Senator McCain's Bill to Silence Political Web Sites & Bloggers
The Patriot Post
John McCain, a big proponent of free trade, wants the free flow of political information in this country regulated, limited—even stopped. The infamous McCain-Feingold (read: Incumbent Protection) Act has already voided a large chunk of the First Amendment, infuriating Americans who take the Constitution seriously. Now McCain and a growing number of co-sponsors are pushing S2128 in response to the Abramoff scandal. Instead of promoting honest reform, McCain wants to widen Congress's control over political speech.
Among other things, the bill redefines the term "lobbyist" in the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to include grassroots activists, possibly even individuals working at home on their own dime. All "lobbyists" will be required to file quarterly financial reports, including lists of their subscribers and their donations. Clearly, this puts a huge burden on small operations (such as bloggers) and aims at silencing them. Unfortunately, Republican Christopher Shays has proposed S2128's twin in the House.
Read the section of Senate bill 2128 that stifles citizen activism
Wide Opposition to Grass-Roots Lobbying Requirement
LA Times, Mary Curtius, 3.8.2006
Undercutting the Grassroots Renew America, 3.5.2006
In the aftermath of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, the Senate is poised to punish those least responsible for the scandal--America's "grassroots," those average citizens who frequently contact their elected representatives on Capitol Hill and urge them to wise action, as well as those who encourage such broad citizen participation.
Non-Profits Tell Senate to 'Keep Off the Grassroots'
CNSNews, Susan Jones, 3.3.2006
Take Action: Use the "Write to Congress" button on the upper left of the page to voice your objection to this infringement on free speech. Please email or call your representatives to encourage them to vote against McCain's bill S2128 and Shays House bill. Yes on lobby reform; no on silencing the free speech of political activists.
Port Controversy Headline News
Dubai Ports World says it will give up deal to operate U.S. ports
Read the latest at WorldNetDaily.com
Dubai to give up ports control
Dubai Company to Give Up Ports Stake
After Republican leaders warned President Bush that the House and Senate appeared ready to block Dubai Ports World from taking over some U.S. port terminal operations, the company said it would give up its management stake in the deal. Read more.
Senate GOP could also defy Bush on Ports Deal With House Republicans in revolt over the Dubai ports deal, President Bush hopes to avoid getting steamrolled in the Senate.
Port Deal To Have Broader Review
Dubai Firm Sought U.S. Security Probe
(The Washington Post)
Video reports on MSNBC web site located on pages listed above:
- Dan Abrams Reports on Port Security
- Bush Stands Tough on Port Deal
- Analysis by NBC's Tim Russert
NBC Photo on MSNBC web site
Port Battle Heats Up
House Speaker Dennis Hastert and newly-minted House Majority Leader John Boehner will soon be "flexing muscle" against the Bush administration-approved transaction that permits shifting control of operations at six U.S. ports from a British company to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates. Read more, then e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with YOUR opinion on this hot-button issue. Visit the Speak Out page to read what FOX Fans are saying.
(AP Photo on FoxNews.com web site)
House GOP Leaders Line Up Against UAE Port Deal
White House- Bush Was 'Unaware' of Deal
Email from Senator Bill Frist (2/21/06)
News that a Middle-East based firm is seeking to purchase the operating rights to several U.S. ports - from New York to New Orleans - raise serious questions regarding the safety and security of our homeland. Post 9/11 prudence warrants - at the very least - a more extensive review of this matter. As Ronald Reagan used to say: 'trust, but verify.' And that's what we need to do. The simple fact is, there's no such thing as being 'too careful' in a post 9/11 world. As of today, I'm requesting briefings on this deal. If the Administration does not put the deal on hold, I will introduce legislation doing so ... to ensure that this decision gets a more thorough review. Common sense warrants it; our national security requires it. I expect to be discussing this issue in greater detail this evening when I appear on Hannity & Colmes. I hope you will tune in. As always, I encourage you to leave a comment on my blog by clicking here. Much more to follow in the days ahead ...
Bill Frist, M.D.
Another Email from Senator Bill Frist (2/27/06)
Americans are concerned about plans to allow Dubai Ports World to manage operations at six major American ports. Indeed, over 1,500 individuals posted their thoughts on the deal on my blog, and I know many Congressional offices were flooded with calls and emails.
I called for a delay to further review this deal. There's no such thing as being 'too careful' when it comes to matters of national security, because decisions of this consequence warrant open and extensive debate. Over the last week, I have heard from Americans on both sides of the issue…and regardless of where each stood, security was foremost on their minds…and each wanted something constructive to come from the debate.
