Monday, May 21, 2007

Congressional Priorities

The Senate is ready to start debate on the thousand page bill that is not even fully written, few details are available, only the rough draft summary.The are anxious to ram this through without the usual oversight and debate. Why? They don't want anybody to know what is really in the bill, knowing it will not survive the light of day. It will devastate our border security, open the country to a further deluge in illegal immigrants in order to line up for the new Z visa (a joke in itself) and will over a period of time cost this country trillions, not billions, in social services, and future welfare and social security burdens. Out schools systems, hospitals and other institutions are already at the breaking point and then add millions more to the immigrant pool and you are looking at disaster. Our Medicare, Medicaid programs are already in serious trouble with the additional burden of millions more flooding our borders. Not to mention the security failure of allowing possible terrorists in our porous borders. Yet the Congress must pass this bill before the Memorial Day break.

Contrast this rush to pass this bill with the funding of our troops with a clean supplemental. 100 days and counting. 124 billion proposed including 25 billion of pork bribes to pass a bill they knew would be vetoed. We have men and women in harms way, sent by the very same lawmakers who are now play political games of gotcha in a game of brinksmanship. Both instances are shameful and one hell of a way to run a country. I would like to say that we deserve better but we are the ones who voted these clowns into office and stand here just shaking our heads. People seem to be more interested in American Idol or what Rosie is going to say next. There is a saying that I vaguely remember abou the only thing worse than apathy is fanatical apathy.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Fine Print of the Immigration Bill

When I posted earlier about the devil being in the details, I was right on the money. Hugh Hewitt, a law Professor and blogger among other things has been pouring over the details since the 700 page summary was released and spent a very productive weekend for our benefit. So far he has broken it down in 8 parts and I'm sure he is not through with this large and complicated document. It is actually worse than I thought. His concluding statement in Part I is spot on.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I can only read Section 601(h) as a massive undercutting of the entire concept of "triggers," an undercutting which various talking points have not underscored or quantified, which points to why the jam down demanded by Senator McCain is so reprehensible. Ordinary citizens have almost zero chance of figuring out what this bill intends and how its provisions will interact, and the proxies on whom they might rely will hardly have any opportunity to fully vet the language.

As I noted below, the president and the GOP Senate leadership need to postpone any cloture vote until the law is examined, debated and amended.

Scott at Powerline gives us a little background on the "F*ck you" incident and what really went on. Well worth reading it.

UPDATE: Be sure to check out N.Z. Bear's online version of the draft immigration bill which allows for section-by-section comments.

Different types of immigrants

I posted this entry in May of last year and and felt it might be a good repost considering todays news and pending legislation. It seems as appropriate today as it did a year ago. Maybe more so. Here is the first few paragraphs but the whole thing can be found at the link.
There are, IMO, several different classifications of "Immigrants"

1. What I consider true immigrants are those who come to this country and resolve to be a part of this country, become citizens, and are willing and anxious to assimilate into our country and society. They strive to learn the language and will be proud to be called Americans. These include the people who jumped through all the hoops legally and also include many who came here illegally. These people are the type that made America what it became after 1776.

2. My second category is the ones who come here illegally, have no thought of trying to assimilate or contributing to the betterment of the country and have no intention of becoming citizens. They are here to take as much as they can, get all the benefits tax free, strain our health care and school systems to the breaking point and yet have no love for this country. They remain faithful to their own heritage (which I have no problem with) and to the flag and country from where they came from, even though it was unable to provide anything for them. They come as "guest workers" whether wanted, needed, legal or not.

3. The third type I identify are the Colonists. This group, both legal and illegal, and even some citizens who believe in Aztlan and the Reconquista. Their motto is "It was ours once and it will be again, Gringo's out" This idea is resonating with many of the young second and third generations of Latino immigrants, both legal and illegal. It could be seen in the big demonstrations a couple of weeks ago with the signs and the flags. Since then they have become a little more media savvy. The Europeans initially came here as colonists too and overwhelmed the culture and the people who were here. That does not mean that we should lay down and let others do it to us. We built this dream that they want, from a wilderness into what is the best nation in the world. What have they done with their countries that makes their citizens want to come here?

