Thursday, February 28, 2008

Around the Web

The man, the myth, the legend: Ron Paul.
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The “first phase” of the so-called virtual fence
will be delayed “for at least three years.” Here’s a simple idea: 1.) Big wall, 2.) Men with guns on wall. Voila! (Hat tip: Ol’ Broad)
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An argument for staying in Iraq from…
Angelina Jolie?!
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John McCain’s
legally ineligible to be president? (Uh, no.) Boy, Maverick’s goodwill with the Times sure didn’t last.
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Filthy British traitor George Galloway
is at it again.
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Terrorist Solidarity Ribbons: and Hollywood wonders why we question their patriotism. (Hat tip: Conservative Grapevine)
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Ann Coulter
pays tribute to William F. Buckley.
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“Barack Obama is a U.S. Senator from Illinois
who enjoys nap time and finger painting. He is running for president.” Yeah, I really want this guy to defend the nation.
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Use the Force…sort of.
New gaming technology reads signals directly from the player’s mind.

Alfred E. Guevara

I don’t know what the pages beneath contain, but Mad Magazine’s latest cover is a classic.

Hope Is on the Way - No, Really

With a standard-bearer who fails most of our standards facing an uphill battle against a well-positioned leftist for the presidency, the Right is less than thrilled about the current state of politics. But it’s also worth noting reasons for optimism. For one thing, we still have Mitt Romney waiting in the wings for a likely 2012 run (no, the video isn’t official; it’s just cool), and if he’s willing to put in the elbow grease, there’s nowhere to go but up.
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For another, some right-wingers have noticed another rising star: Louisiana’s new Governor Bobby Jindal. Young, conservative, and boasting “
a missionary’s zeal” to get things done, Jindal just won a fight over ethics reform in his state. I think it'd be very premature to jump on any bandwagons, but if he proves he's not merely an Obama of the Right keeping up the fight, and developing real leadership experience and accomplishments, he just might be an exciting standard-bearer further down the road...

Proud to Be an American

Mom writes in today’s paper:
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I don't ever remember a time in my adult life that I wasn't proud to be an American.

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My parents started out with nothing, worked hard all their lives, raised 10 kids, giving us not all we wanted, but all we needed, and are now comfortably retired. I'm proud of my country.
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I can go to the church of my choosing, or not go, and no one is hauling me off to be stoned. I'm proud of my country.
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I can stroll lazily through any park at any time and see children of different races playing together. I'm proud of my country.
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I didn't have the money to go to an Ivy League school, but through hard work and determination, other doors opened and we've made a wonderful life, and I'm proud of my country.
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I've been taught and understand the sacrifices our soldiers have and still make around the world to keep us safe and spread freedom and hope. Watching soldiers and vets march in parades still makes me cry and makes me so proud of my country.
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There are always challenges and disagreements I'll have with my fellow countrymen, and I'll never understand why some don't believe the rights of the Constitution belong to the preborn, but I have the right and the freedom to protest and work for change. As society changes, we're finding that some of those changes are not what's best for the human soul, but we are a work in progress and I have faith that good can win out with enough love and devotion. I am so proud of my country.
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Michelle Obama is just now, for the first time in her life, proud of her country. Is this really what we want in our White House?
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Peg Freiburger

The Audacity of Phoniness - UPDATED (Thrice Now!)

UPDATE III: The plot thickens. Here’s Byron York’s analysis.
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UPDATE II: Then again, CTV stands by their story—and names names.
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UPDATE: The Canadian Embassy says the following conversation never happened. We here at CFO deeply regret implying that Senator Obama is anything less than human perfection.
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Is Barack Obama lying on the campaign trail?
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Within the last month, a top staff member for Obama's campaign telephoned Michael Wilson, Canada's ambassador to the United States, and warned him that Obama would speak out against NAFTA, according to Canadian sources. The staff member reassured Wilson that the criticisms would only be campaign rhetoric, and should not be taken at face value.
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So, what’s new about this style of politics, and why is his wife proud of it?
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(Hat tip:
Ed Morrissey)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Standing for Life: If Not Now, When?

