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Critical Habitat for the Florida Panther

Sunday, January 25, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

In the eight years of the Bush Adminstration, the environmental groups learned to play the Endangered Species Act like a violin, and one of their favorite tunes is the demand for “critical habitat,” a series of maps that, once promulgated, have the effect of greatly complicating the use of private property even if the species connected with the maps is nowhere near the property so designated. Because landowners rarely if ever get word of such designations or understand them when the occur, the property rights time bomb gets planted and starts ticking with very few people aware of the rule-making or its consequences.

Landowners in Florida should know that on day one of the Obama Administration, the Conservancy of Southwestern Florida filed a “petition to label huge swaths of South Florida as critical habitat for the Florida panther. “ A successful petition will greatly impair the property rights of landowners in the region without doing anything to enhance the survival of the panther.

It is the first such petition of what will surely be four years of aggressive appeals to the Department of the Interior to diminish the property rights of landowners across the United States. This will be good for my business as an ESA and Clean Water Act lawyer, but bad –very bad– for the economic recovery.

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Amaze.fm Song of the Week: “Deep Calling” by Mark Thomas

Friday, January 23, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Here’s the link to the Amaze.fm Song of the Week: “Deep Calling” by Mark Thomas.

If you are a singer/songwriter, upload your music to Amaze.fm and see what the people think. The most popular song of the week gets played on the radio show.

Off to the Hannity show, then back to CA. Be sure to read the Michael Lewis article on Wall Street’s meltdown. (HT: Michael Barone via RobinsonandLong.com.)

“Bush’s ‘War’ On Terror Comes To A Sudden End.”

Friday, January 23, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

That’s the headline on Dana Priest’s Washington Post story today, and it is one to clip and save. Priest doesn’t pick the headlines, of course, but the idea that it was “Bush’s ‘war,” or that it is at an end is an extraordinary assertions made by an admittedly still-swooning-over-President-Obama MSM.

America’s war on Islamist jihadists goes on, of course, and the Priest headline should be more than a little embarrassing to the paper given the late-breaking headline on the Post’s site at this hour: “Suspected U.S. Missile Strikes Kill at Least 20 in Pakistan. Attacks in Northwest Border Province Are First Since Obama’s Inauguration.”

President Obama and his team are now responsible for the nation’s defense, and with that responsibility goes the awful burden of not only protecting America but of having to take innocent lives in the process. President Obama spent a lot of yesterday telling us how he would not wage the war, but today he is most certainly waging it with a ferocity that far outstrips the worst of the “enhanced interrogation” techniques he and his supporters have been denouncing.

I’ll be discussing the Post story and its obvious absurdity juxtaposed to the news of continuing warfare on “Hannity” tonight. But perhaps not even stories like today’s word of the ongoing battle on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan will shake the convictions of the left that the war was a giant fraud worked on the American people by the departed Bush. It may be too much to hope for, but the reality of the war raging against the West will be harder and harder to avoid now that President Obama is the Commander-in-Chief.

The commentary on the announcements concerning Gitmo and interrogation has been surreal, a collective, willful denial of the reality of the war. President Obama is betting that he can keep the U.S. homeland as safe as Bush has with different tactics. Let’s pray he is right. It is one enormous gamble.

For background on The War Against the West, read the book and check in at ThreatsWatch.com or CounterterrorismBlog.org. The war isn’t over or close to it, and it is dangerous to suggest that it is, though President Bush has left the contry far safer than when he took over its stewardship.

The War Against the West - Front Cover

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On “Hannity” Tonight

Friday, January 23, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I’m in NYC for the panel on Sean Hannity’s new program tonight. “Hannity” will quickly become the key conservative television show, and while the decision to only use in-studio guests makes it a bit of a hike for the West Coast conservatives, the new program is off to a very strong start with viewers.

It has been 14 years since the GOP was in such a weak position inside the Beltway, but the first two years of the Clinton term provided a season of growth and energy that powered first Newt and then the successes of 2000, 2002 and 2004. As the “stimulus” charade in the House demonstrates, you can count of the Dems to blow their opportunity to govern from the center. The new media infrastructure of the center-right will benefit from the period of opposition, and the ideas infrastructure within D.C. and throughout the connected organizations across the country will prosper as well. The left is going to discover quickly that defending an Administration across a broad front of issues is a much more difficult task than attacking one selectively. The new president’s move to the center on some appointments is going to buy him some time, but as the flaws in the stimulus package show, he won’t be able to keep the left side of his coalition from exposing the Administration to well-grounded criticism.

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