Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Must Read Look at Hillary

Steven M. Warshawsky writing at the American Thinker has a very good look at just who and what Hillary Clinton is. It is well worth reading it all but here is the opening paragraphs.

In the spring of 1993, shortly after her husband and political benefactor Bill Clinton took office as the nation's 42nd president, Hillary Clinton delivered the commencement address at the University of Texas. In her speech, Hillary reiterated the theme that has been at the heart of her political vision from the start:
"We are at a stage in history in which remolding society is one of the great challenges facing all of us in the West."
"Remolding society." This is the terminology of a utopian socialist, one who seeks to remake society according to a narrow and dogmatic ideology that claims to eliminate injustice, poverty, and unhappiness, once and for all. Hillary's ideology is an amalgam of New Left marxism and grievance feminism, the kind of unwholesome stew that is commonplace on elite college campuses.

Significantly, the term "remolding" -- unlike such terms as "reform" or "renew" -- reflects a sweeping rejection of society as it currently exists: family structure (too patriarchal), economic organization (favors the rich), social practices (discriminate against women and minorities), and so on. In other words, someone who believes that society needs to be "remolded" is someone who, at bottom, cannot see any good in the American way of life -- and someone who, if she could, would radically change that way of life. Who doubts that this describes Hillary Clinton?

He goes on to describe her views on remaking America, from Socialized Medicine to Government Control of all energy consumption and production (shades of Chavez) and more. Read it all and reflect on what another Clinton Presidency will mean to America.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

General Petraeus Opening Statement

This is from the House Committee but the statement is the same for the opening statement given in todays Senate testimony. Thanks to QandO.
General Petraeus Opening Statement

REP. IKE SKELTON: Let me, before I ask you to proceed, again, state any demonstrations, any signs or demonstrative evidence will cause your removal.

Once again, General, the floor is yours.

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, ranking members, members of the committees, thank you for the opportunity to provide my assessment of the security situation in Iraq and to discuss the recommendations I recently provided to my chain of command for the way forward.

At the outset I would like to note that this is my testimony. Although I have briefed my assessment and recommendations to my chain of command, I wrote this testimony myself. It has not been cleared by nor shared with anyone in the Pentagon, the White House or the Congress until it was just handed out.

As a bottom line up front, the military objectives of the surge are, in large measure, being met. In recent months, in the face of tough enemies in the brutal summer heat of Iraq, coalition and Iraqi security forces have achieved progress in the security arena.

Though the improvements have been uneven across Iraq, the overall number of security incidents in Iraq has declined in eight of the past 12 weeks, with the number of incidents in the last two weeks at the lowest levels seen since June 2006.

One reason for the decline in incidence is that coalition and Iraqi forces have dealt significant blows to Al Qaida Iraq. Though Al Qaida and its affiliates remain dangerous, we have taken away a number of their sanctuaries and gained the initiative in many areas.

We have also disrupted Shiite militia extremists, capturing the head and numerous other leaders of the Iranian-supportive special groups, along with a senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative supporting Iran's activities in Iraq. Coalition and Iraqi operations have helped reduce ethno-sectarian violence as well, bringing down the number of ethno- sectarian deaths substantially in Baghdad and across Iraq since the height of the sectarian violence last December.

The number of overall civilian deaths has also declined during this period, although the numbers in each area are still at troubling levels.

Iraqi security forces have also continued to grow and to shoulder more of the load, albeit slowly and amid continuing concerns about the sectarian tendencies of some elements in their ranks.

In general, however, Iraqi elements have been standing and fighting and sustaining tough losses, and they have taken the lead in operations in many areas.

Additionally, in what may be the most significant development of the past eight months, the tribal rejection of Al Qaida that started in Anbar province and helped produce such significant change there has now spread to a number of other locations as well.

Based on all this, and on the further progress we believe we can achieve over the next few months, I believe that we will be able to reduce our forces to the pre-surge level of brigade combat teams by next summer without jeopardizing the security gains that we have fought so hard to achieve.

Beyond that, while noting that the situation in Iraq remains complex, difficult and sometimes downright frustrating, I also believe that it is possible to achieve our objectives in Iraq over time, although doing so will be neither quick nor easy. Having provided that summary, I would like to review the nature of the conflict in Iraq, recall the situation before the surge, describe the current situation and explain the recommendations I have provided to my chain of command for the way ahead in Iraq.

The fundamental source of the conflict in Iraq is competition among ethnic and sectarian communities for power and resources. This competition will take place and its resolution is key to producing long-term stability in the new Iraq. The question is whether the competition takes place more or less violently.

This chart shows the security challenges in Iraq.

REP. SKELTON: General, let me interrupt you.

The members should have the charts in front of them. The chart over near the wall is very difficult to see from here. So I would urge the members to look at the charts that have been handed out and should be immediately in front of them.

Thank you, General.

GEN. PETRAEUS: This chart shows the security challenges in Iraq. Foreign and homegrown terrorists, insurgents, militia extremists and criminals all push the ethno-sectarian competition toward violence. Malign actions by Syria and especially by Iran fuel that violence.

Lack of adequate governmental capacity, lingering sectarian mistrust, and various forms of corruption add to Iraq's challenges.

In our recent efforts to look to the future, we found it useful to revisit the past.

In December 2006, during the height of the ethno-sectarian violence that escalated in the wake of the bombing of the golden dome mosque in Samarra, the leaders in Iraq at that time, General George Casey and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, concluded that the coalition was failing to achieve its objectives.

Their review underscored the need to protect the population and reduce sectarian violence, especially in Baghdad. As a result, General Casey requested additional forces to enable the coalition to accomplish these tasks and those forces began to flow in January.

In the ensuing months, our forces and our Iraqi counterparts have focused on improving security, especially in Baghdad and the areas around it. Wresting sanctuaries from Al Qaida control and disrupting the efforts of the Iranian-supported militia extremists.

We have employed counterinsurgency practices and an underscored the importance of units living among the people they are securing. And, accordingly, our forces have established dozens of joint security stations and patrol bases manned by coalition and Iraqi forces in Baghdad and in other areas across Iraq.

In mid-June, with all the surge capabilities in place, we launched a series of offensive operations focused on expanding the gains achieved in the preceding months in Anbar province, clearing Baqouba, several key Baghdad neighborhoods, the remaining sanctuaries in Anbar province and important areas in the so called belts around Baghdad, and pursuing Al Qaida in the Diyala river valley and several other areas.

Throughout this period as well, we engage in dialogue with insurgent groups and tribes. And this led to additional elements standing up to oppose Al Qaida and other extremists.

We also continued to emphasize the development of the Iraqi security forces and we employed non-kinetic means to exploit the opportunities provided by the conduct or our kinetic combat operations, aided in this effort by the arrival of additional provincial reconstruction teams. The progress our forces have achieved with our Iraqi counterparts has, as I noted at the outset, been substantial. While there have been setbacks as well as successes and tough losses along the way, overall our tactical commanders and I see improvements in the security environment.

We do not, however, just rely on gut feel or personal observations. We also conduct considerable data collection and analysis to gauge progress and determine trends. We do this by gathering and refining data from coalition and Iraqi operation centers, using a methodology that has been in place for well over a year, and that has benefited over the past seven months from the increased presence of our forces living among the Iraqi people.

We endeavor to ensure our analysis of that data is conducted with rigor and consistency, as our ability to achieve a nuanced understanding of the security environment is dependent on collecting and analyzing data in a consistent way over time.

Two U.S. intelligence agencies recently reviewed our methodology and they concluded that the data we produced is the most accurate and authoritative in Iraq.

As I mentioned up front and as the chart before you reflects, the level of security incidents has decreased significantly since the start of the surge of offensive operations in mid-June, declining in eight of the past 12 weeks, with the level of incidents in the past two weeks the lowest since June 2006, and with the number of attacks this past week the lowest since April 2006.

Civilian deaths of all categories, less natural causes, have also declined considerably, by over 45 percent Iraq-wide since the height of the sectarian violence in December. This is shown by the top line on this chart. And the decline by some 70 percent in Baghdad is shown by the bottom line.

Periodic mass casualty attacks by Al Qaida have tragically added to the numbers outside Baghdad in particular. Even without the sensational attacks, however, the level of civilian deaths is clearly still too high and continues to be of serious concern.

