Morning Briefing for August 31, 2009

FOR AUGUST 31, 2009

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1. Democrats echo Truman and threaten to nationalize Internet

In 1952, during the Korean War, the United Steel Workers of America had gone out on strike. The union was demanding pay increases beyond what steel firms said they could afford to pay, unless they were to raise prices beyond what would be approved by the government’s Wage Stablization Board (set up for the war to attempt to keep costs in line despite inflationary government policies).

President Harry Truman, Democrat, unilaterally declared the steel firms to be at fault for the strikes, which were set to cripple Defense contractors’ ability to keep the war supplied. So, the President nationalized America’s steel manufacturing plants with the plan of dictating his own terms to the unions, appeasing them as part of his political base, while keeping afloat an early front of the Cold War.

So today, it is surely with the case of Youngstown Sheet & Tube co. vs Sawyer in mind that the Congress debates giving President Barack Obama, Democrat, sweeping authority over Internet Service Providers, including the authority to nationalize whatever Internet resources he declares to be important.

S. 773, a bill by West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Democrat, has a 55-page draft bill that would create new “emergency” powers for the President, a ‘cybersecurity’ Enabling Act of sorts, that would give the President the authority broad powers over any “non-governmental” computer networks, whether public or private, that are declared by the President to be “critical.”

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2. Respect The Dead

When a polarizing figure dies, there is sometimes an impulse to ignore courtesy and to instead viciously attack. The glowing tributes can create a visceral push-back instinct. But upon the day of a man’s passing, respect for the pain of his loved ones, and yes, even his ideological fellows and followers, is a proper thing. There is no shame in allowing a day for the mourning of others.

Now, that does not mean it is not appropriate to criticize. It’s not even to say that on the very day you cannot reconfirm your distaste for the deceased. No, when a polarizing figure dies, even in the short hours following the news, it is to be expected and tolerated that those who oppose him will say so. Again, it’s a pushback against what may be historically inaccurate, hagiographic, rhetorical excess on the part of his dedicated fan base, as well as against any attempt to score political points with a perceived martyr. That’s understandable.

But what is not right, and certainly not classy, are the vicious and nasty personal comments celebrating the loss that others are feeling. Let me give you some examples . . .

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3. More Trouble for Arlen Specter

When Arlen Specter switched parties back in April, he realized that some of his former supporters might regret having donated money to someone who was no longer a Republican. He made a concession: “Upon request, I will return campaign contributions contributed during this cycle.”

That could wind up being a costly promise. Specter has raised $11 million this cycle, and only has $7.5 million on hand. That said, some donors have a lot invested in Specter and won’t want their money back. And many others might want their money back, but either aren’t aware of his promise or won’t bother to make the request.

Well, the Club for Growth has stepped up to the plate to do something for that latter group. They have offered to contact Specter’s donors and help them ask for their money back. Yesterday they received legal permission to do so . . . .

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4. Democratic House Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health Calls Blue Dogs “Brain Dead”

The intolerance of the left wing of the Democratic Party’s members of Congress for those who do not agree with them on health care reform was on display again, in public. Many of the old bull Democratic House Chairmen are hard core leftists, like the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee’s Health Subcommittee, Pete Stark (D-CA).

Yesterday, Stark pounded his fellow Democratic colleagues on health care reform. In a media conference call sponsored by Campaign for America’s Future, Congressman Stark called Blue Dogs “brain dead,” and went on to say . . .

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5. Washington Post Examines His Thesis. Finds an Honest Man Who Keeps His Word.

Finally, twenty years after it was written and several major campaigns he’s run, the Washington Post is finally picking apart his college thesis.

No, I’m not talking about Barack Obama. The Washington Post never bothered to track down and examine the college thesis of Barack Obama. But, it has found the twenty year old thesis of Bob McDonnell, the Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia.

With Creigh Deeds imploding, the media decided it had to do something to help the Democrat. So they are highlighting McDonnell’s twenty year old thesis. In it, they find a candidate who is, brace yourselves, conservative. He went, after all, to Regent University, and his thesis is publicly available.

In other words, they could have written about it when he was running for the Virginia House of Delegates or Virginia Attorney General, but they wanted to wait until now when the Democrat needs some help. And what do they find that the man believed twenty years ago?

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