Chilling Report: The Legal, Political and Military Path of Shariah in the United States Today

November 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

[Editor's Note: This article appeared first at Right Side News]

NEW YORK CITY (November 9, 2010) This past September, the Center for Security Policy issued an abbreviated report titled Shariah - The Threat to America, An Exercise in Competitive Analysis, Report of Team B II. In a press conference today, CSP is releasing the full, unexpurgated study, and will have four of the authors on hand to discuss it. A great summary of both versions can be read here.

The “Team B” name was coined for a 1976 critique of U.S. détente policy toward the Soviet Union. A group of highly-regarded analysts, “Team B,” found the assumptions of “Team A,” the détente crowd, to be fatally flawed—i.e. that the Soviets could be placated by accommodative policies—and that by naïvely misreading the enemy, détente was actually exposing the U.S. to lethal danger. This later became the foundation for the Reagan Doctrine.

The Team B II report continues this tradition, this time evaluating U.S. policy toward radical Muslims living within the U.S. The 372 page document addresses in detail a largely unrecognized but deadly Islamist infiltration, its methodologies, its goals, its frightening successes and what must be done to stem this tide.

It is impossible to underestimate the importance of this report. It has put together some of the best minds in foreign policy, military policy and domestic law enforcement. It is a thorough, sober, articulate exposé that overlooks no subtleties of argument, yet is written in crystal clear prose easily grasped by layman and expert alike.

While our Nation has been battling violent Muslim terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, their brethren have been quietly settling in the United States for over sixty years. The strategies embedded in this stealth jihad can be summed up in one word: Shariah.

Shariah is a Muslim terms with which most Americans were unfamiliar prior to 9-11. It has been popularly misconstrued in the public mind as some kind of Islamic religious doctrine. Now, having witnessed this “religious doctrine” played out across our TV screens with the videoed beheadings of Nicholas Berg and journalist Daniel Pearle, reported stoning deaths of female rape victims for marital infidelity, honor killings, genital mutilation and other such vicious, abject lunacy, we have been forced to admit that it can be just a wee bit harsh as religious teachings go.

Team B II however, explains that it is not merely or even primarily religious law. Instead, shariah, or “the path,” is a complete “legal-political-military doctrine,” which they identify as, “The preeminent totalitarian threat of our time.”

The specific objectives are spelled out in a 1991 document seized from the Annandale, Virginia home of Muslim Brotherhood member Ismail Elbarasse. The document, An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America, makes clear that while the Brotherhood was using peaceful means, its ends were the destruction of America, to be replaced with a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by shariah. Point 4 under “Process of Settlement” states:

The process of settlement is a “Civilization Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions…(emphasis added.)

Another document described the phases of stealth jihad. It seems we are very close to the last phase:

Phase One: Phase of discreet and secret establishment of leadership.

Phase Two: Phase of gradual appearance on the public scene and exercising and utilizing various public activities (It greatly succeeded in implementing this stage). It also succeeded in achieving a great deal of its important goals, such as infiltrating various sectors of the Government, gaining religious institutions and embracing senior scholars. Gaining public support and sympathy. Establishing a shadow government (secret) within the Government.

Phase Three: Escalation phase, prior to conflict and confrontation with the rulers, through utilizing mass media. (Currently in progress).

Phase Four: Open public confrontation with the Government through exercising the political pressure approach. (It is aggressively implementing the above-mentioned approach). Training on the use of weapons domestically and overseas in anticipation of zero-hour. (It has noticeable activities in this regard.)

Phase Five: Seizing power to establish their [sic] Islamic Nation under which all parties and Islamic groups are united.