For my conclusions, here is the link.

Devil in the details

If the devil is indeed in the details then it seems that the more details we learn about this Amnesty bill, the more it looks like it is chock full of demons. Nobody seems to know for sure what all is in this bill, now at a draft stage of 700 pages and expected to grow to 1000 pages. Not even the people who will be voting on it has any idea and will have little time to study and debate it before voting.
One provision that has come to light is the forgiveness of any back taxes owed by illegal aliens. Do you think for one minute that the IRS would forgive any citizen for unpaid taxes? The Boston Globe fills us in on this latest demon detail.

The Bush administration insisted on a little-noticed change in the bipartisan Senate immigration bill that would enable 12 million undocumented residents to avoid paying back taxes or associated fines to the Internal Revenue Service, officials said.

An independent analyst estimated the decision could cost the IRS tens of billions of dollars.

A provision requiring payment of back taxes had been in the initial version of a bill proposed by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat. But the administration called for the provision to be removed due to concern that it would be too difficult to figure out which illegal immigrants owed back taxes.

The dropping of the back-tax provision was not made clear in the announcement of the immigration reform proposal on Thursday. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, speaking in reference to illegal immigrants seeking legal status, said, "You've got to pay your taxes." He did not state whether he was referring to back taxes, future taxes, or both.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel, asked in a telephone interview yesterday to clarify Chertoff's remark, said it referred only to future taxes.

"It is important that the reformed immigration system is workable and cost efficient," Stanzel said. "Determining the past tax liability would have been very difficult and costly and extremely time consuming."

Stanzel stressed that immigrants would be required to pay a fine of up to $5,000 if they want to apply for a green card to become a legal resident, although that fine is not for failure to pay taxes.

Laura Capps, a spokeswoman for Kennedy, said a provision for requiring back taxes was in Kennedy's original bill and that Chertoff called for it to be removed. "Chertoff thought it would be too challenging to accurately determine the amount of an applicant's back taxes," she said.

If you're thinking that flat-rate $5000 fine would cover it anyway, guess again-- Mel Martinez is looking to get that dramatically reduced if not removed entirely. Freed Thompson had this to say about this "comprehensive" immigration bill.

But there's an old saying in Washington that, in dealing with any tough issue, half the politicians hope that citizens don't understand it while the other half fear that people actually do. This kind of thinking was apparent with the "comprehensive" immigration reform bill that the U.S. Senate and the White House negotiated yesterday.

I'd tell you what was in the legislation, but 24 hours after the politicians agreed the bill looked good, the Senate lawyers were still writing what may turn out to be a one thousand page document. In fact, a final version of the bill most likely will not be made available to the public until after the legislation is passed. That may come five days from now. That's like trying to digest an eight-course meal on a fifteen-minute lunch break....


Is it any wonder that a lot of folks today feel like they're being sold a phony bill of goods on border security? A "comprehensive" plan doesn't mean much if the government can't accomplish one of its most basic responsibilities for its citizens -- securing its borders. A nation without secure borders will not long be a sovereign nation.

No matter how much lipstick Washington tries to slap onto this legislative pig, it's not going to win any beauty contests. In fact, given Congress's track record, the bill will probably get a lot uglier -- at least from the public's point of view. And agreeing to policies before actually seeing what the policies are is a heck of a way to do business.

