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Bush Economy Rolls On In Historic Growth

In September we heard the news that President Bush’s economic and tax policies not only brought us out of the Clinton Recession (started Nov/Dec 2000), but have also led to the 49th consecutive month of job growth – a new record for the longest uninterrupted expansion of the U.S. labor market.

It is almost hard to believe now that in the aftermath of the 9/11/2001 attacks the economy took at least an $83 billion hit and over 1 million jobs were lost.

Well, folks the Bush ”Goldilocks” Economy (credit to Larry Kudlow) rolls on….

Economy Logs Brisk 3.9 Percent Growth – Associated Press

The economy picked up speed in the summer, growing at a brisk 3.9 percent pace, the fastest in 1 1/2 years and an impressive performance even as a credit crunch plunged the housing market deeper into turmoil.

The latest snapshot of the country’s economic health, released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, suggested that the economy is demonstrating much resilience and thus far holding up well to the strains in the housing and credit markets, which had intensified during the third quarter and rocked Wall Street.

A second report from the department showed construction spending rose 0.3 percent in September, the best showing in four months.  All-time high spending in both commercial construction by private builders and government projects more than offset weakness in home building.

For the entire July-to-September quarter, individuals ratcheted up their spending.  U.S. businesses sold more goods abroad and boosted some investment at home.  Those were some of the main factors helping to push up overall economic activity during that period.

The third quarter’s growth rate was up slightly from a 3.8 percent pace logged in the second quarter.  It marked the strongest showing since the first quarter of last year.

I’m presuming this news will lead all three major network news programs tonight, as it would have between 1993 and 2000.   Right Katie, Charlie & Brian?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Happy Halloween, Philadelphia!

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 7:50 am - October 31, 2007.
Filed under: Liberals,National Politics,Post 9-11 America

This may take a bit to set up…. so bear with me.

Two weekends ago, our friends Mark & Cory from Philadelphia (my hometown) came to visit. PatriotPartner (John) and I decided to surprise them with a pre-Halloween cake.

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For those of you not following news from The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia’s murder rate has skyrocketed in 2007 and is at an all time high. On Friday, October 19th Philadelphia’s death count due to murder hit Number 323. Thus, the cake marking the occasion for our visiting Philadelphia friends.

We didn’t really celebrate, but instead derided Philadelphia Mayor John Street for his complete lack of leadership from the New Orleans-esque crime wave to economic development issues. You may recall earlier this year that as the murder rate shot up, Mayor “Nero” Street stood in line for his iPhone.

I figured it was appropriate to post this cake photo today since last night Philadelphian’s got an even worse scare by all of these folks showing up to waste the precious air of the city by sucking it in and exhaling hotter air to replace it.

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN, PHILADELPHIA! Scarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Help Force The New Republic To Print The Truth

I have been happy to support the efforts of Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee to expose the fraudulent stories of Scott Thomas Beauchamp since the first items from his fiction piece, “Shock Troops”, were published by The New Republic.

Since TNR refuses to retract the story and stands by the made-up lies about our troops from Mr. Beauchamp, I am now happy to join Bob in urging that those who advertise at TNR feel the pressure.  That’s what the marketplace of truthful ideas is all about.  Bob sums it up well.

The New Republic doesn’t have an obligation to support the troops, or support the war in Iraq. It does have an obligation to retract stories for which they can provide no support.

Canwest MediaWorks, the Canadian company that owns The New Republic, does not have an obligation to decide the editorial policies of The New Republic, but it does have an obligation to discipline all editors who have refused to act ethically, who have misled readers, and who have attacked the military for defending itself from proven falsehoods and gross exaggerations (email Canwest Global CFO John McGuire at jmaguire@canwest.com, and be polite but firm).

We cannot force The New Republic to behave honorably, but we can make their dishonesty come at a price.

Here is the list of TNR advertisers.  I join Bob in asking anyone affiliated with these organizations to urge their management to pull advertising from The New Republic.

