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.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

House whip count -- the votes just aren't there

Nancy Pelosi can't be happy about this. Greg Sargent has obtained a whip count of the House votes on the health care reform and that count shows the Democrats lack the votes in the House to pass the bill with a public option:

The House Dem leadership has conducted its preliminary whip count and has tallied up less than 200 likely Yes votes in support of a health care reform bill with a robust public option, well short of the 218 needed for passage, according to an internal whip count document I’ve obtained.

The document — compiled by the office of House leader
James Clyburn — was distributed privately at a meeting between Clyburn and House progressives today where the fate of the public option was the subject of some contentious debate, with liberals demanding that House leaders push harder to win over votes.

Clyburn spokesperson Kristie Greco would only say: “We currently do not have the votes for a robust public option.”

Health care reformers are eagerly awaiting the House vote count numbers on the robust public option — which would reimburse providers at Medicare rates plus five percent — because a House bill with a strong public option would increase the of leverage House leaders in upcoming conference negotiations with Senate leaders over the final bill. The exact count has been hotly debated in political circles since last week.

Clyburn told the assembled members at the meeting that the leadership does not have the votes to pass the robust public option, according to a House progressive familiar with the meeting. That sparked aggressive pushback from liberals, who argued that leadership — and the White House — should be working harder to win over the remaining votes the bill needs.

The document shows that 47 House Dems are committed No votes, and eight are Leaning No, for a total of 55. That means of 256 House Dems, just under 200 remain, and a dozen of those are listed as undecided. The bill needs 218 votes for passage.

House progressives argue that the document should light a fire under Dem leaders. One House progressive tells me he’s convinced that most of the undecideds, and a number of the No votes, can be won over with the right mix of pressure and incentives — which only the House leadership and the White House can provide.

Naturally we expect some serious arm-twisting in the background. And yes, we're sure there will be the incentive talk to those who are too squishy for Pelosi, Hoyer, et al. It appears that the majority of these Democrats that are either opposed to the public option, or those that are undecided, are part of the Blue Dogs who got an earful from constituents over the August recess. The likely reason why they're afraid to jump on board is that they firmly believe their constituents would hold true to their word to make these Democrats join the unemployment rolls. That being, they'll lose their seat.

This is good news for the majority of the nation. The latest from Rasmussen shows that only 45% of people polled want to see this get passed. The other 55% thinks it's a bad idea. As this debate has dragged on the Democrats have slowly lost not only the momentum, but they're losing support for this.

They bungled it from the get-go by not making this open and transparent to the public, and by voting on bills that don't technically exist. NONE of these bills are on paper, so to speak. The debate has been raging over what has been proposed to be in the final legislation. The recently passed idea from the Senate Finance Committee is just now starting to take shape, and Harry Reid is trying to rush it to the floor before it's finished. And Reid has his own headaches in the Senate with Lieberman vowing to side with a filibuster if the Senate version has the public option and pressure mounting on Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, and Mary Landrieu to join the GOP in opposing the bill, denying Reid his cloture vote. (And despite what Evan Bayh has said a cloture vote and a floor vote are inherently different votes.

It looks like we are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel, and that this will again fail to make it through the Congress. If that happens, we expect Barry will dispatch Rahm Emanuel to twist arms and break knees, figuratively speaking of course, to jumpstart the process all over again. So while we can breathe a sigh of relief for the moment, this fight is far from over. Call the Congress, ask for your reps and senators, and tell them you're opposed to this naked power grab over the health care industry -- 202-224-3121. (Hugh Hewitt has a list of those that are vulnerable in the Senate. Call them.)

Publius II

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mr. Gingrich, you're dead wrong

We used to have a lot of respect for Newt Gingrich. He lead the Republican revolution in 1994, retaking the House, and ending the agenda that President Bill Clinton had in store for the nation. That revolution was sparked by the jam-down attempt by Hillary Clinton to pass socialized health care, and aided by the Federal Assault Weapons ban passed in September of 1994. Using both issues, and holding the Contract With America as the Republican promise to the voters, Mr. Gingrich stormed the House with overwhelming numbers to unseat the Democrats from power.

Since then he has become a McCain-esque maverick to the party. He has embraced the farce that is known as global warming, even starring in a commercial with Nancy Pelosi about it. But recently he has thrown his hat into the NY-23 special election between Bill Owens (D), Dede Scozzafava (R), and Doug Hoffman (C). Hoffman is running on the Conservative party ticket, but would've run as the Republican had there actually been a primary race. there wasn't because this is a special election, and thanks to backroom deals, Dede Scozzafava -- an ACORN connected, pro-abortion, pro-taxes candidate -- got the nod from the state's Republican party.

She's not a RINO, folks. She's a liberal Republican that would likely caucus with the Democrats in the House.

And Gingrich has thrown his support to her, putting party above ideology. He claims that any Republican who sides with Hoffman rather than Scozzafava is "misinformed" and that those people are determined to "remain a minority." He keeps citing the big tent idea posited by many a Republican spokesman and commentator. But what Gingirch misses is that Hoffman is a true Reagan conservative. Gingrich claims that Scozzafava is a Reagan Republican. The problem is that doesn't jive with what is known about Reagan.

Reagan believed in the big tent idea, but only to the point that it didn't compromise the conservative ideology. to liberal Republicans, like Scozzafava, Reagan would tell them to go their own way. Ne need applying to the party if you don't share the party's ideology. He could handle moderate Republicans -- like McCain, like Specter (no longer a Republican), like Graham -- because 70% of the time they were on his side. But there isn't a bloody thing that Scozzafava believes in that Reagan could ever embrace, let alone today's conservatives.

Gingrich is out of touch with the conservative base, and that's been proven by three key endorsements for Hoffman coming from Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, and today Fred Thompson. Those aren't moderates. those aren't people who are willing to sell out their ideology for accolades from the other side of the aisle. Mr. Gingrich appears to enjoy the applause from the Beltway elite instead of being the firebrand conservative that made him who he was.

"Misinformed," Mr. Gingrich? the only misinformed person in this debate appears to be you. We've got no problem being the big tent party. What we have a problem with are those that have views 180 degrees contrary to ours, and supposed leaders trying to browbeat us into submission in accepting that contrary ideology. Scozzafava may be a Republican, but she's no conservative, and shame on Newt Gingrich for attacking conservatives because they've chosen not to support her.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: 8:37 P.M. AZ Time -- I've got a lot of e-mail from people complaining about us writing Newt Gingrich off. They claim he's a good conservative, and that he'd never do anything to jeopardize the conservative movement.

OK, fair game. But what about his stance on global warming? He's on the side of man-made global warming which has NEVER been proven. The Big Tent theory is nice, but not when one supports -- outright supports -- a person who is: Pro-abortion; pro-gay marriage; was pro-taxes until Gingrich forced her hand for his support, into a no tax pledge:

I understand the concern about litmus tests and purges, but Scozzoflava does not pass a single test, litmus or otherwise, establishing her as conservative. She has long resisted any no-new-taxes pledge -- and in fact spoke favorably about them -- until Gingrich asked her to sign his pledge as a precondition for his support. Then she finally announced herself as against tax hikes.

No linkie to that, but I trust Gabriel's and Ace's word on it. For those still putting party first, get over it, already. This was concocted by party bosses in NY. Had there been a primary, Hoffman would be our nominee. Gingrich is WAY out of line endorsing her, and he's caught between a rock and a hard place. He can't back out now, knowing what he knows. He loses credibility. (Not like he had any serious credibility to begin with.)

