Friday, May 20, 2011

John Bolton, tough former US Ambassador to UN, testing waters for 2012 run.

By Verne Strickland 
Blogmaster USA DOT COM
May 20, 2011

There have been few Americans in the political arena more polarizing than Jesse Helms and John Bolton. 

That is, unless you’re willing to go to the far side of the aisle to include serial lefties like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, Charlie Rangel, Joseph Stalin, and – perhaps my favorite – Barack Obama. 

But my mission here is to talk about – and praise – the rock-ribbed Americanism of John Bolton, protégé of the late U.S. Senator Helms of North Carolina, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and surrogate conscience of the so-called “United Nations”.

Jesse was derisively – and affectionately – known as "Senator No". He single-handedly trash-canned more hare-brained anti-American bills than a shredder in the basement of the U.S. Capitol. He drove them crazy. 

Well, while John Bolton has never been a household name in the same league with Helms, his pedigree has always been close enough to satisfy me.

Bolton really blew off the lid on the world stage when he was appointed in 2005 as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., a bully pulpit from which he boldly bashed every phony, deceitful, demagogic position the sketchy world body ever took. 

Now, he hints that he is considering lobbing his fedora into the ring for a run at the White House in 2012. He has a lot of work to do on that, but he’s accustomed to going up against the odds. Who knows?

But what do we know of this irrepressible bull in the U.N. china shop – Mr. John Bolton? For some, who may agree with him and not know it – much too little. For others, who hate him without fully understanding why – way too much.

Allow me to offer just a few things I have known about him, and others I have gleaned from arduous research. Whoever you are, whatever you believe, you will not come up neutral.

One problem. There’s way too much information here to stuff into one article. This can happen when a writer can’t summon the courage to pare down a treasure trove of facts too good to ignore.

That writer turns out a series. So I am going to produce a series on John Bolton, potential candidate for our nation’s highest and most prestigious office – Dean of the Political Science Department at Harvard University.

Strike that. Bolton, in truth, cannot even get a phone call through to Harvard, Stanford, UNC, Brown, Blue, or any of the many stuffy, effete scholastic bastions of socialism we sometimes call “universities”. Yale is probably an exception, since he took a couple of hefty degrees out of there.

As I sort through the wheat and the chaff about Bolton, I am impressed more by what his detractors say about him than by what his ardent supporters pony up. Strange, you may say – but definitely true.

Anyway, as an introduction to Bolton 101, I am first going to present a few choice Boltonisms assembled by one of my favorite political writers -- Mark Steyn.

What I love about Bolton, America's new ambassador to the UN, is the sheer volume of "damaging" material.

 Usually, the Democrats and media have to riffle through decades of dreary platitudes to come up with one potentially exploitable infelicitous soundbite.

But with Bolton the damaging quotes are hanging off the trees and dropping straight into your bucket.

Five minutes' casual mooching through the back catalog and your cup runneth over. To wit:

The U.N.? ''There is no such thing as the United Nations.''

Reform of the Security Council? ''If I were redoing the Security Council, I'd have one permanent member -- the United States.'

International law? "It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law."

Offering incentives to rogue states? "I don't do carrots."

But he does do schtick. I happen to agree with all the above statements, but I can see why the international community might be minded to throw its hands up and shriek, "Quel horreur!"

Sending Bolton to be U.N. ambassador, then, says Steyn, “is like . . . putting Sudan and Zimbabwe on the Human Rights Commission. Or sending a bunch of child-sex fiends to man U.N. operations in the Congo. And the Central African Republic. And Sierra Leone, and Burundi, Liberia, Haiti, Kosovo, and pretty much everywhere else.”

VS: Here’s some of the street cred on Mr. Bolton: He was born in Baltimore on November 20, 1948. 

Many would say that Bolton is no gentlemen, but it cannot be denied that he is a scholar. He graduated with a B.A., summa cum laude, from Yale University and received his J.D. from Yale Law School. 

John Bolton has spent many years of his career in public service. Previous positions he has held are Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs at the Department of State, 1989-1993; Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice, 1985-1989; Assistant Administrator for Program and Policy Coordination, U.S. Agency for International Development, 1982-1983; General Counsel, U.S. Agency for International Development, 1981-1982.

Bolton is an attorney who held two assistant attorney general positions in the Reagan administration's Justice Department and was assistant secretary of state for international organizations in the first Bush administration, enjoyed the staunch support of the committee's chairman, Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C.