Alfred A. Knopf Allstate Amazon.com American Gas Station
American Petroleum Institute AstroZeneca (current issue) Auto Alliance  
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (current issue) BP (current issue) Chevron (current issue) CNN
FLAME (current issue) Federal Express The Financial Times Focus Features
Ford Motor Company Freddie Mac GM Grove Atlantic
HBO Harvard University Press History Channel Hoover Institution (current issue)
MetLife Microsoft Mortage Bankers Nuclear Energy Institute
The New School New York Times Novartis Palgrave Macmillan (current issue)  
Simon & Shuster John Templeton Foundation (current issue) University of Chicago Press University Press of Kansas (current issue)
U.S. Telecom Visa (current issue) The Wall Street Journal Warner Brothers
Warner Brothers Home Video W.W. Norton Wyeth Laboratories Yale University Press (current issue)

Paul Krugman Proved A Fool By British Islamists

Paul Krugman, New York Times’ resident Bush Hater & Appeaser (and man, that’s quite an accomplishment) wrote a widely discussed piece on Monday:  Fearing Fear Itself.

It features all of the now-routine liberal rhetoric designed to undercut and de-legitimize our war effort and our American government itself.  But the key line of the piece was this:

For one thing, there isn’t actually any such thing as Islamofascism — it’s not an ideology; it’s a figment of the neocon imagination.

What is it with Krugman and Andrew Sullivan suddenly taking themselves into “Imagination” world?  As if 9/11 never happened…. and 3,000 of our citizens weren’t killed by an organized, worldwide radical movement. 

But I digress….

It didn’t take long for those imaginary Islamofascists to prove Krugman a fool.

Hate Literature Easily Found at UK Mosques – Telegraph (UK) …. (h/t – The Corner)

Researchers for the centre-Right think tank Policy Exchange claims it found the literature in a quarter of the 100 mosques and Islamic institutions they visited.

Many of the publications allegedly called on British Muslims to segregate themselves from non-Muslims and for unbelievers to be treated as second-class citizens wherever possible.

The literature also allegedly contained repeated calls for gays to be thrown from mountains and tall buildings and for women to be subjugated.

Policy Exchange said that among the documents were the anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, and other publications peddling bizarre conspiracy theories.

Anthony Browne, the director of Policy Exchange, said: “It is clearly intolerable that hate literature is peddled at some British mosques.

“I am sure the majority of moderate Muslims will be as horrified as everyone else that pamphlets advocating jihad by force, hatred for insufficiently observant Muslims, Christians and Jews, and segregationhave found their way into the UK’s mosques.”

Yep, I’m sure.  We’ve been waiting for the moderate Muslims to take back their religion for quite some time.  I have no doubt this will be the latest tipping point.  (*sarcasm off*)

Someone please help me…. I don’t recall the last time any similar hate propaganda has been easily found at Christian churches or Jewish synagogues.   I’m happy to be proved wrong.

What is so funny (if it weren’t pathetic) is that Krugman has been played the fool by the very folks he says don’t exist and aren’t a threat

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

PS - Krugman’s separation of Iran from the larger Islamic terror threat is very disingenuous as both Iran has been documented to support Islamic terror groups around the world with cash, troops and weapons.

Media Bias in Coverage of Israeli Response to Terrorist Attacks from Gaza

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:40 pm - October 30, 2007.
Filed under: Media Bias,Politics abroad,War On Terror

In few areas is the media as biased as it is in its coverage of Israel. Almost from the moment Israel turned over control of the Gaza Strip to Palestinian authorities in 2005, residents of the territory have fired rockets into sovereign Israeli territory. Last year, terrorists crossed into Israel murdering several soldiers and kidnapping another. They’re still holding that man hostage.

In order to tighten the screws on Hamas, the terrorist organization which controls the Strip, and get it to comply with international law, Israel is reducing the amount of electricity and natural gas it supplies to the territory. But, instead of focusing in Hamas’s toleration (indeed, sanction) of rocket attacks (from territory it controls) on civilian targets in Israel for two years, a McClatchy newspaper report (featured on Yahoo!’s home page) focuses on the toll of the Israeli cut-off on the Palestinians.

At the same time, this “news” service gives short shrift to the toll of the Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel.

If this news outlet were less biased, they might also consider how the policies of the terrorist administration of the territory drain the lifeblood of Gaza’s economy away. For example, author Dion Nissenbaum writes, “Greenhouses along the coast lie abandoned.” He doesn’t note that Israelis built those greenhouses when they controlled the territory and that Palestinians looted them right after the Jewish State ceded control. That is, the greenhouses have not been abandoned because of Israeli policies, but because of the failiure of Palestinian authorities to secure and rebuild them.

Nissenbaum does include two quotations from one Israeli official defending the reductions (at the end of the article), but largely focuses on the economic privations of the Gazans. Since he includes speculation that the Israeli cut-off may violate international law, he should also point out that the Palestinian rocket attacks clearly violate international law and note as well the United Nations has done nothing to stop them.

If he were an honest reporter, he would begin by noting that Israeli is limiting the supply of electricity and natural gas to Gaza in response to terrorist attacks coming from Gaza, rather than waiting until the end of his article to introduce this information.

The Clintonite Responses of Some Readers (& Others)

A couple weeks ago, while I was driving in the Northeast, The Hill newspaper reported the response of Hillary Clinton’s campaign to allegations that the former First lady “listened to a secretly recorded conversation between political opponents“:

Clinton’s spokesman panned the book [Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton, detailing the allegations] but declined to discuss the allegation that Clinton had reviewed secretly recorded calls. “We don’t comment on books that are utter and complete failures,” said Clinton’s press secretary, Philippe Reines.

How typical of the Clintons, attack the messenger without responding to the question.

It seems that some of our critics have developed a similar strategy to deal with our points, attack us (as self-hating or motivated by currying favor with other conservatives) rather than respond to our arguments. Indeed, a recent comment reminded me that that was how Log Cabin leaders used to respond to criticism (and suggestions for improvement) that I, other chapter presidents and even board members (when half the board was elected by the clubs) made about the national office.

Instead of addressing our points, they ascribed our motives as personal.

That is perhaps the main reason that I have been quick to praise new Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon’s manner (e.g., here) while disagreeing with his method (e.g., here). It is partially in tribute to his attitude that I’m going to the Log Cabin meeting tonight in LA when I would rather stay at home and relax.

It makes a huge difference in the morale of the organization when its leader shows understanding for the diverse viewpoints of its membership.

All that said, I still think Log Cabin would be better served if it had not run the Romney ads and if it did something to distinguish itself from HRC and the other gay groups on gay issues. At the same time, it needs develop a strategy with media fanfare similar to that of the Romney ads to show its commitment to electing Republicans — and defeating Democrats.

Back when I was involved in Log Cabin the greatest problem we club presidents had was the failure of the national office to solicit (or even consider) our viewpoints while claiming credit for successes at the local level.

Perhaps, I just wrote this post because when I blog, I put my ideas out there, hoping others will respond to them in the spirit they are offered. I had done so when I was more actively involved in Log Cabin, but too often found my ideas ignored or misrepresented and my motives attacked. I response I encounter all too often from our critics on this blog.

Our regular readers should be well aware of how much I appreciate civil discourse. And those who attack us, particularly Republicans, should be aware of how much their attitudes smack of Clintonite tactics: when faced with criticism, dodge the issue and attack the messenger.

Let us hope that the American people wake up to Mrs. Clinton’s eagerness to dodge a real discussion of her record. And that our harshest critics, many of whom spend so much time on this blog, open themselves up to our ideas.

I am more optimistic about the good sense of my fellow Americans.

Five Minutes from Recovery

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:18 pm - October 29, 2007.
Filed under: Dan's Cross Country Odyssey

When I was planning my cross country trip, I set the dates based on prior obligations I had at the end of the month, thinking that after this journey, I could ease right back into the swing of things. How wrong I was!

