Axis of Right

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

Archive for May, 2007

NASA: Griffen’s Climate Change Sin

Posted by Ryan on May 31, 2007

Michael Griffin, NASA administrator, had the audacity to admit that global warming exists, but that the human impact is not important!  Immediately, James Hansen, NASA’s climate guru and contributor to Algore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” popped a vein.  Griffin’s point was that the Earth’s climate has been changing for 4.6 billion years and who are we to say that today’s climate is the best it can ever be.  He called that point of view arrogant.  Hansen was quite perturbed and called Griffin arrogant!  Like most global warming/climate change debates, this one turned juvenile quickly, but only on the pro-warming side.  Why does that always happen?  If theirs is a scientifically and morally superior point, why all the insecurity?  Makes one think.

Link via Drudge.

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Posted in Anything Else | 3 Comments »

Harry Potter Theme Park in the Works

Posted by Mike on May 31, 2007

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Universal Studios in Orlando is planning to open a 20-acre Harry Potter Theme Park. Don’t worry about it being tacky though. J.K. Rowling herself is overseeing details to ensure that the park actually resembles the wizarding world in which Harry lives.

This actually sounds fun. People familiar with the Potter series know that the wizarding world includes many attractions familiar to us muggles. They have their own villain, He Who Must Not Be Named, not to be confused with his female counterpart who is running for President. There are also shops, coffee houses, bars, music and more. I wonder if their going to spike the butterbeer?

JUNE 19 UPDATE:  More info here.

Posted in Anything Else, Pop Culture | 12 Comments »

Know Your Role

Posted by Mike on May 30, 2007

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is confused. I don’t mean confused in the way most liberals are, though she is. What I’m talking about is Ruth Biddy’s confusion over her role in our government. Perhaps it’s her age. Perhaps it’s her arrogance. Whatever the reason, Ginsburg seems to think she is a member of Congress.

Along with her three liberal colleagues, Ginsburg recently dissented in the Supreme Court’s Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co decision which held that a woman’s discrimination claim which arose 19 years earlier was barred by the statute of limitations. Hysterical over being outvoted by Justices who read the statute in question, Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench which called on Congress to enact legislation reflecting her policy preference which she tried to enact from the bench.

Trying to persuade the government to enact what one believes in is perfectly legitimate. What is not legitimate is when judges attempt to use their position to enact their own policy preferences. A judge’s job is to rule on what the law is, not what they wish it to be. If Ginsburg wants to serve in a policy making position, she should run for Congress.

Since that will never happen, Ginsburg should at least look to the Court’s most junior member for some guidance on how to do her job. Writing for the majority in Ledbetter, Justice Alito explained the judiciary’s role in our government:

“We apply the statute as written, and this means that any unlawful employment practice, including those involving compensation, must be presented . . . within the period prescribed by the statute,” Alito said.

Alito seems to know his role. It’s about time Ruth Biddy learned hers.

Posted in Judicial Watch | Leave a Comment »

Definitely Maybe: The Fred Thompson Story

Posted by Ryan on May 30, 2007

According to Politico.com, Fred Thompson is still thinking about running for President! (Big news, I know!) While Fred is polling very well and has raised lots of cash for someone not yet declared, the fact remains:  Fred might still be just messing with us.  He seems to be the only candidate everyone in the Republican base can handle; he’s even against the current amnesty bill!  (score 1 for Thompson)  

According to many accounts, he’ll announce on July 4.  It certainly looks good given the nature of his “non”-campaign infrastructure at this point.  He also gets a lot of free press from those of us who are not totally satisfied with the current crop.  Yet, I’m personally not sold on Fred Thompson yet.  I generally like what he has to say, but I need to see him give a dynamic impassioned policy speech on a big issue.  I need to hear the gravitas everyone says is there!  I also need to be sold that he’d be an electable Newt Gingrich, with ideas, a vision, and will fight back when the Dems say the many dumb things that they do.  What America needs is a Ronald Reagan:  clear, articulate, pushing a few big issues, staying principled, and leading rather than following.  It seems to me that many want Fred to be a Reagan, but I’m not totally sold that he would be.

Link via Drudge.

Posted in Election 2008 | 4 Comments »

Dubya Damage on Immigration… etc.

Posted by Ryan on May 29, 2007

As of this moment I’m now perfectly fine if Bush’s approval rating goes down lower than Truman, Nixon or Carter.  That’s not a good group of Presidents to be associated with, but after statements like this, it’s coming.  And if you read Newt’s statements half way through this New Yorker article he may have already “Jimmy Cartered” the Republican Party.  

Dubya said that opponents of Congress’ nonsense immigration bill “don’t want to do what’s right for America.”  He continued that opponents want to dodge the issue, while he wants to tackle it once and for all.  Sorry, George, this does a lot more damage than it fixes and is half-hearted in too many areas to indicate real change, let alone reform.  Unless, of course, that change is movement in the wrong direction. 

