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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, May 21, 2005


By Tex Manchester

As you are reading this, 300,000 Ethiopian fighters are pitched astride the border from 200,000 Eritrean soldiers, separated by less than 4,000 UN peacekeepers (a mission that incidentally costs taxpayers almost $200 million per year). Half a million heavily armed men facing each other with hate-filled eyes and itchy trigger fingers.

Even a minor incident could spark all-out war. And a number of State Department bureaucrats seem determined to do nothing to prevent it.


By Richard Rahn

Mr. Rahn is a Discovery Institute Senior Fellow, a prominent economist who writes regularly in the Washington Times, promoting an American public policy based on individual liberty, limited government, and free markets and peaceful international relations. Mr. Rahn writes:

"It is common for politicians in trouble to seek scapegoats for their own incompetence and wrong-headedness, but when this begins getting widespread popular support, both the people's liberties and pocketbooks are in danger.

Given its history, one would think Germany's people would be particularly resistant to demagogy. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Recently, Franz Muntefering, head of Germany's left-wing Social Democratic Party (the SPD), which also is the lead party in the governing coalition, accused business leaders of being "anti-social" and like "swarms of locusts." Rather than denounce him for attacking businesspeople and "international capital," other SPD leaders joined in the denunciations.

The chairman of Lufthansa airline and a director of the "Invest in Germany" organization, Jurgen Weber, replied to the SPD leaders: "If it turns out that this criticism of capitalism has a fundamental nature, then we don't need an Invest in Germany organization any more."

PREVENTING THE NIGHTMARE OF......................

Terrorists Attacking America with Russian Nukes
By Ariel Cohen

Ariel Cohen’s area of study ranges from economic development and political reform in the former Soviet republics to US energy security. He has a Ph.D., and is a Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and co-author and editor of "Eurasia in Balance".

He writes:
"In 2003, Sheikh Nasir bin Hamid al-Fahd, a prominent Saudi cleric close to al-Qaeda, provided a comprehensive religious opinion (fatwa) justifying the use of nuclear weapons against the United States, even it killed up to 10 million Americans, under the pretext that the U.S. is to blame for the deaths of 10 million Moslems.

Over 20 million Moslems – 7% of the total population – live in Russia today. The increasing influence of Salafi/Wahhabi Islam among them may facilitate penetration of the Russian military-industrial complex by collaborators and sympathizers of terrorist organizations.

Anti-Americanism pervades the Russian elite from the top down and is escalating in the media. A former senior Russian officials stated that 'U.S. behavior [vis-à-vis Russia] is not that of a friend, but of an adversary... While we need to talk to the U.S., we need to keep in mind that it is an enemy.' Such anti-Americanism may facilitate illicit transactions involving nuclear weapons or components in which the Russian seller or thief understands that the U.S. is the likely target."


There are "two Islamist movements in Uzbekistan, the IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a designated terrorist group) and Hizb-ut-Tahrir. What Uzbekistan dictator Islam Karimov has done with the stupidity of only which a Soviet apparatchik is capable, is to drive moderate Moslems into their arms"

"The Massacre of Andijan that took place last Friday, May 13, with Uzbek soldiers murdering hundreds of men, women, and children in cold blood, is only Karimov’s latest effort to do so. When he took power, he promptly blew the most monumental opportunity in the Moslem world to create a modern Islam.

As the head of the Soviet Communist Party in Uzbekistan, Karimov seized power as the USSR dissolved into its constituent Republics in 1990. His primary goal since then has been to hold on to that power at all costs, turning Uzbekistan into a police state. As a Soviet apparatchik, he has no understanding of economics, no appreciation for the consequences of destroying the environment, and no capacity to prevent his paranoia from becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Karimov’s standard rationale for power is holding up the boogeyman of terrorist Islam. 'I am the only thing in the way, I am the only man capable of preventing a Taliban takeover of Uzbekistan,' he claims. On the contrary, he may have made it inevitable."


"There’s been a lot of acute commentary on the Newsweek-in-the-media-toilet/Koran-in-the-Gitmo-toilet story. It makes the excellent point that rioting Moslems murderously freaking out over this cannot be looked upon with respect and seriousness.

Just imagine, goes one analogy, if upon hearing Al Jazeera published a story about Al Qaeda sympathizers in Pakistan desecrating the Bible, Southern Baptists in Alabama went berserk with rage, attacking a Birmingham mosque and killing everybody inside. How tolerant and forgiving would world and American media be towards their humiliation and bruised feelings?

