Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for December, 2006

“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”

Posted by Ryan on December 30, 2006

It’s funny. Saddam was a murderous dictator that sought and had WMD’s (to certain degrees of course), who used them, who invaded two of his neighbors (Iran and Kuwait), who supported terrorism against Israelis, and who tried to kill Bush 41, etc. I feel delighted that this man was executed for crimes against humanity, tried by an Iraqi court, with Iraqi punishments, with international standards of jurisprudence, under a government voted on by the Iraqi people in 3 successful elections.

However, in watching today’s coverage there are three main reactions I noticed:

1. He’s dead. Whoopie!!! (I’m in this camp)

2. Death penalties are for criminals themselves! (The Vatican is supposed to say this stuff)

3. He’s dead, but it won’t do anything! (The MSM’s favorite line of the day.) As if all our efforts to this point are meaningless, all the arm-chair generals and nyah, nyah nay-sayers are thumping their chests saying that this won’t matter. I believe it does matter. It never would have happened without the USA and the Iraqis eventually stepping up to do the right thing. It was a progression of events over the last 5 years (or 27 years for that matter) that led us to this point. It shows substantive and meaningful progess and, I believe, success for all our sacrifices. The violence may increase or decrease, but let’s observe for the moment this event, this day, for what it really is– a step in the right direction for Iraq, America and the World.

Fox News photo.

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Saddam Is Dead

Posted by Mike on December 29, 2006

The dictator who harbored and funded terrorists, invaded his neighbors, and slaughtered his own people was hanged about forty minutes ago. Iraqi Americans in Dearborn, Michigan familiar with the thug are dancing in the streets.

This is a glorious day. One of the major obstacles to victory in Iraq is the fear among the population that Hussein may return to power. As the Iraqi people awaken in the next couple of hours, they will be liberated from that fear.

Reuters photo

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Tick tock…

Posted by Ryan on December 28, 2006

Saddam is slated to be executed by Sunday, before 2007 and before the beginning of the Eid holiday (though it seems to me that Muslims have very many widely observed holidays). I personally think that Saddam should die– it’s the least the Iraqi Government can do for the decades of brutal repression and current violence done on Saddam’s behalf or in his name. Ending him may not end all of the violence, but the “dead-enders” may finally get the point.

Yet, before he gets his day to swing at the gallows, Saddam tried some last-minute legacy-building. You know, the kinds of things bad leaders try to do on their way out of office or power as a final, last-ditch effort to salvage something positive or redeeming out of their tenure for history to judge positively. Nice try Saddam, but you can’t talk to ANYONE about forgiveness until you seek it yourself.

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President Gerald Ford (1913-2006)

Posted by Mike on December 27, 2006

Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States, passed away last night at the age of 93. He was the longest living President in American history.

America has lost a great statesman. Both as President and as an ordinary citizen, Gerald Ford always did what he thought was right. As President, Ford’s most noteworthy act was his decision to pardon his disgraced predecessor, Richard Nixon. This decision was unpopular at the time; however, members of both political parties later recognized that Ford’s decision helped the nation’s healing process after Watergate.

Although he served honorably as Commander in Chief, Gerald Ford will mainly be remembered for his character. He was the model ex-president. He never descended into the political gutter. He never attempted to undermine a successor in an attempt to bolster his own legacy. He always did whatever he could to serve his country. He always carried himself with the dignity expected of a former president. Most importantly, he was simply a good man.

Gerald Ford will be missed. Rest in peace Mr. President.

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More to Come from Iraq…

Posted by Ryan on December 26, 2006

Karma is set for within 30 days.  I hope the rope is long and not fastened very well.

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Posted by Ryan on December 25, 2006

From all of us here at Axis of Right, we want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

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A “Raw Deal” for the Iraqi People

Posted by Ryan on December 24, 2006

The Times Online has this article today describing a roughly $18 billion “New Deal” proposal for the Iraqi people that Dubya is spearheading.  Why is the thought of Lame Duck Dubya (a Bush, mind you) thinking about a failed socialist experiment from 70+ years ago to fix a modern economic problem a frightening one?  The only thing Iraqi’s will have to fear is FDR’s economic model itself!

Recent scholarship by Jim Powell on the New Deal highlights some very frightening and cynical things about FDR’s attempt to cure the Great Depression in the 1930s.  Money was doled out for political purposes more than true economic recovery, FDR’s understanding of market and business forces was about as dimwitted and anti-capitalistic as Leon Trotsky’s, and the revered “New Deal” itself even produced a recession within a depression in 1938.  In fact, it was World War II that really, truly was the only thing that got us out of an economic quagmire we should have been liberated from years earlier. 

