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21/25/40: California has a spending problem. As State Senator Tom McClintock likes to point out, population and inflation combined have grown at a rate of 21% the past four years; revenue has grown 25%. Yet California government spending has grown 40%. The result is an unprecedented state budget deficit expected to exceed $35 billion.
- Thomas Krannawitter 5/2/03

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[6/30/04 Wednesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:09 am [link]
Take Back: Yesterday, at a rally for Senator Barbara Boxer in San Francisco, Hillary Clinton announced:

"Many of you are well enough off that . . . the tax cuts may have helped you. We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

Here are some questions for Senator Boxer:

(1) Does she agree with Hillary Clinton that tax cuts are something that the government "gives" to the people? Does the money belong to the government -- so that it's a gift when taxes are cut, or does tax money belong to the people who pay taxes from what they have earned?

(2) Does she believe that the American people are children, who need to have their own money "taken away" from them by the likes of her and Hillary Clinton? Does she believe in Hillary Clinton's formulation that it's a good thing for government to "take away" some things from some people in order to fulfill certain officials' vision of what constitutes "the common good"? And how does she define "the common good" anyway?

An absolutely ridiculous and outrageous quote.

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 5:15 am [link]
Dog Pack As excellent columnist and scholar Daniel Pipes notes below, diplomatic ties between the PLO and North Koreans are progressing beyond the point of buying each other flowers. This behavior is amusing at the level of stray dogs sniffing respective hind ends, but worrisome when one considers that one of the dogs is manufacturing dirty weapons or full up nuclear bombs and the other is insane enough to use them. We Americans have a culture that likes to categorize people and organizations and assign exclusivity to each category. In other words if someone is a North Korean terrorist we would automatically think that person would not necessarily interact with an Islamic fascist. The reality is that they are working frantically together to hurt us. As the stakes grow larger we must pay more attention to these connections, as Pipes so accurately points out. We cannot afford to allow ourselves to miss a critical threat simply because it is out of the analytical box of our cultural norms. These terrorists of all kinds have joined like a pack of dogs. And they are looking hungrily at the West.

[6/29/04 Tuesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 7:02 pm [link]
Handover: Congratulations to the Iraqis and to all the brave Coalition forces and leaders who made this moment possible! Not only has sovereignty been restored to the Iraq, but those who would have marred the handover with terrorism have been thwarted. Let's all say a prayer for Iraq, its people and its future.

Finally . . . can the press get over Vice President Cheney saying the "f-word" to Patrick Leahy? The word came out in a private conversation that was leaked to the press by Leahy or someone on his staff (and remember -- Leahy has a "leaking" problem . . . recall when he leaked classified Intelligence Committee info to the press back in the late '80's?). The expletive wasn't being used for publication by a struggling candidate to create a macho effect, a la John Kerry in Rolling Stone. It was an honest man objecting to attacks on his integrity by a human weasel. Enough said.

[Daniel Pipes - author, activist CRO contributor] 5:02 am [link]
Palestinian Flowers to "Leader Kim Jong Il"
For years, I have a low-key interest in the Palestinian "diplomatic" representation abroad, that ambitious effort to endow first a terrorist group (the PLO) and then a terrorist authority (the PA) with the trappings of a legitimate state. I reported on one personal encounter in 1993, "Dining out with the PLO in Prague," where I noted "two oddities: that the PLO should reach out to someone like me and that it should host such an elegant and thoroughly bourgeois dinner party."

The news from Pyongyang, included the riveting fact that "Leader Kim Jong Il received floral baskets and congratulatory letters from the diplomatic corps and officials in charge of the cultural and friendly relations of foreign embassies here on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his start of work at the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea." Of particular note is that "The floral basket and congratulatory letter from the diplomatic corps here were conveyed to Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun by Palestinian Ambassador E. P. Shaher Mohammed Abdlah who is doyen of the corps." How reassuring to learn that things may be an anarchic shambles at home, but in North Korea, the Palestinian pretence to constitute a state is proceeding ahead as ever.

[6/28/04 Monday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:03 am [link]
Beheading Everyone: Hearing reports that a US Marine has been taken captive by terrorists and they are threatening to behead him unless the US and Iraq government release prisoners had me wondering if the elite media might change their tune.

So, should we treat these prisoners as POW’s according to the Geneva Convention rules? Or should we treat them as enemy combatants, being as tough as morally possible to get as much information out of them before another innocent human being is beheaded by Army of Islam slime.

Let’s review - we have three Turkish captives, one Pakistan captive and now a US Marine, held by the terrorists in Iraq and Saudi Arabia. They want PRISONERS that we have in PRISON freed - I'll say again - they want their evil brethren released or they will cut the heads off of innocent people. Do you think those we are holding in prison are simple POW’s or are they members of terrorism?