After this type of excursion, especially given the difficult drives through the mountains after a snow storm and into Southern California during the fires, I really needed a day, just to relax, read and recover. But, I’ve been busy with events (and dinners with family and friends) every night since my return. Indeed, tonight, I’m off to the Log Cabin meeting to hear Patrick Sammon. (More on that in my next post.)

Anyway, today, as I began the day, I did feel I was getting back up to speed, beginning the morning with my pre-trip reading routine, getting back to John O’Sullivan’s The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World, a book I didn’t have time to get to on the trip and about which I hope to blog later in the week. And this reading for knowledge (as opposed to reading for pleasure alone) should help me get back into the background reading for my dissertation.

This morning, I felt if I could get just one full night’s sleep, I’d be back to normal. And as soon as I am, I’ll be back to blogging at a regular pace.

A somewhat related piece, but not related directly to loss of focus from cross country drives: Extra Rest Helps You Recover.

Poor Al Gore…. Hurricane Doom Not At Hand

It looks like the folks who really know about weather were right:  the meterologists that are guided by science and not by ideology

If you recall, over the past two years (since Katrina) the scientific weather experts (again… they are called meterologists)  including former Hurricane Center directors, were saying we were coming to the end of a 20-Year Hurricane Cycle.

They, not Al Gore, were right.  2006 and 2007 have been some of the lowest activity level for Atlantic Hurricanes in HISTORY.

With October nearly done circling the drain, I figure it is about time to bring out the broom : Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclone activity is at historically low levels .

In fact, September 2007 suffered the lowest ACE since 1977 ! Even scarier, so far 2006 and 2007 have the lowest October ACE since 1976 and 1977.  And, unnaturally, Sept-Oct 2007 is the lowest since 1977.

Yet, the tropical cyclone season was not shaping up to be such a ghastly bust.  For about a week in June, NH ACE was exceeding climatology but then bit the proverbial dust until mid-August when a noticeable comeback ensued. It has been downhill since.

So, a naysayer over at the Huffington Post or the Daily Green may wonder why we use such metrics such as ACE/PDI or Tropical Cyclone days when we could use better metrics like number of category 5′s making landfall or storms that have intensified the fastest or perhaps number of pumpkins.

There are even some spooky hints that the 2007 (Atlantic) Tropical Cyclone season is being “spun” to appear “dead” and inconsistent with the predominant trend.  Also, a “storm pundit” would remind that us that the year is not in the grave and we may see hyper-activity (a.k.a. global warming proof) to come.

*cue dramatic music*

Global Warming enters the room with flowing black cape behind:  “Dammit all to Hell.  How am I supposed to live up to my end of the bargain with Al Gore when God keeps throwing us curve balls?  Gore and I will never be able to completely brainwash those stupid humans at this rate!”

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Conduct Unbecoming A Candidate

Posted by Average Gay Joe at 3:47 pm - October 28, 2007.
Filed under: Virginia Politics

This is a campaign sign for Carlos Del Toro, who is the Democrat candidate running against incumbent Delegate Mark Cole (R) in my Virginia district. Notice anything unusually tacky about it? It is one thing to use one’s military service as a commendable part of their resume for public office it is quite another to do so in this fashion. The “(RET.)” may skirt DoD regs and election laws, but his use of military rank like this violates the spirit of them and is certainly crass behavior on the part of a retired officer. It should be noted that Cole himself is a retired US Navy Commander, yet nowhere on his campaign signs do I see this kind of crude display as I do with Del Toro. Now since I am voting for Cole due to his views on many issues all of this may seem just a wee bit partisan on my part. Nope, not at all. When Republicans do this it is just as bad and I invite everyone to bring this to the attention of the offending campaigns and the public-at-large. I honor those who serve or have served in the military and while it isn’t a requirement, do see it as a bonus when choosing a candidate. Yet military service should not be cheapened like this.

– John (Average Gay Joe)

Help Out Southern California!

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As we Americans have shown time after time…. we open up our hearts and give our resources in times of need — whether its New Orleans or Thailand.