These documents, which came to light in the 2004 Holy Land Foundation terrorist financing trial, are impossible to misinterpret, yet Team B II shows that the prevailing political culture has sought to placate American Islamists, turned a blind eye to their alarming activities and completely ignored the implications of shariah. In so doing, they have abdicated their Constitutional duty to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies; foreign and domestic…”

I spoke with both Team B II members Andrew McCarthy and Frank Gaffney for this article. McCarthy is a former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney and was lead prosecutor against World Trade Center bombing mastermind, the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman. He is Senior Fellow at the National Review Institute and Contributing Editor, National Review magazine. Gaffney is a former Reagan administration Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy and (Acting) President, Center for Security Policy. He is also host of Secure Freedom Radio, widely published writer and lead author of War Footing: Ten Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World

Our discussions centered on how to effectively tackle this problem. Both men agreed that we need to embark on a major campaign to educate the American people. Islamist infiltration of the U.S. has been ongoing since the days of the Eisenhower administration. The Islamists have hidden behind First Amendment religious freedom arguments and have been effective at intimidating law enforcement and the political structure against monitoring their activities too closely.

But they haven’t had to try too hard. Many politicians of both parties have bent over backwards to accommodate them. McCarthy pointed to articles by Shariah co-author Patrick Poole, who has documented some particularly egregious examples:

  • The picture above shows Sheikh Kifah Mustapha (front row, second from left), a known agent of the terrorist group, Hamas, getting a tour of the FBI’s top secret National Counterterrorism Center as part of their “Muslim outreach” this past September. Mustapha raised money for Hamas as late as 2009 and is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror financing case.
  • Mustapha was appointed this year as the first certified Muslim chaplain for the Illinois State Police. The appointment was revoked when the ISP were informed of his background.
  • Al Qaeda Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemen-based American cleric linked to the Fort Hood shooter and subsequent terrorist plots, who recently proclaimed open-season on Americans, led a prayer meeting in Congress for the Congressional Muslim Staff Association shortly after 9-11. He also had lunch at the Pentagon.
  • In 2006, U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) complained to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that Islamic scholar Anwar Hajjaj had faced “unwarranted scrutiny” when re-entering the U.S. at Kennedy Airport. Hajjaj heads the Taibah International Aid Associaton and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, both tagged as financial supporters of al Qaeda.
  • Hajjaj also led prayers for the Congressional Muslim Staff Association, courtesy its founder, Jameel Johnson, Rep. Meeks then Chief of Staff.
  • Johnson organized an Islamic conference that was cancelled by the House Sergeant-at-Arms due to terrorism ties of scheduled speakers.
  • One of the scheduled speakers for the House event scheduled another conference in the Ohio State House. This one went off without a hitch, funded by taxpayers.
  • The National Counterterrorism Center recruited a Muslim “De-radicalization expert,” Yasir Qadh, who was on the terrorist watch list.
  • Muslim Students Association at Ohio State University was found to be funded by an Islamic terrorist financing group.
  • Muslim student groups throughout the US are being trained by radical Muslim Brotherhood activists.
  • A New Jersey judge ruled that a Muslim man may beat and rape his wife at will because shariah allows it. The victim’s plea for a restraining order in this case was denied. Fortunately the ruling was eventually reversed.
  • Recently the state of Oklahoma voted to ban consideration of Shariah in any court proceedings. An Oklahoma judge has issued a restraining order preventing the law from taking effect following a lawsuit by CAIR.
  • According to Andrew McCarthy, recently appointed Supreme Court judge Elena Kagan promoted shariah as dean of Harvard Law School. She helped develop a Saudi-funded program at the school called the “Islamic Finance Project,” specifically created to introduce shariah compliance to the U.S. finance sector.
  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reversed a six-year ban on visits to the U.S. by Tariq Ramadan. Tariq is the son of founding Muslim Brotherhood member Said Ramadan and since returning has been aggressively pursuing civilization jihad. (B II Report, p. 112)
  • According to Paul Williams at Atlas Shrugs: “special agents of the [FBI] are now compelled to undergo sensitivity training sessions so that they will not offend practitioners of Islam—even radical Islam—in the course of a criminal investigation.”

