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, March 31, 2010

"An intelligence coup": Iranian nuclear scientist defects to the US

From an exclusive story from ABC, an Iranian nuclear scientist defected from the regime last year, and the CIA has revealed that story in a report delivered to Congress:

An award-winning Iranian nuclear scientist, who disappeared last year under mysterious circumstances, has defected to the CIA and been resettled in the United States, according to people briefed on the operation by intelligence officials.

The officials were said to have termed the defection of the scientist, Shahram Amiri, "an intelligence coup" in the continuing CIA operation to spy on and undermine Iran's nuclear program.
A spokesperson for the CIA declined to comment. In its declassified annual report to Congress, the CIA said, "Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons though we do not know whether Tehran eventually will decide to produce nuclear weapons."

Amiri, a nuclear physicist in his early 30s, went missing last June three days after arriving in Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage, according to the Iranian government. He worked at Tehran's Malek Ashtar University, which is closely connected to Iran's Revolutionary Guard, according to the Associated Press.

"The significance of the coup will depend on how much the scientist knew in the compartmentalized Iranian nuclear program," said former White House counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke, an ABC News consultant. "Just taking one scientist out of the program will not really disrupt it."

Iran's Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, and other Iranian officials last year blamed the U.S. for "kidnapping" Amiri, but his whereabouts had remained a mystery until now.

According to the people briefed on the intelligence operation, Amiri's disappearance was part of a long-planned CIA operation to get him to defect. The CIA reportedly approached the scientist in Iran through an intermediary who made an offer of resettlement on behalf of the United States.

Mr. Clarke is correct. One scientist won't derail the Iranian nuclear program, but the intelligence he can give to us while being debriefed will be invaluable. I dislike the fact that this was not still classified. Iran will take steps to make defection even harder now, and all of their key scientists will be carefully surveilled to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

That's not to say we wouldn't be able to pull off another defection, but it will be increasingly more difficult and dangerous for our operatives to make a defection go down. It also wouldn't surprise me that if another defection is about to happen that the regime in Tehran wouldn't blink an eye at killing the defector.

Publius II

Ambushing the CIA

Bill Gertz has penned a piece today about an ACLU group called the John Adams Project. (Misnamed, mind you as the ACLU states that it was based on John Adams decision to represent the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre. The problem lies in their allegation that the soldiers killed five "Americans." History lesson, folks: The event took place on 5 March 1770, six years before the colonists were officially "Americans.") But I digress ...

Mr. Gertz lays out the problem facing the CIA:

A team of CIA counterintelligence officials recently visited the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and concluded that CIA interrogators face the risk of exposure to al Qaeda through inmates' contacts with defense attorneys, according to U.S. officials.

The agency's "tiger team" of security specialists was dispatched as part of an ongoing investigation conducted jointly with the Justice Department into a program backed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The program, called the John Adams Project, has photographed covert CIA interrogators and shown the pictures to some of the five senior al Qaeda terrorists held there in an effort to identify them further.

Details of the review could not be learned. However, the CIA team came away from the review, conducted the week of March 14, "very concerned" that agency personnel have been put in danger by military rules allowing interaction between the five inmates and defense attorneys, according to an intelligence source close to the review.

The team also expressed concerns about the inmates' access to laptop computers in the past. Some of the inmates who are representing themselves in legal proceedings were granted laptop computers without Internet access. However, the officials fear that future unfavorable court rulings could provide the inmates with the capability of communicating outside the island prison.

The joint investigation, which recently added U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald to the Justice Department team, was stepped up earlier this month after a disagreement between Justice Department and CIA officials over whether CIA officers' lives were put in danger at the prison.

The probe was launched last year but was given renewed attention after CIA counterintelligence officials expressed alarm at the recent discovery of photographs of CIA officers, without their names on the photos, in a cell at the prison. ...

Mr. Fitzgerald, who investigated the press disclosure of clandestine CIA officer Valerie Plame beginning in 2003, has been meeting with CIA officials for the past several weeks as part of the probe.

The prosecutor was called into the case after agency officials voiced worries that Justice Department investigators did not share their level of concern over the danger that al Qaeda terrorists at Guantanamo, including Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, could secretly send information on the identities of CIA officers to al Qaeda terrorists outside the prison through the attorneys.

[I should note that we have had a lawyer who did break the law in carrying correspondance netween the terrorists and their compatriots on the outside. The lawyer's name? Lynne Stewart. And she faces a resentencing in April for her crime.

Now why would the ACLU want to know who these CIA officers are? Thomas Joscelyn and Debra Burlingame explain in their Weekly Standard column:

Last week, [It was published today, not last week. -- Author's note.] Bill Gertz of the Washington Times broke news of a fight between the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Justice. The CIA wants Justice to investigate aggressively whether any laws were broken by attorneys working for the John Adams Project, a joint initiative of the ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The lawyers reportedly provided photographs of CIA interrogators to defense attorneys, who then showed them to al Qaeda terrorists held at Guantánamo Bay.

Why would lawyers do that? Gertz says it was done “in an attempt to have the terrorism suspects identify the interrogators in order to call them as witnesses in future trials.” The John Adams Project’s lawyers wanted to use court proceedings intended to try mass-murdering terrorists for another purpose: to put the Bush administration and the CIA on trial.

Although CIA officials say the pictures compromised the agency’s ongoing operations and could potentially lead to reprisals against the interrogators, Attorney General Eric Holder’s department apparently does not think the photos are all that important. During discussions with the CIA, the department’s lawyers have reportedly downplayed the seriousness of the offense. And the CIA is not happy about it.

“Given the events of the past year there is concern in the agency over whether or not someone has their back,” a former senior intelligence official explained to us. “A failure to aggressively follow up these allegations will only worsen that concern.”

This is a with-hunt for the interrogators that were doing their job. There was no serious amount of abuse that went on at Gitmo, and as Marc Thiessen notes in "Courting Disaster", any CIA interrogator that didn't follow the rules and guidelines for interrogating detainees were immediately removed. We took great steps to ensure that these terrorists would be afforded more rights than the law dictates.

The Geneva Convention specifically outlines what a lawful combatant is. While it doesn't mention the phrase "unlawful combatant," the tactics used by the terrorists clearly don't fall within the guidelines outlined by the treaty. They weren't under the command of a noticeable officer, nor did they wear any sort of sigil identifying them, nor were they fighting under any flag, nor were they operating with the knowledge and approval of the country they were captured in. But this is America, and we gave these detainees the best treatment possible.