The good folks in Southern California who survived the brushfires, but may have lost all of their possessions, now need our help.

I donated to Direct Relief International on Friday to help those in Southern California.

Direct Relief International provides medical assistance to improve the quality of life for people victimized by poverty, disaster, and civil unrest at home and throughout the world. We work to strengthen the in-country health efforts of our partners by providing essential material resources – medicines, supplies and equipment. 

I chose this organization because my company matches my personal contribution dollar-for-dollar. 

There are of course many other good and reputable organizations, like the American Red Cross.  Just please take a moment today and do some good for your fellow Americans on the West Coast.  Give what you can.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

What Does Obama Have Against the American Flag?

Is there some reason Barack Obama refuses to wear the American Flag on his lapel and now seems to dishonor the flag by not placing his hand on his heart while the National Anthem plays?

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Is there some other allegiance that Senator Obama has that we should all know about before we cast our vote for President?  Is this his campaign of “hope” — renouncing the symbol of blood lost and freedoms gained by our forefathers?

Senator Obama — Patriotism is NOT a four letter word!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Speculating on the California Arsonist(s)

I think I was one of the first mainstream bloggers to openly wonder this week whether there might be an al-Qaeda/Islamic terror connection to the California brushfire disaster.

Andrew Sullivan is outraged that FOX News’ morning program brought the topic up at all.  He calls it “ImaginationLand.”  

If I recall, the 9/11 Commission Report stated that all parts of the Federal Government failed in their “imagination” about what al-Qaeda was capable of and willing to do.  I guess Andrew will have to completely renounce the 9/11 Commission findings now since the winds are blowing against imagination today?!?

However, CNN has no problem casting blame immediately on American youth, greedy homeowners or even a firefighter.

From CNN.com Main Page – 3:50PM – October 26, 2007…From lead paragraph into the main story at the time:

Arson investigators get on their hands and knees to track how and where suspicious fires began.  Then they have to find the fire-starter, who could be a flame-obsessed kid, a property owner seeking an insurance payout — or even a firefighter looking for glory.”

So even entertaining the thought of a possible terror connection is off-limits in our post-9/11 World, but CNN can engage in broadly brainstorming about which Californian may have started the blaze.

How very typical of Andrew & CNN.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

UPDATE (from GPW): It’s uncanny sometimes how, without contacting one another, Bruce and I often have similar thoughts, or, in this case, “speculations,” on certain issue. I put the word, “speculations” in quote for two reasons, first, because it sounds awkward in the plural and second, because it is, I believe, the key word in his initial post on the topic. And note how he modifies the word “speculation” with the adjective, “COMPLETE,” which he had put in all caps. I might have called it an interesting speculation. And Bruce accents the importance of that word by using a form of it in the title to this post.

Bruce, gets it exactly right here. As long as we’re making clear that it’s speculation at this point, it is an interesting angle on the disaster and a necessary perspective to have, given our failure of imagination prior to 9/11 and the persistence of the terrorist threat. Bin Laden and his ilk have made clear that they’d like to attack us again.

Given all that, it’s amazing that others are making other speculations, but ignoring the terrorist one — or daring to fault those of who do wonder if there was terrorist involvement. As if history for them began on September 12, 2001.

Liberals’ “Support The Troops & Patriotism” Week

Glenn Greenwald, October 25, 2007:  “And it shows, as the Army’s behavior in the Beauchamp case is exactly what one would expect from an increasingly politicized, Republican-controlled division of the right-wing noise machine.”

Ted Rall, October 22, 2007:  “In 2007, Americans were dumber than dirt.  Over time, however, the endless war in Iraq began to play a role in natural selection.  Only idiots signed up; only idiots died.  Back home, the average IQ soared.”

You can’t blame them though…. they are only following the 30-year campaign of Democrat Party political leaders.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Bush-Haters: Eager to Display Image of Man They Hate

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:07 pm - October 25, 2007.
Filed under: Bush-hatred

I have long been fascinated by Bush-hatred, how the mere mention of the president’s name or presentation of his image could whip certain denizens of the fever swamps into a high-pitched frenzy.

Whenever I go to a bookstore, I am amused by the amount of ink these people spill attemping to prove how horrible, no good and very bad is the forty-third president of the United States. Studying history as if it began on January 1, 1981, they deem him the worst president ever.

Today, while browsing at a nearby Borders, I chanced upon the Bad President Countdown Page-A-Day Calendar 2008. Given how prominently the bookstore displayed this calendar, I assumed there was a market for it and wonder at how the kind of people who would buy it.

The individuals who purchase this would likely place this on their desk on other prominent place in their abode, subjecting themselves every day to a different image of the man they hate with such fervor. What kind of person would want to remind himself constantly of something they loathe?

And I wondered again about the psychology of Bush-hatred.

It’s not just Bush. Some of these people have an obsession with any Republican who happens to win the White House. Back in 1987, I recall seeing a “Ronald Reagan Countdown Calendar” advertised in either the Village Voice or New Yorker (perhaps both). (One poster at Democratic Underground boasts of still having his.)

What makes such people so fascinated by images of those they claim to hate?

I would wonder the same thing about a conservative who displayed a “Clinton Countdown Calendar” in 2000. (Apparently such a thing did exist.)

Harry Reid’s Plan To Lose In Iraq Is Failing

Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader – April 19, 2007:  “I believe … that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week.”

Fortunately, Reid’s plans to help al-Qaeda and bring defeat to the USA by undercutting America’s troops is itself failing.

Military Reports Lower Casualty Rates In Key Iraq Insurgent Strongholds – FOX News – October 25, 2007

U.S. combat troop deaths and other violence in Iraq are down significantly in some of the most dangerous places of insurgent activity, including Al Anbar province, military officials in Washington and Baghdad said Wednesday.

Maybe most significant was that last week there was not a single military casualty — Iraqi or U.S. — in Anbar, said Maj. Gen. Richard Sherlock, a Joint Chiefs spokesman.  It is apparently the first time since March 2003 that could be said.

The numbers reflect the timeframe between mid-June — the peak of the troop surge President Bush announced in January — and the beginning of this week. The surge amounted to roughly 30,000 more troops in Iraq, hitting full-force with nearly 170,000 U.S. troops.

The numbers might be the most positive sign yet of progress against insurgent activity since January.

Sherlock also listed several other statistics that he said showed terrorist activity is decreasing:

— Violence in and around Baghdad is down 59 percent.
— Car bombs are down 65 percent.
— Casualties from car bombs and roadside bombs are down by 80 percent.
— Casualties from enemy attacks down 77 percent.
— Operations against Iraqi security forces are down 62 percent.
— Assassination attempts for sectarian reasons are down 72 percent.

Oh yeah, and a reminder of what Not-My-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier this week:

“Afghanistan, we have to be there.  That’s where the terrorism began, that’s the fight we have. Iraq is not the war on terror.”

Maybe she should sit down and tell that to Iran, al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists hell bent on killing Americans in Iraq.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Log Cabin’s Sammon: Open to Criticism from Gay Conservatives

In blogging on my cross country journey, I commented on my meeting with Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. I had thought to offer a detailed account of that meeting and may do so at a later date, but given my propensity for long, essayistic posts, I believe a shorter one where I hit the salient points may better serve our readers.

First, the one thing that most struck me about Patrick was his decency. When we talked, he listened to me as I offered criticisms of Log Cabin, often taking notes, even jotting down things at odds with the group’s policy (e.g., my rationale for Log Cabin coming out against ENDA).

As I wrote ten days ago, Patrick is the first Log Cabin leader (in “the twelve years that I have been involved in the organization“) to meet with me and listen to my concerns. (He gave me a better hearing than did the leadership of Log Cabin when I presided over its fastest growing club in the 1990s.) Indeed, I would argue that he is the first Log Cabin leader to take gay conservative critics seriously.

