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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, August 11, 2007

This illustrates perfectly what I was saying the other day about priorities. Yes, we need to spend money on road upkeep, road repair, bridge repair and bridge replacement. The question becomes then, "How do we fund it?"

New and more taxes, making it harder for the average person to make it financially? Or, using our current tax revenue more wisely, and more responsibly? In other words, prioritize our needs and spend accordingly.

This comes from Michael Brodkorb:
Congressman Jim Oberstar, who is chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, did a great job of leading the charge and getting the 35-W bride repair relief package passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislative process worked and every Minnesotan should be proud of how Minnesota's congressional delegation responded to this tragedy.

But I'm curious what people think of this article from the Bemidji Pioneer. I've pulled the below section from the article:

"Oberstar wrote the legislation in 1991 that first allowed Highway Trust Funds to flow to states for bike trails. Until then, the 50 states combined for the past 20 years had spent only $40 million on bike trails.

The 1991 law required each state to have a bicycle coordinator, funded from the Highway Trust Fund, to have a state bicycling plan, and would be given the authority to use abandoned railway grade beds as bicycle, pedestrian and in-line skating trails.

In the next six years, $1.3 billion was invested in bicycling facilities nationwide, Oberstar, an avid biker, said." Source: Bemidji Pioneer, August 9, 2007

What do you think? Should we be focused on bike trails or highways? In my opinion, it's all about priorities. In the aftermath of the 35-W bridge collapse, I think the public will be closely monitoring state spending and watching how politicians spend the taxpayers' money. What should come first? More bike trails or highways?

The politicians know that with each passing year, roads and bridges deteriorate. In fact, in 1990 the 35W bridge was first noted through inspection, that it was structurally deficient. Interestingly, the following year (1991) Oberstar decided bike trails were more important than bridges.

Fast forward to 2007, and its Pawlenty's and Bush's fault that the very same bridge collapses that was discovered to be lacking in structural integrity in 1990.

Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Democratic dustup: The far left isn't the path to a governing majority.


Death Threats Greet Dutch Lawmaker’s Call for Banning the Koran

– A Dutch lawmaker under fire for urging that the Koran be banned in his country says he will press ahead with the proposal, and submit it in the form of a parliamentary resolution next month...

General Praises Exonerated Haditha Marine

"In exonerating Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt of all charges against him arising out of the incident in Haditha in November 2005 including murder, Lt. Gen. James Mattis praised the young Marine who is among the Marines who were accused of cold-blooded murder by Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa." Continue.....

Fight Global Warming by Taxing ‘McMansions,’ Democrat Says

The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week announced a plan to fight global warming by reducing carbon emissions up to 80 percent by the year 2050. This would be done by raising gasoline taxes 50 cents per gallon and ending mortgage tax deductions on large houses, which the Michigan Democrat called “McMansions.”

Health Care: Government vs. Private

By Walter E. Williams
Sometimes the advocates of socialized medicine claim that health care is too important to be left to the market. That's why some politicians are calling for us to adopt health care systems such as those in Canada, the United Kingdom and other European nations. But the suggestion that we'd be better served with more government control doesn't even pass a simple smell test.


“Being a conservative Republican should be about more than abortion policy and the War on Terror. The [GOP presidential] candidates should have to tell voters whether they still believe in traditional principles of limited government, federalism and individual liberty.”
—Michael Tanner


“In political life today, you are considered compassionate if you demand that government impose your preferences on others.”
-- John Stossel --

“Liberals used to be the ones who argued that sending U.S. troops abroad was a small price to pay to stop genocide; now they argue that genocide is a small price to pay to bring U.S. troops home.” —Jonah Goldberg

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Illegal Aliens Declare War on the United States

By Douglas MacKinnon: "While the current administration, as well as Democrats and Republicans in Congress, focus on the war on terror and the war in Iraq, a greater real-time threat to our way of life and the rule of law in the United States, is manifesting itself just down the road a bit from the White House and the Capitol building . In Prince William Country, Virginia, illegal aliens have just basically declared war on the county, law and order, and the very livelihood of innocent Americans. They have done so, and no one in Washington really seems to care." More.

