Senate torn over ethics panel measure

I think it’s an outstanding idea. A special prosecutor, or office of public integrity, would put an end to the criminalization of politics that has been the direct result of independent counsel laws designed to harass the Executive Branch. A little turnabout for the Congress may even get them to focus on the people’s business .

WASHINGTON – Presidential candidates from both parties are urging the Senate to set up an independent office to probe ethical questions involving fellow senators. That could be a tough sell.

There is some “institutional resistance,” said Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., a potential candidate who has long championed the notion of an independent office of public integrity that would take over some of the self-policing duties of the Senate ethics committee.

“A lot of members are concerned about the use of an independent commission as a political club to beat them over the head,” Obama said at a news conference Monday as debate on ethics legislation opened.

A possible rival in 2008, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is also pressing to amend the ethics bill, the first legislation Democrats are taking up in their new majority role, to include the office of public integrity.


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Moroccan gets 15 years for 9/11 role

A MOROCCAN convicted as an accessory to murder in the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US was sentenced last night to the maximum 15 years in prison.

A federal appeals court had convicted Mounir el Motassadeq, a friend of three of the suicide pilots, of the charge in November and sent the case to a state court in Hamburg for sentencing.

Just before yesterday’s verdict, the 32-year-old defendant exchanged charged words with an American co-plaintiff whose mother died on board one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Centre.


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Why do democrats hate the military?

It appears that the new democrat majority has flip-flopped its way to a poll-tested position – – Oppose the surge, attempt to cut off funding, and do whatever is necessary to ensure defeat in Iraq.

Screw ’em.

I want my Republican Party to oppose nearly EVERYTHING these looney toon leftists put forward. I want the recollection of bipartisanship during the next two years to be a rare as it has been for the last 6. It is time for my Republican representatives to sharpen up their rhetoric, and get in the fight. Talk radio, the right blogosphere and rare officials like John Bolton have been carrying a disproportionate share of the weight. If our elected Republican representatives don’t want to speak to the issues of the day as they relate to National Security, then we will elect representatives who will.

The President is scheduled to make the case for a “all-in” position for victory in Iraq on Wednesday. The leftists will say that we need to get out of Vietnam Iraq now, that this NBCivil war is unwinnable because Maliki’s sectarian government is unwilling to seek a political solution.

The stakes are high, and the consequences of failure are grave. While our bravest fight overseas, it is not too much to expect our elected representatives to have their back. And the leftists? Screw ’em.

WSJ: The fastest way home

Li’l Pup – His First Million Seller.


On the Swearing-in of Keith Ellison.


When order breaks down, reach for the rope

Yes, but what would have happened if Saddam had not been hanged? He would still have been alive, obviously. He would still have had lawyers. He would have found ways, whether through court appearances, or emails, or messages smuggled out of prison, of communicating with supporters. He would have been able to contest – perhaps at law, certainly at the bar of world opinion – the trial that convicted him, and the democratic government that replaced his dictatorship.

It would then have been said that Saddam was in reality controlling an insurgency from behind bars. Any weakness by the government of Iraq would have been attributed to fear of Saddam – fear of his eventual re-emergence as leader, or of the power of his proxies. In each twist of the internal and global conflicts about Iraq, the question would have been: what part does Saddam play in all of this?

Iraq is virtually ungovernable anyway. Does anyone honestly think that it could ever have been governed successfully with its ex-tyrant alive and on the premises?

Charles Moore is one of the top 3 British conservative commentators (IMHO) and this article is pretty representative of his stance and style. Frankly the longer the execution Saddam’s execution had been delayed the more problematical it would have become. Never-the-less all the British press were counselling either ‘don’t hang him’ or ‘don’t do it in haste’. The latter is the most risable – 3 years and a full trial is hardly rushing justice.

I write this as someone who does not rejoice in capital punishment but who sees it as a last resort to show the State’s abhorrence at the crime or crimes.

Bush Lied…We Tie-Dyed

Zotting Through the First 100 Hours, after the 4 day bender….(hold on to your wallets)
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Putting the squeeze on Iran

A campaign to dry up financing for projects poses a threat to Tehran’s ability to maintain exports. NCRI has the analysis in a piece from the LA Times.

Los Angeles Times, LONDON – As Washington wages a very public battle against Iran’s quest for nuclear power, it is quietly gaining ground on another energy front: the oil fields that are the Islamic Republic’s lifeblood.

Iran’s oil industry has raked in record amounts of cash during three years of high oil prices. But a new U.S. campaign to dry up financing for oil and natural gas development poses a threat to the republic’s ability to continue exporting oil over the next two decades, many analysts say.

The campaign comes at a moment of unique vulnerability for Iran’s oil industry, which also faces challenges from rising domestic energy consumption, international isolation, a populist spending spree by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and trouble closing contracts with foreign oil companies — a recipe for potential disaster in a nation with one of the world’s largest reservoirs of oil.

“If the government does not control the consumption of oil products in Iran … and at the same time, if the projects for increasing the capacity of the oil and protection of the oil wells will not happen, within 10 years, there will not be any oil for export,” Mohammed Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian, Iran’s deputy oil minister for international affairs, said in a telephone interview.

If Iran were to suddenly stop exporting its 2.6 million barrels of oil a day, such as in the event of a military strike, world oil prices probably would skyrocket. But a gradual decline might be offset by other OPEC members, analysts say, particularly as Iraq increases its oil production and Saudi Arabia carries out plans for significant increases in its production capacity.

The efforts by the United States and its allies over the last few months to persuade international banks and oil companies to pull out of Iran threaten dozens of projects, including development of Iran’s two massive new oil fields that could expand output by 800,000 barrels a day over the next four years.

“Many European banks which had accepted financing some oil industries projects have recently canceled them,” Nejad-Hosseinian said.

Read it all at NCRI

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