So, for those complaining we're not on the Gingrich bandwagon, get over it, please. He's lost us. We can forgive the occasional transgression, but this shows us a pattern of Beltway Blues. He's happy where he is, and that's fine, but we don't need his advice on further candidates. Welcome to to the world of David Frum and Peggy Noonan. Mr. Gingrich, you're irrelevant now.

Publius II

Monday, October 26, 2009

Scozzafava in trouble

The NY GOP has some serious explaining to do with regard to Dede Scozzafava. We know that NY is a blue state, and that the GOP there is willing to "bend the criteria" for a candidate, but Scozzafava is really no different than the Democrat in the race, save her rating from the NRA. Whoopty-doo. As a gun owner, that makes me happen, but it's only one issue. The biggest problem that Scozzafava has is her pro-choice beliefs. But it was revealed this past week that she's not just a pro-choice proponent, but a Margaret Sanger award winner to boot. Paging Mr. Gingrich, some people are outside your door with torches and pitchforks. Gingrich wholeheartedly endorsed Scozzafava, and all under the auspice that if we don't appeal to moderates, we'd be a minority party.

That ain't how it works. Reagan never directly appealed to moderates. He told people "this is what I believe, and if you believe in these things like I do, I'll welcome you on board." But Reagan NEVER wavered on his guiding principles, and conservative bona-fides. Methinks Mr. Gingrich doth protest too much, and I'm beginning to question his credentials (or at the very least, his sanity.)

But in the NY-23 race, that's not the only news. The Club for Growth has released a poll showing a significant change in the race, at least for Doug Hoffman:

A poll released today by the Club for Growth shows Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman surging into the lead in the special election in New York's 23rd congressional district to replace John McHugh, the former congressman who recently became Secretary of the Army.

The poll of 300 likely voters, conducted October 24-25, 2009, shows Conservative Doug Hoffman at 31.3%, Democrat Bill Owens at 27.0%, Republican Dede Scozzafava at 19.7%, and 22% undecided. The poll's margin of error is +/- 5.66%. No information was provided about any of the candidates prior to the ballot question.

This is the third poll done for the Club for Growth in the NY-23 special election, and Doug Hoffman is the only candidate to show an increase in his support levels in each successive poll. The momentum in the race is clearly with Hoffman.

"Hoffman now has a wide lead among both Republicans and Independents, while Owens has a wide lead among Democrats. Dede Scozzafava's support continues to collapse, making this essentially a two-candidate race between Hoffman and Owens in the final week," concluded Basswood Research's pollster Jon Lerner, who conducted the poll for the Club.

The GOP is in deep trouble. They've put up a candidate who has a questionable background (including ties to ACORN through the WFP in NY), and she seems to have a severe problem with her PR ideas. Is there any wonder why Republicans are walking away from their party? It's clear that they're not listening to the people who support them, and those people have moved on to mount insurgent campaigns where they're dissatisfied with the choices the party makes for them. We really wish the GOP had taken Hoffman over the disastrous Scozzafava, but they didn't, so we're supporting Doug Hoffman. It's the first time we've ever supported a third-party candidate (they're not worth it, most of the time, because they don't have a good chance of winning).

Don't get us wrong. We still firmly believe the GOP will retake one House of Congress in 2010 (likely the House), and start acting like a check against the unprecedented actions of a radical president and his crony Democrat minions in the Congress. That said, while that might be a bright spot for us next year, the GOP still has some significant problems. And as things get worse for Republicans in years to come, I'm sure that this won't be the last time we support a third-party candidate.

Publius II

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sorry Carly, you just lost us

Carly Fiorina wants to run against Barbara Boxer in 2010. We believed she might be a good candidate, and one who could take out Boxer. However given her recent comments regarding Internet regulation she has lost any support we might have given her between now and next year. (We have contributed to Chuck DeVore already, and we will send him another contribution in the coming weeks.) HT to Captain Ed.

She mentioned that politicians should be held accountable just the way that business managers and board members are, and that the U.S. government cannot continue to spend money without dealing with entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Fiorina criticized Boxer for successfully sponsoring only three relatively insignificant bills in her 18 years in the Senate.

“I don’t think that’s good enough,” she said.

Asked what she thought about regulation of the web, she said it was inevitable that there would be more regulation of it. Why, for instance, is there no protection of women and children on the Internet, when there is plenty in real life. She said this duality — where anything goes on the wild wild west of the Internet — would have to end.

Um, since when can the Internet rape or mug a woman? It doesn't, and there are plenty of protections available to keep anyone from seeing things on the Internet. Plenty of companies offer software for purchase -- some even with a free download -- to block access to certain websites that can be conceived as "harmful" or "dangerous" to 'Net users.

Which brings us to the kids. I don't know about our readers, but frankly we're getting sick of politicians (or would-be ones) constantly citing kids as a reason for more government intervention. If you have a kid, and you let them go on the Internet, it's your job as a parent to supervise their use of the Internet. It's not the government's job to do it. For all the time McCain compared himself to Reagan it appears that he, and his adviser, Ms. Fiorina, forgot one of Reagan's best quotes.

"Government is not the solution to the problem; government IS the problem."

The Internet is a tool, nothing more. If you use your tool to surf porn sites, or hit the fever-swamp conspiracy sites, that's your business. But I'm betting a majority of people don't use the 'Net for things like that. they use it for business, shopping, getting up-to-date news, or what have you. Most important is that the 'Net is a vehicle for free speech. The exact sort of free speech our readers enjoy when they come here, or go to Hot Air, or to Hugh Hewitt's site, or even National Review.

The government has already offered up an idea to further regulate the 'Net, and it's a ridiculous idea. You simply can't do it. It's too big a medium to truly regulate, and there are those out there that no matter how many roadblocks you put up, they'll get around them. One only needs to do a quick web search to see how many times our government's secure web servers have been hacked.

We don't need a bunch of Nanny-Staters telling us what is and isn't appropo on the Internet. And we sure as Hell don't need a Boxer-lite taking Boxer's seat. While I know Ms. Fiorina is a good and decent woman, she lacks the common sense that needs to return to Congress.

Publius II

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Can we focus on Afghanistan already?

Yes, we have a health care debate underway, but it's time for the people to remember that we are still at war. That was is in Afghanistan, and we are precariously close to losing it. Back on 31 August, General Stanley McChrystal submitted a request for 40,000 more soldiers for the theater of operations in Afghanistan. Geraghty the Indispensable gives us a round-up of what Barry has done since that request gas been made:

* Deliver remarks at a fundraiser for Bill Owens, the Democratic candidate in New York's 23rd Congressional District, and then deliver remarks at a fundraiser to benefit the DNC at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

* Deliver remarks at a DNC fundraising dinner and reception at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.

* Deliver remarks at an event at the Ritz Carlton Hotel celebrating the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.

* Deliver remarks at the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner at the Washington Convention Center.

* Attend "In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina," a concert celebrating Hispanic musical heritage on the South Lawn.

* Host a picnic for United States Secret Service members and their families on the South Lawn.

* Host an event for local middle-school students to stargaze and conduct hands-on experiments with astronomers.

* Deliver remarks at event with doctors from across the country in the Rose Garden.

* Fly to Copenhagen to pitch Chicago’s Olympics bid (and meet with McChrystal while he was there).

* Deliver remarks at a fundraiser for the Democratic Governors Association at the St. Regis Hotel.

* Deliver remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative at the Sheraton Hotel.

* Hold a rally on health-insurance reform at the Comcast Center at the University of Maryland in College Park.

* Host a viewing of a portion of the documentary "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" in the White House movie theater.

* Host an event on the South Lawn with the White House Office on Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport, Chicago2016, and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to promote Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

* Deliver remarks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 32nd Annual Awards Gala at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

* Deliver remarks to the AFL-CIO Convention at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

* Attend and deliver remarks at a fundraising event and reception for Sen. Arlen Specter at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

* Welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins to honor them for their 2009 Stanley Cup championship victory.

* Meet with the Professional Golf Association of American champions.

* Host a dinner celebrating Ramadan and highlight the contributions of American Muslims in the State Dining Room.

I draw a similar conclusion as Mr. Geraghty does. Many of these events are worthwhile/the norm for the president. Hosting the picnic for the Secret Service (an annual event I believe), meeting the PGA champions and the Pittsburgh Penguins, and encouraging kids to get into astronomy would be the norm, but the man is still in campaign mode with fundraisers and speeches. It is now the 20th of October which means had this request sitting in front of him for almost two months.

Morale is at an all-time low in Afghanistan, our soldiers are getting killed in numbers not seen before there, and General McChrystal -- in frustration -- spoke out in London which prompted that meeting with Barry in Copenhagen. He got his butt chewed on. While that's within Barry's prerogative, he promoted General McChrystal to head up operations in Afghanistan. The man is trying to do his job, and he's frustrated by his commander-in-chief that is acting irresponsible and aloof in dealing with an important matter. Without those soldiers, General McChrystal is afraid he won't be able to accomplish his COIN strategy. (He's not alone in that regard. General Petraeus has said this is a matter of grave concern, and so has Admiral Mike Mullen -- the head of the JCS.)

Barry really needs to stop this campaigning BS, and do his job. Check out the Oval Office more than once a week. President Bush was in touch, hands-on with the efforts in Iraq on a daily basis. Many briefings included not only a discussion with al-Maliki or a liaison, but it also included briefings directly from Iraq from the military commanders on the ground. Barry has spoken with General McChrystal twice since appointing him to head up operations in Afghanistan, and one of those was a face-to-face butt-chewing.

General McChrystal is taking his job seriously. When will Barry?

Publius II

Marital harmony through lying? More like fibbing, but yes.

Give me some rope on this one, folks. I spotted this while perusing the Wall Street Journal today. On the Juggle blog I spotted this post regarding lying and whether or not it's healthy for a marriage:

The strongest relationships and marriages, no doubt, are built on a foundation of truth and honesty. But just as doubtless, the walls on that foundation end up festooned over time with little scraps of misdirection.

That’s the theme of Elizabeth Bernstein’s
Bonds column in today’s Journal, which takes a look at fibbing between married couples. “We fib to avoid conflict,” writes Elizabeth. “To gain approval. To save face. Or just to be kind. (Show me a man who tells his wife she looks fat, and I’ll show you a man headed for a night on the couch.)”

While women freely told Elizabeth about ploys such as putting newly bought clothes in dry-cleaning bags before walking in and putting takeout food in pots on the stove before dinner, she found she had a lot of difficulty getting men to tell the truth about lying, even under a cloak of anonymity. But eventually, some examples emerged:

“Pressed for specifics, my male sources finally owned up to fudging the truth about working late (to meet friends at a bar, sneak in a ballgame or take a walk alone),” Elizabeth writes. “They also said they fibbed about how much they drank at a party, how fast they drive, whether they find their female friends attractive, how much they like their significant other’s cooking or outfits—‘After she’s changed 10 times, you’ll say yes to anything to get out the door’—and yard work.”

Beyond those minor shadings of the truth, beneficial lying can aid more somber marital situations. Elizabeth tells of one woman who, when her husband put off having a potentially serious testicular lump checked out, mused about what she ought to do for a (fictional) lump she said that she found in her breast. The husband “went ballistic,” and the ensuing conversation helped him realize he should head to the doctor for his problem.

For myself, I find that lying is less about willful deception and more about the intended truth that turns into a lie through inaction or forgetfulness. One of the men Elizabeth talks to cites that great philosopher
George Costanza, of “Seinfeld”: “It’s not a lie if you believe it.” For example, last night I really believed I was going to go to bed at a decent hour right after quickly typing up the Juggle post you’re reading now, but I was gripped by a not-uncommon wave of procrastination and ended up staying up until after 1. That retroactively turned my “I won’t stay up too late” into an untrue statement, but it didn’t start out that way. Honest.

Let me be clear to readers: There are two things that are unforgivable in my world. Lying to me and stealing from me. Both are trust issues, and I dislike finding out that either has happened to me. That said, readers know who my wife is. Up until this last year in school she was blogging right here. So the question remains about lying and does it help or hurt a marriage?

That depends. A fib is nothing more than a little, white lie, and it generally doesn't hurt anyone. A direct lie is something that's unforgivable, in my eyes, because that means that my wife can't come to me about something out of concern as to how I might react. (Let's just say that while I do tend to have a longer fuse than I did years ago, I do tend to get upset at certain things. That, however, has never happened between Marcie and I.)

We all tell little, white lies. Telling a friend that you can't attend their party this weekend because you have plans, or don't feel good is just one example. No one is really hurt by it. But when confronted about something such as "where were you late last night" is one of those things where it could seriously hurt the marital bliss a couple shares with one another.

We try to be absolutely honest and open with one another, but we can tell when the other isn't being entirely forthcoming or if they're holding back because they don't want to hurt the other's feelings. That is something as old as time. We have a rule in our house that we can go to each other and tell each other anything -- anything -- that's important, no matter how hurt the other might be. We will work through whatever it is, no matter how hard it might be.

But as for the occasional fib? Well, let's just say that to maintain harmony in the married home, those aren't half bad to avoid the fight or the hurt feelings. Do they help solidify the marriage? I think they do. As the old adage goes "don't sweat the small stuff," and in my opinion a fib on occasion let's you not sweat the small stuff.

Publius II

Polanski turned down again

Roman Polanski, who is still going through the extradition process, had his appeal for bail turned down again by the Swiss:

A Swiss court rejected on Tuesday a bid by film director Roman Polanski for release on bail as the risk was too high he would flee pending extradition to the United States for having unlawful sex with a minor in 1977.

"According to Swiss law, detention is the rule during the entire extradition proceedings," the Swiss Federal Criminal Court said in a statement. "The court considered the risk that Roman Polanski might flee if released from custody as high."

The 76-year-old Oscar-winning director, who holds dual French and Polish citizenship, was arrested at the request of the United States when he flew into Switzerland on September 26 to receive a lifetime achievement prize at a film festival.

Polanski's French lawyer Herve Temime has said his client was depressed and tired and has been moved from jail for medical treatment.

Temime was not available for comment on Tuesday but Swiss news agency SDA quoted him as saying Polanski would appeal against the decision and offer stronger guarantees to ease concerns he might flee Switzerland.

The court said in its ruling Polanski had many reasons to run away if released on bail, including the fact he could face a U.S. jail sentence of up to 50 years which would mean a painful separation from his wife and children, aged 11 and 16.

It cited his lawyer as saying that longer detention could lead to a loss of around $40 million that investors have put up and ruinous damage claims against him if he cannot finish his new movie "The Ghost," due to premiere in February.

The court also said it would be very easy to escape across the border from Switzerland back to his home in France.

