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, December 30, 2009

Another terror plot foiled in Somalia?

Breaking news this morning, and on the heels of the failed attempt on America on Christmas Day, is that a Somali man was arrested as he tried to board an airline in Mogadishu chemicals and a syringe; the chemicals, once combined, would've been a powerful explosive:

A man tried to board a commercial airliner in Mogadishu last month carrying powdered chemicals, liquid and a syringe that could have caused an explosion in a case bearing chilling similarities to the terrorist plot to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner, officials told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

The Somali man, whose name has not been released, was arrested by African Union peacekeeping troops before the Nov. 13 Daallo Airlines flight took off. It was scheduled to travel from Mogadishu to the northern Somali city of Hargeisa, then to Djibouti and Dubai. A Somali police spokesman, Abdulahi Hassan Barise, said the suspect is in Somali custody.

"We don't know whether he's linked with al Qaeda or other foreign organizations, but his actions were the acts of a terrorist. We caught him red-handed," Mr. Barise said.

A Nairobi-based diplomat said the incident in Somalia is similar to the attempted attack on the Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day in that the Somali man had a syringe, a bag of powdered chemicals and liquid -- tools similar to those used in the Detroit attack. The diplomat spoke on condition he not be identified because he wasn't authorized to release the information.

Barigye Bahoku, the spokesman for the African Union military force in Mogadishu, said the chemicals from the Somali suspect could have caused an explosion that would have caused air decompression inside the plane. However, Mr. Bahoku said, he doesn't think an explosion would have brought the plane down.

A second international official familiar with the incident, also speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the case, confirmed that the substances carried by the Somali passenger could have been used as an explosive device.

OK, so no one knows if the guys is connected to al Qaeda, yet, but that doesn't change the fact that he had liquid explosive components, and God only knows what his target was. It's a safe assumption, at this point, that even if his only target was to blow up the jet, that would still be a significant attack. It should be noted that the airliner in question has ties to not only Dubai, but France as well.

So, if it's discovered that this man is connected to al Qaeda, is it safe to say that al Qaeda was planning on carrying out a winter offensive on the West? I'd say so. While we know, to some extent, that the Christmas Day attack was likely just one that would've killed a bunch of innocent people on a plane, there is no telling what this individual was planning. The plane's itinerary doesn't give us any clue as to a possible target aside from the planeload of people alone.

One thing is sure: Regardless of their affiliation, our jihadist enemies have been busy in the last few months planning out attacks on the West, or nations allied with Western nations. And while we have news reports today that Yemeni forces are going after al Qaeda there today Bill Roggio reports from The Long War Journal that Yemen hardly has a solid track record of cracking down on al Qaeda. The Yemeni government seems to let them operate in the open, which isn't a good thing, but given the war torn continent of Africa, it's not a surprise, either. We know for a fact that when al Qaeda's operations were disrupted in Afghanistan that the terror group scattered, and thanks to the excellent reporting of Bill Roggio, we know they began to reconstitute themselves in Africa; notably north Africa.

Barry may think that this war is over, and we can pay little attention to what our enemies are planning. And he may have been given a slim window of being able to turn a blind eye to the war, thanks to the efforts of the previous administration, but this Christmas season has shown our enemies haven't given up the fight. They're still in the game. It's time this administration keeps its head in the game, and maintains a war-footing. Our enemies haven't given up, and neither should we.

Publius II

The CIA failed to notify other agencies about AbdulMutallab

Barry called this a "systemic failure." That's correct, but the deeper we dig on this the worse it looks. Yesterday I wrote that FOX News revealed the CIA knew about this guy back in November. (On Hugh Hewitt's show yesterday, for those who listen to him, I stated that FOX was reporting on the tellie that the CIA was aware of him back in August. That information is now confirmed through CBS News.) Today we learn that not only did the CIA know about this guy, but they failed to alert the other intelligence agencies, DHS, or the DNI:

The father of terrorism suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab talked about his son's extremist views with someone from the CIA and a report was prepared, but the report was not circulated outside the agency, a reliable source told CNN's Jeanne Meserve on Tuesday.

Had that information been shared, the 23-year-old Nigerian who is alleged to have bungled an attempt to blow up a jetliner as it was landing in Detroit, Michigan, on Christmas Day might have been denied passage on the Northwest Airlines flight, the source said.

U.S. officials said the father, a former Nigerian banker, expressed his concerns about his son's radicalization during at least one meeting and several calls with officials at the embassy in Nigeria.

The information on AbdulMutallab had been sent to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, but it sat there for five weeks and was not disseminated, the source said.

Federal authorities have charged AbdulMutallab with trying to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear as the flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, made its final approach to Detroit. The device failed to fully detonate, instead setting off a fire at his seat.

An administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the federal government had information that should have been assessed and meshed with other information "that would have allowed us to disrupt the attempted terrorist attack" before the suspect boarded the jet.

"What we have here is a situation in which the failings were individual, organizational, systemic and technological," the official said. "We ended up in a situation where a single point of failure in the system put our security at risk, where human error was compounded by systemic deficiencies in a way that we cannot allow to continue."

But an intelligence official said that the son's name, passport number and possible connection to extremists were indeed disseminated. "I'm not aware of a magic piece of intelligence somehow withheld that would have put AbdulMutallab on the no-fly list," the official said.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said department staff did what they were supposed to have done by sending a cable to the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington about the matter. Kelly said any decision to have revoked the suspect's visa would have been an interagency decision.

This isn't good at all. Despite the intelligence official, who claims nothing would have placed AbdulMutallab on a no-fly list, at the very least he should've raised a ton of red flags, especially with the amount of interaction that his father had with embassy and intelligence officials regarding his son. Systemic? That's an understatement.

When we created the Director of National Intelligence post, I warned that it was a mistake because the failures to follow would be compounded. There is far too much in-fighting between our intelligence agencies. I said then that we didn't need a DNI. We needed to streamline and reform our intel agencies. Set aside those for domestic operations under one banner, and one for foreign intelligence under another. (Personally, I'd like to see them linked, but given their parameters and restrictions, that's just not possible in America. For something like my vision to happen, we'd have to rip apart the bureaucratic red tape that has plagued our intel agencies since their beginnings.)

Yesterday I called for Janet "Incompetano" Napolitano's head on a platter. She is beyond incompetent in that post, and she's proven it often since taking that post. But now I call for Leon Penetta to be relieved of his duties as Director of Central Intelligence. (For the uneducated, that would be the guy who heads up the CIA.) Liberals screamed for heads to roll regarding our failures to stop 9-11, and I supported their call. What I didn't support then, and I won't now, is the nilly-willy screams for the president's head, or members of his administration that weren't in the know.