House Democrats Fail Democracy 101

By Tom DeLay: "Last night [Aug 2nd] on the House floor – that sprawling, brawling arena that was like a second home to me during my 22 year career in Congress – it seems pretty clear that a crime was perpetrated against the rule of law and the American people. A combination of arrogance and incompetence on the part of the Democrat leadership left the Rules looking like a prisoner at Abu Ghraib. Not bad for a Thursday night. Here’s how it went down."


The Democrats revive liberalism

By Star Parker: "I believe that reasonable people look at facts and draw rational conclusions. It's why I am mystified at the open and passionate embrace today by the Democratic Party of plain old unadulterated liberalism.

Being labeled a liberal fifteen years ago was the kiss of political death. Today's Democratic presidential candidates seem to wear it like a badge of honor."

Barak Obama: Audacity of Hope

“Let me be clear about one thing: Obama is full of it. This country is never—never—going to stage a major military action against Pakistan. Pakistan is a nation of 170 million people that has nuclear weapons and whose admittedly problematic and troublesome regime has, to some extent, cooperated with the United States in the war against Al Qaeda both in ways we know and ways we have no idea about. The concern that this strategically vital county might become an Islamic fundamentalist state is, should be, and will be paramount in every and all discussions about how to conduct the fight against Al Qaeda. What’s more, every serious person knows the United States won’t invade Pakistan, even with Special Forces—since the reason we cancelled the proposed action against Al Qaeda in 2005 is that it was going to take many hundreds of American troops to do it. This isn’t 15 people dropping like ninjas in the darkness. It’s an invasion, with helicopters and supply lines and routes of ingress and escape. It would have had unforseen and unforeseeable consequences, but it would have been reasonable to assume the Pakistanis would have turned violently against the United States and hurtled toward Islamic fundamentalist control. If the evil Bushitler Cheney Rumsfeld Monster wouldn’t do it, nobody will do it. And you can bet there isn’t a single person in line to run a Democratic State Department or Democratic Defense Department who would give the idea three seconds of thought. Obama is using Pakistan to talk tough, in the full knowledge that he will never actually pull the trigger. He is trying to put one over on the American people, which is certainly using the ‘audacity of hope’ in an entirely new way.” —John Podhoretz

“Freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp.
Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware,
and then conveying that information to family and friends?
Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor’s fight against socialized medicine is your fight.
We can’t socialize the doctors without socializing the patients.
Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault
upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because
you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government,
recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he’ll eat you last.”
-- Ronald Reagan --

The Plans for Economic Integration

By Phyllis Schlafly: "Canada in the summer and Mexico in the spring offer good weather for planning international policies. Nervousness about the political weather, however, is putting the third Security and Prosperity Partnership summit taking place Aug. 20-21 at a site where the uninvited can be easily excluded: the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello resort about 50 miles outside of Quebec. The cheering gallery for SPP is hysterically chanting that its goal is not a North American 'union' modeled on the European Union - and that anyone who thinks otherwise must be peddling conspiracy fears. But SPP supporters candidly admit they want North American 'integration,' which might be a distinction without a difference."


“In the weekend [terrorist-surveillance] deal, the Bush Administration grants the FISA court power to review procedures even for foreign communications, which is unprecedented. Under Article III of the Constitution, the courts are granted the power to settle disputes. The judiciary also has power under the Fourth Amendment, which gives courts the ability to issue warrants. But nowhere does the Constitution empower our nation’s judges to serve as foreign policy advisers or reviewers of intelligence policy. Judges have no particular expertise on intelligence, and in any case they are unaccountable to voters if their decisions are faulty. Recent news reports have suggested that several current FISA judges are uncomfortable with making such intelligence decisions, and rightly so. As for the possibility that Presidents will abuse this power, fear of exposure is an even more powerful disincentive than legal constraint. The political costs of being seen as spying on Americans for partisan ends would be tremendous. Congress, on the other hand, is only too happy to use the courts to squeeze executive power, in part because this allows the Members to dodge responsibility themselves. If there’s another terror attack, the President still gets the blame even if some unelected judge refused a warrant. Congress can blame everyone else... The weekend law expires in six months, and it would be nice to think enough Democrats would put aside this ideological obsession to work with Mr. Bush on a more permanent wiretap statute. Given the current state of Beltway rationality, we aren’t optimistic.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread.
Among modern statesmen it really seems to mean
that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf.”