What’s wrong with steps?  Here’s my take:  Borders first.  Then, deport all criminal illegal aliens immediately to their country’s of origin.  Next, hit employers hard with fines that make it more expensive to hire illegals than to keep them on.  Two years later, if everyone sticks to it, we may no longer have such a big problem: the new ones can’t get in, the crime element is physically removed, and those others may leave since no one’ll hire them.  Maybe that’s not a perfect plan, but it’s phased, it hits the root of the problem, and won’t reward people for breaking our laws.  Am I smarter than those immigration lackeys in Washington or are other factors clouding their judgment?

Links via Drudge.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

Chavez Silences Speech

Posted by Ryan on May 28, 2007

Hugo Chavez’s socialist paradise chimed another dong for dictatorship yesterday when at 12 o’clock midnight, the most popular, 53 year old Radio Caracas TV station was taken over by the government.  It’s not so much that they were just anti-government, but allowed dissenting opinions to be aired without retribution.  However, they did have a part to play in rallying anti-Chavez forces the 2002 coup attempt. 

Pro-Chavez folks showed up wearing red and parroting government slogans outside RCTV yesterday.  A different fate met those supporting RCTV.  Water cannons and tear gas met protesters in the streets yesterday as the youth came out against this blatant act of media usurpation.  All employees of RCTV have been fired and will be replaced with new government apparatchiks and stooges.  We are watching totalitarianism arise piece by piece right before our eyes!  And some call Dubya a fascist?

AFP photo. 

Posted in Anything Else | Leave a Comment »

Happy Memorial Day

Posted by Ryan on May 28, 2007

While Memorial Day has become a beach holiday, “official start of summer”, a big retail sales day, and a weekend of blockbuster movies and barbecues, we sometimes forget that on this day we remember those who have fallen in the line of duty while defending our nation.  They deserve our highest honor for making the biggest, most noble sacrifice for us all.  So on behalf of all of us here at Axis of Right, we extend to all the families and comrades of our fallen soldiers our sorrow, pride and best wishes on this most solemn of holidays.  We cannot thank you enough for your sacrifice.

I took this photo last week when I was in Arlington.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | 2 Comments »

42 Hostages Found in Iraq

Posted by Ryan on May 27, 2007

Al Qaeda in Iraq had 42 prisoners that they were torturing (that’s real torture, mind you) and harming in many other ways.  Locals apparently gave the US and Iraq forces the head’s up on where they were in another example of Iraqis seeing that as long as al-Qaeda’s hanging around, US troops are too.  This has been happening quite a bit in Anbar Province recently, but this was in Diyala, a very dangerous province northeast of Baghdad where a lot of bad guys have been fleeing to since the Surge began.  Just another small victory.

Posted in The Iraq Front | Leave a Comment »

No Fun at the Jersey Shore!

Posted by Ryan on May 26, 2007

Not exactly, the shore is usually a fun place, but a series of new laws and restrictions across the tourist-haven Jersey shore has been revealed this Memorial Day weekend.  New laws restricting anything from no camels allowed to no having diarrhea in the water to no lewd sanddrawings to no digging holes all add to the “People’s Republic” mystique that surrounds Jersey’s big-government-can-solve-anything philosophy.  Add that along side those who live near the Shore who would rather not have all those pesky tourists and visitors spoiling their ocean! 

Obviously these things are gross and inappropriate, but do we need a sign to tell us some of these things?  It’s quite condescending, makes Jersey look even worse, and produces backlash.  I’m waiting for one of those “No Swimming Any Time” signs to go up.  Since they’ve connected the sun to certain forms of skin cancer, maybe they’ll ban “laying out” too! Ridiculous!  Check out the above picture.  That’s what we reclaim here in Jersey: not sand but unexploded World War I ordinances!  At least they closed that beach, right?  I’m going to watch the beach on TV this summer– it seems much safer than the shore this year!

AP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture | Leave a Comment »

More Clinton Sleaze to Come?

Posted by Ryan on May 25, 2007

Still, newsrooms around the world still think it’s a story that Bill and She Who Must Not Be Named have had some marital difficulties in the past.  However, new reports and books reported on by the UK Daily Mail indicate that Monica was not the first instance where Bill cheated on SWMNBN.  I was just as shocked as you undoubtedly are upon hearing such blasphemy!  The only thing new about this is a revelation about how close SWMNBN came to dumping the jerk back in the early 1980s, but also how closely he was about to drop her!  But, being a governor’s wife apparently meant more to her than, say, dignity!  And having the stand-in wife made dinner parties less awkward for Bill.  In the midst of her Presidential campaign, resurfacing issues like this can mean one of two things:  either they’re purposely getting the dirt out early or someone wants to knock SWMNBN off her high horse!

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Happy 30th Birthday, STAR WARS!

