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May 19, 2006

An Oil-Fueled Torch

Malbug_17Leave it to Ex-Sen. Robert "The Torch" Torricelli (D-N.J.) to be the gift that keeps on giving.

The corruption-plagued New Jersey pol, who abruptly dropped out of his 2002 re-election bid, has now been linked to the Oil-for-Food scandal.  Torricelli, then a congressman, allegedly tried to get oil-for-food contracts at favorable terms for David Chang – the same campaign contributor whose ties to the Senator helped precipitate his downfall – and his company, Bright and Bright:

Contacted by telephone, Mr Torricelli, who now runs his own business consulting firm and remains a powerful figure in New Jersey politics and a prominent Democratic party fundraiser, admitted meeting Mr Hamdoun “many times”, “probably both” in Washington and New York “and in Baghdad”. He first denied mentioning Mr Chang or Bright and Bright during his conversations with (former Iraqi ambassador to the UN Nizar) Hamdoun. When told about the Iraqi documents that suggested there had been discussions, he said he did not remember mentioning them.

While the Torch's political career is dead and buried, this is the first indication that Saddam's corrupt influence might have reached even into the U.S. Congress.  Torricelli's history indicates that he would have been just the man to have obliged.

April 10, 2006

A Take on a Leak


As we bang the drum about Cynthia McKinney or any of our other various pet interests, a hearty, partisan few have surfaced asking: "Where is The Malcontent on President Bush's scandalous leaking of details from the National Intelligence Estimate"?

Let me explain a couple of things:

Continue reading "A Take on a Leak" »

January 24, 2006

Quote of the Day


"I don't support our troops. ... [B]eing against the war and saying you support the troops is one of the wussiest positions the pacifists have ever taken — and they're wussy by definition."

Joel Stein, writing in the Los Angeles Times

Well.  At least he's an honest moonbat.

December 12, 2005

Notes on a Run Down Media

Two stories in two days. Which strikes you as far more important than the other? Which do you think made media headlines while the other passed fairly unnoticed?

Story One:

Saddam Hussein loyalists who violently opposed January elections have made an about-face as Thursday's polls near, urging fellow Sunni Arabs to vote and warning al Qaeda militants not to attack.

In a move unthinkable in the bloody run-up to the last election, guerrillas in the western insurgent heartland of Anbar province say they are even prepared to protect voting stations from fighters loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq.

Story Two:

Al-Qaida in Iraq and four other Islamic extremist groups denounced this week's parliamentary elections as a "satanic project" that violated God's law, but they stopped short of an explicit threat Monday to attack polling stations.

If you guessed Story Two made big headlines while Story One was largely ignored, you're merely ordinarily prescient.

For those who believe the idea of an American media cheering for American defeat is hyperbole, I need only point to the above to prove otherwise.

December 01, 2005

Sully Addendum


Robbie beat me with his link to the Taranto piece "Sullivan vs. Sullivan."  I urge anyone, especially those who think I am making up or imagining the basis for my critique of Andrew Sullivan (or merely flakking for the President), to read it.

When President Bush announced his (again, idiotic) support for the FMA, Sullivan explicitly talked about how he had supported the President ... in the War on Terror.  (Non sequitur says what?)

Yet now Sullivan flatly denies that the FMA has anything to with his total inability to find a single redeeming quality in George W. Bush – a flawed man by all means, but not the cad of Sullivan's fevered imagination.

Taranto's post lends further credence to the connection between Sullivan's break on the Iraq War and President Bush's support of the FMA.  At the least, Sullivan's previous repeated criticism from the right of the President's leadership in the war belies his insistence that he has been consistent voice from the start.

One may honorably oppose the Iraq war or U.S. prosecution of it, and one is even obviously free to change their views on the war if they don't like Bush's stance on gays.  But it is the disingenuousness of the denials that irks the most.  [HT also to GPW]

November 29, 2005

Reaping What You Sow

Malbug_13Apparently even naked appeasement of terrorism still isn't enough for the terrorists, as these now-captive peace activists can probably attest:


Folks, as much as we may want peace, the bad guys simply do not.  Surrender is not an option.