-- G. K. Chesterton --

“The mere absence of war is not peace.” —John F. Kennedy


“[Bill Clinton]... will never dodge the spotlight. If his wife is elected, he will speak at conferences and be ambassador to the world. Will he bring drama and mess? Yes. He brings drama wherever he goes because wherever he goes, there he is. Will he bring the particular drama everyone expects? He is officially and forever The Rogue. If Americans hire her as president they will do it knowing he is going to bring his Billness with him.” —Peggy Noonan


“I believe we can reduce costs and improve the quality of care by increasing competition. We can do it through tax cuts, not tax hikes. We can do it by empowering patients and their doctors, not government bureaucrats. Instead of being more like Europe, we need to be more like America.” —Rudy Giuliani


“The real problem is that the political incentives are to spend the taxpayers’ money on things that will enhance politicians’ chances of getting re-elected. There may be enough money available to maintain bridges and other infrastructure but that same money can have a bigger political pay-off if spent building something new instead of maintaining and repairing existing structures.”
-- Thomas Sowell --


“I came here looking for a great country. I found a great country.”
—actor Sean Penn on his trip to Venezuela

Do ya' think he will stay?


“Some may object to even asking the question, ‘Did climate change contribute to the Minneapolis bridge collapse?’ My guess is those are the same people who deny that global warming is caused by humans or that it is a serious problem.” — Joseph Romm

“If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.”
-- Thomas Jefferson --

Obama's Church: Cauldron of Division

"Presidential candidate Barack Obama preaches on the campaign trail that America needs a new consensus based on faith and bipartisanship, yet he continues to attend a controversial Chicago church whose pastor routinely refers to 'white arrogance' and 'the United States of White America.'

In fact, Obama was in attendance at the church when these statements were made on July 22.

Obama has spoken and written of his special relationship with that pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

The connection between the two goes back to Obama's days as a young community organizer in Chicago's South Side when he first met the charismatic Wright. Obama credited Wright with converting him, then a religious skeptic, to Christianity.

Read on.

China Threatens to Nuke Dollar

China Counter-Threatens U.S. With ‘Nuclear Option’ of Dollar Sales

Pressure has been mounting in the U.S. Senate for legislation calling for trade sanctions against China in retaliation for alleged currency manipulation. But now the Senate is facing counter-threats from China that could potentially trigger a crash of the U.S. dollar.

The British newspaper, The Telegraph, stated that officials at leading Communist Party bodies have told reporters in recent interviews that Beijing may use its $1.33 trillion of foreign reserves as a political weapon to fight pressure from Congress for China to force a revaluation of the yuan.

I Don't CAIR if Muslims are Offended

By Mike S. Adams

I've written about a number of threats to the First Amendment in recent years. But few have riled me up as much as a recent letter written by attorney Joseph E. Sandler. Sandler was hired by CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) after the organization learned that Robert Spencer was about to give a speech called "The Truth About CAIR" at the National Conservative Student Conference held by the Young America's Foundation (YAF).

Here's what Sandler wrote to my friend Ron Robinson, President of YAF:

"You should be aware that Mr. Spencer, a well-known purveyor of hatred
and bigotry against Muslims, has a history of false and defamatory statements. Several of those statements have falsely accused CAIR of activity that would constitute a federal offense."
Read More.

Gore: Polluters Manipulate Climate Info

"Research aimed at disputing the scientific consensus on global warming is part of a huge public misinformation campaign funded by some of the world's largest carbon polluters, former Vice President Al Gore said Tuesday.

