Saturday, 04 August 2007

POLITICAL THEFT

Ken Berwitz

Suppose you caught your roommate stealing something of yours.  Suppose the roommate first denied stealing it, then admitted the theft and apologized for it......but told you the stolen item was not being returned.  Let's just move on and not live in the past.

Would that be okay with you?  I have a feeling it wouldn't.

Well, that is what the Democratic majority in the house did to Republicans - and the country - this week.  They stole a vote, pretended they didn't (they even tried to expunge the vote from the congressional record), and then apologized for doing it.....but won't change it back.

I pulled this account, one of many available today, from the Washington Times.  The bold print is mine:.

Article published Aug 3, 2007
Democrats apologize for vote showdown
August 3, 2007

By Andrew Taylor -

House Democrats apologized today for wrestling what appeared to be a winning vote tally away from Republicans last night.

Republicans continued to steam, however, over the episode, in which they appeared to be the winners by a 215-213 tally on a procedural motion designed to make sure illegal aliens would not get certain benefits from an agriculture spending bill.

Instead, with several lawmakers milling in the well of the House registering votes, Rep. Michael R. McNulty, New York Democrat, quickly gaveled the vote to a close, saying the Republican measure had failed on a 214-214 tie vote.

Republicans erupted, chanting "shame, shame, shame," and then walked out in protest after Mr. McNulty permitted more Democrats to switch their votes to prevail on a 216-212 tally. Despite winning that tally, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, moved for a revote as permitted under the rules, and Democrats subsequently prevailed.

Today, Mr. Hoyer apologized. "The minority was understandably angry," Mr. Hoyer said.

The heavy-handed tactics capped a partisan week in the chamber, and Mr. Hoyer and Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, promised to try to work out some accommodation.

Still, rank-and-file Republicans remained furious, and the House recessed this morning as its leaders pondered what to do.

Democrats changed House rules in January to disallow the practice of holding votes open to affect the outcome. The new rule came after Republicans routinely held open votes to twist arms, including a 2003 episode on the Medicare prescription drug bill in which Republicans held a vote open for three hours before finally prevailing.

"Never once did we in the majority attempt to steal a vote," said Rep. Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, today.

The stakes on the issue involved yesterday were far smaller. Democrats routinely had accepted comparable language on illegal aliens on other spending bills, but the agriculture measure was being debated under fast-track conditions denying Republicans a chance to offer the provision.
 
.

Are you following this?  Democrats changed the rules to disallow what, for lack of a better term, could be called "after the vote votes".  But when they decided they could arm-twist a few of their members to get the result they wanted, suddenly the rule change didn't exist, and a final vote wasn't a final vote.

But they say they are sorry.  They won't revert it back to the original legal vote, but they're sorry.

We, as a country, voted this party into the majority last November.  WE are the ones who should be sorry.


POLL DATA (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

As regular readers are aware, I periodically average out the latest job approval polls for President Bush and the Democratic congress.

Looking at the last six polls - as shown by the neutral site www.pollingreport.com, we see the following:

-President Bush averages 31% job approval;

-The Democratic congress averages 28% job approval.

But what do you see and hear in media?  That although there is dissatisfaction with both sides, President Bush has slightly higher job approval than the Democratic congress?  Or simply that President Bush has lousy job approval, end of story?

You know what you see and hear.  Think about how this is reported, and what it tells you about media manipulation.


THIS VOTE FRAUD IS NOT GOING AWAY

Ken Berwitz

How serious is the Democratic party's overturning of a legal vote on Thursday?  This Washington Post article should tell you:.

House Forms Special Panel Over Alleged Stolen Vote
GOP Assails Decision on Food Aid for Immigrants
By Jonathan Weisman and Elizabeth Williamson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, August 4, 2007; A02

The House last night unanimously agreed to create a special select committee, with subpoena powers, to investigate Republican allegations that Democratic leaders had stolen a victory from the House GOP on a parliamentary vote late Thursday night.

The move capped a remarkable day that started with Republicans marching out of the House in protest near midnight Thursday, was punctuated by partisan bickering, and ended with Democratic hopes for a final legislative rush fading. Even a temporary blackout of the House chamber's vote tally board led to suspicions and accusations of skullduggery.

While Democratic leaders hoped to leave for their August recess on a wave of legislative successes, the House instead slowed to an acrimonious crawl that threatened to stretch the legislative session into next week.

The agreement to form a special committee was extraordinary. Such powerful investigative committees are usually reserved for issues such as the Watergate scandal and the funneling of profits from Iranian arms sales to the Nicaraguan contras in the 1980s.

"I don't know when something like this has happened before," said House deputy historian Fred W. Beuttler. He called the decision "incredible."

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) accepted GOP calls for an investigation. "I do not believe there was any wrongdoing by any member of the House. I do believe a mistake was made," he said. "And I regret it."

"We are not irrelevant here," said House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). "Just because we are in the minority doesn't mean we're irrelevant."

GOP lawmakers had marched out of the House chamber about 11 p.m. Thursday, shouting "shame, shame" and saying that Democrats had "stolen" a vote on a parliamentary motion to pull an agriculture spending bill off the floor until it incorporated an explicit denial of federal benefits to illegal immigrants. The bill already would deny such benefits to illegal immigrants, and Democrats stressed that they won the vote fair and square. But a campaign has been launched, and the House has not fully recovered.

"Last night sent a clear message to the American people that there are people in this town who are willing to break rules and utilize extraordinary maneuvers just so that illegal immigrants can receive taxpayer-funded benefits," said Rep. Brian P. Bilbray (R-Calif.).

Anger-driven delaying tactics threw into uncertainty an agenda that was to include important votes on a huge energy bill, a defense spending bill and a terrorism surveillance measure before Congress's departure for its month-long summer recess.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) accused Republicans of blatant obstructionism. "They've just been deluged by the success of the Democrats on behalf of the American people," she said.

After Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.) violated House rules by calling Democrats "cheaters" on the floor, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), a freshman and relative political neophyte, warned her colleagues that their mothers might be watching.

Even the House hardware contributed to the disarray. Republicans had at last been coaxed back to the House floor yesterday afternoon, when a lawmaker moved to adjourn the House, a favorite GOP delaying tactic. As the votes were coming in, the electronic tally board suddenly went blank, leading to a new round of recriminations and another House recess.

"I understand that everybody's sensibilities are taut," Hoyer pleaded, as Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) hinted darkly that perhaps the House had just voted to adjourn. "I regret what happened last night, but we do have business to do," Hoyer said.

It started late Thursday, when GOP lawmakers moved to send the 2008 agriculture spending bill back to the House Appropriations Committee for members to add an explicit prohibition on illegal immigrants receiving food stamps. With so much on their plate, Democratic leaders were in no mood to comply.

Democrats appeared to have won the vote, but with the voting time apparently having expired, GOP leaders persuaded three Latino Republicans who had voted with the Democrats to change their votes. At the same time, Democrats say, five Democratic lawmakers who had voted with Republicans were scrambling to change their votes as well. With two of the GOP votes changed, Democrats gaveled the vote shut, 214 to 214, and declared that they had won. But the public tally showed that the Republicans had won, 215 to 213, just as the vote was declared for the Democrats. The official final tally was 216 to 212 in the Democrats' favor.

But House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said there were no Democrats seeking to change their votes at the time. Moreover, he charged, Hoyer had told a protesting parliamentarian, "We control, not the parliamentarians." And, he said, electronic records on the vote disappeared from the House's voting system and on the House clerk's Web site.

"Many of my colleagues and I feel as though the vote was taken from us," Boehner said.

In a raucous protest, Republicans walked out of the House en masse.

Hoyer conceded that the gavel had fallen too quickly, but he said it had been an error. When he put the issue to a new vote, Republicans boycotted, demanding that their victorious tally stand.

Pelosi was unsympathetic.

"There was no mistake made last night," she said. "Apologies were made for the early announcement of the vote," but the early announcement would not have changed the outcome, she added.

The select committee, to be made up of three Democrats and three Republicans, will deliver an interim report by Sept. 30, with the final report due by Sept. 15, 2008. .

Unlike the endless witchhunts being perpetrated by Democrats to "get" any and every Republican they can on any accusation they can dream up, exaggerate or invent, this scandal is for real.  Very real.

Stay tuned.  As you saw above, this is one that mainstream media isn't going to sweep under the rug.


THIS VOTE FRAUD IS NOT GOING AWAY

Ken Berwitz

How serious is the Democratic party's overturning of a legal vote on Thursday?  This Washington Post article should tell you:.

House Forms Special Panel Over Alleged Stolen Vote
GOP Assails Decision on Food Aid for Immigrants
By Jonathan Weisman and Elizabeth Williamson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, August 4, 2007; A02

The House last night unanimously agreed to create a special select committee, with subpoena powers, to investigate Republican allegations that Democratic leaders had stolen a victory from the House GOP on a parliamentary vote late Thursday night.

The move capped a remarkable day that started with Republicans marching out of the House in protest near midnight Thursday, was punctuated by partisan bickering, and ended with Democratic hopes for a final legislative rush fading. Even a temporary blackout of the House chamber's vote tally board led to suspicions and accusations of skullduggery.

While Democratic leaders hoped to leave for their August recess on a wave of legislative successes, the House instead slowed to an acrimonious crawl that threatened to stretch the legislative session into next week.

The agreement to form a special committee was extraordinary. Such powerful investigative committees are usually reserved for issues such as the Watergate scandal and the funneling of profits from Iranian arms sales to the Nicaraguan contras in the 1980s.

"I don't know when something like this has happened before," said House deputy historian Fred W. Beuttler. He called the decision "incredible."

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) accepted GOP calls for an investigation. "I do not believe there was any wrongdoing by any member of the House. I do believe a mistake was made," he said. "And I regret it."

"We are not irrelevant here," said House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). "Just because we are in the minority doesn't mean we're irrelevant."

GOP lawmakers had marched out of the House chamber about 11 p.m. Thursday, shouting "shame, shame" and saying that Democrats had "stolen" a vote on a parliamentary motion to pull an agriculture spending bill off the floor until it incorporated an explicit denial of federal benefits to illegal immigrants. The bill already would deny such benefits to illegal immigrants, and Democrats stressed that they won the vote fair and square. But a campaign has been launched, and the House has not fully recovered.

"Last night sent a clear message to the American people that there are people in this town who are willing to break rules and utilize extraordinary maneuvers just so that illegal immigrants can receive taxpayer-funded benefits," said Rep. Brian P. Bilbray (R-Calif.).

Anger-driven delaying tactics threw into uncertainty an agenda that was to include important votes on a huge energy bill, a defense spending bill and a terrorism surveillance measure before Congress's departure for its month-long summer recess.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) accused Republicans of blatant obstructionism. "They've just been deluged by the success of the Democrats on behalf of the American people," she said.

After Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.) violated House rules by calling Democrats "cheaters" on the floor, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), a freshman and relative political neophyte, warned her colleagues that their mothers might be watching.

Even the House hardware contributed to the disarray. Republicans had at last been coaxed back to the House floor yesterday afternoon, when a lawmaker moved to adjourn the House, a favorite GOP delaying tactic. As the votes were coming in, the electronic tally board suddenly went blank, leading to a new round of recriminations and another House recess.

"I understand that everybody's sensibilities are taut," Hoyer pleaded, as Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) hinted darkly that perhaps the House had just voted to adjourn. "I regret what happened last night, but we do have business to do," Hoyer said.

It started late Thursday, when GOP lawmakers moved to send the 2008 agriculture spending bill back to the House Appropriations Committee for members to add an explicit prohibition on illegal immigrants receiving food stamps. With so much on their plate, Democratic leaders were in no mood to comply.

Democrats appeared to have won the vote, but with the voting time apparently having expired, GOP leaders persuaded three Latino Republicans who had voted with the Democrats to change their votes. At the same time, Democrats say, five Democratic lawmakers who had voted with Republicans were scrambling to change their votes as well. With two of the GOP votes changed, Democrats gaveled the vote shut, 214 to 214, and declared that they had won. But the public tally showed that the Republicans had won, 215 to 213, just as the vote was declared for the Democrats. The official final tally was 216 to 212 in the Democrats' favor.

But House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said there were no Democrats seeking to change their votes at the time. Moreover, he charged, Hoyer had told a protesting parliamentarian, "We control, not the parliamentarians." And, he said, electronic records on the vote disappeared from the House's voting system and on the House clerk's Web site.

"Many of my colleagues and I feel as though the vote was taken from us," Boehner said.

In a raucous protest, Republicans walked out of the House en masse.

Hoyer conceded that the gavel had fallen too quickly, but he said it had been an error. When he put the issue to a new vote, Republicans boycotted, demanding that their victorious tally stand.

Pelosi was unsympathetic.

"There was no mistake made last night," she said. "Apologies were made for the early announcement of the vote," but the early announcement would not have changed the outcome, she added.

The select committee, to be made up of three Democrats and three Republicans, will deliver an interim report by Sept. 30, with the final report due by Sept. 15, 2008. .

Unlike the endless witchhunts being perpetrated by Democrats to "get" any and every Republican they can on any accusation they can dream up, exaggerate or invent, this scandal is for real.  Very real.

Stay tuned.  As you saw above, this is one that mainstream media isn't going to sweep under the rug.


POLITICAL THEFT

Ken Berwitz

Suppose you caught your roommate stealing something of yours.  Suppose the roommate first denied stealing it, then admitted the theft and apologized for it......but told you the stolen item was not being returned.  Let's just move on and not live in the past.

Would that be okay with you?  I have a feeling it wouldn't.

Well, that is what the Democratic majority in the house did to Republicans - and the country - this week.  They stole a vote, pretended they didn't (they even tried to expunge the vote from the congressional record), and then apologized for doing it.....but won't change it back.

I pulled this account, one of many available today, from the Washington Times.  The bold print is mine:.

Article published Aug 3, 2007
Democrats apologize for vote showdown
August 3, 2007

By Andrew Taylor -

House Democrats apologized today for wrestling what appeared to be a winning vote tally away from Republicans last night.

Republicans continued to steam, however, over the episode, in which they appeared to be the winners by a 215-213 tally on a procedural motion designed to make sure illegal aliens would not get certain benefits from an agriculture spending bill.

Instead, with several lawmakers milling in the well of the House registering votes, Rep. Michael R. McNulty, New York Democrat, quickly gaveled the vote to a close, saying the Republican measure had failed on a 214-214 tie vote.

Republicans erupted, chanting "shame, shame, shame," and then walked out in protest after Mr. McNulty permitted more Democrats to switch their votes to prevail on a 216-212 tally. Despite winning that tally, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, moved for a revote as permitted under the rules, and Democrats subsequently prevailed.

Today, Mr. Hoyer apologized. "The minority was understandably angry," Mr. Hoyer said.

The heavy-handed tactics capped a partisan week in the chamber, and Mr. Hoyer and Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, promised to try to work out some accommodation.

Still, rank-and-file Republicans remained furious, and the House recessed this morning as its leaders pondered what to do.

Democrats changed House rules in January to disallow the practice of holding votes open to affect the outcome. The new rule came after Republicans routinely held open votes to twist arms, including a 2003 episode on the Medicare prescription drug bill in which Republicans held a vote open for three hours before finally prevailing.

"Never once did we in the majority attempt to steal a vote," said Rep. Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, today.

The stakes on the issue involved yesterday were far smaller. Democrats routinely had accepted comparable language on illegal aliens on other spending bills, but the agriculture measure was being debated under fast-track conditions denying Republicans a chance to offer the provision.
 
.

Are you following this?  Democrats changed the rules to disallow what, for lack of a better term, could be called "after the vote votes".  But when they decided they could arm-twist a few of their members to get the result they wanted, suddenly the rule change didn't exist, and a final vote wasn't a final vote.

But they say they are sorry.  They won't revert it back to the original legal vote, but they're sorry.

We, as a country, voted this party into the majority last November.  WE are the ones who should be sorry.


SUCCESS IN AFGHANISTAN

Ken Berwitz

This one is for the people whose rationale for cutting and running from Iraq is that it will free up the troops for Afghanistan, where "we aren't doing anything because we left to fight in Iraq" (their quote, not mine, I assure you).

Is that true?  Are they right?  I'll let this do the talking:

Official: About 100 Taliban militants killed in air strike
 

KABUL, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- About 100 Taliban rebels including five senior commanders were killed during an air strike in southern Afghanistan, Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi told reporters Saturday.

    Foreign troops carried out an air strike in remote Baghran district of Helmand province on Thursday when many Taliban militants were gathering to watch the execution of several persons accused of cooperating with the government, Azimi said.

    About 100 insurgents were killed in the bombardment, he said, adding five senior Taliban commanders including Mullah Rahim, top Taliban commander in Helmand, were among the killed.

    Azimi said Mansor Dadullah, top Taliban military commander, was found at the site before the bombing, and Afghan troops were still confirming whether he was killed.

    Referring to the incident, the U.S.-led coalition forces said, "During a sizable meeting of senior Taliban commanders, coalition forces employed precision guided munitions on their location after ensuring there were no innocent Afghans in the surrounding area.

    Some media reports quoted locals as saying that 200 to 300 persons were killed or injured in the air strike and many were civilians.

    The spokesman Azimi refuted this claim, saying only around 150 persons were staying there before the air strike as a reconnaissance plane had detected and at most 10 civilians were there.

    He also said foreign troops used "small bombs" in the air raid in order to reduce civilian casualties.

    Due to rising Taliban violence, over 3,800 persons have been killed in Afghanistan this year. 

.

Let's be clear on something;  we are not going to wipe out the taliban or its adherents.  Afghanistan is in a part of the world that is rife with ignorance and intolerance;  a perfect breeding ground for them.

If these people did nothing other than kill each other, horrific though that may be, we would probably not be interfering.  But, like their cousins in al qaeda, they are far more expansive.  They want the entire world to submit to their insanity.  So, despite the frustration of fighting an "army" without uniforms, without a country, that hides in the civilian population, we have to engage them.

This is not the first success in Afghanistan since we removed the taliban nor will it be the last. 

But it is a clear answer to the sometimes well-meaning/sometimes not well-meaning people who think we walked away from Afghanistan to fight in Iraq.


POLL DATA (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

As regular readers are aware, I periodically average out the latest job approval polls for President Bush and the Democratic congress.

Looking at the last six polls - as shown by the neutral site www.pollingreport.com, we see the following:

-President Bush averages 31% job approval;

-The Democratic congress averages 28% job approval.

But what do you see and hear in media?  That although there is dissatisfaction with both sides, President Bush has slightly higher job approval than the Democratic congress?  Or simply that President Bush has lousy job approval, end of story?

You know what you see and hear.  Think about how this is reported, and what it tells you about media manipulation.


SUCCESS IN AFGHANISTAN

Ken Berwitz

This one is for the people whose rationale for cutting and running from Iraq is that it will free up the troops for Afghanistan, where "we aren't doing anything because we left to fight in Iraq" (their quote, not mine, I assure you).

Is that true?  Are they right?  I'll let this do the talking:

Official: About 100 Taliban militants killed in air strike
 

KABUL, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- About 100 Taliban rebels including five senior commanders were killed during an air strike in southern Afghanistan, Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi told reporters Saturday.

    Foreign troops carried out an air strike in remote Baghran district of Helmand province on Thursday when many Taliban militants were gathering to watch the execution of several persons accused of cooperating with the government, Azimi said.

    About 100 insurgents were killed in the bombardment, he said, adding five senior Taliban commanders including Mullah Rahim, top Taliban commander in Helmand, were among the killed.

    Azimi said Mansor Dadullah, top Taliban military commander, was found at the site before the bombing, and Afghan troops were still confirming whether he was killed.

    Referring to the incident, the U.S.-led coalition forces said, "During a sizable meeting of senior Taliban commanders, coalition forces employed precision guided munitions on their location after ensuring there were no innocent Afghans in the surrounding area.

    Some media reports quoted locals as saying that 200 to 300 persons were killed or injured in the air strike and many were civilians.

    The spokesman Azimi refuted this claim, saying only around 150 persons were staying there before the air strike as a reconnaissance plane had detected and at most 10 civilians were there.

    He also said foreign troops used "small bombs" in the air raid in order to reduce civilian casualties.

    Due to rising Taliban violence, over 3,800 persons have been killed in Afghanistan this year. 

.

Let's be clear on something;  we are not going to wipe out the taliban or its adherents.  Afghanistan is in a part of the world that is rife with ignorance and intolerance;  a perfect breeding ground for them.

If these people did nothing other than kill each other, horrific though that may be, we would probably not be interfering.  But, like their cousins in al qaeda, they are far more expansive.  They want the entire world to submit to their insanity.  So, despite the frustration of fighting an "army" without uniforms, without a country, that hides in the civilian population, we have to engage them.

This is not the first success in Afghanistan since we removed the taliban nor will it be the last. 

But it is a clear answer to the sometimes well-meaning/sometimes not well-meaning people who think we walked away from Afghanistan to fight in Iraq.


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