This report comes from Reuters, and it omits some information in the AP report on this. The AP notes that "Polanski's offers of bail, house arrest and electronic monitoring failed to sway the tribunal. Even a Swiss chalet in the luxury resort of Gstaad was brushed aside as insufficient collateral to guard against Polanski fleeing the country, as the United States seeks to have him extradited for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977."

It's good to see that the Swiss are taking this matter seriously. and while some could make the case that he tends to lose a lot of money on the production of his latest movie, it's moot compared to the crime he committed. Those who invested in his movie should have known better than to do so, especially given the fact that Polanski has been trying to outrun his earlier plea deal. The man committed a heinous crime against a 13 year old girl. He needs to answer for that crime, and kudos to the Swiss for not buying the bull being shoveled in their direction.

Others will say that him offering to put his Swiss chateau up for bail would be reason enough for his release. After all, who would want to forfeit their home, right? The man has an extensive movie career and houses are a dime a dozen for him and his Hollywood supporters. So I don't think he'd shed too many tears if he put the house up as bail, and jumped the border to freedom.

No, his butt stays where it is until the extradition procedures are complete.

Publius II

The Hill: 34% of Californians approve of Pelosi's performance

The Field Research Corporation polled 1005 California residents to come up with this information. I'll give you folks the good news from The Hill before giving you the bad news they don't point out:

A poll released over the weekend shows that only 34 percent of Californians approve of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) job performance, down 14 points from March.

The study, conducted by the Field Research Corportation, also showed that 44 percent of respondents disapproved of her job performance while 22 percent held no opinion. In the organization's last poll in March, 48 percent of respondents approved of Pelosi's job performance while 35 percent disapproved.

Democrats approved of Pelosi's performance as leader by a count of 51-23, with 26 percent expressing no opinion. Republicans overwhelmingly disapproved of her performance: 7 percent approved, 79 percent disapproved and 14 percent said they held no opinion.

39 percent of "non-partisans" approved of her while 37 percent disapproved, with 24 percent responding that they had no opinion.

There's no surprise int he numbers with regard to Republicans and Democrats. The GOP has never been fond of her, and the Democrats seem to have the same leg tingles that Chris Matthews has for Barry. So while these numbers can bolster the GOP in California, they are virtually moot. (This is where the bad news comes in.)

The entire state doesn't vote on her seat in the House. Her district does, and that district is the 8th congressional district which is comprised of four-fifths of the city and county of San Francisco. Folks, she's as a safe as a newborn in that city. It'll never turn on her. This poll reflects the general opinion of the state, as a whole. Were she in the Senate these numbers would be heartening for any Californian sick of her antics.

So take heart that California dislikes this woman as much as most of us do, but don't pop that champagne yet because she's not going anywhere.

Publius II

Friday, October 16, 2009

New Issue Up!!!

It's the 16th of the month, and you all know what that means .... Yes, the new issue of Common Conservative is up and waiting for all of you.

The Chief starts off this issue with a piece on how and why Barry lost the Olympics.

Larry Simoneaux takes a look at a recent story that hit headlines around the country. The story will make you shake your head.

And Marcie and I round out the staff columns with a piece defending General McChrystal and his strategy in Afghanistan.

Starting off the guest pieces this issue is John Lillpop and he explains why Barry should have received the Nobel Peace Prize. (Tongue-in cheek warning.)

Ron Lipsman gives people a fly-on-the-wall perspective into liberal academia. Mr. Lipsman is a college professor who experienced an epiphany of sorts which made life a little rough for him on campus.

Don Hanks takes a look at the H1N1 vaccine, the company behind it, and Kathleen Sebelius's idiotic mandate that "everyone should take this vaccine." (For the record, I've never had a flu shot, and I'm not taking this one; same thing goes for Marcie.)

Ralph Reiland observes that Atlas is beginning to shrug.

Dr. Rossen Vassilev examines the checkered past of the new head of UNESCO, a former Communist apparatchik from Bulgaria.

Paul Ibbetson takes a closer look at today, and compares it to the original "Planet of the Apes." (And still a superior version compared to the Mark Wahlberg version.)

Enjoy reading!!

Publius II

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Barry's war on FOX News

Before I go into this I have to make an admission here. WE don't regularly watch FOX News. We don't watch Beck, or Hannity, and it'll be a cold day in Hell when we tune into O'Reilly. (Can't stand that pompous ass.) There are times where we may tune into Hannity's show if Mark Levin or Michelle Malkin is on, but we just don't bother with watching any news on TV. We can get exactly what FOX and other networks offer right here on the Internet.

That said, we have to question the wisdom and intelligence behind Barry basically declaring "war" on FOX News:

Calling Fox News "a wing of the Republican Party," the Obama administration on Sunday escalated its war of words against the channel, even as observers questioned the wisdom of a White House war on a news organization.

"What I think is fair to say about Fox -- and certainly it's the way we view it -- is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party," said Anita Dunn, White House communications director, on CNN. "They take their talking points, put them on the air; take their opposition research, put them on the air. And that's fine. But let's not pretend they're a news network the way CNN is."

Fox News senior vice president Michael Clemente, who likens the channel to a newspaper with separate sections on straight news and commentary, suggested White House officials were intentionally conflating opinion show hosts like Glenn Beck with news reporters like Major Garrett.

"It's astounding the White House cannot distinguish between news and opinion programming," Clemente said. "It seems self-serving on their part."

In recent weeks, the White House has begun using its government blog to directly attack what it called "Fox lies." David Gergen, who has worked for President Bill Clinton and three Republican presidents, questioned the propriety of the White House declaring war on a news organization.

"It's a very risky strategy. It's not one that I would advocate," Gergen said on CNN. "If you're going to get very personal against the media, you're going to find that the animosities are just going to deepen. And you're going to find that you sort of almost draw viewers and readers to the people you're attacking. You build them up in some ways, you give them stature."

This shows exactly the intelligence that is running the show in DC. They don't like the fact that a major news outlet is actually reporting on what is being done in the White House. What the president did with regard to Chrysler and GM; what the president did regarding the banks and mortgage lenders; what the president is doing on the health care reform. FOX has reported on the arm-twisting that goes on behind the scenes.

But they're not the only ones doing that. Jake Tapper, who works for ABC News, has done yeoman's work being as fair and objective as possible in reporting on Barry's White House. He even has a running report on the FOX/WH spat. So FOX isn't the only target for the WH. Tapper's caught flak from the WH, as well. (There have been numerous times where Tapper has either asked tough questions of Bobby Gibbs or the president, and has either been "scolded" or had them tap-dance out of the question.) And speaking of Gibbs (this guy is so incompetent that he makes Scott McClellan look like a bloody genius) he doubled down on the war yesterday:

Tommy Christopher: How would you respond to criticism that the White House’s current posture toward Fox News constitutes some kind of bullying, or chilling of speech?

Robert Gibbs: (long pause) We…get questions throughout the day, seven days a week, about policies here at the White House, questions you guys want answered, and our goal is to make sure that you have the facts, that you do your job. That’s what we do for everybody.

TC: Well, specifically, the comments by Anita Dunn about Fox not being a real news network…

Robert Gibbs: I have watched many stories on that network that I have found not to be true. I think everybody in this room has been likely on the other end of a phone conversation with me when I’ve had issues with your stories. I don’t think that’s news.

Someone want to give Bobby G a note that tells him the difference between NEWS and COMMENTARY, please before this boob proves to the world how much of an obtuse ass he is?

The commentary shows -- Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, Van Susteran with On the Record, etc. -- do tend to go a bit overboard at times; Beck most especially. But we can chalk that up to passion. The other networks have their passionate voices, but the difference there is that they blur the lines between news reporting and commentary. You put Chris "Tingles" Matthews, Keith "Worst person EVER" Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and Ed Schultz in the same room, and while they claim they're reporting facts, there isn't enough collective intelligence amongst that quartet to figure out the difference between fact and opinion. That's sad. Matthews is hardly an objective journalist. He was the one who stated it was job to help Barry's presidency:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Yeah, well, you know what? I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work, and I think that --

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Is that your job? You just talked about being a journalist!

MATTHEWS: Yeah, it is my job. My job is to help this country.

What this comes down to is that the White House is very thin-skinned, and that's just an assessment coming from a pair of conservatives. The Nation has called the administration a bunch of cry-babies, which they are. As Michelle Malkin likes to chide, "Someone call the WAAAAAHMBULANCE!"

This isn't a smart move on the part of the White House. The last time they decided to declare war on a media figure was when Barry called out Rush Limbaugh, and we saw how well that went over. Rush enjoyed the jump in listeners, and Barry looked like a petulant brat that didn't get his way. The same thing is going to happen with this spat. FOX will get a jump in viewers -- not that it'll change much for them in the ratings; they're already kicking every other station's butt across the cable networks -- and Barry's reputation will take another hit.

We knew Barry was an absolute amateur. We knew he'd make mistakes, but we didn't realize just how embarrassing his mistakes would truly be. Instead of whining about the one network that isn't going to carry his water, wouldn't it be smarter to just stay silent on it, and enjoy the praise (or is it worship?) from the other networks?

Publius II

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

German ship caught smuggling ammo to Hezbollah?

I'd like to rail on Germany but this was most likely a choice of the shipping company, and not the Germany government. We caught a German-flagged ship delivering ammunition to Syria, and its port of origin was in Iran: (HT to Captain Ed)

US troops boarded a German-owned freighter in early October and found eight containers full of ammunition, allegedly headed to Syria from Iran. The shipment is in violation of a UN weapons embargo and has become a source of chagrin in Berlin.

An “embarrassing affair,” is how one German diplomat described it. The official could also have added: potentially damaging to trans-Atlantic relations.

In an operation reported on by SPIEGEL over the weekend, US soldiers entered the freighter Hansa India in the Gulf of Suez at the beginning of October and discovered seven containers full of 7.62 millimeter ammunition suitable for Kalashnikov rifles. An eighth container was full of cartridges suitable for the manufacture of additional rounds. The incident is particularly awkward for Berlin as the Hansa India is registered to the Hamburg-based shipping company Leonhardt & Blumberg.

Investigators suspect that the arms were part of an Iranian shipment bound for either the Syrian army or for Hezbollah, the militant Islamist group. US officials have pointed out that the delivery is in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747, which prohibits arms shipments either into or out of Iran.

This is highly embarrassing to the the German government. The Hansa India is one of the ships under Leonhardt & Blumberg which is leased out to Iran. Now some may ask why I point the finger at Hezbollah as recipients of this ammunition. Syria makes it's own ammunition for the AK-47. Hezbollah doesn't, and everyone knows that Hezbollah is Iran's proxy army.

Will we see Barry and Company call Germany on the carpet? Not likely. After all, he doesn't want to irritate our allies after his apology tour. Besides to do that might be construed as not being very peaceful. Germany has acknowledged that this was a mistake, but they haven't said how they're going to handle this. Let's hope it's something more than a slap on the wrist.

Publius II

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chavez throws Barry under the bus

"Paging President Obama, please pick up the white courtesy phone. You have a phone call from Venezuela."

Venezuela's socialist leader Hugo Chavez said on Sunday that U.S. President Barack Obama had done nothing beyond wishful thinking to earn the Nobel Peace Prize.

Chavez, who has mixed praise for Obama personally with criticism of his government's "imperialist" policies, said he thought it was a mistake when he read the U.S. leader had won.

"What has Obama done to deserve this prize? The jury put store on his hope for a nuclear arms-free world, forgetting his role in perpetuating his battalions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his decision to install new military bases in Colombia," Chavez wrote in a column.

"For the first time, we are witnessing an award with the nominee having done nothing to deserve it: rewarding someone for a wish that is very far from becoming reality."

Chavez said giving Obama the Nobel award was like giving a baseball pitcher a prize simply for saying he was going to win 50 games and strike out 500 batters.

The Reuters piece notes this is the lightest sort of criticism that Barry's faced over his Nobel Peace Prize, but it seems to be the norm in reacting to this idiotic display of hubris on the part of the Nobel committee. See, Chavez is right. This award was given based on the assumptions of what Barry might do as opposed to what he has done. It was announced today that Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel prize for economics; the first woman to be awarded the prize for economics. Unlike Barry, Ms. Ostrom actually worked to achieve this prize, though she was equally surprised to have won it.

But Chavez's reaction shouldn't surprise anyone. He's not the only one that would like to have a sit-down with the Nobel committee and ask "WTF?" But we should remember why Barry received this award. It's not about what he might possibly do. It's a way for European intellectuals, like the monkeys on the Nobel committee, are trying to influence US foreign policy. Barry's taken it on the chin for the fiasco in Afghanistan right now, and the public is sick of him stalling on the plan General McChrystal has outlined for success in Afghanistan. (The Fred Kagan piece is a must-read for anyone not completely up to speed on what General McChrystal is attempting to carry out.) This prize was given to Barry in the hopes that he won't grant the general's request.

We hope he does. The general's strategy is very similar to the surge strategy used in Iraq. If Barry wants a feather in his cap that he can point to, in terms of success as president, this is the issue for him. The health care debate is dead. The Democrats in Congress will likely ram through an expensive, burdensome, and invasive bill. Crap and Tax is dead. None of his legislative "accomplishments" will amount to a hill of beans if we retreat from Afghanistan. If I were in Barry's shoes, I'd drop that peace prize in the nearest round file, authorize the troops for General McChrystal, and I'd remind Europe that we are the ones in charge of our destiny in Afghanistan, not them. Yes, they're there, too with their NATO forces, but none of them are willing to commit anymore soldiers to the cause of righting the ship in Afghanistan.

So we'll have to do it on our own, and follow the general's plan to a "T". If Barry isn't interested in success, then he needs to call off operations and bring our soldiers home. You don't settle for a draw in a war, especially one against a blood-thirsty enemy such as the Taliban and al Qaeda. You fight to win. If you're not willing to do that, then there's no reason to waste the precious resources of manpower or equipment engaged in hostilities abroad.

Publius II

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Code Pink rethinking it's position on Afghanistan ...

... or Hypocrite, Heal Thyself, if you will. From the Christian Science Monitor:

When Medea Benjamin stood up in a Kabul meeting hall this weekend to ask Masooda Jalal if she would prefer more international troops or more development funds, the cofounder of US antiwar group Code Pink was hoping her fellow activist would support her call for US troop withdrawal.
She was disappointed.

Ms. Jalhal, the former Afghan minister of women, bluntly told her both were needed. "It is good for Afghanistan to have more troops – more troops committed with the aim of building peace and against war, terrorism, and security – along with other resources," she answered. "Coming together they will help with better reconstruction." ...

When Medea Benjamin stood up in a Kabul meeting hall this weekend to ask Masooda Jalal if she would prefer more international troops or more development funds, the cofounder of US antiwar group Code Pink was hoping her fellow activist would support her call for US troop withdrawal.

She was disappointed.

Ms. Jalhal, the former Afghan minister of women, bluntly told her both were needed. "It is good for Afghanistan to have more troops – more troops committed with the aim of building peace and against war, terrorism, and security – along with other resources," she answered. "Coming together they will help with better reconstruction.

Though Afghans have their grievances against the international troops' presence, chief among them civilian casualties, many fear an abrupt departure would create a dangerous security vacuum to be filled by predatory and rapacious militias. Many women, primary victims of such groups in the past, are adamant that international troops stay until a sufficient number of local forces are trained and the rule of law established.

During their weeklong visit here, in which they met with government officials, politicians, ministers, women activists, and civil society groups, the small team of Code Pink members had hoped to gather evidence to bolster their call for US troop withdrawal within two years, and capitalize on growing anxiety back home about the war.

While the group hasn't dropped its call for a pullout, the visit convinced them that setting a deadline isn't in Afghanistan's interests, say Ms. Benjamin and fellow cofounder Jodie Evans.

"We would leave with the same parameters of an exit strategy but we might perhaps be more flexible about a timeline," says Benjamin. "That's where we have opened ourselves, being here, to some other possibilities. We have been feeling a sense of fear of the people of the return of the Taliban. So many people are saying that, 'If the US troops left the country, would collapse. We'd go into civil war.' A palpable sense of fear that is making us start to reconsider that."

Code Pink says it will continue to oppose sending more troops to Afghanistan – a move facing heated debate in Washington – and advocate for more funding for aid and humanitarian projects instead.

Ms. Benjamin, the same arguments were presented to Code Pink and other antiwar activists in Iraq, and even after the surge showed exceptional success, your people still screamed for us to get out Iraq.

"Hypocrite, heal thyself."

Don't get me wrong, it's nice to see that common sense has finally crept into this woman's feeble little brain, and we even support her on the humanitarian aid, but the simple fact of the matter remains, and she's put the blinders on to it.

The security situation in Afghanistan, whole not perilous, is of significant concern to people. The necessity for more troops in Afghanistan is plainly clear. Our allies have balked at sending more troops to Afghanistan. A recent disagreement between Gen. Sir Richard Dannatt and Gordon Brown cost the general his job when he complained that he personally requested an extra 2000 soldiers and was vetoed by Brown. Our allies don't want to send any more soldiers there, and if our ultimate goal is to win then we need more troops there.

General Stan McChrystal has requested 40,000 more troops. A few days ago I said we should send 50,000, but after reading some recent reports (not classified, of course) of the situation in Afghanistan, we need about 100,000 more soldiers there. The RoEs also need to change, and we need more air support for those soldiers.

The hypocrisy in Ms. Benjamin's change of heart comes in the fact that she sees that we need to have the presence there in Afghanistan to keep it from collapsing, but it was her group -- Code Pink -- that lead full-throated dudgeon against the surge in Iraq, and it was evident we needed a bigger presence there to take on the insurgents and terrorists there.

We don't trust Code Pink as far as we can throw them, but at least they finally got a clue about what's going on in Afghanistan.

Publius II

Can we please get a grip, guys?

This is getting ridiculous, and it's making our side look like a bunch of nuts. I can understand all the ire and disbelief in Barry winning the election, but to this day there are still some people on our side that, almost a year after the election, they are still looking for Barry's "missing birth certificate." And those fever-swamp nuts are split into two camps -- those that believe he was born in Kenya, and those who claim the certificate was forged by Hawaiian officials after he arrived there from Indonesia; possibly making him an Indonesian citizen. These people have no sane thought in their heads, and they are pursuing this angle in an effort to get Barry impeached. (One problem with that, Mr. Tin-Foil Hat. The House impeaches, the Senate convicts and removes. BOTH are completely controlled by Democrats, and they won't impeach him. Ever. So, it's time to give up this farce. Move on to checking out Roswell or looking for the second gunman on the grassy knoll.)

Readers are now asking themselves why I decided to write this post. Was I picking a fight with the fever swamp Birthers? No, not really. Call it a lead-in to this story which really needs to be stopped now. There has been a rumor running around the country since the election, and while it does focus on the president, it involves a book. Yesterday The Examiner posted a story from Anne Leary of Back Yard Conservative and she claims to have had a run-in with Bill Ayers, the former Weather Underground terrorist, and friend to Barry:

Anne Leary of Back Yard Conservative was passing through Washington, DC’s Reagan National Airport yesterday, and was surprised to come across Bill Ayers at Starbucks: “scruffy, thinning beard, dippy earring, and the wire rims, heading to order.” She struck up a conversation with him and snapped the accompanying photo. (Photo provided courtesy Anne Leary.) [Publius II -- There is an accompanying photo that serves as proof of the run-in.]

I interviewed Anne this morning about it.

Ayers was in Washington, he told her, for a
conference on education.

“That's what I do, education,” he said. “You shouldn't believe everything you hear about me... You know nothing about me.”

To which she responded, “I said, I know plenty--I'm from Chicago, a conservative blogger, and I'll post this.”

I bet his heart skipped a beat on that one.

But he didn’t scowl, and didn’t
run off as he has been known to do. Instead, unprompted, he blurted out: “I wrote ‘Dreams From My Father… Michelle asked me to.” Then he added “And if you can prove it we can split the royalties.”

Anne responded, “Stop pulling my leg!”

But he repeated insistently, “I wrote it, the wording was similar [to Ayers’ other writing.]”

Anne responded, “I believe you probably heavily edited it.”

Ayers stated firmly, “I wrote it.” ...

Was he, as she had asked, pulling our collective legs? Other sources report rumors that Ayers is very upset both about not getting any credit for helping Obama on ‘Dreams,’ and may also be put off by being summarily thrown under the bus along with Rev. Wright and everyone else who becomes an inconvenience to this President.

OK, here apparently is a smoking gun, right? That Bill Ayers did write one of Barry's books, right? The now he is finally fed up with being left out of the credit for writing the bloody book, right? Take it with a grain of salt, folks. Jonah Goldberg sheds a little light on this, and we tend to agree with him. I'll explain after you read what he reports:

It sounds like Ayers is jerking some chains. From National Journal (no link):

Inside WashingtonSaturday, Oct. 3, 2009
Payment Due
Who actually wrote Dreams From My Father?

The book cover says Barack Obama, but one corner of the right-wing blogosphere thinks Obama had a ghostwriter—and that it was Bill Ayers, onetime Weatherman, current academic, perpetual radical. National Journal caught up with Ayers at a recent book festival where he was exhorting a small crowd of listeners to remember that they are citizens, not subjects. "Open your eyes," he said. "Pay attention. Be astonished. Act, and doubt." When he finished speaking, we put the authorship question right to him. For a split second, Ayers was nonplussed. Then an Abbie Hoffmanish, steal-this-book-sort-of-smile lit up his face. He gently took National Journal by the arm. "Here's what I'm going to say. This is my quote. Be sure to write it down: 'Yes, I wrote Dreams From My Father. I ghostwrote the whole thing. I met with the president three or four times, and then I wrote the entire book.'" He released National Journal's arm, and beamed in Marxist triumph. "And now I would like the royalties." —Will Englund

For all the right-wing conspiracy nuts out there, Bill Ayers didn't write the damn book. I know, I know, "the writing is similar to how Bill Ayers writes." Yeah, yeah. Do you know how that could be? Has anyone ever asked Barry how close he was to Bill Ayers? During the campaign CNN dug up the fact that Ayers and Barry were closer than Barry admitted. Has anyone ever considered how many of Ayers' books he's read? Zombie discovered a book review -- a snippet, really -- thqat Barry did on one of Ayers' books. The book in question was "A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court" and he reviewed it back in October of 1997.

We know the "public" side of their relationship. They worked together on the Annenberg Foundation and the Woods Fund. His US Senate campaign was kicked off that Ayers's home. If Barry admired him that much, doesn't it make sense that he's read quite a bit of what Ayers wrote? It's a sensible idea.

Everyone knows how much of a fan we are of Hugh Hewitt. We own all but two of his books (his two most recent ones), and we've read them. Same goes for Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Stephen Hayes, Bill Gertz, and Richard Miniter. We've also read a good deal of the Founding Fathers. Point being is there may be some things we write that may reflect the style of writing that those authors have exhibited. That doesn't mean our blog posts or columns are ghost-written by any of those people. I am currently working on two manuscripts -- a non-fiction political book, and a spy thriller -- and neither one of them are written by any of the authors we like to read.

Furthermore, this leads to another "controversy" involving a ghost-writer. Sarah Palin's new book "Going Rogue" had a ghostwriter. Her name is Lynn Vincent, and there's a bit of controversy surrounding her and another aspect of the political fever swamp. (I won't touch on that because the fever swamp in question has been running off the rails for months now.) But for those that don't understand ghostwriters let me explain.

Ghostwriters are generally hired by the publisher to clean up or edit a potential manuscript. Other ghostwriters are more deeply involved with the author, getting an outline, going over notes, etc. For Sarah Palin she probably needed the help on the memoir. It's not like she's sitting on her laurels having tea and crumpets with the elite. She's giving speeches, taking care of her family, and working on her future.

But Barry wasn't exactly busy back in 1995 when "Dreams of my Father" was published. And everyone will agree that he's not an idiot. He does have command of the English language (he just can't think on his feet). There is a distinct possibility that Ayers might have helped him a little on the book -- advice here and there or even helping out with the narrative a little -- but I sincerely doubt that Bill Ayers wrote it. If you look at how he's admitted it in two different instances, the sarcasm about royalties sticks out like a sore thumb, and the fact that he immediately admitted to a conservative blogger also sticks out.

This is what the fever-swamp misses. They're being tweaked by the Left over their nutty ideas. It's the same way those of us on the Right tweak the Lefty nuts over the "9-11 was an inside job" meme, which is supported on the Left far more than it's supported on the Right. Those that believe all of these conspiracy theories about Barry need to take a reality check. He was born in Hawaii, and is qualified (under the Constitution) to be president. (Our personal opinion is he's too incompetent and partisan to be president, but the constitution doesn't mention either as a pre-requisite.) He did write his books, and while he may have had some help on them from Bill Ayers they weren't predominantly written by Mr. Ayers.

Memo to the fever-swamp on the Right: If you want to continue on your merry way living in Wonderland, by all means keep it up. You're becoming a punchline, and you're being marginalized by your own nutty theories. The Left is making fun of you, as is evidenced by Ayers's response to both inquiries. But, those of us that take this seriously aren't going to take anything you say with any seriousness.

It would help if the Right was unified int heir opposition to a radically-partisan president content on changing America for the worse. Unfortunately, we have those nutty uncles that keep popping their heads up to take the attention from the things that are vastly more important than who wrote a bloody book.

Publius II

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Jennifer Rubin on the McChrystal flap

Once Iraq was stabilized we knew that all eyes would fall on Afghanistan. With the increased aggression of Taliban and al Qaeda efforts causing problems via Pakistan, things had to change. Barry campaigned on making sure "the right war" was focused on. Now he's dragging his feet on General Stan McChrystal's request for 40,000 additional troops in an effort to change the direction of the war from a quagmire to a success. McChrystal was rather vocal this past weekend in London, and was called on the carpet for a 25 minute tongue-lashing from the president about speaking out on his own. Today Jennifer Rubin discusses this row between the White House and their commanders on the ground:

Michael O’Hanlon of Brookings, an early and effective advocate of the surge in Iraq, writes today in defense of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, whom Robert Gates, James Jones, and presumably the president too would rather pipe down. He concedes that, as a rule, military commanders shouldn’t wade into policy issues:

But when truly bad ideas or those already tried and discredited are debated as serious proposals, they do not deserve intellectual sanctuary. McChrystal is personally responsible for the lives of 100,000 NATO troops who are suffering severe losses partially as a result of eight years of a failed counterinsurgency under a different name.

O’Hanlon therefore argues that there isn’t merely a “right to speak if a policy debate becomes too far removed from reality” but, in essence, an obligation to do so. (”We need to hear from him because he understands this reality far better than most in Washington.”) And O’Hanlon reminds his fellow Democrats that they were the ones pleading with the military to step forward (testify in front of Congress before Donald Rumsfeld’s departure) when Bush’s Iraq policy was faltering.

McChrystal’s forthrightness and the defensive reaction of the White House tell us several things. First, the White House doesn’t have a good response on the merits. “Shut up” is not a policy analysis. Second, whatever processes exist within the White House for decision-making have stalled and malfunctioned, causing the debate to go public. Had a decision been promptly made, none of this would have occurred. And third, now the entire country knows the unified position of the military and understands that the opposition comes from the likes of Joe Biden. The public-relations problem for the White House has gotten much worse.

When we put aside the conflict between the military and the White House, we are still left with the underlying question: Will Obama implement the recommendation of his general to achieve his policy, and if not, why not? Eventually, if he rejects his commanders’ advice, the president will have to live with the consequences, both on the battlefield and at home. And right now, many voters are wondering why the White House is telling its most respected military leaders not to tell the public the unvarnished truth about a war that just seven weeks ago the president declared to be critical to our national security.

McChrystal's request isn't unwarranted. He is in charge of the operations in Afghanistan, and knows damn well that he needs a change in strategy, tactics, and troop strength. It's not a secret that the rules of engagement (RoEs) are getting our soldiers killed because we're taking pains not to harm the civilian populace. We take steps to protect civilians as much as possible, but let's not kid ourselves. Afghanistan is a warzone, and sometimes civilians die. But handcuffing our troops isn't the answer. The RoEs that worked in Iraq could similarly work in Afghanistan, but the administration has decided to end the common sense utilized by our soldiers.

The administration's reaction to McChrystal's dissent on their stalling was the wrong way to go. Basically telling the generals and commanders to "shut up," as Ms. Rubin points out is 180 degrees opposite of what we saw with President Bush. Then Democrats wanted commanders to pipe up, and tell people what was going wrong in Iraq. President Bush asked for and received a no BS assessment from General Petraeus, and he listened to the general's recommendations. Barry isn't giving McChrystal the respect he deserves. Two meetings in seventy days is not the sort of behavior that the public expects from their president. President Bush had weekly, if not daily, updates from Iraq -- from Petraeus, from al-Maliki, from the Pentagon, etc. Barry apparently can't squeeze McChrystal in on his schedule.

Public opinion is beginning to shift for the worse. Many people are now saying that if the president won't grant McChrystal's request then it's time to end the mission and bring the troops home. We're beginning to feel that way ourselves despite the fact that we know the repercussions of such a retreat. We would abandon Afghanistan to a resurgent Taliban; one content on not only driving us from Afghanistan, but one also intent on toppling the Pakistani government. the latter prospect is not one that anyone would like to see, unless the Democrats admit they don't see a problem with militant Islamicists being in control of a nuclear arsenal. (Given Barry's appeasement with Iran, at the moment, one could easily see them not having a problem with terrorists having a nuclear arsenal at their disposal.)

