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Modified: 2008-02-29T22:13:13Z

Copyright: Copyright (c) 2008, Ed Morrissey
 



I'm So Glad We've Had This Time Together

2008-02-29T22:13:13Z

The time has come to sail Captain's Quarters into drydock. Tomorrow I officially start my new adventure at Hot Air, and as we have discussed all week here, all of my blogging efforts will go into building on the success at that site. I will continue to write as I like, as often as I like, on subjects that I like, with my own perspective, and gain access to a much larger platform at which to do it. The site will remain on the Internet. The archives will be accessible at this link, so if you ever decide you wish to review my work or search for a favorite post, it will be ready to serve you. I hope all of the commenters at Captain's Quarters will join me at Hot Air. For those who missed the open-registration deadline, I can add people manually. Send an e-mail to "register" at... The time has come to sail Captain's Quarters into drydock. Tomorrow I officially start my new adventure at Hot Air, and as we have discussed all week here, all of my blogging efforts will go into building on the success at that site. I will continue to write as I like, as often as I like, on subjects that I like, with my own perspective, and gain access to a much larger platform at which to do it. The site will remain on the Internet. The archives will be accessible at this link, so if you ever decide you wish to review my work or search for a favorite post, it will be ready to serve you. I hope all of the commenters at Captain's Quarters will join me at Hot Air. For those who missed the open-registration deadline, I can add people manually. Send an e-mail to "register" at "captainsquartersblog.com" (without the quotes), and be sure to include your preferred username and password, as well as the e-mail address you want to use for your account. I can add people manually or fix earlier registrations at any time, so keep that e-mail address handy. For my last post here at Captain's Quarters, I'd like to thank a few people. First, I want to thank the entire CapQ community, which has been an absolute blessing. I want to thank Hugh Hewitt and Duane Patterson, who have mentored and befriended me and opened many, many doors. Rush Limbaugh has shown me many kindnesses, most of which have come quietly. Of course, it goes without saying that Michelle Malkin -- for whom I will begin working tomorrow -- has been a wonderful friend to me for almost the lifetime of this blog. I don't have the room to list all of the bloggers who have assisted me over the years, but I do want to acknowledge a few. Glenn Reynolds has given me many links and has served as an inspiration, of course, as he does to many of us. Robert Bluey at Heritage has been a good friend and a sounding board. Rob Neppell has become a good friend, as has Mark Tapscott. Mostly, though, I want to thank my friends on the Northern Alliance -- Mitch, King, Brian and Chad at Fraters Libertas, and John, Scott, and Paul at Power Line -- who gave me encouragement and guidance without any reservation or condescension. They are a great group of bloggers, but more importantly, a great group of friends, and I'm lucky to have them. Finally, and crucially, one person remains to thank. If it weren't for the support and love of my wife Marcia, the First Mate, I never would have been able to do this. She has been nothing but supportive and encouraging, even when the blogging became a much larger effort than either of us ever dreamed. Simply put, I'm one lucky man to have all of this. Let's all take the next step on the adventure. [...]



Heading Right Radio: The Week In Review!

2008-02-29T18:52:58Z

Note: This post will remain on top until show time; newer posts may be found below. Today on Heading Right Radio (2 pm CT), Duane "Generalissimo" Patterson of the Hugh Hewitt Show joins us for the 90-minute week in review. Call 646-652-4889 to join the conversation! And don't forget to join our chat room! Did you know that you can listen to Heading Right Radio through your TiVo service? Click here for the instructions. Also, you can subscribe to Heading Right Radio through iTunes now by clicking this link:...

Note: This post will remain on top until show time; newer posts may be found below.

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Today on Heading Right Radio (2 pm CT), Duane "Generalissimo" Patterson of the Hugh Hewitt Show joins us for the 90-minute week in review.

Call 646-652-4889 to join the conversation! And don't forget to join our chat room!

Did you know that you can listen to Heading Right Radio through your TiVo service? Click here for the instructions. Also, you can subscribe to Heading Right Radio through iTunes now by clicking this link:

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Fear And Loathing In The Hillary Clinton Campaign

2008-02-29T16:03:14Z

"Knows the military"? I'd call this the last act of a desperate woman. Neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton present themselves as the person most people would want answering the phone at the White House in the middle of the night. In fact, the Democrats have done their best to minimize the threats to the US, especially since it became clear that John McCain -- with his decades of work on military policy -- would be the Republican nominee. Does anyone remember the line that the "war on terror" was just a bumper sticker? John McCain could simply clip off the last ten seconds of this ad and run it for the general election -- no matter which Democrat won the nomination. I can't wait for the pushback against Hillary for this ad....

