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Guilty or not, DeLay will walk

Scarborough blogs: "Forget whether he is guilty or innocent. Ignore the political drama. Dismiss the screeching chatter from the political classes. Toss out the dire predictions from talking heads. Dismiss it all because in the end, Tom DeLay will be found not guilty of the charges filed against him. Why could  DeLay survive a prosecution that would destroy most other politicians? Because above all else, he is a political fighter."

September 29, 2005 | 7:42 a.m. ET

Guilty or not, DeLay will walk (Joe Scarborough)

Let’s start my memo on Tom DeLay by killing Hamlet in the first act.

The Majority Leader will walk.

Forget whether he is guilty or innocent. Ignore the political drama. Dismiss the screeching chatter from the political classes. Toss out the dire predictions from talking heads.

Dismiss it all because in the end, Tom DeLay will be found not guilty of the charges filed against him.

Why could  DeLay survive a prosecution that would destroy most other politicians?

Because above all else, he is a political fighter.

That’s necessary for DeLay’s survival right now because Democrats have focused their efforts on destroying him since Newt Gingrich was run out of town in 1999. While Gingrich was going up in flames, DeLay had a front row seat for the Speaker’s inglorious fall from power. Like the rest of us, he also saw just how meaningless Newt’s efforts were to make peace with Democrats and media types.

The Washington establishment saw Gingrich as a crude, unpolished interloper who had to be destroyed. For a speaker who wanted to be recognized as a transformational figure in American life, that rejection was a bitter pill to swallow.

But from my years serving with Tom DeLay, I can assure you that he really couldn’t care less what the New York Times or Washington Post editorial pages think of him.

The Hammer is a fighter. He revels in rejection when it comes from media elites and liberal Democrats. Let them strike him down, DeLay thinks. Because in the end, it will only make him stronger with his base.

Maybe that’s why Tom DeLay is smiling.

He knows he is in for the fight of his life, but his enemies are the same ones he has beaten back hundreds of times before. And unlike Gingrich, DeLay will not try to be understood.

He will try to destroy all those who are trying to ruin his life.

That approach to political warfare is why Tom DeLay is so dangerous to Democrats.

It is also why I think he will win the fight of his life.

His nemesis, Ronnie Earle, is a partisan Democrat who has attended fundraisers supporting  his party’s efforts to take out the Majority Leader. That would be questionable conduct for any other Texas D.A. but unthinkable for the one who is trying to throw DeLay in jail.

Earle has probably overreached, and if political trials of the past are any indication, the D.A. will be the one falling on his face in the end.

Add Earle’s missteps to DeLay’s will to win (and his power grip on Washington and Texas politics) and you have a Lone Star State shootout that may be over before it even begins.

E-mail: JScarborough@msnbc.com

September 23, 2005 | 8:22 a.m. ET

Is this the best we can do? (Joe Scarborough)

It should be but it is not.

Thousands of Texans were trapped in a traffic hell yesterday because their leaders bungled the most basic elements of evacuation plans. As a result, many motorists ran out of gas while others gave up and returned home.

Perhaps they wanted to avoid what my family members faced while fleeing Hurricane Opal in 1995. Because of our government's slow response to evacuation challenges, many of those evacuating from Opal's wrath were told to give up, get out of their cars, and find shelter wherever they could.

The outcry was fierce and steps were taken to make sure the same mistakes were never repeated again. In all future hurricanes, interstate system was converted to a one-way evacuation route for hundreds of thousands of Floridians.

But ten years after I worked with Alabama and Georgia officials to make that process seamless, Texas leaders dropped the ball -- leaving residents stuck in 100 mile traffic jams.

I can tell you from personal experience what a terrible feeling it is being trapped on the road with your young children while a killer storm races toward the coast. It's a feeling of despair shared by too many others right now.

But for the rest of us who are safely out of Rita's path, we are left worrying about the future of an America whose leaders seem so ill equipped to handle the greatest of disasters.

Is this really the best our politicians can do four years after September 11th?

