Morning Briefing for March 7, 2011

RedState Morning Briefing

For March 7, 2011
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1. Speaker Boehner & Harry Reid, Allow Frank Buckles Into the Rotunda

I think Speaker John Boehner and Harry Reid are making a terrible mistake.

The Speaker’s Office and the Senate Majority Leader are blocking a request that Frank Buckles be allowed to lie in state (or in honor as the case may be) in the rotunda of the United States Capitol.

Frank Buckles is not just anybody. I agree that we should not let just anybody lie in state in the rotunda. I totally understand Harry Reid and John Boehner’s reasoning. The right should be reserved for a very special few. While I understand his reasoning, I think the last of the WWI and the last of the WWII servicemen should be given the honor.

Frank Buckles is not just a special few. He is the last of his kind. The very last.

Precisely 4,734,991 Americans served in World War I. Frank Buckles was the last of them to die. He lied to get into the Army at age 16 so he could fight the Kaiser. He is the last of a generation of Americans who heard the calling for freedom in a way other did not and rose up to fight.

He is the last of those men and boys who fought under an American flag across an ocean in a land most had never been who did so not because we were attacked or brought into a war, as we were in World War II, but because they heard the call of freedom in the first great war.

He, as the last of the embodiment of the men and boys who heard that first call for freedom across the seas, deserves to lie in the Rotunda.

The Speaker may be reached at (202) 225-0600. Harry Reid may be reached at (202) 224-3542.

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2. Reid’s Obstructionism May Cause Government Shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) may cause a government shutdown.

Senator Reid is employing a procedural strategy to deal with the House-passed long-term Continuing Resolution (CR), H.R. 1, that may make it more likely that the federal government will shut down when the government runs out of money on March 18. Remember this when we get closer to March 18 and both parties blame each other for failing to pass an appropriations bill to fund the government through September 30 of this year (the end of Fiscal Year 2011).

The House passed a long-term CR on February 19 by a 235–189 vote. The long-term CR funds the federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011 and contains $61 billion in cuts from FY 2010 levels of spending.

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3. TN Democrats go, charitably, nuts over teacher reform bills.

Based on their latest email blast, the Tennessee Democratic Party seems to have a problem understanding what “fascism” is, not to mention “terrorism.” Apparently, Tennessee Democratic chair Chip Forrester and House Democratic chair Mike Turner seem to think that these terms are appropriate for describing several reform bills currently being considered by the Tennessee legislature. Presumably they mean HB 2012 and HB 0130; the first is a tenure reform bill that introduces merit into the tenure process and the second is a collective bargaining reform bill that removes the Tennessee Education Association’s privileged status as the only permissible agent for bargaining with school boards.

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4. NJ Union Caught Interfering With Turnpike Bidding Process Gets Shown the Exit

They could have been contenders. Unfortunately, though, the union representing the nearly 300 New Jersey Turnpike toll collectors took an opportunity for preferential hiring on the state’s plans to privatize collections and tried to interfere with the process. Now, the Garden State has shown them the exit (so to speak).

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5. Bob Woodward Pwned by Donald Rumsfeld

One of the interesting phenomena in Washington politics is the collection of little men who make a living taking shots at great men. Never has that been more in display than in the recent Bob Woodward critique of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s book Known and Unknown on the blog former Washington Post defense correspondent Tom Ricks tries to run at the Foreign Policy magazine website.

While Mr. Rumsfeld’s most recent term of service as Secretary of Defense has controversial aspects and he has been challenged by other participants (see, for instance, the very well done series by RedState alumnus Ben Domenech here | here) the disagreements are largely of a Rashomon quality. Woodward’s screed, on the other hand, is little more than the screech of a wounded ego.

Mr. Rumsfeld’s office has taken up the cudgel on his behalf and there is little need to repeat the work Keith Urbahn has already done. To give a flavor on Woodward’s caterwauling we’ll look at the most interesting one in which Woodward claims a meeting didn’t happen because he, Woodward, didn’t know about it.

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