[Streetsweeper - into the opinion bin] 5:02 am [link]
What radical liberal judiciary? The NY Times mentions a Clinton appointee to the 2nd Circuit, "In a way that occurred before but is rare in the United States, somebody came to power as a result of the illegitimate acts of a legitimate institution that had the right to put somebody in power," Judge [Guido] Calabresi told an annual meeting of the American Constitution Society in Washington on Saturday, in remarks that were first reported by The New York Sun. "That is what the Supreme Court did in Bush v. Gore; it put somebody in power," he said, referring to the decision that cleared the way for Mr. Bush to claim victory in the election. // "The reason I emphasize that is because that is exactly what happened when Mussolini was put in by the king of Italy," he said. "That is what happened when Hindenburg put Hitler in." Oh, yeah... What about the Florida Supreme Court that wrote new law to make sure that their guy Mr. Gore would squeak by? So, bouncing out that kind of radical liberal judicary high-handedness is equivalent to a fascistic grab for power? Hmmm... I wonder how his rulings read? Probably not a whole lot different from our state’s lovely Stephen Reinhardt’s on the 9th, eh?

[6/25/04 Friday]

[Bill Leonard, contributor, Member CA Board of Equalization] 5:13 am [link]
Mississippi Bests California: Last week the Wall Street Journal ran an article describing Mississippi’s move out of the bottom slot for having the worst business climate in the U.S. The article attributed this jump to the state’s embrace of tort reform. The bad news for us is that for the past several years, business magazines have listed California and Mississippi as having the worst, or second-worst, business climates in the nation. Well, it appears because of Mississippi’s reforms, California now has a virtual lock on being the very worst. Yes, things seem to be getting a little better for Californians as the economy improves. Nonetheless, all of us elected officials need to keep this ignominious distinction in the front of our minds and get to work.

I never cease to be amazed by the number of Democrat policymakers who ignore the ranking of states. They really do not believe that businesspeople make decisions based on public policy. They should all give ear to something Senator Dick Ackerman reported this week. He met with HP’s CEO, Carly Fiorina, recently. She told him that she gives her corporate officers this direction about how they should determine business expansion opportunities or relocation decisions: anywhere but Germany, France or California. That is not a list that we should be on.

[6/24/04 Thursday]

[Chuck DeVore - columnist] 5:02 am [link]
Michael Moore’s Islamofascist Propaganda Machine: Premise - Mr. Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 plumbs new depths of national self-loathing (he is an American, isn’t he?) and provides aid and comfort to the enemy.

As honest leftist Christopher Hitchens puts it, “To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability… Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of ‘dissenting’ bravery.” (See: Slate)

Mr. Hitchens goes on to suggest that Mr. Moore has the “…filmic standards, if not exactly the filmic skills, of Sergei Eisenstein or Leni Riefenstahl.”

This got me to thinking. Leni Riefenstahl. The infamously brilliant German filmmaker, who, at 33, made the notorious Triumph of the Will in 1935 – a “documentary” that promoted Hitler’s new Germany. Perhaps Moore isn’t engaged in self-loathing. Maybe he really is an agent for the Islamofascists who seek to impose a new world order, complete with public beheadings and progressive attitudes towards polygamy.

We now find out that Hezbollah (the terrorist group, not the movie distributor), wants to boost Fahrenheit 9/11 in the Middle East. Mr. Gianluca Chacra, the Managing Director of Mr. Moore’s film distributor, Front Row, said of Hezbollah, “We can't go against these organizations, as they could strongly boycott the film in Lebanon and Syria.”

Michael Moore: useful idiot, shameless self-promoter, or Islamofascist agent – you decide.

In the meantime, one emerging reason for undecided voters to reelect President Bush is that Mr. Kerry’s defeat would spare us all from the inevitable Michael Moore “documentary” of Kerry’s life. ]Chuck DeVore is the Republican nominee in California's 70th Assembly District.]

[6/23/04 Wednesday]

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 5:15 am [link]
Selective Torture. Why is it that mainstream media finds no news value in a recently-released four-minute compilation that the Pentagon assembled from hours of video recovered from Saddam Hussein's torture chambers? Meanwhile, they gleefully re-run Abu Ghraib tapes until viewers' eyes glaze. Also the media threatens to run 'newly uncovered, even more horrible' tapes of American abuse but will ignore a Senate screening of some of the most horrific torture film seen. Nick Schultz in an excellent piece carried on NRO details the scenes from pre-liberation Iraq. It is a must-read column.

The important question- is the American public being intentionally isolated from film that may remind us of why we are fighting the war on terror? The media sanctimoniously decided that shots of the poor souls flinging themselves from the burning WTC buildings are too intense for us to see. Also up close video of Daniel Pearl's murder, Michael Berg's beheading, and Paul Johnson's beheading are, like Saddam video, too graphic for our sensitive eyes in their opinion. I challenge that premise: if American troops were commiting these atrocities they would show it to us. Repeatedly. Ad nauseum. Instead the press has become so politicized and bent on destroying George W. Bush that it would distort through the censorship of selective omission.

It behooves us all to make certain that the word on this egregious Saddam tape is spread. Even if the public can't see it they can read about it, though as the NYT reporter said so sanctimoniously about Abu Ghraib, 'you really can't appreciate the horror of the event until you see it.' So show us what life was like in Saddam's prison, people. We're big kids and can handle it.