E-mail: JScarborough@msnbc.com

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Get out of town (Joe Scarborough)

For the past several weeks, I have not been attacking the federal, the state and the local governments for my own health or just to hear myself talk.  I have been doing it because lives have been at risk.  As I said before, these storms are hitting early in the hurricane season.  We know more of these are coming.  Even after Rita, there are going to be more storms.  We have entered a vicious cycle, and we better have leaders that know what they are doing. 

Unfortunately, our leaders failed us miserably.  People died because of it. It’s not good enough to say, ‘Oh, it was a historic storm.  There‘s no way we could have known a Category 4 was going to hit us.’ 

Well, now guess what?  We have got another Category 4 heading to shore.  This thing will slam into the Galveston and Houston area.  If not there, it‘s going to hit again along the border. 

To state the obvious, lives are going to be put at risk because of the winds, because of the tornadoes and because of the massive flooding.  The New Orleans levee system, already compromised, just simply will not be able to withstand this killer storm.  God help the people of Louisiana if this thing doesn‘t keep going west at a rapid rate. 

I want to tell you all in Galveston right now, I have been there.  I have been through these storms.  I have known people that have decided they are going to be brave and ride it out.  If you stay, you might die.  You could drown in your attic or you get washed away with the tide.  Something is going to happen. 

You make the call.  It‘s your life.

E-mail: JScarborough@msnbc.com

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Relief organizers like rival gangs (Joe Scarborough)

Trent Lott‘s office recently sent me an e-mail, telling me to go to a hospital in dire need of supplies after Katrina.  It was from a registered nurse who says babies are walking around in diapers three days old and that they needed my help.  The e-mail also said people are being pushed away from the hospital. 

So, I drove there with supplies.  I meet this person, this federal authority.  I said, we‘re here with the diapers and formula.  We understand the children are distressed here. 

Do you know what he told me?  The guy‘s arrogant.  He said, ‘we don‘t need your stuff.  Turn around.  Go home.’ 

This weekend, a friend working with our charity was sitting in church.  A person that helps run the Red Cross shipments came up to him and said, ‘you all, just stop wasting your time.’  The person‘s, clearly taken back, asks, ‘what do you mean?  We‘re feeding all these people.  We‘re helping all these people.’  He said, everything you ship over to Mississippi and Louisiana, we‘re just having to ship back.  You‘re just wasting your time.' 

This seems odd when every time we open the door, children and grandmothers break down crying while we hand them food. 

We have a serious problem in the United States of America right now by federal bureaucrats and state bureaucrats and local bureaucrats and relief agency bureaucrats — yes, like the Red Cross.  There is a level of arrogance.  All of these groups are like rival gangs.  I have seen it first-hand.  Every politician on the ground has seen it first-hand.  These people would rather have people in their areas suffer than not get the credit for helping them out. 

We have seen it with 10,000 vaccines that we couldn't get from Pensacola, Florida, over to New Orleans.  We have seen it with food shipments that FEMA stopped.  We have seen Trent Lott talking about how FEMA and the Mississippi groups would not allow trailers to come in.  I‘m telling you, it is a scandal of epic proportions. 

Again, it ain‘t the FEMA people who are suffering.  It‘s not the Red Cross directors who are suffering.  It is the poorest and the weakest and the oldest among us.  As Hubert Humphrey once said, it’s the people living in the shadows of life.

And it‘s disgusting. 

E-mail: JScarborough@msnbc.com

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Katrina and political partisans (Joe Scarborough)

The bloated bodies are still being fished out of New Orleans. And yet the chattering classes continue their childish political fights over which party should bear the blunt of the blame for these deaths.

On Friday, I was asked to be on Bill Maher’s "Real Time." Though our worldviews differ greatly, Bill has been fair to me the ten or so times I have been on his show. I saw it as a great chance to talk about the suffering I had seen firsthand.

His audiences are always the most liberal on TV, but even I was surprised at the sickening response of the crowd to the night’s events.

The interview started with Bill doing what he does best: asking provocative questions. His audiences usually cheer on cue like trained apes, burying the response of the token conservative.

But the crowd was howling this week as if the topic of debate involved a boxing match rather than a natural disaster of epic proportions.

These idiots in the audience were obviously comfortable using the brutal deaths of women, children, grandfathers, and babies to score some political points against a Republican President.

The horror show only heated up once the panel came on board but by then I had left the studio feeling sick.

Maybe it’s because I had held the suffering babies in my hands that I was so enraged by the childish displays of partisanship. Or perhaps it was because I had been so critical of the President myself that I was offended when Bill and his audience demanded that all deaths, all suffering, all looting be placed on the head of George W. Bush.

The clueless crowd didn’t know the first thing about hurricanes. But I do.

And as I said time and again last week, the blame rests with the first responders on the local and state level as well as the President of the United States.

But Democratic partisans don’t want to hear that anymore than Republican zealots.

After visiting hell on earth last week, I came back home detesting these political simpletons more than ever.

That’s because even in the face of epic human suffering, their political loyalties remain more important than gaining an understanding of what went wrong and how we can stop it from happening again.

Is that sick or what?

E-mail: JScarborough@msnbc.com

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We deserve answers, Mr. President (Joe Scarborough)

E-mail: JScarborough@msnbc.com

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A national disgrace (Joe Scarborough)

BILOXI, Mississippi — New Orleans is the city that America has seemingly forgotten and its politicians have let down in its greatest hour of need.  And here in Biloxi, a place where, when we traveled around, we couldn't find enough federal agents, enough state agents, enough emergency personnel around to even begin to take care of those young children and elderly adults that are still without food, still without water, still without the most basic of necessities. 

I have got to tell you, I have been involved in a lot of hurricane relief before, and what I have been seeing these past few days is nothing short of a national disgrace. 

Those storms started hitting on Sunday, and yet, four full days later, still, we just aren't seeing emergency relief agents on the ground, in the neighborhoods that have been affected the most.  There's video that we have been taking all throughout the day of people that simply aren't getting water.  They are not getting food.  They are not getting the basic necessities.  It's a disgrace here.  But if you think it's a disgrace here, the situation in New Orleans is beyond description.  The Associated Press reported yesterday, “storm victims raped and beaten inside the convention center; 88 officers also beaten back by angry mobs.”

The scene in New Orleans keeps getting more apocalyptic by the day, and many Americans on both political sides of the American scene are wondering where Washington politicians and where Louisiana politicians are. 

As we have said before, the Senate has approved a $10.5 billion relief bill for this devastated area.  It's time for that aid to get down here.  Also, the House is about to convene, and I am sure they will pass it unanimously.  The president will sign it.  And, hopefully, that money in Washington, D.C., 1,500 miles away, will make its way down here.

As a former Congressman,  I understand how difficult some of these situations are.  But don't you believe in the coming days that this storm caught people by surprise.  We knew in Pensacola, Florida, that this was going to be a killer storm.  It was going to be a Category 4.  We were saying on Friday, it would be a historic storm. 

So, any politician in Louisiana, Alabama, or Mississippi that tells you they were surprised, they don't deserve your trust or your vote next time. 

E-mail me at JScarborough@msnbc.com.  I've been taking photos of the wreckage with my digital camera down here, so you can visit my homepage to see the slideshow.

September 1 |

Help your neighbors (Joe Scarborough)

BILOXI, Mississippi — We are still here in Biloxi, at ground zero of where killer Katrina hit.  It has ripped open the heart of America’s Gulf Coast, leaving hundreds, maybe thousands, dead in its wake and destroying a major U.S. city.  Along a 100-mile stretch of the Gulf Coast, there are scenes here that simply recall nothing short of Hiroshima, and, here in Biloxi, unspeakable losses, where some people may have died simply because they couldn’t afford a tank of gas at the end of a month. 

We are in the neighborhood that just a week ago was vibrant, filled with children running along these sidewalks.  Today, it’s nothing but cinder blocks.  Records.  I see records.  I see refrigerators, stove-top ovens, computers, life possessions that people cherished.  It’s unbelievable. 

You look through these possessions.  People have been collecting these things their entire life.  You see photo albums, wedding pictures, pictures of young babies just thrown indiscriminately.  You wonder where people start to rebuild. 

It’s really when you get up close and personal with these people, you see a young child crying, crying because there’s nobody there to help.  Or you see an old couple, tearing up, as they start looking through the remains of what their dream home was, all destroyed in an instant….

Now, friends, I told you about how I have been in a lot of these things.  I have seen the
devastation.  I have also seen the people, the good people of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama come to my backyard in Northwest Florida when we needed help. 

We have decided in our community to help out.  We are trying to get as much support as we can get, trying to get food and other necessities.  Please send a donation:

Christian Ministries
P.O. Box 911
Pensacola, Florida, 32591

If you are in that area, if you are in Northwest Florida, we will have drop points where you can bring diapers, where you can bring bottled water and other goods.

I got to tell you this, and I may offend some people right now that are involved in relief agencies.  But let me tell you something.  If you live in the Southeast, you can help out by just packing up, putting water in the back of your truck, coming down here, dropping it, and then getting out of town.  That’s what people did in Pensacola, Florida, for as many as six to eight weeks afterwards.  It made all the difference in the world.  You can make a difference, too. 

Please visit my website at joe.msnbc.com for further information on how to help in the relief effort.

E-mail: JScarborough@msnbc.com

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Ground zero of Hurricane Katrina (Joe Scarborough)

BILOXI, Mississippi — Friends, this is ground zero of Hurricane Katrina.  We got over here yesterday morning.  I have never seen utter destruction like I have seen here in Biloxi, Mississippi.  It’s that way all the way up and down the coast.

About 85 miles southwest of us right now, in New Orleans, Louisiana, the city is on the brink of total collapse.  The Crescent City is covered up to 20 feet of water in some places, 80 percent of New Orleans is now underwater.  New reports suggest additional levees may break.  It's a dire situation.

You know, friends, I'm sure most of you know that watch my show, I have lived on the Gulf Coast for over 30 years now.  I followed hurricanes, too, closely.  We have all grown up talking about Camille, the dark legend of a hurricane that crashed right on these shores behind us back in 1969, killed some people, destroyed some property — but nothing like what I have seen today. 

You can look at the buildings.  There are aerial shots that show from a distance what this city, what this community, what this state has been going through.  They are devastating images.  But, friends, we also walk the streets of Biloxi and hear heartbreaking stories. 

We brought water over from Pensacola, Florida.  It's only a couple hours away, because I knew, when we went through Ivan last year around this same time last, we knew that water was a precious commodity.  So, we brought over 1,000 bottles of water.  And we would pass it out to anybody that looked like they needed it. 

One man came up to us.  He took the water, took it back to his wife.  She was weeping silently in the passenger side of the front seat.  And the man looked down.  He said, ‘How much do I owe you?  I don't have much.  I have lost everything.’  And we said, you owe us nothing.  They drove away weeping. 

A couple of minutes later, we came across a young couple and their 15-month-old daughter.  She was covered in dirt from head to toe.  They were parched.  The father came up to me after we gave them water and he said, ‘All is lost.  Is there anything left?’  And I said, no, sir, it doesn't look like there's anything left. 

He has nothing left.  And so, you take those personal shots, friends.  Again, look at these aerial shots of Biloxi, Mississippi.  You can go from Biloxi to Gautier, Mississippi, to Gulfport to Pascagoula, so many of these beautiful antebellum homes up and down the coastline destroyed.  They survived a Civil War.  They survived the Great Depression.  They survived the onslaught of Hurricane Camille in 1969.  But, friends, they were reduced to rubble just a few days ago. 

It is a devastating scene.  Now, rescue trucks pour off of I-10 into town.  They've got a long, long job ahead of them. 

We will talk about that tonight on Scarborough Country at 10 p.m. ET.  Stay tuned to get more updates on this national disaster.

E-mail me in the meantime at JScarborough@msnbc.com.

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An All-American Girl Goes Missing: We Must Not Keep Quiet (Joe Scarborough)

The Natalee Holloway investigation continues its frustrating crawl on the island of Aruba.  Even as many signs point to the prime suspect, Joran Van Der Sloot, the investigation is at a near standstill. Sure, Joran sits in jail, but the Kalpoe brothers — his and Natalee’s companions in the late hours that night — walk free, and on September 4th, the court will decide whether to charge Joran, extend his incarceration for 30 days or let him walk. Meantime, hardly anything is being done to move things forward.

Except, of course, for the efforts of Natalee’s mother, Beth. She’s stood up against an Aruban government that too often seems intent not on trying to find out what happened to Natalee but on making us all forget about Natalee. But Beth has refused to let them bury this case. Because of her, we won’t forget that a young woman, an American girl, has vanished.

Now, we have gotten a lot of questions about how Beth is able to spend so much time away from home, searching for her daughter. This week she told us that it‘s due in great measure to the generosity of her fellow teachers in Alabama. They have donated their sick days at school so Beth can continue to stay in Aruba, fighting to bring Natalee home.  Beth expressed how overwhelmed she is by all of her fellow teachers’ acts of kindness, and I know she greatly appreciates it, as do we.

This tragic story plays out now against an even more sad reality. Remember, friends, that right now, all of Natalee‘s friends are going off to the University of Alabama, the University of Auburn, to begin their college years. It is, should be, such an exciting time in a young girl‘s life, and such an exciting time in a parent’s life. It‘s a time they can say, “You know what, mission accomplished. We got them through high school. And now they begin an exciting voyage,” Yet tonight, Beth Holloway Twitty, far away from Alabama, down in Aruba, is still trying to get answers to the questions that she just doesn‘t have.

What can you do? You can make a difference by contacting your local legislators and making sure that they‘re applying pressure through the proper authorities, not only in America, but also in Holland and in Aruba. Joran van der Sloot‘s judgment day on September 4th approaches.  We must all stay vigilant.

E-mail: JScarborough@aol.com

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Bolton: The President's man at the U.N. (Joe Scarborough)

John Bolton would not have been my first choice for United Nations Ambassador. But my opinion doesn't really matter on this issue any more than the personal wishes of Ted Kennedy or George Voinivich.

The President knows where he wants to take U.S. foreign policy over the next three years. That's why he needs his man at the U.N. If the White House fails to reach out to the international community, Republicans will face the consequences at the ballot box in the midterm elections.

Besides, we had an election eight months ago and as John McCain is fond of saying, elections have consequences. I would guess more voters in 2004 would rather see Bush's man at the U.N. than Barbara Boxer's.

Improving our relationship with international partners has to be one of the President's top priorities moving forward. But that does not mean that he can't demand dramatic reform at the United Nations.

And with Bolton, maybe we will have someone operating at Turtle Bay with the guts to state the obvious: The United Nations is an international agency that has become corrupt and irrelevant.

Kofi Annan's bureaucracy is mired in nasty scandals involving sex and money.

UN "relief workers" rape those they are sent to save, while Annan's family members and assistants skim millions from international tyrants' schemes to exploit U.N. relief programs. 

More troubling for the international community is the fact that the United Nations has failed to respond to genocide in Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sudan in the 1990s, and Sudan again in the 21st Century.

Most Americans could be forgiven for believing the toothless agency only makes news when it is kicking its host and primary benefactor around. The U.N. sided with the Soviets during the Cold War and became Saddam Hussein's protector in the lead-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Anyone shocked by the agency's moral ambivalence need only to look at the countries who fill the United Nations' Human Rights Commission. Dictatorial regimes like Cuba, Sudan, and Libya sit on the committee specifically so they can block any criticism of their own abuse.

Yet Democratic senators like Ted Kennedy focus their fire on John Bolton.

The Massachusetts liberal called the Bolton selection "shameful and irresponsible."

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Bolton was "weakened." But it was the liberals in Reid's own party who smeared the career diplomat's reputation.

Besides, the charges against Bolton were always pathetic.

We learned Mr. Bolton had once slammed a phone on the hook. Another testified that Bolton ran down a hall and shoved a document under a fellow diplomat's door!

Egad! This man is a beast!

Serious Democrats and Republicans know the President should have the power to send his choice to the United Nations. Sadly, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party seems blind to that fact. And since leftists are growing in power within their party, maybe that is why Americans just don't trust the Democratic Party to protect it in a time of war.

With all of the President's missteps, one wonders what direction America would go if only there were a competent opposition party.

E-mail: JScarborough@aol.com

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Republicans stand by their man (Joe Scarborough)

A California Democrat who read my recent note on the White House’s cynical shell game with social conservatives wrote to ask why Republicans who feel betrayed by Bush’s big government policies remain loyal.

Regardless of whether you consider Bush to be a true believer or a socialist squish, the truth is Republicans will stand by their man whether he drives the deficit up to $900 billion or appoints a practicing abortionist to the Supreme Court.

Why? Because Bush Republicans, like Clinton Democrats in the '90s, love absolute power more than sound policy.

My most liberal Democratic friends in Congress loathed Bill Clinton’s existence, regularly labeling him a sleazy liar and worthless scumbag.  But as Democratic politicians, victory was more important than virtue. My Republican friends have likewise fallen on their swords.

One more reason to despise political parties.

E-mail: JScarborough@aol.com

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Moral relativity in the age of terror (Joe Scarborough)
 
The American and European Left spent the better part of a century preaching moral relativity between U.S. democracy and Soviet totalitarianism. But thanks to the Internet, the most embarrassing quotes uttered by Communist sympathizers in media, government, and Hollywood from 1917 to 1989 can be found.

Funny how opinions changed after the USSR fell in 1991 and we learned the great workers' paradise killed 30 million of its own people — give or take 10 million souls.

Moral relativity in that ideological conflict ended as quickly as the Wall fell.
 
Today, many of the same organizations who attacked America during its war against communism are once again preaching moral relativity. But this time, our twilight battle is against terrorists.

In its recently released report "In Cold Blood," the human rights organization Amnesty International refused to call terrorists blowing up women and children in Iraq by their real name. Instead they are identified simply as "armed groups."

And while criticizing these armed groups, Amnesty goes out of its way to blast U.S. and allied forces in Iraq by saying that Americans "have themselves committed grave violations, including killings of civilians and torture of prisoners."

These charges are obscene on their face.
 
American troops do not grab civilians off the street, shove a video camera in their face, and carve off their head with a knife.

American troops do not detonate bombs in the middle of a group of children collecting candy.
 
American troops do not set out to blow up grandmothers in open-air markets.
 
And American troops do not have as their singular goal the creation of a civil war in Iraq. Yet these terrorists have stated time and again that civil war is their goal in Iraq.

What is so disgusting about all of this is the fact that Amnesty International is well aware of these facts. And yet, they continue preaching moral ambiguity between troops handing candy out to children and terrorists blowing up those same children.

One builds up, the other tears down; One preaches democracy, one calls for terror; One teaches, one kills.
 
And yet Amnesty is so blinded of their hatred of America and its president that they can no longer tell right from wrong.

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So Bush's SCOTUS pick supports abortion? (Joe Scarborough)

The New York Times tells us today that the Bush Administration is depending on their Supreme Court nominee's past writings to win support with conservative voters. Specifically, the Times reports that Bush operatives have been focusing on Judge Roberts' 1990 legal brief oppposing Roe v. Wade.

I must admit that I am confused. That's because the White House is now taking pains to tell the rest of us that the 1990 abortion brief just doesn't matter. In fact, when we highlighted Roberts' opinion in a banner Wednesday night, the White House called our control furiously declaring that the headline was misleading.

