Thursday, July 27, 2006

Renewing The American Dream: Rebecca Hagelin Defends Mike Pence

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"Joseph Farah's column published yesterday fails virtually every test of Journalism 101.

"In "Mike Pence sells out," he makes numerous false charges and engages in character assassination based on sloppy research.

"Other than that, it's a pretty good piece of journalism. Yellow journalism, that is."

Read entire column:


Senator Bill Frist Needs Your Help To Confirm John Bolton

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A message from Senator Bill Frist:

Simply put, we need John Bolton's leadership at the United Nations. Unfortunately, his recess appointment expires in January of next year ... so we must act now to confirm him permanently. I'm dedicated to giving Ambassador Bolton the up-or-down vote that he was denied by Democrat obstruction.

If you think his nomination deserves a fair up-or-down vote and if you agree with his mission of cleaning up the U.N., then I urge you to join me in supporting John Bolton's confirmation as our Ambassador to the United Nations by signing this digital petition.

Thank you.

Senator Bill Frist, M.D.
Senate Majority Leader


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Buzz Patterson Returns To "The Dickson/Chappell Report" On August 5th

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My friend and colleague, LTC Buzz Patterson, USAF (Retired) Author,New York Times Bestsellers ''Dereliction of Duty" and "Reckless Disregard," returns to our Line-Up on August 5th.

Find out why I have changed his handle from "Buzz" to "Desert Fox!"


Renewing The American Dream

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There have been many well-known conservatives who have become detractors of the "Pence Plan," many of whom are my friends. It's quite obvious that they have not not taken the time to read it and study it thoroughly. Please read the following excerpt from Congressman Mike Pence's "Pence Plan" very carefully:

Say no to amnesty in any form

My bill offers a no amnesty solution to the problem of twelve million illegal aliens living in our country. Some argue that there is no amnesty if these twelve million illegal aliens are required to pay a fine or back taxes. I disagree. That is what the Senate passed. I believe no bill is better than a bad bill that grants amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

Amnesty is not the answer!

It only will worsen the problem because it will cause more people to come here illegally with the hope of someday having their status adjusted. Amnesty is allowing people whose first act in America was an illegal act to get right with the law without leaving the country. Allowing twelve million illegal aliens to stay in our country instead of leaving and coming back legally is amnesty, no matter if fines or back taxes are paid, or how it is otherwise dressed-up or spun by its proponents. The only way to deal with these twelve million people is to insist that they leave the country and come back legally if they have a job awaiting them.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Conservatives Put Senators On Notice

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June 13, 2006

The Honorable Ted Stevens
The Honorable William H. Frist, M.D.
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
The Honorable Rick Santorum
The Honorable Jon Kyl
The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison
The Honorable Elizabeth Dole
and copied to all Majority Senators.

United States Senate
U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC

Re: Stewarding the Third Branch

Dear Senators:

As the representatives of millions of Americans who support you in elections, we write to ask you to devote more effort on and off the Senate floor to confirming the President’s circuit court nominees.

We write to remind you of your duty, but also because we are concerned that if the Majority that assured the confirmation votes of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito lose just one seat in the next election, the future of the Supreme Court and the federal appellate bench will again be imperiled by use of filibusters. We write because we fear that the Majority is ignoring the impact of the nominations debate on its ability to gain the support of those small margins of voters that the Majority needs to secure unobstructed confirmations.

By contrast, and for example, you are planning to devote valuable Senate floor time to debating a flag-desecration constitutional amendment. While most of us would support such an amendment, we believe this is a misguided use of time.

In a survey, 150 conservative opinion and grassroot organization leaders, all with nationally or state recognized names, were asked to rate the flag-burning amendment as a priority before November on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being high in importance and 1 being low. With 125 responding, 75 rated it 1 (or lower), 99 rated it 2 or lower, and only 18 rated it 4 or 5. But when these 18 were asked to prioritize the use of Senate time between flag desecration and nominations, all who responded chose the judge issue.

We believe your valuable time is better spent on any number of things, such as Senator Kyl’s Pledge Protection Act. But we all agree that debate on judicial nominations is time better spent, and time well spent early to build up steam.

Today the circuit courts have 18 vacancies. They are nearly 10 per cent vacant and President Bush has the lowest confirmation rate of circuit court nominations for any president, below 75 per cent.

So far you have allowed several circuit nominees to be defeated: Miguel Estrada, Charles Pickering, Carolyn Kuhl, and, most recently, Henry Saad of Michigan had to withdraw his nomination in the face of a deal by the Gang of 14 and the acquiescence of Majority leaders.

One nominee for the vitally important Ninth Circuit, William Myers, has been the subject of a filibuster for nearly two years. His nomination was denied cloture on July 20, 2004 by a vote of 53 to 44, with two still-serving Democrats voting with all 51 Republicans. Despite an election that enhanced the Majority, no effort has been made to press his confirmation since then, not even a second cloture vote.

