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Quote of the Day:
"Vote: The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country."
- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Subject: The Senate's vote on Iran, plus a media announcement
Yesterday, the Senate, by a vote of 76-22, including about half the Democrats, moved the United States one step closer to war with Iran.
The Senate did this by urging the President to add the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, an arm of the Iranian state, to the list of international terrorist organizations.
This gives President Bush additional cover to use military force against Iran, which could include military raids into Iranian territory. We have been here before. This is how the Vietnam war was expanded into Laos and Cambodia, which led to the deaths of millions of Cambodians.
The result in this case could be the further radicalizing of the Islamic world, making us more vulnerable to terrorist attacks rather than less.
It is important to note that the President still has no explicit authority to attack Iran, but this won't necessarily stop him. He has shown a great willingness to violate both statutory law and the constitutional limits on his power.
Under the President's theory of the Unitary Executive he believes he has the authority to do anything he thinks is necessary to defend the nation. He asserts this right because of his constitutional role as Commander in Chief. What the President ignores is that his powers as Commander of Chief are limited by the requirement that Congress pass a formal Declaration of War before offensive military action is taken.
The danger of war with Iran is further enhanced by the fact that the Iranians are almost certainly aiding the Shia militias in Iraq. This can be used as an excuse for war with Iran, but it must be remembered that the Saudi's are almost certainly providing the same kind of aid to the Sunni militias, but there is no corresponding drumbeat for war with Saudi Arabia.
The administration's policy is contradictory. The terrorist problem we face was fostered by the state sponsored ideology of Saudi Arabia, not Iran.
Foreign involvement in Iraq is a real problem. But so long as this administration insists on being a foreign power involved in Iraq, then Iranian intrusions must be dealt with by military action within Iraq's borders, and only in Iraq. Better yet would be diplomatic negotiations in which we would offer Iran a comprehensive settlement. We are doing this with North Korea and it is working. We have failed to do this with Iran, which is why all of our previous negotiations have failed.
It is imperative, given the Senate's action, that Congress now remind the President of the limitations on his power. They can do this by passing a resolution requiring Congressional approval prior to offensive action against the nation of Iran.
Please send a message to Congress requesting this.
If you would like to see how your Senators voted on the Iranian resolution, we have appended the votes beneath my signature.
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Jim Babka will be on the Jerry Hughes show today. Please tune in. Details are provided below.
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Downsize DC on the Radio
Downsize DC President, Jim Babka, is on the radio again for his regular Friday appearance with Jerry Hughes. And this national show is a great opportunity to spread the DC Downsizer message. Please support this show. Help us create "buzz!" You can do so by listening, but especially by calling-in or sending an email.
The toll-free call-in number is: 1-866-222-2368
The email is: Jerry at AccentRadio dot com
Time: 3:00 PM Eastern, 2:00 PM Central, 1:00 PM Mountain, Noon Pacific
Length: 1 hour
Host: Jerry Hughes
Show: Straight Talk w/ Jerry Hughes
Click Winamp or Windows Media Player, as appropriate.
Here's how the Senate voted on the Iran resolution, grouped by state:
Alabama: Sessions (R-AL), Yea - Shelby (R-AL), Yea
Alaska: Murkowski (R-AK), Yea - Stevens (R-AK), Yea
Arizona: Kyl (R-AZ), Yea - McCain (R-AZ), Not Voting
Arkansas: Lincoln (D-AR), Nay - Pryor (D-AR), Yea
California: Boxer (D-CA), Nay - Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Colorado: Allard (R-CO), Yea - Salazar (D-CO), Yea
Connecticut: Dodd (D-CT), Nay - Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Delaware: Biden (D-DE), Nay - Carper (D-DE), Yea
Florida: Martinez (R-FL), Yea - Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Georgia: Chambliss (R-GA), Yea - Isakson (R-GA), Yea
Hawaii: Akaka (D-HI), Yea - Inouye (D-HI), Nay
Idaho: Craig (R-ID), Yea - Crapo (R-ID), Yea
Illinois: Durbin (D-IL), Yea - Obama (D-IL), Not Voting
Indiana: Bayh (D-IN), Yea - Lugar (R-IN), Nay
Iowa: Grassley (R-IA), Yea - Harkin (D-IA), Nay
Kansas: Brownback (R-KS), Yea - Roberts (R-KS), Yea
Kentucky: Bunning (R-KY), Yea - McConnell (R-KY), Yea
Louisiana: Landrieu (D-LA), Yea - Vitter (R-LA), Yea
Maine: Collins (R-ME), Yea - Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Maryland: Cardin (D-MD), Yea - Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Massachusetts: Kennedy (D-MA), Nay - Kerry (D-MA), Nay
Michigan: Levin (D-MI), Yea - Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Minnesota: Coleman (R-MN), Yea - Klobuchar (D-MN), Nay
Mississippi: Cochran (R-MS), Yea - Lott (R-MS), Yea
Missouri: Bond (R-MO), Yea - McCaskill (D-MO), Nay
Montana: Baucus (D-MT), Yea - Tester (D-MT), Nay
Nebraska: Hagel (R-NE), Nay - Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Nevada: Ensign (R-NV), Yea - Reid (D-NV), Yea
New Hampshire: Gregg (R-NH), Yea - Sununu (R-NH), Yea
New Jersey: Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea - Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
New Mexico: Bingaman (D-NM), Nay - Domenici (R-NM), Yea
New York: Clinton (D-NY), Yea - Schumer (D-NY), Yea
North Carolina: Burr (R-NC), Yea - Dole (R-NC), Yea
North Dakota: Conrad (D-ND), Yea - Dorgan (D-ND), Yea
Ohio: Brown (D-OH), Nay - Voinovich (R-OH), Yea
Oklahoma: Coburn (R-OK), Yea - Inhofe (R-OK), Yea
Oregon: Smith (R-OR), Yea - Wyden (D-OR), Nay
Pennsylvania: Casey (D-PA), Yea - Specter (R-PA), Yea
Rhode Island: Reed (D-RI), Yea - Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
South Carolina: DeMint (R-SC), Yea - Graham (R-SC), Yea
South Dakota: Johnson (D-SD), Yea - Thune (R-SD), Yea
Tennessee: Alexander (R-TN), Yea - Corker (R-TN), Yea
Texas: Cornyn (R-TX), Yea - Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
Utah: Bennett (R-UT), Yea - Hatch (R-UT), Yea
Vermont: Leahy (D-VT), Nay - Sanders (I-VT), Nay
Virginia: Warner (R-VA), Yea - Webb (D-VA), Nay
Washington: Cantwell (D-WA), Nay - Murray (D-WA), Yea
West Virginia: Byrd (D-WV), Nay - Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Wisconsin: Feingold (D-WI), Nay - Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Wyoming: Barrasso (R-WY), Yea - Enzi (R-WY), Yea