They demanded a retraction. Last night I gave it to them:  "Conservatives were told that Judge John Roberts argued to overturn Roe v. Wade in 1990.  The other night, we reported that on the show. Our banner said the following 'Roberts: Overturn Roe v. Wade.'  Well, the White House called us up during the show. They didn't like the banner. They demanded a correction. Here goes: Conservatives, Republicans, members of Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson, Pat Robertson, pro-life advocates across America, I offer you this correction. According to the White House, Judge Roberts now does not oppose Roe vs. Wade.  Whew. Glad I got that off my chest."

Seems to me that George W. Bush and the Bush Administration are playing conservative Republicans as fools. Only time will tell if Roberts is to 43 as Souter was to 41.

What do you think?  You can e-mail me at JScarborough@msnbc.com

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Westmoreland: American hero (Joe Scarborough)

Americans lost an American hero this week — and they don’t even know it.

General William Westmoreland led American troops in Vietnam from 1964 to 1968.

It was an ugly time to be an American soldier. Westmoreland knew that sad truth better than most. He was spit upon, had his image burned in effigy, and had his character maligned by an overwhelmingly hostile media machine.

But the general held his head high and refused to apologize fighting communism in Southeast Asia.

Tragically, Westmoreland’s warnings were ignored in US newsrooms and on college campuses. Democratic and Republican politicians alike proved themselves to be feckless in the face of campus revolts and biased news editors. LBJ and Nixon cut and ran when they should have stood and fought.

Unlike Westmoreland, these Presidents were more interested in silencing leftist critics than in finishing a winnable war. As a result, American troops were betrayed, Cambodia was ripped apart by Pol Pot, and the Vietnamese people were held hostage by a communist police state and a miserable existence where the per capita income is still only $500 a year.

Thank God William Westmoreland was more interested in being right than being fashionable. For that, all Americans owe this soldier a heart felt salute.

E-mail me at JScarborough@msnbc.com

July 13, 2005 |

DC  double standards (Joe Scarborough)

No wonder Americans don't trust politicians.

Come to think of it, no wonder Americans don't trust the news media either.

The Karl Rove controversy highlights the hypocrisy infecting Washington's most powerful politicians and reporters.

Republicans are quickly lining up to support Mr. Rove, while Democrats are calling for his head. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry has called for Rove's resignation — a silly suggestion from a silly man.

But there is nothing funny about the Republican's treatment of the Rove affair.

Assuming Rove leaked a CIA agent's identity to Time Magazine, GOP leaders should be lining up to condemn the White House Wizard's actions.

Why? Because they would have shredded a Democratic administration for outing an undercover CIA agent during a time of war.

Imagine Bill Clinton's top political advisor leaking a CIA agent's identity because of the actions of the agent's spouse. Republicans, including yours truly, would have been demanding that official's resignation at once.

But with one of their own in the White House, Republicans are instead focusing their attacks on former ambassador Joe Wilson.

Though Wilson is an easy target for writing a book filled with lies with the ironic title "The Politics of Truth," do Republicans suggest that a CIA agent can be called out during a time of war because of their spouse's misdeeds?

If so, it is a frightening new world for undercover agents who are paid to protect our country.

While on the subject of hypocrites, the media's treatment of Joe Wilson is one for the ages.

Apply the same test to the media that I applied to the Rove dust-up. How would the media respond to a Republican ambassador who wrote a campaign check to George W. Bush, lied through his teeth about a CIA investigation, got caught in his lies, and then wrote a book called "The Politics of Truth"?

I suspect the media would have left little more than a grease spot where that lying GOP ambassador once stood. But not so in Joe Wilson's case. As an anti-war Democrat who supported John Kerry in 2004, he was protected by a media machine who shared his sentiments.

So why don't Americans trust politicians or press members anymore? Because in cases like Karl Rove, all sides are circling the wagons for their ideological soul mates instead of telling American people the truth.

E-mail me at JScarborough@msnbc.com