I realize that the money we dole out to Iraq will be used to employ people in various areas and economic sectors, thereby taking huge numbers of angry young people off the streets and into jobs that will pay them enough to make these disaffected people feel a stake in their country and its system.  True, but I hope the Iraqi’s learn from our mistakes 70+ years ago and use business and market forces to drive economic policy rather than idealistic, failed programs based mostly on political favors and vote mongering.  Maybe then, their depression will be cured! 

PS– I also certainly hope that these billions get paid back to us at some point in oil revenues or “sweet crude” deals. Wasn’t Iraq supposed to be a war for oil at one point? 

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The Seventh Harry Potter Book

Posted by Mike on December 21, 2006

has a title. It was announced today that the final installment of the series will be called: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” For the record, this post will be the closest thing to a Harry Potter spoiler you will ever see on this site.

UPDATE:  Link and title name fixed.  Also, check out author J.K. Rowling’s official site.

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Sandy “Burgler’s” Back

Posted by Ryan on December 21, 2006

Former National Security Advisor Sandy Burgler really DID have something in his pants, in a dumpster, and in a construction trailer three summers ago, on behalf of the Clinton team trying to make sure that the 9/11 Commission got all the right information on the Clinton years of appeasement!  He has already pled guilty to unlawfully “handling” classified documents, but he may have disposed of some as well.  The truth is that we will never really know.  I wonder what his job’ll be in the She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named Administration if that ever happens?  Intelligence czar? CIA director?  Hamburgler?

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Posted by Mike on December 20, 2006

Even the game that comes with it is fun!

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Bush Blues

Posted by Ryan on December 20, 2006

President Bush is as “lame” a lame duck as one can get– and it’s totally his fault. He poked his head out of his cave and had a rare moment in front of the public/press about the new direction in Iraq. “We’re not winning, we’re not losing,” or something like that. “Blah, blah, (mess-up) (fumble) (restate awkwardly) blah.” In the jumbled presser today he did mention his desire to tie the proposed minimum wage increase to small business tax cuts and incentives– I like that. The Dems won’t. But I do.

On that issue, Rush had a link to this article by a dwindling MSM news outlet. It highlights just about the only thing I’ll give Bush kudos for at the moment– the economic forces and trends here that give hope to Iraq’s economy. The article highlights Iraq and the untold story of its small but growing economic success since 2005.

I wonder how many more stories will come out about the positive side of things in Iraq and how they may correlate to times when Bush occasionally cleans the egg off his face. Something to think about– the MSM will allow us to win as long as winning makes Bush look tarnished in some way. It has been very difficult to this point, but with the Dems steering Congress (wherever that ship ends up) and Bush having to concede this or that policy position, the MSM may have found their formula.

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Blinding Us with Science

Posted by Mike on December 20, 2006

A few months ago, a moonbat by the internet name of “Spooked” humored conservatives across the country with a scientific experiment in his back yard. This liberal, who probably isn’t cool enough to hang out with the folks at a joint Star Trek and Magic the Gathering convention, humorously cited his chicken wire experiment as proof that the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center was a hoax orchestrated by the Bush administration.

Well, it looks like Spooked has given us an early Christmas present. Instapinch has an excellent roundup, chicken wire experiment included, of Spooked’s unintentional comedy. Enjoy!

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Is It “Fitzmas” Yet?

Posted by Ryan on December 19, 2006

Fitz-mas is coming at last! Or is it?  We’ve been wondering this question for years now (I only have to wait 12 months for Christmas).  Dick Cheney is slated to testify for the continuation of a witch hunt that rivals anything McCarthy did– just without the results.

Cheney’s defending Scooter Libby from Fitzgerald’s nonsense.  Richard Armitage did it.  We know that.  He leaked Plame’s name.  He admitted it!

What is left to do here?  Vendetta’s?  Millions of dollars spent with no big figures going down in shame?  Maybe Fitzgerald likes fishing more than quayle hunting.  Either way Cheney’s never going to invite him now!

Pic from the World According To

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Monica? Is That You?

Posted by Mike on December 18, 2006

The headline claims the article is about She Who Must Not Be Named.  I guess I’ll never know because I couldn’t get past the first sentence without LMAO.

