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Posts Tagged ‘senate’

“They’re not there anymore”

Posted by Richard on January 13, 2010

Shortly after midnight last night, I posted a clip of Republican Scott Brown from last night's Massachusetts Senate race debate. I'm all about fairness, balance, and equal time, so here's another clip from the debate featuring Democrat Martha Coakley:

[YouTube link]

At Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft put her remarks into perspective and provided a transcript (emphasis in original: 

There are no terrorists in Afghanistan?

On Wednesday December 30 Jordanian doctor and Al-Qaeda blogger Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi killed 7 CIA officers in a suicide bomb attack at an outpost in southeastern Afghanistan. Before he murdered the Americans in Afghanistan he recorded a tape with the local Taliban leader. The Taliban released the tape after his death.

On Monday Senate Candidate Martha Coakley told Massachusetts voters that it was time to pull out of Afghanistan. Coakley said she was not sure there was a way to succeed.

“I think we have done what we are going to be able to do in Afghanistan. I think that we should plan an exit strategy. Yes. I’m not sure there is a way to succeed. If the goal was and the mission in Afghanistan was to go in because we believed that the Taliban was giving harbor to terrorists. We supported that. I supported that. They’re gone. They’re not there anymore.”

She’s not just wrong- She’s dangerous.

But good for a laugh.

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“It’s the people’s seat”

Posted by Richard on January 12, 2010

For the benefit of the half-dozen people who visit this blog, but not Instapundit, here's a brief clip of Scott Brown in a recent Massachusetts Senate race debate:

[YouTube link]


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Brown “moneybomb” a huge success

Posted by Richard on January 11, 2010

Late last week, Massachusetts Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown's campaign scheduled a "moneybomb" for today — a one-day online fundraising effort. Their goal was $500,000.

Since it's past midnight on the East Coast, I thought drop by the website to see how they did. Oh, they met their goal all right. And blew right past it to their revised goal of $750,000. And then they blew right past that, too. 

Final total: "Thank you! $1,303,302.50 raised!"

If you helped, thanks from me, too. If not, you still can. The election is only a week away, and the attack ads are coming fast and furious. Scott Brown could become the 41st vote against government-controlled health care, and an extra $10 or $20 (or $100, or $1000) just might make a difference. 

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Scott Brown surges to lead

Posted by Richard on January 9, 2010

Massachusetts is one of the bluest of blue states — in Oct. 2008, fewer than 12% of Massachusetts voters were registered Republicans (PDF). But Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown is now poised to pull off a stunning upset. From Politico (emphasis added):

Republicans have a very real chance at orchestrating a Massachusetts miracle in this month’s special Senate election to determine Ted Kennedy’s successor, at least according to a new Democratic poll out tonight.

The shocking poll from Public Policy Polling shows Republican state senator Scott Brown leading Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley by one point, 48 to 47 percent, which would mean the race is effectively tied.

Among independents, who make up 51 percent of the electorate in the Bay State, Brown leads Coakley 63 percent to 31 percent.

Just 50 percent of voters view Coakley favorably, while 42 percent viewing her unfavorably.

Brown, who began an advertising blitz this month, sports a strong 57 percent favorability rating, with just 25 percent viewing him unfavorably – very strong numbers for a Republican in the heavily Democratic state.

On the issue of health care, which Brown has emphasized that he would be the deciding vote against, 47 percent said they opposed the plan in Congress while 41 percent supported it.

So let's summarize: According to a Democratic pollster, Scott Brown is in a dead heat with Coakley and leads two to one among independents. And opposition to Obamacare leads by six points. In Massachusetts!

Are you paying attention Sen. Bennet? How about you, Sen. Nelson? Sen. Lincoln? And what about you remaining sane Democrats out there — do you realize what your leaders' headlong rush toward socialism is doing? It's now a race to see which they manage to destroy first, their country or their party. 

I'm so hoping Brown can pull off the upset (although just the fact that he's close ought to give Dems everywhere pause). In fact, I just contributed another $100 to the Scott Brown for United States Senate campaign. How about you — can you help create the Miracle in Massachusetts?

UPDATE: One more thing. I tuned into Hannity the other night (which I rarely do) to see (and judge) Scott Brown. He was personable and articulate, and he nicely deflected Hannity's attempts to draw him into social-conservative issues and partisan bashing. He stuck to a solid message of fiscal conservatism — lower taxes, less spending, less regulation, and no government takeover of health care. He seems to be running a very effective campaign, and he made one other forceful point — he doesn't want outside groups, on either his side or Coakley's, dominating this campaign. and the SEIU are apparently mounting a massive intervention on Coakley's behalf. And I've been inundated by emails from right-wing PACs asking for money to spend on the race. If you're in the same situation, I urge you not to donate to these groups. If you're for Brown, donate directly to his campaign; if you're for Coakley, donate directly to hers. Let the candidates shape their message — and be judged by their message, not someone else's. 

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More machinations in Massachusetts?

Posted by Richard on January 9, 2010

Massachusetts' temporary senator, Paul Kirk, was appointed to the office after the legislature cynically changed the law to deny its citizens the right to vote for Sen. Kennedy's successor. Now, he's hinting that there may be more machinations to subvert democracy if Democrat Martha Coakley doesn't win the Jan. 19 special election. From Red Mass Group:

Today Paul Kirk told the State House News service that he would continue to serve in the United States Senate until the health care vote is taken if Scott Brown wins the election.  

"Absolutely," Kirk said, when asked if he'd vote for the bill, even if Brown captures the seat. "It would be my responsibility as United States Senator, representing the people and understanding Senator Kennedy's agenda and the rest of it … I think you're asking me a hypothetical question but I'd be pleased to vote for the bill."

The Scott Brown Campaign had the following to say about Paul Kirk's admission.

This is a stunning admission by Paul Kirk and the Beacon Hill political machine today. Paul Kirk appears to be suggesting that he, Deval Patrick, and Harry Reid intend to stall the election certification until the health care bill is rammed through Congress, even if that means defying the will of the people of Massachusetts. As we've already seen from the backroom deals and kickbacks cut by the Democrats in Washington, they intend to do anything and everything to pass their controversial health care plan. But threatening to ignore the results of a free election and steal this Senate vote from the people of Massachusetts takes their schemes to whole new level. Martha Coakley should immediately disavow this threat from one of her campaign's leading supporters.

First Deval Patrick and the legislature changed the law so that Paul Kirk would be a vote for health care. Today the Beacon Hill machine threatened to instigate a Constitutional crisis if Scott Brown is elected.  The Democratic machine in Massachusetts has no shame.  On January 19, 2009 we can take down the machine. Cast your vote for Scott Brown to tell Paul Kirk, Deval Patrick, Bill Galvin, and Martha Coakley that you have had enough of their politics as usual.

If that senate race is close (and Coakley's lead has dropped from 30% to single digits, with the difference within the margin of error among the likeliest voters), expect chicanery at the polls and voter intimidation. And should Republican Scott Brown win, it will be Minnesota squared — an army of Democratic lawyers will descend, challenges will be filed everywhere for every bogus reason they can think of, "misplaced" ballots by the hundreds and thousands will suddenly be "discovered," …

The Democratic Party in Massachusetts and across the country is now firmly in the hands of an undemocratic, arrogant, elitist, and unscrupulous gang of political thugs who will stop at nothing to ram their socialist agenda down the throats of the people. From the President on down, their ideology and tactics come straight from Saul Alinsky, and their role models appear to be Hugo Chavez and Manuel Zelaya. And we don't have the Honduran Supreme Court and Army to protect us from them. 

I've just contributed another $100 to the Scott Brown for United States Senate campaign. If you can spare a few bucks, please do likewise.

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The “vicious heart” of Obamacare

Posted by Richard on December 10, 2009

Robert Tracinski urges opponents of government-controlled health care to stop being distracted by all the blather about abortion funding and the "public option." Those are merely sideshows:

Three provisions constitute the vicious heart of the Democrats' health-care overhaul.