While I found his predecessor Patrick Guerriero to be a nice guy with a polished presence, in the course of the New Orleans convention in 2005, that Patrick made several snide remarks about bloggers, clearly a reference to the criticism this blog leveled against his organization.

And it wasn’t just during the meeting where Patrick (Sammon) has listened to my concerns. I have e-mailed him my posts critical of the group’s decision to launch an ad campaign attacking Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney. In each case, he has replied, taking issue with some (but not all) of the points I have made–in a civil manner. In those e-mails, he showed respect for the issues I raised.

I still think he’s wrong on this issue, but at least he acknowledges the seriousness of my criticism, showing an understanding of the ideas undergirding my points, something which some of our frequent critics and even some of his own defenders fail to do when criticizing us in the comments section to our various posts.

Log Cabin does have a “brand name” problem. Many Republicans and conservatives see them as the group with “Republican” in their name while constantly getting headlines for attacking other Republicans. I asked Patrick how he planned to address this and the only response he gave was to note the work local clubs are doing to help elect Republicans in their communities.

That’s not enough. Given the national nature of this ad campaign — as well as the anti-Bush ads in 2004, Log Cabin needs to do something at the national level to show that they are dedicated to electing Republicans — and defeating Democrats. Perhaps an ad campaign attacking Hillary for misrepresenting her husband’s stand on DOMA in the Logo Forum. Or something to show how she shifts her positions with the political winds, works to silence dissent and prefers power to principle. (Hmmm. . . Kind of similar, but far worse, far, far worse, to the Romney they portray in their ad campaign.)

As I said in my post from New York, I think Patrick’s openness to criticism from gay conservatives stems from two factors, the first being his own personality and the second being the blogosphere. With this new media platform, we gay conservatives can more easily get our message out. And this Log Cabin leader seems to be listening.

Time will tell whether his openness to a broader spectrum of ideas than those offered in the narrow confines of the Log Cabin board will lead to changes in the organization. One can only hope.

Learning a Lesson while “Flipping Out” on My Return

Given the intensity of all my driving, I should have remembered the lesson I learned after my last cross country drive, that I need a few days off when I return before I plunge into things. But, on the very day I returned home this week, I had to run a dinner for my college alumni association while preparing the following day (yesterday) to teach a class at my synagogue, then my Dad comes into town today.

And then I’m trying to get back to regular blogging and get caught up on e-mail. And get my laundry done. And clean my car. At times, it seems I’m “flipping out.”

I need a vacation. Wait, didn’t I just get back from one?

Anyway, the real lesson of all this is that we all need some down time. It is, in my mind, the lesson of Shabbat where the Lord commands us to take a day of rest.

Next time I plan a cross country drive, I need to remember the lessons I learned on previous ones, especially about leaving time on the journey for error and adventure. To explore the beauty of this great nation — and to relax.

All that said, despite my somewhat harried feeling, I am grateful that I had the chance to make such a journey, even if it did not provide as much relaxation as I would have liked.

Log Cabin & Romney: Media Success, but Political Failure

As I return from my trip and go through all my accumulated mail, that which I did not get to on that voyage, I discover one theme in my missives from Log Cabin, an obsession with Mitt Romney. If an e-mail dated Wednesday, October 10, before I met with Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon in DC, the group gloated about putting the former Massachusetts “on the defensive” and boasted about how the media had picked up the story.

They’ve been soliciting contributions to keep him on the “defensive,” headlining the piece in today’s e-mail, “Flip Flop Mitt - Still on the Defensive.” They seem obsessed with making this Republican play defense. I don’t believe Log Cabin has ever gone after a Democrat with such zeal, boasting about putting him (or her) on the defensive and sending out so many e-mails smacking down a member of (what should be to Republicans) the opposition party.

Every conservative blogger with whom I corresponded on this has faulted the ostensibly Republican group for its anti-Romney ads, with Dean Barnett saying that Log Cabin is “no longer a Republican group, and no one will consider them one.” Dean suggests the group “should now be the Log Cabin Whatevers.”