Posted by Ryan on May 25, 2007

Today, Star Wars turned 30!  On May 25, 1977, the movies changed forever and my childhood was full of a lot more imagination and fun!  Back then, Jimmah Carter was President, America was still reeling from the Vietnam War, the economy was stagnant and gasoline cost way too much.  Hairstyles were bad, disco was emerging and I was still cookin’ in the oven (I was born in November of that year). 

Star Wars is undeniably a mainstream sci-fi adventure franchise that deeply permeates throughout our culture and society even to this day.  For example:  

  • Everyone knows who Darth Vader is,
  • Everyone’s heard of the “Force”,  
  • Wise, Yoda is, hmmm?,
  • Nearly everyone laughs when you refer to someone as Chewbacca for the first time (sorry Rosie!), and
  • Princess Leia’s hairdo is a Halloween classic (let’s not forget the slavegirl get-up!),

just to name a few.

I remember owning the toys and having space battles every night with a Millennium Falcon whose radar dish was missing somewhere, seeing Return of the Jedi three times in the movie theater, sword fighting with my brothers using those cheap plastic yellow wiffleball bats that made light-saber sounds as we smacked each other’s hands, and thinking that Luke’s flips were the most awesome thing in the world.

But I don’t simply love Star Wars because so much of my 1980s childhood was filled with it.  Aside from the action and special effects, I have grown to appreciate the eternal archetypes that our favorite characters embody.  The young reluctant hero, the wise old guide, the evil bad guy who is deep-down a pitiful tragic figure, the world at the brink of change and the hero’s quest.  The Hero’s Quest in Star Wars fits the typical trilogy format: adventure (Star Wars), trial (The Empire Strikes Back), and redemption (Return of the Jedi).  Even the prequels add quality depth to this mythology.  I loved watching the Republic fall into chaos and seeing the transformation of that pain-in-the-neck annoying brat “Ani” in The Phantom Menace, to the arrogant, evil, yet tragic Darth Vader who destroyed the Republic and his Order for the protection of the woman he loved, yet could not save in the end. 

The cultural impact of Star Wars will continue to live on and its impact is truly too immense to touch on here, but on its 30th birthday, Uncle George really deserves a shout-out!  Sorry, I have to add a Yoda pic.

Pics from the About.com galleries.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Pop Culture | 1 Comment »

Bully Rosie Runs Away. Hasselbeck Earns Badge of Honor.

Posted by Mike on May 25, 2007

Ann Coulter once said “You must outrage the enemy. If you don’t leave liberals in a sputtering impotent rage, you’re not doing it right.” If this story is any indication, Elisabeth Hasselbeck is starting to do it right.

Rosie O’Donnell is not unique in her brand of liberalism. Uninformed on the issues and testy when challenged, O’Donnell is a classic example of a liberal bully. She’s fine when hurling insults at decent people who have the nerve to disagree but not to fight to back. Facing a target who fights back however, the bully whines, screams and pretends to be the victim. Sometimes they even run away.

Rosie O’Donnell’s problem is that she opined on a topic she knows absolutely nothing about, was mean about it, and Elisabeth fought back. At that point, she became a deer in the headlights and lashed out. Now that she has been exposed as an unarmed bully, Rosie did what many cowardly bullies do. She ran away.

Confronting obnoxious liberals always leads to some people not liking you. That’s fine though. If the people who don’t like you are nothing but obnoxious fools, then their venom is really something to be proud of. Let’s hope Elisabeth doesn’t take liberal hysteria against her personally. She should wear it as a badge of honor.

The guys on this site do not watch the View. However, Elisabeth is a fellow Rhode Islander our own age. We are proud of her today.

Posted in Politics, Pop Culture | 4 Comments »

Barry and the Banshee

Posted by Ryan on May 25, 2007

I can see the Republican campaign commercial now:

The stern music, the black and white slow-motion video of She Who Must Not Be Named looking like a beat-up dog, the newspaper articles flying up, the shrieking quotes of the banshee herself contrasting her own positions about the issue at hand:  she voted for the war, but against the troops. 

SWMNBN and Barry O’Bama were two of only 14 Senators that had the nerve, the Thursday before Memorial Day, to vote against funding the troops.  Thank God it passed easily (H:280-142; S:80-14), but what nonsense.  And they all want to be our next commander-in-chief!  This stuff writes itself sometimes.

Pic from the UK Telegraph. Link via Drudge.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics, The Iraq Front | Leave a Comment »

Al Qaeda’s Old-Fashioned Torture

Posted by Mike on May 24, 2007

Rewriting language is a cherished tradition in liberal circles. They use the tactic before elections to hide what they really believe from the American people. They use it to misrepresent their opponents’ policies to serve red meat to the freaks in their base. The tactic is so widely used that even the MSM takes part. One of the most infuriating examples of liberal newspeak is their characterization of conservative support of aggressive interrogation techniques as support of torture.

