Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Response to Sotomayor

Here is an interesting article that was linked to at

» Krauthammer: A Republican Response to Sonia Sotomayor: Criticize, Then Confirm

Sotomayor: Rebut, Then Confirm
By Charles KrauthammerFriday, May 29, 2009
Sonia Sotomayor has a classic American story. So does Frank Ricci.
Ricci is a New Haven firefighter stationed seven blocks from where Sotomayor went to law school (Yale). Raised in blue-collar Wallingford, Conn., Ricci struggled as a C and D student in public schools ill-prepared to address his serious learning disabilities. Nonetheless he persevered, becoming a junior firefighter and Connecticut's youngest certified EMT.
After studying fire science at a community college, he became a New Haven "truckie," the guy who puts up ladders and breaks holes in burning buildings. When his department announced exams for promotions, he spent $1,000 on books, quit his second job so he could study eight to 13 hours a day and, because of his dyslexia, hired someone to read him the material.
He placed sixth on the lieutenant's exam, which qualified him for promotion. Except that the exams were thrown out by the city, and all promotions denied, because no blacks had scored high enough to be promoted.
Ricci (with 19 others) sued.
That's where these two American stories intersect. Sotomayor was a member of the three-member circuit court panel that upheld the dismissal of his case, thus denying Ricci his promotion.
This summary ruling deeply disturbed fellow members of Sotomayor's court, including Judge José Cabranes (a fellow Clinton appointee), who, writing for five others, criticized the unusual, initially unpublished, single-paragraph dismissal for ignoring the serious constitutional issues at stake.
Two things are sure to happen this summer: The Supreme Court will overturn Sotomayor's panel's ruling. And, barring some huge hidden scandal, Sotomayor will be elevated to that same Supreme Court.
What should a principled conservative do? Use the upcoming hearings not to deny her the seat, but to illuminate her views. No magazine gossip from anonymous court clerks. No "temperament" insinuations. Nothing ad hominem. The argument should be elevated, respectful and entirely about judicial philosophy.
On the Ricci case. And on her statements about the inherent differences between groups, and the superior wisdom she believes her Latina physiology, culture and background grant her over a white male judge. They perfectly reflect the Democrats' enthrallment with identity politics, which assigns free citizens to ethnic and racial groups possessing a hierarchy of wisdom and entitled to a hierarchy of claims upon society.
Sotomayor shares President Obama's vision of empathy as lying at the heart of judicial decision-making -- sympathetic concern for litigants' background and current circumstances, and for how any judicial decision would affect their lives.
Since the 2008 election, people have been asking what conservatism stands for. Well, if nothing else, it stands unequivocally against justice as empathy -- and unequivocally for the principle of blind justice.
Empathy is a vital virtue to be exercised in private life -- through charity, respect and loving kindness -- and in the legislative life of a society where the consequences of any law matter greatly, which is why income taxes are progressive and safety nets are built for the poor and disadvantaged.
But all that stops at the courthouse door. Figuratively and literally, justice wears a blindfold. It cannot be a respecter of persons. Everyone must stand equally before the law, black or white, rich or poor, advantaged or not.
Obama and Sotomayor draw on the "richness of her experiences" and concern for judicial results to favor one American story, one disadvantaged background, over another. The refutation lies in the very oath Sotomayor must take when she ascends to the Supreme Court: "I do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich. . . . So help me God."
When the hearings begin, Republicans should call Frank Ricci as their first witness. Democrats want justice rooted in empathy? Let Ricci tell his story, and let the American people judge whether his promotion should have been denied because of his skin color in a procedure Sotomayor joined in calling "facially race-neutral."
Make the case for individual vs. group rights, for justice vs. empathy. Then vote to confirm Sotomayor solely on the grounds -- consistently violated by the Democrats, including Sen. Obama -- that a president is entitled to deference on his Supreme Court nominees, particularly one who so thoroughly reflects the mainstream views of the winning party. Elections have consequences.
Vote Democratic and you get mainstream liberalism: a judicially mandated racial spoils system and a jurisprudence of empathy that hinges on which litigant is less "advantaged."
A teaching moment, as liberals like to say. Clarifying and politically potent. Seize it.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Conservative Resources

This is an interesting take on focusing conservative resources from . If you have a take, including a rebuttal on this, go ahead and leave a comment on this post!

North Korea, Iran and the Healthcare Debate
Posted by: Hugh Hewitt
The debate over Judge Sotomayor is fascinating, but also risks diverting conservatives into an ultimately fruitless expenditure of scarce resources in the coming three months.With a 59-40 split in the Senate, Judge Sotomayor will almost certainly be confirmed, and though some sustained and focused questioning should occur at her hearings (especially on the subject of "superprecedents"), I expect that like Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito, she will shine in these hearings because federal appeals court judges are simply much more skilled in such settings than most senators. The controversies surrounding her that have surfaced will, absent some unknown series of revelations, not derail her confirmation, so time and money spent trying to do so is time and money wasted at a crucuial moment in the country's life.

Abroad we face enormous dangers from the nuclear ambitions of Iran and the nuclear recklessness of North Korea. President Obama seems wholly unconcerned --removed even-- from these twin crises, and as my conversations with Mark Steyn, Christopher Hitchens and John Bolton over the past few days demonstrate, this is alarming because the risks from both rogue regimes are so real. I wrote one of my radio colleagues yesterday that Benjamin Netanyahu is the de facto leader of the world's realists right now, as both President Obama and Prime Minister Brown don't seem to want to be bothered by these terrorist regimes, as though ignoring them can make them disappear. Conservatives must continually call attention to the fact that America is in fact doing nothing as the menace grows, and outline the sorts of steps that could be taken by President Obama if and when he awakens to the menace.

On health care the opportunities for activism and effectiveness are much more real. President Obama yesterday urged his national political organization to call Congress to press for passage of radical health care restructuring --a demand that his most loyal supporters in turn demand approval of a bill that hasn't yet been written! The call for blind allegiance to an unwritten bill signals that the Administration has zero interest in anything other than a political triumph, no matter the cost or effect on the amazing health care system the U.S. currently enjoys. This attitude --political wins over everything else-- has defined the first four months of the Obama Administration and will continue to dominate it unless and until Republicans and responsible Democrats join together to stop the sudden, hard left lurch of the Obama agenda. That has to happen on health care, and it means identifying and lobbying the 50 or so House Democrats and the 10 key Democratic senators who are most likely to oppose the "government option"/single payer meltdown that looms. Why no such list of the Democrats on whom most of the attention must be focused has yet been developed is amazing, but hopefully it will emerge soon.

In the meantime, I continue to request that doctors who see what is coming if the Obama/Pelosi/Reid rationing plan advances send me their analysis at for posting here as appropriate (with or without names as requested), and for everyone to research the most moderate Democratic House members in their states and contact their offices to urge that American health care not be endangered by the radical rewrite being pushed by the president.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vdare on Sotomayor