The first is "guaranteed issue" and "community rating." This is the requirement that insurance companies have to offer coverage to people who are already sick, and that they be limited in their ability to charge higher rates for customer who pose a higher risk. The extra expense to the insurance companies of covering people with pre-existing conditions will get passed on to existing customers in the form of higher premiums. But why spend years paying these inflated premiums for insurance you're not using, when you can get exactly the same benefits by waiting until you actually fall ill? …

Rather than increasing the number of insured by making health insurance more affordable, this bill makes health insurance more expensive and increases the incentive to simply drop your insurance until you need someone to pay for your medical bills. …

Following the usual pattern of government intervention, the health-care bill offers another intervention as the solution for the problem created by the first. The "individual mandate" requires everyone to buy health insurance and subjects us to a tax if we fail to do so. …

… Congress didn't have the guts to make this new tax very large—only $750. Yet actual insurance can cost more than $3,000 per year—and as we shall see, this legislation goes out of its way to drive up those rates by mandating more lavish coverage. So we end up getting the worst of both worlds. This provision won't actually drive anyone to buy health insurance and prop up the risk pools for those who are insured. All it will accomplish is to create a brand new form of tax.

But the biggest power-grab in the bill is the government takeover of the entire market for health insurance. The bill requires all new policies to be sold on a government-controlled exchange run by a commissioner who is empowered to dictate what kinds of insurance policies can be offered, what they must cover, and what they can charge.

Right now, your best option for reducing the cost of your health insurance is to buy a policy with a high deductible, which leaves you to pay for routine checkups and minor injuries (preferably from savings held in a tax-free Health Savings Account) …

But the health-insurance exchange is intended to eliminate precisely this kind of low-cost catastrophic coverage. Its purpose is to force health-insurance companies to offer comprehensive coverage that pays for all of your routine bills—which in turn comes at a higher price. So under the guise of making health insurance more affordable, this bill will restrict your menu of choices to include only the most expensive options.

So there we have the real essence of this bill. It restricts our choice of which insurance to buy and pushes us into more expensive plans. At the same time, it destroys the economic incentive to purchase insurance in the first place and replaces insurance with a free-floating tax on one's very existence. 

Forget Harry Reid's nonsense about a "compromise" that eliminates the "public option." This monstrous (in every sense of the word) bill, even without the much-debated "public option," is guaranteed to destroy the insurance industry and eventually drive us all into the functional equivalent of Medicaid. It will lead to single-payer with a vengeance, turning health care into a gigantic welfare program. We'll have no choice but to be its "beneficiaries." Ask someone on Medicaid or a health care provider serving Medicaid clients how desirable that is. 

This isn't about "choice" or "affordability" or even "access." It's about control, folks. They want more control. It's unconstitutional as hell, dangerous as hell, and evil as hell. Call or write your senators and tell them not just "No," but "Hell, no!"

Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters. 

— Daniel Webster

Full disclosure: I have exactly the kind of coverage that Tracinski has — a high-deductible health insurance policy coupled with a Health Savings Account. I love it. I think encouraging more people to embrace this option would go a long way toward addressing the problems with our current health care system.

Does your car insurance cover oil changes, tire and battery replacements, and other routine maintenance? Of course not! Insurance should be for unanticipated expenses. A high-deductible health care plan works just like your car insurance — it covers unanticipated or "catastrophic" expenses (my United Health Care policy also covers "preventative care," including annual physicals — like paying for oil changes to encourage you to do them to minimize future costs). 

In any case, both the Senate and House versions of Obamacare go out of their way to eliminate such patient-centered, consumer-controlled choices. They're determined to substitute their choices for yours. The Senate's POS "compromise" legislation would outlaw such an option.

Even if you're not sure such a plan would be right for you, don't you think that option should be available? Email or phone (PDF) your senators! Now!

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A senate hypothetical

Posted by Richard on January 7, 2009

Imagine there is a vacant Senate seat in a midwestern state, and the governor appoints a black man to fill the seat. The governor is under an ethical cloud, but hasn't even been indicted. He remains in office, performing all the gubernatorial duties every day, and he appears to have made the appointment in accord with state law. Imagine that the appointee appears to have a long and successful civic and political career, with a much stronger resumé and more experience in elected office than the senator he's replacing.

Oh, wait — that's not hypothetical, that's the news. 

Here's the hypothetical: Imagine that the Senate is still controlled by the GOP. Imagine that a bunch of white Republicans block the Senate chamber door and deny the black appointee a seat.

Can you picture it? Just imagine …

[No, I'm not rising to the defense of Roland Burris. He's rabidly anti-gun-rights and has worked for a national handgun ban (while owning one himself), and I'd rather not have him anywhere near a legislative body. I'm just struck by how once again different standards apply to Democrats. I believe this is example #694,371.]

On a somewhat related note, you might be interested in Dawn Trice's thoughtful column about "Magic Negroes" and "authentic" black men.

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Auto bailout bill fails

Posted by Richard on December 11, 2008

The $14 billion bailout for the auto industry died in the Senate tonight (hooray!) despite marathon negotiations late into the night:

The Senate rejected the bailout 52-35 on a procedural vote — well short of the 60 required — after the talks fell apart.

The implosion followed an unprecedented marathon negotiations at the Capitol among labor, the auto industry and lawmakers who bargained into the night in efforts to salvage the auto bailout at a time of soaring job losses and widespread economic turmoil.

The group came close to agreement, but it stalled over the UAW's refusal to agree to wage cuts before their current contract expires in 2011. Republicans, in turn, balked at giving the automakers federal aid.

On its 10 PM newscast, CBS4Denver quoted Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard as saying that all sides agreed to give up something except the union.*

In keeping with my obscure Rand reference in last night's post, I'm compelled to speculate that the UAW negotiator must have been Fred Kinnan.

Atlas PukedI'm not the only person who's been reminded of Atlas Shrugged in recent weeks. A friend of mine brought it up back in October when Joe the Plumber hit the news. Today, Rush Limbaugh brought it up (link will only work for a short time for non-subscribers). He suggested that we're living through a sequel to Rand's novel, this one called Atlas Puked — or maybe Atlas Laughed His Butt Off.

But as Limbaugh noted, the consequences won't be amusing.

* Allard's statement is not yet available on the CBS4Denver web site or on his web site, which is apparently updated only every three weeks. I guess at times TV news still has a significant immediacy advantage over the "new media."

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Stop the auto bailout

Posted by Richard on December 10, 2008

The House passed a $14 billion bailout bill for the "Big Three" automakers tonight. And what a steaming pile of crap it is. Fortunately, it may not get the 60 votes it needs in the Senate. ALG put the whole thing into perspective: 

December 10th, 2008, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson praised Senators John Ensign (R-NV), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Jim DeMint (R-SC), David Vitter (R-LA) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) for their efforts to oppose the $15 billion bailout package for the Big Three automakers.

“The American taxpayer cannot and must not be forced to perpetuate the mismanagement of the Big Three by financing failure. There is no excuse for putting taxpayers on the hook for keeping failed companies afloat that could much better be reorganized under normal Chapter 11 bankruptcy,” Wilson added.

Under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, companies have the ability to broadly restructure the scope of operations, redo labor contracts, and otherwise scale back in order to emerge from bankruptcy with a profitable business model.

“Everything that Congress says it is attempting to do, to create a deal to reorganize these companies, to return them to profitability, is precisely the purpose of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The $15 billion bailout is just a reason not to go into Chapter 11. In fact, the real intention is to perpetuate bad management and Big Labor excesses at taxpayer expense,” said Wilson.

Mark Perry posted a succinct illustration of just why GM is circling the drain:

GM sales in 2007: 9,370,000 vehicles
Toyota sales in 2007: 9,366,418 vehicles

GM profit/loss in 2007: -$38,730,000,000 (-$4,055 per car)
Toyota profit in 2007: +$17,146,000,000 (+$1,874 per car)

So on average, it costs GM about $5,900 more to make a car than it does Toyota. The solution, according to the President and Congressional Democrats, is to give them enough money so they can continue losing four grand per car for a few more months.

Adding to the lunacy, Democrats have insisted that these money-losing, teetering-on-the-brink companies need to spend hundreds of millions, maybe billions, to completely retool so they can make more fuel-efficient and "greener" cars — as gas prices continue to plummet. Sure, let's force GM's cost of making a car up even higher! That'll help!

And don't forget the bill includes a "car czar" to tell the automakers how to make cars, what kind of cars to make, and how to run their businesses. "Car czar" is the media's name, not the formal title of the post. I suggest they call it Director of Economic Planning and Natural Resources and appoint Wesley Mouch to the job.

Contact your senators and tell them to oppose this disgusting, stupid, and costly corporate welfare scheme.

UPDATE: Earlier this evening, Instapundit said, "The bailout is unpopular with the public. I’m surprised that more GOP politicians aren’t taking an anti-bailout stance, since it’s an opportunity to align action with both public sentiment and small-govermnent principles." In case you haven't noticed, Glenn, a significant number of GOP politicians are clueless about both public sentiment and small-government principles!

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Udall’s promises cost ten times Schaffer’s

Posted by Richard on October 30, 2008

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation (research arm of the National Taxpayers Union) compared the campaign platforms of the U.S. Senate candidates in Colorado, Nebraska, and New Mexico, and assessed the fiscal impact of their promises. In the Colorado race, Mark Udall's promises are far more expensive than Bob Schaffer's:

In preparing the study, NTUF reviewed the candidates' campaign Web sites and news reports to find any proposals that would impact the federal budget. Cost estimates come from a variety of independent sources, including Congressional Budget Office reports and data from NTUF's BillTally cost-accounting system, which since 1991 has computed a net annual agenda for each Member of Congress based on their sponsorship of bills. Among the findings:

  • Udall has offered 54 proposals that would affect federal spending – 25 of which would increase annual outlays, three of which would decrease expenditures, and 26 of which have unquantifiable fiscal effects — for a net annual spending hike of $55.3 billion.
  • Schaffer has offered 41 budget-related items — nine of which would boost annual federal spending, three of which would cut it, and 29 of which have costs that could not be calculated – for a net annual spending hike of $5.8 billion.

In fact, of the six candidates in the three states analyzed, Mark Udall is by far the biggest spender. The runner-up, at $25 billion, is New Mexico Democratic candidate Tom Udall. Maybe it's something in the DNA.

The most frugal of the six is New Mexico Republican candidate Steve Pearce, with a net increase of only $345 million. 

I suspect that most of the estimates significantly understate the true cost. Many of the campaign promises have a fiscal impact judged "unquantifiable." I strongly suspect that "unquantifiable" is not "costless" — not by a long shot.

The analyses for all six (in PDF form) are linked on this summary page.

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Boxer tries to stop Coburn from delivering babies for free

Posted by Richard on August 19, 2008

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has long been a taxpayer hero and a thorn in the side of the porkmeisters and spendthrifts. Along with Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Richard Burr (R-NC), he received a 100% score on the Club for Growth's 2007 Senate RePORK Card, voting for 15 of 15 anti-pork amendments.

In fact, Coburn introduced many of these amendments. And he's a non-partisan enemy of earmarks, corrupt backscratching, and profligate spending — when Republicans controlled the Senate, he fought against his own party leadership just as hard. It was Coburn who tried to block Sen. Ted Stevens' (R-AK, Indicted) infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," prompting Stevens to threaten to resign if Coburn's amendment passed. Now that he's been indicted, maybe some of the Republicans who helped defeat the amendment wish they'd taken Stevens up on his offer.

So why is Sen. Barbara Boxer's Ethics Committee going after Coburn? Because the senator, an obstetrician who prefers to be called "Dr. Coburn," is supposedly guilty of an ethics violation for delivering the babies of poor and at-risk Oklahoma women — for free. 

Coburn used to charge just enough to cover his costs, something he'd been doing since serving in the House with its Ethics Committee's blessing. That wasn't good enough for the Senate Ethics Committee, which has taken time out from investigating sweetheart loans for senators to go after Coburn. Debra Saunders thinks she knows why:

The Senate Ethics Committee allows big-buck book deals for U.S. senators, but in a May memorandum, it told Coburn, "you are allowed to practice medicine if you provide such services for free." So he started working for nothing.

Even free wasn't good enough. After the Muskogee Regional Medical Center, where he practices, was taken over by a for-profit operation, the committee told Coburn to cease "providing any and all medical services" by June 22, pursuant to Senate Rule 37 on conflicts of interest. Coburn could practice medicine only as a solo practitioner, for a private entity that provides services for free, or for a government or tribal health facility.

What's really going on here? The senator — who prefers to be called Dr. Coburn — has been a thorn in the side of both big-spending Republicans and Democrats. He calls earmarks "the gateway drug" to Washington's spending addiction. …

The savvy observer has to conclude that because Coburn has challenged Senate pork, the Ethics Committee essentially is willing to stick it to poor pregnant women, who might benefit from a free delivery.

It's a tactical blunder. If the committee continues to push for a public reprimand, Coburn has the right to ask for a full Senate vote. While Boxer may not mind coming across as petty and vindictive, other senators might hesitate before publicly bullying a man for delivering babies for free.

As Coburn spokesman John Hart noted, there have been many stories about lawmakers, their friends and families profiting from earmarks, but "no one has ever chosen to have Dr. Coburn deliver her baby in order to sway his vote."

Regardless of what you think of his politics (and I love his fiscal conservatism, but am put off by his social conservatism), Sen. Coburn is clearly one of the cleanest members of Congress. For the Senate Ethics Committee to divert its attention from the many members larding up bills with earmarks, doing favors for campaign contributers, getting below-market loans, etc., etc., in order to go after Dr. Coburn for delivering babies for free — well, it's an outrage. 

If you're represented by a member of the Senate Ethics Committee, please let them know what you think of this clearly vindictive and outrageous harrassment of Sen. (Dr.) Coburn. The committee members are Sens. Boxer (D-CA), Pryor (D-AK), Salazar (D-CO), Cornyn (R-TX), Roberts (R-KS), and Isakson (R-GA).

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Where Democrats stand on surveillance

Posted by Richard on July 11, 2008

President Bush today signed legislation expanding intelligence agencies' powers to monitor communications involving foreign terrorist suspects.

If you're planning on contacting a bin Laden-backed, Taliban-supported Deobandi madrassa in Pakistan to see if the sons you sent there to be radicalized have been turned into jihadis and are ready to come home to continue the struggle, consider yourself warned.

The bill was passed by the Senate Wednesday 69-28. Twenty-two Democrats voted for the bill, including Senators Bayh, Casey, Feinstein, Inouye, Landrieu, both Nelsons, Rockefeller, Salazar, and Webb. Oh, yeah, and Sen. Obama, who had pledged during the primary campaign to filibuster the bill.

It was another significant victory by the purportedly incompetent and unpopular lame duck:

Even as his political stature has waned, Mr. Bush has managed to maintain his dominance on national security issues in a Democratic-led Congress. He has beat back efforts to cut troops and financing in Iraq, and he has won important victories on issues like interrogation tactics and military tribunals in the fight against terrorism.

Debate over the surveillance law was the one area where Democrats had held firm in opposition. House Democrats went so far as to allow a temporary surveillance measure to expire in February, leading to a five-month impasse and prompting accusations from Mr. Bush that the nation’s defenses against another strike by Al Qaeda had been weakened.

But in the end Mr. Bush won out, as administration officials helped forge a deal between Republican and Democratic leaders that included almost all the major elements the White House wanted. The measure gives the executive branch broader latitude in eavesdropping on people abroad and at home who it believes are tied to terrorism, and it reduces the role of a secret intelligence court in overseeing some operations.

The bill also made it clear just where many leading Democrats — including the presumptive presidential nominee — stand on this "privacy rights" issue: They're unalterably opposed to any compromise on communications privacy, even for foreign terrorists, and even if their opposition threatens national security and the safety of Americans … but not if it threatens their political future. 

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A philosopher in Washington

Posted by Richard on June 17, 2008

Thanks to Carl at No Oil for Pacifists (still the best blog name in the universe) for pointing out this great quote from P.J. O'Rourke:

The problem on the left is, now that Karl Marx has forsaken them, they have no philosophy. Thank goodness. Think what evil creeps liberals would be if their plans to enfeeble the individual, exhaust the economy, impede the rule of law, and cripple national defense were guided by a coherent ideology instead of smug ignorance.

The quote is from an excellent article in the June 16 issue of The Weekly Standard, "Mr. Sununu Goes to Washington," which I strongly recommend. Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) was an engineer before becoming a politician, and he definitely does have a political philosophy. I like it. I also like O'Rourke's recounting of the Senator's father (former Governor John Sununu, also an engineer) explaining the advantages of a "short control loop." 

On behalf of the sane citizens of Colorado, I've got a deal to propose to the citizens of New Hampshire: We'll trade you two Salazars and a Udall to be named later for one Sununu.

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Obama Spend-o-rama rejected

Posted by Richard on March 21, 2008

Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard, a generally low-profile, unassuming politician, engaged in a marvelous bit of political theater this week. He had his staff start analyzing the 188 spending proposals that Sen. Barack Obama has so far outlined to enact his grandiose agenda. They only got through the first 111, but Allard combined the funding for those and introduced it into the budget debate as Amendment 4246 (PDF).

The 5-year cost of just 60% of Obama's agenda? $1.4 trillion. $300 billion in the first year alone, more than 60% larger than any one-year budget increase ever. How do we pay for such a spend-o-rama? Obama claimed he'd pay for his agenda by letting the Bush tax cuts expire (i.e., everyone's taxes go up) and by raising taxes on "the rich." But the math doesn't add up, as Ross Kaminsky pointed out (emphasis added):

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), who spoke immediately after Allard, re-emphasized the point: One year of Obama’s proposed spending increase “is bigger than the 5-year increase (in federal income tax collections) that President Clinton imposed on the American taxpayer.”

Burr argued that Obama’s promise to raise taxes just on the Democrats’ “attractive target” of people earning over $250,000, will only generate $225 billion over 5 years, far short of the $1.4 trillion which Obama’s proposed programs (actually only 60% of them) would saddle taxpayers with during that same time frame.

If Obama wanted to raise taxes on only the top 1% (earning over $365,000) to fund his plans, those citizens’ tax bills would have to rise by over $40,000 annually, an increase of 57%. Given the impossibility of that scenario, even under complete Democratic control of government, the tax hikes would have to trickle down to the American middle class.

“So if Congress decides to widen the pool of taxpayers footing the bill, it would have to raise taxes on the top 5% by 38%; or the top 10% by 32%; or the top 25% by 26%; or the top 50% of taxpayers by 23%. The top 50% of American taxpayers, who already pay 96.9% of all federal income taxes, are those who earn $31,000 (AGI) or more.

Obama claims to want to “balance the budget and stop spending the Social Security Surplus.” Combining that laudable goal with Obama’s massive new spending would cause the tax bills of the average taxpayer earning $62,000 to rise $5,300, or 61%. For taxpayers earning $104,000, the increase would be over $12,000, or 74%, and for the top 1%, earning over $365,000, “their income tax bill rise by an astounding $93,500 (132%)!

And remember, that's only to pay for 60% of the Obama agenda announced so far. There's another 40% yet to be analyzed and added to the bill. And it's nearly eight months until the election, so there's plenty of time for more pandering and promises and additional spending proposals.

Allard's "Obama Spend-o-rama" amendment was rejected 97-0 Thursday. But Allard had made his point: the far-far-left agenda of Barack Obama and the massive, unprecedented tax and spending increases they'd require are either unserious, cynical posturing and pandering … or totally insane.

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“Blood on their hands”

Posted by Richard on March 29, 2007

Melanie Morgan of Move America Forward had harsh words for the senators who voted for retreat and surrender in Iraq:

The senators who voted to undercut our troops have blood on their hands — the blood of U.S. troops who will die from attacks by terrorists who will be emboldened by the Senate's cowardice," said Melanie Morgan, Chairman of Move America Forward.

"Our troops on the ground in the middle of a war don't need to have their missions' undermined by some armchair generals in Washington, D.C. If these senators won't stand behind our men and women on the frontlines, then perhaps they would prefer to stand in front of them," Morgan said.

Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, failed in their attempt to remove a March 31, 2008 "surrender date" from a bill funding U.S. military operations.

"Setting a date for withdrawal is like sending a memo to our enemies that tells them to rest, refit, and re-plan until the day we leave," McConnell said during debate on the bill.

He also said the consequences of having U.S. troops "walk away" will be devastating: "a Sunni minority exposed to the whims of the Shia majority, ethnic cleansing, and regional instability."

The Senate vote sends a message to terrorists that they are winning and that congressional leaders "lack the will and resolve to win the war on terrorism," said Melanie Morgan of Move America Forward.

She said her group is launching a national advertising campaign that will single out those who "seek to undermine support for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan."

To the Democrats, emboldening the terrorists, discouraging the Middle East's advocates of freedom and modernity, and encouraging ethnic cleansing are small prices to pay for the opportunity to force a U.S. retreat just in time for the 2008 election season.

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