Most people once had a pretty clear idea of what constituted torture. However, this all changed once America went to war with a Republican in the White House. The need for political points required the left to carelessly throw around the term. By doing so, they effectively began to change the definition. With all due to respect to our liberal friends, I disagree with their definition. This is torture. Not putting underwear on someone’s head. Not sleep deprivation. Not humiliation.  Not discomfort.  This.

That’s not to say the U.S. should torture. The aggressiveness of interrogation techniques should increase or decrease in proportion to the imminence and severity of potential threats. Hypothetically speaking, waterboarding should not to be used to find out which detainee was snoring too loudly. On the other hand, our forces shouldn’t be too concerned with denying terrorists their full eight hours of sleep if there’s reason to believe we could obtain information about an impending terrorist attack. The acts at Abu Gharib were disturbing and uncalled for. They were not torture though. Overusing language does a disservice to the innocent people Al Qaeda wants to torture. And by torture, I mean torture.

It would be nice if the MSM would give Al Qaeda torture the same coverage it gave non-torture at Abu Gharib. Don’t hold your breath though. For an interesting read on what is torture and what is not, check out this excellent National Review editorial from 2005.

Posted in Politics, War on Terror | 2 Comments »

Bush Came Back… for a few minutes

Posted by Ryan on May 24, 2007

So, President Bush emerged from his underground bunker today and gave a press conference which included an Iraq policy statement and for a few minutes turned into 1st term strong, confident, openly proud to support George W. Bush.  I miss that Bush.  He quickly turned back into ol’ Dubya and dribbled on about the new amnesty bill, though. 

But his statement that we’ll leave Iraq if they ask us to was great!  That could be seen as a measure of victory, actually.  We installed the conditions for the formation of a government and that government, if they choose, could ask us to leave.  I’d say that’s a huge success if they Iraqi parliament actually goes through with it!  I don’t think they will for reasons I spelled out in a previous post.  Yet, all of this buildup to conditions by the summer either making or breaking our war effort seems to scream to Iran and Syria to covertly mess things up right before Petraeus’ report in September– a kind of totally obvious, manufactured media-friendly Tet Offensive.

AP photo.

Posted in Politics, The Iraq Front | Leave a Comment »

Mrs. Gutfeld Strikes Again

Posted by Mike on May 24, 2007

This clip from Red Eye is hilarious. A few episodes ago, Mrs. Gutfeld reacted to Jimmy Carter’s latest temper tantrum regarding President Bush and Tony Blair. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This woman is television gold!

Red Eye Recap video

Posted in Anything Else, Politics | 3 Comments »

No Amnesty for McCain

Posted by Mike on May 24, 2007

I withheld posting my thoughts on the latest version of McCain-Kennedy because I didn’t know what was in it. Part of reason for that was the fact the people pushing the bill weren’t publicizing it.  What I have heard since then has led me to conclude that this bill is a sham that shouldn’t see the light of day.

The major problem with this bill is enforcement. Amnesty opponents have consistently held to the view that there should be no immigration deal until the borders are secured. Supporters of “comprehensive immigration reform” have long claimed to share this view. They appeared to be vindicated when President Bush signed legislation last October creating an 854 mile double fence along the southern border.  At that point, they finally seemed to have some credibility on enforcement. This credibility was short-lived however.

Since the Democrats won the last election, President Bush has shown that he does not really believe in enforcing the border. First he dragged his feet on enforcement by constructing less than one percent of the fence. Then he backtracked on enforcement by submitting a budget which funded only half of the 854 mile fence. Now, McCain-Kennedy codifies the President’s backtracking by requiring only half of the previously approved fence to be built as a condition for the temporary worker program. To paraphrase Duncan Hunter (THIS IS AN AUDIO LINK), the bill cuts his fence in half and counts that as border enforcement. Moreover, the bill leaves many smuggling lanes along the Arizona border unfenced. McCain-Kennedy will not enforce the border.

Lack of enforcement alone is good reason to kill the legislation.  The tax amnesty citizens will never have and the “non-amnesty” that other lawbreakers will never receive on top of that doesn’t help either.

It’s bad enough when Republican leaders conspire with Ted Kennedy to shove amnesty down our throats. It’s quite another when they apply a new tone when speaking to liberals but not when speaking of their own supporters. John McCain has once again betrayed the party he thinks is going to vote for him. Come primary day, I won’t be voting to give him amnesty for this stunt.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 3 Comments »

John Edwards’ Warped Mind

Posted by Ryan on May 23, 2007

John Edwards is an ass.  Or is he an ostrich?  As a Democrat, he’s naturally prone to believe that the “War on Terror” is a bumper-sticker slogan and not a strategy.  Only She Who Must Not Be Named had possibly sounded more ridiculous–of course after the shock of finding out about Bill’s trysts… in 1998!  What’s amazing is that while all (I guess now, “most”) of the Democrat frontrunners believe that there is War on Terror, many Democrats running for President aren’t sure.  Rudy responded to Edward’s ridiculous statement by simply stating that whether or not the Dems believe there’s a war on terror or not, the enemy seems to think so and is actually fighting it against us.  The ol’ 2004 Ostrich Brigade is back!

What kind of party doesn’t seem to think we’re at war with a clandestine group of international terrorists bent on our demise?  The same party whose philosophy all but ignored terrorism for eight years under Bill Clinton!  Terrorism was just a crime to them with high-profile individuals to hunt down, not large, transnational groups to break up and destroy.  What I hear from Democrats like Edwards is the same ol’ 1990s dribble: a hidebound look at a world where we felt innocent and ignored the obvious signs in retrospect, all the while danger was lurking.  We can’t afford Edward’s thinking at the top eschelons of government.

Posted in Election 2008, War on Terror | 7 Comments »

NBA Draft Lottery Tonight

Posted by Mike on May 22, 2007

I just want to go on record. If New Orleans wins tonight’s NBA Draft lottery, it is rigged. Go Celtics!

UPDATE: Celtics get the fifth pick. Damn. The first pick goes to . . . Portland.

Posted in Sports | Leave a Comment »

WiFi High Five!

Posted by Ryan on May 22, 2007

Finally, there’s a report out there that claims the technology I use every day is NOT going to kill me in a hundred different ways!  Yet another British study was done to test the problems of modern technology, this time questioning the methodology of the studies used to claim that we’re all gonna die from cell phones and wi-fi.  While cell phones still might be evil, wi-fi Internet connections (like the ones I’m using to write this post) pose a considerably smaller risk of harmful radiation exposure than my cell phone does.  In fact, one study suggested that sitting in a wi-fi hotspot for a year equals about the same radiation exposure as 20 minutes on a cell phone!  If I had a wi-fi router implanted in my hand, I’d still be more likely to get cancer from moderate cell phone use.  Let’s just wait and see what the next study has to say–these things keep changing. 

Posted in Anything Else, Culture | Leave a Comment »

Troop Supplies for a Minimum Wage?

Posted by Ryan on May 21, 2007

This seems like reality.  The Dems on the Hill are in the process of giving in (finally!) on the war finding issue… if the President is willing to deal with a minimum wage hike… which he absolutely should not do if there is not small business breaks to ease in their worker’s artificial wage increase.

My philosophical problem:  why can’t the Dems just fund our troops in the middle of an operation in the middle of a war without having some string attached?  This is getting quite ridiculous when you think about it!  They can’t just wait until September, when the surge is complete and has been working a while to play their petty political games.  Their Moonbat fringe might not have the patience in that case.  Hopefully people are noticing their harmful obstructionism. 

Posted in Politics, The Iraq Front | 1 Comment »

Oleg D. Kalugin, Spy Man

Posted by Ryan on May 19, 2007

Yesterday I had the pleasure of hearing a lecture from Major General Oleg Kalugin, KGB (Retired) at the International Spy Museum in Washington DC through the American Institute for History Education (AIHE) grant through my school district.  Not only was the International Spy Museum a really cool experience, but Oleg’s lecture was absolutely ground-shaking!

His credentials are numerous, as you can read in the link above, but in short, he was KGB since the 1950s, was Vladimir Putin’s boss, and was an insider against the KGB-hardliner coup of Gorbachev in 1991.  This point is why Putin considers his old boss a traitor and had him convicted to 15 years in prison in absentia. Oleg applied for and received political asylum in the USA and is now a citizen (geez, they’ll give citizenship to anyone!).  The picture below is of Oleg circling the tank that Yeltsin spoke from that fateful August day in 1991, while Yeltsin’s on the other side speaking out against the KGB coup:

It was an absolutely amazing experience, but these are some tidbits from my notes of his lecture that shocked me:

  • By 1953 the Soviets had 327 spies in the US government, while we literally had 1 in Moscow!
  • Oleg recruited American spies often and heavily from New York’s Columbia University while he was a journalism student there in the late 1950s!
  • The Soviets tried to bad-mouth the USA in the propaganda war.  The KGB started the false rumor in 1964 that the CIA helped to kill JFK, that the US military invented AIDS as a biological weapon, and that babies were being stolen by American parents in Latin America to use their body-parts for American children.  All of which successfully harmed US relations at home with government distrust, in Africa and south of the border, respectively!
  • The true kicker was his personal exposure to documents, witnesses and KGB spies which stated that Enrico Fermi, Niels Bohr, and Klaus Fuchs were all Manhattan Project physicists that passed nuclear information to the Soviets.  So did the Rosenbergs– without any doubt despite how some in America like to wash it over! 
  • Also, the biggest bombshell was Oleg’s reports that J. Robert Oppenheimer himself, lead director of the Manhattan Project, was consciously and willingly passing nuclear secrets to the Soviets during World War II– way more intel than any other source they had inside, including the Rosenbergs, whose contribution was minimal when compared to Oppenheimer’s leaks.