"Knows the military"?

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I'd call this the last act of a desperate woman. Neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton present themselves as the person most people would want answering the phone at the White House in the middle of the night. In fact, the Democrats have done their best to minimize the threats to the US, especially since it became clear that John McCain -- with his decades of work on military policy -- would be the Republican nominee.

Does anyone remember the line that the "war on terror" was just a bumper sticker?

John McCain could simply clip off the last ten seconds of this ad and run it for the general election -- no matter which Democrat won the nomination. I can't wait for the pushback against Hillary for this ad.




AOL Hot Seat Question Of The Day

2008-02-29T15:37:29Z

AOL and BlogTalkRadio have partnered on the Hot Seat poll, extending the debate to our listenership. I will host a 15-minute show weekdays at 1:00 pm ET to review the poll, interview the blogger, and take calls from the participants. We'll speak to a wide spectrum of bloggers and callers alike for each day's poll -- including today's: embedSWF(9, 0, 0, "widget", "recent")This content requires the most recent version of the Adobe Flash Player. Get this version below:Get Flash Be sure to tune it at BlogTalkRadio -- and don't forget to cast your votes! We will also take your calls at (347) 205-9555....

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AOL and BlogTalkRadio have partnered on the Hot Seat poll, extending the debate to our listenership. I will host a 15-minute show weekdays at 1:00 pm ET to review the poll, interview the blogger, and take calls from the participants. We'll speak to a wide spectrum of bloggers and callers alike for each day's poll -- including today's:

Be sure to tune it at BlogTalkRadio -- and don't forget to cast your votes! We will also take your calls at (347) 205-9555.




Obama Double-Talk On NAFTA Confirmed: CTV

2008-02-29T15:33:07Z

After reporting on Barack Obama's dance with the Canadians on NAFTA yesterday, Canadian broadcaster CTV got accused of perpetrating a smear against the Democratic front-runner. They insisted that Obama meant every word he said about overturning the free-trade treaty, and that no one had contacted the Canadian diplomatic corps to reassure them that it was mere demagoguery. CTV responded today by naming names -- and suddenly the Obama campaign has grown quiet: The Obama campaign told CTV late Thursday night that no message was passed to the Canadian government that suggests that Obama does not mean what he says about opting out of NAFTA if it is not renegotiated. However, the Obama camp did not respond to repeated questions from CTV on reports that a conversation on this matter was held between Obama's senior economic adviser -- Austan Goolsbee -- and the Canadian Consulate General in Chicago. Earlier Thursday, the... After reporting on Barack Obama's dance with the Canadians on NAFTA yesterday, Canadian broadcaster CTV got accused of perpetrating a smear against the Democratic front-runner. They insisted that Obama meant every word he said about overturning the free-trade treaty, and that no one had contacted the Canadian diplomatic corps to reassure them that it was mere demagoguery. CTV responded today by naming names -- and suddenly the Obama campaign has grown quiet: The Obama campaign told CTV late Thursday night that no message was passed to the Canadian government that suggests that Obama does not mean what he says about opting out of NAFTA if it is not renegotiated. However, the Obama camp did not respond to repeated questions from CTV on reports that a conversation on this matter was held between Obama's senior economic adviser -- Austan Goolsbee -- and the Canadian Consulate General in Chicago. Earlier Thursday, the Obama campaign insisted that no conversations have taken place with any of its senior ranks and representatives of the Canadian government on the NAFTA issue. On Thursday night, CTV spoke with Goolsbee, but he refused to say whether he had such a conversation with the Canadian government office in Chicago. He also said he has been told to direct any questions to the campaign headquarters. CTV didn't stop there. They also announced that their sources, at "the highest levels of the Canadian government", reconfirmed the story to CTV. One of their primary sources provided a timeline of the discussion to CTV. Contrary to some reports, CTV has not retreated at all from this story. Jim Geraghty notes: I realize Obama's campaign can still claim that one of his advisers went rogue in contacting the Canadians about his NAFTA rhetoric, but to me, this is game, set and match to CTV. ... If Goolsbee had not talked to officials in the consulate, it seems likely that his answer would have been, "No, I didn't talk to them." Who is Austin Goolsbee? According to this press release from last September, Goolsbee serves as the Senior Economic Advisor to the Obama campaign. He was highly touted by Obama in his visit to Iowa in that month, when he showed his intellectual chops by bringing Goolsbee along with a raft of other advisers, in part to show that he wasn't a political lightweight. It will be rather hard to distance himself from Goolsbee at this point. If Goolsbee spent time reassuring the Canadians sotto voce that Obama was merely demagoguing on NAFTA, then voters need to understand that the supposed "new politics" of Obama smells very similar to that of the same old lies and empty rhetoric we have heard from the Beltway for decades. And without that "new politics", Obama is nothing more than an empty suit with a pleasant voice. Cross-posted at Hot Air. UPDATE: ABC also gets some refusal to confirm or deny from both Goolsbee and the Canadian diplomat in question, Georges Rioux. [...]



Israel To Gaza: Get Ready

2008-02-29T14:22:45Z

The Israelis have sent a warning to Gaza and its Hamas leadership after the latest rocket attack on Ashkelon. If the attacks continue, Israel will invade Gaza and conduct large-scale military operations to eliminate the threat: Israeli leaders warned Friday of an approaching conflagration in the Gaza Strip as Israel activated a rocket warning system to protect Ashkelon, a city of 120,000 people, from Palestinian rockets. Ashkelon was hit by several Grad rockets fired from Gaza on Thursday, a sign of the widening scope of violence between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza. One hit an apartment building and another landed near a school, wounding a 17-year-old girl. Located 11 miles from Gaza, Ashkelon had been sporadically targeted in the past but never suffered direct hits or significant damage. "It will be sad, and difficult, but we have no other choice," Matan Vilnai, Israel's deputy defense mister, said Friday, referring...

The Israelis have sent a warning to Gaza and its Hamas leadership after the latest rocket attack on Ashkelon. If the attacks continue, Israel will invade Gaza and conduct large-scale military operations to eliminate the threat:

Israeli leaders warned Friday of an approaching conflagration in the Gaza Strip as Israel activated a rocket warning system to protect Ashkelon, a city of 120,000 people, from Palestinian rockets.

Ashkelon was hit by several Grad rockets fired from Gaza on Thursday, a sign of the widening scope of violence between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza. One hit an apartment building and another landed near a school, wounding a 17-year-old girl.

Located 11 miles from Gaza, Ashkelon had been sporadically targeted in the past but never suffered direct hits or significant damage.

"It will be sad, and difficult, but we have no other choice," Matan Vilnai, Israel's deputy defense mister, said Friday, referring to the large-scale military operation he said Israel was preparing to bring a halt to the rocket fire.

"We're getting close to using our full strength. Until now, we've used a small percentage of the army's power because of the nature of the territory," Vilnai told Army Radio on Friday.

Israel had tried using softer methods to stop the attacks, including a lockdown on the border between Gaza and Israel. That resulted in a breakout at Rafah, which took the Egyptian government several days to resecure. Other nations had pressured Israel to end the embargo or at least loosen it for food, energy, and medical supplies, but the rocket attacks continue.

Hamas says that Israel's return fire has killed 15 civilians and blames Israel for the rising tensions. Apart from the absurdity of blaming someone for hitting an aggressor in return, Hamas and other terrorist entities have no one but themselves to blame for civilian deaths. Even the AP acknowledges that Hamas launches its rockets from densely populated civilian centers, drawing fire onto their own people.

Israel cannot stand idle while terrorists rain rockets onto civilian populations, and the escalation to Ashkelon is a deliberate provocation by Hamas. The IDF has to take action, and this time it cannot be constrained by proportionality. They need a massive response to the Gaza provocateurs, one that leaves them no ground to hide. If Gaza's civilian population wants to avoid that, then they need to rid themselves of the terrorists before Israel's military does its work.




Hillary: I Want My VRWC

2008-02-29T13:16:49Z

What's worse in politics than being attacked? Being ignored -- and Hillary Clinton wants it to stop. She wants back into the national discourse after mostly being overlooked since the debacle of Super Tuesday: There was a time not long ago when Hillary Clinton dominated the discourse in both parties’ presidential contests. Now, she’s struggling to get her message out and remain part of the campaign conversation as the media and her remaining rivals, Barack Obama and John McCain, stampede toward a general election matchup that seems more and more likely. .... Today, though, after a post-Super Tuesday string of wins by Obama, Clinton hardly draws notice from the Republican party. The daily barrage of press releases from the Republican National Committee almost exclusively targets Obama. McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, makes almost no reference to Clinton in his campaign appearances, instead zeroing in on Obama’s record. Oddly, I had...

What's worse in politics than being attacked? Being ignored -- and Hillary Clinton wants it to stop. She wants back into the national discourse after mostly being overlooked since the debacle of Super Tuesday:

There was a time not long ago when Hillary Clinton dominated the discourse in both parties’ presidential contests.

Now, she’s struggling to get her message out and remain part of the campaign conversation as the media and her remaining rivals, Barack Obama and John McCain, stampede toward a general election matchup that seems more and more likely. ....

Today, though, after a post-Super Tuesday string of wins by Obama, Clinton hardly draws notice from the Republican party. The daily barrage of press releases from the Republican National Committee almost exclusively targets Obama. McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, makes almost no reference to Clinton in his campaign appearances, instead zeroing in on Obama’s record.

Oddly, I had thought to write about this exact phenomenon at some point today. Over the last two weeks, hardly any releases about Hillary Clinton have found their way into my e-mail. The RNC's missives have focused on Obama exclusively, no mean feat considering his thin track record. Even blog readers have stopped sending Hillary material, a sure sign that she represents no real threat to either Obama or John McCain.

That makes Hillary pine for the days of her "vast right-wing conspiracy" fantasy. As Mike Huckabee once said, you know you're over the target when you're taking flak. When the flak aims at someone else entirely, you know you're over. Hillary needs some media oxygen to keep her campaign alive, especially in Texas and Ohio, but Obama has kept the spotlight on himself.

The example given by the Politico amply demonstrates this. Hillary thought she could capture some attention by announcing her February fundraising number -- a very impressive $35 million. It briefly created some buzz about a comeback, but Obama's campaign responded within hours that he had raised close to twice that much. Not only did that take the spotlight away from Hillary, but it reinforced the perception that she keeps falling further behind.

Hillary once complained about media-fueled controversies that surrounded her and Bill. Now she'd put up with a scandal or two if it managed to focus the media and the opposition in both parties back on her campaign. She has discovered that obscurity is worse.




Turkey Made Its Point

2008-02-29T12:42:18Z

Turkey has ended its incursion into northern Iraq, according to the Iraqi government, and its troops will return home shortly. The raid intended to wipe out PKK bases in the Zap valley, and some sources in Turkey claim that they have succeeded: Turkey wound down its major ground offensive against Kurdish PKK rebels inside northern Iraq on Friday, although it declined to confirm an Iraqi minister's statement that it had already withdrawn all its troops. Turkey sent thousands of soldiers into remote, mountainous northern Iraq on February 21 to crush rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) who use the region as a base for attacks on Turkish territory. Washington feared the incursion could destabilize an area of relative stability in Iraq.... A Turkish military source, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, confirmed only that Turkish forces had fully withdrawn from the key Zap valley in northern Iraq,...

Turkey has ended its incursion into northern Iraq, according to the Iraqi government, and its troops will return home shortly. The raid intended to wipe out PKK bases in the Zap valley, and some sources in Turkey claim that they have succeeded:

Turkey wound down its major ground offensive against Kurdish PKK rebels inside northern Iraq on Friday, although it declined to confirm an Iraqi minister's statement that it had already withdrawn all its troops.

Turkey sent thousands of soldiers into remote, mountainous northern Iraq on February 21 to crush rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) who use the region as a base for attacks on Turkish territory. Washington feared the incursion could destabilize an area of relative stability in Iraq....

A Turkish military source, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, confirmed only that Turkish forces had fully withdrawn from the key Zap valley in northern Iraq, long a major PKK stronghold, and most had already arrived back in Turkey.

The invasion made its point. The Turks rightly had lost patience with the Iraqis over their inability to control PKK terrorists in Zap. The valley has not come under Iraqi control, and PKK had flourished there as a result. The terrorists used their isolation to conduct attacks in Turkey that Ankara could no longer tolerate.

The US had pressed Turkey to avoid attacks on Iraq, but in the end could not stop the Turks from retaliating against terrorists. Instead, the US tried to contain the fighting to Zap and keep the situation from escalating into the rest of Iraqi Kurdistan. In that, we seem to have succeeded; the Turks did not attack areas controlled by the Iraqi security forces.

