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Archive for July, 2007

(H/T: Captain Ed)

This USA Today article is proof that miracles happen. When Keith Ellison starts talking about what a great job the US military is doing in Iraq, you know that divine intervention played a part in the transformation. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Ellison said that local leaders in Ramadi told him of how they partnered with U.S. and Iraqi military officials to virtually rid al-Qaeda from the city. Although the lawmakers had to travel in flak vests and helmets, “we did see people walking around the streets of Ramadi, going back and forth to the market.”

There have been fewer anti-U.S. sermons as the violence has been reduced, Ellison said, and religious leaders meet regularly with U.S. military officials.

“The success in Ramadi is not just because of bombs and bullets, but because the U.S. and Iraqi military and the Iraqi police are partnering with the tribal leadership and the religious leadership,” he said. “So they’re not trying to just bomb people into submission. What they’re doing is respecting the people, giving the people some control over their own lives.”

Ellison said he was particularly impressed watching Maj. Gen. Walter Gaskin, U.S. commander in the Anbar province, greeting people with “as-salama aleikum,” meaning peace be upon you.

Obviously, Keith Ellison isn’t a big fan of the Bush administration. If he’s now saying that we’re making progress, that anti-American fervor in the mosques is dropping, that he was able to walk the peaceful streets of Ramadi, that’s proof that something dramatic has happened.

Coming a day after the NY Times published an op-ed by Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack stating that progress is being made, this is a big blow against the credibility of the Democrats’ anti-war crowd. Isn’t it time for these anti-war crowds to admit that it’s worth giving Gen. Petraeus’ plan enough time to work?

It’s getting to be almost impossible for them to argue against giving him the time. Thank God for divine intervention.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

That’s what British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said during his initial news conference with President Bush. They’re also words that must’ve made Harry Reid’s and Nancy Pelosi’s crest fall.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told President Bush Monday he shares the U.S. view that there are “duties to discharge and responsibilities to keep” in Iraq. “Our aim, like the United States is, step-by-step, to move control to the Iraqi authorities,” Brown said, joining Bush at a news conference at the president’s Maryland mountaintop ranch.

Brown said that decisions about troops would only be made “on the military advice of our commanders on the ground,” echoing language often heard from Bush.

This isn’t a good start to the week for anti-war Democrats. In fact, it’s the worst possible start imaginable for anti-war Democrats. Democrats were hoping that Brown would pull British troops from Iraq. Now that that didn’t happen, they’re left holding a very empty bag.

That isn’t to say that Brown and Bush will have the same friendly relationship that Bush and Blair had. They clearly won’t. In the end, though, Brown’s promised steadfastness will provide a smooth transition into the next chapter of US-British relations.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

The Democrats’ worst nightmare is having the NY Times saying that Iraq can be won. Today, their worst nightmare came true thanks to this op-ed by Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack. This paragraph should be especially troubling to John Murtha and his fellow defeatists:

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

Rush spent most of the first hour of his show talking about this op-ed and about a roundtable discussion on Chris Matthews’ Sunday Show where David Ignatius said that the cost of pulling out precipitously could cause a tenfold increase in civilian casualties. Rush said that you could just imagine Nancy Pelosi’s face cracking upon hearing this. I wholeheartedly agree. This is awful news for Democrats because they’re totally invested in defeat.

They’ve bet the ranch on perceived defeat in Iraq. I’ve said before that the worst thing for Democrats isn’t good news from Iraq. A Democrat’s worst nightmare is good news from Iraq that’s splashed across the front page of the NY Times. That’s why I called this op-ed the Democrats’ worst nightmare.

Here’s another bit of information Democrats don’t want people to hear:

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated, many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

This news is making its way around everywhere. Rush is talking about it. high profile bloggers like Powerline, Captains Quarters, Gateway Pundit, Hugh Hewitt and Instapundit are commenting on this. Rest assured that Hannity will talk extensively about this starting at 2:00 pm CDT. I expect that they’ll also talk about it on the Roundtable on Special Report.

The thing that stands out here is that Mssrs. O’Hanlon and Pollack aren’t just saying that events on the ground are changing for the better but also that the military has total confidence in Gen. Petraeus. Troop morale is soaring as a direct result of Gen. Petraeus’ leadership and brilliant planning. I’ve said from dawn till dusk day after day that Gen. Petraeus knew what he was doing in fighting a counterinsurgency war. The events of the last six weeks are proving that he’s a brilliant strategist in defeating insurgencies.

