Thursday, March 22, 2007

Grover Norquist speaking to NYYRC tonight!

How do we fight to keep tax-and-spend liberals from raising our taxes? What is the impact of higher government spending going to be on your wallet? And what can be done to make elected officials accountable on fiscal issues?

You will hear the answers to these questions and more Thursday, March 22nd at the New York Young Republican Club general meeting.

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, will be our featured speaker. He will talk candidly about tax and spending issues facing Congress, and what we as citizens can do to make them accountable to us.

Also, Matthew Mahoney, Deputy Senior Political Advisor for the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign, will give us an update on the Giuliani campaign and how interested members can help out.

We will also be accepting nominations for Club officers. Anyone interested in running for Club president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, or Chairman of the Board of Advisors, please contact Elections Chairman Craig Schwartz at for details.

As always, we will meet at the Union League Club at 38 East 37th Street, New York, NY. The meeting starts at 7:00pm.

Business attire required. Please turn off your cell phone upon entry.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Terror-Free Investing

California has joined a growing number of states to promote the so-called "terror-free" investing, namely, to force pension funds to sell their holdings in companies doing business with the likes of Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and Cuba.

Financial Times wrote this morning:

Interpreted loosely, a ban could affect a number of US companies that have exploited existing loopholes as well as a large chunk of Europe's multinationals - from engineering companies, banks and oil producers to the likes of Nokia and Nestlé.

Also in the news today, Chiquita Brands International, the world's biggest banana producer, has pleaded guilty for paying protection money to Colombian paramilitaries from 2001 to 2004.

Most people would hesitate to argue against corporate responsibilities for stakeholders like workers, communities and society at large, beyond the overarching mandate of making profits. However, fighting the war on terror should not be an extra layer of burden, especially when business and finance are so interconnected globally now.

What's more, despite their formidable prowess to create jobs and generate earnings, companies are in fact quite vulnerable to governments with military at their disposal and no accountability. Chiquita had the choice of losing money and paying up to the druglords. With a simple cost-benefit analysis, a rational business would tend to choose the latter option.

So is legislating against such wheeling-dealing a solution? Far from it. It's the government's job to fight terrorism, not the business's.

Consider this, countries like China and Russia are now on a deal-making binge with the rogue regimes of the world. It is not a time to tie the hands and feet of our profit machines and choke the engines of our growth.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Democrats rev up the mud-slinging machine

Walter Reed, Alberto Gonzalez, prosecutor firings, Cheney, Rove, Iraq contracts, Iraq troop deployments, and more Iraq.

The Bush administration is certainly under seige from a Democratic Congress that is looking to make his last two years in office as unproductive and miserable as possible.

Democrats promised during the 2006 elections to launch a slew of investigations against the White House for everything they could think of. It appears this is one campaign promise that they will definitely keep.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Must-read op-ed on Pelosi's Iraq plan

The Washington Post is one of my favorite reads - not merely because it is neck-deep in reporting all the goings-on in the Swamp, not just because they are charmingly liberal while trying to be nonpartisan (which is always humorous), but because every once in a while, they get it right.

Case in point: today's op-ed takes San Fran Nan Pelosi to task for her slick Iraq war plan which does a lot to corral liberal votes, but does absolutely nothing for Iraq or American national security. Those of us in the know have long since realized that Pelosi is nothing more than a liberal opportunist, but it's nice when the mainstream media tips their hat to that reality.

A new fine mess

Now that Libby has been scratched off the list of White House officials to tag and bag, liberals are turning their sights back to Karl Rove, the one who got away in the Valerie Plame broohaha.

It appears that the firing of eight U.S. prosecutors last year by the White House has drawn the interest of Sen. Chuck Schumer and his fellow Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. Why? Well, publicly Democrats are saying they believe these prosecutors were let go because of some quid pro quo that was not met with the administration. Privately, it's another opportunity to tie up the Bush administration in accusations of scandal while Democrats in Congress attempt to raise taxes, screw over Iraq, and lay a red carpet right up to the door of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for their 2008 nominee.

This will take months to develop, but I encourage you all to watch it with a close eye.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Anxiety Over China's military buildup

While the U.S. is heavily engaged with China economically, the Chinese military buildup is in full swing, announcing an unprecedented 18% increase in the official defense budget last week.

What this means is heightened regional anxiety and potential ammunition for isolationists in the U.S. Congress for more trade protection.

As the great British economist historian Niall Ferguson wrote, China and the U.S. are now tightly linked in a symbiotic relationship which has been fueling global growth and bolstering international financial markets. For better or for worse, this "Chimerica" relationship is a reality whose undermining will have huge, negative consequences for the world economy and the living standards for billions of people.

Is China playing smart here by taking the U.S. economy hostage? Can they get away with such rapid and unaccountable military buildup? How should the U.S. respond?

The level of anxiety is certainly due for a major rachet-up as the U.S. and China get even closer economically.

Americans in space

Back in 2004, President Bush made a bold call for returning to the Moon by 2020, and then striking out for Mars thereafter. Being a full-throated, unapologetic fan of America's space program, I thought this goal not only attainable, but healthy for America's spirit, economy, and scientific knowledge.

There hasn't been much talk in the media of the president's plan since that announcement three years ago, but I assure you the project proceeds apace. Click here for an update...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Iran minister: kidnap victim or defector

Former Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Ali Reza Asghari has disappeared and no one is sure why. All that is known is that the Iranian government didn't admit to his disappearance in Turkey for ten days. The Arab press says the Americans took him; some Turks and other Europeans say that he offered his services to the United States.

What does Asghari know? Well, he could give us some unique insight into Iran's nuclear program. He also has rare knowledge of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, which is the command center for the country's terrorist activities. He was a top commander in the Guard in the 1980s, and is considered to be one of the godfathers of Hezbullah.

