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, August 11, 2010

A little housekeeping

Regular readers know that my lovely wife and I were constant and consistent bloggers. When she finished her undergrad degree and moved onto law school, the blogging fell into my lap to handle. I did a pretty good job on my own. (I was blogging before she was, so it really wasn't that difficult to do solo blogging again.) But law school is done for her, and she took the Bar Exam last month. I'm crossing my fingers she passed it first time through.

So what does this have to do with the site? Well, let's just say that the blogging will be infrequent from this point forward. I'm working on a personal project, a novel specifically. The novel idea has been rattling around my cob-web-filled skull for the last twenty years, and I made a promise to myself this year to get on the stick and write it finally. As of today I'm just over 220 pages into it, and I'm shooting for between 500 and 600 pages, and hopefully about 100,000 to 200,000 words.

Thus far it's been fun. A ton of research has gone into this novel. I have easily done as much research for this book as I have done as a blogger. The difference comes in what exactly is being researched. My novel is a thriller a la Vince Flynn and Daniel Silva, so there's research on firearms, countries, certain intelligence agencies and how they work, and Washington, DC. (The novel takes place in DC.) So, if everything goes as planned, I'm hoping to be shopping this around to publishing houses by summer of 2011. Once the rough draft is finished, then it's time for some proof-reading, polishing, and fine-tuning. (There are also considerable hoops I've got to jump through to prepare the manuscript for a publishing house.)

But this is why the blogging here has dropped significantly in the last few weeks. I just don't have the time to do it day-in and day-out while I'm working on this. I will say that if I do have a few minutes to post something up, it'll be on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday. Those are the days that I actually have extra time, usually late mornings, when I'm not at work or working on the novel.

My apologies to our regular readers, but I decided it was time to get this done. Twenty years is long enough to put this off, and I'm not getting any younger.

Publius II

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

NRO editors on the Ground Zero mosque

When this was first presented, I thought it was a political hoax, or a joke cooked up by some nutter in New York. But it's a reality, and it's a reality we're 100% opposed to. We're not opposed to a religion being allowed to build a church, but Ground Zero is hallowed ground. We wouldn't support ANY religion putting up a church at Ground Zero. We would stand against any sort of inappropriate display or building on any ground in America that is considered hallowed. (After all, we believe the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, but there's no way in Hell we'd support any sort of display at the USS Arizona memorial in Hawaii "commemorating" that brain-dead decision. We also wouldn't support the Ku Klux Klan erecting any sort of memorial at Gettysburg.)

Point being, there's a level of respect that is due at places like Ground Zero. Over at National Review, the editors have penned a piece on this issue:

The story of the proposed mosque at the site of the World Trade Center has been thoroughly misrepresented, as have the parties behind the project. They present themselves as ambassadors of moderate Islam. Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, says the project aims to put the Muslim community “at the front and center to start the healing.”

Ms. Khan knows better, because she is also Mrs. Feisal Abdul Rauf, the wife of the main Islamic cleric behind the project. Rauf is no moderate. He presents himself as a peacemaking Islamic Gandhi, but he is in fact an apologist for the terrorist outfit Hamas, which he refuses even to identify as a terrorist organization. Nor is Rauf exactly full-throated in his rejection of terrorism, offering only this: “The issue of terrorism is a very complex question.” While he cannot quite bring himself to blame the terrorists for being terrorists, he finds it easy to blame the United States for being a victim of terrorism: “I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened, but the United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.”

As National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy has documented, Rauf’s book, published in the West as What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America, had a significantly different title abroad: A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Dawa in the Heart of America Post-9/11. “Dawa” means Islamic proselytizing, a process that ends in the imposition of sharia. The book was published abroad with the assistance of the Islamic Society of North America and the International Institute of Islamic Thought, which are two appendages of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization behind much of the world’s murderous Islamic terrorism. The Islamic Society of North America was identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism case. The co-founder and president of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, Shaykh Taha Jabir al-Awani, was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Sami al-Arian terrorism case.

This dispute has been presented as a question of whether an Islamic center and mosque should be built in proximity to the scene of the worst act of Islamic terrorism — and the worst act of political violence — ever committed on U.S. soil. But at least as germane to the dispute is the question of whether these particular parties ought to be doing so. The fact that an apologist for terrorists and an associate of terrorist-allied organizations is proceeding with this provocation is indecent. We have thousands of mosques in the United States, and who knows how many Islamic cultural centers in New York City. We do not need this one, in this place, built by these people. We’re all stocked up on Hamas apologists, thanks very much.

The libertarians among us are wrong to take a blasé attitude toward this, asking, “If their permit applications are in order, why not?” Here is why not: because this is not just a zoning dispute. The World Trade Center is, in effect, the gravesite of 3,000 Americans who died at the hands of Islamist radicals, and to build a mosque on this site — particularly a mosque with Muslim Brotherhood connections — would be extraordinarily unseemly. We will not appeal to the official powers to use the machinery of government to stop this project. We appeal, instead, to the sense of decency of the American Muslim community, and to its patriotism.

Beyond that, Americans should make their displeasure with this project felt economically and socially: No contractor, construction company, or building-trades union that accepts a dime of the Cordoba Initiative’s money should be given a free pass—nobody who sells them so much as a nail, or a hammer to drive it in with. This is an occasion for boycotts and vigorous protests — and, above all, for bringing down a well-deserved shower of shame upon those involved with this project, and on those politicians who have meekly gone along with it. It is an indecent proposal and an intentional provocation.

That is our overall gripe. The fact that they want it so close to Ground Zero is an affront to this nation, and every American should lodge their formal complaints to the companies involved in its construction. We don't support boycotts because they generally don't work. But in this instance we do support a boycott, including a boycott of New York City. The asininity involved in this decision is astronomical. If those on the Landmark Commission are elected, we hope New York residents boot them from office. If they're appointed by Mayor Bloomberg, then Bloomberg should be ousted. (He is for the mosque being built; such is the life of a disrespectful ass. Giuliani would never have allowed this mosque to go through.)

The fact that this mosque's construction will be funded by Muslim Brotherhood blood money is sickening. This is how the leaders of Islam now are acting. The moderates don't have a voice in Islam. They're shunned, or worse, silenced. The radicals are the ones in charge now, and while they can offer empty platitudes about how this will help "heal the wounds," it's a lie. They will be celebrating their mosque's construction just two short blocks from the most sanctified, honored ground in the entire nation. And readers will kindly recall that this is not the first time hallowed ground has been tainted. The United 93 memorial in Shanksville, PA drew significant ire and controversy with its shape (a red crescent) and alignment (in direct alignment with Mecca).

The terrorist apologists will stop at nothing when it comes to infiltrating this name, and every time we give in, it's a victory for them. For the last time, repeat after me: Lan Astalem -- I will not submit! Enough is enough. We live in a nation where we are being ruled by the minority, and their leadership (if you could call it that) is extremely detrimental to this great republic. It's time to get rid of the politically-correct @$$holes, and take this nation -- it's identity, it's ideals, and it's values -- back from these people who seem intent on wrecking everything good about America. The Landmark Commission should be ashamed for clearing the way for this Muslim front group to erect a mosque so close to Ground Zero.

This will not help "heal" squat. It'll only serve to continue the animosity towards a group of people who can't seem to figure out how to drag their 7th Century, anachronistic asses into the 21st Century.

Publius II

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

House outlook for midterms: Pelosi would be smart to worry

The midterm elections are less than 100 days away, but in an interview on This Week with Christiane Amanpour Nancy Pelosi says she's not nervous about the upcoming election:

In an exclusive interview on "This Week with Christiane Amanpour," Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., struck a confident tone on the electoral prospects for Democrats this November, despite predictions by many, including at least one top White House official, that Democrats could lose control of the House.

"I'm not nervous at all," Pelosi said. "I never take anything for granted. And our agenda now is ... we're not going back to the failed policies of the Bush administration. We're going forward," she said.

"So what does it make you feel then, when the president's own spokesman said that you might lose the majority?" Amanpour asked her.

"With all due respect," Pelosi shot back, "I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about what the president's employees say about one thing or another."

She's not nervous, but many of her colleagues are. Captain Ed points to recent pieces written on The Rothenberg Political Report. For example, there's this assessment written by Mr. Rothenberg:

Democrats now hold a 39-seat edge in the House. Yet the playing field continues to expand: The Rothenberg Political Report currently lists 88 seats as “in play.” Seventy-six of those seats currently are held by Democrats.

Many of the same places that helped build the president’s winning coalition in his race against Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — states such as Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, and Pennsylvania — could be the places where Republicans rack up the gains they need to take back the House.

In many of those districts, the Obama agenda has been widely unpopular. House members are left defending votes on items including the stimulus, bailouts, health care and cap-and-trade that have grown more unpopular with the passage of time.

It means that the president and his agenda will very much be on the ballot — while the president himself won’t be the best position to help Democrats play defense.

I said in January of last year that if the Democrats led as moderates, and kept their hard-Left ideology in check, they'd be successful come the 2010 midterms, and the 2012 election. I warned that if it wasn't kept in check, the people of America would do their best to bounce the problems from office. And no one can deny that the Democrats and their agenda is a problem. It's a serious one because they haven't addressed the problems facing the nation. They've exacerbated the recession, spent the nation into trillions of dollars in debt, and they've engaged in thuggish tactics that would've made Al Capone jealous.

Let’s be clear about where we all would be if unemployment were actually at 4 percent right now.

Most of the hand-wringing about jobs and the economy would be gone, stronger employment numbers would mean a more vibrant economy (which almost certainly would mean higher federal and state revenues and lower deficits) and polling undoubtedly would show the president with better numbers, Congress with a higher approval rating and the Democratic Party more popular than it is now. Because of that, the huge enthusiasm gap that now exists and is likely to fuel GOP gains in November would be much smaller or nonexistent. …

Actions, indeed, do have consequences. In this case, the combination of an aggressive Democratic agenda, a weak jobs recovery and a large deficit has created a political environment very different from the one 18 months ago, when Democrats won a special election in New York’s open 20th district by demonizing Republicans for waffling on, then opposing, Obama’s economic stimulus plan.

It’s very difficult to imagine Republican gains in the House of fewer than two dozen seats, and my own newsletter, after going race by race, recently placed likely GOP gains in the range of 28 to 33 seats, if not higher.

The nation has been waiting to see if the adults will step forward and deal with the economic problems we're facing, but they haven't. The children are still behind the wheel of dad's car with an open bottle of Jack Daniels held between their knees. The unemployment numbers haven't eased, and it's taken shady practices to make people think that the employment situation is getting better. (That was revealed when temporary Census workers reported being hired, then laid off, then rehired again, skewing the numbers for a couple of months leading up to summer.) The Democrats haven't taken care of our economic woes.

Instead of spending us into oblivion, the Democrats could have easily written themselves a ticket to success by lowering tax rates across the board, and suspending all non-essential government spending. Hell, if they really wanted to turn the economy around in record time, that would help, but a tax holiday for small businesses for a year would have greatly improved the economic situation in America.

But the Democrats couldn't set aside their ideology long enough to do what was right. As was revealed back in February of last year, the Democrats had a forty year wish-list that they wanted to implement immediately. Their own selfish desires for power and control have brought reality to their doorstep, and a lot of them are going to lose their jobs this fall. The House appears to be a lock, with the GOP taking as many as forty seats. The Senate isn't as rock solid, but the GOP will make some significant gains there.

And what are the Democrats going to do after the bloodbath in November? The rumors on Capitol Hill is that in their lame duck session, they're going to do their damnedest to ram through everything they couldn't get passed earlier such as cap and trade and card check. The small coalition of Blue Dogs in the House begging the president to back an initiative to extend President Bush's tax cuts beyond 31 December of this year lack the clout to push for the move. Pelosi has no desire to extend those tax cuts. The quote above in her interview proves it. She's blaming Bush, just like Barry does.

The simple fact is that the Democrats are obviously too stupid to figure out where they went wrong, and they're too bloody arrogant to admit they were wrong. Mr. Rothenberg finishes up with more wisdom, and reasoned analysis, than the Democrats (especially Nancy Pelosi) will ever come up with:

The House surely is at great risk, and anyone who asserts that Democrats are certain to maintain their majority after November is simply not worth listening to on the subject. The trajectory of this election cycle is clear. But don’t delude yourself. It didn’t have to be this way.

Hammer. Nail. Head. 'Nuff said.

Publius II