Tuesday, December 18, 2007
If you read the story in Politico earlier today
about what the Democrats are secretly trying to do with Appropriations Chair Robert C. Byrd, trying to back seat him and replace him as chairman with Washington State dim bulb Patty Murray, the following montage of the very senior Senator from West Virginia announcing the omnibus appropriations bill coming tonight in the Senate sure could be entered as evidence why it needs to be done. UPDATE #1 - 7:31PM EST
: The Feingold Amendment has now been thoroughly debated and voted on. 24-71, meaning that the majority of Democrats in the Senate have cut and run on the cut and run resolution. They've surrendered on their effort to surrender in Iraq. Here's video of Ted Kennedy, one of Feingold's seemingly few remaining allies, in action, right before the vote, trying to rally the members of the Senate to raise the white flag.Update #2 - 8:40PM EST
: As expected, the Carl Levin authored Feingold-lite cut and run bill out of Iraq just failed in its quest to get the 60 votes necessary for passage, 50-45. Now the Senate Democrats have to decide how bad they want to get something done this year by voting for the McConnell $70 billion dollar war supplemental. Voting is going on right now.Update #3 - 9:00PM EST
: Mitch McConnell's vote just came in at 70-25. If you had any doubts about who runs the Senate, tonight should have been very, very clear. The new omnibus approps package now goes back to Nancy Pelosi, who has to hold her nose and vote for it, because she now realizes she's alone at the end of the do-nothing Congress plank. Harry Reid just left her side.
Friday, December 14, 2007
While the Democratic presidential candidates lined up to pander one last time to those likely to participate in the Iowa Caucus in January, there was a background story going on in Washington that you may not have heard much about.
Harry Reid and the rest of the Senate Democrats had been working for over a week to try and pass a couple of tax increases disguised as an energy bill. Mitch McConnell and the conservative wing of the Senate Republicans weren’t buying it, and neither was President Bush, who had threatened to veto the bill if passed.
McConnell, who quietly had himself another fine day Thursday, told Reid that he would clear the energy bill, but only if the two tax increases buried in it were removed. The utility rate increase was removed, but the tax increase proposal was actually raised over the last week, to almost $22 billion dollars. It was a deal killer, and everyone on both sides of the aisle, in both Houses of Congress, knew it. Yet Senator Reid inexplicably chose to make Thursday his latest last stand on energy reform.
Now since the Democrats insisted on keeping the tax increase in the bill, it meant that they were going to have to get 60 votes to invoke cloture before they could try and pass it. Then the bill would be sent to a certain death by presidential veto. It was a doomed bill, and a clear waste of everybody’s time. In other words, Thursday was just a typical day in the Senate under Democratic leadership, 2007. How did the vote go? 59-40-1, one shy of invoking cloture and clearing the hurdle to full passage in the Senate.
Remember the Democrats on stage in Iowa mid-day Thursday? Four of them are current United States Senators: Barack Obama, Hillary ‘Hand-raiser’ Clinton, Joe Biden and Christopher Dodd. They were all called back to Washington Thursday morning to cast this energy vote, and then they all bailed out immediately after the Senate session to return to the debate stage in Iowa. Anyone out there able to calculate the energy expended from four round-trip airplane rides to D.C. and back for a failed vote on a polluted energy bill? What about the carbon footprint left by the Democrats Thursday alone, and the irony of Hillary Clinton trying to get the ridiculous debate moderator to do a hand-raising of the candidates on who believes in global warming and mankind’s impact on it?
Later in the afternoon, Harry Reid finally gave up on his tax increase, stripped it out of the bill, and resubmitted it for cloture. It passed 86-8. Clinton, Dodd, Obama and Biden couldn't be in two places at once, so they didn't get to vote. Now the bill goes back to the House, where they've unfortunately wrapped up their one vote workweek this week, so they’ve all scattered home for a long weekend. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Majority Leader Reid are now so frustrated at their respective lack of leadership skills in their respective chambers that they are now taking shots at each other. Nothing says Merry Christmas to Republicans like Democrat politicians engaged in a circular firing squad.
For those of you who continue to think that fate is already predetermined that in January ’09, Hillary Clinton will reside in the White House with a bigger House majority and a filibuster-proof Senate, I’m just not seeing it. Hillary, while still most likely a lock for the nomination, increasingly looks more vulnerable as the weeks pass by. Democrats in both Houses of Congress are clearly in disarray, while the Republicans seem to have stiffened their spines as Iraq continues to stabilize.
In sports, many teams have been statistically better on paper, but when they actually had to play the game, the result was not what was expected. If the President continues to show that he finally remembers what fiscal responsibility means, if Mitch McConnell continues to thump Harry Reid at virtually every turn, and if the party of the elephant uses their long memory when faced with a potential Hillary Clinton presidency, our chances continue to improve for next November.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Dean Barnett, the Chowdah Man himself, is filling in for Hugh...except for a wee bit of snow that has paralyzed the greater Boston area, preventing him from getting to our fine Boston affiliate, WTTT. Here is what Dean is complaining about.
Personally, I think Dean is wimping out. I'm from L.A. This traffic is nothing.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Every once in a while, you get caught up in the day to day routine of doing the radio show, and it takes an e-mail like this one from a listener to make you pause and remember how great a country this is, and how thankful we are to be able to do what we do.
Just got back from MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Command) in -----, having taken the oath and signed the contract - I'm a 35-year-old from -------- (though born in Brook Park, raised a Tribe fan!), and I realized this summer that I was still young enough, and we were financially secure enough, that I could afford the pay cut that joining the Reservers would mean while I was in training and deployed. My wife was supportive. The only problem was that I was really out of shape. And that's where you two come in!
Nearly every time I went out running, I would take an iPod loaded up with your show. Nothing helps the miles go by like a segment with Lileks or VDH or Hitch or The Smart Guys. And the greatest ten words in radio are "Mark Steyn, can you stick around for one more segment?" I don't know if you remember, but on one of Glenn in Dallas's calls this past fall, he broke down in tears talking about, I believe, the soldier whose death Hitchens had written about. I was having a really tough run that day, but when Glenn broke down, it was one of those moments that focuses your mind. America loves and honors its troops, as Glenn brought home to me in that call, and as you two make clear in every single show. And that support, and the inspiriation of the stories you bring to us, are part of why, 40 pounds, hundreds of miles and four months of push-ups and sit-ups later, I'm now enlisted in the greatest military history has ever known.
Thank you both for such a wonderful show - I will miss it when I'm in Basic this April and May, but hopefully by the time I get to Fort ------- for ----, I'll be able to start listening again!
If you wanted to post any of this, please leave out my name/location/--------- information - especially because of my -----, I want to avoid any kind of public anything of any nature...I'm just emailing to thank you guys for what you do - it is truly appreciated.
Never have I read an e-mail that was so humbling and so awe-inspiring. Please know that on behalf of all of us involved with the show, you, along with the thousands of men and women who wear the uniform and keep this country free through incredible personal sacrifice, you are the ones to be thanked and appreciated, not us. We talk for a living, something that could not be done without the freedom provided by all of the members of the United States military, past, present and future.
Please know that we will pray for you and your family as you embark on this new chapter in your life. God speed, and please keep in touch.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Like I said earlier about the Dobson statement. Romney's speech struck a chord across a lot of ideological and political lines today.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Shortly after The Speech today in Houston by Mitt Romney, the following press release was issued by Focus On The Family's Dr. James Dobson:
James Dobson Declares Values Voters Still Have a Strong Voice
Calls Romney’s speech a “magnificent” reminder of faith’s role in politics and policy
Colorado Springs, Colo. -- Focus on the Family Action founder and chairman James C. Dobson, Ph.D., issued the following statement today in response to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s speech on “Faith in America”:
“Gov. Romney’s speech was a magnificent reminder of the role religious faith must play in government and public policy. His delivery was passionate and his message was inspirational. Whether it will answer all the questions and concerns of Evangelical Christian voters is yet to be determined, but the governor is to be commended for articulating the importance of our religious heritage as it relates to today.
“Many in the media have been busily crafting the obituaries of ‘values voters’ in recent months. David Kirkpatrick of The New York Times, along with Tom Brokaw, Frank Rich and other liberal journalists, have been predicting a dramatic ‘Evangelical crackup’. They are dead wrong. Religion has already played a major role in this election cycle, and will continue to be evident through’08. The sanctity of human life, the institution of marriage and the care and nurturing of children will be important issues to people of faith as they choose a new generation of leaders. You can take it to the bank.
“Again, Gov. Romney’s speech served as a reminder that religion has always played a significant role in electoral politics. Candidates who disregard the spiritual heritage of this great nation and its viability today will do so at their peril.”
A great speech that should be received well by any nervous Evangelical voter. It's not an endorsement by Dr. Dobson, but it is clear that the content of the Romney speech struck a chord.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
This aired at 5:41PM EST on Tuesday, December 4th, 2007. Will CNN condone religious bigotry by continuing to employ Jack Cafferty?
Monday, December 03, 2007
During floor time in the United States Senate this morning, after both parties' leaders spoke, Senator Edward M. Kennedy took to the floor, intending to talk about economics, but he just couldn't refuse venting in this little diatribe on Iraq.
You can almost throw out Kennedy's entire statement by looking at two passages.
But I will point out that one of the best votes that I’ve cast in the United States Senate was in opposition to the resolution put forward, supported by the Senator of Kentucky, that brought us into Iraq,
They’ve had their time.
He starts out by saying he never would have even helped the Iraqi people get rid of Saddam Hussein to begin with, and then says they've had long enough to get their political act together. Keep in mind that it was U.S. foreign policy for decades that helped keep Saddam's dictatorial reign intact as long as it did. It doesn't matter to Kennedy. The Iraqis should have been able to overthrow Saddam themselves and instantly form a new government, all without any help from us.
Besides that, however, after listening to the "How long" rhetoric that continues to reverberate through the chamber, the hypocrisy of the Democrats' view of the Iraqi government is stunning. While serving as red meat to the anti-war Democratic base, it is rather silly. How long, oh Senator, how long must we stay in Japan, 60 plus years after the fighting stopped? How long, oh Senator, how long must we continue to defend South Korea? How long must our troops spend cold winters in Germany?
General David Petraeus reported to the Congress in September that there was progress in the outlying provinces around Baghdad, but that Baghdad proper was still, for the most part, pretty rough. We didn't start seeing any reportage about Baghdad stabilizing until October. So that means that if you start the clock for the Iraqi politicians when security was returning in Baghdad, that means they've had somewhere on the order of 45 days or so to make a government. But remember, as Kennedy stated, they've had enough time. How efficiently has the Senate operated this year, with no violence in the streets of Washington?
Judge Leslie Southwick was nominated to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on January 9th. That's the day the Senate received the nomination. He was confirmed October 24th, 297 days later. Senator Kennedy, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, certainly could have seen this nomination processed a lot faster than 45 days, since you can easily build governments in that period of time. Maybe, using the Kennedy speak in the above clip, he was being held hostage.
Or how about Attorney General Michael Mukasey, whose nomination was sent to the Senate on September 21st of this year, with bipartisan support at that time, but was not confirmed until November 9th, 49 days later? It's funny how a government is supposed to be completely formulated in less time than it takes to process a cabinet appointee here.
There are twelve appropriations bills that have to get done every year, regardless of who is in the White House and who runs the Congress. This year, the Democrats passed their own budget blueprint to process these bills on March 23rd. Eleven of the twelve haven't been signed into law, some 225 days later. Using Senator Kennedy's timetable, can you imagine what Iraq is supposed to look like in 225 days?
I do have to say, however, that I find myself in agreement with a Congressional Democrat. Rep. Norm Dicks just returned from his 5th trip to Iraq, and had this to say:
I felt kinda embarrassed telling the Iraqis they had to get their act together and pass legislation when we can’t do it back here.
I know, Congressman. I feel kinda embarrassed when I see people like Ted Kennedy make foolish remarks and engage in political sqabbles all the time, and then see him lecturing indirectly to the Iraqi politicians for exactly the same behavior. It seems incredulous that someone in the greatest deliberative body on Earth can honestly expect rookie politicians in a cooling down war zone to do more than we can do here, and faster.
How long, Senator Kennedy? As long as it takes.
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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