Bush Response to NSA Surveillance Ruling

President Bush, when asked by reporters following Friday’s meeting with his economic advisors at Camp David, rejected US District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor’s decision finding the NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Program unconstitutional.  We believe — strongly believe it’s constitutional.”

In a statement to reporters, President Bush made the case for his tax cuts and offered a solid economy with an annual growth rate of 4 percent for the first half of 2006, unemployment at 4.8 percent, a strong increase in productivity and an increase in federal revenues of 14.5 percent as proof that indeed the tax cuts were working.

We discussed the state of the economy. We discussed where our economy is headed. And we discussed the steps that we’re going to take to ensure that our economy continues to lead the world. The foundation of our economy is solid, and it’s strong. Because of the tax cuts we passed, American workers and families and small businesses are keeping more of the money they earn. And they’re using that money to drive this economy of ours forward.

The economy grew at 4 percent annual rate during the first half of 2006, and this means that our economy is maintaining solid growth, and performing in line with expectations. Our solid economic growth is creating real benefits for American workers and families and entrepreneurs. Since August 2003, we’ve added more than 5.5 million new jobs. The unemployment rate is 4.8 percent. Productivity growth is strong. Behind the numbers are stories of hard-working Americans who are realizing their dreams. The entrepreneurial spirit in this country is strong, and that’s good for America.

(snip)

The economic growth has had a positive impact on the budget, and that’s good for the taxpayers. Last year, economic growth pushed up federal tax revenues by 14.5 percent — it’s the largest increase in 24 years. This year, tax revenues are projected to increase by another 11.4 percent, and at the same time, we are working with Congress to restrain federal spending. We’re meeting our priorities and we’re restraining federal spending.

We recently learned that this year’s deficit is projected to be 30 percent lower than we initially thought, and that means we’re on track to cut the deficit in half by 2008, a full year ahead of the original goal. We’ve got to keep this economy growing through pro-growth economic policies. Taxes need to be kept low.

President Bush was optimistic about the economic future and ended his statement on a positive note.  He praised the strength and resilience of the US economy as it has overcome unprecedented challenges and adversity, and thanked the American people for their resolve.

All of us here are confident about the future of this country. Over the past five years, our economy has faced unprecedented challenges from recession to corporate scandal to terrorist attack to natural disasters. And through it all, our free-enterprise system has proved to be the most resilient and responsive in the world.

With hard work and wise policies, we’ll meet every challenge that comes. And in so doing, we’ll help more Americans realize their dreams and continue to make this country a grand — a land of great opportunities.

 And now I’ll answer a couple of questions. Deb, you got any?

With that simple question, any pretense of objectivity from the partisan press evaporated.  Not one reporter asked a single question about the US economy.  There can be no deviation from the media’s current action-line, and the question regarding Judge Taylor’s decision speaks for itself.  It seems that partisan politics is more important than national security, and scoring cheap political points in the minds of their surrealistic fellow travelers is most important.

Apparently, it was not unanticipated.  President Bush’s straightforward answer, and the forcefulness with which it was delivered, is indicative of the seriousness he places in his Commander-in-Chief duties and his constitutional responsibility to protect the American people.

Examine the question, peruse the answer and judge for yourself.

Q: Mr. President, the federal ruling yesterday that declared your terrorist surveillance program unconstitutional — the judge wrote that it was never the intent of the framers to give the President such unfettered control. How do you respond, sir, to opponents who say that this ruling is really the first nail in the coffin of your administration’s legal strategy in the war on terror?

THE PRESIDENT: I would say that those who herald this decision simply do not understand the nature of the world in which we live. You might remember last week working with the — with people in Great Britain, we disrupted a plot. People were trying to come and kill people.

 This country of ours is at war, and we must give those whose responsibility it is to protect the United States the tools necessary to protect this country in a time of war. The judge’s decision was a — I strongly disagree with that decision, strongly disagree. That’s why I instructed the Justice Department to appeal immediately, and I believe our appeals will be upheld.

 I made my position clear about this war on terror. And by the way, the enemy made their position clear yet again when we were able to stop them. And I — the American people expect us to protect them, and therefore I put this program in place. We believe — strongly believe it’s constitutional.

 And if al Qaeda is calling in to the United States, we want to know why they’re calling. And so I made my position clear. It would be interesting to see what other policymakers — how other policymakers react.

(Emphasis mine)

***

Crossposted at Redstate 

rbdwiggins

The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” – Ronald Reagan

Published in: on August 20, 2006 at 7:45 pm  Comments (1)  

Base Mobilization bodes well for GOP in ‘06…

A Market Strategies Base Mobilization Survey was commissioned by the RNC and was delivered to Ken Mehlman on August 2nd.  The RNC Memo based on that survey is in pdf format and can be found here.

Not all is going as well for the Democrats and their quest to retake congress as the Partisan Press would lead one to believe.  A coordinated GOTV and a motivated Republican base are poised to turn conventional wisdom upside down, again.

I’ve formatted a couple of excerpts from the memo for your perusal:

The survey was commissioned by the Republican National Committee to identify the most effective messages to mobilize the Republican Base for the 2006 elections and determine where the Base stands on important issues in this election cycle. It follows similar studies of the Base completed in 2002 and 2003.

Overall support for President Bush and congressional Republicans from the Republican Base is very strong. The generic congressional vote from Republicans is an overwhelming 84% to 6%, within sampling error of what we found for the 2004 elections. An equally impressive 88% to 11% majority of Republicans approve of the way the President is handling his job.

Intended turnout from the Base also is extremely high. Eighty-one percent (81%) say they are “almost certain” to vote this November, and another 14% say they are “very likely” to vote. This, too, is within sampling error of the intended turnout of Republicans for the 2004 elections.

National Security is, by far, what concerns Republicans the most heading into the ’06 elections, taking seven of the top eighteen issues. 

Here is what the memo had to say about that:

Global War on Terror

Foreign Threats – Ranking at the top of what will motivate Republicans in 2006 is dealing with the foreign threats to our national security and supporting the President’s leadership in the War on Terror. Large majorities report satisfaction with the President’s commitment to defeat the terrorists in Iraq and his leadership in the War on Terror, in general. In addition to Iraq, concerns about other foreign threats are included here. For example, Republicans are very concerned both about Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism, and its potential of developing nuclear weapons. A huge 87% of the Base expresses extremely strong feelings about one or more of these issues.

Domestic Fight Against Terrorism – Republicans see the renewal of the Patriot Act, better protection of our borders, and NSA surveillance of terrorist phone calls and phone records as an interrelated set of issues. Fully 80% of the Base expresses extremely strong feelings about at least one of these steps to enhance our national security.

Democrats Weakening the Global War on Terror – Of the five issues on which we tested Democratic Party positions, its position on the War on Terror causes the strongest negative feelings, on average, from Republicans. A 56% majority of the Base has extremely strong feelings about the Democratic Party’s WOT position. Republicans, also, tend to view this as an independent issue from their feelings about foreign threats and the domestic fight against terrorism. As such, it can provide an important reinforcement to the other War on Terror messages to mobilize the Republican Base. For these three global War on Terror message areas, 93% of the Republican Base holds extremely strong feelings about one or more of them.

A motivated Republican Base is far more valuable than an imploding Democrat Party, IMHO.  Keep that eraser close at hand.  It will prove quite useful since the current ‘conventional wisdom‘ so closely resembles ’02.  The election calculus has become more fluid following the thwarted terrorist attack on international flights, and many of those ‘predicted’ democrat gains are likely to disappear.

Crossposted at Redstate

H/T – Drudge & USNews

rbdwiggins

The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” – Ronald Reagan

Published in: on August 11, 2006 at 9:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Welcome to Conservative Thought

What will follow in the days, weeks and months ahead are the views and opinions of a self-described political junkie.  Although I’m unabashedly conservative, I welcome a reality-based dialogue from all political persuasions and encourage participation in an intellectual and substantive debate on national security, jurisprudence and policy issues.

My goals are ambitious, but quite simple:

  • Advance conservative ideology and principles within the Republican Party, and increase the Republican majority in the US Congress by nominating and electing conservative candidates.
  • Educate the American electorate regarding conservative ideology and principles without the ‘filter’ of the Partisan Press.
  • Support our troops and insure that they are adequately prepared and properly equipped to confront the dangerous challenges of the 21rst Century and complete their mission.
  • Restore the constitutionally-mandated inherent authority to the Executive as required under Article II, and reverse the Federal Judiciary’s usurpation of power as required under Article III.
  • Restore the credibility and effectiveness of the intelligence community and enhance their intelligence-gathering capabilities.  

Talking Points™ and Known Facts™ are very discouraging and contribute nothing substantive to an intellectual debate.  Links should be provided to back-up all statements of fact, and all quotes must be properly cited.  Profanity is not tolerated and will result in administrative action.  All Terms of Service’ must be followed as required by WordPress.

rbdwiggins

Published in: on August 11, 2006 at 3:30 pm  Comments Off on Welcome to Conservative Thought