But the larger fear is that these officers are now exposed. They've been exposed by the detainees lawyers, which was no mistake. That was calculated. The ACLU is likely telling the truth in wanting to know who these officers are so that, in the event the Justice Department does use a civilian court to try these individuals, the interrogators can be identified in said court. The greater danger comes in these officers being "outted" essentially. If these photos find their way into the hands of terrorists abroad, and these interrogators have to go abroad, their lives are in danger.

There was a great hullabaloo over the outing of Valerie Plame (who was NEVER an undercover agent, nor did she have NOC status), but everyone seems to be yawning over the outting of these agents. That's a travesty, and the CIA is right to be rather ticked over this. Director Panetta should be raising holy Hell over this.

Publius II

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Damaging America's relations

Michael Ramirez id a brilliant political cartoonist, and today's entry, above, is just another notch to show how intelligent the man is. He lays out exactly the sort of damage Barry is doing to America when it comes to our foreign policy. He openly embraces thugs and dictators, like Kim Jong-Il, like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, like Vladimir Putin, like Hugo Chavez, and the list is seemingly endless. After all, Barry appointed Bret Stephens as our new ambassador to Syria, a known sponsor of terrorism. In 1986 we withdrew our ambassador, and we haven't had one there since then. But that didn't deter Barry from sending a new ambassador as a sort of olive branch. I guess he missed the complicity of President Bashir Assad in the assassination of the Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri back in 2005.

Combine the above cartoon by Mr. Ramirez with this editorial by Michael Barone and the table is set to show that Barry is either too inept to be handling our foreign relations, or is simply aloof:

Barack Obama's decision to postpone his trip to Indonesia and Australia — to a democracy with the world's largest Muslim population and to the only nation that has fought alongside us in all the wars of the last century — is of a piece with his foreign policy generally: Attack America's friends and kowtow to our enemies.

Examples run from Britain to Israel. Early in his administration, Obama returned a bust of Churchill that the British government had loaned the White House after 9/11. Then Obama gave Prime Minister Gordon Brown a set of DVDs that don't work on British machines and that Brown, who has impaired vision, would have trouble watching anyway.

More recently, Obama summoned Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House, permitted no photographs, laid down non-negotiable demands and went off to dinner.

Some may attribute these slights to biases inherited from the men who supplied the titles of Obama's two books. Perhaps like Barack Obama Sr., he regards the British as evil colonialists. Or perhaps like his preacher for 20 years, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, he regards Israel as an evil oppressor.

But the list of American friends Obama has slighted is long. It includes Poland and the Czech Republic (anti-missile program canceled), Honduras (backing the constitutionally ousted president), Georgia (no support against Russia), and Colombia and South Korea (no action on pending free-trade agreements).

In the meantime, Obama sends yearly greetings to (as he puts it) the Islamic Republic of Iran, exchanges friendly greetings with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, caves to Russian demands on arms control and sends a new ambassador to Syria.

What we're seeing, I think, is a president who shares a view, long held by some on the American left, that the real danger to America often comes from America's allies.

His view on foreign policy has as many Americans ticked at him as are upset with him over the new health care/health insurance law. Since 1979 we haven't had any sort of amicable or friendly relations with Iran. After taking over our embassy, and holding over 50 hostages for 444 days, we ceased all diplomatic relations with the nation of Iran. Kim Jong-Il has been a constant thorn in our side, including reneging on agreed promises not to pursue a nuclear weapons program. Putin, as president of Russia, and now prime minister, has consistently tested our relations, including the incursion into Georgia back in 2008.

For some odd reason, as Mr. Barone points out, he's purposefully snubbing our allies. His treatment of Gordon Brown was written about extensively by pundits, including his insult of handing over 25 DVDs to him as a "gift" that only one in the ghetto would truly appreciate. I mean, it's not like Mr. Brown gave him anything special, right?

The Prime Minister gave Mr Obama an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet.

The unique present delighted Mr Obama because oak from the Gannet's sister ship, HMS Resolute, was carved to make a desk that has sat in the Oval Office in the White House since 1880.

Mr Brown also handed over a framed commission for HMS Resolute and a first edition of the seven-volume biography of Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert.

His blowing off of Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of America's second-best ally, was deplorable. The snub can be traced back to Mr. Netanyahu's refusal to kowtow to Barry's wishes to stop the building of settlements. Not in the West Bank, mind you, but in Jerusalem! That's Israel's capital, and the Israelis have every right to do with it as they see fit. Our president has no right to demand that Israel bow to his wishes. If he wanted to do something like that, he should emigrate to Israel, and run to be their prime minister.

The fact remains that Barry seems to think that if we extend a hand, talk nice, and make concessions to our adversaries that everything will be crimson and closer with them. they'll give up their tyrannical, evil ways, and we can all hold hands and sing Kumbaya. That's not how things work. We have enemies in this world that would love nothing more than to see this great republic fall, regardless of the shock waves it would send cascading across the globe.

Barry is either clueless on our foreign policy, or he's deliberately acting in a belligerent fashion towards our allies. Poland and the Czech Republic weren't happy to see how Barry handled the invasion of Georgia, nor were they pleased to see Barry renege on a promise made by President Bush for a missile defense system. The betrayal was due to Putin's demands that we not install the system in either nation; he deemed it to be a threat to the Russian Federation. (We were protecting them, preemptively, from the possibility of Iranian nuclear strikes on Eastern Europe.) He demands that Israel give away the store in peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, which is controlled by the terrorist organization Hamas. (In February of 2009, the Omnibus Appropriations bill proposed $900 million in foreign aid to Gaza. That appropriations bill passed, and we, in effect, were supplying monetary assistance to a terrorist group.)

Barry doesn't get it. His worldview is extremely skewed. It's fine to try and negotiate sensible, secure relations with these nations in an effort to change our relations. But it's clear these adversarial nations care little for the carrots we extend to them even as we reassure them there is no stick coming when they bite us. And in the meantime he's taking a stick to our allies because, apparently, he does believe they are our problem.

Strange world we live in, no?

Publius II

Monday, March 29, 2010

Barry's broken promises

How do you know when a politician is lying?

His lips are moving.

Old joke, but still a good one because it's so bloody true. We have a litany of politicians that have broken their promises to the American people, so it's not uncommon to find people willing to point fingers. What is truly sad is when the lies are apparent, and yet a politician's supporters still blindly follow them as if they're the Second Coming. Such is the case for President Obama. Geraghty the Indispensable gives us a list of all the broken promises from this president. While some are paltry and inane, more than a couple aren't. In fact, quite a few were stupid promises to begin with. On the campaign trail, the rhetoric is always at the forefront, but once elected and inaugurated, it seems clear that the president didn't understand the gravity of his job, or of his decisions:

STATEMENT: “We've got a philosophical difference, which we've debated repeatedly, and that is that Senator Clinton believes the only way to achieve universal health care is to force everybody to purchase it. And my belief is, the reason that people don't have it is not because they don't want it but because they can't afford it.” Barack Obama, speaking at a Democratic presidential debate, February 21, 2008.

