A good piece and wise advice, in my opinion, about how the Bush Administration should react to the results of the recent parliamentary elections in Russia.
The piece, by the Heritage Foundation's Ariel Cohen, concludes: "Russia now has a Duma that is more nationalist and less democratic. While emerging democracy is often a two-steps-forward, one-step-back proposition, it is in everyone's interest that Russia pursue civic society, free markets, and political liberty. The U.S. and the West should not hesitate to remind Moscow of this."
A good piece and wise advice, in my opinion, about how the Bush Administration should react to the results of the recent parliamentary elections in Russia.
From Time.com, this tidbit from the interrogation of Saddam Hussein: "When offered a glass of water by his interrogators, Saddam replied, 'If I drink water I will have to go to the bathroom and how can I use the bathroom when my people are in bondage?'"
He hasn't been to the bathroom since April?
The Time story ends on this: "The official said it may soon be clear how much command and control over the insurgency Saddam actually had while he was in hiding. 'We can now determine,' he said, 'if [Saddam] is the mastermind of everything or not.' The official elaborated: 'Have we actually cut the head of the snake or is he just an idiot hiding in a hole?'"
Thanks to James Taranto's Best of the Web for pointing out this fascinating story.
It begins: "Iraq's coalition government claims that it has uncovered documentary proof that Mohammed Atta, the al-Qaeda mastermind of the September 11 attacks against the US, was trained in Baghdad by Abu Nidal, the notorious Palestinian terrorist..."
Words from Project 21 member Darryn “Dutch” Martin:
Cincinnati is afflicted with another case of police brutality/racismitis. This time, events were caught on tape (please see Project 21 member Jerry Brooks' analysis of the racial ramifications). I may sound cold-hearted, but I'll say it anyway: as unfortunate as the incident and subsequent death of Nathaniel Jones was, I have no sympathy for him.
Why? Consider the facts:
1. The guy was high on drugs (cocaine, PCP and methanol in his system), so a big strike against him there;
2. He resisted arrest (strike two); and
3. Given his medical condition -- an enlarged heart -- he should have exercised common sense by not committing the first two blunders.
Nathaniel Jones contributed to his own demise, plain and simple, but you'll never hear that from the police-hating racial mafia who saw this as a golden opportunity to once again stick it to law enforcement. Even worse is the fact that many blacks continue to buy into the lies, deceit and mind games of the modern-day black establishment.
When is the rest of the black community going to realize such self-appointed "leaders" are only concerned with advancing their own selfish political and personal agendas at their expense? Are we collectively that stupid!?
The story I tell here ought to be lesson enough to reform anyone who believes that environmentalists will ever give right-of-center policymakers a fair shake.
David Almasi was kind enough to create a transcript of some of Project 21's Horace Cooper's exchange with liberal (and former National Bar Association president) Keith Watters on Hannity and Colmes on Friday, December 5. The topic was a Project 21 complaint filed with the Virginia Bar Association regarding NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. president and director-general Elaine R. Jones allegedly colluding with the liberal-run Senate Judiciary Committee in 2002 to delay the confirmation of a federal judge for the purpose of obtaining a desired ruling in the University of Michigan affirmative action case.
Horace Cooper: "The whole purpose of our judicial system is to create a neutral forum for the decisions to be made. You are not allowed to pick the judge that's going to handle your case. You're not allowed to file a motion to qualify a judge solely for influence."
Alan Colmes: "Keith, do you see... Let me get Keith back in here. Do you see a difference in principle here?"
Keith Watters: "No, and I don't see any merit to this complaint. I don't think the NAACP Inc. Fund [sic] did anything improper. I think that this is being filed for political gain. Conservatives are sore losers."
Cooper: "You can play smoke and mirror games all you want, but the reality is that attorneys can get disbarred for this type of behavior. This is a very, very serious violation. The breach that was involved here is to actually influence who is going to be hearing the case with the expectation - like a John Grisham novel - that you're going to get the outcome you want."
* * *
Cooper: "It is an ethical violation for a person who is party to a pending matter to attempt to influence either who a judge is or whether that judge can be maintained on that court as a way to determine the outcome. That cannot occur if we're going to maintain any semblance that it's a neutral court."
Colmes: "Alright, Keith Watters, from an ethical standpoint, does Horace have a point? Is there an ethical problem here?"
Cooper: "It's Rule 3.5."
Colmes: "Hold on, let Keith speak. Does Elaine Jones have an ethical issue here?"
Watters: "I... I mean, you can always debate these things, and you can split hairs. I've known Elaine Jones for many, many years. She's of utmost integrity. I don't believe what I read, especially when it's in the Wall Street Journal and these other conservative organs that just have this agenda to ship this country so far to the right..."
Cooper: "Smoke and mirrors!"
* * *
Sean Hannity: "Do you want that type of influence in the judiciary? Wait until a decision comes in our way, and then you can go ahead and put them on. Is that what you want?
Watters: "The only one who has a vote... The only one who has a vote in the Judiciary Committee of the Unites States Senate is our elected representatives. No one else. And people have a right to petition their representatives in a constitutional government."
Cooper: "They have a right to petition their representatives, but what they don't have a right to do is try to unfairly influence the outcome of a decision."
Watters: "Why is it unfair?"
Cooper: "You are not allowed to either falsely attack the judge and get the judge removed to get a favorable judge there..."
Watters: "None... None of that happened. There is no false attack."
Cooper: "The allegation is... The allegation is, and that's what we're asking to get a determination of, the allegation is that they requested that the person be delayed so that the outcome could happen."
From our executive director, David Almasi:
If the Clinton era has left any mark on the political/social landscape, it creating the mindset that not recalling doing anything wrong is now believed by many to be tantamount to not doing anything wrong. This plea is now being used by Congressman William Janklow to defend against charges of hit and run.
Steve Moore of the Club for Growth has written an analysis telling the dramatic story of the Medicare bill's approval by the House. Every conservative should read it. With his permission, I excerpt much of it here.
The story of how this bill actually passed the House is worth recounting in some sordid detail, because there were so many House conservatives who acted heroically.
In the end, the bill passed with just two votes to spare in the House in a roll call that started at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning and ended just before 6:00 a.m. This was the longest time ever taken for a House vote.
During the days before the vote Club for Growth Advocacy alerted every House Republican that we opposed the bill because of its enormous cost and because we believe it is a giant leap toward Hillary-health care. We released a poll showing that most seniors are satisfied with their existing prescription drug insurance coverage and that seniors oppose the bill when they learn of the details. We called all the Club members in the House, in some cases repeatedly, to remind them of our opposition and to urge them to hold firm and vote no.
Two lieutenants quickly emerged to lead the conservative revolt against the bill: Pat Toomey and Mike Pence. Both of them were elected with Club support, of course. Mike was all over the news eloquently dismantling this bill, arguing that he could never in good conscience look his children in the eyes and tell them that he had voted for a $1 trillion entitlement program that they would have to pay for some day. Sitting in the Oval Office of the White House, he told George Bush: "With all due respect, Mr. President, I didn't come to this town to create new entitlements, but to rein in the ones we already have."
The day of the vote it became clear to Toomey and Pence that there were 30 Republicans who were solid no votes, or leaning toward a no vote. One member who was a hard no vote from the very beginning was Tom Feeney of Florida, also elected with Club backing last year. Tom is the freshman class representative to the House leadership, a position that goes to the newcomer who the Speaker wants to groom for a leadership position. Feeney was told that his stubborn no vote would set him back three years in his bid to climb the House ladder. He would be relegated to a position of a back bencher. They put their arms around him and shook their heads and told him how disappointed they were in him. "Why jeopardize your career, Tom, over this one little vote?" Feeney never wavered. He too told the President that he could not in good conscience vote for an expansion in the welfare state. He told the House leaders that "this is not about my career, this is about my country." Of all the no votes, Tom probably had the most to lose.
The night of the vote Pat Toomey hosted a dinner at the Hunan Restaurant on Capitol Hill for 20 of the Republicans who were against the bill. The message was "stick together." Toomey and Pence had devised a fallback plan to vote down the Medicare bill then come back to the President with a much scaled back plan that would 1) cover only those seniors who don't have existing prescription drug insurance and 2) retain the health savings accounts (the one redeeming feature of the bill). This was exactly what we at the Club and the Wall Street Journal urged as a sensible alternative that would cost only one-third of what the conference report cost. The plan of action was for these conservatives to go to the floor and record their "no" votes immediately, which would signal to the Democrats that there were not enough Republican votes to pass the bill. It almost worked.
In the first 10 minutes of the vote there were 17 Republican no votes recorded. The Democrats, who did not want to hand Bush a "victory" on this issue, voted no en masse, with the exception of about a dozen who waited on the sidelines to see what would happen on the Republican side of the aisle. When the normal 15 minutes passed, the bill was losing by 15 votes. After an hour it appeared that the House rejected the bill as 218 representatives, a majority, had voted "nay."
Now the intense lobbying pressure began. Members were promised pork barrel projects. They were threatened with primary challengers. The President, who had just returned from Britain, called lawmakers at 5:00 in the morning to round up a few more votes.
Todd Akin of Missouri got a call from a state legislator earlier in the day, no doubt at the urging of the White House, threatening to run a primary challenge against him if he voted no. I talked to Todd several times during the day, urging him not to buckle. Akin withstood intense pressure from his colleagues all night long and by 5:00 a.m. looked like he had come out of a torture chamber. But he held firm and voted no.
But nothing compares to the disgusting behavior of the Republican leadership toward Michigan's Nick Smith. Smith is retiring from the House and his son is running in a crowded field to succeed him. The leadership first offered unbelievable enticements to change his vote to a yes. First, they said that the leadership would take the unusual step of endorsing his son Brad in the tight primary race. Smith said no deal. Then they promised to raise $100,000 for Brad Smith if he voted yes. He still said no. Then several Republican leaders threatened that if he didn't change his vote they would raise money for his son's opponents. At this point, Nick's wife called her son to tell him of the situation. Brad Smith phoned his dad and heroically told him to vote his conscience and to not worry about the House race. Smith stuck with his no vote. Several infuriated Republicans in the House were still fuming after the vote and taunted Nick Smith with threats that "we will make sure your son never wins this seat." Ugly stuff.
Another hero was Rep. Scott Garrett, who of course replaced the RINO Marge Roukema with Club member backing. Garrett was lambasted by the leadership for the political suicide that they said he was committing by voting no. But when I asked him a few hours before the vote what he was going to do, he said "I am for freedom." And he was the only House Republican in the entire northeast to vote no.
By 5:00 a.m. many members were starting to suffer from sleep deprivation (was this done intentionally to break down their will to resist?). The drug bill was still stuck at a vote of 216-218. The vote count on the board had not moved in nearly an hour. Incredibly, the bill was going down to defeat. According to the Washington Post, on several occasions House Majority Leader Tom Delay was ready to throw in the towel and end the vote. Each time he was urged by the White House to hold off a little longer.
Then the White House and the Whip team tried one more desperation tactic. They went to two western state members, Trent Franks and Butch Otter, and told them that if they didn't change their votes, the President would immediately instruct the House leadership to pass the Democratic version of the bill. These two were told that they were the only ones standing between passage of an even worse Medicare drug bill. I'm convinced the White House was bluffing and this was simply another scheme to peel off votes. We'll never know, because Franks and Otter changed to yes votes after getting calls from the President and the bill passed 220-215 as two other lawmakers voted to be on the prevailing side.
Poor Trent Franks looked like he was white as a ghost when he walked off the House floor. Trent is a terrific guy and I truly believe that he simply allowed himself to get snookered. I have talked to him several times since the vote (he called me at 8:00 that Saturday morning to tell me what had happened). He seemed whipped and I have no doubt his conscience is gnawing away at him -- and will do so for a long time. Actually, I feel sorrier for Trent Franks than anyone else in this whole unseemly escapade.
"I went to college at the Citadel and so I have lived through the hazing process," said Rep. Gresham Barrett, another no vote. "But the barrage of attacks we absorbed from our own colleagues during those three hours was much worse."
I really believe that if we could have won this vote against the most powerful whip operation in the history of House and a popular Republican President, it would have proven to the Republican establishment that conservatives are sick of the spending splurge that is going on in Washington. The budget has grown by 27% in two years, a faster rate of growth in the budget than at anytime since LBJ's presidency. Republican leaders in the White House and the Congress seem entirely unconcerned about the orgy of spending and debt. They are in denial. A deserved defeat of this bill would have dropped an ice cold bucket of water on their heads and helped them snap out of it. So close!
I'm convinced this is a hollow victory for the Republican Party bosses. The bill could blow up in the Republicans' laps when seniors see the details of the carved up turkey they've just been served. Worse, the bill threatens to further demoralize fiscal conservative voters who are infuriated by the GOP's massive expansion of government. I know I'm demoralized. As Mike Pence told me last week, "We Republicans seem to have forgotten who we are and why voters sent us here."
Thoughts from our vice president, David Ridenour:
Have you heard those radio commercials that the Saudis have been running? They may wish to consider limiting their lying to when it really matters. The little lies draw attention to their big ones.
In one of the commercials, they talk about how they are moving toward democracy, increasing economic freedom, eliminating "intolerance" from school textbooks, etc. -- we know that's all bogus.
But then, to make the point that their efforts are only the beginning of a sustained march toward liberalization, they note that our space program didn't begin until John F. Kennedy gave his speech about landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s.
Alan Shepard piloted the US's first manned space flight on May 5, 1961 (Freedom 7) -- twenty days before Kennedy's speech. Freedom 7 was part of Project Mercury, which was launched in 1958.
...It's not like Project Mercury was a formal space program or anything.
The commercial also suggests that blacks didn't have civil rights before Dr. Martin Luther King. I guess the Emancipation Proclamation didn't advance the civil rights one iota. Nor did the 13th Amendment. Nor did the many state civil rights initiatives, such as a bill passed by the Alaska territorial legislature in 1945 prohibiting "whites only" accommodations.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was 16 at the time a young Alaskan native, Elizabeth Petratrovich, successfully pushed through this civil rights measure. I think we can be fairly certain that a teenager living thousands of miles away from Alaska in Atlanta, Georgia had nothing to do with it.
If the Saudis can't tell the truth about basic facts of American history, they certainly won't when it comes to their own history of aiding terrorists, violating human rights, etc.
An e-mail from Mike Catanzaro at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee brings us up-to-date on global warming and the Kyoto global warming treaty:
The following is an excerpt from the December 2 interview of former EPA Administrator Carol Browner by CNN's Aaron Brown, interspersed with fact-based rejoinders. Among other things, it covered the fate of the Kyoto Protocol, particularly Russia's reluctance to ratify. Not surprisingly, in addition to a host of comically absurd statements about global warming, Browner blamed Russia's hostility to Kyoto on the United States.
BROWN: "Carol Browner is a former administrator of the EPA during the Clinton years and she joins us tonight from Washington, good to have you with us. Let's see how much we can get done. On Kyoto first, if in fact the Russians pull out is the treaty dead?"
CAROL BROWNER, FORMER EPA ADMINISTRATOR: "Well, it may be but maybe not. Obviously, everyone would like to see Russia stay in to become a part of it. I think if Russia does pull out this administration, the Bush administration is partly to blame. The United States is the leading emitter of greenhouse gases. We need to do our part in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. And I think Russia is looking at what we're failing to do and thinking twice. It would be a big disappointment."
FACT: Actually, and this is something that must surely pain Mrs. Browner, Russia's reluctance stems not just from economics (more on that below) or the United States, but science. Vladimir Putin's top science advisor, Yuri Izrael, has effectively torpedoed Kyoto's science. Izrael is a vice chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose reports provide the scientific basis for Kyoto. As he said in September: "All the scientific evidence seems to support the same general conclusions, that the Kyoto Protocol is overly expensive, ineffective and based on bad science."
BROWN: "The Russians, at one point, when they looked at the treaty with the United States in it, actually figured out that they would be financial beneficiaries of the treaty, because they would be -- they could sell their credits, their emission credits, to the United States. When the United States backed out, it gave the Russians less economic incentive to go along?"
BROWNER: "I think that's a real possibility. That is right. Russia could actually sell credits to other countries that have emissions that are above the baseline. The United States is certainly above the baseline. And Russia had hoped to sell credits."
FACT: Of course. Yet Russia crunched the numbers, and found that selling credits provided only short-term economic benefits. Andrei Illarionov, President Putin's top economic advisor, put it this way: "If we are to double GDP within the next 10 years, this will require an average economic growth rate of 7.2 percent...No country in the world can double its GDP with a lower increase in carbon dioxide emissions or with no increase at all."
And the coup de grace: "Considering the Kyoto Protocol is restricting Russia's economic growth, we must say it straight that it means dooming the country to poverty, backwardness and weakness."
Moreover, a critical factor in Russia's queasiness is what happens beyond phase I of Kyoto. European officials are agitating for a 50 percent global reduction in CO2 (some want 60 percent). That's 25 more Kyotos. Under that scenario, Russia would have to reduce its emissions by nearly 60 percent, an economically suicidal act.
BROWN: "As a practical matter, this does seem to me -- and you'll correct me, I'm sure -- that, unless the world gets together to do something, whether the Europeans do something and the Americans do something else and other countries do nothing at all, probably isn't going to get it done. Do you agree with that?"
BROWNER: "Aaron, I absolutely agree. This is the single greatest public health and environmental threat the world has ever faced. And it will take the entire world working together, Russia, the United States, Europe, China, Japan, everyone working together. Absolutely."
FACT: This doesn't square with the public declaration of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development--a program, incidentally, sponsored by the United Nations--which found that poverty, not global warming, is the number one public health threat facing developing countries.
As for the rest of the world, predictions about a climate apocalypse are falling flat. Dr. John Christy, an expert on global satellite measurements, told the New York Times on Nov. 18 that satellite data show global temperatures are "not going in the dramatic and catastrophic direction." Dr. James Hansen of NASA, known as the father of global warming science, recently echoed Christy's conclusions.
BROWN: "Why is it still -- the facts of this or science of this seem continually in dispute, whether or not humans -- there is a human cause to this, whether carbon dioxide is really at fault. All of this seems to be, by critics of the treaty and others, scientifically in play."
BROWNER: "Well, I think that the naysayers, those in industry who would have to clean up their pollution, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, love to raise the scientific questions. But the truth of the matter is, there is more scientific agreement on the fact that, in fact, humans are contributing to changes in the climate of the Earth than there's ever been on any other environmental or public health issue. You have 2,500 of the world's leading scientists all in agreement that there is a problem and that we need to start the process of addressing the problem."
FACT: It isn't immediately clear who those 2,500 scientists are. It's possible Browner is referring to the 2,500 individuals who endorsed the IPCC's 1995 report that found a "discernable" human influence on climate change (whatever that means). But most of them were not climate scientists, but social scientists, economists, public relations experts and government functionaries. In fact, 100 climate scientists signed the report.
Even assuming man-made emissions are the overwhelming factor -- if not the factor -- causing global warming, there's not much we can do about it. In November 2002, 18 prominent scientists argued in Science magazine that there is no regulatory solution to anthropogenic climate change. "CO2 is a combustion product vital to how civilization is powered," they wrote. Kyoto-like "solutions" have "serious deficiencies that limit their ability to stabilize global climate."
Project 21, the Center for Individual Freedom, the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary and the Congress of Racial Equality have filed a complaint against the NAACP for apparently trying to use the Senate judicial confirmation process to stack the deck in their favor on affirmative action cases.
In one of his "Breakpoint" opinion pieces, Charles Colson addresses the myth that Christianity historically has been at odds with scientific research.
If you are one of those who believes that Europeans thought the world was flat until Columbus sailed, you'll find this informative.
Writing for Citizens for a Sound Economy, Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI) provides an interesting new idea to help get federal spending under control.
This is nice to see. He deserves this award.
I recall that, perhaps ten ago, Mr. Bartley came to our offices, uncompensated, to teach a group of black conservatives how to get their opinion writing published in major newspapers. I attended his presentation, and it was fantastic.
Most people of his stature wouldn't have taken the time.
Project 21's Deroy Murdock is set to appear on tonight's edition of "Nightline" on ABC. Topic: slavery reparations. He's opposed.
Kay Daly, President of the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary, tells Talon News that the staffer who exposed memos discussing the attempt of some Senate liberals to delay confirming judges to the 6th circuit in order to influence future decisions on affirmative action "should be given a medal."
Musings from Ed Haislmaier:
I am hard pressed to think of a strike I'd be more likely to support than this one. The main question is: How to support it?
If we send the strikers care packages or raise money for a strike fund, will that help keep them off the job?
Should the President ask Congress to approve an emergency aid package for French diplomats?
Think about how much the U.S. could accomplish abroad if we can keep French diplomats striking for weeks, months, or (dare we dream) even years...!
My brother, Christian Moritz, sent along this USA Today article: "Liberals Finding their Voice and It's Angry."
The liberals are always angry. No newsflash there. But this article is worth reading for a couple of reasons, not least of which is its exploration of the similarity of feeling between the left-wing now and conservatives a decade-plus or more ago.
One distinction between the angry left now and conservatives-then not explored, however:
The angry left today is genuinely on the left and is radical. The angry left is genuinely trying to change society in a radical manner; to re-form it with mores new not only to Americans, but to any society Earth has ever known.
The angry left folks face a burden conservatives, circa, say, 1980, didn't face. Conservative social perscriptions were and are far less radical. What passed as a right-wing economic policy in 1980 would have been called "socialism" a mere few decades before. Bush's national security model is no less unilateral than FDR's. Bush's and Reagan's tax cuts were based on the same stimulous premise as JFK's (howevermuch the Kennedys hate to have anyone notice).
The left, however, should be taken seriously. It doesn't take a majority of the voters to change society, and by volume alone, these guys have to be considered players.
Let's hope the new journals, blogs and websites mentioned in this article, after they get through venting, start offering something of substance to talk about. They might start by reducing the amount of energy they spend hating one individual, George Bush, and increasing the amount of energy they expend promoting ideas.