Monday, August 28, 2006

DEM. Sen. Biden Brags: "My State Was A Slave State"

Senator Joe Biden of Delaware is running for the Democratic nomination for President.

Can he compete in the south against former Governor Mark Warner of Virginia and former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina?

Biden claims he should do well, he’s not from a Northeast liberal state, but from a slave state.


Verna Rollinger is Running for Laguna Beach City Council

Might you be willing to display a Verna sign on your property? Just email me at Gene@Felders.Net

Please read Verna’s Newsletter; visit Verna's web site at

Please come to Verna’s Friend-Raising Party
Sunday, August 27th
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Madison Square and Cafe
320 North Coast Highway.
The event is free and the public is invited.

Castro Should Be Executed Before He Dies

See Wall Street Journal Counting Castro's Victims by Mary Anastasia O'Grady

"On May 27, [1966,] 166 Cubans -- civilians and members of the military -- were executed and submitted to medical procedures of blood extraction of an average of seven pints per person. This blood is sold to Communist Vietnam at a rate of $50 per pint with the dual purpose of obtaining hard currency and contributing to the Vietcong Communist aggression.

"A pint of blood is equivalent to half a liter. Extracting this amount of blood from a person sentenced to death produces cerebral anemia and a state of unconsciousness and paralysis. Once the blood is extracted, the person is taken by two militiamen on a stretcher to the location where the execution takes place."

-- InterAmerican Human Rights Commission, April 7, 1967

Read more at the web site.

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage Outed Valerie Plame

See Newsweek Magazine article The Man Who Said Too Much by Michael Isikoff.

It wasn’t Karl Rove, nor Scooter Libby. Robert Novak’s source that Valerie Palme was the wife of Joseph Wilson IV and worked at the CIA was Secretary of State Colin Powell’s right hand man Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. He and Special Prosecutor have known this information since the very beginning of the investigation, thus Robert Novak was never pursued by the Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald.

As a reminder during a twenty-two year career in the Foreign Service, Joseph Wilson IV achieved the level of the being Ambassador to Gabon. See Wikipedia:
Joseph Charles Wilson IV (born November 6, 1949) was a United States foreign service diplomat between 1976 and 1998. He has achieved his recent notoriety from an op-ed essay[1] published on July 6, 2003, in The New York Times in which he revealed his February 2002 trip investigating whether Iraq purchased or attempted to purchase yellowcake from Niger in the late 1990s. In this op-ed piece, published four months after the war began, he accused the Bush Administration of "exaggerating the Iraqi threat" in order to justify war.
Shortly thereafter, columnist Robert Novak, while writing on the choice of Wilson for the Niger mission, disclosed that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA. In his July 14, 2003, column[2], Novak wrote "Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report."

From the Newsweek article:
■ “Armitage acknowledged that he had passed along to Novak information contained in a classified State Department memo: that Wilson's wife worked on weapons-of-mass-destruction issues at the CIA.”
■ “Novak wasn't the only person Armitage talked to about Plame. Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward has also said he was told of Plame's identity in June 2003… Armitage told Woodward about Plame three weeks before talking to Novak.”
■ “Armitage has consistently refused to discuss the case.”
■ “Armitage himself was aggressively investigated by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, but was never charged. Fitzgerald found no evidence that Armitage knew of Plame's covert CIA status when he talked to Novak and Woodward.”

Global Warming Cause Glaciers to Grow

Apparently weather is quite complicated. So complicated that Global Warming causes glaciers to shrink while simultaneously causing glaciers to grow. Only simpletons can make confident, albeit false, projections.

See BBC article Global warming boost to glaciers
■ Global warming could be causing some glaciers to grow, a new study claims.

■ Researchers at Newcastle University looked at temperature trends in the western Himalaya over the past century.

■ They found warmer winters and cooler summers, combined with more snow and rainfall, could be causing some mountain glaciers to increase in size.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Juan Williams Challenges the Black Establishment

Hat tip CigarJoe and
August 13, 2006
Juan Williams Challenges the Establishment
By Ruben Navarrette

SAN DIEGO -- A few years ago, my friend Juan Williams told me that he thought we had something in common -- namely, how those who represent our communities, or claim to represent them, view us with suspicion and resentment.

In interviews with Hispanic members of Congress, the NPR senior correspondent and Fox News commentator said he had detected that some of them were uneasy about me, and much of what I write.

"They don't trust you,'' he said. "They never know what you're going to do. And they know you won't always agree with them and, when they're wrong, you're going to say so.''

Juan said it reminded him of how the members of the Congressional Black Caucus felt about him.

Now many black members of Congress -- along with local and state officials, academics, the civil rights establishment, etc. -- will trust him even less. That's because my friend has written a provocative and immensely important book that challenges a lot of what they're selling to the masses.

Titled "Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America -- And What We Can Do About It,'' the book is a good read. But it's also a good deed. And you can bet it won't go unpunished.

You see, it ain't easy being Juan Williams. As a panelist on "Fox News Sunday,'' my friend comes across as a common-sense liberal dueling with conservatives who spend all their time in a right-wing bubble. But put him around those individuals whom we in the media generously refer to as "black leaders,'' and suddenly Juan is a common-sense conservative dueling with liberals who are trapped in a left-wing bubble.

As you can guess from the title of his book, Williams has had a bellyful of African-Americans acting as their own worst enemy. He's tired of black people not having good leadership and instead settling for professional grievance brokers -- Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton et al -- who "misinform, mismanage and miseducate (the black community) by refusing to articulate established truths about what it takes to get ahead: strong families, education and hard work'' and who do all this for their own financial and political benefit because keeping people weak is a way to keep them dependent on their "leaders.''

Can I get an amen?

Convinced that many of the problems that black people face today can be solved by black people, Williams doesn't think the answer is to embrace victimhood, blame all your troubles on racism, and wait for white America to bail out black America in what he calls the "blacks-as-beggars'' approach.

And he's particularly incensed that you don't have more black leaders getting in the faces of black youth and telling them that -- in order to be a success -- you have to stay in school, study hard, speak proper English, stay away from crack and stop defining what it means to be authentically black as someone who is acting like a thug and "dressing like a convict.''

Can I get another amen?

This should sound familiar. Williams draws much of his inspiration from the now infamous speech delivered by comedian Bill Cosby on May 17, 2004, to a few thousand members of the black elite who gathered in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Instead of basking in how far African-Americans have come in the last century, Cosby lobbed grenades. He talked about dropout rates, out-of-wedlock births, drug abuse, high rates of incarceration and other forms of self-defeating behavior that plague the black community, and how no one seemed to be doing anything about it. Cosby was criticized -- not because what he said wasn't true, but because he aired dirty laundry and said publicly things that many African-Americans talk about only behind closed doors.

Now Juan Williams has done the same thing. And besides diagnosing the illness, he's offered a prescription.

"It's so simple,'' he told me. "It's all about education. You've got to say to young people who are thinking of dropping out of school: 'Don't do it. It's a death sentence.' After you graduate, take any job you can find and work hard. You can move up from there.''

It's a solid message, not just for African-Americans, but for all Americans. And the black community owes the messenger a debt of gratitude for having the courage to spread it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Campaign Reform Creates More Rules Leading to More Money

See the OP/ED piece More Rules, More Money by JAN WITOLD BARAN And ROBERT F. BAUER in the New York Times August 8, 2006 (May require subscription)

IN 1981, we sat down to lunch together, a lawyer for Republicans and a lawyer for Democrats, to ponder the state of our election law practices.

Though Watergate had spawned comprehensive campaign finance reform several years before, there were reports that the newly elected president might move to abolish the Federal Election Commission and cut back the overgrowth of regulations that sent clients our way. By the time coffee was served, however, we had concluded that the urge for campaign regulation would overwhelm conservative deregulatory ambitions.

How right we were! The decades since have witnessed a constant clamor for more reform and regulation, including the enactment of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation in 2002.

Now, the Federal Election Commission is again a target for abolition. But only so it can be replaced by an even more powerful bureaucracy with expanded enforcement powers. In legislation designed by the irrepressible architects of McCain-Feingold, the proposed Federal Election Administration would be equipped to mete out swift justice, including hefty fines and “cease and desist” orders to wayward campaigns.

The new agency would shrink the F.E.C.’s six seats to a more nimble three, including a vastly more powerful chairman appointed by the president for a 10-year term. For good measure, nominees for the three seats would have to be unsullied by timely, real-world political experience; no recent candidates, party officials or — ouch! — election lawyers need apply.

Our law practices, which have grown tenfold since 1981, have certainly prospered from the seemingly unappeasable demand for reform. But it cannot be said that others — those active in the political process, or the public at large — have done nearly as well. The law is not only increasingly complex but, in many cases, counterintuitive, requiring ever more nuanced clarifications from regulators.

Some reformers genuinely believe that it is possible to drive money out of politics and still observe the command of the First Amendment. Others see practical advantages. Many politicians favored McCain-Feingold because it prohibited certain advertising that mentioned opponents’ names, or because it authorized them to raise more money if they were challenged by wealthy, free-spending opponents. The bill also attempted to strike at “negative” political speech — known to ordinary Americans by its other name, “criticism”— by requiring candidates to publicly approve their ad content.

In 2004, the first election year during which McCain-Feingold was in effect, negative campaigns overwhelmed the government’s efforts to discourage them, and fund-raising records fell beneath the frenzied pace of collections by candidates, parties and interest groups.

By 2005, a rash of scandals, including the Abramoff and Cunningham cases, had answered the question of whether this legal crusade would quash corruption.

The grand quest to rid politics of money never concludes; frustration with the results of reform invariably inspires fresh calls for more reform. In 2003 the Supreme Court narrowly ruled that Congress may actively legislate against the “circumvention” of campaign rules, an eerie acknowledgment that the laws, forever failing in their aim, must be continually amended.

Now that the presidential public financing system, once described as the “crown jewel” of reform, has lost significance and credibility — neither major party nominee in 2004 accepted public money in the primary — reformers want repairs to that system, as well. Suggestions include more money for government-financed education of increasingly indifferent voters, to encourage them to mark off more of their tax dollars for the presidential campaign fund.

Meanwhile, there are states where campaign finance remains largely unregulated. Virginia, for example, has no contribution limits, no public financing, no prohibitions on corporate or union giving; it simply requires prompt disclosure of campaign income and spending. It does not appear that relatively laissez-faire campaign finance has left Virginia with a dysfunctional and corrupt government, certainly not of the kind alleged to be rampant in Washington.

Yet we are confident, as we meet still for the occasional lunch, that the argument for reducing regulation will not find much favor.

Partisans will continue to demand restrictions calculated to hurt their opponents or help themselves; the press will inveigh against the nefarious role of money in politics (without explaining how candidates are supposed to communicate, cost-free, with millions of voters); and “good government” groups will explain that we are just one or two reforms away from cleaner, brighter, more wholesome politics.

Perhaps, when at last the frustration and futility have proved too much, advocates of reform would consider joining us for lunch. After all they have done for us, we would be obliged to pick up the tab. But we all know who has been paying the price for three decades of misguided efforts at reform.

Jan Witold Baran is the author of “The Election Law Primer for Corporations.” Robert F. Bauer writes the blog moresoftmoneyhardlaw.