Light on the Sacred, Heavy on the Profane
Thursday, January 08, 2004
Lileks is Hilarious Today

He writes about his brother in law's house in Scottsdale, AZ. The money paragraph:
If I lived there, I would wear a white suit all the time with a big straw hat, and I would sit on the broad shady porch in back beneath a fan with a glass of tequila and a cigar the size of rolling pin. I would play with the children who came to offer fresh fruit to me, El Padrone. I would put down my book at sunset to contemplate the mysteries of love and life while a guitar softly played a ballad. If the guitarist displeased me, I would shoot him. Because I am El Padrone, after all, and this is the porch on which I spend my wise, cultured, rich and sentimental existence. Idiot sneaks in “Chopsticks” in a minor key because he thinks I’m not listening. Fool. Well, he has paid for his foolishness. Note to self: have servants remove the bullet before the body is buried. That was my favorite bullet. It was a gift from a very great man. Who, regrettably, I shot. But not with that bullet. Such a thing is not done, not even today when the old ways have fallen apart, and a new breed threatens to undo all we have accomplished.
Dubya's Immigration Proposal

I'm trying to figure out why the President's Immigration "Reform" doesn't piss me off that much. I think it has to do with the fact that this was something he talked about during his campaign, so I don't really feel duped. Whereas the Medicare "reform" really angered me because my vote for Dubya was largely based on his support for free market reforms of entitlement spending. Though the primary motivation was, and remains, national security.

Most economic conservatives, in my opinion, were willing to add the prescription drug benefit in exchange for reform. But the degree of reform was so small, and the spending increase so large, we felt betrayed. I certainly did not expect the AARP to endorse whatever plan emerged, as they did. When the opinion of the AARP outweighs that of the economic conservatives in the GOP, that counts as betrayal.

In his 2000 campaign, Dubya always portrayed himself as a friend of the illegal immigrant, so any rational voter should have expected he would reward criminals through amnesty. Of course, he also portrayed himself as a supply sider, so any rational voter should have expected to get a reasonable amount of entitlement reform.

This amnesty in all but name remains a dumb idea that harms legal immigrants and the American working class in the name of pandering to voters. But it is difficult to get angry about it when Dubya is meeting my expectations. He, and his advisers, should be worried that my expectations get lower every day.
Saddam's connections to the 9/11 Massacre

Front Page Magazine has a great interview with Dr. Laurie Mylroie, formerly President Clinton's adviser on Iraq and currently the leading voice connecting Saddam Hussein and terror attacks on Americans.
FP: So aside from the criminals who perpetrated the crime, President Clinton and his top advisers are actually indirectly complicit in 9/11. If they had had their heads screwed on right, it wouldn't have happened. Right?

Mylroie: Basically, that's correct. The White House was aware of the suspicions of New York FBI regarding Iraq's involvement in the Trade Center bombing and it believed that when it hit Iraqi intelligence headquarters a few months later, in June, saying that the strike was punishment for Iraq's attempt to kill former President Bush, that would take care of the Trade Center bombing too. Clinton believed that that strike would deter Saddam from all future acts of terrorism. But of course, that was to underestimate Saddam's vengefulness and resolve.

Indeed, in December 1994, I cautioned Martin Indyk about that: one strike on an empty building at night would not deter Saddam forever. Indyk was surprised, yet even as we spoke, the mastermind of the Trade Center bombing, Ramzi Yousef, was preparing another mega-terrorist plot, to bomb a dozen U.S. airplanes in the Philippines, which was thwarted because he accidentally started a fire while mixing explosives. We were lucky that time.

To sum up: the Clinton administration dealt slyly and ineffectually with the question of state sponsorship when this terrorism first began, with the Trade Center bombing, and promoted a false and fraudulent understanding of the attacks--a new kind of terrorism that did not involve states--that obscured what was, in fact, happening. The result was predictable.

Read the whole thing. It's chilling. She also mentions her book, a summary of which is available here. I think this has made my reading list for 2004.

via Free Republic.