[HT: Drudge]

November 28, 2005

Schadenfreude, Thy Name Is Sheehan

Malbug_13Being no mathematician and not understanding what you get when you divide by zero, I'm not even sure you can express in real terms how greatly the press outnumbered the fans at Cindy Sheehan's book signing.

But I do know, as far as royalties go, that zero percent of zero isn't too good.


[HT: Gay Patriot, Queer Conservative]

November 18, 2005

War At Ten Paces

The Democrats wanted a political war over the real one and the Republicans have obliged.

House Republicans, sensing an opportunity for political advantage, maneuvered for a quick vote and swift rejection Friday of a Democratic lawmaker's call for an immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq.

"We want to make sure that we support our troops that are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. "We will not retreat."

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi had no immediate reaction to the planned vote.

I can only imagine Pelosi's reaction just at the moment. "Wait, we're supposed to vote on things? Posturing in front of cameras, making accusations, and talking a good game to our Leftist base isn't enough?"


I must cop to a little schadenfreude here. I enjoy watching two political parties grow a pair and go at each other full force. It's healthy. Let the real ideas be debated and voted on rather than allowing politicians to hide their true positions behind media smokescreens. This is the kind of thing the Republic deserves from those in Congress.

If this blows up in the Democrats' face, well, they so asked for it.

October 28, 2005

Support the Troops!

I bet you're asking yourself how you can support the troops. If you're a New York Times editor, it's a no brainer. Simply selectively quote a dead soldier's last letter so the readership has no context or knowledge of who he was and what he thought of his place in Iraq. Always remember, our soldiers are children and victims of Bushitler, not free-willed, free-thinking adults with deeply held beliefs, aspirations, and convictions:

"Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I'm writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances. I don't regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark."

Naturally the best way to honor one of our best Americans is for the Times to leave any and all mention of this out of the article.

In a similar vein, I'd just like to throw out a piece of advice to any MoveOn types out there who may be floating on by. When you're having a "solemn vigil" for the "deeply sad" occasion of the 2000th combat death in Iraq, it's not supposed to look like the best time you've ever had at a cocktail party.

It must be an "Irish vigil."

Big shout out to the jack-ass in the bottom picture. Because when people see a bunch of lunatic moonbats dancing on the graves of our troops, oh yeah, I want them to connect it with gay rights.

Thanks bunches, asshole.

Update/correction: In comments, Paul points out the flag in the bottom picture is most likely an Italian "PACE" flag. If so, I'm mistaken. The man is still an asshole, but not for the reason I originally assigned to him.

October 25, 2005

National Security Adviser, Yes. Historian, No.


Taranto eviscerates Scowcroft:

The Washington Post reports on a New Yorker interview with Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser in the Ford and Bush père White Houses:

Scowcroft, in his interview, discussed an argument over Iraq he had two years ago with Condoleezza Rice, then-national security adviser and current secretary of state. "She says we're going to democratize Iraq, and I said, 'Condi, you're not going to democratize Iraq,' and she said, 'You know, you're just stuck in the old days,' and she comes back to this thing that we've tolerated an autocratic Middle East for fifty years and so on and so forth," he said. The article stated that with a "barely perceptible note of satisfaction," Scowcroft added: "But we've had fifty years of peace."

Now let's see. Between 1953 and 2003, here are the Mideast wars we can think of off the top of our head: the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf War, the two Palestinian intifadas against Israel, the Algerian Civil War, the Yemen Civil War and two Sudanese civil wars. That doesn't even count acts of terror against non-Mideastern countries, from the Iranian invasion of the U.S. Embassy to the attacks of 9/11.

What do you call someone who describes this as "50 years of peace"? A "realist."

No Rhetoric for Oil!

Galloway George Galloway. British MP. Demagogue. Left-wing sideshow. Friend to dictators and Islamic extremists everywhere.

