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Webb’s Rally



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Good stuff, from a reader:

They had to run that clip because the much of the rest of his speech was an absolute riot.   He started off by mentioning that “tomorrow is an extremely important day for America,” and the crowd went wild, thinking he was talking about taking power.  But of course, he launched into his praise of the Marine Corps, and the crowd cheered a little less loudly.  Then he thanked all the brave veterans and brave men still fighting, and the crowd cheered a little less loudly again.   Then he mentioned that he received a call from Sen. Allen, and the crowd went nuts again.  Then he mentioned how pleasant and dignified Allen was, and the crowd grew quiet.  Then he said he was having lunch next week with Allen — and the crowd was dead silent.  Finally he told the audience that they should all thank Sen./Gov. Allen for his many years of dedicated service to the people of Virginia — and you could almost hear the people gathered looking at each other asking, “What the $#@! did we just do?”   It was priceless.

RIP



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Election 2006 Was Worse Than I Thought



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Web Briefing: September 15, 2014

Republican Women of the 110th



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I keep thinking about these minority leadership races in Congress. (WARNING: There’s a little PC in this post. I’m not proud, just realistic.)

In the House, the Conference Committee guy won’t really be known much outside of the House. Adam Putnam is great so far as I know him. But Marsha Blackburn changes that job, just by virtue of being Marsha — a chick. (Sorry, reality.)

So why not go for her? You have a conservative woman in leadership who knows her stuff and is great on TV. The team could seriously make use of her.

If the dominant buzz is true, Putnam takes Conference in the House and Kay Bailey Hutchison takes Policy in the Senate. There’s time — though much less for the Senate where elections are Wednesday. The dominant buzz doesn’t have to rule. Fact is: It would be really unfortunate if the highest-ranking woman in Congress doesn’t score a three-digit percent on abortion. Blackburn does. Hutchison doesn’t.

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Sore Winners Cont’d



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They keep coming in, entirely oblivious to the fact that I wasn’t in fact serious that the president of the United States should hunt and kill a bear while wearing a loin cloth and then throw the bloody skin on top of Helen Thomas. Seriously. For example, this just came in:

Re: Bear Story

Wow……
Now I know how the Republicans still managed to get as many votes as they did, in spite of all their fu**ups, lies, illegal acts, etc etc.

People like you are allowed to vote.
Pretty scary that there are that many Americans who would vote w/ a sociopath like yourself.
Get help.
Seriously man

Jim Webb



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I think all of the predictions that Webb will make for one of the Senate’s most interesting senators are all probably  true. There’s a lot to admire about the guy. But, I also get the distinct impression that he will end up having a real political tin ear and turn out to be amazingly prickly. One small example: the networks keeps running this clip from his victory rally where he calls on the president to denounce the sort of negative campaigning which divided Americans in this election. It’s a really, really lame soundbite — and the press probably deserves some grief for airing it so much. But it’s telling. Here this guy just won this huge election, the Democrats are all on their “bipartisanship uber alles” talking points, Allen has just conceded graciously and called for unity, and here’s Webb calling for Bush to denounce yesterday’s news. There’s no percentage in it. Nobody will want to talk about it. Bush isn’t running for anything and asking the head of a party to, in effect, apologize for how it ran a losing campaign is deeply ungracious in political terms. The sense I got is that Webb is still peeved about the negative ads and he won’t let it go — even on his day of victory. Recall that Webb couldn’t last long as Secretary of the Navy either. Obviously, it’s too soon to tell, but my guess is that within a year the conventional wisdom will be that he doesn’t play well with others. 

“You Blithering Idiot”



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Some sweet liberal friends on the Internet have been having more fun than should be legal (that was a joke, Andrew … it’s perfectly fine legal) e-mailing me to say how much of a moron I am because my predictions were so off. Nevermind that I was very openly all heart (“she predicts with her heart” – in some races in particular (Santorum, Amendment 2). Turns out the longterm polls were right. Bummer. But if you’re a little too excited that I was suicidal Wednesday morning because I had no idea how dire the political situation was, you might want to get your kicks another way.