'There has been an organized campaign, financed to the tune of .... "

Newt Gingrich: I'm Proven Candidate Material

" 'I think it is proven I’m candidate material,' Newt Gingrich told a National Press Club audience on Tuesday, but he maintains that the presidential race doesn’t begin until after Christmas, so there's plenty of time for anyone, including himself, to jump into the fray.

'I try to remind people, three weeks before the ....."

The Self Esteem Myth

By Ashley Herzog

"Once upon a time - a time you probably don't remember if you're younger than 30 - American schools sought to teach children self-control, personal responsibility, and respect for others, especially adults. Students were corrected when they made mistakes and reprimanded when they slacked off or talked back." Read more of The Self Esteem Myth

Who Threatens the Homeland?

By Cliff May

"Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama wants to fight al-Qaeda in Pakistan – after accepting defeat at the hands of al-Qaeda in Iraq. His critics say that shows his inexperience. But he’s hardly alone.

A sophisticated member of what may fairly be called the Washington Foreign Policy Establishment was discussing Iraq with me. We agreed on the patterns many Americans are just now beginning to discern within the media clutter: the new American commander in Iraq, Gen. David A. Petraeus, is targeting ...."

Surging politics

By Victor Davis Hanson
Critics of the U.S. troop "surge" in Iraq, called for by President George Bush in January, early on cited American losses and then announced the plan's failure. Supporters, on the other hand, have seen progress from new tactics (which, many argue, should have been adopted far earlier). Read more of Surging politics.

The immigration counterattack begins

By William Rusher
When the American people rose up in wrath a couple of months ago and stopped dead in its tracks a bipartisan effort to ram a phony immigration "reform" bill through the Senate, I warned that our triumph was inspiring but very probably short-lived. It is extremely difficult to focus the attention of the people at large on any policy, however bad, that is wanted eagerly by an influential minority.
Read the rest of The immigration counterattack begins.

How the media promote false pessimism about the economy.

The separation of powers protects Congress too.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Don't Increase Federal Gasoline Taxes—Abolish Them

CATO Institute

"Many experts believe that gasoline taxes should be increased for a variety of reasons. Their arguments are unpersuasive. Oil is not disappearing, and when it becomes more expensive, market agents will substitute away from gasoline to save money. The link between oil price shocks and recessions, although real in the 1970s, has been much more benign since 1985 because of the termination of price controls. Market actors properly account for energy costs in their purchasing decisions absent government intervention. Pollution taxes, congestion fees, and automobile insurance premiums more closely related to vehicle miles traveled are better remedies for the externalities associated with automobile travel than a simple fuel tax. Gasoline consumption does not necessarily distort American foreign policy, impose military commitments, or empower Islamic terrorist organizations.

State and federal gasoline taxes should be abolished. Local governments should tax gasoline only to the extent necessary to pay for roads when user charges are not feasible. If government feels compelled to more aggressively regulate vehicle tailpipe emissions or access to public roadways, pollution taxes and road user fees are better means of doing so than fuel taxes. Regardless, perfectly internalizing motor vehicle externalities would likely make the ..... "

A Bridge Too Far Gone

By Thomas Sowell: "It took a collapsing bridge in Minnesota to alert people across the country to the fact that many other bridges in many other places have been allowed to deteriorate without adequate maintenance.

If this were just a matter of poor political leadership at various levels of government, we could at least hope for better leaders in the future. But the problem goes deeper than that."

Read on.

Capitalizing on Tragedy
Journalists blame taxpayers, not government incompetence, for infrastructure problems.

Networks Use Bridge Tragedy to Build Support for Higher Taxes
The media have been quick to move from a horrifying bridge collapse to calls for more government funding – despite the fact that it’s government that maintains and inspects bridges. When private companies are involved in tragedies, the media aren’t so lenient.


Bob Novak: "The GOP is on the run on health care. Both the Senate and House have passed the SCHIP expansion that constitutes another step toward nationalized health care, though not with enough backing in the House to override a presidential veto there. The odds of passing a conservative alternative based on harnessing market forces looks remote."

