Oh, those cwazy uniforms; or, no wonder Valerie Jarrett was confused.

May I quote myself, writing about the beautiful and moving Battle of Midway Commemoration in San Francisco last year?

The event was a formal one, which is much more beautiful than a civilian black tie affair.  The women, of course, presented a familiar and pleasing picture.  They had on lovely dresses ranging from safe (but always elegant) black to a rainbow of jewel-like colors.  Their hair was piled high or cascaded down in graceful ringlets, curls or curtains of silky hair.  Their make-up said, appropriately, “Here I am and aren’t I lovely?”  I expected that.

It was the men who were such a treat — and a surprise.  To me, “formal” means black tie.  It’s a good look, since it’s the rare man who isn’t elevated slightly by the dignity of a black jacket, pleated shirt, and neatly tied black tie.  Add in a cummerbund, and he’s ready to face anything.  I am, therefore, not complaining about traditional formals.  It’s just that, after having seen Navy formal wear, traditional men’s formal wear will, forever after, seem a little bit bland.

As I knew, but had never seen, Navy formal wear is white.  The uniform therefore brings the light in a room up, rather than down.  On their arms and shoulders, the officers wear the golden insignia of their rank.  I know now, although I didn’t understand that fact when I walked in, that many of the men present boasted an Admiral’s rank.  There was no shortage, however, of other ranks, whether chiefs or captains or lieutenants. The young men and women in attendance who had not (yet) attained the higher ranks were nattily attired from head to toe (or, if they were women, from head to knee) in whites.  The only exceptions were the two tall, trim, young Marines who were resplendent in their dark blue uniforms, lavishly decorated with gold and red.

Every uniformed guest had a variety of “mini-medals” on his (or her) left chest, over his (or her) heart.  The higher the rank, or the longer the years of service, the more of these exquisite medallions adorned the wearer — exquisite both because they are beautiful on their own terms, as mere objets, and because each represents a special level of accomplishment, dedication or bravery.

I’ll admit to being a girl (an aged girl, sadly) who still gets a thrill from a uniform.  I can’t help but think, though, that my possibly silly attitude ranks higher than that shown by White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.  She clearly believes that one uniform is pretty much like another — and that none are that special:

According to our tipster, Jarrett was seated at the head table along with several other big-name politicians and a handful of high-ranking military officials. As an officer sporting several stars walked past Jarrett, she signaled for his attention and said, “I’d like another glass of wine.”

Garçon!

White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, who was seated next to Jarret, began “cracking up nervously,” our tipster said, but no one pointed out to Jarrett that the man sporting a chestful of medals was not her waiter.

“The guy dutifully went up and got her a glass of wine, and then came back and gave it to her and took a seat at the table,” our tipster said. “Everyone is in tuxedos and gowns at this thing, but the military people are in full dress uniform.”

“There was no shortage of waiters either,” the tipster added.

It’s great to know that the world’s knowledgeable intellectuals are firmly in control of Washington, D.C.’s levers of power.

Hat tip:  American Thinker, which got it from Instapundit

“You had me at ‘gutless'”

I didn’t even have to read Dick Morris’ article to know that I liked it. Here’s the tag for the article at Front Page Magazine: “Only gutless Republicans could turn the U.S. Attorney firings into a budding constitutional crisis.” Well, yeah. The Democrats scream bloody murder over the political equivalent of a hangnail, while the White House politely allows itself to be disemboweled. I’m all for good matters, restraint, and a functional and friendly atmosphere in D.C., but this rollover on the faked attorney scandal leaves me almost breathless. You can’t win in politics if you’ve got nothing even resembling backbone, and are missing some significant guts to boot.*

Morris’ article, by the way, lives up to its promise. I’m quoting at length here, because I really didn’t have the heart to leave any of this off my blog. However, there’s much more to the original article, and you’d probably enjoy reading the whole thing:

When will the Bush administration grow some guts? Except for its resolute — read: stubborn — position on Iraq, the White House seems incapable of standing up for itself and battling for its point of view. The Democratic assault on the administration over the dismissal of United States attorneys is the most fabricated and phony of scandals, but the Bush people offer only craven apologies, half-hearted defenses, and concessions. Instead, they should stand up to the Democrats and defend the conduct of their own Justice Department.

There is no question that the attorney general and the president can dismiss United States attorneys at any time and for any reason. We do not have civil servant U.S. attorneys but maintain the process of presidential appointment for a very good reason: We consider who prosecutes whom and for what to be a question of public policy that should reflect the president’s priorities and objectives. When a U.S. attorney chooses to go light in prosecuting voter fraud and political corruption, it is completely understandable and totally legitimate for a president and an attorney general to decide to fire him or her and appoint a replacement who will do so.

The Democratic attempt to attack Bush for exercising his presidential power to dismiss employees who serve at his pleasure smacks of nothing so much as the trumped-up grounds for the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson in 1868. Back then, radical Republicans tried to oust him for failing to obey the Tenure of Office Act, which they passed, barring him from firing members of his Cabinet (in this case, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton) without Senate approval. Soon after Johnson’s acquittal, the Supreme Court invalidated the Tenure of Office Act, in effect affirming Johnson’s position.

But instead of loudly asserting its view that voter fraud is, indeed, worthy of prosecution and that U.S. attorneys who treat such cases lightly need to go find new jobs, the Bush administration acts, for all the world, like the kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. All Republican supporters of the administration can do is to point to Bill Clinton’s replacement of U.S. attorneys when he took office. Because the president and the attorney general insist on acting guilty, the rest of the country has no difficulty in assuming that they are.

___________________________
*Mr. Bookworm was listening to NPR this morning, and played the “readers letters.” As to the attorney “scandal,” the letter deemed most representative of the many that came from NPR listeners on that subject essentially said if the White House officials have nothing to hide, why don’t they just walk into Congress, take an oath, and expose themselves to the Democratic party for testimony.

I thought the “innocent people have nothing to hide” tactic was fascinating, since it has never seemed to sway the liberals in the area of terrorism. That is, they’re horrified by the Patriot Act because it pries into areas where they say it has no business being, because it might expose innocent people doing innocent things. Yet they’re asking White House operatives to walk into the enemy’s lair (and that’s what Congress has become with the switch in majorities) without a blink or second thought. The inconsistency is especially interesting considering that they’re demanding that people give up manifest constitutional rights for a political witch hunt, but are loath to ask for a possible limitation in some rights in order to stop potentially apocalyptic slaughter. Hmmm….

del.icio.us | digg it

“You had me at ‘gutless’”

I didn’t even have to read Dick Morris’ article to know that I liked it. Here’s the tag for the article at Front Page Magazine: “Only gutless Republicans could turn the U.S. Attorney firings into a budding constitutional crisis.” Well, yeah. The Democrats scream bloody murder over the political equivalent of a hangnail, while the White House politely allows itself to be disemboweled. I’m all for good matters, restraint, and a functional and friendly atmosphere in D.C., but this rollover on the faked attorney scandal leaves me almost breathless. You can’t win in politics if you’ve got nothing even resembling backbone, and are missing some significant guts to boot.*

Morris’ article, by the way, lives up to its promise. I’m quoting at length here, because I really didn’t have the heart to leave any of this off my blog. However, there’s much more to the original article, and you’d probably enjoy reading the whole thing:

When will the Bush administration grow some guts? Except for its resolute — read: stubborn — position on Iraq, the White House seems incapable of standing up for itself and battling for its point of view. The Democratic assault on the administration over the dismissal of United States attorneys is the most fabricated and phony of scandals, but the Bush people offer only craven apologies, half-hearted defenses, and concessions. Instead, they should stand up to the Democrats and defend the conduct of their own Justice Department.

There is no question that the attorney general and the president can dismiss United States attorneys at any time and for any reason. We do not have civil servant U.S. attorneys but maintain the process of presidential appointment for a very good reason: We consider who prosecutes whom and for what to be a question of public policy that should reflect the president’s priorities and objectives. When a U.S. attorney chooses to go light in prosecuting voter fraud and political corruption, it is completely understandable and totally legitimate for a president and an attorney general to decide to fire him or her and appoint a replacement who will do so.

The Democratic attempt to attack Bush for exercising his presidential power to dismiss employees who serve at his pleasure smacks of nothing so much as the trumped-up grounds for the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson in 1868. Back then, radical Republicans tried to oust him for failing to obey the Tenure of Office Act, which they passed, barring him from firing members of his Cabinet (in this case, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton) without Senate approval. Soon after Johnson’s acquittal, the Supreme Court invalidated the Tenure of Office Act, in effect affirming Johnson’s position.

But instead of loudly asserting its view that voter fraud is, indeed, worthy of prosecution and that U.S. attorneys who treat such cases lightly need to go find new jobs, the Bush administration acts, for all the world, like the kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. All Republican supporters of the administration can do is to point to Bill Clinton’s replacement of U.S. attorneys when he took office. Because the president and the attorney general insist on acting guilty, the rest of the country has no difficulty in assuming that they are.

___________________________
*Mr. Bookworm was listening to NPR this morning, and played the “readers letters.” As to the attorney “scandal,” the letter deemed most representative of the many that came from NPR listeners on that subject essentially said if the White House officials have nothing to hide, why don’t they just walk into Congress, take an oath, and expose themselves to the Democratic party for testimony.

I thought the “innocent people have nothing to hide” tactic was fascinating, since it has never seemed to sway the liberals in the area of terrorism. That is, they’re horrified by the Patriot Act because it pries into areas where they say it has no business being, because it might expose innocent people doing innocent things. Yet they’re asking White House operatives to walk into the enemy’s lair (and that’s what Congress has become with the switch in majorities) without a blink or second thought. The inconsistency is especially interesting considering that they’re demanding that people give up manifest constitutional rights for a political witch hunt, but are loath to ask for a possible limitation in some rights in order to stop potentially apocalyptic slaughter. Hmmm….

del.icio.us | digg it