Americans and Iraqis have to come to a better solution to the PKK menace. While Kurds in Turkey have legitimate grievances, we cannot allow terrorists to operate in Iraq, especially under our protection. It not only works against the entire mission in Iraq, it will eventually destabilize the relationship between what we hope will be the only two moderate Muslim democracies in the region.

We need both Turkey and Iraq as partners to bolster our fight against radical Islamist terrorists. We don't need them fighting each other, with the US in the middle.




The Economics Of Fear

2008-02-29T12:26:07Z

The Economist takes a look at Obamanomics, and it sees William Jennings Bryan and class warfare. Instead of offering hope, Barack Obama offers the same fear- and envy-based tactics on which populism has always thrived. While Democrats have often used these tactics in primaries, the Economist worries that Obama might try to govern based on these promises: FOR a man who has placed “hope” at the centre of his campaign, Barack Obama can sound pretty darned depressing. As the battle for the Democratic nomination reaches a climax in Texas and Ohio, the front-runner's speeches have begun to paint a world in which laid-off parents compete with their children for minimum-wage jobs while corporate fat-cats mis-sell dodgy mortgages and ship jobs off to Mexico. The man who claims to be a “post-partisan” centrist seems to be channelling the spirit of William Jennings Bryan, the original American populist, who thunderously demanded to... The Economist takes a look at Obamanomics, and it sees William Jennings Bryan and class warfare. Instead of offering hope, Barack Obama offers the same fear- and envy-based tactics on which populism has always thrived. While Democrats have often used these tactics in primaries, the Economist worries that Obama might try to govern based on these promises: FOR a man who has placed “hope” at the centre of his campaign, Barack Obama can sound pretty darned depressing. As the battle for the Democratic nomination reaches a climax in Texas and Ohio, the front-runner's speeches have begun to paint a world in which laid-off parents compete with their children for minimum-wage jobs while corporate fat-cats mis-sell dodgy mortgages and ship jobs off to Mexico. The man who claims to be a “post-partisan” centrist seems to be channelling the spirit of William Jennings Bryan, the original American populist, who thunderously demanded to know “Upon which side shall the Democratic Party fight—upon the side of ‘the idle holders of idle capital’ or upon the side of ‘the struggling masses’?” There is no denying that for some middle-class Americans, the past few years have indeed been a struggle. What is missing from Mr Obama's speeches is any hint that this is not the whole story: that globalisation brings down prices and increases consumer choice; that unemployment is low by historical standards; that American companies are still the world's most dynamic and creative; and that Americans still, on the whole, live lives of astonishing affluence. ... If he were elected president, backed by a Democratic Congress with enhanced majorities, Mr Obama might well feel obliged to deliver on some of his promises. At the very least, the prospects for freer trade would then be dim. The sad thing is that one might reasonably have expected better from Mr Obama. He wants to improve America's international reputation yet campaigns against NAFTA. He trumpets “the audacity of hope” yet proposes more government intervention. He might have chosen to use his silver tongue to address America's problems in imaginative ways—for example, by making the case for reforming the distorting tax code. Instead, he wants to throw money at social problems and slap more taxes on the rich, and he is using his oratorical powers to prey on people's fears. Many people have compared Obama to Ronald Reagan in his ability to promise "morning in America," but they have focused only on the most superficial part of the Reagan revolution. Reagan didn't cast himself as the agent of hope, but appealed to the hope within Americans that they could lift up the country, and not the other way around. He focused on the hope of the individual as the true agent of change, and not the despair of the collective that required government intervention. The rhetoric has given us nothing really new. It has the same po[...]



Black Superdelegates Get Harassed By .... Obama Supporters?

2008-02-29T11:56:21Z

Black superdelegates report harassment, intimidation, and namecalling in attempts to get them to change their votes. Has this come from the vaunted Clinton machine, desperately attempting to pull out a miracle win? No -- it comes from affiliates of the Barack Obama campaign, which hardly needs the hard sell (via Memeorandum): African-American superdelegates said Thursday that they’ll stand up against threats, intimidation and “Uncle Tom” smears rather than switch their support from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to Sen. Barack Obama. “African-American superdelegates are being targeted, harassed and threatened,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.), a superdelegate who has supported Clinton since August. Cleaver said black superdelegates are receiving “nasty letters, phone calls, threats they’ll get an opponent, being called an Uncle Tom. “This is the politics of the 1950s,” he complained. “A lot of members are experiencing a lot of ugly stuff. They’re not going to talk about it, but... Black superdelegates report harassment, intimidation, and namecalling in attempts to get them to change their votes. Has this come from the vaunted Clinton machine, desperately attempting to pull out a miracle win? No -- it comes from affiliates of the Barack Obama campaign, which hardly needs the hard sell (via Memeorandum): African-American superdelegates said Thursday that they’ll stand up against threats, intimidation and “Uncle Tom” smears rather than switch their support from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to Sen. Barack Obama. “African-American superdelegates are being targeted, harassed and threatened,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.), a superdelegate who has supported Clinton since August. Cleaver said black superdelegates are receiving “nasty letters, phone calls, threats they’ll get an opponent, being called an Uncle Tom. “This is the politics of the 1950s,” he complained. “A lot of members are experiencing a lot of ugly stuff. They’re not going to talk about it, but it’s happening.” After civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) switched his support from Clinton to Obama earlier this week, other black superdelegates have come under renewed pressure to do a similar about-face. A handful have bowed to the entreaties in recent weeks, including Georgia Rep. David Scott, but many say they are steadfast in their support for Clinton and resent strong-arm tactics to make them change. This ugliness is the inevitable product of the Democratic delegate structure. One has to remember that the superdelegates comprise 20% of the total delegates, and that they are almost all public office holders. Their votes will determine the nominee, not the popular vote in the primaries and caucuses -- and their constituents will hold them responsible if they vote in opposition to them. For a candidate who supposedly wants a new kind of politics, this looks a lot like an older version that we thought we'd left behind. Obama's supporters, at least, don't seem to have much problem playing the race card with the superdelegates. That might work in the Democratic primaries, but this naked power play with identity politics will diminish his prospects in a general election, and it won't help other Democrats, either. It portends ugly divisions for the party in July, when they meet for the convention. Only an early withdrawal by Hillary Clinton will avoid it, and at the moment that doesn't look likely. She's leading in both Ohio and Texas in some polls, although in Texas she's slipped behind Obama in most. If she stays in the race, the ugliness will only increase, and the bitterness will not easily fade. The Democrats need to overhaul their delegate system, or put the pretense of a popular nomination process aside. They cannot expect people to sit id[...]



Democrats Want To Fund ACORN, La Raza With Stimulus Bill

2008-02-29T01:22:12Z

The Democrats reacted in anger when Senate Republicans blocked their latest economic stimulus bill. Harry Reid said that bankers and lenders were high-fiving each other in hallways after the GOP torpedoed the bill, but perhaps a better explanation of Reid's disappointment comes from Bob Casey (D-PA). The beneficiaries of the bill turns out to be somewhat different than advertised: Here's the transcript: Mr. CASEY: “We want to do a couple of things with this legislation, which we know is the Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008. Our Majority Leader, Senator Reid, and our leadership and the members of the Democratic Caucus set it out fairly specifically. A couple of basic things this legislation would have done: first of all, it would have continued what we started in the end of last year, foreclosure prevention counseling dollars, to give money to organizations around the country that are certifiably expert at this, organizations...

The Democrats reacted in anger when Senate Republicans blocked their latest economic stimulus bill. Harry Reid said that bankers and lenders were high-fiving each other in hallways after the GOP torpedoed the bill, but perhaps a better explanation of Reid's disappointment comes from Bob Casey (D-PA). The beneficiaries of the bill turns out to be somewhat different than advertised:

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Here's the transcript:

Mr. CASEY: “We want to do a couple of things with this legislation, which we know is the Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008. Our Majority Leader, Senator Reid, and our leadership and the members of the Democratic Caucus set it out fairly specifically. A couple of basic things this legislation would have done: first of all, it would have continued what we started in the end of last year, foreclosure prevention counseling dollars, to give money to organizations around the country that are certifiably expert at this, organizations like La Raza. I know the presiding officer knows that group. We know also the Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now, known by the acronym ‘ACORN.’ They’re headquartered in Philadelphia. These are organizations which understand what a lender has to deal with but more importantly deal with borrowers when they’re borrowing money, when they’re dealing with the difficulty and complexity of borrowing money. These organizations would have helped even more so than they’re helping now with $200 million more of counseling money. That’s not going to happen right now because of what the other side did; they blocked that money by blocking this legislation.”

ACORN? Would this be the same ACORN that conducted voter fraud in Washington, resulting in felony charges against its officers there in 2007? Isn't this the same organization that generated complaints and questions about their practices in several other jurisdictions during the 2006 election? How does shoving money into the pockets of ACORN provide an economic stimulus?

This doesn't look like a stimulus package. It looks more like an investment in further voter fraud.




Once More, With Feeling: Registration Open at Hot Air

2008-02-28T21:48:52Z

In case anyone lost their sanity in the Byzantine series of updates on my earlier post, comments registration has been open all day at Hot Air, with a few glitches. The link to the registration page is here. It will remain open until later tonight. However, I can also add people myself to the user database, if commenters are having problems registering. Send an e-mail to "register" at "captainsquartersblog.com" (without the quotes), and be sure to include your preferred username and password, as well as the e-mail address you want to use for your account. I can add people manually or fix earlier registrations at any time, so keep that e-mail address handy. Some have asked whether I will be cross-posting most of my material at Hot Air for the remainder of the time left at CapQ. I believe I will. With Bryan already hard at work at his great...

In case anyone lost their sanity in the Byzantine series of updates on my earlier post, comments registration has been open all day at Hot Air, with a few glitches. The link to the registration page is here. It will remain open until later tonight.

However, I can also add people myself to the user database, if commenters are having problems registering. Send an e-mail to "register" at "captainsquartersblog.com" (without the quotes), and be sure to include your preferred username and password, as well as the e-mail address you want to use for your account. I can add people manually or fix earlier registrations at any time, so keep that e-mail address handy.

Some have asked whether I will be cross-posting most of my material at Hot Air for the remainder of the time left at CapQ. I believe I will. With Bryan already hard at work at his great new job as Laura Ingraham's producer, he hasn't had an opportunity to post at Hot Air. It gives me an opportunity to learn the ropes there as well. Starting on Saturday, I'll post all of my new material there exclusively anyway.

One last note: Several people have asked me whether I plan to post less now that I'm going to Hot Air. Not at all! In fact, I may post more, now that other responsibilities have been removed. This week, though, has been insane -- so that's why the output seems a little low.

Thanks for all of your patience and understanding.




Geldof: The Unexpected Bush

2008-02-28T19:52:39Z

Bob Geldof pens an unusual article for Time Magazine today, extolling the intellect and virtues of President George Bush. He starts off by noting -- as have we conservatives since early in the administration -- that Bush has no talent for marketing. Geldof instead assigns himself that task and reminds people that Bush may be the most significant President in modern times for the lives he has saved: The Most Powerful Man in the World studied the front cover. Geldof in Africa — " 'The international best seller.' You write that bit yourself?" "That's right. It's called marketing. Something you obviously have no clue about or else I wouldn't have to be here telling people your Africa story." It is some story. And I have always wondered why it was never told properly to the American people, who were paying for it. It was, for example, Bush who initiated the... Bob Geldof pens an unusual article for Time Magazine today, extolling the intellect and virtues of President George Bush. He starts off by noting -- as have we conservatives since early in the administration -- that Bush has no talent for marketing. Geldof instead assigns himself that task and reminds people that Bush may be the most significant President in modern times for the lives he has saved: The Most Powerful Man in the World studied the front cover. Geldof in Africa — " 'The international best seller.' You write that bit yourself?" "That's right. It's called marketing. Something you obviously have no clue about or else I wouldn't have to be here telling people your Africa story." It is some story. And I have always wondered why it was never told properly to the American people, who were paying for it. It was, for example, Bush who initiated the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) with cross-party support led by Senators John Kerry and Bill Frist. In 2003, only 50,000 Africans were on HIV antiretroviral drugs — and they had to pay for their own medicine. Today, 1.3 million are receiving medicines free of charge. The U.S. also contributes one-third of the money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — which treats another 1.5 million. It contributes 50% of all food aid (though some critics find the mechanism of contribution controversial). On a seven-day trip through Africa, Bush announced a fantastic new $350 million fund for other neglected tropical diseases that can be easily eradicated; a program to distribute 5.2 million mosquito nets to Tanzanian kids; and contracts worth around $1.2 billion in Tanzania and Ghana from the Millennium Challenge Account, another initiative of the Bush Administration. So why doesn't America know about this? "I tried to tell them. But the press weren't much interested," says Bush. It's half true. There are always a couple of lines in the State of the Union, but not enough so that anyone noticed, and the press really isn't interested. For them, like America itself, Africa is a continent of which little is known save the odd horror. Geldof doesn't pull punches where he disagrees with Bush. In fact, he spends most of the article outlining his disagreements. However, he also paints a picture of a man of intellect and deep belief, and one who has been shortchanged by the media, at least on Africa. He also understands that while he disagrees with Bush on many policies, Bush is motivated by his own sense of what is right. The Anchoress notes: But I do like that he gives the president serious credit not just for his humanitarian aid to Africa, but for his smarts in general. The press narrative since 1999, has been that Bush is “incurious and slow.” Geldof writes precisely the opposite, noting after a discussion of Africa and tra[...]



Heading Right Radio: International Property Rights Index; Movie Day!

2008-02-28T18:27:05Z

Note: This post will remain on top until show time; newer posts may be found below. Today on Heading Right Radio (2 pm CT), Americans for Tax Relief affiliate group Property Rights Index released the second annual International Property Rights Index. PRA’s Executive Director Kelsey Zahourek talks about it, and Betty Jo Tucker, movie critic and host of Movie Addict Headquarters, joins us for another Top 5 movie list! Call 646-652-4889 to join the conversation! And don't forget to join our chat room! This show is now sponsored by Lifelock -- and listen to find out how you can save 10% on their services. Did you know that you can listen to Heading Right Radio through your TiVo service? Click here for the instructions. Also, you can subscribe to Heading Right Radio through iTunes now by clicking this link:...

Note: This post will remain on top until show time; newer posts may be found below.

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Today on Heading Right Radio (2 pm CT), Americans for Tax Relief affiliate group Property Rights Index released the second annual International Property Rights Index. PRA’s Executive Director Kelsey Zahourek talks about it, and Betty Jo Tucker, movie critic and host of Movie Addict Headquarters, joins us for another Top 5 movie list!

Call 646-652-4889 to join the conversation! And don't forget to join our chat room! This show is now sponsored by Lifelock -- and listen to find out how you can save 10% on their services.

Did you know that you can listen to Heading Right Radio through your TiVo service? Click here for the instructions. Also, you can subscribe to Heading Right Radio through iTunes now by clicking this link:

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Open Comment Registration At Hot Air Today! (Update)

2008-02-28T17:32:24Z

UPDATE IV: Some commenters are continuing to have issues with creating a login. If for some reason you just can't get it done through the system, e-mail me your preferred user name and password to this account: "register" at "captainsquartersblog.com" (without the quotes). I will manually add you to the system -- but give me some time to get it done. BUMP: Registration is now open. It will remain open until later tonight. Link to register is here. UPDATE III, 9:30 am CT: Had a glitch with registration this morning, but it's fixed now. Earlier this week, we held a comment registration event at Hot Air to try to get as many CapQ commenters into the system as possible. Some missed the window, however, and I have received many requests to hold another open-registration event. As I reported yesterday, we have scheduled another period of open registration today, February 28th,...

UPDATE IV: Some commenters are continuing to have issues with creating a login. If for some reason you just can't get it done through the system, e-mail me your preferred user name and password to this account: "register" at "captainsquartersblog.com" (without the quotes). I will manually add you to the system -- but give me some time to get it done.

BUMP: Registration is now open. It will remain open until later tonight. Link to register is here.

UPDATE III, 9:30 am CT: Had a glitch with registration this morning, but it's fixed now.

Earlier this week, we held a comment registration event at Hot Air to try to get as many CapQ commenters into the system as possible. Some missed the window, however, and I have received many requests to hold another open-registration event. As I reported yesterday, we have scheduled another period of open registration today, February 28th, between 9 am CT and 9 pm CT.

Why does Hot Air limit registration to certain periods? They have had many more problems with abuse than we have had at CapQ, and they have had to build their community in a different way as a result. Any site with the level of traffic that Hot Air generates becomes a target for trolls and spammers, and the management issues increase accordingly. This method has succeeded at Hot Air in keeping trolls and spammers to a minimum while allowing for dissent and debate in the comment threads.

When the registration period opens, those wishing to register will need to post a comment on a Hot Air post, which will go into moderation. I'll approve it, and that will register the commenter. It would be helpful if CapQ commenters keep their current names so I can recognize them in the comments.

I look forward to getting everyone into the system. In the meantime, I hope you have been enjoying my cross-posts at Hot Air, and jumping into the commentary.

NOTE: This is an update and bump from yesterday's announcement.

UPDATE: For those who may have lost their passwords -- please e-mail Hot Air with your info, and we will get your account reset.

UPDATE II: I will be crossposting most of my material today and tomorrow at Hot Air, but not all of it.