Who says democracy in the Middle East is dead?

An intriguing report (translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute) from Akhbar Al-Sharq, a Syrian opposition Web site:

Representatives from 55 Syrian Arab tribes have declared the establishment of a joint association called the "Party of the Nation."

A communiqué released by the party stated that it "will function democratically, together with the other opposition forces, to change Assad's criminal dictatorial regime."

Hat tip to James Taranto.

This Entitlement Will Sink Us

By Scott Garrett

The U.S. House of Representatives last week approved a $160 billion entitlement explosion, a $53 billion tax hike, relaxed rules for illegal immigrant access to federal benefits, and a package of Medicare cuts. With this they are saddling our children with extraordinary debt, and are doing so without my vote.

The Economic Reality

By Fred Thompson: "Economist Larry Kudlow calls today’s American economy, “the greatest story never told.” If you’re generally predisposed to not support tax cuts and economic growth, you’re probably satisfied that the U.S. economy isn’t bragged on more. But you’d also be out of step with Americans traditional optimism, and out of step with reality, too." Read more.

Silencing Dissent

By Walter E. Williams

Global warming has become a big-ticket item in the eyes of its supporters. At stake are research funds, jobs and the ability to control lives all over the globe. Most climatologists agree that over the last century, the Earth's average temperature has risen about one degree Celsius.

Sub-Prime Politicians

By Thomas Sowell

Amid all the hand-wringing and finger-pointing as housing markets collapse, mortgage foreclosures skyrocket, and financial markets panic, there is very little attention being paid to the fundamental economic and political decisions that led to this mess.

Let Wisconsin Experiment with Socialized Medicine

By John Stossel

It's time to amend the Wisconsin football song so we can cheer on the Badger State's politicians as they move toward health-care socialism.

Lessons on Iraq From Northern Ireland

By Michael Medved

Great Britain recently observed an historic milestone that sends a powerful message to the United States. After 27 years of conflict, the British officially ended their military presence in Northern Ireland. At one time, they maintained 106 bases and 27,000 troops in the embattled province, but growing cooperation between Catholics and Protestants in the Northern Irish government, and the disarming of sectarian militias, now make British troops unnecessary.

A succession of prime ministers, both Tory and Labour, wisely defied calls for a premature pullout from those who insisted that Her Majesty's forces had no business in the midst of a seemingly endless civil war. As with American troops in Korea, the decades-long British presence has been costly, dangerous and controversial, but ultimately allowed reconciliation and stability to take hold.

A similar outcome in Iraq is a distinct possibility, but only if the United States maintains a patient focus on the long-term horizon and our national interest.

South Africa's Betrayal

Postapartheid Pretoria has become the free world's leading coddler of dictators.

"Last September, not long after the Israeli-Hezbollah war, South Africa's minister of intelligence, Ronnie Kasrils, praised the Islamist group committed to Israel's destruction. The Iran News Agency, albeit prone to exaggeration, reported that Mr. Kasrils 'lauded [the] great victories of the Lebanese Hezbollah against the Zionist forces' and 'stressed that the successful Lebanese resistance proved the vulnerability of the Israeli army.' The comment received no attention in the South African media; nor, for that matter, did the international press seem particularly interested. And yet, the scandalous comment occurred immediately after the South African government had warmly received the visiting Iranian foreign minister and expressed support for Iran's campaign for uranium enrichment--in spite of the passing of a"

Reason and Wiretaps

What the terrorist surveillance fight is really all about.

"To hear the critics tell it, the warrantless wiretapping law passed by Congress this weekend is an immoral license for a mad President Bush and his spymasters to eavesdrop on all Americans. For those willing to believe such things, mere facts don't matter. But for anyone still amenable to reason, the deal is worth parsing for its national security precedents, good and bad. The next Democratic President might be grateful.

The good news is that ..... "

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Congress's energy policies would hinder America's economy.

Globalists Plan to Give Away U.S. Patents

By Phyllis Schlafly

In extraordinary coordination, the judiciary committees of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in the same week approved a bill, which, if it becomes law, will spell the end of America's world leadership in innovation. Read more.

SCHIP Program

Robert Novak on the SCHIP program:

"The Senate's vote to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to the non-poor and to finance it with a large hike in cigarette taxes, represents a major step in the direction of universal health care. It will also likely result in a future funding crisis.

1. Although the administration has threatened to veto this $50 billion expansion of SCHIP, Democrats would love to have a vote or veto "against the children" to hold against Republicans. This illustrates their cynicism behind this proposal, but President Bush's cynicism is also evident. Compare his support for a much larger, more expensive, and politically important prescription-drug plan for senior citizens.

2. From a taxation point of view, there are two arguments against SCHIP expansion: First, cigarette taxes represent a very unreliable funding stream. To the extent that health education campaigns and price increases have helped bring down the number of smokers in the United States, they also threaten the government's stream of revenue. This means that another tax increase will be needed to sustain the newly expanded SCHIP in the future.

3. Second, because the bill could lead states to give government health coverage to children in a family of four making up to even $80,000, the bill redistributes income in a regressive fashion -- from the poor (and smokers are disproportionately poor) to the middle class. This too is similar to the prescription-drug bill, which promised subsidies for the prescriptions of the nation's wealthiest demographic, senior citizens, at the expense of young workers."

Novak fails to mention, they want to extend this program to illegal immigrants as well.

Putin's Jugend

By David Aikman

When Adolf Hitler started consolidating his power in Germany before World War II, one of his tools was a fanatic youth-movement called the "Hitlerjugend," or "Hitler Youth" in English. Impressionable adolescents were indoctrinated and mobilized into squads of bullies that persecuted Jews, foreigners and other minorities.

Well, guess which current world leader is almost precisely imitating Hitler in this regard? Vladimir Putin.

The Russian leader's youthful followers are called "Nashi," which means "ours." They are told Stalin was a strong leader and that Boris Yeltsin weakened Russia while Putin has made it strong.

With opposition leaders jailed, exiled, and Putin's critics intimidated or assassinated, Russia is sliding inexorably into fascism. It's time to wake up.

Taliban launch frontal attack on base

Associated Press

GHAZNI, Afghanistan
"A group of 75 Taliban militants tried to overrun a U.S.-led coalition base in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, a rare frontal attack that left more than 20 militants dead, the coalition said in a statement.

The insurgents attacked Firebase Anaconda from three sides, using gunfire, grenades and 107 mm rockets, the coalition said. A joint Afghan-U.S. force repelled the attack with mortars, machine guns and air support.

'Almost two dozen insurgents were confirmed killed in the attack,' the statement said. Two girls and two Afghan soldiers were wounded during the fight in Uruzgan province, it said.

A firebase like Anaconda is usually a remote outpost staffed by as few as several dozen soldiers.

'The inability of the insurgent forces to inflict any severe damage on Firebase Anaconda, while being simultaneously decimated in the process, should be a clear indication of the ineffectiveness of their fighters,' said Army Capt. Vanessa R. Bowman, a coalition spokeswoman." Full story.

“Very few established institutions, governments and constitutions... are ever destroyed by their enemies until they have been corrupted and weakened by their friends.”

-- Walter Lippmann --

“If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws—the first growing out of the last... A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government.”

-- Alexander Hamilton --

Propaganda Redux


Take it from this old KGB hand: The left is abetting America's enemies with its intemperate attacks on President Bush.

During last week's two-day summit, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown thanked President Bush for leading the global war on terror. Mr. Brown acknowledged "the debt the world owes to the U.S. for its leadership in this fight against international terrorism" and vowed to follow Winston Churchill's lead and make Britain's ties with America even stronger.

Mr. Brown's statements elicited anger from many of .....

Monday, August 06, 2007

“National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman.”
-- John Adams --

Liberal Bloggers Boo Hillary


House OKs New Taxes for Big Oil

"WASHINGTON (AP) - Declaring a new direction in energy policy, the House on Saturday approved $16 billion in taxes on oil companies, while providing billions of dollars in tax breaks and incentives for renewable energy and conservation efforts.

Republican opponents said the legislation ignored the need to produce more domestic oil, natural gas and coal. One GOP lawmaker bemoaned 'the pure venom ... against the oil and gas industry.'

The House passed the tax provisions by a vote of 221-189. Earlier it had approved, 241-172, a companion energy package aimed at boosting energy efficiency and expanding use of biofuels, wind power and other renewable energy sources." More.

I Thought The Dem's Were Against The Eavesdropping Program?

Washington Post:
Bush Signs Law to Expand Eavesdropping

Boston Globe:
New law expands power to wiretap

Who speaks for America's evangelicals?

USA Today

Some in party fear GOP is straying on social issues

Washington Post

Legislators dump US mandates at 'Tea Party'

Mimicking American colonists, four state senators from across the country staged a modern-day Boston Tea Party yesterday, this time protesting an overreaching government on the mainland.

"Instead of throwing tea in the harbor, we want to dump some of the unfunded federal mandates that we've been saddled with by Congress over the years," said Senator Richard T. Moore, who represents the Worcester and Norfolk districts in the state Legislature. "It's easy if you live in Washington to vote for a program, especially if you don't have to pay for it."
Full story.

An example of this would be federally mandated (but underfunded) education programs which forces schools then to use money from their general funds to fund these mandated programs and leaving them short of money. This, of course, forces the schools to seek more local funding. Maybe the federal government should just stay out of education.

Stealth Tax Increase
By Robert D. Novak

The 42 senators and 196 House members who have signed a no-tax-increase pledge received a stern warning last Wednesday from Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform: If you vote for Amendment 2548 to the Democratic-sponsored expansion of SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program), you will violate your solemn promise. However, Amendment 2548 is not the product of tax-and-spend liberals but of conservative lawmakers and policy experts…

South American Giants Look to Mexico

Buenos Aires - "The leaders of South America's two largest countries have visited Mexico in recent days in an effort to improve ties with a country viewed as an important regional player, energy source, and large-market economy.

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva is currently visiting Mexico, fresh on the heels of Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, who during his visit last week criticized U.S. border fence plans and tried to lure Mexico into the South American Mercosur trade bloc." Full story.

Harassment of Military Recruiters Sparks Lawsuit at College
A conservative youth group says the University of California-Santa Cruz should lose federal funding because it allowed military recruiters to be harassed and forced off campus by student protesters...

NYC Officials Accused of Withholding Information on Arab School
New York City officials have not been open or candid, critics say, about a controversial public school set to open in Brooklyn next month that will teach Arab language and culture – the Khalil Gibran International Academy. A local group fears the school will become Muslim-oriented, promoting a religious and political agenda to its incoming sixth grade class...

Pakistan Unhappy to Be Focus of 2008 Presidential Candidates
As Pakistan, and what to do about it, continues to feature strongly in the 2008 presidential primary campaign, the country’s prime minister reiterated Sunday that Pakistan would not allow foreign forces to act against terrorists on its soil...

"[T]he people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them."

-- Zacharia Johnson (speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention,
25 June 1778)

Participate in “Gay Pride” Parade Subjected To Gross Sexual Gestures and Obscenities: Thomas More Law Center Files Claim

ANN ARBOR, MI – Four respected San Diego firefighters were ordered, against their wishes, to participate in uniform on their city fire truck in the city’s annual “Gay Pride” parade. During the course of the ensuing three hour long ordeal, the firefighters were subjected to vile sexual taunts from homosexuals lining the parade route. This included the following statements: “show me your hose,” “you can put out my fire,” “you’re making me hot,” “give me mouth-to-mouth,” “you look hungry, why don’t you have a twinkie (from a man wearing a “Girth and Mirth” t-shirt),” and “blow my hose.” These firemen are devoted husbands and fathers. When they refused to respond to the crowd, some in the crowd turned hostile and started shouting, “F—k you firemen” and others began “flipping them off.”