These are but a tiny subset of examples showing the extent to which Muslim radicals and their ideas have penetrated our legal, educational and governmental institutions to the highest levels. According to McCarthy, the Muslim Brotherhood-founded Muslim Students Association has chapters on 300 college campuses.

Political correctness has prevented many within the political/legal infrastructure from carefully examining the dangerous nature of these people and their designs, while official ignorance and/or Leftist ideology have allowed the Islamists to hide behind phony First Amendment religious freedom arguments.

McCarthy says however, that it is incorrect to consider Shariah as an expression of religious belief. Rather, Shariah is a complete system of law, dictating all aspects of life for Muslims. In that sense it has no legitimate religious defense. McCarthy made a point in our interview of stressing the supremacy of U.S. law. The Team B II Report states (pp. 226-227):

For one thing, the shariah legal code cannot be insinuated into America – even through stealthy means or democratic processes – without violating the

Constitution’s Article 6 Supremacy Clause, which requires that the Constitution “shall be the supreme Law of the land.”

For another, those who advocate the imposition of shariah in America must be considered ineligible to serve in the military, or hold state or federal office, insofar as Article 6 requires them to swear an “oath…to support this Constitution” – not any other legal code, like shariah. The same disqualifier would appear to govern with respect to immigrants or would-be naturalized citizens.

Lastly, advocacy of and engagement in jihad [holy war], of even the dawa [stealth jihad] variety, for the purpose of imposing shariah, supplanting the Constitution and overthrowing the government it mandates would – as a practical matter – constitute a felony violation of the U.S. Code’s prohibitions on treason, sedition and subversive activities.

This section explicitly recognizes that the Islamic offensive is criminal in nature. And the Team B II Report concludes that, “Virtually every provision of the U.S. Constitution can be juxtaposed with shariah practices that are in violent conflict with America’s foundational laws.”

McCarthy says it can be dealt with directly through vigorous enforcement of U.S. law. We talked, for example about the Jamaat al-Fuqra training camps around the country. These camps could be shut down overnight if we had the political will. In Colorado Springs, Colorado, one was. But other than that, and despite al-Fuqra’s known terrorist ties and strong evidence of illegal activities here, the camps have been left largely alone.

McCarthy stressed that Congressional hearings could serve the multiple purpose of exposing appeasers while concurrently educating the public about the magnitude of the problem. It could also serve as a starting point for criminal investigations.

Gaffney takes that one step further. He and other Team members assert that official acquiescence to Islamic radicals may in some cases constitute misprision of treason. This term refers to circumstances where one is aware that treason is occurring but does nothing to report it, essentially making the person an accessory to the crime.

I am with Gaffney on this one. For example, Hillary Clinton knows full well what Tariq Ramadan is up to. Using her position to allow someone like him into the U.S. is at best, misprision. The Report contains a case study that focuses on Obama administration Counter-terrorism Czar John Brennan (pp. 252-257). Brennan personifies the U.S. government’s increasingly servile and pandering attitude toward radical Islamic organizations and individuals. In so doing he sends an unmistakable message to domestic Islamic terrorists that the U.S. government is not inclined to challenge them. By default he is also sending a message to U.S. law enforcement to lay off. As Gaffney delicately put it, Brennan is at best, guilty of willful ignorance. At best.

Gaffney also adds that it is critical to recognize the role played by the radical left in promoting radical Islam. They are not only aware of the Islamists true goals, but are actively aiding and abetting them in their efforts to destroy our country. David Horowitz discussed this in his book, Unholy Alliance, Radical Islam and the American Left. This filthy network of traitors needs to be exposed and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Yet at this time, many sympathizers, like Hillary, occupy positions of power within our government.

Gaffney and Co. will be delivering copies of Team B II’s Report to the new Congress. Perhaps they will do the right thing and begin holding hearings on the dangers we face from radical Islam and the Americans who are supporting it.

It is way past time.