There is no telling how many devils there are in this pit. As Thompson says, we may never know until past the time it is enacted into law.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Eating Crow, and liking it

In my previous post I stated that the Amnesty Bill was a fait accompli. Apparently it may not be a done deal yet. According to this from the Washington Times

"The president's willingness to accept the granting of amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants has sent a harmful message to Republican voters around the country," said Rep. Mike Pence, Indiana Republican. "But I also believe that'll sort itself out in the primaries of 2008. At the end of the day, this is an issue where I find myself focusing less on politics than what policy I think is in the best interests of the American people."
Last year, both Mr. Pence and Sen. John Cornyn of Texas appeared to be promising allies for Mr. Bush. Mr. Pence met with the president in the Oval Office to talk about the congressman's plan to have illegal aliens leave the country and apply to re-enter from outside.
When Democrats won control of Congress, Mr. Bush tacked left, negotiating with Mr. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and producing a deal on Thursday that many Republicans say is amnesty.
"The core of the apple here is the fact that 12 million illegal immigrants in this country can get right with the law without leaving the country. I think for most Americans, that is amnesty," Mr. Pence said, adding that from his read of his colleagues -- Democrats and Republicans -- "I don't believe the Senate bill has a future in the House."
Also on the outside of the deal is Mr. Cornyn, who at one point had a bill that most closely mirrored Mr. Bush's principles of a temporary-worker program and requiring illegal aliens to leave the country without creating a new path to citizenship for them.

If this bill does actually go down in flames, I will be very happy. Someone pass the salt and pepper please.

Bastante es Bastante revisited

The latest update on the new Amnesty Bill in Congress. The title is in reference to a post I made in 2005 if you're wondering. It means enough is enough. It seems the new bill may be a fait accompli. Dare I say that it is a travesty and a very unfunny joke. I don't care how they spin it or by what nuanced names they try to call it, it is amnesty. Not only for those already here but for the flood to come. The border security part of the bill is a farce, just like the 700 mile fence, passed and funded is sitting in limbo. All that ended up being was political drama for public consumption. 2 miles have been constructed. Let us look at a little history of past efforts from the mouth of Sen.Kennedy

1965: "The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs."

1986: "This amnesty will give citizenship to only 1.1 to 1.3 million illegal aliens. We will secure the borders henceforth. We will never again bring forward another amnesty bill like this."

2007: "Now it is time for action. 2007 is the year we must fix our broken system."

Thank you Senator Kennedy. We read about this next partnership in the Washington Post.

When Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) declared last week that unnamed "stakeholders" would decide whether Congress overhauls immigration law this year, Latino organizations in Washington understood exactly what he meant.

After laboring in obscurity for decades, groups such as the National Council of La Raza, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the National Immigration Forum are virtually being granted veto power over perhaps the biggest domestic issue coming before Congress this year. Organizations that represent what is now the nation's largest minority group are beginning to achieve power commensurate with their numbers.

"There's a real sense that the Latino community is key to the solution in this debate, so now they are reaching out to us more than ever," said Eric Gutierrez, lead lobbyist for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF. "Neither party wants to make a misstep politically."

Such groups were practically in the room yesterday, maintaining contact as Democratic and Republican senators tried to hammer out a new immigration bill before a deadline set by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) for today before he moved it last night to Monday. The contours began to emerge for a bill that would couple a tightening of border controls with a guest-worker program and new avenues for an estimated 12 million undocumented workers to work legally.
A deal on those tough issues could depend on the assent of Kennedy's "stakeholders," Democratic negotiators agreed. Democratic leaders, who are fighting for the loyalty of the fast-growing Latino electorate, have no desire to embrace legislation that could end up alienating the voters they are trying to woo.

Another Washington Post article takes us behind the scenes into an amazing confrontation between Senator John Cornyn and Senator McCain.

During a meeting Thursday on immigration legislation, McCain and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) got into a shouting match when Cornyn started voicing concerns about the number of judicial appeals that illegal immigrants could receive, according to multiple sources -- both Democrats and Republicans -- who heard firsthand accounts of the exchange from lawmakers who were in the room.

At a bipartisan gathering in an ornate meeting room just off the Senate floor, McCain complained that Cornyn was raising petty objections to a compromise plan being worked out between Senate Republicans and Democrats and the White House. He used a curse word associated with chickens and accused Cornyn of raising the issue just to torpedo a deal.

Things got really heated when Cornyn accused McCain of being too busy campaigning for president to take part in the negotiations, which have gone on for months behind closed doors. "Wait a second here," Cornyn said to McCain. "I've been sitting in here for all of these negotiations and you just parachute in here on the last day. You're out of line."