Aw Shucks



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From a new liberal Corner reader:

Mr. Goldberg,   After reading your excerpted emails from left wing sore winners on The Corner, I felt compelled to send an email of my own.  As a liberal democrat, I cringed when I read their idiotic mean-spirited rants.  I spent election night going back and forth between The Corner, The Plank at The New Republic website, and watching CNN and Fox News.  It was my first time visting The Corner, and I was impressed.  I continued reading your posts the next day, and I’m really glad I wasn’t eating or drinking when I read your post welcoming your new democratic overlords.  The accidental coverage on my laptop just expired, and computers and orange juice are not a good mix.  I would like to think that had the democrats lost, we would have shown as much dignity and class in defeat as the people at The Corner, but I doubt it.  Here’s a thought that should make you feel better - we’ll probably do something stupid like nominating Hilary in 08 and republicans will keep the White House.  This election has demonstrated that the Democratic Party is getting smarter, but hey, we’re still democrats so we’ll probably screw up sooner rather than later.

John Kerry Should Read The Corner!



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K Lo,

Very much enjoy The Corner. Really is no other place on the Web quite like it. I particularly enjoy reading your correspondence from your fans in the military. John Kerry must not read The Corner, for if he read those e mails, there is no way he could say that our Armed Forces are stupid. We are very lucky that they think we are worth defending.

Dole



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I think it is safe to say that the Republican party has had enough of Dole campaigns, Jonah – Mrs. D doesn’t come out of 2006 looking too good.

Allen ‘08



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I take a backseat to no man in my esteem for Mark Levin, but I think he’s crazy with a capital K if he thinks Allen is in anyway poised for an ‘08 run. I think his national profile was always exaggerated because of the DC press corps. Had he won handily and without all the pitfalls he could have introduced himself to America on his terms in ‘08. He’s now been introduced and not on favorable terms. Whatever  the shortcomings of McCain and Giuliani, they are national figures with positive reputations. Fair or not, you can’t say the same of Allen.

Speaking of Retreads



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A reader points out that Bob Dole could be poised for another run!

McCain



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will evidently launch his exploratory committee this month.

SCALIA: HE’S FUN, BUT HE’S NO REVEREND AL



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Kathryn — from the Yale Daily News article you referenced:

Scalia, who was originally slated to speak last fall, drew an over-capacity crowd in the Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall, where scores of students were turned away by Yale Police Department officers after the auditorium filled. YPU President Roger Low ‘07 said the Yale Law School did not allow the YPU to use the larger Levinson Auditorium for Scalia’s speech, as it did for Rev. Al Sharpton’s YPU address last month. 

re: Santorum for President



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In reference to Mark Levin’s idea again, this reader, I think, reads things right:

Santorum won’t run because:

1) it just doesn’t seem like his “thing” to me…I don’t know how else to explain that, but he seems more the type to do a Gingrich thing and travel around and speak out on important stuff, maybe write a bit, without being fettered by having to keep other politicians, potential allies and donors, and the like, happy about what he says.

2) even if he did run, he’d go nowhere…he’s too honest…way way way too honest and blunt. You and I may really like and admire that in him, but it’s not something that will get you elected President…hopefully, he knows himself well enough to realize this, and hopefully he won’t try to homogenize himself to make the run.

UPDATE: Another good e-mail, with a refined point 2:

Hi Kathryn,

I have to disagree somewhat with the reader who made two points why Santorum would not run for President. I agree with his first point but disagree with the second point. Essentially Ronald Reagan was the quintessential honest politician so I believe that puts to rest the idea that someone can’t win the presidency if they are too honest. …

Now I think Rick should run for PA Governor in 4 years because he’d have one heck of a shot at it. PA switches parties in the Governor’s mansion every eight years like clockwork. From there who knows.

What He Said



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An e-mail:

Love the site–been reading for almost ten years. I’m a Navy JAG Officer, headed to Iraq with the Marine Corps (II-MEF) in January. Just wondering if the Corner folks have noticed the big debut of the new recruiting campaign for the U.S. Army these past few days. After all the (justified) criticism of the “Army of One” BS, I think we should all smile and give a big metaphorical salute to the “Army Strong” campaign. I just saw a full one-minute commercial that featured the phrase (as a guy climbed over a wall), “Not just strength to get yourself over, but strength to get over yourself.”

I thought I’d never see such a thing. If I weren’t already commissioned in the Navy right now, I’d want to join the Army. Someone in “Army advertising” deserves some applause.

God bless you, sir. And thank you.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE SENATE LEADERSHIP….?



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I like some of the guys expected to be at the top there a lot. Mitch McConnell is expected to be minority leader. Jon Kyl will replace Santorum as conference chair. Good stuff.

But …

Kay Bailey Hutchison is expected to get the Republican Policy Committee.