McChrystal was right for sounding off on Afghanistan, especially after seeing that the president really isn't showing any interest in Afghanistan, or an inclination to do what is necessary to win that theater of operations. Given Petraeus's frankness on the Iraq theater, had Bush been equally deaf, we expect he would've sounded off, as well.

The lesson the White House needs to learn is simple: President Obama, you were elected not to bring about "hope" and "change." You were elected to lead the greatest, freest, most powerful nation on Earth. Part of that responsibility is to serve as commander-in-chief, and serve our soldiers wisely and rightly. At the current time, you are doing neither. It's time to put down the teleprompter, put aside the whirlwind trips to New York or Europe, and stop campaigning. You've been elected already.

The people of the nation are awaiting your leadership. If you can't handle that, then maybe you should resign and let one of the adults in the administration take over, and you can go back to Chicago to continue your "career" as a community organizer perpetually on vacation. Being president is a real job, and a serious one. You're treating it like it's a burger flipping job for a teenager.

Publius II

Swiss to Polanski: Bail DENIED

I'm just puttering around the Internet today, so there may be some stories that you don't normally see here. I commented on Roman Polanski last week. I made our views quite succinct about him. He's a child-raping POS that, personally speaking, should be executed. Lucky for him, I don't run the show in America. (Or California, for that matter, which is where he will be sent should the Swiss agree to extradite him.) This morning the Swiss dealt him a significant blow: Bail denied, Roman, now STFU:

Swiss authorities rejected an appeal on Tuesday to release from jail Roman Polanski, the film director arrested last month after fleeing the United States in 1978 to avoid sentencing in an underage sex case.

Authorities also urged a Swiss court dealing with his extradition warrant to reject another appeal by Polanski's lawyers to have him freed and to refuse any request to release the 76-year-old Oscar-winning film director on bail.

Polanski pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977 and spent 42 days in prison undergoing psychiatric tests. When released he left the country because he believed a judge would sentence him to up to 50 years behind bars despite a plea agreement for time already served.

"In our view, there is still a very high risk that he will flee and that a release on bail or other measures after a release cannot guarantee Polanski's presence in the extradition procedure," Federal Office of Justice spokesman Folco Galli said.

"Fool me once, shame on me ..." Imagine that. He fled his sentencing here back in '77, despite having agreed to a plea deal, and the Swiss see he might do the same thing to them. They're in the middle of extraditing him back here, and they're afraid that if they grant him bail that he'll, well, bail on them.

Kudos to the Swiss for having more brains than the collective idiots in Hollywood.

Publius II

I know it's October, but did the White House have to run a costume party on Monday?

I know, I know. You're probably scratching your head in wonderment: "What the Hell are you talking about now?" Well folks, you remember that photo-op at the White House yesterday with the doctors and Barry's boast that "doctors support my health care plans"? That was a great photo-op moment for Barry, I'm sure, but there was something that wasn't revealed to the public. Captain Ed picks up on this from the New York Post:

President Obama yesterday rolled out the red carpet -- and handed out doctors' white coats as well, just so nobody missed his hard-sell health-care message.

In a heavy-handed attempt at reviving support for health-care reform, the White House orchestrated a massive photo op to buttress its claim that front-line physicians support Obama.

A sea of 150 white-coated doctors, all enthusiastically supportive of the president and representing all 50 states, looked as if they were at a costume party as they posed in the Rose Garden before hearing Obama's pitch for the Democratic overhaul bills moving through Congress.

The physicians, all invited guests, were told to bring their white lab coats to make sure that TV cameras captured the image.

But some docs apparently forgot, failing to meet the White House dress code by showing up in business suits or dresses.

So the White House rustled up white coats for them and handed them to the suited physicians who had taken seats in the sun-splashed lawn area.

Not a big deal, right? After all, he just wanted everyone to NOTICE the white-clad doctors that supposedly support his reform ideas, right? Try again. Patterico notes that the White House might have screwed up the photo-op even worse that a wardrobe malfunction. see, one doctor was invited to the photo-op, and after mulling it over he had to turn down the White House. Why? Because he doesn't support the reforms Barry is pushing:

“Dr. Eric Novack was one of the 50 doctors invited to the White House photo op today. But he turned down the invitation, because he has lead the fight to pass state legislation and constitutional amendments to prohibit individual insurance mandates.

They had 16 hours to Google me, but I guess no one bothered,” Dr. Novack told Kathryn Serkes, Director of Policy and Public Affairs for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) in a video interview available at www.TakeBackMedicine.com.

Dr. Novack says that it was very tempting to accept the “once-in-a-lifetime” invitation, but in the end, he had to say no. But it also makes him question whether the doctors who will be there today actually support the President, or even understand all of the details of the bills.

“Are these doctors just star-struck, or do they have real knowledge about what they are supporting?” asked Serkes. “It’s looking like another dog-and-pony-show, and doctors should not be used in this shameful manner. First the President vilifies them, now he wants their help.”

“And at the very least, it makes the White House look like it does some very sloppy work,” added Serkes.”

I couldn't agree more. This White House seems to be stuck in amateur hour. The president is barely in the White House, unless it's Wednesday BET entertainment night. He's running around giving speeches, lobbying for the Olympics, apologizing for America, etc. It's really pathetic of the president to have to have a bloody photo-op almost everyday.

He's already way overexposed. People are sick of seeing him on their TV everyday, hearing him speechify everyday, and treat the American public with condescending arrogance. But the fact the White House couldn't even do the most basic fact-check to make sure all the doctors they invited were on board is simply ridiculous.

I guess the white House really doesn't care that it's basically pulling a fast one on the public, and when they're exposed they circle the wagons, and go into damage control mode by attacking the critics.

We warned this country that electing this man was a tremendous mistake. He's narcissistic, arrogant, and thin-skinned. In taking on his critics he acts like a Chicago thug. And his election marked the day that the Chicago Way of politics infected Washington, DC. (It wasn't bad enough we already had thousands of narcissists in the Beltway already; handing the keys to the White House to the egomaniac-in-chief.) The health care reform plan seems to be his crown jewel even though none of it is slated to go into effect until 2013 (to avoid any political fallout prior to his reelection efforts in 2012), and he's aggressively pushing this reform that will do nothing to help the health care industry. It'll wreck it, and in the process it'll hurt the economy in ways that the monkeys in Congress can't seem to fathom.

Publius II

Friday, October 2, 2009

New Issue Up!!!

I'm a little late getting this up. My apologies. But the new issue of Common Conservative is up.

The boss slams the MSM for all the stories they have failed to cover while still having the tingles for the president.

Larry Simoneaux takes Democrats to task for their incessant demand that Joe Wilson apologize for his outburst.

And Marcie and I tackle the recent undercover stings against ACORN.

Kicking off the guest columns is Harold Witkov who applauds George Stephanopoulos for hitting Barry with a high, hard fastball question as opposed to the tee-ball questions he normally faces.

Ronald Rohlfing takes the media to task over their attempt to keep a lid on the Tea Parties and Freedom Rallies.

Carolyn Hileman takes a walk down memory lane, and reminds us that we only have thirteen months to go until the midterms.

Dr. Robert Owens also slaps the MSM around for their inability to, well, report the news.

Carey Roberts examines a scandal involving domestic abuse shelters.

And Michael Silverstein discusses the curb tax, and how detrimental it is to taxpayers.

Enjoy reading, and remember that this will stay at the top of the page until tomorrow.

Publius II