A very interesting pair of articles from See also and

Key Obama question answered by Sotomayor

The nomination of professional Hispanic Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court goes a long way to answering the most pressing question about the Obama Presidency:
Did America elect a racist left-winger or a left-wing racist?
Steve Sailer in his seminal book on Obama America’s Half-Blood Prince was inclined to the latter conclusion. The choice of Sotomayor supports him.
In discussing Professor Kevin MacDonald’s description of the Jewish effort to get Solicitor General Elena Kagan the nomination, I suggested that Jeffrey Rosen’s New Republic pre-emptive attack The Case Against Sotomayor May 04 2009 could be seen as supporting evidence of such a campaign.
While this is probably true, not being Hispanic or Black, Rosen could not just say Kagan should be appointed because she is of his group. He had to deploy arguments. And in the context of his preference for leftist judicial legislators on the bench he developed perfectly sound ones.
What was needed, Rosen suggested, was
a judicial star of the highest intellectual caliber who has the potential to change the direction of the court….
Adding in his subsequent defense of himself
For the next Supreme Court seat, the president needs to be sure that the nominee’s temperament and abilities are not merely impressive but absolutely stellar. She–and the next justice should indeed be a she–must be ready to challenge the conservatives and persuade her fellow liberals from the very beginning.
More Sotomayor by Jeffrey Rosen The New Republic May 08 2009
Since no one seriously pretends Sotomayor is anything special as a judicial mind, Rosen turned to the distasteful task of documenting the doubts about her temperament. This he did by quoting
Sotomayor’s entry in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, which includes the rating of judges based on the collective opinions of the lawyers who work with them. Usually lawyers provide fairly positive comments. That’s what makes the discussion of Soto mayor’s temperament so striking. Here it is:Sotomayor can be tough on lawyers, according to those interviewed. “She is a terror on the bench.” “She is very outspoken.” “She can be difficult.” “She is temperamental and excitable. She seems angry.” “She is overly aggressive–not very judicial. She does not have a very good temperament.” “She abuses lawyers.” “She really lacks judicial temperament. She behaves in an out of control manner. She makes inappropriate outbursts.” “She is nasty to lawyers. She doesn’t understand their role in the system–as adversaries who have to argue one side or the other. She will attack lawyers for making an argument she does not like.”
(Hat tip TPMMuckraker -
What this means of course is she is likely to offend the eight other monsters of conceit who lurk on the Supreme Court - and so impede the advance of Leftism.
Rosen’s judgment is sound. Obama may well, alas, get other chances to nominate one of these Priest-Kings. But horrible things happen to Presidencies, very quickly, and his power is unlikely ever to be greater. The next time more Americans will understand Obama –and Congress is fickle. This was his best chance to effect real ideological change.
Instead, he succumbed to the temptations of race-baiting and the politics of the visible. Dissing the White man came first.
From a narrow point of view, Sotomayor is a relief. With Hispanics themselves vulnerable to Hate Crime charges, and she having a less clear record on the subject than Kagan and her friends, maybe we will be free to operate a while longer.
(The comment threads on the two Rosen articles are to be recommended. Even thought the pieces are eminently reasonable and polite, he received the most amazing vilification. One would think he was Charles Murray or Peter Brimelow!. And from fellow leftists! No one can read them and not be struck how much emotion and how little reason supplies modern Liberal/Leftism.)

Justice Sotomayor: Steve Sailer Saw Her Coming…Of Course!!
In his last column “Playing With Fire: The Obama Administration Backs Anti-White Discrimination in Ricci”’s own Steve Sailer discussed a few of Ms. Sotomayor’s atrocious judicial decisions…and warned us of her impending Supreme Court nomination
To get an idea of just how insanely liberal and frankly idiotic this woman can be I took the liberty of pulling a few comments from an article written by Stuart Taylor for National Journal Magazine.
Addressing a mostly Hispanic group at Berkeley School of Law about “Law and Cultural Diversity”, Judge Sotomayor said:
“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
The most poignant comment in Mr. Taylor’s article was this:
“Sotomayor also referred to the cardinal duty of judges to be impartial as a mere “aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others.” And she suggested that “inherent physiological or cultural differences” may help explain why “our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.”
Experiences? Choices? Cultural differences? How has this woman been allowed to keep her law license? I know she’s “special” and therefore was allowed to attend “special” universities (you know, the kind simple white girls like me only get to attend if we pay through the nose LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE) and pay “special” tuition rates (“special” meaning “free”) but does she also get to “protect and uphold” a special Constitution? It sure sounds like it.
Oh people, we’re in trouble. I would say pray that the GOP puts a stop to this madness but their track record for standing up to the New Kids on the Block hasn’t been consistently strong…or consistently weak…actually, I have no idea what they even do all day.
Then again, they haven’t shown any since the days of Speaker Gingrich so even though they have the votes to stop the appointment, I’m not holding my breath.
But something tells me the criminals are!

The Sotomayor Nomination: An Opportunity for Republicans to Reestablish Their Identity

A big Hat Tip from on Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee! See also

The Sotomayor Nomination: An Opportunity for Republicans to Reestablish Their Identity

President Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court will pose difficulties for Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Judge Sotomayor’s personal story is deeply compelling, and she is the first Latino nominee to the High Court. Republicans need to reach out to that important voting block. But they also need to reestablish their identity, which has been rooted, from the time of Lincoln, not in the “identity politics” that has so dominated the Democrats’ agenda in recent years but in the fundamental idea that every American should be treated as an individual, nowhere more clearly captured than in our national motto, E Pluribus Unum—from many, one.
Here is an opportunity for Republicans to reestablish that identity, if they handle it smartly, because there is much in Judge Sotomayor’s record to suggest that she subscribes to identity politics. She has made statements to that effect that will have to be explained, which if made by white men would be roundly and rightly condemned. And the Ricci case that the Supreme Court will hand down next month, just before Senate confirmation hearings are likely to begin, will tee the issues up nicely. The case was brought by a sympathetic plaintiff, suffering from dyslexia, who studied hard for a neutral fireman’s promotion exam, only to be told by the city of New Haven, after he had scored well, that the results would be thrown out because they were racially unbalanced. The appellate panel reviewing the district court’s decision, on which Judge Sotomayor sat, summarily upheld the district court’s dismissal of the complaint, refusing to grapple with the constitutional issues at stake. If ever a case cried out for “empathy,” this was it—not for Mr. Ricci, who was asking for no empathy, but for the principle of equality before the law, on which he staked his claim of racial discrimination against the city.
But Democrats too should be raising those questions, because equality before the law and the rule of law are indifferent to party. Tragically, however, the judicial confirmation process has been thoroughly politicized in recent years. After the stormy confirmation hearings in 1987 and 1991 for Judges Bork and Thomas, President Clinton’s nominations of Judges Ginsburg and Breyer sailed through the confirmation process with little opposition and even less acrimony. With the return of Republican nominees after the election of George W. Bush, however, Senate Democrats resumed their scorched earth practices, starting with appellate court nominees and continuing to the nominations of Judges Roberts and Alito to the High Court. Hearings were never held, filibusters were threatened, and reputations were tarnished. In such a climate, it is difficult to have reasoned discussion of the issues. If past history is any guide, we can expect Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee will fully support Judge Sotomayor. It will fall to Republicans, therefore to draw out both the judicial and the constitutional philosophy of the nominee.
And they will have much to work with. Not only has Judge Sotomayor made what can only be called reckless statements about the role that race and gender does and should play in judicial decisionmaking, but many of her decisions bring that out. Then too there are cases that may give some “Red State” Democrats pause, like the per curiam decision last January of the Second Circuit panel on which Judge Sotomayor sat, which held that the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms does not apply against the states. Throw in the likely challenges ahead to President Obama’s sweeping assertions of power over the economy, and there is more than enough to keep Senators busy as they carry out their responsibilities to advise and consent.
Still, it is Republicans especially who will be tested by these hearings—tested to see what, if anything, they stand for.
Roger Pilon is the Director of the Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute.

Sotomayor: The Illegal Alien, Anti-Male, Anti-White Vote on the Court; Plus, "View" Airhead "Conservative" Praises Choice

Here is an interesting article reviewing the Supreme Court Justice pick from

By Debbie Schlussel
Here's what we know:
Barack Obama, today, nominated an anti-male, anti-White woman who will be the voice of illegal aliens, to the Supreme Court. Yup, let's hear it for the reconquista Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor. She said she believes that the bench is "where policy is made" and just you wait until reconquista, pro-illegal alien policy is made from the Supreme Court bench. She'll do it.
Sonia Sotomayor . . .
The Choice of Illegal Aliens & Elisabeth Hasselbeck . . .
Today, on ABC's anti-male hag-fest, faux-conservative and eternal airhead bimbo Elisabeth Hasselbeck heartily applauded this absurd affirmative action choice, saying "This is great because Hispanics are the most important group of people in America." They are? I thought--and particularly conservatives, which brainless Hasselbeck pretends to be, think--that America is a land of individuals, that no one group of people is "more important" than anyone else. Hasselbeck also stated that "women don't have enough opportunity." Huh? This woman, Sotomayor, was picked for only two reasons, one of which is that she has female indoor plumbing.
Sickening, but par for the course for this nauseating TV bim, who disclosed the name of a Federal Air Marshal on national TV. (But don't worry. Tomorrow, when she gets the GOP talking points from her fellow airhead, Sean Vannity, she'll change her tune and, per usual, pretend she knew what she was talking about in the first place.)
Here's what we don't know:
How many Republicans will have the cojones to call Sotomayor to the carpet for her anti-male, anti-White statements? I'm guessing very few, judging by her track record. So far, these wimps on the GOP side of the aisle are staying wimpishly silent and withholding comment. A bunch of girlie-men. Regardless, even if all of them vote against her, she'll still be confirmed.
Thanks, America, for voting in this President who practices gender, racial, and ethnic politics and, frankly, discrimination, like nobody's bidness.
Oh, and one more thing: Stop telling me she's the first Hispanic nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ever hear of a dude named Benjamin Cardozo? What--because he was a Jew, he doesn't count?
Ha Ha Funny.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Samuel and the Central Government

Here is a very interesting article to read from!