But of course this would never happen, because Southern Baptists, like other Christians, are civilized. Once again, it turns out, Moslems have disgraced their religion with uncivilized behavior.

There’s also been a lot of justified disgust directed at Newsweek for publishing the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theatre. The MSM’s reputation has been taken down another notch, which is a definite social good. Let’s hope Newsweek’s paid circulation drops concomitantly.

Yet there is another silver lining to this sorry episode that may have long term benefits to our national security. It has to do with the identity of Michael Isikoff’s source for the KoranToilet story."

Read the Full Story

New Europe Gets It , Old Europe Doesn't

Czech president urges France to vote 'non' to EU treaty
PRAGUE, May 19 (AFP)

Czech President Vaclav Klaus said Thursday he hoped France would vote against the European constitution later this month.

"I am not sure what the outcome of the French referendum will be but I sincerely hope France votes against the constitution," Klaus, a eurosceptic and vocal critic of the constitution, told AFP.

Asked why he believed all the countries that had voted on the constitution so far had ratified it, Klaus said he attributed it to a lack of public debate.

"To my great regret they have not been listening to the arguments against it. The constitution has been ratified by European bureaucrats and intellectuals who are
exactly the group who will benefit from it," he said on the sidelines of a seminar on the European constitution in Prague.

Hat tip to Chrenkoff

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Filibuster Tradition

If the Republicans give in to the Democrats on this unprecedented use of the filibuster, they will lose their chance to shape the Supreme Court - the right of any President - should he find himself in the position to appoint a Supreme Court Justice(s).

If in 2006, should the Republicans lose control of the Senate, the Democrats again win out on this issue without needing the use of the filibuster since they could control the outcome of the up and down votes of appointees by simply voting along party lines.

When 2008 comes along, and if a Democrat were to win the Presidency, a reasonable probability, a Democratic president now would be appointing justices; and the Dems win out again. If and when (and it's just a matter of time) the Democrats have a sitting president and have regained control of the Senate, it is very likely the Democrats would end the right to filibuster to protect their interests.

So, as I see it, the Republicans have nothing to gain (and everything to lose)by being spineless. They must invoke the constitutional option.Wendy Long has written an article at NRO and her last paragraph capsulizes my thoughts.

...........Republicans are the ones who in the past have opposed "erasing" the real filibuster tradition on legislation. Democrats (including nine Democrats now sanctimoniously advocating the filibuster of President Bush's nominees) have favored it. And if you think that a President Hillary Clinton and a Democrat-controlled Senate would hesitate for one second to do away with the legislative filibuster if it suited their purposes — irrespective of whether Republicans in 2005 did or did not clarify the precedent of voting on judges — think again.

John Bolton

David Limbaugh says, "Don't Listen to the Left: It's Not About Bolton. The fight isn't about Bolton but President Bush. Their primary purpose is not to smear Bolton, though that's a sacrifice they're willing to make; it's to thwart the president's foreign policy, with which they radically disagree. It's to prevent him from exercising his constitutional authority to appoint qualified and respectable individuals to represent him in various departments of government."

Memos reveal strategy behind judge filibusters

By Charles Hurt

The "nuclear" showdown that is expected to begin unfolding in the Senate today has its origins in closed-door discussions more than three years ago between key Senate Democrats and outside interest groups as they huddled to plot strategies for blocking President Bush's judicial nominees.

In a Nov. 7, 2001, internal memo to Sen. Richard J. Durbin, who is now the minority whip, an aide described a meeting that the Illinois Democrat had missed between groups opposed to Mr. Bush's nominees and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat and member of the Judiciary Committee.

"Based on input from the groups, I would place the appellate nominees in the categories below," the staffer wrote, listing 19 nominees as "good," "bad" or "ugly."

Four of the 10 nominees who Democrats have since filibustered were deemed either "bad" or "ugly." None of those deemed "good" by the outside groups was filibustered.

Among those listed as "ugly" was Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, whose nomination will be brought to the floor today by Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican.

The internal Democratic memos, downloaded from Democratic computer servers in the Judiciary Committee by Republican staffers, offer a unique look into the early stages of the filibuster campaign, when Democrats were clearly doubtful that they could succeed in blocking any of the nominees.

In the 14 memos obtained in November 2003 by the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times, Democratic staffers outlined the concerns held by outside groups about Justice Owen's "hostile" position toward abortion and her "pro-business" attitude.