Truly an amazing experience.  By the way, he really doesn’t like Putin–with good reason!

First pic from Wikipedia, taken by Cindy Kwitkoff in 2005.  Second pic from CI Centre.

Posted in Russia | 2 Comments »

Jimmy Carter and American Allies

Posted by Mike on May 19, 2007

For years, liberals went on and on about how George W. Bush is a terrible President because he alienates our allies. In fact, liberal concern over making other countries like us was so dear to them that it became one of the centerpieces of their 2004 campaign. How things have changed. Today Jimmy Carter slammed Tony Blair for his decision to stand with America in the war against Iraq.

These liberals are starting to confuse me. Do they support strong relations with our allies or is it fair game to insult them? That question might be not be fair though because now that I think about it, perhaps Carter has been consistent after all. It’s not that he can’t make up his mind about how to deal with our allies. Maybe he just has a very different notion of who are allies are. I get it now.

Cuban TV photo via CNN

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments »

Pelosi’s Attempted Power Grab Explained

Posted by Mike on May 17, 2007

The story was all over the internet yesterday but no one offered a decent explanation of what Nancy Pelosi was really up to. To their credit, most blogs covering Pelosi’s attempted power grab made it clear that the House Democrats wanted to repeal a rule which has been in place since 1822 to stifle debate in the House in Representatives. What they didn’t adequately explain was the significance of the Motion to Recommit and why Pelosi needed to eliminate it. Well, one blogger now has.

This piece on Betsy’s Page provides an excellent description of the legislative tool the Democrats tried to destroy and the context which explains why now was the time they needed to do it. Basically, Nancy Pelosi tried to write the Democrats’ only effective campaign strategy into the House Rules. That is of course, hiding what they really believe from the American people. Betsy’s take is definitely worth a look.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

It’s Official: Dems Dodge Fox!

Posted by Ryan on May 16, 2007

The Dems have snubbed Fox News in their current schedule of debates!  Six debates taking place in the traditional old media, liberal spots: CNN, NBC/MSDNC, ABC, and CBS.  It’s funny because there’s no way they’d get more exposure on CNN or MSDNC than they would on Fox News.  So, is their point to have exposure or preach to the choir?  They’re hiding and dodging the most watched cable news channel; perceived Fox bias or not, it’s a petty move.  That tells me they feel weak… and that the DNC follows Bill Clinton’s directives to boycott Fox since that Chris Wallace interview last September where BJ Clinton had to answer tough questions.  Dems don’t like tough questions.

Link via Drudge.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Huckabee, Fred, and Newt Win Second Republican Debate

Posted by Mike on May 16, 2007

The following is this undecided conservative’s thoughts on tonight’s Republican debate in South Carolina.

The winners of tonight’s debate in terms of the big picture were the two conservatives who weren’t even there: Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich. Of those on stage, Mike Huckabee was the clear winner although Duncan Hunter also delivered a strong performance. The biggest losers were John McCain and Ron Paul.

The on-stage winner of tonight’s debate was Mike Huckabee. His answers were both sophisticated and in line with what Republican voters look for in a President. The three most important issues in a Republican primary are the war on terror, the right to life and taxes. Huckabee addressed all three in an impressive manner. He admitted upfront that he supported a tax increase as Governor of Arkansas, but he also pointed out that he cut taxes 94 times. Moreover, he gave an eloquent defense of the right to life which included a comparison between America’s respect for life and radical Islam’s disrespect for life. Huckabee clearly articulated what we support, why we support it, and the stakes in supporting those values in the overall war on terror. He also delivered the money quote of the evening: “We’ve had a Congress that spent money like John Edwards at a beauty shop.” Nice!

The frontrunners on the other hand were unimpressive, especially John McCain. McCain stumbled several times. First, he delivered the lie of the debate when he exclaimed “I have never supported amnesty.” He then compounded his problem with his response to Brit Hume’s hypothetical regarding a President’s response to a terrorist with knowledge of an impending attack. In that hypothetical which he described as a “one in a million” scenario, McCain seemed more concerned about world opinion than anything else. Wrong answer Senator. These answers coupled with Chris Wallace’s mention of McCain’s positions on the Bush tax cuts, McCain-Feingold, gay marriage and amnesty tells me McCain has a lot of explaining to do.

