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Kick Assiest Blog
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Justice Department Probing Durbin, Rockefeller CIA Leak
Mood:  hungry
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Report: Justice Department Probing Durbin, Rockefeller CIA Leak

The Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into whether Democratic Senators Dick Durbin (Top left), Jay Rockefeller (Middle Left), and Ron Wyden (Lower Left) leaked details about a secret "black ops" CIA satellite program last December in a move that may have seriously compromised national security, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbin said on Saturday.

"The CIA made a request to the Justice Department to investigate and possibly bring criminal charges against these three [senators]," Babbin told WABC Radio host Monica Crowley. "My information is that investigation is ongoing."

Rockefeller is the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Durbin is the No. 2-ranking Democrat in the Senate.

Media reports on the satellite leak last December indicated that the Bush administration was concerned about public comments by Durbin, Rockefeller and Wyden and that the CIA had requested a Justice Department probe.

"The formal request for a leaks investigation would target people who described sensitive details about a new generation of spy satellites to The Washington Post, which published a page-one story about the espionage program Saturday [Dec. 11, 2004]," a Justice Department official told The Associated Press at the time.

But the same official told the AP that Justice "has not decided whether to investigate."

Former Deputy Undersecretary Babbin's comments on Saturday were the first indication that such a probe was actually launched and is ongoing.

"The fact of the matter is that [Durbin, Rockefeller and Wyden] divulged something that was above and beyond top secret and frankly, they probably blew the strategy and the hundreds of millions of dollars that were being spent to pursue it," Babbin told Crowley.

"The acknowledgement of [the "black ops" program's] existence is not even proper and the acknowledgement of them and the details of them can very well damage national security," Babbin added.

Asked if he thought the three Senate Democrats should have their security clearances revoked for the duration of the leak probe, the former Defense Department official said: "Absolutely and forthwith. I mean, they should have been revoked at the time of the leak."

"There's really not much doubt about the leak having occurred," Babbin told Crowley. "It's in the press records, it's in the Congressional record. We know what they did."

"The only question," he explained, "is how much damage was done by the leak. And that's part of the criminal investigation right now - to do a damage assessment, to figure out how much this is going to cost us strategically and militarily."

News ~ Carl Limbacher ** Report: Justice Department Probing Durbin, Rockefeller CIA Leak

Posted by uhyw at 2:12 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 24, 2005 2:24 PM EDT
Dems hold another bogus 'hearing'
Mood:  silly
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

If the news media won't talk to them, Democrats talk to themselves. I LOVE the idea of holding hearings with only one party in attendance, and selectively deciding who should testify. You normally have to pay good money to see this kind of comedic action at a circus or a zoo.

Another term for a gathering like this is "Circle Jerk"

I guess this is what happens when some people age, yet fail to grow up. Whats next? A cartman style tea party?

What do you think of me Polly Prissypants?
"Oh, I think you are polite and handsome and kewl"

And what do you think Peter Panda?
"I think you are so kewl, how do you do it Eric?"
I don't know Peter Panda.....what do you think of me Rumpertumskin?

"I think you're a piece of crap!"
--- Ey!

Democrats-only Hill hearing targets Rove

Democrats convened a partisan hearing yesterday in an attempt to breathe new life into the suspicion that Karl Rove is guilty of an illegal leak to the press.

The hearing, convened in a Senate office building by the Democratic Policy Committee, featured both House and Senate members and a slate of witnesses guaranteed to testify that the deputy White House chief of staff was guilty of misdeeds in leaking the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

"We know that a dastardly crime in all likelihood was committed," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan was peppered with questions about Mr. Rove nearly every day for two weeks in early July, and the story dominated the political news. Since Mr. Bush tapped Judge John G. Roberts Jr. for the Supreme Court on Tuesday, however, questions about Mr. Rove and stories about the controversy have dwindled to a trickle.

Mr. McClellan was not asked a single question about Mr. Rove by reporters traveling aboard Air Force One yesterday.

Roll Call reported Thursday that a set of "talking points" was issued Wednesday by Senate Democratic leadership urging rank-and-file senators to do what they could to keep the controversy surrounding Mr. Rove in the news.

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt said the "faux hearings" demonstrate that Democrats are too eager to score political points to wait for the facts to come out upon completion of the special prosecutor's investigation into the matter.

"If Democrats had any confidence in the investigatory process, they would hold their fire and let the investigation proceed rather than rushing to judgment," Miss Schmitt said.

