Tuesday, November 27, 2007
On July 26th of this year, Hugh warned
against the wisdom of GOP candidates participate in a CNN/YouTube debate format. One day later, I posted one of the early YouTube debate question entries
, which reinforced Hugh's concerns.
After a brief debate about whether or not Republican candidates should participate in this type of format, it was eventually agreed to and a date was set for Wednesday, November 28th. A day ahead of the debate, Hugh was joined on the radio show by Steve Grove, director of news and politics for YouTube.
It is an interview that has to be heard, not read. Here it is.11-27hugh-grove.mp3
As you listen, ask yourself if you trust CNN and YouTube to put together an honest, thoughtul and fair debate between the GOP presidential candidates.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Two days out from Thanksgiving, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense Chairman Jack Murtha, one of the main voices of the anti-war defeatists in the House of Representatives, held a joint press conference with David Obey to defend the House Democrats against charges that they're playing politics with war funding by putting conditions on money that would weaken George Bush's Commander-In-Chief authority.
The Senate rightly killed the House language this week, and now the Democrats are trying to claim the strings they put in the $50 billion dollar bridge bill, which demanded an immediate and orderly withdrawal from Iraq by next Christmas, weren't really strings at all.
But it was how Murtha started his remarks which will draw ire from conservatives heading into the holiday. Here's the video.
This week, around our Thanksgiving tables, there will be two families: One who say they support the troops, and they do, but they have sacrificed very little. They haven't had their taxes raised, they haven't been drafted, and they don't really participate in the war. The other are military families who have husbands and wives, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters in the war theater. It's them who shoulder the burden of the President's Iraq policy. America owes them our thanks in this Thanksgiving weekend.
Very nice, Congressman Murtha. Two Americas this Thanksgiving, those who sacrifice and those who don't. And if you don't serve in the military, you're not really part of the war effort unless you are either drafted or have your taxes raised. So if you're a civilian working in hospitals or rebab clinics treating wounded warriors, no thanks to you. If you are a private contractor working on reconstruction in Iraq, you just haven't sacrificed enough for Jack Murtha. If you give money or take part in a military charity as your way of supporting the troops, it's not good enough to win a seat at Jack Murtha's table. You still don't pay enough in taxes, so you're stuck at the card table in the other room.
There is a third "family" out there gathering around the table this Thanksgiving. You might consider these people to be outwardly supportive of the troops in the field fighting, but who are working feverishly to strip away the gains being achieved by our troops in order to placate their anti-war political base. 63 times this year this "family" has tried to legislate withdrawal from Iraq, unsuccessful every time, but yet they keep endeavoring to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Meanwhile, over in the other branch of this "family" tree, Harry Reid made sure the tax dollars you do unsacrificially pay went to good use today, preventing George Bush from being able to free up any of the scores of judicial appointees being held in limbo in the Senate Judiciary Committee by way of recess appointment. Here's Virginia Senator James Webb doing his impersonation of the Maytag repairman:
Get used to these little Senate minutes over the next couple of weeks, because you're going to see a lot of them. Chuck Schumer doesn't want President Bush to get any more judicial appointments if he can help it. So Webb's little pro forma session today was a little capsule of the do-nothing Congress this year.
What the Democrats can't get done on a normal day they can certainly also not get done in a minute.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, but know that if you support the surge and the results it is showing in Iraq, Jack Murtha and the Democrats aren't very thankful to have you.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Updated with new video link
CNBC's Larry Kudlow joined Hugh Friday afternoon, demonstrating that timing is everything. Hugh was able to speak with Mitt Romney Thursday afternoon, but about an hour before the push polling controversy broke on Jonathan Martin's Politico blog. Kudlow was able to sit down with Governor Romney Friday morning, and discussed the controversial and poisonous phone call campaign in two of the three early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire. You can see that Kudlow-Romney interview here.
is what Kudlow had to say about it on Hugh's show.
HH: So how did the Governor react to the bigotry in play in New Hampshire?
LK: Well, he was very, very unhappy, almost emotional, because I went right at it with him. And his basic message was it’s an un-American thing to do, number one, that we believe in the religious freedom in this country. And number two, it is particularly so in this period of Thanksgiving, which hearkens back to our founders and our ancestors. And you know, he argued very strenuously, almost emotionally at times, Hugh, that this was wrong, it was un-American, and it was bigoted. And he particularly blamed the Feingold-McCain bill, or whatever it’s called, McCain-Feingold. Now that’s an interesting take on this story, and I’ll tell you why. The Jonathan Martin in the Politico.com, which is where this all came from, mentions that the push poll, these negative polls, they’re not even polls, they’re just negative phone calls, had good things to say about Senator McCain, and then blasted Romney, and blasted Mormonism. So of course, I asked him if they could trace any of this back to Senator McCain’s people. And Governor Romney said no, he couldn’t be certain about that, and then he unloaded on McCain-Feingold as the ultimate cause of this, because it fostered these 527’s.
LK: …which as you know, independent expenditures are not traceable. There’s no disclosure…
LK: …as to the ultimate sources. And then we talked a little bit about that, and he really hammered it, and he really hammered McCain for supporting that. And then I came around again and I asked him, so therefore, is there any evidence whatsoever about McCain involvement, and he again said no, and then he again hammered McCain-Feingold. And I felt very clearly that he was directing his ire at McCain, even though he couldn’t prove it. He decided to use the vehicle of McCain-Feingold. And I want to say probably like you, I’ve interviewed Mitt Romney several times this year. He was as strong and clear and solid as I have ever seen him. And his statement was superb. And as I said it at some point, he seemed rather emotional about it, but he got his message out with enormous clarity. Now we talked a lot about other economic stuff, Hugh, but frankly, it is this push poll story that dwarfs everything else.
And also this:
And I just want to say that just personally, I’ve given a lot of these interviews as you have, and so forth, I was very proud to be part of this interview, and I was very impressed with Romney’s stand-up nature, his forthright statement of opposition, and his tying it to the founding of this country on the great principle of religious freedom. I was proud to be part of this interview. I want to make that very clear to anybody who’s listening out there. I’m not picking sides. It’s not my position to pick sides. I interview all these people. I am not biased. I ask tough questions. I had Fred Thompson on last night, and I asked a lot of tough questions at Fred. But I was proud to be part of this interview, and to participate in the principle of religious freedom in the Thanksgiving period this year as part of our great heritage. And I was proud that Mitt Romney was tough and strong on this issue.
Romney didn't accuse the McCain camp directly as the perpetrators of this push poll, but he certainly left the impression he's suspicious they're behind it. So did Larry Kudlow. He refused to speculate publicly, but he immediately pointed to a questionable Chris Matthews interview of McCain and his 95 year old mother, who went anti-Mormon a week ago.
The truth of who is behind this will be revealed soon enough, as there are a whole lot of people investigating it now. But if it is discovered that the McCain campaign was indeed behind this bigoted attack on Romney, that will be the final nail in the coffin of what history will view as the failed political career of a great American.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
A listener sent this picture and e-mail a little bit ago.
This is John Gebhardt in Iraq. His wife Mindy reports that this little girl's entire family was executed. The insurgents intended on executing this little girl, too. In fact, they tried by shooting her in the head. But miraculously, this little girl lived, but is obviously suffering while her body tries to heal. She cries and moans incessantly, but John is able to calm her. The nurses where she's being treated say John's the only one she clings to. So John and this little Iraqi girl have slept for the last four nights in that chair so that she can continue to heal after her injury.
Not exactly Abu Ghraib-like, so it's doubtful you'll ever see this hit the nightly newscast.
While stories like this circulate around Iraq, the brutality and sheer evil of the insurgents and al Qaeda, the liberation and humanity offered by Coalition forces, and the rebirth of democratic Iraq taking place before our eyes, Democratic Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, is planning on trying once again this week to choke progress before it has a chance to thrive and prosper by passing legislation to give the military a quarter of the money needed to fund the effort in Iraq, and require that if the token dollar amount is appropriated, an orderly withdrawal begins immediately.
The House of Representatives, in classic mob rule style, passed the "cut the money and run away" bill late last night, sending it along to Reid and the Democrats this morning. Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republicans ought to have a stronger hand to defeat this more than ever before because of the clear evidence of progress and success in Iraq. There is no need to change the course in Iraq, to use the tired phrase of Harry Reid, when the course in Iraq is working demonstrably. The Republicans should use the 60 vote rule to kill this legislation the moment it comes to the floor. Republicans would do well to show they are more determined to win than the Democrats are determined to declare defeat.
And once the bill is killed, it is imperative for George W. Bush to use the bully pulpit and call this stunt for what it is. He should go to the American people and start showing the progress that is being made, the progress that isn't being shown in the mainstream media, and challenge the Congress directly to stop playing games with the American military while they are fighting, winning and making a real difference abroad, and pass a clean appropriations bill immediately. And he should keep saying it.
In the meantime, while the debate goes on in the Senate this week about the current appropriations bill, the one that is a travesty, I hope that one of the Republican Senators sees this picture, or the cross being raised on a new Baghdad Church picture that Michael Yon has posted, or any of the other encouraging signs out of Iraq, and take to the floor. Show these pictures. Ask the Democrats how they can be so committed to running away in defeat when we're winning. Ask them how they can look at the members of the military that are their constituents, and cut their funding while they are winning this front of the war.
Election '08 still could be decided by Iraq, but not in the way conventional wisdom over the past year intended. If the trend holds in Iraq over the next year, Democrats will have nothing to offer the electorate but anti-war rhetoric that does not reflect the true events on the ground, and Republicans will have a successful outcome in Iraq that resulted after persevering in their foreign policy strategy.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
After returning from Vegas after a very successful Blog World Expo, I got caught up with my e-mails, and there were a few that asked for pictures. I must confess, I was so busy lining up 40 interviews for the radio show over the two days, there was no time to be a shutterbug. But you don't have to look far around the blogosphere to see pictures from bloggers who were there.
But what you may only get here is a window into the world of the blogger party. Pajamas Media
sponsored the blogger party Thursday night at the Hard Rock Cafe. The food was great, there was an open bar, and on the floor was a desert table set up where wild strawberries were being chocolateboarded in a fountain of cascading liquid cocoa.
Then came the entertainment. From The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Resort, I give you...these people.
After I switched off the camera, literally the next sight I saw was the back of Michael Medved
headed for the exit with determination. Nothing says blogger party like subdued hip hop.
For a first year trade show, this event was remarkable in a number of ways. You'd think people like Glenn Reynolds
and Captain Ed
would have met face to face before this. They did for the first time coming and going on Hugh's show Thursday. E-mails and phone calls do a lot in today's world, but there still is something about human face to face interaction, and there was a lot of that going around. There were all sorts of long distance acquaintances that turned into friendships here. If you blog and weren't here this time, you missed out. Don't do it again. We will all reconvene September next, and with the overall success of this Blog World Expo
, the bar is going to be set pretty high for next year.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
called the Hugh Hewitt Show today at 3:15 in the morning, Baghdad time. Michael has always been cautious in his reportage of events in the Iraqi front of the war on terror, even referring to Iraq as being in a civil war months before the Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media seized on the term, turning it into a rhetorical political weapon in the 2006 election, and promising to cut and run as soon as they ascended to power.
But today we heard a different side of Michael Yon. He was as upbeat and optimistic as we've ever heard him. He's been all over Iraq during the last several months, and reported that even in Baghdad, hope, peace, reconstruction, support and even appreciation for what our military has done for the Iraqi populace is breaking out all over.
You know it must be true, because Iraq disaster and failure news has fallen off the big three's nightly newscasts, and elected Democrats are changing the subject whenever Iraq is raised. You can read the whole transcript here
, but below are some of the highlights:
HH: Tell us what the Iraqis are telling you about this lull or peace or improvement. What do they think is going on here, and how long will it last?
MY: I don’t believe this is a lull. I believe this is the real thing. I believe that we’ve seen lulls before, and I’ve always been very circumspect on taking a chance and saying hey, this is the real thing. But I’ve seen a change in the mood of the people, and it’s remarkable. And I believe if we can just continue to help them progress, and we’ve got a little bit more serious fighting to do up in Ninewa Province, and then in Kirkuk and Salahaddin Province, and also out in Diayala Province, those four provinces. Other than that, I think really, it’s a matter of pouring on the juice and helping them to get this country going again. I mean, they’re just finished with the war, as long as we can help get the monkey off their back in the form of al Qaeda, which is pretty much crushed at this point.
HH: When you talk to American Army and Marine units, are they bored? Are they pumped up? Are they desperate to come home? Or do they think they’re winning, and they want to finish it off?
MY: Bored. I mean, the Marines want to get out of here, because Marines like to fight. A lot of them do, and they want to go over to Afghanistan. The soldiers, these fifteen month tours are very long, and so they really, most of the soldiers really do want to get home very badly, because I was out with a captain two days ago. He’s on his fifth combat tour at this point. Unbelievable. You know, he’s in his 20’s, he’s on his fifth combat tour. So I mean, let’s face it, it’s a war, so that they those normal stresses that are going to come with it. But they also see the progress that they’re making, and so that’s giving them a boost, because it’s very clear. I mean, we were out today, or actually it was yesterday, now, it’s almost 3:30 in the morning. I didn’t hear a shot fired. I didn’t hear a shot fired the day before, or the day before. Usually, you can be in a firefight before breakfast, and another before lunch. It’s just nothing going on except nation building and reconstruction in a lot of the areas.
HH: Michael Yon, I was privileged to have lunch today with the parents of Lt. Mark Daily, an Army lieutenant who was killed in Iraq this year, in January of this year, and who had written to his brother that one of his objectives in joining and going there was to make sure that the Iraqis, brother to brother, could have the same kind of relationship he had with his brother, that if he wanted to go for a cup of coffee with his brother, he hoped someday that the Iraqi brothers could just go out for a cup of tea, and that’s why he was fighting, to bring normalcy and a decent life to these Iraqis. Is that happening?
MY: Yeah, it’s happening. In some areas, quicker than others. You know, we’re just on the front edge of it. But I can tell you, I can see it every day I’m out now, or week by week, month by month now, I really believe that, I’ll be the first to say it and take a chance, I really believe five years from now, I’m going to be back here with my camera and my longest lens shooting bird photos. I just feel that it’s coming. You can sense the change in the people. The Iraqi people actually really tend to like Americans. It’s the ones that don’t like us, you know, that can be a pretty severe difference. But in general, they really want to have a relationship with the United States, and it’s not, we’re not dealing with blood enemies here at all.
HH: And what about Iran? What does the average Iraqi tell you about Iran?
MY: Well, now that’s not only a good question, but an increasingly kind of semi-humorous question, because every day now, including yesterday again, a retired army colonel, an Iraqi army colonel, told me hey, we will support you in your war against Iran. And he keeps saying this in front of American…oh yeah. Every day I’m hearing that.
Are the Iraqi people optimistic about the future, and are they increasingly happy?
MY: Oh, yeah, oh yeah. They’re increasingly happy. The optimism you can see is increasing month by month. They don’t trust their press any more than we trust ours, by the way, and they point that out daily. And they don’t trust their government any more than we trust ours, apparently a lot less. But their optimism is very high, because they’re seeing changes, and they’re demonstrable changes.
When do you suppose we're going to see the first report somewhere in the mainstream media about how they and the Democrats got it so wrong about Iraq destined to become a failure?
When do you suppose Tim Russert is going to use current events in Iraq, and videos such as this,
to hold senior Democrats accountable to the outrageous statements and predictions they've made for the last couple of years that are proving to be false before our eyes? You won't. When it comes to declaring defeat and failure in Iraq, the Democrats and MSM have made their bed, and it's up to the Bush administration and new media over the next year to make them lie in it.
As Iraq continues to show signs of promise and prosperity, the Bush administration should spend much more time showcasing what the American media won't. It would be great to see the look on Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid's face during the State of the Union in January when George Bush introduces and praises local shopkeepers that are beginning to thrive in a resurgent Baghdad, or honors the priest of the St. John's Catholic Church that just reopened in Baghdad, showing that there is hope for peaceful coexistence between different religious groups in Iraq.
Let's hope that as Iraq continues to stabilize in 2008, the Republicans regain their confidence and make the case to the American people just how truly unstable the Democratic foreign policy agenda is.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
46 days ago, George Bush nominated Michael Mukasey to be the next Attorney General of the United States. The Democrats have dragged their feet in the process of confirming the well-qualified judge in order to thow spears at the Bush administration over the appropriateness of waterboarding as an interrogation technique in the war on terror.
Today, however, a signal was sent by California Democrat Dianne Feinstein and New York's Chuck Schumer that they will indeed vote to pass Mukasey out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joining presumably all of the other Republicans on the committee, on to a full confirmation vote on the Senate floor. Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy said this afternoon that it is his intention to hold the vote Tuesday.
We'll see how serious the Democrats are, however, about the necessity of speedy confirmation of upper level Cabinet positions, becuase Senate rules do allow for any member of the committee to place a hold on the nominee, pushing back the vote a week. Leahy has stated he would prefer that not happen, but we'll see if MoveOn.org and the left-wing blogosphere has more influence than Leahy.
It is ridiculous that this nomination has been slow-walked this long, and if another stall stunt is pulled on Tuesday, it will only hurt the Democrats with the American people.
Duane "Generalissimo" Patterson is the producer of the nationally syndicated "Hugh Hewitt Show". In a sense Duane is "the man behind the curtain" -- and this is his blog.
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