Not only did he apparently suck on the poisonous bribery teat of Saddam Hussein, but Mr. Galloway decided lying about it to the U.S. Senate was a bright idea.

The MP George Galloway angrily rejected fresh allegations last night from a US senate investigation that he lied under oath about Saddam Hussein's multimillion-pound oil-for-food programme.

The inquiry, headed by the Republican Norm Coleman, claimed he had "knowingly made false or misleading statements under oath" when he appeared before a committee hearing in Washington in May.

Insert your own Rovian, DU conspiracy theorem here.

Update: Read the charges and evidence in greater detail, here. Seems like they've nailed him. Good.

October 19, 2005

Devolving Into Parody

  Like an ACLU looking for a NAMBLA fix, some organizations just can't help themselves:

Saddam Hussein's rights have been "violated" in the legal process following his capture, one of his top United States lawyers said on Tuesday on the eve of the deposed Iraqi leader's trial opening on charges of ordering the massacre of 143 countrymen two decades ago.

Ex-US attorney-general Ramsey Clark also cited reports by international human rights groups, like the US-based Human Rights Watch and the Britain-based Amnesty International, which questioned if Saddam will receive a fair trial.

Apparently that whole Darfur kerfluffle sorted itself, as these folk have all this time on their hands.

Always good to hear.

h/t Michelle Malkin

October 12, 2005

How Stella Got Banned from the A-List


I'm not going to comment on the finalization of Terry McMillan's divorce, her gay ex-husband, and all of that.  I will leave that to Rod and Andy.

But I did find this quote from the author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back interesting:

"I do not hate my husband for being gay,'' she wrote to (the San Francisco Chronicle). "I do not hate anybody (except Saddam Hussein).''

I thought it was de rigueur if not mandatory among the entertainment industry to hate the man who removed Saddam from power.

September 29, 2005

What Price Freedom

Malbug_13Didn't John Kerry say a year ago that the war in Iraq had already cost $200 billion?

Well, it's now a whole year later, and according to even the anti-war left, the actual cost (as of this writing) is now just beginning to approach that level.  (Not that liberals are my sole arbiter of the truth, mind you.)

My question to the left is this: What price to remove a murderous despot (remember him?) and free 30 million people, sparking democratic change in much of the Middle East, would be considered "acceptable"?

September 28, 2005

"Warmonger" vs. Hatemonger

CindysheehanswotMalbug_13Cindy Sheehan is at it again.  Fresh from the pokey for protesting without a permit (something that is ridiculously easy to obtain in D.C. but which many intentionally overlook for the PR value of an arrest), she's now trying to make hay out of a meeting with someone who is not even her Senator.  And, of course, the sycophantic media are right along for the ride.

First, Cindy secures a meeting with Sen. John McCain through deception.  Then, even after he had the grace to hear her views, she returned the favor by labeling the Republican-Democrats-love-to-love a "warmonger."

I have never thought it would be a simple matter for John McCain to out-class anyone, but he makes breezy work of Cindy:

"She's entitled to her opinion," McCain said. "We just have fundamental disagreements."

Meanwhile, Cindy's spokeswoman is doing about as well at making purses from sows' ears as Tom Cruise's sister.  Lame explanation for her client's dementia: "She's exhausted."

"Cindy Sheehan: The Sequel" is a turning out a little bit like William Hung's Christmas album.  The first time around, it might have had mild entertainment value.  But now it would be nice if you would just shut the hell up.

September 14, 2005

"Thank You"


Janettehoward_1 What was the highlight of my day so far (aside from waking up next to the one I love most), you ask?  Stepping up to Janette Howard, extending my hand, and saying: "As an American citizen, I want to thank you and your husband for what you have done, and for our close relationship with your country."

She thanked me back, and said she would pass my words onto the PM.


(Looking at the family picture, I wonder if she might arrange an introduction to her son, Tim?)

September 12, 2005



We are closing in on visit number 50,000 to The Malcontent.  [Kazoo noises]

When I see the odometer turn over, I will do my best to describe who the lucky visitor was – i.e., your city, etc.

