Archive for March, 2007
I recently wrote that John Murtha thinks that al Qa’ida will disappear if we leave Iraq. Based on this article, it appears as though the Fever Swamp fever has afflicted another foreign policy disaster. Here’s just one of the inflammatory things that Zbigniew Brzezinski said:
Brzezinski said there’s no reason to think a bloodbath would necessarily follow a U.S. withdrawal. “We expected that the U.S. leaving Vietnam would result in massive killings and genocide and so forth, and collapse of the dominoes in Southeast Asia,” he said. “It didn’t happen. How certain are we of the horror scenarios that have been mentioned in what will take place in Iraq?”
Listen to that idiot. He’s saying that the genocide in Pol Pot’s Cambodia didn’t happen. He’s saying that the Saigon massacre didn’t happen. That Zbigniew Brzezinski would dispute Pol Pot’s genocide is simply stunning. Pol Pot murdered over 1.5 million people so he could establish a communist Cambodia.
It should scare every sane American that Brzezinski is accorded any respect at all, especially in light of these comments and the significant role he played in the Iran Hostage Crisis disaster. As I said in the opening paragraph, he isn’t the only scary Democrat.
Here’s a John Murtha quote that’s destined to live in infamy:
People tend to say, well, if we leave thereâ€™s going to be chaos. I donâ€™t believe that. Seventy-eight percent of the Iraqis say thatâ€™s not going to happen, 78 percent of the Iraqis say itâ€™ll beâ€¦weâ€™re the ones that are causing this and al Qaedaâ€™s going to beâ€¦al Qaedaâ€™s going to disappear.
What type of denial is afflicting John Murtha? It must be something awful because nobody except the most fatally afflicted Fever Swamper could believe that. Here’s another scary observation from Mr. Brzezinski:
As for Iraq, he argued that a “jointly set date of departure” for U.S. forces, agreed to by the American and Iraqi governments, would put pressure on Iraq’s various factions to reach an accommodation. U.S. diplomats should also try to pull Iraq’s neighbors into a discussion about that country’s security, as they all would be harmed if the situation there explodes.
How many more times do we have to hear the message that essentially says “It’s in everyone’s interest in the region to help stabilize Iraq”? If it’s “in everybody’s interest” to see a stabilized Iraq, why is al Qa’ida in Iraq teaming with the Iranian mullahs to destabilize Iraq?
Finally, there’s this Brzezinski quote:
“Since 9/11, which killed 3,000 Americans, 200,000 Americans have died violently, in car accidents,” Brzezinski said. “We accept that as a necessary aspect of our way of life. But I’m sad to say that perhaps terrorism may be a necessary aspect of our way for life for some time to come. It shouldn’t affect the totality of the national culture.”
Shut the hell up, Mr. Brzezinski. The day that I accept terrorism as “a necessary aspect of our way for life” is the day I want someone to slap some sense into me. This is what happens when you live by pacifist rules. This explains the Carter approach to the Hostage Crisis that lasted 444 days, ending finally eight minutes after President Reagan was sworn into office. Americans don’t accept defeatism. We prefer excellence.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
It’s apparent that the Minnesota Senate DFL just won’t take no for an answer on tax increases. Here’s the details on their latest attempt to dramatically increase taxes:
Rather than raising income taxes on everyone, Senate Democrats plan to pass a tax bill Saturday that would give Minnesota the highest-in-the-nation top rate.
The proposal to raise just shy of $1 billion in taxes over the next two years would be achieved by adding a fourth tier to Minnesota’s current three-tier system. The new rate would be 9.7 percent. At least half of the proceeds would be used to offset higher education spending.
Senate Taxes Committee Chairman Tom Bakk said his Democratic colleagues rallied around the plan during a closed-door caucus Friday morning. They chose the approach over another one that would have raised income taxes across the board.
This fits seamlessly into State Sen. Steve Murphy’s quote, too:
“Iâ€™m not trying to fool anybody,” said Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, sponsor of the measure that would increase funding for roads and transit by $1.5 billion a year once it was fully implemented in the next decade. “Thereâ€™s a lot of taxes in this bill.”
The DFL continues to pass legislation that increases the tax burden on small businesses despite Gov. Pawlenty’s promise to veto any tax increase passed by the DFL-dominated legislature. The DFL has wasted all their time passing bills that they know won’t get signed into law. By doing this, they’re needlessly subjecting us to a special session. Shame on them for that. They’re more concerned, generally speaking, in showing Gov. Pawlenty that they’re the boss than they are with doing what’s right.
Another thing that the DFL should be ashamed of is the utter lack of bipartisanship on their behalf. I can literally count on one hand the number of amendments that the DFL has passed if it didn’t have a DFL co-sponsor. They’re trying to eliminate the JOBZ program that Gov. Pawlenty created. They’ve stripped out all of Gov. Pawlenty’s education initiatives.
I understand that they have the chairmanships but to defeat almost all of the minority party’s ideas is unheard of & unconscionable. That’s why I called this DFL-dominated legislature “theyâ€™re the worst Minnesota legislature in the stateâ€™s history.” These are just a smattering of the poor decisions that this DFL legislature has made.
The bad news is that this legislature refuses to work on behalf of the average Minnesotan. Instead, they’re working to repay their special interest allies. In my opinion, that’s the definition of irresponsibility.
Let me first say that I couldn’t be happier to get Captain Ed’s report that surgery for his beloved First Mate went well. Here’s part of Ed’s hospiblogging:
1:24 – Excellent news! The surgery is done, and the kidney is already producing urine. The doctors saw stones in her appendix and decided to do an appendectomy as long as they had her open, especially since stones precede appendicitis. She will be in recovery for two hours and then will return to her room. The donor has also gone to recovery, and except for a little bout of high blood pressure, did just fine. He’ll be leaving the hospital perhaps as early as Sunday.
Ed, That is excellent news!!! I couldn’t be happier for you & your entire family. I can’t imagine going through what you & your beloved First Mate & family have gone through. I’m just thankful that you’ve had the Admiral Emeritus to learn from and the ‘Marriage Encounter prayer team’ to comfort you. Ed, know that I’ll keep all of you in my prayers. Know, too, that the ‘St. Cloud Discovery Church prayer team’ is keeping you in their prayers, too.
I had the pleasure of meeting Captain Ed & his First Mate at a Hugh Hewitt event that the Patriot radio station sponsored last October. Though I knew that Ed was one of the finest men in the blogosphere prior to that event, the conversation I had that night with him just confirmed that opinion.
My friend Cal just emailed me this link of a letter to the editor of the SF Chronicle. Look no further if you’re in need of some Friday afternoon levity. Here’s the LTE:
Here’s the ticket — Barack and Nancy!
Editor — Let’s cut short all the campaigning and political blather — it’s Barack and Nancy in ’08! What a fabulous team — the wise, legislatively experienced, culturally aware, politically astute House speaker, paired with the most charismatic, articulate American politician to appear on the landscape in decades — U.S. Sen. Barack Obama!
Both Nancy and Barack have integrity, a sound vision of the values this country should represent, are fair-minded and have few ties to the corporate corruption that is rampant in politics.
U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, for all her virtues, and she has many, has too much baggage; lost baggage at that. She’s too spineless and will compromise too easily for her own political survival.
America needs to send a message to the rest of the world: We’re not a school of spineless jellyfish, we have high ideals, but we’re not head-in-the-sand ideologues, we’re independent thinkers.
We’re not incapable of changing direction when presented with the verifiable facts. We are a humane nation, capable of putting people before profit, responsive to the needs of the world and willing to sacrifice so that the world may benefit in the long run.
This LTE would be laughable if it weren’t so wrongheaded. The writer says that we need to show the world that we aren’t “a school of spineless jellyfish” on the day that the Senate voted to run like spineless wimps from Iraq. The writer says that “we have high ideals” but those ideals are either nonexistent or they’re nearly impossible to detect. The writer also says that “we’re not head-in-the-sand ideologues” but he can’t say why Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha haven’t admitted that our troops have started making serious progress in Iraq since implementing Gen. Petraeus’ counterinsurgency plan.
The truth is that Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Murtha won’t admit the truth if it bit them in the backside. They can’t because they’re too spineless to stand up to the lunatic nut jobs of the far, far left.
As for a ticket of Obama and Pelosi, the only thing that I’d say about that is PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE!!! That ticket would prove that there is a God in Heaven and that He’s on our side.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
Way long ago, in a land called Reality, a horrible condition existed called ‘Budget Surplus’. Actually, the surplus was a good thing until…the DFL decided that surpluses were evil. They believed that until they realized that surpluses could be spent. That’s when it dawned on the DFL that surpluses were good. Everything went well until they realized that they’d spent all of the surplus before they’d paid off all of their special interest friends.
Then as now, they had to find a way to pay off the rest of their special interest friends. How did the DFL accomplish that way long ago? Who knows but it wouldn’t surprise me if they took the same approach as today’s DFL is doing. Speaking of which, here’s some tasty tidbits on what today’s DFL is doing:
Amid a struggle to decide exactly who should foot the bill, Senate leaders on Thursday outlined hundreds of million of dollars in new school spending predicated on a higher income tax.
All schools would receive $100 more per student next year and $102 on top of that the year after, colleges would get more money in exchange for promises to hold tuition increases down and more parents would qualify for grants to help pay for early childhood programs. The three items would cost $444 million over the next two years.
Senate Democrats are discussing an income tax hike, maybe across the board and maybe just on the wealthy, to offset the new spending. The combined education/tax bill is headed for a Saturday vote.
While the “education/tax bill is headed for a Saturday vote”, the legislation is headed for the trash can the minute Gov. Pawlenty vetoes it. Let’s face facts: The DFL is utterly predictable. They still worship at Education Minnesota’s altar. That’s sad by itself but it gets worse. A Republican could probably live with that if the DFL only worshiped at Education Minnesota’s altar but that’s just one stop on their worship tour. After stopping at Education Minnesota’s altar, they still have to stop at MnDOT’s altar & at the health care altar.
Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, said Pawlenty will need to compromise to get a state budget passed. “If his only strategy is to be telling us `No, no, no,’ that’s not a form of negotiations,” Clark said.
Sen. Clark complains that Gov. Pawlenty’s negotiating tactic is to just say “no, no, no” but she isn’t complaining that the DFL’s negotiating tactic is repeatedly saying “MORE, MORE, MORE.” The DFL had better learn how to say no more often to Education Minnesota & MnDOT. They’d better learn how to say yes to less. (Saying yes to less taxes & less spending would be a good start.)
“They want to increase spending in this state that is two and three times faster than people’s paychecks are going up, faster than the economy is growing,” Pawlenty said. “You have to have government finally live within its means and not just always run to the taxpayers for another whack at their wallets.”
When Gov. Pawlenty was first elected, he inherited a $4.5 billion deficit, which was the result of runaway spending increases. Bill Clinton’s definition of insanity in the 1992 debates was doing the same thing over & over again but expecting different results. Fast forward to today. The DFL wants to return to its free-spending ways. It’s just hoping another record deficit follows. Are there any sane people out there who think that the DFL can return to their spendaholic ways without returning to record deficits?
I don’t believe that. I’m betting that most taxpayers would side with me once they’re given that information.
Speaking of getting that information out, it’s time that the readers & writers of the right blogosphere realized that we need to write letters to the editor (LTE’s) to reach the people who don’t read our blogs. We’re perfectly equipped in terms of putting together the information in a coherent, understandable way. We’re far more informed on the issues than the average voter. We’re in position to influence voters both with our blogs & through the newspapers.
We shouldn’t take an either/or approach to getting this information out. We should take an ‘all of the above’ approach instead. Let’s make the most of it so we can retake the majority in 2008.
The House GOP leadership team has essentially sent a letter to Ms. Pelosi, urging her to not recess the House as planned:
Today House Democrats will vote to pass the largest tax increase in American history, raising taxes on middle class families and small businesses – and then they’ll vote to leave town for two weeks, without passing a clean war spending bill that funds American troops in harm’s way.
With astonishing speed, House Democrats have confirmed for the American people that they are exactly who we thought they were when they took over the Capitol three months ago. They’re raising taxes on middle class families, and spending billions of dollars on pork-barrel projects the American people don’t want. They’re providing billions of dollars in funding for projects the American people didn’t ask for, while denying precious funds and support to American troops overseas who are putting their lives on the line for our freedom. And now, having accomplished all this, they’re going to reward themselves with a two-week vacation.
House Republicans must stand united against this, and we will. We urge you to vote NO on the Democrats’ adjournment resolution today. Congress should not leave town without passing a clean war spending bill that gives our troops the full support they need to accomplish their mission and return home safely.
Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)
Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL)
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)
Chief Deputy Whip
While this letter was sent to GOP representatives, the message is clear: the House GOP will oppose Pelosi’s Democrats a clean getaway if they don’t first fund the troops. This puts it all on the Democrats’ shoulders. If they leave without funding the troops, Republicans will belittle them in every swing district across the nation. They’ll make House Democrats feel like this is the longest two week recess in history.
In addition to highlighting the Democrats’ irresponsibility on national security, the House leadership is also highlighting the Democrats’ pro tax increase disposition. In other words, the House GOP leadership have sharpened the debate by giving activists something to fight for. Now it’s time that the activists started getting behind these guys by writing letters to the editor, selling the GOP’s pro-victory, pro-security agenda to their co-workers, neighbors and friends.
It’s also a time to let Ms. Pelosi and her minions know that they’ll have hell to pay at the polls in November, 2008 if they don’t start getting serious about stabilizing Iraq. It’s time that they know we expect them to give Gen. Petraeus’ plan a chance to work. Finally, it’s time we told them that they can’t continue pretending that Gen. Petraeus hasn’t devised and implemented a new strategy and that the new strategy isn’t working.
We The People demand the truth. We The People demand real leadership based on verifiable facts. We The People demand that ‘politics by diatribe’ stops this instant.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
Yesterday, Minnesota Republicans got a shot of good news when the Pi-Press let it be known that Col. Joe Repya intended to run against RPM Chairman Ron Carey:
Joe Repya, of Eagan, a former U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who came out of retirement in 2004 to volunteer for duty in Iraq, said Wednesday he will run for chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party this spring.
“I came back from two years of military service in early October to a Republican Party in Minnesota that is probably the most demoralized and factionalized that I’ve seen in the years I’ve lived here,” Repya said. “It is in dire need of dynamic, exciting new leadership, and I can provide that.”
A quick search of Col. Repya’s record reveals that he’s a leader with a list of accomplishments. Perhaps his most significant accomplishment is his most recent civilian accomplishments:
He first appeared on the Minnesota political scene in 2003, when he and his wife, Deb, a St. Paul lawyer, formed a grass-roots organization to produce and distribute 30,000 “Support our troops” lawn signs. Later, he organized a Capitol rally to support the war in Iraq and started making frequent television appearances as a military analyst.
In 2004, he served as Minnesota co-chairman of Veterans for Bush-Cheney, spoke to veterans groups across the nation on behalf of the president’s campaign and led the Pledge of Allegiance to open the Republican National Convention.
Col. Joe is a man with a fire in his belly & a history of achieving whatever he sets his mind to. Col. Joe is a man who understands the value of grassroots activism. Col. Joe is a man who’ll work hard to rebuild the GOP team. Col. Joe will credit that team in victory instead of blaming others in defeat. Can we say those things about Ron Carey? I think not.
That’s why it’s my opinion that WE CAN’T DO BETTER THAN COL. JOE REPYA!!!
Joe Lieberman has written an op-ed in today’s edition of USA Today. Here’s Sen. Lieberman’s perspective on what’s happening in Iraq:
Since taking command, Gen. Petraeus has been true to his word. The result? Sectarian violence is down in Baghdad. The radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has fled. The Mahdi Army, which terrorized Baghdad last year, appears to be splintering. And the Iraqi government, its spine stiffened thanks to our renewed support, is taking the critical steps for political reconciliation.
In other words, conditions in Iraq are dramatically improving. The Democrats’ reaction to that improvement has been predictable:
Amazingly, however, just at the moment things are at last beginning to look up in Iraq, a narrow majority in Congress has decided that it’s time to force our military to retreat. Rather than supporting Gen. Petraeus, they are threatening to strip him of the troops he says he needs and sabotage his strategy.
This is outrageous.
I’m thankful that Sen. Lieberman sticks to his beliefs. That’s what happens when a man thinks things through instead of shifting because of the polls. It’s obvious that Sen. Lieberman doesn’t have much in common with his former colleagues anymore. It’s equally obvious that that rift exists because Senate Democrats don’t believe in victory. If they did, they’d be for giving Gen. Petraeus’ plan a chance to work. As I’ve said before, Democrats political fortunes would plummet if we stabilized Iraq.
The deadline for retreat that Congress wants to impose is both arbitrary and inflexible. American troops would be forced to begin withdrawing regardless of conditions in Iraq, regardless of the recommendations of our military commanders, and regardless of what impact a hasty retreat would have on America’s security and credibility, in short, regardless of reality.
Weren’t Democrats whining that President Bush wasn’t “listening to the generals” this time last year? Anytime a general said anything negative about Iraq, the Democrats would accuse President Bush of ignoring that general. Now these same self-righteous Democrats aren’t ignoring “a” general. They’re telling “THE GENERAL” in Baghdad that they know better.
That’s the definition of chutzpah. It’s proof that Democrats are willing to ignore reality if it suits their needs at the time. I can’t say that that’s a surprise since some of the Democrats’ leadership thinks that al Qa’ida will disappear if we leave:
JACK MURTHA (D), PENNSYLVANIA REPRESENTATIVE: People tend to say, well, if we leave thereâ€™s going to be chaos. I donâ€™t believe that. Seventy-eight percent of the Iraqis say thatâ€™s not going to happen, 78 percent of the Iraqis say itâ€™ll beâ€¦weâ€™re the ones that are causing this and al Qaedaâ€™s going to beâ€¦al Qaedaâ€™s going to disappear.
The only way to stop the Democrats’ insanity is to let them know in uncertain terms that they’ll be staring at defeat if they insist of unilaterally declaring defeat in Iraq.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
Based on this response, I’d answer that CAIR is definitely in full backpedal. We have Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, and Gerry Nolting. We also owe Katherine Kersten a debt of gratitude, too, for her WSJ op-ed. Here’s why I think CAIR is in full backpedal mode:
CAIR characterized the Becket Fund’s letter as “misleading” and based on false allegations against the imams. In his letter to Becket Fund for Religious Liberty President Kevin J. Hasson, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote in part:
“The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) would like to respond to your open letter dated March 23, 2007, regarding Shqeirat et. al. v. US Airways Group, Inc. et. al.
“We trust that the Becket Fund and CAIR share the same objective of upholding the Constitution and preventing violations of religious and civil rights.
“Unfortunately, your letter was misleading and mischaracterized the lawsuit brought against US Airways by the six imams. It appears you believe the false allegations promoted by irresponsible and unaccountable parties on the Internet that the imams and their lawyers intend to target “ordinary citizens” who were simply reporting suspicious activity.
“Mr. Omar Mohammedi, the attorney representing the imams, has repeatedly asserted that this is not the case. The only individuals against whom suit may be raised in this litigation are those who may have knowingly made false reports against the imams with the intent to discriminate against them.
“The imams will not sue any passengers who reported suspicious activity in good faith, even when the ‘suspicious’ behavior included the imams’ constitutionally-protected right to practice their religion without fear or intimidation…”
This is patently false. Omar Shahin, the most vocal of the six imams, lamented the fact that the only reason why they were removed from US Airways Flight 300 is because they were praying in the airport terminal:
“They took us off the plane, humiliated us in a very disrespectful way,” said Omar Shahin, of Phoenix. The six Muslim scholars were returning from a conference in Minneapolis of the North American Imams Federation, said Shahin, president of the group. Five of them were from the Phoenix-Tempe area, while one was from Bakersfield, Calif., he said. Three of them stood and said their normal evening prayers together on the plane, as 1.7 billion Muslims around the world do every day, Shahin said. He attributed any concerns by passengers or crew to ignorance about Islam. “I never felt bad in my life like that,” he said. “I never. Six imams. Six leaders in this country. Six scholars in handcuffs. It’s terrible.”
Here’s CAIR’s reaction then:
“CAIR will be filing a complaint with relevant authorities in the morning over the treatment of the imams to determine whether the incident was caused by anti-Muslim hysteria by the passengers and/or the airline crew,” Hooper said. “Because, unfortunately, this is a growing problem of singling out Muslims or people perceived to be Muslims at airports, and itâ€™s one that weâ€™ve been addressing for some time.”
CAIR should keep in mind that we won’t forget their lamentations about “flying while Muslim.” We remember their accusations that the imams were being persecuted for praying in the terminal. If they believe that, then the pilots couldn’t have known about it since they were already on the plane. I hope that the defendants’ attorneys pursue an aggressive discovery strategy if it gets that far.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
According to this WC Trib article, the DFL is finally showing its true colors:
Income tax increases topping $500 million appear likely to pass the Minnesota Senate by weekâ€™s end. Democratic-Farmer-Laborite senators want to bump up education funding anywhere between $500 million and $1 billion, and income taxes look like their chosen way to fund the bigger budgets. Decisions could be made today about just how to raise taxes, with the Senate Taxes Committee chairman suggesting they restore personal income taxes to 2001 levels.
I predicted that the DFL couldn’t resist increasing taxes when Mike Hatch accepted the DFL’s gubernatorial nomination:
Hatch gave his task an initial shot in a rambling acceptance speech that punched some of the right buttons. He cast Pawlenty as too stingy with education, responsible for large class sizes and rising college tuition. He tagged him for an inadequate response to soaring health care costs and the emerging biosciences industry. He promised more state investment in those things. Significantly, he said, “we can do this without raising taxes.”
It isn’t difficult to spot the dramatic shift in the DFL’s tax policy. Anyone that’s literate can tell the difference between the Senate DFL & Mike Hatch. Then again, most Republicans didn’t believe Hatch when he made that speech. Which leads me to this point:
The DFL didn’t run on increasing taxes. They ran as fiscal moderates. In fact, SOTH Margaret Anderson-Kelliher is quoted by the Strib as saying that:
“Weâ€™re a fiscally moderate caucus,” Kelliher said of the sprawling 85-member majority that now includes significant numbers of moderates from the suburbs, exurbs and rural areas.
We can’t afford this type of fiscal moderation, Ms. Kelliher.