Samuel and the Central Government

by David Yeagley · May 2009

The failure of nations is caused by disbelief in the Almighty. Dissolving societies represent aversion to the Creator of every kindred, tongue, and people. Unbelief is the cause for the slavish dependency on central government, and the lustful desire to expand its power. Powerful regimes fail through abusing their own people.
The old prophet Samuel understood all this. He knew Israel’s craving for a king, a powerful central government, was a communal ego trip, a lust for illusive power. When the people demanded a king, he told them plainly that the Lord Himself had delivered them from ferocious enemies at least a half dozen times in their recent history. (I Sam. 12: 9-11.) The Lord did this by simply raising up a spiritual military leader as needed, from time to time. At the very time the people demanded a king of Samuel, they were free of Philistine oppression! (I Sam. 7:13.) There was simply no need for a king. It was rather some natural aversion to God, some typical human writhing for illusive freedom. Their demand was an atrocious facade. Their cry was a lie.

Samuel, from a Byzantine pigment on plaster fresco, Kiev,Golden Dome Monastery.

Yet, the people demanded that they be submitted to complete self-oppression! Samuel told them what kind of king they would have, and what kind of government would evolve from him. It would be awful. They would be taxed into poverty, their families would be broken up–all in the name of the government. I Sam. 8: 9-18. Nay, but the people would not hear of it. They wanted their king, their vicarious communal ego figure. In their unbelief, they thought it would be great.
What we have then in this ancient example is actually a testimony of willing dependency. Self-idolizing, as it were. Americans today love to talk about independence, and conservatives especially laud the idea of individualism and self-reliance. This is right, indeed. But, in terms of Biblical reality, that kind of independence is achieved only through absolute dependence on the Lord. In the history of our American country, that kind of in individualism was successful only because the people believed and trusted in their God.
Now, interestingly, that very kind of dependence on the Lord requires a rip-roaring, hell-fired independence from everyone and everything else! (Deut. 6:4,5.) But people don’t generally like being different, so that is ever a tall, tall order. At times, ancient Israel just couldn’t do it.
So, what we have in the case of Samuel’s predicament is a people who are crying out rather for dependency! They can’t handle the Lord anymore. They are giving up on that system. They they’re calling for human leadership, human organization, a new social order, one that works like everyone else’s–with a human figure figure commanding them. The people specifically said they wanted to be “like all the nations.” I Sam. 8:5. Thus they willingly preferred a ruthless subjugation–even by their own hand, by their own kind.
Of course we are mindful of this Memorial Day weekend, when we honor those who have given their lives for our country. Alas, I fear the country they have died for is fast becoming unworthy of them. It is no longer representing that kind of individualism that can survive on God, rather than a central government. Our young military people are giving their lives for an oppressive central government, so it seems. Our people have become spiritually numb. We see an alien black African Communist Muslim parading in luxury and power, and we think we’re triumphant! Our military serves this kind of nefarious egotism?
Our forefathers designed a very, very limited government, which had little to do with shaping the society or the people. In those early days, most people were very serious Christians, and understood their responsibilities. They were truly independent. Today, however, people are very far out of tune with both the values of the Constitution and the Bible. Disbelief in the latter creates disrespect for the former. Unbelief, lack of trust, yea, disdain for the idea that a godly people can lead themselves–that is, they do not need to be led–this is the cause of America’s social implosion.
We have become a godless people, in that we do not believe or trust in the Lord. This means that we, as ancient Israel, will chose self-oppression. We will chose the grand central government, and grow it grander daily. America just elected the most oppressive ideologue in our presidential history. The party of oppression, of control, of unlimited taxation and debt–this is what America has chosen. has before attempted to identify the cause of the success of liberalism. A mental condition, an ideology, then a Freudian communal disorder–a latent male homosexual Oedipal complex on a national level, we thought perhaps a social application of psychiatry accounted for the otherwise obvious self-destruction. But now, we can see the real problem. It is disbelief in God that causes the success of Communism, of liberalism, of centralized government. It is that human nature craving dependence on man, and independence from God. It is called rebellion. That is the long and short of it. It is that simple. This is the Biblical view of man.
And as we should all know by now, independence from God yields a most slavish dependency on man.
And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.
Thus spoke the elderly prophet of Israel, Samuel, whose name means “God hears.” I Sam. 8:18.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Contribute to Norm Coleman

Now that Arlen Specter has become the 59th Democratic Senator, if you'd like to keep a filibuster to slow down Barack Obama' agenda, Norm Coleman's reelection would keep this option open!

Senator Coleman: Balancing The Budget, Promoting Fiscal Responsibility in Washington
We can balance the federal budget in five years by enacting the 8 point Coleman plan. Balancing the federal budget will reassure our markets, strengthen the U.S. dollar, and show the world that we are serious about leading the way out of the current financial mess.We must rein in federal spending and hold tax cheats accountable while protecting important Minnesota priorities and maintaining pro-growth policies that will grow jobs and put our economy back on track. Continue
Government Accountability
Through his role as former Chairman and current Ranking Member of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), Senator Coleman has demonstrated his commitment to government oversight, aggressively cracking down on government waste, fraud, and abuse, protecting consumers, and strengthening our homeland security.Continue
One of the single biggest issues facing America is the rising cost of health care. During his time in office, Norm Coleman has traveled throughout the state to discuss a wide variety of health care issues with Minnesotans from all corners of the state. As a result of what he's heard, he is committed to finding a solution that taps into the energy and creativity of individuals, families and employers, where government coordinates resources rather than tries to control outcomes. Norm believes everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care that they, not the government, control. Continue
National Security
Senator Coleman is committed to guarding America's security through a strong national defense. That means giving our servicemen and women the funding, equipment, and tools necessary for them to succeed. There is no business more important in the Senate than making sure that the members of our military have the support they need and deserve.Continue
Reducing the Cost of College
As a father of one child just graduated from college and another who has just started, Senator Coleman understands firsthand the challenges parents are faced with in being able to access affordable, quality higher education. Every student should have the opportunity to pursue the highest level of education available and to come out of it without an enormous amount of debt as a result.Continue
Supporting Our Veterans
The first piece of legislation authored and passed by Norm Coleman in the Senate was a bill requiring the Pentagon to pay our troops' travel expenses when they head home from abroad for rest and relaxation. That bill set the stage for a number of future efforts to honor the sacrifices of our soldiers and veterans on the Senate floor. As the son of a WWII Veteran who received the Purple Heart, Norm Coleman is fully committed to serving our veterans. Coleman has a long record of strongly supporting federal funding for veterans benefit programs at the highest level possible, voting over 30 times to increase veterans funding during his time office, which has resulted in a 67% increase in funding for veterans' programs since he took office in 2003.Continue
Troop Reintegration
The National Guard and Reserve are being called on to serve in record numbers, and Senator Coleman strongly believes that we need to give our troops and their families the support they need both while they are deployed and when their return.Continue
Energy Independence
With America still relying on an outdated energy infrastructure designed in the twentieth century, Senator Coleman has outlined a plan to update our energy infrastructure to meet today's changing and diverse energy needs. Through the establishment of a National Energy Infrastructure Trust Fund, Senator Coleman’s plan would update and expand our energy infrastructure – including expansion of wind transmission lines, CO2 pipelines, E-85 pumps and nuclear energy infrastructure, among others - with the same vigor and comprehensive approach that President Dwight Eisenhower used to overhaul our transportation system beginning in the 1950s.Continue
Norm Coleman has worked hard on behalf of sportsmen and women across this state to preserve the natural resources and rights that they hold dear. As a member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, some of Norm’s proudest accomplishments have centered on helping hunters and fishermen protect their way of life, while ensuring that they’re able to pass their outdoor tradition on to future generations.Continue