Iran says that Asghari doesn't know anything relevant because his government service ended years ago. But that's just the type of cover story the Soviets used to put up when their agents and military officers defected to the West. And those defections help bring us victory in the Cold War.

Liberal Rep. Obey berates liberals (great stuff!)

Liberal Democrat David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee has been against the Iraq war from the start. But he personally has no plans to sign on to any scheme that defunds the troops (Take that, Murtha!), and he's apparently sick and tired of the anti-war crew mucking up the works in his attempt to bring the Iraq war to a close.

Obey let his frustration show in a hallway run-in with two liberals this week in the capitol that was caught on video and ended up on YouTube.

This is the best evidence you're going to see about how fractured the Democrat coalition is over Iraq. If you want to hear a liberal talk about "idiot liberals" who "have no idea what the hell we are trying to do," see this video! If you want to see a congressman lose his cool with his constituents, run, do not walk, to YouTube now!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Check This Out

A very enlightening piece on Gitmo in the Wall Street Journal’s opinion page today:

Gitmo’s Guerrilla Lawyers

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Joe Wilson looking to extend his 15 minutes of fame

Joseph Wilson IV, self-appointed hero of the anti-Bush left, has decided that the best way to keep his name in the news is to file a civil suit against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby for the revelation of his wife's CIA identity to the press.

Wilson has parlayed the whole Niger-Iraq-Uranium connection and his subsequent battle with the Bush administration into book deals, wide-ranging interviews, even a Vanity Fair photo shoot by Annie Leibovitz, but he still has not gotten his outsized head around the fact that this is about more, or rather less, than him and his desk-set wife, Valerie.

This is all so politically motivated that without the partisan element, the trial, the controversy, and Joe Wilson himself would have nothing to stand on. There's a great op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today that speaks volumes about this. The suggestion is also made to pardon Libby now, which is what I suggested yesterday on this blog.

A final word on Wilson's civil case. It will most likely move forward, but he will have a tough time for a couple of reasons:

1. If the Libby trial proved anything, it is that Libby is not the White House official who leaked Plame's identity to the press. In fact, it wasn't the White House at all. It was Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State. So, if Wilson wants satisfaction for the outing of his wife, Libby is not the man to pursue.
2. The other names mentioned in Wilson's suit, Vice President Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, will likely be immune because of their government positions.

Of course, if the civil case is in any way stymied, that will only further prove to Wilson that he and his wife are the target of a vast right-wing conspiracy to reveal to the public what they do for a living.

Goin' South

President Bush will be leaving for a much-needed trip to Latin America tomorrow, stopping off in Brazil, Uruguay, Columbia, Guatemala, and Mexico. Lots of things to discuss - ethanol agreements, trade, and our favorite LatAm topic, illegal immigration.

Hugo Chavez, upset that the "Devil" from the North is invading his turf, is planning a counter-trip timed with Bush's. (How do you counter a trip? Perhaps Hugo is trying too hard here.) Chavez has been dumping money all over Latin America in the hopes of dominating the entire region like he dominates his own country with his socialist agenda. He's not about to let all his hard work (i.e., threats, killings, deportations, incarcerations, confiscations, etc.) go down the drain because President Bush is in town.

The fact that Chavez has been able to claim the hold that he has is in part our own fault. We have failed to make better progress in relations with Central & South America, and we have often ignored the problems that have festered there and drifted north into our own country.

However, it's not to late to change things. Chavez can't wantonly throw money around forever. Sooner or later his economy will crack under the strain. And his own neighbors realize that he wants to dominate them, not work alongside them. They need a counterbalance. Bush's trip couldn't have come soon enough.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Pardon Libby now

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been found guilty of two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice. He escaped another charge of lying to the FBI. He could end up with a couple of years in jail, or nothing if Bush pardons him, which he should do without delay.

Libby's "crime" was basically in being the one that didn't get away from the wide net cast by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald, like all special prosecutors before him, was simply not going to give up until he bagged somebody, anybody, in the trumped-up case of outing CIA agent Valerie Plame. Every top Washington journalist - Bob Woodward, Walter Pincus, and Glenn Kessler of the Washington Com-Post, David Sager of the New York Times, Evan Thomas of Newsweek, and Robert Novak all said under oath that they heard of Plame's identity from someone other than Libby. Yet, Libby was accused of lying to law enforcement. More than likely, the whole non-case slipped his mind. It would have slipped all our minds were it not for the pure hatred that exists for the Bush administration in the left-leaning media.

What's really disturbing is the amount of coverage that the Libby trial received, while Sandy Berger's theft and destruction of classified national security documents registered barely at all in the media. Nope, no bias here.

Thank You PETA

Looks like Gore is now going to have to purchase carbon offsets for every cheeseburger he eats now:


This is even better than the $30,000 electric bill.

Also, here’s a great column on the hypocrisy of wealthy environmentalists.

Friday, March 02, 2007

John Bolton: "Regime Change" for Iran

John Bolton, a bona fide Renaissance Man, is now a senior fellow on foreign policy at the American Enterprise Institute. He appeared on Bloomberg TV yesterday and showed a true conservative attitude towards foreign policy... the attitude that combines realism with imperialism -- the only attitude that has worked since the start of nation states.

As a private citizen, Bolton is now free to express what he believes is the right, most effective policy towards volatile dictators in rogue states.

He said the "persistence of the bureaucracy" was to blame for lack of action against Iran and, insightfully, he said:

"Unless you're prepared to believe that the Iraniansare voluntarily going to give up the pursuit of nuclear weapons, the idea of pursuing negotiations is ultimately going to be fruitless."

He also said the Bush administration has "abandoned the principles it pursued for much of its first several years in office." Searing but still true.