In a June 4, 2002, memo to Mr. Kennedy, staffers advised him that Justice Owen would be "our next big fight."

"We agree that she is the right choice -- she has a bad record on labor, personal injury and choice issues, and a broad range of national and local Texas groups are ready to oppose her," the aides wrote.

Another nominee discussed often in the memos is Miguel Estrada, a Washington lawyer who became the first filibustered nominee and who withdrew his nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit after waiting two years for a final vote.

In the 2001 memo to Mr. Durbin, the staffer explained the concerns that the outside groups had about Mr. Estrada.

"They also identified Miguel Estrada (D.C. Circuit) as especially dangerous because he had a minimal paper trail, he is Latino, and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment," the aide wrote.

The memos also reveal the close relationship between Democrats and the outside groups.

In a June 21, 2002, memo to Democrats Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Durbin, Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York and Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, a staffer urged delaying a hearing for Mr. Estrada to "give the groups time to complete their research and the committee time to collect additional information."

One nominee who wasn't filibustered was Judge Timothy Tymkovich, who now sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. But Democrats opposed moving him until all the groups had given their approval.

"[I]t appears that the groups are willing to let Tymkovich go through (the core of the coalition made that decision last night, but they are checking with the gay rights groups)," staffers wrote Mr. Kennedy in a June 12, 2002, memo.

But even as late at early 2003, Democrats appeared concerned that they would not succeed in mounting a full-scale filibuster against their first target.

In a January 2003 meeting between Democrats on the Judiciary Committee and Democratic leaders in the Senate, Democrats agreed to attempt a filibuster against Mr. Estrada.

"All in attendance agreed to attempt to filibuster the nomination of Miguel Estrada, if they have the votes to defeat cloture," the judiciary aides wrote. "They also agreed that, if they do not have the votes to defeat cloture, a contested loss would be worse than no contest."

ACU Files Ethics Complaint Against Harry Reid

Advocacy Group Says Minority Leader Guilty of Gross Violation:
Leahy and Levin Also Named

ALEXANDRIA, VA - The American Conservative Union, the nations oldest and largest conservative grassroots organization, yesterday filed an ethics complaint against Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). The complaint comes in response to Sen. Reid's May 12th reference to judicial nominee Henry Saad's confidential FBI file on the floor of the United States Senate.

Frist Sets Nuclear Option Vote for Tuesday

Six Flags Bans Sex Offenders

(CNSNews.com) - "Six Flags Great America is the nation's first amusement park to specify that people convicted of sex crimes are not welcome. One criminal defense lawyer complained the park's policy is making social outcasts of sex offenders."

Well, you are social outcasts, and guess who's to blame? You only get ONE guess.

No, not society. Wrong answer. YOU ARE!

The Greenhouse Effect "THEORY"

You mean to tell me that after a couple of decades of worrying about the greenhouse effect and taking measures to reduce emissions from factories and automobiles, and reducing smog and harmful particulates, our earth's air is cleaner, but this may worsen the greenhouse effect.

This is another indicator that man, to the dismay of euphorians, is not more powerful than nature and we are largely helpless against natural climate changes masqueraded as man-made.

Sen. Kennedy Relative Testifies in Clinton Fundraising Case

Witness: Hillary Aide Ordered Cover-up

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Bible Shredding

Saudis Shred Bibles, Rights Campaigners Claim
(CNSNews.com) - Bibles found in the possession of visitors to Saudi Arabia are routinely confiscated by customs officials, and some allegedly have been put through a paper shredder, according to religious rights campaigners. Full Story
Now what should be done about this? You know that in some Middle Eastern countries, mistreating the Koran can result in a death sentence. What should we do about bible shredding in Saudi Arabia? Blow up the country? Nah, that's a bit too extreme.

I Hate Capitalism - Just Show Me the Money

From Michelle Malkin:

In New York to promote his band's overdue record, Gwynneth Paltrow's husband, British musician Chris Martin of the band Coldplay said:

"I don't really care about EMI. I'm not really concerned about that. I think shareholders are the great evil of this modern world."

...Martin told reporters at Manhattan's Beacon Theatre that the band was uncomfortable that they sell so many albums they can affect a major corporation's stock price.

"It's very strange for us that we spent 18 months in the studio just trying to make songs that make us feel a certain way and then suddenly become part of this corporate machine," Martin said backstage.

He criticised what he called "the slavery that we are all under to shareholders."
Poor Chrissy.

Tsunami Aid

Y'all haven't heard about this topic for awhile have ya? Marc Steyn writes:
Remember the tsunami? Big story, 300,000 dead; America and other rich countries too "stingy" in their response; government ministers from every capital on earth announcing on CNN every 10 minutes more and more millions and gazillions. It was in all the papers for a week or two, but not a lot of water under the bridge since then, and as a result this interesting statistic may not have caught your eye:

Five hundred containers, representing one-quarter of all aid sent to Sri Lanka since the tsunami hit on Dec. 26, are still sitting on the dock in Colombo, unclaimed or unprocessed.

At the Indonesian port of Medan, 1,500 containers of aid are still sitting on the dock.

Four months ago, did you chip in to the tsunami relief effort? Did your company? A Scottish subsidiary of the Body Shop donated a 40-foot container of "Lemon Squidgit" and other premium soap, which arrived at Medan in January and has languished there ever since because of "incomplete paperwork,'' according to Indonesian customs officials.

Diageo sent eight 20-foot containers of drinking water via the Red Cross. "We sent it directly to the Red Cross in order to get around the red tape," explained its Sydney office. It arrived in Medan in January and it's still there. The Indonesian Red Cross lost the paperwork.
Mark then backhands Canada (Paul Martin in particular) with:
Martin boldly committed Canada to giving $425 million to tsunami relief. "Mr. Paul Martin Has Set A Great Example For The Rest Of The World Leaders!" raved the LankaWeb news service.

You know how much of that $425 million has been spent so far? Fifty thousand dollars -- Canadian. That's about 40 grand in U.S. dollars. The rest isn't tied up in Indonesian bureaucracy, it's back in Ottawa. But, unlike horrible "unilateralist" America, Canada enjoys a reputation as the perfect global citizen, renowned for its commitment to the U.N. and multilateralism. And on the beaches of Sri Lanka, that and a buck'll get you a strawberry daiquiri. Canada's contribution to tsunami relief is objectively useless and rhetorically fraudulent.

The U.N. (Useless Nations) has become just that. We certainly don't need someone like John Bolton in the U.N to "mess" things up. Why, he has just been too critical of the U.N. in the past. We don't need him to rock the boat, now, do we ?

The Fifth Column Fourth Estate

In the confrontational media Q & A between the White House press corp and the White Houses' press secretary Scott McClellan while discussing the Newsweeks "fake story", McClellan was asked: "With respect, who made you the editor of Newsweek? Do you think it's appropriate for you, at that podium, speaking with the authority of the President of the United States, to tell an American magazine what they should print?

Chrenkoff responds:
Well, with respects, the media, who made you the elected politicians and military leaders to tell them how they should run a country and conduct a war? It seems another great case of a glass jaw - the media likes to dish it out but can't take it. It’s only to be expected, thought, that in an adversarial climate where the media consciously or subconsciously considers itself a political force (that's, after all, is what being the Fourth Estate is all about), a sort of permanent opposition to the government, the same rules will be applied to it as to all the other political players –including scrutiny and criticism.

Well said, Arthur. By the way, if you don't already, you should read him daily. Drop him a note and tell him Heavy-Handed sent ya'.

No connection

Chrenkoff says, "Repeat after me, there was no connection whatsoever between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda:"
The regime of Saddam Hussein rejected repeated requests from Jordan to hand over Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who now heads al Qaida in Iraq, the Jordanian king said in an interview published today.

King Abdullah II told the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat that Jordan exerted “big efforts” with Saddam’s government to extradite al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian sentenced to death at home for terrorist activities.

“But our demands that the former regime hand him over were in vain,” Abdullah said.

“We had information that he entered Iraq from a neighbouring country, where he lived and what he was doing. We informed the Iraqi authorities about all this detailed information we had, but they didn’t respond,” the king said.

No conection, nope. I know nothing. I see nothing. I hear nothing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Galloway bluster fails to convince Senate

Despite a typically bombastic performance, Mr Galloway was repeatedly pinned down by questions he would not, or could not, answer.  Picture: Joe Raedle/Getty Images"GEORGE Galloway yesterday failed in his attempt to convince a sceptical US Senate investigative committee that he had not profited from oil dealings with Iraq under the UN's controversial oil for food programme."

Looking for Problems That Don't Exist

Women Get Their Way at Harvard
- "Harvard University President Lawrence Summers on Monday said Harvard would spend $50 million over the next ten years on women's programs - including mentoring, child care and safety, press reports said. The money follows Summers' controversial remarks that innate differences between men and women may explain why women are less likely to pursue careers involving science and math." Women Get Their Way at Harvard

And just what problem is this? This really has nothing to do with his earlier remarks about why women are less likely to pursue careers involving science and math, does it?
Is this a simple case of appeasement? The way I see it, women will pursue these areas if they are good at it and ENJOY them. And won't if they don't. End of story.

Negotiations Fail; Senate Showdown Looms on Judicial Nominees

(CNSNews.com) - Negotiations haven't worked, and that's sure to bring a showdown on the "nuclear option" - changing Senate rules to eliminate filibusters of judicial nominees. The Washington Post described the Senate as being on the "brink of constitutional confrontation." "Negotiations are over," Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid said on Monday. "It'll have to be decided on the Senate floor." Frist continues to insist on an up-or-down vote on all nominees who make it out of committee. Negotiations Fail; Senate Showdown Looms on Judicial Nominees

Monday, May 16, 2005

New Offer: Throw Less People Under The Bus

Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters blogs, "The Senate Democrats have reportedly made a new offer to the GOP to avert a showdown over the use of the filibuster to block nominees to the federal court. They sweetened the same offer made last week to confirm three nominees to five today, and specifically picked three that they will now demand be withdrawn from consideration, in return for a pledge to forego future filibusters except in "extreme circumstances".

Showing his typical Captain acumen, he slices this newest Democrat offer this way:
I find it highly interesting that the Democrats now consider Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor to be acceptable for the federal appellate bench. Remember, only a few days ago Reid referred to these nominees as "bad people" and told Nevada schoolchildren that Brown wanted to take America back to "Civil War days". Either they're willing to pay that price to hang onto their newfound obstructionist tactic, or Reid likes to lie to schoolkids. Take your pick of cynicism, but there's no third choice."

McDermott First up for Ethics Panel

By James G. Lakely

May 16, 2005

When the partisan impasse over rules and procedures on the House ethics committee ends, the first member to face the panel won't be House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, but rather Democrat Jim McDermott of Washington.

The Seattle-area congressman, one of the most vocal critics of Republicans, has been under investigation by the panel since last year over his role nearly nine years ago in the illegal taping and distribution of a phone conversation involving then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
A federal court already has determined, for a civil lawsuit against Mr. McDermott, that the liberal lawmaker illegally distributed the tape, a judgment of the sort that usually prompts the House to take some action.

Sources close to the committee said the McDermott case was on the agenda for the panel's organizational meeting two weeks ago, but it was removed when it was clear that Democrats wouldn't vote to continue the investigation, as required by committee rules.
"He's headed for a bad end," said one source last week, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "As a general proposition, the easiest cases for the ethics committee to handle is one where the courts have made a decision."

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Indictments Mount for Hillary Aides

A mounting number of aides, advisers and fund-raisers for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton have faced criminal prosecution in recent months, conjuring up memories of her ethically challenged past just as Democrats begin to focus on the former first lady as their probable 2008 presidential nominee.

Though press coverage of the trial of Sen. Clinton's finance director, David Rosen, was sparse last week, the case has brought attention to the prosecutions of at least three more Clinton fund-raisers.

Al Qaida

WorldNet Daily is reporting that Al Qaida has a 50-50 chance of possessing nukes says Lt. Col. Joseph C. Myers, an infantry and foreign area officer who has served at U.S. Southern Command and as the chief of the South America Division at the Defense Intelligence Agency.

China's Military

China's Massive Military Modernization Threatens the Balance of Power in Asia

"China's plans to field new, sophisticated ballistic missiles as part of a military build-up now underway increasingly threatens to upset the correlation of forces in Asia over the next decade, according to a top U.S. intelligence official.

'Strategic force modernization is a continuing priority, and China will likely field three new strategic missiles - more mobile, survivable and capable - within a decade, said David Gordon, chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council (NIC).

According to a May 4 story by Reuters Gordon, in a statement to members of the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission the day before, reported that the planned new missile deployments are the product of a massive, multi-year military modernization effort - one that is already 'tilting the balance of power in the Taiwan Straits and improving China's capabilities to threaten U.S. forces in the region.' "

Washington Times Insider