[6/22/04 Tuesday]

[Daniel Pipes - author, activist CRO contributor] 5:54 am [link]
Insane Asylum: How America Welcomes Terrorists.
Among Michelle Malkin's many virtues as a columnist is her keeping tabs of patterns that the rest of us might have missed. In a column last week she notes a particularly distressing one: immigrants claiming "political asylum" who are later accused or indicted on terrorism charges. She points to four instances:

Ramzi Yousef: He arrived from Pakistan with an Iraqi passport but no U.S. visa. Claiming political asylum, he was briefly detained for illegal entry, then allowed to enter the United States because the immigration authorities lacked space to hold him. Yousef went on to plot the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, for which he now sits convicted in a U.S. jail.

Mir Aimal Kansi: A Pakistani who received a business visa in 1991 to enter the United States, despite his known history as an Islamist. After arrival, he claimed political asylum based on his ethnic minority status in Pakistan. He obtained a driver's license and an AK-47, then went on a murderous rampage outside the CIA headquarters in January 1993, killing two employees and wounded three others. He was convicted in 1997 of capital murder and nine other charges, for which he now sits convicted in a U.S. jail.

Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer: A Palestinian who entered the United States illegally from Canada in about 1996, claiming political asylum based on alleged persecution by Israel. Released on a $5,000 bond (posted by a another illegal alien), he skipped his asylum hearing. In June 1997, a federal immigration judge ordered Mezer to leave the country on a "voluntary departure order," which Mezer ignored. He was arrested in July 1997 as he was about to bomb the New York City subways, for which he now sits convicted in a U.S. jail.

Nuradin M. Abdi: A Somali, whom prosecutors allege received a bogus "refugee" status in 1999, then fraudulently obtained a refugee travel document which he used to fly to Ethiopia for Al-Qaeda's jihad training. On returning he began plotting to blow up a shopping mall in Ohio, for which he now sits accused in a U.S. jail.

In addition, here are more "political asylum" immigrants whom Malkin does not mention but who fit the same pattern:

Omar Abdel Rahman: The blind Egyptian sheikh who, although already on a terrorism "watch list" when he arrived in the United States, nevertheless acquired a tourist visa and then permanent residency. When it was understood who he was, this was revoked and Abdel Rahman applied for political asylum. He was allowed to remain while his application was being considered, which time he used to guide his disciples who blew up the World Trade Center in 1993 and then plotted to blow up New York City landmarks in 1995; he now sits convicted in a U.S. jail for the latter offense.

Hesham Mohamed Ali Hedayet: An Egyptian who entered the United States as a tourist in 1992, he then applied for political asylum, claiming discrimination on account of his religious beliefs – shorthand for being an Islamist, indeed a member of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya ("the Islamic Group"), a group engaged in terrorism since 1981 and listed in the State Department's 1992 edition of Patterns of Global Terrorism. The immigration authorities ruled against his asylum application in March 1995 and formally began the deportation procedures but Hedayet disappeared. In July 2002, Hedayet engaged in a shooting spree against the El Al counter at Los Angeles International Airport, killing two before being shot dead himself.

There are also related cases, for example that of

Nasser Ahmed: An Egyptian associate of Omar Abdel Rahman who applied for political asylum in 1996, spent three years in American jail on charges kept secret for reasons with "national security implications," and then set free.

As Malkin sardonically puts it, "The feds deserve credit for tracking down asylum abusers suspected of terrorism. But homeland security would be easier to achieve if they did a better job of keeping murderous frauds out in the first place."

[6/21/04 Monday]

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 11:55 am [link]
Thoughts on the Korean hostage situation: Chances of rescue or survival are unfortunately very slim.

Expect street protests in Seoul, particularly among students, for removal of all South Koreans from Iraq and against dispatching the 3,000 troops later in the summer.

North Korea will issue condemnatory language, especially designed to divide South Korea and the US.

My call is that after much wavering the South Korean Roh Moo Hyun
administration will end up sending the troops. They may cut back the 3,000 to a smaller number in order to offer a concession to their audience. It will require much diplomacy and probably some quiet inducements on the part of the US.

The South Korean leadership is not enthusiastic about commiting troops to Iraq and is vulnerable to criticism from the left since that is its support base. This is very different leadership than that of previous decades that stood shoulder to shoulder with the US in tough times.

Expect that all foreigners in Arab countries will be targeted from here on out in order to break the US public and allied will. This is not an attack directed against individuals for the sake of killing them it is a psychological warfare attack directed against the morale of populations, especially the US in the midst of a heated election season. We must hold firm, refuse to negotiate and actively hunt down and kill these barbarians.

All the best, and let us pray for these poor hostages.

[Streetsweeper - into the opinion bin] 5:02 am [link]

Memo to the NY Times & LA Times
Here is the proper form for your lying, weasely headlines

Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Tie (uh, at least in 9-11 attack)


[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:02 am [link]
On Clinton: Last night's "60 Minutes" broadcast served to remind Americans why we are so well-served to have Bill Clinton out of the White House. The entire interview was little more than a prolonged exercise in "spin," from a pitiful ex-President who has realized that, without some significant burnishing, his presidency is likely to go down in history as the Harding administration of 20th century's second half.

Interestingly, Clinton denied that the Sudan had ever offered Osama bin Laden to his administration, despite the existence of a speech where he, himself, admitted as much! (Not surprisingly, Dan Rather didn't bring up that inconvenient fact). Nor was Clinton asked why UN support was unnecessary, from his party's perspective, for our involvement in the Balkans, but a vital precursor to liberating Iraq.

But there was plenty on the defining event of the Clinton years: the Monica Lewinsky matter. Here's one questionj that could have been asked: "Without the discovery of the infamous blue dress, do you think you would ever have admitted to improper behavior with Miss Lewinsky?" (Don't forget, all the president's underlings in this supposedly "woman friendly" administration were getting ready to cast Monica as a psychopathic stalker).

In between telling us a lot of other things we really didn't need to know, Clinton asserted that he and his wife had attended a full day of marital counseling for a year after his affair with Monical Lewinsky was "discovered." That admission, in itself, explains why "character counts." The President of the United States (#42) is spending 1/7 of his time in marital counseling -- and the liberals used to fume about President Reagan allegedly taking the occasional nap!

Overall, it was simply sad to see how little insight the former President has -- either about himself or his adversaries. He is simply a faulty, mistreated but brilliant President; they are intractable enemies of the wonderful "change" the Clinton years brought about (like what? welfare reform?). And once again, impeachment wasn't about him perjuring himself . . . it was just about sex. He's proud, yes, proud of how he handled the entire matter.

Good luck rewriting history, Mr. Clinton. We remember. We were there.

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:01 am [link]
Bush Economy in California: Jobs up. California’s economy created 23,600 payroll jobs in May. It now has 110,200 more payroll jobs than a year ago. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasonally adjusted, 6/18/04)

California’s economy is adding good-paying jobs. Three quarters (74%) of California’s gross payroll job growth in May was in industries that pay more than the national average. For example, the information industry comprised 23% of the gross job growth. The average hourly pay of a non-supervisory job in that industry is $21.40. That’s well above the national average for all non-supervisory jobs of $15.64 per hour. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Unemployment down. California’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.2% from 6.8% a year ago. The national average is 5.6%. California’s average unemployment rate in the 1990s was 7.3%. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasonally adjusted, 6/18/04)

Personal incomes swell. California personal incomes increased 1.4% to $1.2 trillion during the fourth quarter of 2003. On a per capita basis, personal incomes increased $760 to $33,749 last year. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 4/27/04)

Housing values increase. California housing values increased 13.9% in the past year. Over the last five years, home values have risen by 77.0%. (Source: U.S. Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, 6/1/04)

More exports. California exported $27.1 billion in goods and services in the first three months of 2004. That’s 25% more than a year ago. (Source: Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, 5/18/04)

Insourcing jobs. Over 713,500 jobs are ”nsourced” to California from companies based in other countries. About 11.1% of all manufacturing jobs in State are with foreign companies. (Source: “Survey of Current Business,” U.S Department of Commerce, 8/02)

Revenues on the rise. Total state tax collections in California, adjusted for legislation and inflation, increased by 9.5% in March from the same period a year ago (Source: “State Tax Revenue Recovery Gathering Steam,” Fiscal Studies Program: The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, 6/04)

[6/18/04 Friday]

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 5:14 am [link]
The Gipper Effect: Did anyone else notice that suddenly George W. Bush seems to have regained his poise, confidence and steely eye? Could it have been the very timely exposure to All Things Reagan? In my column A Bright Dawn Ahead, I wondered what possible affects that Ronald Reagan's death could have. My hope continues to be that GWB and those around him will simply have the faith and confidence to be themselves, rely on their innate sense of what is morally right for the country, and stay the course. If I were filming ads I'd like to see one of RR giving one of his famous 'we must stay the course' speeches in discussing the USSR then juxtapose it with GWB saying 'we must win this war on terror.' I think it would be extremely effective and point out the real differences in this campaign. Not health care, not Social Security, not jobs and the economy, but the very core security and safety of this nation. Such a sacred mission cannot be entrusted to anyone but the legitimate successor of Ronald Reagan - George W. Bush.

[6/17/04 Thursday]

[Gordon Cucullu - author, columnist] 7:24 am [link]
Clueless in America: Wednesday evening I attended a book signing in NYC for Endgame, by Generals Paul Vallely and Tom McInerney. Both spoke about the 'Web of Terror' that they outline in this excellent book. One of the most chilling points the generals raised is their nightmare scenario of 5 to 10 nuclear weapons - ground or sea delivered - exploding virtually simultaneously in American cities. With North Korea beavering away at its nuclear program and Iran thumbing its nose at the UN the specter of Islamo-fascist groups acquiring these bombs seems increasingly possible. Their point is that America must wake up and realize that September 11 was not an aberration but part of a pattern of war on the US. Second that this is war, not crime, and third that we must act swiftly and as the world leader we are in order to eliminate the threat. I am heartened by presentations by the President and Vice President in the past few days but we need more of it. The media is reporting only what it perceives as news that fits its political agenda. In this case a clueless America equals a helpless America. We must all work to educate our audience.

[6/16/04 Wednesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:17 am [link]
A Selective Media: The New York Post's invaluable Deborah Orin has a piece today reporting that more horrific films from Abu Ghraib have been released -- but strangely, the media isn't interested. Perhaps it's because the films detail stomach-churning torture -- not by Americans -- but by Saddam Hussein. From Orin's description, it sounds like these films makes the (admittedly appalling) behavior by some U.S. troops look like spirited hijinks by comparison. Perhaps we ought to turn to Teddy Kennedy for comment . . . he's the one who seems to think that the unauthorized ill-treatment by American troops has the moral equivalency of the Saddamite regime's official policy of barbarous torture and mutilation. Will the New York or Los Angeles Times bother to cover the Saddam torture tapes? Don't hold your breath -- we'd better count on the blogosphere and other "fair and balanced" outlets to make sure the American people get the rest of the story.

[Bill Leonard, contributor, Member CA Board of Equalization] 5:13 am [link]
Our Governor’s Faith: One of the most touching aspect of honoring Ronald Reagan last week was seeing and hearing how many public officials react to matters of faith. Those for whom faith is a motivating factor in their lives put the spiritual touches on their decisions and actions every day, but unless one is looking for it, that inspired leadership may go unnoticed. As Governor Schwarzenegger addressed the California Prayer Breakfast last Wednesday, it was impossible for his faith to remain unnoticed. I want to share with you some of the words he spoke at the breakfast to let you know that in addition to a man of action, you have a man of faith leading our state. He remembered his experience being raised Catholic and attending church schools. He said,

“All of those things had a big impact on me growing up. I learned faith and discipline from the church, but I also learned faith and discipline from my parents. My parents did not allow me to just hang out, or to just watch things be done. They wanted me to be responsible, always be active. My father, especially, always was asking me, every day, ‘What were you doing today? What did you accomplish?’ ….It didn’t matter really what it was, he just wanted me to create something, build something, invent something, or do something. It didn’t matter what it was, if it was just building a little whistle from a wood stick, or if it was studying, creating a kite from scratch, or going to school, or doing homework, or doing sports… He wanted me to be active, and to grow and develop myself, because he wanted me to have faith in God, but he also wanted me to have faith in myself. He always said it was God who gave me my body and my mind, but it was now up to me to achieve 100 percent of my potential. And he always would say it’s criminal for people not to achieve 100 percent of their potential.”

The Governor did not go on to talk about achieving his potential in terms of his political work. Rather, he focused on instilling the same values in his children. He spoke highly of his wife and her abilities as well as of her parents and their faith. He talked about teaching his own children to read the Bible daily, do well in school, complete their chores and be physically active. In doing all of that, our Governor gives an example of faith in action and reminds us that we uplift each other in our efforts to reach our divine potential. [Leonard Letter]

[6/15/04 Tuesday]

[Bill Leonard, contributor, Member CA Board of Equalization] 5:05 am [link]
Honoring Ronald Reagan:
I did not have a better idea than Governor Schwarzenegger's Proclamation to honor Ronald Reagan, which reduced state offices to skeleton crews last Friday. However, I must admit that to honor a President and Governor who railed against waste in government by paying government workers for extra time off is, at the very least, ironic.

My second thought was remembering my father's advice to Governor Reagan when he served as a Reagan appointee to the California Highway Commission. Dad said that Cal Trans would probably get more transportation projects built if half the department was sent home with pay. Perhaps Governor Schwarzengger, with thanks to Ronald Reagan, is belatedly implementing this advice.

My third thought was also not mine originally. A thoughtful commentator on the state budget suggested that Governor Schwarzenegger, again with a nod to Ronald Reagan, has found a way for state employees to self- identify themselves as either "essential," which means that they worked last Friday, or "non-essential," which means they may end up on that layoff list now buried in the Department of Finance. [Leonard Letter]

[6/14/04 Monday]
[Patterico - CRO contributor & blogger] 5:35 am [link]
Dem Times: Yesterday's Los Angeles Times coverage of an anti-Bush letter signed by 26 former diplomats gets Page One treatment. Facts showing that the signatories are partisan Democrats are buried on the back pages. Meanwhile, where was the L.A. Times story when John Kerry's entire chain of command in Vietnam signed a letter questioning his honesty and fitness to serve as Commander-in-Chief? I'll tell you where: page A21.
The post is here...

I won't provide the entire text, which is long, but here are the first two paragraphs, so you can see whether you might be interested in the rest:

Bias doesn't get much clearer than this. The lead story in today's Los Angeles Times trumpets a letter, written by 26 former diplomats, calling for the defeat of President George W. Bush. On the front page, the story goes out of its way to suggest that the letter is a bipartisan effort. The editors save for the back pages (or entirely omit) significant evidence suggesting that the signatories are partisan Democrats. Not one word of the Bush perspective appears on the front page. It's all on page A26, safely out of the view of the average reader.

