Dec. 20, 2004

Merry Christmas!

The idiotic anti-Christmas stories continue to pile up, like crumpled autos on the snow-strewn Washington streets. The latest comes from Bennington, VT, where a hapless city council has demanded that the local veterans home take down a red, white and blue cross. You can probably guess what happened. A city council grandee decided to start channeling the United States Constitution and came to the conclusion that the founders would have recoiled in horror at the thought of a cross atop a home for aging combat veterans. Board President Chuck Bushey pronounced, “The law is pretty clear on the subject. We asked that (the cross) be replaced with something that can’t be construed as a religious symbol.” How about a gurney?

Also, school officials in Ohio cancelled an optional anti-drug assembly at a high school because a band scheduled to perform was described as Christian and mentions God and Jesus in its lyrics.

Meanwhile, more Jewish opinion writers are rising to defend Christmas, knowing that an assault on Christianity by secular zealots sooner or later will metastasize into an attack on all religions. Here’s Ezra Levant of The Calgary Sun, Jeff Jacoby in The Boston Globe and Diana West of The Washington Times. Merry Christmas, all!

And, just to illustrate the gulf that separates the has-been media from the new media, consider the contrasting treatment of the public reaction to the anti-Christian onslaught. It’s Ralph Hallow of The Washington Times and John Leo of U.S. News versus Alan Cooperman of The Washington Post (requires registration).

The Rummy Roast

The vultures are circling Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, oblivious to the fact that he isn’t dead and that he has each and every one of his critics in the crosshairs. Rumsfeld faces two criticisms, neither terribly compelling. The first is that he failed to plan adequately for the aftermath of the war in Iraq. This is true and it is utterly irrelevant. Nobody can plan for the aftermath of a war, and our history in this regard is spotty at best. If anything, the Pentagon deserves high marks for responding swiftly to a series of unanticipated events, and for having the patience to hear out critics who are far better at correcting mistakes after the fact than prescribing cures before the problems have become manifest. The issue of up-armoring illustrates the genius of the 'look-back' generalissimos. The Pentagon for the past year has raced to improve vehicle armor. The result — We’ve got more armored vehicles than ever before. Remember Army Spc Jerry Wilson, the guy who complained about having to rummage for armor? It now turns out his entire unit was armored within 24 hours of his complaint, and that all but a couple of the vehicles were upgraded when he decided to take on the secretary of defense! For a fuller survey of armoring efforts, look here.

Despite all that, some Democrats want Rumsfeld out of there, including the always-fun Charlie Rangel, who served in Korea. Meanwhile, Republicans slowly have started defending their guy. The most important such defender is President Bush himself.

Rummy Roast II

Rumsfeld also stands accused of callousness in the face of weeping parents. His office has been using an auto-pen to sign condolence letters to the families of servicemen and women killed in service to their country. The Pentagon’s top man says he’ll sign all the letters personally. End of controversy.

Stories you won’t find in the HBM (has-been media)

Katie Couric stiffs Toys for Tots. And, remember the Kyoto global-warming treaty. Stick a fork in it. It’s dead.

The President won Time’s Man of the Year Award, which now is called Person of the Year. Bush-haters say: Sure, he won, but he won’t get anything done. That must thrill the president, who loves being misunderestimated.

Meanwhile, Right-Wing News has published its much anticipated roster of Most Annoying Liberals. Of course, Michael Moore wins, but check out the other contenders!

The Spectator says the White House is mulling the idea of asking Sen. Joseph Lieberman to become the new director of national intelligence. Lieberman hasn’t ruled the idea in or out — or so he told me on today’s show.

Americans claim they are six times more likely to say a prayer than to take a drink, according to a recent FOX News poll.

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