After discussions with the White House and with DP World, I feel confident that an exhaustive, transparent 45-day review of the national security implications of this deal will be undertaken by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS). I also expect that relevant Senate committees will vigorously investigate not only the deal with DP World, but also the question of how best to reform the CFIUS process.
I believe the ongoing debate over this deal has brought a much-needed public focus on port security. And I will continue to ensure that the Senate supports the President and helps secure America.
Unfortunately, the debate has also brought on overheated demagoguery from Democrats willing to use anything to attack President Bush and to hide their weakness on national security. The Party that FDR led is a fading memory…and the Democrats of today, led by Senators Clinton, Kerry and Reid continue to show us why they are unable to lead America forward during these challenging times…so while the Democrats continue to bluster, we will act to secure American ports and borders.
I encourage everyone to continue to discuss this issue at home, at work and among friends…because when we focus our attention on national security everyone wins. More to follow in the days ahead…
To continue to debate the issue on my blog, please click here.
Bill Frist, M.D.
Dubai Ports World is scheduled to take over operations at 22 U.S. ports, not six as previously reported by most major media. Find out more at WorldNetDaily.com now! Read it here
Survey: Massive hit on Bush over ports, as only 17% of public OK with turnover Read it on WorldNetDaily here
'Right-wing' radio, TV guys split on control of U.S. ports
Read it on WorldNetDaily
Read this shocking report on port security!
With all the controversy over the United Arab Emirates company approved to run port operations, one man with a lot of experience and expertise in the area says it really doesn't matter who gets the contract – though he is sure it should be an American company.
Robert Pfriender, president of Allied International Development, says everyone is really missing the point on port security. "The real concern," he tells Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin "is that if a weapon of mass destruction arrives at one of mainland ports, it will be much too late for any possible security measure to have any effect."
A 12-kiloton nuclear device (small by today's standards, and similar in size to that used on Japan) detonated at the Brooklyn Redhook Terminal would likely kill 2 million people or more as the radioactive fallout rains downwind on the completely unprotected citizens of Long Island, his company estimates. "Such an event which is unfortunately entirely plausible at the current time would change the nature of our free society in profoundly negative ways and would likely ruin the national economy aside from the great human tragedy of immeasurable proportions," he adds.
And that's why Allied International Development put together a comprehensive plan for Customs and Border Protection to develop three offshore cargo container security inspection ports to inspect each and every container prior to it being cleared for entry to the U.S. mainland. The ports would be located 25 miles offshore to mitigate the effects of a detonation and so any fallout (which is minimal over water) would not pass over land.
"We offered to develop these ports with private financing and at no cost to the government," he said. "The operation of the ports would generate revenue from a small inspection fee for each container. The fully automated robotic process would add only a slight delay to the container delivery time."
Not only did Pfriender ensure the proposal was seen by Customs officials as far back as August 2002, less than a year after the Sept. 11 attacks, he also took the time to see that virtually every member of Congress received this proposal – along with officials in the White House, the Department of Defense, the Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security.
Interestingly, the only response he received from Customs was a letter signed by Jason Ahern, the administration's point man on pushing the UAE deal through. "Obviously, Mr. Ahern and his superiors have either no idea of what security should be or they purposely choose to not implement a security protocol that will prevent the demise of our country," says Pfriender. "This is now the same department [Homeland Security] that dropped the ball on Katrina relief and has 11,000 mobile homes sitting unused in mud, has left our borders completely unsecured, fail to provide fallout shelters to our citizens despite serious nuclear threats, have reversed their policy on allowing sharp and dangerous items on airliners, have never implemented any screening of checked airline luggage or freight and the list just goes on and on."
Pfriender says Customs chooses to rely on the "Container Security Initiative," which is a virtual (as opposed to a reliable physical) "inspection" of containers. In reality, less than 4 percent of containers are targeted for this "inspection" which is really only a screening, with less than 1 percent of the 4 percent of containers which are screened being actually inspected. Further, these "inspections" are carried out by foreigners at foreign ports and Customs can only rely upon the honesty of the foreign inspectors. Worse, there are only a few dozen ports enrolled in this program out of thousands of ports worldwide. None of these ports are located in countries which are the most serious threats to U.S. national security.
G2 Bulletin has complete, in-depth coverage of the ports controversy.
Port Controversy Analysis & Commentary
Port Deal Backlash
Killing the Dubai Ports World port deal has sent a variety of
messages to the world, none of them good. It has weakened our
credibility with other countries, a dangerous thing to do during
a war. Forcing DPW to pull out of the deal because of poll
numbers generated by media disinformation says that America is,
indeed, a "fair-weather" friend. We have sent the Middle East a
clear (though hopefully incorrect) signal that America will
never trust Arabs and Muslims, even friendly ones who help us.
Read Full Column
By Joe Mariani
Who was Right, the President or Congress? by Rachel
Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean has pronounced the
circumvention of the Dubai Ports acquisition a great victory in
the war on terror.
War on Terror and Free Trade Are Incompatible, Expert Says
The Heritage FoundationThe sale of facilities at six U.S. ports to Dubai World Ports, a state-owned company in the United Arab Emirates, has sparked a firestorm of criticism, with many arguing that the U.S. should block the sale entirely. But the facts don't support such a drastic move, write James Carafano and Alane Kochems. The UAE is a close ally in the war on terrorism, and port security should be unaffected. However, Congress hasn't taken a close look at the laws governing such sales since 1988. A brief delay may be in order so that Congress can review the rules and ensure that national security is being properly maintained.
Read Security and the Sale of Port Facilities by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., and Alane Kochems
The sale of a London-based firm that operates facilities at six major U.S. ports to a government-owned company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has raised national security concerns. Administration officials have failed to answer them. They have not done a good job explaining why Americans should worry about U.S. port security and what needs to be done to secure the maritime domain. Now that the Administration has Americans’ attention on this issue, it needs address the heart of the matter.
For more on the author:
Securing America's Ports: The Heritage Foundation's Research
by The Heritage Foundation
Free Trade with the UAE Supports America's National Security Interests by Daniella Markheim & Anthony Kim
Port Security and Foreign Investment by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.
Freedom Alliance Frontline Newsletter
by Oliver North
Washington, D.C. – “Forget the facts. The Bush administration is so bad at ‘spin control’ the White House has banned Frisbees.” That’s the assessment of a seasoned Washington reporter earlier this week when “Port-Gate” blew up in the President’s face.
The Patriot Post
"The way the Bush people have handled this [Dubai Ports] matter from the very beginning is simply appalling... Because it was done behind closed doors, with nary a word to the leadership on Capitol Hill, it comes out looking like a bumbled attempt to put one over on the American people... It may well be that the arrangement has great merit and could prove beneficial to the U.S., but as a political matter it is an unmitigated disaster—and one which could cost the GOP dearly in both the 2006 and 2008 elections. Here we have an issue—national security—that is uppermost in the minds of the American people, largely because the president has hammered away at it and used it brilliantly to portray the Democrats as weak-kneed in the war on terror and on matters involving national security. In one fell swoop the president throws it away, and even worse allows the Democrats to appear stronger in defending the American people than he and the Republicans have been. It's worse than stupid—it's suicidal." —Michael Reagan
"Congress is up in arms. The Democrats, in particular, are in full cry, gleeful to at last get to the right of George Bush on an issue of national security. Gleeful, and shamelessly hypocritical. If a citizen of the UAE walked into an airport in full burnoose and flowing robes, speaking only Arabic, Democrats would be deeply offended, and might even sue, if the security people were to give him any more scrutiny than they would to my sweet 84-year-old mother. Democrats loudly denounce any thought of racial profiling. But when that same Arab, attired in business suit and MBA, and with a good record running ports in 15 countries, buys P&O, Democrats howl at the very idea of allowing Arabs to run our ports. (Republicans are howling too, but they don't grandstand on the issue of racial profiling.) On this, the Democrats are rank hypocrites." —Charles Krauthammer
"Especially precious...is Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's newfound passion for port security. Fresh from throwing in her lot with partisan efforts to derail the Patriot Act and frame the NSA's surveillance of wartime enemy communications as a crime, the '08 stars in Mrs. Clinton's eyes have suddenly twinkled with a fond memory: namely, how her husband managed to win the 1992 election, in large part, by getting to the right of the first President Bush on what was that era's great global menace—post-Tiananmen Square China. So here she is, trying to elbow her way to the right of the current Bush administration on the scourge of al-Qa'ida—and hoping the rest of us are struck by amnesia." —Andrew McCarthy
"This [Dubai Ports World] transaction needs a long, careful look. It doesn't need stone-throwing from opportunists who would be better advised to check their own glass houses. And it doesn't need bully-pulpit demagoguery." —Andrew McCarthy ++ "Other justifications for the sale appear to be reasonable—not least that Dubai Ports World is reputedly competent at managing ports—and might be convincing if only someone bearing the title President of the United States would articulate those reasons in a spirit of respect rather than as a dismissive parent managing an impudent child." —Kathleen Parker
It was no surprise that Sen. Charles Schumer, a fiercely partisan Democrat always hunting for political advantage, ignited the furor over management of America's ports. But why did congressional leaders of George W. Bush's Republican Party join the attack?
President Bush has asked anyone opposed to the operational sale of a half dozen American ports to a United Arab Emirates company "to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company."
Here's my take on the news that Dubai Ports World, a company largely owned by Dubai of the United Arab Emirates, is about to run operations at six major U.S. ports.
Mr. President, what are you thinking?: An open letter
Marie Jon', February 21, 2006
Dear President Bush:
With all due respect sir, just what are you thinking? What in the world is going on with matters concerning the use of our ports? We do not want "Dubai Ports World" taking care of our strategic water ways. Most Americans — who early on — understood that the war on terror was not "just" a war about Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein, are now somewhat confused . . . [Click for more]
Agape Press: 'Political Baggage' from Ports Deal Could Undermine Bush, Say Observers
The head of a Washington, DC-based military think tank believes when all is said and done, the controversial sale of U.S. port management to a United Arab Emirate-owned firm will be stopped. Both he and another Washington conservative see the real possibility of extensive political damage to the conservative cause otherwise.
Diverse GOP Opposition to Ports Deal Noted by Experts
Political observers say that when two Republicans -- a liberal, New England senator and a conservative, Pacific Coast congressman -- come together to oppose a White House plan, the president had better take notice. >> Read full story
Dubai's Support of Arab Boycott of Israel Should 'Torpedo' Ports Deal, ADL Says
The Anti-Defamation League Tuesday said the Dubai government's continued support of the Arab economic boycott of Israel "should torpedo any deal with the United States on port operations." >> Read full story
Port Issue Focuses on Security, Public Relations The issue of a United Arab Emirates-owned company taking control of port operations at several major U.S. ports has turned into a frenzy of legislative activity, rhetoric, and veto threats. What the past day has clearly shown is that the American people are concerned about security and deserve a clear explanation of this proposed deal. Labeling people who are questioning the move as "negative" or as coming from people "who don't know all the facts" does not accomplish anything. >> Read full story
WO: Indeed. That's the point we made at the top of "Front Page." We need facts and analysis to form a reasoned opinion before taking action, if any is needed. Give us the facts instead of saying we don't know all the facts. Much of this controversy, which is a waste of time and nonproductive, could have been avoided if the White House administration had provided the necessary information beforehand to everyone, from the President (apparently even he didn't know about the deal), to Congress, to the American public.
Bureaucratic Blundering Plagued UAE Port Deal By Carol Devine-MolinWell, as journalist Liz Trotta noted on the Fox News Channel, the media is in full swing, and "the hunt for red meat is on." With its continuing revelations, the "UAE port deal" still dominates the news. We now know that the Homeland Security Department did indeed balk initially at the United Arab Emirates company's proposed takeover of terminal operations at six US ports . . . >> Read Full Column
Bush Threatens to Veto Any Attempt to Block Port Deal
President George W. Bush threatened on Tuesday to veto any legislation that would stop the deal for a state-owned Arab company to manage six major United States seaports, stating that the arrangement would not jeopardize U.S. security. >> Read full story
UAE Port Deal Brings Charges of 'Islamophobia'
As the debate continues over a deal allowing a Dubai-based company to operate major American seaports, in the United Arab Emirates the dispute is being attributed variously to ignorance, election year posturing, and "Islamophobia." >> Read full story
US Lawmakers Question Foreign Management of US Ports Both Republicans and Democrats are urging the U.S. government to take a closer look at a deal that would turn over management of major U.S. ports to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates. Right now, a private company in Britain manages major ports in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia. >> Read full story
Wrong to Put Port Control in Foreign Hands Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, there has been much talk about improving security. Whether it comes in the form of a fence along our borders or a screening at the airport, security efforts and rhetoric have certainly risen on the list of America's priorities. Because of the heightened concern over keeping America safe, it's amazing to think the federal government would put management of major U.S. ports in the hands of foreign companies.>> Read full story
A 'Misguided Decision,' Say NY and NJ Residents
At worst, it's a security threat; at best, it's a public relations nightmare. Bush administration officials plan to brief the Senate Armed Services Committee Wednesday on a deal that would give a company owned by the United Arab Emirates operational control of terminals at six major U.S. ports. >> Read full story
GOPUSA Forums: Frist changes position, says he now supports port security plan Specter Wants Court to Monitor Spy Program U.S. Ceded Control of Ports John McCain Rips Hillary Clinton on Ports 'Hysteria' Saudi Shipping Company "Controls" 9 US Ports80% of U.S. Ports Already Foreign-OwnedFederal Judge Refuses to Order Ports Probe
Should the United States enter into a contract with the United Arab Emirates to run US ports? >> Click here to vote
There have been some dumb decisions since the United States was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, including the "welcoming" of radical Muslim groups, mosques and schools that seek by their preaching and teaching to influence U.S. foreign policy and undermine the nation. But the decision to sell port operations in New York, Newark-Port Elizabeth, Baltimore, Miami, Philadelphia and New Orleans to a company owned by the UAE (United Arab Emirates) may be the dumbest of all.