Islam in Prisons

Here is a very interesting story about Prison Converts to Islam, specifically the NYC terrorist from this week. H/t

NYC synagogue jihadist's uncle: "He wasn't raised this way. All this happened when he became a Muslim in prison."
And how many more have been similarly indoctrinated in U.S. prisons? An ideal outcome of this case would be a thorough re-evaluation of Islamic proselytizing in prisons, the appointment of chaplains, and the activity of inmates. But that is not likely to happen as long as it remains an article of politically correct faith that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with Islamic teachings with respect to warfare and human rights. More on this story. "NYC terror case latest of many homegrown plots," by Michael Hill and Jim Fitzgerald for the Associated Press, May 21:
NEWBURGH, N.Y. – The four men were ex-convicts who envisioned themselves as holy warriors, ambitious enough to concoct a plot to blow up synagogues and military planes, authorities said.
But they were amateurs every step of the way. They had trouble finding guns and bought cameras at Wal-Mart to photograph their targets. One was a convicted purse snatcher, another smoked marijuana the day the plot was to be carried out.
Muslims fueled by hatred of America and Jews, they spent months scouting targets and securing what they thought was a surface-to-air missile system and powerful explosives — all under the watch of an FBI informant.
The four were arrested late Wednesday outside a synagogue in the Bronx, following a long line of homegrown, headline-making terror plots since Sept. 11 that never came close to reality because the FBI inserted itself in the earliest stages.
The bombs they planted outside two synagogues Wednesday were useless, packed with inert explosives supplied by the FBI instead of the Pakistani terrorist group they had pledged to support, according to a criminal complaint.
Still, officials see the case as a vivid reminder of risks the U.S. faces from homegrown terrorists.
"It's hard to envision a more chilling plot," assistant U.S. attorney Eric Snyder said. "These are extremely violent men."
James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen were calm as they appeared in court Thursday with their hands shackled, to answer charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction within the United States and conspiracy to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles. They did not enter pleas and were held without bail; they face life in prison if convicted.
Besides destroying the two synagogues in the heavily Jewish Riverdale section of the Bronx, they intended to shoot down planes at the Air National Guard base in Newburgh, about 50 miles north of New York City, prosecutors said.

Cue the excuses:
Relatives said the defendants were down-on-their-luck men who worked at places like Wal-Mart, a landscaping company and a warehouse when they weren't behind bars. Payen's lawyer said he was "intellectually challenged" and on medication for schizophrenia. Marilyn Reader said he has "a very low borderline" IQ.
David Williams' relatives were floored by the allegations against a man they knew as a good father to his 7-year-old daughter and newborn son.
"You don't raise your children to be terrorists," said Aahkiyaah Cummings, his aunt. "I don't know that guy that was arrested." [...]
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said he believed the defendants knew each other from their time behind bars. Relatives said Payen, David Williams and Onta (pronounced ON-tay) Williams were introduced to Islam in prison — a phenomenon present in prisons around the country in recent years.
"The Onta I know wouldn't do something like this, but the new Onta, yeah," said Richard Williams, an uncle. "He wasn't raised this way. All this happened when he became a Muslim in prison." [...]
Indeed. He may have been a thug before converting, but afterward, he was a thug with a cause and the promise of an eternal reward for waging war against unbelievers.
Payen was apparently staying in a rundown house that neighbors say was known as a home for parolees. Penniless and jobless, he had been fighting deportation and seeking custody of his 3-year-old son, said Hamin Rashada, an assistant imam at the Masjid al-Iklahs mosque, where authorities say the informant first met Cromitie in June 2008.
Cromitie was burning with anger about the U.S. war in Afghanistan, where his parents had lived before he was born, according to the criminal complaint. He told the informant he was interested in jihad and "doing something to America" and was crestfallen that "the best target (the World Trade Center) was hit already," the complaint said.
In the same conversation, Cromitie said: "I hate those mother-------, those f------ Jewish b------ .... I would like to get (destroy) a synagogue," according to the complaint.
In one conversation, Cromitie said how he longed to shoot Jews in the head as they walked on the street near a synagogue, the informant said. In another conversation with the informant, Onta Williams said that the U.S. military is killing Muslims "so if we kill them here with IEDs and Stingers, it is equal," according to court papers.....

Qur'an 2:178 approves of retribution (qisas): "Equivalence is the law decreed for you when dealing with murder. " It is interesting, though, that Cromitie doesn't blame a non-Muslim conspiracy for the destruction of the World Trade Center, but can't put two and two together about the subsequent U.S. military action in Afghanistan to dislodge the Taliban and al-Qaeda. But that's ultimately not a problem: There are always other grievances a jihadist can decide are overdue for "retaliation" (hence the additional targeting of synagogues). To a jihadist, divine approval of revenge is the gift that keeps on giving.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Controlling Cartel Corruption!!

A big hat tip from

A Counterintelligence Approach to Controlling Cartel Corruption

May 20, 2009

By Scott Stewart and Fred Burton
Related Special Topic Page
Tracking Mexico’s Drug Cartels
Rey Guerra, the former sheriff of Starr County, Texas, pleaded guilty May 1 to a narcotics conspiracy charge in federal district court in McAllen, Texas. Guerra admitted to using information obtained in his official capacity to help a friend (a Mexican drug trafficker allegedly associated with Los Zetas) evade U.S. counternarcotics efforts. On at least one occasion, Guerra also attempted to learn the identity of a confidential informant who had provided authorities with information regarding cartel operations so he could pass it to his cartel contact.
In addition to providing intelligence to Los Zetas, Guerra also reportedly helped steer investigations away from people and facilities associated with Los Zetas. He also sought to block progress on investigations into arrested individuals associated with Los Zetas to protect other members associated with the organization. Guerra is scheduled for sentencing July 29; he faces 10 years to life imprisonment, fines of up to $4 million and five years of supervised release.
Guerra is just one of a growing number of officials on the U.S. side of the border who have been recruited as agents for Mexico’s powerful and sophisticated drug cartels. Indeed, when one examines the reach and scope of the Mexican cartels’ efforts to recruit agents inside the United States to provide intelligence and act on the cartels’ behalf, it becomes apparent that the cartels have demonstrated the ability to operate more like a foreign intelligence service than a traditional criminal organization.
Fluidity and Flexibility
For many years now, STRATFOR has followed developments along the U.S.-Mexican border and has studied the dynamics of the cross-border illicit flow of people, drugs, weapons and cash.
One of the most notable characteristics about this flow of contraband is its flexibility. When smugglers encounter an obstacle to the flow of their product, they find ways to avoid it. For example, as we’ve previously discussed in the case of the extensive border fence in the San Diego sector, drug traffickers and human smugglers diverted a good portion of their volume around the wall to the Tucson sector; they even created an extensive network of tunnels under the fence to keep their contraband (and profits) flowing.
Likewise, as maritime and air interdiction efforts between South America and Mexico have become more successful, Central America has become increasingly important to the flow of narcotics from South America to the United States. This reflects how the drug-trafficking organizations have adjusted their method of shipment and their trafficking routes to avoid interdiction efforts and maintain the northward flow of narcotics.
Over the past few years, a great deal of public and government attention has focused on the U.S.-Mexican border. In response to this attention, the federal and border state governments in the United States have erected more barriers, installed an array of cameras and sensors and increased the manpower committed to securing the border. While these efforts certainly have not hermetically sealed the border, they do appear to be having some impact — an impact magnified by the effectiveness of interdiction efforts elsewhere along the narcotics supply chain.
According to the most recent statistics from the Drug Enforcement Administration, from January 2007 through September 2008 the price per pure gram of cocaine increased 89.1 percent, or from $96.61 to $182.73, while the purity of cocaine seized on the street decreased 31.3 percent, dropping from 67 percent pure cocaine to 46 percent pure cocaine. Recent anecdotal reports from law enforcement sources indicate that cocaine prices have remained high, and that the purity of cocaine on the street has remained poor.
Overcoming Human Obstacles
In another interesting trend that has emerged over the past few years, as border security has tightened and as the flow of narcotics has been impeded, the number of U.S. border enforcement officers arrested on charges of corruption has increased notably. This increased corruption represents a logical outcome of the fluidity of the flow of contraband. As the obstacles posed by border enforcement have become more daunting, people have become the weak link in the enforcement system. In some ways, people are like tunnels under the border wall — i.e., channels employed by the traffickers to help their goods get to market.
From the Mexican cartels’ point of view, it is cheaper to pay an official several thousand dollars to allow a load of narcotics to pass by than it is to risk having the shipment seized. Such bribes are simply part of the cost of doing business — and in the big picture, even a low-level local agent can be an incredible bargain.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), 21 CBP officers were arrested on corruption charges during the fiscal year that ended in September 2008, as opposed to only 4 in the preceding fiscal year. In the current fiscal year (since Oct. 1), 14 have been arrested. And the problem with corruption extends further than just customs or border patrol officers. In recent years, police officers, state troopers, county sheriffs, National Guard members, judges, prosecutors, deputy U.S. marshals and even the FBI special agent in charge of the El Paso office have been linked to Mexican drug-trafficking organizations. Significantly, the cases being prosecuted against these public officials of all stripes are just the tip of the iceberg. The underlying problem of corruption is much greater.
A major challenge to addressing the issue of border corruption is the large number of jurisdictions along the border, along with the reality that corruption occurs at the local, state and federal levels across those jurisdictions. Though this makes it very difficult to gather data relating to the total number of corruption investigations conducted, sources tell us that while corruption has always been a problem along the border, the problem has ballooned in recent years — and the number of corruption cases has increased dramatically.
In addition to the complexity brought about by the multiple jurisdictions, agencies and levels of government involved, there simply is not one single agency that can be tasked with taking care of the corruption problem. It is just too big and too wide. Even the FBI, which has national jurisdiction and a mandate to investigate public corruption cases, cannot step in and clean up all the corruption. The FBI already is being stretched thin with its other responsibilities, like counterterrorism, foreign counterintelligence, financial fraud and bank robbery. The FBI thus does not even have the capacity to investigate every allegation of corruption at the federal level, much less at the state and local levels. Limited resources require the agency to be very selective about the cases it decides to investigate. Given that there is no real central clearinghouse for corruption cases, most allegations of corruption are investigated by a wide array of internal affairs units and other agencies at the federal, state and local levels.
Any time there is such a mixture of agencies involved in the investigation of a specific type of crime, there is often bureaucratic friction, and there are almost always problems with information sharing. This means that pieces of information and investigative leads developed in the investigation of some of these cases are not shared with the appropriate agencies. To overcome this information sharing problem, the FBI has established six Border Corruption Task Forces designed to bring local, state and federal officers together to focus on corruption tied to the U.S.-Mexican border, but these task forces have not yet been able to solve the complex problem of coordination.
Sophisticated Spotting
Efforts to corrupt officials along the U.S.-Mexican border are very organized and very focused, something that is critical to understanding the public corruption issue along the border. Some of the Mexican cartels have a long history of successfully corrupting public officials on both sides of the border. Groups like the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO) have successfully recruited scores of intelligence assets and agents of influence at the local, state and even federal levels of the Mexican government. They even have enjoyed significant success in recruiting agents in elite units such as the anti-organized crime unit (SIEDO) of the Office of the Mexican Attorney General (PGR). The BLO also has recruited Mexican employees working for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, and even allegedly owned Mexico’s former drug czar, Noe Ramirez Mandujano, who reportedly was receiving $450,00 a month from the organization.
In fact, the sophistication of these groups means they use methods more akin to the intelligence recruitment processes used by foreign intelligence services than those normally associated with a criminal organization. The cartels are known to conduct extensive surveillance and background checks on potential targets to determine how to best pitch to them. Like the spotting methods used by intelligence agencies, the surveillance conducted by the cartels on potential targets is designed to glean as many details about the target as possible, including where they live, what vehicles they drive, who their family members are, their financial needs and their peccadilloes.
Historically, many foreign intelligence services are known to use ethnicity in their favor, heavily targeting persons sharing an ethnic background found in the foreign country. Foreign services also are known to use relatives of the target living in the foreign country to their advantage. Mexican cartels use these same tools. They tend to target Hispanic officers and often use family members living in Mexico as recruiting levers. For example, Luis Francisco Alarid, who had been a CBP officer at the Otay Mesa, Calif., port of entry, was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison in February for his participation in a conspiracy to smuggle illegal aliens and marijuana into the United States. One of the people Alarid admitted to conspiring with was his uncle, who drove a van loaded with marijuana and illegal aliens through a border checkpoint manned by Alarid.
Like family spy rings (such as the Cold War spy ring run by John Walker), there also have been family border corruption rings. Raul Villarreal and his brother, Fidel, both former CBP agents in San Diego, were arraigned March 16 after fleeing the United States in 2006 after learning they were being investigated for corruption. The pair was captured in Mexico in October 2008 and extradited back to the United States.
‘Plata o Sexo’
When discussing human intelligence recruiting, it is not uncommon to refer to the old cold war acronym MICE (money, ideology, compromise and ego) to explain the approach used to recruit an agent. When discussing corruption in Mexico, people often repeat the phrase “plata o plomo,” Spanish for “money or lead” — meaning “take the money or we’ll kill you.” However, in most border corruption cases involving American officials, the threat of plomo is not as powerful as it is inside Mexico. Although some officials charged with corruption have claimed as a defense that they were intimidated into behaving corruptly, juries have rejected these arguments. This dynamic could change if the Mexican cartels begin to target officers in the United States for assassination as they have in Mexico.
With plomo an empty threat north of the border, plata has become the primary motivation for corruption along the Mexican border. In fact, good old greed — the M in MICE — has always been the most common motivation for Americans recruited by foreign intelligence services. The runner-up, which supplants plomo in the recruitment equation inside the United Sates, is “sexo,” aka “sex.” Sex, an age-old espionage recruitment tool that fits under the compromise section of MICE, has been seen in high-profile espionage cases, including the one involving the Marine security guards at the U.S Embassy in Moscow. Using sex to recruit an agent is often referred to as setting a “honey trap.” Sex can be used in two ways. First, it can be used as a simple payment for services rendered. Second, it can be used as a means to blackmail the agent. (The two techniques can be used in tandem.)
It is not at all uncommon for border officials to be offered sex in return for allowing illegal aliens or drugs to enter the country, or for drug-trafficking organizations to use attractive agents to seduce and then recruit officers. Several officials have been convicted in such cases. For example, in March 2007, CBP inspection officer Richard Elizalda, who had worked at the San Ysidro, Calif., port of entry, was sentenced to 57 months in prison for conspiring with his lover, alien smuggler Raquel Arin, to let the organization she worked for bring illegal aliens through his inspection lane. Elizalda also accepted cash for his efforts — much of which he allegedly spent on gifts for Arin — so in reality, Elizalda was a case of “plata y sexo” rather than an either-or deal.
Corruption Cases Handled Differently
When the U.S. government hires an employee who has family members living in a place like Beijing or Moscow, the background investigation for that employee is pursued with far more interest than if the employee has relatives in Ciudad Juarez or Tijuana. Mexico traditionally has not been seen as a foreign counterintelligence threat, even though it has long been recognized that many countries, like Russia, are very active in their efforts to target the United States from Mexico. Indeed, during the Cold War, the KGB’s largest rezidentura (the equivalent of a CIA station) was located in Mexico City.
Employees with connections to Mexico frequently have not been that well vetted, period. In one well-publicized incident, the Border Patrol hired an illegal immigrant who was later arrested for alien smuggling. In July 2006, U.S. Border Patrol agent Oscar Ortiz was sentenced to 60 months in prison after admitting to smuggling more than 100 illegal immigrants into the United States. After his arrest, investigators learned that Ortiz was an illegal immigrant himself who had used a counterfeit birth certificate when he was hired. Ironically, Ortiz also had been arrested for attempting to smuggle two illegal immigrants into the United States shortly before being hired by the Border Patrol. (He was never charged for that attempt.)
From an investigative perspective, corruption cases tend to be handled more as one-off cases, and they do not normally receive the same sort of extensive investigation into the suspect’s friends and associates that would be conducted in a foreign counterintelligence case. In other words, if a U.S. government employee is recruited by the Chinese or Russian intelligence service, the investigation receives far more energy — and the suspect’s circle of friends, relatives and associates receives far more scrutiny — than if he is recruited by a Mexican cartel.
In espionage cases, there is also an extensive damage assessment investigation conducted to ensure that all the information the suspect could have divulged is identified, along with the identities of any other people the suspect could have helped his handler recruit. Additionally, after-action reviews are conducted to determine how the suspect was recruited, how he was handled and how he could have been uncovered earlier. The results of these reviews are then used to help shape future counterintelligence investigative efforts. They are also used in the preparation of defensive counterintelligence briefings to educate other employees and help protect them from being recruited.
This differences in urgency and scope between the two types of investigations is driven by the perception that the damage to national security is greater if an official is recruited by a foreign intelligence agency than if he is recruited by a criminal organization. That assessment may need to be re-examined, given that the Mexican cartels are criminal organizations with the proven sophistication to recruit U.S. officials at all levels of government — and that this has allowed them to move whomever and whatever they wish into the United States.
The problem of public corruption is very widespread, and to approach corruption cases in a manner similar to foreign counterintelligence cases would require a large commitment of investigative, prosecutorial and defensive resources. But the threat posed by the Mexican cartels is different than that posed by traditional criminal organizations, meaning that countering it will require a nontraditional approach.

California Voters Reject Tax Increases!!

A big Hat Tip from

The California Results

Good news!! California voters overwhelmingly rejected a tax-hike solution to the fiscal meltdown with beaches that is California. The landslide numbers are stunning, and note that the single anti-legislature proposition passed while five big-government props failed by huge margins, demonstrating a very informed, very focused electorate. There is no way to read these results except as a huge slap at Arnold and the Sacramento sharpies of both parties who thought they could trick voters into more spending and more tax hikes.An aside.

There is an incredible headline in the Lost Angeles Times: California Voters Exercise Their Power--And That's The Problem. No liberal media bias there, right? No wonder the paper is dying, spitting in the eye of an electorate that just shouted at the top of its voices "We can't pay any more taxes!" Big government liberals with keypads and editors who tut-tut the middle class's tax burden continue to misreport the California collapse and the voters' reaction to it, and newspaper circulation continues to decline. The huge vote against taxes and the entrenched special interests that dominate Sacramento, especially the public employee unions, is a huge story and the nearly dead and desperate hard left remnant at the Times simply refuses to cover the story. Amazing. If a new owner returns to actual journalism and especially to that part about making the powerful uncomfortable, circulation will soar. But there's no sense subscribing to a tip sheet for the Sacramento elite.
The great news is that state Democrats risk a huge blow back in November 2010 if they move forward with another sneaky tax-hike-disguised-as-a-fee and jack the state gas tax by a dozen cents or more, as is the rumored plan. The voters are clearly demanding a massive downsizing in state government and an end to huge contracts with state employee unions. The bad news is that this very loud, very precise message of "stop spending our money" from the west coast will be rejected by the ruling elites in D.C. and won't be carried for much more than a day, if at all, by an adoring MSM more interested in the latest "new" presidential initiative. The vote in California underscores that there is a tremendous frustration with the left's power grab, which isn't what the country voted for last fall. The Beltway prefers not to notice this groundswell, setting up a very dramatic showdown a year-and-a-half out.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

How California’s GOP Immigration Patriots Can Survive 2010’s Mid-Term Elections

A great story from Joe Guzzardi of

How California’s GOP Immigration Patriots Can Survive 2010’s Mid-Term Elections
By Joe Guzzardi
Of all the thousands of readers’ letters that I have read and edited for posting, one sticks with me the most.
California resident Bob Turley wrote that he was so angry at the dereliction of duty by his elected officials that he hopes the state falls into the Pacific Ocean—after he moves out.
I remember Turley’s letter so well because I shared his sentiments. At the time, I had not yet fled my native California.
By November 2010, Turley may get his wish—symbolically, if in no other form.
The California Republican Party, the only wall of resistance left to the immigration invasion that has overwhelmed the state, is on the verge of complete insignificance. Analysts believe that the few Republican U.S. Representatives that remain may lose their seats in the upcoming general election.
Given the fundamental weaknesses of the GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and U.S. Senate contender Carly Fiorina who will oppose Barbara Boxer, Republican troubles are much greater than trying to win those key elections.
As a practical matter, victory in the top races is out of reach. Therefore, the Republicans most urgent concern is not to lose further ground in the Congressional races. But because of the erosion of the Republican base, Democrats are hopeful that they can sweep all 53 seats in the nation’s most gerrymandered, least competitive (in Senate and presidential races) state.
Republicans don’t have a majority of registered voters in a single congressional or legislative district. Democrats, by contrast, hold a majority in 20 of the state’s 53 congressional districts, according to the secretary of state’s March 20 voter report. (The math explained: Democrats have a majority—50 percent +1— in 20 Districts, Republicans don't have more than 50 percent in any district, and in the remaining 33 districts neither party holds a majority.)
These latest registration figures show Republicans in California at a historic low of 32.3 percent. While Democrats are gaining voters in key districts, Republican voters are in many cases reregistering as Independent or “decline-to-state” [California Dems Outpace Republicans in Voter Registration, by Edwin Garcia, San Jose Mercury News, October 21, 2008]
Tony Quinn, a veteran GOP analyst and co-author of the California Target Book which conducted extensive voter registration surveys, found that, statewide, a general collapse of new Republican registrations has taken place. And David Gilliard, another GOP pollster who organized the 2003 successful drive to recall then-Governor Gray Davis, confirmed Quinn’s findings when he recently remarked that the party has been down and out for a long time.
While the drift away from the Republican Party has been in progress for years, two recent developments have escalated the trend:
Disapproval (bordering on disgust) with Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger — particularly among rank and file voters.
Obama’s overwhelming popularity. A Public Policy Institute of California survey in March titled Californians and Their Government, found that among all voters Schwarzenegger had a dismal 32 percent approval rating contrasted to Obama’s 71 percent.
Accordingly, the Democrats smell blood and sense that as many as eight Republican-held House districts that Barack Obama won in November may be up for grabs.
Our long-time adversary, Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres told POLITICO.COM: “We need to look at all those congressional districts where we think we may have a shot.” And Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen recently confirmed that his party would be going for the kill. Said Van Hollen: “California is a place that we will be looking at this time around even more closely than before.” [GOP Withering Away in California Heat? by Alex Isenstadt, Politico.Com, April 14, 2009]
Among the most vulnerable Republican Congressional seats are:

Elton Gallegly (Immigration Grade: A) His Santa Barbara-area district has seen the Republican registration edge over Democrats drop from 11 percent in 2002 to 6 percent in 2009.

Mary Bono Mack (Grade: A-). Her district’s GOP edge decreased from 11 percent to 4 percent. Bono Mack faces the prospect of a tough reelection challenge from Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet. (Grade: A-)

Howard “Buck” McKeon’s (Grade: A). In his Santa Clarita Valley-area district the Republican registration margin has dropped from 9 percent to 1 percent. As a result, McKeon has experienced a corresponding decline in his reelection percentage, gradually shrinking from 65 percent in 2002 to 58 percent in 2008.

Dan Lungren (Grade: A), whose Sacramento-area district’s GOP registration edge fell from 11 percent to 2 percent over the past seven years, was held to under 50 percent of the vote by Bill Durston, an underfunded and unknown anti-war challenger in 2008.

Ken Calvert’s (Grade: A) His Riverside County seat has slipped from 16 percent to 7 percent GOP registered. In 2008, Calvert narrowly defeated Bill Hedrick, a largely unknown opponent.

