering national reconciliation.

The agreement was the most significant political development to take place in Iraq for months and was immediately welcomed by the United States, which hopes such moves will ease sectarian violence that has killed tens of thousands.

The apparent breakthrough comes two weeks before U.S. President George W. Bush’s top officials in Iraq present a report on the country that could have a major influence on future American policy in the country.

“This agreement aims to give a push to the political process which is in crisis,” government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told Al-Arabiya television.

The laws need to be passed by Iraq’s fractious parliament, which has yet to receive any of the drafts.

But the appearance of Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Iraqi television with the other leaders was a rare show of public unity amid crumbling support for the government.

The other officials at the news conference were President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd; Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi; Shi’ite Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, and Masoud Barzani, president of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

Iraqi officials said the leaders had signed an agreement on easing restrictions on former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath party joining the civil service and military.

“The new agreement includes a new draft of deBaathification, which allows those members who did not commit a crime to participate in the political process,” Dabbagh said.

He said consensus was also reached on holding provincial elections and setting up a mechanism to release some detainees held without charge, a key demand of Sunni Arabs since the majority are members of their sect.

Yasin Majid, a media adviser to Maliki, told Reuters the leaders also endorsed a draft oil law, which has already been agreed by the cabinet but has not yet gone to parliament.

DEVELOPING…..

Shouldn’t this be the lead on all of the three major MSM Sunday night network news programs?   *holding breath*

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Global Warming Paradox

If we are supposed to plant trees in order to “save the environment”…. how are we supposed to keep them alive when our local governments are issuing mandatory water restrictions on watering them? 

If planting and growing trees help combat global warming, shouldn’t we be encouraged to water them even more in these perilous planetary times?

What a conundrum!

[PS - Due to technical issues at BlogTalkRadio.com today, our podcast on the airline industry has been postponed.  Kind of ironic, eh?]

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

For some, defeat IS victory

Remember the mini-brouhaha the other day when President Bush spoke about completing the job in Iraq lest we have a recurrence of the disaster we faced after withdrawing from Vietnam in 1973? Democrats blasted the President for supposedly “being against Vietnam before he was for it” while their online sycophants sang chorus with “honesty, consistency and integrity have no meaning to George Bush”. Even a rudimentary perusal of the comments Bush made in 2004 and his speech to the VFW a couple of days ago shows this claim to be woefully ignorant. Context for these folks is irrelevant while soundbites, no matter how contrived, rule the day. This matter aside, however, it is very interesting to note a column that has surfaced online which harshly condemns antiwar Democrats for their antics that doomed Vietnam. As you read this, ask yourself who wrote these words?

This Congress was elected in November 1974, only months after Nixon’s resignation, and it was dominated by a fresh group of antiwar Democrats. One of the first actions of the new Congress was to vote down a supplemental appropriation for the beleaguered South Vietnamese that would have provided $800 million in military aid, including much-needed ammunition, spare parts and medical supplies.

This vote was a horrendous blow, in both emotional and practical terms, to the country that had trusted American judgment for more than a decade of intense conflict. It was also a clear indication that Washington was abandoning the South Vietnamese even as the North Vietnamese continued to enjoy the support of the Soviet Union, China and other Eastern bloc nations. The vote’s impact was hardly lost on North Vietnamese military planners, who began the final offensive only five weeks later, as the South Vietnamese were attempting to adjust their military defenses.

Finally, the aftermath of Saigon’s fall is rarely dealt with at all. A gruesome holocaust took place in Cambodia, the likes of which had not been seen since World War II. Two million Vietnamese fled their country — usually by boat — with untold thousands losing their lives in the process. This was the first such diaspora in Vietnam’s long and frequently tragic history. Inside Vietnam a million of the South’s best young leaders were sent to re-education camps; more than 50,000 perished while imprisoned, and others remained captives for as long as 18 years. An apartheid system was put into place that punished those who had been loyal to the United States, as well as their families, in matters of education, employment and housing. The Soviet Union made Vietnam a client state until its own demise, pumping billions of dollars into the country and keeping extensive naval and air bases at Cam Ranh Bay.

Figure it out yet? The author correctly places blame squarely where it belongs for the betrayal of our South Vietnamese allies and the condemnation of its people to tyranny and bloodshed: leftist Democrats. The only way Iraq and Vietnam may be similiar is the behavior of the very same party that 30 years ago and today believes victory lies in the defeat of our country.

So who wrote the above you may ask? Why Democrat James Webb, a veteran of the Vietnam War and now the Junior Senator from Virginia.

The seething by leftist Democrats over this article should be quite enjoyable as reaction to Webb’s comments start coming in.

(h/t The Corner)

– John (Average Gay Joe)

The Prince of Country Music: Brad Paisley

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This is somewhat of a delayed posting from our bankrupting vacation to Las Vegas in May.  As many of you know, two of my favorite country music artists are Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley.  Both were honored at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas (with Patriot Family firmly embedded in their seats) as Female and Male Vocalists of the Year, respectively.

PatriotPartner and I had the pleasure of seeing Brad Paisley (plus Kellie Pickler, Taylor Swift and Jack Ingram) play in Charlotte in late July.   Paisley throws an incredible concert which rivals anything I’ve seen recently from Bon Jovi to U2 to the big names in Vegas.  If Brad is coming your way, go to the show

So, if George Strait is the current reigning “King of Country Music”, then surely Brad is Country’s Prince.

As a bit of a departure from serious subjects, I draw your attention to this profile of Brad Paisley that was featured in today’s Charlotte Observer.

There’s plenty of humor on “5th Gear” — so much that Blender magazine wrote: “If Brad Paisley weren’t a country superstar, he could be a comedian …Nashville has always welcomed punchline-packed novelty tunes, and Paisley’s well-nigh-perfect new album will deepen his reputation as a master of the art.”

Besides the humor, what sets Paisley apart from most country stars is his guitar playing. Like Keith Urban and Vince Gill, Paisley could be a lead guitarist in any country or rock band.  His influences include Nashville pickers but also big names from the rock world.

When writing tunes for “5th Gear,” he found himself in a reflective mood about his teen years because he was about to become a father.

“It’s the closest I get to a second chance — this little boy,” the proud papa said.

William Huckleberry Paisley was born in February. Dad came up with the middle name, which is what the parents are calling him.

“I threw out the possibility of that name and Kim loved it instantly; I was instantly prepared for five more options,” he said. “We like the uniqueness of it. I love Mark Twain. I love what Huckleberry Finn as a character stood for — this free thinker, sort of outdoor adventurer.”

Long Live Prince Paisley!  (And his cute wife Kim and Baby Huck Paisley, too!)

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

MSM Prefer Congressmen Whose Views Fit Their Iraq Narrative

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:44 pm - August 24, 2007.
Filed under: Media Bias,Post 9-11 America,War On Terror

To clear any doubts you may have about the MSM bias against President Bush and the war in Iraq, just look how they covered the stories of two Congressmen offering their opinions on the state of the conflict.

When Republican Senator John Warner of Virginia proposed token troop withdrawals as a “symbolic step” to spur the Iraqi government to make political progress, he got top billing on an MSNBC evening news show while garnering headlines on AOL and Yahoo! homepages. An AP writer called Warner’s “new position. . . a sharp challenge to a wartime president that will undoubtedly color the upcoming Iraq debate on Capitol Hill.

When Democratic Congressman Brian Baird of Washington State, a legislator who had “voted against the war from the outset and who has been frankly critical of the administration and the post-invasion strategy” returned from Iraq with the conviction that “U.S. troops must stay in Iraq longer, and that a precipitous withdrawal could have catastrophic results for Iraq and the region,” he did get some media attention.

His change of position, however, did not get top billing on news sites nor did it lead the evening news on any network. We did not see MSM reports that his new stance represented a sharp challenge to his party’s leadership. Nor did we see such headlines as, “Former War Opponent Favors President’s Plan to Complete Mission” or “Top Democrat Bucks Party Leadership on Iraq.”

A Yahoo! news search for John Warner Iraq yields 1,180 hits while a Yahoo! news search for Brian Baird Iraq yields only 61.

As more and more Democrats, even including a few presidential aspirants, recognize the success of the surge, with U.S. News finding that this success had shifted momentum in the Iraq Debate to the GOP (via Instapundit), the MSM would rather focus on the statement of a Republican who frequently bucks his party.

To be sure, The Seattle Times did publish Baird’s piece asserting that “Our troops have earned more time” which garnered a headline on the Real Clear Politics home page. But, his shift just didn’t generate the coverage that Warner’s did. And as U.S. News discovered, he’s not the only Democrat who have become more averse to withdrawal because of improving conditions on the ground in Iraq.

After reading Baird’s column, Glenn Reynolds doubts it will “get the kind of Big Media attention that John Warner’s comments will, because it doesn’t fit the preferred narrative.” Looks like he’s right.

Celebrate My Birthday — Rev Your Engine!

What is the deal?  It seems like there are a lot of things happening on October 15th this year.  I’m not sure why… perhaps because it falls on a Monday?   I keep hearing October 15th come up both at work and with other events out there.   Obviously, there is one reason to celebrate the day.  Or should I say 39 reasons?

In any case, Tim Blair brought this October 15th event to my attention…. BlogActionDay.

On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind – the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future.

Look, many moons ago I sat in my 5th grade public school homeroom and was shown propaganda movies about how there would be no safe drinking water when I grew up.  So as all of you know, I’m very skeptical of the intent of so-called environmentalists like, for example, Millionare Al Gore and Millionaire Sheryl Crow and Millionaire John Edwards.

‘Nuf said.

So do me a favor, join me in my birthday celebration and celebrate Capitalism and Progress.   Rev your engine in idle at the red light…. use more than one section of toilet paper… dirty all of the towels in your hotel room… leave a few extra lights on.   Celebrate Modernity!

(Global Warming….with his black cape flowing behind…. cowers at GayPatriot and looks forward to BlogActionDay where he can brainwash a few more do-gooders to rally against American progress and modern civilization.)

-Bruce (GayPatriot)