Similarly, Republican activists have scratched their heads, wondering what Log Cabin is up to. And this includes gay Republicans. While most of my gay Republican friends support some candidate other than Romney, nearly all of them have criticized Log Cabin’s ads.

Given that Log Cabin ran ads in 2004 criticizing President George W. Bush, it would stand to reason that running ads attacking another Republican won’t do much to help them burnish their long-tarnished reputation as a GOP advocacy group.

And like Bruce, I wonder the source of Log Cabin’s funding for these ads. Patrick refused to answer the question when we met.

This ad campaign has surely been a media success for Log Cabin, with newspaper articles and references on TV news programs. But, it has clearly been a political failure for the group, with most Republicans, including gay ones, questioning Log Cabin’s commitment to the GOP.

It’s time Log Cabin devote as much resources and energy to putting Democrats on the defensive, lest they become another Paris Hilton-type organization, where getting media attention is the primary goal, regardless of the content of said coverage.

Is Al-Qaeda Behind California Fire Disaster?

A match is certainly an easier weapon to use inside the USA than an airplane, nuke or car bomb.  

July 2003:  Al-Qaeda Detainee Spoke of Fire Plot - USA TODAY (h/t – Drudge)

Today:  Officials: Arson Behind Santiago Fire – CBS News

CBS News has learned a task force of agencies, including the FBI, ATF, the Orange County Fire Authority and the California Department of Forestry will announce shortly that the massive Santiago Canyon Fire – which has caused an estimated $10 million in damage – is being officially declared an arson, and a $50,000 reward is being offered to find the arsonist.

Investigators have identified two separate “points of origin” where they believe the fire was set, CBS News has learned. FBI agents secured the scene to “maintain its integrity.”

A terror-fire connection is COMPLETE speculation at this point… but if it did turn out to be true, I wonder how the MSM will try to cover it up and spin it into an anti-Bush story?

Harry Reid already has.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

UPDATE (from GPW): The LA Times reports that police have captured one suspect and killed another, but that “No additional information, including [the suspect’s) identity will be released until Thursday” (Via Hugh Hewitt). Looks like we’ll have to wait to confirm (or contradict) Bruce’s suspicion, one I should note, which also corssed my mind when I learned it was arson.

Pelosi Tells Bin Laden He’s Wrong on Iraq

Osama bin Laden, October 22, 2007: “My mujahedeen brothers in Iraq, you are a people worthy of praise and flatteryYou’ve done well to carry out a glorious duty by fighting the enemy.”

Um… I don’t think bin Laden was talking about “global warming” or ”pesky alley cats” when he refers to “the enemy”.  He’s talking about you and me… the USA and Western democracies.

Osama bin Laden, January 24, 2006:  “The war in Iraq is raging, and the operations in Afghanistan are on the rise in our favour, praise be to God.”

“Do not be deluded by your power and modern weapons. Although they win some battles, they lose the war. Patience and steadfastness are better than them. What is important is the outcome.

We have been tolerant for 10 years in fighting the Soviet Union with our few weapons and we managed to drain their economy.

They became history, with God’s help.   You should learn lessons from that.”

Meanwhile, back in Delusionville, USA…..

Nancy Pelosi, October 22, 2007: (h/t – The Corner)  “Afghanistan, we have to be there.  That’s where the terrorism began, that’s the fight we have. Iraq is not the war on terror.”

I suppose poor Nancy has never heard of Tehran, 1979Or Beirut, 1983Or New York City, 1993.  Or Yemen, 2000.  Or Bali, or London, or Madrid, or Islamabad, or Ankara for that matter. 

I guess she simply hasn’t mastered those complicated war strategies of “multiple theatres and alliances.”  Honey, you go to where the enemy IS.   Not where they WERE.

Thank God for the Western democracies that Pelosi wasn’t a General in WWII.  We’d have nuked the Japanese, yet be goosestepping across Times Square in brownshirts with red armbands.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)