GOP Senators: Stand Athwart History

There is unfortunately no doubt that Judge Sonya Sotomayor will be confirmed as an Associate Justice to our nation?s highest court. As National Review?s Jim Geraghty pointed out, ?when a still relatively popular president nominates a judge with 17 years? experience to be the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, and his party holds 60 seats in the Senate, the final result is not hard to predict.? The Senate Democrats are infatuated with her, as I watched the hearings on CSPAN; almost every democratic senator prefaced their comments by stating their adoration for Judge Sotomayor. They all applauded her academic achievements, ?graduated summa cum laude from Princeton,? and hailed her as the embodiment of the ?American Dream.? This is all true, and she deserves credit for her scholarship, successful legal career, and her ability to have risen out of the working class as a ?novus homo,? but as nationally syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer simply noted in his May 29 column:

?Sonia Sotomayor has a classic American story. So does Frank Ricci.?

Ricci is of the course, the dyslexic New Haven Firefighter who ?spent $1,000 on books, quit his second job so he could study eight to 13 hours a day, and, because of his dyslexia, hired someone to read him the material.? He was then denied his promotion to lieutenant because none of the African-American firefighters who passed the exam had scored high enough to be considered for the positions. The City of New Haven feared a lawsuit over the test?s disparate impact on a protected minority and therefore invalidated the examination scores. Judge Sotomayor?s decision to uphold the lower court?s decision in Ricci v. DeStefano, clearly shows, despite her very weak attempts to dismiss the accusation at her confirmation hearings, that she is a strong believer in identity politics, ?which assigns free citizens to ethnic and racial groups possessing a hierarchy of wisdom and entitled to a hierarchy of claims upon society.?

During the hearings, her efforts to hide the real Sotomayor were blatantly transparent. Her comments do not reflect her record. She defended her racially hierarchical statements by replying; ?I also, as I explained, was using a rhetorical flourish that fell flat.? In later questioning she told Senator Kyl that ?it was a bad idea.? However, if it was it a bad idea, and a ?flourish that fell flat,? why did she repeat her comments six separate times rather than try and recant them after she first issued the comment? The answer is she has a clear credibility gap.

Sotomayor also repeatedly stated that her role as judge is to merely ?interpret the law,? and that ?we don?t make policy choices in the court,? despite that in a 2005 appearance at Duke University she stated that the ?Court of Appeals is where policy is made.?

Liberal Georgetown law professor Mike Seidman wrote that he was ?completely disgusted by Judge Sotomayor’s testimony.? He furthered his disapproval by saying ?if she was not perjuring herself, she is intellectually unqualified to be on the Supreme Court. If she was perjuring herself, she is morally unqualified.?

Unfortunately, at least three Republican Senators ? Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, Mel Martinez of Florida, and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine (not surprisingly ), said they intended to vote for her after the confirmation hearings this past week. While assuredly Sotomayor will be confirmed, the Republican Senators need to be unified in dissent. This will show the American people that elections have consequences.
As Krauthammer wrote,

?Vote Democratic and you get mainstream liberalism: A judicially mandated racial spoils system and a jurisprudence of empathy that hinges on which litigant is less advantaged.”

Just as the House Republicans united in opposition against the stimulus bill in January, the Sotomayor confirmation vote presents another opportunity for them to stand behind principle, conservatives don?t vote to confirm judicial activists. The Senate Republicans need to vote a collective ?no,? and to borrow a line from William F. Buckley, Jr., stand ?athwart history yelling stop.?

-sam

More Conservative than Scalia?

NPR?s Nina Totenberg apparently needs to brush up on her knowledge of judicial philosophy and American jurisprudence. On the July 13 edition of ?Charlie Rose,? Totenberg told Rose that Supreme Court nominee Sonya Sotomayor has ?a pretty conservative record.? There are many words and phrases that could be used to accurately describe Sotamayor: intelligent, successful, to name a few. But conservative?

Totenberg went on to tell Rose that Sotomayor?s record is ?very much in the mainstream,? and that ?you could say that she’s more conservative than some members of the Supreme Court, including Justice Scalia, perhaps.? Judge Sotomayor?s decision to uphold the New Haven firefighter case, Ricci v. DeStefano, which was overruled by the High Court this May, and whose majority included all four of the ?conservative? justices, clearly illustrates that Sotomayor is in no way, shape, or form a conservative.

During the 2005 confirmation hearings for Chief Justice John Roberts, Totenberg made it a point on multiple occasions to remind everyone that he was a ?very, very, conservative man,? in order to paint him as a right-wing enthusiast whose judicial philosophy was out of the mainstream.

People who know him know that John Roberts is a really conservative guy….Don?t forget his wife was an officer, a high officer of a pro-life organization. He?s got adopted children. I mean, he?s a conservative Catholic….a hardline conservative.

Now in a very weak attempt to assure people that Sotomayor is in the mainstream realm of legal thinking and not a far-left judicial activist, Totenberg labels the Obama nominee ?more conservative than Justice Scalia.? Interesting how a Democratic president and a liberal nominee can make Totenberg sing a different tune.

The Communist Past of the ‘Green Jobs’ Czar

The following was originally published by and is the sole property of NewsBusters.org and the Media Research Center.

The administration?s ?Green Jobs? czar, Van Jones, has a ?very checkered past? deep-rooted in radical politics, including black nationalism, anarchism, and communism. The broadcast network newscasts have mostly failed to report on Mr. Jones?s past political affiliations which are lock-step with the network?s downplay of coverage regarding President Obama?s associations with the former radical and terrorist William Ayers during the election.

At 6:47 a.m. EDT on the July 10 edition of ?Fox and Friends,? Americans for Prosperity Policy Director Phil Kerpen, told interviewer Brian Kilmeade that Jones is ?somebody who was involved in radical politics in San Francisco, ?who was self-admittedly ?radicalized in jail? and found ?Communism and anarchism.? Kerpen compares Van Jones?s Communist past with his new quest for environmentalism and the creation of green jobs:

I think it?s pretty instructive what his past is…it?s the same sort of philosophy, the idea that government ought to be reordering society in accordance with some utopian vision that failed with communism and socialism, and will fail with this green jobs idea.

In an April 12, 2009 World Net Daily article titled ?Will a ?red? help blacks go green??Aaron Klein reports that Jones himself stated in a 2005 interview his environmental activism was a means to fight for racial and class ?justice,? and that he was a ?rowdy black nationalist,? and a ?communist.?

Because the administration?s ?czars? do not go through congressional confirmation, and are therefore not scrutinized or vetted, many Americans have no idea who they are or where they come from.

Kudos to Fox News for bringing Van Jones?s controversial past and political ideology to light.

-sam

Meet Alan Carlin: The EPA’s Inconvenient Voice

The following was originally published and is the sole property of NewsBusters.org and the Media Research Center.

With the recent narrow passage of the controversial Waxman-Markey ?cap and trade? bill in the House and the ongoing debate over global warming, one should expect balanced coverage of both sides of the issue. However, much of the media has neglected to report on the alleged ?hush up? of an EPA research analyst whose report on global warming prompted his supervisor to warn it could have had a ?very negative impact on this office.?

At 8:45 a.m. EDT on the June 30 edition of “Fox and Friends,” EPA Senior Operations Research Analyst Alan Carlin, told interviewer Steve Doocy that his 98-page study that questioned the science behind global warming and called for the EPA to stop depending on reports from the United Nations, was ignored by his supervisor who refused to forward the report on because Carlin?s ?comments do not help the legal policy or case? for the EPA?s position on global warming.

Ironically, as detailed an earlier NewsBusters posting by the MRC’s Brent Baker, in late January of 2007 the broadcast network evening newscasts quickly hyped ?a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing meant to publicize a report from two far-left groups about how the Bush administration supposedly suppressed science about the dire threat of global warming.?

This caused Matt Lauer on NBC?s Today, to suggest that President Bush was ?hiding the end of the world,? and that, ?A controversy in Washington over what could literally be the end of the world as we know it.? Now that the tables are turned, the media?s bias coverage of environmental issues is even more apparent.

-sam

Sun Critic to Liberal TV Press, “Good for Fox News”

The following was originally published and is the sole property of NewsBusters.org and the Media Research Center.

David Zurawik, a TV critic for The Baltimore Sun, has called for the ?TV press…to step back and question how it is covering President Barack Obama.? Moreover, Zurawik gives a laudatory nod to Fox News for its balanced coverage of the President: ?I hesitate to write these words, but good for Fox. It must be doing something right, if it has the President complaining about the tiny bit of scrutiny he gets on TV.?

The Sun critic is referring to a CNBC interview this past Tuesday, where President Obama complained that “one television station is entirely devoted to attacking” his administration. While he declined to name the network when asked by CNBC interviewer John Harwood, it is undoubtedly the Fox News Network.

Zurawik opines on this in The Baltimore Sun blog by praising Fox News for ?questioning Team Obama as it pushes for the kind of massive change in American life not seen since the era of Franklin Roosevelt.? If not for Fox News, there would be no network scrutinizing the President?s policies, present and proposed. Moreover, Zurawik concedes that ?the TV press, as well as media critics like me (Zurawik), should be profoundly embarrassed, and vow to start doing a better job — immediately.?

-sam

FOX NEWS PRESENTS OBSTACLE FOR NH GOP OPPORTUNITY

Frank Guinta, the Republican mayor of Manchester, announced last month that he would seek Democrat Carol Shea-Porter’s 1st Congressional seat in New Hampshire. This is likely to be the best chance the GOP has for retaking the seat once held by two term Rep. Jeb Bradley. Guinta has received the full support of the Republican Congressional Committee and from the NH GOP lead by Former Bush (41) Chief of Staff and New Hampshire Governor, John H. Sununu.

Real Clear Politics noted the following:

?What makes Guinta’s candidacy so enticing is his home field advantage in the Queen City. Though Manchester is a majority Democratic city, he won a second term in 2007 by nearly eight points, and raised record funds in the process. Manchester also played a key role in Shea-Porter’s last win. She carried every ward last year and took the city by 5,000 votes — accounting for 40% of her reelection margin in the 1st Congressional district. No wonder Republicans hope Guinta’s special appeal for the city’s voters could be the X-factor in next year’s House race.?

A campaign advisor for the Guinta camp told reporters that the greater Manchester area accounts for 37% of the vote in the House district and Guinta’s popularity and standing in the city will “be a huge advantage.”

This appears to be good news for a New Hampshire that has recently shifted blue with 2008 Presidential election and the 2006 triumphs of Paul Hodes and Carol Shea Porter over incumbents Charlie Bass and Jeb Bradley.? However, Mayor Guinta has a tough road ahead of him. A recent poll commissioned by the National Republican Congressional Committee, shows Shea-Porter leading Guinta 43 to 34 %, with 24 % undecided.? Republicans are encouraged that the two-term congresswoman is polling below 50 %, but Guinta’s 34 % total is somewhat underwhelming, given he’s a well-known official in the district. The Republican Congressional Committee has its eye on Shea-Porter?s seat as her district is the more Republican of New Hampshire?s two House seats. Unfortunately, for Guinta the district gave President Obama 53% of the vote last year and ?despite being a top GOP target, Shea-Porter won 52 % in her re-election bid.?

As if that did not already darken Guintas?s hopes, yesterday Shea-Porter was applauded on the conservative-leaning Fox and Friends news program.

Fox News Anchor Gretchen Carlson gave a laudatory nod to the New Hampshire Democrat for asking ?very important questions? to President Obama on the logic of closing profitable GM and Chrysler dealerships.? Carlson went on to say, ?She seems to have her finger on the pulse of this issue.? Rep. Shea-Porter has a known reputation for being staunchly partisan, and has received criticisms from New Hampshire citizens on her endorsement of the stimulus bill, an issue that Guinta will undoubtedly try and exploit as he will most likely run on a platform of fiscal conservatism.

His campaign website reads the following:

?Washington D.C. is out of control. Congress continues to waste your hard earned tax dollars on bailout after bailout and a spending agenda that is mortgaging our future. I want to bring the same leadership to Washington that we bring to town halls throughout our state.?

He will confidently tout his tax cutting record, as he undoubtedly viewed that as the magnum factum of his two terms in office.

However, now that Shea Porter is taking on President Obama for the closing of profitable Chrysler and GM dealerships, and has received the endorsement of a Fox News anchor, it appears Mayor Guinta?s bid for a Congressional seat is not getting any easier.

Katie Couric: A Unpopular Idealogue

CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric recently addressed Princeton University graduating seniors and opined on what it means to be a successful woman and delivered blows to conservatives Donald Rumsfeld and Rush Limbaugh. The liberal journalist instructed the newly minted graduates that they avoid “nastiness” and then mocked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Miss California Carrie Prejean, while praising Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama and Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
She began her address by saying, ?Coming here was a real no brainer! After all, I can see New Jersey from my house!? Couric was obviously referring to an interview Palin gave to ABC News during last year’s presidential campaign, in which Palin had said of Russia, ?They?re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.?

On “Saturday Night Live” comic Tina Fey, who impersonated Palin, mocked that remark by changing it to: ?And I can see Russia from my house!? Unfortunately, while Palin did reveal that she may not be ready for national office, that comment from a professional journalist such as Couric, is rude, juvenile, and frankly, beneath her.
The anchor also took a swipe at traditional-marriage-defending Miss California Carrie Prejean in the same passage that she praised Judge Sotomayor and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In this instance, Couric likened Prejean to Anita Bryant, a popular singer from the 1950s through the 1970s, who led a successful campaign in Miami to repeal a pro-homosexual ordinance. This seems ridiculous to me as statistics prove that most Americans are in favor of traditional marriage. Furthermore, Prejean holds the same view that President Obama holds and nobody is crucifying him for his position on the issue.
It seems interesting to me that people such as Couric and much of the left all pay lip service to tolerance, yet this is a perfect example of how they are often the most intolerant. Couric should spend more time working on attracting more viewers to her show than criticizing conservatives, as the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric had its lowest viewership yet. In fact, it’s the lowest viewership since at least the 1991/92 season, as far back as Nielsen records track.

-sam

No Prosecution for Patriots

While I would certainly argue that President Obama has championed and proposed terrible pieces of legislation such as the stimulus bill, and supports liberal fantasies such as a radical environmentalist agenda and single payer health care, he has made the right call with regards to the proposed prosecution of CIA officials.
The President and Attorney General Eric Holder who has called us ?a nation of cowards,? have decided not to prosecute CIA officials who used harsh interrogation techniques during the post 9/11 administration of President George Walker Bush. Obama did however condemn the ?enhanced interrogation techniques? as the President said he seeks to move beyond ?a dark and painful history.? I find this to be a bit unpatriotic as courtesy of Mr. Bush?s national security policies, America has not been subject to another act of terrorism while the UK and other countries such as India have. But that?s another argument.
Furthermore, it would be extremely unpatriotic to prosecute these CIA officials for merely following through with their orders. The Attorney General shares my view, “It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department.?
The President did however release four memos in which Bush-era lawyers approved in often graphic detail tough interrogation methods used against 28 terror suspects. This was a horrible idea considering we are still fighting a war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and a war on terror. A former top official in the administration of President Bush called the publication of the memos ?unbelievable.? ?It’s damaging because these are techniques that work, and by Obama’s action today, we are telling the terrorists what they are,? the official said. ?We have laid it all out for our enemies. This is totally unnecessary. ? Publicizing the techniques does grave damage to our national security by ensuring they can never be used again ? even in a ticking-time- bomb scenario where thousands or even millions of American lives are at stake.”
The most controversial of these interrogation techniques is undoubtedly waterboarding and members of both parties including Republican Presidential nominee John McCain have condemned the practice. I think it is fair to note in that argument that many military personnel undergo waterboarding in training. “Tens of thousands of American Air Force and naval airmen were waterboarded as part of their survival training,” says a Senior U.S. intelligence official, who has spoken on condition of anonymity. “We don’t maim as part of our training. We don’t mutilate. We don’t sodomize. Those are things that are always bad. . . . Intellectually, there has got to be a difference between [waterboarding] and the others; otherwise we wouldn’t have done it in training.”

-sam

Pay for Performance Act of 2009: An Encroachment of a Free Society

Nearly two weeks ago the House of Representatives acted with great haste and without sound discussion and passed a bill that would impose a 90 percent retroactive tax on the bonuses paid to the executives of AIG.? The idea of government specifically targeting a small group of people who they disapprove of and then taking their money away from them which was guaranteed to them in their contracts is completely immoral.? Judd Gregg, senior Senator from New Hampshire declared; ?It is wrong?to propose to use the taxing authority of the government in a manner that is arbitrary, punitive, and targeted on a single group of people who they have deemed as having acted improperly.? When the populist cloud of anger began to settle, the Obama Administration backed away from the bill as did the Senate Democrats who were its most fervent advocates.

The House Financial Services Committee led by Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Barney Frank is championing an even more immoral and unethical bill targeting businessmen.? Mr. Frank who played an infamous role in the fiasco of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and who controversially stated, ?These two entities…are not facing any kind of financial crisis,? ?approved a measure that would impose government control on the pay of all employees — not just top executives — of companies that have received a capital investment from the U.S. government.? It would, like the tax measure, be retroactive, changing the terms of compensation agreements already in place.? And it would give Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner extraordinary power to determine the pay of thousands of employees of American companies.”

This sort of government control of the private sector is in direct violation of capitalism and our free market system.? Government should have no role in restricting pay and has no authority to determine what pay is ?excessive? and ?unreasonable.?? The bill is limitless and targets not just top executives but all employees, from the chairman to the janitor.? What is even more disheartening is that bill would void all current contracts and pay arrangements.? Employees will be subject to salary control even if their job within these companies had nothing to do with financial crisis, as we know was the case with the AIG contracts.? This is completely unethical, as former AIG executive Jake DeSantis said, ?None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.?

If salary control isn?t the road to serfdom then I don?t know what is.

-sam

The Marriage of Iraq and Afghanistan

The War in Iraq is a victory for the United States. While it was not reminiscent of the victories in the World Wars, it is a victory nonetheless. General David Petraeus said in an interview with the BBC, “This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant a flag and go home to a victory parade. … it’s not” a “war with a simple slogan.” Here is what victory means in Iraq. It means an Iraqi government that is able to protect its borders, and it means an Iraqi government that is able to protect its people, then moves forward on its path to democracy.

With Obama ordering more than 4,000 troops to Afghanistan it seems he is using a strategy similar to the controversial “surge” in Iraq which was highly successful. The 4,000 troops bolster the dispatch of an additional 17,000 forces. The President also plans on sending hundreds of additional civilians to balance the military surge.

President Obama needs to address the victory in Iraq and tell Americans as John McCain did when he spoke at The Heritage Foundation on March 26, 2009, “We can have victory in Afghanistan just as we did in Iraq”, but “it’s going to get worse before it gets better.” That is the nature of a troop surge, a short increase in casualties and then a sharp decline in them. President Obama needs to be honest with the American people about this, but it is vital that he declares victory in Iraq to boost morale in Afghanistan.

The President also seems to be embracing the controversial and polarizing nation building views of the Bush Administration. Iraq was victorious and evidence of that will come to greater fruition in years ahead when our country realizes that President Bush kept us safe and the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein. A victory in Afghanistan will undeniably improve the safety of America and of the world. ?President Obama reiterated this point on March 27, 2009; “This is not simply an American problem – far from it,” It is, instead, an international security challenge of the highest order. Terrorist attacks in London and Bali were tied to al-Qaida and its allies in Pakistan, as were attacks in North Africa and the Middle East, in Islamabad and Kabul. If there is a major attack on an Asian, European, or African city, it, too, is likely to have ties to al-Qaida’s leadership in Pakistan.”

-sam

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