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Hitchens Smakdown

Posted by Sal on December 17, 2006

Laura Ingraham has a feature on her radio show called “Soundbite of the week”.  Last week, she had her “Soundbite of the Year” contest, and one of the nominees was Christopher Hitchens’ smaking down Bill Maher regarding people who make fun of George W. Bush’s intelligence.  The funny thing is, the audience proves Hitchens’ point.  Worth a laugh.  You can find the soundbite here.   

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Movie Review–Apocalypto

Posted by Ryan on December 16, 2006

First of all, Apocalypto wasn’t trying to be the Mayan version of the Passion of the Christ and I did appreciate that it was its own movie. It was a tale set in Mayan times that tells the story of Jaguar Paw (pictured above) and his tribe going through the trials and tribulations of being conquered by an aggressive empire. It has simple morality messages about family and good v. evil, wrapped in Mel’s penchant for blood and gore. I didn’t think that the blood and gore was too bad, but I also knew that Gibson loves showing us what our imaginations could have figured out anyway when it comes to guts.

I agree with many of the critics that one can leave Apocalypto feeling somewhat flat. Don’t get me wrong, it was exciting, suspenseful, sad, I even laughed out loud a few times early on in the film. But it seemed void of any larger messages beyond the simple morality tale. It showed us the evils of totalitarianism, statism, religious fundamentalism, but it wasn’t played that way. It wasn’t allegory or satire and I think maybe in this case that would have made the movie better and more real. The sets were great, the subtitles did not distract too much, and the guts looked real, but alas the film did not really bring home “meaning” to any of its events in any real way.

As a stand alone piece of entertainment, I’d give the movie about a “B” for grandeur, story and authenticity. It just doesn’t reach that extra peak of relevance. It plateaus as a good 2 hours 18 minutes of entertainment.

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Bayh Not Running

Posted by Mike on December 16, 2006

Evan Bayh has declared that he will not run for President in 2008. It’s a shame too because deep down, Bayh is one of those Democrats who, as President, probably wouldn’t have endangered national security to win the admiration of the bar patrons in Star Wars.

That said, Bayh considered a run for years. In the process, he compiled quite a liberal voting record, placing him far to the left of both himself and the people of Indiana. He especially has some explaining to do for his votes against the confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito. Luckily for Bayh, he has four years to make nice with his fellow Hoosiers. During that time, Republicans shouldn’t let our midwestern friends forget about Bayh’s pandering. Time will tell.

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I Need 3CCs of Kittens–Stat!

Posted by Ryan on December 15, 2006

CC or Copy Cat, the first cloned cat, has recently given birth to three healthy kittens.  Of course, the dad, Smokey, was a more “natural” member of the species.  Two of the kittens look like CC, the other looks like the father.

The A&M scientists are hoping that this does not stir up any controversy.  I find that it’s kind of a neat story, but the specter of human clones creeps in everytime the subject is brought up.  When does science go too far? Let’s say: if scientists can “clone” a few stem cells to mend a torn ear or cleft lip something, then I think that’s OK, but I don’t think I’m ready for ethical ramifications of this:

Link via Drudge.

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Kofi Limps off into the Sunset as Ki-moon Takes Oath

Posted by Mike on December 15, 2006

It’s always difficult to follow in the footsteps of a giant. Luckily that won’t be a problem for Ban Ki-moon, who was sworn in yesterday as the 8th Secretary General of the world’s most famous debating society. He takes office on January 1, 2007. Although Ki-moon paid tribute to his despicable predecessor, his comments could be interpreted as nothing more than the boilerplate niceties reserved for those leaving the spotlight. I’ll give Ki-moon the benefit of the doubt for now.

Although the U.N. has no real power, it can nevertheless use its influence to foster some good in the world. Of course that requires a Secretary General who doesn’t abuse his position to apologize for tyrants, thugs and terrorists while funneling the bribe money from an oil-for-food scandal to his cronies.  Kofi Annan certainly set a pretty low bar for the position.  Ki-moon can’t possibly be worse than his predecessor.  I hope.

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I Thought Romney Was the Mormon

Posted by Mike on December 14, 2006

Amazingly enough, I just learned something while watching Screwball with Screwball. Pat Buchanan mentioned that three of the leading Republican Presidential candidates have eight wives among them. Both Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich have been married three times. John McCain has been married twice. Mitt Romney, the Mormon currently in fourth place, is still married to his first wife of 37 years.

For the record, the host Mark Levin refers to as Screwball was not hosting.

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Obama’s a Wimp?

