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Monday, December 31, 2007

The First Face of Janus - 2007 Scored

Below are Porcupine's Predictions for the year .

So what was Porcupine's track record for 2007? These were predictions from New Year's Eve, 2006 that Porcupine still believed would come to pass.

Cape Cod will be hit by a Category 2 hurricane.

Score - 40%. We did not have a direct hit, but Hurricane Noel did bring the Cape to a halt, and served as an excellent dress rehersal for the 'Big One' that will hit soon enough.

At least one town will vote to leave the Cape Cod Commission.

Score - 80%. Yarmouth did have such an article pass its town meeting, but the referendum was delayed by the Board of Selectmen. Now, in its December special town meeting, the people have firmly indicated that they WILL have a vote on this in the spring. Porcupine suspects that the article was intended as a bargaining chip by the Yarmouth Selectmen in negotiating a change in the freeze on motel redevelopment with the Commission. The Selectmen got what they wanted, but now have a tiger by the tail as the PEOPLE of Yarmouth still demand a vote.

Justice John Paul Stevens will die this year, giving Bush his third choice for the Court.
Score - Zero Percent. Dead Wrong.

The Massachusetts Constitutional Convention will vote to send the Definition of Marriage petition to the ballot in this Session, and will spend the forthcoming Session trying to find a way so it will move no further.

Score - 20%. The vote was held, due to the intestinal fortitude of Senate President Murray, but the Legislature was willing to go on record that the electorate of Massachusetts is too dumb to appreciate nuance and vote on anything of any import - oh, except returning them to office, of course.

Fidel Casto will die, and Congress will seize the opportunity to normalize relations with Cuba.

Score - Zero; not yet....

Gov. Deval Patrick will decide that the most effective way to study the issue of auto insurance is to hold a series of populist statewide hearings, which will allow people to tell their stories and inform the State of their troubles, in consequence of which nothing will be done or accomplished.

Score - 50%. The Governor did indeed begin with a listening tour, but the forthright actions of his new Insurance Commissioner, Nonnie Burns, allowed the guidelines to be set - how they will acturally effect people is still up in the air.

The House will hold a coup, and Speaker Sal DiMasi will not finish out the Session in his current position. Senate President Traviglini will choose to avail himself of opportunities in the dreaded private sector, and Sen. Therese Murray will become the first woman President of the Masachusetts Senate.

Score - 70%. Traviglini did leave, Murray did become the first woman President, but DiMasi is holding on for now - although it remains to be seen if he will finish out the Session as Speaker.

Although Sen. John Kerry will not run, former Governor Mitt Romney will run for President, and will be in the top tier as we head to 2008 and the nominations.

Score - 100%. And really, a year ago, who'd a thunk it that Massachusetts could field two major Presidential candidates in two election cycles?.

Gov. Deval Patrick will advocate both alloing casino gambling in Massachusetts and eliminating the bond cap in order to finance his varied campaign promises. The first will not come to pass in 2007, but the second will.

Again, 100%; no, really, 95%. Gov. Patrick did not entirely eliminate the state's voluntary bond cap - put in place by Gov. Weld to save the state's credit rating, and hewed to even during the very dark days of 2001-2002 - but merely substantially raised it, during a booming economy.

Scandals will erupt in mainstream media; collusion and price fixing in legal ads and notices will be exposed. Further consolidation among newspapers and television outlets will result in even more rigidly enforced corporate points of view, and factual, accurate local news coverage will be threatened by agenda-driven reporting.

25% - while there has been intimatons of these problems, none have yet emerged in open scandal - like Fidel Castro, not yet...

Which gives Porcupine an average score of 48% - not bad, considering two out of ten were zero.

Stop back tomorrow, and Porcupine will reveal the Second Face of Janus - Porcupine's Predictions for 2008!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hey, You Can't Deport 12 Million People!

This sentiment has always been a favourite of the pro-amnesty crowd. There are too many people here illegally already, we really want to know where and who they are. We need to coax them out of the shadows, so we must create a Path to Citizenship, which will not penalize them as law breakers and line jumpers (since they chose to ignore the existing Path to Citizenship of applying for it, getting a green card, etc.).