San Diego area attorney, Charles LiMandri, the West Coast Director of the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is representing the firefighters in their legal claims against the city. LiMandri was also the lead counsel in the successful Mt. Soledad Cross case in San Diego. A 52 year native San Diegan, LiMandri stated: “What happened to these dedicated public servants was inexcusable. The City should have known from past experience the kind of offensive activities that go on at this event. This was a clear case of sexual harassment in violation of state and federal law as well as the City’s own code of conduct.” Full story.


In an earlier post from this morning I said in reference to the 35W bridge collapse:

Our newest Senator, DFL'er Amy Klobuchar, wasted no time in making it political. She is a fast learner, I guess. It is so disgusting and disheartening when a tradgedy hits so close to home and then you have to put with this crap - the politics of it. For God's sake, we need adults in office, not spoiled adolescents.

That prompted this comment in the comments section by Ed Kohler:
Are the adults the ones who opposed the gas tax before the collapse but support it now that people have died?

I must say firstly, the premise is faulty. Had their been a gas tax hike, this bridge still would have fallen. To imply otherwise is being disingenuous.

I would submit that the inspections were faulty. People made the decision in 2004, again in 2005, and again in 2006 that the bridge was safe to use.

It appears to me we need better inspection techniques and technology to better scrutinize the safety of our bridges. Or would we rather do away with inspections altogether and for the sake of safety, just replace them all, say............... every 20 years, whether they need to be replaced or not? After all, it's just money and our government cannot ever have too much of that.

We have a spending problem and an inability to priortize and an inability to say 'no'. If we accept the idea that we do not have the money to rebuild our roads and bridges, then we need to stop and/or curtail our "non-road spending" and re-direct it to "road spending".

Let's quit spending our money on the worthless and ill-conceived light rail and spend it on our roads.

You want to give reduced in-state rates for college students who are here illegally? You want to give illegals free health insurance? But you won't spend our existing tax revenue on our infrastructure? What's more important?

My earlier comment remains unchanged: "we need adults in office, not spoiled adolescents". If some of our politicians opposed the gas tax and now support it (Gov. Pawlenty?) because of what happened, then in my estimation they are spineless weasels and fall into the above category.

If some of you out there want to give up 70% + of your income and hand it over to the government, to expand it, so they can wipe your ass for you every morning and wipe your sniveling little nose for you .. fine.. go ahead. But COUNT ME OUT.

I am back, along with HH Jr., from our weekend journey and fund raiser for the American Cancer Society. We had a great time. This was our ninth year in which we participated.

In the previous eight years, we have raised a little over a million dollars total for the eight years, for cancer research. We have been in the 10 ten in the nation each year in our fund raising efforts.

It has been so much fun

Political Vultures Circle Over 35W

By Hugh Hewitt

The terrible collapse of the 35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis is another awful day in an American history littered with such horrible events. Other bridges have collapsed, airplanes have crashed and of course the Twin Towers were brought down by savagery. We are always encouraged by the bravery Americans show on such occasions, and the reaction of Minnesota's first responders was no different.

Unfortunately there is also another almost certain follow-on to tragedy--that of the political vultures who sweep in and try and score points, this time before even the missing were accounted for. Incredibly, on the day after the bridge's collapse, many Democrats were blaming the Bush Administration for a failure to appropriate enough money to protect the span--even though there was a million dollar repair project underway on the day of the collapse.

Shame on politicians who exploit tragedy for political advantage. It is indecent, and it should stop.

Our newest Senator, DFL'er Amy Klobuchar, wasted no time in making it political. She is a fast learner, I guess. It is so disgusting and disheartening when a tradgedy hits so close to home and then you have to put with this crap - the politics of it. For God's sake, we need adults in office, not spoiled adolescents. --HH

Mad House: Congress needs an intervention.

Opinion Journal

Iran has just carried out the largest wave of executions since 1984.

Opinion Journal