Monday, April 30, 2007

Vote In The 2008 GOP Strawpoll

This is GOP Bloggers' April 2008 Straw Poll.

You get to pick which candidates you find acceptable and which ones you don't to tally who has the largest net positive or net negative support. You can also choose which candidate is your first choice for the GOP nomination in 2008. If you are so inclined you can also provide certain demographic information such as your state, gender, and age bracket.

Democrats Pushing Impeachment

The Constitution of the United States, Article II, Section 4:
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
The California Democratic Party approved a resolution on Sunday calling on Congress to investigate the actions of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney and take appropriate action, including impeachment. Meeting in San Diego, the left wing loons also passed a resolution calling for President Bush to begin withdrawing U.S. soldiers from Iraq.

Apparently, the reason the Democrats want the President impeached is because they continue to believe the discredited assertion that we were mislead into invading Iraq:
Delegate Charles Coleman from San Fernando said he believes Bush should be removed from office for lying about the war in Iraq.
Sunday, on CBS'"Face The Nation," Pennsylvania Congressman and Speaker Pelosi's preferred choice for House Majority Leader, threatened to impeach President Bush as a means to "influence" the President to accept the Democrats position that we should retreat from Iraq:
MURTHA: The White House says no. But the White House has said no to everything. They say we’re willing to compromise, and then we don’t get any compromise. We’ve compromised on waivers for the requirements for the troops, which is their own requirements, and also goals instead of requirements for the benchmarks.

So, we’ve already compromised. And we need to make this president understand, Mr. President, the public has spoken. There’s three ways or four ways to influence a president. One is popular opinion, the election, third is impeachment and fourth is, and fourth is the purse.

SCHIEFFER: Are you seriously talking about contemplating an impeachment of this president by Congress?

MURTHA: Bob, what I’m saying, there’s four ways to influence a president.

SCHIEFFER: And that’s one of them?

MURTHA: And one of them’s impeachment, and the fourth one…

SCHIEFFER: That’s an option that is on the table?

MURTHA: … I’m just saying that’s one way to influence a president. The other way is through the purse. And the purse is controlled by the Congress, who’s elected the by the public. In the last election, the public said, we want the Democrats in control.

Last week, Ohio Congressman and presidential wannabee, Dennis Kucinich introduced three articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney.

On April 20th, the Vermont Senate voted 16-9 to support a resolution urging the initiation of impeachment proceedings in Congress against President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. All 16 supporters were Democrats.

The Democrats need a brief lesson on recent history. We were not mislead or lied to about why we went to war in Iraq. Supplanting Saddam's tyranny and oppression with freedom and democracy was one of the rationales put forward in the run up to the liberation of Iraq. Even the New York Times acknowledged this in a February 27, 2003 editorial:
President Bush sketched an expansive vision last night [in an American Enterprise Institute speech] of what he expects to accomplish by a war in Iraq. Instead of focusing on eliminating weapons of mass destruction, or reducing the threat of terror to the United States, Mr. Bush talked about establishing a ‘free and peaceful Iraq’ that would serve as a ‘dramatic and inspiring example’ to the entire Arab and Muslim world, provide a stabilizing influence in the Middle East, and even help end the Arab-Israeli conflict. The idea of turning Iraq into a model democracy in the Arab world is one some members of the administration have been discussing for a long time. President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union made the same case....

There is no justification for the false allegation that the administration lied about the WMDs. Everyone was convinced that Saddam had such weapons and had used them. The intelligence and common wisdom proved to be wrong, but that doesn't equate to a lie. The Bipartisan Senate Select Committee Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs. At pages 284-285 the reports states:

Conclusion 83. The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities.


Conclusion 84. The Committee found no evidence that the Vice President's visits to the Central Intelligence Agency were attempts to pressure analysts, were perceived as intended to pressure analysts by those who participated in the briefings on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs, or did pressure analysts to change their assessments.
Besides that report, two other independent investigations came to the same conclusion.

The Robb-Silberman Commission On The Intelligence Capabilities Of The United States Regarding Weapons Of Mass Destruction likewise found "no evidence of political pressure." At pages 50-51 the Robb-Silberman report states:

The Commission found no evidence of political pressure to influence the Intelligence Community's pre-war assessments of Iraq's weapons programs. As we discuss in detail in the body of our report, analysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments. We conclude that it was the paucity of intelligence and poor analytical tradecraft, rather than political pressure, that produced the inaccurate pre-war intelligence assessments.
The British Butler Report, Review Of Intelligence On Weapons Of Mass Destruction similarly "found no evidence of deliberate distortion." At page 110 the British Butler report states:
Treatment of intelligence material
449. In general, we found that the original intelligence material was correctly reported in [Joint Intelligence Committee] assessments. An exception was the '45 minute' report. But this sort of example was rare in the several hundred JIC assessments we read on Iraq. In general, we also found that the reliability of the original intelligence reports was fairly represented by the use of accompanying qualifications. We should record in particular that we have found no evidence of deliberate distortion or of culpable negligence.
The effect of departmental policy agendas
450. We examined JIC assessments to see whether there was evidence that the judgements inside them were systematically distorted by non-intelligence factors, in particular the influence of the policy positions of departments. We found no evidence of JIC assessments and the judgements inside them being pulled in any particular direction to meet the policy concerns of senior officials on the JIC.
The consensus that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction formed in the Clinton administration. The consensus was more than evident in 1998, when President Clinton was threatening to attack Iraq.

President Clinton:
If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons-of-mass-destruction program.
Secretary of State Madeline Albright:
"We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction," Albright said Sunday, addressing a news conference in Jerusalem.

"The chemical weapons Saddam has used and the biological weapons we know he has tested pay no attention to borders and nationalities."
Sandy Berger, Clinton’s National Security Adviser:
He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.
Nancy Pelosi, now Speaker the House, and then a member of the House Intelligence Committee:
Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons-of-mass-destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.
In a letter to President Clinton, from 27 U.S. Senators:
We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the US Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.

In addition to the history lesson, the Democrats need a lesson in Constitutional Law. The Constitution provides for impeachment for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors, not to "influence" a president to accept Mr. Murtha'

s strategy to slowly bleed the war effort to death.

From California Yankee.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Hillary's Virtuous Twang

Presidential wannabee, Hillary Clinton sees her occasional Southern accent as a virtue:

"I think America is ready for a multilingual president," Clinton said during a campaign stop at a charter school in Greenville, S.C.
The New York senator noted that she's split her life between Arkansas, Illinois and the East Coast.

Observers have long noted Hillary's tendency to speak Southern primarily in front of black audiences. Two recent incidents resulted in a great deal of ribbing in the media and more than a few humorous YouTube video clips.

In early March Hillary made a campaign trip to Selma, Alabama. Speaking at a black church, the Senator tried to fake a southern accent, while apparently quoting from the Gospel hymn "I Don't Feel Noways Tired." It came across as a cheap pandering. You can listen to a short audio clip below and come to your own conclusion.

A week ago, Clinton spoke to the annual convention of Al Sharpton's National Action Network. She again broke into her Southern twang. You can watch the video below:

Hillary's tendency to break into a Southern twang when speaking to black audiences is hardly a virtue. it's just phony.

Edwards Tries To Answer

Here's the video of Edwards trying to answer when asked whom he considers his moral leader:

Having watched Edwards' answer several times I still maintain the pause was way too long and conveyed the message I don't have a moral leader.

Some readers disagree. One comments:

The pause is nothing. He seemed to really think the question through, which I appreciated. And the answer was golden.
Others agree with me. There was this:
That pause is painfully long and awkward.
And this:
Exactly. If he had paused for 10 seconds (that is how long it took him to think!) and then said, "well, it's my Lord," then it'd be a little better.

But he says "I don't think I could identify one person who I consider to be my moral leader." Well, thanks. But it's the next thing he does which is really interesting. When he says "my Lord," he shrugs, as if it is a passing thought. You can tell he's trying to save himself there, because he really doesn't have an answer. It was really, truly sad.
Watch the video and let us know what you think.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Obama Wins

SurveyUSA conducted a poll on last night's Democratic Presidential candidate debate in South Carolina and found Senator Barack Obama came out on top:

Thirty-one percent gave that honor to Obama. Senator Hillary Clinton took second place, with 24 percent. Fourteen percent of respondents thought Senator John Edwards emerged as a leader among the candidates.

Obama did three times better than Clinton and twice as well as Edwards among South Carolina's Independents. Obama and Clinton tied among Democrats. Edwards and Obama tied among Republicans. Clinton won among white viewers. Of the respondents, 60 percent were white and 36 percent were black.
The debate got a lot of attention from South Carolinians. A third of the South Carolina adults contacted by SurveyUSA listened to the debate. Those who watched were asked who won the debate:

6% Biden
24% Clinton
2% Dodd
14% Edwards
2% Gravel
3% Kucinich
31% Obama
4% Richardson
13% Not Sure

More information on the SurveyUSA poll results, or how the survey was conducted, is available here and here.

The main stream media must not have listened to the same debate. The New York Times reported:
By the end of the night, none of the eight appeared to have distinguished themselves in any appreciable way with the kind of statement or dramatic moment that they might have hoped for; that said, none appeared to have made any campaign-altering mistakes either.
It's peculiar that the same url earlier brought up a story dated the 26th and titled "Democratic Hopefuls Square Off for First Time." Yesterday's article was less nuanced:
It was a night where no candidate appeared to particularly distinguish themselves. Mr. Obama, in particular, was so soft-spoken and reserved that he appeared at times to recede off the stage.
The Washington Post described the Candidates as "balanced:"
The field seems both talented and evenly balanced.
Long Island Newsday was less kind to Obama, saying he stumbled:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a cool, confident performance Thursday night in the first primary debate of the 2008 presidential season, while her fast-gaining opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, seemed to sweat a bit in the national spotlight.
According to McClatchy, the debate failed to alter the campaign:
Absent direct challenges - or any pronounced gaffes - the debate probably did nothing to fundamentally change the shape of the contest with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina leading in the polls and the rest trailing well behind.

Clinton and Biden were asked if they support Senate Majority Leader Reid's comment that the war in Iraq is lost. Both simply didn't answer the question:
"The American people have spoken," Clinton said. "The Congress has voted as of today to end this war, and now we can only hope that the president will listen. … This is not America's war to win or lose."

Look, Brian, this is not a game show," Biden told moderator Brian Williams. "This is not a football game. This is not win or lose."
I watched the last half of the debate. I didn't see a winner. What I saw was another opportunity taken by the Democratic candidates to beat up on President Bush. Something all eight did with abandon. I agree with the Washington Post that Kucinich and Gravel "provided a counterpoint of left-wing idea that drew rebukes for a lack of seriousness from Biden and Obama." The rebukes were well deserved.

Finally, I think Edwards was the biggest loser. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, when Edwards was asked whom he considers his moral leader, he "paused for a long and uncomfortable moment, seemingly at a loss for an answer:"
"I don't think I could identify one person that I consider to be my moral leader," Edwards said. "My Lord is important to me. … My wife … is a source of great conscience for me. My father … "
Watching the debate, that pause was way too long. The message conveyed was I don't have a moral leader. I found it devastating. When video of the long pause comes out on YouTube, it will require a great deal of spin from the Edwards campaign

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Techie Vote

At the New York Sun Politics Blog, Ryan Sager posts that Hillary wins the Apple and Cisco primary, but Obama wins at Adobe, Google, Intel, and Microsoft. Republicans don't even rate:

Contributions listing Google as employer:
Clinton (D): 13
Obama (D): 22
Giuliani (R): 1
Romney (R): 0

Contributions listing Cisco Systems as employer:
Clinton (D): 22
Obama (D): 3
Giuliani (R): 3
Romney (R): 1

Contributions listing Microsoft as employer:
Clinton (D): 10
Obama (D): 18
Giuliani (R): 1
Romney (R): 5

Contributions listing Apple Inc. or Apple Computer as employer:
Clinton (D): 3
Obama (D): 1
Giuliani (R): 0
Romney (R): 1

Contributions listing Intel Corporation as employer:
Clinton (D): 1
Obama (D): 4
Giuliani (R): 0
Romney (R): 2

Contributions listing Adobe Systems as employer:
Clinton (D): 1
Obama (D): 3
Giuliani (R): 0
Romney (R): 1

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kucinich Offers Articles Of Impeachment

Seeking free publicity to obtain much neede traction in his quixotic presidential campaign, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich called a press conference to announce plans to offer articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney.

Kucinich needs to generate “free media” attention because his campaign is failing. The Kucinich campaign only raised $345,000 for his presidential bid during the first three months of the year. As of March 31 the "campaign" and had $183,000. Kucinich also has $361,000 in outstanding campaign debt. Kucinich is not one of the front-runners among the prospective 2008 Democratic presidential candidates. Kucinich shouldn't even be considered among the so-called second tier candidates.

Kucinich's impeachment ploy, like his presidential campaign ought to be doomed to failure. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have repeatedly said they have no interest in pursuing impeachment. Researching quotes of Pelosi saying impeachment is off the table, the articles I found all referred specifically to impeachment of the President and did not mention the Vice President. Have Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats decided to allow the extremists to waste time with political articles of impeachment against the Vice President?

Letterman's Top Ten President Bush Moments

David Letterman prepared this Top Ten list of President Bush moments for the White House Correspondents' Dinner:

Monday, April 16, 2007

Kerry Flips Flops On 2008

Less than three months after John Kerry said he intends to stay out of the 2008 presidential campaign, the Democrats' losing 2004 presidential candidate reopened the door to a possible 2008 presidential campaign.

Answering a question from a viewer on a television call-in program, whether his decision not to run could change Kerry said:

It might. It may change over years. It may change over months. I can't tell you, but I've said very clearly I don't consider myself out of it forever.
Kerry continues to be consistent in his inconsistency. In fairness, even Kerry thinks it unlikely he will seek the 2008 presidential nomination. When asked whether he would change his mind in time for the 2008 race, Kerry said:
If suddenly the field changed or the dynamics of the nation shifted, who knows? You might look at it differently, but I don't see that. I don't foresee that. That's not where I am today and that's not what I'm doing.
That was yesterday, what will he say tomorrow?

Monday, April 9, 2007

Fred Thompson Blogs

Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson, who is "giving some thought" to running for president in 2008, posted his first blog post at RedState over the holiday weekend. The article, "The Pirates of Tehran," Thompson paints a realistic picture of the Iranian mullahocracy:

Tony Blair doesn't appear to be in much of a mood for celebrating. I don't know how he could be, given the troubling spectacle of British soldiers shake the hand of their kidnapper as a condition of release. In the old days, they would have kissed his ring -- but wearing Iranian suits and carrying swag more appropriate to a Hollywood awards ceremony may have been as embarrassing. Ironically, Blair's options are fewer by the day as his own party moves to mothball the British fleet, once the fear of pirates and tyrants the world over.

Some in the West seem part of Iran's propaganda war; claiming that the release of the hostages was a victory that proves the Iranian dictatorship can be reasoned with. To misrepresent unpunished piracy as a victory is as Orwellian as the congressional mandate banning use of the term "the global war on terror." What are we — Reuters?

Ahmadinejad must be particularly pleased to see "deep thinking" journalists making the case that American actions in Iraq were the true cause of the kidnappings. To believe this, all you have to do is ignore the history of the Iranian Revolution, which has been in the extortion business ever since it took power. Between the 1979 American embassy crisis in Tehran and the seizure of Israeli soldiers last year by Iran's Hezbollah proxies, there have been more than a hundred other examples.
Read the whole thing.

I hope Fred Thompson continues to blog. It will give him the opportunity to explain his "crucial" support for McCain-Feingold.

From California Yankee.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Duncan Hunter Seeks Conservative Support

Duncan Hunter has released a YouTube video asking for grassroots conservatives help and articulating what he'll do if elected president.

Such an appeal can't hurt. New media support from bloggers won't be enough if Hunter is unable to attract sufficient funds for to buy a presence in old media.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

How Are You Going To Stop Her?

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says Hillary's presidential campaign juggernaut is unstoppable.

Asked by a reporter whether he was confident Clinton would win the nomination, Grassley responded:

How are you going to stop her?
One way might be for Hillary to continue to lose support in New Hamshire.

Grassley says he may endorse one of the Republican contenders in September or October. He expects the number of Republican candidates will be winnowed down to about five by then.

Hillary Slipping In New Hampshire

A CNN-WMUR poll of 339 New Hampshire Democrats found Senator Clinton's support fell from 35 percent to 27 percent since February.

Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards picked up most of the slack. Edwards rose to 21 percent from 16 percent. Illinois Senator Barack Obama of Illinois was close at 20 percent.

Al Gore received 11 percent, Bill Richardson had 4 percent support, and Joe Biden was at 2 percent. Twelve 12 percent said they were undecided.

The telephone poll was conducted between March 27 and April 2 and has a 5.5 percent margin of error.

Tancredo Makes It Official

Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo announced Monday he will seek the Republican presidential nomination.

Tancredo said immigration would be the primary focus of his campaign.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Obama Wants To Be Better Known

Iowa's caucuses are still almost ten months away. As Iowans and the presidential candidates get to know each other. Illinois Senator Barack Obama wants something from Iowa:

Well, I think I've got to get better known in Iowa . . .

Obama's focus is on the war:
"We should start a phased redeployment of troops out of Iraq and have our combat troops out of Iraq by next year because there's no military solutions to the problem in Iraq," said Obama.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Obama Says Congress Will Fund Iraq War

The Associated Press headline last night screamed "Obama Says Congress Will Fund Iraq War:"

If President Bush vetoes an Iraq war spending bill as promised, Congress quickly will provide the money without the withdrawal timeline the White House objects to because no lawmaker "wants to play chicken with our troops," Sen. Barack Obama said Sunday.
Really? Like most things that seem too good to be true, don't take Obama's pollyannaish assessment at face value.

First, a little more of what Obama said in his AP interview:

"My expectation is that we will continue to try to ratchet up the pressure on the president to change course," the Democratic presidential candidate said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I don't think that we will see a majority of the Senate vote to cut off funding at this stage."

[. . .]

Given that Bush is determined to veto a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, Congress has little realistic choice but to approve money for the war, Obama said.

Before we congratulate the Democrats for acting like grownups and providing the necessary funding to support our troops fighting the war, consider this AP article in which Senate Democrats vow to keep trying to legislate defeat in Iraq, even if President Bush vetoes legislation calling for a pullout.

The Senate attempt to legislate defeat, requires the Democrats' troop withdrawal to begin within 120 days, with a completion goal of March 31, 2008. The House attempt to legislate defeat, mandates that nearly all combat troops be withdrawn by September 1, 2008. These and other differences in the two bills must be reconciled before the legislation, which is supposed to provide the funding needed to support our troops fighting the war, can be sent to the president for his promised veto. This seemingly simple task has been delayed for weeks because Speaker Pelosi couldn't be bothered with appointing the House members who will meet with the Senate conferees because she found it more important to go and visit Syria, one of the original state sponsors of terrorism.

It has been 56 days since President Bush sent his request for the supplemental funding to Congress. When will Congress provide these critical funds to support our troops fighting the war? How many of the negative impacts of using money designated for training, repairs, and other readiness activities outlined by Secretary Gates will have to come to pass before the Democrats stop playing politics with war funding? If the Democrats truly think we should leave Iraq now, then they should saw so and refuse to fund the war.

Forcing the president to veto the war funding legislation, thereby delaying the war funding is simply part of the Democrats' slow bleed antiwar strategy. It is also part of the Democrats' 2008 campaign strategy to "wear down GOP support for President Bush," hoping to force a collapse of GOP support for the administration by fall. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Democrats, are confident that GOP support for the war will not last beyond the end of this year, when 21 Republican senators head into 2008 reelection campaigns.

From California Yankee.

Tommy Thompson Makes It Official

Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson officially joined the field of Republicans running for the White House in 2008.