In Ramadi, for example, we talked with an outstanding Marine captain whose company was living in harmony in a complex with a (largely Sunni) Iraqi police company and a (largely Shiite) Iraqi Army unit. He and his men had built an Arab-style living room, where he met with the local Sunni sheiks, all formerly allies of Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups, who were now competing to secure his friendship.

So much for Murtha’s talking about US soldiers being caught in the middle of a civil war. If they’re working together in armed combat, why would they shoot each other when they aren’t part of the military?

The bottom line is that Democrats are feeling jittery after this op-ed. I suspect that the media’s talking about positive developments has everything to do with cutting Barack Obama’s legs out from under him and to give Hillary room to play a ‘moderate’ on the war.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

The local citizenry turned on the insurgents south of Baghdad late last week, pointing the troops to a major weapons cache south of Baghdad:

On July 23, a local Iraqi man came to Patrol Base Inchon, near the Euphrates River, staffed by Company D, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., and elements of the 4th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division. He told troops that several other residents had chased a group of anti-Iraqi forces away from a weapons cache. He asked Soldiers to remove the weapons.

Several local residents guarded the cache and placed a fluorescent marking cloth to alert helicopters that they were not hostile. Soldiers of Company D moved out to find the cache and were met on the road by some of the local residents, who guided them to the cache, which was next to a canal.

The cache contained 210 57mm rockets, 25 82mm rockets, eight 120mm mortars, a large rocket, and a bag of homemade explosives. An explosive ordnance disposal team detonated the contents of the cache with a controlled explosion.

Although most rockets and mortars found in caches are not suitable for firing as intended, they are commonly used as improvised explosive devices.

In other words, people are stepping forward to help clear their areas of insurgents and weapons caches. This report also noted that this is a troubled area:

The rural areas south of Baghdad have long been a trouble spot for Coalition Forces. The fertile land was given by Saddam Hussein to Ba’ath Party members and close friends, and the ties made it a hotbed of terrorism.

If they’re able to start turning the tide in this rural area, that will provide an incentive for other citizens to come forward with more tips on insurgent locations and weapons caches. There’s lots of work to still be done but the progress continues.

The biggest question is whether Congress develops a spine and lets them win or if Congress continues to set policy by moistening a finger. Don’t be bashful people. It’s never wrong to pick up the phone and give your congresscritter a spine transplant. Let them know that you expect them to vote for victory.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Yesterday, I wrote about MoveOn.org, the Daily Kos and the Campaign for America’s Future joining forces to silence the conservative voices on FNC. I’ve now uncovered more information who’s all involved in this unholy alliance. First, I went to CAF’s About Us page. Here’s what it said:

Over 100 Prominent Americans, citizen activists and policy experts concerned about our country and our planet, joined together to launch and build the Campaign for America’s Future. We are challenging the big money corporate agenda by encouraging Americans to speak up, to discuss and debate a new vision of an economy and a future that works for all of us.

America’s Future insists that the question of falling wages and rising insecurity be placed at the center of our national debate. We challenge those who suggest that nothing can be done and expose the conservative agenda that has made things worse. America’s Future works to revitalize a progressive agenda, and fights to make this economy work for working people once again. We engage citizens, activists and political leaders in a renewed debate about the kind of country, and the kind of world, we want to build for the generations yet to come.

When I read the line about CAF being a group of citizen activists and policy experts, red flags galore went off so I went to their advisors page. Here’s some of the people that serve as advisors to CAF:

Ann Beaudry, PFAW; Mary Frances Berry, US Commission on Civil Rights; Julian Bond, NAACP Board Chair; Hodding Carter; Betty Friedan; Tom Hayden, ex-husband of Jane Fonda, fmr. Gore Campaign manager; Denis Hayes, Earth Day founder; Jim Hightower, Hightower Radio; Patricia Ireland, fmr. Pres. NOW; Jesse L. Jackson, Rainbow Coalition; Gerald W. McEntee, AFSCME; Howard Metzenbaum, US Senator (retired); Robert Reich, Brandeis University, Former Secretary of Labor; Mark Ritchie, Inst for Agriculture and Trade Policy; John J. Sweeney, AFL-CIO; Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO

Does that sound like a list of “citizen activists”? In my opinion, it sounds more like a group of paid lobbyists and Democratic strategists. That’s why I did more digging. In CAF’s FAQ page, someone asked if they could contribute to their organization. The unsurprising response was “Yes!” They then linked to a secure website to contribute online. After that, they listed this address for people wanting to simply send a check via snail mail:

Campaign for America’s Future
1825 K Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006

Please make your check out to “Campaign for America’s Future.”