What’s boxed the GOP in is that California’s demographics have dramatically changed over the last two decades. As more Hispanic and Asian voters become politically involved, Republicans haven’t been able to draw up a winning game plan that appeals to them—or, more importantly, compensate by rallying their white base, what we at VDARE.COM call “The Sailer Strategy”.
Thus in the 2008 Presidential election, CNN exit polls show that John McCain actually succeeded in losing the California white vote (a.k.a. what until recently would have been regarded as the American vote) 46%-52%. (McCain couldn’t even carry white men in California: he got 48% vs. 44% for white women).
In contrast, McCain swept the Alabama white vote, which is almost exactly the same proportion of the total as in California, 88%-10%. So he carried the state easily, 61%-39%.
Furthermore, in California the GOP has consistently nominated unattractive candidates who are predestined to lose either because they avoid mentioning immigration altogether—a comically idiotic strategy in California—or they can’t effectively sell the message that more immigration is bad for everyone, especially recent immigrants.
Rightly or wrongly, new immigrant voters in California consider Republicans the enemy. In politics, perception is reality.
Still, a faint glimmer of hope remains. Some of the targeted districts like Lungren’s and Calvert’s are strongly conservative. If they didn’t lose to their Democratic challengers in 2008 when Obama-mania swept through California, they may not do it in 2010, especially if and when the president’s popularity slips.
More significantly, California has an amazing record for re-electing incumbents. In 2008, every single incumbent in the State Senate, State Assembly and Congress won overwhelmingly. (See official results here.)
The challenge for Republicans is both easy and hard.
Identifying the right platform is simple. Immigration is California’s number one social issue. You don’t have be a genius to see the inverse relationship between continuing higher levels of uncontrolled immigration and the state’s deteriorating quality of life as witnessed in schools, health care, urban sprawl, etc ad infinitum.
I believe that’s a winning argument. But to present it effectively to a Democratic, immigrant-dominated state Republicans will need a well-known, well-funded candidate who has the courage of his convictions.
Most Republican strategists encourage their candidates to “appeal” to immigrants’ interests—a big mistake because what they really mean is pander to them.
But Republicans can’t outdo Democrats when it comes to immigration pandering. Just ask John McCain.
Republicans only recourse is to drive home the message that for the collective good of all Californians, immigration in all its forms—legal, illegal and non-immigrant visas—has to end.
The beauty of that platform is that it will make sense to enlightened immigrants—that is, English-speaking citizens who are registered to vote.
Still, it’s a tough sell, made harder by the hour’s lateness and the decades of immigration folly shown by Republicans.
But for prospective Republican office seekers, in Margaret Thatcher’s famous words, There Is No Alternative.
Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Angels & Demons Review

A big hat tip from as a review for Angels and Demons.

My "Angels & Demons" Review . . . Or "101 Ways to Torture and Slay a Priest" *** SPOILER Alert ***
By Debbie Schlussel
**** WARNING: There are a number of spoilers in this review of the movie, "Angels & Demons." If you don't want to know these spoilers and the ending of the movie, don't read any further than the first three paragraphs of this review. ****
As readers know (and as I've noted on this site), my biggest objection to the movie, "Angels & Demons"--which opens tonight in theaters at Midnight--is that director Ron Howard changed the identity of the assassin in the movie from Muslim to "Danish."
After seeing the movie, full of scenes in which "the preferiti"--high ranking Vatican priests with the best shot of becoming Pope--are tortured and slaughtered to death in various explicitly gruesome ways, I can see why it was so important for this character to remain a Muslim in the movie, as he was in the book. And why Ron Howard, a PC liberal, was so eager for a Muslim not to be portrayed doing such horrid things that are carried out by the minute throughout the "Danish" Middle-East.
After all the most nearly successful modern attempt on a Pope's life was committed by Mehmet Ali Agca . . . clearly, a Danish name. And we don't want Catholics seeing a Muslim carrying out such hideous tortures and murders of priests because, after all, the "Religion of Peace" would never ever do such a thing and never has throughout it's history over the centuries. In fact, Director Ron Howard and scriptwriter Akiva Goldsman went out of their way to have this non-descript, non-Muslim assassin utter lines about how the Jewish G-d, allah, and the Christian G-d are all the same and all murderous. Yup, love that anti-religious moral equivalency lumping us Judeo-Christians with the religion of Greater BarbArabia.
That said, for the first two hours and five minutes of the two-hour, twenty-minute "Angels & Demons," I thought, "WOW, this is a great movie, and very pro=Catholic, too." But, then, when the heroic Irish Catholic priest who is the adopted son and personal assistant to the Pope suddenly becomes not the young moral superman and hero we thought, but instead a crazed murdering, torturing monster, the movie lost me. The movie lost me, especially because the reason the padre did this was because he was against science. Pure propaganda.
Even though I'm no Catholic--I'm a Jew--I am pro-life and against embryonic stem cell research, just like the Vatican. Does this mean I am "against science"? Does this mean that my religious leaders would set of a chain reaction of torturous murders of top clerics and try to blow up an entire major city . . . all just to fight science? Are those of us who are conservative on social issues and don't want the "brave new world" scenario--are we all monsters?
The movie slapped me with this message basically in the second to last scene of the movie. It was such a buzzkill. Until then, my only reservation, other than the Muslim whitewash, was the repeated scenes of priests being branded, tortured, and killed in disgusting ways. That was painful to watch, and I hope it doesn't give nuts copycat ideas. "101 Ways to Torture and Kill a Priest" isn't a video manual we needed (especially when, in the original "Angels & Demons" book, it's more like, "101 Muslim Ways to Torture and Kill a Priest").
And that's sad, because until then, I loved this movie. It was fun, exciting, suspenseful and thrilling (if kinda gruesome). The special effects are fantastic, the scenes of Rome and the statues inside old churches--most of which are likely Hollywood sets and computer generated images--were stunning. I found it extremely entertaining and enjoyable.
The story: The Pope has just died, and a new one must be chosen by Vatican Cardinals. Symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is invited by the Vatican to help in a desperate crisis. Someone has kidnapped four "preferiti" (Cardinals favored to become the next Pope). That same person assassinated a priest working at a supercollider and stole a dangerous vial of "anti-matter," which could blow up a major city.
The kidnapper threatens to murder one of them each hour for four hours. At the end of the day--at Midnight--the killer will let the anti-matter explode all of Vatican City and parts of Rome. The kidnapper has identified himself as part of the Illuminati, a mysterious ancient society of scientists at war with the Catholic Church.
Dr. Langdon, with his knowledge of symbols and ancient societies like the Illuminati, is brought in to try to decipher hints of where the preferiti are being held. Also there is a female scientist who headed up the supercollider anti-matter project. They work with the Vatican City's Swiss Guard and the help of the late Pope's adopted son/personal assistant, a young Irish Catholic priest. It is a race against time to find the priests before they are murdered one by one and then everyone is blown to kingdom come.
I didn't find this movie to be anti-Catholic. If anything--despite the murderous, anti-science, young Priest (which was definitely objectionable, not to mention preposterous)--the movie is endearing to the Catholic Church and far better than "The Da Vinci Code." The Church and its traditions is contrasted with the absolute pronounced agnostic and nearly-atheist bent of Robert Langdon, whom you can tell must have a tiny shred of belief somewhere under all of his elitist Harvard scientist armor.
Yes, overall, it is a positive portrayal of the Catholic Church, including the very end. But it is not a positive portrayal of those of us who are morally conservative and have ethical dilemmas with brave new world technologies--a core position of the Church. We are not against science. In fact, many of us, like me, embrace science, which has made our lives easier and helped us to develop cures and better treatments for diseases, etc.
But that doesn't mean we have to embrace science's extremes. Nor that we have to except this otherwise great movie's portrayal of us as extremists.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

California's May 19 Special Election

A great commentary by Hugh Hewitt!!! (h/t)

Here comes California's May 19 Rebellion
By: Hugh Hewit
California voters head to the polls next week with predictions of doom echoing in their ears if they decline to endorse the massive tax hikes prescribed for them by big Democratic majorities in the statehouse, Arnold and a handful of now ruined-politically Republican legislators.

"Shrill" doesn't begin to describe the campaign designed to stampede the Golden State electorate. The latest ad has a weary, soot-covered fire-fighter urging a yes vote on the tax hike. The message is clear: Vote no and your homes will burn down.

Not even this sort of fear-mongering is moving the needle towards "yes" on the massive tax surge on next week's ballot as poll after poll shows all the key measures put forward by the tax-and-spend-and tax-again crowd failing badly.

Arnold is doing his best to summon up the old magic but his appeal long ago hit Gray Davis-levels. Arnold was elected to slash taxes and spending, and somehow he confused that mandate with orders to throw in with the public employee unions. Too bad. He could have been a contender.

The GOP "leaders" who signed on to this roadmap to ruin have been dumped by their caucuses, and go down in California history as the biggest marks to have ever had a seat at the poker game known as the "Big Five" negotiations wherein the governor and the top Republicans and Democrats in the State Assembly and Senate hash out budget matters.

Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom and every other would be Democratic governor are watching their chances in '10 swirl down the drain as deep disgust with the tax-addicted grows.

On the GOP side, Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner --the leading candidates to replace Arnold-- are against Prop 1A, the biggest of the tax hikes, and the deep revulsion at the refusal of the Sacramento elite to make even minor cuts in the bloated state budget is forcing a realignment that east coast political reporters ought to take note of.

If the tax hikes are rejected by large margins next week, the country's political elite ought to study that result closely. Despite huge spending margins and despite a thin veneer of bipartisanship, the tax hike gang is getting thumped because the electorate is saying --no, shouting-- "Enough!"

Everyone has a story of a state or county employee friend who is retiring at 55 with a guaranteed life pension of $75,000 or more plus gold-plated medical benefits. Almost everyone knows that massive amounts of money have flowed into Los Angeles public schools and still half of the kids drop out. Majorities realize that businesses don't have to operate here, and that places like Texas may lack the Rose Parade but let you grow a business and keep most of the profits.

On social issues, the California is evenly split, as the narrow victory for traditional marriage this past fall demonstrated.

But there is a sizeable majority in favor of a radical change in the way government operates. The anger directed at Arnold and his tax-raising, free-spending pals is fueled by the genuine hardships brought about by the panic in the fall and the drop in home prices. Every business and almost all families have had to make painful cuts and downsize or postpone dreams.

But not the state government. And that has ignited the voter revolt underway that will culminate next week.

What happens next is anyone's guess because very few people think Arnold has any game left and so the state is effectively leaderless after its voters deliver an unambiguous message to carve state government back to the bone.

The first logical step would indeed be massive downsizing in the state government outside of public safety and education. Public assistance budgets will have to be slashed, and public employee pensions renegotiated to manageable levels.

California's budget woes are much greater than those of GM and Chrysler combined, but no give-backs have even been requested of the public employee unions beyond a symbolic loss of a holiday or two lost. Entitlement payments have to be slashed and state assets sold.

The Golden State is bankrupt. It needs a quasi-bankruptcy proceeding, and it needs it now.

Examiner columnist Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who blogs daily at

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Immigration Amnesty in 2009?

A big hat tip for this analytical story from!!

Joe Still Predicts No Obama Amnesty—And A Democratic Ex-Congressman, Defeated By His Immigration Enthusiasm, Agrees!
By Joe Guzzardi
For weeks now, I’ve had this nagging intuition that President Barack Obama just isn’t really into what’s come to be known as comprehensive immigration reform.
I can’t point to anything concrete. But I do see a lot of clues that, if you put them together, indicate that, both from a personal and professional perspective, Obama has concluded that amnesty is a loser.
Instead sinking into the muck over immigration, Obama has issues that he truly is committed to that he’d prefer to advance---namely universal health care and global warming.
Because he can’t come straight out and admit that immigration isn’t floating his boat, Obama prefers to say all the right things to his Hispanic constituents about bringing aliens “out of the shadows” and putting them on “a path to legalization”.
Obama is a Democrat so naturally he says these hugely annoying things. But you’ve noticed, I hope, that he puts no real muscle behind his words but rather coddles his audience along.
Really, when you think about the concept of amnesty from Obama’s personal background, what does he know---and why should he care---about illegal aliens?
Sure, Obama’s father was from Kenya---so what? That makes Obama one of 13 million Americans with a foreign-born parent---including me. It does not automatically translate into immigration enthusiasm.
Obama is a Columbia University- and Harvard Law School-educated elitist.
And although neither Hispanics nor blacks will admit it, they are not sympathetic to each other’s causes. The savviest blacks---of which Obama is one---recognize Hispanics as threats. They’re angry that Hispanics have passed them as America’s largest minority population without the benefit of being in the U.S. legally.
Furthermore, I can’t recall that Obama campaigned vigorously with Hispanics at his side. I never saw any pictures of him stumping with his fellow Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez.
And when Obama and Gutierrez were finally photographed together, Obama looked like he couldn’t wait to get out of the room.
If you get right down to it when Obama actually does speak out about his immigration strategy, he often says things that should comfort us and put illegal aliens and their advocates on edge.
Consider these remarks from Obama’s April 29th press conference:
“If the American people don’t feel like you can secure the borders, then it’s hard to strike a deal that would get people out of the shadows and on a pathway to citizenship who are already here, because the attitude of the average American is going to be, well, you’re just going to have hundreds of thousands of more coming in each year.”
“So what we want to do is to show that we are competent and getting results around immigration, even on the structures that we already have in place, the laws that we already have in place, so that we’re building confidence among the American people that we can actually follow through on whatever legislative approach emerges.”
“Ultimately, I don’t have control of the legislative calendar, and so we’re going to work with legislative leaders to see what we can do.”
Here’s why Obama’s three statements encourage me:
The borders will never be well enough secured for the American people to feel confident that an amnesty will not lead to another flood of illegal immigrants as it did after the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act amesty.
The federal government will never be “competent” on immigration and will never “build confidence among the American people…” In nearly a quarter of a century of writing about the imiigration crisis, I cannot point to one piece of immigration legislation that I could define as competently implemented.
By acknowledging that he doesn’t “have control of the legislative calendar,” Obama confirms what I have written countless times: it doesn’t matter what specific immigration policy he may or may not want. Creating new legislation falls to Congress.
Only those Congressmen who are 100 percent certain of 2010 re-election will support any form of amnesty---specifically, members of the radical left wing of the Democratic Party.
Let me give you a specific example of why immigration policy is so dangerous for a middle-of-the-road politician---be he Republican or Democrat.
In 2004, prominent Texas Democratic Congressman Martin Frost (immigration grade “F”) found himself in a tough re-election bid in the then-newly created 32nd District against Pete Sessions, (no relation to Alabama Senator Jeff), a patriot and our strong ally who had an “A” immigration report card.
Frost had been an outspoken advocate of amnesty, more guest workers and more non-immigrant H-1B visas. But as his campaign heated up, Frost tried unsuccessfully to back away from his Open Borders position.
But he had no luck. Even though Frost had served 26-years in Congress and was the ranking member of the House Rules Committee, Sessions hammered him, winning the general election by ten points.
In an added 2004 bonus, Kenny Marchant, an “A” immigration ally, won Frost’s former District 26. ""
More than two decades of immigration advocacy caught up with Frost and cost him his job.
Frost now practices law privately in Dallas. And two immigration patriots---Sessions and Marchant---are in Congress, voting for our side and against amnesty right straight down the line. We can’t ask for more than that: a bad guy is out and two good guys are in.
Given that throughout his campaign Frost took a public beating on his immigration enthusiasm and that it led directly to his defeat, he’s well positioned to reflect on the current debate about how much political capital Obama should invest in “comprehensive immigration reform”.
Pay close attention to how the battle scarred Frost views it.
When asked by POLITICO.Com if 2009 is a good or bad year for immigration reform, Frost replied:
“No year is ever a good year to seek immigration reform. Immigration reform makes Social Security reform look like a walk in the park. The Obama Administration should concentrate on health care and energy legislation this year and not waste capital on this most difficult of all subjects.”
In case you discount Frost’s opinion, you should know that his immigration analysis has been dead on in previous years, too.
In 2006 when virtually all the world (except yours truly) predicted a slam-dunk amnesty, Frost, commenting that both parties had significant difficulties with immigration legislation, firmly and accurately stated:
“I predict that Congress, after much huffing and puffing, will not pass any significant immigration legislation this year.”
What it boils down to is that, professionally, Obama simply doesn’t gain anything by investing himself into the immigration debate.
Amnesty wouldn’t achieve anything politically for Obama. In 2012, his Hispanic base isn’t going to defect to the G.O.P to vote for Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich or any other candidate.
If Hispanics didn’t support John McCain after he had been carrying their water since Obama was an undergraduate, they won’t back the 2012 Republican nominee either.
Sure, Obama will always say politically safe but innocuous things about fixing a “broken immigration system” to his Democratic audience. But from the looks of it, he’s not whole-heartedly behind getting into what would be the inevitable fray over amnesty.
Who knows? Maybe Obama studied Frost’s career path and decided he’d rather stay another term in the White House—rather than let a crazy amnesty plan force him into writing his memoirs four years earlier than he had planned.
Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel