Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

National Sovereignty Day in Iraq

Despite the Left's best efforts to turn the War on Terror into a defeat for America, they failed. Iraq is now a sovereign nation, ready to stand on it's own:

Iraqi forces have assumed formal control of security in Baghdad and other cities after U.S. combat troops withdrew from urban areas. A countdown clock broadcast on Iraqi TV ticked to zero as the midnight deadline passed for combat troops to pull back.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has declared a public holiday and proclaimed June 30 as “National Sovereignty Day.”

A senior adviser to al-Maliki says “the withdrawal of American troops is completed now from all cities after everything they sacrificed for the sake of security.” Sadiq Al-Rikabi told The Associated Press on Tuesday that “we are now celebrating the restoration of sovereignty.”

This doesn't mean we're done there. We're still working on training more Iraqi military and security recruits, but we're not taking point on any engagements against terrorists. That's the job of the Iraqi military and security forces now, and according to US military commanders they're ready.

Congratulations to the people of Iraq for fulfilling their goal of control of their country, and standing on their own two feet. Congratulations to the US military for a job well done. And a special thanks to the Iraqi people for the respect they have shown to the troops, and for recognizing their sacrifice on their behalf.

Today is a day to celebrate. So when you crack open that cold one today or on the Fourth of July, remember what you're celebrating. You're celebrating freedom, courtesy of the United States of America.

Publius II

BREAKING -- Minnesota SC rules in favor of Franken

It's just coming over the wires now, but the Minnesota State Supreme Court has handed down it's ruling. Get ready for Senator Stuart Smalley:

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered that Democrat Al Franken be certified as the winner of the state's long-running Senate race.

The high court rejected a legal challenge from Republican
Norm Coleman, whose options for regaining the Senate seat are dwindling.

Justices said Franken is entitled to the election certificate he needs to assume office. With Franken and the usual backing of two independents, Democrats will have a big enough majority to overcome Republican filibusters.

Coleman hasn't ruled out seeking federal court intervention.

Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said the earliest Franken would be seated is next week because the Senate is out of session for the July 4 holiday. ...

The unanimous court wrote that "because the legislature established absentee voting as an optional method of voting, voters choosing to use that method are required to comply with the statutory provisions."

They went on to say that "because strict compliance with the statutory requirements for absentee voting is, and always has been required, there is no basis on which voters could have reasonably believed that anything less than strict compliance would suffice."

Aside from the fact that Senator Coleman's team obviously didn't do a decent job of arguing that there were a number of irregularities with the absentee ballots (more than one district noted it had more ballots than registered voters), we don't see this winning in federal court. His lawyers could cite Bush v. Gore as precedent, but it's doubtful the federal courts would entertain that argument.

You know what's at stake in this decision? Can you say Crap and Tax? The Senate has the bill (more like an idea as there isn't a written bill that's been entered into the record) right now. The 4 July recess starts this week, and Reid is intent to seat him next week. With Specter jumping to the Democrats a couple months ago the Democrats picked up their 59th seat in the Senate. When Franken is seated, he'll be number 60, giving the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority. That means that the Democrats can ram whatever they want through the Congress with little fear of opposition.

Thanks to the Minnesota State Supreme Court, the system of checks and balances within the Congress are now null. Republicans would have to rely on congressional rules and procedures to befuddle the Democrats, or try to peel Democrats away from their caucus. That's not likely to happen with Reid running the show in the Senate. It's also evident from Crap and Tax and the Pork-A-Palooza passed back in February that the only Democrats that join Republicans in certain votes are those that have been given a pass by either Reid or Pelosi, and only after they're assured they have the votes to pass a bill.

To the voters of Minnesota, no offense, you voted for this idiot. When he embarrasses you, don't come whining to any of your fellow citizens. You were warned, and you chose not to heed those warnings.

Publius II

Will SCOTUS finally put a stake in BCRA?

I know, I know, I'm using a lot of acronyms today. A couple of e-mailers noted that I'm using "SCOTUS" instead of "USSC." I like the SCOTUS better. Deal with it. As for what I'm talking about now, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), better known as McCain-Feingold, might be on the verge of being taken apart. SCOTUS has tinked away at it since it's birth on 27 March 2002. But the case that was set aside yesterday, Citizens United v. FEC, is the one case that could prove to be the final stake in it's black heart. Chief Justice John Roberts decided the case needed more time to be examined, and he shelved it until next term:

The Supreme Court announced yesterday that it will consider whether to uphold a ban on corporate spending in federal elections, a move that campaign finance experts said could have a dramatic effect on the 2010 and 2012 federal elections.

In a surprise move, the court said it would delay a decision on whether a conservative group’s film criticizing then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ran afoul of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance act.

Instead, the court scheduled a rare September hearing on whether the law itself raised constitutional questions and it said it would reexamine a 1990 decision that said restricting corporations from spending money from their general treasuries to support or oppose political candidates did not violate constitutional guarantees of free speech.

“This has the potential to be a blockbuster,” said Michael E. Toner, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission. He said the issues have implications for “the whole architecture of the federal campaign financing system.”

McCain-Feingold IS a violation of the First Amendment. For those that aren't exactly up-to-date on why this is a violation, let me explain. When the Framers began debate and passage of the Bill of Rights in 1789, the did so under the idea that the Bill of Rights would serve as the ultimate check against federal power over the people. In other words, they knew that without the Bill of Rights, the federal government could easily trample our God-given rights. Everyone likes to point to this amendment or that amendment as the most important ones. Honestly, the most important amendment to the Constitution is the Second Amendment. Without it we have no way to defend the rest of them against the possibility of the federal government becoming tyrannical.

The First Amendment is all about our political power. It ensures that the government can't intervene in how we worship, and prevents it from recognizing one single religion as a state religion (a la England with the Church of England). It guarantees that the press will have unfettered abilities to level criticism at the federal government without fear of reprisal. It provides that we, the people, can say what we want about the federal government without having to worry about a backlash from the government. It also allows us to protest openly and peaceably, and it allows us to take our gripes to the government. All of this is guaranteed without any fear the government would initiate a crackdown (a la Iran right now), and arrest us for executing our rights.

McCain-Feingold meddles in this right. It puts limits on our political speech. Citizens United is represented by Ted Olsen, formed US solicitor general, and their argument is simple: McCain-Feingold unconstitutionally forbids them from putting together anything that is critical of a particular political candidate. McCain-Feingold put restraints on when critical ads could be run during an election, and the FEC contends that Citizens United's documentary about Hillary Clinton violated the BCRA.

The right for us to criticize our elected officials is near-absolute. I say that because we still can't implicitly lie about a person, or defame their character through said lies. But the documentary didn't lie about Ms. Clinton. Citizens United poured over her record as a senator and as First Lady, and put together a documentary making the argument that she wasn't the right person to be president. (Memo to Citizens United: After four years of Barry you'll wish to God she had been president.) This is no different than Marcie or I saying that we don't think Barry was the right guy for the job, or to criticize Senator McCain for what he's done, especially in the last eight-plus years, that is contrary to what the party wanted him to do.

Could SCOTUS finally kill BCRA? Justices Alito, Thomas, and Scalia have all stated they believe BCRA to be unconstitutional. While the idea was sound -- to reform how campaigns are financed -- the sad truth is that Sens. McCain and Feingold screwed this up. Thanks to their efforts, the 527s rose to prominence in 2004, and while many of them had a certain task, far too many of them on the liberal side were funneling the so-called "soft money" into campaign coffers. McCain railed about the "soft money" problem in elections, and we firmly believe one of the biggest reasons why he decided to move on this issue was because he lost the nomination in 2000. It was, simply put and in our opinion, and act of spite.

Make a note on your calenders for 9 September. That's when oral arguments will be heard on this case before SCOTUS. If Mr. Olsen is properly prepared (which he always is), then there's a good chance he can persuade SCOTUS to finally kill this insane beast of a law.

Publius II

Democrat accuses talk radio hosts of being "terrorists"

We chalk this up to just plain, old fashioned stupidity. But it's a predictable comment that we've heard from numerous Democrats for the last decade or so. It's just none have been as brazen as Karen Bass, the California Speaker of the Assembly. From the Q & A with the LA Times:

How do you think conservative talk radio has affected the Legislature’s work?

The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: “You vote for revenue and your career is over.” I don’t know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it’s about free speech, but it’s extremely unfair.

Unfair? The Constitution was written to be fair and equitable to all. (Save your comments if your going to point out that slavery wasn't abolished immediately and that the Framers inserted the three-fifths clause into the founding document. If that's your case, you don't know what you're talking about.) Talk radio hosts, like any other CITIZEN of the United States, has the right to speak out and voice their opinions. It's called "freedom of speech." In addition the revenue she's speaking of is code for taxes.

The talk show hosts were warning Republicans that if they voted in favor of a tax increase, there wold be repercussions. (BTW, to the eight idiot Republicans that voted for Crap and Tax, you'd better pray the Senate amends the bill so you get a do-over on it because your constituents aren't pleased you saddled them with the largest tax hike in US history.) Call it a "redress of grievances" if you want to when it comes to talk show hosts giving a warning about who might lose their job if they vote the wrong way, or support something that the vast majority of people don't support.

Does Ms. Bass recall Lincoln Chafee? He was warned, repeatedly, by his constituents, by his critics that if he continued to stab the party in the back he was going to be bounced from Congress. He continued to side with Democrats in the Senate, and the people got fed up with him. In 2004 he was tossed from office so fast that his @$$ didn't have a chance to leave skidmarks.

We find it appalling and offensive that Ms. Bass would compare talk show hosts to bloodthirsty animals that seek to murder innocent people because they don't tow the line. She might want to take a look at her own party if she's looking for tactics akin to terrorists. After all, which party strong-arms it's members, or encourages them to cause chaos amidst the general public?

It isn't the Republicans. It's not conservative talks shows. It's today's, modern Democrat party.

Pubvlius II

Sotomayor -- Being reversed makes her a judicial originalist

So sayeth Bobby Gibbs in a lame, feeble, half @$$ed attempt to cover for her when it comes to the court she's about to join. After reading the decision handed down by SCOTUS we're pretty sure that her soon-to-be colleagues know they will have a lightweight activist on the court:

The White House came to the defense of President Obama’s pick to be the newest Supreme Court justice after Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s ruling in a racially charged case was reversed by the Supreme Court.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs all but accused the current court of “judicial activism,” a buzz term used by conservatives in recent years, in overturning what the White House saw as Sotomayor’s upholding of precedent. …

But Gibbs said that the case “denotes that [Sotomayor] is a follower of precedent,” and the arguments over judicial activism “seem to be at the very least upside-down in this case.”

Gibbs said the case proves “she doesn’t legislate from the bench.”

She doesn't? Really? Because in Justice Ginsburg's footnotes, she slaps the snot out of Sotomayor and the 2nd Circuit Court. In footnote 10 of her opinion, she noted the court agrees that
the 2nd Circuit Court shouldn't have ruled for summary judgment in the first place, and that the should have remanded it back to the loser court. SCOTUS even stated, repeatedly, that had this been a case before a jury, it would've won, hands down.

So what does this mean for Sotomayor? Nothing, really. She's still going to be confirmed regardless of the stink that's made by Republicans. (That is, if there is one raised at all.) What this proves is that Sotomayor isn't the intellectual heavyweight Barry and his minions have tried to paint for the public. She really isn't the brightest Crayola in the crayon box. Everything about her is based on the fact that she's A) A woman, and B) A Hispanic. That's all Barry was looking for. As Captain Ed notes the White House's spin on her is rather hypocritical. Stuart Taylor provides a rather embarrassing reminder of just how much confidence Barry and Company had in Sotomayor:

What’s more striking is that the court was unanimous in rejecting the Sotomayor panel’s specific holding. Her holding was that New Haven’s decision to spurn the test results must be upheld based solely on the fact that highly disproportionate numbers of blacks had done badly on the exam and might file a “disparate-impact” lawsuit — regardless of whether the exam was valid or the lawsuit could succeed.

This position is so hard to defend, in my view, that I hazarded a prediction in my June 13 column: “Whichever way the Supreme Court rules in the case later this month, I will be surprised if a single justice explicitly approves the specific, quota-friendly logic of the Sotomayor-endorsed… opinion” by U.S. District Judge Janet Arterton.

Unlike some of my predictions, this one proved out. In fact, even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 39-page dissent for the four more liberal justices quietly but unmistakably rejected the Sotomayor-endorsed position that disparate racial results alone justified New Haven’s decision to dump the promotional exam without even inquiring into whether it was fair and job-related.

Justice Ginsburg also suggested clearly — as did the Obama Justice Department, in a friend-of-the-court brief — that the Sotomayor panel erred in upholding summary judgment for the city. Ginsburg said that the lower courts should have ordered a jury trial to weigh the evidence that the city’s claimed motive — fear of losing a disparate impact suit by low-scoring black firefighters if it proceeded with the promotions — was a pretext. The jury’s job would have been to consider evidence that the city’s main motive had been to placate black political leaders who were part of Mayor John DeStefano’s political base.

So, Barry's own Justice Department slapped down her opinion, but the White House is furiously trying to spin this away as if there's nothing to see here. The bad news is that while the emperor has no clothes in the White House, his prized gem of a judge is just as naked.

Publius II

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Do we negotiate with terrorists? Apparently we do now

Yes, you read that right. Apparently we do negotiate with terrorists. Andy McCarthy has the skinny:

About two weeks ago, the Obama administration released Laith Qazali after extensive negotiations with the Asaib al-Haq terror network. That network has long been in negotiations with the fledgling Iraqi government, dangling the possibility of laying down its arms, renouncing violence, and integrating into Iraqi society, provided that its top members — particularly Qais and Laith Qazali, as well as Ali Mussa Daqduq — be released. Realizing, however, that these terrorists were responsible for kidnapping and killing American soldiers in gross violation of the laws of war, the Bush administration had declined to release them.

The Obama administration has not only released Laith Qazali, it has been in negotiations to release his brother, Qais Qazali, as well. The negotiations and release were carried out in flagrant disregard of the longstanding policy against exchanging prisoners for the release of hostages. Undermining that policy endangers all American troops and civilian personnel — as well as the troops and civilian personnel of our allies — by encouraging terrorists to kidnap them to use as bargaining chips.

The story of this deal with the devil traces back to May 31, 2007. At the Iraqi finance ministry in Baghdad that day, the Asaib al-Haq network kidnapped five British civilians: an information-technology expert named Peter Moore and his four contract bodyguards. The civilians pleaded for the British government to engineer their safe return. British, American, and Iraqi forces were unsuccessful in numerous rescue attempts.

Asaib al-Haq operatives told Iraqi-government officials that they would release the Brits in exchange for the Qazali brothers and Daqduq. The Bush administration refused. The Times of London has reported that the Americans gave the British request respectful consideration but declined to approve it absent an Iraqi commitment to prosecute the terrorists. The Iraqis refused. Mohammad al-Sa’ady, an adviser to Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, rationalized the decision to take no action against the murderers of Americans who died fighting for Iraqis this way: “We pointed out that Qais Qazali has a problem with the Americans. He doesn’t have a problem with us. He is not wanted for crimes against Iraqis.”

By contrast, President Obama was persuaded to free Laith Qazali outright, just as Obama previously had authorized the outright release to Britain of the al-Qaeda terrorist Binyam Mohammed, who had plotted with “dirty bomber” José Padilla to commit post-9/11 mass-murder attacks in American cities. And although the administration has attempted to pass off Laith Qazali’s release as a necessary compromise of American national interests for the purportedly greater good of Iraqi reconciliation, the camouflage is thin indeed. Transparently, the terrorist has been freed as a quid pro quo for the release of British hostages. According to the New York Times, Sami al-Askari, another Maliki mouthpiece, told an interviewer:

This is a very sensitive topic because you know the position that the Iraqi government, the U.S. and British governments, and all the governments do not accept the idea of exchanging hostages for prisoners. . . . So we put it in another format, and we told them that if they want to participate in the political process they cannot do so while they are holding hostages. And we mentioned to the American side that they cannot join in the political process and release their hostages while their leaders are behind bars or imprisoned.

That President Obama has exchanged a terrorist for hostages is now obvious, as should be the disastrous consequences.

In the wake of Laith Qazali’s release, the Asaib al-Haq network was unsatisfied; it continued to demand the release of its leader, Qais Qazali, and that of Daqduq. The terrorists did, however, release two of their British hostages, or, to be precise, their corpses: Jason Creswell of Glasgow and Jason Swindlehurst of Lancashire had been dead for weeks, perhaps longer, when their remains were turned over to the British embassy in Iraq. As the U.K.’s Independent recounted, the bodies had been “taken from an Iraqi government building in the centre of the Iraqi capital by men in police uniform, past army checkpoints and a second security screen into Sadr City, the base of Shia militias, all signs, say the men’s families, of official collusion.”

We have had a long-standing rule: We don't negotiate with terrorists. Like giving into a blackmailer, a terrorist's price will only go up, and as we see here even when you do give into them they don't stop. We gave them one, and they demanded more. They reneged on the deal and released the remains of two Brits as opposed to all of them, as it was agreed upon.

Barry just made us even weaker with this move. This man clearly doesn't know what he's doing when it comes to foreign policy. Sure, we think he's doing exactly what he intends to do with his radical domestic agenda, but when it comes to foreign policy this guy is clueless. If this is how he's going to work when it comes to dealing with thugs then he is undermining US security. That's a violation of his oath of office.

But will the Democrats hold him responsible? Hell no. They stand in lock-step behind this man, and in their eyes he can do no wrong. In the meantime, he emboldens our enemy abroad. Way to go Barry.

Publius II

BREAKING --- Massacre in Tehran

For those that believed the protests and violence was winding down, think again, folks: (HT to Captain Ed)

Security forces wielding clubs and firing weapons beat back demonstrators who flocked to a Tehran square Wednesday to continue protests, with one witness saying security forces beat people like “animals.”

At least two sources described wild and violent conditions at a part of Tehran where protesters had planned to demonstrate.

“They were waiting for us,” the source said. “They all have guns and riot uniforms. It was like a mouse trap.”

“I see many people with broken arms, legs, heads — blood everywhere — pepper gas like war,” the source said.

About “500 thugs” with clubs came out of a mosque and attacked people in the square, another source said.

The security forces were “beating women madly” and “killing people like hell,” the source said.

Gateway Pundit has the skinny on the attack at Baharestan Square. Revolutionary Road has this amazing report from Iran:

In Baharestan Square the Police are shooting. A girl is shot and the police are not allowing to let the people help them.>Cell network down in Baharestan & nearby area

Conflict still in Baharestan Sq they even people who talk with their cellphone

The girl who was shot was taken to a private clinic, not known yet of her well being...alive or not?

People gathered in Baharestan but police & plain cloths don't let the core of the rally to form
All shops and Passages are closed at Baharestan SQ, Gunshot being heard from Jomhori St

Gunshot being heard at Baharestan Square.

About 5,000 Protesters gathered at Sadeghieh Sq, Bassij and Hezbollah attacking them
Hezbollah Attacked to some people trying to gather at Tajrish Square

Army Helycopters flying over Enghelab Sq. Army Vans moving toward Azadi St with heavy Machine Guns.

Protesters gathered at Sepah Sq

More than 3 people have been shot in Baharestan's conflict, The shooting is still continues and conflicts increasing!!!!

(The only corrections made above were spelling corrections.) And here is an update from Revolutionary Road:

>More than 10.000 Bassij Milittias get position in Central Tehran, including Baharestan Sq.

>25 journalist were arrested last night.

>Arrested journalists have been threatend to write in support of Ahmadinejad and his government and not to support popular gatherings anymore.

> Mohsen Rezae popular communications office, in an open letter criticized him for getting back his complaint from the Guardian Council inregards 2009 Iran election

>Army Helycopters flying over Baharestan and Vali Asr Sq.

>'Larijani pressing for Mousavi to be given airtime on IRIB to discuss elections'

>Thousands of detainees family members have gathered in front of Tehran's revolution(Enghelaab)court. The force police has surrounded them.Fervent atmosphere in place and conflict is possible at any moment.

> Emad-e-din Baaghi was served by Enghelab court & warned for interview with Persian media outside Iran.

>Conflict at Baharestan Sq.Even police attack pedestrian by tear gas.

> The Islamic Republic of Iran does not allow under any circustances any form of mourning ceremony for NEDA AGHA SOLTAN

>The streets, squares and around BAHARESTAN (Approx. South-eastern of Tehran) is swarming with military forces, civilian forces, the security motorists

>Baharestan sq and surrounding streets are filled with force police and motorcyclist plain clothes(Basijis)

>Today, as there are demonstrations and gatherings in central areas of Tehran, people's mobiles are being controlled in order to find pictures and videos of current violations

It does seem like the people aren't afraid of the regime's crackdown. It had been speculated that with the force the regime was intending to us that the protesters might just give up. Apparently that's not the fact. The mullahs are walking a dangerous line here. While they have the thugs to beat back the protesters, the IRGC and the Shah's army are refusing to engage these protesters. If, by some miracle, the protesters and Mousavi can convince the military arm to turn against the mullahs their regime is over.

Our prayers are with those today that had the courage to continue marching for freedom in Iran, and for the families of those killed or wounded in this unprecedented, brutal violent reprisal against the people.

Publius II

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Obama effect? It ain't there, folks

We are still running across supporters of the president that refuse to acknowledge the truths staring them in the face:

-- In his first five months, the president has accomplished exactly squat.

