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The Metastasis of the Administrative State

Monday, June 29, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

My Washington Examiner column underscores how the cap-and-tax bill passed by the House would bring with it a metastasis of the administrative state.

I have been negotiating with and sometimes suing federal agencies for the past two decades, usually because federal officials use ambiguous language in federal statutes to adopt extremely expansive views of federal power.

Either the cap-and-tax bill or the Obama./Pelosi/Reid “government option/public plan” approaches to health care would make these past power grabs seem small by comparison. Either bill would empower federal agencies –some not yet even created– to wield new and extraordinary authority over individuals and business. When the Senate takes up cap-and-tax, the GOP must focus the public attention on the vast power grab the law envisions, and both houses must focus on the government’s control over individuals’ lives that would arrive with a “government option/public plan” in health care.

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Iran Updates

Monday, June 29, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Abe Greenwald wants to give George Bush credit for his Iran policy.

Gabriel Schoenfeld wonders whether President Obama could deliver help to Iranian democrats even if he wanted to.

Gateway Pundit has chilling video. (HT: Instapundit.)

The Stoning of Soraya M had a strong per screen opening for its very limited release. As it opens in more cities this week, please help to maintain that momentum.

Michael Jackson’s death sucked an enormous amount of attention away from the courage of Iranians still battling the regime, but as the posts at Twitter’s #iranelection thread show, dissent and demonstrations continue.

More than 2,000 are under arrested in Iran, with hundreds more missing. Human rights activists supported by President Obama and the rest of the west have to keep up pressure on the regime to release the demonstrators and stop the disappearances.

GOP 2012

Monday, June 29, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Politico’s Jonathan Martin reports on Mitt Romney’s road to 2012.

Any serious GOP contenders for right to take on President Obama will be working for Chris Cristie in New Jersey and Bob McDonnell in Virginia as the only two races of great consequence in 2009 draw closer.

And anyone seeking to seriously challenge for the nomination will have to mount an equivalent to Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC to be in a position to help with the crucial 2010 races that are necessary to restore balance to a Beltway tilted far left.

Iraq and Vietnam: The Timely Appearance of “Ride The Thunder”

Sunday, June 28, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

As American troops prepare to turn over almost all combat duties to Iraqi forces this week, the first of what will certainly be a wave of “Iraq as South Vietnam” stories appears on schedule in the New York Times. Rod Norland’s “Ready or Not, Iraq’s Military Prepares to Stand on Its Own” uses the condensed, standard-version short-hand for what happened in Vietnam:

That thought inevitably invites comparisons to President Richard M. Nixon’s Vietnamization strategy, which lasted six years and was a great success at turning over the war effort to the South Vietnamese Army, but a complete failure at helping South Vietnam win.

Tens of thousands of American advisers remained behind, but their presence and high profile “gave the perception that the U.S. was in charge, undercutting the Vietnamese officer corps and creating an unconscious dependency,” Col. Dan Smith, a military analyst and critic of that war, has written. And once American financial, military and advisory support was withdrawn, as it was abruptly in 1975, South Vietnamese Army defeats rapidly became routs.

Next week a new book on the end of the Vietnam War, Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph by Richard Botkin appears that will be crucial reading for everyone watching and hoping for Iraq to succeed, and for the tens of thousands of American military advisors and trainers remaining with their Iraqi counterparts.

Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph

Almost everything most people think they know about the end of the Vietnam War is wrong, and thus the lessons about to be drawn from the years 1972 through 1975 and applied to Iraq are going to be wrong as well. Botkin’s book arrives at exactly the right moment to help prevent happening to the brave Iraqis who are taking on the lead role in their country’s defense what happen to the South Vietnamese Marine Corps in the aftermath of the collapse of American support for a free South Vietnam.

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