Helms called Bolton "a treasured friend" and repeated his earlier encomium that "John Bolton is the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon."

Said Helms: "John is a patriot. He is a brilliant thinker and writer. And, most importantly, he is a man with the courage of his convictions. John says what he means and means what he says. And that is precisely what is needed at the State Department and elsewhere in the government." 

 Implacably loyal to the United States of America, from whence he came, John Bolton was and is a paragon of American virtue and nationalism. 
Though he offended many – chiefly stiff-backed U.S. liberals and elitist Europeans – he has friends and admirers who see in him a refreshing candor and an unabashed American spirit which bows no knee to those who strut about with an Old World air of superiority. 

Let's give him a chance. 

This is our first in a series of posts on Ambassador John Bolton, who has expressed his interest in a run for the Presidency in 2012. To learn more about this patriotic defender of America, watch for our second installment soon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

URGENT: Contact our Senators Burr and Hagan to oppose cloture and stop Obama's 'Worst Judicial Nominee'

Verne Strickland USA DOT COM  May 17, 2011


On Tuesday night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture to end debate
on the nomination of Goodwin Liu to the federal appeals court for the 9th District
based in California.The vote will be on Thursday and it will take 60 votes to bring
Liu's nomination to a vote.

Of all the poorly qualified political activists President Obama has 
nominated to the federal bench, Liu is arguably the worst of the
bunch. An Associate Dean at Berkeley School of Law, Liu has no 
trial experience and does not even meet the standards set by the
American Bar Association. 

A hero to the left for opposing the nominations of John Roberts and Samuel 
Alitoto the Supreme Court, Liu, if confirmed, would nevertheless be the 
odds-on favoritefor the next Supreme Court vacancy.
Liu has made it clear that he believes the constitution is merely a guide to
judicial decisions.  In his writings, Liu said he "envisions the judiciary as a 
culturally situated interpreter of social meaning." 

The key to judicial decisions, says Liu, should be "our collective values," 
"evolving norms," and "social understandings," rather than the Constitution 
as written or the laws passed by Congress.

How would this philosophy manifest itself?  Well, for one thing, Liu has said 
there is a constitutional right to welfare, or as he put it, "negative rights against
government oppression" and "positive rights to government assistance" should
have "equal constitutional status."

Liu's view on criminal law has resulted in the extraordinary opposition 
from 42 of 58 District Attorney's in California, where the 9th Circuit 
is based. Here's what they said about a Liu paper on criminal law:
"This document demonstrated beyond serious question that his (Liu's) 
views on criminal law, capital punishment and the role of the federal
courts in second-guessing state decisions are fully aligned" with an 
appeals court that is "far outside of the judicial mainstream."

Other writings by Liu have supported reparations for slavery 
and racial quotas to remedy "societal discrimination," a position 
rejected by the Supreme Court.

Although Liu wants a pass for his past statements, he helped lead the 
fight against the Roberts and Alito Supreme Court nominations.  Roberts, 
he said in an op-ed, had an "ideological agenda" hostile to the environmental
workplace and consumer protections.  Liu testified at Alito's confirmation
hearing that the "America envisioned by his (Alito's) record is not the 
America we know, nor is it the America we aspire to be."
NOW.  URGE Sen. Richard M. Burr AND Sen. Kay Hagan 
CALLING (202) 224-3154 OR (202) 224-6342 NOW.
We at the American Conservative Union thank you for all you do to advance 
conservative principles.

Al Cardenas
American Conservative Union

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Verne Strickland Blogmaster: 

John Bolton was a protege of the late Jesse A. Helms, statesman, conservative icon, distinguished U.S. Senator from the State of North Carolina, and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I knew and loved Jesse, and considered that a friend of Jesse's was a friend of mine (although I of course knew few of his friends personally). But on my own I have gained great respect and admiration for Ambassador Bolton. The accompanying article doesn't do him credit, but we will make up for that in future installments about him. Please look for these special posts on USA DOT COM.

 John Bolton making first New Hampshire trip

Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton is pictured. | AP Photo

John Bolton has his first New Hampshire trip as a potential presidential candidate on the calendar.
Bolton is scheduled to address the Nashua Republican City Committee on Sept. 8.

The former United Nations ambassador, who says he's mulling a run but has done next-to-nothing to build a national political infrastructure, would have little time after that to pull the trigger. The New Hampshire filing deadline for presidential candidates is just weeks later.

His only other blip on the early-state map was in March, when he spoke at Iowa Rep. Steve King’s Conservative Principles Conference. Bolton has said there's no specific timeline for him to make a 2012 decision.

Di Lothrop, a spokeswoman for the Nashua party, said a VIP dinner is scheduled ahead of the meeting, and that she expects other likely candidates to attend. Bolton is currently traveling on the Weekly Standard's cruise in Europe.

Aide to former Governor Mike Easley sentenced to one year in federal prison.

 Verne Strickland Blogmaster

Ruffin Poole could have faced five years in slammer on corruption charges. Guilty plea to income tax evasion accepted as trade-off.

TOM BREEN Associated Press
May 17, 2011 4:18 PM
RALEIGH — A former aide to ex-North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley must spend a year behind bars for failing to report a $30,000 profit on coastal property that was uncovered during a federal probe involving the two-term governor.

U.S. District Court Judge Terence Boyle sentenced 39-year-old Ruffin Poole on Tuesday to 12 months in prison, along with two years of supervised release and a $30,000 fine. He's scheduled to begin serving his sentence July 15, likely at a federal prison in South Carolina.

Poole had pleaded guilty in April 2010 to one income tax evasion count just before his trial on 57 corruption-related counts was set to begin. Federal prosecutors have said he could have faced up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised probation.


'It's a dream map for Republicans -- a 9-4 map, and it's modeled after constitutional guidelines.'

By Verne Strickland
USA DOT COM Blogmaster
May 17, 2011

“This just seems like a slam dunk for Ilario,” said a veteran North Carolina political operative after seeing a new redistricting map which is expected to survive largely intact and be voted into law by the N.C. General Assembly in a few weeks.

Governor Bev Perdue has no veto power in this exercise, and will wield nothing more than token ricochet influence on a process which will shape the destinies of North Carolina politics and politicians for the next ten years. 

The political observer and strategist we interviewed for this feature agreed to an exclusive in-depth discussion for USA DOT COM on the ramifications of redistricting, with the proviso that he would remain anonymous.

Many of his comments, which are personal and revealing, are quoted verbatim in order to preserve their exact meaning and intent. They show clearly that the first look at the new draft map gives Pantano supporters reason for considerable optimism – perhaps even assurance of victory – in the upcoming 2012 GOP primary, as well as the fall general elections.

Our source  asserted that the North Carolina map, based on the 2010 U.S. Census, not only pumps excitement into the Pantano candidacy, but also augers well for Republican congressional candidates throughout the State. 

“It’s a  great map for Republicans,” he commented. “The new Eighth District becomes one of the most solid Republican Districts in the State. There’s a ton of good political candidates that live in that district, and there’s no way Larry Kissell would go back in under that map. 

"Shuler would have a very hard time running as a Republican  in the new Eleventh District. I see no way Shuler could beat Patrick McHenry. They are both friends, and the Eleventh as drawn is going to be heavily Republican.”

Following is a major portion of the commentary by our source, focusing in particular on the evolving relationship between Ilario Pantano and eight-term incumbent Democrat Mike McIntyre, and the dramatic reversal in their respective political fortunes.

It looks like people who voted for Pantano will get Pantano, and people who voted for McIntyre will get McIntyre

McIntyre would be foolish to run in the new Thirteenth -- he'd be creamed -- he would have no base of support there. With only a very few exceptions all of McIntyre's strong areas like Robeson, Columbus, Bladen, and Downtown Wilmington, would remain in the Seventh.
And even there, McIntyre faces a challenge from a strong minority candidate and there is the potential that Kissell could choose to run in the Seventh instead of the Eighth.
The parts of Pender New Hanover and Brunswick that would be in the new Thirteenth voted for Pantano by an overwhelming margin

Pantano beat McIntyre head to head by a 62 to 38 margin in the portion of Sampson County that was in the Seventh and that will be in the new Thirteenth.

Onslow, of course, is the home of Camp Lejeune, where Pantano was stationed as an 18-year-old Marine, when he fought in the First Gulf War. And then he was stationed there in the Second Gulf War when he fought in Iraq. Ilario is revered and loved by local veterans’ organizations and the community. From diners to gun shows, everyone has come to know Pantano in a personal way. His story was covered extensively in the Jacksonville Daily News and their honest reportage means that the folks in Jacksonville know that Pantano is the real thing.

In fact Pantano's Brand is so strong in the Onslow county area that he was asked to cut a commercial for Republican Walter Jones who faced a Primary fight in 2006.  The ad, which can be viewed here speaks to the fact that Congressman Jones is a fierce defender of the "boots on the ground" and since Pantano was one of those boots he support Walter Jones.

Pantano, because of his military ties, is very strong in Fayetteville and Cumberland...Pantano and McIntyre split the vote in the portion of Cumberland that was in the Seventh. The portion of Cumberland that is in the Thirteenth will be more Republican and more favorable to Pantano than the area of the county that was in the Seventh in 2010.

The portions of Johnston and Wayne County that will be in the new Thirteenth should be favorable to Pantano as well, as they are very similar to the portion of Sampson that was in the old Seventh and will be in the new Thirteenth.  They are conservative, mostly rural, major agricultural areas with a heavy emphasis on hog farming.  And with Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Wayne County also has a strong military presence. 

It would be very difficult for someone to defeat Pantano in a primary in the new Thirteenth, as he is very strong in the bulk of the areas that would be in the new district. He would have a tremendous advantage in positive name ID with Republican primary voters in the new district, both because of the 2010 race and because of his sterling reputation in Onslow County.

The bottom line is more than a majority of likely voters in a 2012 Republican primary in the new 13th will have already voted for Pantano twice (in the 2010 primary and general election), and Pantano has a strong appeal to rock-ribbed Republicans and Tea Party members who will be most of the people voting in a 2012 Republican primary.
This is a 'dream map' -- a 9-4 map -- and its modeled after Constitutional guidelines.
It does what we’ve said all along in North Carolina – if you follow federal law and don’t illegally gerrymander, you’ll have nine Republican congressmen. 

The following information on redistricting is provided by the official North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) Website:

Redistricting plans, like other legislation, are passed by the General Assembly in bills. The bills are introduced and go through committees before they are considered on the House and Senate floors. To handle the bills, leaders of the House and Senate have usually named special redistricting committees that hold public hearings to receive comment from the citizens. From decade to decade, those committees have taken different forms. Once both houses of the General Assembly ratify a redistricting bill, that bill, unlike most bills, is not subject to the Governor's veto. The bill cannot be implemented, however, until it has received approval ("preclearance," as it is called) under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Typically, the US Justice Department reviews the bill to determine whether, in the 40 counties covered by Section 5 of the Act, there has been any worsening of the position of minorities. Alternatively, the State may gain preclearance through a lawsuit brought in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Once a plan is enacted by the General Assembly and approved under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, it remains in effect until the next federal census.
As they redraw districts, legislators will be urged by various people and groups to consider additional redistricting principles: "Keep communities in the same district." "Retain the cores of incumbents' prior districts." "Increase or reduce the strength of one or the other political parties." Redistricting is a complex and political process, and all of these motives are legitimate and traditional redistricting considerations. Ultimately, the voters, through their elected representatives, control the process. 

POSTSCRIPT by Verne Strickland:

For a century, Democrats in North Carolina have held sway in the General Assembly, and (my words) they have taken pains to tweak Republican noses mercilessly, giving no respite or quarter. Another consultant we interviewed -- a historian and scholar of the NC political scene -- pointed out that, if this harsh treatment has been forgiven, it has dang sure not been forgotten. His comments on the subject:

THE BRAD MILLER STORY: Our source's comments on the esteemed gentleman from North Carolina:

 Brad Miller made himself chairman of redistricting ten years ago, and drew his own congressional district. It seems fitting that he’s now being drawn out as part of a fair redistricting process.

I’ve been told that was very intentional, because he has rubbed people the wrong way. He was actually quoted, I believe, when he told the Raleigh N&O that he was going to draw a congressional district for himself. And he went out and did it. Some have reportedly since said that they wouldn’t be hurt at all if Brad Miller was just made to go away. And they went out and did it.

Ralph Bradley "Brad" Miller is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing North Carolina's 13th District (map) since 2002.

Here is a link to an article by Pat Gannon of the Star News on NC redistricting: 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sins of the Father: Abortion, Birth Control, and the ACLU: Dr. Paul Kengor.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster   May 16, 2011
“Within a decade, there were millions of abortions. It got so bad that Joseph Stalin, mass-murdering tyrant, was horrified, and actually temporarily banned abortion, given that entire future generations were being wiped out in the womb. Re-legalization took place under Nikita Khrushchev in the mid-1950s. By the 1970s, there was a staggering seven to eight million abortions per year in the USSR. The very worst year for abortion in America, post-Roe, pales to the average year in the Soviet Union.”
In “Sins of the Father: Abortion, Birth Control, and the ACLU” (716 words), professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College—Dr. Paul Kengor—explains, “As someone with the highly unusual task of researching old, declassified Soviet and Communist Party USA archives, I often get quizzical looks as to why certain things from the distant past still matter. Well, it’s indeed true that past is often prologue. And it’s striking to see how something in communist archives from, say, the 1920s, pertains to America right now.”
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the National Catholic Register.

“Sins of the Father: Abortion, Birth Control, and the ACLU” (716 words)

Sins of the Father:
Abortion, Birth Control, and the ACLU

By Dr. Paul Kengor
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the National Catholic Register.
As someone with the highly unusual task of researching old, declassified Soviet and Communist Party USA archives, I often get quizzical looks as to why certain things from the distant past still matter.
Well, it’s indeed true that past is often prologue. And it’s striking to see how something in communist archives from, say, the 1920s, pertains to America right now.
That certainly seems the case with what I’ve found on the American Civil Liberties Union, whether challenging Christmas carols in public schools seven decades ago, or, currently, trying to compel Catholic hospitals to do abortions, or denouncing the Catholic bishops for opposing birth-control funding in “healthcare” legislation.
How ironic that I would find seeds of these things in communist archives, or, even more directly, in the pro-communist or pro-Soviet writings of the ACLU’s founders.
The ACLU’s early atheism is no surprise; its founders’ sympathies toward Bolshevism and the Soviet state are not disconnected from that atheism. Yet, most interesting, and unexpected, is how the ACLU’s founders’ views on the Leninist-Stalinist state’s advancement of abortion and birth control are connected—symbolically, at the least—to the organization’s advancement of abortion and birth control today.
Consider the founder of the ACLU, Roger Baldwin:
To get a sense of where Baldwin stood on all this, the best source is his 1928 book, Liberty Under the Soviets. The title was no joke. This champion of American “liberties,” like many ACLU founders, was fascinated with the Leninist-Stalinist state, having travelled there with other progressives in the hope that they had found the new world.
As to Baldwin and abortion and birth control, it isn’t easy to pin him down at the time of the Soviet legalization in the early 1920s. That said, Baldwin’s book comes close. Baldwin had to tread lightly on abortion in particular, as did birth-control feminists like racial-eugenicist Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood founder. Baldwin understood that only the most vulgar Americans considered legalizing abortion.
So, what did Baldwin say about these things in Liberty Under the Soviets? He hailed the “significant” “new freedom of women” in Soviet Russia. On page 118, he came nearer to endorsing Soviet abortion and birth-control policy:

Birth control is legal throughout Russia, but not encouraged as an official policy. Abortions are legal also, but may be performed legally only in hospitals or by qualified physicians upon permits issued by local commissions to whom women apply. This, however, does not prevent illegal abortions by practitioners to whom women may go when refused permission by the commission. Birth control not being generally understood and abortions being controlled, women are not yet freed from unwilling child-bearing, though the regime is extending its efforts to aid them.
Such are the freedoms of women under the Soviets today, on paper and in practice. On paper they are an advance over the status of women elsewhere in the world, pushing to their logical ends what are only tendencies in other lands. In practice they are a great advance over the very limited position of women before the Revolution.
Here, Baldwin seemed to support the Soviet legalization of abortion and birth control, and generally freeing women from the shackles of “unwilling child-bearing.” This he viewed as an advance, if not “great advance.”
Where did Soviet Russia go from here? The rest of the story is hellacious.
Within a decade, there were millions of abortions. It got so bad that Joseph Stalin, mass-murdering tyrant, was horrified, and actually temporarily banned abortion, given that entire future generations were being wiped out in the womb. Re-legalization took place under Nikita Khrushchev in the mid-1950s. By the 1970s, there was a staggering seven to eight million abortions per year in the USSR. The very worst year for abortion in America, post-Roe, pales to the average year in the Soviet Union. To the extent that Roger Baldwin supported that legalization, here was the bitter fruit.
To that end, the ACLU is a group with some rotten roots, and I believe today, a century later, we are reaping the dark harvest in America. When the ACLU today challenges the liberty of Catholic hospitals to refuse to do abortions—obscene as that challenge is—or blasts bishops for opposing taxpayer-funded contraception, it isn’t a surprise to those of us familiar with the sins of the father.
— Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include "The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism" and the newly released "Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century."