The L.A. Times's prominent and sympathetic treatment of this letter stands in marked contrast to its coverage of a letter that was released in May by hundreds of former military men, many of whom served with John Kerry, questioning Kerry's honesty and fitness to serve as Commander-in-Chief. The letter, which was signed by every officer in Kerry's chain of command in Vietnam, was buried by the L.A. Times in stories appearing on pages A21 and A20. In the little coverage the paper did provide, the stories ignored the central accusations of the letter, and gave prominent play to the spin that the letter was a partisan hit job.

[6/11/04 Friday]

[Senator Tom McClintock] 5:07 am [link]
Tribute to Ronald Reagan:Perhaps only one generation in four is fortunate enough to actually know a truly great leader – and ours was that generation. That’s a reason for thanksgiving and gratitude and celebration. But our children and their children will know him too, through the power of his words and the force of his ideas – his boundless faith in freedom and belief in America. And they will know because our generation will make sure they know.

This is not an end of an era – Ronald Reagan marked the beginning of an era – an era of American renaissance and resurgence – an era where America rediscovered its belief in liberty and its faith in its ultimate destiny. Ronald Reagan opened that era; it is now for our generation to continue it.

Ronald Reagan can only die if he is forgotten. Every flower left in his honor, every flag now flying at half staff, every kind word spoken to his memory is a solemn pledge that this will not happen. Indeed, with the perspective of time his spirit can only grow.

He often reminded us that for America, the best is yet to come. He should know, since he will be walking beside us and counseling us and guiding us to those bright decades and centuries ahead. All that we must do is listen to his words and heed them. [via email - remarks given from the Senate Floor]

[6/10/04 Thursday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:34 am [link]
The Battle Hymn of the Republic: As the President's casket was provided to the rotunda, my thoughts were directed toward the theme of 'battle'. There are always new battles, but the same demand upon America is required.

The hymn played long with emotion, as they had to use the west steps of the Capitol Building due to construction. The west steps are longer, higher and harder to climb for the military pallbearers. A great reminder of endurance, the endurance needed to see a battle through to the end.

The west side was also the location that President Reagan chose for his Inauguration. More people could watch due to the higher elevation and more of the city of Washington DC could be seen by the cameras of the media - a city that was returned to its glory during the Reagan Administration.

How fitting that this grand hymn was offered for this grand man.

"The Battle Hymn of the Republic"

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword; His truth is marching on!


Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps; They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps. I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps; His day is marching on!


I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel; "As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal; Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, Since God is marching on."


He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat; He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat; Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet! Our God is marching on!


In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me; As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, While God is marching on.


[6/9/04 Wednesday]

[Bill Leonard, contributor, Member CA Board of Equalization] 5:05 am [link]
Remembering Reagan: I have spent the last few days remembering Ronald Reagan. At one end of my life he signed my college diploma and at the other end my 1978 election to the State Assembly was part of the conservative movement that Reagan led to the Presidency. One of the reasons I am so honored and humbled to serve in public office it that has afforded me the opportunity to meet people who make history. I had the privilege of introducing President Reagan at campaign events twice. I called Maureen Reagan a friend. I will never forget what this man of iron will did for America. It is why I am so taken with Steve Hayward's new book "The Age of Reagan" that I finished just last week.

I had the joy of meeting two of the people who I believe ended the Cold War and proved the emptiness of communism and the value of capitalism and faith in God: Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. I lack only John Paul II to complete my personal history of the 20th century.

I am so happy that Reagan is now with God and released from his pain.

[6/8/04 Tuesday]

[Streetsweeper - into the opinion bin] 5:13 am [link]
Thanks Danny: You might have read Danny Glover’s remarks about President Reagan at an anti-war rally in L.A. over the weekend – as recorded by the AP: "We all know Reagan's legacy, from the Iran-Contra affair to the funding of the Nicaraguan military in which over 200,000 people died. The groundwork for the move steadily to the right happened with the Reagan administration. People want to elevate him to some mythic level; they have their own reason for doing that."

Now a lot of people are all twisted by Glover’s comments. I’m not one of them. Glover spoke his mind and stuck to his beliefs. People who despised Reagan for his whole political career are this week falling over themselves to praise him. Kerry, Kennedy, Hilary...can’t say enough good things.

Of course, they’re lying. They wish they could really speak their minds like Danny Glover... Oh how they wish they could. They hate Reagan's “ash heap of history” thing... They hate that he put worldwide socialism in check...

Thank you Danny Glover for reminding us how true Progressives think... Hey! Why don’t you take Kerry, Kennedy, and Hilary to task and tell them to stick to their principles and publicly curse the Gipper’s legacy. We all know that’s in their small socialist hearts, right?

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:07 am [link]
My Personal Reagan Thoughts: It has been a whirlwind over the past four days, sixty years since D-Day...the passing of one of our greatest Presidents in Ronald Reagan and the first annual "Capitol Clear Speak" events in Sacramento. These are powerful days for the United States, California and the Republican Party.

In reference to President Reagan, I was a high school sophomore when He took over the Republican Party. For the next eight years He was my President through college, into my first "real" radio job and the early days of my marriage.