Judge Terrence Boyle, nominated to the Fourth Circuit, a circuit that now hangs in the balance, is now the longest waiting judicial nominee in history. He may be the first obstructed nominee in Senate history to wait on the Senate executive calendar for a year without even a cloture vote. Rather ordinary, insubstantial, eleventh-hour charges against him have gone unanswered. Not a single senator has addressed the charges in his defense. It is no wonder that the White House is having trouble recruiting qualified men and women to serve on the bench. Opponents are to be expected, but not the carelessness of friends like you.

William “Jim” Haynes, nominated to the vital Fourth Circuit, also has set a record for you. He has waited the longest for a Judiciary Committee vote after having a hearing. As General Counsel of the Department of Defense during a national crucible, Jim Haynes has done a difficult job and deserves our thanks for his service. Instead, he has faced years of delay and a silent filibuster that denies him even the courtesy of addressing the reasons for delay. Haynes had his hearing on November 19, 2003. The Majority senator obstructing the Haynes nomination over policy disputes was too busy to attend.

With the departure of Judge Michael Luttig, the Fourth Circuit now needs Judge Boyle and Mr. Haynes more than ever. But even more pronounced is the urgency in the Ninth Circuit, a court that can only be described as a national scandal. This is the appellate court so often reversed and most often in the news. Yet you presently are slow walking three Ninth Circuit nominees. In addition to the filibustered Myers nomination, two other solid Ninth Circuit nominees are presently available on the Senate calendar.

Please note that, with the exception of Jim Haynes, the problem we address does not lie with Chairman Specter. He is moving nominees out of Committee at a reasonable clip. The Haynes delay is, however, contrary to the Chairman’s pledge three years ago to move nominees at a stated pace.

Although we cite numbers and statistics, our reason for writing is not about numbers. They can be too easily used to give the illusion of accomplishment. Your duty is to give Advice and Consent on the president’s nominees, all of them. An up or down vote, hopefully leading to confirmation, is always the goal.

But if opponents engage, we believe debate is itself a gain. If opponents obstruct through abuse of Senate rules, highlighting that obstruction is vitally important, and not just for political advantage. It serves the Republic that the American people be fully alerted to what is at stake when they vote as the ultimate stewards of the Third Branch.

The judicial issue is a growing force among voters, and each battle over nominations provides an educable moment, an opportunity for a worthwhile national debate that helps to catalyze the differences between liberals and conservatives to the American people.

No doubt some of you will think that because this is an election year, it is expected that judicial nominations will slow down. Not by us. This old Senate tradition must give way to our experience in the last two elections.

Many of you ran and won in 2002 and 2004 because, in part, you promised to support the President’s judicial nominees and end Minority party obstruction. Perhaps you must advise your colleagues who last ran in 2000 that things have changed. Perhaps you should consider those 2006 candidates who are not yet in your meetings.

In March 2002, after the Judiciary Committee rejected Charles Pickering, Leader Frist, then NRSC chairman, was asked whether the Pickering controversy would have any effect on the 2002 election. He said, “No.” He was wrong: In five states that year, it had a direct effect. In three states it related directly to the small margin that gave three Majority senators their seats. It was for a reason that in his one debate with a former vice-president in Minnesota, Norm Coleman mentioned Judge Pickering, the beleaguered Mississippi judge.

Likewise, many of you heard Senator Allen, as chairman of the NRSC, express a certain reluctance to spend much floor time on judges. His mantra for 2004 success was “Jobs jobs, jobs.” He too was wrong. You have a larger majority than Senator Allen expected because he was wrong, and it was judges and judge-related issues that gave the president Ohio and a second term…not “jobs.”

In sum, we ask you to move circuit nominees to an honest up or down vote. We ask you to spend scheduled Senate floor time in vigorous debate, and we ask you to bundle the Ninth Circuit nominees to highlight the errors of the Ninth Circuit. If Democrats obstruct, view it as the role they will play in growing your majority.

In 2003, the current GOP Senate leaders made their mark on the judge issue with a bang; we do not wish for you to end now with a whimper.


Manuel Miranda, Chairman, Third Branch Conference
Stephen A. O’Connor, Publisher, Human Events
Paul Weyrich, Coalitions for America
Hon. Abigail Thernstrom, United States Commission on Civil Rights
Ambassador Alan Keyes, Declaration Alliance
Donald E. Wildmon, American Family Association
David Keene, American Conservative Union
James L Martin, 60 Plus Association
Dr. Carl Herbster, AdvanceUSA
Richard A. Viguerie,
Lori Roman, ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council)
William J. Murray, Religious Freedom Coalition
Andrea Lafferty, Traditional Values Coalition
Sean Rushton, Committee for Justice
Jeffrey Lord, author, The Borking Rebellion
Deal Hudson, Morley Institute for Church and Culture
James J. Fotis, Law Enforcement Alliance of America
George Landrith, Frontiers of Freedom
L. Brent Bozell III, Media Research Center
Bill Donohue, Catholic League
Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life
Rick Scarborough, Vision America Action
Jan Larue, Concerned Women for America
Kay Daly, Coalition for a Fair Judiciary
Jeffrey Mazzella, Center for Individual Freedom
Rabbi Aryeh Spero, Caucus for America and host of "Talking Sense".
Joseph Cella, FIDELIS
Colin A. Hanna, Let Freedom Ring, Inc.
C. Preston Noell III, Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
Rev. William Owens, Coalition of African American Pastors
Rev. Miguel Rivera, National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders
Samuel B. Casey, Christian Legal Society
Thomas Brejcha, Thomas More Society, Pro-Life Law Center
Dean Mathew D. Staver, Liberty Counsel and Liberty University School of Law
Stephen M. Crampton, AFA Center for Law & Policy
Dr. Dale Burroughs, Biblical Heritage Institute
Dr. Gary Cass, Center for Reclaiming America for Christ.
Amy Ridenour, Americans for the Preservation of Liberty
Tim Echols, Family Resource Network / TeenPact / Teen Leadership School
Chuck Muth, Citizen Outreach
William Greene,
Larry Cirignano,
Mike Krempasky,
Jeff Ballabon, Center for Jewish Values
Steven Mosher, Population Research Institute
Jim Boulet, Jr., English First
Jonathon Moseley, Esq., Legal Affairs Council
Gary Palmer, Alabama Policy Institute
Gregory M. Jones, Foundation for Moral Law
John Stemberger, Florida Family Policy Council
Dr. Patricia McEwen, Life Coalition International
Dr. Don Racheter, Public Interest Institute (IA)
Julie Lynde. Cornerstone Institute of Idaho
Micah Clark, American Family Association of Indiana
Gene Mills, Louisiana. Family Forum
Kent Ostrander, The Family Foundation (KY)
Mike Franco, Western Massachusetts Republicans
Gary Glenn, American Family Association of Michigan
Len Deo, New Jersey Family Policy Council
Ed Holdgate, New Hampshire Right to Life PAC Chairman
Karen Testerman, Cornerstone Policy Research (NH)
Marie Tasy, New Jersey Right to Life
Bill Brooks, North Carolina Family Policy Council
Forest Thigpen, Mississippi Center for Public Policy
Rev. Russell Johnson, Ohio Restoration Project
David Crowe, Restore America (OR)
Diane Gramley, American Family Association of Pennsylvania
Robert R. Galbreath Jr., Citizens for a Constitutional Republic
Thomas Smith, America 21 (TN)
Cathie Adams, Texas Eagle Forum
Hon. Kenneth Whitehead, Falls Church Republican Committee (VA)
Dr. Kenneth L. Hutcherson, Mayday for Marriage (WA)
Julaine K. Appling, The Family Institutue of Wisconsin
John C. Eastman, Professor of Law (CA)
David Gibbs III (FL)
Rodolfo E. Milani (FL)
James Hochberg (HI)
Judge Darrell White (Ret.) (LA)
Don Feder (MA)
Michael Valerio (MA)
Robert W. Peters, Esq. (NY)
Jill Stanek, columnist (IL)
Chris Dickson, "The Dickson/Chappell Report" (IN/OH)

Third Branch is a coalition of grasstop leaders working to improve the federal courts.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Thank You, Mr. President, For Keeping Your Word!

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President Bush promised a veto, and that is just what he did.

After the Senate passed a bill that multiplied taxpayer funding for human embryonic stem cell research, the President was quick to take action.

The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act was a direct challenge to President Bush's policy on embryonic stem cells, set in August 2001, which provides no federal funding for further destruction of human embryos for this type of research. It passed on Tuesday; President Bush vetoed it on Wednesday.

Click here to thank President Bush for standing for life.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Father Michael Scanlan, T.O.R., Returns To "The Dickson/Chappell Report" September 16th

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My very dear friend, Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, is Franciscan University of Steubenville’s first chancellor, a position he assumed in 2000 after serving 26 years as the University’s president. Father Scanlan has published numerous articles in religious periodicals and over 16 books and booklets including the newly updated book, “The Truth About Trouble”. A speaker at national and international conferences, he also leads pilgrimages all over the world. He also hosts a monthly television show, Franciscan University Presents, on EWTN. He has received numerous honors, including the pontifical honor Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice and the Sacrae Theologiae Magister.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Mike Pence: "Mr. President, Veto This Bill!"

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The Senate passed their embryonic stem cell bill yesterday that would use Federal money to fund embryonic stem cell research. Mike and several colleagues had a press conference yesterday with lots and lots of little snowflake babies. These are the babies who were frozen embryos, but have been adopted. I think that was the highlight of Mike's day. He said one baby was grabbing him at the podium while he was trying to talk. This afternoon, the President will veto this bill which also passed the House. Mike has been invited to attend the signing. Please pray for our president. He hasn't liked using the veto pen much, but this took courage. I am sure he will be criticized for standing for life.

After the president vetoes the bill, the debate will begin on the floor of the House to override the veto. There will be lots of debate, and the vote may be late tonight to sustain the veto. Please pray for the members to stand strong for life.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bill Fawcett Guest on "The Dickson/Chappell Report" July 22nd

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Bill Fawcett has authored and edited more than a dozen books. He is also an Associate Publisher for Emperor's Press, a historical hardcover house. His newest book, How to Lose a Battle Foolish Plans and Great Military Blunders , is a remarkable compendium of the worst military decisions and the men who made them.

The annals of history are littered with horribly bad military leaders. These combat incompetents found amazing ways to ensure their army's defeat. Whether it was a lack of proper planning, miscalculation, ego, bad luck, or just plain stupidity, certain wartime stratagems should never have left the drawing board. Written with wit, intelligence, and eminent readability, How to Lose a Battle pays dubious homage to these momentous and bloody blunders.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mike Pence: the Powerbroker on Immigration?

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George Stephanopoulos: Is Pence the powerbroker on immigration?

The NY Times caused quite a stir here in the Capitol this morning with a front page story headlined BUSH SIGNALING SHIFT IN STANCE ON IMMIGRATION, but the star of the piece is not the President but an up-and-coming conservative Congressman from Indiana named Mike Pence. Pence runs a caucus of die-hard House conservatives and he's drafted an immigration bill designed to bridge the gap between his colleagues and President. It would combine enforcement and border security provisions passed by the House with a new guest worker program if 3 conditions are met: 1.) the guest worker program would be delayed for at least 2 years; 2.) it wouldn't take effect until the President certified that the borders are secure; 3.) anyone now in the country illegally would have to leave the country before being allowed in as a guest worker.

President Bush told Pence that he was "intrigued" by the proposal at an Oval Office meeting last Wednesday, and Pence is peddling that encouragement for all its worth -- to Senators, his colleagues and the NY Times (which got the helpful detail that Pence's meeting with the President "stretched" from 20-40 minutes). With that piece, Pence made his bill more prominent than ever, and the President got a headline showing that he hasn't given up hope on legislation that had been on life support. But I don't think all the behind the scenes meetings or the front page headline signal real progress on immigration reform.

Pence's third condition is a bottom line requirement for most House Republicans, and a deal breaker for most Republicans and Democrats who voted for the Senate bill. Even if the President signed on to it (which would be a major shift), there are more than 40 solid votes in the Senate against it. This means there's no way to break a filibuster. Today's story was a good read, and it was good for Congressman Pence. But it was more about the President getting well with his base than getting immigration reform signed into law this year.


Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX) Guest on "The Dickson/Chappell Report" July 15th

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Congresswoman Granger is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives’ leadership, serving as a deputy majority whip. She serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee and sits on two important Appropriations Subcommittees: Defense Appropriations and Labor-Health and Human Services-Education. She is the first woman—either Republican or Democratic—to serve on the Defense Appropriation Subcommittee.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Become Hidden In The Wounds Of The Savior

With joy-filled devotion Francis dwelt in the heavenly mansions and in complete self-emptying he remained for long periods hidden, as it were, in the wounds of the Savior. He therefore sought out solitary places where he could cast his soul entirely upon God.

Celano - First Life

I thought this blog entry was worth passing along to all my friends! It was posted by brother lesser on the blog titled "Portiuncula: the Little Portion" at:



Wednesday, July 05, 2006

President Bush Intrigued By The "Pence Plan"

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In a sign of that willingness, the White House last week invited a leading conservative proponent of an enforcement-first bill, Representative Mike Pence, Republican of Indiana, to present his ideas to Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney in the Oval Office.

Ms. Wolff said the president found the Pence plan "pretty intriguing."

New York Times : Bush Signaling Shift in Stance on Immigration

Today's front-page NY Times story by Sheryl Gay Stolberg has plenty of new info on the immigration debate.Here are some key excerpts:Republicans both inside and outside the White House say Mr. Bush, who has long insisted on comprehensive reform, is now open to a so-called enforcement-first approach that would put new border security programs in place before creating a guest worker program or path to citizenship for people living in the United States illegally

In an interview Tuesday, Mr. Pence said the president used precisely those words in their talk. Mr. Pence said that the meeting was scheduled to last 10 or 20 minutes but went on for 40, and that the president "was quite adamant throughout the meeting to make the point that he hoped I would be encouraged."