Saturday, 16 February 2008

PRESIDENT BUSH'S RADIO ADDRESS ABOUT THE PROTECT AMERICA ACT (PAA)

Ken Berwitz

This is the first time I have ever posted a Saturday radio address by President Bush.  Usually I think of them, and the Democratic responses, as standard political fare and just move onto something else.

But today is different.

Following is President Bush's entire statement, which deals with the expiration of the Protect America Act (PAA).  Please read it carefully. 

I will not comment on this speech afterwards.  I do not want to steer you in either direction regarding what Mr. Bush said. All I ask is that you read and think about what the expiration of this law could mean:

RADIO ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT TO THE NATION

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. At the stroke of midnight tonight, a vital intelligence law that is helping protect our nation will expire. Congress had the power to prevent this from happening, but chose not to.

The Senate passed a good bill that would have given our intelligence professionals the tools they need to keep us safe. But leaders in the House of Representatives blocked a House vote on the Senate bill, and then left on a 10-day recess.

Some congressional leaders claim that this will not affect our security. They are wrong. Because Congress failed to act, it will be harder for our government to keep you safe from terrorist attack. At midnight, the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence will be stripped of their power to authorize new surveillance against terrorist threats abroad. This means that as terrorists change their tactics to avoid our surveillance, we may not have the tools we need to continue tracking them and we may lose a vital lead that could prevent an attack on America.

In addition, Congress has put intelligence activities at risk even when the terrorists dont change tactics. By failing to act, Congress has created a question about whether private sector companies who assist in our efforts to defend you from the terrorists could be sued for doing the right thing. Now, these companies will be increasingly reluctant to provide this vital cooperation, because of their uncertainty about the law and fear of being sued by class-action trial lawyers.

For six months, I urged Congress to take action to ensure this dangerous situation did not come to pass. I even signed a two-week extension of the existing law, because members of Congress said they would use that time to work out their differences. The Senate used this time productively and passed a good bill with a strong, bipartisan super-majority of 68 votes. Republicans and Democrats came together on legislation to ensure that we could effectively monitor those seeking to harm our people. And they voted to provide fair and just liability protection for companies that assisted in efforts to protect America after the attacks of 9/11.

The Senate sent this bill to the House for its approval. It was clear that if given a vote, the bill would have passed the House with a bipartisan majority. I made every effort to work with the House to secure passage of this law. I even offered to delay my trip to Africa if we could come together and enact a good bill. But House leaders refused to let the bill come to a vote. Instead, the House held partisan votes that do nothing to keep our country safer. House leaders chose politics over protecting the country and our country is at greater risk as a result.

House leaders have no excuse for this failure. They knew all along that this deadline was approaching, because they set it themselves. My administration will take every step within our power to minimize the damage caused by the Houses irresponsible behavior. Yet it is still urgent that Congress act. The Senate has shown the way by approving a good, bipartisan bill. The House must pass that bill as soon as they return to Washington from their latest recess.

At this moment, somewhere in the world, terrorists are planning a new attack on America. And Congress has no higher responsibility than ensuring we have the tools to stop them.

Thank you for listening.


"INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM IS A BUMPER STICKER SLOGAN" UDPDATE

Ken Berwitz

Among the more famous imbecilities of John Edwards (and there were plenty to choose from) the single most bothersome to me was that international terrorism is nothing more than "a bumper sticker slogan". 

I have no doubt at all that many of the LAMBs over at moveon.org and thedailkos.com and crooksandliars.com, etc. etc. etc. were thrillled to hear it.  By contrast, most folks who still have electrolyte activity near their cerebral area know that the threat of international terrorism is very real, and a very great danger to the United States.

But just in case we have a lurking LAMB or two at hopelesslypartisan.com, let me give you the latest example.  This one comes to us from Josh Meyer of the Los Angeles Times.  You can read his entire article here, but its key excerpts are shown below:

FBI warns of possible Hezbollah revenge in U.S.

State and local law enforcement receive an intelligence bulletin to watch for retaliation by the Lebanese militia group, which has vowed to avenge the death of its leader.
By Josh Meyer, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

February 16, 2008
WASHINGTON -- The FBI and Department of Homeland Security sent a bulletin Friday to state and local law enforcement authorities advising them to watch for potential retaliatory strikes by Hezbollah, one day after the Lebanese militia group vowed to avenge the death of a top commander by attacking Israeli and Jewish targets around the world.

"While retaliation in the U.S. homeland is unlikely, Hezbollah has demonstrated a capability to respond outside the Middle East to similar events in the past," said the intelligence bulletin sent to about 18,000 state and local law enforcement officials late Friday afternoon.


U.S. authorities have long described Hezbollah as the "A-Team" of terrorism, with far more discipline than Al Qaeda, vast financing from the government of Iran, and a global network of sleeper operatives who could be called on to launch an attack at any time. Various federal investigations and prosecutions have uncovered dozens of Hezbollah fundraisers and supporters in the United States, but few people are believed to be actual "bomb throwers," according to a senior FBI counter-terrorism official who focuses on Hezbollah.

Though they have no evidence of specific threats in the United States, officials said that precautionary measures were warranted because of Mughniyah's stature within Hezbollah and because the organization and its Iranian supporters had publicly blamed his death on Israel and "Zionist forces."


On Thursday, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah told thousands of fist-waving mourners in a videotaped eulogy in Beirut that the killing of Mughniyah merited a violent response because it occurred outside the "natural battlefield" of Israel and Lebanon. "You have crossed the borders," he said, in a reference to Israel and supporters of the Jewish state. "With this murder, its timing, location and method -- Zionists, if you want this kind of open war, let the whole world listen: Let this war be open."

In the past, Hezbollah has not launched any attacks in the United States. The two FBI officials and other experts said Friday that they believed that was because the organization had raised so much money here from supporters of its political and social services efforts in Lebanon that it did not want to risk stepped-up enforcement actions.

But the calls for retribution by Nasrallah and other prominent supporters of Hezbollah have been unusually strident, if not unprecedented, according to current and former FBI officials who have followed the organization over the years. They are equally concerned, they said, about retaliation from others who merely sympathize with Hezbollah.

Does that look like a bumper sticker slogan to you?  Because it sure looks like a real threat to me. 
 
And what about hezbollah's demonstrated capability to strike outside the Middle East?  Does that, by any possible chance, coincide with international terrorism?
 
Information like this makes me both happy and relieved that John Edwards has slunk back to political ghosthood (although I do pity the doctors and hospitals he'll probably be suing out of existence again). 
 
But I would be far more greatly reassured if either Ms. Clinton or Mr. Obama would grace us with THEIR position on how real international terrorism is.  So far, I don't see a thing that would make me believe either one feels any differently that Mr. Edwards does.
 
Whatever negatives I can list about John McCain, however, this is a man who knows an international terrorist threat when he sees it. 
 
Chalk one up for the Senator from Arizona.


BERKELEY BUSINESSES FEEL THE PINCH

Ken Berwitz

What you are about to read has been pulled from www.freerepublic.com. It purports to be an e-mail sent out by the Berkeley (CA) Chamber of Commerce.  I do not know if the e-mail is real, but it sure looks like it could be.  You decide:

The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce has heard from individuals far and wide regarding recent Berkeley City Council actions and we appreciate that the American spirit is alive and robust.

The business community was not notified of pending city council action, nor asked for input.

We ask everyone to try to separate the actions of the City Council and not harm the good, hard-working small business owners - most of whom do not live in Berkeley and therefore cannot vote in Berkeley.

Additionally, we believe that the Berkeley City Council owes an apology to the community and others, whether they be a Marine or a hard-working business owner, folks that are just trying to do their job in this terrible economy, and which is now more difficult because their actions. We feel that granting a parking space in front of the Marine's office is harassment for them and their neighbors, and should be rescinded.

In the long term, we expect collaboration with the Mayor and City Council when considering actions which may impact our local businesses and community.

The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce believes in a community where all voices are heard in a fair manner.

At the same time, we believe that it is NOT in the spirit of free speech to grant favoritism to any viewpoint, whether we agree with that viewpoint or not.

Unfortunately recent City Council actions coincide with a very weak national economy.

As in many cities and towns across America, hard-working business owners, (85% of Berkeleys businesses) have less than five employees, operate on a thin margin, and rely heavily on their walk-in customers. The housing and credit crisis have resulted in an unstable economy and a risky business environment. Combined with recent council action, our business community is painfully feeling the revenue loss.

The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce is proud that we promote, connect and strengthen business and community. In short, we are all here to help each other be successful, and to work together to create the best Berkeley possible, one that is inviting and respectful for all.

Berkeley lauds itself as the birthplace of free speech, a tremendous gift to America. We believe it works both ways, and in a fair manner.

Ted Garrett

CEO

Berkeley Chamber of Commerce

Assuming this is real - and, again, it looks like what I would have expected from the chamber of commerce - I admit to having mixed feelings about it.

I sincerely feel for the small businesspeople of Berkeley.   They are suffering, and will probably continue to suffer, for the actions of their lunatic city council - the one which finally at long last, found out what its limits are when it comes to hating the USA and hating the military.

But I also recognize that the Berkeley city council did not sprout from seeds.  It was ELECTED by the people of Berkeley.  And the mayor, with his personal history of  illegally suppressing free speech for his own benefit (I've blogged about this previously), was elected by Berkeley voters even after his illegal actions were known to them.

It seems to me that the problem Berkeley business owners have is, and remains, the place that they chose to conduct business in.

I'm sorry for the individual business owners and strongly suspect that not all of them agree with what Berkeley's idiot city council and idiot voters have done.  But, in the immortal words of Jimmy Durante, "Dem's is da conditions dat prevail".

Maybe if a few of these business close down and a few others scale down, it will give the city council and voters something think about the next time they decide to prove how much they hate the country they are in.  God knows they could use the practice.


OBAMA AND BAIPA

Ken Berwitz

Most people, I suspect, have no idea of what BAIPA is.  But if Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination for President, I guarantee that everyone will.  So I'm going to tell you what it is now, as a prelude to one of the most damning attacks that will be made against Mr. Obama - and one that you won't hear at all during the primaries (I'll explain why shortly).

BAIPA is the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.  In simplest terms, it is legislation that prohibits the killing of live children if they survive an abortion procedure.  In other words, if the abortion fails and the child is delivered live, the doctor has no right to kill that live child outside the womb.

Let's stop right here and think about this.  Is it just me, or does the idea of killing a live child in your arms sound like something out of the third reich playbook?   Is it even imaginable that a licensed, accredited doctor in the USA could legally kill a live child because the child was SUPPOSED to die inside the woman it came from (I refuse to call her a mother)?

Well it is imaginable.  And it has been done.  A lot. 

This is why BAIPA legislation was created.  To, literally, prevent the killing of live children for the crime of surviving an earlier attempt on their lives.

With the above in mind, please read the following account by Jean Stanek, a nurse and pro-life advocate, of the procedure in action.  And of then -State Senator Barack Obama's efforts to prevent BAIPA from passing, so the baby killings could continue.  The curdling blood will be yours.  The bold print is mine:

As a nurse at an Illinois hospital in 1999, I discovered babies were being aborted alive and shelved to die in soiled utility rooms. I discovered infanticide.

Legislation was presented on the federal level and in various states called the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. It stated all live-born babies were guaranteed the same constitutional right to equal protection, whether or not they were wanted.

BAIPA sailed through the U.S. Senate by unanimous vote. Even Sens. Clinton, Kennedy and Kerry agreed a mother's right to "choose" stopped at her baby's delivery.

The bill also passed overwhelmingly in the House. NARAL went neutral on it. Abortion enthusiasts publicly agreed that fighting BAIPA would appear extreme. President Bush signed BAIPA into law in 2002.

But in Illinois, the state version of BAIPA repeatedly failed, thanks in large part to then-state Sen. Barack Obama. It only passed in 2005, after Obama left.

I testified in 2001 and 2002 before a committee of which Obama was a member.

Obama articulately worried that legislation protecting live aborted babies might infringe on women's rights or abortionists' rights. Obama's clinical discourse, his lack of mercy, shocked me. I was naive back then. Obama voted against the measure, twice. It ultimately failed.

In 2003, as chairman of the next Senate committee to which BAIPA was sent, Obama stopped it from even getting a hearing, shelving it to die much like babies were still being shelved to die in Illinois hospitals and abortion clinics.

If you are horrified by this information, I'm glad.  You should be.

If you are not horrified by this information I'm appalled.  You should be.

Earlier I noted that this has not been a part of the primary campaign between Senators Clinton and Obama. 

The reason, in my opinion, is that if Ms. Clinton goes after Mr. Obama on BAIPA the Lunatic-left and Mega-moonbat Brigade within her own party will attempt to characterize her, not as pro-life (that would be impossible), but as more towards a pro-life position than Mr. Obama.  And in the LAMB-dominated hardline Democratic base, any vestige of being pro-life, however reasonable or minimal, constitutes a net loss of votes.

But now picture a general election.  One in which candidates are not competing for the Democratic party's hardline base, but for all voters in both parties as well as independents.  How do you suppose Obama's opposition to BAIPA will play then?

The answer, self-evidently, is that it will be a political disaster.  Why?  Because the position Mr. Obama took was (and is) sick and depraved. 

I read a Chicago Tribune blog from 2004 about this, written during Obama's run for the US Senate.  The writer, Eric Zorn, was very sympathetic to Obama's votes against BAIPA because the Illinois state version did not have a declarative statement that it would not infiringe on abortion rights.  This is probably the tack Obama will take as a presidential nominee. (See update below)

But it is a bunch of baloney that will not fly among even minimally intelligent voters.  The added statement was nothing other than political window dressing to reassure the pro-choice crowd.  With or without it, the Illinois BAIPA legislation made no mention of infringing on any abortion procedure.  Only the killing of live babies outside the womb.  

So I ask you again:  Do you think that Barack Obama's votes against BAIPA will hurt him in a general election?  Some questions just plain answer themselves, don't they?

-------------------------------------------------

(UPDATE ADDED AUGUST 12:  IT TURNS OUT THAT THE DECLARATIVE STATEMENT WAS ADDED, AND OBAMA VOTED AGAINST IT ANYWAY.  CLICK HERE TO SEE FOR YOURSELF.  WHEN OBAMA SAID HE VOTED AGAINST BAIPA BECAUSE THE ABORTION LANGUAGE WASN'T THERE, HE WAS LYING.)

Joe Faler In the fourth paragraph after the red, bold print,the term "pro-choice" is used 3 times - shouldn't that be "pro-life"? Is that a typo, or am I missing something? Thanks, Joe Faler (08/28/08)

Ken Berwitz Joe - you're dead right. What a stupid mistake!! Thank you for the heads-up, and consider it fixed. (08/30/08)


MEDIA'S LOVE AFFAIR WITH OBAMA

Ken Berwitz

I don't mean this to be "dump on Obama" day, but, by happenstance, that's how it is turning out.

Please read the following article by Mark Finkelstein of www.newsbusters.org, about just how intense media's love affair with Mr. Obama really is:

ABC's Obamacan: 'Lashing Out' Hillary 'Brazenly' Attacks Barack

By Mark Finkelstein | February 16, 2008 - 10:29 ET

This is too perfect! Barely an hour after Pat Buchanan proclaimed on NBC that the MSM is full of "out-of-the-closet Obamacans," ABC's David Wright provided a perfect illustration of the genre.

In fact, I'm nominating the GMA segment Wright narrated this morning as the single most slanted episode of the MSM primary season. The screen graphic "On the Attack," set the theme: Hillary is unfairly attacking Obama, and to the extent Barack's gone negative, it's only to rebut Clinton's unfair criticism. Oh, and Hillary's demographic is crumbling. And by the way, Bill's dissing Obama supporters.

View video here.

DAVID WRIGHT: Good morning, Kate. Hillary Clinton doesn't even get here in Wisconsin until later today but already she's on the attack. The polls now show that Barack Obama is in the lead here, and Clinton is trying desperately to change that.

Cut to clip of Hillary ad accusing Obama of refusing to accept debates.

WRIGHT: Lashing out in her second attack ad this week, Clinton brazenly accuses Obama of going negative.

Cut to additional Hillary ad clip that speaks of an Obama "false attack ad," and a clip from that Obama ad.

WRIGHT: But Obama's so-called "false attack ad" is a response to Clinton's first negative ad.

Cut to clip of Obama: "I think it's just a distraction. I think that most voters know it."

Wright is then shown speaking with a middle-aged woman.

WRIGHT: That's certainly Dale Lehrer's impression. Obama inspired her to attend her very first political rally.

DALE LEHRER: I know I'm the demographic that should be voting for Hillary. I feel strongly about Obama, because I don't think it's, he doesn't have the long, entrenched party politics behind him.

Cut to clip of Bill Clinton addressing a crowd.

BILL CLINTON: If you believe that, I got some land I wanna sell ya.

WRIGHT: Speaking in Tyler, Texas, President Clinton appeared to dismiss Obama supporters as a bunch of suckers.

CLINTON: People who want something fresh and new and they find it inspiring that we might like to elect a president who literally was not part of any of the good things that happened or any bad things that were stopped before.

Cut to clip of Obama, presumably responding to Clinton's remarks: "We don't need that kind of approach. We don't need the same old slash-and-burn politics of the past."

LEHRER: Obama shrugs off the attacks. Many of his voters do, too.

Such a saint, that Barack, turning the other cheek. Back to the nice lady from Hillary's demographic.

LEHRER: I think there's a lot of people like me who are sick the negative politics and it's the same old stuff.

WRIGHT: But it is all together possible that some of Obama's voters may well be swayed by it and that is what Clinton is banking on, even if by going negative she risks driving up her own negative ratings as well.

Driving her negative ratings up . . . with a little assist from Obamacans like David Wright. Let's review some of the highlights of his language:

  • Already she's on the attack.
  • Obama is in the lead here, and Clinton is trying desperately to change that.
  • Lashing out in her second attack ad this week, Clinton brazenly accuses Obama
  • Obama's so-called "false attack ad" is a response to Clinton's first negative ad.
  • President Clinton appeared to dismiss Obama supporters as a bunch of suckers.
  • Obama shrugs off the attacks.

And let's not forget the voter hand-picked by Wright, the woman from Hillary's demo who now supports Obama because she's sick of the negativity.

Barack just can't buy coverage like this. Luckily for him, he doesn't have to -- so long as the MSM is filled with Obamacans like David Wright.

Oh, and for good measure, back in the studio Kate Snow and Bill Weir played --twice-- a clip from last night's Leno of a Hillary look-alike shoving a Snow impersonator to the ground after she asked a tough question.

Snow assured viewers that Hillary has a really good sense of humor, and that if she was watching, "I'm sure she's laughing." Right.

Look, I'm no fan of Hillary Clinton's.  And I confess to a certain enjoyment in seeing media bias working against rather than in favor of her for once. 

But the fact remains that media bias, whomever it benefits or damages, is unseemly, unfair and unprofessional.

As things now look, November will not be a happy month for me: 

-My choice on the Democratic side is going to be an unqualified, unprincipled wife of a President I didn't like either, or an unqualified man who doesn't appear to like Jews or support Israel (I am and do), and who has positions I find not only unpresidential but ignorant, destructive and even anti-USA.

-My choice on the Republican side is a man who may well be mentally unstable (albeit for very honorable reasons - his years as a P.O.W. in Vietnam), and who has a history of being gullible enough for strong Democrats like Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold to dupe him into supporting bad legislation.

But whomever I wind up settling for, I want it to be based on a fair accounting of who and what that candidate is.  Not a cheering section that calls itself journalists.


Buy Our Book Here!


Return to Current Blog
We're Hopelessly Partisan

hopelesslypartisan.com, is a web site which is dedicated to honest, blunt, debate on the issues of our time.


About Us



Privacy Notice: In conjunction with the ads on this site, third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your browser, or using web beacons to collect information.


At “Hopelessly Partisan” we discuss all issues, big and small. In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.

So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of “The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics”, and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.

And to show that my willingness to provide all sides of the issues is sincere, here are links to a variety of web sites, from the left, the middle (more or less) and the right. Read them and either smile in agreement or gnash your teeth in anger!!