The Washington Times
"Why must the United States let a state-owned firm from a hotbed of radicalism own the major ports of the Eastern seaboard? No one has answered this to our satisfaction. Both sides of the aisle are outraged... The deadlock cinch here is that Dubai Ports World doesn't even have to be a willing collaborator to be a danger to the United States. All other things being equal, an Arabic company is easier for terrorists to penetrate than a British or American firm. In the least nefarious of scenarios, Dubai Ports World might not even know what happened until after some future attack. That would be possible even if the dockworkers are the same and even if most of the local management is exactly the same. There are other frightening scenarios. What happens if the government of the United Arab Emirates backs away from the counterterrorism support President Bush currently lauds it for? The president and the treasury secretary should call this deal off on national security grounds. The United States gains nothing and risks everything by letting Dubai Ports World own these hubs of commerce. Discouragingly, it appears the White House doesn't see it that way." —The Washington Times
Joe Mariani: Port Paranoia: Prudence or Prejudice?
The news that a company based in the United Arab Emirates will be operating several seaports in the US has ignited a political firestorm. Democrats, sensing an issue they could turn to their advantage, raced to denounce President Bush even faster (and louder) than usual....
Lee Ellis: US Ports --Safety VS Fear
Suddenly, many people are frightened by the sale from Britain to the United Arab Emirates of a cargo-handling company that handles cargo in six American cities. I fell into that trap, too, because I made assumptions sans facts...
Joe Bell: DP World Controversy Illuminates Larger issue
The initial reaction to the news that a United Arab Emirates-owned company, Dubai Ports World, would soon operate terminals at six of America’s largest ports provoked a nearly universal negative response. President Bush stood almost alone in defending the deal. The most recent news that DP World will not exercise control of the ports pending a dialogue with Bush and Congress is a positive step. Prudence demands moving slowly...
J.J. Jackson: It's About The Security Stupid
It’s funny sometimes how such simple situations turn into full blow political battles. Americans stood up and took notice when it became news that a company (Dubai Ports World) owned directly by the government of the United Arab Emirates was poised to take over day to day operations at 6 major ports. The first gut reaction was “Woah! Back up the cart on this one!” by people all across the political spectrum...
Chris Adamo: Port Controversy: Democrat Posturing and Real Concerns
When Bill Clinton’s Commerce Department authorized the sale of sensitive rocket and missile technology to Communist China, he defended the action by fraudulently claiming the information to only be applicable to non-military purposes, such as satellites and space exploration, relying on a general lack of technological understanding on the part of the public...
Urgent Action Needed!--Port Controversy
WO: Use the "Write Congress" button on the left
above to email the President, your senators & representative urging
them to take the steps necessary to prevent such energy-wasting,
time-wasting controversy from happening in the future. Tell
them to enact policies and procedures--taking advantage of computer
technology including software, the internet, email--that will ensure
an efficient and timely flow of information on events, impending
legislation, and administrative actions within the White House as
well to Congress, the media, and the public. This will allow
everyone to be informed during the process so that analysis and
commentary from pertinent sectors of government and the public can
be included before the issue becomes a conflict and controversy. Take Action Now!
The Case of Terri Winchell & Her Killer
Terri Winchell was brutally raped and murdered 25 years ago. During that time her killer has languished in prison with all the comforts of home. The murderer Morales was sentenced to death for his vicious crime but justice still has not been carried out. His execution by lethal injection has been delayed because he might feel a little pain from the needle!
Terri Lynn Winchell, Age 18, Raped & Murdered 25 Years Ago
Web search sources:
Love Triangle Gone Vicious: Terri Lynn Winchell (gives extensive info on the 25 year old murder case)
Standing by her vow: Terri's school friend promises to attend execution (more info & personal insights from friends of Terri)
Classmates, family members pay tribute at Terri Winchell's grave
Eternal Pain--Teen's murderer may be executed, but for two families, the heartbreak will never end
Calif. execution delayed as doctors walk out - MSNBC Wire Services
(only 6 !! people read/rated above story & there are NO links to "Related Stories"!!)
Judge seeks clemency for man he condemned - Crime & Punishment
(Nice subtitle--"Crime & Punishment." We have too much crime and not enough punishment! And only 128 people read/rated above story.)
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