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Presidential Secrecy

September 22nd, 2007 by Halli

Why hasn’t more been made of President Bush’s 2001 executive order allowing presidential records to remain sealed indefinitely? What could the man possibly hope to hide?

Unfortunately, we will probably never know.

As reported in the Dallas Morning News, the House voted 333-93 in March for HR 1255 which overturns the executive order, a majority far exceeding the necessary two-thirds to withstand a presidential veto.

The Senate Government Affairs Committee and its chairman, Sen. Joe Lieberman, also supported the effort, expecting a floor vote before the Senate left on August recess.

But now an anonymous senator has put a hold on the bill. A “hold” is generally seen as a signal of intent to filibuster. There is some hope that the senator must reveal him or herself after 6 days, but there is disagreement in the senate over enforcement of that rule.

Advocates for open government, librarians and historians all object to the permanent sealing of presidential documents. Director of Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy, Steve Aftergood, observed:

“The president’s executive order altered the government’s policy on public access to these crucial historical records. If we’re to have any hope of learning from historical experience we need to have access to the records. And the best way to undermine the historical record is to close it down.”

The executive order stipulates that not only are presidential records sealed during the lifetime of the president, but after his death are controlled by his heirs. Legal analysts claim this is “unprecedented”, and an illegal use of executive power.

A lawsuit against the executive order has been brought by Public Citizen, a watchdog organization, as well as groups of journalists, political scientists and historians.

In conclusion, one must wonder which senator has placed the hold on , S. 886, overturning the executive order, and what pressure has been applied by the White House, or others.

And once again I ask: Why hasn’t more been made of President Bush’s executive order? What is he hoping to hide?

To read the White House response to these bills, click here.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, National Sovereignty, Politics in General | No Comments »

Uncle Jay Explains How Congress REALLY Works

September 21st, 2007 by Halli

We all have a sneaking suspicion that those privileged individuals who manage to get themselves elected to Congress don’t work as hard as those who pay their considerable salaries and benefits – you and me.

Enter “Uncle Jay”, internet newscaster, explains just how hard Congressmen work in this very revealing internet newscast. As one friend commented, it’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry.

Uncle Jay “thinks it’s really, really important for today’s news to be understood by today’s innocent, ignorant and immature minds. Also children.” First appearing on a local TV station in 1995, Uncle Jay lampoons politicians, sports stars, the media, Islamic extremists and everything in between. Check out some of his other broadcasts.

But don’t forget to pass this video link on to your friends.

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Posted in Politics in General | No Comments »

Press Release: Sali Calls for an End to Secret Earmarks, Signs Petition to Hold Congress Accountable

September 21st, 2007 by Halli

From the office of Rep. Bill Sali

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bill Sali has signed a petition designed to force Congress to address earmark reform in an effort to guarantee that all earmarks are publicly disclosed and may be challenged and debated on the floor of the House of Representatives. An earmark is congressionally-directed spending for a specific project.

Sali signed a petition calling for the Democrat leadership of the House to allow a vote on H. Res. 479. That resolution would allow Members to raise and debate earmarks on the floor of the House of Representatives, shedding light and debating the merits of the earmarks.

“Spending of taxpayer dollars should be done in the light of day, under the scrutiny of the public eye. Taxpayers are entitled to know where their tax dollars are being spent.” said Sali. “This isn’t about Democrats versus Republicans. This is about restoring transparency and accountability to an institution that has lost the confidence of the American people.”

Under House rules, if the petition receives 217 signatures, Democratic leaders must schedule a vote on H.Res. 479. If the resolution passes, the House would operate under rules requiring greater transparency and public disclosure of earmarks contained in bills.

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali | No Comments »

Guest Post: Battle Lines Drawn Over CHIP

September 21st, 2007 by Halli

From David Ripley of Idaho Chooses Life

The Congressional Quarterly ran a story on the Children’s Health Insurance Program battle a couple days ago, indicating that House Democrats will likely support a scaled-back version of the bill they passed. While they are reportedly “grumbling” about the changes required by the Senate – they seem likely to go along.

Ways Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) is quoted as saying, “I’m very unhappy. It’s not even a compromise. It’s their way or the highway,” referring to the Senate.

Leading liberals are unhappy – despite the fact that the program they will soon pass brings a $35 billion expansion of the program; new income guidelines will allow children in families with incomes as high as $80,000 to get benefits. And the new appropriation bill still includes language which will prohibit benefits going to preborn children – and opening the way for CHIP monies to be used to pay for abortions in some 17 states with state-funded abortion programs.

President Bush told the nation at his news conference yesterday that he will veto the bill.

He called the expansion unacceptable, and a major step toward socialized medicine.

The President did not reference the abortion issue as part of his rationale. And that’s too bad – because America needs to better understand what the Democrats in Congress are up to. Still, we can be certain that part of the President’s veto commitment involves the issue of preborn children. After all, his innovative leadership first created the option of providing benefits to preborn children through Executive Order – and the language of this Democrat bill is obviously meant to be a rebuke to the President’s pro-Life policies.

It is difficult to see how preborn coverage will survive the Democrat’s attack – but we need to be in prayer. This benefit is one of the most important strategies available to saving preborn children while we suffer under the Roe regime.//feeds.feedburner.com/Trishandhallicom?format=xml”>full-feed RSS.

Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

Guest Post: Governor to be Commended for Making Supreme Court Choice Based on Merit

September 19th, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

Gov. Otter resisted pressure to make gender the primary qualification for selecting the next Idaho Supreme Court justice, picking the candidate who was most qualified in his judgment to take a seat on the bench. He chose 4th District Court judge Joel Horton to replace retiring Justice Linda Copple Trout.

Of the four finalists sent to the governor by the Idaho Judicial Council, two were women, and the Idaho Women Lawyers association put considerable public pressure on the governor to choose a woman because, well, just because she was a woman.

In other words, they wanted the governor to use gender bias in making his choice, an odd thing coming from professionals who ought to be dedicated to eliminating sexual bias in the court system. If justice is going to be fair and evenhanded, it must be blind to matters of race, color and sex, and it’s hard to see how using sexual discrimination to put a judge on the bench in the first place helps rather than hurts the cause of impartiality.

To his great credit, the governor said, “I didn’t see this as a gender seat. What I looked for was the best candidate.”

It’s frankly difficult for the public to make an informed judgment about Judge Horton’s qualifications for the bench, since we know almost nothing about his judicial philosophy and he refused to fill out questionnaires that would have given the public a peek into his views.

Fortunately, those I have talked with in the legal community believe that Judge Horton will make a fine jurist, and will see his role as one of upholding the law rather than creating the law.

Trout’s early retirement was done expressly to avoid the plain requirement of the Idaho State Constitution that citizens are to choose their own Supreme Court justices.

She famously said she was stepping down early because ordinary Idahoans just aren’t smart enough to pick their own judges, and consequently gave herself the liberty to deliberately circumvent the very Constitution she took an oath to uphold and place the process of choosing her successor in the hands of an unelected committee.

Missouri is the current poster child for the damage that can be done when the judicial selection process is placed in the hands of an appointed commission, as the story below from Human Events points out. The Idaho Values Alliance joined a number of national organizations in signing a strongly worded memo to the governor of Missouri complaining about the state’s selection process, which has created an alarmingly activist state supreme court in the Show Me State.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

Guest Post: Presidential Candidates Continue to Disappoint

September 19th, 2007 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

All of the so-called “front runners” missed the opportunity to address the GOP base on core cultural issues. A presidential forum called “Values Voter Debate” was held this week in Florida. It was moderated by WorldNetDaily’s Joseph Farah.

Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson all decided to skip the opportunity to talk about the most important issues facing America. No doubt their handlers determined that wading into tough issues like abortion, gay rights, embryonic stem cell research, parental authority in public schools, the threat posed by Planned Parenthood to our children’s welfare – these and many others were simply too hot to handle.

The absence of these “leaders” seems to only confirm what many of us have feared: These men are simply not prepared to lead America.

Joseph Farah wrote that the most disappointing truant was Fred Thompson. That seems right. There is the obvious fact that Thompson has skipped out on any forum in which he might be challenged by serious opponents. But the disappointment is deeper: For months there has been a lingering hope that Thompson might be the one to put it altogether – message, conviction, money and organization. His consistent timidity raises large doubts about his ability not just to campaign – but to govern.

That pessimistic view is only confirmed by statements Thompson made last week regarding the Terri Schiavo case. When asked if he thought the President and Congress were right to intervene on her behalf – Thompson said he needed more time to study the issue. He went on to suggest that it is generally a bad idea for the federal government to intervene in local matters.
His answers seem to betray a man who just doesn’t much care about the serious threats to humanity posed by the legal sanction of killing the most vulnerable among us.

It may well be time for the conservative movement to coalesce around a Duncan Hunter or Mike Huckabee – and do the hard work of making one of them a front-tier candidate.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post: General Petraeus Treatment Despicable

September 17th, 2007 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

An unprecedented display of contempt, disrespect, and effrontery greeted General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker as they appeared before Congressional committees this week. As required by Congress, the two returned to provide an update on conditions in Iraq and to assess the status of “the surge,” General Petraeus’ ingenious counterinsurgency method of establishing stability in terrorist-ridden regions.

The last time the General was on Capital Hill was when he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate to be granted his fourth star and head operations in Iraq. Senators from both sides of the aisle at that time praised Petraeus’s military service and intellect. Even Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee acknowledged at that time that, “General Petraeus is well qualified for this command, widely recognized for the depth and breadth of his education, training and operational experience. Noteworthy is his recent leadership of the team writing the new counterinsurgency manual for Army and Marine Corps… We appreciate General Petraeus’ service and his willingness to lead our forces at this critical and dangerous time.”

Yet even before he had a chance to testify on the Hill, legislators were attempting to cast aspersions on the General and his integrity, minimizing the value of his report, and preemptively denouncing whatever results he may have to report to them. That was before he had even opened his mouth!

The radical leftist organization Moveon.org, that apparently owns the liberals in Congress, ran an ignoble full-page ad in the New York Times which carried the large title: “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” “He is just trying to cook the books for the White House,” the ad said. “Today, before Congress and before the American people, General Petraeus is likely to become General Betray Us.” The ad also characterized Petraeus as a “military man constantly at war with the facts” who “will not admit what everyone knows: Iraq is mired in an unwinnable religious civil war.” Again, I remind you, this was before he had delivered his update to Congress.

I have known many liberals who are truly open-minded and objective, but those currently serving in congress obviously do not share that trait. This shortcoming is exemplified by a comment by Senator Clinton, and echoed by many others: “I believe that nothing which Petraeus or Crocker or anyone else coming before the Congress will say will in any way affect my view that this operation is wrong.” For such politicos, prejudices, biases, predispositions, presumptions and political expediency preempt any open-minded assessment of fact. I’m convinced that it also evidences an increasingly implemented pattern of calling everyone with whom they disagree “liars.” What good does that for the national dialogue?

The anti-war component on Capital hill, and the “non-profit” political action groups that own them, are so totally invested in defeat and early withdrawal from Iraq that they went on the offensive to discredit Petraeus even before he spoke. The man’s tolerance, patience, and discipline during the hearings were a marvel to behold. The hearing rooms provided a circus-like atmosphere with the radical anti-war Code Pink hysterical screams denouncing our efforts in Iraq and the General, which served as a precursor to the acrid, accusing, and condescending interrogation conducted by the legislators of the majority party.

While it is good for the nation to witness firsthand the collective imbecility, inaneness, and ignorance of many currently serving in Congress and the depths to which they will dredge to discredit an outstanding General of impeccable integrity, it scares me for the world and especially our enemies to see the disloyalty and disunity on display in Washington this week. Those who chided and belittled the General displayed their ignorance of the threat posed by terrorism, showed their contempt for the military, and showed all too readily that what they perceive to be a winning strategy for the 2008 elections for their party is more important than our national security.

If the egregious treatment of General Petraeus is any indication of how some in Congress “support the troops,” we can certainly do without their “support.” In FDR’s time, this would have been tantamount to treason and sedition. But because of the complicity of the mainstream media in painting all efforts associated with Iraq as bad, such seditious treatment of the top general in the field of battle is touted as nothing more than “loyal opposition,” or “freedom of speech,” or “noble dissent.” And they wonder why we question their patriotism!

Politically, I’m gratified by the virtual library of quotes and despicable actions of reproach shown our military and disdain for national security. Yet my love of America causes me to anguish over the myopic, spineless, anti-American stance of so many in Congress. Lanny Davis, former Chief of Staff for President Clinton, says all Democrats should denounce and dissociate themselves from Moveon.org. Yet, in spite of many requests and opportunities to so, none of the Democratic presidential candidates or congressional leaders have done so. That should speak volumes to any American who values national defense, loyalty and support of our military personnel, and patriotism in its unadulterated form.

It appears more verifiable than ever that the heart and soul of the liberals in Congress is comprised of the likes of Moveon.org and the wacko Code Pink. The truism is often repeated that we’re defined by the company we keep. That should be profoundly scary to many of you.

Perhaps most revealing this week was the uncanny similarity between what Osama Bin Laden said in his taped message for the anniversary of 9/11 and what the leftists in Washington say everyday. His charge that “Bush is still engaged in distortion, deception” about Iraq, and his reference to Haliburton and “the liar in the White House,” sounded just like Senators Reid, Kennedy, Boxer, and Congressmen Pelosi, Murtha, Lantos et al. If I was a Democrat, I would find it extremely disturbing that my party leaders sounded just like America’s arch-enemy.

In her condescending inquisition General Petraeus, Senator Barbara Boxer said based on poll results we should leave Iraq now. As an apparent student from the Clinton School of Management (finger to the wind of public opinion), perhaps she and her comrades should be willing to leave congress now based on their 18% approval rating!

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Posted in Guest Posts, National Sovereignty | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: Planned Parenthood Chutzpa

September 17th, 2007 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

You must acknowledge that Planned Parenthood is just about without peer when it comes to sheer ‘chutzpa’ – defined by Encarta as “impudent rudeness or lack of respect”.

After being nailed by local officials in the town of Aurora, Illinois for deception, Planned Parenthood filed suit in federal court last week. They are demanding that a federal judge order the city to let them open their huge abortion mill on their schedule.

The huge battle in Aurora comes after Planned Parenthood was caught attempting to gain permits to operate a huge abortion mill without ever informing local officials of its involvement or the exact nature of the “medical facility”. The entire permit process was presented to the city under the name, “Gemini Office Development”. At no point did these folks disclose that “Gemini” is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Planned Parenthood.

Once the deception was uncovered, city officials began an investigation of the process with an eye toward determining if Planned Parenthood’s deception rose to the level of criminal behavior – and whether there are grounds for the Aurora City Council to revoke the temporary occupancy permit. Afraid of the growing public outcry, Planned Parenthood sought their usual refuge in the federal courts – the true progenitor of this dangerous and wicked organization.

Here’s how Planned Parenthood explained their deceit to the judge:

“Aurora’s revocation of a temporary operating permit is motivated solely by political opposition to the constitutionally-protected right to abortion services. Aurora’s only objection is that it was not given the opportunity to discriminate based on the fact that Planned Parenthood provides abortion services.”

Besides that – Planned Parenthood calls their deception “irrelevant”. Or, in other words, none of the City Council’s business.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

Guest Post: Democrats Wage War on Women and Preborn Children

September 15th, 2007 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

In one of the more tragic developments under the new Democrat regime in Congress, pro-abort legislators are working to make sure that the national Children’s Health Insurance Program no longer covers preborn children. The House has already voted to specifically deny benefits, and yesterday, the Senate defeated a motion by Sen. Wayne Allard of Colorado to reassert coverage.

This program has been one of the more vital initiatives by President Bush to restore respect and protection for preborn children. In 2002, the President used his executive authority to allow states providing health insurance for low income children to include those in the womb.

In the 2003 session of the Idaho Legislature, Idaho Chooses Life waged a ferocious battle to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to help women and babies with medical costs. We saw it as a very real way to offer help to women dealing with crisis pregnancies. The Abortion Lobby in Idaho, which sadly includes a substantial number of the medical community, recognized both the practical and legal implications of extending coverage to preborn children.

Unfortunately, we lost the fight on the House floor by a couple of votes.

The Allard amendment failed 49-50. We presume that Sen. Craig was absent for the vote – which prevented the amendment from narrow passage (with Vice President Cheney casting the deciding vote).

LifeNews.com reports that President Bush is likely to veto the Democrat legislation, in part because their new rules for the Children’s Health Insurance Program will allow for federal tax funding of abortions in states (17) where pregnant women are eligible for elective abortions. We pray so. It is more than ironic that a program designed to provide health care for children would be used instead to kill them.

It is just plain evil.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

Hmmmmmmmm, Mexican Truck EXPLODES???

September 10th, 2007 by Halli

As the United States takes another step towards the formation of a North American Union through the Security and Prosperity Partnership, Mexican trucks have begun crossing north of the border to haul cargo in competition with domestic trucking companies.

Despite repeated protests and warnings from concerned citizens, petitions and demonstrations from US trucking companies and opposition from some congressmen, a 2007 Freightliner owned by Transportes Olympic of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, underwent a 2-hour inspection and crossed into Laredo, TX, at 12:50am on September 8. Destination: North Carolina. It was only the first of many.

As mentioned, the initial truck underwent an apparently extensive inspection. But realistic observers need not expect that to continue, as the growing flood of Mexican trucks inundates the border crossings. Who knows what hazards may be crossing into the US, in the form of freight, unsafe equipment, or unsafe drivers.?

How safe DO you feel on US highways now that you’re sharing them with Mexican trucks?

Try not to think about the Mexican truck carrying dynamite for the “mining industry” which collided with another vehicle near Piedras Negras, Mexico, and exploded, killing 37 people.

Suppose that same truck had been hauling its freight on a US highway?

Since 3 reporters are among the dead, one might expect the US media to begin taking note of coming threats to American lives.

Don’t hold your breath.

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Posted in Family Matters, National Sovereignty, Politics in General | 2 Comments »

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