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Fresno and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Saturday, November 14, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Yesterday’s broadcast from Fresno was wrenching. Tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs and thousands of farmers are in deep financial distress because of absurd interpretations of a 1971 law, the Endangered Species Act, that was never intended to cause such havoc. Cowardice combines with fanaticism to result in unbelievable waste and unnecessary suffering –the cowardice of officials who could order the water turned back on but fear to do so because of the fanatical zealotry of the environmental lobby that is simply indifferent to the suffering they are applauding.

When I got back to the hotel and began to watch the coverage of another astonishing bit of governmental stupidity –recall Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has wanted to enter a guilty plea for the mass murder of 9/11– the juxtaposition of the government refusing to lift a finger to help tens of thousands of its citizens while simultaneously adopting extreme interpretations of law to justify a New York City trial for the terrorists left me with the through-the-looking-glass sense of concern that the damage being done by the ideologues who have taken control of the federal government may be far worse than anyone had imagined just a year ago.

Bill Kristol suspects that the decision to give KSM and his co-killers a giant stage on which to rant will result in even more political damage for Democrats. He’s right, of course, because Americans of all but the far left side of the Democratic Party know the difference between enemies in war and common criminals, just as they know that it is terribly unjust to destroy the agricultural communities of the Central Valley in the name of the Delta smelt and just as they know that Obamacare is one vast disaster that shouldn’t be on the table for discussion much less close to passing and that the president’s “economic policy” doesn’t deserve the title “policy.”

All of this is adding up to a giant electoral shudder in 51 weeks. We just have to hope that the damage the left can do in the next year can be contained.

I have opened a thread at the Hughniverse for comments on the man-made drought in the Central Valley, and if you missed yesterday’s show on the smelt and its impact on California farm workers and agriculture, you can listen to it there. Many people from around the country who had not heard of the story e-mailed me to express their disbelief, but it isn’t a hoax and the hardships are all too real. Yesterday a federal judge ruled that the federal government had violated NEPA when it implemented the water cut-off. A hearing on remedies is set for November 24. Say a prayer that the judge acts to end the wholly avoidable-but-unfolding creation of a new Dust Bowl. (And consider a donation to the Pacific Legal Foundation which is leading the fight to turn the water back on.)

My thanks to Len Frank, George Kimball, the team at KYNO 1300, John Harris of Harris Ranch and Pastor Jim Franklin of Cornerstone Church for helping Duane and me to get Friday’s show organized, and to all the guests who contributed their stories to the broadcast.


On Fresno and Fred Astaire

Friday, November 13, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I will broadcast Friday from Fresno and devote the show to the judge-ordered drought in California’s Central Valley. More than 40,000 people have lost their jobs because of water delivery restrictions imposed by a federal judge’s interpretation of the federal Endangered Species Act. I’ll be joined by key leaders in the region and lawyers from the Pacific Legal Foundation, which is fighting for the farmers, as we explore the absurd and devastating consequences of this law. I have practiced ESA law for twenty years, and have often seen the law impose enormous hardships on individuals, companies, and communities, but have never seen anything like this, but the Obama Administration and Congress refuse to act to end the misapplication of the law.

My conversation on Thursday with Mark Steyn began with a reference to Joseph Epstein’s wonderful book about Fred Astaire. The transcript of our conversation is here, and you can order Epstein’s essay on the grace and style of Astaire here:

Fred Astaire (Icons of America)

“The Senate’s Big Cloture Vote” The senate Switchboard Is 202-224-3121.

Thursday, November 12, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

My new column focuses on next week’s big vote in the Senate and the ability of any one of Indiana’s Evan Bayh, Colorado’s Michael Bennet, North Dakota’s Byron Dorgan, Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu, Connecticut’s Joe Lieberman, Arkansas’ Blanche Lincoln, or Nebraska’s Ben Nelson to just say no to Obamacare and block the the bill.

Together they could be the Gang of Seven that saves American medicine and the American economy from deficits so large as to crush the dollar. Call each of them at 202-224-3121 and urge a no vote on all motions to begin debate.

And stop by and contribute to the fund that will be used to defeat 2010’s most vulnerable Democrats who support cloture. Raising Money To Defeat Democrats Supporting Cloture On Obamacare

Thursday, November 12, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt gets it.

Still waiting on the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

With the Senate’s first key vote looming on Obamacare next week, the GOP should be busy sending a message to Senate Democrats facing election in 2010 –Indiana’s Bayh, Colorado’s Bennet, North Dakota’s Dorgan, and Arkansas’ Lincoln to name four– that the vote next week on opening debate will mark them as a supporter of Obamacare for the entire cycle. Subsequent votes won’t camouflage their support.

And the best way to send that message is by asking opponents of Obamacare to signal the depth of their opposition with a contribution. Nothing speaks louder than money, and the sound of contributions flowing into the campaign to unseat them will be heard loud and clear as the first vote approaches.

Be sure to call the offices of these four senators via the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121 and urge a “no” vote on the motion to begin debate.

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