If you think it was you, then add a comment to any post on this site.  If your IP address matches that of the 50,000th visitor, you will win a prize direct from Iraq.  (Don't worry, it does not have anthrax or anything.  First of all, we all know that none of the Muslim dictatorships had any WMDs, and there is nothing to worry about.  Second, it's been knocking around my house for months and months now, and I haven't coughed up a lung or grown a second penis or anything – to my chagrin.)

September 07, 2005

Siegel's "False" Sense of Security


Falsealarm Author Marc Siegel was on "The Daily Show" last night, flogging his book False Alarm: The Truth About the Epidemic of Fear.  I have not yet read the book, but his interview with Jon Stewart was troubling, to say the least.

[Watch video – 10mb, 6:09, WMV format]

The cover photo is indeed taken from a true false alarm: the evacuation of the U.S. Capitol when a plane carrying Kentucky's governor bound for the Reagan funeral wandered into restricted airspace with a broken transponder.  But the cause for the panic was genuine.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Flight 93 was headed for the U.S. Capitol before it was taken down when passengers rose up against their terrorist hijackers.  The Capitol has been evacuated a handful of times since, though one would be hard-pressed to argue that an alarm is "false" when it involves the potential of dying from a plane crashing into you.

It was hard to tell exactly what Siegel's point was, but I'd try to sum it up this way: "We don't really need to worry about terrorism.  Except for nukes.  But we didn't find any nukes in Iraq, so everything is OK."

“We’re worried about the wrong thing,” Siegel said, arguing that we put too much concern into a "truck bomb versus a hurricane."

But what if that "truck bomb" involved a series of coordinated attacks on levees?  The end result would be much the same as Hurricane Katrina.

"We have the whole country afraid of terrorism, which can happen to a few people and scare the whole country,” Siegel says.

Call me silly, but I don't think 5,000 people murdered (and counting) by al-Qaeda qualifies as "a few" under most definitions.

"They’re scaring us silly about everything," Siegel says, throwing “mad cow and West Nile” into the mix.

But Siegel has a pronoun problem.  His "theys" are actually several discrete entities.  For instance, the chief fear-mongers on mad cow disease actually come from the left because they see partisan gain at the expense of the Administration.  They also want us all to eat organically grown food, even though millions more people a year would starve if we actually heeded their advice.  (Incidentally, total number of confirmed cases of mad cow in U.S. cattle: two.  Total number of confirmed human deaths from mad cow in the United States: zero.)

“Our National Guard is over there instead of over here protecting against the disaster,” Siegel said.

More leftist hyperbole.  As James Robbins points out, only about 10 percent of the Army (including Guard and Reserve) is in Iraq, while nearly three-quarters is in the United States.  Isn't it raising a "false alarm" to make such an overblown claim?

JON STEWART: There clearly is a group of people who are organizing a network that is aiming to get large weapons to come over.  Or am I reading that wrong?  [SILENCE] You’re scaring me.

MARC: You’re reading that right, but what I’m saying is that we can’t assume that everything that happens is a risk to all of us.  The terrorists know that the biggest weapon they have is fear.  They don’t have to hurt a lot of us.  They get a few of us, and the rest of us panic.  … That’s the elephant in the room is nuclear weapons.

Finally we've found something that actually scares Marc Siegel: nukes.

They don't have to hurt a lot of us, Marc, but anyone who has been paying even a little bit of attention since, oh, 1998 knows that they want to hurt, or kill, a lot of us.  All of us, actually, or at least those of us who don't subscribe to their perverted religious fanaticism.

JON: Isn’t that what we’re aiming to do, by taking on the terrorists where they live?

MARC: I think that’s a global paranoia.  I think when we went over there, we didn’t find those weapons.

Marc, you just said "nukes" were the elephant in the room, then you called them "paranoia."  Which is it?

So just because we haven't found them in Iraq, do we ignore them elsewhere, like in Iran?  Is it a "false alarm" to be concerned about countries like Iran with deep terrorist ties transferring those weapons to be used against us, or is it a legitimate concern?  You're confusing me, Marc!

Predictably, Siegel's book is earning plaudits from such great nonpartisan pre-Sept. 11 thinkers as Bob Kerrey, Bill Press and David Corn.  (I couldn't find a noteworthy Republican in the bunch.)

Kerrey calls it "a terrific and groundbreaking book," while Corn calls it "masterful and provocative."  (Anything that bashes life-saving pharmaceutical companies is OK by him!)  While Press says, "Relax and put away your duct tape," precisely the kind of thing that explains his status as a former co-host of Crossfire.

Look, Siegel has a point, but only to a point.  If we're going to worry about things, we should probably prioritize between the trivial and the serious.  But if his interview last night was any indication, his book sounds more like part of the left's ongoing campaign to hit the "snooze button" on terrorism than an honest attempt to delineate among the relative risk of things.

Did I mention that Marc Siegel is a medical doctor and not a politician or policymaker?  But at least he has given me a book idea: "The Doctor's Definitive Guide to Open-Heart Surgery."

UPDATE: I conceded at the outset that I hadn't yet read the book, but I thought in fairness that I'd share this brief email I got from Dr. Siegel today.  Maybe he was just trying to speak Jon Stewart's language?:

Try reading it.

It is neither left or right.

I am not minimizing terrorism, what I am doing is pointing out that it often – deliberately – scares beyond the actual damage.

Let me know what you think after you read it.

August 28, 2005

Sullivan's Mental Vacation, Take Two


I always try to be the first to admit when someone has made a point better than I was capable of, and I have found just such an instance in David Brookstaber.

He wrote an email to Taranto that I believe much more eloquently states the case I was attempting to make about Andrew Sullivan's latest, elitist diatribe against SUV owners.  Brookstaber writes:

I must admit I hate SUVs. I think they are obnoxious and dangerous compared with lower, lighter cars, and I believe relatively few SUV owners use the cargo, towing, and off-road features that would justify their expense. But still, this anti-SUV hysteria misses the mark.

Rank the following groups according to their guilt in keeping us dependent on foreign oil:

  • People who choose to drive an SUV that gets 15 miles a gallon instead of a sedan or wagon that gets 25 miles a gallon
  • People who choose to live 10 miles from where they work each day instead of five miles.
  • People who choose to commute to work in private cars instead of on public transportation.
  • People who choose to heat and cool a 5,000-square-foot house when they could maintain a 2,500-square-foot-house with the same number of rooms.
  • People who choose to fly overseas for vacations instead of going to a local retreat.
  • People who oppose nuclear power plants.

I don't believe the SUV owners are at the top of the list. And my guess is that many of the SUV haters won't countenance somebody questioning their decisions to live where they want, in what they want, or to vacation when and where they want, even though on net those decisions probably consume more oil than an individual decision to drive an SUV.

I would also wager that the anti-SUV crowd has a large intersection with the anti-nuclear-power crowd. which, amusingly, also intersects with the pro-Kyoto treaty crowd. You just can't win with some people.


For the record, I used to own an SUV but now use public transportation almost exclusively.  For the last two years that I owned said SUV, my daily commute to work was about five minutes each way, and I put perhaps 1,000 miles on my vehicle in an average year.  I try to conserve energy at home and in the workplace, and have never lived in more than probably 1,000 square feet as an adult.  I am also an ardent supporter of nuclear power and alternative sources of energy.

But I'll be damned if I will sit in the kind of smug judgment over SUV owners that Sullivan makes his stock in trade.  Comparing them to terrorist enablers is just so blinkered in its stupidity that it scarcely warrants a response, but Sullivan is too widely read and respected (in some quarters) to ignore.  On this issue -- and others -- he is just a bike-riding city slicker who sorely needs some perspective.

Fry, Fred, Fry


That Fred Phelps still walks the Earth is the closest thing we have to proof that God does not exist.