Now, there is evidence from Gov. Mitt Romney’s home state of Massachusetts that with proper enforcement, you may not need to deport 12 million people – when they realize that amnesty is not forthcoming, they begin to leave under their own steam.

First, a brief Massachusetts timeline on the issue. In June of 2006, Gov. Romney began negotiations with the Federal government to allow Mass. State Police to detain and hold illegal immigrants in cooperation with ICE (a post on the subject is HERE), right after the Federal government created the program. In Dec. of 2006, the final contract was approved with the Executive Office of Public Safety. At the time, Porcupine wrote of Gov.-Elect Deval Patrick, “He touted his experience as a Clinton Dept. of Justice appointee, and even went so far as to claim during debates that he had been a prosecutor (well, perhaps not in an actual courtroom, but support staff are important too!). Given his legal credentials, it will be difficult for him to refuse to enforce the law, and his base won't allow him to do so.Porcupine was wrong – immediately upon taking office, Gov. Patrick cancelled the enforcement agreement that Gov. Romney had negotiated – amnesty for all! But law enforcement was down, not out. Using Romney’s agreement as a template, the Sheriffs of Massachusetts took the same training that the State Police had taken, and two counties, Barnstable and Bristol, were certified for ICE detention as well. What practical effect has this had?

Well, the Cape Cod Times - newspaper of record for Barnstable County - is reporting that Brazilians there are returning to South America in record numbers (Link HERE). "Here, I don't have immigration documents. I have little opportunity," Denevaldo Dos Santos, an illegal immigrant working as a landscaper, said in the story. According to the Times, many Brazilians bought homes using sub-prime mortgages (how exactly was THAT accomplished with no Social Security number?) and are now facing ballooning interest payments and are choosing to default. "They've been here for so long and expecting this law that never came," said Connie Souza, an immigrant advocate with Catholic Social Services in Hyannis.

That is correct, Ms. Souza. And now that the realization has set in that the hoped for amnesty will not materialize, well, it may not be necessary to deport 12 million people. This is a real result of law enforcement, and sealing the borders, and it is from Gov. Romney’s home state; it could have been a state-wide result instead of a county-wide one, but the Democratic Gov. Patrick, backing Obama for President, prevented that. You won’t read this story in the Boston Globe, or hear it on CNN – but it is true just the same.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing Day!

Porcupine received a remarkable Christmas gift this year - a copy of his own creation! A copy of Porcupine's Gazette for November 15, 1797!

The paper, a heavy weight using cotton or linen as part of its makeup, has four sheets. The two exterior sheets are entirely ads. Foreclosed property, a new shipment of fine Madeira, a dozen cases of Jamaican Pimentoes at a reasonable price, a new legal office setting up. Thee is a self-congratulatory notice for a girls deportment and boarding school which had been entirely able to avoid any virulent illness in the past year, due to their emphasis on hygiene and good manners. And, a notice that a Negro woman was being sold to settle an estate - but Philadephia was rather further south than Boston, and such sales were still common.

The two interior sheets have news stories, and what struck Porcupine the most was how some subject matter remains a subject for debate. A Dr. Priestly had recently written a pamphlet debating the Divinity of Christ, and Porcupine roundly excoriated such an idea, fit for nothing but those newfangled Unitarians. Porcupine had composed a satiric lecture on 'The Fine Art of Bragging', in the voice of his enemy, Thos. Jefferson, rather in the spirit of The Colbert Report. And most timely, Porcupine reported on a Lottery, sanctioned by the State of Delaware, to raise $4,000 to replace a burned out factory building, and a schedule of the expected payouts for the tickets.

Still, the best thing of all was to see Porcupine's logo once again - a puffed out Porcupine, with an expression of feral glee, excitedly turning his head for the latest rumor and news. Indeed, a mere 210 years has meant fewer changes than one might expect!


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas - 2007!

Once again, Porcupine is surrounded by family and friends for Christmas - and wants to share something with his e-Friends as well.

