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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Biting The Hand That Fed Him

There are not too many people who like this immigration bill. After almost two week's worth of debate, the favorability of this bill still cannot crack any higher than 25-26%. Well over three-fourths of those polled are absolutely against this bill. But that has not stopped the president and his loyalists from demogoguing the base that supported them:

Some people just don’t like Mexicans — or anyone else from south of the border. They think Latinos are freeloaders and welfare cheats who are too lazy to learn English. They think Latinos have too many babies, and that Latino kids will dumb down our schools. They think Latinos are dirty, diseased, indolent and more prone to criminal behavior. They think Latinos are just too different from us ever to become real Americans.

No amount of hard, empirical evidence to the contrary, and no amount of reasoned argument or appeals to decency and fairness, will convince this small group of Americans — fewer than 10 percent of the general population, at most — otherwise. Unfortunately, among this group is a fair number of Republican members of Congress, almost all influential conservative talk radio hosts, some cable news anchors — most prominently, Lou Dobbs — and a handful of public policy “experts” at organizations such as the Center for Immigration Studies, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA, in addition to fringe groups like the Minuteman Project.

That came from Linda Chavez, a well-known and well-respected conservative pundit. Secretary Chertoff has attacked the base that voices it's concerns. And President Bush has also done so. My question is simple and direct: Why are they biting the hand that has fed them? Why are they turning on their base? I have heard a lot of nutty theories on this, and one that sticks in my head (formented through the conservative chatrooms, and chalked up tio Rush Limbaugh for coming up with the theory) is that this bill is designed to destroy our party.

As we can see, those in senior or influential positions withi the administration sure seem fit to draw out the long knives for those opposed to this, but I believe their motives have another, more globalistic side to them rather than the push to destroy the Republican party. If this bill succeeds, it will be one more step in the direction of a global economy and a global community. Furthermore, it will be one more nail in the coffin of US sovereignty. Ronald Reagan noted in 1986 that a nation without borders is no nation, and it is becoming increadingly obvious that goal is the aim of those in this government.

No matter what happens, we, the people, cannot allow that to happen american sovereignty is of the utmost importance, and it is a guaranteed liberty of this land. To give it up, accepting foreign rule, is precisely what the Framers had tried to avoid. However, in this day and age, and especially on this piece of legislation, those that are playing the demogoguery cards seem to have lost their way and forgotten the lessons that the Framers taught us. Worse, some of them seem to have forgotten their oaths to the nation.. If this is what the two main parties i this nation are to become -- shadows of themselves -- then indeed, it is time for a chnage to occur.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Light At The End Of The Tunnel On Immigration Reform

Not to get too many hopes up, but I believe this is called "laying the trump card,"and it does not come a moment too soon:

House conservatives are ready to stop the Senate immigration bill in its tracks with a potent procedural weapon should the contentious measure win passage in the upper chamber.

The trump card conservatives may hold is a constitutional rule that revenue-related bills must originate in the House. The Senate immigration measure requires that illegal immigrants pay back taxes before becoming citizens, opening the door to a House protest, dubbed a “blue slip” for the color of its paper.

House Republicans used the same back-taxes mandate for a blue-slip threat that derailed last year’s immigration conference. The new Senate bill still must survive two more weeks of voter scrutiny and contentious amendments, but several conservatives already are lying in wait for the Senate to “make the same mistake twice,” as one House GOP aide put it.

“If we get an opportunity to do it, believe me, we’ll do it,” the aide said. “I think it’s going to be a matter of who will get there first. A number of people in the House are dying to be fingered as the person who killed [the Senate bill].

”As the bill’s Senate supporters spend the recess fighting a wildfire of grassroots resistance to the immigration deal, which held together after an intense first week, some House Republicans are unconvinced by outreach from their Senate brethren. They acknowledge that a blue slip may be their only recourse to stop a process they believe Democrats will dominate in conference.

Any House member can move to blue-slip a Senate-originated bill that raises revenue, though the protest requires a majority vote to send the legislation back across the Capitol and force immigration negotiators back to square one. “We would certainly have the right [to a blue slip] and could exercise it,” another House GOP aide said.“We’d rather have no bill than a bad bill,” Kurt Bardella, spokesman for Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), said. The House Immigration Reform Caucus that Bilbray chairs, bitterly opposed to the Senate bill, “will use any and every means necessary to see that the American people get the immigration [reform] they deserve,” Bardella added.

The list of House GOP critics who could race to blue-slip the Senate bill is a long one. Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), both staking presidential bids on opposition to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) all said through press secretaries that they are considering any and all options to counter the Senate bill.“I hope that the House will always defend its constitutional rights, and I would defer to House leadership to decide when that occurs,” Rep. Lamar Smith (Texas), ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said through a spokeswoman.

All right, quit jockeying for who is going to do it, and do it already. Do not overplay this move. Just lay the card down, and end it all right now instead of allowing the blowhard know-nothings in the Senate to continue wasting precious time and money.

Who do we have to thank for this glaring oversight on the Senate's part? Well it appears that Captain Ed Morrissey is raising his hand:

How is this my fault? During a blogger conference call with Senator John McCain, one of the bill's architects, I mentioned a Boston Globe story that reported the removal of a requirement to pay back taxes before entering either the Z-visa or Y-visa program. The White House reportedly requested that section be removed, and I asked the Senator why illegal immigrants would get a pass on paying back taxes when American citizens don't get that privilege.

McCain was surprised by this question; he hadn't heard about the removal of the requirement. According to The Hill, McCain went back and reinstated the provision after my question:

The back-taxes provision that could trigger the blue slip came from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who continues to take heavy fire on the presidential hustings for supporting the immigration deal. McCain introduced a back-taxes amendment after a conference call in which Republican bloggers mentioned reports that the Bush administration had asked that this year’s bill not force the very costly process of tax collection among illegal immigrants.

“I’d not heard that proposal on the part of the president,” McCain said, according to a transcript of the call. “I would resist that.”

I do not think that Captain Ed can take all the blame for this one. Senator McCain did, after all, put the provision back in after being informed of it's removal. No one twisted his arm on the measure. He did it on his own. All that Captain Ed and the other bloggers did was bring it to his attention. Mr. Narcissistic is the one who acted. And I am sure he will also be the one throwing the hissy fit when the blue slip is delivered to the Senate. Hopefully that arrives soon to save us from this disaster. It would seem with McCain's move that he apparently understsands less of the Constitution than the White House doesbecause it seems to me that this is why the White House tried to remove that piece of this legislation.

Up until now, those in the House have been focusing on a way to kill it via vote or filibuster. Up until now that is the only avenues they have been handed. Once the back taxes provision was put in place, the game was afoot. Nothing the Senate can do, sans removing the feature from the bill, can stop this blue slip manuever. Way to go, Senator McCain. You've just undone the bill you helped create. And thank you Captain Ed, and your team of bloggers on that call, for giving him the means to shoot himself in the foot.


ADDENDUM: Folks, forgive my overzealous and giddy wife for this report. What she doesn't state, and should have been revealed, is that for the blue slip to work, the House needs to be able to enforce it. That means a majority has to back it up. Can that happen? Will it happen?

Given how controversial this draft is (over 70% of voters polled DO NOT support this bill based on the analysis from legal, economic, and security experts) there is a high probability that the House can unite under a solid, security-first coalition. Yes, Marcie is quite correct, as is Captain Ed -- the Senate can't pass a bill that raises" revenue" FIRST. Article I, Section 7 is explicit:

All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.

Because this provisions regarding tax amnesty will technically "raise revenues," the Senate can't put this forward. The amendment itself must begin in the House. This isn't a pork-barrel amendment, which either House can propose. This is specifically calling for extra revenues to be paid to the government, i.e. raising revenues. This is solely a power of the House of Representatives.

The Founders understood that the House was comprised of the population of districts. The representative in question literally spoke on behalf of a group of citizens. The Founders believed the House to be, for lack of a better term, the "people's House," and only the citizenry should approve of a raise in federal revenues. They were closer to the pulse of the nation than those int he Senate because of how it is comprised, and the powers it possesses.

Can the House unite? That is a distinct possibility. WILL it unite? That remains to be seen. But given the high cry of foul that has risen from the citizenry, the possibility is high that they could. If they do, the draft is dead, and the Senate goes back to square one. If not, then it speaks volumes as to whether the House can unite and defeat the bill. We can hope that they can either stop it before they get it, or kill it when it's handed over to them.

So don't pop the cork on the bubbly just yet. We're still a ways off from killing this boondoggle.

Publius II

UPDATE: Just finished talking with Hugh Hewitt about this. First, he hasn't read the Hill report, but he has read Captain Ed's entry ont his subject. He says he doesn't hink it matters. The blue slip idea will fail, and the House will remove the amendment, and send it back to the Senate. In that effect, the Senate will have to start over again, and no difference will be made. The House, he feels, will end up passing the thing regardless if it makes it out of the Senate. As things stand right now, it's a good guess that it's going to pass the Senate.

So, as this is Constituency Week, as expressed by Carol Platt Liebeau yesterday filling in for Hugh, WE -- Marcie and I, and every other concerned citizen regarding this issue -- urge you to call both the Senate AND the House, and urge them to kill this draft.

This bill can't be allowed to come to being a law. It spells tragedy for this nation. Don't hang your hopes on this possibility. Get active, and make Congress hear your concerns.

Publius II

Fred! on the march

Stephen Hayes has a new addition in the Fred! saga:

FRED THOMPSON IS RUNNING for the Republican presidential nomination. In a conference call Monday, Thompson addressed a group of more than 100 supporters and fundraisers whom the campaign has dubbed First Day Founders. He told them that he would be setting up an organization that will allow him to begin raising money and recruiting staff.

In official campaign finance parlance, the move represents a shift from "giving serious consideration" to a presidential bid, as Thompson said he would do back in March, as a non-candidate, to a "testing the waters" period where one is, in effect, a candidate-in-waiting with a campaign-in-preparation. Thompson advisers point out that the new testing-the-waters entity is not quite a campaign committee, though it will officially begin accepting contributions on June 4. On that day--the First Day, as it were--the campaign will take in donations that it can then tout as an impressive one-day haul. A corollary benefit will be that news reports about Thompson's non-entry entry will run on June 5, when the declared candidates will meet in New Hampshire for their third debate. (Thompson won't be required to disclose his donors and the amounts they give to the Federal Election Commission until September.)

No one thinks Thompson would have set up this entity if he had not decided to run, and there were apparently no serious qualifications or hesitations expressed on the conference call yesterday. The testing-the-waters committee allows Thompson to recruit and hire staff, which he intends to do. And he now has an entity that can collect campaign cash. For nearly four months, would-be Thompson supporters have been frozen in place, unable to contribute to Thompson even as they have been hounded by other campaigns.

Turn out the lights and say goodnight. Tell the fat-lady she's on in five. Prep up that bugle; taps will be playing for John McCain's campaign.

This is one of the moments that many people have been waiting to see and hear of. Fred Thompson's a dynamic that many have been hoping and praying for since it was first hinted he'd consider a run for the presidency after the Draf Fred movement started. I'm sure that the whining will begin on our side when he shows up to the first debate. And it's assured the Left will lash out him at the first chance they get.

He's going to drive people like McCain nuts because unlike the senior senator from Arizona, Fred isn't going to flip on things. He's strong, he's competent, and he's not doing this to further himself. He feels he has something to contribute to the nation. He also feels that he can lead this nation. To some that may sound ridiculous. To others -- especially those that have done their homework on him -- it's not so. They know the credentials and experience he'll bring to the race.

As of now, this race is a three-way dead heat. And I'm sirry to crush the hopes of the McCainiacs and Ron Paul bots out there, but they're done. Fred's entry will signal their departure from the race; hopefully sooner rather than later.

Publius II

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hillary Clinton Defines Marxism, But Will Anyone On Their Side Recognize it?

This has been making its rounds on the Internet today, and I praise those that do recognize her ideas for what they are. From Yahoo:

Presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton outlined a broad economic vision Tuesday, saying it's time to replace an "on your own" society with one based on shared responsibility and prosperity.

The Democratic senator said what the Bush administration touts as an ownership society really is an "on your own" society that has widened the gap between rich and poor.

"I prefer a 'we're all in it together' society," she said. "I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none."

That means pairing growth with fairness, she said, to ensure that the middle-class succeeds in the global economy, not just corporate CEOs.

"There is no greater force for economic growth than free markets. But markets work best with rules that promote our values, protect our workers and give all people a chance to succeed," she said. "Fairness doesn't just happen. It requires the right government policies."

Clinton spoke at the Manchester School of Technology, which trains high school students for careers in the construction, automotive, graphic arts and other industries. The school highlighted one of the nine goals she outlined: increasing support for alternative schools and community colleges.

"We have sent a message to our young people that if you don't go to college ... that you're thought less of in America. We have to stop this," she said.

Beyond education, Clinton said she would reduce special breaks for corporations, eliminate tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas and open up CEO pay to greater public scrutiny.

Clinton also said she would help people save more money by expanding and simplifying the earned income tax credit; create new jobs by pursuing energy independence; and ensure that every American has affordable health insurance.
Beyond education, Clinton said she would reduce special breaks for corporations, eliminate tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas and open up CEO pay to greater public scrutiny.

In 1965, the average corporate chief executive earned 24 times as much as the average worker, she said. By 2005, it was 262 times as much. In the last six years, productivity has increased, but family incomes have gone down, she said, leading to rising inequality and pessimism in the work force.

"It's not as if America hasn't been successful these last six years, but the measure of success does not relate to what's happening in households across our country," she said. "It's like trickle down economics, without the trickle."

As Tghomas was going to point out on Hugh Hewitt's show this afternoon, but was cut off before he could make the point, this is Marxism, plain and simple. This is "It Takes a Village" on steroids. This nation was not built on "shared responsibility." It was built on rugged individualism, "Yankee ingenuity," and entrepreneurship that Europe lost a long time ago.

The idea of socialism is a dead concept. Everywhere it has been tried it has failed miserably. It ends up becoming a serious problem for the populace, but not so much of one for those in power, or those that have already achieved their ends, like Senator Clinton and her husband. It is preposterous to think that America would go along with such an idea, but she will try her damndest to implement it if she wins the presidency. Unfortunately for the nation, there are enough nuts in her corner that were probably nodding along with what she said.

As Thomas would say, those people -- Mrs. Clinton included -- are about "as sharp as a sack of wet mice."

Furthermore, if Senator Clinton thinks this is such a good idea, I suggest she trim a little fat off of the Constitution. We have a right, in America, to own property, and it cannot be denied without due process of law. Will she resort to the sociualist idea of hate speech to prosecute detractors, and seize what they have? We already know she plans on raising taxes higher than her husband did if she is elected, so maybe she is counting on a large amount of foreclosures when people cannot pay their mortgages or taxes.

This speech was asinine, and the verbally, pundit-driven beating she is receiving already, and will continue to endure, is rightly deserved. This is foolhardy, and she is showing that she simply does not comprehend a free market, capitalist system that does not hold people down, but rather gives them every opportunity to succeed.

I would be remiss if I did not close with this:

"Fairness doesn't just happen. It requires the right government policies."

Senator, the Constitution does not guarantee fairness. It guarantees equality for all citizens. And as for the government policies, I would like to counter with a well-known, great president:

"Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."


The Fallout For John McCain: Actions Have Consequences

This story is lighting up the blogosphere and with good reason. After a slow start, and one that had him mired in the single digits amongst straw polls, Mitt romney has pulled ahead of John McCain in a new Rasmussen poll:

The immigration reform debate may be shaking up the race for the Republican Presidential nomination. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has inched past Arizona Senator John McCain for second place in the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone poll. Just two weeks ago, Romney was in fourth place among GOP hopefuls.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) remains on top with 25% support. That’s essentially unchanged from last week. In fact, Giuliani has been at 25% or 26% in the polls for four straight weeks.

This week, Giuliani is followed by Romney at 16%, McCain at 15%, and former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson at 12%. While Romney’s one-point edge over McCain is statistically insignificant, it’s worth noting that McCain had a six-point advantage over Romney just two weeks ago.

McCain, once considered the dominant frontrunner, has been strongly supportive of the immigration reform bill being debated in the Senate. That bill is unpopular with the general public—just 26% of voters favor its passage.

Romney has announced his strong opposition to the immigration bill and Giuliani called it a “hodgepodge… without any central focus.” Thompson said “We should scrap this bill and the whole debate until we can convince the American people that we have secured the borders or at least have made great headway." Most Americans are willing to support an enforcement-only approach at this time.

John McCain has brought this misery on himself. not only is his past record beginning to created cracks in that armor of his, but his inclusion in this bill has severely hurt him. Additionally, his arrogant handling of the negotiations, which he was not a regular participant in, did not help him in any way.

I believe that the public was thoroughly turned off by his underhanded swipe at Governor Romney last week; a snide comment in reference to the lie that Governor Romney had employed illegal aliens to do his lawn work. But the blow up with Senator Cornyn in those negotiations sticks firmly in my mind. And not for the reasons that many would think. The "F" bomb does not faze me. It is a word I heard fairly often on campus,a nd I am sure I will hear it there again when I return in the fall. No, the arrogant comment regarding Senator McCain telling Senator Cornyn to leave the room so the negotiations could be completed.

Senator Cornyn spent a great deal of time in those negotiations, and stood firm on the security provisions in the bill. And that was while Senator McCain was out campaigning to be the next POTUS. Senator McCain has been notably absent from his position in the Senate for months, and has missed a great deal of votes. (This does warm our hearts. The old adage goes that when Congress is in recess, the nation is safe; similarly, when John McCain is not around, his party is safe.)

Governor Romney's position on the immigration problem has moderated itself just a bit over the years. Like anyone with an opinion, that opinion can evolve over time, taking a much different shape than when it was first formulated. Not everyone comes up with a belief or opinion, and can stick by it their entire lives without moderating themselves a tad. That is what makes us human.

This leap-forgging of John McCain may be a precursor of things yet to come. We have kn own for some time that it was only a matter of time before McCain would see some of his support depart. That is now showing. Worse yet, for him, is that the new Rasmussen poll takes into account former Senator Fred Thompson's affect onthe race without him being in it, and he is polling just slightly behind McCain. That is not a good sign for John McCain's Straight BS Express.

Before any McCain supporters hit us with e-mail, or spam the heck out of our comments with long-winded diatribes and rants, just keep this in mind ....

He brought this on himself. Having the positions he has had, doing the things he has done, and acting like a spoiled, petulant child has brought him to this point in the race. Two bad performances in the two GOP debates has not helped him either. The first time around he was angry, demanding, and seemed bitter. The second time around, while better overall, he seemed lost at times, or unwilling to answer question.

Thomas reminds me of his favorite phrase -- "You reap what you sow." John McCain has reaped a great deal, and sown the seeds of his own failure. this time around, he will have no one but himself to blame.


Iran and the US talking? This isn't good

Readers know that Marcie and I support the president. We voted for him (I did twice; Marcie participated in voting for the first time it was legal for her in 2004), and we have supported his decisions despite our disagreements with him. He is the commander-in-chief and President of the United States. He is owed the respect his office demands. (I did no less for President Clinton despite my misgivings about him, and the ideological divide.)

Iran has been an enemy of the United States since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. There is simply no reason whatsoever we should be talking to them. They are openly hostile to us and our allies. They have sent fighters into Iraq to kill our troops. They have sent munitions and explosives into Iraq to kill our troops. And they are working towards gaining nuclear weapons to attack Israel, and any other Western target they so choose. And Charles Johnson, of Little Green Footballs points this story out which doesn't make either of us happy at all:

The United States and Iran broke a 27-year diplomatic freeze Monday with a four-hour meeting about Iraqi security. The American envoy said there was broad policy agreement, but that Iran must stop arming and financing militants who are attacking U.S. and Iraqi forces.

Iranian Ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qomi told The Associated Press that the two sides would meet again in less than a month. U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker said Washington would decide only after the Iraqi government issued an invitation.

“We don’t have a formal invitation to respond to just yet, so it doesn’t make sense to respond to what we don’t have,” Crocker told reporters after the meeting.

The talks in the Green Zone offices of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki were the first formal and scheduled meeting between Iranian and American government officials since the United States broke diplomatic relations with Tehran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the seizure of the U.S. Embassy.

An AP reporter who witnessed the opening of the session said Crocker and Kazemi shook hands.

The American envoy called the meeting "businesslike" and said at "the level of policy and principle, the Iranian position as articulated by the Iranian ambassador was very close to our own."

However, he said: "What we would obviously like to see, and the Iraqis would clearly like to see, is an action by Iran on the ground to bring what it's actually doing in line with its stated policy."

Speaking later at a news conference in the Iranian Embassy, Kazemi said: "We don't take the American accusations seriously."

Crocker declined to detail what Kazemi had said in the session, but the Iranian diplomat — formerly a top official in the elite Revolutionary Guards Quds Force — said he had offered to train and equip the Iraqi army and police to create "a new military and security structure" for Iraq.

Anyone else think this is a bad idea. I sure as Hell do. Talk about making a deal with the devil. Iran has been trying to destabilize the new Iraqi government for months, and relying on Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army to do the bulk of the work. This is a bad decision by both sides, Iraqi and America. I know the president calls the shots, but trying to make nice with a pitbull is no way to run diplomacy.

Iran needs to have the screws put to it rather than having a tea party. They're trying to build nukes, and in a world like ours is today, a radical Islamic nation that has directly threatened an ally shouldn't be allowed man's most destructive weapons. Worse, this looks like capitulation to a nation that supports enemies like ours 100 times more than any other. The interesting part of this story is the twist with Israel:

Israeli officials in Washington, who have been in close touch with the US about Iran, said they understood the meeting was held to deal with the need to stabilize Iraq.

"We don't have a problem with America talking to Iran about Iraq as such," said one Israeli diplomat. The issue, he continued, would be the context of any conversation about the Iranian nuclear program. On that front, he said, it would be important that any American contacts were premised on Iran halting its enrichment activities.

He said the US agreed that "the whole nuclear issue is still another channel" and that talks on that subject have to be based on suspension.

Regardless of whether or not the nuclear subject is broached, we're not happy with US diplomats speaking to elements of Iran. It smacks of accepting the Baker Commission's recommendations to open a dialogue with Iran -- a nation that is openly sponsoring a terrorist organization, and one that has sent it's Quds force commanders into Iraq to train and supervise insurgents against our troops.

Enough is enough. The only thing Iran's interested in is hurting this nation, and they're doing it in Iraq. If I were the president, I wouldn't being saying one word to the Iranians. But I'm not. I don't have to like the decision, but I do have to accept it. The president chooses this path, then he does so on his own without our support. But he takes this route with a warning:

You can't trust the Iranians. In the end they will stab us in the back, and do the same to Iraq. This is a bad move regardless of the so-called "businesslike" demeanor of the talks.

Publius II

Monday, May 28, 2007

John Kyl's taking heat, and rightly so

John Kyl is an senator from Arizona, the state Marcie and I reside in. He's attached to this boodoggle of a legislative nightmare known as "bipartisan immigration reform." And brother, is he taking some heat over this ...,/li>

Angry calls poured into Senator Jon Kyl’s office this week by the thousands, expressing outrage beyond anything he said he had witnessed in his 20-year political career. The callers were inflamed by Mr. Kyl’s role in shaping the bipartisan immigration compromise announced May 17, which lawmakers continue to debate.

“Yes, I have learned some new words from some of my constituents,” Mr. Kyl, an Arizona Republican, said at a news conference on Thursday, drawing titters from those in the room.
Mr. Kyl, 65, who garners top ratings from conservative groups every year, is the unlikely linchpin to the fragile alliance of Democrats and
Republicans trying to push the sprawling immigration bill through the Senate.

Labeled by its backers as the “grand bargain,” the measure has the potential to be the most far-reaching piece of domestic legislation taken up by the Senate this year.

An ardent foe of the immigration bill that passed the Senate last year but was later stymied by House Republicans, Mr. Kyl is seen as essential to attracting conservative Republicans to the new proposal. As his party’s conference chairman, Mr. Kyl is the third-ranking Republican in the Senate and a fervent spokesman for conservative principles.

Although the bill’s backers have praised Mr. Kyl for his political courage, his about-face was not ushered in by either a high-minded refusal to demagogue on the issue or a conscious summoning of historic compromises from the Senate’s past.

A technocrat who has labored in Arizona in the shadow of his much more visible colleague, Senator
John McCain, Mr. Kyl has traditionally shunned the spotlight and worked behind the scenes immersed in the details of legislation. It was that affinity for working in the trenches on policy, and pragmatism about the art of legislating, that led him to become a legislative partner of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who has been a major voice for immigration overhaul.

After winning a bruising re-election battle last November in which immigration featured prominently, Mr. Kyl said he returned to the Senate convinced that something needed to be done on the issue. Inaction was no longer an option, he said.

“The situation in Arizona is horrible today,” he said in an interview.

Mr. Kyl said he also realized that his approach needed to change, now that Republicans were a minority in the Senate. With or without him, Mr. Kennedy and others in the new Democratic majority were poised to draw up immigration legislation that Mr. Kyl knew he would dislike.

OK, before the nutter go off half-cocked here, let me just say that we recognize that something has to be done about those here illegally. Amnesty, especially the sort that is being pushed in the Senate, isn't a viable option. The Heritage Foundation has reviewed the bill draft. Hugh Hewitt dissected the snot out of it. We spent the first weekend it was available printing and reading the thing. We agree that if this bill goes through as is with only minor corrections, this will be a disaster for the nation.

YES, we need some sort of regularization of the illegals here in America right now, but amnesty isn't the answer. Granting them amnesty on back taxes owed isn't the answer, and allowing them to have social security benefits, bbased on their past work in this nation, isn't the answer. That portion of the bill needs to go through a complete overhaul. And despite the cries and caterwauling from those on the conservative side of the aisle -- from some very good people we know well -- deportation isn't the answer either. You'll never find them all to deport them, in the first place. Secondly, what of those people who have married citizens, and had children? Please, let's think this through sensibly.

The smarter approach would be to divide the overall issue into two parts. The first should completely focus on security and enforcement. The second should focus on the status of the people here. The security aspect of this proposed legislation is what has us far more concerned than anything else. Without a secure nation, we're vulnerable to our enemies. Worse, we're vulnerable to those we don't even know are enemies yet, like those that Hugo Chavez or Kim Jong-Il might employ to hurt us. This is what we're talking about, and some people are missing this point. We're not being alarmists here; we're being realists. There are people out there that want to kill us and hurt this nation in ways that only Tom Clancy could cook up. Because of that, security comes first, and that means that those involved in protecting and securing our borders have to be serious about it.

That includes the president, our law enforcement and intelligence agencies, Secretary Chertoff, and of course the Congress. Right now. we're not seeing it. And that's why Senator Kyl is taking heat. I said he deserves it. He does. I mean it. As voters int he state of Arizona -- voters that helped the Kyl campaign in 2006 -- we're not happy with this bill. We've let him, his secretaries, and his aides know this. This bill stinks. It needs an overhaul, and we're not seeing much of that coming from Congress. That has to change. Hopefully the good senator from Arizona has learned more than just "new words" from his constituents.

Hopefully he takes their wisdom and concerns to the Senate, and starts pushing for an overhaul of the bill. If not, and this bill goes through with the amnesty intact, and lax security still there, when we are hit again, we'll know the right guys to blame in Congress. And yes, I do mean "when," not "if." It's virtually assured, and seemingly invited.

Publius II

Memorial Day 2007 ... Remember that freedom isn't free ....

Happy Memorial day! Please remember those that fight now, and those fallen in the past. This nation wasn't won and secured through spineless intervention. This natioon was founded on the blood of patriots. Please, stop by Cox And Forkum to see their tribute to this day. Also, don't forget the the guys at BlackFive, Mr. and/or Mrs. Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette, and Colonel Austin Bay for their tributes to this day.

And Bryan over at Hot Air takes notice of a number of tributes across the 'sphere. Captain Ed has a few things to say today, too. K-Lo at the Corner has THE photo of the day, and a moving story behind that photo. Finally, there is this from Peter Collier over at Opinion Journal</li>. In this piece, he recounts a few of the biographies of Medal of Honor recipients; biographies to the book he helped write -- "Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty" -- that sits on my bookshelf in the den. Great book.

We're basically taking the day off. We're both still sick, and hopefully we can catch up on some needed rest. Remember to pay your respect at 3 pm today for the moment of remembrance. Yes, this day should be filled with friends and family enjoying each other's company. But had it not been for the bravery and sacrifice of others in the past, and now in the present, there would be no freedom to speak of and enjoy.

Publius II

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The call goes out, and the pros are answering -- Updated and bumped!

On Friday, Hugh Hewitt put the call out to counterterrorism experts and intelligence officers to either tell him he was wrong about assessing Michael Chertoff's opinion regarding the immigration bill. Not to put to fine a point on it, but Sec. Chertoff basically told Hugh he was overreacting to the bill as a whole, and assured him that terrorists wouldn't be able to get around the security measures in the immigration bill being debated right now in the Senate. The flip side of the challenge was to back up Hugh's concerns. Michael Cutler, a former INS guy that has testified on the Hill on the issue of immigration was the first one to reply:

In listening to the politicians go at where the illegal immigration crisis is concerned, I am forced to wonder if most of these "leaders" have taken the time to consider the findings and recommendations of the Presidential Commission on the Attacks of September 11, 2001 or the companion report, "The 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel." Those politicians who favor providing millions of illegal aliens (undocumented workers) in the parlance of Senator Kennedy and others, appear to be ignoring a basic issue that has not been, addressed in all of the discussions about the implementation of a Guest Worker Amnesty Program: How would the adjudicators at USCIS know what name and other identifiers should be imprinted on the "tamper-proof" identity documents that would be issued to many millions of illegals? This may seem to be a strange question, but lets consider the facts. When Kennedy and others refer to these millions of illegal aliens as being "undocumented" a political agenda is in play here, they want to distract us from the fact that these people are aliens and that they are present in the United States in violation of law. That makes them "Illegal Aliens." Kennedy, in fact, has on occasion simply referred to these law violators as simply, "The Undocumented." This term is particularly devious because it neatly sidesteps the facts that these aliens are violating our laws. But, for a moment, let us consider what documents they are lacking so that he can blithely refer to them as "The Undocumented." They lack any form of reliable identification that properly identifies them. Without reliable identity documents, how can the adjudicators know the names, dates of birth or even the nationalities of these millions of illegal aliens? How would they determine when, where or how they entered the United States? These would be important questions under normal circumstances, but under the current situation where our nation is, on a daily basis, focused on averting the next terrorist attack, these questions become absolutely critical!

Read it all, folks because Cutler knows what the Hell he's talking about. He's not blowing smoke up your skirt, and he's hard-pressed to get this message across to a group of politicians in Washington that think they have the solution. In short, their solution doesn't even come close to the mark.

Today, he posted another response to his challenge, and this one is starting to generate a buzz. I recommend checking out the comments on this one:

Your colleague Hugh is more than right. Hell, he ought to be the secretary of Homeland Security. Look Michael Chertoff is a good guy, but he's a bureaucratic ass-hat. He's in this for his job, and not the security of the nation. Like every guy in his position, he doesn't quite get the depths of what it takes to really protect a nation.

Example? Hugh wrote:

Secretary Chertoff told me I was wrong. He argued that providing probationary status to every illegal who turns in their paperwork would be useful in the effort to find the terrorists hidden in our own country. If I understand him correctly, he believes that the covert terrorists ill be afraid to turn in the paperwork and will thus be left much more exposed as everyone else will have their probationary documents.

This is a false assumption, and a dangerous one, at that. You and I both know that those trying to attack us either A) have solid documentation, or B) have been living long enough in the shadows that they're not going to risk exposure, and will slip through the net. Look, these people aren't idiots. They've been doing this long enough to know that certain scrutiny is going to get them caught, and that's just not good for them. The ones who have the passports and other documents will be willing to make the risk because thus far, those documents have protected them.

As Hugh states prior to posting the letter, this letter was relayed to him, hence the reason why it sounds like the person isn't addressing him. He's not. But his point is well-founded. The writer is a 25 year veteran of Naval Intelligence, and has worked closely with the Spec-Ops community for the bulk of his time in the Navy. This is another must-read letter, but I'll warn readers that the language is a bit salty, though Hugh cleaned it up nicely. You'll get the point of his frustration, and for good reason. He spent 25 years defending this nation from attack, and the fools in congress want to leave us vulnerable.

It's true that the status quo doesn't cut it anymore. Anybody who says different is a moron. The system is broken, and due completely to the fact that the government's been an absentee lanlord on the issue of controlling our borders, and ensuring our safety and security. The government's efforts have been woefully inadequate, and nothing shows it more than the 12-20 million illegal aliens here, but more importantly, our failures were on display with the Dix Six and the 11 September hijackers.

As long as we have open borders, we're vulnerable. But simply enforcing the borders isn't enough. That's why the 25 year Navy veteran offers this simple piece of advice to Congress:

You want solid reform, here's how you do it. First, if you're going to let these &^%$# in, you give them a background check they won't forget. You crawl up their &&%$ so much they'll want to leave. Each day, every day you monitor them. This way even if you get a phony name, you got a better chance of nailing them. It's either that or you end all emigration from those nations I listed above. And believe me, that list is by no means complete. Secondly, you create a computer system that will connect to ALL national computer databases to track these guys, and if the nation in question says "no," then emigration from that country ends immediately. If they claim they don't have a database, emigration ends until they do. Those that do come here are still subject to scrutiny that would make any American citizen squeamish. That's OK though because they're not citizens. They don't like it? Screw them. Move to Britain then. Lastly, if they come from one of those suicide-loving countries, you follow them like the plague until such a time that they become a citizen and are subject to the laws and protections of the nation. And personally [name ommitted], that won't happen. These $#@& never want that. They just want to hurt us worse than the last guy.

He's got the right idea and that's because security is a serious business for him. The time for patty-cake games is done. If we don't take the steps necessary to protect ourselves, we're going to be hit again. The veteran presents a couple of "what if" scenarios that are perfectly plausible. Frank Gaffney alluded to the possibility of an EMP weapon used against the United States. He brings that up, and he also brings up the possibility of bio-terrorism. In this day and age, folks, our enemy is constantly looking for ways to hurt us the best they possibly can. Now the Dix Six were amateurs unaffiliated with al-Qaeda or any other group. But that doesn't change the fact that they could have inflicted serious damage to this nation's military but making a suicide attack on a military base. Likewise, over half of that wanna-be jihadi team were here illegally.

It wasn't the FBI, NSA, or CIA that found these guys. It was an alert citizen that noticed something was hinky about their video, and notified the authorities. Sure, the FBI admitted they had these guys under surveillance, but in the same breath they acknowledged that they were unaware of how close these guys were to making their move. Doesn't instill a lot of confidence in making sure we stay protected now does it?

Look, we're on the side that says let's deal with the security factors FIRST. We can deal with the regularization later. And we need the extra notice paid attention to those that come here from the list of countries that veteran rattles off. But even he recognized that the list is incomplete. There are Islamofascists in Britain, in France, in Bosnia, in Chechnya, etc. Come on already. The Dix Six team consisted of Albanians, a Turk, and a Jordanian. So it's time we start utilizing some extra scrutiny on these people. Furthermore, they should have a special visa issued to them if they're coming here, and not one of the ones being debated in Congress right now. Make it a visa that has to be renewed several times in a year, say every three months or so. (It'd be even better if there was a way we could possibly track the visa where it goes, say by some sort of micro dot or some such. Hey I just think this stuff up. I don't explain how it works.)

Above all, these professionals that are sounding off are making it clear that we need to seriously rethink this bill, and implement better safeguards against letting covert jihadists into America. Right now, this bill doesn't possess any such provisions.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: Hugh notes that Uncle Jimbo at BlackFive answers him. He also says that he disagrees with him in part, though he doesn't elaborate. He promises that he'll address the issue on Tuesday after the Memorial Day holiday is over. I do, however, agree with Uncle Jimbo in part: Had al-Qaeda had a decent number of active cells in the United States, the ideal time to have struck after 11 September would have been the following day, and in a midwestern city. The true essence of terrorism is to spread terror, not just rack up a body count.

And I'd like to address something that is appearing in a lot of comments on both sites -- I don't think Hugh is looking for "parrots." The idea is to hash this out. If you think he's wrong, feel free to let him know, and WHY. Don't just sit there like a lot of commenters have, and state you disagree because Hugh's not addressing the idea of the overall amnesty and mess this bill would end up creating. We ALL agree that the illegal alien problem must be addressed. But I can't say it enough that security comes first. We're in a war. It's unprecedented to leave ourselves wide open in a war where there's a distinct possibility of enemy agents penetrating the nation and wreaking havoc.

Publius II

Animals Having "Fun"

When I saw the Snoking Gun entry that Thomas wrote about this morning, it made me sick to see the images of the tortured, and what al-Qaeda does to it's captives. Earlier this month, Mullah Dadullah was killed in Afghanistan by NATO forces working with Afghani forces. The Economist speculated that he may have been betrayed from amongst his own:

The intriguing question is whether Dadullah's death reveals divisions in the Taliban that might open the way for possible negotiations. There are suggestions he may have been betrayed. Certainly Western commanders are not going to do anything to allay the paranoia over internal security evident in Taliban ranks. American forces were watching Dadullah from the moment he crossed the Pakistani border into Helmand province on May 10th; they killed him within 24 hours.

You may be wondering why I am bringing this up now and what this has to do with "animals having 'fun.'" Because of this post from DR. Rusty Shackleford. This is an exclusive for the Jawa Report. He has posted several still-frame images of the beheading of a suspected spy in the Taliban. The images are extremely graphic, and as he notes in the post, the images are those that were censored in the video that is making it's way around the Internet.

What is more disgusting about these images is that the person doing the beheading is a twelve year-old boy, and he is being coached by an older man as to how it is done. This is the idea of fun that the animals enjoy. There is simply no way to comprehend the uncivilized behavior of zealots like this. It is not logical, nor is it proper. It's simply disgusting. Again, I warn our readers who decide to venture over to the good doctor's site that the images are very graphic. Likewise so are the comments that follow, and I cannot argue with what many of those that left a comment have to say.


The beasts in Iraq

Towards the end of last week, I found this on The Smoking Gun. It's an al-Qaeda torture manual. In it are not only drawings of how to conduct such barbaric practices, but also the tools to use. You can thumb through the images there, about twelve pages worth, and take heart in knowing that the MSM isn't telling anyone about this. We found this in a recent raid of an al-Qaeda safehouse. From The Smoking Gun:

In a recent raid on an al-Qaeda safe house in Iraq, U.S. military officials recovered an assortment of crude drawings depicting torture methods like "blowtorch to the skin" and "eye removal." Along with the images, which you'll find on the following pages, soldiers seized various torture implements, like meat cleavers, whips, and wire cutters. Photos of those items can be seen here. The images, which were just declassified by the Department of Defense, also include a picture of a ramshackle Baghdad safe house described as an "al-Qaeda torture chamber." It was there, during an April 24 raid, that soldiers found a man suspended from the ceiling by a chain. According to the military, he had been abducted from his job and was being beaten daily by his captors. In a raid earlier this week, Coalition Forces freed five Iraqis who were found in a padlocked room in Karmah. The group, which included a boy, were reportedly beaten with chains, cables, and hoses. Photos showing injuries sustained by those captives can be found here.

I'll warn readers right now that some of the images on those pages includes photos of torture victims and the bruises from repeated beatings. It's not a pretty. sight. However, what is a pretty sight is this from the AP. It seems that we're finding these places fairly regularly in Iraq, and today we freed 42 such captives of al-Qaeda:

U.S. forces raided an al-Qaida hide-out northeast of Baghdad on Sunday and freed 42 Iraqis imprisoned inside, including some who had been tortured and suffered broken bones, a senior U.S. military official said Sunday.

The raid was part of a 3-month-old security crackdown that included the deployment of 3,000 more U.S. troops to Diyala, a violent province north of the capital that has seen heavy fighting in recent weeks, said Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq.

Caldwell said Iraqis told U.S. forces about the hide-out: "The people in Diyala are speaking up against al-Qaida."

He said the 42 freed Iraqis marked the largest number of captives ever found in a single al-Qaida prison. Some of those freed were held for as long as four months and some had injuries from torture and were taken to medical facilities for treatment, he said.

You idiots on the Left get this finally? These are animals and this is what they do to inncoent people. Don't bring up the media-driven non-scandal of Abu Ghraib or Gitmo and claim what we're doing is torture. THIS IS TORTURE. Someone might want to drop this manual in the hands of John McCain and ask him if this is the sort of torture he believed we were engaging in. If his answer is "yes," someone needs to slap him. The United States doesn't condone or engage in torture. What the bleeding hearts call torture is nothing more than interrogations. Let our guys do their jobs and get what we can from these animals.

Publius II

We Would Like To Place A Wager On This One ...

Back from Mass, and I decided to jump on the Internet for a few minutes. What did I find? Not much. Just this story from Bloomberg News courtesy of Allah @ Hot Air. It seems that Senator McConnell missed the memo last year:

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the controversial immigration bill in Congress won't cost ``a single member of either party'' at the polls next year and predicted the bipartisan compromise will win Senate approval next month.

Most Americans want Congress to fix a system they regard as broken even though they have reservations about the proposed legislation, McConnell said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's ``Political Capital with Al Hunt.'' Public opinion, he predicted, will trump such specific concerns as whether it amounts to amnesty to grant eventual legal status to the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.

``This is a divisive issue'' for both parties, said McConnell, a Kentucky Republican. But, he said, ``I don't think there's a single member of either party next year who is going to fail to be re-elected over this issue.''

Did he miss the fact that the base did not turn out last year because of the feckless behavior of the GOP controlled Congress. Rick Santorum and Mike DeWine were stand-up senators, and they were bounced from their seats. Next year is a make or break year for the GOP, and playing games with this particular bill is not the way to win back control of Congress, or seize the White House.

thomas has said it numerous times both here and on the air with Hugh: If this bill goes through without the necessary security measures in place, and it grants the amnesty that is within it, the GOP in Congress will have condemned their party to wander in darkness for years to come. We will be right back where we were before with the Democrats controlling Congress for decades. In a day and age when we are at war, that is the last thing we need.

Is there anything left in that brain at all, Senator McConnell? Did you forget the lesson you were handed last year? Yes, it was a midterm election, and less people turn out for such elections, but would you like to see a repeat of it next year? The base may turn out to ensure we maintain the White House, but if they do not vote for the congressional positions, where will you be then? Out of a job, perhaps?

The arrogance of some Republicans on this matter is baffling. First, it was John McCain. Then the president and his idiotic Secretary of Homeland Security. Now it is our Minority Leader in the Senate. When are these people going to wise up and LISTEN to their constituents?

I urge ALL of the grass-roots activists to lay siege to Senator McConnell's phone and e-mail. Let him know that if he does not seriously address the immigration bill he may be one of the seats we lose in 2008. He was reelected in 2002, and it would be sweet reciprocity to have him lose in the primary to a solid conservative.

Readers know that Thomas and I are intellectually honest. We do not cover for Republicans simply because we are Republican. We are conservatives before that, and we place the Constitution above even that ideology. This bill is a disaster that will be dropped on this nation if it is passed as is. We need the security measures in the bill increased and implemented before a single effort to regularize those here illegally is even undertaken. Furthermore, Thomas and I agree with Hugh -- we must take extra steps to make sure the Islamicists do not have easy entry into this nation to do us harm. Extra analysis and investigation is needed on those that hail from nations that are known to have jihadist ties. That includes a fair number of African nations, and just about every nation in the Middle East even if they are an ally. If we do not take those extra precautions, our enemies will surely revisit 9/11 on us without even batting an eyelash.

If I were Senator McConnell, I would be working to make sure this bill is correct and secure rather than standing on a soapbox proclaiming that the GOP will not lose seats in Congress. This is the sort of statement that tends to stick in people's minds.


Friday, May 25, 2007

While The Democrats Are Busy Patting Themselves On The Back ...

... Minority Leader Boehner threw some cold water on their parade. See, the Democrats are going to tout what they passed since January. According to The Hill, he is taunting them:

Ahead of a press conference at which House Democratic leaders planned to tout their legislative accomplishments, the office of Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) released a list belittling the achievements of the current Congress.

According to the list, nearly half of the bills that have been passed this year and signed into law merely renamed federal property, such as post offices. Another piece of legislation authorizes the building of a road in Missouri.

Of the remaining 13 laws passed, according to the list sent out by Boehner spokesman Brian Kennedy, five bills extended existing laws or were also passed last year, and eight bills were “co-sponsored by Republicans or passed without opposition.”

The list comes courtesy of Kathryn Jean Lopez @ NRO's Corner:

H.R. 49 - To name the “Gerald R. Ford, Jr. Post Office Building”
H.R. 335 - To name the “Gale W. McGee Post Office”
H.R. 342 - To name the “Rush Hudson Limbaugh, Sr. United States Courthouse” [!!]
H.R. 433 - To name the “Scipio A. Jones Post Office Building”
H.R. 514 - To name the “Sergeant Lea Robert Mills Brooksville Aviation Branch Post Office”
H.R. 521 - To name the “Lane Evans Post Office Building”
H.R. 544 - To name the “Santiago E. Campos United States Courthouse”
H.R. 577 - To name the “Sergeant Henry Ybarra III Post Office Building”
H.R. 584 - To name the “Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building”
H.R. 753 – To name the “Clifford Davis & Odell Horton Federal Building”
H.R. 1129 - To build and maintain a road in St. Louis County, Missouri
S.159 – To name the “Robert T. Stafford White Rocks National Recreation Area”
S. 521 – To name the “Gerald W. Heaney Federal Building & United States Courthouse & Customhouse”

H.R. 137 – Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act (passed last year)
H.R. 188 - To extend the Thomas Alva Edison Commemorative Coin Act
H.R. 434 – To extend the Small Business Act and the Small business Investment Act of 1958
H.R. 1003 – To extend the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy
H.J. Res. 20 - Revised Continuing Appropriations Resolution

H.R. 475 - House Page Board Revision Act
H.R. 727 – Trauma Care Systems Planning & Development Act
H.R. 742 - Antitrust Modernization Commission Extension Act
H.R. 1130 – Judicial Disclosure Responsibility Act
H.R. 1132 - National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program Reauthorization Act
H.R. 1681 – American National Red Cross Governance Modernization Act
S. 494 – NATO Freedom Consolidation Act
S. 1002 – Older Americans Reauthorization Technical Corrections Act

Boy, that first 100 hours must have been pretty tough to work through, and what great accomplishments those are. Yes, we can certainly see that the Democrats sure changed things when they came to power in Congress. Of course I would like to note that none of the things listed above were on their "first 100 hours" list of things to do. Of course they already backed away from lobbyist reform, and earlier this week they cut and ran on the cut and run from Iraq.

Here we have the facts that are separate from the spin. The Democrats fare no better in Congress than a great deal of Republicans. Granted, we would much rather prefer Republicans over the Democrats, but we are unabashedly conservative. However, Dean Barnett over @ Hugh Hewitt's site notes that the "nutroots" moonbats are unhappy with the Democrat cave-in on Iraq theater operations. See, the children still have not learned how the government or their political party actually works. Meanwhile, the adults understand their party, and on the odd occasion we get a little ticked at them. They just seem to get nastier and more anti-social when they do not get their way. Of course their reaction is not yet a full blown tantrum. This is more of a pout-fest for them than anything else.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Gaffney wins -- "Islam vs. Islamicists" to air on PBS

First, a note to our readers: We're sorry we haven't been keeping up with the site the last couple of days. We're both a bit under the weather here. You gotta love these summer colds. My voice is nearly gone, and Marcie's left for parts unknown yesterday.

But to the good news... Bryan blogging over at Hot Air noticed that PBS has come to an agreement over airing the documentary that had been in limbo for months:

A documentary billed as "the film PBS doesn't want you to see" will at long last get a national audience.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) announced a joint agreement yesterday to make "Islam vs. Islamists" available to the 354 Public Broadcasting Service member stations across the nation as a "stand-alone" TV program, with a little extra embellishment.

"We plan to distribute the film to any public broadcasting station that wants it. We'll package it and also produce some sort of discussion to accompany the film, and give it some context," OPB President Steve Bass told The Washington Times yesterday.

"There has been a lot of debate on whether this program needed editing. Some said yes, some no. When you're dealing with an object of controversy, it is better to let the audience draw their own conclusions," Mr. Bass said.

"As stewards of the investment in public broadcasting, this fulfills our responsibility to the taxpayer," CPB President Patricia Harrison said yesterday.

The often-disquieting 52-minute film explores the struggles of moderate American Muslims at the hands of their radical brethren and gives details about a "parallel" Islamist society that is slowly but surely developing within the U.S. borders. The film was produced by conservative columnist Frank Gaffney Jr., founder of the Center for Security Policy, filmmaker Martyn Burke and Middle East scholar Alex Alexiev.

Originally made for the six-part PBS series "America at a Crossroads," the film was intended for broadcast in early April. It never made it to the air, however. The producers, who received $675,000 in funding, said their work was shelved in "an ideological vendetta" and stifled on "political grounds."

They offered critical production notes from PBS as evidence. The lengthy notes said, among other things, that the documentary "demonized Islam" and promoted fear of Islamist organizations.

"This is a well-documented, textbook case of the abuse of taxpayer funding by elements in the public broadcasting system to advocate their agenda and ensure that people who have a different agenda don't get on the air," Mr. Gaffney said at the time. "The public ought to be allowed to see a film which PBS doesn't want them to see."

The producers have staged several private screenings for lawmakers and journalists to make their point. After the announcement yesterday, the audience could be considerably larger.

The "Oregon solution" was a gracious resolution to the situation, one broadcast source said.

The details have not been hammered out, but OPB's Mr. Bass anticipates that the documentary -- and its extra taped discussion -- will be made available nationwide in the next few months.

We have listened to the interviews conducted by Hugh Hewitt regarding Mr. Gaffney's project and all the pitfalls he seemed to run into trying to get the thing aired. In the day and age of global Islamofascist terrorism, this is a must-see piece of work. Mr. Gaffney noted in a recent interview with Hugh that he was holding a private screening for members of Congress, if they were interested. Needless to say, the reaction was a bit overwhelming:

Members of Congress are weighing in on public broadcasting executives' decision to shelve a documentary on the struggles moderate Muslims in the West face at the hands of radicals.

A special screening of the film "Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center" for members of Congress was sponsored Wednesday evening by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Reps. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.). The screening drew about 150 people, said Martyn Burke, one of the producers.

"People came up to us afterward asking 'how can we help,'" Burke told Cybercast News Service.

Something must have worked, whether it was those in Congress, or the hard work of grass-roots minded people calling and giving their opinions to the people at PBS, because the documentary will air. PBS has said they must find those affiliates willing to air it, and work out dates and times, but the hard work of Mr. Gaffney and Company will finally be able to be seen.

Publius II

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

And CBS joins ABC in blowing covert operations against Iran

The US media -- no worse enemy of the state. That should be their motto. Allah exposes this one, and everyone should be outraged by now with the media. This is simply unacceptable any way you look at it. From CBS News:

CBS News has learned that Iran is continuing to make progress on its expanded efforts to enrich uranium — in spite of covert efforts by U.S. and other allied intelligence agencies to actively sabotage the country's nuclear program.

"Industrial sabotage is a way to stop the program, without military action, without fingerprints on the operation, and really, it is ideal, if it works," says Mark Fitzpatrick, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Non-Proliferation and now Senior Fellow in Non-Proliferation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Sources in several countries involved told CBS News that the intelligence operatives involved include former Russian nuclear scientists and Iranians living abroad.

Operatives have sold Iran components with flaws that are difficult to detect, making them unstable or unusable. "One way to sabotage a program is to make minor modifications in some of the components Iran obtains on the black market, and because it's a black market … you don't know exactly who you are dealing with," Fitzpatrick says.

Senior government representatives, who spoke to CBS News on condition that neither they nor their country be identified, pointed to the case of the exploding power supplies. Installed at the pilot enrichment facility at Natanz in April 2006 as Iran was first attempting to enrich uranium, the power supplies, used to regulate voltage current, blew up, destroying 50 centrifuges. The head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency, Vice-President Gholamreza Aghazadeh said in January of this year that the equipment had been "manipulated."

There is other evidence, CBS News was told, that some of the technical difficulties Iran is having in consistently running its centrifuges are the results of a concerted effort at industrial sabotage.

Sources familiar with the U.S. effort against Iran tell CBS News that U.S. intelligence agencies have run several programs in recent years, employing different techniques, including modifying components in hard-to-detect ways and making subtle changes to technical documents and drawings, rendering them useless.

CBS is reporting on efforts that were conducted under President Clinton, which is manipulating and tinkering with components and blueprints. It didn't work well then, and that was because those involved in the AQ Khan network made the necessary corrections, for the most part. But the question remains as to why the media has taken it upon itself to blow these operations. Marcie touched on this this morning in her post regarding the Taliban's non-existent offensive by tying the support Iran has given the rogue elements of the deposed regime. ABC News blew a brand-new operation wide open, and has put any and all operatives involved in those efforts in danger. Now, CBS has decided to tip the Iranians off to our efforts to hinder their nuclear program.

What's worse is that the UN released their report today showing that Iran is stil moving forward and not being forthright with it's activities, and no one but the US seems to give a rip about it:

The U.S. will seek greater pressure on Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions than Britain, France and Germany want, diplomats said after the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency said existing sanctions aren't working.

``It is clear that what we have done so far has not been enough,'' U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told reporters at the UN. ``The time has come to take a look at additional pressure, to ratchet up the pressure to bring about a change in the Iranian calculation.''

French and German envoys said they would support an ``incremental'' tightening of sanctions imposed on Iran in an attempt to halt uranium enrichment and open its nuclear program to more scrutiny. ``I didn't use that word,'' Khalilzad said, while declining to speculate on what the U.S. would propose in a new measure on Iran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said it is learning less about Iran's atomic work than before the Security Council imposed sanctions, increasing concern that Iran may be diverting uranium for military purposes.

The Vienna-based agency's ``level of knowledge of certain aspects of Iran's nuclear-related activities has deteriorated,'' read a four-page report released today. The deputy chairman of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Saeedi, told the official Iranian news agency that there is no obstacle to legal inspections of nuclear facilities by the IAEA. Saeedi said Iran had suspended some of its cooperation because its rights are being ignored by the UN.

France (despite the election of Sarkozy) and Germany aren't going to play hardball. If we're lucky, Britain may help, but we're not holding our breath. This is the same game played by Saddam Hussein, played by Kim Jong-Il, and other rogue regimes attempting to gain weapons of mass destruction. They're building them, and our efforts to end that program are now wide open. It's time that Justice starts holding these media agencies accountable. When the rule of law, and what is decent and right are tossed by the wayside, the moral responsibility will soon follow. It definitiely seems that is happening now with the media.

Publius II

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