Saturday, March 27, 2010

Patriotic, Concerned Americans Exercise Their Constitutional Rights

Whether you supported or opposed the Bush administration (and many of us on the right disagreed with a number of his policies as well as his curious inability not to respond to irresponsible accusations), the left spent eight years vilifying and caricaturing President Bush and his appointees and officials in the most offensive way. But the "Democrat-Media complex" barely said a word.

In fact, the media celebrated this so-called exercise of free speech and dissent as patriotism. Now apparently it is a horrible, disgusting hate crime if you in good faith oppose the policies of the Obama administration and its legislative water-carriers on Capitol Hill, especially the loathesome effort that rammed through the healthcare bill against the wishes of the majority of the American people. If you peacefully assemble--e.g., everyday, often non-ideological Americans participating in the Tea Party movement--you are demonized and marginalized. You are part of a mob engaging in "hate speech." Any criticism of the administration's march towards socialism apparently also means you are also a racist, sexist, and homophobe. C'mon; in the year 2010, isn't this lame propaganda getting a little tedious? Ironically, about the only people that still pay attention to it, unfortunately, are those in the mainstream (i.e., lamestream) media who feel comfortable in their own parallel universe.

Michelle Malkin just wrote an excellent column addressing the left's "faking the hate":
...the Left never takes a break from falsely accusing the Right of fomenting hatred and violence through political speech. The MSM never takes a break from whitewashing leftist intolerance, death threats, and extremism — and engaging in selective reporting (or rather, non-reporting) of the long history of leftists’ manufacturing of hatred for political gain...Then, as now, being a Democrat Party official means never having to say you’re sorry for smearing conservative dissent.
So, some of these recent allegations of threats against Democrats reported in the media appear to be a hoax. But that aside, any kind of violence or threatening behavior is complete unacceptable. It's disgusting. Among fringe elements on the left and right, there are some isolated violent tendencies, but did the media give headline coverage to the African-American man at a Tea Party who was beaten by SEIU thugs in St. Louis last year, or the Republican headquarters in Milwaukee that was vandalized during the November 2008 election cycle?

And by the way, some very vile things were said by the left/liberals about Secretary of State Condi Rice, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, or GOP Chair Michael Steele when he ran for the U.S. Senate, and many others. Again, the media hardly made a peep.

People who engage in these tactics are the enemies of our constitution, and that hardly describes in any way, shape, or form the Tea Party movement or other concerned citizens.

Andrew Breitbart has offered a $10,000 reward for proof that racial epithets were shouted during the March 20 Tea Party protest in Washington. So far, no one has claimed it.

And here's Kevin Jackson schooling a clueless MSNBC "reporter" about these phony, race-baiting accusations:

George Orwell said this about left-wing "journalists" and intellectuals of his day:
Do remember that dishonesty and cowardice always have to be paid for. Don't imagine for years on end you can make yourself the boot-licking propagandist of the Soviet regime, and suddenly return to mental decency. Once a whore, always a whore.
More on the Tea Party movement and the media here.

Another Day, Another Failed TSA Nominee

Based on what we personally observed this week at a large airport in the south, there is a lot of room for improvement in the way Transportation Security Administration agents carry out their screening function. But it looks like one of their other problems, finding a new boss, won't be solved anytime soon.
President Obama’s choice to lead the agency that guards United States airports abruptly withdrew his nomination on Friday night amid questions about his work as a defense contractor, the second time the White House has lost a nominee for the critical security post.
Maj. Gen. Robert A. Harding, a retired Army intelligence officer, was selected to take over the Transportation Security Administration, or T.S.A., just two and a half weeks ago, following the withdrawal of Mr. Obama’s first pick under fire.
No third choice was announced, and the back-to-back failed nominations mean that the job is likely to remain unfilled for months to come.
General Harding’s bid came unraveled after reports that his firm collected more federal money than it was entitled to for providing interrogators in Iraq. ..
The president’s first nominee, Erroll G. Southers, a former F.B.I. agent and counterterrorism supervisor for the Los Angeles airport police, withdrew his nomination in January after giving conflicting answers about conducting police background checks on a man his estranged wife was seeing.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sen. Brown: "Stop the Chicanery"

Remember Susan Powter, the hyper-aggressive fitness and diet guru from back in the day? Her signature catchphrase was "stop the insanity!" Well, U.S. Senator Scott Brown says, "stop the chicanery."

In the GOP weekly radio address captured on Youtube below, Sen. Brown says that the healthcare powergrab--i.e, ramming through the health-care bill, "whatever it takes, whatever the cost"--is defying the will of the American people. The president and his supporters still haven't gotten the message that the people do not want the government to seize control of the medical delivery system, the senator says.

Is The Democrat Party Turning Into Its Own Death Panel?

Say what you will about the alternatively misanthropic and entertaining Michael Savage, but he made a very perceptive point the other night. Politicians have always been corrupt, he said, but they occupied a parallel universe and pretty much left the rest of us alone--until now. With their sick (no pun intended) obsession with socialized medicine among other things, the Democrats now want to intrude in every aspect of our life. But Americans value personal freedom above all else.

As Shikha Dalmia writes at
The only comic relief in the otherwise grim, yearlong ObamaCare saga has been the spectacle of progressive pundits scratching their heads to explain the bill's nose-diving popularity...
In fact, the real reason why ObamaCare is so unpopular is that it is proposing a giant expansion of the entitlement state precisely when this state everywhere is coming apart: here and abroad; at the federal level and the state; in the public sector and the private. Suggesting a giant government takeover of a sixth of the economy can't be a popular selling point in a country whose DNA has a programmed hostility to Big Government.
Even before President Obama rammed through his trillion-dollar-plus stimulus/bailout packages last year, there was a growing sentiment that the country's top priority ought to be tackling the entitlement programs whose liabilities are like a swelling aneurysm in the brain of the body politic waiting to rupture...
But why don't progressives get that this is terrible economic timing? Because this is the moment they have been waiting for since Lyndon Johnson enacted Medicare...There is no tactic too low to deploy--and no cause too sacred to abandon. If Americans are unenthused about universal coverage, screw 'em. If it is necessary to use reconciliation--meant strictly for budgetary matters--to ram the bill through Congress on a strictly partisan vote, then so be it. If filibuster rules that Democrats themselves restored in 1975 are now coming in the way, get rid of them....
But egged on by the progressive punditocracy, Democrats are behaving as if, once they jam ObamaCare through, nothing else matters. It's like they'll never have to worry about being the minority party in need of constitutional checks and balances.
Similarly, in the pages of the Washington Post, Democrat pollsters Patrick Caddell and Douglas Schoen tell their party that it needs to snap out of their delusion and wake up to the political reality:
Their blind persistence in the face of reality threatens to turn this political march of folly into an electoral rout in November....First, the battle for public opinion has been lost. Comprehensive health care has been lost. If it fails, as appears possible, Democrats will face the brunt of the electorate's reaction. If it passes, however, Democrats will face a far greater calamitous reaction at the polls. Wishing, praying or pretending will not change these outcomes.
Nothing has been more disconcerting than to watch Democratic politicians and their media supporters deceive themselves into believing that the public favors the Democrats' current health-care plan. Yes, most Americans believe, as we do, that real health-care reform is needed. And yes, certain proposals in the plan are supported by the public.
However, a solid majority of Americans opposes the massive health-reform plan. Four-fifths of those who oppose the plan strongly oppose it, according to Rasmussen polling this week, while only half of those who support the plan do so strongly. Many more Americans believe the legislation will worsen their health care, cost them more personally and add significantly to the national deficit. Never in our experience as pollsters can we recall such self-deluding misconstruction of survey data...
Second, the country is moving away from big government, with distrust growing more generally toward the role of government in our lives...
Voters are hardly enthralled with the GOP, but the Democrats are pursuing policies that are out of step with the way ordinary Americans think and feel about politics and government. Barring some change of approach, they will be punished severely at the polls.
Now, we vigorously opposed Republican efforts in the Bush administration to employ the "nuclear option" in judicial confirmations. We are similarly concerned by Democrats' efforts to manipulate passage of a health-care bill. Doing so in the face of constant majority opposition invites a backlash against the party at every level -- and at a time when it already faces the prospect of losing 30 or more House seats and eight or more Senate seats. For Democrats to begin turning around their political fortunes there has to be a frank acknowledgement that the comprehensive health-care initiative is a failure, regardless of whether it passes. There are enough Republican and Democratic proposals -- such as purchasing insurance across state lines, malpractice reform, incrementally increasing coverage, initiatives to hold down costs, covering preexisting conditions and ensuring portability -- that can win bipartisan support.
And in a new Gallup poll, unemployment and the economy in general (not healthcare) are the primary issues that Americans are worried about. 

Related posts:
Paglia: Limousine Liberals Driving Blind
Trial Lawyers Stonewalling Tort Reform
Culture Critic Does Some Truth Telling 
Something Fishy Going On
Community Organizing Suddenly Falls Out of Favor
Politicians: Healthcare For Me, But Not For Thee
Healthcare Reform: Trouble In Paradise
A Grand Social Experiment...
Socialized Medicine Making People Sick
"Freedom Fighter" Contemplates Life Without Lawyers
Government-Run Healthcare Unconstitutional?
Heathcare "Reform": A "Shovel Ready" Job?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lawyers In Love--With Terrorists?

We've wondered over and over why with all the worthy and less worthy pro bono causes out there, why would certain lawyers, especially in high-profile firms, decide to represent enemy combatants? Former terrorism prosecutor Andrew McCarthy expounds on the strange priorities of the "Gitmo Bar":
Lawyers presume that they have an elite status in our litigious society and that their superior knowledge of the law will intimidate critics into silence. Since they are trained advocates, they figure that if they feign enough indignation over somebody’s “questioning their patriotism,” then Americans will shrink from asking, “How is it patriotic to go out of your way to help America’s enemies in wartime?”
...The legal profession’s depiction of these lawyers as heroic servants not of the enemy but of the Constitution is unmitigated nonsense: You can’t be performing a vital constitutional function when the function is not required by the Constitution. They can repeat the lie a million times, but that won’t make it a fact. These lawyers made a conscious decision to contribute their services, usually gratis, to enemy combatants with whom the American people are at war...
The Gitmo detainees, prisoners of war, are not like indigent defendants prosecuted in the criminal-justice system. The Constitution guarantees counsel to people accused of ordinary crimes. The lawyers who represent such defendants do fulfill a necessary constitutional function. The criminal-justice system, which undergirds the rule of law on which our society depends, could not function without them.
That’s not the case with the volunteer Gitmo Bar. If that enterprise were dissolved tomorrow, the rule of law would not be compromised in any way. Prisoners of war could still file habeas corpus petitions — they’d just have to do it themselves, like American prisoners do. If a military judge thought a particular legal claim was potentially meritorious but complex, the judge could appoint a military lawyer to help the detainee — just as the federal district courts, at their discretion, can appoint counsel in unusual cases to represent habeas claimants. And if detainees were charged with war crimes, they would be more than adequately represented by the military defense lawyers. The system would get along just fine — indeed, it would get along just as it was designed to get along. Sure, we’d no longer have hundreds of volunteer litigators making the military’s job far more difficult as it tried to fight the war we rely on it to fight. That would be bad for al-Qaeda, but it would be good for us...
Here’s the landscape: The Obama Justice Department is staffed with many lawyers who volunteered their services to America’s enemies. Since those lawyers have been running the department, there has been a detectable shift in favor of due-process rights for terrorists, a bias in favor of civilian trials in which terrorists are vested with all the rights of American citizens, a bias against military tribunals, the extension of Miranda protections to enemy combatants, a concerted effort to publish previously classified information detailing interrogation methods and depicting the alleged abuse of detainees, efforts to subject lawyers who authorized aggressive counterterrorism policies to professional sanction, the reopening of investigations against CIA interrogators even though those cases were previously closed by apolitical law-enforcement professionals, and the continued accusation that officials responsible for designing and carrying out the Bush administration’s counterterrorism policies committed war crimes.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Scott Brown: Just Say No To Political Chicanery

U.S. Senator Scott Brown disappointed many of his followers in voting for the so-called jobs bill with its $15 billion price tag, but this CNBC clip shows that the new senator is not wavering in his opposition to socialized medicine:

Please visit the blog for our three related posts on this subject:
All Politics is Vocal?
After the Special Election: Lighten Up!
Don't Be Happy--Worry!

Here are some highlights of Brown's January 19th victory speech in which he set forth his commitments to the voters:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Report: KSM Trial in Military Commission

Sounds like the administration might back down, if this Washington Post story is true, and good sense might prevail for a change. However, could this be just some Chicago-style dealmaking to allow for the Gitmo shut down?
President Obama's advisers are nearing a recommendation that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, be prosecuted in a military tribunal, administration officials said, a step that would reverse Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s plan to try him in civilian court in New York City.
The president's advisers feel increasingly hemmed in by bipartisan opposition to a federal trial in New York and demands, mainly from Republicans, that Mohammed and his accused co-conspirators remain under military jurisdiction, officials said. While Obama has favored trying some terrorism suspects in civilian courts as a symbol of U.S. commitment to the rule of law, critics have said military tribunals are the appropriate venue for those accused of attacking the United States.
If Obama accepts the likely recommendation of his advisers, the White House may be able to secure from Congress the funding and legal authority it needs to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and replace it with a facility within the United States. The administration has failed to meet a self-imposed one-year deadline to close Guantanamo.
Writing at NationalReviewOnline, Dana Perino and Bill Burck comment on this development:
Anthony Romero of the ACLU tells the Washington Post that the White House’s decision will be “a death blow to [President Obama’s] own Justice Department.” Romero is half right — it is a death blow to the current Justice leadership and President Obama is partly to blame for allowing Holder to be in charge of the decision for a time. But let’s not forget the attorney general himself. With stunning arrogance, Holder imposed his will on New York without consulting the mayor or the police chief. After all, Holder doesn’t feel it’s necessary to consult with the intelligence services when a terrorist is captured trying to blow up an airplane, so why would he consult with mere local officials? Well, those local officials were more than Holder bargained for, and once they realized how expensive, disruptive, and totally unnecessary a civilian trial in New York would be, they told Holder to take his trial somewhere else.
The Post is also reporting that the White House is looking to cut a deal with Sen. Lindsey Graham to close Guantanamo in exchange for trying detainees in military commissions. As we have said before, we haven’t heard a justification for closing Guantanamo that would outweigh the huge downsides. Guantanamo remains the best place to hold these terrorists. Once they set foot on U.S. soil, they will acquire a whole set of rights to which they are not currently entitled — not to mention the security risks of turning the military base in the U.S. which would hold them into a prime target for al-Qaeda.

Is there A Fifth Column in the Justice Department?

We mentioned before that U.S. Attorney General Holder's former law firm represented enemy combatants in court, which poses a fundamental conflict of interest for him and his staff. The news media--which was really, really concerned about Justice Department politicization in the prior administration--has pretty much ignored this story. The Keep America Safe organization released this video about the so-called Al Qaeda Seven: has more on the story:
The video by the group Keep America Safe, which dubbed the seven lawyers "The Al Qaeda 7," is the latest salvo in a lengthty political battle.
For several months, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has led an effort to uncover politically-appointed lawyers within the Justice Department who have advocated for Guantanamo Bay detainees or other terror suspects.
An extensive review of court documents and media reports by Fox News suggests many of the seven lawyers in question played only minor or short-lived roles in advocating for detainees. However, it's unclear what roles, if any, they have played in detainee-related matters since joining the Justice Department.
On FNC, Charles Krauthammer discusses these "radical civil libertarians" in the Justice Department who have a "peculiar understanding of the constitution":

Monday, March 1, 2010

Smart Fence Is Just Plain Dumb

We don't need a physical fence at the southern border, critics claimed, because a virtual fence will get the job done. Not so much:
A multibillion-dollar "virtual fence" along the southwestern border promised for completion in 2009 to protect the U.S. from terrorists, violent drug smugglers and a flood of illegal immigrants is a long way from becoming a reality, with government officials unable to say when, how or whether it will ever be completed.
More than three years after launching a major border security initiative and forking over more than $1 billion to the Boeing Co., the project's major contractor, Homeland Security Department officials are re-evaluating the high-tech component of the plan in the wake of a series of critical Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports warning lawmakers that the expensive undertaking is deeply flawed.
More than three years after launching a major border security initiative and forking over more than $1 billion to the Boeing Co., the project's major contractor, Homeland Security Department officials are re-evaluating the high-tech component of the plan in the wake of a series of critical Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports warning lawmakers that the expensive undertaking is deeply flawed.
[Source: Washington Times]

U.S. Interrogators Have No Access to Captured Taliban Leader

The Obama administration's so-called "High Value Interrogation" team is supposedly, finally in business, but Newsweek claims that it inexplicably hasn't been deployed.
Last summer, the Obama administration announced that, as a replacement for the Bush administration's secret CIA terrorist detention and interrogation program, it would create a SWAT-style team of interrogation experts to travel the world squeezing terrorist suspects for vital information. Administration officials say that the interrogation unit, known as the HIG (for High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group) is now operational. But for reasons that are unclear, the administration has not deployed HIG personnel to question Afghan Taliban military commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, arguably the most important terrorist suspect captured since the detention of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in spring of 2003...
Earlier this year, Obama administration intelligence officials came under heavy criticism from Capitol Hill Republicans for not deploying the HIG to question Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian terrorist suspect who tried to blow up a Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit with a bomb hidden in his underpants. At the time, it was unclear, based on signals coming out of the administration, whether the HIG was sufficiently well organized to participate in the underpants-bombing suspect's questioning, which ended up being conducted by the FBI. (The HIG is supposed to be an interagency unit composed of top intelligence and interrogation experts from across the government.)

U.S. Networks Hacked By Cyber Criminals

As a result of other writing projects, we've been a bit behind on regular posting, and we're making a concerted effort to catch up. Thanks for staying with us!

Several weeks the Washington Post reported on a huge cyberterrorism attack against U.S. computer networks
More than 75,000 computer systems at nearly 2,500 companies in the United States and around the world have been hacked in what appears to be one of the largest and most sophisticated attacks by cyber criminals discovered to date, according to a northern Virginia security firm.
The attack, which began in late 2008 and was discovered last month, targeted proprietary corporate data, e-mails, credit-card transaction data and login credentials at companies in the health and technology industries in 196 countries, according to Herndon-based NetWitness.
News of the attack follows reports last month that the computer networks at Google and more than 30 other large financial, energy, defense, technology and media firms had been compromised. Google said the attack on its system originated in China.
This latest attack does not appear to be linked to the Google intrusion, said Amit Yoran, NetWitness's chief executive. But it is significant, he said, in its scale and in its apparent demonstration that the criminal groups' sophistication in cyberattacks is approaching that of nation states such as China and Russia.
The attack also highlights the inability of the private sector -- including industries that would be expected to employ the most sophisticated cyber defenses -- to protect itself.

Former AG: FBI Involvement Does Not Require Treating Terrorists As Criminal Defendants

In the Washington Post, Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey provides a historical perspective as to why the handling of the Christmas Day bomber was wrongheaded:
It was entirely reasonable for the FBI to be contacted and for that agency to take him into custody. But contrary to what some in government have suggested, that Abdulmutallab was taken into custody by the FBI did not mean, legally or as a matter of policy, that he had to be treated as a criminal defendant at any point. Consider: In 1942, German saboteurs landed on Long Island and in Florida. That they were eventually captured by the FBI did not stop President Franklin Roosevelt from directing that they be treated as unlawful enemy combatants. They were ultimately tried before a military commission in Washington and executed. Their status had nothing to do with who held them, and their treatment was upheld in all respects by the Supreme Court...
Contrary to what the White House homeland security adviser and the attorney general have suggested, if not said outright, not only was there no authority or policy in place under the Bush administration requiring that all those detained in the United States be treated as criminal defendants, but relevant authority was and is the opposite

President Signs Patriot Act Extension

"Date Night" is an odd time to sign a one-year extension of the Patriot Act, isn't it? Unless you were hoping no one--such as your media sycophants--would notice, perhaps.
Provisions in the measure would have expired on Sunday without Obama's signature Saturday....
Three sections of the Patriot Act that stay in force will:
-Authorize court-approved roving wiretaps that permit surveillance on multiple phones.
-Allow court-approved seizure of records and property in anti-terrorism operations.
-Permit surveillance against a so-called lone wolf, a non-U.S. citizen engaged in terrorism who may not be part of a recognized terrorist group.
Obama's signature comes after the House voted 315 to 97 Thursday to extend the measure.