Filed under: Congress, Election 2008, Foreign Affairs, State Government and Politics
Bob McDonnell on Jim Gilmore:
FOR OUR NATION’S SECURITY…VOTE JIM GILMORE FOR SENATE
Dear Virginia Voter:
Although America’s national security isn’t the number one issue in the headlines right now, it is a topic paramount to the future of our children and grandchildren. Who we elect to the United States Senate from Virginia is going to help determine which direction our nation takes to defend America’s national interests around the world and at home.
Because of his experience and his principles, I strongly recommend Jim Gilmore for the United States Senate.
Jim and I are both Army Veterans, and as you can imagine, I have a deep appreciation for the service of the men and women of our armed forces. Jim Gilmore volunteered for the U.S. Army and played an important role in counter-intelligence for the U.S. Army, safeguarding the security of American bases in Europe.
As you may know, Congress chose Virginia’s Jim Gilmore to chair a national commission charged with making recommendations on methods to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks on the United States. The Gilmore Commission warned in 1999 and in 2000 that America was facing a possible terrorist attack. After 9/11 Congress adopted 146 of the Gilmore Commission’s 164 recommendations.
Jim Gilmore has the experience in homeland security I know must be possessed by Virginia’s next United States Senator. Virginia and our nation must elect Jim Gilmore to the U.S. Senate.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Election 2008, Events, Foreign Affairs, MSM, POTUS
Ok everybody, sorry it took me a minute to get set-up. Clogged wireless up here in H’burg (as it should be, with over 75 strong Republicans). So let’s cut to the chase:
10:34 Alright. I’ll post some analysis when I get home, but the short of it: McCain delivered.
10:33 McCain: Welcome to the real world, and fundamental belief in the power of America is what will save it.
10:32 Obama: the thing I don’t know really don’t matter. I’ll figure it out. But I do know it all needs to be fixed.
10:30 So we’re going to tax the same small businesses who are striving for the American dream?
10:30 Oooo, overtime. And we may finally see just how humble these guys are.
10:28 So what about conventional weapons aimed against Israel?
10:26 McCain gets the sham of the UN Security Council. With Russian and China, no non democratic nation will EVER be taken to task for their actions on the international stage.
10:25 Two questions in five minutes?
10:22 So now Obama’s time machine goes both ways. Obama: He can see through time.
10:19 The situation in Russia has gotten away from us. Do you really trust Obama to deal with such a complicated situation? McCain is absolutely right–Putin has formed a cult of personality fused with extreme nationalism fueled by a sudden surge in oil based wealth.
10:16 McCain had a great point–We’re on the edge of doing what we did in Afghanistan in Iraq. Iraq is a synthetic creation of the British; we are on the precipice of having a nation in Iraq that takes responsibility for it’s own destiny. Nationality doesn’t form over night…..even well into the 19th Century citizens of the U.S. viewed themselves as from their states first. This takes time.
10:11 I hope my juice lasts through the end of this debate
10:10 So you’re going to blow up one powderkeg in order to get to another? The situation in Pakistan is not cut and dry, Senator.
10:07 It requires someone who actually knows what’s going on.
10:06 The Obama Doctrine “Eh, we’ll deal with that when we cross that bridge”
10:05 So when you have an open act of aggression by a nuclear power or an ambitious country sitting on top of a powderkeg of natural resources, that doesn’t count?
10:01: Just as a brief aside, I want to point out this important piece from someone who was nearly killed by the terrorism of William Ayers. h/t Powerline
9:56 The free market will develop the products, Senator Obama. Is their unfairness in the system? Yes. But you can find the product you want and get the coverage you need if you’re willing to put out for it.
9:53 As someone who takes advantage of the free market for insurance, you can find what you need.
9:48 Barack Obama has never seen a piece of pork he didn’t like.
9:47 Wow Brokaw. Just wow.
9:46 Mind telling us what else was in those bills? You know, these things are a just a wee bit more complicated than saying “we’re going to fix x.” Logrolling happens, deals occur, and all of a sudden a good bill turns bad.
9:44 When we change, let’s do it as Americans. Let’s know lurch towards European socialism.
9:43 Hmmmm. Curveball. Let’s see where we go.
9:42 Well, see Senator McCain, we can only look at records when you have one.
9:41 Thank you for tackling this one.
9:39 So while we’re handing out all that money, we’re going to nail businesses to the wall? You mean these very same businesses that are PAYING these people?
9:38 Senator Obama: Already planning your re-election bid? Just have to get it out on taxes.
9:37 Here we go. Entitlement spending must be reformed.
9:36 Small businesses like eBay used to be. Small businesses are the economic engine powering what we have left.
9:35 That’s Obama sacrifice: Taxes.
9:34 More on class warfare.
9:32 So where are you going to find the money for this?
9:31 Back on the time machine.
9:30 John McCain: Reforming before reform was cool.
9:28 Either enforce the rules, or grow a pair and be like Leher and just let them go at it.
9:27: Again with priorities. Note what’s not on that list? Entitlements.
9:24: Bringing back the entitlement debate. I’d rather say “transfer payments,” but this is start.
9:22: Bingo. Keep on the reform train. This man has dedicated the last twenty years to honest reform. Not CHANGE. Reform.
9:18: Hop on Barack Obama’s time machine! Nancy: Remember 9/11? Might have caused some budget issues…..
9:13: McCain proving once again why he is best when he’s up against the wall. Calling Obama out as he sees it. Freddie and Fannie heart the Dems.
9:12: Here we go. Accountability for all. McCain has been there. Where has Obama been?
9:10: I’m here with Nancy Barnett from the County Committee. Her point: why does it always have to be about dividing the top and the bottom?
9:09: Again, speaking right to the people. Obama: Warren? Is he your drinking buddy? And what did McCain just say about people working their way up? America succeeds when we go back to those core values in times of crisis.
9:08: I figured Tom would throw the rules out on follow-ups. Word was earlier today that both campaigns were readying for this.
9:07: We needed this. McCain is showing why this is his format. He’s talking straight to the people, and talking about why we need to take a positive step towards stabilizing the house.
9:06: Economy the first question shocker. Senator Obama: Fire the executives? Umm, never heard of the Board of Directors?
A pair of stories in the news today highlight the increasing influence of Islam in America today:
–Mazen Ashabi, Barack Obama’s Muslim Affairs coordinator has resigned after it was revealed that he briefly served on the board of Allied Assets Advisors Fund with Jamal Said, the imam of a Chicago fundamentalist mosque. Said has ties to both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Certainly Mr. Ashabi is guilty of no wrong-doing and did the right thing here, both morally and politically. However, this serves as another example of the vast trans-national web of companies, groups, and individuals that make-up modern fundamentalist Islam.
-Meanwhile, the union at the Tyson Chicken plant in Nashville has traded Labor Day for eid al-fitr, the holiday the marks the end of Rammadan. Apparently muslims make up over half of the plant’s workforce and thus carry great weight in the union. A former employee notes that there is also a special prayer room that has been constructed in the plant. The holiday does not apply to non-union members. Still, the incident reveals a troublesome case of muslims taking over an institution to make demands on a private company. I’m a firm believer in the freedom of practice of religion; however, when demands start being made, lines begin to blur between the toleration of free practice and intimidation to embrace a particular faith’s practice.
Following my post on energy, Suzanne Curran has pointed me towards a speech that Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican, gave on Saturday. In the speech, he slams his colleagues for inaction on this issue, accusing them of putting political positioning over making tough choices that will deeply affect the lives of the present and future generations of Americans. His two major issues are the mortgage bailout and energy, but the point remains. The full text is here, but here’s some key snippets:
So here we go, we are saying we are fixing the problem, but we are working on it only when it is in crisis. Then, when we have the political momentum to do what is right and fix the long term and the short term, what do we do? We run because we are more interested in our political futures, in our political careers than we are the opportunities and potential employment opportunities and lifestyles for our children and grandchildren.