Rudy Giuliani also had some explaining to do after digging himself into a hole during the MSDNC debate. Early on in tonight’s debate, Rudy kept digging. Confronted with a comparison of abortion and slavery, Giuliani argued that two evils are different. I agree. Both are evil, but abortion gives us more fatalities. Fortune smiled on Giuliani however, when Ron Paul decided to show the world his Rosie O’Donnell impersonation. After Paul asserted that America caused 9-11, Rudy ripped him a new one by lumping Paul’s theory together with some of the other “absurd” theories he heard over the years. In my opinion, Giuliani’s response drew attention away from his pathetic abortion answer and toward his pathetic opponent. By hitting Paul’s softball out of the park, Giuliani turned defeat into breaking even.

With a solid debate performance already under his belt and two conservative rivals on the sidelines, Mitt Romney had a golden opportunity to add to his momentum. He did not succeed. Although Romney didn’t exactly stumble in this debate, his performance was not as strong as the one he delivered on MSDNC. He gave some good answers though. He explained that a civilized society supports life, implied that gay rights and gay marriage are different issues and didn’t wimp out on the terror attack hypothetical. His answers were fine, but less than stellar. Maybe it was because Chrissy Matthews wasn’t there to serve as the perfect foil. Maybe it was because the questions were better. Whatever the reason, Romney didn’t shine. Like Giuliani, he broke even.

Most of the second tier candidates were less than spectacular. Let’s take them one at a time.

Jim Gilmore: Gilmore was inspiring at times, especially on the War on Terror. However, his reluctance to name the opponents he was trying to attack until tomorrow when they wouldn’t be able to respond struck me as cowardly.

Sam Brownback: He was solid on life issues, but his views on illegal immigration are a bit troubling. In addition, his delivery was quite boring.

Tom Tancredo: We agree with the Congressman. We’re looking for a Jack Bauer too.

Duncan Hunter: This veteran turned Congressman came in second place tonight. Tom Tancredo said he was looking for a Jack Bauer. Duncan Hunter actually sounded like Jack Bauer when he explained that his reaction to a hypothetical situation in which a terrorist had information regarding an imminent attack would be “a one minute conversation.” After two strong debate performances, I still see Hunter as a potential Vice President.

Tommy Thompson: He was there. I think. They should give his spot in the next debate to Fred Thompson.

Ron Paul: Paul may be pretty good on domestic issues but this hippie crap is getting a bit old. September 11 was not our fault. How many times does he need to told that he is running in the wrong primary? The GOP should give his spot in the next debate to Newt Gingrich.

On the media front, I must say that Fox News did an excellent job of covering this debate with one exception. Wendell Goler should not have turned down Romney’s proposal which would have given each candidate thirty seconds to rhetorically beat Ron Paul like a pinata. Other than that, the coverage was superb. Omitting stupid questions like the ones Chrissy Matthews asked in the first debate was greatly appreciated. Unlike MSDNC, Fox News realized that the purpose of this debate was to inform Republican voters about the Republican candidates running in the Republican primary.

This Republican was most impressed with Mike Huckabee. His in-depth answers on the most important issues of our time and needling of John Edwards stole the show. Unfortunately for Huckabee, he is currently a member of what many call the “second tier.” Because of this status, he will need to deliver several more performances like tonight if he hopes to climb up into the first tier.

Giuliani, McCain and Romney had a golden opportunity to put the squeeze on their absent rivals but were unable to do so. Because of this, Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich were also winners tonight. They shouldn’t take much comfort in this victory however. Sitting out may have been an effective strategy for Thompson and Gingrich tonight, but that won’t be the case much longer. Those two need to step up and soon.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 3 Comments »

Salinger’s Debate LiveBlog

Posted by Sal on May 15, 2007

 My thoughts on the Republican debate as it happens.  Note that all quotes below are approximate paraphrases, as I typed them as I heard them: 

  • 9:09:  Brownback’s Iraq position is still troubling to me.  He sounds more like a Democrat on Iraq than a Republican. 
  • 9:13:  Best question of the night by Chris Wallace to Ron Paul:  “Are you running in for President in the wrong party?”
  • 9:17:  Even the internet questions are more intelligent on Fox than they were on MSDNC.
  • 9:23:  Line of the night, so far:  “We’ve had a congress that’s spent money like John Edwards at a beauty shop,” Mike Huckabee. 
  • 9:29:  Ron Paul strikes me as slightly unstable.  
  • 9:31:  Duncan Hunter has the best solution I’ve heard yet to try to keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S..  Eliminate taxes on Manufacturing. 
  • 9:33:  Observation from Mrs. Sal:  “That bell is a lot less obnoxious than “Time…  Time… Time…”
  • 9:38:  Gilmore picked on the biggest weakness of Romney, the quasi-socialist mandatory healthcare plan that the state of MA implemented under his watch. 
  • 9:44:  Brownback’s support of Comprehensmive Immigration Reform along with his views in Iraq have really caused me to re-evaluate my views of him since he began his run. 
  • 9:48:  Giuliani’s abortion argument compared to slavery holds no weight.  He stated that no one believes in slavery, but people disagree on abortion.  What he forgets is that people at the time of slavery did believe that it was a good thing. 
  • 9:50:  Brownback’s positon on abortion is probably the most logical out of the entire group.  Some esteem for him has been renewed on my part. 
  • 9:53:  Romney’s abortion answer was somewhat weak. 
  • 9:57:  Romney’s point on campaign finance reform and the subsequent applause, along with McCain’s attack on his changing views was a perfect example of why Fred Thomson’s poll numbers are so high, even though he’s not running.
  • 9:59:  Line of the night #2, from Giuliani:  “Thanks to Congressman Tancredo for calling me soft on anything.  That’s the first time I’ve been called soft on anything in twenty years.  It may help my reputation.”
  • 10:01:  Congressman Tancredo, what is a “Case of the Slows?”
  • 10:02:  Ron Paul, where did you come from?  “There is a longstanding anti-war position within the Republican Party?”  Since when?
  • 10:04:  Ron Paul is giving legitimacy to the terrorists.  Giulian’s response was brilliant, talking about how it was NOT our fault that we were attacked on 9/11, and that Paul should apologize. Debates often aren’t really “debates” anymore.  This exchange was the closest thing I’ve seen to a real debate in a while. 
  • 10:10:  Duncan Hunter on Global Warming:  “We need to decrease our dependency on foreign oil, not just because it is a global warming issue, but because it is a national security issue.
  • 10:16:  The torture issue.  McCain’s torture answer was sickening.  So world opinion matters more than safety.  Giuliani’s answer was convincing on doing what needed to be done, and Romney’s answer showed a strong Presidential anti-terror policy. 
  • 10:19:  These scenarios are good questions.  Anyone want to take a guess what the Democrat candidates would say if they were asked these scenario questions?
  • 10:26: Line of the night #3 and #4, Tancredo:  “I’m looking for Jack Bauer at that point” in response to the hypotheticals.  He made a much more serious point when he said, “When we go under, Western Civilization goes under.”
  • 10:29:  Romney is very polished.  His answer on what he disagreed with the Republican base on was as good of an answer he could have possibly given to that question. 

Post-debate:  I liked the format, but there was no clear winner this time.  One of the problems with so many candidates is that each one only got asked about a dozen questions.  For more in-depth analysis, I’ll defer to Mike’s post-debate analysis, coming soon. 

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Leave a Comment »

She’s Not Mother Teresa Either

Posted by Mike on May 15, 2007

Practicing Catholics are beginning to grow restless about the recent She Who Must Not Named campaign video using images of the candidate with the Blessed Mother Teresa. CNSNews has an excellent piece regarding one Catholic group’s reaction to the video, especially in light of the two women’s divergent views on the issue of abortion. The Curt Jester takes this a step further, comparing Mother Teresa’s harsh words on abortion with the candidate’s position.

It is becoming increasingly clear that She Who Must Not Be Named possess all the audacity of her husband’s campaign with none of the political savvy. At this early stage of the campaign, she has already compared herself to Margaret Thatcher, and now she wants to associate herself with a beatified hero who abhorred one of the centerpieces of her campaign. That takes a lot of nerve.

It is also a bad campaign move because the harder the Democrat tries to draw comparisons with women far greater than herself, the more she draws comparisons with women far greater than herself. That is not a winning formula.

Reuters photo

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Leave a Comment »

The Democrat’s Poll Position

Posted by Ryan on May 15, 2007

The latest round of Gallup polls are in and for the first time since the Dems took over, they are less popular than President Bush with a whopping 29% to Bush’s steady 33% approval.  Scott Rasmussen, who’s been consistently polling the President’s job approval rating by taking an average of a three-day rolling poll for over six years, has Bush around 38%.  But, anyway, to those weak-kneed Republicans, this is an opportunity staring right at you to stop the nonsense of being Democrat-light– that worked sooo well in the sixties and seventies, didn’t it?  To the Dems:  You are renowned populist poll-whores, so if you’re suddenly discovering “principle” and continue to obstruct the war funding into the summer, you’ll make our job a lot easier next year!

Pic from Sean Robins’ Blog.

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Fred Thompson Has No Time for Michael Moore

Posted by Mike on May 15, 2007

How the mighty have fallen.  Amazingly desperate for publicity after each of his films have been exposed as cut and paste jobs with no basis in fact, Michael Moore challenged Fred Thompson to a debate over Cuba.  Apparently, the comic book guy is a little upset over criticisms he received for his allegedly illegal trip to Cuba while Fred Thompson puffs away on the only product worth anything from the tin-pot dictatorship with impunity.

I’m slightly surprised that Thompson bothered to respond to someone in the fast lane toward irrelevance.  That said, Thompson’s response should earn him a few points with the base.  It puts a liberal windbag in his place and does so in a manner appropriate for so someone unimportant.  It kind of reminds me of when the Vice President took John Edwards to the woodshed.

Link via Drudge

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments »