Archive for the ‘Senate’ Category

The Washington Post Headline reads.. Senate GOP Blocks $50B War Funding Package… The way the headline reads you would think that Republicans blocked critical funding for our troops denying them much needed bullets and other logistic support.  

What was rejected, and rightly so was the placing of artificial goals and expectations as well as operational limitations to get all troops out of Iraq by December 2008.  Now while getting our troops out of Iraq is an admirable and worthwhile goal, we must approach that goal in a responsible manner. The Senate Bill that did not get the necessary votes for cloture did not do that.  At the moment the situation on the ground in Iraq is very fluid, American forces have been able to quell the violence and destroy much of terror support network.  Removing those forces now or establishing a date in which they will be removed will seriously undermine all the progress we had made since the Surge Strategy was implemented.  We need to leave Iraq when the mission there is done. Not a day sooner nor a day later.  Leaving too soon places all we have accomplished and sacrificed for at great risk and will allow the terrorists to once again call the shots. Leaving too late will have consequences nearly as bad.  Deciding when we have reached that point is the tricky part. The people who are in the best position to advise when we have met our objectives there and can begin an orderly withdrawal is General Petraeus and the other commanders on the ground, it certainly is not Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. 

The Washington Post appears to have run its Headline and Article through the DNC Spin Cycle. Which is pretty much par for the course. What the Senate and Hose did was attempt to gain some percieved short term political advantage at the expense of those who are putting their lives on the line. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have both stated that they will not submit another funding bill this year.  So next month while Harry & Nancy are enjoying their Christmas vacation, and while Hillary and Obama are out campaigning they should be reminded daily that they left work undone in Washington.  They failed to support the troops by providing the resources needed to carry out their mission without strings attached.  I can only hope and pray that those daily reminders do not come in the form of increased casualty reports.  

Here is the Roll Call Vote

Others Blogging: Wake Up America, Stop The ACLU, Michelle Malkin, Gateway Pundit

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I seriously doubt that there is a snowballs chance in hell of this bill getting a vote in Ringside Harry Reid’s Senate, simply because it would put Democrats in the awkward position of having to either supporting the bill and angering the Shamnesty base or oppose it and turning off a large majority of voters that recognize that providing legal ID’s to Illegal immigrants is a bad idea.   

illegal-drivers-license.jpg

From the Union Leader

The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), expresses the sense of the Senate that states issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants are disregarding federal immigration laws and, consequently, putting national security at risk, Gregg said. Eight states currently issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, and New York will begin doing so soon.

If it does some how get to the Senate Floor will Hillary vote for it before she votes against it or simply not vote at all.

There are many issues that Democrats are, in my opinion dead wrong on, The War on Terror, Economy & Taxes, & Big Government to name just a few… There is one issue that I think will be the Democrats downfall in 2008… Illegal Immigration…

From Reuters 

Mary Burns has the kind of Democratic pedigree that dominates Massachusetts politics. Her family and friends vote Democratic, and she lives in a district that has not elected a Republican in 35 years.

But on October 17, she joined other disgruntled Democrats, voting for a Republican in a special congressional election.

Her candidate, Jim Ogonowski, who campaigned as an anti-immigration crusader, lost to Democrat Niki Tsongas by only 45 percent to 51 percent, a much closer margin than expected in a district Democrats saw as safely theirs.

In New York where I live the Democrat Governor has announced plans that will allow Illegal Immigrants to get Valid New York State Drivers Licenses.  That change clashes with the 2005 REAL ID law passed by Congress that states require, among other things, a Social Security number in order to get a license. States have until December 2009 to be in compliance.

The Real ID Act passed by a unanimous vote in the Senate.  Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama each voted for the REAL ID…

The Media & Republican Candidates should be bringing this up. Forcing Dems to say where they stand on the issue… Are they going to Stand behind a Democrat Governor pushing an unpopular plan, or are they going to stand by how they voted in the Senate?

If you read today’s Washington Post, NY Times, USA Today, or the LA Times you would see that Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez was offering some harsh criticism on Iraq and the Administration for how it how it has conducted the War in Iraq.  It turns out that that the Administration is not all that General Sanchez had harsh criticism for.

Nearly half of his speech was criticism of the Media itself and not one of the articles I mentioned earlier had even 1 sentence about that criticism. Here is an excerpt from his speech (full text here).

 All are victims of the massive agenda driven competition for economic or political supremacy. The death knell of your ethics has been enabled by your parent organizations who have chosen to align themselves with political agendas. What is clear to me is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our servicemembers who are at war.

My assessment is that your profession, to some extent, has strayed from these ethical standards and allowed external agendas to manipulate what the American public sees on TV, what they read in our newspapers and what they see on the web. For some of you, just like some of our politicians, the truth is of little to no value if it does not fit your own preconceived notions, biases and agendas.

One would think that since General Sanchez has the credibility to bring this harsh front page criticism on the Administration that the same credibility would warrant at least a mention of the criticism offered to the Media itself. Especially since General Sanchez essentially is saying that the media is selling out our soldiers and undermining our troops efforts to win the war. And doing this to further the political agendas of groups and individuals opposed to the War.

The General also quotes the Code of Ethics for the Society of Professional Journalists which states.

…public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty.

Since virtually all the media reports of the General’s speech failed completely to provide a fair and comprehensive account of the speech you could say that the Media itself has failed to live up to its own ethical standards.  

The Administration and the Media were not his only targets in this speech. Criticisms were leveled at politicians from both sides of the aisle and deservedly so. Politicians as well as the media have so polarized and politicized the situation in Iraq that much of the American public’s opinion on the war is driven by hyperbole, inacuracies and rhetoric. General Sanchez faults the administration and congress for failure to provide the strategy, policies and resources to win this war. For the most part he is absolutely correct, though I honestly think that the Administration has tried, obstruction from the extreme left has hurt any attempts to provide the necessary elements of success. 

Here are two other paragraphs from the General’s speech that I feel are of great significance but did not get a mention in the major media outlets covering the story:

America has no choice but to continue our efforts in Iraq. A precipitous withdrawal will unquestionably lead to chaos that would endanger the stability of the greater middle east. If this occurs it would have significant adverse effects on the international community. Coalition and American force presence will be required at some level for the foreseeable future. Given the lack of a grand strategy we must move rapidly to minimize that force presence and allow the Iraqis maximum ability to exercise their sovereignty in achieving a solution.

At no time in America’s’s history has there been a greater need for bipartisan cooperation. The threat of extremism is real and demands unified action at the same levels demonstrated by our forefathers during World War I and World War II. America has failed to date. 

In my opinion what the General is saying here is that it is time for Americans to put politics aside, provide the resources, policies, and strategy necessary to win this war. There is no need for Congressional resolutions either binding or non binding, and no need for empty rhetoric from the Administration since neither will move us closer to winning.  

Hat tip to Captain’s Quarters 

Others Blogging: Democracy Project, Powerline, Right Truth, PoliPundit, Wake Up America, Neo-Neocon, Proprietor Nation, Wizbang, Hoystory, Poliblog

What Left Wing Bloggers have said… Amazingliy enough they also ignore any criticism of either the Media or of congress as well… 

Think Progress, Rising Hegemon, The Democratic Daily, Gun Toting Liberal, PoliBlog And of course the Daily Kos

Note… PoliBlog I have listed twice… 1 as a Left Wing Blogger I did this because that particular post more closely resembles those found on left leaning blogs. The points in his post that are consistant with those on the left are mentioning nothing but the criticism from General Sanchez leveled at the Administration, & his speculation that “hard-core War Supporters” would respond by attacking General Sanchez.   

In a later Post, (One I did not notice until much later) He does cover the criticism leveled at the media and congress, though he downplays that criticism by stateing that the media is not responsible for making and carrying out policy. This is very true, but I don’t see the General pointing to the media as a scapegoat for the strategy and planning failures. Instead the impression I get from the General’s speech and the criticism of the media as well as politicians from both sides of the aisle is that they have created or at least exasperated a political atmosphere to the point in which a bi-partisan solution in Iraq is next to impossible to develop.  

One of the biggest issues of the 2006 election was uncontrolled pork spending.  Democrats like Pelosi and Reid offered up “Culture of Corruption” as a campaign slogan.  It turns out that a Campaign Slogan is all it ever amounted to.  One of the biggest culprits in the padding legislation with various earmarks is none other than Hillary Clinton.

quuen-hillary.jpgFrom Bloomberg

Democrats came into power this year promising meaningful earmark reform to a U.S. electorate that was rightly disgusted with Congress’s free-spending habits. Today, earmarks continue to be out of control, and the predictable result is that the Democratic Congress is now even less popular in national polls than the Republican one before it.

There is an underappreciated angle to the story of how lawmakers steer federal funds toward their pet projects that may yet swing the next presidential election. Democrats have been so busy preparing the coronation of Hillary Clinton that they have failed to train a critical eye on her record.

According to the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, Clinton has secured queenhillfront.jpg360queenhillfront.jpg earmarks worth a combined $2.2 billion from 2002 to 2006 in all spending and authorization bills, including $250,000 to the Seneca Knitting Mill, and $200,000 to the Buffalo Urban Arts Center.

Many projects I am sure are well worth the investment, but if those projects actually have the merit that proponents claim then there would not be the need for the secrecy involved.  

Uncontrolled earmark spending by congress and the associated corruption that comes with it, is the one issue that does more to undermine public confidence in our elected Representatives. The author of the Bloomberg article had a great question towards the end of the piece.

How can someone who is one of the biggest contributors to the problem be part of the cure?

While the House & Senate are busy writing letters demanding an apology from Rush Limbaugh for something the extreme left has taken out of context, what they are not discussing is the success that is happening on the ground in Iraq.  Clear evidence that the surge is having dramatic progress is essentially being ignored by congress. 

Reports of progress being made in Iraq does not support the “The War is Lost” mentality that Democrats have been proclaiming for years.  Instead of undermining our mission in Iraq (and our troops deployed in support of that mission) the nation would be far better served by political leaders who were working to achieve the goals of that mission.

It doesn’t matter what anyone’s position on the war in Iraq was to begin with, we are there now. We get no do-overs and what is done can not be undone. Bottom line is that there are only two ways out of Iraq.  In victory or in defeat.  There is no grey area nor any middle ground on this, we either win or lose.

It is well past time for Democrats and Republicans alike to put politics aside, end the political posturing, and do what it takes to win this war…. Because if we lose, May god help us all…

Here are a few links showing some of the progress being made in Iraq

Iraqi deaths fell by 50% last month

Iraqi Violence Ebbed in September

12 Suspects Detained During Operations to Disrupt Al-Qaeda

Terrorist Responsible for IED/EFP Attacks Captured 

The extreme left bankrolled by George Soros & company is bankrupt on ideas, and void of substance. They are unable to compete in a qualitative discussion on the issues, so they take statements made out of context twist and spin what was said to mean something completely different. A perfect example of this is the the left’s reaction to Rush Limbaugh’s “Phoney Soldiers” Comment.

Below is the transcript of Rush’s show in which the comment was made.

CALLER:  I’m one of the few that joined the Army to serve my country, I’m proud to say, not for the money or anything like that.  What I would like to retort to is that, what these people don’t understand, is if we pull out of Iraq right now, which is not possible because of all the stuff that’s over there, it would take us at least a year to pull everything back out of Iraq, then Iraq itself would collapse and we’d have to go right back over there within a year or so.RUSH:  There’s a lot more than that that they don’t understand.  The next guy that calls here I’m going to ask them, “What is the imperative of pulling out?  What’s in it for the United States to pull out?”  I don’t think they have an answer for that other than, “When’s he going to bring the troops home? Keep the troops safe,” whatever.  CALLER:  Yeah.RUSH:  It’s not possible intellectually to follow these people.CALLER:  No, it’s not.  And what’s really funny is they never talk to real soldiers.  They pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and spout to the media.

RUSH:  The phony soldiers.

CALLER:  Phony soldiers.  If you talk to any real soldier and they’re proud to serve, they want to be over in Iraq, they understand their sacrifice and they’re willing to sacrifice for the country.

RUSH:  They joined to be in Iraq.

CALLER:  A lot of people.

RUSH:  You know where you’re going these days, the last four years, if you sign up.  The odds are you’re going there or Afghanistan, or somewhere.

CALLER:  Exactly, sir.  My other comment, my original comment, was a retort to Jill about the fact we didn’t find any weapons of mass destruction.  Actually, we have found weapons of mass destruction in chemical agents that terrorists have been using against us for a while now.  I’ve done two tours in Iraq, I just got back in June, and there are many instances of insurgents not knowing what they’re using in their IEDs.  They’re using mustard artillery rounds, VX artillery rounds in their IEDs.  Because they didn’t know what they were using, they didn’t do it right, and so it didn’t really hurt anybody.  But those munitions are over there.  It’s a huge desert. If they bury it somewhere, we’re never going to find it.

RUSH:  Well, that’s a moot point for me right now.

CALLER:  Right.

RUSH:  The weapons of mass destruction.  We gotta get beyond that.  We’re there.  We all know they were there, and Mahmoud even admitted it in one of his speeches here talking about Saddam using the poison mustard gas or whatever it is on his own people.  But that’s moot.  What’s more important is all this is taking place now in the midst of the surge working, and all of these anti-war Democrats are getting even more hell-bent on pulling out of there, which means that success on the part of you and your colleagues over there is a great threat to them.  It’s frustrating and maddening, and why they must be kept in the minority.  I want to thank you, Mike, for calling.  I appreciate it very much.  

Here is a Morning Update that we did recently, talking about fake soldiers.  This is a story of who the left props up as heroes.  They have their celebrities and one of them was Army Ranger Jesse Macbeth.  Now, he was a “corporal.”  I say in quotes.  Twenty-three years old.  What made Jesse Macbeth a hero to the anti-war crowd wasn’t his Purple Heart; it wasn’t his being affiliated with post-traumatic stress disorder from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.  No. What made Jesse Macbeth, Army Ranger, a hero to the left was his courage, in their view, off the battlefield, without regard to consequences.  He told the world the abuses he had witnessed in Iraq, American soldiers killing unarmed civilians, hundreds of men, women, even children.  In one gruesome account, translated into Arabic and spread widely across the Internet, Army Ranger Jesse Macbeth describes the horrors this way:  “We would burn their bodies.  We would hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque.”

Now, recently, Jesse Macbeth, poster boy for the anti-war left, had his day in court.  And you know what?  He was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs claim and his Army discharge record.  He was in the Army. Jesse Macbeth was in the Army, folks, briefly.  Forty-four days before he washed out of boot camp.  Jesse Macbeth isn’t an Army Ranger, never was.  He isn’t a corporal, never was.  He never won the Purple Heart, and he was never in combat to witness the horrors he claimed to have seen.  You probably haven’t even heard about this.  And, if you have, you haven’t heard much about it.  This doesn’t fit the narrative and the template in the Drive-By Media and the Democrat Party as to who is a genuine war hero. Don’t look for any retractions, by the way.  Not from the anti-war left, the anti-military Drive-By Media, or the Arabic websites that spread Jesse Macbeth’s lies about our troops, because the truth for the left is fiction that serves their purpose.  They have to lie about such atrocities because they can’t find any that fit the template of the way they see the US military. In other words, for the American anti-war left, the greatest inconvenience they face is the truth.

It is obviously clear reading the transcript who and what Rush was talking about.  A Congress that is wasting time and effort condemning Rush for words taken out of context by extreme left organizations explain fully why their approval rating is at an all time low.  

Others Blogging:  Hang Right Politics

Is there anyone who honestly thought Dems were serious about instituting some ethical standards on Pork Spending? If so thier hopes and dream have just been shattered.  And they can thank “Ringside Harry Reid” for keeping the corruption option on the table.

From the Blotter

When no one was looking, someone cut a hole out of the Democrats’ much-hyped ethics bill. A watchdog group which caught it suspects the Democrats of undermining their own effort to clean up Capitol Hill.

Dubbed “the biggest reform effort in a generation” by its sponsor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007 represented the Democrats’ plan “to change the way Washington works.”

Legislative Transparency… Yeah Right… Is it Transparent how the language was changed After the Senate voted on it  and the President signed it into law?

When asked for comment on the change, a spokesman for Reid told the Blotter on ABCNews.com, “In the course of finalizing the ethics law, we refined various provisions to make them rational, workable and cohesive.” Of the final version, he said it “provides ample public disclosure of earmarks in a workable fashion.”

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a longtime antagonist of the earmarking system, disagreed.

“Voters who expected greater transparency and openness in Washington won’t be pleased to learn about another round of secrecy and deception,” he said.

The disclosure provision was meant to cut down on earmark abuse — instances where lawmakers use earmarks to funnel taxpayer money to pet projects or businesses belonging to major campaign donors.

It is thoroughly amazing that Congress still manages to get an astonishingly high 11% approval rating…

Hang Right Politics has more on the Corruption in Congress

An Editorial in the NY Times today admitted that the bastion of liberal media violated its own written standards by running the Moveon.org General Betrayus Ad. While the editorial clearly admits that the ad violated written policy, they try and put the error off on some poor sales representative, who made an innocent mistake…

… The Times had maintained for a week that the standby rate was appropriate, but a company spokeswoman told me late Thursday afternoon that an advertising sales representative made a mistake.

Sure a mistake… I believe that as much as I would a Jason Blair byline.. The Editorial also fails to mention the identity of or what happened to the advertising sales representative. Did he lose his job, get some other reprimand, or high fives around the office? The Times has zero credibility so forgive me if I want to see something that corroborates this story.

As far as the insulting part of the ad itself, the Times written policy states:

“We do not accept opinion advertisements that are attacks of a personal nature.”

But at least one NY Times executive, Steph Jespersen feels that essentially calling a 4 star General with nine rows of ribbons on his chest, including a Bronze Star with a V for valor a traitor is nothing more than an exercise in free speech. The Times is distraught that the ad gave ” Fresh Ammunition”  to the Bush Administration and it’s allies and diverted media discussion away from perceived failures in Iraq.  In reality the discussion that the ad diverted away from was General Petraeus’s testimony about the progress we have made in Iraq.  Of course the Times likely would not have printed anything that pointed to progress in Iraq.

Like I said earlier, the Times has absolutely zero credibility, and they have a long way to go before they can restore that credibility.  A good first step in that direction would be a full page ad apologizing to General Petraeus. They could send the bill for the ad to Moveon.org, the DNC, and the Political Action Committees of the Senators who refused to vote to condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.

Update: Here is MSNBC’s take on the story…

Hat Tip to Wizbang for the NY Times article, and to Hang Right Politics for the Senate Vote

Others Blogging: Captains Quarters, Stop The ACLU, Black Five, Hillbillypolitics, Wake up America, Michelle Malkin

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 Here are some of this morinings top stories:

AG Nominee:

mukasey_michael.jpgBowing to pressure from Democrats, President Bush has decided to name Michael B. Mukasey, a formal federal judge from New York to replace Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General, according to sources close to the process. Mukasey is considered to be a “consensus candidate” and he was known as a favorite of Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.). The announcement is expected to come sometime tomorrow.

Full Story Here

I don’t know Mr. Mukasey but one thing sends up alarm bells…. If Chuck Schumer supprots him I have serious concerns.

Hillcare Part Deux:

For months, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton hasthumbnailcaxafxt3.jpg promised a plan to bring health care to every American.

She was to make good on that pledge Monday, unveiling a sweeping proposal requiring everyone to carry health insurance and offering federal subsidies to help reduce the cost of coverage.

With a price tag of about $110 billion per year, Clinton’s “American Health Choices Plan” represents her first major effort to achieve universal health coverage since 1994, when the plan she authored during her husband’s first term collapsed.

$110 Billion per year… for now… If you think Health care is expensive now, wait until it is free… Socialized medicine is not the answer to reducing health care costs… Government run healthcare is nothing more than prescription to increase dependency on bigger government.

Flashpoint has a good post on the Hillcare plan…  here is an excerpt..

At first the government fee on businesses will be comparable to what they currently pay for, say, Blue Cross/Blue Shield.  However, the government insurance will probably not be quite as good.  Many businesses will drop coverage and opt for the fee as a rational business decision.  The affected people who find themselves in the substandard government plan will have no option but to petition the government for better coverage, which politicians will be more than happy to do – more power for them.  Taxes on businesses will increase, but so will premiums for private plans because they are now spreading the cost over a smaller group of people.  Eventually there will be few hold outs and a large swath of the country will be under full control of the government.

Illegal Immigration:

Every foreign-born suspect booked into Marion County Jail will be reported to federal immigration officials under a new policy that went into effect this month.

Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will review each case, with the option of filing a custody detainer, or “hold,” against illegal immigrants or legal immigrants accused of serious or violent crimes.

If a local judge orders those suspects released from jail, they instead will be held until federal agents take them into custody, usually within 48 hours.

“Once we no longer have a reason to hold them on local charges, we notify ICE and their 48-hour clock starts ticking,” Marion County Jail Commander Chris Hoy said.

Full Story here Hat tip to Immigration News Daily

This should be happening in every county and state in the country…