Sunday, December 02, 2007

Perino: "To suggest that we, at the United States, are killing innocent people is just absurd and very offensive"

From Friday's White House press briefing:

HELEN THOMAS: Does the President want no troops out from Iraq on his watch? I'm talking about all the troops.

DANA PERINO: Well, 5,700 troops will be home by the end of the year, so that is some troops coming home. The President said that troop levels are going to be made by commanders on the ground, and that we're going to have to talk about --

HELEN THOMAS: Why should it be? Why can't the American people have a say?

DANA PERINO: -- return on success. The American people have had a say. They elected a President who is their Commander-in-Chief and is making decisions based on what his commanders on the ground are telling him.

HELEN THOMAS: And you think that was the vote of the American people?

DANA PERINO: They elected a Commander-in-Chief, and the President is bringing home 5,700 troops, based on the recommendations of his commanders on the ground and based on return on success. Hopefully in the future we can bring home more, but it's going to depend on what General Petraeus reports and remember he will come back in March.

HELEN THOMAS: Why should we depend on him?

DANA PERINO: Because he is the commander on the ground, Helen. He's the one who is making sure that the situation is moving --

HELEN THOMAS: You mean how many more people we kill?

DANA PERINO: Helen, I find it really unfortunate that you use your front row position, bestowed upon you by your colleagues, to make such statements. This is a -- it is an honor and a privilege to be in the briefing room, and to suggest that we, at the United States, are killing innocent people is just absurd and very offensive.

HELEN THOMAS: Do you know how many we have since the start of this war?

DANA PERINO: How many -- we are going after the enemy, Helen. To the extent that any innocent Iraqis have been killed, we have expressed regret for it.

HELEN THOMAS: Oh, regret. It doesn't bring back a life.

DANA PERINO: Helen, we are in a war zone, and our military works extremely hard to make sure that everyone has the opportunity for liberty and freedom and democracy, and that is exactly what they are doing. I'm going to move on.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

God and Guns

  • PAKISTAN: Musharraf has been sworn in for a second five-year term as president of Pakistan, and has stepped down, in tears, from his post as chief of Pakistan's army. "There is an unrealistic or even impractical obsession with your form of democracy, human rights and civil liberties," he said before a gathering of diplomats, "which you have taken centuries to acquire and which you expect us to adopt in a few years, in a few months. We want democracy; I am for democracy. We want human rights, we want civil liberties, but we will do it our way, as we understand our society, our environment, better than anyone in the West."

  • GO AND PLUCK OUT YOUR EYE: In last night's Republican CNN/YouTube debate, one questioner clutched a copy of the Bible and asked, "Do you believe every word of this book?" Nobody answered the question, because to say no would be political suicide, and to say yes, well, that would just be crazy. Giuliani's cowardly answer was the bravest: "I believe it, but I don't believe it necessarily literally true in every single respect. I think there are parts of the Bible that are interpretive. I think there are parts of the Bible that are allegorical." Huckabee, who evangelicals have bolstered to a surprise lead in Iowa, said, "Sure, I believe the Bible is exactly what it is. It's the word of revelation to us from God himself," and when he tried to cover himself by citing an example of Biblical allegory, the best he could come up with was "Go and pluck out your eye." Mitt Romney made a funny face, showing the strain of trying to be both a serious leader and a Biblical literalist: "You know -- yeah, I believe it's the word of God. The Bible is the word of God. I mean, I might interpret the word differently than you interpret the word, but I read the Bible and I believe the Bible is the word of God. I don't disagree with the Bible." But that wasn't the question, Mitt. The question is, do you believe there was a talking snake?

  • YOU'LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT: As always, campaigning for the Republican nomination involves a sickening degree of gun-lust. Fred Thompson, who continues to insist he is running for president, has been depicting himself as a great lover of firearms -- strolling down the aisles at a gun show on Saturday, he described the experience as "a day in paradise." Thompson has been using gun-lust to attack Giuliani (for apparently not being sufficiently lustful about guns): "He relates everything to New York City. Well, New York City is not emblematic of the rest of the country, I don't think. I think the sentiments of those people in the rest of the country are in support of the Second Amendment." First of all, there is no city more emblematic of America than New York. People like Fred Thompson sometimes miss that, because they lack the ability to look forward. This is where America happens first; the rest of the country always eventually catches up with New York City. As for the Second Amendment, gun people are forever ignoring its important dependent clause. The framers were obviously saying that the army (a "well-regulated militia," in their time) should have guns; they weren't talking about Fred Thompson on his porch.

  • WHAT A MORMON: One reason Huckabee has gained ground in Iowa, while Romney has lost it, is because Romney's Mormonism is a big issue there. I wish someone had asked: "Governor Romney, will you please summarize for us the story of Joseph Smith and the golden plates, and tell us if you believe that story to be literally true?"


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Couple of Turkeys

Happy Thanksgiving from NERO FIDDLED.

If you think this is something, wait till you see who Bush pardons in January.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Left Ahead

From this month's Harper's Index:

Percentage of Americans this year who say they are
Democrat-leaning and Republican-leaning, respectively: 50, 36

Number of years since this poll began in 1990
in which the gap favoring either party was so large: 0

See Harper's Index for more...and thanks for the subscription, Dad.