Big Peace

Pelosi’s Path Back to Leadership

November 5, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can credit the drubbing House Democrats received for putting her in a strong position to keep her leadership post. Democrats lost 36 of the 48 members who represent districts that John McCain carried in 2008, wiping out much of the party’s moderate wing that would be most resistant to Pelosi’s return to power.

Instead, the new House Democratic conference is now disproportionately filled with liberals representing safe districts, who have always been her natural base of support. That makes her return to leadership in the minority very likely - she wouldn’t announce her intention to run without a sense she has the votes.

But the optics for Democrats couldn’t be worse, given that the White House is trying to turn the page on a disastrous year and that many Senate Democrats up for re-election hail from conservative-minded states. And the prospect of House Democrats making headway in 2012 with Pelosi as their leader - and a tougher map thanks to redistricting won’t help - certainly take a hit.

Already a handful of surviving liberal members in swing districts, like Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), have already publicly announced their reticence to see Pelosi return. And many of the remaining Blue Dogs and conservatives - Reps. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) and Mike Ross (D-Ark.), among others - have already expressed opposition to her return.

But given the Republican tidal wave wiping out the centrist wing of the party, there aren’t too many Democrats left in competitive districts who can prevent her comeback - and that’s not music to the ears of many Democratic strategists looking to plot a comeback in 2012.

Hotline On Call

Charting the Tortured Path of the Tea Party: Le Monde, France

November 4, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

As we have amply demonstrated, the French have a particular disdain for the Tea Party. Along the lines of that short tradition, this article from Le Monde by Jean-Christian Rostagn takes a crack at explaining the ‘Tea Baggers’ to French readers. According to Rostagn, the Tea Party’s obsession with the deficit is ‘only because it’s a convenient vehicle for expressing resentment against a president who they suspect of being guilty of the worst sins’ - or at least what they consider sins.

For Le Monde, Jean-Christian Rostagn writes in part:

The Tea Party is also, and probably most of all, a libertarian movement - although it’s a cushy kind of libertarianism: freedoms of course, but especially those that suit them. In the Tea Party, they want to protect American liberties while Washington seems to want to regulate everything, as in the hell of socialist Europe. In the Tea Party, they want to be left alone, to be free to live as before, when everything was going well, when America lived under an Anglo-Saxon status quo, when the Taliban was in the pay of the CIA, and neither the Chinese nor al-Qaeda opposed the hegemony of Uncle Sam.

It’s interesting that the Tea Party program includes the disappearance of the Department of Education - this of course to reduce the deficit. But where was the Tea Party when George W. Bush exploded the deficit to finance his foolish wars while cutting taxes, especially those of wealthiest people? Isn’t it telling that the “tea baggers” want to eliminate the Department of Education in a country where educational standards are already lamentable? This is to say nothing about the “Defense Department,” which alone has a budget equaling that of the next thirteen most militarized nations?

This demonstrates that these obstructionists are obsessed with the explosion of the deficit only because it’s a convenient vehicle to expressing their resentment against a president who they suspect of being guilty of the worst sins, including: wanting to eliminate some of the privileges of the establishment; maintaining the legality of abortion; or restricting the sale of firearms to citizens, whether they’re poisoned with testosterone or not.

READ ON AT WORLDMEETS.US, your most trusted translator and aggregator of foreign news and views about our nation.


The Moderate Voice

The Path To Victory For Joe Miller In Alaska

November 4, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Based upon current laws and regulations, there is a reasonable path to victory for Republican Joe Miller in the contentious U.S. Senate race in Alaska; however, with a very pro-Murkowski Lt. Governor, Craig Campbell, operating much like a state Secretary of State, a liberal court system and Murkowski tapping members of Bush’s Florida 2000 legal team, it’s unlikely to be as straightforward as it should be.

joe-miller-alaska

According to recent numbers via the Washington Post, there are 83,201 write-in votes which, if all were legitimately cast for Murkowski, she would lead Miller, who stands at 69,762, by 13439 votes. Citing a late nineties race for Governor in which the Republican backed nominee ran as a write-in candidate, as much as 5% of all write-in ballots could be invalid. Were that percentage to apply here, as many as 4,000 potential Murkowski votes could be invalidated, bringing Murkowski’s presumed advantage down to under 10,000 votes.

Additionally, the Division of Elections has received 26,306 absentee ballots still needing to be counted and 10,645 questioned ballots. It’s also possible that some double voting occurred given that some votes believe to favor Murkowski may have been sent into the wrong precinct, while some number of those voters may have also had their votes counted in their home district. A careful final counting should address any issues there.

It is quite possible that a combination of the above factors could close the gap, providing Miller with a slight edge. And then there is the issue of voter intent. Alaska does have a clear standard in that regard, one it is not believed the department of elections will adhere to, just as they have opted to change other voting regulations on the fly in a manner that favors Murkowski.

The Division of Elections has already said they would not count write-in votes cast for Joe Miller, a decision contrary to existing regulations. Regulations also state that, along with writing in Murkowski’s name correctly, individuals casting a write-in ballot must have also filled in the circle for write-in vote for the ballot to be legitimate.

If all existing guidelines for voting in Alaska were followed, already not the case, unfortunately, the Miller campaign feels confident that they would come out on top at the end of the day. But, as with other elections, this one may yet be decided by capricious decisions made by the powers that be, as opposed to the rule of existing law and regulations.

What the Alaska Senate race clearly is not, is over. Stay tuned for more reports as warranted going forward.


Big Government

Dart Drops Out, Easing Emanuel’s Path To Mayor

October 27, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Putting his parental duties ahead of his political aspirations, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart stunned political observers in the Windy City on Wednesday by announcing he will not run for mayor of Chicago.

“I have found it impossible for it to be compatible between running for mayor and being a father and husband,” said Dart, who has five children.

Dart’s unexpected decision is a major boon for former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, to whom Dart was widely considered the most formidable challenger. In fact, Dart released a web video several weeks ago sardonically “welcoming” Emanuel back to Chicago — viewed at the time as a sure indication that Dart was preparing to enter the race.

Despite the obvious implications of his decision — namely, that Emanuel is now the clear-front runner — Dart insisted that he wasn’t “paving the way for anybody,” adding that he hasn’t spoken to any of the candidates to inform them of his decision. “The fact that I’m in or out — that’s not going to coronate anybody,” said Dart.

With Dart out of the race, the list of probable challengers to Emanuel has dwindled to five, including two Hispanic candidates — former Chicago School Board Pres. Gery Chico and City Clerk Miguel Del Valle — who Emanuel’s team hopes will split the city’s Latino vote. Three other mayoral hopefuls — former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, state Rep. James Meeks and Rep. Danny Davis — have all began organizing their campaign infrastructure, although only Meeks has formally declared his candidacy.

Hotline On Call

Surya Yalamanchili Paves Path For Progressives: Only Major Federal Candidate Rejecting PAC Donations

October 18, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Few serious observers of American politics would claim that corporate interests are underrepresented in the halls of Congress. After all, over the past two years alone, corporate special interests have spent hundreds of millions of dollars weakening health care legislation, undermining financial reform, stalling a climate change bill, and eviscerating the expansion of workers’ rights. Many of these same corporate interests are continuing to spend millions during the run up to the election, often hiding their donations behind front groups with innocuous sounding names like Americans For Job Security.

One candidate for federal office is taking the battle against these big corporate interests into his own hands. Surya Yalamanchili — a former Apprentice contestant who, as Think Progress previously noted, faced attacks during his primary that someone with his name can’t win — is the Democratic nominee for Congress to take on Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) in Ohio’s 2nd district. Yalamanchili is running his campaign without taking a dime from Political Action Committees (PACs), which are “organized for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect and defeat candidates,” and are often vehicles for corporate special interests. He is the only major candidate — defined here as anyone raising more than $ 100,000 — for federal office who is running without help from PACs, other than Connecticut’s GOP US Senate Linda McMahon, who is self-financing her election with tens of millions of dollars of her personal wealth. That means Yalamanchili is the only major candidate running for federal office who is both refusing to take PAC money and not financing his campaign out of his personal wealth.

Of course, standing on principle puts Yalamanchili at a significant financial disadvantage against his opponent Schmidt. Thanks to the deep pockets of special interests such as the American Bankers Association and Citigroup, Schmidt raised more funds from PAC money through September 30th than Yalamanchili has from individual donors. The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets website illustrates the funding advantage that his opponent has:

Yet Yalamanchili does not regret standing up for the principle of clean elections. In an interview with ThinkProgress, the candidate told us, “Every politician running for office agrees on the need for reform in the financing of our elections. But nothing ever happens because these same politicians were elected through abusing that very process. I chose to turn away all special interest money because it’s the right thing to do on principle, it will allow me to work only for the people, and because I want to show future candidates a viable path to victory without selling out.”

ThinkProgress

Alexi Giannoulias’ Path To Victory In IL SEN

October 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Welcome back to Hotline On Call‘s Path To Victory feature, where we look at some of the top races this cycle and how each side is planning to win. This week, we’re tackling the Illinois Senate race for Pres. Obama‘s former seat, where both parties are already spending millions.

On Thursday, we laid out how Rep. Mark Kirk (R) is trying to overcome many misstatements about his military service and teaching experience. Kirk, who was touted as one of the NRSC’s top recruits this year, has sought to shift gears and is now focusing on hitting state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) for the collapse of his family’s bank and his mismanagement of Bright Start, a college savings plan.

We now turn to Giannoulias. Like Kirk, Giannoulias has had to recover from an early scandal. The Democrat has turned his attention to attacking Kirk for those misstatements and for being a creature of Washington — a potent charge this year. If Giannoulias can motivate Obama voters to return to the polls and back him, he has a good shot at winning.

And with that, here is Giannoulias’ path to victory.

Better The Devil You Know: A big reason why Giannoulias’ camp believes it is in control of the race is it believes it has neutralized the catastrophe surrounding the Democrat’s failed family bank. The campaign knew the collapse was coming and attempted to get out in front of the scandal.

On the flip side, the Giannoulias camp believes Kirk’s many misstatements — from inaccuracies about his military service and awards, to the length of his tenure as a teacher — are fatal flaws for the congressman. The steady drip of stories over the summer made it a 5-week story, and Democratic polling shows that it has become a defining characteristic of the race.

The Giannoulias campaign has since sought to drive home the message that Kirk’s misstatements show he’s untrustworthy in a bevy of ads that labeled him “unfit” for office. In addition to prolonging that story line, the attack on Kirk’s character has another benefit for Giannoulias — it undermines the credibility of Kirk’s attacks against him.

Hotline On Call

Mark Kirk’s Path To Victory In IL SEN

October 14, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Welcome back to Hotline On Call‘s Path To Victory feature, where we look at the marquee match ups this year and how each side is planning to win.

This week, we turn our attention to the Illinois Senate race between Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R). This race for Pres. Obama‘s old Senate seat is pivotal for the GOP hopes of winning a Senate majority, and symbolically important for the White House and Democrats. The President, has already traveled to Chicago this month to help Giannoulias, with another visit upcoming. Both parties have invested heavily in this race; the DSCC has already doled out more than $ 1M on ads and the NRSC has pledged to spend $ 3.4M in coordinated campaign funds on Kirk’s behalf.

But in a race where both candidates are seriously flawed — Giannoulias for his family bank’s bankruptcy and ties to mob figures and Kirk for exaggerating elements about his military service and other resume discrepancies — this has quickly devolved into a race to the bottom. “I have never seen a race where both candidates have negatives this high,” said one Illinois GOP operative.