EXPIRATION DATE: On March 23, 2010, Obama signed the
individual mandate into law.

STATEMENT: “These negotiations will be on C-SPAN, and so the public will be part of the conversation and will see the decisions that are being made.” January 20, 2008, and
seven other times.

EXPIRATION DATE: Throughout the summer, fall, and winter of 2009 and 2010; when John McCain asked about it during the health care summit February 26, Obama
dismissed the issue by declaring, “the campaign is over, John.”

STATEMENT: “No family making less than $250,000 will see any form of tax increase.” (multiple times on the campaign trail)

EXPIRATION DATE: Broken multiple times, including the raised taxes on tobacco, a new tax on indoor tanning salons, but most prominently on
February 11, 2010: “President Barack Obama said he is “agnostic” about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit.”

STATEMENT: Then-Senator Obama declared that a recess appointment is “damaged goods” and has “less credibility” than a normal appointment.
August 25, 2005.

March 27, 2010: “If, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis.”

STATEMENT: “We need tougher border security, and a renewed focus on busting up gangs and traffickers crossing our border. . . . That begins at home, with comprehensive immigration reform. That means securing our border and passing tough employer enforcement laws.” then-candidate Obama, discussing the need for border security,
speaking in Miami on May 23, 2008:

EXPIRATION DATE: March 17, 2010: The Obama administration halted new work on a "virtual fence" on the U.S.-Mexican border, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Tuesday, diverting $50 million in planned economic stimulus funds for the project to other purposes.

STATEMENT: Executive Order stating, "The detention facilities at Guantánamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order." January 22, 2009.

November 19, 2009: "Guantánamo, we had a specific deadline that was missed."

STATEMENT: “Somebody like Khalid Sheik Mohammad is gonna get basically, a full military trial with all the bells and whistles.” September 27, 2006

Ongoing. “President Obama is planning to insert himself into the debate about where to try the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, three administration officials said Thursday, signaling a recognition that the administration had mishandled the process and triggered a political backlash. Obama initially had asked Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to choose the site of the trial in an effort to maintain an independent Justice Department. But the White House has been taken aback by the intense criticism from political opponents and local officials of Holder's decision to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a civilian courtroom in New York.”

STATEMENT: “We will launch a sweeping effort to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in
our government, and every American will be able to see how and where we spend taxpayer dollars by going to a new website called recovery.gov.” – President Obama, January 28, 2009

EXPIRATION DATE: “More than two months after some of the
funds were released, [Recovery.gov] offers little detail on where the money is going… The government [spent] $84 million on a website that doesn't have a search function, when its purpose is to ‘root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government.’” April 2, 2009

Eighteen from his first 100 days:

1. "
As President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide."
2. "
I will make sure that we renegotiate [NAFTA]."
3. Opposed a Colombian Free
Trade Agreement because advocates ignore that "labor leaders have been targeted for assassination on a fairly consistent basis."
4. "
Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut."
5. "
If we see money being misspent, we're going to put a stop to it, and we will call it out and we will publicize it."
6. "
Yesterday, Jim, the head of Caterpillar, said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off."
7. "
I want to go line by line through every item in the Federal budget and eliminate programs that don't work, and make sure that those that do work work better and cheaper."
My plan] will not help speculators who took risky bets on a rising market and bought homes not to live in but to sell."
9. "
Instead of allowing lobbyists to slip big corporate tax breaks into bills during the dead of night, we will make sure every single tax break and earmark is available to every American online."
10. "
We can no longer accept a process that doles out earmarks based on a member of Congress's seniority, rather than the merit of the project."
11. "
If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime."
12. "
Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe the United States has to be frank with the Chinese about such failings and will press them to respect human rights."
13. "
We must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights."
14. "
Lobbyists won’t work in my White House!"
15. "
The real gamble in this election is playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expecting a different result."
16. "
I'll make oil companies like Exxon pay a tax on their windfall profits, and we'll use the money to help families pay for their skyrocketing energy costs and other bills."
17. "
Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days." Obama is 1-for-11 on this promise so far.
18. A special one on the 100th day, "
the first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing I'd do."

And a list from of promises that expired during the campaign:

Monday, November 03, 2008
STATEMENT: “Based on the conversations we’ve had internally as well as external reports, we believe that you can get one to two brigades out a month. At that pace, the forces would be out in approximately 16 months from the time that we began. That would be the time frame that I would be setting up,” Obama to the New York Times, November 1, 2007

EXPIRATION DATE: March 7, 2008: Obama foreign policy adviser Samantha
Power, to the BBC: “You can’t make a commitment in whatever month we’re in now, in March of 2008 about what circumstances are gonna be like in Jan. 2009. We can’t even tell what Bush is up to in terms of troop pauses and so forth. He will of course not rely upon some plan that he’s crafted as a presidential candidate or as a US senator.”

Also: July 3, 2008: "My 16-month timeline, if you examine everything I've said, was always premised on making sure our troops were safe," Obama told reporters as his campaign plane landed in North Dakota. "And my guiding approach continues to be that we've got to make sure that our troops are safe, and that Iraq is stable. And I'm going to continue to gather information to find out whether those conditions still hold."

STATEMENT: On June 14, Obama foreign policy adviser Susan Rice called the RNC’s argument that Obama needed to go to Iraq to get a firsthand look "complete garbage."

EXPIRATION DATE: On June 16, Obama announced he would go to Iraq and Afghanistan “so he can see first hand the progress of the wars he would inherit if he's elected president.”

STATEMENT: May 16, 2008: "If John McCain wants to meet me, anywhere, anytime to have a debate about our respective policies in Iraq, Iran, the Middle East or around the world that is a conversation I’m happy to have."

EXPIRATION DATE: June 13, 2008: Obama campaign manager David Plouffe: “Barack Obama offered to meet John McCain at five joint appearances between now and Election Day—the three traditional debates plus a joint town hall on the economy in July [on the Fourth of July] and an in-depth debate on foreign policy in August.”

STATEMENT: “We can, then, more effectively deal with what I consider to be one of the greatest threats to the United States, to Israel, and world peace, and that is Iran,” Obama speaking to American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Chicago, March 5, 2007

EXPIRATION DATE: “Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, these countries are tiny...They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us.” – May 20, 2008

STATEMENT: Question at the YouTube debate, as the video depicted leaders of the countries, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea?....."
"I would," Obama answered. July 27, 2007

EXPIRATION DATE: May 10, 2008: Susan E. Rice, a former State Department and National Security Council official who is a foreign policy adviser to the Democratic candidate: “But nobody said he would initiate contacts at the presidential level; that requires due preparation and advance work.”

