Friday, February 16, 2007


No way!


Rep. Jefferson Gets Seat on Homeland Security

Rep. William Jefferson, the Louisiana Democrat who's facing an ongoing federal corruption probe, is being granted a spot on the Homeland Security Committee, according to Democratic aides.

The appointment will be announced Friday, according to one aide who requested anonymity because the decision isn't yet official.

Jefferson was removed from his seat on the Ways and Means Committee, one of the most important panels in Congress, by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) last summer in an attempt to show how seriously Democrats viewed the allegations of corruption.

But the move by Pelosi, who was still minority leader at the time, infuriated members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who said Jefferson shouldn't be punished unless he is indicted; federal prosecutors have yet to bring an indictment, despite an FBI raid 18 months ago on his home that yielded $90,000 in cash in his freezer.

Other lawmakers were angling for the seat on Homeland Security, which was the last slot available on the panel, according to another Democratic aide.

Greg Tinti has more.

Break out the Bribe-Loc baggies!


How Dems store their bribes
Foiled again!
Culture of corruption continued


Okay. Confess. Even though Stephen Colbert is really funny and Jon Stewart may make you cringe, you want more. You want a conservative satire on the news, and haven’t seen one since, well, since time began. Why?

We all know that conservatives have a better sense of humor than liberals. That's why Rush, Laura and Sean are conquering all and why Minnesota senatorial candidate Al Franken needs a job. Liberals are incapable of poking fun at themselves. Conservatives produce endless humor in writing and on radio. And now, this Sunday, our appetite for televised conservative humor is apparently going to be satisfied.

It’s called "The Half Hour News Hour" and is produced by Joel Surnow (creator and exec produce of "24") and Ned Rice. But the best part is that Ann Coulter -- yes, our Ann, HUMAN EVENTS legislative correspondent -- is in it. Is it funny? One gent e-mailed me to say that, "Critics are already calling it 'the funniest show ever produced by the FOX News Channel, not counting Geraldo.'"

Pop the corn, pour the wine, sit back and watch. Step aside, libs. It’s our turn.

"The Half Hour News Hour" premiers Sunday, February 18 at 10 p.m. EST.


By David S. Broder

It may seem perverse to suggest that, at the very moment the House of Representatives is repudiating his policy in Iraq, President Bush is poised for a political comeback. But don't be astonished if that is the case.

Like President Bill Clinton after the Democrats lost control of Congress in 1994, Bush has gone through a period of wrenching adjustment to his reduced status. But just as Clinton did in the winter of 1995, Bush now shows signs of renewed energy and is regaining the initiative on several fronts.

More important, he is demonstrating political smarts that even his critics have to acknowledge.

His reaction to the planned House vote opposing the increase he ordered in U.S. troops deployed to Iraq illustrates the point.

When Bush faced reporters on Wednesday morning, he knew that virtually all those in the Democratic majority would be joined by a significant minority of Republicans in voting today to decry the "surge" strategy.

He did three things to diminish the impact of that impending defeat.

First, he argued that the House was at odds with the Senate, which had within the past month unanimously confirmed Gen. David H. Petraeus as the new commander in Iraq -- the man Bush said was the author of the surge strategy and the man who could make it work. Bush has made Petraeus his blocking back in this debate -- replacing Vice President Cheney, whose credibility is much lower.

Second, he minimized the stakes in the House debate by endorsing the good motives of his critics, rejecting the notion that their actions would damage U.S. troops' morale or embolden the enemy -- all by way of saying that the House vote was no big deal.

And third, by contrasting today's vote on a nonbinding resolution with the pending vote on funding the war in Iraq, he shifted the battleground to a fight he is likely to win -- and put the Democrats on the defensive. Much of their own core constituency wants them to go beyond nonbinding resolutions and use the power of the purse to force Bush to reduce the American commitment in Iraq.

But congressional Democrats are leery of seeming to withhold resources from the 150,000 troops who will be fighting in that country once the surge is complete; that is why they blocked Republicans from offering resolutions of their own in the House or Senate pledging to keep financing the war. Democrats did not want an up-or-down vote on that question, but Bush has placed it squarely before them.

In other respects, too, Bush has been impressive in recent days.

He has been far more accessible -- and responsive -- to the media and public, holding any number of one-on-one interviews, both on and off the record, leading up to Wednesday's televised news conference. And he has been more candid in his responses than in the past.

While forcefully making his points, he has depersonalized the differences with his critics and opponents. He has not only vouched for the good intentions of congressional Democrats, he has visited them on their home ground, given them opportunities to question him face to face, and repeatedly outlined areas -- aside from Iraq -- where he says they could work together on legislation: immigration, energy, education, health care, the budget.

With the public eager for some bipartisan progress on all these fronts, Bush is signaling that he, at least, is ready to try.

At his news conference, he also stepped away from personal confrontation with the rulers in Iran, making it clear that he does not necessarily hold its political leadership responsible for shipping arms to the insurgent Shiites fighting in Iraq. He insisted the U.S. military would do whatever is necessary to halt the shipments and protect the troops, but he said repeatedly that these defensive measures are not a prelude to aggressive action against Iran.

All this is to the good. But Bush, unlike Clinton, is in the middle of a bloody civil war, which can be ended only by the Iraqis themselves. All he claims to be able to do is to provide some breathing space for them by attempting to reduce the violence. As he said, "What really matters is what happens on the ground. I can talk all day long, but what really matters to the American people is to see progress."

And whether the American people will see it, no one knows.


In case you've missed this .. the Democrat Party has decided that one of the keys to victory in 2008 is to pit the "middle class" and the evil rich against each other in the mother of all class warfare battles. The battle plan is simple. You announce that you're going to develop some nifty new government programs for the middle class, plus lower their taxes, and you're going to finance all of this by raising taxes on the rich --- more specifically, the nastiest of the rich, the evil top one percent.

Note, please, that the democrats try very hard not to say the words "raise taxes." The preferred verbiage is "roll back the tax cuts." It's all in the language. That's why democrats talk of "investing" money rather than "spending" it.

The rhetoric around the Democrats class warfare campaign is both amusing and instructive. It was a frustrating experience yesterday afternoon watching Minnesota's junior Senator .. a Democrat, of course ... Amy Klobuchar on Cavuto. Now Klobuchar is new, but she is clearly a quick study when it comes to learning the class warfare ropes. Her plan for helping the middle class --- and remember, that's the theme --- is to raise taxes on the top 1% of income earners. Interestingly enough, she likes to say that we should go to Washington to find the money to help the middle class .. then she talks tax increases. You almost get the idea that she has no working concept of just who's money she's talking about. When you raise taxes on anyone, let alone the evil top 1%, that money doesn't come from Washington .. it comes from the pockets of the individuals who earn it.

Now ... here's where the frustration comes in. Cavuto asks Senator Klobuchar whether or not she thinks that the 35% of earnings that the richest 1% earn now is enough; whether or not that's fair. He asked this question three times, and three times Klobuchar refused to answer it. She would launch into a discussion of rising tuition rates and health insurance premiums in Minnesota. Now excuse me ... but in what way do comments on rising tuitions and health insurance rates constitute a response to a question as to whether or not a 35% tax rate is high enough for evil high-achievers?

Answer the damned question, Senator!

She knows, of course, that no answer is needed. The vast majority of the people watching her on Cavuto are most definitely not in the top 1% income category. They've been raised an steeped in class warfare rhetoric and honestly, though ignorantly, believe that these filthy rich people aren't paying enough. Senator Klobuchar doesn't have to answer the question ... and indeed she never will. All she has to do is pander to the jealously of the not-rich by promising punishment for high achievers and the redistribution of their earnings.