Mrs. Plame is the wife of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, who has accused the White House of lying about Iraq's attempts to acquire weapons-grade nuclear material from Niger. A report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the British intelligence service and other intelligence agencies around the world, however, claim the attempt was made.

The bipartisan intelligence committee report also determined that Mrs. Plame recommended to the CIA that her husband -- a critic of the war in Iraq -- travel to Niger to verify the story of attempted "yellowcake" uranium purchases. Though his own report suggested it had occurred, Mr. Wilson wrote an op-ed in the New York Times on July 6, 2003, saying it was wrong of the White House to suggest it did happen.

Mr. Wilson has never publicly reconciled that conflict.

Democrats, however, made it clear that they believe Mr. Wilson's op-ed, and are convinced that Mr. Rove "outed" Mrs. Plame as a form of political retribution.

"The White House launched a smear campaign, and Valerie Plame became collateral damage," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat. "Now the White House has gone silent. It won't answer any questions. It won't take any administrative action against Mr. Rove."

Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat, said that what occurred is "at its worst, treason committed by high-level White House officials, and at the best we have seen an abuse of power."

Washington Times ~ James G. Lakely ** Democrats-only Hill hearing targets Rove

Posted by uhyw at 2:52 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 24, 2005 3:25 AM EDT
10 charged in N.J. sex slave ring
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Yahoo Chat Stuff

Feds bust girl-smuggling ring in Jersey

An international ring smuggled girls as young as 14 into the U.S. from Honduras and forced them to work as virtual slaves in New Jersey bars - and endure brutal beatings if they protested, authorities said yesterday.

Some of the girls were raped by smugglers and those who became pregnant were forced to take abortion drugs so they could stay on the job, prosecutors said.

"This was inhumane and sadistic treatment of young women who were kept as virtual slaves," said Newark U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie. "These are among the most vile crimes I've seen."

The alleged ringleader, Luisa Medrano, 50, of Cliffside Park, N.J., and nine other suspects, some in Honduras, were charged yesterday with alien smuggling and other crimes that could get them up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

An indictment handed up in Newark alleged smugglers promised the victims jobs as waitresses - but instead forced them to drink and dance with customers at Medrano's three Hudson County bars.

The women were paid $240 for working up to seven days a week - but nearly all the money went to the smuggling ring, which charged $10,000 to $20,000 to bring them to the U.S.

Christie said girls who objected were treated brutally. "One 15-year-old was beaten so badly blood vessels were broken in her eyes and a 14-year-old was beaten with a belt that raised welts all over her body," he said.

He said 10 young women were victimized from mid-2003 until January, when the ring was smashed. But at least 20 others are believed to have been enslaved. The probe is continuing. The victims already identified and located are now under federal protection and getting counseling and schooling, Christie said. He said they're eligible to seek visas to remain legally in the U.S.

NY Daily News ~ Leo Standora ** Feds bust girl-smuggling ring in Jersey

Posted by uhyw at 2:18 AM EDT
Big union disintegration worries Dems
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Dems are addicted to Big Labor cash and power. Although it has hurt the party with business, they are still concerned that a split in the AFL-CIO will mean less activism, less cash and fewer elected Dems.

Democrats Concerned by Prospects of a Labor Schism
By Steven Greenhouse

With several of the nation's largest unions threatening to quit the A.F.L.-C.I.O., Democratic leaders say they fear that the possible schism might hurt their party's chances by making labor a less potent political force.

Democratic leaders said a split could hurt their candidates because it could keep unions from coordinating their political efforts as well as they did before and could mean that unions devote less energy to politics and more to fighting among themselves.

"To the extent your allies are fighting among each other, it's not helpful," Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said.

Steve Elmendorf, a deputy campaign manager for Senator John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, said, "It's obvious that it would have a very negative impact on the Democratic Party if the labor movement is in turmoil and fighting with each other."

The A.F.L.-C.I.O., with 13 million union members, has long provided the Democrats with their most effective get-out-the-vote operation. In the 2004 election, households with union members accounted for 24 percent of all votes, and among voters from those households, Mr. Kerry had a 5.8 million majority.

In last year's campaign, unions mailed out more than 30 million pieces of literature and ran 257 phone banks with 2,322 lines in 16 states. Although unions splintered in the primaries behind Mr. Kerry, Mr. Dean and John Edwards, they ultimately rallied behind Mr. Kerry and worked hard for him. Union members voted two-to-one for Mr. Kerry in the general election.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, an umbrella group comprising 56 unions, coordinated campaign efforts nationwide, and many political leaders said a schism would inevitably undermine such coordination.

"If this split happens, it will obviously disrupt our efforts," said Richard Trumka, the labor federation's secretary-treasurer.

Three of the federation's four biggest unions - the Teamsters, the Service Employees International and the United Food and Commercial Workers - are threatening to quit the federation, as is Unite Here, a union of apparel, hotel and restaurant workers. Together, they represent one-third of the federation's membership.

With the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s quadrennial convention scheduled to begin Monday in Chicago, labor leaders said several unions might announce today that they are going to boycott the convention, a first step toward secession.

Leaders of the Service Employees, the federation's largest union, with 1.8 million members, have said it is fairly certain that their union will disaffiliate, but A.F.L.-C.I.O. leaders are in intense negotiations with them and the other unions to try to dissuade them from quitting.

The dissident union leaders contend that the A.F.L.-C.I.O. has not done enough to reverse labor's slide and is not structured to turn things around. But critics assert that the dissidents are merely trying to create a new power bloc in a political battle with the federation's president, John J. Sweeney.

"A lot of Democrats are justifiably nervous," said Jim Jordan, a Democratic strategist and a former Kerry campaign manager. "Obviously there are potential dangers of a division of resources and manpower. Obviously, the worst case scenario for Democrats is some dynamic caused by the split that decreases labor's activism and financial support, but that seems unlikely."

Some union leaders said the schism could hurt Democrats most at the local level by undercutting the effectiveness of state A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s and central labor councils in dozens of cities.

In some cities and states, the unions threatening to bolt represent nearly 40 percent of the union members. In California, New York and Oregon, for example, the Service Employees is the most politically potent union, and quitting the federation could throw local political efforts into turmoil.

"I think a split can have an effect down below when you get involved with governors and members of state legislative bodies," said Gerald McEntee, chairman of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s political committee and president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "There can be more individual union agendas at that level."

Mr. McEntee and several prominent Democrats voiced optimism that even if several unions quit the federation, unions in both factions were still likely to line up behind Democratic candidates in presidential and Congressional elections.

"American workers vote for the party whose agenda does the most to address their priorities, and that party has been and will continue to be the Democrats," said Charles E. Schumer of New York, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Some Democrats also expressed concern about the dissidents' assertions that unions have to stop letting the Democrats take them for granted.

"We can't stick just with the Democrats," said Anna Burger, secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees and chairwoman of the dissidents' newly formed group, the Change to Win Coalition.

"We need to hold officials, Democrat and Republican, accountable on issues that resonate with working people. We have to stick with candidates and officials, whether Democratic or Republican, who stick with us, and we have to take on elected officials, whether a D or an R, who don't stand with us."

Karen Ackerman, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s political director, said unions had already taken that position by warning that labor might withhold support from Democrats who vote for the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

James P. Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said that the A.F.L.-C.I.O. needed to spend far more of its money on unionizing workers, a move that could make less money available for political operations.

"We lost the election between Kerry and Bush because we didn't have enough members," Mr. Hoffa said. "We delivered the union vote very well, but we just didn't have enough members in the unions."

Mr. Dean said the Democrats would benefit if organized labor unionized more workers. "If they get more people organized, that's more votes for us," he said.

Mr. Dean added that if labor infighting caused unions to cut back on phone banks, for instance, the Democratic Party could redeploy resources to compensate.

Democratic leaders took pains not to take sides in the union battle.

"I can't speak to internal A.F.L.-C.I.O. matters, but I can say that a united front is always better than a divided one," said Representative Rahm Emanuel, Democrat of Illinois and chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

(Origional story requires registration)
NY Times ~ Steven Greenhouse ** Democrats Concerned by Prospects of a Labor Schism

Posted by uhyw at 1:57 AM EDT
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Democrats 'defanged' by nominee
Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: U.S. Supreme Court
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Opponents and supports had no idea what to expect from the President when it came to his Supreme Court nominee. But what everyone did know is that it was going to be a battle. John Roberts is causing them all kinds of problems because, so far, the Dems cannot find anything substantial to object to. How are they supposed to obstruct the nomination and try to embarrass the president with such a qualified and liable nominee?

Democrats 'defanged' by nominee

Ready to battle over the president's Supreme Court pick, opponents instead find little to criticize.

WASHINGTON - Democrats and liberal special interest groups had been primed for a fight over President Bush's nominee to the Supreme Court, expecting it would prove the Republican party was moving to the extreme right.

Instead, Bush gave them Judge John G. Roberts Jr. >>>>>

He is smart, graduating from Harvard in three years. He is well-qualified, arguing 39 cases before the Supreme Court. He is well-liked, winning over both sides in his legal career.

Roberts, a federal judge on the Washington, D.C., court of appeals, is expected to be confirmed by the Senate this fall - which leaves Democrats a little unsure how to proceed.

"He's kind of defanged or neutered the Democrats at this point," said Richard Born, a congressional expert at Vassar College. "He just doesn't give the Democrats a lot to work with."

Democratic senators have been quiet on Roberts nomination, voicing no outright opposition and refusing to criticize when baited by reporters. Instead, they have praised him. "John Roberts has had an impressive legal career," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said. "Both in government and in private practice, he has been a zealous and often successful advocate for his clients. He has argued many cases before the Supreme Court and is respected for his legal skills. By all accounts he is a very nice man."

There's more:

Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut said he is "a credible nominee." Sen. Barbara Boxer of California described him as "a very affable individual." Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said he "has outstanding legal credentials and an appropriate legal temperament and demeanor."

Roberts got none of the criticism Robert Bork did from Democrats when he was nominated for the court by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 - and later rejected by the Senate.

"They didn't get the guy they thought they were going to get," said Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes the Senate for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report in Washington. "They expected the son of Robert Bork."

Roberts spent three days this week visiting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold his confirmation hearings in August or September. The Democrats, like their Republican colleagues, played nice, exchanging pleasantries and smiling for photos.

All of them talked of reserving judgment about Roberts and said the confirmation hearings should be fair.

"It is critical ... that we not prejudge a nominee," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, one of the most outspoken and liberal Democrats on the committee, said that "historically, there's always a honeymoon period for the nominee."

"He's pretty much a blank slate as to where he stands," he said. "Blanks have to filled in."

As the summer drags on, the talk is expected to heat up. Still, Roberts is expected to be confirmed, barring any startling discovery in his background.

Kennedy and two other Democratic committee members voted against Roberts for D.C. Court of Appeals two years ago, but he was approved by voice vote in the full Senate.

"When you nominate someone of the caliber of Judge Roberts, you take away every credible argument the Democrats might have had" to oppose him, said Sen. Rick Santorum, third-ranking Republican in the Senate.

With only 44 of 100 seats in the Senate, Democrats are limited in their ability to oppose a nominee. They could try to use a filibuster - a parliamentary procedure to prolong debate - but a May agreement by 14 senators makes that difficult.

The so-called Gang of 14 - seven Republicans and seven Democrats - cut a deal on judicial nominees that allows for a filibuster only under "extraordinary circumstances" - a phrase left undefined.

The group represents enough votes to prevent Democrats from being able to filibuster, and Republicans from changing the rules to override a filibuster.

Several Democrats said this week that Roberts is well-qualified, and they doubt their party would try to filibuster his confirmation. The filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee is almost unheard of, and would likely end in political squabbling that would bring the business and cooperation of the Senate to a halt.

"At the end of the hearings we do not anticipate anything that would be a stickler, that would rise to the level of extraordinary circumstances," said Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., one of the Gang of 14. "But you can't come to that conclusion until the end of the entire process."

Democrats would have benefited from a real fight - so they could try to show that the Republican party is moving more to the right, fire up their base and placate special interest groups.

But now that the majority of people have accepted Roberts as well-qualified, Democrats don't want to be seen as obstructionist.

A USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll this week shows 51 percent of those polled called the choice of Roberts excellent or good; 34 percent called it fair or poor; and the rest had no opinion. A Washington Post-ABC News poll showed 59 percent in favor of his confirmation; 23 percent opposed; and the rest undecided.

Democrats "don't have a strong strategic position," said John Fortier, a political scientist who studies Congress for the American Enterprise Institute. "You'd have to have some strong argument. Right now to make lots of noise against him, there is no ammunition."

St. Petersburg Times Washington bureau chief Bill Adair and researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report.
St. Petersburg Times ~ Anita Kumar ** Democrats 'defanged' by nominee

Posted by uhyw at 9:41 AM EDT
U.N. Group Wants Abortion for Girls Age 10
Mood:  spacey
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

U.N. Group Wants Abortion for Girls Age 10

Two recent publications circulating at the United Nations demonstrate a growing focus on young people as a way of advancing the abortion agenda.

The reports, one by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and another by a radical lobby group, both call for a greater focus on the "sexual and reproductive" rights of youth, a term that UN agencies frequently misinterpret as including abortion.

Youth are defined in the UNFPA report as "aged 10 to 24 years."

UNFPA's report, entitled "The Case for Investing in Young People as part of a National Poverty Reduction Strategy," states that "UNFPA's madate [is] to promote youth development, including recognition of their health/reproductive rights and sexual and reproductive health."

UNFPA explains that promoting abortion as a human right is advantageous because a "rights-based approach" "entails an obligation on the part of governments and other actors to realize these rights." The report applauds the government of Mozambique's program of "health services that serve the reproductive health needs of adolescents."

UNFPA urges improvements in the "sexual and reproductive health" of young people as a solution to several pressing world problems, such as gender inequality, the spread of HIV/AIDS, and lack of access to education. These issues are currently being addressed by the UN through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The report states that "UNFPA advocates may need to point out to policy makers the direct connections between preventive action in relation to young people's sexual and reproductive health and achieving the MDG targets."

The second report, "Learning to Speak MDGs," was released by a radical Canadian lobby group called the Youth Coalition. The report was produced with "generous financial support" from the Ford Foundation. The report explicitly calls on governments to ensure the "legal status of safe abortion services."

The Youth Coalition's report also claims that the "ABC" method used in Uganda has been ineffective and even detrimental. The report states that "unsound national and donor driven policies, such as the Abstinence – Be faithful – Use Condoms when necessary (ABC) approach have heavily contributed to the impact of HIV/AIDS among young people."

However, Uganda's ABC strategy is almost universally viewed as the single largest success in reducing HIV infections, from 18% in 1992 to 5% by 2001.

The two reports demonstrate a renewed strategy of pushing for abortion rights on behalf of young people. Other pro-abortion groups, such as the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), have recently released similar publications. For instance, a recent AGI study on adolescents, defined as "between the ages of 10 and 19," in Malawi suggests that abortion should be legalized, as "[m]ost abortions are performed under unsafe conditions because abortion is illegal…except to save a woman's life."

News ~ C-FAM ** U.N. Group Wants Abortion for Girls Age 10

Origional Source...
Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute ** UNFPA Demands Abortion Rights for Children as Young as 10

Posted by uhyw at 6:17 AM EDT
Santorum's new book 'It Takes a Family' throws down the gauntlet
Mood:  bright
Topic: Yahoo Chat Stuff

Sen. Rick Santorum holds a copy of his new book, "It Takes a Family" >>>>>

Throwing Down the Gauntlet: The Santorum Manifesto

"It Takes a Family - Conservatism and the Common Good" by United States Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) (ISI Books, 464 pages)

You don't need to read much more than a page or two to understand why "It Takes a Family – Conservatism and the Common Good" has driven Hillary Clinton bonkers.

Aside from the not too-subtle play on the title of her book "It Takes a Village," Santorum's book is both a surgical dissection of the kind of elitist and authoritarian liberal political philosophy avidly embraced by Mrs. Clinton, and a prescription for restoring the health of our body politic that her philosophy has weakened.

He pulls no punches, starting with the declaration that liberal economic policies, allegedly advanced in the interests of the poor, "have not only been devastating to the poor and the middle class economically, but have actually undermined the basic structures of our society."

He wastes no time in getting to the reason why liberal policies have done this damage – they have undermined the family, always the basic foundation of any healthy society. Sick families create sick societies.

Observing that where once our social, governmental and educational institutions, along with the popular culture, seemed to aid parents in raising their children, today many feel that these same institutions are somehow conspiring against them.

Noting the deleterious affects of the public's growing reliance on "big government or cultural, social, moral and intellectual power brokers to solve our problems," Santorum alleges that "the more the public relies on the powerful elite, the worse it gets," which, perversely, leads the public to rely on these elites even more.

In Santorum's book, these elites constitute the "Bigs" - big news media, big entertainment, big universities and public schools, some big businesses and some big labor unions, and of course the biggest big of them all, the federal government.

In Hillary's village, the people who run the Bigs are "the village elders – the liberal elite who think they know what is best for individual Americans and how best to order (or re-order) our society along the lines of their ideological abstractions."

He describes the liberal definition of freedom as "the freedom to be and do whatever we want – freedom to chose, irrespective of choice, freedom without limits (with the caveat that you can't hurt anyone else directly)." It is "No Fault Freedom (all the choice, none of the responsibility)."

He contrasts this with the conservatives' idea of freedom. "It is the liberty our founders understood. Properly defined, liberty is freedom coupled with responsibility to something bigger or higher than self. It is the pursuit of our dreams with an eye toward the common good."

This leads him to the need to strengthen the family and protect it against inroads by the village elders. Children need to be nurtured in a family consisting of a happily married father and mother.

He pleads for economic policies that enable families to be economically viable, for social policies that define families in the traditional manner – a permanent union between a man and a woman - for government policies that defend families from intrusive laws undermining the authority of parents, and for a culture that promotes morals instead of undermining them.

This is a manifesto – a call to his fellow Americans as heirs of the legacy bequeathed to us by the founding fathers. He lays out step-by-step the actions required to restore this nation's social, economic, moral and political health – all of which can be achieved only by strengthening the family as society's basic unit. He calls for an investment in the varying kinds of "capital."

♠ Social capital – "all the habits and forms of trust, mutual responsibility, and solidarity and connectiveness that make it possible for us to get along together."

♠ Economic capital - "financially secure families standing on their own two feet are the basis of any good society."

♠ Moral capital - "the virtue, proper conduct and respect for human life that builds trustworthiness and binds us together in a common mission."

♠ Cultural capital - "all the stories, images, songs and arts that explain to us, and in particular our children, who we are."

♠ Intellectual capital – "our traditions of education and schooling. The most essential thing any society does is to help parents raise the next generation."

Senator Santorum insists, "We must be good stewards of each of these stores of ‘capital' so our children will inherit a strong, vibrant country."

He completes his manifesto by explaining how we can go about creating these forms of capital, never neglecting to show how liberalism has squandered all of them.

Anyone who wants to understand what needs to be done to restore the America our forefathers bequeathed to us should consult this marvelous book.

News ~ Phil Brennan ** Throwing Down the Gauntlet: The Santorum Manifesto

Posted by uhyw at 5:55 AM EDT
Friday, July 22, 2005
My own artwork to rebuff the Berzerkley attorney's "America in the toilet" painting
Mood:  sharp
Topic: My Columns

First, the straight story. About the libtard "art" and the controvery it's generating.

Then, MY OWN ART! I might submit it for diplay at the same place next year... LETS SEE HOW BALANCED THEY ARE!!! (sarcasm off)

Local Artwork Is National News

A painting titled "T'anks to Mr. Bush!" by attorney-artist Stephen Pearcy, is displayed in the Department of Justice cafeteria in Sacramento, Calif.

The burgeoning controversy over artwork displayed in the Department of Justice office of Democratic California Attorney General Bill Lockyer was thrust into the national spotlight last night, when cable news network MSNBC cited in their coverage of the story.

MSNBC’s Scarborough Country has credited with first highlighting the story online while other local media avoided it. Strangely, the city’s leader in print subscriptions has avoided this story.

Artwork painted by Berkeley attorney Stephen Pearcy depicts an American iconic flag being dumped into a toilet. Click here to see’s original story.

Pearcy, a Berkeley attorney, was the center of controversy earlier this year after he hung an effigy of a U.S. soldier above his home in protest of the Iraqi War. To read original coverage of the Pearcy-effigy conflict click here.

Lockyer’s controversy, heating up for days, has been a topic of conversation on Sacramento KFBK talk radio shows hosted by Tom Sullivan and Mark Williams. The controversy has led to an online petition by local high-school political activist, Andy Nevis, who has collected almost 2,000 signatures calling on the Attorney General to take the exhibit down.

The cries of protest against the display have only grown louder. Move America Forward, a Sacramento-based non-profit with pro-military ideals, announced they will team up with talk show host Williams for a pro-American art exhibit and anti-Lockyer protest on July 28.

Here is the transcript from Thursday evening’s MSNBC Scarborough Country segment:

Below is the text of the MSNBC Scarborough Country segment

Monica Crowley (Substitute host for Joe Scarborough): And take a look at this. Does it make you angry? A piece of art that among other things shows the American flag in the shape of this country being flushed down a toilet. But it’s not hanging in any museum or any gallery. It’s at the California Department of Justice building in Sacramento. As you can imagine the piece is stirring up some intense emotions and here to talk about it is Karen Hanretty from the California Republican Party who says it should be taken down. Karen we should mention the artists were also invited on but they haven’t yet made it to the studio, so let’s just ask, how does an exhibit like this even make it into a government building?

Karen Hanretty (guest interviewee): Well, quite frankly, the California Arts Commission teamed up with one of the local lawyers associations and the (CA) Attorney General, they commissioned a curator to go out and solicit artwork from either attorneys or if the artwork was produced by attorneys they solicited artwork with a theme that has to do with the law. And this particular artist, Stephen Pearcy was contacted by the curator after the curator saw the scuffle that was created earlier this year after Mr. Pearcy who created this painting took a manikin, strapped a noose around its neck, dressed it as a soldier and hung the soldier in effigy off his home here in Sacramento. It brought a great deal of attention around the country, certainly here in California. The curator must have found that artwork interesting and contact Mr. Pearcy and asked him if he had any paintings he would like to submit.

Crowley: Yeah, right now we are looking at the effigy of the American soldier that Mr. Pearcy had hung on his home with a sign on it that says, “Bush Lied, I Died”. Angry residents in his community tore down that effigy and rightly so. Karen let me ask you, why would any material that most people think would think as offensive and I would think any right-thinking American would take a look at this painting and think it was outrageous, how did it even get allowed to be hanging on government property; didn’t anyone raise a red flag and say, this is totally inappropriate for government property, taxpayers are paying for this property, why do we have to put up with this hanging there.

Hanretty: I think that is a very good question and I think it’s a question that needs to answered. No one wants to take responsibility for this art exhibit that is being displayed in a government building. The California Arts Council put out a press release saying no tax dollars were spent on this art exhibit. The Attorney General’s office isn’t taking any responsibility for this. Basically they are pawning it off on the curator, who by the way was paid to do this exhibit and they are pawning off responsibility onto this local lawyers association but that’s ridiculous. The California Arts Council is paid for and funded with taxpayer dollars. The Attorney General knew that this exhibit was going to go in his building. In fact the Arts Council is actually housed in the Department of Justice. Someone in government needs to take responsibility for this. Surely, they knew exactly the content of this exhibit and they chose to keep it up there anyway. And here’s something that’s really important. The Attorney General is arguing, well if we take down this painting that is somehow censorship. But I can guarantee you that the Democratic Attorney General would never allow a painting of a Gay Pride flag to be floating in a toilet bowl and hung in his building. That would never happen. Artwork that is offensive to Gays and Lesbians or that expresses violence towards women would never be allowed to hang in his building. And they came back and said well that would be a hate crime. Art is not a hate crime. And if art was a hate crime then I would expect that the Attorney General would file a lawsuit against the music industry for the way they treat women and Gays.

Crowley: We did invite the artist of this particular piece on the program tonight. He is not arrived for the segment. But the Sacramento Union writes that it took Mr. Pearcy about 20 minutes to complete that work. He said it was intended to reflect his concern about Americans and what he called their fanatical level of patriotism in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. “The goal is to create something quick and put in the minimum amount of effort and get the maximum amount of communication out of it.” Karen taking a look at this so-called art I think Mr. Pearcy should not give up his day job as an attorney. What about the political agenda? You mentioned that if somebody tried to put up a piece of artwork that was offensive to Gays or Lesbians or Jews or African Americans there is no way that it would be allowed hung in a government building.

Hanretty: Well, not so fast. Actually, there is a painting in there that I think a lot of Jewish people in America would find offensive. There is a painting that references Palestine and suggests that the Jewish people are oppressing the Palestinians. Not every piece of artwork in this exhibit, and I went and looked at the exhibit, has a political bent. But a lot of it does quite frankly and I’m just not sure why it is necessary for us to behaving in political propaganda that is one side and is anti-American in a government building.

Crowley: Especially Karen in the middle of a war. Thank you so much for your time tonight.

The Sacramento Union ** Local Artwork Is National News


Posted by uhyw at 11:29 PM EDT
Orrin Hatch Blasts Chuck Schumer's 'Dumbass Questions'
Mood:  cool
Topic: Funny Stuff

Orrin Hatch Blasts Chuck Schumer's 'Dumbass Questions'

(Left) Sen. Charles Schumer's questioning of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts was so hostile during Roberts' 2003 appellate court confirmation hearings that Sen. Orrin Hatch (Below Right) blasted his New York colleague for asking "dumbass questions."

In a audioclip of the exchange unearthed Wednesday by ABC Radio host Sean Hannity, the normally mild-mannered Utah Republican complained:

"Some [of Schumer’s questions] I totally disagree with. Some I think are dumbass questions, between you and me."

"I am not kidding you," Hatch continued. "I mean, as much as I love and respect [Schumer], I just think that’s true."

Taken aback, the New York Democrat asked if Hatch would like to "revise and extend his remark" - i.e., offer a retraction for the congressional record.

But Hatch refused to back down, telling Schumer:

"No, I am going to keep it exactly the way it is. I mean, I hate to say it. I mean, I feel badly saying it between you and me. But I do know dumbass questions when I see dumbass questions."

News ~ Carl Limbacher ** Orrin Hatch Blasts Chuck Schumer's 'Dumbass Questions'


Posted by uhyw at 8:37 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 22, 2005 8:55 PM EDT
Jobless Claims Post Biggest Dip in 2 1/2 Years... Leading Indicators Gauge Climbs in June
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: News

Jobless Claims Post Biggest Dip in 2 1/2 Years

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits plunged by the largest amount in 2 1/2 years last week, reflecting a slowdown in layoffs in the auto industry.

The Labor Department reported that new benefit claims dropped by 34,000 to a new total of 303,000 as the labor market continued to signal strength.

Government analysts attributed the big improvement to a slowdown in layoffs in the auto industry, which had seen big increases in recent weeks as auto plants shut down temporarily to retool for the new model year.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, delivering a monetary report to Congress this week, said the U.S. economy, after a brief slowdown in the spring, has picked up strength over the past two months and should enjoy solid growth this year.

Greenspan cautioned that the growth forecasts could be derailed by a variety of potential threats from a surge in energy costs to home prices that he said had reached unsustainable levels in some parts of the country.

The strong economic growth this year has helped to boost job creation. The nation's unemployment rate has fallen to 5 percent, the lowest point in nearly four years.

The performance of jobless claims last week was further evidence that labor markets are continuing to improve.

The drop of 34,000 was the largest one-week improvement since a decline of 35,000 in the week of Dec. 21, 2002. The decline was more than triple the 10,000 drop that private analysts had been predicting.

The total of 303,000 claims last week was the lowest level in 16 weeks. The four-week moving average, which helps smooth out weekly volatility, also declined last week to 318,000, the lowest level in more than four months.

News ~ Associated Press ** Jobless Claims Post Biggest Dip in 2 1/2 Years

Leading Indicators Gauge Climbs in June

NEW YORK - An important gauge of future economic activity rose strongly in June, but economists expressed concern that weaknesses were developing in the nation's industrial sector.

The New York-based Conference Board said its Composite Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.9 percent in June to 137.7 after showing no change the month before and a 0.2 percent rise in April.

The June increase was the largest since a 0.9 percent rise in December 2003, the board said. The figures were based on revised calculations of the index, which is closely watched as a signal of growth in the U.S. economy over the next six months.

The latest figures incorporate two revisions - a statistical trend adjustment as well as a new way of accounting for the yield spread, a component of the index that measures the difference between the yield on the 10-year Treasury note and the federal funds rate.

The last time the gauge underwent a major revision was in 1996, shortly after the Conference Board, an industry-backed research group, took over calculating the index from the Commerce Department in Washington, D.C.

Without the revisions, the index of leading indicators would have shown an increase of 0.5 percent in June following a dip of 0.2 percent in May, the Conference Board said.

Gail D. Fosler, the board's chief economist, told reporters that despite the strong June reading, she had concerns about the economy's strength.

"We believe the industrial economy is slowing down, that it is slowing down quite quickly," Fosler said. She said, however, that she did not believe a recession was in the offing, saying "we are way far away from anything that looks like a recession signal."

Instead, she said the nation's economy was likely to show growth of about 3.6 percent this year and slow to 3.1 percent in 2006.

Seven of the 10 indicators that make up the leading index increased in June: consumer expectations, vendor performance, the money supply, a decline in unemployment claims, the interest rate spread, stock prices and building permits. One component, manufacturers' new orders for nondefense products, declined, while weekly manufacturing hours and manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods were unchanged.

The index of coincident indicators, which measures current economic activity, rose 0.2 percent in June to 120.5 after increasing 0.1 percent in May to 120.2.

The index of lagging indicators, a measure of past economic performance, was up 0.3 percent in June to 119.7 after advancing 0.4 percent in May to 119.4.

News ~ Associated Press ** Leading Indicators Gauge Climbs in June

Posted by uhyw at 8:23 PM EDT

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