Pelosi’s 100-Hour Agenda Seen as ‘Symbolic,’ ‘Timid’

Pelosi’s 100-Hour Agenda Seen as ‘Symbolic,’ ‘Timid’
By Monisha Bansal
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
January 15, 2007

(CNSNews.com) – Assessing the first 100 hours of the Democrat-led Congress, two policy analysts said the seven-point agenda House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is in the process of pushing through is largely symbolic and even “timid.”

In the first 100 legislative hours — as defined by Pelosi’s countdown clock — the speaker promised to enact new ethics rules and to pass legislation to implement the 9/11 Commission recommendation, increase the minimum wage, expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, negotiate lower prescription drug prices, cut interest rates on student loans and end oil subsidies.

The first five initiatives have passed, and the House is scheduled to vote on student loans and oil subsidies later this week.

“I don’t think [Democrats] are doing what the people wanted them to do,” said Brian Doherty, a columnist and senior editor with the libertarian Reason Magazine.

“It seems pretty widely agreed that the war in Iraq … was the driving force in the Democrats winning both houses of Congress,” Doherty told Cybercast News Service. “Without action on Iraq, all these other things are not very important.”

Doherty said that 45 percent of Americans said Iraq should be Congress’ top priority. “The next one on the list — jobs and the economy — was down to six percent,” Doherty said. “Overwhelmingly, this is what people want acted on first.”

“As long that they don’t do something more than rhetoric about Iraq, they absolutely fail to meet expectations because Iraq was number one on the list of expectations,” he said.

Doherty declared himself unimpressed with the Democrats’ priorities.

“The ethics reforms are nice — though that seems more to me like just covering their own behinds and just trying to create something to distinguish themselves from the Republicans. The other things are just sort of sops to their constituency,” he said.

On the stem cell research funding bill, which passed on Thursday, Doherty said the Democrats knew Bush would veto it again, as he did last year with a previous, identical bill.

“The only thing Bush has ever vetoed was a stem cell research bill,” he recalled. “So it’s really a bit of political grandstanding, [an effort] to show that ‘we’re not in the pocket of the radical religious right the way [President] Bush is.’

“School loans — again, that’s a sop to their middle class constituency, it’s not an issue of vital importance to most Americans, particularly the least well-off Americans,” Doherty added.

Doherty said the Pelosi agenda was “not particularly significant to the American people.”

He compared the reforms to the Republicans’ agenda for their first 100 days in power in 1995, led by then-Speaker Newt Gingrich.

“What the Republicans were trying to do — and didn’t necessarily succeed — was far more radical,” Doherty said. “They really did come in with a big new vision of how they thought government should behave.”

Doherty called the Republican agenda “far more consistent,” while “what the Democrats have done is far more timid.”

John Sides, a professor of political science at the George Washington University, disagreed that the 100-hour agenda was a distraction “or an abdication of the Democrats’ responsibility to talk about Iraq.”

“I think the Democrats have made a very concerted effort to engage the issue and to respond to the president’s proposal,” Sides argued. “There is no question that [Iraq] is the dominant issue and that both parties are engaging on it.

“They picked the [seven] issues deliberately so that they would not begin their majority rule for the first time in 12 years with a lot of in-fighting and intra-party strife,” Sides added.

“The House is taking votes that are largely symbolic,” he said. “For the most part, they have picked things that are fairly easy for most Democratic members.”

See Previous Stories:
Pelosi’s Pledge #1: Give Americans a Raise (Jan. 3, 2007)
Pelosi’s Pledge #2: Tuition Promise Could Hurt More Than Help (Jan. 4, 2007)
Pelosi’s Pledge #3: Drug Plan Unlikely to Pass or Work, Critics Say (Jan. 5, 2007)
Pelosi’s Pledge #4: Pelosi Holds Out ‘Hope’ for Cures for Diseases (Jan. 5, 2007)
Pelosi’s Pledge #5: Dems Vow to Restore Integrity, Fiscal Responsibility (Jan. 5, 2007)
Pelosi’s Pledge #6: Pelosi’s Promises on 9/11 Panel Proposals Face Hurdles (Jan. 8, 2007)
Pelosi’s Pledge #7: Dem Attacks on Big Oil May Hurt Consumers, Analyst Says (Jan. 8, 2007)

The Law of the Jungle

 

The Law of the Jungle

by Erik Rush

erush2.jpg (4654 bytes)

 

The law of the jungle is so hard to break, When death walks behind you with each step you take…

    – Gary Moore, guitarist and songwriter of Thin Lizzy fame

Some readers may remember that during the ‘Seventies and ‘Eighties it was a fairly regular occurrence to hear media reports of Israeli intelligence (Mossad) agents kicking in the doors of a fleabag flat, hotel room or safe house in some obscure (or sometimes not-so-obscure) European city and introducing the head of a known terrorist hiding there to around half a dozen or so large-caliber lead projectiles.

Israel’s government never offered any denials nor apologies about doing so. They located a threat to their national security, so their operatives clandestinely gained entry to the necessary country, made contact, and terminated the target with extreme prejudice. Of course there was also their awesome attack on Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactors when he attempted to do what we’ve blithely let Iran get away with.

Unless they’ve been really secretive about it over the last twenty years, political assassination appears to be a practice Israel has discontinued (unless one counts those within the occupied territories), no doubt to their detriment. Certain colleagues and I have maintained for some time that the United States’ ever-weakening foreign policy has infected and incrementally compromised that of Israel, either through exposure to our perverse emerging political philosophies or economic pressure. Nowhere was this demonstrated more clearly than during Israel’s confrontation with the Iran-backed forces of Hamas (operating out of Lebanon) in 2006. The reactions of the American media and far-Left politicians is testimony as to how their influence has influenced our foreign policy. In short, America has become abysmally limp-wristed. This is of course evidenced in our domestic policies as well, but that’s for another discussion.

It stands to reason that Evangelical Christians are the staunchest supporters of Israel today, as they tend to be the most conservative. Prudence in foreign policy is no doubt a component to this as well as a sense of being spiritual “cousins”; Jews may not believe Christ was the Messiah, but at least they believe in the same God as do Christians.

If one takes a strictly Christian dogmatic view of Christ as the deliverer of the New Covenant however, Israel as “the Holy Land” has no more significance than the Bahamas. I am certainly not the first person to point this out. If one adheres to Dispensationalism, one could argue to the contrary, with the Temple of Solomon being rebuilt in the Last Days and so forth – but I didn’t intend to veer off onto a theological tack.

I’d much rather reminisce over the good old days of political assassination.

“Socialism or death! We shall prevail!”

    – Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at the inauguration for his third term.

I didn’t feel particularly confident with our government’s policies concerning our enemies prior to the Democrat takeover of Congress; now I’m evidently even less inclined to feel so.

In a column published on October 23, 2006 I flat out stated that evangelist and former presidential candidate Pat Robertson had been right when he called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, despite the fact that Robertson later apologized when the Thought Police came after him. Chavez, a garden variety Third World socialist megalomaniac who quotes Castro, claims that Christ was a socialist, wants to head up his own “church”, is courting Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and refers to his country as “The Fatherland”, is apparently just another guy – even an admirable, forward-thinking leader in the eyes of the mainstream press and at least half of Congress.

It’s the mess Ronald Reagan had to clean up in the ‘Eighties prior to the fall of the Iron Curtain – but worse, because over the last twenty years our wrists have become limper and limper, and our enemies, bolder and bolder. It ought to go without saying that our leadership compared to say, that in 1984, is a far cry from what it was.

Our government declares that the United States does not engage in political assassination. I have stated that if we don’t, we’d better start, and if we do, we are definitely taking out the wrong people. Is our government afraid, perhaps, that retaliation might ensue? It’s a good question, and indeed likely given PC ideology and the historically fallacious and dangerous principles that have insinuated themselves into our government and the minds of many Americans.

I heard something brilliant the other day, so I can’t take credit for it. To paraphrase: It doesn’t matter whether you’re dealing with a Hitler, Kim Jong Il, Ahmadinejad, an L.A. street gang or the schoolyard bully. As I said recently in another column, Americans respect the rule of law – almost to a fault. The only law despots, megalomaniacs, and retrograde fanatics understand is the law of the jungle. They do not respect life or liberty as we do – and we’d damned well better get that through our heads, and fast. In addition to the day-to-day abject misery they inflict on their own people (usually whilst deflecting blame toward the U.S.), they are capable of committing atrocities upon individuals most Americans can barely conceptualize. Such threats must be neutralized with extreme prejudice or the tribe (the world) will suffer – guaranteed.

There is not now, nor has there ever been any exception to this rule, nor any successful circumventing of this law.

 

 

Erik Rush is a New York-born columnist and author who writes a weekly column of political fare. He is also Acting Associate Editor and Publisher for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. An archive containing links to his writing is at www.ErikRush.com . His new book, “It’s the Devil, Stupid!” is available through most major outlets. His new book, Annexing Mexico, is scheduled for release shortly.

Bush is leading the World

Bush is leading the World

By Ted Belman

In February ‘03, a couple of months before the invasion of Iraq, I wrote The Greatness of George W. Bush which ended as follows,

When you realize the change in world affairs that Bush has undertaken, in the face of enormous pressure from the EU, all the Arab states, Russia, China, the State Department, the media, academia and big business, you see in stark relief, the greatness of George W. Bush. 9/11 changed everything.

With his decision to add more troops and to go on the offensive with respect to Iran, Bush is once again showing his greatness. Sure there have been zig zags and mistakes along the way, but in the end Bush is no quitter. He is flying in the face of Baker and the ISG Report. He is devoid of political capital and has lost support from his own party but he soldiers on. He is carrying the world on his shoulders. He is the world leader.

The New Middle East

The New Middle East

By Ted Belman

The Lebanon War II was a watershed event. It has lead to a realignment of forces and a New Middle East. A coalition of “moderates” is forming to contain the “radicals”. This is more than talk. It is taking shape before our eyes.

Bush has decided to win. He will continue to escalate until he does. Winning means to succesfully contain Iran and its proxies. It means keeping Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan from falling to the radicals.

He is planning to be replaced in Iraq by a UN mandated Arab League force to be organized to keep the peace in Iraq and in reality to prevent Iranian influence. This force will enable the US to substantially withdraw. Iraq has agreed to the exclusion of Iranian influence and to fighting all insurgents or terrorists be they Shiite or Sunni. Oil revenues are to be shared with all Iraqis. Iraq will not splinter.

I am not expecting that Iran will be invaded or massively attacked. I am expecting that the noose around them will be tightened until they crack. I can foresee a blockade on the export of oil by Iran with Saudi Arabia replacing the lost production. I can foresee the odd bombing run to show them the US means business. I can also foresee a gasoline embargo. The US is already enforcing a financial blockade.

China has decided to be in the moderate camp and will help the US apply pressure on Iran. It has already started to do this. From their point of view, choking Iran is better than the US attacking Iran. China will not make trouble in Formosa and is helping to deal with N. Korea.

Russia has been making trouble by supporting Syria and Iran. I doubt that Russia will go down with the ship. With China taking the side of the moderates, Russia will have their moment of truth. It may in the end prefer cooperation to confrontation.

In the last three months, Olmert has met with China, S. Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the US. These meetings are a prelude to joint action.

Lebanon is to be protected from the radicals. Saudi Arabia has recently met with Lebanon and will be financing much of the reconstruction. Israel will be called upon to defeat Hezbollah.

On the other hand, Israel is not cooperating with Syria and accepting “peace” talks. Not yet at least. That will come later when Syria is ready to change sides.

Now how does “Palestine” fit into all of this? It is clear that everyone including Israel has decided to create Palestine and soon. Abbas is clearly being built up to lead the charge. He is being supplied with weapons and money. He is committed to defeating Hamas one way or the other. Israel is cooperating in this endeavour. Abbas is totally controlled by Saudi Arabia and the US and will do their bidding.

That’s the plan anyway. Let’s see how it turns out?

John Bolton Unleashed:Mideast Peace Efforts a Waste of Time

John Bolton Unleashed:Mideast Peace Efforts a Waste of Time

John Bolton may no longer be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations but now he is free to speak – And he does, calling peace efforts with the Palestinians waste of time and advocating the replacement of the United Nations.

FOXNEWS:

“As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meets with Mideast leaders to jumpstart the peace process, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton called the attempt a waste of time.

Bolton, who also said it’s time another body replace the United Nations, told the Sunday Times of London the Arab-Israeli conflict was “not a priority,” adding: “I don’t see linkage to Iraq, and Hamas and Fatah are in a state of civil war.”

Now back at American Enterprise Institute, Bolton let loose on a variety of topics during the interview…..Link to article

My kind of guy. Thank you Ambassador Bolton.

A rabbi’s warning to U.S. Christians

Democratic majority: How to lose your way in 100 hours

Democratic majority: How to lose your way in 100 hours

By Mary Katharine Ham   ·   January 15, 2007 02:57 PM

They’re up to about 17 hours on the legislative clock, and the tally is:

2 Temper tantrums on the floor
1 loss on earmark reform that resulted in…
2 greatly embarrassed Democratic leaders
1 U.S. territory that won’t have to pay the new minimum wage
5 relatives of Harry Reid’s who have benefited from earmarks
Billions in potential savings due to more transparency on earmarks.

Full explanations at the link. If this “honeymoon” period keeps up, I think I’m gonna enjoy the 110th Congress.

Thanks to Dems who backed the stricter earmark rules and shame on Republicans who opposed them (ahem, Lott).

Headline shamelessly stolen from http://www.suitablyflip.com/“>Flip,
who has the Photoshop to match it.

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/006699.htm