STATEMENT: "I could no more disown Jeremiah Wright than I could disown my own grandmother."
—Barack Obama, March 18, 2008

EXPIRATION DATE: on April 28, 2008, cut all ties to Wright, declaring, “based on his remarks yesterday, well, I may not know him as well as I thought.”

STATEMENT: Obama said that his church, “Trinity United "embodies the black community in its entirety" and that his church was being caricatured on March 18, 2008.

EXPIRATION DATE: On May 31, 2008, Obama resigned his membership at Trinity United Church.

STATEMENT: Criticism of running mate vetter Jim Johnson loan from Countrywide was "a game" and that his vice-presidential vetting team “aren’t folks who are working for me.” June 10, 2008

EXPIRATION DATE: June 11, 2008, when Obama accepted Johnson's resignation.

STATEMENT: Obama spokesman Bill Burton on October 24, 2007: “To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.”

EXPIRATION DATE: June 20, 2008: “Given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection
tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as president, I will carefully monitor the program.”

STATEMENT: “I am not a nuclear
energy proponent.” Barack Obama, December 30, 2007

EXPIRATION DATE: The above statement actually was the expiration date for his previous position, “I actually think we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix,” expressed on July 23, 2007; the above statement expired when he told Democratic governors he thought it is “worth investigating its further development” on June 20, 2008.

STATEMENT: Tim Russert:: Senator Obama . . . Simple question: Will you, as president, say to Canada and Mexico, "This has not worked for us; we are out"?
Obama: “I will make sure that we renegotiate, in the same way that Senator Clinton talked about. And I think actually Senator Clinton's answer on this one is right. I think we should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced. And that is not what has been happening so far.” February 23, 2008

EXPIRATION DATE: June 18, 2008, Fortune magazine: “Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified,” he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA "devastating" and "a big mistake," despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.
Does that mean his rhetoric was overheated and amplified? "Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself," he answered.
"I'm not a big believer in doing things unilaterally," Obama said. "I'm a big believer in opening up a dialogue and figuring out how we can make this work for all people."

STATEMENT: “If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.” Also, a Common Cause questionnaire dated November 27, 2007, asked “If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public
financing system?”, Obama checked, “Yes.”

EXPIRATION DATE: June 19, 2008: Obama announced he would not participate in the presidential public financing system.

STATEMENT: “What I’ve said is, at the point where I'm the nominee, at the point where it's appropriate, I will sit down with John McCain and make sure that we have a system that works for everybody.”Obama to Tim Russert, Febuary 27.

EXPIRATION DATE: When Obama announced his decision to break his public financing pledge June 19, no meeting between the Democratic nominee and McCain had occurred.

STATEMENT: “I probably would not have supported the federal legislation [to overhaul welfare], because I think it had some problems." Obama on the floor of the Illinois Senate, May 31, 1997

EXPIRATION DATE: April 11, 2008: Asked if he would have vetoed the 1996 law, Mr. Obama said, “I won’t second guess President Clinton for signing” it. Obama to the New York Times.

STATEMENT: "Barack Obama has always believed that same-sex couples should enjoy equal rights under the law, and he will continue to fight for civil unions as president. He respects the decision of the California Supreme Court, and continues to believe that states should make their own decisions when it comes to the issue of marriage.” – campaign spokesman, May 5, 2008

EXPIRATION DATE: June 29, 2008: “I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states… Finally, I want to congratulate all of you who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few weeks.” — letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club

STATEMENT: "Now, I don't think that 'mental distress' qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term." – Interview with Relevant magazine, July 1, 2008

EXPIRATION DATE: July 5, 2008: “My only point is that in an area like partial-birth abortion having a mental, having a health exception can be defined rigorously. It can be defined through physical health, It can be defined by serious clinical mental-health diseases.” statement to reporters.

STATEMENT: "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." — speech before AIPAC, June 4, 2008

EXPIRATION DATE: June 6, 2008: "Jerusalem is a final status issue, which means it has to be negotiated between the two parties" as part of "an agreement that they both can live with." – an Obama adviser clarifying his remarks to the Jerusalem Post.

Now, to be fair, there are a couple listed above that were made before he started his run for the presidency. However, a promise is a promise. All too often we take them for granted because, well, some promises simply can't be met. A man's word is his bond, and if he can't maintain that word, it shouldn't be given. But that never stopped Barry, did it?

Some readers may roll their eyes at this list, and claim I'm being petty or trivial. Others will step up and defend the reason why I posted this list. Let me settle both sides down.

I don't give a rat's @$$ what he has promised,a nd what he's delivered on. Why? Because all of his promises were political, rhetorical fodder. He never intended on maintaining them, or he realized the decision wasn't as easy as he thought it would be. Being president isn't a walk in the park. It's a real job. I'll browbeat the putz on the important promises that he's broken, and give him a pass on the insignificant ones. We should all be viewing this the same way. Who cares what he's done with regard to Jeremiah Wright? It's irrelevant.

But the closing of Gitmo (thank God he hasn't yet), or the FISA promise are integral to our national security. The raising of taxes on those who make less than $250,000 a year does impact a great majority of this nation. These promises do mean something to the voting public. Barry said he'd rather be a great one-term president than a mediocre two-term president. Come 2012, he will have been a mediocre, if not pi$$-poor, one-term president. In my book, he's beaten out Jimmy Carter as the worst president in history. But he'll still have his sycophantic supporters claiming he was great.

Yeah, sure. Keep telling yourselves that lie, and one day you might actually believe it.

Publius II

Terrorist bombing in Russia

Barry may think that our war on terrorists is over, or is slowly winding down, but Russia doesn't share those illusions, and two women reminded the Russians of that fact this morning:

Two female homicide bombers blew themselves up on Moscow’s subway system as it was jam-packed with rush-hour passengers Monday, killing at least 37 people and wounding 102, officials said.

The head of Russia’s main security agency said preliminary investigation places the blame on rebels from the restive Caucasus region that includes Chechnya, where separatists have fought Russian forces since the mid-1990s.

The first explosion took place just before 8 a.m. at the Lubyanka station in central Moscow. The station is underneath the building that houses the main offices of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the KGB’s main successor agency.

A second explosion hit the Park Kultury station about 45 minutes later.

Emergency Minister Sergei Shoigu said the toll was 37 killed and 102 injured, but he did not give a breakdown of casualties at each station, according to Russian news agencies.