-- World leaders have no respect for this man, and know he's nothing more than an empty suit.

-- He is dependent on his teleprompter, and refuses to allow the press to ask questions of him like his predecessor was willing to do.

-- He has seized aspects of public industry. That is something that the Supreme Court stopped that in 1952 when Truman tried to seize the company on the heels of a strike.

-- He has decided the best foreign policy for America is to apologize to the world for God knows what.

But today Caroline Glick has an excellent piece about the Obama Effect, and how it's not really there. In fact, it's so nonexistent that it's basically made us the laughingstock of the world:

"Could there be something to all the talk of an Obama effect, after all? A stealth effect, perhaps?"

So asked Helene Cooper, the New York Times' diplomatic correspondent in a news analysis of the massive anti-regime protests in Iran published in Sunday's Times.

It took US President Barack Obama eight days to issue a clear statement of support for the millions of pro-freedom demonstrators throughout Iran risking their lives to oppose the tyranny of the mullahs. And after eight days of vacillating and hedging his bets and so effectively supporting Iranian dictator Ali Khamenei against the multitudes rallying in the streets, Obama's much awaited statement was not particularly forceful.

He offered no American support of any kind for the protesters. Indeed, it is hard to say that in making his statement, the American president was speaking primarily as an American.

He warned the likes of Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose goons are currently under orders to beat, arrest and murder protesters, that "the world is watching... If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion."

According to several prominent Western bloggers with direct ties to the protesters, Obama's statement left the Iranians underwhelmed and angry. ...

And they have reason to be upset. America has always stood as the lone power that supported and defended democracy and freedom around the world. This past week, the president sent a message to the world: Don't call on America.

So long as Barry's in the White House he will only do what is in his best interest, and not the nation's. People across the country, nay across the globe, are shocked at the response from the White House in light of the reaction of the mullahs in Iran towards their own citizens protesting an election that was clearly stolen. There was no statement from the White House about how we stand with those desiring freedom that suffer oppression by a dictatorial boot-heel. No, Barry was busy swatting flies, having ice cream with his daughters, and quipping Martin Luther King in an interview. There was no statement of support, at least not until today, and even then it was offered in a feeble manner; half-hearted, and not honest at all.

THE REAL OBAMA effect on world affairs relates to the US media's unprecedented willingness to abandon the basic responsibilities of a free press in favor of acting as propagandists for the president. From Cooper - who pretends that Obama's unreciprocated open hand to the mullahs is what empowered the protesters - to Newsweek editor Evan Thomas who referred to Obama earlier this month as a "sort of God," without a hint of irony, the US media have mobilized to serve the needs of the president.

It is hard to think of an example in US history in which the media organs of the world's most important democracy so openly sacrificed the most basic responsibilities of news gatherers to act as shills for the chief executive. Franklin Delano Roosevelt enjoyed adoring media attention, but he also faced media pressures that compelled him to take actions he did not favor. The same was the case with John F. Kennedy.Today the mainstream US media exert no such pressures on Obama.

Earlier this month NBC's nightly news anchorman Brian Williams bowed to Obama when he bid him good night at the White House. ...

If the media needs a lesson as to why they're so despised and losing ratings and subscribers, they need only look in the mirror. They're the reason why they're losing readers and viewers. People are fed up with this love affair -- Bernie Goldberg referred to it as "A Slobbering Love Affair" and he couldn't be more right. Americans, despite the Left's predilections, aren't stupid. We're not happy to see the press not doing it's job. We're not pleased to see them giving Barry the deference that no other president -- none, ever in the history of the country -- has enjoyed. Even the Left's most adored president, FDR, dealt with criticism in his four terms in office. If you find a reporter critical of the administration today, congratulations. You found the needle in the haystack.

THE MOST IMPORTANT repercussion of the US media's propagandistic reporting is that the American public is denied the ability to understand events as they unfold. Take for instance The New York Times' write-up of Khamenei's sermon this past Friday in which he effectively declared war on the protesters. As Russell Berman pointed out in the Telos blog on Saturday, the Times' write-up was misleadingly selective.

The Times did not mention that Khamenei ascribed world events to a Zionist conspiracy which he believes controls the US. It similarly failed to mention his long rant against the US for the FBI's 1993 raid on David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.

Had the Times - and other major media outlets - properly reported Khamenei's speech, they would have made clear to their readers that he is not a rational thinker. His view of world events is deeply distorted by his hatreds and prejudices and paranoia.

But then, if Times readers were permitted to know just how demented Khamenei's views of the world are, they might come to the conclusion that Obama's intense desire to sit down with him, and his constant pandering to Iran's "supreme leader" are ill-advised and counterproductive. They might come to the conclusion that it is impossible to achieve a meeting of the minds with a man who calls Americans "morons" and leads his subordinate government officials in chants of "Death to America," "Death to Britain" and "Death to Israel."

And if they came to these conclusions, how could Obama be expected to affect anything?

Sunday, Cooper argued that Obama has changed the course of history in Iran simply by being the US president. In her words, unnamed Obama supporters claim that "the mere election of Barack Obama in the United States had galvanized reformers in Iran to demand change."

As they say, read the whole thing. But a note about that last part. The election of Barack Obama, while it might be historic, is hardly the change the world wanted, or needed. The change that Barry is bringing about isn't the sort that has the world comfortable. The recent European elections are proof of this. We're sliding more towards socialism, and the Europeans moved to the right. It wasn't a huge jump, but it was definitely a step in the right direction.

If Barry was the figure Ms. Cooper speaks of so highly, then it would make sense that the world would join us. But they're not. They don't trust him. They know his economic policies in America are only going to deepen a world recession. Hell, it was evident at the G-20 summit that German Chancellor Angela Merkel wasn't enamoured with Barry. In fact, she was rather put off by his narcissistic behavior.

Leaders around the world know that Barry is an amateur; a rookie who has bought into the incessant hype that the media has heaped on him. He can't live up to the expectations the media had for him, so they're furiously trying to cover for him. Unfortunately, they can't carry his water. They're incapable of it. The mask has slipped. The emperor has no clothes. Barry is exposed for the fraud he is; the fact that his inexperience is dragging him down with such a weighty job. He thought this was going to be a piece of cake, and he's seeing that he's clearly out of his league.

The people know it, and they're saying it. The press knows it, and they're busy cooking up the next scheme to cover for him. And the world knows it, and while the West is busy trying to put itself back together, the rest of the world that's not so enamoured by him are busy laughing their asses off at this rube. Way to go, Barry. We appreciate the fact you have made America the butt of jokes worldwide and that you've emboldened the thugs around the world. They, like the West, know now that America can't be depended on. That is, unless it serves Barry's interests.

Publius II

Rumors and speculation du jour -- Palin may not run for reelection?

That's the speculation coming out of Alaska according to Andy Barr at Politico:

No candidate, including Palin, has yet filed papers with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. Palin’s office declined an opportunity to explain her thinking on the 2010 race, and the Republican Governors Association said it would not comment on discussions it has had with the governor.

But a number of Democrats and Republicans in Alaska and Washington who spoke to POLITICO believe her silence is a sign she will not pursue a second term as governor so that she can play a larger role on the national political stage.

At least three Democrats and six Republicans are mulling over runs as they wait on the governor to make her decision.

“There is nothing that she has done that leads me to believe she will seek reelection,” said Andrew Halcro, a former Republican state legislator who ran for governor as an independent candidate in 2006 and is weighing another run. “If you’re Palin, once you’ve flown first class, you don’t go back to coach. She’s been to the show and certainly seemed to like it there.” ...

Alaska pols expect Palin to wait as long as she can before announcing her intentions, in order to keep her options open and to minimize the time she would be a lame duck if she declines to run again.

In 2006, Palin spent $304,000 in trouncing incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski and former state Sen. John Binkley in the Republican primary. In the general, she and running mate Sean Parnell spent an additional $1.15 million to beat former Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles 48 percent to 41 percent.

The Alaska governor would not be able to tap her vast national fundraising network for the statewide race, as Alaska sets a low cap on the amount of money a candidate can raise from outside the state. But her ability to quickly raise cash from around Alaska has been bolstered by her vice presidential run and remains unrivaled, several Alaska sources asserted.

“It’s going to be basically impossible to know what the governor is going to do,” said one potential Democratic candidate. “There is no upside for her in announcing early. She can raise all the money she wants.”

First, let me correct Mr. Barr. Sarah Palin may be a lame duck as governor, but she'd hardly be ineffectual. She has a record of success as governor, and she still has the highest approval numbers of ANY US governor right now. Since 2007 there have been 14 ethics complaints launched against the governor, and just recently she beat the last one -- 14 for 14 which has to have the Left seething that they can't bring her down no matter what they do to her.

Personally, we'd both like to see her stay as governor and still keep the national spotlight by speaking for the conservative cause. She's an excellent spokeswoman for it, and she energizes conservatives around the country. When the Left snickers and throws mud in her direction, we still have the ability to look at them, and with nothing but sarcasm in our choices , point out that she did have the most executive experience of anyone running in 2008. "Wow. I guess we dodged a bullet with her, huh?" The Left's attacks on her are not only childish, but asinine as well. But it shows they've done their homework on her just like we did; they still perceive her as a threat.

What could she do if she doesn't run? She could challenge Lisa Murkowski for her Senate seat, and raise her stock in the national spotlight. And what a refreshing change it would be to have a serious conservative voice in the Congress. (That's not to say we don't have them there now, but she cleaned up the Alaska "Good Ol' Boys" club. That should have the politicos in DC scared sh*tless. She's someone that doesn't play the go-along, get-along game. She works towards results and success. And unlike her former running mate, she's not afraid to name names, take on the status quo, or even take shots at a president who clearly is in over his head.

Whatever her decision, we'll be backing her move. If it's a Senate run, we'll contribute to her election bid (provided Alaska state law permits it), and if she opts for a second term as governor we'll stand beside her as she wins. And make no mistake, she will win. Sarah Palin's political future is far brighter than most prominent Democrats right now. The Democrats in Congress are seeing the writing on the wall that their days might be numbered. That's why the health care bill is stalling in the Congress right now. That's why the cap and trade negotiations fell apart last week. Democrats are hearing from their constituents, and those people aren't pleased. In fact, many of those people plan on taking their frustrations out on their Democrat representatives in 2010.

That's not the case for Sarah Palin. Good luck, governor, on whatever choice you make. Either way you go, conservatives are behind you.

Publius II

Some quickies with that morning coffee

I do apologize to readers for the lack of blogging in recent weeks. Things have been very busy. Let me answer a couple questions from readers before moving onto the news and information of the day.

First, I'll be handling the bulk of the blogging from this point forward. Marcie had decided to throw everything into her final year in law school. So you will see here blogging here once in a blue moon. Sorry for those that will miss her. She'll be here from time to time, but I'm back to doing this show all on my own. Look at the bright side, the gloves can come off now, to a point. (I was being polite and nice only for the wife's sake so she didn't have to with the complaint e-mails.)

Second, the cause for much of the light blogging is me trying to focus on our columns (which will most likely end up being just me, like the site). We're really trying to keep up with all the news going down, and trying to figure out which subject can be the newest target for our "expert" analysis. (Don't laugh. You read the columns, too.)

Lastly, a new schedule and being a tad under the weather doesn't make it easy to get up each day and actually, you know, work here. I'm working on it, and I'm hoping to lock myself into a more consistent schedule.

Now, without further adieu, onto the news .....

The Hell in Iran is far from over. There are still protests going on, just not as massive as they were this past weekend. While the mullahs might believe it has to do with their reaction to the protesters, we believe it has more to do with a change in the protester's strategies. Today, a general strike has been called for by Mousavi, and as yet it doesn't look like it's going to happen. Nothing in the news thus far says that it has happened. There is news that there will be no annulment so Barry can still entertain the midget in the crappy suit from Iran on the Fourth of July for some "hot dog diplomacy." (Thanks to Ace for the story and the snark.

Oh, and for those that say we should think about the mullahs, how they feel right now, and understand their side of things there's this "wonderful" story about a family's mourning over their son. The punchline? (I know there's nothing funny about death, but just bear with me.) They're being charged a "bullet fee". No, I'm not kidding:

The family, clad in black, stood at the curb of the road sobbing. A middle-aged mother slapped her cheeks, letting out piercing wails. The father, a frail man who worked as a doorman at a clinic in central Tehran, wept quietly with his head bowed.

Minutes before, an ambulance had arrived from Tehran's morgue carrying the body of their only son, 19-year-old Kaveh Alipour.

...At the crack of dawn, his father began searching at police stations, then hospitals and then the morgue.

Upon learning of his son's death, the elder Mr. Alipour was told the family had to pay an equivalent of $3,000 as a "bullet fee"—a fee for the bullet used by security forces—before taking the body back, relatives said.

Mr. Alipour told officials that his entire possessions wouldn't amount to $3,000, arguing they should waive the fee because he is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war. According to relatives, morgue officials finally agreed, but demanded that the family do no funeral or burial in Tehran. Kaveh Alipour's body was quietly transported to the city of Rasht, where there is family.

For the record, we agree with Ace and crew over at AoSHQ: "F*ckers. I hope they all swing from trees." Here, here, Ace. And don't worry, they will. It just may take a little while. Oh, and despite what Barry thinks, what has happened in Iran has nothing to do with Mr. Narcissist:

Since taking office, Obama has argued that reclaiming America’s moral authority by ending torture and closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay provides essential diplomatic leverage to influence events in such strategic parts of the world as the Middle East and Central Asia. The speech he delivered to the Islamic world in Cairo eights days before the June 12 Iranian election sought to do that by providing what the president saw as an unvarnished accounting of U.S. policy in Iran, Iraq, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We’re trying to promote a foreign policy that advances our interests, not that makes us feel good about ourselves,” said a senior administration official who, like others, declined to be identified, citing the sensitivity of the issue.

Obama’s approach to Iran, including his assertion that the unrest there represents a debate among Iranians unrelated to the United States, is an acknowledgment that a U.S. president’s words have a limited ability to alter foreign events in real time and could do more harm than good. But privately Obama advisers are crediting his Cairo speech for inspiring the protesters, especially the young ones, who are now posing the most direct challenge to the republic’s Islamic authority in its 30-year history.

HT to Captain Ed

Can you believe the stones and stupidity of the president? He thinks his lame @$$ speech in Cairo caused this? This is what happens when we elect a narcissistic child to lead this nation. Not only does Barry not have a clue about Iran (no surprise, of course with that, and they made fun of Bush about his supposed lack of knowledge of foreign affairs), but he's so wrapped up into buying the BS that his supporters shoveled in his direction that he can't see the forest, find the trees, or see the ground.

What happened in Iran was actually caused, we believe, by another man, albeit indirectly. Let's face facts here, the people of Iran are jealous of the freedom they see next door in Iraq, and they know they don't have the freedom the mullahs claim they do. Their vote was stolen -- a la ACORN -- and they have learned that the only way they'll ever have the freedom that Iraq has -- that the West has -- is to get rid of the mullahocracy.

Barry didn't contribute squat to the Iranians. Hell it took him a week to even voice his "concern" at what was going on in Iran. Meanwhile, Sarkozy and Merkel have called BS to the election, and have stated they stand in solidarity with the protesters. Barry couldn't even do that. On Saturday, when the greatest point of bloodshed happened in Iran, Barry had his "My Pet Goat" moment when he decided he just had to head out to the ice cream parlor with his daughters. So, while people were dying in Iran, Barry decided it was time for a family outing -- Father's Day with the girls and ice cream. (Look folks. I get the Father's Day thing, but if Bush had ever pulled anything like this, we'd never hear the end of it for eight years. That's why I'm comparing this to the Left's popular mantra of Bush reading "My Pet Goat" to school children on 9-11.)

He dropped the ball on Iran all the way around. When Reagan watched the crackdown in Poland by the Soviet Union he gave a speech about how the heavy-handed tactics jeopardized future diplomatic relations between the US and the Soviet Union, and he further told the Polish people that America stood with them in solidarity. Barry couldn't even muster up the moral courage to do that. Why? Because for Barry, the presidency isn't what most people think it is. He won, remember? He thinks that because he won, the world revolves around him, and can only serve to fuel his ego.

It ain't about ego, Barry. It's not about you. It's about what's right and wrong, and you refused to speak up against the thugs in Iran out of fear that you might not be able to have negotiations with them. He's looking at building a legacy now rather than doing what's right and just. Given the fact that the mullahs just stole this election from the people, who believed they actually had a voice, can we really trust the Iranians to keep their word?

I guess no one in the White House is actually making that connection and asking that question.

Publius II

We stand with the forces of freedom in Iran.

Know this face. It's the face of the most prominent martyr in Iran right now, and it's the one who will help, hopefully, in that regime's downfall. The die has been cast; the day of reckoning will arrive soon enough for them. Neda died for what she believed in, and yet this nation -- the leading voice of freedom -- can't drop their ice cream moment to pipe up and stand in solidarity with those believing in freedom.

The people of America stand with those protesting in Iran even if the leader of the nation doesn't.

Publius II

Friday, June 19, 2009

Iran update -- "Street challenge is not acceptable."

That's what Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned this morning in Iran. We knew it was only a matter of time before the patience of the Iranian government would wear thin. But the news coming out of Iran today seems to paint a picture that they're about ready to really crack down on the protesters. From today's NY Times:

In his first public response to days of mass protests, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sternly warned opposition supporters on Friday to stay off the streets and raised the prospect of violence if the defiant, vast demonstrations continued.

Opposition leaders, he said, will be “responsible for bloodshed and chaos” if they do not stop further rallies.

He said he would never give in to “illegal pressures” and denied their accusations that last week’s presidential election was rigged, praising the officially declared landslide for the incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as an “epic moment that became a historic moment.”

He spoke somberly for more than an hour and a half at Friday Prayer to tens of thousands of people at Tehran University, with Mr. Ahmadinejad in attendance. His sermon was broadcast over loudspeakers to throngs in the adjoining streets, and the crowds erupted repeatedly in roars of support. Opposition supporters had spread the word among themselves not to attend.

“Street challenge is not acceptable,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, according to a rendering by the BBC. “This questions the principles of election and democracy.”

There was no immediate response from opposition leaders.

The ominous speech sharply increased the confrontation between Iran’s rulers and supporters of the main opposition candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, who have accused the authorities of rigging the vote and called for or encouraged the huge silent marches in Tehran for the last four days. No rally was planned for Friday, and opposition supporters did not appear to be gathering impromptu.

Now we wondered why the protesters would "take a day off" after spending four days applying pressure to the regime. The longer they keep this up, the more the pressure mounts on the regime. But then it sort of became clear why they probably decided to keep it quiet today:

The daytime protests across the Islamic republic have been largely peaceful. But Iranians shudder at the violence unleashed in their cities at night, with the shadowy vigilantes known as Basijis beating, looting and sometimes gunning down protesters they tracked during the day.

The vigilantes plan to take their fight into the daylight on Friday, with the public relations department of Ansar Hezbollah, the most public face of the Basij, announcing that they planned a public demonstration to expose the “seditious conspiracy” being carried out by “agitating hooligans.”

“We invite the vigilant people who are always in the arena to make their loud objections heard in response to the babbling of this tribe,” said the announcement, carried on the Web site Parsine.

The announcement could be the first indication that the government was taking its gloves off, Iranian analysts noted, because up to this point the Basijis, usually deployed as the shock troops to end any public protests, have been working in stealth.

“It is the special brigades of the Revolutionary Guards who right now, especially at night, trap young demonstrators and kill them,” said Mohsen Sazegara, an Iranian exile who helped write the charter for the newly formed Revolutionary Guards in 1979 when he was a young aide to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. “That is one way the regime avoids the responsibility for these murders. It can say, ‘We don’t know who they are.’ ”

The death toll now stands at 13, said Shahram Kholdi, a graduate student at the University of Manchester in England, who is building a Web site to track all killings.

Mir Hussein Moussavi, the opposition presidential candidate leading the fight to overturn the results of last week’s presidential campaign, published two letters on his Web site on Thursday decrying the violence being carried out by the Basij.

In one letter, he said an otherwise peaceful day of protest last Monday had been sullied when seven people were killed, although he did not name the Basij directly.

“They tried to turn the sweetness of this most glorious gathering into beastly confrontations to leave a bitter taste in the mouth of the lovers of Iran,” he wrote. Calling the vigilantes the “disciples of fraud and lies,” he said they destroy both public and private property to spread fear and chaos and to give the police an excuse to crack down on peaceful demonstrators.

In the second letter, to the National Security Council, he went further in depicting the vigilantes’ role as agents provocateurs.

Saying that the Basijis lack uniforms, proper identification or anything that denotes them as public employees, he said they appeared with hoses, clubs, iron bars, truncheons and sometimes firearms.

“Just before the police show up they attack the demonstrations,” he wrote. “They try to provoke the demonstrators and they destroy people’s property and vehicles.” Mr. Moussavi said the security forces did nothing to stop them.

For those unaware of the Basiji I recommend this piece in The New Republic by Matthias Kuntzel about the Basiji, and their direct ties to Ahmadinejad. These aren't pleasant people, and we know these will be the ones continuing their assault on the protesters. This tells us the regime is done playing games with the citizens, and any further protests will result in violence. Considering the fact foreign journalists are basically under a form of house arrest, and their stories are subject to scrutiny by the regime, now would be the ideal time for a Tianamen-like retaliation by the regime.

Publius II

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Iran update -- Day 5 of protesting

Yes, that's right. As the mullahs carry out their recount (yeah, right, like this will change a thing) protests are ongoing across Iran. Bloomberg has a running update of the protests, and a couple of other tidbits of information:

Tens of thousands of supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the defeated main challenger in the disputed Iranian presidential election, rallied in central Tehran, Sky News said, after the biggest protest in 30 years led to as many as 15 deaths.

Two prominent Mousavi backers were detained earlier today, AFP reported after Iran’s supreme leader yesterday appealed for unity following a meeting with representatives of candidates in June 12 presidential voting.

Video of today’s gathering in Haft Tir Square was posted on Facebook and follows a June 15 rally that was the largest anti- government demonstration since the Islamic revolution ousted Iran’s shah in 1979, triggered by opposition accusations of vote-rigging to re-elect President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Several people were reported killed. Mousavi has called a mass demonstration tomorrow to mourn the deaths. Tehran’s bazaar merchants, a group that backed the 1979 revolution, may strike to protest the election, the BBC said.

Election turmoil is pitting young Iranians and more educated voters who want social freedom and better ties with the West against the Islamic republic’s ruling clergy. Ahmadinejad’s opponents accuse him of wrecking the economy, which suffers from high unemployment and inflation, and driving Iran into international isolation through his confrontation over the country’s nuclear program. The head of the UN nuclear agency said he believed Iran wanted the option of an atomic bomb.

The Iranian regime “is going through its biggest crisis in 30 years,” said Mohammad-Reza Djalili, an Iranian analyst at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. “The structure of the system has been shaken, and now it has cracks.”

State television’s news channel showed interviews with people on the streets calling the protesters enemies of the state and quoting officials as saying protests at the vote should be made through proper legal channels.

Mousavi said the same people who committed fraud in the June 12 ballot were responsible for damaging public buildings during the protests. “It’s the companions of lies and fraud that attack banks and public buildings to complete their scheme,” he said in comments on his Web site.

“Use of plain-clothed forces that are used by the security bodies, only shows that the police are aware of the contradiction of what they are doing with what is their duty,” Mousavi said in an open letter to the Iranian National Security Council. ...

Iranian authorities ordered restrictions yesterday on the activities of foreign media organizations in the country. Reporters should avoid being present at or covering protests without the permission of the Interior Ministry, the Culture Ministry said in a faxed statement.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said some foreign media outlets have become the “mouthpiece of rioters” who besmirched the country’s reputation after the election, AFP reported.

The U.S. and several major allies, including Israel, say Iran’s nuclear program is cover for the development of a weapon, a charge denied by the government in Tehran, which says the work is peaceful and intended to generate electricity.

The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, Mohammed ElBaradei, told the BBC for the first time he believed Iran wants the option of developing a nuclear weapon. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the world “does not have a lot of time” to deal with Iran’s program.

It's reported by Reuters that seven people have died at the hands of "security forces" going after protesters, and they also report that a provincial prosecutor has warned that protesters, if arrested (several have been) are subject to the death penalty for their participation in the unrest across the country.

Could this lead to a new revolution and topple the mullahs control over Iran? Not likely. The people aren't armed, and if the mullahs feel they're in jeopardy, they'll call out the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard) in force, allied with Basij militia. And it doesn't really matter who becomes the president of Iran. Mousavi's hands are just as blood-soaked as Ahmadinejad's and the mullahs. The mullahs run Iran. They choose the candidates, and all this election has shown is that they had already "picked" the winner of the election. There is no real democracy in Iran. The elections are shams.

We can hope that change will occur in Iran, but we're not holding our breath. We're realists and we know that without support from other nations the protesters won't be able to bring the regime down.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: Captain Ed noticed that there is a senior cleric, Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, has openly criticized the Iranian regime. On his website he states that “A government not respecting people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy." Until he fell out of favor with the Guardian Council, he was believed to have been the proposed successor of Ayatollah Khomeini, but his outspoken views put him on the outs with the mullahs and clerics. He was under house arrest, but that doesn't seem to have kept him quiet.

Also Yid with Lid reports that Iran has "outsourced" it's thugs. Early reports were that Hezbollah had joined with Basij in attacking and beating protesters. Not so, says Yid with Lid. They're actually Hamas fighters brought in by the regime in Tehran. The Jerusalem Post is also reporting on the Hamas fighters in Iran:

“The most important thing that I believe people outside of Iran should be aware of,” the young man went on, “is the participation of Palestinian forces in these riots.”

Another protester, who spoke as he carried a kitchen knife in one hand and a stone in the other, also cited the presence of Hamas in Teheran.

On Monday, he said, “my brother had his ribs beaten in by those Palestinian animals. Taking our people’s money is not enough, they are thirsty for our blood too.”

It was ironic, this man said, that the victorious Ahmadinejad “tells us to pray for the young Palestinians, suffering at the hands of Israel.” His hope, he added, was that Israel would “come to its senses” and ruthlessly deal with the Palestinians.

When asked if these militia fighters could have been mistaken for Lebanese Shi’ites, sent by Hizbullah, he rejected the idea. “Ask anyone, they will tell you the same thing. They [Palestinian extremists] are out beating Iranians in the streets… The more we gave this arrogant race, the more they want… [But] we will not let them push us around in our own country.”

This explains why journalists have been told they have to have Iranian oversight on their news stories, and are told what they can and can't film or take pictures of. When they clamped down on the foreign media (they have a state-run media) we knew this would be the precursor to more violence at the hands of the regime, and more protesters being killed or rounded up. This is far from over.

And I'd like to include this little note to readers. We're not in favor of Mousavi winning. As I stated above, he's just as nasty as Ahmadinejad. The only difference between the two is tone. No, we are backing the people of Iran -- the protesters that know they got screwed in this election. Montazeri has called on security, police, and military forces to stand down and let the people voice their dissent; to not "sell out their religion" for an illegitimate government. We doubt that many will listen to his words, but it's a boost to the protesters.

Publius II

ADDENDUM II: Consider this update a look at how the world is reacting to the Iranian elections, and the fallout that has followed. German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced her concerns back on Monday. French President Nicolas Sarkozy called the election "a fraud." Today, the Canadians spoke out. (HT to Gateway Pundit and Winston. Winston, BTW, was on Hugh Hewitt's show, and has been keeping a very close eye on the updates coming out of Iran through all aspects of the alternative media and alternative communications like Twitter.) From International:

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the situation in Iran following the presidential election:

“Canada is deeply troubled by the current situation in Iran. The allegations of fraud in last week’s presidential election are serious and need to be answered. The Iranian people deserves to have its voice heard, and we call for a fully transparent investigation into electoral discrepancies.

The banning of opposition protests and security forces’ heavy-handed treatment of demonstrators throughout the country are also matters of grave concern.

“We are further disturbed by reports of the unacceptable treatment of George McLeod, a Canadian journalist who was allegedly detained and beaten by Iranian authorities. We have called in Iran’s Chargé d’Affaires in Ottawa to answer questions about the mistreatment of Mr. McLeod and to raise our concerns about the situation in Iran.

“The Government of Canada calls for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Iran, and urges the country to fully respect all of its human rights obligations, both in law and in practice. We also continue to call on Iran to comply immediately with its legal obligations concerning its nuclear program."

Contrast that with our weak response from Barry. He believes if we sound off like Canada, France, and Germany did it's be seen as "meddling" in Iranian affairs. Um, Barry, they're already doing that even after your weak response.

The president is missing a prime opportunity to send a message to the protesters living under totalitarian, theocratic, and thuggish rule that we stand with them in solidarity. That we support their desire for true freedom and democracy. But all he can offer them is lip service and weakness.

Barry, the Iranians are watching your response. You're the leader of the free world. Now the mullahs, with Ahmadinejad as their figurehead, know we're not serious about standing up to the oppressors of freedom. We don't need to invade Iran, but this is a prime opportunity for sanctions to be enacted. And I don't mean the empty sanctions. I'm talking about the nations condemning this to place their own trade sanctions on them. These, I believe, would be far more constructive in not only trying to force their hand in ending their nuclear program, but to convey to Iran that the world disapproves of how they've handled the election and it's aftermath.

Publius II

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Issue Up!!!

I'd set this up with some pleasantries, but I'm pressed for time, so let me be succinct. You all know what day it is; it's the 16th, and that means that Common Conservative's newest issue is up.

The Chief kicks off this issue by examining our new interest in owning "Government Motors.:

Larry Simoneaux asks us to take a closer look at a court case going on right now.

Marcie and I give an analysis of the recent European parliamentary elections.

We kick off the guest articles with a piece on humor and how most people should be looking for the humor in this administration. It'll keep you from crying or wanting to beat your head against a wall.

John Lillpop explains why we shouldn't be sorry for anything, and wonders why the president is apologizing for the United States.

J.J. Jackson hammers Sonia Sotomayor.

Paul Ibbetson also knocks Ms. Sotomayor around.

David Bozeman seems a tad fed up with the idea that Newt just might run in 2012, and we couldn't agree more. (Newt ain't the right guy, folks.)

And Harold Witkov rounds out this issue as he analyzes the president's recent speech to the Muslim world from Cairo.

Have fun reading guys. (As always, this will stay at the top of the page for the day. Scroll down for more up-to-date posts.)

Publius II

More evidence that the media is in the tank

Marcie makes fun of them calling the media the "tingling class." We still make fun of Chris Matthews' "thrill" running up his leg. We took not of Brian Williams bowing to the president. And we've cited the New York Times reporters idiotic question as of day 100 -- asking the president what has "enchanted" him about the office of the president. As in-the-tank as the media is for him, Barry seems to elevate his narcissism. Drudge has a scoop that should make people want to vomit. It appears as though ABC is going to take point on pushing the health care propaganda:

On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care -- a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm!

Highlights on the agenda: ABCNEWS anchor Charlie Gibson will deliver WORLD NEWS from the Blue Room of the White House.

The network plans a primetime special -- 'Prescription for America' -- originating from the East Room, exclude opposing voices on the debate.

Notice that last part, the one that will "exclude opposing voices?" Sounds pretty much like Barry here. He dislikes any dissent, and he bristles at comments and questions made towards him that he's not prepared for. Yesterday Mark Levin played a series of soundbites going back two to three years where he lays out his plan, repeatedly, for a reform of America's health care system. His goal is simple: End all private health care coverage in favor of a government-run system of coverage.

It'll lead to rationing. It'll lead to the government being given the green light to play God. It's appalling that ABC is willing to basically run propaganda --straight out of the White House -- and only present the president's side of the argument. Barry's already painting us as the group that will use "fear mongering" and "lies" to persuade people to our side. Fear-mongering?

It's not fear-mongering to tell people, point blank, that if the government is in charge of the health care industry that service will be greatly reduced in terms of quality.

It's not fear-mongering to tell people there will be an exodus of medical professionals for a variety of reasons; chief among them, the revocation of the Conscience Clause. (This was enacted under President Bush, and it allowed medical professionals to refuse procedures and/or pharmaceuticals on moral grounds. This was applied, mostly, to abortions and RU-486, AKA the morning after pill.)

It's also not fear-mongering to compare government -run health care to the health care the VA gives to veterans. While some will say they receive the treatment they need, too many complain they have long waits, and at times are denied treatment and tests because it's simply not worth it or is too expensive.

P.J. O'Rourke said it best -- "If you think health care is expensive now wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.” What will it cost us? In terms of dollars, the CBO claims it will cost $1 trillion over 10 years. (Trust me, it'll cost us more than that.) But imagine the cost in terms of freedom. The government will need to have access to our medical records, they will be the ones telling us what care we will and won't receive. His ideas on this issue are intolerable, and this needs to be stopped.

But the "tingling class" is thoroughly in the tank for him, and they're going to do whatever he asks of them. Follow the Drudge link to see the letter sent to ABC by Ken McKay, the RNC chief of staff. Drudge also has the ABC response to Mr. McKay where they speak of their commitment to "all sides" of any issue.

Given the fact that there won't be any opposition during this little propaganda infomercial, it's clear that 1984 has finally come to roost in America.

Publius II

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Was the Air France flight an act of terrorism?

I know this theory was poo-poo'd after the crash because nothing immediately surfaced giving credence to the theory. There were reports (not linkable; over the radio news reports only) that some people in Brazil had witnessed a ball of fire in the area of the jet's last position. (No, not the balls of fire floating on the ocean; this was in the air), but even that was brushed off as coincidence. The theory that was being maintained was that it was hit by lightning. Today the theory of terrorism is back on the front burner as two names on the passenger manifest were flagged by French authorities as suspected terrorists:

Two passengers with names linked to Islamic terrorism were on the Air France flight which crashed with the loss of 228 lives, it has emerged.

French secret servicemen established the connection while working through the list of those who boarded the doomed Airbus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 31.

Flight AF 447 crashed in the mid-Atlantic en route to Paris during a violent storm.

While it is certain there were computer malfunctions, terrorism has not been ruled out.

Soon after news of the fatal crash broke, agents working for the DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), the French equivalent of MI6, were dispatched to Brazil.

It was there that they established that two names on the passenger list are also on highly-classified documents listing the names of radical Muslims considered a threat to the French Republic.

A source working for the French security services told Paris weekly L'Express that the link was "highly significant".

Agents are now trying to establish dates of birth for the two dead passengers, and family connections.

There is a possibility the name similarities are simply a "macabre coincidence", the source added, but the revelation is still being "taken very seriously".

France has received numerous threats from Islamic terrorist groups in recent months, especially since French troops were sent to fight in Afghanistan.

Could this be a coincidence? Of course it could be, but it's still worth checking out to be on the sure side. If this is an act of terrorism, France might decide to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, as Spain withdrew from Iraq after the Madrid bombings. And if it is an act of terrorism then our enemies have issued a test to Barry. If this is an act of terrorism then it's a sign our enemies haven't embraced Barry or anyone in the West. No, they're still operating on their timetable while the world dealt with it's leg thrills over Barry being elected.

More information is sure to come out as the French continue their investigation. But if this an act of terrorism, the ball will be in the West's court as to what to do next. Appeasement will be the most likely offering Barry will suggest, detente if you will; parlay even. But they won't be interested in that. They want us out of their countries or else the attacks will continue. I know it sounds bad, but let's hope this wasn't an act of terrorism.

Publius II