Before we jump off the cliff, let's make sure we have the right heads before we go any further. We don't want scapegoats or those that are forced to fall on their swords to protect the real people who allowed this failure to occur.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: Michael Goldfarb from the Weekly Standard has an interesting piece of information in a blog post today regarding AbdulMutallab. In a post entitled "The Nigerian Lawyers Up," not only are we informed that AbdulMutallab has obtained a defense attorney, but also this fascinating little nugget of information:

It sounds like he was singing when they first got him, and of course we now know that the government already had enough information on him to justify sending a Blackwater hit team after him, but now that the people with all that information are finally in a position to ask the questions -- LAWYER. And let's not pretend that the FBI was asking him the right questions over the weekend as they told reporters they were still working under the assumption that the Nigerian had "acted alone." The CIA may have known he was al Qaeda months ago, but the FBI apparently didn't know until Monday -- after al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack. But now he's got a lawyer, and we can't interrogate him, we can't smack him around, we can't lay a finger on him.

OK, if the government deemed him enough of a threat to contract a Blackwater team to either kill him or capture him, then we, the people, aren't getting the full story about what the government knew and when they knew it, and more importantly why this man wasn't forbidden to board an airliner. I have e-mailed Mr. Goldfarb for a link to that piece of information because I'm not finding anything about a Blackwater hit team going after him on the Internet, on a host of search engines.

Publius II

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The CIA knew?

Consider this a bombshell revelation from the CIA. It seems they were warned about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's desire to wage jihad against America, and this guy still ended up on a US flight. DHS Secretary Janet "Incompetano" Napolitano is privy to such information being DHS Secretary. It falls under her purview. The briefings come down through respective intel agencies to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and should be passed on to the requisite offices. In this case, apparently, that didn't happen:

President Obama said Tuesday that a "systemic failure" on multiple levels allowed a passenger armed with explosives to board a Detroit-bound flight last week.

The president, in his most extensive comments so far on what went wrong in the security process, said information about the terror suspect was not properly shared among intelligence agencies. He said that information, particularly a warning to authorities from the 23-year-old suspect's father in Nigeria, should have landed him on a no-fly list well before he boarded the Northwest Airlines flight in Amsterdam.

"The warning signs would have triggered red flags and the suspect would have never been allowed to board that plane for America," Obama said. "A systemic failure has occurred, and I consider that totally unacceptable."

Suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has since been charged in connection with the failed plot.
There were a number of apparent warning signs before the attempt. Sources said he spent time in Yemen and may have been groomed for the mission. The suspect was on a terror database of more than a half-million people. He also reportedly paid for his airline ticket in cash and brought no check-in baggage with him. He ultimately cleared security at Amsterdam but the explosive mixture failed to properly detonate.

Obama said a mix of "human and systemic failures" contributed to what could have been a "catastrophic breach of security."

Later Tuesday, the CIA acknowledged that it had Abdulmutallab on its radar.

"We learned of Abdulmutallab in November, when his father came to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria and sought help in finding him," Paul Gimigliano, a CIA spokesman said. "We did not have his name before then. Also in November, we worked with the embassy to ensure he was in the government's terrorist database-including mention of his possible extremist connections in Yemen. We also forwarded key biographical information about him to the National Counterterrorism Center.

"This agency, like others in our government, is reviewing all data to which it had access-not just what we ourselves may have collected-to determine if more could have been done to stop Abdulmutallab."

Not bloody good enough. The terrorists only have to be right once. We have to be right all the time, and we almost screwed this up due to the utter incompetence int his administration. If this were Bush, the media would be screaming for heads on a platter. I'm not the first to call for that, but there needs to be a ton of heads that roll on this one. It should start with Panetta, and work it's way down.

We almost had a completely successful attack on America, and while it wouldn't have been a body count to rival 9-11, it still would've been a victory our enemies would've waved like a banner.

Publius II

Monday, December 28, 2009

Attack thwarted, but the system worked?

Over the weekend while we were all "enjoying" the company of family and friends, the jihadists were busy trying to hatch another attack on America. And like United Flight 93 on 11 September 2001 it took passengers taking matters into their hands to prevent this attack:

Federal officials and police are interviewing a man, believed to be Nigerian, who allegedly was trying to “explode” a powdery substance aboard a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, injuring himself and two other passengers, law enforcement officials said.

Northwest Airlines flight 253 landed safely in Detroit at 11:53 a.m. The man, whose flight started in Nigeria before stopping in Amsterdam, is in custody at the Detroit airport and being interviewed by authorities there. Investigators are trying to corroborate several statements he made to them and determine his mental stability.

Delta spokeswoman Susan Chana Elliott said that “as the plane was getting ready to land” in Detroit “a passenger caused a disturbance” by trying to ignite what was reported to be firecrackers. He was “subdued immediately.” Northwest is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delta.

It is unclear how powerful the explosive could have been and what the man’s intentions were. Initial reports were that fireworks or firecrackers had gone off on the plane. The man suffered second-degree burns, which is consistent with a small fireworks device.

Janet "Incompetano" Napolitano initially decreed that the security system "worked" yet he was still allowed to board a plane, bound for America, despite being on terrorist watch lists. Ms. Incompetano has since "adjusted" her statement while claiming she was taken out of context. (She claimed the system worked when it clearly didn't, so where's the lack of context, exactly?) The simple fact remains that the system didn't work, and while some claim this wasn't a serious threat Representative Pete King calls BS to that idea:

“He is a 23 year old Nigerian who is also – it’s been confirmed to me – while he was not on a no fly list, his name was on a list for having terrorist connections,” King said during an interview Christmas evening on CNN…

“His name was in a database indicating significant terrorist connections,” King said…

“There’s a real worry about terrorist activity in Nigeria, so much so that last year the American government gave body detection technology to Nigeria for their airports,” King said. “Their level of security, we felt was not comparable to others.”

Despite the hopey-changey BS perpetuated by this administration, our enemies aren't loving us much these days. They are still content to do this nation grievous harm, and now we can only speculate as to how much damage this man could have facilitated had he pulled off this attack. Forget the fact he burned himself with suicide bomber underwear. Bear in mind that our enemy is constantly working to hurt this nation, and they're not above altering motives and tactics to bypass our security efforts. It's clear he was able to bypass those extra measures made by the airline industry, and that he could have pulled this off had it not been for a couple attentive passengers.

They hate us. They want us destroyed. They want to inflict whatever harm they can on this nation, and the West in general, and for them, this war is far from over. It's about bloody time we wake up and see this as truth as opposed to speculation. The sooner we recognize that our enemies are determined to do us harm, the better off we'll be PROVIDED the gatekeepers do their jobs. Personally, I'd fire Janet Incompetano because she's not doing what's needed to provide security to this nation. She initially thought the system worked when it failed, and could have been a miserable failure with a body count no one would've wanted to deal with.

It's time to face facts: Our enemies hate us, what we are, what we represent, and for them the war doesn't end with a holiday season. We need to be equally as vigilant and smart, and if we're not, we reap what we sow.

Publius II

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Wishes

Greetings from snowy Prescott, AZ! We are getting our white Christmas in this year because we had no relatives or friends coming into to town, and my family has flown back to Ohio to be the family snowed in back there.

It has been a particularly insane year, and I am proud that Thomas was able to keep up with all of it while I dealt with school. He has done a very good job maintaining the site and keeping up with the news of the day; he also gives me daily briefs on what went on in the news. As I do not blog much here, I do still have a responsibility to Thomas when it comes to our regular columns. I would not be much of a partner with him if I did not know what I was talking about.