I didn’t think that citizen activists maintained offices on K Street in Washington, DC. That’s because K Street is known for housing major lobbying firms. That’s why I’ve nicknamed K Street the Lobbyists’ Lair. I’ll stand by that nickname.

The point I’m trying to make with this information is to inform you as to who’s behind the effort to silence conservatives on FNC. This is being directed from the highest levels of the Democratic Party. You can’t convince me that Howard Dean doesn’t get frequent updates about this effort, especially after participating in the Take Back America Conference in June, 2005. That also means that Rahm Emanuel and Charles Schumer, the chairs of the DCCC and DSCC at the time, likely got briefed on CAF. That also means that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid got briefed about CAF’s efforts. Here’s more information about who’s associated with CAF:

TomPaine.com and the Apollo Alliance are projects of the Campaign for America’s Future. We are also one of the founding organizations of Americans United to Protect Social Security. We have worked in coalition with organizations including MoveOn.org, the AFL-CIO, the National Education Association, USAction, the Alliance for Retired Americans, the Center for American Progress, ACORN, the NAACP, the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, and others.

These are ‘the groups’ that Zell Miller spoke about when he was the lone conservative Democrat in the Senate.

Here’s ACORN’s agenda:

Prosecutors in Seattle have charged seven people with committing voter fraud during last year’s election in King County. The seven were employees of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. They’re accused of using phony names and randomly pulling others from telephone books to fill out voter registration forms.

Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said the organization and the workers will be held responsible.

Dan Satterberg: “This was an act of vandalism upon the voter roles of King County. The massive volume of false registrations dumped into the King County data base required a tremendous effort to investigate and clean up.”

Satterberg said ACORN’s lax oversight of its own registration drive allowed the fraud to happen. The organization will have to pay a $25,000 penalty and thoroughly revamp its policies to prevent future fraud.

Lest you think that ACORN is only a Washington State voter fraud operation, consider this post from Gateway Pundit:

Local St. Louis democratic blog PubDef continues to shred the Claire McCaskill Campaign apart!

St. Louis ACORN workers, who have still not been paid by the way, reveal that all of the people who were being trained at ACORN headquarters (many at the same time) were told to go out and canvas for “(Democrat) Victory 2006″ and Claire McCaskill!

Let’s put this all together. The people who are trying to intimidate businesses that advertise on FNC are connected with K Street lobbyists, major political strategists in the Democratic Party, major anti-war groups and an organization that’s been charged with voter fraud operations across the country.

It isn’t a stretch to say that the most radical parts of the Democratic Party are engaged in this effort to silence anyone who disagrees with them through intimidation and threats of financial ruin. Likewise, it isn’t a stretch to say that these radical progressives are ruthless in their attempts to silence mainstream political conversation. Today, FNC is their target but I’m skeptical that FNC is their last target. Look at what MoveOn.org did to Joe Lieberman. Tom Matzzie directed the effort to defeat Lieberman in Connecticut. Matzzie won the primary battle and lost the war.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to think that an organization that’s willing to undercut a man who was 538 votes in Florida from being the Vice President is an organization that’s willing to destroy anyone that gets in their way.

I also did some digging into where CAF’s offices are. It turns out that they’re leasing space from USAction, a progressive activist organization. Here’s the list of their ‘neighbors’:

Welcome to 1825 K St. NW, what inhabitants of the building call “the other K Street.” The 13-story structure looks like any other boxy building along the congested avenue, and it has a wide range of tenants, including Associated Press Broadcast and the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. But in the past year and a half, two of its floors have turned into a clubhouse and clearinghouse for liberal causes. Its most prominent tenants form an abbreviated who’s who of well-funded allies of the Democratic Party.

The convergence began in January of last year when USAction, a grass-roots organization with eager activists in two dozen states, was hunting for additional space and leased more square footage than it needed on the second floor of 1825. It ended up subletting to Americans United for Change, its rapid-response confederate in the successful fight in 2005 to defeat President Bush’s plan to add private accounts to Social Security. (Woodhouse is president of that group.)

Soon thereafter, Campaign for America’s Future, which promotes liberal causes mostly on the economic and domestic fronts, was also seeking a new home and decided to alight on the fourth floor. It moved there in mid-February of this year and soon took on a tenant of its own, Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, a coalition directed by Thomas Matzzie, who is also the Washington director of MoveOn.org Political Action.

Now every weekday is a rolling meeting with staffers from each of the organizations mixing with one another on such issues as lowering prescription drug prices and increasing funding for children’s health programs.

Roger Hickey, co-director of Campaign for America’s Future, called this clustering of a critical mass of these groups “a happy accident,” and a very useful one.

“The ability to walk down the hall and see somebody and get things done is great,” agreed Jeff Blum, executive director of USAction. Then, sounding just as corporate as anyone on K Street, Blum added: “We believe in synergy.”

I can’t stress this enough: A who’s who of Democratic hatchet man organizations, lobbyists with deep connections to the Democratic Party, anti-war activist groups, an organization that seems to specialize in voter fraud and other progressive crazies are behind the attempt to silence FNC.

Let’s also remember that Democrats blocked the amendment submitted by Norm Coleman, John Thune and Jim DeMint that would’ve eliminated any possibility of reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. It isn’t a stretch by any means to think that the Democrats’ drive to silence FNC and their procedural maneuvering to prevent a vote on an amendment that would’ve stopped the Fairness Doctrine movement are unrelated.

It’s obvious that Democrats don’t think that their ideas can prevail if they’re on a level playing field. It’s obvious that the only way voters don’t reject their ideas is if they’re hidden from voters during a campaign.

Let’s also recognize that Democrats aren’t willing to venture into the ‘hostile territory’ of conservative talk radio or into debates and forums sponsored by conservative organizations. Here in Minnesota, Patty Wetterling didn’t participate in any debates sponsored by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce against Michele Bachmann.

State Sen. Tarryl Clark told KNSI talk radio host Andy Barnett that she doesn’t do “entertainment talk radio.”

Compare that with how conservatives don’t think twice about going onto liberal TV shows like Chris Matthews’ Hardball, Meet the Press or NPR. Frankly, conservatives are used to doing battle with liberals whenever they’re invited.

Progressives are trying to silence their critics. They’ve assembled a team of high-powered lobbyists, a voter fraud organization, far left anti-war organizations and people with strong connections to, or are part of, the ‘upper management’ of the Democratic Party. In their quest to silence their critics, these radical leftist organizations won’t hesitate to threaten businesses with financial ruin. They won’t hesitate to regulate conservative talk radio into oblivion with the Fairness Doctrine. They won’t even hesitate to use voter fraud to win elections if that’s what it takes to accumulate power.

As you can see, this isn’t speculation. This is documented fact.

I’d doubt that that’s the type of political party many people would associate with. If the thought of a political party actively seeking to silence its numerous critics is appalling to you, then it’s important to spread the word about this unholy alliance. This isn’t something that we can defeat just by voting. This will take the disinfectant of massive amounts of public exposure.

The radicals opposed to the First Amendment won’t think twice about doing whatever it takes to silence us. It’s time we fought back hard but within the rules. It’s time we started fighting that war right now.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

This Strib article is just the latest proof that liberals are good at picking losing fights. Here’s what their latest losing fight is about:

With each passing day, the dispute over whether President Bush can claim executive privilege to shield his aides from a congressional investigation into last year’s firing of nine U.S. attorneys creeps closer to court. The two elected branches of government appear determined to push this dispute into a full-scale confrontation over the limits of their constitutional powers, and it may be that only the unelected branch can declare a winner.

According to Powerline’s Paul Mirengoff, it isn’t difficult to predict who will prevail:

The president, of course, cannot use his power to appoint and remove U.S. attorneys to obstruct justice or engage in wrongful prosecution, and Congress has the right to investigate whether the president has abused his power in these ways. However, where Congress is merely conducting a fishing expedition, its interest in such an investigation is not very strong, and probably does not outweigh the executive’s interest in candid, unrestrained deliberation. In this case, even after taking the testimony of everyone in the Justice Department with relevant knowledge and even after reviewing mountains of documents, there doesn’t appear to be any solid basis for believing that the removal decisions at issue constituted obstruction of justice or any other crime. Thus, I think a claim by Congress that it needs the information to investigate criminal activity would not be very weighty.