Just as my colleagues have been talking about energy, the Senator from Tennessee very well knows that the time to address the problems we are talking about right now in terms of more production was 15 years ago. Now the Senate sits stuck because we are worried about the political fallout of perhaps having amendments to drill where the oil is and that might not fit one political party’s agenda.
But I will tell you what, it fits the American people’s agenda. So we have this debate and this division that is becoming partisan. It is all on the basis of how do we look good in November. I want to tell you, none of us look good to the American people, because we are not fixing the problems on a timely basis. We are not allowing the historical precedents of this body, which is debate and amendments, to mold and create legislation that adequately reflects the risks and problems that future generations are going to encounter.
This year, American taxpayers sent $700 billion of their money–a large portion of it–to countries that would like to see us done in. We are going to continue to do that until such time as we have a cogent energy policy, regardless of global warming or carbon problems. It is at least going to take 30 years. So we ought to take that out of the realm and say: How do we quit giving away our fortune, our future, and our assets to other people? Even if we all agreed on global warming, we can all agree it will take a long time to transition away from carbon-based fuels. Why would we not have a debate on every possible way in which we can find more American energy, American resources, American security, and use less foreign resources?
I noted on the floor on Monday that our national security is at extreme risk today. There is a historical precedent. When the Egyptians took over the Suez Canal, the British and French had a great amount of debt. We owned most of it. We were adamantly opposed to them attacking Egypt to bring back the Suez Canal under their control. We didn’t fire the first shot against the French and English. Do you know what we told them? We said: If you do this, we are going to put your debt onto the market. We will wreck your economy. We will create inflation and create a decreased standard of living. So you dare not do this. Do you know what. They knew it would happen and that we would do that. Consequently, a war was averted.
Think now, with China owning a trillion dollars of our debt, and another trillion dollars in the Middle East. What happens if they don’t like our foreign policy and they decide to dump our debt onto the market? How much national security do we have?
So the idea that we would not utilize every potential resource America has to solve this energy crisis, the fact we will not be allowed and are not allowed to have a true debate with true amendments that bring that forth to the American public, says we are highly dysfunctional, and that it is all about the next election, and it is never about the good and long-term interests of the country.
That has to stop in this body. It has to stop. It doesn’t matter if it is a Democrat or a Republican. It has to stop for future generations of this country. We need to quit worrying about whether we get reelected and start working on what is in the best long-term interests of this country.
So we are going to have $11 billion on the floor sometime next week, and we are going to talk about subhuman primate transfer and the War of 1812 Commission, but we are not going to work to solve the energy problems of the people in this country. We are going to talk about doing things the CDC and the NIH already have the power to do, but it doesn’t look good because we cannot have a press release or press conference and say we didn’t do something for a lobbyist’s special interest.
We are not going to create nuclear generation or go after the oil shale, and we are not going to go off the coast to find, in an environmentally friendly way, resources that will lessen that $700 billion of our Treasury we ship out of the country every year. Instead, we are going to do things that politically look good. If you oppose them, you might politically look bad. But we are not going to address the real issues in front of the country, as a whole. It is an amazement to me that when the figures were released, they reflected 9 percent of the people have confidence in the Senate. I wonder where those people are. If they are paying attention to this place, they could not have any confidence in it, because we are not addressing the real issues that are, in fact, impacting America today, American families today but, more importantly, national security today and tomorrow, and the wealth, health, and well-being of future generations.
Coburn is exactly the sort of conservative who will get this party moving again. Although he has suffered his share of controversy for his conservative social views in the past, he has moved beyond that and become a real leader on fiscal issues in the Senate. Coburn is also a man of integrity, being one of just a handful of Representatives who kept to their promise to keep their own term limits. Oklahoma rewarded him with a Senate seat; now, the conservative movement is beginning to notice him, and talk of veep or even Coburn ’12 or ’16 isn’t too far fetched…..
The focus over the last few days has been on Barack Obama’s foreign policy via his overseas trip. However, despite Senator Obama attempting to remake himself on Iraq, the McCain camp once again sets the record straight:
Meanwhile, Senator McCain has laid out his plan for victory in Afghanistan:
Working with our allies to ensure unity of command in Afghanistan. Appointing an Afghanistan czar to ensure commanders have what they need to win. Supporting sending at least three additional brigades to Afghanistan. Doubling the size of the Afghan military. Increasing our non-military assistance to the Afghan government. Enhancing our regional diplomatic efforts by appointing a special presidential envoy. As part of the regional strategy, put special focus on Pakistan.
Poor Sam Rasoul. He just can’t seem to catch a break these days. You have to give him credit–it’s not easy to run for public office, much less at the age of 26. However, I’d feel alot worse for him if it weren’t for the fact that his missteps are mostly of his own making.
First, Rasoul sat down with a pair of Hispanic columnists from the Roanoke Times. A admirable exercise in it’s own right; the Latino community in the Valley is emerging as an important voting bloc, with many becoming involved in both parties. However, he must have known that illegal immigration, an issue that is important to voters from a variety of background, would come up and that his answer would be seen and heard outside of the Latino community. That’s why I was rather surprised to read this:
He’s also aware of the importance of the participation of this minority, the largest in the country, and rejects the use of the term “illegal immigrant”. He prefers to use “undocumented immigrant” and also knows of the contributions that Hispanics bring to the Comonwealth and the importance of their voice in the state’s political decisions.
I can certainly understand the argument that people can’t be “illegal” per-se, but Rasoul seems to want to sugarcoat the reality of the issue: entering the country without documentation or in any other fraudulent manner is a serious crime. From U.S. Code Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Part VIII, Section 1325:
Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both. (b) Improper time or place; civil penalties
But Mr. Rasoul and I will likely never agree on the semantics of this issue, so let’s look at his recent statements on energy policy:
While maintaining that drilling is not the long-term answer, Rasoul said Tuesday that acting where oil leases exist now would send a signal to speculators and help with the short-term price of gasoline.
“We should be placing pressure on the oil industry to go out and see what we’ve got,” Rasoul said. “Then, we need to assess the situation from there.”
It almost appears as if Sam feels that oil companies are deliberately holding out on the American people. He also seems to be ignoring that gas and oil exploration can be extremely costly, and that in this case government intervention could very well RAISE prices by leading companies to explore land in a fool’s errand. But again, this an issue on which reasonable people can disagree. You can compare Congressman Goodlatte’s policy here.
“I’m applying for a job in the House of Representatives, which does not have much to do with foreign policy, that’s left up to the executive branch of government,” he said. “I hope to serve the American people.”
Now, perhaps I’m missing something here. But it seems to me that, for a topic that it supposedly doesn’t have much say on, Congress has an awfully lot of Committees devoted to the topics of foreign policy and national security, such as Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, and the Select Committee on Intelligence (to say nothing of Appropriations).
Also, the Constitution seems to mention quite a number of Congressional powers related to foreign policy, such as the regulation of foreign commerce, defining and punishing laws relating to the high seas, establishing and maintaining the Army and Navy, and the power to declare war. While it is true that the Executive Branch is the one that primarily conducts foreign policy, that policy is funded, monitored, and regulated very closely by the executive branch.
It’s unclear if Mr. Rasoul just hasn’t educated himself on foreign policy enough to feel that he can make appropriate statements on the issue (an interesting position for someone seeking federal office) or if he just sees these issues as inconsequential compared to domestic concerns (though one would think there wouldn’t be much of a country to govern if there was a massive attack for which we were ill-prepared). For the time being, I’ll just stick with Bob Goodlatte, who may not serve on any of the committees with direct foreign policy responsibilities but still stays focused on the issues at hand, including the genocide in Darfur.
Roanoke Valley Republicans, another new committee blog, has up an excellent post reviewing last week’s conference call with Bob Goodlatte regarding the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan.