Saturday, February 13, 2010

Senator Graham Gives GOP Address on Military Tribunals

Senator Lindsey Graham shares his knowlege of military tribunals and how they're used to keep classified information out of the civil courts. He explains how in the past terrorists were able to gain information from civil trials that aided them in their persuits. Senator Graham is a JAG, and spent a recent congressional recess in Afghanistan as a member of the reservist. Also of note, Senator Graham was key in instituting the military tribunal system, which passed Congress with bipartisan support.

Lindsey Graham Discusses Military Tribunals

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Washington Comletely Missing the Boat When it Comes to Small Business

Caroline Baum of Bloomberg wrote a piece today about how pessimistic and disenfranchised small businesses are by the actions of Washington and the Obama administration. Small businesses have good reason to angry. Their having difficulty getting loans, even when they have good credit. Health care legislation causes concern about the amount of money they may be required to spend in the future. The Bush tax cuts are due to expire, which will inevitably affect many small business owners. From energy policy to economic policy small business owners are getting ulcers from an administration that doesn't seem to grasp the importance of businesses in an economic recovery. The only way for jobs to return is for businesses large and small to succeed. There are legitimate reasons to be angry at Wall Street, and corporate greed. However, Washington is throwing the baby out with the bath water when it seeks to restrain or punish all businesses. The most fundamental economic truth is that businesses can only hire people when their company is succeeding. If Washington can't grasp this simple concept there's no hope for them to aid an economic recovery.

From Bloomberg Clueless in the Capital Meets Small-Business Ire: Caroline Baum

Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- “Washington doesn’t get it.”

That generic statement is tripping off the tongues of populists and Tea Partiers, business groups and bankers alike. In short, the public is peeved at the politicians.

I heard it this week from William Dunkelberg, chief economist of the National Federation of Independent Business, who used his group’s latest survey to opine on Washington’s deaf ear for helping small business.

The president and Congress “pay lip service to the fact that small business generates half of private-sector GDP and employs 60 percent or more of private-sector workers,” Dunkelberg says. As far as Washington’s efforts to help this sector of the economy, “instead of stimulus, give consumers a tax cut,” he says.

Iranians Protest Today on Aniversary of Revolution

Protests in Iran Today

For those following the use of social media, particularly Twitter in regards to the protests in Iran, today is a good to be folowing the #iranelection tag on Twitter as large protests are scheduled. The government has renewed attempts to crackdown on its citizens internet use. Only time will tell how successful they have been in oppressing their own people.

From the Denver post Huge rally and protests mark Iran revolution
TEHRAN, Iran—Hundreds of thousands of Iranians massed Thursday in central Tehran to mark the anniversary of the revolution that created the country's Islamic republic, while a heavy security force fanned out across the city and moved quickly to snuff out opposition counter protests.
Police clashed with protesters in several sites around Tehran, firing tear gas to disperse them and paintballs to mark them for arrest. Dozens of hard-liners with batons and pepper spray attacked the convoy of a senior opposition leader, Mahdi Karroubi, smashing his car windows and forcing him to turn back as he tried to join the protests, his son Hossein Karroubi told The Associated Press.

The celebrations marking the revolution's 31st anniversary

An image made from video provided by Iranian State TV, pro-government demonstrators gather in the central square of Tehran to mark the 31st anniversary of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution Thursday Feb. 11, 2010 were an opportunity for Iran's clerical regime to tout its power in the face of the opposition movement, which has managed to keep up periodic street protests since the disputed June presidential elections despite a fierce crackdown.
The opposition turnout was dwarfed by the huge crowd at the state-run celebrations. Many were bused in to central Azadi, or Freedom, Square to hear an address by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who proclaimed a new success in Iran's uranium enrichment program and dismissed new U.S. sanctions.

And the massive security clampdown appeared to succeed in preventing protesters from converging into a cohesive demonstrations. Large numbers of riot police, members of the Revolutionary Guard and Basij militiamen, some on motorcycles, deployed in back streets near key squares and major avenues in the capital to move against protesters.

Opposition Web sites spoke of groups of protesters in the hundreds, compared to much larger crowds in past demonstrations

One protester told The Associated Press she had tried to join the demonstrations but soon left in disappointment. "There were 300 of us, maximum 500. Against 10,000 people," she told an AP reporter outside Iran. She said there were few

Female demonstrators wave Iranian flags, as a picture of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is held at center, during a rally commemorating the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, at the Azadi (freedom) Square in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010. Many thousands of pro-government demonstrators gathered in the central square of Tehran to mark the 31st anniversary of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the US-backed late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Read full article Huge rally and protests mark Iran revolution for more info...

Protests in Iran Today

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ABC/WaPo Chart of Dem Advantage Starkly Shows Decline in Trust

An ABC Washington Post Poll 2010 Elections: Republicans are in the Hunt shows how Republicans have recently gained a slight advantage over Democrats on both national topics, and in the upcoming Congressional races. One of the most stark examples of the Democrats decline of support on all major issues comes from a chart showing how just a year ago Obama and the Democrats, who had enjoyed a huge advantage evrything from health care to the economy, now have seen that lead has all but disappeared within a year's time...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

McCain Notes Senate Role in Campaign Letter

My Friend,

The 2010 election offers all Americans - and especially Republicans - a critical choice. We can fight for the principles we believe in, or watch as Barack Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress take our nation down a costly, destructive path.

I'm ready for that battle. And as one of my strongest supporters, I sincerely hope I can count on you to continue to stand with me as I work hard to win reelection in November.

President Obama and the Democrats in control of Congress have gone too far in their quest to "change" America. Their radical, far left policies are undermining America's founding principles and greatly threaten our nation's future economic health and national security.

It is truly disheartening that in their desire to advance their far left agenda, the Democrats are totally ignoring proven ways to create jobs and get our economy moving again. Our opponents' determined efforts to completely overhaul America's health care system, drive our federal deficit to historic levels, and do serious harm to Medicare - serves as a powerful lesson as to the lengths they will go to advance their radical liberal agenda.

The issues we face today call for real, positive, effective solutions. That is why I am determined to remain in the U.S. Senate.

Today, I ask that you reaffirm your support for our shared values by making an immediate contribution of $25, $50, $100, $250 or more. If you are able to make a donation of $100 or more today, I will send you a personally autographed copy of my book, Faith of My Fathers in appreciation of your steadfast support.

In recent months, a reporter dubbed me the "most formidable opponent of the Obama agenda." For me, the bottom line is this: I will always put my country first and fight for what I believe is in the best interest of the American people.

However, if I am going to win in November and continue to fight for our country, I will need your help and support. Your generous donation will be used to help me continue fighting, and I appreciate any amount you can give today.

Inconceivably the Obama White House and Democratic Congressional leaders continue to tell the national media that they are carrying out the "will of the people" and those who are speaking up against their policies represent only a "small minority" of voters.

You and I know that is not true. Vast numbers of Americans oppose their policies and are saying "No" to more lost jobs, more wasteful spending, more government control, more taxes and more debt.

What the Democrats are advocating is not the kind of change that is good for America and our children's future. I'm proud to lead the fight against these policies and am honored to have you by my side.

Thank you for your ongoing and steadfast support.


John McCain

P.S. I have always fought on the side of people who want better, more efficient government. Today, I need your help to make sure I can remain in the U.S. Senate to continue that fight, by following this link to make a generous contribution of $25, $50, $100, $250 or more. Remember, if you are able to give $100 or more today, I will personally sign a copy of my book, Faith of My Fathers as a token of my appreciation for your generous support. Thank you.

McCain Campaign Letter Cites His Role as 'Most Formidable' Opponent of Obama

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Administration May Lose Their Old Seats

President Obama and Vice President Biden both come from very blue Democrat states, yet the seats they vacated upon entering the executive branch are leaning towards the Republican candidates in the latest polls. While Republicans are expected to pick up seats at the midterm elections some are now questioning whether they take control outright in what would a political shocker. CBS reports GOP Eyes 2010 Senate Takeover

Beyond Illinois and Indiana, Democratically-held Senate seats in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Arkansas and Nevada -- where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid faces a tough race -- could be very competitive, according to Salvanto's analysis.

Republicans cheered when North Dakota Democrat Byron Dorgan announced his surprise retirement, giving Republicans a good chance for another pick up. It was also good news for the GOP when Vice President Joe Biden's son Beau announced he would not run for his father's old Senate seat, leaving Republican Rep. Mike Castle the best-positioned candidate to win in Delaware. Democrats are now backingNew Castle County Executive Chris Coons to run against Castle.

"I predict to you that Chris Coons is going to surprise the devil out of them," Joe Biden told MSNBC. Castle, however, soundly beat Coons in the most recent polls, the Hill reports.

President's and Vice President's Senate Seats Could Both Be Picked Off By Republicans

White House Worries Obama Senate Seat May Turn Red

Excerpt from the NYT Illinois Senate Race Worries Democrats Anew

CHICAGO — Alexi Giannoulias, the treasurer of Illinois and a basketball-playing friend of President Obama’s, won the Democratic primary here on Tuesday for the Senate seat once held by Mr. Obama. But his victory was hardly the free throw some had expected, setting off a new round of worrying among Democrats that the reliably Democratic seat might be picked off by Republicans in November.
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In an Illinois Primary Race, Victory Is Self-Declared (February 4, 2010)

With four others on the ballot, Mr. Giannoulias won 39 percent of the Democratic vote, or, as Republicans preferred to describe it on Wednesday, lost 61 percent of it. A little-known former federal prosecutor who had never run for office, David Hoffman, came within six percentage points of Mr. Giannoulias.

With much on the line here, including the symbolism of the president’s home state possibly slipping away, some Democrats were concerned that the party had played into the game plan of the Republicans, who chose Representative Mark Steven Kirk, a centrist-leaning suburbanite who hopes to appeal to the state’s independent voters and even some moderate Democrats.

Already Wednesday morning, the National Republican Senatorial Committee had issued a Web video mocking Mr. Giannoulias, 33, for what it described as questionable loans made by his family’s bank, his ties to Rod R. Blagojevich, the indicted former governor of Illinois, and more.

“Is this change we can believe in?” the video asks.

Mr. Obama called Mr. Giannoulias to congratulate him on his victory, aides said, but despite the friendship, the White House indicated in the past that it had reservations about his candidacy. At one point, White House officials tried without success to recruit another Democrat, Lisa Madigan, the state attorney general, even after Mr. Giannoulias had made his aspirations clear.

Mr. Obama, who endorsed no one in the primary, has pledged to party officials to do what he can to help keep the seat in Democratic hands. But aides said the president would invest his time and efforts in races across the country and not necessarily devote more attention to the contest for his former seat.

White House Worried About Senate Race in Illinois

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Alexi Giannoulias Chicago Connections

Alexi Giannoulias

Kirk Up for Tough Fight in Illinois

From Chicago Sun-Times Whole nation will be watching brutal campaign

"We all know that over the past year a quiet despair has descended on the State of Illinois," Kirk said. "A governor arrested, a senator seat disgraced, corruption rampant, unemployment rising and families struggling. The people of Illinois now see the arrogance of a one-party state."

On Tuesday night, the NRSC issued a Web ad highlighting Giannoulias' ties to Blagojevich and felon Tony Rezko titled, "Making Tony Soprano Proud."

Kirk is a five-term congressman from the north suburban 10th district with a Democratic tilt. Giannoulias started framing Kirk as a "Washington insider" Tuesday night and talking about job creation.

Giannoulias is the opponent the Republicans wanted. The Illinois Senate campaign will be unfolding at the same time Blagojevich's corruption trial starts this summer. Giannoulias starts the campaign against Kirk wounded by the primary.

Giannoulias, a basketball player -- he has shot hoops with Obama -- has the confidence of a jock and could needle Kirk. Kirk comes off like the smartest guy in the class and wants everyone to know it. Neither Giannoulias nor Kirk should be underestimated.

Fight Brewing for Illinois Senate Seat