Monday, July 31, 2006

The AG race

Today, I take my stand on the AG race. Over the last year, many of us conservatives have had the pleasure of meeting both JB Van Hollen and Paul Bucher. Within the next six weeks, we will have to make a choice.

Over the last several months, I have noticed that several other bloggers were throwing their support behind their favorite candidate for Attorney General. I have also seen and heard many other party members stumping for their favorite candidates. I felt that it was time for me to stand up and be accountable for my choice.

Approximately a year ago, many of us in Kenosha had an opportunity to see JB and Paul at one of our Saturday Social gatherings. Both were there on the same day, and both had the opportunity to answer the same questions. At that time, there was no real debate. They are both very intelligent men who know the law. They both presented themselves very well.

As conservatives, we are very lucky in this state. We have two great men running for Attorney General. Unfortunately, we can only pick one or the other.

I believe that I made my final choice in February at our county caucus.

Even though the choice was difficult, I am throwing my support for our next Attorney General to be Waukesha District Attorney Paul Bucher. The reasons I choose Paul Bucher are numerous.

Close to the top of my list of reasons that I support Paul Bucher is that he is a tough guy crime fighter. I know that actually turns some people off, but not me. In fact, this is exactly what I was looking for in a candidate for Attorney General. I do not want someone who is afraid to take on the criminals in our society. I want a hard-nosed Attorney General. I want my next Attorney General to be someone who is strong enough to take on the tough criminals, instead of someone who manufactures criminals out of cranberry growers.

In Paul Bucher, I see the swagger and confidence that President Bush displays, and I see the dignity and intelligence of President Ronald Reagan. In Paul Bucher, I see a man who walks into a courtroom who is confident he can win his case and is intelligent enough to do it.

Another very important reason that I choose to support Paul Bucher is that he cares about the little people. Paul Bucher wants to fight crime in order to protect someone just like me in Wisconsin. I am not an important person or an elected official, but at every event that Paul Bucher attends, he heads straight for folks just like me. He will look us straight in the eye and just talk to us. He is not continuously scanning the crowd looking for someone more important than little ole’ me.

You may ask- what do I have against JB Van Hollen?

The answer to this question is- absolutely nothing. I like JB Van Hollen. He strikes me as a very bright person, who knows the law and he would make a great Attorney General. I am well aware of the fact that my own County Sheriff, Dave Beth, is supporting JB Van Hollen. I am proud of my sheriff for supporting such a good man for Attorney General.

If JB Van Hollen wins the primary, I will work just as hard as I can to help JB become our next Attorney General. You will not find me bashing JB on this blog or any other blog, because I believe that he is a good man and would make a great Attorney General. (However, I will probably be bashing Peg and Kathleen.)

I have been around politics long enough to understand that when two good candidates are running in a primary, it is imperative that everything I do and say is something I can live with the day after the primary. All of us as conservatives need to be able to pick up the banner of the primary winner and carry our candidate to victory in November. The result must be that Peg Lautenschlager and Kathleen Falk cannot be allowed to be our Attorney General.

I suppose the choice for all of us will be with personalities. What do we feel is the most important qualities that we are looking for in our next Attorney General?

I answered that question for myself. I found what I was looking for in Paul Bucher. I found a tough, confident, hardworking man who is willing to stand up and fight crime to protect the ordinary people in our community.

Disclaimer: I am speaking for myself and not an organization. You will find literature and bumper stickers for both candidates at the Kenosha County GOP offices. Feel free to drop by and support your favorite candidate. Perhaps, while you are there, you can join in on one of our Mark Green phone banks. Hint, hint…

Thanks Kate!

Kate, from Ol' Broad's Ramblings joined us at the Kenosha GOP picnic yesterday. She has posted some of the event happenings on her blog. We had a great time!

Here are the links to prove what a great time we had-


Sandy Sullivan

Photo There are additional photos, just check out Kate's blog.

Thanks for coming, Kate! Let's do that again. Only next time we get you on the pontoon boat! I promise, I won't push you into the water.(more than once or twice, that is!)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Governor Doyle's Firewall is broken

Let’s start with the basics. A simple definition for a “firewall” is a “Software/hardware used to prevent unauthorized access from a computer system or network of computer systems.”

Now that we know what a firewall is, how many times have we heard the following statement from the Jim Doyle campaign?

"There is a firewall between the campaign and state government."

We heard this statement on March 27th 2006, when it was discovered that Doyle had accepted almost $45,000 from two out of state consulting companies who had recently received a $6.7 million Wisconsin state contract.

We heard this statement on July 7th, 2006, when it was discovered that Doyle’s assistant Marc Marotta held a meeting at his state office with a Philadelphia attorney that was arranged by the Doyle’s fundraiser, Katie Boyce. The Philadelphia attorney donated $10,000 on the same day.

We heard this statement on March 30th, 2006. On this day, Doyle vetoed a piece of legislation that would have set new standards and restrictions for the rent-to-own industry. Mysteriously, Governor Doyle had received $22,500 from the rent-to-own industry before he had vetoed this bill.

Again, we heard this statement only a couple of days ago, July 29th, 2006. This time Jim Doyle had returned a questionable donation of $10,000 because of the timing the donations were given. Burger Boat and friends had donated before the state contract, they were up for, had been awarded. Shortly after Burger Boat received the state contract worth $1.6 million , the money was again donated to Doyle’s campaign.

I could go on and on with these. In fact, if you type “Governor Doyle firewall” into Google, you will receive over 23,000 hits.

How much longer does Governor Doyle believe the people of Wisconsin will continue to buy this line of his?

Even in the face of this overwhelming evidence, there are still some that believe that there is a firewall. All these folks have to do is take a look at the comments made by those that are donating to the Doyle campaign. One such donor, Dick Day, a contractor from the Kenosha area states in Sunday's Kenosha News-

Day said large political donations have simply become a part of doing business.

“You can cook a good steak for the guy, but that’s not going to get you the new engine plant and the pharmaceutical laboratory,” he said.

Clearly, many folks like Mr. Day, are not even trying to hide the fact that they are doing whatever they can to purchase favors from our governor.

So far, our governor has proven that these types of ploys do work and that governor's office can indeed be purchased by the high dollar donors.

Clearly, the firewall that Jim Doyle says is in place is completely broken. If there is a firewall, certainly, most level headed Wisconsinites cannot see it.

We see hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations go into Doyle’s campaign account, state contracts are then being sent out to those who donated.

We see state contracts go out and Doyle campaign contributions start rolling in.

We even see campaign donations roll in, and important legislation that protects consumers is mysteriously vetoed.

I question whether or not there ever was a firewall. This type of stuff has been going on since Jim Doyle ran for governor in 2002. Wisconsin Indian tribes were pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into Doyle’s campaign. After Doyle was elected, the Indian tribes received very lucrative gaming contracts.

Governor Doyle’s campaign needs to stop stating that there is a “firewall between the campaign and state government”. They have said it so often, that it is no longer believable. Even the most ardent democrat has got to be tired of this statement from the Doyle campaign.

If the Doyle campaign continues to insist on saying this unbelievable statement, perhaps Doyle campaign spokesman Anson Kaye should just make a recording. Every time a reporter calls and questions campaign contributions, Mr. Kaye can just push the “play” button. It sure would save him some time.

In the meantime, Wisconsinites can continue to build a firewall between Doyle and the state capitol building in Madison. This firewall continues to grow.

The truth about Hezbollah

On the day that Kofi Annan and the UN issued this statement, some very shocking pictures came out also.

"The Security Council expresses its extreme shock and distress at the shelling by the Israeli Defense Forces of a residential building in Qana, in southern Lebanon, which has caused the killing of dozens of civilians, mostly children, and injured many others," it said.

The shocking and distressing photos are of Hezbollah fighters in civilian neighborhoods in Beirut. These photos were smuggled out of Beirut.

Any person with any common sense whatsoever, can figure out the Hezbollah is firing at Israel from civilian areas. Israel is defending itself against the rockets that are being fired.

Instead of condemning Hezbollah for being the cowards they are and hiding among civilians, Kofi Annan and the UN blasts Israel.

Kofi Annan and the cowards at the UN, have not one lick of common sense among them.

Here is the story that accompanies this photos-

The images, obtained exclusively by the Sunday Herald Sun, show Hezbollah using high-density residential areas as launch pads for rockets and heavy-calibre weapons.

Dressed in civilian clothing so they can quickly disappear, the militants carrying automatic assault rifles and ride in on trucks mounted with cannon.

The photographs, from the Christian area of Wadi Chahrour in the east of Beirut, were taken by a visiting journalist and smuggled out by a friend.

They emerged as:

US President George Bush called for an international force to be sent to Lebanon.

ISRAEL called up another 30,000 reserve troops.

THE UN's humanitarian chief Jan Egeland called for a three-day truce to evacuate civilians and transport food and water into cut-off areas.

US SECRETARY of State Condoleezza Rice returned to the Middle East to push a UN resolution aimed at ending the 18-day war, and:

A PALESTINIAN militant group said it had kidnapped, killed and burned an Israeli settler in the West Bank.

The images include one of a group of men and youths preparing to fire an anti-aircraft gun metres from an apartment block with sheets hanging out on a balcony to dry.

Others show a militant with AK47 rifle guarding no-go zones after Israeli blitzes.

Another depicts the remnants of a Hezbollah Katyusha rocket in the middle of a residential block blown up in an Israeli air attack.

The Melbourne man who smuggled the shots out of Beirut and did not wish to be named said he was less than 400m from the block when it was obliterated.

"Hezbollah came in to launch their rockets, then within minutes the area was blasted by Israeli jets," he said.

"Until the Hezbollah fighters arrived, it had not been touched by the Israelis. Then it was totally devastated.

"It was carnage. Two innocent people died in that incident, but it was so lucky it was not more."

The release of the images comes as Hezbollah faces criticism for allegedly using innocent civilians as "human shields".

Mr Egeland blasted Hezbollah as "cowards" for operating among civilians.

"When I was in Lebanon, in the Hezbollah heartland, I said Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending in among women and children," he said.

Disclaimer: I have no evidence other than the word of the writers at the Herald Sun that these are real photos. However, this not the first time that we have heard that the terrorists are hiding among civilians. Just last week, an email circulated around by a person from the UN Security forces who was making this same claim. A few days after he sent the email, the person who wrote the email was killed during the attack on the UN outpost.

Senator Kennedy is claiming that he was mislead again

This time, Kennedy is telling America that he was mislead during Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito's confirmation hearings.

Kennedy actually voted against both of these men, so I am not actually sure how he can claim that he was mislead. Kennedy even went so far as to try and filibuster Alito. Many of his fellow senators ignored him.

Kennedy states in his Washington Post article-

But the careful, bipartisan process of years past -- like so many checks and balances rooted in our Constitution -- has been badly broken by the current Bush administration. The result has been the confirmation of two justices, John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr., whose voting record on the court reflects not the neutral, modest judicial philosophy they promised the Judiciary Committee, but an activist's embrace of the administration's political and ideological agenda.

Kennedy is joking about that "bipartisan" comment, right?

If Kennedy can call what he does as "bipartisan", than I am allowed to call myself a beautiful, tall, skinny, blonde supermodel.

Washington Post continued........

Hey, I said that!

It appears that I am not the only one questioning why there have been so many large donations to Jim Doyle from the Kenosha area. The front page of today's Kenosha News is pointing out exactly what I was speaking about on yesterday's blog.

It appears that I am not the only crazy person wondering why it is Kenosha contractors are crawling out of the woodwork to throw tens of thousands of dollars to Jim Doyle's re-election campaign.

Gov. Jim Doyle’s re-election campaign took in nearly $137,000 in contributions of $1,000 or greater from Kenosha County residents during the first half of this year.

His Republican challenger, Mark Green, received just $2,000 from four-figure Kenosha County supporters.

Mid-year campaign finance reports filed earlier this month indicate the bulk of Doyle’s major Kenosha-area contributions were recorded on or around a Feb 2 Kenosha fund-raiser organized by local casino developer Dennis Troha, himself a top Doyle supporter.

The roster of donors reads like a who’s who of local contractors, many of whom Troha acknowledged might have an interest in deriving work from his and the Menominee Nation’s proposed $808 million casino complex at Dairyland Greyhound Park.

Direct gambling interests from other parts of the country also made significant contributions to Doyle that night, reports show.

Officials from the Connecticut-based Mohegan Tribe, which is partnering with the Menominee on the Kenosha project, contributed a combined $6,000, and Alabama-based Dairyland officials wrote out $7,500 in campaign checks.

But Troha and some of the donors who attended the February fund-raiser at the Kenosha Country Club said the spirit of the evening and the donations went beyond the casino project, which the governor has final authority to approve or reject after pending federal review is completed.

“I think they wanted to make sure that the governor was aware,” Troha said of the donors. “That, ‘Governor, please keep Kenosha in mind, whether it’s the casino project or something else.’”

Kenosha teacher Michelle Valeri said she and her husband, owner of a local insurance company, made a joint $10,000 contribution because she approves of Doyle’s policies on education.

Another $10,000 donor, Dick Day, general superintendent for DK Contractors of Pleasant Prairie, said he considers the casino to be a small piece of the pie, in terms of what the governor has the potential to bring to Kenosha. Day cited two initiatives on which the governor has worked in recent months: possible local developments by DaimlerChrysler and Abbott Laboratories.

“So while everybody’s focusing on the casino — I think that while that would be a big asset to the community — there’s many other things that he could bring to the community,” Day said.

Another local contractor who declined to be named also concentrated on Doyle’s work on Chrysler and Abbott more than the possibility of the casino.

“I think he’s been a plus for the Kenosha area,” said the contractor, who also contributed $10,000 at the Feb. 2 event.

Troha said the contractors’ donations would not have an influence on whether they would gain work on the casino project, should it come to fruition.

“Nobody was promised anything and nobody was coerced to do whatever they decided to do,” Troha said. “It was their decision.”

Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, said he believes it is clear that the larger donations made to Doyle by Kenoshans were largely inspired by the pending casino bid.

McCabe added that he feels situations like this can have a corrosive effect on the level of public confidence in politics.

“I think that any time you’re accepting money from people with a clear stake in a government decision — when you’re accepting money from people who have an obvious interest in steering government in a particular direction — there’s an element of conflict of interest that arises.”

Day said large political donations have simply become a part of doing business.

“You can cook a good steak for the guy, but that’s not going to get you the new engine plant and the pharmaceutical laboratory,” he said.

Green campaign manager Mark Graul said the large donations to Doyle raise eyebrows because the governor could find himself in the position of having the sole authority to sign off on the casino, if the federal government approves it.

Doyle has said he will base his decision on the report he receives from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, while Green has said he would approve the project if he finds it to be in the best interests of state taxpayers and Kenosha County residents.

Melanie Fonder, a Doyle campaign spokeswoman, said no donation would influence the governor in any way.

“The governor enjoys broad support in Kenosha, and people support this governor because they believe in his leadership, his tremendous record of accomplishment and his vision for moving Wisconsin forward,” Fonder said.

All told, Doyle’s campaign received $1.62 million from all donors between Jan. 1 and June 30. Green took in $1.68 million during the same period, although Doyle held a more than $2 million advantage in cash on hand at the end of June.

Of the 21 Kenosha County residents who logged $1,000 or greater contributions to Doyle through June 30, nine gave the $10,000 legal maximum individual donation during a four-year campaign cycle. Doyle’s campaign received 32 $10,000 contributions from all donors.

Green’s campaign took in 10 $10,000 contributions through June 30; none were from Kenosha County donors.

While Doyle received 21 contributions of $1,000 or greater from Kenosha County residents, Green received just two. Both were for $1,000, and one was from local businessman Alfred De Simone, who contributed $1,000 each to Green and Doyle.

“They both agreed that they would take care of the university system, and that’s what I want,” explained De Simone, a former member of the UW System Board of Regents. “They both promised me when I gave them the money that they would not hurt the university and hurt the people who cannot afford to go.”

Saturday, July 29, 2006

And yet another story about Doyle's campaign donations

You would think with so many of these coming out, that we were making this stuff up, right?

No such luck for the Doyle team, we are not making this stuff up. It is all true.

Here is another story from the AP-

Firm that won state grant hosted Doyle fundraiser, records show

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Two months after Gov. Jim Doyle handed a yacht-building company a $1.16 million state grant, the company president hosted a fundraiser that netted more than $16,000 in donations to his campaign, records show.

Doyle accepted the donations even though he had returned $10,000 in contributions from the same Burger Boat Co. executives months earlier, citing the company's pending application for the state aid.

The donations Doyle returned were made in November, three days after a Department of Transportation panel recommended Burger Boat for the grant. Doyle, a Democrat running for re-election against U.S. Rep. Mark Green, has said he became aware of the close timing and returned them to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

But Doyle's latest disclosure report shows he turned around six months later and accepted $16,300 from company executives in May, two months after he formally announced the awarding of the grant at the company's Manitowoc headquarters.

Doyle had a $2 million fundraising advantage over Green as of June 30, with $5.17 million in the bank. But he has insisted there's a firewall between the campaign and state government.

David Ross, president of Burger Boat, the 143-year-old maker of luxury yachts, said the latest donations came at a fundraiser he hosted at his home for the governor. He gave $1,300 while his wife Katherine, also a company owner, gave the maximum $10,000 allowed.

Company vice president James Ruffolo gave $5,000 - the amount that was returned to him by Doyle's campaign six months earlier. Other executives from Manitowoc firms gave a total of $3,000 on the same day.

The fundraiser was in no way tied to the grant, Ross said, describing himself as a huge Doyle supporter.

"We want to help him out in his campaign," Ross said. "That's the bottom line and it really doesn't get simpler than that."

Doyle campaign spokesman Anson Kaye said the donations last year were returned "out of an abundance of caution" but that nothing inappropriate had occurred. He said Burger Boat executives approached the campaign after the grant process to again offer their support and the campaign accepted.

"The main thing here is that this is a good Wisconsin business that supports the governor for the work he's done for the state," Kaye said.

Bob Delaporte, spokesman for the state Republican Party, which has repeatedly accused Doyle of rewarding campaign contributors with state business, said Doyle was "tone deaf to the appearance of things."

"It looks like he got a refund," he said. "If the donations were inappropriate at one time, what made them suddenly appropriate?"

A Department of Transportation official has said a five-member advisory committee was not aware of the company's donations to Doyle and enthusiastically endorsed its grant proposal. The grant helped the company build a ramp to launch oversized yachts into the Manitowoc River.

The grant was one of three harbor assistance grants that Doyle announced this spring, with the others going to the city of Superior and the Port of Milwaukee.

Ross and Ruffolo brought Burger Boat out of bankruptcy, reopening the shipyard in February 1993. Doyle has called the company "one of the great success stories in Wisconsin."

Ross said state aid has been critical for an expansion of Burger Boat that has doubled the size of the firm to 400 employees. The company won $2.1 million in state grants and loans in 2003. Executives donated $10,000 to Doyle's campaign that year, too.

The Burger president said the governor has helped the economy in the Manitowoc area rebound from factory closures and mass layoffs.

"We need more people in politics that are like Jim Doyle," he said. "He's going up against a formidable opponent here and I happen to think he's doing a wonderful job and would like to see him re-elected."

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

Things that make you go- Hummmmm.

Someone sent me a link to the Wisconsin Elections Board website. On this site, you can read the reports that candidates have filed about the campaign contributions they have received.

Here is the website, it is very easy to negotiate.

Just for giggles, I thought I would take a look at how many Kenosha County residents have contributed the maximum $10,000 to the Green and Doyle campaigns. I have not looked at the 2005 numbers yet. I have only looked at the numbers from Jan 06 thru June 06.

I was floored when I took a began to look at these numbers. Here is a breakdown of what I found for individual campaign donations for $10,000 for this year only.

-34 individuals have contributed a maximum of $10,000 to Governor Jim Doyle

- of these 34 individuals giving $10,000, 9 of them are Kenosha County residents. 27% of Doyle's $10,000 contributions came from Kenosha County!

- of these 9 individual Kenosha county residents giving, 6 of them builders, contractors, flooring or electricians, totally 66%.

- Mark Green had a total of 10 individuals giving the maximum of $10,000 this year.

- Of these 10 contributors, ZERO are from Kenosha County.

Kinda makes you wonder how many of the Kenosha County residents giving $10,000 are trying to buy themselves a Casino in Kenosha.

I have just now started looking into the campaign contributions from both candidates. As I discover more, I will post more.

Our Senators are playing drinking games??????

I saw this on the Drudge Report. I have not always found the Drudge Report to be the most reliable source. We will see how this pans out.

I am not a drinker, so perhaps this is why I find this story to be so repulsive.

Fri Jul 28 2006 19:19:50 ET

On a congressional trip to Estonia, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton astonished her traveling companions by suggesting the group do what one does in the Baltics: hold a vodka-drinking contest!

Delighted, the leader of the overseas delegation, Sen. John McCain, quickly agreed, the NEW YORK TIMES is planning to report on Saturday.

The after-dinner game went so well -- memories are a bit hazy on who drank how much. McCain later told people how unexpectedly fun he found Hillary to be.

TIMES reporter Anne Kornblut has filed a story on the curious relationship between Hillary and John McCain, newsrooms sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.

"One of the guys," is the way McCain describes her.

NYT editors plan a front page placement of Kornblut's report.

Clinton and McCain have developed an amiable relationship.

They worked together, both on the Senate Armed Services Committee and on the issue of global warming. But as the 2008 presidential campaign begins to take shape, with McCain and Clinton at the top of the polls for their parties' nominations, they are increasingly doing things that underscore their differences.

The problem I have with this is for two reasons in particular.

First, wasn't this trip actually for official United States business? Is it really appropriate for two high profile Senators to be playing drinking games when they have been sent overseas to represent the United States?

The second problem I have will this is- How old are these two Senators? Really, drinking games are what people do in college. Have they not yet grown out of the drinking games?

Finally- an investigation into the leaks

A federal grand jury has been subpoenaed

The New York Times sounds a little nervous and a little defensive in this article.

They should be nervous. Their reporters will be called to the stand.

The investigation that the media demanded into Bush and the leaking of a CIA agent’s name has now backfired. Fitzgerald has now set the precedent that the media can and will be called to testify into who their sources were. If the reporter refuses to give up the name of their source, they will sit in jail.

Clearly classified information was leaked to the media. That is against the law. The question is whether or not they will be able to find the real culprit.

From today's New York Times-

WASHINGTON, July 28 — A federal grand jury has begun investigating the leak of classified information about intelligence programs to the press and has subpoenaed a former National Security Agency employee who claims to have witnessed illegal activity while working at the agency.

The former employee, Russell D. Tice, 44, of Linthicum, Md., said two F.B.I. agents approached on Wednesday and handed him the subpoena, which requires him to testify next Wednesday before a grand jury in Alexandria, Va.

The subpoena, which Mr. Tice made public on Friday, says the investigation covers “possible violation of federal criminal laws involving the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.” It specifically mentions the Espionage Act.

For months, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been looking into disclosures of secret intelligence operations, including The New York Times’s reports in December about the N.S.A.’s domestic surveillance program and The Washington Post’s articles on the Central Intelligence Agency’s overseas jails for terror suspects. But the subpoena is the first public confirmation that a grand jury has begun to hear evidence.

The decision to compel testimony before a grand jury is an indication of the seriousness of the inquiry. The Eastern District of Virginia has often been chosen by the Justice Department for national security cases because the federal court there is generally thought to be favorable to the government.

Leaks about secret counterterrorist programs, and the decision of The Times and other news media outlets to publish information on them, have been roundly denounced by President Bush and other administration officials. Some civil libertarians have defended the leaks as acts of conscience on the part of federal workers trying to stop illegal or unethical government activities.

Mr. Tice said in a telephone interview on Friday that he believed that the leak investigation and subpoena were designed to discourage whistle-blowers. “I feel this is an intimidation tactic aimed at me and anyone who’s considering dropping a dime on criminal activity by the government,” he said.

The American Civil Liberties Union denounced the subpoena as part of an effort to cover up government wrongdoing.

“Courageous federal employees like Mr. Tice who bring hidden truths to light, letting lawmakers and the American people know when official misconduct has occurred, perform a valuable public service,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the A.C.L.U.’s legislative office in Washington.

A Justice Department official, who would discuss the confidential criminal investigation only on condition of anonymity, said that the leak inquiry was in a preliminary investigative phase and that no journalist had been subpoenaed. The official said federal agents had interviewed officials at several intelligence agencies about their contacts with reporters at The Times and other news organizations.

Mr. Tice was dismissed last year from his job as a space systems specialist at the N.S.A., the eavesdropping agency based at Fort Meade, Md., where he worked on top-secret satellite intelligence collection programs. In a 20-year career, he also worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency and in Air Force intelligence.

By his account, his troubles began after he raised questions inside the agency about various N.S.A. activities. Eventually, Mr. Tice said, agency officials questioned his mental health and stripped him of the security clearance he needed for intelligence work.

He said that his mental health was “perfect” and that his dismissal was retaliation for his whistle-blowing. He said he was now doing housing construction work.

Mr. Tice said that he had discussed unclassified information about the security agency with reporters for The Times and other publications but that he had always been careful not to reveal classified information.

He said he had described what he believed to be illegal security agency activities to Congressional staff members who had the necessary security clearances to receive the information. He declined to describe the activities, but he said he believed that they violated the Constitution and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which governs intelligence eavesdropping inside the United States.

Mr. Tice gave the subpoena to the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, which posted it on its Web site at The group was formed last year by Sibel Edmonds, a former F.B.I. translator who lost a court fight challenging her 2002 dismissal after the government invoked the state-secrets privilege, a legal doctrine it is also using to try to block lawsuits involving the security agency’s domestic surveillance program.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Some interesting numbers- blows the theory of "rich" republicans out of the water

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has broken down the donations for Mark Green and Jim Doyle. Here are some interesting numbers-

- Jim Doyle has received 22% of his donations from out of state

- Depending on how you break down the numbers- Mark Green has gotten 4% of out of state donations. If you include the money Mark Green tranferred from his congressional campaign account, Mark Green has received 15% from out of state donations

-Jim Doyle has received 9,183 individual donations

- Mark Green has received 16,149 individual donations

- Mark Green has received 60 donations of $5000 or more, totally 19% of his donations this year.

- Jim Doyle donations of $5000 or more, makes up 44% of his donations this year.(Again, Where are all those "rich" Republicans?)

- The average Mark Green donation is $176 and Jim Doyle's average donation is $440 (Again, Where are all those "rich" Republicans?)

- Jim Doyle has $5.2 million cash on hand

- Mark Green has$3.2 million cash on hand

Just by analyzing these numbers, you can clearly see that the idea that Republicans are a bunch of fat cat rich people and the Democrats stand for the little people- has been completely blown out of the water.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Does everyone understand this? We are at war!

Really folks, it is time to pay close attention. Today, Al Qaeda’s #2 issued another tape.

Al-Zawahri states-

"The war with Israel does not depend on cease-fires ... . It is a jihad (holy war) for the sake of God and will last until (our) religion prevails ... from Spain to Iraq," said al-Zawahri. "We will attack everywhere."

The terrorists are promising us that a cease fire means nothing. They will never quit. They will never give up.

Many years ago, when Bin Laden declared war against America, we ignored him. It cost us big time on 9/11.

Now we are being warned again. The terrorists are promising us that they will keep fighting. They are not interested in negotiating. They don't care about a declared cease fire. The will ignore a cease fire agreement. They want to kill us.

We are at war against terrorists. It is good versus evil. It is us versus them. We have already learned that ignoring the terrorists is a very stupid move.

Hopefully those calling for a cease fire, will finally wake up and realize that we are at war. The only way this war ends is when someone wins and someone loses. I want to win!

As I read the words of this terrorist today, all I could think of was- Thank goodness George W. Bush is President and thank God for all of the wonderful men and women who have volunteered to fight and defend our country.

I will support a cease fire when the last terrorist is dead or incarcerated.

Now this is real shocker- Milwaukee board approves another tax hike

Of course the liberals want a tax hike. That is just who they are.

The question is- How long before Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker vetoes it? Do you think he will veto it tomorrow or wait until next Monday?

The story-

After failing to muster a two-thirds majority earlier today for a referendum on a 0.25% sales tax for parks, the Milwaukee County Board has narrowly approved a November advisory referendum on a proposed 0.5% sales tax.

The 10-9 vote sends the measure to County Executive Scott Walker, who has promised a veto as he did in the case of the 0.25% referendum measure.

The passage of the referendum on a 0.5% sales tax followed a rare appeal by County Board Chairman Lee Holloway from the floor of the County Board room.

Supporters said a 0.5% tax - which would need state legislation and formal approval by county elected officials - would raise $60 million a year. The resolution stated that $30 million would supplant the current county property tax levy for parks, recreation and culture. The other $30 million would be used for additional operating needs and deferred maintenance of parks and cultural facilities that receive county aid.

They said it would ease the funding cuts in parks and help restore them, while reducing reliance on property taxes.
Walker immediately issued a statement declaring it "totally irresponsible" to "push for a $60 million tax increase at a time when people and jobs are leaving the area."

Opponents of the referendum said it was false to tell voters that property tax relief would be guaranteed by a new sales tax.

In favor of the referendum in addition to Holloway: Supervisors Gerry Broderick, Elizabeth Coggs-Jones, Marina Dimitrijevic, Willie Johnson Jr., Michael Mayo Sr., Richard Nyklewicz Jr., John Weishan Jr., Peggy West and James White.

Opposed: Mark Borkowski, Paul Cesarz, Toni Clark, Lynne DeBruin, Dan Devine, Ryan McCue, Roger Quindel, Joseph Rice, James Schmitt.

Earlier, the board fell one vote short of approving a move to ask voters their opinion of a proposed 0.25% sales tax to bolster funding for parks, recreation and culture.

The vote was 12-7 to override Walker's veto of that referendum measure. The .25% question would have been put to voters in September.

Supporters of the .25% referendum picked up two votes, Supervisors Quindel and Weishan, from the original 10-9 vote in favor of the ballot measure. But a two-thirds majority, 13 votes, was needed today in order to override Walker.

Voting to override: Broderick, Clark, Coggs-Jones, Dimitrijevic, Johnson, Mayo, McCue, Nyklewicz, Quindel, Weishan, West and Holloway.

Voting to sustain Walker's veto: Borkowski, Cesarz, DeBruin, Devine, Rice, Schmitt and White.

The Spice Boys are not buying it, neither am I

The Democratic Party in Wisconsin is once again attacking Congressman Mark Green for missing votes in the House.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, one of their own, Congresswoman Gwen Moore also missed as many votes as Mark Green.

Here is the story-

Everybody knows that you shouldn't throw stones if you live in a glass house.

Everybody, that is, but the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

This week, the party issued yet another press release blasting GOP gubernatorial candidate Mark Green for missing a few congressional votes. "Part-Time Congressman Mark Green Again Misses Key Votes in Congress While Campaigning in Wisconsin" screamed the latest in seven attacks on Green over this issue. The release notes that Green has been AWOL for 37 votes during the current session, which started in January 2005.

"Wisconsin families don't have the luxury of picking and choosing when they go in to work, but apparently Mark Green thinks he can skip out on his job whenever it suits him best," an indignant Democratic Party Chairman Joe Wineke said in a July 18 release on the same subject.

Not a bad shot, but you've just gotta wonder how self-righteous the Dems would have been had they taken a minute or two to check the attendance records of their own congressmen.

Just click on the Washington Post's Web site, and you'll find a voting scorecard ( showing that Green has plenty of Democratic company.

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, a freshman from Milwaukee, also missed 37 votes, tying Green for the most by a Wisconsin congressman. The pair were followed by La Crosse Democrat Ron Kind, who skipped 35 votes. Nipping at Kind's heels was Democrat DaveObey, from Eau Claire, who wasn't around when his congressional colleagues cast 34 votes.

Overall, no one in Wisconsin's delegation is near the head of the pack for being MIA. By comparison, a number of members of the House and Senate have missed more than 100 votes during this session.

Green's campaign manager Mark Graul brushed off the repeated attacks on his boss, arguing Green has missed only 3.4% of the votes - better than his colleagues who are running for governor. Besides, he noted, the Democrats couldn't claim bragging rights on this one.

"I'm assuming," Graul said, "(the state Democratic Party) will be putting out a press release about Gwen Moore and Ron Kind's part-time status."

Wineke defended his team's repeated sniping. Green opened up the door, he said, when the Green Bay representative made the following holier-than-thou statement to The Hill, a Capitol newsletter, last year when asked in a puff piece about things he can't tolerate:

"People who don't work flat out at this job. It is an extraordinary privilege to work here every day. I have no tolerance for that."

No matter what we asked, Wineke responded by reading this quote to us, something he did at least a half-dozen times.

For instance, isn't it hypocritical for the party to attack Green when one of its own was just as delinquent?

"Absolutely not," Wineke said, followed by the quote.

When we called Graul on Wednesday, he was already familiar with the voting records of everyone in the delegation. So why did he sit back while the Democrats were peppering his guy almost weekly on this issue?

Graul answered dismissively:

"If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, did it make a sound?"

288 lbs of Jellybeans?

Congratulations to Indiana resident, Mike Lively, who won his weight in Jelly Belly jellybeans! He was the 1 millionth visitor to tour the Jelly Belly distribution center in Kenosha. That would be 288 lbs of jellybeans.

At 4.99 a pound, that would be $1437.12!

His children must be awful excited. They may be bouncing off the walls, in a sugar buzz, for the next couple of years!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Kenosha GOP Picnic Bonus Plan!

The Kenosha County GOP Picnic has now added a couple of bonus incentives:

Not only will we be pontooning around lovely Silver Lake, but check out the extra incentives that have been added.

Congressman Paul Ryan will be joining us. Get there early- he is not staying all afternoon!

During to the very hot weather- the Silver Lake Marina has invited us into the air conditioned Marina if things get overheated!

We will be joined by additional candidates:

Jean Hundertmark for Lt. Governor
Jeff Kehl for Kenosha County Treasurer
Brenda Maurer Witthun for Clerk of Courts
JB Van Hollen for Attorney General

Bring your own swimming suit, sunscreen, a side dish to pass and join the Republican Party of Kenosha County at this year's GOP picnic.

We will provide the hot dogs, hamburgers, fixings and soda.

Here are the details- click on the photo to enlarge

Super Unhinged?

I have been reading Michelle Malkin's new book, Unhinged. I can only get thru a few pages at a time, before getting really upset reading all of the garbage that is done and said by today's American left wingers.

In the meantime, Michelle Malkin appears to be collecting new material from the unhinged left. Perhaps Michelle's next book can be called "Super Duper Unhinged". Check it out.

You're walking down the street when you spot an anti-war protester wielding a peace sign on the corner. Quick, what do you do? Duck!
As we battle global jihad, perplexed and apoplectic pacifists are showing their true colors. Rainbow tie-dye has turned to raging-bull red.
Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams displayed what the Australian media called "her feisty Irish spirit" to hundreds of schoolchildren this week in a murder-minded diatribe against President Bush. "I have a very hard time with this word 'non-violence,' because I don't believe that I am non-violent," confessed Williams. On the plus side, the rest of the sane world will no longer make the mistake of believing that Peace Prize-winner Williams is non-violent, either (though the Nobel committee took the peace out of Peace Prize when it handed one to suicide bomber manufacturer Yasser Arafat in 1994).
While the kids cheered, Williams, the world-renowned pacifist, fumed: "Right now, I would love to kill George Bush." In America, we don't call this irrational hatred "feisty Irish spirit." We call it "unhinged." Or, as Charles Krauthammer first diagnosed it, Bush Derangement Syndrome.
Williams would no doubt endorse the disgusting comments left on an America Online message board for Sgt. Leonid Milkin, whose wife, two sons and sister-in-law were murdered in Kirkland, Wash., last week while he was serving in Iraq. Human Events Online writer Lisa De Pasquale documented the comments of anti-military Bush-haters:
"Too bad the paid assasin [sic] wasn't home also . . . Got what he deserved for serving an illegal government in an illegal war."
"Maybe he signed up for the wrong profession because who in their right mind would want to be a army man? He should have studied harder in school and found a real job instead of joining the army. Lmao, be all u can be? Don't patronize me ! People who join the army either have no education or come from small towns.. He should blame himself for his family dying due to his lack of education."
Then there's Dan Frazier, an anti-war huckster in Arizona selling T-shirts with the names of fallen soldiers, including Marine Cpl. Scott Michael Vincent, who was killed by a suicide bomber two years ago. The peace-loving Frazier demonstrated his "feisty" pacifist "spirit" by ignoring Vincent's mother's pleas to remove her son's name.
Want another dose? Earlier this month, a New Zealand peace activist and former Green Party candidate who served as a "human shield" for Saddam Hussein in 2003 was charged with assaulting a teen-age rock singer in London. Peace-loving Christiaan Briggs reportedly harassed the boy's girlfriend and then knocked the boy to the ground. Briggs ran off laughing before turning himself in to police. The victim had to have part of his skull removed and only days ago awoke from a coma.
Announcing his decision to take a stand for peace three years ago, Briggs preached: "'You must be the change you wish to see in the world.' But here in lies the twist. The change I wish to see is not simply that of countless Iraqi lives spared, but that of possibly inspiring just a small group of people I know; my family, friends, and community, illustrating to them an unbelievably important and simple lesson I learnt recently: Wanna be happy? Just centre your life around making others happy."
By sending them into unconsciousness. Saddam would approve.
Meanwhile, at a peace rally in Boston convened by the Muslim American Society, a Jewish man who attended with a video camera was threatened verbally and physically by hostile demonstrators. Seva Brodsky was accosted by pro-Hezbollah thugs who grabbed him, cursed at him and attempted to prevent him from filming the terrorist sympathizers. It was caught on tape and posted at the blog this weekend. A rally marshal apathetically told Brodsky: "We cannot guarantee your safety."
If the "peace" activists gone wild had an iota of the same anger, contempt and callousness toward the jihadists as they do toward us, we'd be a lot closer to achieving the peace they love to preach.

Dennis York: "Doyle:Stem Cells Hold Promise for Curing Dying Campaign"

Wow, Dennis York hits another one out of the ballpark. Check out his blog titled "Doyle: Stem Cells Hold Promise for Curing Dying Campaign"

Here is a snip-

Madison (AP) - Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle announced a stunning scientific breakthrough that allows embryonic stem cells to be used to revive an ailing campaign. "We here in Wisconsin have pioneered a procedure that gives life to the most frail and vulnerable political campaigns," said Doyle, whose administration has been swamped by criminal ethical problems.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

How the UN legitimizes terrorists

Someone had to say it, and Alan Dershowitz finally did in today's Chicago Tribune-

If anyone wonders why the UN has rendered itself worse than irrelevant in the Arab-Israeli conflict, all he or she need do is read UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's July 20 statement. Annan goes to great pains to suggest equal fault and moral equivalence between the rockets of Hezbollah and Hamas that specifically target innocent civilians and the self-defense efforts by Israel, which tries desperately, though not always successfully, to avoid causing civilian casualties. In his statement, Annan never condemns, or even mentions, terrorism, which is a root cause and precipitator of the conflict.

Even Annan was forced to acknowledge that "Hezbollah's provocative attack on July 12 was the trigger of this particular crisis"; that Hezbollah is "deliberate[ly] targeting ... Israeli population centers with hundreds of indiscriminate weapons"; and that Israel has the "right to defend itself under Article 51 of the UN charter." But he doesn't stop there. He goes out of his way to insist on equating Hezbollah's terrorists with Israeli military response, which he labels "disproportionate" and "collective punishment." He condemns both Hezbollah and Israel. He also criticizes Israel for its efforts at preventing Qassam rocket attacks against its civilian populations, noting that the Hamas rockets have produced no "casualties in the past month." (This, of course, is not for lack of trying.) He ignores Hamas' long history of terrorism against innocent civilians.

Annan then calls for an "immediate cessation of indiscriminate and disproportionate violence" on both sides, again suggesting a moral equivalence. Among the most immoral positions anyone can take is to suggest a moral equivalence between morally different actions.

Part of the goal of organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas is to gain moral legitimacy for their terrorist tactics by having them equated with the conventional military tactics used by democratic regimes. Only the morally obtuse--or perverse--cannot recognize the difference between a terrorist group that targets civilian population centers with anti-personnel weapons designed to maximize civilian casualties and a democracy that seeks to prevent terrorism by employing smart bombs designed to minimize civilian casualties.

Annan knows better than to suggest a moral equivalence. He is fully aware of the tactic employed by terrorists of launching their rockets from, and hiding behind, civilian shields, so as to make democracies have to kill some civilians to get at the terrorists.

But Annan heads an organization that is so anti-Israel that as the late Abba Eban, the early Israeli ambassador to the UN, once put it: "If Algeria proposed a resolution that the Earth was flat and that Israel has flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 120 to 3, with 27 abstentions."

Many such resolutions have been passed by the General Assembly, including the notorious one equating the Jewish national liberation movement with "racism." Other one-sided resolutions have been passed by the General Assembly legitimating terrorism. Only the U.S. veto--which does not operate in the UN General Assembly--has prevented one-sided resolutions by the Security Council.

If a space alien from a distant planet were to land at the UN, he would come away with the impression that Israel is not only the sole offender in the Middle East, but the worst offender in the entire world. He would single out Israel for condemnation and exclude it from membership on many UN bodies, on which Syria, Lebanon and Iran serve in positions of honor.

Annan himself has a long history of one-sided condemnations of Israel. In March 2004, Annan "strongly condemned" Israel's targeted killing of Sheik Ahmad Yassin, the terrorist leader of Hamas, without condemning Yassin for his murderous actions or his organization for the murder of Jewish civilians. In December 2003, Annan "strongly condemned" Israel's assault on a Palestinian refugee camp where two gunmen were thought to be hiding. And in 2005, he issued the most tepid of statements--expressing "dismay"--at threats by Iran's president to "eliminate" Israel, a member nation of the UN. The list goes on and on.

And even worse than the one-sided condemnations that ignore Hezbollah and Hamas are the numerous statements that perversely suggest moral equivalence.

The UN peacekeepers on the Lebanese border have turned out to be collaborators with Hezbollah, videotaping the Hezbollah kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers in 2000 and then refusing to release the video--which could have helped in the rescue--on the grounds that it might compromise their "neutrality."

This is a real test for the UN. If it cannot--or will not--distinguish between terrorists who target civilians and a democracy that seeks to stop the terrorism while minimizing civilian casualties, it has become part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.


Alan M. Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard and the author of "Pre-emption: A Knife that Cuts Both Ways."

Israel caught Hezbollah by surprise

Apparently Hezbollah is surprised by Israel's reaction to the killing and kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. They were expecting Germany to step in and help them negotiate for the release of 3 Lebanese prisoners.

Apparently this latest attack by Hezbollah was the last straw for Israel.

The AP article

BEIRUT (AP) — A senior Hezbollah official said Tuesday the guerrilla group did not expect Israel to react so strongly to its capture of two Israeli soldiers.

Mahmoud Komati, deputy chief of Hezbollah's political arm, also told The Associated Press in an interview that his group will not lay down arms.

"The truth is — let me say this clearly — we didn't even expect (this) response.... that (Israel) would exploit this operation for this big war against us," said Komati.

He said Hezbollah had expected "the usual, limited response" from Israel to the July 12 cross-border raid, in which three Israelis were killed.

In the past, he said, Israeli responses to Hezbollah actions included sending commandos into Lebanon to seize Hezbollah officials or briefly targeting specific Hezbollah strongholds.

He said the Shiite group had anticipated there would be negotiations on exchanging the Israeli soldiers for three Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails, with Germany acting as a mediator as it did before.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Cheap Shot Politics

It seems that the cheap shot political virus has struck again. At stake this time, is the $182,000 of Mark Green’s campaign money.

Mike McCabe from Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has demanded that the State Elections board look into PAC money that Mark Green transferred from his federal campaign account to his state campaign account. Mike McCabe is stating that Mark Green’s campaign accepted more than $182,000 extra PAC donations that is no longer allowed by law.

Here is what really happened.

In January of 2005, the Mark Green campaign transferred $1.3 million worth of his federal campaign funds to his state gubernatorial campaign. The $1.3 million included $500,000 worth of PAC money.

Following this transfer, the State Elections board passed some new rules stating that federal campaign money could be transferred as long as the state campaign rules were followed. One of these new rules was that campaigns could only use $485,000 worth of PAC funds. A legislative committee suspended the rule immediately.

At the time the Green campaign transferred the money, they were following the letter of the law. Every dime that was transferred was perfectly legal, including the PAC funds. All of this took place in January of 2005.

Here we are a year and half later, and the legislative session ended July 12th, 2006. With the ending of the legislative session, Mike McCabe is now stating that the rule that was originally suspended by the legislature now goes back into effect. That rule states that candidates are only allowed to accept $485,000 worth of PAC money. The Green Campaign not only transferred $500,000 worth of PAC money from his federal campaign fund, but he has been raising more since then.

If you believe Mr. McCabe’s accusation, that would mean the transaction that took place a year and a half ago, is now subject to a rule that went into affect a couple of weeks ago. This would force the Green campaign to get rid of $182,000 worth of PAC money.

This is ridiculous on so many levels.

Imagine if you were driving down the interstate going the posted speed limit of 65 MPH and one of the interstate cameras clocked you going the speed limit. Tomorrow, someone passes a law stating that 55 MPH is the new speed limit. The state police then decided to go back to take a look at the cameras and each and every person going 65 MPH the previous day are now in violation of the new law and were sent a speeding ticket.

Imagine the outrage!

As I stated previously, this is ridiculous on so many levels.

Have state election laws now become a moving target?

By the looks of this scorecard- the election laws are a moving target.

The Green campaign transfers the PAC funds- Green is following the law

The State elections board passes a new rule- Green is breaking the law

The legislature suspends the new rule- Green is following the law

The legislative session ends- Green is now breaking the law again

All of this has taken place on one single transaction from January of 2005. Clearly there are alot of open ended questions when it comes to this rule.

This accusation by Mike McCabe, from Wisconsin Democracy Campaign was nothing but a political cheap shot. McCabe saw an opportunity to take a cheap shot and he took it.

The good news is that the AP did not seem to be buying into this one. From the AP article- “Ron Sklansky, a lawyer for the Legislature, said it's unclear if that's true. He predicted any attempt to enforce the rule by the board could end up in litigation.”

Ron Sklansky is right, it would end up in court and it is a pretty safe bet that any decent judge would toss this one out!

If Mike McCabe is truly interested in eliminating special interest money from politics, perhaps he should take a look at WEAC and the Indian tribes with their millions of dollars for Doyle.

H/T Jenna @ Right off the Shore

Disarm Hezbollah

There is only one option left for peace in the middle east- destroy the terrorists.

There is no more land to give away to appease the terrorists. The terrorists have the land they demanded. Economic sanctions did not work. The terrorists have been given money, land, and everything else they have demanded. Still there is no peace.

There is only one thing that the terrorists want. They want to destroy Israel.

As we can see from the article below- the end game is Israel vs. The Terrorists.

America need to decide who's side they are on. Will we support Israel in their fight against terrorists? We will ignore the terrorists and let them destroy Israel?

Israel is making it very clear that they will fight the terrorists- will America stand with them?

This article was written by the former Prime Minister of Israel-BENJAMIN NETANYAHU

Some 44 years ago, when Soviet missiles in neighboring Cuba threatened American cities, John F. Kennedy set one goal and ultimately prevailed in achieving it: Remove the missiles. Today, when Israel's cities are pummeled by Hezbollah missiles launched from neighboring Lebanon, our goal should be the same: Remove the missiles. Or destroy them.

It is not enough to push Hezbollah 30 kilometers north of the border. Hezbollah rockets have a range of up to 200 kilometers, and could easily be fired from Beirut. Nor is it enough to achieve a cease fire. With its missile arsenal intact, Hezbollah could re-emerge triumphant a year or two from now and again menace Israel's population.

The objective of the military campaign currently being waged on Israel's northern border, as well as any diplomatic effort to bring that campaign to an end, must therefore be to disarm Hezbollah, first and foremost from its missile arsenal. A failure to do so would be a great victory for that terror organization and for its sponsors in Tehran and facilitators in Damascus. It would enable Hezbollah to rebuild its lethal capacity for waging war, continue to threaten the people of Israel and hold hostage the people of Lebanon, and sow the seeds for an even greater conflict in the future. In contrast, disarming Hezbollah would help restore Israel's deterrence and security, give hope to a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future for Lebanon, and deal a heavy blow to the forces of international terrorism.

Since Israel's unilateral withdrawal in 2000 to an internationally recognized border, Hezbollah has established in Lebanon a terror state-within-a-state, and, working on behalf of Iran and Syria, it has sought to undermine the emergence of a free and democratic Lebanon. In crossing an international border, murdering and kidnapping Israeli soldiers and firing rockets at Israeli cities, Hezbollah has also committed blatant acts of war. Like any nation exercising its right of self-defense, Israel is responding not only to the specific incidents that occurred but is also working to eliminate the threat posed by this clear and present danger.

In direct violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559--which specifically calls for the disarming of all militias in Lebanon--Hezbollah has used its de facto territorial control over southern Lebanon to amass a deadly arsenal of over 12,000 rockets. Some of these missiles are Iranian-made and bring over one-half of Israel's population within range of the terrorist proxies of a fanatic Iranian regime that denies the Holocaust and is planning a new one with its promise to "wipe Israel off the map."

Imagine what the U.S. would do if, on its northern border, a terror state-within-a-state pledged to its destruction was established from which flurries of missiles were fired at Chicago, its third-largest city. With that in mind, to suggest, as some have, that Israel is not acting with restraint is preposterous. Unlike Hezbollah, which is indiscriminately launching hundreds of missiles at Israeli cities and towns to kill as many civilians as possible, Israel is using only a fraction of its firepower and is in fact acting with great care to minimize harm to civilians. But because Hezbollah not only targets civilians but also uses them as human shields by hiding its missile launchers in population centers, Hezbollah has deliberately placed innocent Lebanese civilians in harm's way.

At stake in the current operation is not only Israel's security, Lebanon's democratic future, and stability in the region, but a central principle in the war on terror. Soon after Sept. 11, President Bush made clear that America would no longer make a distinction between the terrorists and the regimes that harbor them. This policy is essential because international terrorism cannot survive without the support of sovereign states.

In order for the global terror network to be dismantled, its support by sovereign states must end--whether that supports comes in the form of actively perpetrating terror attacks (as in the case of Iran and the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority), providing safe havens for terror groups (as in the case of Syria) or not acting against terror groups within their borders (as is the case in Lebanon). A world in which the international community does not hold states accountable for the terrorism that emanates from within their borders is a world in which the war on terror cannot be won.

That is why any cease-fire or diplomatic effort that does not have as its objective the disarming of Hezbollah will only strengthen the forces of terror. And that is also why the world should fully support Israel in disarming Hezbollah--for Israel's sake, for Lebanon's sake and for the sake of our common future.

Mr. Netanyahu is a former prime minister of Israel and the current opposition leader.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Unions serve the Teachers, fail the students

We have all known for years that teacher's unions represent teachers and not students. No Child Left Behind has forced accountability, which many union reps do not like. NCLB expires next year and the NEA is already doing everything they can to destroy this legislation.

The question is- Will we let the NEA destroy NCLB and eliminate accountibility to our students?

Rueben Navarrette from the San Diego Union Trib, has a great opinion piece out today about this very subject.

Check it out.

After five years of trying to undermine the No Child Left Behind Act, the nation's largest teachers union has decided that it can live with the education reform law after all – as long as the legislation is gutted, its standards lowered and its accountability measures watered down.

Great. So we're making progress.

This month at its annual conference, the National Education Association voted to launch a nationwide campaign to lobby Congress to radically change NCLB when the law comes up for reauthorization next year. The goal behind the changes seems to be to wrest power away from government and put it back where the union thinks it belongs – with educators and those who represent them.

Call me cynical, but I never thought for a minute that the NEA was really concerned about, well, education. I never believed the organization was eager to find new ways to empower students or to hold schools accountable for the educational products they turn out.

I always assumed that the NEA was focused primarily on what any union tends to focus on: the interests of its members. And since the education establishment has been trained to believe that it is not in the interests of teachers to demand more from them or tie them to the performance of their students, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that groups such as the NEA have reacted with hostility to No Child Left Behind.

That's exactly what's been happening since 2001, when the law – perhaps the most significant domestic policy achievements of the Bush administration – took effect.

According to a recent report by Education Sector, a Washington-based think tank, the NEA has given more than $8 million to various education, civil rights and public policy groups that opposed or criticized No Child Left Behind. Lead researcher Joe Williams says that what the union did wasn't illegal, but it is clear that it “actively pursued partnerships” with groups intent on fighting NCLB. And questions remain about whether the funding that was given to some of these groups influenced the research some of these groups produced – research that was, to no one's surprise, critical of the education reform law.

Not that the law doesn't have its critics. When I hear from teachers, or even school board members – some of whom have accepted campaign contributions from the NEA and other teachers unions – I get an earful about how NCLB is single-handedly destroying the public education system due to its emphasis on testing, its punishing of under-performing schools and its one-size-fits-all approach.

And yet, knowing all that, it's still frightening to get a peek behind the curtain at the specifics of what the NEA, if it had its druthers, would do to make NCLB more palatable to its members – or at least, some of them, as the more hard-line members won't be satisfied unless the law is repealed.

Convinced there is too much emphasis on regular testing, and that low-performing schools are being unfairly punished when students come up short, the union would prefer a broader-based accountability system that relies on “multiple measures of success.” Whatever that means.

The union is also queasy about the requirement in No Child Left Behind that schools test students in math and reading and then report scores according to race, disability, English proficiency and economic background. The NEA instead wants benchmarks that take into account students' differing abilities and demographics. It seems that many educators are less than confident in the job they've done when it comes to teaching minorities, those with limited English proficiency and the economically disadvantaged, and they're not eager to broadcast their failures.

It's outrageous. If these people get their way, the practical effect would be a lower bar for students of certain racial, ethnic or economic backgrounds – and by extension, those who teach them. And they would do all this not for the good of students but for the professional welfare of those who are supposed to be teaching them and who have, for too long, been coming up short.

And why does the nation's largest teachers union want to make all these changes in No Child Left Behind? It's so the truth does not come out about whom the public schools serve and whom they sacrifice.

Give war a chance

Michael Goodwin writes a great opinion piece in today's New York Daily News. It is entitled "Give war a chance".

Check it out.

Here is a snippet-

"Stop the violence" is the natural human response to these grisly images. It's how most of us feel and it's how United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan reacted, saying forcefully, "hostilities must stop." Thank God for that, for if it were easy to accept such suffering, all mankind would be doomed. It's the job of the UN to make sure that never happens.

Yet now is not the time to stop this brutal war. Human nature notwithstanding, peace is not always the best answer. Not when wrongs have to be righted. Sometimes, deadly force is the righteous option.

Like a schoolyard bully who deserves a thorough butt-kicking, Hezbollah needs to be taught a lesson. It can either learn to live in peace, or it can die. But it cannot win by playing the terror card and it cannot be allowed to think it's going to.


Iranian President tells Israel to move.

If anyone still doubts Iran's support of Hezbollah, the Iranian President's new statement should dispell those doubts-

The Daily Star

TEHRAN, July 23, 2006 (AFP) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Sunday told arch-foe Israel to "pack up" and move somewhere outside the Middle East, the state news agency IRNA reported.

"I advise them to pack up and move out of the region before being caught in the fire they have started in Lebanon," said Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly called for the Jewish state to be relocated elsewhere on the planet.

Iran refuses to recognise Israel and opposes any two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ahmadinejad has in the past called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" or relocated as far away as Alaska.

Israel launched its offensive in Lebanon on July 12 after Shiite Hezbollah militiamen captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight others in attacks on the Israel-Lebanon border.

The Jewish state is also continuing with its attacks on the Gaza Strip, with the aim of retrieving a soldier snatched by Palestinian militants and stopping rocket fire.

"Zionists have launched their own destruction by attacking Lebanon," Ahmadinejad added, while accusing Britain and the United States of being "accomplices in this regime's crimes".

Iran, like Syria, has been accused of financing and arming Hezbollah but has always maintained it only gives "moral" support.

On Saturday, Ahmadinejad lobbied Muslims to be more active in seeking an end to Israel's continuing assault on Gaza and Lebanon.

In a show of support, scores of young Iranian boys and girls staged a support demonstration opposite the Lebanese embassy in Tehran carrying Lebanese flag and pictures of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Okay, so who here actually believes that Iran is only lending "moral" support to the terrorist group Hezbollah?