Saturday, April 30, 2005
DEMOCRATS WHO KNEE-JERK REJECT BUSH'S PROGRESSIVE PRICE-INDEXING OPTION FOR SOCIAL SECURITY ARE ONLY INTERESTESD IN DEMAGOGUING THE ISSUE
It was "protecting" the Social Security (non-existent) "trust fund" that Clinton and Gore campaigned on in 1992 and 1996, just as Gore campaigned on it in 2000.--- to protect it for the "poor" and not give money to the "rich"---knowing full well that there was no such fund being held for them.
Now, chafing from the fact that they no longer control and can run on the issue, they are reflexively rejecting any proposal from the Administration, while not offering up a plan or suggestions of their own. If Bush is for it, Democrats are automatically against it---no matter what the issue at hand is.... They are the no-no, anything but Bush Party. Ain't it a shame?
From the EDITORIAL: "During a televised press conference on the eve of the 100-day anniversary of the beginning of his second term, President Bush pushed a lot of political capital into the already-sizable Social Security-reform pot. His big wager occurred near the end of his 60-day marathon campaign during which he managed to convince three-quarters of the public, according to a recent Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, that Social Security faces extremely difficult long-term financial problems. Mr. Bush used Thursday's prime-time news conference to unveil a proposal that would address approximately 70 percent of Social Security's $4 trillion unfunded liability over the next 75 years.
To attain that major achievement, the president embraced the proposal of "progressive price indexing...." The president's solvency plan would replace the wage-indexation formula with progressive price indexing. Progressive price indexing would effectively guarantee that the Social Security benefits of the lowest 30 percent of wage-earners would continue to increase in accordance with the rising trend of inflation-adjusted wages....
In effect, Social Security's long-term finances would become far more solvent by not increasing initial benefits for these middle- and upper-income workers as fast as those benefits are currently scheduled to rise under wage indexation. Meanwhile, the president's reform plan continues to emphasize the opportunity for all workers born before 1950 to divert to personal retirement accounts (PRAs) up to 4 percentage points of the 12.4 percent Social Security payroll tax, which is evenly divided between employees and employers. Invested in higher-yielding stocks, corporate bonds and risk-free Treasury bonds, the PRAs would generate greater returns than young workers could expect to receive under currently scheduled Social Security benefits. Given Social Security's huge and ever-rising unfunded liabilities, the president has exerted solid leadership as the Senate Finance Committee begins writing reform legislation.
Mr. Bush has offered a sensible proposal that addresses about 70 percent of the 75-year solvency problem, and he continues to invite Democrats to the table, where he welcomes discussion and negotiation of all options, except raising the payroll-tax rate. Solving nearly three-fourths of Social Security's long-term financing problems, while still allowing real initial benefit levels to continue to rise for the overwhelming majority of workers, represents a major, positive step forward. Democrats who reflexively reject the progressive price-indexing option reveal themselves to be more interested in demagoguing Social Security than in rescuing it...."
U.S. RADIOHOSTS VISIT TROOPS IN IRAC & SOME SAY THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA AT HOME AREN'T REPORTING THE REAL STORY OF GOOD NEWS & PROGRESS BEING MADE THERE
"WASHINGTON, April 30, 2005 - U.S. servicemembers' dedication was the universal impression carried home this week by a group of radio personalities following a weeklong visit with soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines serving on the front in the global war on terror.
The group -- consisting of talk-show hosts, a reporter and even a classic-rock disc jockey -- traveled to Baghdad and Fallujah, in Iraq, and to three bases in Kuwait on a trip organized by the Defense Department.
Dave Kelso, from Oklahoma City classic rock station KLXO, said the trip's effect on him was "nothing less than a molecular restructuring." "The thing I was happiest to learn was that duty, honor and country are not lost concepts," he said. "The level and depth of dedication of our people in uniform is something that will live with me forever." The fast-paced tour included a look at various aspects of the logistical effort required to keep Operation Iraqi Freedom running, and Kelso said the enormity of the task was overwhelming. "Anyone would need three heads to fully comprehend the size and scope of the operation," he said.
Another radio host said seeing U.S. forces in action reinforced his opinion of servicemembers. "I've always been kind of a pro-military guy," said Jerry Agar, whose talk show airs on KMBZ in Kansas City, Mo. "I've always supported what we've been doing in the Middle East," he said. "But this makes me feel much more committed to that in terms of not only seeing the work, but seeing the dedication of the soldiers and having met some of the Iraqi people who are involved in this and having a closer look at what was done to that country. It just increases my resolve."
Nationally syndicated Talk Radio Network host Rusty Humphries said the trip gave him more well-rounded insight. "I already had a pretty good feel for the political aspects of the Iraq war and the 'big picture' of it," he said. "What I didn't have was the soldiers' perspective -- what it was that they went through on a day-to-day basis and their difficulties." Humphries said he embarked on the trip unsure of what he'd find in the area of troop morale. "I looked for people who have low morale," he said. "I went over there looking for that just to find out what it was that they were unhappy with. Among the hundreds of people I met, I found only two people with what I'd call low morale. I found everybody else very positive, with very good morale. Did they want to be home with their wives and kids? Absolutely. But they knew why they were there, and they're doing it." The opportunity to meet servicemembers in Iraq and Kuwait also had deep personal meaning, Humphries said. "My father was killed in Vietnam in 1969," he said. "This was my first real experience to see what he had gone through. I want to thank everyone for putting their lives on the line for the country. They're true American heroes."
For Steve Gill, whose morning talk show airs on WWTN in Nashville, Tenn., the trip triggered fond memories. "As the son of an Air Force fighter pilot, I grew up in the military, and to be around it again and to hear the sound of those fighter jets -- that 'sound of freedom' that I grew up with -- that alone was worth the trip," he said. Having spoken with hundreds of servicemembers, Gill said he was impressed with the quality of people serving in today's military. "The incredible young men and women who serve us so well and do extraordinary things in extraordinarily difficult conditions just reaffirm everything that I think the American people share in the pride of what these young men and women are doing," he said.
Gill said the chance to experience wearing 40 pounds of body armor in the oppressive conditions under which U.S. forces operate, as well as having the opportunity to go out on patrols, gave him new insight. "To feel exactly what it is -- not just to look at it on TV from a distance -- I think is something that will bring fabric and understanding to what we do with these stories for a long time to come," he said. The experience showed him the American people aren't getting the whole story from the mainstream media, Gill added. "First of all, there is not enough pride and respect (in the media) for what these young men and women are doing," he said.
Referring to a beer commercial in which returning servicemembers are applauded as they make their way through an airport, Gill said that too often people see such scenes, appreciate the sentiment, but then move on. "We ought to show that same applause that we saw in that commercial every day, 24/7," he said. "And after seeing this for a week, hopefully that's one of the things we can convey back to our listeners." Gill noted that positive developments in Iraq, such as the increasing regularity with which citizens are tipping off authorities on the whereabouts of terrorists, often goes underreported in the media.
"There is huge progress being made in Iraq," he said, citing the aftermath of a helicopter being shot down while the radio hosts were in the country. "In 24 hours, the people of Iraq turned in those responsible," Gill said. "They were apprehended. Six months ago, that wouldn't have happened." After a first-hand look at Fallujah, purged of terrorists in November, Gill said the rebuilding effort there "will help to set up what freedom really means in a tangible way to these people." And progress in Iraq, he said, is a direct result of the dedication of U.S. servicemembers. "Hopefully the American people will start to get a sense that this progress is only being made because of the commitment of these young men and women," he said.
Scottie Semler, Gill's producer, said she was most surprised by the degree of stability she saw in Iraq outside Baghdad's heavily fortified International Zone. Acknowledging that danger still exists, she said her overall impression is that "it is safe." "Our men and women have done their job," she said. "They have been able to secure places where maybe six months to a year ago you couldn't have walked out alone. But today, you can. You still might have that risk of being shot at, but guess what? You'd have that anywhere, whether it be the streets of Washington, D.C., or New York City." Because of servicemembers' sacrifices, she added, "we now have freedom in a country that has never seen freedom like this ever before."
Mike McConnell hosts a talk show on WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a nationally syndicated program on Saturdays. He said he was favorably impressed with amenities available to the troops. "The quality of life for the troops was far greater than I'd imagined," he said, as was the morale level. "Morale was as high or higher than any average American worker in any setting," he noted. "The words 'pride' and 'proud,' as used by the president and the secretary of defense, were redefined for me, as even -- or especially -- those working in areas seen to be mundane felt, rightly, that success was not possible without them." Noting progress in Iraq, McConnell said the way ahead for U.S. forces is clear to him. "The exit strategy would be that when the Iraqis are ready to take over, we leave -- and not until," he said. "And that works for me."
Paul Brandus, a reporter for news station WTOP in the nation's capital, said the trip showed him that the respect he already had for servicemembers is well-deserved. "The pre-existing view I think that was reinforced was the respect I have for the American soldier - the gratitude and appreciation I have for the very difficult job they're doing under what can only be described, in some cases, as life-threatening conditions," he said. Though the trip wasn't long enough to make him an expert, Brandus said, it did open his eyes to the progress Iraq is making. "I do sense that things are better than they were six months ago," he said. "I'm not sure if that constitutes a trend or not, but I think they're moving in the right direction. I wish them well.
"They've got a long way to go, too, and if they take more responsibility for their own country, then we can get our guys out, and hopefully they can move down the path of democracy," he added. Brandus said he doesn't expect that evolution to make Iraq the same as the United States. "But as long as they're stable and reasonably prosperous, I think that's good enough, and I think that will set a good example for the rest of the Middle East," he said."
MASS GRAVES CONSISTING OF 18 TRENCHES FOUND IN IRAC---BELIEVED TO BE FILLED WITH KURDS, THEY CONTAIN REMAINS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN
The Kurds in Irac are only a part of the Kurds who made up the former country of Kurdistan which comprised the "fertile crescent" that is now divided up among Turkey, Irac and Iran and should be re-constituted as the former nation that it was. There are displaced Kurds in Turkey and Iran that should be allowed to re-unite with their brothers. The Kurds are not of Arab descent---they are Indo-Europeans and, as such, have been the victims of Muslim dhimmitude. Dhimmitude is subjucation to Arab Muslim leaders---whether Sunni or Shiite---and treated as a second, lower class of people within predominately Arab Muslim countries. While many Kurds are of the Muslim faith, perhaps more by necessity than by choice, it is unjust to keep their population divided among three different countries in a manner that was clearly politically motivated to keep them in a subjugated, weakened position and prevent them from possibly becoming a democratic state.
This is another matter the United Nations has ignored, has not addressed the genocide, and has turned a blind eye to the plight of the indigenous Kurdish people. The United Nations has a clear pro-Arab Muslim bias against both the Kurdish people and the people of Israel which has a democratic form of government. As the major funder among member nations in the U.N., the United States should not tolerate this discrimination against Israel and the Kurds or the U.N. bias against non-Muslims in Sudan and other nations who are employing genocide against their non-Muslim populations. In fact, the U.S. should not be a member of such a criminal organization.
UPDATE: Fox News channel is also just now reporting, at 12:35p.m. EDT, that the mass graves are believed to contain mostly Kurds who were lined up by the graves, then shot and buried. They also report that efforts are being made to protect the site, due to the fact that upon former discoveries of grave sites, the sites have been disturbed by people looking for remains of their loved ones and family members, preventing proper research at the crime-sites.
Here are excerpts from and link to the article about the mass graves found:
"International forensic experts this week examined a mass grave site in Samawa, on the Euphrates River, about 230 miles (370 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, collecting evidence to prosecute Saddam and his top lieutenants for the mass killings of ethnic Kurds and Shiites during his more than 30 years in power.
Many of those buried in the 18 trenches were believed to be Kurds killed in 1987 and 1988 during the Anfal campaign, said Gregg Nivala, from the US government's Regime Crimes Liaison Office. "These were not combatants," he said. "They were women and children."
During Anfal, hundreds of thousands of Kurds were killed or expelled from northern Iraq. The campaign included the gruesome 1988 chemical weapons attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja. The Saddam regime was carrying out a program of removing Kurds from the northern homeland and replacing them with Arabs. Many of the Kurdish victims were buried in Iraq's central and southern desert....
Outgoing Iraqi Human Rights Minister Bakhtiar Amin, himself a Kurd, said half a million people perished and 182,000 are missing...."
MICHAEL BARONE SAYS THE QUESTION OF WHETHER AMERICA IS ON ITS WAY TO BECOMING A THEOCRACY IS "SILLY."
Here are excerpts and a link to the entire piece:
"Faith in Our Future?"
"If you read the headlines, you run the risk of thinking we are headed toward a theocracy. Alarmists note that George W. Bush invokes his religious faith in many speeches and that his positions on abortion, embryonic-stem-cell research, and faith-based charities are informed by it. They decry the law Congress passed to provide federal judicial review in the Terri Schiavo case. Vocal American Catholics bewail the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI. Blogger Andrew Sullivan called it "a full-scale assault" on liberal Catholics; one of his correspondents called the new pope "this headstrong, self-assured, anti-democratic and egotistical little man."
We all look abroad at the violence done by Islamist fanatics and wonder, without any clear way of being sure, how far such doctrines have taken hold among the world's 1.2 billion Muslims. We note, more reassuringly but perhaps with some wariness, that most Iraqi voters seem to have followed the lead of the country's most powerful cleric, Ayatollah Ali Sistani.
But whether the United States is on its way to becoming a theocracy is actually a silly question. No religion is going to impose laws on an unwilling Congress or the people of this country. And we have long lived comfortably with a few trappings of religion in the public space, such as "In God We Trust" or "God save this honorable court." The real question is whether strong religious belief is on the rise in America and the world. Fifty years ago secular liberals were confident that education, urbanization, and science would lead people to renounce religion. That seems to have happened, if you confine your gaze to Europe, Canada, and American university faculty clubs. But this movement has not been as benign as expected: The secular faiths of fascism and communism destroyed millions of lives before they were extinguished.
American values. America has not moved in the expected direction. In fact, just the opposite. Economist Robert Fogel's The Fourth Great Awakening argues that we've been in the midst of a religious revival since the 1950s, in which, as in previous revivals, "the evangelical churches represented the leading edge of an ideological and political response to accumulated technological and social changes that undermined the received culture." In the 2004 presidential exit poll, 74 percent of voters described themselves as churchgoers, 23 percent as evangelical or born-again Protestants, and 10 percent said they had no religion.
This is in line with longer trends.....
Around the world we see continuing secularism in Europe but healthy competition among faiths elsewhere...."
(Browse through an archive of columns by Michael Barone.)
MEDIA RESEARCH SHOWS TWO-TO-ONE BIAS AGAINST PRESIDENT BUSH'S SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM IN TV MEDIA REPORTING BY CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC & FNC
Democrats have already flip-flopped on this issue, since Clinton spoke out in favor of Social Security reform when he was in office---Social Security reform that included private investment. Plus, they have come up with no reform plan of their own, preferring to wait for President Bush to put a plan out there that they can pick apart and shoot down. They have put themselves between a rock and a hard place---and they did it to themselves. Republicans have finally learned that: when your opposition is self-destructing---don't get in their way.
Here is the report on the media bias data:
"Study Shows TV News Reporting Stacked Against Bush Plan" here
"A new study indicates that by a margin of two to one, network television news reports about Social Security reform are biased against President Bush's proposal. The President elaborated on his reform plans in a nationally televised news conference Thursday night.
The Media Research Center's Free Market Project looked at 125 different Social Security stories reported by CNN's "Inside Politics," "CBS Evening News," "NBC Nightly News," ABC's "World News Tonight" and Fox News' "Special Report with Brit Hume" between Nov. 15, 2004 and March 15, 2005.
Among the excerpts pointed out in the Free Market Project study was this one from ABC newsman Terry Moran on March 3: "Democrats argue that the time is running out for the president to make [the] case. They have started a countdown to what they call the death of a sales pitch. But this president is nothing if not stubborn." Forty-four percent of the 125 stories studied were liberally slanted, according to the study, authored by Free Market Project Assistant Editor/Senior Analyst Amy Menefee, compared with only 22 percent that were stacked toward the conservative or Bush administration viewpoint.
In addition, Menefee wrote, "Four of the five (news reports) gave more air time to the liberal position than to explaining economic realities." The Media Research Center is also the parent organization of Cybercast News Service . Here and Read Free Market Project Report
DEMOCRAT SENATORS ARE WRONG: FILIBUSTERS ARE NOWHERE MENTIONED IN THE U.S. CONSTITUTION OR THE FEDERALIST PAPERS
We have been explaining this obstructionist method Democrats are using to block President Bush's nominees who have to be approved according to the Constitution's mandate for the U.S. Senate to advise and consent to Executive Branch nominations for quite a while. No Senator is given the right or option of blocking those nominees, with filibusters or holds, from a vote in that process by the full Senate where it is their duty according to the Constitution. And the Federalist papers are not a part of the Constitution and are not the law of the land as is the Constitution.
Bill Kristol has published an article," here that provides an in depth analysis of how he sees what is going on. In it, Kristol makes the vital point that nominees to the advise and consent process originate with the Executive Branch, unlike bills that are introduced by the Congress Members themselves in the lawmaking process---where they do use filibusters. The question of their using filibusters in the lawmaking process is also not in the Constitution, as Kristol points out, but lawmakers set their rules and procedures to be used in the lawmaking process. Not so with nominees sent to them by the Chief Executive---the President. PelicanPost gives this article *****Five Star, must read rating and urges you to read it. Here are some excerpts with emphasis provided by yours truly:
"Democrats are looking to the Constitution to preserve the judicial filibuster; the Constitution isn't on their side."
"SUDDENLY DEMOCRATS ARE WRAPPING THEMSELVES in the Constitution. Emphasizing his commitment to maintaining the filibuster as a way to stop President Bush's judicial nominees, Senate Democratic whip Richard Durbin said last week, "We believe it's a constitutional issue. . . . It's a matter of having faith in the Constitution." The trouble is, the filibuster is nowhere mentioned, or even implied, in the text of the Constitution.
Suddenly, too, European liberals are discovering the virtues of the Founding Fathers. On the same day that Durbin was confessing his faith in the Constitution, the editors of the Financial Times were urging Bill Frist to "cease and desist" his efforts to break the filibuster, imploring him to "reread the wisdom of the Federalist Papers." The trouble is, the filibuster is nowhere mentioned, or even implied, in the Federalist Papers.
What's really going on here, of course, is this: President Bush, having been elected and reelected, and with a Republican Senate majority, wants to appoint federal judges of a generally conservative and constitutionalist disposition. The Democrats very much want to block any change in the character of the federal judiciary--a branch of government they have increasingly come to cherish, as they have lost control of the others. It's a political struggle, not unlike others in American history, with both sides appealing to high principle and historical precedent.
But it happens to be the case that Republicans have the better argument with respect to the filibustering of judicial nominees. The systematic denial of up or down votes on
judicial nominees is a new phenomenon. Republicans are right to say that it is the Democrats who have radically departed from customary practice.
More important, perhaps, the customary practice of not filibustering presidential nominees--whether for the judiciary or the executive branch--is not a mere matter of custom. It is rooted in the structure of the Constitution....
There is no rationale for a filibuster, however, when the Senate is acting under Article 2 in advising and consenting to presidential nominations. .... here the president is "the originator and prime mover. If he wants to make the process more burdensome, perhaps through lengthy interviews or extraordinary background checks, he can."
The Senate's role is to accept or reject the president's nominees, just as the president has a responsibility to accept or reject a bill approved by both houses of Congress. There he does not have the option of delay. Nor should Congress have the option of delay in what is fundamentally an executive function of filling the nonelected positions in the federal government. In other words--to quote Crockett once more--"it is inappropriate for the Senate to employ a delaying tactic normally used in internal business--the construction of legislation--in a nonlegislative procedure that originates in a coequal branch of government...."
Friday, April 29, 2005
MICHAEL CROWLEY OF NEW REPUBLIC INTERVIEWED ABOUT HIS NY TIMES ABRAMOFF PIECE WHICH IS A HIT PIECE ON TOM DELAY & REPUBLICANS
Crowley's article is about Jack Abramoff, the K-Street lobbyist who is now being pursued for Indian gaming donations and how the money was used. Which may or may not involve any crime, but the liberal elite mainstream media already have him convicted. And Crowley is capitalizing on this in his timely expose in the usual suspect arm of the Democrat Party, the New York Times---who had it pitched to them by Crowley. Most of it is a re-hash of old news with a few poorly worded e-mails using colorful locker-room words. Crowley said he talked with Abramoff twice and Abramoff sat for the photo. If that's true, they picked the worst of the photos to run....since the one shown is very unflattering.
Now we can all do the Casa Blanca thing and be shocked! shocked! Especially since Crowley admits to writing the colorful piece to bring attention to Tom DeLay and his association with Abramoff. And, what a surprise he picked a Republican lobbyist to go after and not some Democrat like Terry McAuliffe regarding the corrupt Global Crossing scam. In responses to questions related to Abramoff and DeLay from Lamb and call-ins, many of Crowley's replies were worded to leave the impression that factual charges had been made when none have been proven to be factual. There's no news in this story....it's disclosure that is important, and disclosures and required reporting were timely made.
Crowley used Abramoff's connection to the K-Street environment as a negative but, when questioned later, admitted that when the Democrats were in the Majority, they owned K-Street and did not exactly cotton to the Republicans' intrusion onto their turf. He allowed that since Newt Gingrich helped get Republicans into power after having been out of power for 50 years, Republicans have demanded that K-Street firms put Republicans in top positions. He also allowed as how Democrats were burned by the Wright and Rostenkowsky downfalls and indicated that this was payback for Newt Gingrich's success in bringing them down and the Democrats are doing the same thing to Tom DeLay.
Also being smeared by association in Crowley's hit-piece are Republicans Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed, with the implication being that they made money off of gambling as a result of Abramoff's raising money from Indian tribes on the gaming issue. Karl Rove is also smeared as having someone work for him who used to work for Abramoff. Crowley acknowledged that the Democrats want to enrage the voters against Republicans so they will "throw the bums out" like Wright and Rostenkowsky got thrown out and like the Democrats got thrown out of power shortly thereafter. But it wasn't the voters who threw out Wright and Rostenkowsky---it was the Congress. Crowley also drags Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio into the smear.
When asked about the media bias against Abramoff, Crowley said Susan Schmidt at the Washington Post is "out to get Abramoff" and that "the press likes to go after people in power" and they believe it's not right "for Republicans to hold most of the cards."
In reply to another question from Brian Lamb, Crowley responded "I don't think so," when asked if "the New York Times would have been as interested in publishing a piece like this about Nancy Pelosi." Of course, we know that, unlike Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay, House Minority Leader Pelosi had to pay a fine of $21K for false reporting---so, among the three, Pelosi is the only one ever found to be guilty of ethics violations. So, why is the NY Times going after Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff, who have been found guilty of nothing, and giving selective preferential treatment and a pass to Nancy Pelosi? Unequal treatment, anyone?
Well, so much for any objectivity and ethical journalism at the New York Times. No news there!
PAUL VOLCKER TRYING DESPERATELY TO SILENCE INVESTIGATORS WHO RESIGNED FROM U.N. FRAUD PROBE--CLAIMS DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY FOR NON-DIPLOMAT INVESTIGATORS
In addition to this battle, there is also the fact that Paul Volker has several conflicts of interest due to connections to people and companies involved in the scandal. It appears he may be protecting himself and his credibility as well as protecting Kofi Annan and the U.N. His toothless investigation and whitewash reports are a waste of time and the Iraqi people's money. Congressional and federal investigators need to go ahead and take the lead in the investigation. This was supposed to be an "independent" investigation and the U.N. is not paying for it. They are using $30M of Iraqi funds left in the Oil-for-Food account---money that was designated for food and medicine for the Iraqi people. It does not belong to the criminal U.N.
Plus, the two investigators are not diplomats and they no longer work on the investigation. So, the U.N. and Volcker's so-called "independent" investigation have no authority over them. Under no circumstances does the U.N. trump the U.S. Congress, federal investigators or the free speech rights of the resigned investigators. The U.N. has violated its immunities entitlements and the Congress also has the power to revoke those entitlements. Which is exactly what is now required to get to the bottom of this mother of all international frauds.
This is how FNC put it: "A legal and political fight is brewing between the man tasked with leading the U.N.-approved probe into the Oil-for-Food (search) program and congressmen who want to interview two of his former investigators.
Paul Volcker (search ) called the chairmen of%2
HUBRIS AND IDEOLOGICAL ELITISM IN ACADEMIA AND THE HARD-LEFT WING OF THE DEMOCRAT PARTY AND MAINSTREAM MEDIA
David Gelernter explains in a brilliant LA Times essay.
"Advanced Democrats are now revving up to make sure you eat your vegetables and steer clear of those nasty French fries. Why is it their business? Because Democrats are professors in disguise. Scratch a Democrat, find a professor.
It all goes back to central planning, socialism, Marxism — let the experts run the economy; free markets are too democratic and messy. Many professors believed in Marxism right up to the point where Communist China itself bailed out in disgust.
Professors see the world in terms of experts and students: “We are smart; you are dumb.” That’s the Infantile American Principle in a nutshell. Now go play with your toys and don’t bother me."
Note this: David Gelernter is also a professor.
DEMOCRAT SENATORS USE UNCONSTITUTIONAL, UNWRITTEN RULES & PROCEDURES (FILIBUSTERS & HOLDS) TO OBSTRUCT APPROVAL OF PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEES
Part of the reason they have not been challenged is that both sides have found them to be convenient and useful tools to have in their partisan political gamesmanship arsenals. So, no one comes out looking good in this Boss Tweed-like taking liberties with the Constitutional mandate that governs Congress' role and power in the required balance of power among the three branches of government.
The Senators are acting extra-Constitutionally in their use of both filibusters and holds placed on Executive Branch Presidential nominees to Cabinet posts and federal court judgships---using each of them, at will, as substitute vetoes or shakedown chips to get their way on Congressional bill and amendment battles and Administration rules and procedures adoptions. Plus, they are using them as a means of enabling unconstitutional judicial activism legislating from the bench to promote an ideological agenda they can't get enacted into law any other way while in the minority in Congress.
In addition to their obstructions, they have debased discourse, civil debate, common decency and fairness as they play their obstructionist roles out before news cameras for full political effect. It's tawdry, it's unethical and it's an insult to the American people.
We need to be mindful of this in 2006 and 2008, and vote accordingly. George W. Bush restored dignity, values and principles to the White House. It looks as if its up to us voters to restore them to the Congress.
You can read more on this topic here and in excerpts from "Advise and Consent: The filibuster isn't the only procedure Senators are abusing" below:
"With a showdown looming over the filibuster of judicial nominees, now is the time to point out another abuse of the Senate's "advise and consent" power. It's called the "hold," whereby an individual Senator can delay indefinitely a Presidential nomination, and it is seriously interfering with the operation of the executive branch. Call it every Senator's personal "nuclear option." If he doesn't like a nominee or, more likely, doesn't like a policy of the agency to which the nominee is headed, all he has to do is inform his party leader that he is placing a hold on the nomination. Oh--and he can do so secretly, without releasing his name or a reason.
Like the filibuster, the hold appears nowhere in the Constitution but has evolved as Senators accrete more power to themselves. Senate rules say nothing about holds, which started out as a courtesy for Members who couldn't be present at votes. Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden has said holds are "a lot like the seventh-inning stretch in baseball. There is no official rule or regulation that talks about it, but it has been observed for so long that it has become a tradition."
Also like the filibuster--which was never intended to block judicial nominees from getting a floor vote--the hold is being abused by a willful minority of Senators. This being a Republican Administration, Democrats in particular are using it now to hamstring or stop its ability to govern. There's no formal list of holds, but the current batch may well be unprecedented both in number and degree. Here's our unofficial list...."
Once upon a time in America, such policy disputes were settled in elections or with votes in Congress. But in today's permanent political combat, Senators wage guerrilla warfare against the executive. No wonder so few talented people want to work in Washington. Senator Wyden and Republican Charles Grassley plan to re-introduce legislation next month to kill holds that are secret. Better yet would be to get rid of all Senate holds...."
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON CALLS THE SANCTIMONIOUS, SOAPBOX-SERMONIZING SENATE DEMOCRATS THE HUBRISTIC HYPOCRITES THAT THEY ARE AS THEY LAMBAST JOHN BOLTON
"The marathon confirmation hearings of John Bolton to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations have become pathetic. Mr. Bolton is supposedly discourteous to subordinates. He was a hands-on-his-hips boss. Heaven forbid, he sometimes bellowed. The "disclosure" of these supposedly hurtful flare-ups has little to do with Mr. Bolton's fitness to navigate in the United Nations, whose General Assembly includes miscreants from Iran, Cuba, North Korea and Zimbabwe. Otherwise, Mr. Bolton's occasional gruffness would be seen as a real asset in an international jungle where a murderous Syria sat on the Commission on Human Rights while member states perennially castigated democratic Israel as racist.
So the Bush administration wants to unleash a barking watchdog to patrol the United Nations, reeling from its multibillion-dollar oil-for-food scandal, sexual misconduct among its operatives in Africa, and inaction as thousands perished in the Congo and Darfur. It tires of subsidizing an unaccountable organization that institutionalizes graft, excuses criminality and ignores genocide -- but somehow regularly blames its chief democratic patron, the United States.
Mr. Bolton's critics apparently feel such global organizations, for all their faults, nevertheless provide a useful brake on George Bush's exuberance abroad. And now they appear confident their own barroom tactics will eventually wear down the patrician complacency of Mr. Bolton's strangely nonchalant supporters. Those who roast Mr. Bolton prefer an ambassador who would not rock the boat of multilateralism, or, better yet, lack the zeal and skills even to try -- and certainly would not employ Mr. Bolton's characterization of North Korea's Kim Jong-il as a "tyrannical dictator...."
Blocking the Bolton nomination would send a powerful message to a wounded president to scrap his policy of muscular idealism and instead return to the polite pre-September 11, 2001, past, when the status quo abroad went unquestioned.
Yet if partisanship now defines Mr. Bolton's confirmation, it should be a superfluous debate: Confident Republicans have majorities both on the Foreign Relations Committee and in the Senate at large. In response, the opposition's inquisition hopes to cast enough mud to stain the otherwise squeaky clean Mr. Bolton too much for him to win an assured majority vote from senators who wish to seem, rather than be, principled. There are several contradictions inherent in this smearing...."
Then there is the unmentioned hypocrisy of John Bolton's most vociferous inquisitors. California Sen. Barbara Boxer slams the nominee in the manner she hammered Condoleezza Rice. Yet she paid her own son a six-figure fee out of her publicly raised campaign funds. In another scandal, Mrs. Boxer circumvented channels to ram through special favorable legislation for the Miwok Tribe that wanted a gaming franchise. The tribe later hired her same peripatetic offspring as a consultant.
Sen. Chris Dodd now wonders out loud if John Bolton's conduct is indictable. After the recent Enron meltdown that cost consumers billions of dollars, many wondered the same thing about him for sponsoring unusual legislation for his own mega-dollar campaign donors. Mr. Dodd's intervention relaxed auditing accountability and allowed suspect firms like Arthur Andersen to circumvent legal culpability with disastrous results.
Mr. Biden's past slips and slurs make Mr. Bolton look like a Boy Scout. Not long ago he threatened representatives from the airlines with, "I will [hurt] you badly," and dubbed the United States at war in Afghanistan a "high-tech bully." Mr. Biden has fought accusations of intellectual misrepresentation going all the way back to law school -- repeated charges about character that aborted his previous presidential ambitions.
The point is not to find dirt on these smearmongers but to remember that the most savagely critical senators -- who hold far more important public posts than U.N. ambassador -- would themselves fall far short of the impossible standards they are suddenly imposing on a good man whose politics they abhor.
Absent from their televised showboating is any humility that we are all human and hence occasionally rude -- or that the god Nemesis always hunts out the hubristic hypocrite. So let the committee spare us their sanctimonious soapbox sermons, and simply vote on whether John Bolton mysteriously has lost the credentials and experience to serve the United States that are a matter of long record...."
(Emphasis added by PelicanPost)
RED STATE RANT IS AIR AMERICA BLOGGING TODAY. AIR AMERICA'S NEW ADVOCACY FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST THE PRESIDENT REACHES A NEW LOWER THAN LOW
By the way, I'm the Jacqueline being referred to below, since RedStateRanters know where I live. My answer: I don't want her, A. A. can keep her, she's too mean and scary for me. Besides, we Floridians already have enough problems, as you might have noticed lately in 24/7 /365 news reports. We also have President Bush's brother Jeb here and we don't need Randi out-past-the-extreme-left Rhodes putting out any incitement against our favorite Governor.
Here's RedStateRant's take on Air America :
"Air America blogging
I feel like I've been Air America blogging lately. The problem is that they provide so much good material that it's hard to stop. It's the equivalent of reading Andrew Sullivan on gays or the Pope just to see what level of corybantic distress he is in. It's just wrong but I have to look.
First: Randi Rhodes has lost her mind for running a little skit two days ago in essence advocating shooting the president. That, no matter who is in office is unconscionable. Of course Air America roles out this little ditty for butt coverage.“We are not under investigation from the Secret Service,” president of programming Jon Sinton said. “We regret that a produced comedy bit that was in bad taste slipped through our normal vetting process. We do acknowledge that it was an internal error and internal discipline will be enforced.” (HT
RADIOBLOGGER NAILS SENATE MINORITY LEADER HARRY REID ON HIS FALSE STATEMENTS ABOUT THE HISTORY OF FILIBUSTERS IN HIS ADDRESS TO THE SENATE YESTERDAY
"What Senator Reid really said on the floor yesterday."
In sharp contrast to Frist's firm but fair eloguance, minority leader Reid spoke immediately after Senator Frist. Here's what he had to say:
First of all, I want to express my appreciation to the dintinguished Republican leader for his proposal. I'm happy to see that we're working toward a solution for this very difficult issue that now faces us in the United States Senate. But I do say to my distinguished friend. No matter how many times you say it, if something's wrong, it doesn't become true. Over the course of this country's history, there have been many, many filibusters of judges from the very beginning of our Republic...."
JOIN CONGRESS---SEE THE WORLD: DATA ON PRIVATELY FUNDED TRAVEL FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
"JOIN CONGRESS - SEE THE WORLD" Part II - Privately Funded Travel"
"Members of Congress have received over $16 million ($16,168,014) during the last five years traveling around the world at the expense of private organizations.This includes 605 Members of Congress who made 5,410 trips. Democrat Members took 3,025 trips, Republican Members took 2,375 trips, others took 10 trips. PoliticalMoneyLine 's new database covers gifts of privately-funded travel from 2000 to winter 2005 as disclosed by the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate. Details of Members' privately-funded travels, including dates, countries visited, amounts spent, and sponsoring organization, may be viewed by clicking below on the Member 's name or by clicking on each Member's profile page.The cost of Members' privately-funded travel reached a peak of almost $3.9 million in the off-election year of 2003.
Year & Amount
2000 - $2,520,117
2001 - $3,774,860
2002 - $2,485,801
2003 - $3,859,994
2004 - $2,650,319
2005 part - $870,362
From 2000 to winter 2005, the most common destinations visited by Members were:
Destination & # of Trips
1. - USA - 4,221
2. - Mexico - 131
3. - Israel - 131
4. - Not specified - 127
5. - Italy - 100 more
ORGANIZATIONS SPENDING THE MOST
From 2000 to winter 2005, these 1,906 organizations have spent funds for House and Senate
Sponsor & Amount
1. - Aspen Institute - $2,897,602
2. - Ripon Society - $694,042
3. - American Israel Education Foundation - $580,829
4. - Int'l Management and Development Institute - $525,406
5. - Assn of American Railroads - $384,735more
MEMBERS RECEIVING THE MOST GIFTS OF TRAVEL
During the last five and a quarter years the Members receiving the most were
Congress Member & Amount
1. SENSENBRENNER, F. JAMES - $167,960
2. GREEN, GENE - $165,436
3. BREAUX, JOHN B - $162,496
4. WEXLER, ROBERT - $161,599
5. HINCHEY, MAURICE - $161,353 more Notes: Some of those listed are no longer Members.
From 2000 to winter 2005, the Members taking the most privately-funded trips were:
Congress Member & # of Trips
1. BREAUX, JOHN B - 61
2. FORD, HAROLD E JR - 60
3. BIDEN, JOSEPH R JR - 56
4. WATERS, MAXINE - 52
5. BARNEY, FRANK - 51(Ford's count reduced by three on 4/26 pm)more
Total Number of Trips per Year
Year & # of Trips
2000 - 1015
2001 - 1292
2002 - 770
2003 - 1253
2004 - 789
2005 part - 286
IRS 527 Filers
2000 Cycle "
REAL TRUTH IS EXPOSED ABOUT DEMS' FALSE CHARGES AGAINST TOM DELAY & THE $21K FINE HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI HAD TO PAY FOR ETHICS VIOLATIONS
"Liberals Are Waging a Smear Campaign: Conservatives Must Defend DeLay"
by David Keene Apr 29, 2005
"The constant attacks on House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's character and ethics are an organized liberal campaign to demonize the Texas Republican: The goal is to cripple him as a leader or to force him out of his post as second in command among House Republicans.
The campaign is being orchestrated outside Congress by a coalition of liberal interest groups financed by the usual suspects. They have taken to calling themselves the "Congressional Ethics Coalition" and claim they are non-partisan citizens' groups enraged by the "corruption" of the Republican Congress.The members of this coalition, however, are anything but non-partisan.
George Soros has reportedly given the groups in the coalition upwards of $3 million, and they are staffed by former Democratic Hill aides, liberal activists and Democratic campaign workers....
Feigned Outrage: They have used Soros' money and additional funds raised through telephone, mail and Internet appeals to their liberal base to finance their operations and to run television, radio and newspaper ads against DeLay and his Republican supporters....
The principal member groups of the liberal coalition are something called Democracy 21 chaired by former Democratic Sen. Dick Clark of Iowa; Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which includes numerous former Democratic activists and Clinton-era operatives on its board; Common Cause; Public Citizen; the Center for Responsive Politics, which continues to receive major contributions from Soros; and the Campaign Legal Center, which employs former Al Gore staffers and is being run on some $350,000 in contributions from Soros....
Smoke But No Fire: The liberals have a problem, however, which stems directly from the fact that while there is a lot of smoke, they can't seem to come up with a real fire, let alone the conflagration that might drive the man from office. Let's take a look at the smoke:....
Last week a new study by PoliticalMoneyLine here revealed that private groups have spent more than $16 million since 2000 on travel by members of Congress and their staff. An earlier study undertaken by the Medill News Service at Northwestern University found that between 2000 and 2004 dozens of organizations sponsored more than 4,800 such trips and that DeLay was not among the most traveled congressmen.
In fact, that study revealed that while Democrats do not make up a majority in either the House or Senate, they took a total of more than 600 such trips more than their Republican counterparts, with the top five travelers all coming from the Democratic side of the aisle. Harold Ford, a Tennessee Democrat, led the field by taking some 63 such trips at a reported cost of more than $167,000....
Of the $2.7 million the Aspen Institute spent during the period studied, for example, nearly 70% of it was spent on Democrats....
DeLay is fond of pointing out that he has never been found guilty of any of the charges against him. He told conservative leaders who asked to meet with him recently to discuss ways they might help him that he's always tried to comply with every applicable law and regulation and has never intentionally broken a law or rule. That is something that his Democratic counterpart cannot say. Pelosi was fined $21,000 for her role in a scheme to evade fund-raising limits and rules...." here
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON EXPLAINS WHY ANTI-AMERICANISM OF OTHER COUNTRIES VALIDATES WHAT WE'RE DOING RIGHT, NOT WHAT WE'RE DOING WRONG
I'm just highlighting some of what's covered in Hanson's outstanding analysis here:
"Last year the hysteria about the hostility toward the United States reached a fevered pitch. Everyone from Jimmy Carter to our Hollywood elite lamented that America had lost its old popularity. It was a constant promise of the Kerry campaign to restore our good name and "to work with our allies." The more sensitive were going to undo the supposed damage of the last four years. Whole books have been devoted to this peculiar new anti-Americanism, but few have asked whether or not such suspicion of the United States is, in fact, a barometer of what we are doing right — and while not necessarily welcome, at least proof that we are on the correct track.
The Egyptian autocracy may have received $57 billion in aggregate American aid over the last three decades. But that largess still does not prevent the Mubarak dynasty from damning indigenous democratic reformers by dubbing them American stooges. In differing ways, the Saudi royal family exhibits about the same level of antagonism toward the U.S. as do the Islamic fascists of al Qaeda — both deeply terrified by what is going on in Iraq. Mostly this animus arises because we are distancing ourselves from corrupt grandees, even as we have become despised as incendiary democratizers by the Islamists. Is that risky and dangerous? Yes. Bad? Hardly
At the U.N. it is said that a ruling hierarchy mistrusts the United States and that a culture of anti-Americanism has become endemic within the organization. No wonder — the Americans alone push for more facts about the Oil-for-Food scandal, question Kofi Annan's breaches of ethics, and want investigations about U.N. crimes in Africa. If we are mistrusted for caring about those thousands who are inhumanely treated by a supposedly humane organization, then why in the world should we wish to be liked by such a group?
EU bureaucrats and French politicians routinely caricature Americans, whipping up public opinion against the United States, even as they fly here to profess eagerness to maintain the old NATO transatlantic ties. Is it to our discredit that what Europe has now devolved into does not like the United States? Mexico, we are told, is furious....
In short, who exactly does not like the United States and why? First, almost all the 20 or so illiberal Arab governments that used to count on American realpolitik's giving them a pass on accounting for their crimes. They fear not the realist Europeans, nor the resource-mad Chinese, nor the old brutal Russians, but the Americans, who alone are prodding them to open their economies and democratize their corrupt political cultures. We must learn to expect, not lament, their hostility, and begin to worry that things would be indeed wrong if such unelected dictators praised the United States.
The United Nations has sadly become a creepy organization. Its General Assembly is full of cutthroat regimes. The Human Rights Commission has had members like Vietnam and Sudan, regimes that at recess must fight over bragging rights to which of the two killed more of their own people. The U.N. has a singular propensity to find flawed men to be secretary-general — a Kurt Waldheim, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, or Kofi Annan. Blue-helmeted peace-keepers, we learn, are as likely to commit as prevent crimes; and the only thing constant about such troops is that they will never go first into harm's way in Serbia, Kosovo, the Congo, or Dafur to stop genocide. Even worse, the U.N. has proved to be a terrible bully, an unforgivable sin for a self-proclaimed protector of the weak and innocent — loud false charges against Israel for its presence in the West Bank, not a peep about China in Tibet; tough talk about Palestinian rights, far less about offending Arabs over Darfur. So U.N. anti-Americanism is a glowing radiation badge, proof of exposure to toxicity....
Mexico, enjoying one of the richest landscapes in the world, can't feed its own people, so it exports its poorest to the United States. Its own borders with Central America are as brutal to cross as our own are porous. Illegal aliens send back almost $50 billion, which has the effect of propping up corrupt institutions that as a result will never change. Given its treatment of its own people, if the Mexican government praised the United States we should indeed be concerned. Who then are America's friends?....
Eastern Europeans do not find the larger families, religiosity, or commitment to individualism and freedom in America disturbing. Apparently, millions in South America don't either — if their eagerness to emigrate here is any indication....
America should not gratuitously welcome such dislike; but we should not apologize for it either. Sometimes the caliber of a nation is found not in why it is liked, but rather in why it is not. By January 1, 1941, I suppose a majority on the planet — the Soviet Union, all of Eastern Europe, France, Italy, Spain, and even many elsewhere in occupied Europe, most of Latin America, Japan and its Asian empire, the entire Arab world, many in India — would have professed a marked preference for Hitler's Germany over Churchill's England....
Think about it. When Europe orders all American troops out...."
KUDOS TO GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER FOR HIS PRAISE OF THE MINUTEMAN PROJECT CITIZENS' WATCH GROUP. THIS TELL-IT-LIKE-IT-IS GOV. IS NO "GIRLIE MAN"
Gov. Ahhnold is not the only one praising and thanking the Minuteman group. Those especially grateful are the border states where the group is now expanding its citizens watch---to do the job that Schwarzenneger correctly states our government is not doing.
Liberal Democrats are in their usual instant-outrage stage, calling Schwarzenegger's comments racist---which is what they do every time he opens his mouth. So, stick to your guns here Governor and let the "girlie men" and their female counterparts continue their canned screeds. For your praise of the effective Minuteman citizen watch group, you need make no apology. No apology is warranted and none should be given.
The article excerpted below can be found in its entirety here.
"Gov. Praises 'Minuteman' Campaign: Schwarzenegger says group's patrols against illegal immigrants have been effective. One critic calls remarks 'nothing short of base racism.'"
"....Calling the nation's borders dangerously porous, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday praised the private "Minuteman" campaign that uses armed volunteers to stop illegal immigrants from crossing into the U.S.Schwarzenegger said in a radio interview that the federal government is failing to secure the border with Mexico, and he cast the hundreds of private citizens who have been patrolling the Arizona-Mexico border since April 1 as a popular response to government inaction.
"I think they've done a terrific job," Schwarzenegger said of the "Minuteman" volunteers, who plan to expand to California in June. "They've cut down the crossing of illegal immigrants a huge percentage. So it just shows that it works when you go and make an effort and when you work hard. It's a doable thing."The governor added that, "It's just that our federal government is not doing their job. It's a shame that the private citizen has to go in there and start patrolling our borders...."
"OUTSOURCING" NOW EXPANDED TO INCLUDE, JUST OUTSIDE U.S. 3 MILE OCEAN LIMIT, FOREIGN WORKER CRUISESHIP OFFICES TO TAKE AMERICAN JOBS. WHAT'S NEXT?
As if it were not damaging enough to American workers that many major corporations have outsourced jobs to places like nuclear India, now cozying up to their waking giant nuclear neighbor China, where Americans' personal information has no guarantee of privacy or security, now foreign cruiseships are being brought in to a little over 3 miles off the U.S. mainland coastline. Cruiseships that are outfitted and peopled to function as floating offices full of foreign software developers and designed to circumvent our labor and tax laws.
What's next? Three mile offshore terrorist operations?
Check out the exerpted and linked article below:
"Foreign Workers Coming to a Cruise Ship Near You"
" Friday, April 29, 2005 "Outsourcing" – which has become synonymous with sending American jobs to India or China – could soon mean foreign workers sleeping in ships just a few miles off America's coasts. In an outrageous affront to U.S. labor laws, a California company plans to anchor a 600-cabin cruise ship just beyond the three-mile limit off the coast of El Segundo, near Los Angeles, and stock it with foreign software programmers...." here
EGYPT'S PRES. MUBARAK & JORDAN'S KING ABDULLAH TOLD CENTCOM CMDR. SADDAM TOLD THEM OF HIS WMD CAPACITY & WAS "CRAZY ENOUGH TO USE IT"
I'm not using the title of the article here, excerpted below, because it leaves the impression that Gen. Tommy Franks definitively said that Saddam Hussein transferred "WMD," when what Franks actually said was that he saw what appeared to be indicative of such a transfer. He did not state it as a hard, cold fact. I saw the interview and heard what Franks said. And Franks personally believes that flurry of activity, large truck movements and caravans of top Iraqi officials showed a high probability of WMD transfer, possibly broken down and hauled to Syria. His suspicions are made even more likely by the on-going---up to the present---trucking of broken-down weapons and weapons-making machinery in large quantities to both Iran and Syria.
All of these transfers are concerning, particularly since Iran and Syria are arming, funding and providing the foreign terrorist guerilla fighters who are killing Iraqi citizens, police and troops, Allied troops, and American troops---and some 40 or so journalists. All of which begs the questions: Why has this traffic been allowed to continue, why has the Iraqi border not been shut down, and why have the terrorist nations of Iran and Syria been able to get away with their terrorist aggression into and against the sovereign nation of Iraq---especially when we have ca. 150K troops there and further capacity for stopping all of it?
Read below for more information on this topic:
"Retired Gen. Tommy Franks, who commanded the successful U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, said Thursday that he saw persuasive evidence that Saddam Hussein had transferred his weapons of mass destruction to Syria." We saw all kinds of suspicious activity which, all of us could have speculated, meant for certain that weapons were being moved into Syria," the top military man told WWRL Radio's Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter.
Gen. Franks added that while he "never saw anything that was absolutely convincing, the possibility remains" that Saddam's WMDs were removed.
Franks was responding to claims by his second in command, retired Gen. Michael DeLong, who told Malzberg last year: "Two days before the war, on March 17 , we saw through multiple intelligence channels - both human intelligence and technical intelligence - large caravans of people and things, including some of the top 55 [most wanted] Iraqis, going to Syria."
Asked about repeated claims by Democrats that President Bush "lied" about Iraq's WMD's, Franks told Malzberg: "There was no one misleading anybody, except that Saddam Hussein took credit with his Arab brothers for having weapons of mass destruction."
The ex-CENTCOM commander was referring to his own conversations with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah, each of whom told him that Saddam had apprised them of his WMD capacity and was crazy enough to use it."
Thursday, April 28, 2005
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS ARE LEAVING NO STONE UNTURNED, NO SHRED OF HUMAN DIGNITY OR REPUTATION UN-ASSAILED IN THEIR MASSIVE SLEUTHING FOR NEW AMUNITION TO USE AGAINST JOHN BOLTON.
Looks like they could find something worthwhile to do with their time---like conducting the business of making laws and making sure the government is funded, rather than playing amateur detectives and yanh yanh, you Republicans will be sorry you ever gained the majority in the Congress games.... and their we'll get Bush back for his foreign and domestic policies if it's the last thing we ever do agenda. ENOUGH ALREADY!
STIFF IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION IT TUCKED INTO HOUSE OF REPRESENTIVES VERSION OF DEFENSE SPENDING BILL---PRESIDENT BUSH APPROVES THE PROVISIONS INCLUDED
Tucked into the House version of the defense spending bill that just passed, are new provisions that will be important to curbing the flood of illegal aliens across U.S. borders, with potential terrorists and violent Mexican gangs, drug runners and human slavery smugglers among them. Some of these new provisions to be enacted into law upon passage by the Senate and signing by the President are among those submitted in the House of Representatives earlier, but taken out of a pending bill and put off until now being inserted in the defense bill.
While a stand-alone bill might have been more comprehensive, it would take longer and have less chance of passing. We need these provisions enacted now in the best interest of our safety, security, enforcement of our laws, and protection of our economy and national sovereignty.
Kudos to the House of Representatives who voted for this bill. Let's now call on our U.S. Senators to pass the House version of the bill, since they do not have these essential provisions in their version of the bill. You can go here to contact your two U.S. Senators from your state---and other Senators as well, if you like.
Below is an excerpted and linked article here in today's news about this bill:
"A bill that would enact hotly contested immigration rules, including one that would bar illegal immigrants from getting driver's licenses, is marching toward approval with the backing of the White House. The provisions are attached to an emergency spending bill that would provide $81 billion for military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A bipartisan House-Senate conference committee is expected to agree on a compromise version of the bill today; each chamber is slated to vote on the measure within the next two weeks and then send it to President Bush for his signature.
The immigration provisions, which were introduced as the Real ID Act in January, include new identification requirements for people seeking driver's licenses, toughened standards for immigrants seeking asylum in the United States, and money to complete a three-mile stretch of border fencing near San Diego...."
U.N. & PAUL VOLCKER'S LAWYERS ARE TRYING TO SILENCE OIL-FOR-FOOD INVESTIGATOR ROBERT PARTON, WHO RESIGNED & KEEP HIM FROM TESTIFYING BEFORE CONGRESS
More intrigue heats up the landscape as Kofi Annan and Benon Savon are trading threats, with lawyers for Volcker's investigation attempting to block any testimony before Congressional Committees by the two Oil-for-Food corruption investigators. What are they trying to hide and why do they need to muzzle these two former investigators who have resigned?
An article found here addresses the extreme lengths to which the United Nations and Volcker's attorneys' are going in their efforts to silence Robert Parton, one of the two investigators who resigned from the investigation last week, in order to protect the U.N., Kofi Annan, the conflicted Paul Volcker, the investigation, and other obstructive officials in the U.N. cesspool.
Here are excerpts from the article:
".... Congressional committees want the ex-FBI agent who resigned under protest from the from the independent investigation of the U.N. oil-for-food scandal to testify, but his former bosses are moving to block it.... Congressional sources said at least two congressional panels have been in contact with the lawyer for Robert Parton, one of two investigators who resigned last week from the commission headed by....Paul Volcker. Parton charged the panel was being too soft on U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
A commission spokeswoman would not comment on the looming legal showdown with Congress.
But sources said lawyers for the Volcker panel are moving to block Parton from telling his story before the House Government Affairs Subcommittee on National Security, invoking a confidentiality agreement he signed with the commission.
Because the panel was set up by the United Nations, the commission may also invoke "sovereign immunity," officials close to the probe said. "It's a complicated situation. We are now studying ways to get around this. We would like to hear what Robert Parton has to say," said a congressional investigator. Parton and Miranda Duncan resigned from the commission "on principle" last week...."
WHILE KOFI ANNAN WAS IGNORING ZIMBABWE CRISIS, HIS SON KOJO ANNAN WAS BUILDING HARARE'S AIRPORT & DOING BUSINESS WITH HANI YAMANI & PRES. MUGABE'S SON
"While United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan was patently ignoring a President Robert Mugabe oppressed Zimbabwe, his son, Kojo was making money building the Zimbabwean capitol’s airport. Mugabe runs the ZANU-PF, a regime that Condoleeza Rice labels an outpost of tyranny. Why Kojo Annan’s business activities in Zimbabwe have not surfaced in the ongoing probe of the Oil-For-Food Program should surely raise concern about both the integrity and sincerity of the investigation.
It’s a global village as far as Kojo’s business agenda is concerned. First came West Africa where Annan’s youngest son was working for the Swiss-based Cotecna with ties to the Oil-For-Food Program. While the world was led to believe that Annan Junior came off the Cotecna payroll in 1999, he continued to cash Cotnecna’s cheques until 2004.
Morocco came next when it was revealed that Kojo Annan and Hani Yamani, bona fide Saudi national were negotiating the sale of $60 million worth of oil to a Moroccan company. Yamani is the businessman son of the powerful Sheikh Ahmed Yamani, former Saudi oil minister and OPEC founder.In Zimbabwe, Kojo Annan and his friend and business confrere Yamani were in bed with Leo Mugabe, nephew of President Robert Mugabe. Present for key meetings, Kojo Annan was flown to Morroco to close the big oil deal, which for reasons unknown was ultimately abandoned by Yamani.
The contract to build the Harare airport was awarded to AHT by Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF government despite its fourth place ranking by the tender board.... The tender was eventually awarded to AHT from Cyprus, whose local agent is President Mugabe’s nephew, Leo, contemporary chum of Kojo and Yamani.... stimated to cost Z$5 billion, by the time of its completion in April of 2001, the airport terminal had cost Z$7 billion.Kojo Annan, Kofi’s youngest son, only 26 years of age at the time, served on the AHT board with Yamani, with whom he was also negotiating the sale of two million barrels of oil in 2001, in the same timeframe the airport project was coming to an end....
Before it was over, the airport project had become a tale of cronyism that leached all the way back to over to Manhattan’s United Nations via Kofi Annan’s son Kojo, Mugabe’s nephew, Leo and Yamani, the jet-setting son of the famous and powerful former Saudi oil minister.
While the international arena has paid scant attention to Zimbabwe while it struggles under the firm boot of Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s ruling party was in proactive drive with the Intelligence Agency of one Saddam Hussein. Indeed, Hussein’s Intelligence Agency had a section dedicated solely to Zimbabwe.... Zimbabwe recently ordered $200 million worth of military equipment from China.
No one can figure out how Mugabe’s paying for it. Meanwhile, Oil-For-Food investigator Paul Volcker, who has stated that he intends to table another interim report on Kojo Annan...." entire article
(Originally posted by Jacqueline on PelicanPost at 2/8/2005)
KOFI ANNAN'S SON, KOJO ANNAN, AND HANI YAMANI. On the right is Kojo Annan, son of Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations where Kojo Annan is being investigated as to his alleged connection to the UN Oil-for-Food program fraud when he was working for Cotechna---a major UN contractor in that program. In the top left is Hani Yamani, a Saudi national and son of former Saudi Oil Minister and founder of OPEC Sheikh Ahmed Yamani.
Both Kojo Annan and Hani Yamani were involved with President Mugabe of Zimbabwe's nephew Leo Mugabe in huge oil deals and the new terminal for the Harare airport in Zimbabwe. Hani Yamani was President of AHT that had the Harare terminal building contract; both Hani Yamani and Kojo Annan sat on AHT's Board and were involved in a $60M oil deal. Leo Mugabe was the local Zimbabwe agent for AHT. These high-rollers were dealing with contract worth L $70B on Harare Airport terminal and jetting over to the United Nations in New York during that period of time. Who did they go to see at the United Nations? The AHT contract was awarded from Cyprus, Benon Sevan's home country, even though it was ranked 4th in the bidding.
We have also found out recently that Kojo Annan met with Iraqi officials in Nigeria on numerous occasions in 1998 and that he was paid as much as $484,000 by the Swiss contractor Cotecna that had one of the largest U.N. Oil-for-Food program contracts. There's a lot more we need to know.
-Jacqueline (originally posted on PelicanPost 2/8/2005)
U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN AND BENON SEVAN, HIS TOP U.N. OFFICIAL IN CHARGE OF CONTRACTS FOR THE U.N. OIL-FOR-FOOD EMBEZZLEMENT, BRIBERY AND KICKBACK PROGRAM. These two former good buddies are now engaged in warfare, trading threats about Sevan's demands for the U.N. to pay his mounting legal bills....OR ELSE HE WILL TELL ALL.... Forget the bills....let's hear the all. Especially since the United States pays approximately 1/4 of the U.N.'s incoming dues funds that become so mysterious and secret that we can't even find out where our money went or how much of it went to support terrorism. Bet Benon Sevan could tell us.... What all he knows might be worth a plea bargain for a shortened stay in stoney lonesome.
WHO'S AFRAID OF HAVING JOHN BOLTON AT THE UNITED NATIONS??? AND WHY??? LET'S EXAMINE THE "AGENDAS BEHIND THE SMEARS...."
In today's news here , there is an article titled "Who's Afraid of John Bolton? The agendas behind the smears." Some of it we've been over a number of times here on PelicanPost. So, not to re-hash, we'll pick up with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Richard Lugar's much-questioned decision to allow the Democrats on the Committee more time to dig up more dirt to give John Bolton some more in-depth and serious smear, slash and burn character assassination treatment. And to cast their nets wider and deeper to fish for and snare something
that would actually be a valid disqualifier for his approval as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
Let's have a look at the article and see who might have actually benefitted from the Democrat Senators' delay....
"Maybe we should be grateful to Richard Lugar after all. Now that the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has given his colleagues three more weeks to figure out whether John Bolton wagged a left or a right forefinger at some aggrieved minion, the rest of us can sort through just what the charges against the U.N. nominee are, who is making them, and what the Stop Bolton campaign is really about.
That isn't as easy as it seems, for the case against Mr. Bolton keeps morphing to suit the convenience of the accusers. Early on, the charge was that he holds unacceptable views about the U.N. "It's hard for me to know why you'd want to work at an institution that you said didn't even exist," Senator Barbara Boxer told the nominee. Yet her Democratic colleague Chris Dodd insists he does not oppose Mr. Bolton based on his "substantive views," and that "in fact, I agree with some of Mr. Bolton's conclusions about the United Nations."
Next we heard the nominee's problem was his temper. "You have a habit of belittling your opposition and even some of your friends," said ranking Committee Democrat Joseph Biden at the opening hearing, whereupon his investigators dredged up every alleged instance in which the nominee lost his cool. Yet on Sunday, Mr. Biden told an interviewer that the issue was "not whether [Mr. Bolton's] a nice guy or not...."
The latest line on Mr. Bolton is that he's unfit because he may have sought the removal of two intelligence analysts he deemed incompetent and insubordinate. Mr. Bolton says he merely sought their transfer. But even if he had tried to get them fired, so what? A main conclusion of the recent Robb-Silberman report is that policy makers have a duty to question and challenge intelligence analysts.
We recall the time Mr. Biden publicly berated an intelligence analyst--Iraq weapons inspector Scott Ritter--for taking issue with his civilian bosses. Senior Administration officials, Mr. Biden told Mr. Ritter in 1998, "have responsibilities above your pay grade. . . . That's why they get paid the big bucks. That's why they get limos and you don't."
Such are the reasons--the patently disingenuous reasons--given by Mr. Bolton's opponents.
The real motives are a combination of ideological animus and bureaucratic score-settling. On the latter, we know Mr. Bolton tangled with State Department officials who were profoundly antagonistic to President Bush's agenda on issues ranging from the ABM Treaty to the International Criminal Court, and that he usually got his way. Now it's payback time.
Thus we have Larry Wilkerson, former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff, telling the press Mr. Bolton "would be an abysmal ambassador." This is the same Larry Wilkerson who last year said, "I don't care whether utopians are Vladimir Lenin on a sealed train to Moscow or Paul Wolfowitz. Utopians I don't like." He has also described his own Administration's policy toward Cuba as "the dumbest policy on the face of the earth...."
Well, there you have it....or most of it. A bureaucrat war between the State Department and the Bush Administration and Bush's foreign policy. What a surprise! The Democrats have been hanging their hats on disgruntled, entrenched, liberal, globalist professional bureaucrats with axes to grind---who are getting even with Bolton for bucking the entrenched establishment, their one best way mentality, and their "Old Europe," don't rock the boat, go along and get along "diplomacy." Being a person of principal and loyalty to his country and his President, as well as a person who does not have tunnel vision or terminal shortsightedness, Bolton naturally would have none of that.
It's time to get this show on the road and stop all of the Harry middle school games. By the time John Bolton ever gets to the United Nations, and heaven help the Senate Democrats if he doesn't, there may be nothing left to reform, in light of the other big struggle in the news today---the shakedown and treats vs. threats battle going on between Kofi Annan and Benon Savon, the Mafia kingpins in the U.N. Oil-for-Food Embezzlement, Bribery and Kickback Program. At the end of that showdown, there may be no U.N. left to reform.
Maybe John Bolton could then head up a new organization of member nations that have a democratic form of government, rules of law that they actually follow, and enforced protections for the human rights of their citizens....and let the United Nations follow the path of the former League of Nations....into permanent oblivion. That would be a good thing.
ANN COULTER ON THE LYING DEMOCRATS: "DRAG LIBERALS INTO THE LIGHT' AND INFORM THEM "MAJORITY VOTE WINS."
by Ann Coulter - Apr 28, 2005
"Democrats are in an incomprehensible rage over the filibuster. DON'T STOP READING! I AM NOT GOING TO DISCUSS THE HISTORY OF THE FILIBUSTER! Republicans have got to learn to stop getting into technicalities with the Democrats. They win in the dark; we win in the light. And it doesn't get much darker than a discussion of the Senate filibuster.
It's no excuse that the Democrats are lying. They do that all the time. Republicans have got to learn to let it go.In one sentence Republicans should state that the so-called "nuclear option" means: "Majority vote wins." (This is as opposed to the Democrats' mantra, which is "Our side always wins.")
I am sublimely confident that normal Americans will not be shocked to learn that a Republican Senate plans to confirm the judicial nominees of a Republican President -- despite the objections of radical elements of a party that is the minority in the Senate, the minority in the House, the loser in the last two presidential races, the minority in state governorships, and the minority in all but a tiny number of very small but densely populated enclaves in this country that need to tax Rush Limbaugh, even though he lives in another state, just to keep all their little socialist programs afloat...." humaneventsonline
UNITED NATIONS SHOWDOWN BREWING BETWEEN KOFI ANNAN & BENON SEVAN---EACH THREATENING THE OTHER
"Stewart Stogel, NewsMax.comWednesday, April 27, 2005 The United Natiions is abuzz about a possible confrontation between Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the former under secretary-general, Benon Sevan, who ran the scandal ridden Iraq Oil for Food Program. Late Tuesday evening, word spread throughout the halls of U.N. headquarters about a "threatening" letter Sevan allegedly sent the secretary-general earlier in the week.
Sources who claimed to have seen the correspondence say Sevan demanded that Annan step into the Oil-for-Food mess and issue him diplomatic immunity (or U.N. talk for a pardon). If not, the implied threat was that information on new U.N. embezzlements would be released to the press. ....the U.N.'s reaction to the alleged threat was that any "release" to the press would preclude any possible help the world body might consider to aid the embattled Sevan....
Earlier in the year, Volcker released a preliminary report on Sevan's activities, stopping just short of charging criminal activity.
Compounding his problems, Sevan learned that the U.N., which had pledged to pick up his legal bills, decided to back off, leaving him with a lawyer's debt in excess of $300,000 and climbing.
And if that wasn't enough, word at the U.N. is that the Internal Revenue Service has Sevan under its own investigation on allegations of tax evasion...." newsmax
UNITED NATIONS SCANDAL: BENON SEVAN SENT ULTIMATUM LETTER TO KOFI ANNAN---PAY SEVAN'S LEGAL BILLS...."OR ELSE"
ByStewart Stogel April 28, 2005
"UNITED NATIONS - The embattled former director of the scandal ridden Iraq Oil for Food Program has sent a letter with an ultimatum to the office of Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Benon Sevan, a veteran Cypriot diplomat, now the target of several U.S. and U.N. investigations, has sent Annan a "demand" that the world body pay his mounting legal bills "or else."
According to Annan chief of staff Mark Malloch Brown, the letter, written by Sevan's legal team, carried an implied threat of new public disclosures regarding embezzlement in the now defunct oil for food program...." newsmax