(HT to Captain Ed)

CNN reports that these women are Chechen "Black Widows" -- Chechen females that have lost husbands, brothers, or fathers in the continuing violence:

Monday's bomb attacks on the Moscow subway bear the hallmarks of an operation carried out by female Chechen suicide bombers called "Black Widows," according to security analysts.

At least 38 people were killed by twin explosions at the height of the rush hour in what appears to be Chechen separatists' latest salvo in their long-running battle for independence in Russia's northern Caucasus. Russian officials said the blasts were a "terrorist act carried out by female suicide bombers."

Chechens, the majority of whom are Sunni Muslims, regard the region as their ancient homeland, while Moscow fears the creation of an independent Muslim-majority state in its midst and has refused to grant any real autonomy.

The struggle can be traced back to the Stalin era when hundreds of thousands of Chechens were forcibly displaced to Siberia, according to Bob Ayers, a retired international security analyst.

"When they returned they wanted to reestablish their presence in Chechnya and they saw it as their homeland," said Ayers.

The use of women as suicide bombers or "Black Widows," is one way in which the struggle in Chechnya is different from al Qaeda and more analogous to the military campaign waged by the IRA in Northern Ireland, says Ayers.

"This war is politically motivated, it is not about a religious ideology as in the case of al Qaeda, so everyone participates and it is ultimately irrelevant if you are a man or a woman," said Ayers.

"They are not like al Qaeda who might say women should be hidden away and have no role in attacks."

The "Black Widows" are believed to be made up of women whose husbands, brothers, fathers or other relatives have been killed in the conflict. The women are often dressed head-to-toe in black and wear the so-called "martyr's belt" filled with explosives.

How prominent is this group, the Black Widows (AKA "shahidka")? Notorious is a better word to describe their infamy. They were involved in the Moscow theater attack where 129 innocent civilians were killed. Then there was an attack in 2003 at a rock concert where a pair of Black Widows detonated a bomb that killed 14 people. And finally, there was the Beslan school massacre where over 330 people were killed.

These bombers/militants aren't anything like the ones used by Palestinians. The ones that are "trained" and chosen by the Palestinians are the same type of women that gladly hand their children over to the Palestinian terror groups to be used as suicide bombers. The Chechen Black Widows that are involved in the continuing conflict are involved because, for the most part, the conflict has taken a loved one from them. For the most part, these women want revenge against the Russian government.

Viv Groskop, writing for The Scotsman gave the uninformed a look into the life of one of these Black Widows when she was captured after failing to detonate a bomb she was carrying in a shoulder bag. For her, revenge wasn't the reason behind her attempted "martyrdom," but rather paying off a large debt she owed.

Whether the reason is revenge or otherwise, these women are a force to be reckoned with amongst Chechen rebels. They are just as hardened as the IRA's female operatives, and equally as ruthless.

Publius II

Friday, March 26, 2010

McCain vs. Hayworth: Where do we stand?

Readers have been e-mailing us for the last few weeks asking us this burning question. Arizona's senior senator, John McCain, is facing a primary challenge by former Arizona congressman JD Hayworth. They want to know where we stand on this race. Fair enough question. But let's take a look at some numbers before I explain where we stand on this. Last week, Rasmussen put up the newest numbers for this race, showing JD Hayworth closing the gap:

Longtime incumbent John McCain now leads conservative challenger J.D. Hayworth by just seven points in Arizona’s hotly contested Republican Senate Primary race.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Arizona GOP Primary voters shows McCain ahead 48% to 41%. Three percent (3%) favor another candidate, and eight percent (8%) are undecided.

Following the announcement that Sarah Palin would campaign for his reelection, McCain opened up a 53% to 31% lead over Hayworth in
January. The two men were in a near tie in November.

But now Hayworth, a former congressman turned popular local talk radio host, is a formal candidate, and anti-immigration activist Chris Simcox has quit the race and endorsed him. For McCain, the new numbers also show him dropping again below 50%, and incumbents who poll less than 50% at this stage of a campaign are considered potentially vulnerable.

Hayworth leads by seven points among male primary voters but trails by 23 among women. He edges McCain by five points among party conservatives, but the incumbent holds substantial margins among Republicans who identify themselves as moderates or liberals.

Hayworth has been attacking McCain as not conservative enough, but the senator, who just two years ago was the Republican presidential nominee, has been countering with a number of heavyweight endorsements from the right. Palin will attend a McCain rally in Tucson later this month.

Polling last fall found that 61% of Arizona Republicans felt
McCain was out of touch with the party base.

Arizona Republicans will choose their Senate nominee in an August 24 primary, and for now that’s the major battle of this Senate cycle since no major Democrat has announced yet as a candidate.

Twenty-nine percent (29%) of GOP Primary voters have a very favorable opinion of McCain, who has represented Arizona in the Senate since 1987. Fifteen percent (15%) view him very unfavorably.

Hayworth is seen very favorably by 25% and very unfavorably by 15%.

While both candidates are well-known among likely primary voters, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers at this point in a campaign.

In 2008 both of us voted for McCain for president because there was no way in Hell we were going to vote for an inexperienced, petulant, and radical candidate like Barry. Nor would we refuse to vote, and basically hand Barry a free vote. Readers here know we're not fond of McCain. He supported the Gang of 14 compromise, which helped the Democrats continue to undermine the provisions allowing a president to appoint people to other offices. In that case it was judicial nominees, and we weren't pleased with this compromise which prevented Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from executing the "nuclear option," AKA reconciliation, to push through President Bush's judicial nominees. His compromise not only threw seven very qualified jurists under the bus, but allowed the Democrats to continue their unconstitutional filibuster of these nominees.

We were irate over his attachment to the immigration reform back in 2006 which would have granted de facto amnesty to millions of illegal aliens in America. Also, the bill would have continued to allow illegal aliens entry into the US if only they would head to their proper consulate to get an ID allowing them to stay here; the infamous Z-Visa outlined within the legislation. Illegal immigration is a problem in this country, and his comments to to Vanity Fair back in January of 2007 that he'll "build the g*ddamned fence" didn't sit well with voters, especially voters in Arizona.

(I'm not going to bore readers with a point-by-point refutation of this man's faults. I could go into his support of campaign finance reform, which whittled away our constitutional rights. I could go into his position on interrogation techniques used by the CIA and the military, and how wrong they are. But I'm not going to do that. I'm answering a question, presented by readers, to the best of my ability.)

Does this mean that John McCain is a bad man? No. Does this mean that he hasn't served this nation with dignity and honor, both as a Navy veteran, as a congressman, and as a senator? Hell no. Ronald Reagan did say it best when he reminded people that a person who agreed with him eighty percent of the time wasn't an enemy. The same goes for John McCain. 70-80% of the time he's on the right side of the issues. Can we say he didn't fight against this president hard enough? Sure, that argument can be made. However, let's remember that McCain isn't the only Republican in the Senate, and he's not the Minority Leader. So we can't hold him responsible for how the Republicans didn't fight hard enough against Barry. He is only one man, after all.

All of this said, I still haven't answered the question. Fine, let me say this to put everyone's mind at ease. Come 24 August -- the day of the GOP primary --- we will cast our vote for JD Hayworth. We believe it's time for a change in DC with our representation, and we don't think McCain is the man for the job. Give him kudos for his service to the state, but it is time for fresh blood representing the voters of Arizona.

That said, if John McCain does pull out a win, we will cast our vote in November for him. We won't toss our vote away on a third-party candidate that has no chance of winning. Nor will we cast our vote for whichever Democrat he may be facing. (My grandfather told me the first time I went to vote that "The worst Republican is better than the best Democrat, and I have abided by that creed since I was 18 casting my first vote. And my wife thoroughly agrees with me.)

Our goal this fall is to throw the Democrats out of Congress. Given what they've "accomplished" since 2006, they simply can't be trusted with foreign policy/national security issues, nor can they be trusted with domestic issues that face America in the coming years. When it comes down to Hayworth and McCain on 24 August, Hayworth will get our vote. When it comes down to the general election, we will vote Republican regardless of who the Democrat is, or what he/she promises. We've seen over the course of the last few months that a Democrat's word isn't worth the effort to speak it, or the paper it's printed on.

I hope that clears things up for readers. We're on the record. Yes, we are supporting Hayworth, but if he loses we're not going to be the petulant baby and sit at home on election day in November. If Hayworth loses, McCain will have our vote and support.

Publius II

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Third party's don't work, folks

From Geraghty the Indispensable over at NRO's The Campaign Spot, he has a story about a new Quinnipiac poll about the Tea Partys:

Only 13 percent of American voters say they are part of the Tea Party movement, a group that has more women than men; is mainly white and Republican and voted for John McCain, and strongly supports Sarah Palin, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

While voters say 44 – 39 percent that they will vote for a Republican over a Democratic candidate in this November’s Congressional elections, if there is a Tea Party candidate on the ballot, the Democrat would get 36 percent to the Republican’s 25 percent, with 15 percent for the Tea Party candidate, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds.

By a 28 – 23 percent margin, American voters have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party, with 49 percent who say they don’t know enough about the group to form an opinion.

American voter opinion of the Democratic Party is 48 – 33 unfavorable, with opinion of the Republican Party 42 – 33 percent unfavorable.

I'll post up some other little nuggets in a second from the latest Quinninpiac poll, but I feel a need to address this issue. Since last summer the Tea Party movement has done a phenomenal job in serving notice to members of Congress as to just how irate the public is with them right now. They have protested outside of Congress (this past weekend, included), they have confronted members of Congress during last year's August recess when congressional members headed home, and they are members of a growing movement that continues to gather supporters and sympathizers each day.

But the idea of them being a third party, and people supporting that third party, is a dangerous idea. As the last paragraph shows, the Tea Party candidate is likely drawing away from a Republican candidate. How can I say that? By the breakdown that Quinninpiac discovered in the poll. (This is where the "little nuggets" come into play):

Looking at voters who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement:

-- 74 percent are Republicans or independent voters leaning Republican;
-- 16 percent are Democrats or independent voters leaning Democratic;
-- 5 percent are solidly independent;
-- 45 percent are men;
-- 55 percent are women;
-- 88 percent are white;
-- 77 percent voted for Sen. John McCain in 2008;
-- 15 percent voted for President Barack Obama.

A total of 19 percent of American voters trust government to do the right thing "almost all of the time" or "most of the time," compared to only 4 percent of Tea Party members.

The last nugget about trusting the government is no surprise, neither is it a surprise to see that the majority of those who identify themselves as a member/supporter of the Tea Party movement are Republicans or Independents. That makes sense. But if there is a Tea Party candidate that is running, Tea Party people will more than likely support their candidate rather than a Republican. (As the numbers above show, less than 20% of the members are Democrat; just 15% of them voted for Barry.) So they would pull from the Republican on the ballot as opposed to the Democrat.

Folks, third parties don't fly well in America. They have never won by significant margins (Joe Lieberman's 2006 run aside), and in the end they take away from Republicans. I know the arguments that Independents and third-party candidates might do the nation better than the current group of yahoos we have in congress now, but until they can sway public opinion to support such candidates they'll never win. (And yes, I'm aware that in State races such people can win, a la Jesse Ventura in Minnesota for governor, but they can't win national/federal elections.)

I know there's frustration in the nation at how Democrats and Republicans are operating in DC, but the answer isn't in jumping off the cliff for a third-party candidate.

If we want America back on track come this November, we need to turn away from such spontaneous and rash decisions to support people that have no chance of winning. If we want sound and sensible, mature and adult decision makers in DC we need to toss out the Democrats and vote in Republicans. Go to the NRCC's donation page, and make a contribution today to ensure the Democrats in the House brush up on their resumes as they hit the unemployment line when the midterms are over. And for the Senate you can contribute to those efforts here.

The Democrats have shown America three important things since 2006:

1) They don't want to listen to the people, nor do they listen.

2) They are moving forward on an agenda that is the antithesis of the founding principles of America.

3) They can' be trusted on foreign, domestic, or national security issues.

Republicans have been doing their best to regain the trust of the electorate. Do we believe they've learned their lesson? We hope so. We know damn well that not all of our headaches will evaporate with the Republicans in control of one or both Houses of Congress. However they'll do a helluva lot better than the Democrats will do; a Democrat party in complete control of Congress that has spent us into trillions of dollars of debt that future generations will still be trying to pay off.

Republicans are pledging to mind their manners, and not do what they did that caused them to get tossed from office, and power, to begin with. They have stood firm, for the most part, against this radical agenda the president and his sycophantic cronies in Congress have been ramming down the nation's throat. We're not going to waste out vote this fall on a pipe dream. We're going to support the GOP because they have a better chance of winning, and a better plan for America.

That plan doesn't include helping Barry and Company. Voting for a third party will do just that because it'll take away from the Republican in the race, and virtually guarantee a Democrat win. We don't need more Democrats in charge. In fact, we don't want them in charge anymore. We've seen what they want to do, and for the sake of the nation they can't be trusted with this power any longer. If they continue to hold this power they will remake this nation into an image they prefer, and undermine why America was founded to begin with.