Last year, Porcupine shared one of his favourite Christmas poems -
The Maid Servant at the Inn by Dorothy Parker. This year, he wants to share another of Parker's Christmas poems - again, one which concentrates on the actual child born this day, Jesus of Nazareth. This one is called The Gentlest Lady:

They say He was a serious child
And Gentle in His ways
They say the Gentlest Lady smiled
To hear the neighbors' praise.

The coffers of her heart would close
Upon His smallest word
Yet did they say, "How tall he grows!"
They thought she had not heard.

They say that on His birthday eve
She rocked Him to His rest,
As if she could not bear Him leave
The shelter of her breast.

The poor must go in bitter thrift,
The poor must go in pain.
But ever did she set a gift
To greet His day again.

They say she'd kiss the boy awake
And hail Him gay and clear;
Bt oh, her heart was like to break
To count another year!

A Merry Christmas, and a memory for the Reason for this holy day for us all.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Perennial

Porcupine does not usually find wisdom on the television listing page, but he wants to credit Kevin McDonough who writes the 'TV Tonight' column for the Cape Cod Times with an exceptional insight.

In writing about tonight's offerings, he spoke about "It's A Wonderful Life", which Porcupine just finished watching on Ch. 7, the NBC channel. This is what he wrote about the film:

"Among the more haunting and effective moments in the film shows how Bailey's neighborly small town has been transformed into a tacky honky-tonk because of the forces of short-sighted greed - personified by the Scrooge-like Henry F. Potter (Lionel Barrymore) - have been allowed to triumph in his absence.

I'll allow the usual gang of moralists to judge the current state of television and even Christmas entertainment, but it's hard not to wonder if we all live in Pottersville now.

How else do you explain the number of shows that celebrate the values of casinos, gambling, tattoo parlors, bailbondsmen, bounty hunters, highway chase footage, the arrest of drunk-and-disorderly suspects and the tabloid exploits of a steady parade of
sleazy celebrities?"

Well, like George Bailey on the bridge, we have a decision to make. Without our cooperation, Pottersville will wither and die on the vine.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fox News Gets It Dead Wrong!

Glories, like glow-worms, afar off shine bright, But look’d too near have neither heat nor light.
John Webster (1580?–1634)

The last debate before the Iowa Caucuses! The horserace is on in earnest, the bets are being laid, and the Punditocracy was slavering over who would attack who - Mitt on Huck? Fred on Rudy? Alan Keyes on....just EVERYBODY??? (They were right about that). They strapped themselves in, giddy as children, to watch the GOP carnage.

But this debate was being hosted by Iowa PBS and the venerable Des Moines Register, and the single questioner was editor Carolyn Washburn, not some familiar Beltway type who could be disposed of with the usual 15 second bio. Ms. Washburn had other ideas. "By the time I get on stage, I will have spent between one and four to five hours with most of the candidates,'' she said. "I got to look them in the eye and get a sense of who they are.'' David Yepsen, the Register's veteran political columnist, said that the candidates should expect a grilling by Washburn. "She asks tough questions and pointed questions,'' he said. "She doesn't mess around. She's really being diligent about this.''As Carolyn Washburn began her questoning, she said, "We'll dig in on issues that need more clarification. Iraq or illegal immigration may come up because, of course, everything is interreoleated, but we're not going to spend concentrated time on those" (as opposed to CNN, which devoted the entire first half of the SnowHoax Debate to the single issue of illegal immigration). Here are some of the 'dull' questions that were asked -
The Comptroller General of the United States said that the US faces a tsunami of debt that is a great threat to our national security. Does you agree that our country's financial situation creates a national security risk, and why or why not? (As it happens, this was the first question, and it caused Porcupine to sit up in his green leather chair a litle bit.)

What sacrifices would you ask Americans to make for debt reduction?

What about the relationship between international trade and human rights violations?

What segment of taxpayers - poor, middle class, wealthy or corporate - are paying more than their fair share under the current system?

What specific changes would you make to NAFTA?

Do you think it's more important for the next President to be a fiscal conservative or a socail conservative?

What government program is vital enough that you would be willing to run a defecit in order to sustain it?

What educational standards does the U.S. need to adopt or improve to compete in the global economy, what will you do to moveus to those standards, and what's your timetable?
A TRANSCRIPT of the debate is here, and a link to video at Iowa PBS is HERE.

Aah, but where were the FIREWORKS? Fred Barnes said the debate was dull and groused that it was all 'just stuff they had heard before'. WHERE? In what alternative debate universe? Mort Kondrake called Ms. Washburn 'Nurse Ratched' for having the temerity to actually enforce time limits. Porcupine wonered if this was a Fox phenomonon, and checked in with the others - Blitzer on CNN and MSNBC's Nora O'Donnell (not a relation to Larry O'Donnell, surely?) were also calling the debate dull and bland. The 'top tier' candidates didn't get to 'engage' one another one on one. The scrupulous inclusion of all candidates was such a drag! And the subjects - HOW can they compete with Bible Boy, or Stars and Bars, or Sanctuary Mansions? WHERE is the sound bite?

How insulting to the populace that the 24/7 mainstream television media universally decried the only debate with substance as not worthy of attention. They only want sizzle, and don't care about steak, and expect the rest of us to subsist on a diet of cotton candy, too, to make the headlines more shocking for the well-coiffed newsreaders that have replaced reporters on television.

Ath the end of coverage, Brit Hume sniffed that he didn't see how there would be any 'lead' for the news, as it was all so serious. He seemed to think that was a bad thing.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Reaction Run Amok

"I used to laugh and dismiss this talk about how we were — that there was a liberal bias in the mainstream media. But I have to say in the four years I’ve been at Fox, I’ve come to believe that there is a bias.”
Chris Wallace, Interview on Politico.com, Dec. 10, 2007

Porcupine has been laid very low with a variant of the virus which actually closed the Chatham schools, and can do little but fret, make demands, drink liquids and look at the television. Nevertheless, on Sunday, he witnessed the most virulent and frightening display of hate speech he has ever seen on a national news broadcast, made all the more disturbing in that the transgressor was given free rein, and was only mildly contradicted. Of course, he IS a big television editor.

Last Sunday, the McLaughlin Group took up The Speech. On the McLaughlin Group web site, the segment is called 'The Latter-Day Saint'. With his usual gusto, John McLaughlin began the discussion by saying, "Okay, Mitt and Jesus".

MR. ROMNEY: (From videotape.) There is one fundamental question which I'm often asked: What do I believe about Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the savior of mankind.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Does this acceptance of the divinity of Jesus Christ hit the issue of Mormonism head-on?

MR. O'DONNELL: No. There's a big problem. Look, I'm not a Mormon, but I do play one on TV....

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you a Christian? (Actually, Porcupine learned from his later interview on Hugh Hewitt that Mr. O'Donnell is a classic lapsed Boston Cafeteria Catholic).

MR. O'DONNELL: -- On Big Love, the HBO series (O'Donnell has a recurring role on the show as a shyster lawyer, taking his scriptwriting skills honed on The West Wing and using them in service of his bigotry), that has been a real headache for Romney. Here’s the problem. He dare not discuss his religion. And he fools people like Pat Buchanan who should know better. This was the worst speech, the worst political speech of my lifetime, because this man stood there and said to you, this is the faith of my fathers. And you, and none of these commentators who liked this speech, realize that the faith of his father is a racist faith. As of 1978, it was an officially racist faith. And for political convenience, in 1978, it switched, and it said okay, black people can be in this Church. He believes, if he believes the faith of his fathers, that black people are black, because in Heaven, they turned away from God. In this demented, Scientology-like notion of what was going on in Heaven before the Creation of the Earth, and the Garden of Eden is in Minnesota....

Pat Buchanan: Are you saying that his Mormonism disqualifies him from being president of the United States?

LO’D: I’m saying he’s got to answer…when he was 30 years old…

PB: He does not have to answer..

LO’D: …and he firmly believed in the faith of his fathers that black people are inferior, when did he change his mind? Did the religion have to tell him to change his mind? And when he talks about the faith of his father, how about the faith of his great-grandfather, who had five wives?

PB: Well, look. My great-grandfather had slaves. And I don’t believe in slavery. (Buchanan also went to to note that Baptist Churches actively condoned slavery, and cited scripture to support for their position, but he was hard to hear under O'Donnell's rant. Eleanor Clift just looked like a deer gazing at headlights, and spoke briefly, only when spoken to.)

Larry O'Donell is the Senior Political Analyst at MSNBC. But his shouting and screaming over others actually frightened and shut up John McLaughlin, no mean feat. How can anyone think that he can cover this race with any kind of objectivity? Imagine for a moment if he began to shout about Joe Lieberman in 2000 that his kind were responsible for the crucifxion of Christ by denying him, and Lieberman would be taking money from the usury of his coreligionists. Would he still be on the air, let alone remain the person who edits the stories of others?

This was no 'off-day' for Larry O'Donnell - he went out of his way to reiterate is views in an interview on the Hugh Hewitt radio show HERE.

Hewitt persistantly asks a question that has also occured to Porcupine. If Romney is reponsible for racism of Mormons, than why isn't Kerry or Kennedy responsible for sexism against women? Why isn't Sen. Clinton responsible for the vote her church took to reaffirm a decision to bar gays from the clergy in 2004? This is O'Donnell's disingenuous response:

HH: Then I assume you are condemning Biden and Leahy and Kennedy and Kerry for being part of a sexist organization which they haven’t condemned?

LO’D: No. They’ve got the same flexible relationship to it that I do. You know Kennedy. You know Teddy’s in favor of abortion rights, he’s for…

HH: Well, no, he hasn’t come out and condemned the Church. We should be demanding they condemn the Church.

LO’D: No, no, no. They all have to live, you know, they live with this very uncomfortable…the Catholic…Democratic liberal politicians who are Catholic, and you know there are many coming out of the Northeast, Italian Irish Catholics, they have an extremely uncomfortable relationship with the Church, and they’re kind of always ducking, because there’s always that possibility that a Cardinal somewhere will call them on the abortion issue, as one did during John Kerry’s run for the presidency, with John Kerry. And you know, there’s a bob and weave that all Catholic politicians who are pro-choice are doing all the time. But that…

HH: But shouldn’t they have to stand up and defend what they believe, and condemn, or at least leave the Church of which they are a part?

LO’D: No, Catholicism, as I told you, is extremely flexible, and the Church doesn’t say you have to leave. Rudy Giuliani doesn’t leave…Rudy Giuliani, there was a time, you know, in Catholicism, in the 50’s, for example, in the kind of pre-divorce explosion in the United States, where if a Catholic got divorced, it was considered automatic excommunication. Now all the guys we’ve mentioned, with the exception of Mario Cuomo, have been divorced. And they continue to consider themselves Catholic. The Catholic Church doesn’t say they’re not Catholic. It’s, you know, there’s a 21st Century version of Catholicism. There’s a late 20th Century version of American Catholicism that allows for all sorts of things that were not allowed, and not believed in the first half of this century, including, by the way, the notion, prior to 1950, that if you weren’t a Catholic, you would not go to Heaven. That was a universal… "

So we non-Catholics were all going to Hell, but O'Donnell is concerned about past racism. But hey - those guys are liberals, so no questions need be asked.

It should be noted that there actually IS no 'late 20th century version' of the Roman Catholic Church, except in the 'flexible' imagination of Larry O'Donell. Oh, and the Chruch is anti-gay, too, but that's 'flexible' as well.

Imus was fired for less, but the punditocracy will continue to protect its own, while claiming that MSNBC and CNN (host of the Debate of the Plants) are bastions of cool headed unbiased reporting.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Speech

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion... Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people...Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone."
John Adams, Author of the Massachusetts Constitution

Porcupine's favourite quotes from Mitt Romney's speech on faith:

"When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my highest promise to God. If I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest. A President must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States."

"There are some who would have a presidential candidate describe and explain his church's distinctive doctrines. To do so would enable the very religious test the founders prohibited in the constitution. No candidate should become the spokesman for his faith. For if he becomes President he will need the prayers of the people of all faiths."

"We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong....The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square. We are a nation 'Under God' and in God, we do indeed trust."

"We should acknowledge the Creator as did the founders – in ceremony and word. He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places. Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from 'the God who gave us liberty.'

"These American values, this great moral heritage, is shared and lived in my religion as it is in yours. I was taught in my home to honor God and love my neighbor. I saw my father march with Martin Luther King. I saw my parents provide compassionate care to others, in personal ways to people nearby, and in just as consequential ways in leading national volunteer movements...My faith is grounded on these truths."

"The diversity of our cultural expression, and the vibrancy of our religious dialogue, has kept America in the forefront of civilized nations even as others regard religious freedom as something to be destroyed. In such a world, we can be deeply thankful that we live in a land where reason and religion are friends and allies in the cause of liberty, joined against the evils and dangers of the day. And you can be certain of this: Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me. And so it is for hundreds of millions of our countrymen: we do not insist on a single strain of religion - rather, we welcome our nation's symphony of faith."

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

He Was A Simple Lad, and Fell Among Bad Companions

A man is known by the company he keeps; our character is reflected in our choice of friends.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

Perhaps it all began with Joe Kennedy and Citizens' Oil. A chance for a new Congressman and old prosecutor to align himself with the Golden Boy of the reigning family in Massachusetts Democratic politics. Bill Delahunt found himself assigned to Foreign Affairs, and had a chance to make interesting new friends, in places like Havana and Caracas.

In 2005, Susan Milligan reported in the Boston Globe (link HERE):

The group, which called itself "Grupo de Boston," met in 2002 and 2003 on Cape Cod. Participants often engaged in heated political talks in the mornings (one session needed an intervention to stop a fistfight).

They also went whale-watching and played intramural baseball in the afternoons, with mixed teams and a bipartisan group of legislators as umpires.

Bottles of Scotch were in the guest rooms, and all had been consumed by the end of the session, a Delahunt spokesman said.

Chávez has been less cooperative and friendly toward Bush, calling him a "crazy man" and an "assassin." When Bush was in Latin America earlier this month, Chavez derided him at anti-Bush rally and declared "dead" the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, a Bush administration priority.

At a congressional hearing last week, the US assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, Thomas A. Shannon Jr., warned that the Chávez government was "subverting democratic institutions by using them to restrict the rights of those who disagree with it."

Asked if he was subverting State Department policy toward Chávez, Delahunt said, "I don't work for Condoleezza Rice. I don't report to the State Department. I report to the people who elected me in the state of Massachusetts. I belong to an independent branch of government."

Indeed - an independent branch of governmet, but supported by the perks and protecols of the rest of the government. Perhaps it was the glamour of hob-nobbing with a head of state and a Kennedy, after being a mere Quincy prosecutor. The irony is, he and Kennedy chose to go whoring after cut rate oil during some of the mildest winters in years, selling out our national interest for a commodity we needed less than usual. Delahunt's friendship with Fidel Castro began around the same time. But his friend Chavez is far more sinister, even for a brutal dictator.

Congressman Delahunt - your political partner has been getting admiring support on Al Jazeera for his support of Iran's nuclear program (HERE). In a 25 minute rant, he told OPEC, "If the United States is crazy enough to attack Iran or commit aggression against Venezuela ... oil would not be $100 but $200!"

Now, even Chavez's erstwhile allies are warning the world that he has crossed several lines, Congressman Delahunt - even those that threaten the United States more than George Bush. In a remarkable editorial in the New York Times, one of his oldest friends writes -

Hugo Chávez and I worked together for many years. I supported him through thick and thin, serving as his defense minister. But now, having recently retired, I find myself with the moral and ethical obligation as a citizen to express my opposition to the changes to the Constitution that President Chávez and the National Assembly have presented for approval by the voters tomorrow (Dec. 2).

A link to the rest of the editorial is HERE.

Congressman Delahunt - these are the words of Chavez's political ally of 35 years, the Commander in Chief of his Armed Forces until this past July. This is not the opinion of a remote figure, but a warning from a member of his inner circle. Chavez has gone too far and is trying to codify his dictatorship of Venezuela.

Are you able to set partisanship aside long enough to realize that a head of state that refers to your President as 'Satan', and who publicly embraces the sworn enemy of your nation who is devoping nuclear weapons, really is NOT somebody who should be a political partner?

For the good of your nation and constituency - Congressman Delahunt, repudiate Hugo Chavez.

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