Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday's trackings

"The C-SPAN television network is calling on congressional leaders to open health care talks to cameras — something President Barack Obama promised as a candidate. Instead the most critical negotiations on Obama's health plan have taken place behind closed doors, as Republicans repeatedly point out. In a Dec. 30 letter to House and Senate leaders released Tuesday, C-SPAN chief executive Brian Lamb asked for negotiations on a compromise bill to be opened up for public viewing, as Democrats work to reconcile differences between legislation passed by the two chambers. Obama pledged during a presidential debate in January 2008 that he would be "bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are."

The Obama administration is put between a rock and a hard place here. You know Democratic congressional leaders don't want these negotiations televised (otherwise they wouldn't have held them behind closed doors in the first place). But Obama's 2008 campaign pledge is obvious. What will the administration do? And if it refuses to open these talks up to scrutiny, will our friends in the news media give that decision all the negative attention it deserves?
By the way, we noted yesterday how some members of the Obama administration tried to claim that the recession was over. Here's yet more evidence that such isn't true:

The number of buyers who agreed to purchase previously occupied homes fell sharply in November, a sign sales will fall this winter, undermining last summer's recovery."

This time it's Michael Kinsley who's confused, as he tries to explain why terrorists caught in the United States deserve court dates and Miranda protections:
"The charms of liberal democracy sometimes need to be defended by war, and Mr. Obama’s critics are right that war can’t be conducted with a high level of concern for individual justice. A liberal democracy aspires to punish only the guilty. But war is inherently unfair — it distributes suffering arbitrarily among enemy combatants, civilians and one’s own soldiers. A line has to be drawn somewhere to determine which of these utterly different standards of government behavior is applied where — and the nation’s border is as good a line as any.
Members of Al Qaeda are not the only ones affected by this double standard. The most repulsive and obviously guilty child molester — or drug kingpin who may also have information that the government could use — gets American justice, while an innocent child killed accidentally in our pursuit of terrorists gets no justice at all. (This second part of the equation doesn’t seem to bother the Cheneys and the Gingriches.) Any place you draw the line, it will be possible to come up with what lawyers call “a parade of horribles.” Any line you draw can be made to seem absurd, because it is absurd. But the line must be drawn somewhere."

Oh, but what drug kingpins or child molesters do does of course bother all of us. And yes, the "line must be drawn somewhere." But why the trouble for Kinsley and others in seeing the mistake in where they draw THEIR "line"? Look, druggies or child molesters are not involved in a WAR, full of violent attacks against U.S. military and governmental targets, against the United States. So, yes, therefore they go to the U.S. legal system. But terrorists, be they captured in Yemen or in Detroit, are engaged in just such a war. Therefore they should be treated as such--just as we surely, in World War II for example, would have treated a captured German or Japanese commando trying to wreak violent havoc in the United States. Such go to military courts. They don't deserve all the constitutional protections enjoyed by American citizens. What's so hard to understand.

Yes, indeed, "the line has to be drawn somewhere." And it's not hard to see that the Kinsleys of the world draw it at the wrong place.
Furthermore, Rich Lowry today on NRO puts the attempted Christmas Day bombing in perspective in re: what it means for progressive beliefs concerning terrorism:
"[The attempted bombing] put paid to the notion that terrorism is the byproduct of a few, specific U.S. policies and of our image abroad. This view dominates the Left and animates the Obama administration. It informs its drive to shutter Guantanamo Bay, to get out of Iraq, and to cater to “international opinion.” If we are only nice and likable enough, goes the theory, the Abdul Mutallabs of the world will never be tempted to violent mayhem. Only the young Nigerian didn’t appear the least bit moved by Pres. Barack Obama’s commitment to close Gitmo in a year. He didn’t seem to care that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will get a civilian trial in New York. He didn’t appear to be fazed at all by Obama’s Cairo and U.N. speeches, or a year’s worth of international goodwill gestures. He just wanted to destroy an airliner. It shouldn’t be hard to fathom why. Abdul Mutallab was in the grip of a violent ideology with an existential hatred of the United States at its core, an ideology promoted by a global terrorist conspiracy under the loose rubric of al-Qaeda. This is the essential fact that the Left tends to minimize or deny."

Read the whole thing.

The University of Notre Dame women's team won its 13th straight game to open this season, 79-75 at Purdue. This Purdue team is only 7-7 on the season. Watching the game, I wondered how that could be. They played very well. Apparently they've been plagued with injuries. But look for them to be a factor in the Big Ten. For ND, it was a hard-fought win on the road; getting down by 10 in the first half didn't seem to faze them; and senior guard Melissa Lechlitner showed a lot of leadership, scoring 20 points and hitting some big 3s. Hopefully this game is another step in Muffet McGraw's team's growing process...towards March.