ALL’s Michael Hichborn issues the following challenge to his fellow pro-lifers via email:
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The ongoing effort to save preborn babies from the culture of death is akin to the epic battle between David and Goliath. While the pro-life movement struggles just to maintain its grassroots support base, the massive and powerful culture of death has access to all of the money, political power and propaganda it could ever want.
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At least David had the nerve to show up for the fight. Right now, in Colorado, a 20-year-old law student has taken up David's sling and is prepared to throw the deadly stone while some self-professed pro-life leaders, politicians and clergymen cower because they believe that "now is not the right time."
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In November 2007, Kristi Burton, founder of Colorado for Equal Rights, won an important victory in the state supreme court allowing her to move forward with Proposed Initiative 36. The initiative simply states that "the terms 'person' or 'persons' shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization." This initiative is the lynchpin for restoring the right to life for all preborn babies, because in the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, Justice Harry Blackmun wrote, "If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment."
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Over the past 35 years, nearly 50,000,000 preborn babies have been legally butchered in their own mothers' wombs. The most we have to show for our effort to stop this carnage is an alleged ban on the heinous practice of partially delivering a baby, stabbing him or her in the back of the head and then sucking his or her brains out. Hailed by some as a pro-life victory, the so-called ban on partial-birth abortion isn't truly a ban because the Supreme Court decision itself included instructions permitting doctors to circumvent the ban by injecting the baby with poison before completing the grisly procedure. What is so completely baffling, however, is that organizations like the National Right to Life Committee will pop a champagne cork for a ruling that won't stop a single abortion, but will not support or will even directly oppose the personhood initiative – which would directly end all abortions – because they claim that "now is not the right time."
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Some may ask, "If now is not the right time to save babies, when is?" But it's more appropriate to ask, "Why not now?' What do pro-life leaders, politicians and clergymen have to lose by acting now instead of waiting for "the right time"? If the initiative fails, do we admit defeat, tell the babies we're sorry we couldn't do better, pack up and go home? How many amendments and legislative measures are voted upon only once before being passed? The answer is less than one percent! If the initiative fails, you start over and try again and you keep trying until it works. It is hard, tedious and frustrating work, but when compared with the suffering of innocent preborn children who face dismemberment and death, the decision is an easy one. Only those locked in their lofty ivory towers, comfortable with merely drawing a salary to do "pro-life" work, remain silent or oppose real pro-life measures while they wait for "the right time."
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There is no "right time." David went into battle against Goliath without military or combat training and without a sword, shield or helmet. He carried only a sling and some rocks. He was a mere boy and the timing was as much against him as his size and strength. But his courage and faith in God led to victory. In truth, the victory over the culture of death will not be ours to claim, just as the timing is not ours to decide. Kristi Burton heard the call from God to defend human life and answered it without question, without waiting for "the right time" and without compromise. Her leadership brings to mind the words of a shepherd who slew a giant:
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"You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted. Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand; I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will leave your corpse and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field; thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God. All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves. For the battle is the LORD'S, and He shall deliver you into our hands." (1 Samuel 17: 45-47)
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When doing the work of God and calling on people to support the defense of babies, can timing really be an issue? While pro-life leaders, politicians and clergymen stand idly by, waiting for "the right time," Kristi Burton puts it all in God's hands, stands in the arena, takes careful aim and throws.

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(Hmm, where have I heard this
line of complaint before?)

WFB vs Gore Vidal

Part 2 of this exchange, as well as other videos of Buckley in action, can be found on the attached video by clicking through to YouTube.

Goodbye to a Giant

From National Review:
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Our revered founder, William F. Buckley Jr., died in his study this morning.
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If ever an institution were the lengthened shadow of one man, this publication is his. So we hope it will not be thought immodest for us to say that Buckley has had more of an impact on the political life of this country—and a better one—than some of our presidents. He created modern conservatism as an intellectual and then a political movement. He kept it from drifting into the fever swamps. And he gave it a wit, style, and intelligence that earned the respect and friendship even of his adversaries. (To know Buckley was to be reminded that certain people have a talent for friendship.)
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He inspired and incited three generations of conservatives, and counting. He retained his intellectual and literary vitality to the end; even in his final years he was capable of the arresting formulation, the unpredictable insight. He presided over NR even in his “retirement,” which was more active than most people’s careers. It has been said that great men are rarely good men. Even more rarely are they sweet and merry, as Buckley was.
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When Buckley started National Review—in 1955, at the age of 29—it was not at all obvious that anti-Communists, traditionalists, constitutionalists, and enthusiasts for free markets would all be able to take shelter under the same tent. Nor was it obvious that all of these groups, even gathered together, would be able to prevail over what seemed at the time to be an inexorable collectivist tide. When Buckley wrote that the magazine would “stand athwart history yelling, ‘Stop!” his point was to challenge the idea that history, with a capital H, pointed left. Mounting that challenge was the first step toward changing history’s direction. Which would come in due course.
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Before he was a conservative, Buckley was devoted to his family and his Church. He is survived by his son Christopher. Our sadness for him, and for us, at his passing is leavened by the hope that he is now with his beloved wife, Patricia, who died last year.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Toldja So....

Today, Charlie Sykes and Owen Robinson both blog about the Milwaukee Police Department’s just-released report on vote fraud in Milwaukee during the 2004 presidential election. The conclusion? Yes, Virginia, vote fraud is real. Now can we do something about it?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Campaign Finance "Reform" and Reagans, Past & Future

Ann Coulter’s column this week is especially important:
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Inasmuch as the current presidential election has come down to a choice among hemlock, self-immolation or the traditional gun in the mouth, now is the time for patriotic Americans to review what went wrong and to start planning for 2012.
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How did we end up with the mainstream media picking the Republican candidate for president?
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It isn't the early primaries, it isn't that we allow Democrats to vote in many of our primaries, and it isn't that the voters are stupid. All of that was true or partially true in 1980 -- and we still got Ronald Reagan.
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We didn't get Ronald Reagan this year not just because there's never going to be another Reagan. We will never again get another Reagan because Reagan wouldn't run for office under the current campaign-finance regime.
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Three months ago, I was sitting with a half-dozen smart, successful conservatives whose names you know, all griping about this year's cast of presidential candidates. I asked them, one by one: Why don't you run for office?
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Of course, none of them would. They are happy, well-adjusted individuals.
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Reagan, too, had a happy life and, having had no trouble getting girls in high school, had no burning desire for power. So when the great California businessman Holmes Tuttle and two other principled conservatives approached Reagan about running for office, Reagan said no.
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But Tuttle kept after Reagan, asking him not to reject the idea out of hand. He formed "Friends of Reagan" to raise money in case Reagan changed his mind.
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He asked Reagan to give his famous "Rendezvous With History" speech at a $1,000-a-plate Republican fundraiser in Los Angeles and then bought airtime for the speech to be broadcast on TV days before the 1964 presidential election.
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The epochal broadcast didn't change the election results, but it changed history. That single broadcast brought in nearly $1 million to the Republican Party -- not to mention millions of votes for Goldwater.
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After the astonishing response to Reagan's speech and Tuttle's continued entreaties, Reagan finally relented and ran for governor. In 1966, with the help, financial and otherwise, of a handful of self-made conservative businessmen, Reagan walloped incumbent Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, winning 57 percent of the vote in a state with two Democrats for every Republican.
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The rest is history -- among the brightest spots in all of world history.
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None of that could happen today. (The following analysis uses federal campaign-finance laws rather than California campaign-finance laws because the laws are basically the same, and I am not going to hire a campaign-finance lawyer in order to write this column.)
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If Tuttle found Ronald Reagan today, he couldn't form "Friends of Reagan" to raise money for a possible run -- at least not without hiring a battery of campaign-finance lawyers and guaranteeing himself a lawsuit by government bureaucrats. He'd also have to abandon his friendship with Reagan to avoid the perception of "coordination."
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Tuttle couldn't hold a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser for Reagan -- at least in today's dollars. That would be a $6,496.94-a-plate dinner (using the consumer price index) or a $19,883.51-a-plate dinner (using the relative share of GDP). The limit on individual contributions to a candidate is $2,300.
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Reagan's "Rendezvous With History" speech would never have been broadcast on TV -- unless Tuttle owned the TV station. Independent groups are prohibited from broadcasting electioneering ads 60 days before an election.
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A handful of conservative businessmen would not be allowed to make large contributions to Reagan's campaign -- they would be restricted to donating only $2,300 per person.
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Under today's laws, Tuttle would have had to go to Reagan and say: "We would like you to run for governor. You are limited to raising money $300 at a time (roughly the current limits in 1965 dollars), so you will have to do nothing but hold fundraisers every day of your life for the next five years in order to run in the 1970 gubernatorial election, since there clearly isn't enough time to raise money for the 1966 election."
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Also, Tuttle would have to tell Reagan: "We are not allowed to coordinate with you, so you're on your own. But wait -- it gets worse! After five years of attending rubber chicken dinners every single day in order to raise money in tiny increments, you will probably lose the election anyway because campaign-finance laws make it virtually impossible to unseat an incumbent.
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"Oh, and one more thing: Did you ever kiss a girl in high school? Not even once? If not, then this plan might appeal to you!"
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Obviously, Reagan would have returned to his original answer: No thanks.
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Reagan loved giving speeches and taking questions from voters. The one part of campaigning Reagan loathed was raising money. Thanks to our campaign-finance laws, fundraising is the single most important job of a political candidate today.
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This is why you will cast your eyes about the nation in vain for another Reagan sitting in any governor's mansion or U.S. Senate seat. Pro-lifers like to ask, "How many Einsteins have we lost to abortion?" I ask: How many Reagans have we lost to campaign-finance reform?
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The campaign-finance laws basically restrict choice political jobs, like senator and governor -- and thus president -- to:
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(1) Men who were fatties in high school and consequently are willing to submit to the hell of running for office to compensate for their unhappy adolescences -- like Bill Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich. (Somewhere in this great land of ours, even as we speak, the next Bill Clinton is waddling back to the cafeteria service line asking for seconds.)
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(2) Billionaires and near-billionaires -- like Jon Corzine, Steve Forbes, Michael Bloomberg and Mitt Romney -- who can fund their own campaigns (these aren't necessarily sociopaths, but it certainly limits the pool of candidates).
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(3) Celebrities and name-brand candidates -- like Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Bush, Giuliani and Hillary Clinton (which explains the nation's apparent adoration for Bushes and Clintons -- they've got name recognition, a valuable commodity amidst totalitarian restrictions on free speech).
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(4) Mainstream media-anointed candidates, like John McCain and B. Hussein Obama.
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What a bizarre coincidence that a few years after the most draconian campaign-finance laws were imposed via McCain-Feingold, our two front-runners happen to be the media's picks! It's uncanny -- almost as if by design! (Can I stop now, or do you people get sarcasm?)
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By prohibiting speech by anyone else, the campaign-finance laws have vastly magnified the power of the media -- which, by the way, are wholly exempt from speech restrictions under campaign-finance laws. The New York Times doesn't have to buy ad time to promote a politician; it just has to call McCain a "maverick" 1 billion times a year.
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It is because of campaign-finance laws like McCain-Feingold that big men don't run for office anymore. Little men do. And John McCain is the head homunculus.
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You want Reagan back? Restore the right to free speech, and you will have created the conditions that allowed Reagan to run.

Just Don't Question Her Patriotism

Frankly, it's an obscenity that this woman is likely to be this nation's next First Lady.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Quote of the Day

What concerns all, should be considered by all; and individuals may injure a whole society, by not declaring their sentiments. It is therefore not only their right, but their duty, to declare them. Weak advocates of a good cause or artful advocates of a bad one, may endeavour to stop such communications, or to discredit them by clamour and calumny. This, however, is not the age for such tricks of controversy. Men have suffered so severely by being deceived upon subjects of the highest import, those of religion and freedom, that truth becomes infinitely valuable to them, not as a matter of curious speculation, but of beneficial practice. A spirit of inquiry is excited, information diffused, judgment strengthened.
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Before this tribunal of the people, let every one freely speak, what he really thinks, but with so sincere a reverence for the cause he ventures to discuss, as to use the utmost caution, lest he should lead any into errors, upon a point of such sacred concern as the public happiness.
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- John Dickinson, 1788

Oswald & Ruby

Could there be another dimension to President John F. Kennedy’s murder?
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Lost documents said to be a "conspiracy theorist's dream come true" have been unearthed which suggest that Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby plotted together to kill President John F Kennedy…The boxes of evidence, found in an old safe in a Dallas courthouse, include a transcript of a conversation said to be between the pair discussing how they would carry out the assassination on behalf of the Mafia.
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The transcript claims that the real target of the Mob was the president's brother, Robert Kennedy, the attorney general, himself later assassinated. Robert had launched a campaign against the criminal underworld. In the alleged conversation, Ruby, a nightclub owner, and Oswald decide that it would be easier to kill the president than his brother and that JFK's death would end the inquiry just as effectively.

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I’ve never given much credence to the various JFK conspiracy theories, but this sounds interesting…

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Wisconsin Primary

I received and returned my absentee ballot this weekend. Since Wisconsin's primary is open, and the GOP nomination is down the drain, I considered a strategic vote on the Democrats' side. Ultimately, though, I couldn't bring myself to cast a vote for Hillary Clinton, so I voted for Mitt Romney.

President Bush on FISA

This morning, President Bush excoriated the House of Representatives for failing to renew FISA:
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At the stroke of midnight tonight, a vital intelligence law that is helping protect our nation will expire. Congress had the power to prevent this from happening, but chose not to.

The Senate passed a good bill that would have given our intelligence professionals the tools they need to keep us safe. But leaders in the House of Representatives blocked a House vote on the Senate bill, and then left on a 10-day recess.
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Some congressional leaders claim that this will not affect our security. They are wrong. Because Congress failed to act, it will be harder for our government to keep you safe from terrorist attack. At midnight, the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence will be stripped of their power to authorize new surveillance against terrorist threats abroad. This means that as terrorists change their tactics to avoid our surveillance, we may not have the tools we need to continue tracking them -- and we may lose a vital lead that could prevent an attack on America.
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In addition, Congress has put intelligence activities at risk even when the terrorists don't change tactics. By failing to act, Congress has created a question about whether private sector companies who assist in our efforts to defend you from the terrorists could be sued for doing the right thing. Now, these companies will be increasingly reluctant to provide this vital cooperation, because of their uncertainty about the law and fear of being sued by class-action trial lawyers.
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For six months, I urged Congress to take action to ensure this dangerous situation did not come to pass. I even signed a two-week extension of the existing law, because members of Congress said they would use that time to work out their differences. The Senate used this time productively -- and passed a good bill with a strong, bipartisan super-majority of 68 votes. Republicans and Democrats came together on legislation to ensure that we could effectively monitor those seeking to harm our people. And they voted to provide fair and just liability protection for companies that assisted in efforts to protect America after the attacks of 9/11.
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The Senate sent this bill to the House for its approval. It was clear that if given a vote, the bill would have passed the House with a bipartisan majority. I made every effort to work with the House to secure passage of this law. I even offered to delay my trip to Africa if we could come together and enact a good bill. But House leaders refused to let the bill come to a vote. Instead, the House held partisan votes that do nothing to keep our country safer. House leaders chose politics over protecting the country -- and our country is at greater risk as a result.
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House leaders have no excuse for this failure. They knew all along that this deadline was approaching, because they set it themselves. My administration will take every step within our power to minimize the damage caused by the House's irresponsible behavior. Yet it is still urgent that Congress act. The Senate has shown the way by approving a good, bipartisan bill. The House must pass that bill as soon as they return to Washington from their latest recess.
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At this moment, somewhere in the world, terrorists are planning a new attack on America. And Congress has no higher responsibility than ensuring we have the tools to stop them.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

News Around the Web

Valentine’s Day and Islam: not exactly the best combination.
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More
excellence from Wisconsin’s disappointing Attorney General.
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The Texas criminal appellate court
has upheld the recognition of the killing of preborn twins as double homicide.
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Andy McCarthy
notices an area where John McCain can genuinely distinguish himself from Clinton and Obama. McCain doesn’t.
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Remember Larry Craig? Yesterday the Senate Ethics Committee
lowered the hammer on him.
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More liberals “supporting” the troops. Just don’t question their patriotism.
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Oh, and Indiana Jones
is back.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

YAF Presents Ann Coulter

In the wake of Ann Coulter’s controversy at last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC capitulated and declined to invite her this year. Fortunately, Young America’s Foundation has picked up the slack, hosting her just down the hallway from John McCain’s speech. The talk is classic Ann; check it out.

Friday, February 8, 2008

What a Party....

The ever-insightful Frank J offers up the following metaphor for the sorry condition of the GOP these days:
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I guess the Republicans are like a self-destructive alcoholic, and the Democrats are enablers by sucking so badly that the Republicans don't have to strive to be any better. Now, a party that is an abusive drunk would actually be kinda cool if it took out all its inebriated rage on foreign countries, but the Republican Party is more of a quiet drunk, sitting in the corner mumbling while wasting all its money on booze.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday, Mr. President

Ronald Reagan would have been 97 years old on February 6th, 2008.
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“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
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“Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.”

The McCain Record at a Glance

The following is a concise compilation of John McCain’s almost universally awful record. It is adapted and expanded from a previous post for easy reference:
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Senator John McCain is the New York Times’
candidate of choice for obvious reasons:
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According to the Club for Growth, his “
overall record is tainted by a marked antipathy towards the free market and individual freedom," and his American Conservative Union scores are not nearly as reassuring as his proponents claim.
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Senator Rick Santorum
accuses him of repeatedly obstructing progress on Senate battles over social issues (which, by his own admission, he doesn’t “care about”), he still supports embryo-destructive research, despite continuing advancements in adult stem cells, and he condemned the Federal Marriage Amendment as “un-Republican.”
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He has
a problematic record on guns, he is a demagogic amnesty fundamentalist whose campaign employs such odious figures as Juan Hernandez and Jerry Perenchio, he cannot be trusted to appoint originalist judges (after all, he voted to confirm Ruth Bader Ginsburg), and he adopts the Left’s conventional wisdom on environmental issues.
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Despite his heroic military service and his commitment to victory in Iraq, his leadership on
most other aspects of the War on Terror would be disastrous. He claimed John Kerry was not “weak on defense,” and he called the actions of Vietnam veterans who challenged Kerry “dishonest and deplorable.”
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He is also a pathological liar who
took advantage of a demagogic smear against then-governor George W. Bush in 2000 and has told bald-faced-lies about Governor Mitt Romney this time around. Indeed, he has a history of saving his harshest contempt for his fellow Republicans, but he’s “very close” with his friend Hillary Clinton.
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As if that weren’t enough cause for wariness, he has spelled it out for us multiple times: in the midst of the battle to re-elect President Bush,
he said “I think the Democratic Party is a fine party, and I have no problems with it, in their views and their philosophy,” he flirted with the possibility of being John Kerry’s running mate, and there’s reason to suspect he considered actually becoming a Democrat in 2001.
The views expressed on this weblog are strictly my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of any other websites, blogs, campaigns, publications, or organizations where I have been employed and/or my work has been featured, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of any individuals employed by or otherwise affiliated with such groups.