McCain, a former Navy pilot, then used language more accustomed to sailors (not to mention the current vice president, who made news a few years back after a verbal encounter with Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont).

"Fuck you! I know more about this than anyone else in the room," shouted McCain at Cornyn. McCain helped craft a bill in 2006 that passed the Senate but couldn't be compromised with a House bill that was much tougher on illegal immigrants.

Ultimately, a deal was crafted and, as McCain suspected, Cornyn did not join in on the final agreement.

By early Thursday afternoon, McCain joined nine other senators and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez at a Capitol press conference announcing the deal.

After making a few comments, McCain left the Capitol to head to New York for presidential campaign events. Later that day, McCain missed his 43rd straight vote, this on the $2.9 trillion budget outline.

May I respectfully say to you Senator McCain Fuck you too. It will be a cold day in hell when you get my vote. As Arnold is wont to say, hasta la vista baby. I had written Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, both my Senators with my concern regarding this legislation and recieved this e-mail in return from Hutchisons office. It is a long letter so I will post the meat of it without all the "I did this" and "I introduced this" stuff.

I believe that granting citizenship or lawful permanent residence status to those who entered our country illegally would only encourage others to break our laws in the future. For these reasons, I opposed amnesty provisions set forth in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006. I voted against S. 2611 because I believe that any legislation addressing immigration must first address the safety and security needs of the United States. In a world where terrorists continue to seek to harm Americans, we must protect our citizens. We have every right to know who is in our country, who has crossed our borders, and the purpose and the length of the visit. We are negligent if we do not know these things.
The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 was passed by the Senate on May 25, 2006, by a 62 to 36 vote. Though S. 2611 passed the Senate, it was not considered by the House of Representatives prior to the adjournment of the 109th Congress. I will keep your views in mind as the Senate continues to consider this important issue in the 110th Congress.
Sadly with the House in control by the Democrats and with the collusion of several Republican lawmakers, this bill will probably easily pass muster in the conference committee unless the voice of the people and their constituents are not loud and persistent. People need to contact their Senators and Representatives, both Republican and "Blue Dog" Democrats in order to get this bill defeated. Security and border enforcement needs to come first, then and only then can we talk about any type of amnesty and guest worker program

Saturday, May 05, 2007

George Tenet, instead of a CYA book, finds himself with a shovel.

In order to try to help rehabilitate himself and his reputation and image, Tenet wrote a tell all book. It is a shame it ended up being such an easily reputed sham.His detractors are coming out of the woodwork in droves. Ed Morrissey has several new links that are indeed interesting Remember the "Rule of Holes"? Tenet should have stopped digging but instead he has not only dug himself deeper but handed out shovels for people to finish burying him.

Major Gerd Schoeder Writes an Open Letter to America

He asks a very pointed question. "America, why have you abandoned us?" In The American Thinker, he writes:

My fellow Americans; what have the American Fighting men and women done to cause you to abandon them in a foreign land, surrounded by sinister people that are bent on killing them and all Americans? Do we believe that these people, who think nothing of killing men, women, and children of their own race, culture, and religion, will hesitate a moment if given the chance to destroy us, our families, and our freedoms?

And they know that Congress has cut off spending for our troops.

Where is the sort of overwhelming swell of outrage of the American people that caused the rather benign "Dubai Ports deal" to be killed in less than a month? Why have the halls of Congress and the Whitehouse not been overwhelmed by citizens outraged over the abandonment of our fighting men and women? Is the silence a sign that shock jocks, and dead playmates are more important to American than our soldiers?

While politicians on both sides of the political spectrum have quibbled about timelines, a date for withdrawal from Iraq, and $24 billion in pork to buy votes, the American Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been all but forgotten. The American people's silence is morale-crushing and a betrayal. For whatever purpose we believe our soldiers have gone to war, surely abandonment in a hostile, foreign land was not it.

It would do us all well to read this article as it needs to be read by the Congressional members and leaders.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Update on Milblog ban

As and update of my previous post, Confederate Yankee has this update from one of his sources.

Fact Sheet Army Operations Security: Soldier Blogging Unchanged


  • America's Army respects every Soldier's First Amendment rights
    while also adhering to Operations Security (OPSEC) considerations to
    ensure their safety on the battlefield.
  • Soldiers and Army family members agree that safety of ourSoldiers are of utmost importance.
  • Soldiers, Civilians, contractors and Family Members all play an integral role in maintaining Operations Security, just as in previous wars.


  • In no way will every blog post/update a Soldier makes on his or
    her blog need to be monitored or first approved by an immediate
    supervisor and Operations Security (OPSEC) officer. After receiving
    guidance and awareness training from the appointed OPSEC officer, that
    Soldier blogger is entrusted to practice OPSEC when posting in a public
  • Army Regulation 350-1, "Operations Security," was updated April
    17, 2007 - but the wording and policies on blogging remain the same from
    the July 2005 guidance first put out by the U.S. Army in Iraq for
    battlefield blogging. Since not every post/update in a public forum can be monitored, this regulation places trust in the Soldier, Civilian Employee, Family Member and contractor that they will use proper judgment to ensure OPSEC.
  • Much of the information contained in the 2007 version of AR530-1 already was included in the 2005 version of AR 530-1. For example, Soldiers have been required since 2005 to report to their immediate supervisor and OPSEC officer about their wishes to publish military-related content in public forums.
  • Army Regulation 530-1 simply lays out measures to help ensure operations security issues are not published in public forums (i.e.,blogs) by Army personnel.
  • Soldiers do not have to seek permission from a supervisor to send personal E-mails. Personal E-mails are considered private communication. However, AR 530-1 does mention if someone later posts an E-mail in a public forum containing information sensitive to OPSEC considerations, an issue may then arise.
  • Soldiers may also have a blog without needing to consult with their immediate supervisor and OPSEC officer if the following conditions are met:
    1. The blog's topic is not military-related (i.e., Sgt. Doe
      publishes a blog about his favorite basketball team).
    2. The Soldier doesn't represent or act on behalf of the Army in any way.
    3. The Soldier doesn't use government equipment when on his or her personal blog.
  • Army Family Members are not mandated by commanders to practice OPSEC. Commanders cannot order military Family Members to adhere to OPSEC. AR 530-1 simply says Family Members need to be aware of OPSEC to help safeguard potentially critical and sensitive information. This helps to ensure Soldiers' safety, technologies and present and future operations will not be compromised.
  • Just as in 2005 and 2006, a Soldier should inform his or her OPSEC officer and immediate supervisor when establishing a blog for two primary reasons:
    1. To provide the command situational awareness.
    2. To allow the OPSEC officer an opportunity to explain to the Soldier matters to be aware of when posting military-related content in a public, global forum.
  • A Soldier who already has a military-related blog that has not yet consulted with his or her immediate supervisor and OPSEC officer should do so.
  • Commands have the authority to enact local regulations in addition to what AR 530-1 stipulates on this topic.
This is either a backdown, a possible inking of sanity, or just a simple clarification. Whatever it is, it is a bit of a bright spot for our military bloggers and e-mailers.I have no idea who or what the source is but I do hope that it is credible.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Milblogs, Soldier e-mails now verboten

I wish this were but a bad dream but alas it seems to be a bad reality.The best PR the military has coming from the war front is the milbloggers. It damned sure is not from the media, which is anathema to anything but US deaths. No successes are allowed to be reported according to what we see on a daily basis from the handlers/editors of our own media outlets. And now this, reported at Wired by Noah Shachtman.

The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer, Wired News has learned. The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops' online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say.

Military officials have been wrestling for years with how to handle troops who publish blogs. Officers have weighed the need for wartime discretion against the opportunities for the public to personally connect with some of the most effective advocates for the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq -- the troops themselves. The secret-keepers have generally won the argument, and the once-permissive atmosphere has slowly grown more tightly regulated. Soldier-bloggers have dropped offline as a result.

The new rules (.pdf) obtained by Wired News require a commander be consulted before every blog update.

"This is the final nail in the coffin for combat blogging," said retired paratrooper Matthew Burden, editor of The Blog of War anthology. "No more military bloggers writing about their experiences in the combat zone. This is the best PR the military has -- it's most honest voice out of the war zone. And it's being silenced."

Army Regulation 530--1: Operations Security (OPSEC) (.pdf) restricts more than just blogs, however. Previous editions of the rules asked Army personnel to "consult with their immediate supervisor" before posting a document "that might contain sensitive and/or critical information in a public forum." The new version, in contrast, requires "an OPSEC review prior to publishing" anything -- from "web log (blog) postings" to comments on internet message boards, from resumes to letters home.

Failure to do so, the document adds, could result in a court-martial, or "administrative, disciplinary, contractual, or criminal action."

Despite the absolutist language, the guidelines' author, Major Ray Ceralde, said there is some leeway in enforcement of the rules. "It is not practical to check all communication, especially private communication," he noted in an e-mail. "Some units may require that soldiers register their blog with the unit for identification purposes with occasional spot checks after an initial review. Other units may require a review before every posting."

But with the regulations drawn so tightly, "many commanders will feel like they have no choice but to forbid their soldiers from blogging -- or even using e-mail," said Jeff Nuding, who won the bronze star for his service in Iraq. "If I'm a commander, and think that any slip-up gets me screwed, I'm making it easy: No blogs," added Nuding, writer of the "pro-victory" Dadmanly site. "I think this means the end of my blogging."

Active-duty troops aren't the only ones affected by the new guidelines. Civilians working for the military, Army contractors -- even soldiers' families -- are all subject to the directive as well.

But, while the regulations may apply to a broad swath of people, not everybody affected can actually read them. In a Kafka-esque turn, the guidelines are kept on the military's restricted Army Knowledge Online intranet. Many Army contractors -- and many family members -- don't have access to the site. Even those able to get in are finding their access is blocked to that particular file.

"Even though it is supposedly rewritten to include rules for contractors (i.e., me) I am not allowed to download it," e-mails Perry Jeffries, an Iraq war veteran now working as a contractor to the Armed Services Blood Program.

The U.S. military -- all militaries -- have long been concerned about their personnel inadvertently letting sensitive information out. Troops' mail was read and censored throughout World War II; back home, government posters warned citizens "careless talk kills."

Military blogs, or milblogs, as they're known in service-member circles, only make the potential for mischief worse. On a website, anyone, including foreign intelligence agents, can stop by and look for information.

"All that stuff we used to get around a bar and say to each other -- well, now because we're publishing it in open forums, now it's intel," said milblogger and retired Army officer John Donovan.

Passing on classified data -- real secrets -- is already a serious military crime. The new regulations (and their author) take an unusually expansive view of what kind of unclassified information a foe might find useful. In an article published by the official Army News Service, Maj. Ceralde "described how the Pentagon parking lot had more parked cars than usual on the evening of Jan. 16, 1991, and how pizza parlors noticed a significant increase of pizza to the Pentagon.... These observations are indicators, unclassified information available to all … that ... Operation Desert Storm (was about to) beg(i)n."

Please, please read the whole thing and let your voices be heard.

Ambassador Pelosi

The Daily Colonial paper of George Washington University has a scathing editorial by Nick Miller on what Pelosi has accomplished in a mere four months as Speaker of the House.

Nancy Pelosi has been Speaker of the House for less than four months, yet in that short time she has already managed to prove herself incapable of responsible leadership. Embracing her new position of power, Pelosi seems determined to meddle in areas where she is least needed, most notably in the realm of diplomacy and foreign policy.

Coming on the heels of her possibly felonious diplomatic excursion to Syria last month, Pelosi is apparently continuing to pursue her misguided and backwards attempts at diplomacy. According to a report from The American Spectator last week, Pelosi has refused to meet with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe (an American ally), but is planning a visit to Venezuela to meet with Hugo Chavez — one of the world’s most outspoken enemies of the United States.

In other words, in continued disregard for the Constitution of the United States, Pelosi has taken it upon herself to ignore U.S. diplomatic policies and attempt to engage in her own personal diplomacy with America’s enemies.

Article II of the U.S. Constitution explicitly states that that President is the one who “shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers” and that the President “shall have the power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties.”

In addition, the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the President and his authorized agents have the sole authority to negotiate with foreign governments, and the Logan Act specifically forbids unauthorized Americans from negotiating with foreign governments with the intent to impact relations between that government and the U.S.

Unfortunately, it appears that the Constitution and U.S. laws are of little significance for Pelosi, who would rather win cheap political points with than obey those pesky things known as “laws.”..


At a stage in American history where foreign policy issues reign supreme, it is even more important than usual that the United States present a united diplomatic front. Legal issues notwithstanding, it is both sad and disturbing that Nancy Pelosi is using her position as Speaker to undermine American foreign policy for her own political purposes. Not only is she potentially hindering American diplomatic efforts, but she is also proving herself unfit for the job of Speaker.

Get this: Nancy Pelosi won’t meet with Presdient Uribe of Columbia, perhaps the most pro-US leader in South America, despite his going out of his way to make the meeting happen.

According to sources within the House Democratic leadership, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has denied the request for a meeting with Uribe when he comes to Washington next week. Uribe’s staff has attempted to set up a meeting with Pelosi, offering to come to her offices with Uribe if necessary. Pelosi has refused the meeting.

“She has third parties who have encouraged her not to take the meeting,” says a leadership aide, who said a coalition of labor organizations and had been pressuring her to not meet with Uribe. “We’ve never seen anything like it. It’s not like we’re talking about some family from San Francisco who stopped by her office unannounced. This is the president of a country.”

In Colombia, Uribe has been struggling against communist terrorist groups financed by Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, as well as leftist political pressure internally. All while attempting to work with the U.S. against narco-trafficking. “He’s a friend and an ally,” says a State Department source, who was unaware of Pelosi’s snub. “I’d be surprised that one of our national leaders would not meet with a strategic partner of the United States of America.”

But guess who Nancy will meet with? Uribe’s socialist, anti-America, anti-free trade, anti-human-rights enemy Hugo Chavez.

According to leadership staff, [Pelosi] has members of her personal staff working on initial plans for a trip to Venezuela, perhaps in the fall, to meet with Chavez.

So let’s review:

Pelosi won’t meet with General Petraeus, the commander of the most important conflict in the middle east. But she will meet with Syrian dictator Bassar Assad, one of the biggest sponsors of terrorism in the middle east.

Pelosi snubs one of our most important allies in South America, but will make time for our biggest enemy in South America in the person of Hugo Chavez.

Anyone else seeing a pattern here?
UPDATE: The beat goes on.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

An Iraqi asks " Why Are the Democrats Doing This?"

Omar Fadhil, who writes a blog "Iraq the Model", asks that question.

Instead of trying to come up with ideas to help they try to halt the sincere effort to stabilize Iraq and rescue the Middle East from a catastrophe.

I am Iraqi and to me the possible consequences of this vote are terrifying. Just as we began to see signs of progress in my country the Democrats come and say ‘well, it’s not worth it, so it’s time to leave’.
Evidently to them my life and the lives of twenty five million Iraqis are not worth trying for and they shouldn’t expect us to be grateful for this.

For four years everybody made mistakes; the administration made mistakes and admitted them and my people and leaders made mistakes as well and we regret them.
But now we have a fresh start; a new strategy with new ideas and tactics reached after studying previous mistakes and designed to reverse the setbacks we witnessed in the course of this war.

This strategy although its tools are not fully deployed yet is showing promising signs of progress.
General Petraeus said yesterday that things will get tougher before they get easier in Iraq and this is the kind of fact-based realistic assessment of the situation which politicians should listen to when they discuss the war thousands of miles away.
We must give this effort the chance it deserves and provide all the support and constructive critique, not the ‘war is lost’ empty rhetoric...

Continue reading here.