Jeb in 2008?

Jeb in 2008?
By Quin Hillyer
Published 2/27/2007 12:08:25 AM

Don’t be surprised if, come November of 2008, voters are choosing between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush for president.

But how can that be? Jeb’s not running.

Well, he isn’t running now, but the new, front-loaded primary system may, counterintuitively, allow him to enter the race late as a “white knight” rescuing Republicans from a morass of unhappiness and indecision.

Here’s how:

The fully frontloaded system replaces not the slow unfolding of primary and caucus states common through, say, 1976, but an already semi-frontloaded system instead. It is the latter, the semi, that produced overly quick ends to the nomination battles — but the fully frontloaded system may do just the opposite.

The reason the semi served to quickly winnow the presidential field is that it effectively anointed one particular candidate as the nearly unstoppable frontrunner by virtue of results in three states: Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Iowa would usually put forth one winner, New Hampshire — jealous of its “first in the nation” prerogatives — would put forth another, and then South Carolina would break the tie. The big jumble of staggered primaries in the weeks thereafter would come just at the right time to validate the momentum earned in South Carolina, and only a brief denouement was usually needed before the losing candidates acknowledged that the jig was up.

But in 2008, with a whopping 19 states, including mammoth California, moving their primaries, the Feb. 2 South Carolina match won’t seem so decisive because everybody will know that the big delegate haul will come just three days later. And because all of the major candidates will be fighting heavily across such a wide range of states, the odds are high that each major candidate will win at least several of those 19 states. If, say, John McCain wins California and Arizona, and maybe another, but Mitt Romney follows a New Hampshire win with Feb. 5 wins in Michigan, Utah, and Colorado, and another one or two, while Rudy Giuliani takes Florida, New Jersey, Illinois and Tennessee, and Mike Huckabee wins his home state of Arkansas and Sam Brownback carries home-state Kansas…well, then, who exactly is the front-runner?

RATHER THAN PROVIDING UNSTOPPABLE momentum to any one candidate, in other words, the widespread voting on Feb. 5 could serve to keep all three “major” candidates and even a couple of minor ones alive. Nobody could claim a mandate, the vitriol would continue to grow, and the dissatisfaction already being voiced by conservatives might take on pandemic proportions.

Meanwhile, a number of states may have qualifying dates for candidates or delegates that post-date Feb. 5. Nine states still won’t vote until May. A white night with a big enough name could conceivably jump in the race, sweep all the later contests, and lay claim to be the candidate of consensus and unity. Think of another president’s brother, Bobby Kennedy in 1968, and you get the idea.

Not only that, but the white knight could pick up the endorsements, and presumably the delegates, of the minor candidates as they fall by the wayside. Huckabee’s Arkansans and Brownback’s Kansans could both shift to the knight the moment those candidates drop out. Ditto for McCain’s Arizonans and Californians if, after eight more big primaries on March 4, he finds himself to be clearly in third place among the three major contestants.

Suddenly, the scenario for the knight’s victory doesn’t look quite so far-fetched.

Of course, this all assumes that we’re talking about one helluva knight. Somebody with major name ID, with access to large amounts of money and organizational might at a moment’s notice, and with a solid reputation across the Republican philosophical spectrum.

Of course, Jeb Bush qualifies on all counts.

BUT WHY WOULD HE RUN when the name Bush is so unpopular these days?

Perhaps because a lot can change in a year. Ask George H. W. Bush, he of the 91 percent approval rating in 1991, about how fast political fortunes can change. What if, by late winter of next year, the vaunted troop surge in Iraq is seen to have been a major success? What if the continued over-reaching by Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha makes President George W. Bush look good by comparison, just as Bill Clinton looked good when compared with the caricature Newt Gingrich allowed to be drawn of himself?

Still, you might argue, what about the inevitable backlash against political dynasticism? How could Americans possibly be expected to choose a Bush for the third time in four presidencies?

In actuality, though, 2008 may be the best year possible to overcome the argument against dynasties. After all, if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, the anti-dynasticism argument will cut both ways. What better time for Jeb Bush to argue that a political inheritance should not be a disqualifier than when his opponent’s entire career as an elected official is seen as a political inheritance?

All of which explains why the frontloaded system plays right into Jeb Bush’s hands.

This isn’t a prediction that Bush will be the Republican nominee, by the way, but only an explanation why he could be. And it’s not a case of my own wishes being father to the thought: My choice for president is SEC Chairman Chris Cox — but he’s not running. Neither, unfortunately, is the most eloquent conservative speaker on today’s scene, White House press secretary Tony Snow. Oh, well….

The point is not that conservatives should wait around for Jeb Bush to come to the rescue, nor that we should begin secretly plotting the Floridian’s ascendance. It is to say, though, that just as campaign finance reforms always have unintended consequences, so too might a frontloaded primary calendar. Conservatives should right now be “gaming out” the various possibilities, so they can be a decisive influence in the final choice of a nominee.

Quin Hillyer is a senior editor of The American Spectator. He can be reached at

Pelosi Falls Short On Election Promises

Pelosi Falls Short On Election Promises
By: Daniel W. Reilly and Jim VandeHei
February 27, 2007 08:27 AM EST

#DKsidebar a{ color:#000000; } #DKsidebar a:hover{ color:#000000; background-color:#FFFFFF; } #DKsidebar a:visited{ color:#000000; }

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is discovering the cold truth about governing with a slim majority: It’s much easier to promise behavioral change for Congress than to deliver it.

Pelosi vowed that five-day workweeks would be a hallmark of a harder-working Democratic majority. So far, the House has logged only one. Lawmakers plan to clock three days this week.

The speaker has denied Republicans a vote on their proposals during congressional debates — a tactic she previously declared oppressive and promised to end. Pelosi has opened the floor to a Republican alternative just once.

Pelosi set a high standard for herself when she pledged to make this “the most ethical Congress in history” — a boast that was the political equivalent of leading with her chin. And some critics have been happy to hit it.

She is drawing fire for putting Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), who had $90,000 in alleged bribe money in his freezer, on the Homeland Security Committee. And The Washington Post reported during the weekend that she is helping chairmen raise money from donors with business before their committees.

Pelosi can count several big changes designed to curb abuses that plagued the Republican majority before it was dethroned in last fall’s elections, including new limits on gifts from lobbyists. But her debut has not quieted skeptics who see her and the new majority failing to make the clean break with the deeply ingrained congressional culture.

“She has done exactly what she said she would do,” said Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly.

For example, he noted, while the House is not always in session five days a weeks, many committees are working throughout the week. Pelosi promised an ambitious start to the new Congress, he said, and she had determined the best way to proceed was by limiting debate.

“In the future,” Daly said, “we will do business in the regular order.”

Pelosi seems to be following a familiar pattern. Twelve years ago, Speaker Newt Gingrich promised to reform the House and govern by principles of fairness and transparency. But, for leaders of both parties, the reality of ruling with a narrow majority translates into tight controls over floor debate, cozy relations with lobbyists and accommodating the needs of lawmakers (who hate working long weeks).

Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a congressional watchdog organization, said Jefferson’s reelection put the new speaker in a bind.

“Pelosi had to put him somewhere,” said Sloan, who has also worked as minority counsel for the House Judiciary Committee for then-ranking member John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.). “But I am troubled by the fact … that (Jefferson) is the kind of guy who could not pass a security clearance test and yet now he has access to top-secret government info.”

Sloan also took issue with Democrats’ use of committee chairs for fundraising efforts, a tactic Republicans often abused in the last Congress.

“Given the scandals of last Congress, particularly involving (disgraced former lobbyist Jack) Abramoff, it doesn’t look good,” Sloan said. “It is very hard for people to understand the difference between what’s legal and what’s illegal.”

Republicans are cutting Pelosi less slack than that. Eager to brand her a hypocrite, GOP strategists are closely tracking what they call a growing list of “broken promises” and are encouraging their members to attack her for them.

“She promised the most open and honest Congress in history and by any objective score, (Democrats) have fallen short,” said Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.).

Pressed on whether voters will care about procedural complaints, such as lack of floor votes for GOP proposals, Putnam said: “I think voters do care if you shut down the process to the point people cannot even offer an alternative, and you are stifling debate …You don’t want to be constantly complaining about the process, but bottom line, they are abusing it.”

Some Democratic lawmakers privately warn that Pelosi could blow a rare opportunity to change voters’ perception of the party and Congress if she reverts to old Republican ways.

In a recent newspaper commentary, former Democratic Rep. Lee Hamilton of Indiana expressed concern “that the new Democratic majority in the House, which certainly understands the sting of unfair treatment, has on occasion yielded to the temptation of its newfound power to shut down Republican participation.”

So far, the GOP has been shut out of virtually every big debate. The most recent example was the House fight over the war in Iraq, in which Democrats broke their promise to allow the GOP a vote on its nonbinding resolution supporting the troops.

Pelosi sympathizers said Republican critics are laying it on a bit thick.

“Oh, cry me a river,” said former Democratic Rep. Tony Coelho. “For six years they ran a system that was autocratic, that didn’t give the minority a shot at offering anything and now are saying ‘mistreatment’ …They never even let the Democrats have a voice.”

Still, Pelosi’s experience with the recent Iraq debate illustrates her challenge. She calculated that it would be harder to build bipartisan support for a Democratic resolution condemning the administration’s troop “surge” if the debate were muddied by a generic, support-the-troops vote. In essence, she determined it was riskier, in the short term, to keep her pledge than to break it.

There is a practical reason for this approach, too. Alternatives are ripe for mischief. The minority party often puts together legislation designed to either embarrass or divide the other side.

That means there is almost always a temptation to backtrack on pledges of reform. Gingrich and his self-proclaimed “revolutionaries” roared to power in 1994 with promises to undo the feather-nesting and strong-arm tactics that had come to mark the Democratic reign — then discovered that what they once deemed outrageous seemed more defensible once their party was in charge.

In light of this history, say some congressional scholars, Pelosi soon will be facing a choice.

“If we don’t start seeing some opportunities for Republicans to offer real amendments on floor and to see some effort at collaboration that is genuine,” said Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution, “then she and Democrats will properly be subject to criticism.”

TM & © THE POLITICO & POLITICO.COM, a division of Allbritton Communications Company

Pakistan: More polio cases if resistance continues; Islamic clerics say those who die of polio are ‘martyrs’ Some religious leaders in the Bajaur and Malakand agencies are telling the people not to get their children vaccinated since the practice is un-Islamic

Pakistan: More polio cases if resistance continues; Islamic clerics say those who die of polio are ‘martyrs’

An update on this story. “More polio cases if resistance continues: NIH, WHO,” from the Daily Times, with thanks to Twostellas:

ISLAMABAD: The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) fear that more polio cases will crop up in the Bajaur and Malakand agencies since workers are denied access to children amid threats by Taliban-backed clerics, Daily Times learnt on Monday.A senior official at the NIH said that health authorities had confirmed yet another polio case in the Nowshera. He said that the polio victim was originally from the Bajaur Agency. In addition, the Health Ministry has also reported three more confirmed polio cases in urban and rural Sindh.

The clerics, including Tehreek Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) leader Maulana Fazlullah and his supporters in the Malakand Agency, have been ‘warning’ people during sermons in mosques or through illegal FM radio stations not to administer polio drops to their children since it was against religious norms and brought infertility. Maulana Fazlullah is the son-in-law of Maulana Sufi Muhammad, ex-chief of the TNSM.

To complete the polio immunisation drive, the WHO and the Ministry of Health are contemplating enlisting the help of the district/tehsil and union council nazims, political and religious leaders, public representatives and tribal elders, sources said.

Some religious leaders in the Bajaur and Malakand agencies are telling the people not to get their children vaccinated since the practice is un-Islamic, and that those that die of polio would be considered martyrs.

Taliban attempts attack on VP Cheney

Senator Lieberman Comments on Iraq in the Wall Street Journal

Monday, February 26, 2007

Senator Lieberman Comments on Iraq in the Wall Street Journal

From today’s Wall Street Journal:

The Choice on Iraq

“I appeal to my colleagues in Congress to step back and think carefully about what to do next.”

Monday, February 26, 2007 12:01 a.m.

Two months into the 110th Congress, Washington has never been more bitterly divided over our mission in Iraq. The Senate and House of Representatives are bracing for parliamentary trench warfare–trapped in an escalating dynamic of division and confrontation that will neither resolve the tough challenges we face in Iraq nor strengthen our nation against its terrorist enemies around the world.

What is remarkable about this state of affairs in Washington is just how removed it is from what is actually happening in Iraq. There, the battle of Baghdad is now under way. A new commander, Gen. David Petraeus, has taken command, having been confirmed by the Senate, 81-0, just a few weeks ago. And a new strategy is being put into action, with thousands of additional American soldiers streaming into the Iraqi capital.

Congress thus faces a choice in the weeks and months ahead. Will we allow our actions to be driven by the changing conditions on the ground in Iraq–or by the unchanging political and ideological positions long ago staked out in Washington? What ultimately matters more to us: the real fight over there, or the political fight over here?

If we stopped the legislative maneuvering and looked to Baghdad, we would see what the new security strategy actually entails and how dramatically it differs from previous efforts. For the first time in the Iraqi capital, the focus of the U.S. military is not just training indigenous forces or chasing down insurgents, but ensuring basic security–meaning an end, at last, to the large-scale sectarian slaughter and ethnic cleansing that has paralyzed Iraq for the past year.

Tamping down this violence is more than a moral imperative. Al Qaeda’s stated strategy in Iraq has been to provoke a Sunni-Shiite civil war, precisely because they recognize that it is their best chance to radicalize the country’s politics, derail any hope of democracy in the Middle East, and drive the U.S. to despair and retreat. It also takes advantage of what has been the single greatest American weakness in Iraq: the absence of sufficient troops to protect ordinary Iraqis from violence and terrorism.

The new strategy at last begins to tackle these problems. Where previously there weren’t enough soldiers to hold key neighborhoods after they had been cleared of extremists and militias, now more U.S. and Iraqi forces are either in place or on the way. Where previously American forces were based on the outskirts of Baghdad, unable to help secure the city, now they are living and working side-by-side with their Iraqi counterparts on small bases being set up throughout the capital.

At least four of these new joint bases have already been established in the Sunni neighborhoods in west Baghdad–the same neighborhoods where, just a few weeks ago, jihadists and death squads held sway. In the Shiite neighborhoods of east Baghdad, American troops are also moving in–and Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi army are moving out.

We of course will not know whether this new strategy in Iraq will succeed for some time. Even under the most optimistic of scenarios, there will be more attacks and casualties in the months ahead, especially as our fanatical enemies react and attempt to thwart any perception of progress.

But the fact is that we are in a different place in Iraq today from even just a month ago–with a new strategy, a new commander, and more troops on the ground. We are now in a stronger position to ensure basic security–and with that, we are in a stronger position to marginalize the extremists and strengthen the moderates; a stronger position to foster the economic activity that will drain the insurgency and militias of public support; and a stronger position to press the Iraqi government to make the tough decisions that everyone acknowledges are necessary for progress.

Unfortunately, for many congressional opponents of the war, none of this seems to matter. As the battle of Baghdad just gets underway, they have already made up their minds about America’s cause in Iraq, declaring their intention to put an end to the mission before we have had the time to see whether our new plan will work.

There is of course a direct and straightforward way that Congress could end the war, consistent with its authority under the Constitution: by cutting off funds. Yet this option is not being proposed. Critics of the war instead are planning to constrain and squeeze the current strategy and troops by a thousand cuts and conditions.

Among the specific ideas under consideration are to tangle up the deployment of requested reinforcements by imposing certain “readiness” standards, and to redraft the congressional authorization for the war, apparently in such a way that Congress will assume the role of commander in chief and dictate when, where and against whom U.S. troops can fight.
I understand the frustration, anger and exhaustion so many Americans feel about Iraq, the desire to throw up our hands and simply say, “Enough.” And I am painfully aware of the enormous toll of this war in human life, and of the infuriating mistakes that have been made in the war’s conduct.

But we must not make another terrible mistake now. Many of the worst errors in Iraq arose precisely because the Bush administration best-cased what would happen after Saddam was overthrown. Now many opponents of the war are making the very same best-case mistake–assuming we can pull back in the midst of a critical battle with impunity, even arguing that our retreat will reduce the terrorism and sectarian violence in Iraq.

In fact, halting the current security operation at midpoint, as virtually all of the congressional proposals seek to do, would have devastating consequences. It would put thousands of American troops already deployed in the heart of Baghdad in even greater danger–forced to choose between trying to hold their position without the required reinforcements or, more likely, abandoning them outright. A precipitous pullout would leave a gaping security vacuum in its wake, which terrorists, insurgents, militias and Iran would rush to fill–probably resulting in a spiral of ethnic cleansing and slaughter on a scale as yet unseen in Iraq.

I appeal to my colleagues in Congress to step back and think carefully about what to do next. Instead of undermining Gen. Petraeus before he has been in Iraq for even a month, let us give him and his troops the time and support they need to succeed.

Gen. Petraeus says he will be able to see whether progress is occurring by the end of the summer, so let us declare a truce in the Washington political war over Iraq until then. Let us come together around a constructive legislative agenda for our security: authorizing an increase in the size of the Army and Marines, funding the equipment and protection our troops need, monitoring progress on the ground in Iraq with oversight hearings, investigating contract procedures, and guaranteeing Iraq war veterans the first-class treatment and care they deserve when they come home.

We are at a critical moment in Iraq–at the beginning of a key battle, in the midst of a war that is irretrievably bound up in an even bigger, global struggle against the totalitarian ideology of radical Islamism. However tired, however frustrated, however angry we may feel, we must remember that our forces in Iraq carry America’s cause–the cause of freedom–which we abandon at our peril.
Mr. Lieberman is an Independent senator from Connecticut.

Labels: ,

Assassination chic, Cheney edition

Things that make you think a little:

Things that make you think a little:

There were 39 combat related killings in Iraq in January.  In the fair city of Detroit there were 35 murders in the month of January. That’s just one American city, about as deadly as the entire war-torn country of Iraq.

When some claim that President Bush shouldn’t have started this war, state the following:

1.  FDR led us into World War Two…Germany never attacked us ; Japan did.   

     From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost…an average of 112,500 per year.

2. Truman finished that war and started one in Korea North Korea never attacked us
    >From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost…an average of 18,334 per year.

3. John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962…Vietnam never attacked us

4. Johnson turned Vietnam into a quagmire.
    From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost…an average of 5,800 per year.

5. Clinton went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent…Bosnia never attacked us
He was offered Osama bin Laden’s head on a platter three
times by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked us on
multiple occasions.

6. In the years since terrorists attacked us , President Bush has liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled
al-Qaida,  put nuclear  inspectors  in LibyaIran,  and, North Korea  without firing a shot,  and captured a terrorist who
slaughtered 300,000 of his own people.

The Democrats are complaining about how long the war is taking.

But Wait…

It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound. That was a 51-day operation..

We’ve been looking for evidence for chemical weapons in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose Law Firm billing records.

It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick.

It took less time to take Iraq than it took to count the votes in Florida!!!!

Our Commander-In-Chief is doing a GREAT JOB!!!  The Military morale is high!

The biased media hopes we are too ignorant to realize the facts

But Wait…There’s more!!!

JOHN GLENN (ON THE SENATE FLOOR) Mon, 26 Jan 2004 11:13

Some people still don’t understand why military personnel do what they do for a living. This exchange between Senators John Glenn and Senator Howard Metzenbaum is worth reading. Not only is it a pretty impressive impromptu speech, but it’s also a good example of one man’s explanation of why men and women in the armed services do what they do for a living.
This IS a typical, though sad, example of what some who have never served think of the military.

Senator Metzenbaum (speaking to Senator Glenn):  “How can you run for Senate when you’ve never held a real job?”

Senator Glenn (D-Ohio):  “I served 23 years in the United StatesMarine Corps.  I served through two wars. I flew 149 missions. My plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire on 12 different occasions. I was in the space program. It wasn’t my checkbook, Howard; it was my life on the line. It was not a nine-to-five job, where I took time off to take the daily cash receipts to the bank.”

“I ask you to go with me…as I went the other day…to a veteran’s hospital and look those men…with their mangled bodies . in the eye, and tell THEM they didn’t hold a job!  You go with me to the Space Program at NASA and go, as I have gone, to the widows and Orphans of Ed White, Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee…and you look those kids in the eye and tell them
that their DADS didn’t hold a job. 
You go with me on Memorial Day and you stand in Arlington National Cemetery, where I have more friends buried than I’d like to remember, and you watch those waving flags.

You stand there, and you think about this nation, and you tell ME that those people didn’t have a job? What about you?”

For those who don’t remember.  During W.W.II, Howard Metzenbaum was an attorney representing the Communist Party in the USA. Now he’s a Senator!

If you can read this, thank a teacher.  If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.

It might not be a bad idea to keep this circulating

A Modest Proposal to Eco-Celebs

A Modest Proposal to Eco-Celebs

Clarice Feldman
The day after Al Gore won an Oscar for his crockumentary on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, which  warns that the earth is threatened with horrific catastrophes unless we all cut our energy consumption instantly, it turned out that the real inconvenient truth is that he, like  the celebrity eco-warriors is a hypocrite

Public records reveal that as Gore lectures Americans on excessive consumption, he and his wife Tipper live in two properties: a 10,000-square-foot, 20-room, eight-bathroom home in Nashville, and a 4,000-square-foot home in Arlington, Va. (He also has a third home in Carthage, Tenn.) For someone rallying the planet to pursue a path of extreme personal sacrifice, Gore requires little from himself.

Then there is the troubling matter of his energy use. In the Washington, D.C., area, utility companies offer wind energy as an alternative to traditional energy. In Nashville, similar programs exist. Utility customers must simply pay a few extra pennies per kilowatt hour, and they can continue living their carbon-neutral lifestyles knowing that they are supporting wind energy. Plenty of businesses and institutions have signed up. Even the Bush administration is using green energy for some federal office buildings, as are thousands of area residents.

But according to public records, there is no evidence that Gore has signed up to use green energy in either of his large residences. When contacted Wednesday, Gore’s office confirmed as much but said the Gores were looking into making the switch at both homes. Talk about inconvenient truths.

I’m trying to figure out why Norman Lear with a 26 car garage insists we cut our driving and Barbra Streisand from her well-staffed mansion overlooking the Pacific Ocean advises her fans to air dry their laundry outside. And Teresa Heinz and John Kerry, who use a private plane to travel to their 5 mansions and SUVs, warn us all to cut back on our energy use.
Of course, it is laughable.
It is unworkable for most people. We use a lot of energy because it makes us a more productive society and a more productive society is one which makes a higher standard of living available for more people. The technologies we invent make life easier and more productive for the less fortunate of the globe.
Goat herders in the Sahal use little energy but their lives are hard and their way of live unenviable. And they contribute nothing to the rest of the world’s welfare and progress.
I think I’ve figured it out what this naked hypocrisy is really about. It’s not just scientific and economic illiteracy on their part: It is a narcissistic desire to widen even further the gulf between themselves and those beneath them on the economic and social ladder, while clothing their desires in some moral purpose. This is nothing new of course. At various times and places throughout the world, what one wore-including colors, fabrics, length of swords, how much the tips of your shoes could curl -were set by law to make sure no one mistook the milkmaid and yeoman for the lord and lady.
Because ample energy supplies are critical, and continued economic growth is vital to the health of the nation and the only significant way to help the poor and starving of the world, this movement, if successful, would add to the tragedies already wrought by the combination of stupid celebrities and scientific ignorance. They spearheaded the destruction of the nation’s nuclear power industry and the immiseration and death of people throughout the world by the banning of DDT to fight malaria. (Some of the eco-warriors are changing their minds on these two issues but only after they caused enormous damage for no reason. They naturally would like us to forget altogether what listening to their idiocy has already cost us)
So, I have a modest proposal for the eco-celebs. We’ll give you the exclusive right to wear certain colors, shoes, swords and clothing and you can pick what these are. Only those of you who have won OscarsTM, married ketchup queens or created hit TV shows, inherited substantial wealth or whose earned  income exceeds by some substantial degree that of the upper middle class-say $10 million a year –will be in this class. In exchange, you have to promise to confine yourself to staying out of politics, pretending you know beans about energy or the environment and leave the rest of us alone.

Back to the Future, Clinton-Style

Back to the Future, Clinton-Style
By Christopher Ruddy | February 27, 2007

As Hillary Rodham Clinton comes under withering attack from the likes of Barack Obama, John Edwards, and the anti-war left, she will continue to do what she has been doing to win her party’s nomination — she will cling to her husband’s mantle.

But that mantle is not made of pure iron. It is, in fact, wrought of good and bad metals.

Hillary likes to talk about her husband’s economic record in the 1990s as if it were her own. “We know how to do the economy right — we did it in the 1990s,” she said in a Senate speech.

For sure, the ’90s were good years for America, and Bill Clinton can share in some of the credit. But a large amount of the credit is due to Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America Republicans who stormed Capitol Hill in 1994 and overthrew decades of Democratic waste and runaway spending.

Sensing the change in America, Bill quickly jettisoned his liberal economic ideas, especially Hillarycare, and took a more centrist approach.

He also took some advice from political guru Dick Morris, who advised him to govern from the middle, embrace welfare reform, and work with the Republicans.

Good came out of it.

Federal spending was restrained; taxes remained in check; the country prospered. Clinton’s economic record, I must reluctantly admit, looks even better after the past six years; in which we have seen the largest increase in federal discretionary spending since LBJ’s “Great Society” spending spree — with overall federal outlays up more than 40 percent during the Bush administration.

There is a dark side to the Clinton years, however.

For one thing, scandal after scandal plagued the president. Hillary may claim a “right-wing conspiracy,” but it is doubtful Americans will want to return to such a polarizing period.

Then there were the national security matters.

Those of us who covered the Clinton presidency — and wrote about such lofty issues as obstruction of justice and cover-ups — feared that Bill’s domestic scandals only mirrored ones he had on the national security side.

We received stark confirmation of this on Sept. 11, 2001, when 19 hijackers engaged in the most horrific attack on the U.S. homeland since Pearl Harbor. More than 2,970 Americans died, beginning a new global conflict —the war on terror.

There is ample evidence that Bill Clinton and his administration had solid opportunities to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, but failed to act.

NewsMax’s Carl Limbacher broke the story. Amazingly, in 2002, Bill admitted he had the opportunity to get bin Laden before he left the Sudan in 1996, but declined an offer from the Sudanese to turn him over to the United States.

Vanity Fair called that NewsMax revelation the “most devastating” dark spot on Bill Clinton’s record.

We do not know the full story of what happened during the Clinton years in the lead-up to 9/11, partly because Bill’s National Security adviser, Sandy Berger, as we now know, went to the National Archives and stuffed classified documents into his socks and underwear so he could deprive the 9/11 Commission of them.

The terror front was not the only national security lapse during the Clinton years, however. It was during the Clinton presidency that China became a major nuclear superpower. It has been acknowledged that some of America’s most guarded nuclear secrets, including our ballistic missile technology, were passed to China with the president’s OK. Before this, China was so backward that its missiles would often blow up soon after launch. Today, they can hit U.S. cities with pinpoint accuracy.

Adding to the mess, we now know that North Korea acquired the nuclear bomb during Clinton years, a secret the Clinton administration kept from both the American public and the incoming Bush administration. So yes, Hillary will grab onto Clinton’s economic mantle. But George Bush, who has prevented any further 9/11-style attack during his presidency, still holds the “tough on terror” mantle.

Hillary will have a difficult time persuading Americans she deserves to have it and become our commander in chief.

Christopher Ruddy is Editor of

Pelosi Hires Soros’ Right-Hand Man

Pelosi Hires Soros’ Right-Hand Man
By John Perazzo | February 27, 2007

One can learn a great deal about the values and core beliefs of a political figure by taking note of the people he or she assigns to key government posts. Consider, for instance, what we can learn about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the basis of her February 8th appointment of Joseph Onek to be her Senior Counsel. “This is a critical time for the Congress and the country,” Onek said following his appointment, “and I thank the Speaker for the opportunity to return to government service and work on behalf of the American people.”  
But who is Joseph Onek, and how exactly does he define working “on behalf of the American people”? A not insignificant clue is provided by the fact that Onek, a 1967 graduate of Yale Law School, is currently a
Senior Policy Analyst for George Soros’s Open Society Institute (OSI), one of the world’s major financiers of the political far Left. OSI is a member of the benignly named Peace and Security Funders Group, an association of more than 50 foundations that earmark a sizable portion of their $27 billion in combined assets to leftist organizations that undermine the war on terror in several interrelated ways:

  • by characterizing the United States as an aggressively militaristic nation that exploits vulnerable populations all over the globe
  • by accusing the U.S. of having provoked, through its unjust policies and actions, the terror attacks against it, and consequently casting those attacks as self-defensive measures taken in response to American transgressions
  • by depicting America’s military and legislative actions against terror as unjustified, extreme, and immoral
  • by steadfastly defending the civil rights and liberties of terrorists whose ultimate aim is to facilitate the annihilation of not just the United States, but all of Western civilization
  • by striving to eradicate America’s national borders and institute a system of mass, unregulated migration into and out of the United States — thereby rendering all distinctions between legal and illegal immigrants anachronistic, and making it much easier for aspiring terrorists to enter the U.S.  Toward this end, OSI has poured rivers of money into the coffers of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, theNational Immigration Law Center, the National Immigration Forum, the National Council of La Raza, and the American Immigration Law Foundation.

In September 2002, Joseph Onek’s OSI also made a $20,000 grant to the Legal Defense Committee of Lynne Stewart, the criminal-defense attorney who had unlawfully abetted her incarcerated client, Omar Abdel Rahman, in transmitting messages to the Islamic Group, the Egypt-based terrorist organization he headed. At the time of Stewart’s crime, Rahman was already serving a life sentence for his role in masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; he also had conspired, unsuccessfully, to plant additional bombs at the United Nations building, FBI offices in New York, the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, and the George Washington Bridge.  
OSI’s money is further apportioned to a far-flung variety of leftist groups, including: 

The Open Society Institute’s funding priorities reflect a vision of America as a nation infested with all manner of inequity, a country in desperate need of radical social and economic transformation. It is more than noteworthy that Joseph Onek has secured for himself a leadership position within this Institute.   
Another highlight of Mr. Onek’s resume is his current position as
Senior Policy Analyst for the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC), which, like OSI, was founded by the billionaire leftist George Soros. Established in the aftermath of September 11th, this organization helped draft the Civil Liberties Restoration Act, which in June 2004 was introduced in the Senate by Democrats Ted Kennedy, Patrick Leahy, Russell Feingold, Richard Durbin, and Jon Corzine. The Act was designed to roll back, in the name of defending civil liberties, vital national-security policies that had been adopted following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  
OSPC’s range of concerns extends also to “the proper treatment of detainees” — a polite reference to the bloodthirsty
al Qaeda combatants captured on Middle Eastern battlefields and currently incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay.  
Extending its advocacy on behalf of inmates to the American prison system at large, OSPC considers “rehabilitation,” rather than punishment, to be the proper function of criminal justice. Key to the attainment of this objective, in OSPC’s calculus, are colossal boondoggles whereby American taxpayers foot the bill for a multitude of “needed services and treatment” programs designed to help ease prison inmates’ transition back into society after their release.  
Joseph Onek’s busy life also requires that he reserve some time for his duties as Senior Counsel for the Constitution Project (CP), an organization that
seeks “solutions to difficult legal and constitutional issues.” These “solutions” are essentially calls for the United States to abandon every aggressive anti-terrorism and anti-crime measure it has ever initiated, on grounds that such measures violate the rights and freedoms of suspected wrongdoers.  
Onek serves as Director of CP’s
Liberty and Security Initiative (LSI), which flatly rejects most of America’s post-9/11 homeland security efforts as misguided “government proposals that [have] jeopardized civil liberties.” Specifically, LSI:

  • opposes President Bush’s decision to try suspected terrorists in military tribunals rather than in civilian courts
  • opposes “the use of profiling” in law-enforcement and intelligence work alike
  • holds that state and local law-enforcement agencies should be uninvolved in pursuing suspected terrorists
  • opposes government efforts to “conduct surveillance of religious and political organizations”
  • opposes “increased federal and state wiretap authority and increased video surveillance”
  • calls for the creation of a commission “to investigate the abuse of people held at detention facilities such as Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay” (“When you think about it,” Onek says, “Guantanamo became a symbol around the world for American disrespect for law.”)

Onek was formerly the Director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLSP), which promotes the familiar leftist theme of massive taxpayer expenditures, coupled with a diminution of personal responsibility, as the proper means of achieving virtually every societal objective one can name. For example, CLSP:

  • proposes increased funding for “child care and early education initiatives” such as Head Start
  • opposes “family cap” policies that would make welfare recipients ineligible for incrementally higher payments if they procreate further while on public assistance
  • advocates “a comprehensive range” of new, government-funded services for “low-income children and their parents”
  • calls for “reorienting the child support program into an income support program, emphasizing the need to improve family resources by providing tailored services to both parents”
  • aims to make more money available to cover the cost of college tuition and “college support services” for “low-income adults”
  • proposes to help ex-prisoners “find work, get safe housing, go to school, and access public benefits.”

To disseminate his perspectives to the widest possible audience, Onek has been an occasional guest blogger on the website of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS), a Washington, DC-based think tank that seeks to radicalize American jurisprudence by recruiting and indoctrinating law students, law professors, attorneys, and judges — and helping them to acquire positions of power. The roster of speakers who address ACS conventions includes such luminaries as Ralph Nader and the communist icon Angela Davis.  
Apart from the foregoing organizational affiliations, Onek has also held important posts in two presidential administrations. Under
President Clinton, he served as State Department Rule of Law Coordinator and Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General. In the latter role, Onek was a key figure in the Justice Department headed by Attorney General Janet Reno and Assistant Attorney General Jamie Gorelick. You might recall that Gorelick in 1995 issued the monumentally important “wall memo” to then-FBI Director Louis Freeh and U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White. Titled “Instructions on Separation of Certain Foreign Counterintelligence and Criminal Investigations,” Gorelick’s memo read:  
“We believe that it is prudent to establish a set of instructions that will more clearly separate the counterintelligence investigation from the more limited, but continued, criminal investigations. These procedures, which go beyond what is legally required, will prevent any risk of creating an unwarranted appearance that FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978] is being used to avoid procedural safeguards which would apply in a criminal investigation.”  
In short, this mandate stressed the importance of maintaining a legal barrier, or “wall,” barring intelligence investigators and law-enforcement investigators from collaborating and sharing information — even if they were both trailing the same suspect who was plotting a terrorist act. This restriction (which had first been put in place by the
Carter administration) effectively crippled the government’s ability to fight terrorism, and can arguably be blamed for America’s failure to prevent the 9/11 catastrophe. Two noteworthy examples of the policy’s deadly consequences are the following:

  • On August 29, 2001, an FBI investigator in New York desperately pleaded for permission to initiate an intensive manhunt for al Qaeda operative Khalid Almihdar, who was known to be planning something big. The Justice Department and the FBI deputy general counsel’s office both denied the request, explaining that because the evidence linking Almihdar to terrorism had been obtained through intelligence channels, it could not legally be used to justify or aid an FBI agent’s criminal investigation; that is, it would constitute a violation of Almihdar’s “civil rights.” Thirteen days later, Almihdar took over the cockpit of American Airlines Flight 77 and crashed it into the Pentagon.
  • The same wall of separation prevented FBI agents in Minneapolis from searching the computer hard drive of Zacarias Moussaoui  the so-called “20th hijacker” — in August 2001. Had those agents been given access to Moussaoui’s computer, two of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers would have been identified along with the Hamburg-based terrorist cell that planned the attack; it can reasonably be argued that if that had happened, the mass murders of 9/11 could have been averted.

As noted above, it was during the Carter administration that the aforementioned “wall” (dividing law-enforcement from intelligence) was first created to defuse allegations of FBI espionage abuses. And Joseph Onek served as Deputy Counsel to President Carter, advising the latter on all legal issues pertaining to the Presidency.  
In other words, Onek has played major roles in the two presidential administrations that did more harm to America’s terror-fighting capacity than any other administrations in U.S. history.  
On June 21, 2005, Onek
testified at the invitation of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment. His chief concern involved Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which he referred to as “the so-called library records provision.” “The FBI,” Onek warned, “will seek financial records, employment records, transportation records, medical records and yes, sometimes, library records. … Inevitably, FBI investigations will sweep up sensitive information about innocent, law-abiding people.” 
Onek and his fellow critics of the Patriot Act have portrayed Section 215 as an egregious invasion of personal privacy. But as
Heather MacDonald points out, “grand juries investigating crimes have always been able to subpoena the very items covered by 215 — including library records and Internet logs — without seeking a warrant or indeed any judicial approval at all. Section 215 merely gives anti-terror investigators the same access to such records as criminal grand juries, with the added protection of judicial oversight.”  
During his June 21 testimony, Onek also expressed deep concern about “the danger that the government will use the information it gathers and shares in ways that unfairly discriminate against Muslim Americans.” “Muslims will appear disproportionately on the government’s computer screens,” he explained, “because they are the people most likely (naturally and innocently) to visit, telephone and send money to places like Pakistan and Iraq. Inevitably, government officials will learn more about Muslim Americans than about other Americans.” He predicted that this would lead to the injustice of Muslims being disproportionately caught violating immigration laws, and that “[t]his unfairness will breed discontent in the Muslim community and undermine the fight against terrorism.”  
And then, incredibly, Onek said this: “The government remains free to bring criminal or immigration cases against Muslim Americans, provided that it does not use information generated by anti-terrorist data-mining systems in cases not involving terrorism or violent crime. This limitation will require some segregation of information and impose some burdens on the government. But these burdens are a small price to pay to ensure fairness to all Americans and strengthen the fight against terrorism.”  
In other words, Onek continues to advocate the very same “wall” — barring intelligence officials and law-enforcement officials from sharing information and collaborating on investigations — that his former employers at the Clinton Justice Department sanctified in the 1990s.  
You have read correctly: Onek favors precisely the policy that made it impossible for the U.S. to avert 9/11, and he characterizes its most (literally) fatal flaw as “a small price to pay.”  
There could be no starker illustration of blind devotion to a seemingly enlightened ideology that has, in practice, shown itself to be the wellspring of failed and foolish policy. And this is the man who Nancy Pelosi, the powerful Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has named as her Senior Counsel. The American people should know that.

Click Here to support