Talk about a constitutional crisis is laughable hyperbole. The courts would likely rule that Congress doesn’t have the authority to compel testimony from someone on the president’s personal staff. As Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff, that certainly puts Josh Bolten and Karl Rove offlimits. That also extends to Harriet Miers.

“For Congress to do nothing strikes me as a dangerous precedent itself, because it would suggest in future cases that the executive branch can basically forestall serious oversight through coercion,” said Steve Vladeck, an American University law professor whom Democrats are consulting. “I don’t like the idea that one branch can basically scare the other one off.”

Prof. Vladeck’s likes or dislikes notwithstanding, the courts have ruled that the greater good is served in giving presidential advisors confidence that their advice be kept confidential barring exceptional circumstances. The exceptional circumstances threshold isn’t met here because Congress is simply on a fishing expedition. Here’s another man’s opinion on the issue:

“If they were serious, they would have filed by now,” said David Rivkin, a constitutional lawyer who worked at the Justice Department under Ronald Reagan and President Bush’s father. “Fundamentally, they’re not interested in litigating this. They’re interested in making it a political spectacle.”

So how strong does the case look to these reporters?

But with little precedent and thin legislative jurisdiction over how the president can hire and fire his appointees, Congress’ case looks weak to many experts.

Congress can push this if they like but they’ll lose. Sounds like a typical liberal, doesn’t it?

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

A few weeks ago, I viewed an interview by Peter Robinson of Fred Thompson. During that interview, Sen. Thompson spoke clearly about his commitment to federalism, which brought a big smile to my face. The reason I smiled is because I’ve yet to see a true federalist who wasn’t a limited government conservative. Today, Sen. Thompson posted his thoughts about federalism on his ImWithFred blog. I strongly recommend that every Republican activist read Sen. Thompson’s post because it’s a treasure trove of great information, information that you can use in evaluating Sen. Thompson and the other presidential candidates. Here’s what stood out for me:

The Framers believed in free markets, rights of property and the rule of law, and they set these principles firmly in the Constitution. Above all, the Framers enshrined in our founding documents, and left to our care, the principle that rights come from our Creator and not from our government.

We developed institutions that allowed these principles to take root and flourish: a government of limited powers derived from, and assigned to, first the people, then the states, and finally the national government. A government strong enough to protect us and do its job competently, but modest and humane enough to let the people govern themselves. Centralized government is not the solution to all of our problems and, with too much power, such centralization has a way of compounding our problems. This was among the great insights of 1787, and it is just as vital in 2007.

Now more than ever, we need government to stop taking away our freedoms, whether it’s economic freedom or whether it’s freedom from overregulation or overtaxation. We also need the federal government to not impose unfunded mandates on local governments. One of the items in the Contract With America was the elimination of unfunded mandates. When those were eliminated, states prospered.

Another thing that happened after the Republican revolution in 1994 was that states were granted waivers to experiment with various types of welfare reform. By the time President Clinton signed federal welfare reform into law, many of the changes had already been tested in places like Wisconsin and Massachusetts. The waiving of regulations so that Tommy Thompson and Bill Weld could experiment with welfare reform is a basic tenet of federalism. It’s federalism at its finest.

Here’s another section of Sen. Thompson’s post that I enjoyed reading:

Federalism is not an 18th century notion. Or a 19th century notion. It retains its force as a basic principle in the 21st century, because when federalism is ignored, accountability, innovation, and public confidence in government at all levels suffer.

I’ve long argued that this nation’s Founding Fathers were the greatest team of leaders in the history of Western Civilization. That’s why it isn’t surprising to hear people talking about federalism as something that’s stood the test of time. The mark of great leadership is whether it stands the test of time. Federalism certainly passes that test.

We need to allow local authorities to apply their own good ideas and use their own good judgment. Each state can find its own way, learning from the successes and failures of the others. There is a wealth of creativity and initiative out there in the states, and often the best ideas in Washington started out as state initiatives.

A good example of this early in my Senate service was welfare reform. We were warned that terrible things would happen if we went forward with a bill, a fundamental commitment would be abandoned and, among state governments, a “race to the bottom” would begin.

But key to our approach were elements of welfare reform that had proved successful in various states, such as Colorado, Michigan and Wisconsin. The result was a law that allowed us to better meet our commitments to our fellow citizens. It was one of the great political successes of the 1990’s, because Washington, for once, had the good sense to learn from state and local authorities and empower them in return.

I’ve said that welfare reform is the greatest success story of all of the supposed reforms. Tommy Thompson and Bill Weld were geniuses, figuring out how to bring accountability to the system while still preserving society’s safety net. It also changed welfare recipients’ mindset because it told them that they needed to work in exchange for the taxpayers’ help.

You hear that the states are not doing a good job at prosecuting certain crimes, that their sentencing laws are not tough enough, that it’s too easy to make bail in state court. If these are true, why allow those responsible in the states to shirk that responsibility by having the federal government make up for the shortcomings in state law? Accountability gets displaced.

It’s refreshing to hear a presidential candidate who thinks about the implications, and benefits, of federalism. Here’s where it all leads to:

Beyond specific policies, what’s needed are some basic rules to restrain the federal rule-makers.

A good first step would be to codify the Executive Order on Federalism first signed by President Ronald Reagan. That Executive Order, first revoked by President Clinton, then modified to the point of uselessness, required agencies to respect the principle of the Tenth Amendment when formulating policies and implementing the laws passed by Congress. It preserved the division of responsibilities between the states and the federal government envisioned by the Framers of the Constitution. It was a fine idea that should never have been revoked. The next president should put it right back in effect, and see to it that the rightful authority of state and local governments is respected.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

MoveOn.org and other liberal hate groups are taking note of who’s advertising on FNC. Their goal is to build a database of FNC sponsors, then use that list in a phone call campaign to threaten these businesses with financial ruin if they continue advertising with FNC.

MoveOn.org, the Campaign for America’s Future and liberal blogs like DailyKos.com are asking thousands of supporters to monitor who is advertising on the network. Once a database is gathered, an organized phone-calling campaign will begin, said Jim Gilliam, vice president of media strategy for Brave New Films, a company that has made anti-Fox videos.

How is this not blacklisting these advertisers? This is the most despicable enterprise I’ve seen in my entire political life and that’s saying something. This is essentially the Fairness Doctrine achieved without legislation or regulation. The goal is simple: silence opposing points of view through threats, intimidation and financial ruin.

That phone campaign is meant to silence FNC by threatening companies into pulling their advertising dollars from FNC. The proper response isn’t to threaten CNN’s or MSNBC’s advertisers. It’s to make Daily Kos, MoveOn.org and this coalition of organizations pay a heavy political price for their actions.

The other thing that’s necessary is for GOP activists to tell people of good will that this campaign is meant to silence differing points of view. It’s vitally important to tell these people that this has a chilling effect on journalists everywhere, regardless of ideology. Today, FNC is the target. This certainly isn’t their final target, though. After watching what MoveOn and Daily Kos and other liberal hate groups did to Joe Lieberman last year, does anyone think that their next set of targets won’t include media organizations who aren’t ‘compliant enough’ with their ideology?

I’d bet the proverbial ranch that that next set of targets will include liberal media outlets who aren’t ‘progressive enough’.

VOTER BEWARE: This shows these organizations’ true nature. At their core, they are dictatorial, hateful and intolerant of opposing points of view. In my opinion, that’s the personification of evil and McCarthyism. They aren’t satisfied with getting their way most of the time. Their goal is getting their way all of the time. Based on their willingness to silence media outlets that offer people a different perspective of the news, shouldn’t America worry that Daily Kos, MoveOn and likeminded organizations won’t think twice about silencing any opposing voices, whether it’s through the Fairness Doctrine, threats of financial ruin or whatever tool is available?

At least 5,000 people nationwide have signed up to compile logs on who is running commercials on Fox, Gilliam said. The groups want to first concentrate on businesses running local ads, as opposed to national commercials. “It’s a lot more effective for Sam’s Diner to get calls from 10 people in his town than going to the consumer complaint department of some pharmaceutical company,” Gilliam said.

It’s time that we broke out the double-barrels against these hatemongers. It’s time that we highlighted their utter lack of respect for the First Amendment. It’s time that we realized the Daily Kos, MoveOn.org, the Campaign for America’s Future and other likeminded organizations aren’t interested in having a dialogue with America’s voters. It’s time we realized that they’re interested only in dictating the terms by which they dominate the political landscape.

To say that I’m furious is an understatement of historic proportions. Not that I agree with it, but it’s one thing to boycott a business with whom you disagree. It’s an entirely different matter when you try silencing media outlets.

Threatening to ruin businesses who advertise on media outlets that you disagree with is the essence of censorship. Threatening businesses who advertise on FNC is meant to intimidate FNC. That’s the ultimate in fascism. It’s something a freedom loving people can’t tolerate.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Chuckie Schumer is one of the most disgusting, conniving and egomaniacal people on Capitol Hill. I’ve seen him do some of the brashest things in recent senatorial history. His declaring war against any potential Bush Supreme Court nominees is the most breathtaking stunt I’ve ever seen from a senator.

“We should reverse the presumption of confirmation,” Schumer told the American Constitution Society convention in Washington. “The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.”

Prior to that declaration, I thought Al Gore was the master of hyperbole. He likely still is but now I’m forced into giving serious consideration to Sen. Schumer. What criteria did Sen. Schumer use to determine that the Supreme Court “dangerously out of balance”? Was it because, for the first time in two generations, that the Supreme Court is actually basing its rulings on what the Constitution says instead of what legislators in black robes say it means?

I think that Sen. Schumer is throwing the Nutters something to spur their campaign contributions. I also think that Sen. Schumer also thinks it’s a bad thing when SCOTUS justices don’t write new law. That mentality was exposed during the Roberts confirmation hearings with this exchange between Sen. Durbin and then-Judge Roberts:

DURBIN: But you’ve been unequivocal in your statement supporting Brown v. Board of Education. No one has suggested, in any respectful way, that we should return to the bad old days of separate but equal. I mean, you’ve accepted that’s part of America.

And the point I’m trying to make to you is whether we’re talking about millions of uninsured people or millions of Hispanic children, I would think that it would be a basic value, you’d say, this is good for America, for people to have insurance, and bad for them to be denied. It is good for America to see children with education, rather than to see them in the streets, ignorant. It seems so fundamental.

ROBERTS: Senator, I don’t think you want judges who will decide cases before them under the law on what they think is good, simply good policy for America. There are legal questions there.

After you boil it down, Democrats like Schumer and Durbin prefer justices like Breyer and Ginsburg because they prefer making emotional appeals that change social policies that they can’t change with legislation. Sen. Schumer wants the Constitution to mean whatever 5 liberal ideologues in black robes say it is. The last thing he wants are SCOTUS justices who take the Constitution literally.

Senators were too quick to accept the nominees’ word that they would respect legal precedents, and “too easily impressed with the charm of Roberts and the erudition of Alito,” Schumer said. “There is no doubt that we were hoodwinked,” said Schumer, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee and heads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

TRANSLATION: We’re intellectual lightweights who got outclassed by people way smarter than we were. They played us like a fiddle.

The truth is that Chuckie Schumer and his hyperpartisan colleagues didn’t have the votes. Their only option was to huff and puff loudly and hope that they found anything that would turn two Republicans into no votes. The other undeniable truth is that Justice Alito and Chief Justice Roberts were exceptional candidates that would impress voters who didn’t come with ideological baggage.

What voters need to recognize is that a Democrat in the White House and a Democratic Senate would return us to the days of confirming judges that ruled via judicial fiat and who ruled based on what best fit their political leanings rather than on what the Constitution says. Voters also must recognize that liberal judges threaten our national security. The quintessential example of that is Anna Diggs-Taylor’s ruling that the NSA intercept program violated reporters’ First Amendment rights:

JUDGMENT AND PERMANENT INJUNCTION ORDER

For the reasons set forth in an accompanying Memorandum Opinion, Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [Doc #4] is GRANTED. Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment [Doc #34] is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants, its agents, employees, representatives, and any other persons or entities in active concert or participation with Defendants, are permanently enjoined from directly or indirectly utilizing the Terrorist Surveillance Program (hereinafter “TSP”) in any way, including, but not limited to, conducting warrantless wiretaps of telephone and internet communications, in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (hereinafter “FISA”) and Title III;

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED AND DECLARED that the TSP violates the Separation of Powers doctrine, the Administrative Procedures Act, the First and Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the FISA and Title III;

IT IS ALSO ORDERED that Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED with respect to Plaintiffs’ data-mining claim and is DENIED regarding Plaintiffs’ remaining claims;

IT IS ALSO ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment is GRANTED in its entirety.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Date: August 17, 2006

(signed) Anna Diggs Taylor

ANNA DIGGS TAYLOR
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Detroit, Michigan

Needless to say, Diggs-Taylor’s ruling was struck down by sane jurists. This is the type of judge that Charles Schumer prefers. Sen. Schumer is a twisted, pathetic man. He’s the prototypical hyperpartisan hack. He isn’t terribly bright. What he lacks in intelligence, he makes up for with chutzpah and hyperbole.

That’s why I’m telling conservatives to keep Schumer’s declaration in mind when they start getting dispirited about this or that thing about our guys. Staying home or not working hard means that the Sen. Schumers of the world get final say on which justices we get. That’s reason enough for me to bust my butt in getting R’s elected next fall.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

I just finished reading John Hinderaker’s post about how Democrats put a higher priority on political gains than on national security. Just thinking about how they’ve undermined the NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Program is enough to get me fuming. When I think of how they gave NCLR veto power over major provisions in the ‘Grand Bargain’ negotiations, I get even more furious. Let’s start with how Democrats have crippled a valuable tool in surveilling the terrorists’ communications:

This has turned out to be an enormous mistake that has unilaterally disarmed one of our best intelligence weapons in the war on terror. To understand why, keep in mind that we live in a world of fiber optics and packet-switching. A wiretap today doesn’t mean the FBI must install a bug on Abdul Terrorist’s phone in Peshawar. Information now follows the path of least resistance, wherever that may lead. And because the U.S. has among the world’s most efficient networks, hundreds of millions of foreign calls are routed through the U.S.

That’s right: If an al Qaeda operative in Quetta calls a fellow jihadi in Peshawar, that call may well travel through a U.S. network. This ought to be a big U.S. advantage in our “asymmetrical” conflict with terrorists. But it also means that, for the purposes of FISA, a foreign call that is routed through U.S. networks becomes a domestic call. So thanks to the obligation to abide by an outdated FISA statute, U.S. intelligence is now struggling even to tap the communications of foreign-based terrorists. If this makes you furious, it gets worse.

Our understanding is that some FISA judges have been open to expediting warrants, as well as granting retroactive approval. But there are 11 judges in the FISA rotation, and some of them have been demanding that intelligence officials get permission in advance for wiretaps. This means missed opportunities and less effective intelligence. And it shows once again why the decisions of unaccountable judges shouldn’t be allowed to supplant those of an elected Commander in Chief.

When the program began, certain U.S. telecom companies also cooperated with the National Security Agency. But they were sued once the program was exposed, and so some have ceased cooperating for fear of damaging liability claims. We found all of this hard to believe when we first heard it, but we’ve since confirmed the details with other high-level sources.

Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell more or less admitted the problem last week, albeit obliquely, when he told the Senate that “we’re actually missing a significant portion of what we should be getting.” That’s understating things. Our sources say the surveillance program is now at most one-third as effective as it once was.

The administration has introduced legislation to modernize FISA and to give immunity to telecom companies who cooperate in terrorist surveillance, but the Democrats have blocked the legislation.

In other words, Democrats are blocking legislation that would modernize a thirty year old law so that we aren’t hamstrung in fighting the greatest threat in several generations. When the next terrorist attack happens, I’ll be pointing the finger of blame right at the Democrats who decided that pursuing the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney was infinitely more important than making America safer.

History will also show that Republicans were serious about maintaining our sovereignty while Democrats saw illegal immigration as their next voter registration drive. Historians will be justified if they judge Ted Kennedy’s role in not securing the borders in a harsh light. Sen. Kennedy insisted on NCLR having a seat at the negotiating table. NCLR is a major advocate of family reunification, which isn’t technically an open borders policy but it isn’t far from it either.

Let’s also not lose sight of the fact that Democrats fought against building the border fence. After they voted to build the fence, Dick Durbin tried passing an amendment saying that we had to consult Mexico before we built it. In fact, Democrats didn’t just fight against the building of the fence, they ridiculed it after the bill passed:

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, (D-Chappaquiddick), called the fence “a bumper sticker solution for a complex problem.” “It’s a feel-good plan that will have little effect in the real world,” he said. “We all know what this is about. It may be good politics, but it’s bad immigration policy. That’s not what Americans want.”

Kennedy is wrong in saying that it won’t have much effect “in the real world.” As Duncan Hunter points out, border security improved dramatically immediately after they built the fence in San Diego.

It isn’t a stretch to say that Democrats don’t have a way of protecting us from future terrorist attacks. If they were serious about it, they wouldn’t have effectively shut down the NSA intercept program and they certainly wouldn’t have opposed securing our borders with the vigor that they did.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative