Archives for June 2007
Nothing has troubled me more since the Illegal Amnesty debate (or lack thereof) began in the Senate, than the “we know best” attitude taken by Sens. Reid, Lott, Graham, McCain, et. al.
Why for example, Senator Reid, do you claim the high ground on Iraq because public opinion polls show frustration with the war…. yet you tell us meaningless peons outside the Empire walls to hush-up when public opinion is dramatically opposed to the Senate Amnesty bill? Are public opinion polls only useful when they are on your side of an issue?
Stanley Kurtz at The Corner expresses my disgust with the Elitist Disconnect Syndrome more eloquently than I can.
For all the bitterness of our political battles, there’s at least the sense that the government responds to the drift of public opinion. The Republicans in Congress turned into big spenders and the war in Iraq went poorly. As a result the Democrats prospered in 2006, if narrowly. That’s how democracy works. Our politics are often angry and ugly (and that’s a problem), but this is because the public is deeply divided on issues of great importance. Deep down, we understand that our political problems reflect our own divisions.
Somehow this immigration battle feels different. The bill is wildly unpopular, yet it’s close to passing. The contrast with the high-school textbook version of democracy is not only glaring and maddening, it’s downright embarrassing. Usually, even when we’re at each others’ throats, there’s still an underlying pride in the democratic process. This immigration battle strips us of even that pride.
Supporters of this bill sell it as a compromise that will heal America’s divisions. I fear it’s quite the reverse. This bill is infuriating the public and undermining faith in government itself. You can see it in the polling on confidence in Congress and the President. If this bill passes, it’s going to aggravate and embitter politics for years to come. Passing a measure over such overwhelming opposition is like slapping the public in the face.
Precisely. I’d recommend we all take a moment and reflect on the wise of our Founding Fathers as they stared down an oppressive Empire in our now distant past. It is almost eerie how these words from our own Declaration of Independence seem to have a renewed meaning in today’s fractured American Republic.
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
In this case, the political bonds have been broken by our very own elected representatives in Washington, DC. From campaign finance reform infringing on our First Amendment rights…. to out-of-control and unaccountable earmark spending…. to undermining our troops during wartime…. to rewarding illegal immigrants by selling American citizenship… and by threatening our national security through misguided policies, neglect and incompetence. They have broken the bonds with us through their arrogance and disrespect of us.
We, The People need to take our Government back. It is that serious.
UPDATE (from GPW): I may have more to say on this later as I have scribbled a number of thoughts on the issue. Before bed last, I read a post on Powerline, reproducing the justification Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) offered for his vote for cloture. Commenting on that statement, John Hinderaker wrote, “This bill should be broken up into its component parts, there should be hearings on each, and there should be an open amendment process as to every individual bill.” Which pretty much sums up my view — as I expressed in a post after it seemed the bill was defeated.
There’s something creepy about a political class so determined to impose a vast transformative bill cooked up backstage in metaphorically smoke-filled rooms on a nation that doesn’t want it. It’s an affront to republican government and quasi-European in its disdain for the citizenry.
For someone who wants to speak out on the issues of the day, there is something profoundly depressing (not to mention disturbing) about all the publicity Michael Moore is getting. This dishonest filmmaker has recently been featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America while some CNN reporter or movie critic seemed absolutely giddy that the propagandist had agreed to an on-camera interview with him. Meanwhile, my state senator (the woman formerly known as Zelda Gilroy), chair of the California Senate’s Health Committee, invited the rotund radical as the featured guest at a special legislative briefing.
Amazing that a man who twists the truth so often is accorded so much respect.
But, then again, the various media outlets can’t seem to find enough reporters to cover Paris Hilton.
The very premise of the film which catapulted this mean-spirited publicity hound to fame was premised on a lie. You see, that film documents his failed attempts to “secure an interview” with then-General Motors’ (GM) CEO Roger Smith to discuss the closure of a GM plant in Flint, Michigan. But, actually, that executive sit down and take questions from the obese propagandist.
And that wasn’t the only lie in Mr. Moore’s films. Kyle Smith (to whose New York Post column Powerline’s Paul Mirengoff alerted me) notes that the “central idea” of Moore’s Bowling for Columbine was “not only conceptually insane but literally untrue.” The deceptions in his movie on President Bush and 9/11 have been well documented.
For those of who want to speak out on politics, movies and whatever, it’s sad to see the success of someone who has based his entire career on distorting the facts, pulling quotes out of context and otherwise misrepresenting his adversaries. But, then again, what he does is little different from what many left-wing bloggers (and even some on the right) do every day. Indeed, we see it frequently in the comments section of this blog, coming from both sides, but more often from our critics than our supporters.
If the MSM were truly devoted to portraying things as they are, instead of heralding Michael Moore, they would treat him as they do right-wing propagandists. They would note his many deceptions and wonder at his success.
It’s a sad sign for our country that such a hateful and dishonest man has achieved such prominence. But, then again, his success gives his critics the opportunity to take issue with his lies and address the real issues at hand.
UPDATE: In a piece noting how the media are gushing over Mr. Moore’s new film, Amy Menefee of the Business & Media Institute writes:
Michael Moore is a documented liar who uses “omission, exaggeration and cinematic sleight of hand” to make his political points. But that doesn’t seem to matter to the media who cover his movies.
That pretty much sums it up.
24 Republican Senators, urged on by President Bush, have joined 39 Democrats to move forward the despicable immigration bill. Democrats everywhere should celebrate because now is the time for Republicans to metaphorically slit their own throats and walk away from the GOP at the polls next year. Whomever gets the presidential nomination may be able to save their hides by coming out against the bill, but these Senators who have turned their backs on the security of this nation and the NRSC which prostitutes itself for money can forget any support from a large number of their conservative base. GOP Congressmen had best take all this anger under advisement before they cast their votes, because this isn’t a joke, will not be forgiven by election time and will put their seats into serious jeopardy. As of this moment, my own Senator, John Warner, is as dead to me as Hillary Clinton and I will vote Democrat or third-party before I ever vote for that man again. I contacted both Senator Warner’s office and that of my Congresswoman to let them know exactly what I think of all this. Congrats Majority Leader Reid & Speaker Pelosi, odds are that you both will retain your positions next year which I truly hate saying.
Letter to Senator John Warner (R-VA):
Your vote today to move forward the immigration bill is beyond contempt. You have turned your back on the security of this nation by doing this. Amnesty I can live with once the border is secured FIRST yet this bill is nothing more than another sham that will do nothing. I have had it with the Republican Party, their lies and betrayal of principles it supposedly espouses. Please remove my name and address from any mailings immediately as all correspondence will be tossed unopened into the trash. As of this moment, consider my vote lost to you for re-election and I will vote for anyone else other than you in 2008.
Letter to my Congresswoman (R-VA):
I am beyond outraged by today’s vote in the Senate on the immgration bill. This is a betrayal of Republican principles and ignores the security of this nation. Amnesty I can live with once the border is secured FIRST yet this bill is nothing more than another sham that will do nothing. I have had it with the lies from elected Republican officials who say one thing and vote a different way once in office. If you vote for this bill when it comes to the House, than I promise you I will vote for anyone else regardless of the issues that come up in 2008. Please do what is right for this country and vote to reject this bill. Thank you.
— John (Average Gay Joe)
Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces have been spotted by British troops crossing the border into southern Iraq, The Sun tabloid reported on Tuesday. Britain’s defence ministry would not confirm or deny the report, with a spokesman declining to comment on “intelligence matters”.An unidentified intelligence source told the tabloid: “It is an extremely alarming development and raises the stakes considerably. In effect, it means we are in a full on war with Iran — but nobody has officially declared it.”
“We have hard proof that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have crossed the border to attack us. It is very hard for us to strike back. All we can do is try to defend ourselves. e are badly on the back foot.”
The Iranians are clearly playing with fire. I just hope the West has the cojones to step up to this growing menace. I had a feeling 2007 was going to be a very bad year…
UPDATE (from GPW): Fellow Pajamas Media blogger Confederate Yankee raises some doubts about this story, noting “that this story was linked to anonymous sources within the British government” and finds, “this story does not have any credible supporting evidence to date.”
After reading the Jerusalem Post article on the recorded message from the kidnapped IDF (Israel Defense Forces) soldier Gilad Schalit, I wondered what former President Jimmy Carter had to say about this violation of international law. Given Mr. Carter’s professed interest in human rights and his book on the Middle East, he must have said something. Mr. Carter recently chastised the Bush Administration for failing to recognize the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas whose military wing al-Kassam crossed into sovereign Israeli territory to abduct the young man.
Not only did this terrorist group cross an internationally recognized boundary, but they have also held this man in an undisclosed location without allowing any international humanitarian groups (i.e., the Red Cross) to visit him as mandated by international law. And there’s more:
International humanitarian law absolutely prohibits taking and holding a person by force in order to compel the enemy to meet certain demands, while threatening to harm or kill the person if the demands are not met. . . . Furthermore, hostage-taking is considered a war crime.
Just look at the stink raised about Guantanamo where the Red Cross has “unfettered access to any detainee they want to see, whenever they want to see them.” Despite this access, Mr. Carter recently “told reporters that U.S-run detention camps, such as Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and U.S. anti-terrorism laws, were unacceptable even in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.” Emphasis added.
Surely a man who criticized the way his own government ran a camp for terrorists captured on the field of battle, a man who has written a book on the Mideast conflict, would take an interest in this prisoner, held incommunicaco and in violation of international law.
So, I did a google news search, several actually with alternative spellings of Schalit’s name, each came up with the same response: “Your search – Jimmy Carter Gilad Schalit – did not match any documents.” So, I decided to check the web-site of the Carter Center which, at least according to its web-page, “is committed to advancing human rights and alleviating unnecessary human suffering.” The same result: “ Your search – Schalit – did not match any documents./No pages were found containing ‘Schalit‘” Nor did I find anything on the web-site of the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum, but there was a nice picture of Carter shaking hands with the late Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat and Israeli President Menachem Begin.
Perhaps I missed something.
But, given Mr. Carter’s zeal to speak out on human rights, his silence on this Schalit’s kidnapping is striking. This bitter old man is ever eager to criticize his own nation — and its allies — for their human rights’ record, remains silent when other nations or entities commit worse violations. Another sign that his comments on human rights have more to do with his political grudges than a real concern for human suffering.
UPDATE: Perhaps Jimmy Carter has been silent on the kidnapping of Schalit because he has become “the roving ambassador for the terrorist group Hamas.”
Looks like all eyes are on my Senator from North Carolina, Richard Burr. I have always liked him from his days in the US House. He is smart, informed and always seemed to do the right thing.
But he is teetering into John Kerry territory with his position on the Senate Amnesty legislation: “Voting for it before voting against it.”
Interestingly, The Corner earlier reported that Burr seemed to be committed to a “YES” vote on cloture tomorrow (which would keep the demon alive).
A North Carolina NRO reader reports:
WBT-AM in Charlotte (our eeeeevil talk radio station) is reporting that Burr will vote YES on cloture tomorrow. I just called his Winston-Salem office and expressed my outrage in the strongest (non-foul languaged) terms. The staff person at the W-S office claims he hasn’t decided.
I called up WBT and they confirmed that host Jeff Katz did report that at the top of the hour.
Hmmmm. Now just who in Charlotte could have possibly emailed The Corner that piece of information?
(h/t – Michelle Malkin)
Want to guess which state I’m two miles away from… that I’ll be spending a lot of time in… during the GOP Senate Primary next year?
Finally, some chipping away of the madness of McCain-Feingold. Hooray to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court loosened restrictions Monday on corporate- and union-funded television ads that air close to elections, weakening a key provision of a landmark campaign finance law. The court, split 5-4, upheld an appeals court ruling that an anti-abortion group should have been allowed to air ads during the final two months before the 2004 elections.
While it is very discouraging that this was only a 5-4 decision…. I’ll take it!
But SCOTUS Chief John Roberts is THE MAN!
“Discussion of issues cannot be suppressed simply because the issues may also be pertinent in an election,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority. “Where the First Amendment is implicated, the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor.”
Score one for free speech. The law [McCain-Feingold] trampled the basic right of the American people to participate in their democracy. It also purported to reduce the influence of money in politics, but we now know that influence is greater than ever. McCain-Feingold was a poorly-crafted bill. Today’s decision restores, in part, to the American people a right critical to their freedom of political participation and expression.
Now, is it any wonder why Senator McCain’s 2008 Presidential Election prospects are looking increasingly dim? He wants to restrict political free speech (incumbent protection!) and degrade our national security at the borders (amnesty!). What on earth kind of conservative does he think he is?
[RELATED STORY — A SCOTUS “mixed message” on Free Speech?]
The more we learn about the Kennedy-McCain-Bush Amnesty legislation, the less we like about it. Support for the legislation has hit an all-time low.
Among the public, there is a bi-partisan lack of enthusiasm for the Senate bill. It is supported by 22% of Republicans, 23% of Democrats, and 22% of those not affiliated with either major party. It is opposed by 52% of Republicans, 50% of Democrats, and 48% of unaffiliateds.
The “swing Senators” appear to be Burr (R-NC), Bond (R-MO), Ensign (R-NV), Cochran (R-MS), Hatch (R-UT) and Coleman (R-MN). If you live in any of those states, you have a duty as an American citizen to stop this sell-out of legal Americans in favor of amnesty for law-breakers. I can personally vouch that the phone line is continuously busy this morning in the office of US Senator Richard Burr of NC!
Call your Senator NOW.