Posted by Ryan on December 14, 2006

So it seems that everyone’s favorite inexperienced potential fluff candidate for 2008, Barak Hussein Obama, is a wimp.  Rush reported that Mr. Hussein Obama was upset at Maureen Dowd’s slight about his ears and the fact that his handlers have hidden his middle name for all this time.  If he whines about his name, of all things, what about the substance of his policy positions when they are attacked?  His candidacy is in trouble already if these are the things that get to him.

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Department of Redundancy Department

Posted by Mike on December 14, 2006

The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of an expanding bureaucracy.

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The Morbitity of the Drive-by Media

Posted by Sal on December 14, 2006

I wasn’t going to post on this subject, but the coverage this morning warrants it at this point.  I am frankly disgusted with the drive-by media, and this time it’s because of their coverage of a Democrat.  Sen. Tim Johnson, D-SD, was hospitalized with a severe condition involving the enlarging of arteries in his brain.  He underwent surgery yesterday, and is currently listed in critical condition.  The drive-by media is devoting much of their coverage to the fact that a vacancy in the Senate by Sen. Johnson would shift the balance of power back to the GOP.  Now, while I do disagree with Sen. Johnson on most issues, I do not wish him ill and hope that he has a speedy recovery.  The media coverage of this is in such poor taste.  Human life is too precious, too important to place politics over someone’s life.  The discussion of the balance of power at this point is callous and should be avoided.  Tim Johnson is a respected leader in South Dakota, a father and husband, who has a son in the military.  All should pray for a speedy recovery and his return to the Senate, and that God be with him and his family during this most difficult time. 

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1,282 Down, 11,998,718 to Go

Posted by Mike on December 13, 2006

According to Michael Chertoff, the feds recently arrested 1,282 illegal immigrants not merely because they were illegal aliens.

“This is not only a case about illegal immigration, which is bad enough,” Chertoff said at a news conference in Washington. “It’s a case about identity theft and violation of the privacy rights and the economic rights of innocent Americans.”

Kudos to Chertoff for tackling identity theft, but by his own admission, illegal immigration isn’t something that should be tolerated either. Although opponents of any border at all continuously squawk that we can’t deport all 12 million illegal immigrants, we should still give it the old college try. This raid could be a good start.

At a minimum, those who illegally enter the country should not be granted amnesty. As Ryan post just below this one illustrates, Mitt Romney understands that. Perhaps Romney should give the White House a call, especially if he wants to live there.

Link via Drudge.

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Good Start, Mitt!

Posted by Ryan on December 13, 2006

Governor Romney’s star is shining!  This time, he OK’d the detainment of illegal aliens that Massachusetts State Troopers encounter during their normal duties.  I hope other elected officials follow suit.

Link via Drudge.

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Poland Commemorates Martial Law Twenty Five Years Later

Posted by Mike on December 13, 2006

Twenty five years ago today, martial law was declared in Communist Poland. As described by Radio Polonia and Radio Free Europe, Poland is commemorating that tragic day with re-enactments, prayer services, lectures, and remembrances of those who were murdered.

Few nations have experienced and stared down the face of evil like Poland. With a history of partition, Nazi occupation and Communist oppression, the Polish people never lost their sense of who they are or what they believe. They never flinched in the face of tyranny. Their determination to be free is heartwarming and instructive for today’s world.  It is clear they are not about to forget where they’ve been and how far they’ve come anytime soon. Two late great leaders must be smiling today.

AP Photo

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Media Finds a Dictator to Criticize

Posted by Mike on December 13, 2006

Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center has a great piece on the media’s coverage of dictators. Following the recent death of Augusto Pinochet, the media ran article after article slamming the former Chilean dictator. Fair enough. The man was responsible for some 3000 deaths. But why the epiphany on dictators and thugs?

As Bozell points out, the MSM typically fawns over Communist leaders. You’ve heard it before. Castro has a great health care system! Deng Xiaoping was a reformer! They can’t get enough of these people. But what did Pinochet do that was worse than Uncle Joe Stalin? He implemented free-market capitalism, hence the outrage.

Force Catholic churches underground in China? No big deal. Imprison dissidents in Cuba? So what, they have free band aids for everybody. Che’s executions? He was giving land to poor people.

The media often looks the other way when a dictator oppresses his people, so long as the dictator believes in the redistribution of wealth. Pinochet oppressed his people as well, albeit to a far lesser extent than the MSM heroes. But he also allowed the people to keep the money they earned. Apparently that’s the atrocity.