Publius II

This is what happens when Congress rushes things

"Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead" seemed to be the mantra of Democrats as they rammed Obamacare down the nation's collective throat. Speaker Pelosi even stated that "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it" and that was used as an excuse to push this through as quickly as possible. But had Congress slowed down, and actually wrote the legislation like other pieces had before (in stead of voting on a piece of legislation that wasn't even written yet) someone might have noticed that there was something missing from Obamacare:

Hours after President Barack Obama signed historic health care legislation, a potential problem emerged. Administration officials are now scrambling to fix a gap in highly touted benefits for children.

Obama made better coverage for children a centerpiece of his health care remake, but it turns out the letter of the law provided a less-than-complete guarantee that kids with health problems would not be shut out of coverage.

Under the new law, insurance companies still would be able to refuse new coverage to children because of a pre-existing medical problem, said Karen Lightfoot, spokeswoman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the main congressional panels that wrote the bill Obama signed into law Tuesday.

However, if a child is accepted for coverage, or is already covered, the insurer cannot exclude payment for treating a particular illness, as sometimes happens now. For example, if a child has asthma, the insurance company cannot write a policy that excludes that condition from coverage. The new safeguard will be in place later this year.

Full protection for children would not come until 2014, said Kate Cyrul, a spokeswoman for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, another panel that authored the legislation. That's the same year when insurance companies could no longer deny coverage to any person on account of health problems.

Yes, we're shaking our heads, as well. They were in such a hurry that they forgot the about the children (which the Left loves to use as an excuse or a prop in any of their shenanigans). What makes this so amusing is that everyone can now see just how incompetent this crew in DC actually is. I mean, how could they forget to make sure children were covered, too? The rationing that will surely come about from this law was designed to basically do away with the elderly whose health care costs are expensive due to their age and the problems they develop. And while the abortion funding is still in the bill, not even the Left would go for letting children that had been born and are alive today go without health coverage.

How could this happen? It happened because these fools rushed on this legislation. They didn't stop and work this out. They didn't open up the doors to the adults, er, I mean Republicans to have their input and oversight. They had an agenda from the start, and details like this weren't figured in.

For those who might still have a beef with the Republicans for what they did in the past, bury the hatchet already. Yeah, we need to get rid of the RINOs, but at the same time folks we need to get rid of these imbeciles in Congress. In November, let's remove the general incompetence from Capitol Hill.

Publius II

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"So, this is how liberty dies .... with thunderous applause"

OK, the title of this post might be a tad much. The concept of liberty isn't dead, yet. It is, however, on life support thanks to the continued efforts of Statist Democrats in the US Congress, and the Statist mindset of this president. This morning, after a pep rally, of sorts (complete with tons of applause, flowery rhetoric, and more schtick than you could shake a stick at), in the White House, Barry signed this flawed, unconstitutional piece of legislation. But, dear readers, take heart. Lawsuits are being filed by approximately a dozen states (right now) challenging this "reform" in federal court. Let's face facts here with this issue: The Congress has passed an unconstitutional piece of legislation that can't pass federal court muster. All it takes is one court stepping up, and accepting an injunction proposed by any State to stop this madness, at least for the time being. When that happens, everything goes on hold until the case/suit is dealt with. We have historical precedence to rely on for this hope.

In 2003, the Congress passed, and President Bush signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Act. Within hours of the signing of that bill, pro-abortion groups marched into federal court to stop its implementation. For four years the bill languished in the federal courts until the Supreme Court stepped forward, heard the case, and issued a decision upholding the legislation which ended the three-ring circus in the courts. The same can, and will likely, happen with Obamacare.

But it doesn't end there. We will win that round, eventually, but the time to strike is now. The Democrats have overreached in a fast-track bid to enact an agenda that is anathema to the founding principles of America. It is the antithesis of what the Framers established under the Constitution. Today's Democrats have fomented their own demise this coming November, but it doesn't simply end there with a promise to vote them out of office. No, we need a concerted effort to make sure the Democrats pay with their dearest political blood.

Readers know that I'm a regular caller to Hugh Hewitt's radio show, and yesterday Hugh unveiled a pledge penned by his producer "Generalissimo" Duane Patterson. You don't need to sign a bloody thing. Just read it, take it to heart, and make it a part of your daily life through 2012:

I pledge that for the next three years, ending on March 20, 2013, I will spend at least part of my day, six days a week, working to replace Democrats at all levels of state and federal government with Republicans.

I will support the Republican nominee, regardless of my preference in the primary, in all of the House, Senate, and statewide campaigns in 2010. I will also work to elect the Republican presidential nominee, regardless of my primary preference, in 2012. I will not make the mistake again of allowing my apathy lead to a second term of Barack Obama.

I will not be deterred if the Republican Party isn’t unanimous on every issue in the next three years. I understand there will be disappointments in the months and years ahead, probably several of them. But those disappointments pale in comparison to the arrogance and recklessness shown by the Democratic Party.

I will contact my county Republican headquarters, and ask how I can best help this fall. I will stay in touch with them right through the 2012 presidential campaign. I will walk precincts, make phone calls, e-mail, use social media, whatever it takes to remove the Democrats from the halls of power.

I will resist the temptation of the third party movement, and instead encourage the Tea Party activists and independents to give the Republicans one more chance at leadership.

I will work to bring a Republican governor and Republican legislatures in my state. Redistricting will begin next year after the results of the Census, and Republicans drawing the new Congressional lines will make regaining power easier.

I will especially take an active interest in state attorney general races, like John Eastman in California, www.eastmanforag.com, as it will be up to the state AG’s to engage in the legal battle on which Obamacare will next have to be fought.

I will make an effort to win back the 18-25 year olds who are now feeling buyer’s remorse at having voted for hope and change in 2008. They are disillusioned with what they’ve seen, they’re now open to reason, and I will more actively engage with this generation to convince them that their home should be in the Republican Party.

That's all there is to it. All it needs are those willing to do what the pledge stands for. In 2006 the Democrats re-took Congress in a disheartening midterm election. In 2008, no one expected the drubbing we'd take in Congress. After all, the federal government works better when one party doesn't have overwhelming control of the Executive and Legislative branches. President Bush NEVER had the majorities in Congress the Democrats have right now. With the election of Barry, Democrats took the reins of power and haven't stopped running yet.

They have spent this nation into virtual bankruptcy.

They have illegally seized control of two American car companies.

They have instituted questionable oversight of the banking industry and mortgage industry.

They are dictating the pay of executives in companies that "accepted" bailout money.

They have passed the controversial S-CHIP program, and stuck the States with the bill.

They have run roughshod over the Constitution, and its protections -- guaranteed protections -- for the people and the States.