When you take a look at some of the terrific policy papers the RPC put out under an effective Kyl, it’s hard not to want a smart, solid, conservative, total team-player type in that slot. Mrs. Hutchison is more mod.

Which brings me (back) to Jeff Sessions. I’m under no impression he wants it, but there are some rumors that some folks there think he should. I certainly think he should. He fits the aforementioned bill. 

So, how ‘bout it, Senator Sessions? Run, Sessions, run! It’ll be a bit of a challenge, jumping in now. But inasmuch as the Policy Committee disseminates research on some key issues … Sessions should be there.

“He was fun, for a conservative”



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A Yalie describes Justice Scalia. Apparently we have work yet to do. I thought The Corner had long decimated that stereotype. Of course we’re fun.

Subject: Soldier In Afghanistan



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E-mail—definitely worth listening to:

Mr. Lowry:

My name is Zac Northup and I am a former officer in the United States Army.  Back in September I had a friend who was injured during an IED attack in Afghanistan.  I was never able to visit him in the hospital, but finally linked up yesterday via phone, and did a forty-five minute interview where he describes exactly what its like to be standing in the gunner’s turret of a Humvee when a 1000 kilo car bomb goes off less than six feet away.

In addition to these comments, he also had some interesting things to say about how the enemy has been manipulating the U.S. Media.  In fact, the day after the attack on his vehicle, the Taliban actually put out a press release announcing the successful strike on his convoy.  As you might expect, several news networks picked up on the Taliban’s PR.

I have condensed the whole thing down to just 13 minutes and would like as many people as possible to know about this man’s sacrifice.

You can download the interview here.

This interview is just one that has been included as part of the For Others Beyond Themselves.   You can listen to more of these interviews at the For Others Beyond Themselves here.

Iraq & troop levels



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Bill Stuntz from TWS:

Why do insurgent gangs, who have vastly smaller resources and manpower than the American soldiers they fight, continue to try to kill those soldiers? The answer is, because they believe they only have to kill a few more, and the soldiers will leave. They need not inflict a military defeat (which would be impossible, given the strength of the American military)—all they need to do is survive until American voters decide to throw in the towel, which might happen at any moment.
The proper response to that calculation is to make emphatically clear that the fight will not end until one side or the other wins, decisively. That kind of battle can only have one ending, as Abraham Lincoln understood. In a speech delivered a month after his reelection, Lincoln carefully surveyed the North’s resources and manpower and concluded that the nation’s wealth was “unexhausted and, as we believe, inexhaustible.” Southern soldiers be-gan to desert in droves. Through the long, bloody summer and fall of 1864, the South had hung on only because of the belief that the North might tire of the conflict. But Lincoln did not tire. Instead, he doubled the bet—and won the war.

There is another reason economic logic does not readily apply to the fighting of wars. When running a business, one aims to invest just as much as is necessary to make the sale or manufacture the product—no less, and no more. Profit equals revenue minus cost, so minimizing cost lies at the core of wise business management.
Warfare could not be more different. Send just enough soldiers and guns and tanks to do the job, and you may soon find you have sent too few. The enemy concludes that if it can raise the marginal cost of the conflict just a bit, if casualties are a little -higher or the expense a tad greater than you imagined, you’ll quit the field. On the other hand, send vastly more soldiers and materiel than required to the battlefield, and the enemy soon decides that the fight is hopeless—that, as Lincoln so elegantly put it, our resources are unexhausted and, as we believe, inexhaustible.

More:

The difficulties the Army has experienced in Iraq are due, in large measure, to the fact that the Defense Department forgot this historical lesson. Donald Rumsfeld tried to run a businesslike war. But warfare is not business; it is not fought at the margin. By striving to do just enough to win, we have done too little. The right strategy is to do too much.
That is especially true of a war like the one in Iraq. Consider these data: Between November 2004 and February 2005, according to the Brookings Institution’s Iraq Index, the number of coalition soldiers in Iraq rose by 18,000. In that time, the number of Iraqi civilians killed fell by two-thirds, and the number of American troops wounded fell by three-fourths. The soldiers were soon pulled out; by the summer of 2005, American and Iraqi casualties rose again. Later that year, the same thing happened again. Between September and November of 2005, another 23,000 soldiers were deployed in Iraq; once again, both Iraqi and American casualties fell. In the early months of 2006, the number of soldiers fell again, and casualties spiraled up.

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