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No Honor in Needham

Posted by Sal on December 13, 2006

Michael Graham, talk show host at 96.9 FM Talk over at The Natural Truth blog has been talking about a news story out of the Needham, MA school department.  The Principle of Needham High School, Paul Richards, has decided that the names of Honor Roll students will no longer be published in the local paper because it will make people who didn’t make the honor roll feel bad.  Richards, who claims to be concerned about student’s stress, commented that “The Publishing of an honor roll has been identified as a potential contributor to the focus on grades.” 

I have written several times before regarding problems in the educational system, as well as how the public schools push a secularist world-view, but this story strikes me as a very unfortunate development from an otherwise well-regarded public school district in Needham.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I am close friends with a very dedicated and enthusiastic school librarian who happens to work for the Needham School System, albeit grade school, who is a frequent contributor to this board and is a credit to her profession.)  This decision hurts those who are academically successful and does not teach the real-world lesson of measured success.  It is all well and good to try to make learning the primary objective, but in high school, you need to prepare for college and for a career.  In most professions, results matter.  A sales person who is in the top tier in generating revenue from a company will be rewarded, as will a student with the highest grades applying for a college.  Telling students that grades are unimportant does them a disservice, because measurements matter.  Sure, learning for learning’s sake is a great objective and should be a goal of any educational institution.  However, education has a societal duty to prepare children and young adults for entrance into the American economy and society in general. 

Thinking back to my own high school career, if grades had not been important, I may not have tried as hard.  Learning French or Chemistry were not two things that I found very appealing, and really had no interest in learning those subjects (History, English, Computer Science, and Religion class were another matter; those I thoroughly enjoyed).  What kept me motivated in the classes that I didn’t care for was grades, the possibility of not making the honor roll, and how it would affect my entrance into college.  If I was taught that grades did not matter, I probably would have completely tuned out of those classes.  Even though Richards is not going so far as to say that grades don’t matter, this move is certainly pointing in that direction.   

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What’s a Hezbollah?

Posted by Mike on December 12, 2006

Nancy Pelosi’s choice for Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, failed a pop quiz given to him by Congressional Quartrly’s Jeff Stein. The Democrats’ best candidate for the job couldn’t describe Hezbollah, even though the terrorist group dominated the headlines during this summer’s conflict between Israel and Lebanon. In addition, he mistakenly believed that most members of Al Qaeda are Shi’ite Muslims. It’s pretty sad that this is the best the Democrats have to offer.

Nancy Pelosi had quite a few options available to her when she had to select a Chairman for the House Intelligence Committee. Or did she? Jane Harman, the woman who was next in line lacked a certain insanity that Democrats seem to value these days. More importantly, the San Francisco Treat didn’t really like Harman. That was the deal-breaker.

Pelosi’s second option, Alcee Hastings, wasn’t that bad. That is if you don’t consider the fact he was impeached and removed from the bench for taking bribes. Let’s just say America wasn’t quite ready for an impeached judge running the committee handling state secrets. Even Pelosi’s fellow Democrats balked at this selection.

I’m usually not a fan of reporters trying to show up politicians with stunts like this one. In fairness to Reyes, Stein is clearly in love himself and was looking for a headline at Reyes’ expense. Not every leader will or should have to know every detail about terrorist organizations, especially those whose expertise is in other issues. However, Stein’s questions were pretty basic for a member of the Intelligence Committee, especially someone who will lead it. It’s not like he asked Reyes for the name of Uzbekistan’s Prime Minster. The most qualified person the Democrats have to monitor the intelligence on our enemies doesn’t seem to know who the enemies are. What a deep bench these Democrats have.

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Democrat Budget-Busters?

Posted by Sal on December 12, 2006

The Dems are proposing what the Republicans should have done in the 12 years that they controlled Congress by cancelling all pork-barrel projects for this fiscal year’s budget.  While it is only a one-year item, it is a brilliant political move because they may use this to try to shed their reputation as “tax-and-spend” liberals.  Some fiscal Conservatives have given them kudos for this move, but I have my doubts. 

First, I have my doubts that they can pull it off.  The caucus system of the Democrats in the House makes it very difficult for the Dems to get anything through that is without earmarks.  Also, I am skeptical that Robert “KKK” “I’ve never met a pork barrel project that I didn’t like” Byrd will be able to contain himself. 

Second, the Democrats will not be doing anything productive with the money.  If they were smart, they’d use it for some kind of tax cuts, or use it to offset the budget deficit and/or pay down the debt.  Instead, they are planning to use it to fund other “priorities” that they feel are under funded. 

So the verdict is, that while this is a brilliant political move by the Democrats, it remains to be seen whether or not they can pull it off, and even if they do, they are basically shifting money around rather than actually cutting spending. 

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