We hope that all of our readers have a very Merry Christmas, and a safe and Happy New Year. We will return after the Christmas holiday.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All is not lost in the health care fight

We're often accused of being too optimistic. Whether it's readers here, or friends we have in the non-Internet world, some tell us we wear rose-colored glasses far too much. That's not true at all, but it serves no purpose to maneuver through the swamps of political discourse as an eternal pessimist.

Could the health care non-reform pass? Yes it could.

Will it? I wouldn't be too sure about that, and I've got two people who back up my optimistic assessment that this fight is far from over.

First, Rich Lowry gives us five reasons why this could still fail to pass:

1. Public Revulsion. The bill was already under water in every major public-opinion poll, and opposed by a margin of almost 2 to 1 in the latest CNN poll. The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll put its support at freezing, 32 percent. A few ticks downward and the bill will be in the 20s.

Is anything that has happened recently likely to change the trajectory? The Reid bill just got even longer, and the new version includes more tax increases. Even by the standards of the United States Congress, the process has been hide-the-children ugly: massive payoffs to the on-the-fence senators and a heedless, late-night rush to pass something, anything. The Democrats have shown no inclination to let public opinion hold them back, but the stiff headwind makes everything a little harder and reduces an already-small margin for error.

One subset of public opinion will be particularly important: Nebraska. If Nelson is perceived to have made a career-defining choice that will end his designation as a conservative Democrat and a pro-lifer, and if he takes an immediate dive in the polls, it will cast a pall over other Blue Dogs inclined to play ball. In that case, the various payoffs on offer won’t seem worth the larger cost of supporting the bill. It’s too early to tell exactly how it’s going to play in Nebraska, but Nebraska Right to Life has been appropriately excoriating about Nelson’s betrayal. ...

2. The Stupak Dozen. Nelson cut a deal so far short of the Stupak language in the House that the National Right to Life Committee is going to score the cloture vote on the bill as a vote to subsidize abortion on demand. That won’t matter to anyone in the Senate, but it could have a major effect in the House. After her initial 220–215 victory, Pelosi can afford to lose only two net votes. Bart Stupak has declared the Nelson language unacceptable and vows to oppose the final bill if it doesn’t include the restrictions contained in his amendment. As John McCormack points out, earlier in the year Stupak was part of a bloc of Democrats who wrote a letter to Pelosi saying they’d stand against “any health-care-reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or -subsidized health-insurance plan.” Eleven of those signatories voted for the House bill.

Then there’s Joseph Cao, the Louisiana Republican who voted for the bill at the last moment during the first House vote but has said he would vote against the bill — even if doing so might cost him his seat — if it funds abortion. Surely, not all of the Stupak Dozen have that level of commitment. The full weight of the Democratic establishment will come crashing down on them if they threaten the bill. Still, it would take only two or three of them to upset the entire effort. One option would be simply to give them what they want. But will Barbara Boxer stand for the Stupak language in the Senate? This has been a devilish dilemma for the Democrats from the beginning, and it hasn’t gotten any easier as the stakes have gotten higher.

3. Who Pays? As a practical matter, it should be relatively easy to find a compromise on revenue sources. That doesn’t involve a hot-button cultural issue or a matter of deep principle like abortion. But the differences in financing between the Senate and the House bills are vast. The Senate relies on a so-called Cadillac tax on pricey insurance plans, the House on a surtax on the wealthy. The Senate long ago declared the surtax anathema, and the House is just as dismissive of the Cadillac tax. The unions hate the Cadillac tax, since they enjoy such plans themselves, the fruit of collective bargaining. If the House gives in, it will create even more unrest on the Left. If the Senate gives in, it could upset the fragile deal for 60. If this disagreement over financing doesn’t represent as dire a threat to the future of the bill as the other factors we are cataloguing, it’s still a stumbling block.

4. Feeling Blue. “Blue Dog Democrat” is understandably becoming a term of derision, denoting a willingness to object only enough to be noticed before caving in to the Democratic leadership. Yet the Blue Dogs still have to be a worry for supporters of the bill. When Obamacare first passed the House, 28 Blue Dog Democrats, more than half of their 52-member coalition, were on board. This is a pool that surely includes some very nervous votes. As Michael Barone points out, nearly 70 percent of the Blue Dogs represent districts that voted for John McCain. A vote for this bill must look even more like a potentially career-ending decision now than it did the first time around.

Keep an eye especially on the Pennsylvanians. Rep. Patrick Murphy already has four GOP opponents in his suburban Philadelphia district. After supporting round one of Obamacare, the auto bailouts, TARP, and the stimulus, Murphy may be looking for a way back toward the center. Reps. Kathy Dahlkemper and Christopher Carney, both elected in the 2006 anti-Bush sweep, represent blue-collar districts in the Keystone State in which Obama failed to reach 50 percent last year. You can bet that trio is watching the polls. Other Blue Dogs are simply getting out. In the past month, Reps. Bart Gordon (D., Tenn.), Dennis Moore (D., Kan.), and John Tanner (D., Tenn.) have all announced their retirements. ...

5. The Left. Progressives are pained, at what should be their very moment of triumph. The Senate dashed their dreams of the public option. Without it, many on the left are abandoning ship. “This is the real sticking point,” said Howard Dean last Sunday. “There hasn’t been much fight from the White House on that.” It was always unlikely, no matter how much Bernie Sanders grumbled, that left-wing senators would block the deal. It’s easier to imagine a firebrand or two in the House doing it. No fewer than 60 liberals in the House imprudently made a pledge to oppose a bill without a public option. Almost all of them can be expected to eat it. But what if one or two don’t? Public-option scold Rep. Anthony Weiner (D., N.Y.) is continuing to pressure Obama to move further left. “What we’re saying is now’s your moment, big guy, you’re the Mariano Rivera of this situation,” he said to MSNBC last week. “You’re going to come in at the end, and there’s still a chance to do it.” That’s not going to happen, but perhaps a few of Weiner’s colleagues are ideologically besotted enough to lash out at the president’s “betrayal” when he doesn’t “come in” the way they hope he will.

Following up Mr. Lowry's excellent analysis is Bill Kristol from the Weekly Standard with his take on how this might still fail to pass:

I’ve assumed for the last couple of days that the Democrats would succeed in passing the health care bill, and that our job was to make sure it turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory. Now I’m not so sure the legislation can’t still be derailed.

Two reasons:

First: the reaction to the deal-making. One friend e-mails, “uncharacteristically, I'm getting calls from relatives who want to talk about all the unseemly deals being cut to get the health bill through...that seems to have hit a nerve, as much as the price-tag.” That’s my sense too. Now combine the unseemly deals with Reid’s
pathetic defense of them yesterday. According to Reid, “this legislation is no different than the defense bill we just spent $600 billion on." As Dana Milbank points out in the Washington Post, “That would be the bill with more than 1,700 pet-project earmarks.” So when Reid says, "It's no different than other pieces of legislation," he’s giving up a lot—health care reform was supposed to be different. It was special, historic, a moral imperative, and so forth. If it’s no different, if it’s just another piece of cobbled-together legislation, why not kill this mess and start over?

Second: the issue Jim DeMint raised on the floor of the Senate last night. Why did the authors of the legislation want to specially protect the Independent Medicare Advisory Board by
making it difficult for future Congresses to legislate in that area? Because the heart of the bill is the attempt to get control of our health care permanently in the hands of federal bureaucrats, who would allegedly know better than doctors and patients what’s good for them, and who would cut access to care and the quality of care so there’s more money left over for various big government liberal social programs.

As people learn more about the sleazy sweetheart deals and the creepy permanent death panels—this thing could still go down in the House next month in the face of popular outrage.

What the Democrats are avoiding is the ire from the nation. Surely there will be a severe backlash should the Democrats actually pull off passing this monstrous boondoggle. Pelosi claims she can live with losing 30-40 seats int he midterms. Reid's been silent on the midterms, and most likely due to the fact that his neck appears to be on the chopping block. (He's trailing Danny Tarkanian and Sue Lowden right now, and his approval numbers sit at 38% amongst his constituents in Nevada and it reflects in the pre-election polls that shows he would lose to either GOP candidates.) Will Harry fall on his sword for Barry? Not bloody likely, but we never gave too much credit to Leftist Democrats when it comes to brains.

But there's no avoiding the outrage of the voters, no matter how much voter fraud Democrats may be relying on in the upcoming midterms. Let me put it succinctly, and pardon the language: People are downright, bloody-well pissed off. (And as I've said often, if you're not pissed off, you're not paying attention.) People are paying attention because this isn't the change they had in mind when they trusted the Democrats with one-party rule and power in Washington, DC. Seizing car companies and mortgage companies? Spending like there's no tomorrow putting this nation in trillions of dollars of debt that future generations can't hope to pay back? The Chicago thug politics that demonize American citizens? Sending union thugs to rough up American citizens for voicing their Constitutionally-protected freedom of speech?

Were the Founding Fathers alive today, they wouldn't recognize the nation they worked to create. In fact, they might even urge the citizens to rise up against their federal overlords because those in office now share eerie similarities to King George. They openly rebelled against that tyranny. Optimism will only care one so far before you get fed up and start acting. Now is the time to act to ensure these fools are tossed from office; never to return to harm this nation again. And they'll learn that lesson the hard way in November should they continue on this fool's errand as water carriers for a Statist like Barry. His change isn't what this nation needs. The change this nation needs is a return to common sense; the sort initiated by the Founders to solve our problems, not exacerbate them.

Publius II

Sebelius -- You will contribute to the abortion fund, and shut up!

No, she didn't actually say that, but it's more than implied. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a longtime proponent/ advocate/supporter of abortion, has assured us that EVERYONE will pay into the abortion fund whether we like it or not. What's worse is that based on the transcript provided by Captain Ed (the video is up at the Hot Air link) it's not just any fund. You'll notice that it sounds a lot like a slush fund, which Congress is notorious for creating to avoid any public oversight:

SEBELIUS: And I would say that the Senate language, which was negotiated by Senators Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, who are very strong defenders of women’s health services and choices for women, take a big step forward from where the House left it with the Stupak amendment, and I think do a good job making sure there are choices for women, making sure there are going to be some plan options, and making sure that while public funds aren’t used, we are not isolating, discriminating against, or invading the privacy rights of women. That would be an accounting procedure, but everybody in the exchange would do the same thing, whether you’re male or female, whether you’re 75 or 25, you would all set aside a portion of your premium that would go into a fund, and it would not be earmarked for anything, it would be a separate account that everyone in the exchange would pay.

BLOGHER: It’s a bit confusing, but …

SEBELIUS: Okay. It is a bit confusing, but it’s really an accounting that would apply across the board and not just to women, and certainly not just to women who want to choose abortion coverage.

BLOGHER: Oh, that’s good, that’s good.

Yet, Ms. Sebelius is counting on this money to pay for abortions on the taxpayer's dime. As the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade, and in subsequent abortion cases, taxpayers shouldn't be forced to pay for this. The choice of abortion is a woman's choice, alone, and no one should be forced to pay for them. The Senate has decided that they're going to trump the decisions of the Supreme Court and force Americans to pay for this heinous procedure. Furthermore, language in the health care non-reform is stripping the "conscience clause" from any power. That clause was enacted by Congress under President Bush, and it allows health care professionals to opt out of any active participation in an abortion based on the person's deeply-held beliefs.

We need to remember that Barry is the most pro-abortion president we've ever had leading this nation. He's surrounded himself by people who wholeheartedly embrace the practice of abortion. Kathleen Sebelius is a prime example of this sort of political ideology. Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, and others in the Senate have equated the practice of abortion to the prescribing of Viagra. Not even close, ladies. That's a comparison between apples and oranges, and a non-sequitor to boot. Neither have anything to do with one another. And Viagra, as I recall, is covered under the Medicare/Medicaid drug plan enacted by Congress under President Bush. But abortion, as dictated by the Supreme Court, isn't to be covered by taxpayer dollars.

The Nelson agreement doesn't end the public funding of abortion. the Stupak amendment from the House version of the bill did. Given the extremist tendencies of the Democrats in Congress, it's no surprise they're trying to ram this down the public's throat. But the idea that the money will be set aside, and not directly earmarked for anything, should have fiscal hawks howling with indignation.

I think Congress has wasted enough of our money on pet projects and pork bribes. It's time this was stopped. Hopefully the midterms will be a better barometer of the nation's attitude towards who's in charge, and what they're being trusted to do. It's clear that the majority of the nation who put these fools in charge got horn-swaggled by a bunch of slick, used-car salesmen. Now there's buyer's remorse, and they're ready to take it out on the party in charge running roughshod over our Constitution, and the legacy the Framers left for us.

Publius II

Friday, December 18, 2009

"The Architect" speaks out about Barry

I know that a lot of people don't like Karl Rove, and that's the opinion on both sides of the aisle. There are quite a few Republicans that dislike the man for the way he advised President Bush while he was in office. What people need to remember is that President Bush was his own man; he was set on his own course as president, and all Mr. Rove could really do is advise him on his agenda. The Left positively despises this man (and a few are still awaiting his arrest on charges that don't exist, nor will they ever) because of his electoral genius in thwarting them for eight straight years.

Mr. Rove has penned a piece for the Wall Street Journal which is well worth reading which is why I'm going to cite it, in it's entirety, right here:

Barack Obama has won a place in history with the worst ratings of any president at the end of his first year: 49% approve and 46% disapprove of his job performance in the latest USA Today/Gallup Poll.

There are many factors that explain it, including weakness abroad, an unprecedented spending binge at home, and making a perfectly awful health-care plan his signature domestic initiative. But something else is happening.

Mr. Obama has not governed as the centrist, deficit-fighting, bipartisan consensus builder he promised to be. And his promise to embody a new kind of politics—free of finger-pointing, pettiness and spin—was a mirage. He has cheapened his office with needless attacks on his predecessor.

Consider Mr. Obama's comment in his interview this past Sunday on CBS's "60 Minutes" that the Bush administration made a mistake in speaking in "a triumphant sense about war."

This was a slap at every president who rallied the nation in dark moments, including Franklin D. Roosevelt ("With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph"); Woodrow Wilson ("Right is more precious than peace and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts"); and John F. Kennedy ("Any hostile move anywhere in the world against the safety and freedom of peoples to whom we are committed . . . will be met by whatever action is needed").

This kind of attack gives Mr. Obama's words a slippery quality. For example, he voted for the bank rescue plan in September 2008 and praised it during the campaign. Yet on Dec. 8 at the Brookings Institution, Mr. Obama called it "flawed" and blamed "the last administration" for launching it "hastily."

Really? Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and New York Fed President Timothy Geithner designed it. If it was "flawed," why did Mr. Obama later nominate Mr. Bernanke to a second term as Fed chairman and make Mr. Geithner his Treasury secretary?

Mr. Obama also claimed at Brookings that he prevented "a second Great Depression" by confronting the financial crisis "largely without the help" of Republicans. Yet his own Treasury secretary suggests otherwise. In a Dec. 9 letter, Mr. Geithner admitted that since taking office, the Obama administration had "committed about $7 billion to banks, much of which went to small institutions." That compares to $240 billion the Bush administration lent banks. Does Mr. Obama really believe his additional $7 billion forestalled "the potential collapse of our financial system"?

Mr. Obama continued distorting the record in his "60 Minutes" interview Sunday when he blamed bankers for the financial crisis. They "caused the problem," he insisted before complaining, "I haven't seen a lot of shame on their part" and pledging to put "a regulatory system in place that prevents them from putting us in this kind of pickle again."

But as a freshman senator, Mr. Obama supported a threatened 2005 filibuster of a bill regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He doesn't show "a lot of shame" that he and other Fannie and Freddie defenders blocked "a regulatory system" that might have kept America from getting in such a bad pickle in the first place.

The president's rhetorical tricks don't end there. Mr. Obama also claimed his $787 billion stimulus package "helped us [stem] the panic and get the economy growing again." But 1.5 million more people are unemployed than he said there would be if nothing were done.

And as of yesterday, only $244 billion of the stimulus had been spent. Why was $787 billion needed when less than a third of that figure supposedly got the job done?

Mr. Obama also alleged on "60 Minutes" that health-care reform "will actually bring down the deficit" (which people clearly know it will not). He said his reform reduces "costs and premiums for American families and businesses" (though they will be higher than they would otherwise be). And he claimed 30 million more people will get coverage through "an exchange that allows individuals and small businesses" to purchase insurance (though 15 million of them are covered by being dumped into Medicaid and don't get private insurance).

Mr. Obama may actually believe it when he says, "I think that's a pretty darned good outcome" and congratulates himself that he could succeed where "seven presidents have tried . . . [and] seven presidents have failed."

But voters seem to have a different definition of success. And they are tiring of the president's blame shifting and distortions.

Mr. Obama may believe, as he told Oprah Winfrey in a recent interview, that he deserves a "solid B+" for his first year in office, but the American people beg to differ. A presidency that started with so much promise is receiving unprecedentedly low grades from the country that elected him. He's earned them.

Barry's approval numbers are his own making. He can't blame them on President Bush. Was he left with a mess? Not as much as he claims seeing as how Democrats consistently blocked any sort of reform to the financial industry that brought on this recession. They blocked reform on Freddie and Fannie, applied pressure to banks to hand out risky loans to people that couldn't handle, and constantly tied the hands of an administration trying to prevent what was coming down the pipe. Barry accepted this "crisis" as an excuse to enact his ideas of change for America that aren't doing one bloody thing to fix any of this.

Barry can put the blame wherever he chooses to, but America isn't fooled. This is why he is staring at the worst numbers for a president in his first year in office, and his party's majorities in Congress are in serious jeopardy. The generic ballots for Congress show that America is ready to toss the Democrats out of power come next year because they don't like being deceived. And for those who claim that the American people weren't fooled, they're liars. The Democrats ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility, a platform of ending corruption in Congress. Neither has happened. The Democrats have spent this nation into virtual bankruptcy. The debt is higher than it's ever been, and the House has passed the measure to increase the debt ceiling for the nation. The Democrats seem ready to finish off this nation by draining it of it's last vestiges of wealth.

A solid B+, Mr. President? Only if the question is "How do you rate your incompetence." A solid B+ is a fair assessment. If the question is "How do you rate your first year in office?" his answer should reflect that of the nation -- a solid F.

Publius II

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Issue Up!!

It's the sixteenth, folks, and that means that the new issue of Common Conservative has been published. Consider it an early Christmas present as some of these pieces are gems.

Note to readers: This post will remain at the top of the page for the day. Any newer posts on current events/news will be below this, so please scroll down.

The Chief starts us off with a piece discussing those people who are just way too into Christmas. (This isn't a bad things, folks, but it is one of the reasons why I'm a Scrooge until the 23rd of December.)

Larry Simoneaux asks for society to get serious about certain things, and he uses the Maurice Clemmons incident to explain the need for seriousness.

Kicking off the guests this issue is Rock Peters who entertains us with a fine Christmas satire.

Carolyn Hileman takes a look at the "grinches" in Congress, hard at work to wreck the American health care and health insurance industy.

John Lillpop continues the Christmas theme with a piece on the "Top Nine Liberal 'Truths' About Christmas." (This is definitely chuckle-worthy.)

Dr. Robert Owens skips the Christmas theme, but does focus on the recent revelation that global warming/climate change has been a hoax from the start.

J.J. Jackson follows up Dr. Owens with his own piece reflecting his thoughts on the hoax exposed.

Rounding us out this issue is Carey Roberts who joins Dr. Owens and Mr. Lillpop in piling on the false prophets who warned us and cajoled us into believing that man could every, truly, hurt the planet.

Enjoy reading, and have a Merry Christmas!

Publius II

Pulling back on drone attacks

Another expiration date for Barry has been reached. Geraghty the Indispensable reminds us of the rhetoric at his national convention:

When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell — but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.

Newsweek reports that we have finally reached the expiration date on hunting down and killing the animals who are waging war on us:

One person standing in the way of expanded missile strikes: President Obama. Five administration officials tell NEWSWEEK that the president has sided with political and diplomatic advisers who argue that widening the scope of the drone attacks would be risky and unwise. Obama is concerned that firing missiles into urban areas like Quetta, where intelligence reports suggest that Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and other high-level militants have sometimes taken shelter, would greatly increase the risk of civilian casualties. It would also draw protests from Pakistani politicians and military leaders, who have been largely quiet about the drone attacks as long as they've been confined to the country's out-of-sight border region. The White House has been encouraged by Pakistan's own recent military efforts to root out militants along the Afghan border, and it does not want to jeopardize that cooperation.

Now I'm not heartless here, but the fever-swamp/antiwar kooks on the Left have to wake up and get a clue.

In war, civilian casualties will happen. There's no way to 100%, absolutely avoid such casualties. It happens, and while it's deplorable there's no reason to institute rules of engagement that put our soldiers at risk. Right now they do live in great danger thanks to those RoEs that is making life not only difficult, but nearly impossible to accomplish the mission at hand.

They're not allowed to engage the enemy unless they can guarantee that no civilians are in the crossfire. That's virtually impossible in Afghanistan; almost as much as it was in Iraq. Tying our soldier's hands so they can't operate effectively isn't the right idea.

Nor is it the right idea to end the drone strikes. They have been more than effective in that area, and it allows us to take the fight to the Taliban elements that sit just over the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Just last week we were able to take out a Taliban commander in one such attack, and a rather high-level one at that. (Saleh al-Somali was a senior al Qaeda operations officer that had previously been targeted by drone operators just weeks before the 11th, which is when he reached room temperature.)

Drone attacks are effective for two reasons. First, they're already up in the air should we engage the enemy, and our soldiers are taking more heat than they can afford. When that happens, they can call in the drones. Two, the drones are rather quiet so it's not like we're tipping our hand when we move in with a strike on targets in Waziristan. Literally, the Taliban/AQ targets never know what hit them when we do a drone attack. THAT makes them extremely effective provided our intel is correct, and we get a big fish in our sights.

The fecklessness from Barry is irritating. Either he is going to fight to win this war, or he should pull our soldiers out. There's no reason for them to be fodder for the Taliban. It's clear to us that he isn't being serious about Afghanistan. That's evident in the tightened RoEs, only sending 30,000 troops instead of the 60-80 thousand that General McChrystal requested, and now we have the wavering on the drone issue. It seems to us he's not as serious about this theater of operations as our soldiers are, and if he's not going to take this seriously then it's time to bring our troops home.

Publius II

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Amnesty rears its ugly head, again

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll recall that back in April of 2006 the Senate proposed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act to address the issue of illegal immigration. At the time, nerves and tempers were frayed as both pro-and-anti-illegal immigration forces squared off over whether the bill itself was a smart move. In the end, the bill died. Those opposed to giving any level of amnesty to illegal aliens won the round, but not the war. Michelle Malkin notes that round two is about to get underway, and it has the backing of House lawmakers (Democrats, naturally), but also the SEIU:

Democrats on Tuesday begin their new push for an immigration bill, hamstrung by the image of legalizing millions of illegal immigrant workers at a time when the unemployment rate stands at 10 percent -- more than twice what it was the last time Congress tried to act.

[Author's note -- REAL unemployment numbers stand at approximately 17.2%.]

"It certainly will confuse the debate a lot more, but at the end of the day what we have to understand is fixing this system will be good for American workers," said Eliseo Medina, executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union, which is one of the major advocates for legalizing illegal immigrant workers.

Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, the Illinois Democrat who has taken over leadership on the issue after the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, plans to introduce an immigration legalization bill Tuesday, and backers are planning a strategy to avoid repeats of the failed attempts of 2006 and 2007.

In a letter to members of Congress last week seeking support for the bill, Mr. Gutierrez and Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez, New York Democrat and chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said their legislation will end the off-the-books economy of illegal immigrant workers and protect American workers by raising labor standards.

"In these difficult economic times, we must ensure that everyone contributes toward the recovery and prosperity of our nation," they wrote. "To this end, it is imperative that all individuals and employers pay their fair share in taxes."

A draft overview of the bill, circulated with the letter, ends some enforcement tools such as the 287(g) local police cooperation program, calls for an electronic verification system to replace the voluntary E-verify program, argues that there's no need for more U.S. Border Patrol agents or fencing, and establishes a long-term path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

That path would require illegal immigrants to pay a $500 fine, pass a background check and learn English and civics to gain legal status. After six years, they could apply for legal permanent residence, or a green card, which is the interim step to citizenship. There is no "touchback" provision requiring them to return to their home countries at some point in the process.

Republicans are sharpening their attacks and going straight for the jobs argument.

"With 15 million Americans out of work, it's hard to believe that anyone would give amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants," said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. "Even the open-borders crowd agrees that illegal immigrants take jobs from American workers, particularly poor and disadvantaged citizens and legal immigrants. This is exactly why we need to oppose amnesty."

Readers know we stood opposed to the bill in 2006 for a variety of reasons. Among them were the Z-Visas, and the failure to enforce the provisions we have on the books. Basically the 2006 bill would have given illegal aliens a slap on the wrist, and move them right into our society as de-facto citizens.

America is a melting pot of many, many different nationalities and cultures. We are also a nation based on laws, and these people have consistently flouted those laws. there has to be some sort of punishment for their repeated transgressions. This is NOT a racist mentality. It's one rooted in the law, which readers will agree that's all we really care about -- upholding the law as it's written today. In 1986, in exchange for amnesty, President Reagan wanted tougher enforcement, and Congress promised that. But Congress upholds promises the way President Obama does; that said, they don't. The amnesty in 1986 was simply an invitation for more to flood this nation in the hopes that, eventually, the people would just get fed up and call for another amnesty.

Now that's not possible in a common sense way. With unemployment at the levels it's at right now, and the fact that these two morons in the House want to gut the enforcement provisions enacted since the 2006 attempt, illegal aliens will get a level of amnesty that is slightly more stringent than the ;86 amnesty, but it still equates to a slap on the wrist.

Let me be perfectly clear on this: There is no way in Hell we can round up all the illegals here and send them home. Not only is it not feasible, but it'll lead to court challenges that will drag on for years. (Can you say anchor babies, folks?) It's much easier to tell them they'll have to pay a fine, do the touchback to their home country, and reenter the US to be regularized. They go to the back of the line when it comes to citizenship so we don't give preferential treatment to those who haven't worked hard to become a citizen. In addition, the US needs a guest worker program for immigrants seeking work. Granted, the number allowed in on guest worker visas will be severely curtailed to ensure Americans get the jobs first, especially at this time in the recession. Americans need the work. Immigrant workers do too, but we take care of our own first and foremost.

Why is the SEIU involved? Simply put, they want more members involved in their union. More members equals more dues which equals more power for the union. Follow the link above to Michelle's post, and watch the video of the SEIU goons bragging about the amount of illegal aliens already on the union rolls.

The Democrats need this to enhance their voting base. That's all they care about. They don't care about those who try to get to the US at their own peril. Every summer in Arizona we're treated to stories of illegal aliens caught int he desert by Border Patrol agents, and how dehydrated they are because they don't have the provisions to make the trek. Bleeding heart stories, children having to endure the journey, and even the occasional dead alien in the desert that just couldn't make it. For the bleeding hearts out there, I really don't care about them. They knew it was going to be dangerous, and I'm sick of the media trying to demonize us for these people trying to enter our nation illegally.

A common sense immigration reform would help end this, but the politicos in DC don't want this. They use the aliens as a political pawn, and as we see in this new attempt by Democrats to give these people amnesty, they're still just a pawn on the chess board. They don't care about them on iota. All they want is their money and their votes. Beyond that, they're willing to let these people live in squalor and poverty. We'd rather see them given a chance to succeed in America, and work towards becoming a citizen if they so choose. Many don't. Many just want work. For that, we need a guest worker program, and those here who want to be citizens need to be regularized. If these aren't two of the overall goals of the bill, then it should be DOA the moment Rep. Gutierrez introduces it.

Publius II

Guess who's coming to town?

No, this isn't some sort of Christmas joke because I'm not talking about Santa Claus. In fact, I'm referring to some very naughty people who will be arriving in the US soon (within a few months), and they'll be dropped off in Illinois. Who am I referring to? The detainees from the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility, of course:

A prison complex 150 miles from Chicago will house Gitmo detainees, the Obama administration will announce Tuesday.

A senior administration official tells ABC News that on Tuesday the administration will announce that President Obama "has directed that the federal government proceed with the acquisition of the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Illinois to house federal inmates and a limited number of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."

Thomson Correctional Center is a maximum security prison that opened in 2001 but has never been fully utilized because of state budget issues.

Information from the state of Illinois indicates that Thomson Correctional Center is a Level 1 adult male maximum-security facility comprised of 1,600 cells and eight housing units, none of which are currently used. The facility is on 146 acres and is currently surrounded by a 12-foot exterior fence and 15-foot interior fence -- which includes a dual sided electric stun fence. The cell houses were constructed with pre-cast, reinforced cement walls. The complex also contains a 200-bed minimum-security unit, which has been operational.

"Closing the detention center at Guantanamo is essential to protecting our national security and helping our troops by removing a deadly recruiting tool from the hands of al Qaeda," the official said. "Tomorrow’s announcement is an important step forward as we work to achieve our national security objectives."

HT to Captain Ed.

Maybe Dear Leader -- the man-child Barry Obama -- forgets what this means when they come here. Not only will they be allowed to utilize the civilian criminal justice system to better challenge their detainment, but should it be determined that they have been "illegally detained," they could, in theory, be released. Where will they be released?

Right here in the United States.

None of our allies want to house these animals, and to send them back to their country of origin (or a country that would accept them, such as Pakistan, or Iran, or Lebanon) is to invite them to go back to the battlefield fighting against our soldiers. Many detainees already released from Gitmo have done exactly that. So, in his infinite stupidity, the president has decided this is the easiest way to close down the detention facility.

See, Congress has, so far, refused to move on shutting the facility down. (This is the dirty, little secret about Executive Orders. Executive Orders aren't diktats from up on high that can't be challenged. Congress has a check against such powers by refusing to fund them just as the SCOTUS has a check against them. If you disagree with the latter I suggest you research Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer decided by SCOTUS in 1952. Truman had issued Executive Order 10340 to take control of the steel industry, and the SCOTUS slapped him down.) Congress, it seems, knows better than the president regarding this issue. they know -- deep down inside they know -- that the Gitmo facility is the better place to keep these animals. But Barry has a fever-swamp fringe base he has to appeal to, especially on the heels of his decision to send a surge of troops to Afghanistan.

Will this affect him? Not really. Senator Dick Durbin and Governor Pat Quinn successfully lobbied him to send the detainees to the Thomson Correctional Facility. His fringe base is screaming at him to (finally) uphold one of his campaign promises. And the voters in Illinois won't turn their back on their favored son in 2012 over this; that is they won't provided nothing bad comes out of this transfer. (No offense, but if any of these animals escape, or cause an extreme amount of havoc and chaos in the prison, you can expect this to reflect badly on the president, and it could cost him in 2012.)

As for the general electorate of course there's going to be a backlash. His overall approval rating sits at 46% right now, and it's continuing to drop like a rock. In short, the only people who seem to like this rube are the lemmings in his fever-swamp base. The rest of the nation is slowly waking up to see that this man is worse than Jimmy Carter, and we all know what happened to Carter, don't we?

This isn't a smart move for many reasons; legal reasons leading the pack with national security on par or running a close second. We're inviting danger into the nation thanks to the inexperienced, thin-skinned man-child. Barry doesn't know what the Hell he's doing, but he's playing his base like a harp from Hell. As they say, this will not end well, and we will be on the receiving end of the disaster that is to come.

Publius II

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

As if they don't indoctrinate our kids enough ...

This should be a story being talked about all around the blogs and on talk radio, but as yet, it hasn't breached the veil. Howard Zinn -- noted socialist and history revisionist -- is teaming up with bigwigs in Hollywood and the History Channel to continue the insidious indoctrination of kids in school regarding American history:

Children are uniquely malleable beings, readily convinced of magically colorful tales – Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are the first that come to mind. This innocence is beautiful, but it is a quality that can easily fall victim to radically foreign ideas if taught consistently and pervasively at an early age. One need only look at the birth of fascism or socialism to see a recipe for how radical ideas become ubiquitous among a nation’s youth.

Enter Howard Zinn – an author, professor and American historian – who, with the help of Hollywood and the History Channel, intends to change the way our pre-K through high school children learn American history. His current curriculum suggestions, like introducing three-year-olds to the lynching of African-Americans, or quizzing seven-year-olds on which Presidents owned slaves, should be a red flag to parents.

Zinn has spent a lifetime teaching college students about the evils of capitalism, the promise of Marxism, and his version of American history – a history that has, in his view, been kept from students. His controversial 1980-book The People’s History of the United States paints traditional American history as a façade – one that has grotesquely immortalized flawed leaders and is based on principles that victimize the common man. In 2004, Zinn wrote a companion book entitled Voices Of A People’s History Of The United States, which includes speeches and writings from many of the people featured in The People’s History.

These two books have now become the basis for a new documentary, entitled The People Speak, to be aired December 13th at 8pm on the History Channel. The trailer portrays the documentary as a collage of compelling one-person readings, told through the words of “ordinary” people who have struggled throughout American history against oppression. Produced by Zinn, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and Chris Moore, the documentary appears to be cloaked, ironically (given Zinn’s admitted socialist agenda), in many of the traditional ideas that were behind our founding. The verdict is still out on the doc, but it is not for the books that inspired the film as well as the educational initiative associated with it.

Perhaps due to their one-sided perspective of America’s past, Zinn’s history books have largely been limited to colleges and universities, until now. In the press release announcing the broadcast, HISTORY introduced a partnership with VOICES Of A People’s History Of The United States, a nonprofit led by Zinn that bares the same name as his companion book, to help get his special brand of history into classrooms.

Delving into Zinn’s nonprofit is where this story gets interesting, and the organization’s grade school educational ambitions concerning.

VOICES’ function is to provide live performances of readings from the book Voices of a People’s History as well as educational materials to schoolteachers. The nonprofit’s site provides teachers with resources, including a teaching guide that explains how to get students excited about Zinn’s history books. Their educational materials also includes the Zinn Education Project, a resource for teaching Zinn’s perspective of American history to – drum roll please – pre-Kindergarten through high school students! Included in the curriculum for pre-K students (that’s three and four year-olds) is “Rethinking Columbus,” which counters “the myth of Columbus.” In Zinn’s view, our pre-K children “need to hear from those whose lands and rights were taken away by those who ‘discovered’ them.”

Another teaching lesson for our three-year-old students is “One Country! One Language! One Flag!” that includes teaching ideas for “examining the history of the Pledge of Allegiance and the political milieu in which it was written.” The teaching plan suggests introducing our pre-K-ers to the lynching of African-Americans in the 1880s, and introducing the history of violence and discrimination against minority groups. It also proposes a discussion on an old “One Language!” chant allegedly used in classrooms up until 1942, and poses teachers with the question, “Why not lead kids in the original Pledge to the Flag, including the ‘One Language!’ chant and the Nazi-like salute, and then lead a discussion about the politics of the Pledge?”

This discussion is proposed for kids age three to seven?

Zinn also includes a youngster version of his influential book entitled A Young People’s History of the United States as an introduction to his untold American History. The publisher of the book highlights a review by the magazine Socialist Review, who proclaimed “Howard Zinn has adapted his People’s History of the United States for younger readers, but in no way do these books pull their punches. Zinn feels the younger reader is entitled to look at US history honestly.”

The background of the board of directors and advisers of VOICES’ can only be described as jaw dropping and begins to show a clear motive behind teaching this predominantly anti-American history at such a young age.

Made up of several notables including Zinn, Kerry Washington, and Marisa Tomei, all of whom make appearances in the documentary, the VOICES board also includes radicals who play a role in our public schools. Brian Jones, a New York teacher and actor, is a board member of VOICES and has also played the lead in Zinn’s play Marx in SoHo.

This is appalling and disgusting. The Left isn't content to brainwash the kids heading to college, so they're now directly targeting the younger kids in their early education. My personal opinion of Howard Zinn is he's a socialist @$$-hat that deserves neither recognition or reverence. He's done severe damage to kids, in general, with his revisionist history of America. I'm not one to sugar-coat American history, but there comes a time where you recognize the failings of a nation, and outright lie about it.

The Hollywood Left don't have a clue about history. They speak as if they're educated on such matters, and they continually show themselves to be plain simpletons; nary a cognitive thought in their empty heads. These people speak on TV or before Congress as if they actually know what they're talking about, and it's quite clear they don't. Those in Hollywood should stick to what they know best -- FANTASY.

If you're a parent, you might want to have a talk with your child's teacher and principal, and inform them that your child won't be participating in this sort of garbage. In fact, you might even want to ask them why they're not using Dr. William Bennett's seminal work, "America: The Last Best Hope" (both volumes, mind you) in the classroom as opposed to the revisionist crap that terrorist-apologist, antiwar zealot Howard Zinn has assembled for the young and impressionable.

It's time that parents start making influential inroads into the schools so throttled by government political correctness, and anti-American sentiment. This is the greatest, freest nation on the face of the planet, and the lone beacon of freedom and hope the world can look to. But people like Howard Zinn, and his Hollywood cronies want kids to see their version of American history. Their version isn't filled with the truth and facts that kids need to know about their country. It's filled with damnable lies, and pushed by a socialist agenda that is apparently unhappy that many kids are actually getting a real education on American history either through good teachers or their parents. so they're moving to subvert that influence.

It's time for parents to stand up and stop this crap. When we lose our history, we lose the legacy left to us by the Founders and Framers. When we lose our history, the next generations have no clue as to why they should be productive in our society, and no clue as to why we should defend and protect this nation from the evils of the world.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: On the subject of indoctrination, a couple e-mailers reminded me to bring up the disgusting and appalling sexual indoctrination of schoolchildren by Barry's "safe-schools czar" Kevin Jennings. Follow the link to Michelle's site and read what this piece of human debris is pushing on the kids in school. Teaching "fisting" in high school? Jennings shouldn't just be fired, he should be in jail for pushing teachers to teach this curriculum to underage kids.

Publius II

TSA giving away the kitchen sink

This is another example of how bloated the federal bureaucracy is. The TSA had a major security breach yesterday in revealing it's steps for security measures in airports -- including what they don't search. (If you're nervous about flying, like I am, you may never want to fly again.)

In a massive security breach, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) inadvertently posted online its airport screening procedures manual, including some of the most closely guarded secrets regarding special rules for diplomats and CIA and law enforcement officers.

The most sensitive parts of the 93-page Standard Operating Procedures manual were apparently redacted in a way that computer savvy individuals easily overcame.

The document shows sample CIA, Congressional and law enforcement credentials which experts say would make it easy for terrorists to duplicate.

The improperly redacted areas indicate that only 20 percent of checked bags are to be hand searched for explosives and reveal in detail the limitations of x-ray screening machines.

"This is an appalling and astounding breach of security that terrorists could easily exploit," said Clark Kent Ervin, the former inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security. "The TSA should immediately convene an internal investigation and discipline those responsible."

"This shocking breach undercuts the public's confidence in the security procedures at our airports," said Senator Susan Collins, R-Me., ranking Republican member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. "On the day before the Senate Homeland Security Committee's hearing on terrorist travel, it is alarming to learn that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) inadvertently posted its own security manual on the Internet."

"This manual provides a road map to those who would do us harm," said Collins. "The detailed information could help terrorists evade airport security measures." Collins said she intended to ask the Department of Homeland Security how the breach happened, and "how it will remedy the damage that has already been done." ...

The document contains a list of items for which screening is not required including wheelchairs, footwear of disabled individuals, casts and orthopedic shoes.

The redacted portions also indicate which law enforcement personnel are specially screened or exempt from some screening procedures, and indicate what requirements they must meet to be eligible for special screening.

TSA screeners are also told to require extra screening for any passenger whose passport was issued by Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, Yemen or Algeria.

Now the TSA claims this is an outdated document, and that they've changed their methods from what is enumerated. But we know how the government works, and the chances that they changed anything of significance is slim and none. Could they have changed some of their methods? Sure. With regard to disabled individuals or those with casts or prosthetics? We're too bloody PC to do that. (No, we shouldn't be searching granny, but the shifty guy in the wheelchair that looks a tad too nervous? You bet.)

The incompetence in this fiasco comes two-fold: Not only could the TSA keep this breach from happening, but they can't seem to redact the bloody thing properly. Back in 2006 our military did a document dump on Saddam's regime in Iraq; millions of pages of documents detailing everything from his WMD program to his ties to terrorist cells throughout the region. Within a couple months of that document dump, reporters at the NY Times discovered schematics in those documents for a nuclear weapon, and the documents were immediately sealed from public scrutiny. (Before that, bloggers poured over the documents digging up nuggets to shut the antiwar crowd up.) Then a lot of people gave the Times credit for keeping a secret (as opposed to blowing secrets like they did with the NSA's Terrorist Surveillance Program). Now we have another secret revealed that could do serious harm to the nation, only this time it wasn't a leak directly from a news organization.

It's from the TSA itself.

The entire Obama administration is a walking cluster-f*ck of incompetence, and this is just another point of reinforcement in that thought. Barry doesn't know the first thing about running a nation (or a business, for that matter), and he's shown it over 11 months. The political correctness evident in the military is getting our soldiers killed abroad and at home. They can't figure out how to stimulate the economy or create jobs to get us out of this recession that has REAL unemployment numbers topping 17%. One could overlook those things, but when it comes to national security the incompetence is inexcusable.

The TSA needs to fire whoever screwed this up, and reexamine their methods for security at airports. Above all, they need to keep their methods under wraps. When our enemy knows our security measures then they know how to hurt us. They're still focused on how to really hit us hard -- harder than 11 September. If the air transportation industry is used again to attack this nation, the screaming for heads won't be quelled by some flowery, fluffy rhetoric from the man-child president.

Publius II