President Reagan drove me to pay attention, think for myself and join the political conversation - a personal hero!

One of the many thoughts that I have of this leader is his 'timing'...this man knew when to take the stage. He knew when to offer the lines and pepper the script. His timing was PERFECT.

Consider that President Ronald Reagan's life of service ended the 'cold war', now his death may help to defeat terrorism! - a point to ponder in his passing. Thank you President Reagan...thank you for leading America to that shining city on the hill.

The only question "The Gipper" leaves us with in his death is whether this grand ole land can be defended by this generation of the blessed!

[6/7/04 Monday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:02 am [link]
Reagan: It is fitting that President Reagan is being remembered today, together with the soldiers of freedom who liberated Western Europe on D-Day. President Ronald Reagan, too, was a soldier of freedom -- he did more than any other man to liberate the 500 million trapped behind the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe. There is much to write and much to say about President Reagan's wonderful life and the legacy he left us, but no one can hope to touch the eloquence of this greatest of believers and greatest of speakers. Surely President Reagan is with God, our prayers are with his family, and his legacy will live in our hearts and in our history forever.

[John Mark Reynolds, columnist] 5:00 am [link]
Reagan: Ronald Reagan was president when I was a young man. As a conservative, I believed in losing well. Reagan taught me the hope of winning in politics. He made me cry for he was not cynical in a hopeless age. He was a beautiful soul. Ronald Reagan was a Christian gentleman, Christendom's shining knight, our own Galahad. He defeated Lenin, that antichrist, by the grace of God.

Small men will try to damn him by faint praise by reducing him to a smile or his heart. Both were great, but his ideas were greater. He defeated communism by out thinking it. He defeated godless Soviets by having more faith. He was a man who fought when no one else would do so. Reagan stood up for unborn children when politicians ran away. He had integrity and was brilliant. He read books and was impacted by ideas. He was no intellectual, thank God, but a thoughtful man of substance.

I loved him. If he had ever needed my service, it would have been offered gladly. When Torrey Institute wanted to honor men of courage, we gave Ronald Reagan one of our first Phillip E. Johnson Awards. His son Michael came to receive it for him along with his own award for his own great courage. Hearing about him from his son made me realize that Reagan was that rare man. . .one as great as one imagined. [John Mak Reynolds blog]

[6/4/04 Friday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 11:12 pm [link]
Fingering Kerry: The Florida Times-Union, citing, has a story today that feeds a growing perception about John Kerry -- he has a "temperament problem." According to the report, Kerry -- who was getting ready to talk to a group of children -- was approached by a former Green Beret who is heading up Vietnam Veterans Against Kerry. The man did behave provocatively, flashing a "Hanoi Jane" t-shirt and telling the schoolchildren that Kerry had "betrayed the brave soldiers who fought in Vietnam."

But it's the candidate's response that's most notable. He gives his critic "the finger" -- right in front of the schoolchildren. Make no mistake -- the detractor was annoying. But does Kerry feel so entitled to deference, is he so out of touch, that he sees this response as in any way appropriate? Or is he so sensitive, and his temper so ungovernable, that he simply can't help himself?

Funny how this incident wasn't widely reported. Imagine if President Bush engaged in such behavior . . . . Not a comforting thought to envision a defensive, irritable Kerry as Commander in Chief of the world's biggest army, is it?

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:12 am [link]
ACLU Intimidation: It looks like a majority of the County Board of Supervisors (with the honorable exceptions of Mike Antonovich and Don Knabe) have caved in to bullying by the ACLU. The cross will be removed from the county's seal, so as to avoid litigation from the ACLU, who have become so zealous in practicing their own secularism that the existence of a cross ANYWHERE is deemed per se offensive.

For once, the "ceremonial deism" rationale (that is, the ironic state of affairs where religious symbols are allowed to remain part of American civic life, so long as they are denuded of any real religious meaning) seemed actually to jibe with history. The cross really does appear to have been placed on the county seal in 1957 to reflect California's history and settlement as missions. What's next? Will Los Angeles (angels) have to be renamed? Or San Francisco (St Francis)? What about San Diego, San Fernando, San Jose, Santa Ana, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa and the rest?

The supervisors who gave in to the ACLU's high-handed demands are trying to argue that the expense of litigation is what prompted their pragmatic decision. What about the costs of slapping the new, cross-less seal on everything from stationery to county cars? What a waste of time. If the Christian Right were as overbearing, zealous, humorless and sanctimonious in pursuing their religious beliefs as the ACLU is in pursuing their own secular/atheist creed, THEN the left might truly have something to cry about.

[6/3/04 Thursday]

[Chuck DeVore - columnist] 5:04 am [link]
ACLU vs. LA County: The ACLU sued Los Angeles County to remove a small gold cross from the county seal. Los Angeles County capitulated, fearing an expensive lawsuit that they may well have lost.

At last reading, the Los Angeles County seal still includes a cow, a tuna fish, a Spanish galleon, the Hollywood Bowl and the Goddess Pomona cradling an armful of fruit, so it seems we still have a problem.

Many religions worship cows, so, the cow’s got to go!

Everyone knows that the fish is a religious symbol – no fish!

The Goddess Pomona is, well, a Pagan goddess, so she’s gone!

Spanish galleons are a symbol of European oppression: outta here!

Hollywood is a symbol of American cultural imperialism: bye-bye!

Now, what do we have left? The armful of fruit! It can stay as an appropriate symbol for Los Angeles County.

Wait, doesn’t Los Angeles mean The Angels? Egad! We have a problem here. Scanning the list of nearby counties, I see San Bernardino, San Diego, and Santa Barbara – three saints of the One True Church? Say it ain’t so! Perhaps we can rename Los Angeles County “Fruit County”, San Bernardino County could be named “Nut County”, San Diego County “Sandy Ego County”, and Santa Barbara might be named, “Santa Claus County” since Santa is make-believe and totally secularized these days anyway.

I’m just trying to be helpful – the ACLU has a lot more work to do to make California safe for atheists, curmudgeons, and humorless busybodies of all persuasions.

- Chuck DeVore Republican Nominee California’s 70th State Assembly District in the safely named Orange County

[Daniel Pipes - author, activist CRO contributor] 5:02 am [link]
French Elected Official: Arabs Need Nukes vs. Israel His name is Paul Marie Coûteaux, he is the author of books with titles like Let Us Not Permit France to Die and A Little Séjour in France, and he is a member of the European Parliament. And here were his remarks three years ago today to parliament in the original French <>

Mais il y a un autre déséquilibre grave où notre responsabilité est engagée, c'est le déséquilibre des forces. Il faut que nous envisagions - je n'hésite pas à le dire - à doter la partie arabe d'une force suffisante, y compris d'une force nucléaire suffisante, pour qu'Israël ne se croit pas tout permis.

The official EU translation renders them thus in English:

There is, however, another serious imbalance for which we are in part responsible, namely the imbalance of forces. I have no hesitation in saying that we must consider giving the Arab side a large enough force, including a large enough nuclear force, to persuade Israel that it cannot simply do whatever it wants.

For a rather different take on the ways in which Arab states might use their nuclear weapons against Israel, see my "Deadly Denial [of Muslim Anti-Semitism]." (May 16, 2004) [Pipes blog]

[6/2/04 Wednesday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:02 am [link]
The New California Democratic Leader: The California Democratic Party has been looking for a hero, and it has found one in San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

After the recall election, Art Torres, the state Democratic Party chairman, had a problem - he had no voice or new leadership (vision) for the state party. Torres had to find someone to ride toward the future.

In San Fran, Newsom won a close election vs. the Green Party candidate. Newsom was elected with just over 50 percent approval ratings and immediately a newly organized recall drive cropped up against his administration within his first weeks as mayor.

So how does the Democratic strategist plot for Newsom's survival? Being hand-selected by Willie Brown, Mayor Newsom narrowly wins the election, so within days of taking office Newsom rides roughshod over the state law and orders city officials to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

This costs homosexual couples time, money, travel and effort - then heartbreak with the state Supreme Court ruling that these marriages are nothing more than bogus political tactics orchestrated by the Democratic Party and the mayor.

In the end, it was a big victory for Newsom and his future. Despite the narrow election in the past, the mayor is now enjoying an approval rating of nearly 80 percent with San Fran voters.

He has demonstrated on a practical level the fundamentals of the left - that is, forcing through their liberal social agenda by extreme political acts, and looking for a liberal court to back up the act or write new law from thin air.

On the day the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the legality of his same-sex marriage licenses, Newsom was not in San Fran ... he was in Sacramento speaking to the Press Club, playing the role of the victim. The more he talked, the more it sounded like the former president himself, Bill Clinton.

With this behavior - what the Democrats call leadership - Newsom has found his place in the statewide Democratic Party. Look for his face and campaign coming to a U.S. Senate race near you.

[6/1/04 Tuesday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:09 am [link]
Bush Leads Buckeye State by Six! My beloved Ohio...these people (moral Buckeyes) are starting to get it.

"President Bush leads John Kerry by six percentage points in the battle for Ohio, a state that could decide who wins the White House, according to a statewide Plain Dealer poll."

"Ohio voters surveyed say they favor Bush over Kerry, 47 percent to 41 percent.

Though Bush is given low marks for his handling of the economy and the war in Iraq, those who say they favor him cite his moral character and his stewardship over the war on terrorism and homeland security as reasons."

"I'm very concerned about what a change of administration would mean, primarily about security," says Bob Saul, a retired General Electric Co. marketing manager from Cincinnati who participated in the poll."

There are two major reasons for President Bush to win in November:

(1) The obvious, the war on terrorism. If Kerry wins, the war is over and the Islamic Terrorists have America right where they believer her to be, a paper tiger!

(2) The Supreme Court is the other. This is not mentioned enough. There are a possible three - maybe four - retirees from the bench in the next term. Can you imagine an administration under John Kerry and the placement of judges we would get in the Supreme Court! Time to talk this major issue up and make it loud for ALL of the voters of America! Save the judiciary from liberal, anti-Constitutional terrorists and vote George W. Bush!


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