And now they've passed a health care/health insurance reform bill that will destroy 1/6th of the US economy, cause at least a quarter of health care professionals to seek employment in another field, raise taxes on hundreds of thousands of Americans and businesses, and not solve one bloody problem in the health care/health insurance industries.

So read and take that pledge. Work towards making sure a majority of Democrats are unemployed this coming November. YES, dear readers, we know the Republicans pi$$ed away their majorities with their Democrat-lite policies under President Bush. But let's put the past where it belongs right now. We're not saying to forget what the GOP did.

We're saying let bygones be bygones.

This nation can't survive with Democrats at the helm. With them running the show, it's like running to the bridge of the Titanic before it hits the iceberg only to find Daffy Duck at the helm.

They have an agenda that a majority of Americans are rejecting. They voted for change. Fault them if you want to for their imbecilic choice; in believing the campaign rhetoric of 2008. But they're waking up now, and they see that what they voted for isn't what's in Washington, DC right now. Last year Rasmussen Reports had numbers showing Independents literally running away from Democrats because they saw that the Democrats not only didn't fulfill their promises, but that their agenda was contrary to what Americans wanted. Elections are made or broken by Independents. The Democrats don't have their full-throated support any longer. They have, quite literally, pi$$ed it away int he course of three years.

People are ticked, and they're going to take it out on the Democrats at the ballot box this fall. But the message won't be sent by the usual wonks, political-junkies, and regular voters. We need a serious outreach to those who are apathetic about voting. This is, after all, their country too, and the party in charge is doing its level-best to wreck it. To the Democrats, their enacting change for the better. To the average American, Democrats are taking a wrecking ball to the nation that we love dearly.

Contribute to the NRCC here and send the first message to Democrats this fall. Get out and volunteer for the GOP. Hell, run for office yourself against one of these Statist @$$hats. We need to send these Leftist liberals into the wilderness for decades to come; a reminder of what happens when you really raise the ire of the electorate. We, the people are the power in this nation, not the government. The government derives its power from the people, and when the people get angry enough, they toss out those who are abusing their power. For the Democrats, that comes this November.

It's time to get involved and punish the Democrats for their selfish, petulant, power-hungry trip. "Cry havoc! And let slip the dogs of war!" We are facing a war this year, but it's one where no blood will be shed, save political blood. And in this fight there can only be one side on the winning end of things. Let's make sure it's our side, and let's make sure the lesson sticks this time; hopefully ending the Statist's desire to ruin this nation.

Publius II

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"Arm-twisting?" Not exactly, but pressure is still pressure

If this doesn't show the nation the depths of Democrat frustration and desperation, I don't what can. It's not the thug tactics that Al Capone would endorse or execute, but this is today's Chicago thug political tactics:

As health care lobbying heats up, some members are getting calls from President Barack Obama, like the three Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) got in the past two weeks.

“He believes that the economy will turn around, that people will be in a better position to judge the effects of this bill later on, that while it may not be a politically popular vote today, a year or two or three from now, it will be viewed as something the American people want,” said Altmire, who voted no last time on
health reform but is undecided now.

Others in the House said the lobbying can be much less friendly. Aides to conservative Democratic lawmakers describe intense pressure tactics, including one who said his office has received calls from donors. Those calls are taken as a thinly veiled threat to withhold future financial support if the member doesn’t vote as the donor wishes.

“We’re having donors, even donors outside of our district, that are being called and asked to urge support” for the bill, said a senior aide to one conservative Democrat, who indicated the tactics could backfire on the health care bill. “If you want to play Chicago-style politics, and that’s what this is, then we will come out firmly against it.”

The aide also targeted the
Democratic National Committee, where Vice Chairwoman Donna Brazile used her Twitter account to encourage primary challenges to Democrats who vote against the bill.

“If a handful of Democrats decide to defeat this bill, they deserve to get a primary challenge to defend the status quo and insurance industry,” Brazile tweeted.

The White House said no one there is telling donors to call members, and Brazile later clarified that she wasn’t speaking for the DNC.

Nonetheless, the comments fueled frustration among moderate Democrats who believe their party is working against them.

Rep. Chet Edwards, a Texas Democrat who remains a firm “no,” said he’s getting calls spurred by Organizing for America, the president’s unofficial outreach arm. He said he’s fine with constituents expressing their opinions — and even with the right of OFA to engage — but noted of the Obama organization, “It’s clear to me they could care less about my political future.”

With the fate of Obama’s top legislative goal in the balance, the president and his Cabinet are doing everything in their power to help Speaker
Nancy Pelosi lock down the 216 votes she needs to get health care out of the House — and very likely onto his desk. But it will take plenty of work by both to get there.

Folks, keep up the calls to these fence-sitters, and remind them who they work for. In fact, remind all of these Democrats -- whether a "yes" or a "no" vote on this bill -- who they work for.

They don't work for the president.

They don't work for Nancy Pelosi.

They don't work for Harry Reid.

They work for you, the people. I don't care if you live in Oregon, or Colorado, or Kansas. Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the Congress, and the president work for you. Your location doesn't matter. Keep calling them and telling them that if they support this bill, you'll work your butt off to make sure they're unemployed come November. Sure a few will escape our electoral axe, but many won't.

The tactics being used should surprise no one. These are the tactics that Barry is more than familiar with (being a former community organizer), and he has no problem using to achieve his "enduring legacy." This legacy isn't what America wants, and Americans know it will do far more damage to this nation than good. The phone calls being made by the White House spewing the talking points just can't be swallowed.

If this is passed it won't help the economy. It'll virtually kill it. The economy won't turn around with the taxes imposed in the wake of its passage. The taxes go into effect immediately, but changes in care won't come around until 2013. Kind of idiotic, isn't it? Imagine if you bought a car or house this way. "No, you can't take it home/move in now. You can begin paying for it, but you'll have to wait three years before you take ownership of it."

Yeah, that would go over as well as a turd in a punchbowl.

Speaking of which, have I mentioned how bad this bill is? I know I'm not writing as often as I used to but I do want to stress to readers that this bill sucks. It really does. It won't lead to any sort of reform, at least not the sort we need in the health care/health insurance industry. Call your representatives/senators -- 202-224-3121 or 877-762-8762. Those are the switchboard numbers. Call them. E-mail them. Melt down their phones and computers, and tell them -- REMIND them -- that the majority of their constituents don't want this.

The president can apply pressure through his means, and we can do so back at them. AoSHQ is reporting that based on the whip count they don't have the votes. Get on the phones and make sure it stays that way.

Not now. Not today. Not ever, forever NO!. Tell them that when you get them on the phones.

Publius II