Make no mistake: This maybe the race to watch as parties continue to funnel money into Illinois for a seat the White House badly needs to win. Polling shows the race to be a tie right now, but because of the extremely expensive Chicago media market, campaigns typically don’t blanket the airwaves until the days leading up to Election Day. As a result, the race can break late.

As usual, we’ll start with the candidate from the challenging party. And so, without further ado, here is Mark Kirk’s path to victory:

Banking On Broadway Bank: In many ways, this race is a battle between one big mistake — Giannoulias’ family bank — and a bunch of smaller mistakes — Kirk’s many misstatements.

Kirk’s team believes it has the upper hand in this argument. It isn’t just that Giannoulias’ Broadway Bank failed and was taken over by the FDIC and that it loaned millions of dollars to borrowers with mob ties like the controversial Tony Rezko, but what that sort of business represents. Kirk’s campaign has found that voters are not receptive to Giannoulias’ defense of his involvement in the bank.

More importantly, the Kirk camp says the entire controversy shows that Giannoulias is part of the Chicago political machine. That, in light of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich‘s (D) recent scandal, is toxic in Illinois.

This strategy is evident in one of Kirk’s recent ads, which refers to his opponent as “Chicago politician Alexi Giannoulias.”

And the fact that Kirk pressed Giannoulias on the loans during last Sunday’s “Meet the Press”, while Giannoulias opted not to directly challenge Kirk on his exaggerations shows the Republican line of attack is more damaging.

Hotline On Call

Bond on New START: A Dangerous Path

October 13, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 
style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 10px;"> href="http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/Obama-Medvedev-START-signin.jpg"> class="alignnone size-full wp-image-30796" title="Obama and Medvedev sign new START" src="http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/Obama-Medvedev-START-signin.jpg" alt="Obama and Medvedev sign new START" width="200" height="240" />

This Monday Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Kit Bond (R-MO) talked with href="http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/index.xml">Center for Security Policy president Frank Gaffney on href="http://www.securefreedomradio.org/">Secure Freedom Radio about the href="http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/04/An-Independent-Assessment-of-New-START-Treaty">new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). Gaffney asked Bond about a recent assessment he completed for the committee. Bond href="http://www.securefreedomradio.org/2010/10/11/october-11-2010-roger-noriega-gordon-chang-sen-kit-bond/">responded:

Obviously, the classified details are available to my colleagues in the secure reading room. I can certainly share with you my conclusions. I think that pushing this new START treaty the administration is taking us down a dangerous path. I think the treaty is weak on verification especially compared to previous treaties like START and the INF treaty. We will have much greater trouble determining if Russia is cheating and given Russia’s track record, that’s a real problem.

You can listen to the entire interview, href="http://www.securefreedomradio.org/2010/10/11/october-11-2010-roger-noriega-gordon-chang-sen-kit-bond/">here. /> And check out Heritage’s New START research href="http://www.heritage.org/Issues/Arms-Control-and-Non-Proliferation/Arms-Control-Treaties/New-START">here.

The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

Spitzer: Tea Party Endorses ‘Path of Hoover,’ Will ‘Destroy Our Country’

October 6, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Eliot Spitzer, CNN Host | NewsBusters.orgCNN’s new host Eliot Spitzer slammed the Tea Party movement on Tuesday’s Parker-Spitzer: "I think that that piece of the Republican Party is vapid. It has no ideas….They’re going to destroy our country." Spitzer also accused Tea Party members of forwarding a "Herbert Hoover vision of government…saying, we want to take away the very pieces of government that created the middle class."

The former New York governor of "Client Number Nine" infamy launched his attack on the nascent political movement minutes into the 8 pm Eastern, as he and his co-host, Kathleen Parker, discussed Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell’s new ad. After listing what he thought was positive about O’Donnell and her ad, Spitzer gave his "vapid" remark about the Tea Party and made his first mention of former President Hoover:

SPITZER: Now, here’s where I completely part company with her [Christine O'Donnell]. I think that the Tea Party- I think that that piece of the Republican Party is vapid. It has no ideas. It will lead us down a dangerous road. Remember Herbert Hoover? Now, we don’t remember him- president during the Depression. That’s where they’re taking us. They’re going to destroy our country, but that is an appealing ad.

Moments later, Spitzer further explained his Hoover point, continuing his attack on the movement:

SPITZER: There’s also something much deeper going on here, and this is what really does trouble me. We are at a fork in the road. One direction is down towards the path of Hoover, that she [O'Donnell] represents. The other path is of a smart government that believes in markets and competition, but a government that builds the foundation, so we as a nation can compete again overseas, and that’s not what she gets…I don’t think the Tea Party has created anything meaningful, so we as a nation can build jobs and compete in this era.

The two host then brought on The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel and Reihan Salam of National Review. Unsurprisingly, Vanden Heuvel joined Spitzer in attacking the Tea Party. Parker, to her credit, mounted a defense of the movement, while her co-host returned to his earlier Hoover attack:

Katrina Vanden Heuvel, The Nation; Eliot Spitzer, CNN Host; Kathleen Parker, CNN Host; & Reihan Salam, National Review | NewsBusters.orgVANDEN HEUVEL: …You have to look at the values these people are espousing- the Tea Party. They want to gut Medicare. They want to end a minimum wage. I think these are the real issues of our time, and not whether she’s a witch-

PARKER: I don’t think they really want to do all that. I think they want to do some- yeah, they want to do some cutting, and they want to stop some spending, and they want to keep government from expanding-

VANDEN HEUVEL: That is witchcraft that I don’t believe in, and that is witchcraft I will never- to my last breath.

PARKER: That is witchcraft? Okay, I am a witch. (laughs)

SPITZER: No- look, I’m with Katrina. I’m with Katrina, because I think the reason they need to, sort of run on the vapid claims about less government equals more freedom, is because, at its root, what they are going back to is a Herbert Hoover vision of government- pre-FDR- saying, we want to take away the very pieces of government that created the middle class.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Yes-

REIHAN SALAM: Eliot, I have a ton of respect for you, but I have to say-

SPITZER: You can stop right there. (laughs)

SALAM: I will give you a very simple, simple fact. In Western Europe, broadly understood, you have about the same amount of tax revenue generated on a per capita basis as in the United States. But in the United States, we have a much lower tax burden. So, how is it that you’re generating same amount of money in both places? And when you’re talking about Herbert Hoover and FDR and what have you, the fact is that we live in a very different world now, and this entails different economic strategies.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Reihan, I wish we did live in a different world. But I do believe that the right wing today is still animated by a desire to roll back the New Deal, and those core elements which built a strong middle class in this country, and the architect of the pieces which create a middle class. And I have to say that I see nothing in the Tea Party or the Republicans today except retro, old ideas, which are about deregulating government, which are about cutting taxes for the very rich, and which would put us back in the mess we were in.

In reality, Herbert Hoover was an advocate in government intervention in the areas of incomes and unemployment. UCLA’s Lee E. Ohanian pointed this out in his 2009 study of wages from the time of the beginning of the Great Depression, and concluded that Hoover’s "propping up [of] wages" and other interventionist policies "accounted for close to two-thirds of the drop in the nation’s gross domestic product" between 1929 and 1931. Andrew B Wilson, in a November 4, 2008 column in the Wall Street Journal, also pointed out that under Hoover, "federal spending soared between 1929 and 1932 — increasing by more than 50%, the biggest increase in federal spending ever recorded during peacetime." These are not positions that the Tea Party movement advocates.

An earlier 2004 study by Ohanian and Howard L. Cole concluded that "New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years." Despite all of this, leftists like Spitzer and vanden Heuvel blindly continue to mouth talking points about conservatives wanting to overturn the supposedly great New Deal and bring the country back to Hoover.

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