As the next chart shows, the number of ethno-sectarian deaths, an important subset of the overall civilian casualty figures, has also declined significantly since the height of the sectarian violence in December. Iraq-wide, as shown by the top line on this chart, the number of ethno-sectarian deaths has come down by over 55 percent, and it would have come down much further were it not for the casualties inflicted by barbaric Al Qaida bombings attempting to reignite sectarian violence.

In Baghdad, as the bottom line shows, the number of ethno- sectarian deaths has come down by some 80 percent since December. This chart also displays the density of sectarian incidents in various Baghdad neighborhoods, and it both reflects the progress made in reducing ethno-sectarian violence in the Iraqi capital, and identifies the areas that remain the most challenging.

As we have gone on the offensive in former Al Qaida and insurgent sanctuaries, and as locals have increasingly supported our efforts, we have found a substantially increased the number of arms, ammunition and explosives caches.

As this chart shows, we have, so far this year, already found and cleared over 4,400 caches; nearly 1,700 more than we discovered in all of last year.

This may be a factor in the reduction in the number of overall improvised explosive device attacks in recent months, which, as this chart shows, has declined sharply by about one third since June.

The change in the security situation in Anbar province has, of course, been particularly dramatic.

As this chart shows, monthly attack levels in Anbar have declined from some 1,350 in October 2006, to a bit over 200 in August of this year. This dramatic decrease reflects the significance of the local rejection of Al Qaida and the newfound willingness of local Anbaris to volunteer to serve in the Iraqi army and Iraqi police service.

As I noted earlier, we are seeing similar actions in other locations as well. To be sure, trends have not been uniformly positive across Iraq, as is shown by this chart depicting violence levels in several key Iraqi provinces. The trend in Nineveh province, for example, has been much more up and down until a recent decline, and the same is true in Salahuddin province, Saddam's former home province, though recent trends there and in Baghdad have been in the right direction recently.

In any event, the overall trajectory in Iraq, a steady decline of incidents in the past three months, is still quite significant.

The number of car bombings and suicide attacks has also declined in each of the past five months from a high of some 175 in March, as this chart shows, to about 90 this past month.

While this trend in recent months has been heartening, the number of high-profile attacks is still too high, and we continue to work hard to destroy the networks that carry out these barbaric attacks.

Our operations have, in fact, produced substantial progress against Al Qaida and its affiliates in Iraq.

As this chart shows, in the past eight months, we have considerably reduced the areas in which Al Qaida enjoyed sanctuary. We have also neutralized five media cells, detained the senior Iraqi leader of Al Qaida Iraq, and killed or captured nearly 100 other key leaders and some 2,500 rank-and-file fighters.

Al Qaida is certainly not defeated. However, it is off balance, and we are pursuing its leaders and operators aggressively.

Of note, as the recent national intelligence estimate on Iraq explained, these gains against Al Qaida are as a result of the synergy of actions by conventional forces to deny the terrorists sanctuary, intelligence of surveillance and reconnaissance assets to find the enemy, and special operations elements to conduct targeted raids.

A combination of these assets is necessary to prevent the creation of a terrorist safe haven in Iraq.

In the past six months, we have also targeted Shia militia extremists, capturing a number of senior leaders and fighters, as well as the deputy commander of Lebanese Hezbollah Department 2800, the organization created to support the training, arming, funding — in some cases — direction of the militia extremists by the Iranian Republican Guard Corps Quds Force. These elements have assassinated and kidnapped Iraqi governmental leaders, killed and wounded our soldiers with advanced explosive devices provided by Iran and indiscriminately rocketed civilians in the international zone and elsewhere.

It is increasingly apparent to both coalition and Iraqi leaders that Iran, through the use of this Quds Force, seeks to turn the Iraqi special groups into Hezbollah-like force to serve its interests and fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq.


GEN. PETRAEUS: The most significant developments...


REP. SKELTON: Would the gentleman suspend — will the entire group that's back there supporting that person be removed?

GEN. PETRAEUS: The most significant development...

REP. SKELTON: Just a minute, General.

GEN. PETRAEUS: Yes, sir.

REP. SKELTON: Proceed.

GEN. PETRAEUS: The most significant development in the past six months likely has been the increasing emergence of tribes and local citizens rejecting Al Qaida and other extremists. This has, of course, been most visible in Anbar province. A year ago the province was assessed as lost politically. Today it is a model of what happens when local leaders and citizens decide to oppose Al Qaida and reject its Taliban-like ideology.

While Anbar is unique and the model it provides cannot be replicated everywhere in Iraq, it does demonstrate the dramatic change in security that is possible with the support and participation of local citizens.

As this chart shows, other tribes have been inspired by the actions of those in Anbar and have volunteered to fight extremists as well.

We have, in coordination with the Iraqi government's National Reconciliation Committee, been engaging these tribes and groups of local citizens who want to oppose extremists and to contribute to local security. Some 20,000 such individuals are already being hired for the Iraqi police. Thousands of others are being assimilated into the Iraqi army. And thousands more are vying for a spot in Iraq's security forces.

As I noted earlier, Iraqi security forces have continued to grow, to develop their capabilities, and to shoulder more of the burdens of providing security for their country.

Despite concerns about sectarian influence, inadequate logistics and supporting institutions, and an insufficient number of qualified commissioned and noncommissioned officers, Iraqi units are engaged around the country.

As this chart shows, there are now nearly 140 Iraqi army, national police and special operations forces battalions in the fight, with about 95 of those capable of taking the lead in operations, albeit with some coalition support.

Beyond that, all of Iraq's battalions have been heavily involved in combat operations that often result in the loss of leaders, soldiers and equipment. These losses are among the shortcomings identified by operational readiness assessments, but we should not take from these assessments the impression that Iraqi forces are not in the fight and contributing.

Indeed, despite their shortages, many Iraqi units across Iraq now operate with minimal coalition assistance. As counterinsurgency operations require substantial numbers of boots on the ground, we are helping the Iraqis expand the size of their security forces.

Currently there are some 445,000 individuals on the payrolls of Iraq's Interior and Defense Ministries. Based on recent decisions by Prime Minister Maliki, the number of Iraq security forces will grow further by the end of this year, possibly by as much as 40,000.

Given the security challenges Iraq faces, we support this decision, and we will work with the two security ministries as they continue their efforts to expand their basic training capacity, leader development programs, logistical structures and elements, and various other institutional capabilities to support the substantial growth in Iraqi forces.

Significantly, in 2007, Iraq will, as in 2006, spend more on its security forces than it will receive in security assistance from the United States. In fact, Iraq is becoming one of the United States' larger foreign military sales customers, committing some $1.6 billion to FMS already, with a possibility of up to $1.8 billion more being committed before the end of the year. And I appreciate the attention that some members of Congress have recently given to speeding up the FMS process for Iraq. To summarize, the security situation in Iraq is improving. And Iraqi elements are slowly taking on more of the responsibility for protecting their citizens.

Innumerable challenges lie ahead. However, coalition and Iraqi security forces have made progress toward achieving security. As a result, the United States will be in a position to reduce its forces in Iraq in the months ahead.

Two weeks ago, I provided recommendations for the way ahead in Iraq to the members of my chain of command and the Joints Chiefs of Staff. The essence of the approach recommended is captured and it's title: Security While Transitioning: From leading, to partnering, to overwatch.

This approach seeks to build on the security improvements our troopers and our Iraqi counterparts have fought so hard to achieve in recent months. It reflects recognition of the importance of securing the population and the imperative of transitioning responsibilities to Iraqi institutions and Iraqi forces as quickly as possible, but without rushing to failure.

It includes substantial support for the continuing development of Iraqi security forces. It also stresses the need to continue the counterinsurgency strategy that we have been employing, but with Iraqis gradually shouldering more of the load. And it highlights the importance of regional and diplomatic — regional and global diplomatic approaches.

Finally, in recognition of the fact that this war is not only being fought on the ground in Iraq, but also in cyberspace, it also notes the need to contest the enemy's growing use of that important medium to spread extremism.

The recommendations I provided were informed by operational and strategic considerations. The operational considerations include recognition that military aspects of the surge have achieved progress and generated momentum. Iraqi security forces have continued to grow and have slowly been shouldering more of the security burdens in Iraq.

A mission focused on either population security or transition alone will not be adequate to achieve our objectives. Success against Al Qaida Iraq and Iranian supported militia extremists requires conventional forces as well as special operations forces. And the security in local political situations will enable us to draw down the surge forces.

My recommendations also took into account a number of strategic considerations. Political progress will take place only if sufficient security exists. Long-term U.S. ground force viability will benefit from a force reductions as the surge runs its course.

Regional, global and cyberspace initiatives are critical to success. And Iraqi leaders understandably want to assume greater sovereignty in their country, although, as they recently announced, they do desire a continued presence of coalition forces in Iraq in 2008 under a new U.N. Security Council resolution, and following that, they want to negotiate a long-term security agreement with the United States and other nations.

Based on these considerations and having worked the battlefield geometry with Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, the Multi-National Corps- Iraq commander, to ensure that we retain and build on the gains for which our troopers have fought, I have recommended a drawdown of the surge forces from Iraq.

In fact, later this month, the Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed as part of the surge will depart Iraq.

Beyond that, if my recommendations are approved, that unit's departure will be followed by the withdrawal of a brigade combat team without replacement in mid-December and the further redeployment without replacement of four other brigade combat teams and the two surge Marine battalions in the first seven months of 2008, until we reach the pre-surge levels of 15 brigade combat teams by mid-July 2008.

I would also like to discuss the period beyond next summer. Force reductions will continue beyond the pre-surge levels of brigade combat teams that we will reach by mid-July 2008.

However, in my professional judgment, it would be premature to make recommendations on the pace of such reductions at this time. In fact, our experience in Iraq has repeatedly shown that projecting too far into the future is not just difficult, it can be misleading and even hazardous.

The events of the past six months underscore that point. When I testified in January, for example, no one would have dared to forecast that Anbar province would have been transformed the way it has in the past six months. Nor would anyone have predicted that volunteers in one-time Al Qaida strongholds like Ghazaliyah in western Baghdad or in Adhamiya in eastern Baghdad would seek to join the fight against Al Qaida.

Nor would we have anticipated that a Shia-led government would accept significant numbers of Sunni Arab volunteers into the ranks of the local police force in Abu Ghraib.

Beyond that, on a less encouraging note, none of us earlier this year it appreciated the extent of Iranian involvement in Iraq, something about which we and Iraq's leaders all now have greater concern.

In view of this, I do not believe it is reasonable to have an adequate appreciation for the pace of further reductions and mission adjustments beyond the summer of 2008 until about mid-March of next year. We will, no later than that time, consider factors similar to those on which I base the current recommendations, having by then, of course, a better feel for the security situation, the improvements in the capabilities of our Iraqi counterparts, and the enemy situation. I will then, as I did in developing the recommendations I have explained here today, also take into consideration the demands on our nation's ground forces, although I believe that that consideration should once again inform, not drive, the recommendations I make.

This chart captures the recommendations I have described, showing the recommended reduction of brigade combat teams as the surge runs its course and illustrating the concept of our units adjusting their missions and transitioning responsibilities to Iraqis, as the situation and Iraqi capabilities permit.

It also reflects the no-later-than date for recommendations on force adjustments beyond next summer and provides a possible approach we have considered for the future force structure and mission set in Iraq.

One may argue that the best way to speed the process in Iraq is to change the MNF-I mission from one that emphasizes population security, counterterrorism and transition to one that is strictly focused on transition and counterterrorism.

Making that change now would, in our view, be premature. We have learned before that there is a real danger in handing over tasks to the Iraqi security forces before their capacity and local conditions warrant.

In fact, the drafters of the recently released national intelligence estimate on Iraq recognized this danger when they wrote, and I quote, We assess that changing the mission of coalition forces from a primarily counterinsurgency and stabilization role to a primary combat support role for Iraqi forces and counterterrorist operations to prevent Al Qaida Iraq from establishing safe haven would erode security gains achieved thus far.

In describing the recommendations I have made, I should note again that, like Ambassador Crocker, I believe Iraq's problems will require a long-term effort. There are no easy answers or quick solutions. And although we both believe this effort can succeed, it will take time.

Our assessments underscore, in fact, the importance of recognizing that a premature drawdown of our forces would likely have devastating consequences.

That assessment is supported by the findings of the 16 August Defense Intelligence Agency report on the implications of a rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

Summarizing it in an unclassified fashion, it concludes that a rapid withdrawal would result in the further release of the strong centrifugal forces in Iraq and produce a number of dangerous results, including: a high risk of disintegration of the Iraqi security forces, rapid deterioration of local security initiatives, Al Qaida Iraq regaining lost ground and freedom of maneuver, a marked increase in violence and further ethno-sectarian displacement and refugee flows, alliances of convenience by Iraqi groups with internal and external forces to gain advantages over their rivals, and exacerbation of already challenging regional dynamics especially with respect to Iran. Lieutenant General Odierno and I share this assessment and believe that the best way to secure our national interests and to avoid an unfavorable outcome in Iraq is to continue to focus our operations on securing the Iraqi people, while targeting terrorist groups and militia extremists, and, as quickly as conditions are met, transitioning security tasks to Iraqi elements.

Before closing, I want to thank you and your colleagues for your support of our men and women in uniform in Iraq. The soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen with whom I'm honored to serve are the best equipped and very likely the most professional force in our nation's history.

Impressively, despite all that has been asked of them in recent years, they continue to raise their right hands and volunteer to stay in uniform. With three weeks to go in this fiscal year, in fact, the Army elements in Iraq of Multi-National Corps-Iraq, for example, have achieved well over 130 percent of the reenlistment goals in the initial term and careerist categories and nearly 115 percent in the mid-career category.

All of us appreciate what you have done to ensure that these great troopers have had what they've needed to accomplish their mission, just as we appreciate what you have done to take care of their families as they, too, have made significant sacrifices in recent years.

The advances you have underwritten in weapon systems and individual equipment and munitions and command, control and communication systems, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and vehicles and counter-IED systems and programs, and in manned and unmanned aircraft have proved invaluable in Iraq.

The capabilities that you have funded most recently, especially the vehicles that will provide greater protection against improvised explosive devices, are also of enormous importance.

Additionally, your funding of the Commander's Emergency Response Program has given our leaders a critical tool with which to prosecute the counterinsurgency campaign. Finally, we appreciate, as well, your funding of our new detention programs and rule of law initiatives in Iraq.

In closing, it remains an enormous privilege to soldier again in Iraq with America's new greatest generation. Our country's men and women in uniform have done a magnificent job in the most complex and challenging environment imaginable. All Americans should be very proud of their sons and daughters serving in Iraq today.

Thank you very much.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Strategizing with leaders of the Anti-War Movement

The cut and run crowd confer on how best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. What a bunch of Patriotic Americans these are. From their own conference call.

Congresswoman Lynne Woolsey: Let’s start with what it’s going to take. It’s going to take some courage to not fund continuing the occupation. But we have to make sure that ending the war is not perceived as abandoning the troops. So what the triad (Congresswomen Woolsey, Waters, and Lee), are proposing ( H.R. 508 by Barbara Lee) is that we only fund a safe and orderly redeployment, including bringing the big equipment out of Iraq...

Lerner: The Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) has as its major focus attempting to change the discourse of the anti-war or peace movement from “out now, end this” to answering the larger question that so many of us have of “what does that withdrawal mean for the U.S. and its role in the world?”We want our Congresspeople, and all the people who shape public opinion to begin to take seriously the notion that homeland security could be better achieved through a Strategy of Generosity rather then a Strategy of Domination. war to protect ourselves is by dominating others.

Torbett: Congressman Moran, would you like to say a little bit before we open it up to more discussion?

Moran: I’d be happy to. I just returned from Iraq on Monday (Aug.27), and I thought I might describe some of the impressions that I got and what I might expect will happen in the Congress in September.

I’m a member of the Defense Appropriations Committee, and it was in that capacity that we talked with General Petraeus, Oderno, and the rest of them, as well as senior Iraqi leaders. We have weaponized that entire country. There are more jersey barriers than blades of grass, and more weapons than there are people. The military is performing well, and that’s what Petraeus is going to say. The result of the military success is going to be wholly inconsistent with our values, and certainly unworthy of the sacrifice of our military families.

There is so many gems in there that you need to read the whole thing. I knew that if given enough time they would let their true colors shine through.I will leave you with just one more tidbit from this call.

Moran: Well, I don’t want to name names, but…There are members who have somewhat other agendas. Principle one is, of course, to maintain a Democratic majority in the House. We cobbled together a majority by winning in a lot of seats that tend to be conservative: in the South, in the rural Midwest, and so on. These members are very much afraid that if they get to far out front, they’re going to lose their seat, and they’re be advised to not take risks so we can sustain this majority.

I repeat, read it all. It is full of chuckles.

Not Just Disgusting, Despicable.

From Pete Hegseth posted at The Weekly Standard:

Tomorrow--as General David Petraeus provides his Iraq assessment to Congress--the antiwar group is running a full-page advertisement in the New York Times under the headline: "General Petraeus or General Betray us? Cooking the books for the White House."

Let's be clear: is suggesting that General Petraeus has 'betrayed' his country. This is disgusting. To attack as a traitor an American general commanding forces in war because his 'on the ground' experience does not align with's political objectives is utterly shameful. It shows contempt for America's military leadership, as well as for the troops who have confidence in him, as our fellow soldiers in Iraq certainly do.

General Petraeus has served this country for over 35 years with honor, distinction, and integrity. And this is not just about General Petraeus. After all, if General Petraeus is "cooking the books," then the entire military chain of command in Baghdad, and all the staff, military and civilian, who have been working with General Petraeus are complicit, since Petraeus did not write his report in isolation. They are all, apparently, 'betray[ing] us.' has been working closely with the Democratic congressional leadership --as an article in today's Sunday New York Times Magazine makes clear. And consider this comment by a Democratic senator from Friday's Politico: "'No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,' noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. 'The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.'

Senators Reid and Durbin, the leaders of the Democrats in the Senate held a press conference to trash Petraeus's report before the general has even appeared before Congress.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in his party's weekly radio address today that he expects the Petraeus report to be nothing more than the Bush administration's selective take on the surge.

"Before the report arrives in Congress, it will pass through the White House spin machine, where facts are often ignored or twisted, and intelligence is cherry-picked," said Reid.

On Friday, Reid went so far as to question not only the true source of the report but also the four-star general's honesty.

"He has made a number of statements over the years that have not proven to be factual," Reid said. "I have every belief that this good man will give us what he feels is the right thing to do in his report, but it's not his report anymore. It's Bush's report."

Reid's criticisms have been echoed by his fellow Democratic leaders in Congress.

In a speech Friday at the Center for National Policy, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said, "President Bush is preparing to tell the nation, once again, that his strategy in Iraq is succeeding. We know what the Bush-Petraeus report will say: The surge is working. Be patient. The reality is despite heroic efforts by U.S. troops, the Bush surge is not working."

Across the Hill in the House of Representatives, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., joined his Senate colleagues in claiming the Petraeus report would be little more than a work of fiction.

Instead of a new strategy for Iraq, the Bush administration is cherry-picking the data to support their political objectives and preparing a report that will offer another defense of the president's strategy," said Emanuel, the House Democratic Caucus Chair. "We don't need a report that wins the Nobel Prize for creative statistics or the Pulitzer for fiction."

Joe Biden was on Meet the Press yesterday singing with the anti-Petraus chorus.
President Bush's war strategy is failing and the top military commander in Iraq is "dead flat wrong" for warning against major changes, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Sunday.
"The reality is that, although there has been some mild progress on the security front, there is, in fact, no real security in Baghdad or Anbar province, where I was dealing with the most serious problem, sectarian violence," said Biden, a 2008 presidential candidate who recently returned from Iraq.

As Pete Hegseth, an Iraq War veteran and founder of Vets for Freedom writes,
Let's be clear: is suggesting that General Petraeus has 'betrayed' his country. This is disgusting. To attack as a traitor an American general commanding forces in war because his 'on the ground' experience does not align with's political objectives is utterly shameful. It shows contempt for America's military leadership, as well as for the troops who have confidence in him, as our fellow soldiers in Iraq certainly do.

General Petraeus has served this country for over 35 years with honor, distinction, and integrity. And this is not just about General Petraeus. After all, if General Petraeus is "cooking the books," then the entire military chain of command in Baghdad, and all the staff, military and civilian, who have been working with General Petraeus are complicit, since Petraeus did not write his report in isolation. They are all, apparently, 'betray[ing] us.'
So,, in effect, calls a highly respected general who was confirmed 81-0 by the U.S. Senate a traitor, but we can't question their patriotism? And, it seems, the Senate Democrats tacitly agree with the organization that said " "Now it's our party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back." Sure enough, they were right.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Is Ron Paul and Unhinged Idiot Synonyms?

I know, it is a rhetorical question. To think that this poor excuse for a Legislator is in the government is bad enough but the amazing thing about him is that he has a few dozen supporters whose last name isn't Paul.

Monday, August 13, 2007

One answer

to my four questions. There is no such thing as the normal, ideal global temperature because it has changed continuously for millenniums but all you will get from the AGW crown is dogma and Al Gore as its oracle. The scream that skeptics have been paid 10 Million dollars for their studies and are willing to sell out their reputations for chump change yet they fail to mentions that AGW proponents have received 50 Billion dollars for their false research which is being disproven brick by brick everyday.

They will not mention that James Hansen, who claimed Bush was politicizing Global Warming, giving money to Kerry etal received $250,000 from Teresa Heinz Kerry through her Heinz Foundation. But don't accuse him of being a political hack just because he screwed up the latest data and refused to provide his algorithms to other researchers so they could simply check his work, hiding his own errors from them and distorting the science he claims to care about oh-so-much until some persistent researchers went to the great trouble of reconstructing his algorithms themselves. All with public Government funds. But anyone who tries to refute the findings and review the so-called consensus are vilified as "deniers' and threatened if they don't just STFU.

In the meantime, the common people are supposed to change their lifestyles and lower their standard of living while the the priest and priestesses of the Church of Gaia offer to sell the indulgences to the sinners in the form of Carbon Credits or Offsets so that they may continue to sin but feel better about it while telling the rest of us to walk and eat less.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Four Questions.

  1. What is the accepted "Normal" temperature of the globe?
  2. What is considered the "Ideal" temperature of the globe?
  3. Why?
  4. According to who based on what "Settled Facts"?
The answer to these questions would do a lot in convincing me to change my opinion. According to some of the AGW crowd, if I am reading it right, it is a damned good thing we killed off all those wretched CO2, methane producing Bison in the 1800s, otherwise we may have cooked long ago.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Wheels coming off of Global Warming Wagon...Updated

There is going to be a lot of egg on faces and crow consumed it seems. First let's take a look at this revealing study. The authors just don't know how really revealing it is.Natural forces offset global warming last two years: study

Natural weather variations have offset the effects of global warming for the past couple of years and will continue to keep temperatures flat through 2008, a study released Thursday said.

But global warming will begin in earnest in 2009, and a couple of the years between 2009 and 2014 will eclipse 1998, the warmest year on record to date [proven to be false just this week-ed. see below], in the heat stakes, British meteorologists said.

Existing global climate computer models tend to underestimate the effects of natural forces on climate change, so for this analysis, Met Office experts tweaked their model to better reflect the impact of weather systems such as La Nina, or fluctuations in ocean heat and circulation.

Instead of using approximations, they used real data on the state of the ocean and the atmosphere to generate forecasts of climate change for the decade beginning in 2005 and running through 2014.

The projections suggested that while man-made greenhouse gases would raise temperatures over the long run, cooler water in the tropical Pacific and a resistance to warming in the Southern Ocean would counteract the effect of global warming in the early years of the decade.

The findings fit with the weather patterns seen so far, said Doug Smith, a research scientist at the UK's national weather service, the Met Office, in Exeter, Devon.

To test the accuracy of their new and improved computer model, Smith and his colleagues decided to run a series of "hindcasts," or forecasts for the years 1982-2001.

The new model yielded far more accurate "projections" for global surface temperatures than the previous model, Smith said.

The paper appears in the journal Science.

The editors write this:
"Stirrings in the North Atlantic Ocean today that have nothing to do with the strengthening greenhouse-just natural jostlings of the climate system-could lead to drought in Africa's Sahel in a decade or two, they recognized. ... until now, climate forecasters who worry about what greenhouse gases could be doing to climate have ignored what's happening naturally. Most looked 100 years ahead, far enough so that they could safely ignore what's happening now. No more. In this week's issue, researchers take their first stab at forecasting climate a decade ahead with current conditions in mind. The result is a bit disquieting. Natural climate variability driven by the ocean appears to have held greenhouse warming at bay the past few years ..."
And then for good measure add this in order to not be excommunicated from the new Church.
"but the warming, according to the forecast, should come roaring back before the end of the decade..." [italics added]

Now about that statement that 1998 was the hottest year recorded. 1998 was not the hottest year; that distinction goes to the year 1934. Here's the nut of the whole thing from Anthony Watts:

Here's a story of scientific investigation and discovery I'm proud to have had a small part in.

Regular readers may remember that I posted about a climate station in Detroit Lakes MN last week, surveyed by volunteer Don Kostuch, and cross posted it to the website that had two air conditioner units right next to it. It looked like an obvious cause and effect because in 1999 on May 5th, it was determined that the a/c units were moved off the roof of the radio station where this station resides and moved them to the ground where the temperature sensor is close by.

Steve McIntyre, of Toronto operates and began to investigate the data and the methods used to arrive at the results that were graphed by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

What he discovered was truly amazing. Since NASA does not fully publish the computer source code and formulae used to calculate the trends in the graph, nor the correction used to arrive at the "corrected" data. He had to reverse engineer the process by comparing the raw data and the processed data..

Here is one of his first posts where he begins to understand what is happening. "This imparts an upward discontinuity of a deg C in wintertime and 0.8 deg C annually. I checked the monthly data and determined that the discontinuity occurred on January 2000 - and, to that extent, appears to be a Y2K problem. I presume that this is a programming error."

He further refines his argument showing the distribution of the error, and the problems with the USHCN temperature data. He also sends an email to NASA GISS advising of the problem...

He finally publishes it here, stating that NASA made a correction not only on their own web page, attributing the discovery to McIntyre, but NASA also issued a corrected set of temperature anomaly data which you can see here:

Steve McIntyre posted this data from NASA's newly published data set from Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) These numbers represent deviation from the mean temperature calculated from temperature measurement stations throughout the USA.

According to the new data published by NASA, 1998 is no longer the hottest year ever. 1934 is.

Four of the top 10 years of US CONUS high temperature deviations are now from the 1930s: 1934, 1931, 1938 and 1939, while only 3 of the top 10 are from the last 10 years (1998, 2006, 1999). Several years (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004) fell well down the leaderboard, behind even 1900. (World rankings of temperature are calculated separately.)

So James Hansen, who claimed Bush was politicizing Global Warming, refused to provide his algorithms to other researchers so they could simply check his work, hiding his own errors from them and distorting the science he claims to care about oh-so-much until some persistent researchers went to the great trouble of reconstructing his algorithms themselves. Need I say read the whole thing?

For even more thoughts on this hoax/scam/dogma/religion/science, try here, here and here. I have much more and am suffering from overload. This just keeps getting better and better. An aside to Al Gore, would you like that crow baked or fried?

Update: Coyote Blog has some more information and several good links in the post. He also points us to two more posts of his that are worth reading.
"For more, please see my Guide to Anthropogenic Global Warming or, if you have less time, my 60-second argument for why one should be skeptical of catastrophic man-made global warming theory." Good information there for all of us heretics and blasphemers.

NYT...Get your terrorist tips here in one handy spot.

Mind Boggling
Blog solicits ideas for terrorists on how to be the most effective. Truly freaking amazing.
Update: Some more mind boggling goodies, this time from the left coast LAT.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Sky is falling. Slavery Returns!

Well, not exactly. The hyperbole coming from some of the left and the NAACP would make you think so however. Regarding the recent SCOTUS decision about forced integration in the K-12 schools for the purpose of "diversity", the Supremes made a minor adjustment. In his majority opinion, Justice Roberts said this..."The way to stop discriminating on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." That should be in the next edition of Bartletts. But you would think that the world was coming to an end if you read this editorial in the NYT.

The Supreme Court ruled 53 years ago in Brown v. Board of Education that segregated education is inherently unequal, and it ordered the nation’s schools to integrate. Yesterday, the court switched sides and told two cities that they cannot take modest steps to bring public school students of different races together. It was a sad day for the court and for the ideal of racial equality...Yesterday, the court’s radical new majority turned its back on that proud tradition in a 5-4 ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts. It has been some time since the court, which has grown more conservative by the year, did much to compel local governments to promote racial integration. But now it is moving in reverse, broadly ordering the public schools to become more segregated.

I call Bullshit. So does Juan Williams in the very same NYT.

LET us now praise the Brown decision. Let us now bury the Brown decision.

With yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling ending the use of voluntary schemes to create racial balance among students, it is time to acknowledge that Brown’s time has passed. It is worthy of a send-off with fanfare for setting off the civil rights movement and inspiring social progress for women, gays and the poor. But the decision in Brown v. Board of Education that focused on outlawing segregated schools as unconstitutional is now out of step with American political and social realities.

Desegregation does not speak to dropout rates that hover near 50 percent for black and Hispanic high school students. It does not equip society to address the so-called achievement gap between black and white students that mocks Brown’s promise of equal educational opportunity.

And the fact is, during the last 20 years, with Brown in full force, America’s public schools have been growing more segregated — even as the nation has become more racially diverse. In 2001, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that the average white student attends a school that is 80 percent white, while 70 percent of black students attend schools where nearly two-thirds of students are black and Hispanic.

Read both columns and tell me who is the Chicken Little here.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bi-partisanship in Action

The overwhelming defeat of the Amnesty Bill can't be laid at the feet of just one party. 16 Democrats and 1 Independent voted Nay
12 Republicans and 1 Independent voted Yea
Sorry Harry, that dog won't hunt. I think even the Democrats were turned off by the back-room secret shenanigans going on and the heavy handed tactics used by Reid and company.

Amnesty Bill Goes Down in Flames

It wasn't even close. Apparently the grassroots efforts against this travesty was heard by many Senators. And there are some strange bedfellows on the nay side of the vote. Many of the former ayes switched because of the public outcry. Find the 53 nays and the 46 ayes here.Thank those who supported you. We should show our pleasure with the outcome just like we show our displeasure.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

White House Report Hides the Real Costs

In another follow-up on the Heritage report about the costs of this amnesty bill, Robert Rector answers the White House.It is a long response but well worth reading. An excerpt:

Last week, the White House Council of Economic Advisers issued a report entitled "Immigration's Economic Impact" which defended the President's promotion of the Senate's "comprehensive" immigration legislation (S.1348).[1] On June 25, the White House issued a follow-up editorial elaborating on the points made in the CEA report.[2] These publications criticized Heritage Foundation research on the fiscal costs of low skill immigration and amnesty.

The Heritage research criticized by the White House made the following basic points about immigration and its costs:

  1. Individuals without a high school degree impose significant net costs (the extent to which benefits and services received exceed taxes paid) on taxpayers.
  2. The net fiscal cost of families of immigrants who lack a high school degree is not markedly different from the net fiscal cost of families of non-immigrants who lack a high school degree.
  3. Immigrants are disproportionately low skilled; one-third of all immigrants and 50 to 60 percent of illegal immigrants lack a high school degree.
  4. Unlike low and moderate skill immigrants, immigrants with a college education will pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits; therefore. immigration policy should increase the number of high skill immigrants entering the country and sharply decrease the number of low skill, fiscally dependent immigrants.[3]

Heritage research has shown that low skill immigrants (those without a high school degree) receive, on average, three dollars in government benefits and services for each dollar of taxes they pay. This imbalance imposes a net cost of $89 billion per year on U.S. taxpayers. Over a lifetime, the typical low skill immigrant household will cost taxpayers $1.2 million.[4]

Future taxpayer costs will be increased by policies which increase (1) the number of low skill immigrants entering the U.S., (2) the length of low skill immigrants' stays in the U.S., or (3) low skill immigrants' access to government benefits and services. Unfortunately, this is exactly what the Senate immigration bill does:

  • The bill would triple the flow of low skill chain immigration into the U.S.
  • By granting amnesty to at least 12 million illegal immigrants, the bill would greatly lengthen their stay in the U.S., particularly during retirement years.
  • The bill would grant illegal immigrants access to Social Security and Medicare benefits and, over time, to more than 60 different federal welfare programs.
  • Although the bill does not currently permit Z visa holders to bring spouses and children in from abroad, this would likely be amended at some future point on humanitarian grounds, resulting in another 5 million predominantly low-skill immigrants entering the country.

Heritage research has concluded that the cost of amnesty alone will be $2.6 trillion once the amnesty recipients reach retirement age.

In an effort to defend the Senate bill, the White has contested these conclusions. As described below, many of the assertions made by the White House are inaccurate or misleading.

More on Amnesty

Here is what Jim DeMint has to say about this bill.

U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) said Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid bears responsibility for the immigration bill after Reid used his powers to guarantee votes on a few amendments while blocking all others. According to the Senate historian, this has never been done before in U.S. history.

“Senator Reid has been trying to portray this immigration nightmare as solely the responsibility of President Bush, but today we saw just how bad Reid wants it. He used his power as Majority Leader to manipulate and abuse the rules of the Senate to ram this bill down our throats. He has set up a process that guarantees votes on a few amendments while blocking all others. This has never been done before, and it’s the most heavy-handed and rigged thing I have ever seen. This bill may have Ted Kennedy’s name on it but it belongs to Harry Reid now.”

After the Senate voted to cut off debate on the question of whether to resurrect the Senate immigration bill, Senator Reid set up unique debate process that guarantees votes several hand-picked amendments but blocks consideration of all others. Senator Reid used a parliamentary tool called a “clay pigeon” to divide a giant amendment into multiple amendments and then moved to block all others. No other member of the Senate besides Reid could have accomplished all of this without being stopped by another Senator. No other Majority Leader in history has done this.

“Republicans need to take a step back and realize what happened today. Senator Reid turned the Senate into the House and fundamentally undermined minority rights,” said Senator DeMint. “I was always told the Senate was the saucer that cooled the pot, but Senator Reid is forcing us to drink straight from the spout. Republicans better wake up soon or they can expect Senator Reid to use this tactic in the future to raise taxes, increase spending, and weaken our national security.”

I agree for the most part with him but that doesn't take away the fact that it is co-owned by President Bush and the "Grand Bargainers" of the GOP in their back room dealings. Stanley Kurtz has it about right.
Something about this immigration battle doesn’t sit well. For all the bitterness of our political battles, there’s at least the sense that the government responds to the drift of public opinion. The Republicans in Congress turned into big spenders and the war in Iraq went poorly. As a result the Democrats prospered in 2006, if narrowly. That’s how democracy works. Our politics are often angry and ugly (and that’s a problem), but this is because the public is deeply divided on issues of great importance. Deep down, we understand that our political problems reflect our own divisions.

Somehow this immigration battle feels different. The bill is wildly unpopular, yet it’s close to passing. The contrast with the high-school textbook version of democracy is not only glaring and maddening, it’s downright embarrassing. Usually, even when we’re at each others’ throats, there’s still an underlying pride in the democratic process. This immigration battle strips us of even that pride.

I’m still stuck on the way this bill was going to be pushed through without a public airing of crucial provisions, in the two or three days before Memorial Day recess. But I should be stuck even further back–on the way this bill was cooked up in a backroom deal that bypassed the ordinary process of public hearings. We take them for granted, but those civics textbook fundamentals are there for a reason. We’re going to pay a steep price for setting the fundamentals aside.

If that is not enough to make you thoroughly disgusted with our leaders, here is an editorial from NRO that highlights the eight Senators that may be convinced to change their vote and come out against cloture in the next vote. Jim Webb, who was just elected and campaigned against amnesty, should be reminded of his campaign promises.
The Senate Tuesday voted to revive its misbegotten immigration bill, with the help of a handful of senators who claim to oppose amnesty but voted to proceed. They are now getting what they voted for, as H. L. Mencken put it, good and hard — with a 370-page “clay pigeon” amendment that is supposed to be digested and voted on by the end of the week. If the bill had been defeated yesterday, it would have been gone for at least two years and probably longer. Instead, it is a little closer to passage. But first it has to overcome another cloture vote scheduled for tomorrow. Again, the bill needs 60 votes to survive.

It got 64 votes yesterday. If all of the senators who voted against cloture stand firm, then, five senators would have to switch to no to defeat the bill on Thursday. Those votes are available from a bipartisan group of eight senators who have profound doubts about this bill. Our reporting suggests these senators are most likely to be persuaded to vote no on Thursday and derail amnesty. They are Sens. Kit Bond (R., Mo.), Sam Brownback (R., Kan.), Richard Burr (R., N.C.), Norm Coleman (R. Minn), John Ensign (R. Nev.), Ben Nelson (D., Neb.), Mark Pryor (D., Ark.) and Jim Webb (D., Va.).

Senators opposed to amnesty tended to justify their votes for cloture Tuesday by saying that they want one last shot at improving the bill. That sounds reasonable enough. But the entire exercise in the Senate is about passing the core “Grand Bargain” — that is, immediate legal status for illegal aliens in exchange for promises of enforcement later. Any amendment that truly threatens the bargain won’t pass, although the Republican Grand Bargainers are willing to go as far as they dare in putting more enforcement around the edges of the deal. For weeks, they insisted that the bill was tough on enforcement, but suddenly it now needs all sorts of enhancements. It is transparent that their commitment to these enhancements begins and ends with the need to pick off enough Republican votes to get through the next cloture vote.

Read it all.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Senator John Cornyn (R-Tx) Speaks Volumes

I salute my home state Senators for standing up for reason.

WASHINGTON— U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, top Republican on the Immigration, Border Security and Refugees subcommittee, made the following statement regarding today’s vote by the Senate to proceed to a deeply-flawed immigration reform bill. Senator Cornyn, along with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, voted against the decision to proceed to the legislation without adequate opportunity to amend it.

“Free and open debate is a hallmark of the United States Senate. So it is deeply disappointing that political expediency today took precedence over a serious public review of what is perhaps the most important domestic policy issue facing our country.

“On an issue as critical to America’s future as immigration reform, there should be a full and fair debate conducted in the light of day before the American people. Instead, this process was conducted behind closed doors and the Majority Leader refused to allow Senators, such as myself, to even have important amendments considered.

“I have made clear that very serious loopholes exist in this bill, which strike at the heart of America’s national security. Yet, the Senate failed to review, and even consider, efforts to fix it in a number of key areas. I fear that like in 1986, we are promising something to the American people that we cannot, and will not, deliver. If not addressed as the legislative process moves forward, this flawed bill will have very serious consequences for America’s future security.

“I have worked for years to find a common sense solution to our dysfunctional immigration system. I regret that a closed internal process this time has prevented several of my ideas from being considered, and has stopped the U.S. Senate from having a full and fair opportunity to debate and amend the current bill. Even so, I will continue to do my best to pursue a rational immigration policy, one that restores integrity and respect for our laws.”

Sen. Cornyn serves on the Armed Services, Judiciary and Budget Committees. In addition, he is Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship subcommittee and the Armed Services Committee’s Airland subcommittee.

That speaks for itelf and for me. And also for 75% of Americans.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Vote for Cloture is a Vote For Amnesty.

The Senators cannot use the dodge that they voted against this bill if they voted for cloture. If they think they can, they think we are as stupid as they are lacking in integrity. We will note who they are and remember how they voted on cloture for this garbage yet in order to cover their asses, they vote against the bill knowing it will pass anyway, is not only the height of hubris but the depths of perfidy.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Senate changes lipstick color on pig. Still not Kosher.

The Heritage Foundation has the newly numbered and soon to be introduced Immigration Bill. Included in the post is a link to the PDF of the whole nine smelly yards. They have this to say:

The Senate's Second Secret Immigration Bill

For weeks, Americans were told that there are only two options for dealing with the nation's illegal immigration problem: stay with the status quo or accept a "grand bargain"--a tenuous behind-closed-doors deal, first made public by The Heritage Foundation, which contained nearly 800 pages of flawed policies. In the face of overwhelming criticism from all sides, this legislation was withdrawn from the Senate.

Now, an altogether new bill (S. 1639) has been introduced by Senators Ted Kennedy and Arlen Specter. It seems to incorporate the previous legislation, with some amendments. After it is read into the Senate calendar on Wednesday, the Majority Leader will be able to proceed to consider this legislation anew at any time; debate is likely to follow later this week, with a final vote very soon thereafter.

This schedule will afford lawmakers even less time for consideration and deliberation than they had before. It will deny them the various procedures long associated with America's deliberative lawmaking process--hearings, testimony, committee debate and amendments, floor debate, and the possibility of further amendments. Instead, according to reports, this legislation will proceed based on an altogether new and expedited procedure designed for the sole purpose of forcing the bill's many ill-conceived policies over legitimate minority objections.

As it has before, for the sake of open deliberation and public education, The Heritage Foundation is making this legislation publicly available to encourage widespread debate and discussion. Heritage Foundation analysts will be reading this legislation and considering its implications--as will everyone outside the confines of the narrow group that conceived it--as quickly as possible.

Download S.1639: The Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (PDF, 20 MB)

I am curious about what is in the "new and improved version" of this bill. A different color lipstick perhaps?

Inhofe at Captains Quarters

Senator James Inhofe guest appearence at Ed Morrisseys Captains Quarters.

I am pleased to welcome Senator James Inhofe, R-OK, for his first guest post at Captain's Quarters. Senator Inhofe introduces his petition drive to get grassroots action on immigration that focuses on securing the nation's borders.

Thank you, Captain Ed for allowing me to submit this guest post. I want to briefly discuss illegal immigration, an issue I know many, if not all, CQ readers care deeply about.

Before long, the U.S. Senate will engage in yet another round of debate and backroom deal making on the comprehensive immigration reform bill. And once again, the overwhelming majority of Americans who are deeply concerned about this bill will stand up in opposition. It’s the American people that have prevented its passage so far, and only the American people can stop it a second time. My fellow Senators, under tremendous pressure from party leaders, need to be reminded now more than ever that American citizens have strong opinions on immigration reform and border security.

The inescapable fact is that this bill guarantees amnesty for 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants with no clear indication that the border will be secured once and for all. Until real progress is made in stepping up border security and preventing the flow of new illegal immigrants, the question of what to do about illegal immigrants already here is irrelevant. As long as the source of illegal immigration, a porous border left irresponsibly neglected, remains unaddressed, it is impossible to have a meaningful discussion about a path to citizenship for those already here.

In preparation for the upcoming debate, I’ve started the Secure Borders Now online petition at It gives American citizens a direct voice into the Senate debate. Already, just a few days after the site launched, we have received thousands of signatures and touching personal messages in opposition to the bill. They range from a story of personal achievement for a proud Texan who immigrated legally to a story from a gentleman who gave twenty years of military service, but now wonders how his children and grandchildren can remain safe when we don’t even enforce our own border security laws.

Now, more than ever, we need signatures from every part of the country. I’ll be sending each Senator the petition signatures from the citizens of his or her state as well as a summary of the tremendous response nationwide. We must remind them how passionately the American people feel about this issue.

Please take a moment to sign the petition at, and I hope you will share the link with your friends and family who care as much as I do about protecting this country and doing what’s right.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Crossing the Rubicon for the GOP

The Republican Party along with the President has sold out the conservatives that are concerned with security for the amnesty crowd. Instead of representing 76+ percent of the American people in this Amnesty bill, they are ignoring us and with such obvious disdain, actually have the hubris to insult us. Ted Kennedy says that it is too complicated for the people to understand and the rest of the leadership, especially on the Republican side of the aisle concurs. From Trent "porkbarrel" Lott, to Lindsey Graham, McCain, McConnell and many others in the leadership. Do they think that stiffing the electorate will get them re-elected? Sure didn't work last time and this coming election may prove to be an unmitigated disaster. They may indeed be crossing the Rubicon with this bill. This is not about right vs left or Democrats vs Republicans. This is about the conflict between the public and the political class. It crosses party lines and is one of the few things that Americans agree on. 76 percent agreement on anything is not something one sees often and the Congressional leadership and the President are still in the full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes mindset of saying "screw you America".

This bill is rotten to the core. It does not matter how many spices you add to tainted meat, it is still tainted meat. Throw it out and start over. Just one small aspect of this bill, and there are many as bad, is the idea that they are going to do full background check on the illegal aliens in 24 hours. That is ludicrous on its face. Does anyone think that we are stupid enough to believe that? Apparently they do. Check out what the Washington Post has to say about this in dealing with legal immigrants.

Since 2005, the backlog of legal U.S. immigrants whose applications for naturalization and other benefits are stuck on hold awaiting FBI name checks has doubled to 329,160, prompting a flood of lawsuits in federal courts, bureaucratic finger-pointing in Washington and tough scrutiny by 2008 presidential candidates...
About 90 percent of name checks, officials say, emerge with no matches within three months, after an automated search of databases. But the remaining 10 percent can take months or years, as 30 analysts and assistants must coordinate with 56 field offices and retrieve files stored in 265 locations nationwide
And they want us to believe that employers etal will get background checks on 12 million illegal aliens within 24 hours.

Michelle Malkin has an excellent overview of just how ridiculous that is.

*The backlog of 600,000-plus fugitive deportee cases.

*The backlog of 4 million immigration applications of all kinds.

*The backlog of an estimated 100,000 FBI background checks for legal immigrant applicants.

*The disappearance of 111,000 citizenship applications.

And that is just one small part of this Amnesty fiasco bill. Not even the worst part. It is even now taking 6 to 17 months for American Citizens to get a freaking passport. Your government efficiency in action.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Chambliss/Isakson letter to Bush

As noted in my previous post, here is the letter from the two latest defectors from the Grand Plan. It seems that they actually listened to the voters of Georgia on the recent trip home.

Dear Mr. President:

Although the Senate’s effort to reform our nation’s immigration laws through the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 is stalled, illegal immigration remains our nation’s number one domestic issue. We therefore believe it is incumbent upon us and our colleagues to tackle this issue and not leave this problem for future generations to solve.

As we travel around Georgia and continue to hear from our constituents, the message from a majority of Georgians is that they have no trust that the United States Government will enforce the laws contained in this new legislation and secure the border first. This lack of trust is rooted in the mistakes made in 1986 and the continued chaos surrounding our immigration laws. Understandably, the lack of credibility the federal government has on this issue gives merit to the skepticism of many about future immigration reform.

We believe the way to build greater support for immigration reform in the United States Senate and among the American public is to regain the trust in the ability of the federal government to responsibly administer immigration programs and enforce immigration laws. There is bipartisan agreement that we need to secure our borders first, and we believe this approach will serve as a platform towards addressing the other issues surrounding immigration reform.

To that end, we believe that you and your administration could alleviate many of the fears of our constituents by calling for an emergency supplemental bill to fully fund the border and interior security initiatives contained in legislation currently pending in the Senate, as well as any outstanding existing authorizations. Such a move would show your commitment to securing the border first and to stopping the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs into our nation. It will also work towards restoring the credibility of the federal government on this critical issue.

We urge you to carefully consider this request, and thank you for the opportunity to express the views of the people of Georgia on this matter.

Saxby Chambliss Johnny Isakson
United States Senator United States Senator

Immigration Bill...what really happened?

That is a question being answered in a memo now circulating on the Hill.
It is a PDF file but well worth reading it all about what they don't want you to know. Just a few excerpts from the memo. It has more to do with process than substance but does answer some questions.

There are three primary reasons the bill failed:

* The complicated legislation, constantly being tweaked by the White House and Deal-Makers, is full of loopholes and problems that deserved amendment and full consideration -- consideration denied by the Democrats.

* The White House, certain Democrats and the Deal-Makers blatantly disregarded the legislative process -- drafting the bill behind closed doors, skipping the committee process, jamming the bill through the system, limiting the number and type of amendments that could be offered and trying to close down debate on the bill long before appropriate concerns with the bill had been addressed fully.

The handful of Senators in the coalition never showed the bill to anyone prior to dumping it on the Senate and demanding that the committee process be bypassed and the debate schedule truncated. Even Harry Reid could not abide that kind of arrogance and extended the debate so that people could actually read the bill. The Senate then took on the role of Committee Of The Whole, but on such an accelerated rate that Reid had to ration the number of amendments. In the end, he didn't leave enough time for the bill to have its proper review, and it failed -- and quite properly.

Regardless of the merits and demerits of the bill, this process was atrocious and arrogant. Had the bill come through committee as was proper, we wouldn't have had the parliamentary free-for-all we saw these last two weeks. It would have allowed for interested parties to carefully peruse the legislation, fix its myriad problems, and have an intelligent debate over amendments. Instead, we had the ridiculous fire drill of a nine-day scrum to determine the overhaul of our entire immigration and border security systems, starting in ignorance and ending in ignominy.

Read the whole thing. Meanwhile thanks to Captain Ed at Captains Quarters, we hear about a couple of defectors.

In a development that underscores the death of the current bill, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isaacson appear to have defected from the Grand Coalition, and now want a supplemental spending bill that focuses on border security:

We believe the way to build greater support for immigration reform in the United States Senate and among the American public is to regain the trust in the ability of the federal government to responsibly administer immigration programs and enforce immigration laws. There is bipartisan agreement that we need to secure our borders first, and we believe this approach will serve as a platform towards addressing the other issues surrounding immigration reform.

To that end, we believe that you and your administration could alleviate many of the fears of our constituents by calling for an emergency supplemental bill to fully fund the border and interior security initiatives contained in legislation currently pending in the Senate, as well as any outstanding existing authorizations. Such a move would show your commitment to securing the border first and to stopping the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs into our nation. It will also work towards restoring the credibility of the federal government on this critical issue.

"Outstanding existing authorizations" means the 854 miles of border
barriers authorized and funded by the last Congress. Build that, and we'll get back to you, Chambliss and Isaacson told the President in this statement.

Update: Having read this memo of unknown pedigree I feel that I need to add a caveat.If this memo and what it says it true, then the lawmakers in DC are living in more of a bubble and sequestered from the people than even I could imagine or the writer is looking through the wrong end of the telescope. I personally think/hope that the hundreds of thousands of e-mails and phone calls and letters written to the Senators by ordinary voters had something to do with this defeat. Everything that I have read says that all of the communications reaching DC from the voting public ran 99 to 1 against this legislation. It may be naive of me to think that the American people had as much to do with this past defeat as the egotism and feeling of being dissed by their colleagues that led to the defeat of this rotten piece of legislation.

Immigration Bill or "How to Eat an Elephant"

Scenario...There is a rogue elephant in the room. First step is to identify the elephant. Second step is to formulate a plan on how to deal with said pachyderm. Next thing needed is a plan on how to properly dispose of the animal for the good of all. The only way to eat said elephant is one bite at a time. What does this have to do with Immigration and the bill that won't die? Instead of insisting on an all or nothing approach, euphemistically called a "Comprehensive Approach" let's start over with nothing, show the country that they (the Government) is willing to enforce the laws that are already on the books, build the fence that was overwhelmingly approved last year, increase border security, stem the flood and enforce employer laws, cut off federal money to
Sanctuary Cities" and then we can talk about dealing with the illegal immigrants already here and maybe a guest worker program. The bill that is under consideration is so gangrenous and rotten that is smells from its core.

If President Bush is successful in his attempt to revive this fiasco as part of his legacy, it will indeed go down as part of his legacy and it is not the kind of legacy most people would find attractive. He and several of his party, formerly my party, in collusion with many of the Democratic party are willing to spit in the face of 73% of the American people. As low as Bush's approval rating is, it is almost twice what Harry Reid's approval rating is at the time. That may not last. There are a few heroes in the GOP. Among them are Cornyn, Hutchison, Coburn, Demint, Sessions and others but there are also a perfidious few that are in a race to the bottom. This elephant is down but not out and remains indigestible in its present state.

Why is the Senate and Bush so enamored with this bill? Why does it need to be 'comprehensive" and try to address both the enforcement and the amnesty at the same time. Why not separately? Because this puts them on both sides of the issue which is what most politicians want. Plausible deniability depending on the audience and set of voters they happen to be addressing at the time. They can say that it was the best they could get and had to compromise to do it. Expect to hear various forms of the canard "We just could not sacrifice the good in pursuit of the perfect." In fact what they have done is settled for the bad rather than pursue the good or at least much better. I'll say it again, better no bill than this bill. This may be a watershed moment for some of the GOP Senators when it is time for the primaries. Voltaire said it best. "Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres" In this country, it is wise from time to time to kill an admiral to encourage the others. Some of these Senators may indeed face a career ending primary firing squad.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Cornyn, Hutchison Followup Letters

I received two follow-up letters from Texas Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison today and thought I would share them with you. It does seem that some of the Senate is listening. I hope they continue to listen to the people and not to the President and others including Kyle, Graham, Kennedy and McCain.

Dear Mr. Heard:

Thank you for contacting me about immigration reform. The need to fix our broken system is clear, and I appreciate having the benefit of your insight on one of the most important issues of our day.

Immigration reform ultimately must be about improving our system for legal immigration, not about creating new benefits for illegal aliens. Although we are a proud nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws. If policymakers will agree that all immigrants must abide by the rule of law, then we can reach a consensus on ways to improve the legal process so that it meets the needs of our society, our economy and our national security.

Recently, the Senate began to debate S. 1348, a comprehensive immigration reform bill. It is encouraging that the Senate is taking up this important matter and attempting to address the problems that plague our immigration system. However, I have serious concerns that the legislation, as drafted, will repeat the well documented mistakes of the 1986 amnesty bill. Further, if we fail to address the rampant fraud and fail to close all loopholes in our current broken system, then we will fail to truly reform our system.

I have been working throughout my time in the Senate to develop a solution to this problem that I believe will work. I would invite you to visit my website at to acquaint yourself with the immigration reforms I support. As we consider this bill in the Senate and beyond, I will continue to promote these policies, but I will oppose any bill that rewards illegal conduct and encourages further disrespect for our laws.

I appreciate the opportunity to represent the interests of Texans in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.


United States Senator

517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856

Here is the letter from Senator Hutchison.

Dear Mr. Heard:

Knowing of your interest in the issue of immigration, I wanted to send you a copy of an opinion editorial that I wrote with Senator Cornyn three weeks ago about the immigration bill currently being considered by the U.S. Senate. The editorial appeared in newspapers throughout Texas.

Secure Borders and Immigration Reform Without Amnesty

by Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn

Published in Texas newspapers the week of May 21, 2007

As your U.S. Senators, we have been heavily involved in the Congressional debate on immigration reform for several years. We have taken a leadership role on this issue because we represent a state that uniquely benefits from the contributions of legal immigrants, but is also uniquely vulnerable to the dangers of illegal immigration. Throughout this process, our principles have been clear and consistent: We must secure our borders, and we cannot encourage illegal behavior through amnesty.

Last week, the Bush administration, along with a small group of Senators, announced a compromise immigration bill that would take a necessary first step in improving border security. We did not join in the announcement. While our efforts had a positive influence, we were not convinced the announced proposal guarantees repair of our current broken system. We are particularly concerned that we may be repeating the mistakes of the failed 1986 national amnesty.

As of late Friday, the actual text of the “grand compromise” had not yet been published. Major questions remain about details of the plan, and how it would work. , We believe the bill – which was negotiated privately – deserves a full public airing before it’s considered.

The bill promises some long-term positive changes, including significant border security measures, an end to chain migration, and a switch to green card distribution based on merit.

But many problems have not been satisfactorily addressed. For example, we must make certain that convicted criminals are not eligible for any legalization, and if these individuals attempt to stay here, that they are arrested and promptly deported.

We must ensure that only those who have played by the rules – and not those engaged in identity theft – receive Social Security benefits. This proposal would enable illegal immigrants to collect Social Security benefits for the time they were unlawfully in our country. At a time when we are already facing major shortfalls in our ability to pay benefits for future retirees, this represents an unfair burden on the American taxpayer. We must end the rampant document fraud that plagues our workplaces today, and do it in a way that is legally enforceable.

Some of our colleagues, sensing the fragile nature of the proposed compromise, want to rush it through the Congress immediately. This would be a major mistake. It is too important and too complicated to rush. The legislation requires extended Senate debate, with full opportunity for public input and criticism, and an open process for amendments to strengthen its provisions.

In 1986, the Congress approved a similar compromise plan that, in return for amnesty for most immigrants here illegally, promised an end to porous borders and disregard for our laws. Those promises were not honored. The amnesty legislation instead actually encouraged further disrespect for our laws, and led directly to the situation we face today.

As the bill reaches the Senate floor this week, our goal will be restoring the integrity of our borders, providing guest workers with opportunity, not amnesty, and preserving our social security for all who legally qualify. Our contributions to the debate will continue to be positive, and constructive.

Our country needs immigration reform. We must ensure that it’s done, and done correctly.

Kay Bailey Hutchison

Please do not reply to this message. If you have additional comments, send your remarks through Senator Hutchison's website at Thank you.

I am working on a "how-to eat an elephant" piece as a way to immigration reform.