Axis of Right

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

Archive for August, 2007

John Warner To Retire

Posted by Mike on August 31, 2007

Senator John Warner of Virginia announced today that he will not seek re-election in 2008. Given Virginia’s recent willingness to elect Democrats who successfully pretend to be moderate (Despite what you may have heard on MSNBC, Virginia is NOT becoming another Massachusetts), this is not good news. To make matters almost as bad, the Republican most mentioned as Warner’s likely successor is moderate Rep. Tom Davis, a man who is almost as annoying for his narcissism as he is for his political views.

Even assuming the worst, MSNBC’s math still misses the mark.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 2 Comments »

McCain’s Desparate Video

Posted by Ryan on August 31, 2007

Arizona Senator John McCain, who I affectionately refer to as Gollum (or Smeagol depending on the context), has allowed his campaign to release a video highlighting his service in Vietnam, which includes interrogation film while he was in a North Vietnamese prison.  The nearly 12-minute video is sure to show up in pieces as campaign commercials for the next few months in key states. 

What I’m wondering is why McCain needs to highlight his exemplory military service when that’s the one thing everybody already knows about him:  his well-publicized book, the incessant MSM fawning all over him about it every chance they get since 1999, his 2004 RNC speech, his 2000 Presidential campaign which highlighted all these things to contrast his service record over that of Bush’s, etc.  Desparation is my opinion on the matter.  He’s been falling in the polls most of the year, usually about fourth nowadays with Mike Huckabee hot on his trail.  Republicans don’t generally like him because he’s unpredictable, a “maverick” running for the position of standard-bearer, and way out of touch with average Republicans on the borders.  This latest attempt to revive his campaign may bring a few more people out to vote for him, but that’s it, especially with Fred Thompson slated to enter the race soon (maybe).

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 1 Comment »

Big Brother 8’s Problems are Getting Noticed

Posted by Ryan on August 30, 2007

This CNN-ran Associated Press story finally lets the mainstream know what former BB8 watchers like me have known for six weeks:  the show’s producer, Allison Grodner, is acting like a shrewd ratings shill for CBS, playing up an anti-Semetic remark from Amber and downplaying the emotional and sometimes physical abuse of Dick on the rest of the House, amongst other things which may include rigging the voting. 

All of those, especially the last allegation, are why I refuse to watch the rest of the season.  It is evident from the show’s editing and the AP story that Dick draws in ratings, so he must be kept, and “America’s Player” is their gimmick, so he must be kept, when it is clear that in any other season both of them would have been voted out already.  Season 6 had all the cool players (minus Jedi Janie) voted out three weeks before the show’s finale.  Ratings be damned! That’s how the show is supposed to work.  It’s a game.  I’m hoping that someone sues when the show has concluded.

CBS photo.

Posted in Media Bias, Reality Television | Leave a Comment »

“Active Denial System” Denied by Pentagon

Posted by Ryan on August 30, 2007

The Pentagon has denied the use of the “Active Denial System” (a 21st Century ray-gun) in Iraq citing that it might be construed as a torture device!  The Marines have been screaming for this crowd-control device since October of 2004, and some military officials call its lack of deployment “a kind of a national scandal” given the lives it could have saved.   Two reasons are cited in the article as to why this has not yet been deployed:  fallout from Abu Graib (thanks again, Mary Mapes, for continuing to get people killed by your overzealous reporting) and that it’s cheap (R&D was only about $62 million), meaning it’s not as sexy as the larger, ass-kicking weapons that cost billions. 

So you know, the “ADS” gives the target the sense that their skin is on fire without killing or maiming the person in any significant way.  No bullets, no flares, just a really, really effective crowd dispersal system that according to testimony, would have prevented tragedies all over Iraq including in Fallujah, 2003.  Its microwave beam singes off 1/64th of your skin, which is like putting on and wearing starchy clothes all day, but it does it all over your body instantaneously, giving you the sense that your skin is on fire with no visible sign of attack during a normal burst.  It can kill you if you’re exposed too long, but the thought is that it hurts so much people will get out of the way.

So, once again, political correctness is putting our soldiers in danger and aggrevating situations on the ground that do not require it.  People are dying because the Pentagon has a p.r. issue with a life saving device that could be construed as a torture device to our enemies.  So I must ask:  Is tear gas a torture device as it suffocates those in its cloud?  How about truncheons which are used to beat people, spilling their blood?  What about waterhoses that can rip bark off of a tree and are pointed directly at people?  Do the elites inside the Pentagon even ask themselves these questions, especially when our soldiers are in harms way?  This is one symptom of why Americans are frustrated with the Iraq War.  We have the ablility to kick ass, but we’re not, giving the impression that the Pentagon and the Administration don’t truly care about saving soldier’s lives, and may be using political judgments on weapons unnecessarily.  Our government continues to make this case for the war’s critics.

Defense Department photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front | 1 Comment »


Posted by Mike on August 29, 2007

The Larry Craig incident has sent the MSM’s collective pulse racing. Evidently they are really excited that the scandal will help their favorite party win their 60th Senate seat in the next election. Although it is plausible that Craig’s political future is in jeopardy, I think a math lesson is in order.

Even assuming that every one of this article’s assumptions is correct and that the Republican Party somehow loses the Idaho seat, there is still no way the Democrats win 60 seats. The article correctly points out that the Democrats effectively hold 51 seats at the moment. The article then claims that six Republicans are vulnerable in 2008. Okay everyone, 51 plus 6 is how much? 57. Now add Craig’s seat. That makes 58. Unless my math is wrong 58 does not equal 60. Dream on MSNBC.

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics | 3 Comments »

Katrina, the Aftermath: Two Years Later

Posted by Ryan on August 29, 2007

Hurricane Katrina, the most expensive hurricane in American history, wreaked its havoc on the Gulf Coast about two years ago today.  I say “about” because two days before the hurricane everybody on the weather news was saying it was going to be a disaster, especially if it hit around Lake Pontchartrain and surged over the levees.  Many people left New Orleans and the Gulf Coast because Katrina was a predicted to be a Category 4 upon landfall.  Bill Sammon notes in his book, Strategery, that Rush Limbaugh said before it hit New Orleans that if it does hit directly and there’s a huge disaster, then [the MSM] find some way to blame this on Republicans or the Bush Administration.  Voila!

No one thought that the levees would break.  Around 1800 people died across five states because of Katrina.  Thousands more were permanently dislocated to Houston or other parts of the nation.  New Orleans is still struggling, though its population is increasing 4-7 thousand every month, while Mississippi is moving forward as well. 

New Orleans had huge and unique problems, being under sea-level is one big issue.  Inept local and state governments contributed to the problems, and an impatient public lashing out at the National Guard made the scene political, when it needed not have been.  People wanted answers and a scapegoat, ie- Michael Brown, then George W. Bush.  Some even say (I being one of them) that it was the whole Hurricane Katrina affair that propelled Bush to his current lame-duck status.  Since then, $114 billion has been given to the area (a disaster area the size of Great Britain and Ireland).  Some of it was misallocated or just gone missing, which is the Federal Government’s fault since it’s our money.  But progress is being made everyday. 

The victims who are still in New Orleans complain that America has forgotten them.  I can empathize a little.  What was 9/11 to someone in Seattle, San Francisco, or even New Orleans?  I lived in Rhode Island at the time.  It seems like 9/11 was kind of like a natural disaster to them:  horrible unexpected tragedy, suffering that requires donation, assistance and prayer, as well as insight into preventing something similar from happening to them in the future.  When I hear about Katrina damage and the broken levees my heart goes out to those people, but it’s thousands of miles away and two years later– how much sympathy and pain should I still be feeling?  To them it’s real.  Living just outside the New York area, terrorism is a very real threat, and each year I know of students in my school who lost relatives at the World Trade Center on 9/11.  One has to adjust, persevere and move on.

AP photo.  NOAA map.

Posted in Culture, Politics | 1 Comment »

Mookie’s Mahdi Mayhem Muted

Posted by Ryan on August 29, 2007

Muqtada “Mookie” al Sadr’s Shiite militia group the Mahdi Army, a militia funded by Iran to harrangue Coalition forces and Sunnis in general, has called a six-month ceasefire to reorganize, “rehabilitate,” and regroup.  In the interim, they won’t be attacking the US or Coalition forces.  That’s nice of them, but there has to be something else going on than a simple unilateral disarming and cessation of violence. 

The sudden change in their mission is puzzling.  Yet:  the US leaves dozens of Mahdi forces dead everytime they engage us, local hospitals in the Baghdad region don’t admit people hurt in Mahdi clashes to their emergency rooms, their funding from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is probabaly drying up since the IRG is feeling a financial crunch, the Surge is working in areas where the Shiite Mahdi Army has tried to stir things up since February 2006, and opposing Shiite militias are fighting back against Mahdi influence. 

Perhaps all of these things are catching up with Mookie and his merry band of Shiite revenge squads.  Either way, this summer was supposed to see a new “Tet” from Iran and the militias, but instead, Iran’s feeling the financial squeeze, France is threatening to bomb them if necessary and the largest Shiite militia Iran finds in Iraq needs to rethink its approach or face extinction.   

AP photo.

Posted in The Iraq Front | Leave a Comment »

College Football and the Simpsons

Posted by Mike on August 28, 2007

With the kickoff to the new college football season only days away, I figured this oldie and goodie is also timely.  The Notre Dame and Boston College comparison alone makes it worth the read.

Posted in Sports | 1 Comment »

Mitt Romney, Larry Craig and Rapid Response

Posted by Mike on August 28, 2007

Mitt Romney helped his campaign today by turning a potentially embarrassing situation to his advantage. Before news of Larry Craig’s “There’s Something About Mary” audition, the Idaho Senator was serving as Romney’s campaign chairman. Naturally, Romney’s Republican opponents were ready to pounce, but Romney’s rapid response should squash any negative consequences.

Rather than defending the Senator or dryly admitting a mistake, Romney quickly condemned the Senator’s moral lapse and compared him to other perverts like Mark Foley and Bill Clinton. In addition to sending a message to Republican voters that he values morality, Romney’s statement shows an aptitude in the art of rapid response. With She Who Must Not Be Named resurrecting her husband’s infamous smear machine, effective rapid response will be a necessity in the upcoming general election. Any candidate who is incapable of effectively responding to negative news in real time is a candidate who could easily hand over the White House to the Democrats.

Whatever his other flaws may be, it is clear that Mitt Romney would not neglect his PR duties in the event he is nominated. That is something the GOP should keep in mind.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Larry Craig’s Indiscretion

Posted by Ryan on August 28, 2007

Conservative Idaho Senator Larry Craig is not having a very good week.  Allegations from a June incident have surfaced and it doesn’t look good.  Rather than go through all the details, suffice it to say that he should behave himself better in airport bathrooms from now on– one never knows if there’s a cop in the next stall who isn’t cool with your public sexual advances.  Nor should you brag when caught that you’re an esteemed member of the Senate, because suddenly that doesn’t mean as much at that point to the complaining officer. 

He’s already gone in front of a judge and paid his fine, but do we need more deviant sexual behavior from Republican members of Congress, with Mark Foley finally out of the news and our consciousness?  No.  Yet, the Dems are in on this kind of stuff too, but they seem not to mind when embarassing sexual exploits become news (and they still wonder why they won’t get the God vote).  This may hurt Craig’s career, or it may not.  Only the people of Idaho and MSM harping can be the judge now.

Posted in Anything Else, Politics | 1 Comment »

America is Too Fat!!!

Posted by Ryan on August 28, 2007

The Trust For America’s Health (TFAH) monitors the health of various states as a way to raise awareness for, among other issues, America’s obesity problem.  According to their findings, Colorado is the slimmest state, while Mississippians (pdf) are just about ready to walk around with tuba players behind them.  Yet, all states have shown an increase in the percentage of obese people, including the always doom-laden increase in childhood obesity rates– children don’t feed themselves, though, so  parents need to stop spoiling their kids and while encouraging a sedentary lifestyle in front of the TV or computer screen.  We’re not just talking about America becoming more “big-boned” every year, but our tonnage and flab is increasing at a rate that will crush our health care system in the future. 

However, the TFAH concludes in their study that government policies have failed to decrease the public’s waistline.  Of course they’ve failed!  Whenever one trusts the government to change cultural and/or social patterns it will fail.  But the TFAH finds that MORE government involvement on all levels can help!  Good luck with that.  I’m sorry, but being fat is the new smoking in this regard:  you know smoking’s going to kill you so don’t start crying if you start now and get cancer later, just like eating fattening foods and sitting on your butt all day is going to make you fat, and thereby increase the likelihood of dying young.  Don’t come crying and attempt to coerce my government to use my money to force you to put the Big Mac down! 

Yet, if a local town or School Board wants to impose its own restrictions on food or create wellness programs in phys ed or health class, then that’s different, because the more local the government, the more it will reflect the direct will of the people in that area.  If TFAH wants to work with private companies and individual towns and cities, it’s their prerogative too, and probably the best route for this group and this issue.  A grassroot stigma and information campaign might do the trick in the long run.  However, getting the feds involved is only going to encourage average Joe Fatman to acquiesce to the idea that Nanny Goverment will come to save the day anyway, while doing little about his own waistline!  TFAH needs to start with Mississippi… and quick!

Posted in Culture, Pop Culture | Leave a Comment »

Labour Revolt Over EU Constitution

Posted by Mike on August 27, 2007

For some time now, Gordon Brown has been risking his Labour party’s post-Blair bounce by arrogantly insisting that the UK adopt the EU Constitution without a referendum despite Labour’s most recent election manifesto promising one.  Until now, Labour’s worst case scenario resulting from their broken promise was the creation of an issue for the Conservatives to hammer at the next election. Things are much worse for Labour now.

According to the Telegraph, 120 Labour MPS are in revolt, demanding that Brown keep their party’s election promise.  This is a major test for Brown.  Unlike in the US, where party revolts are merely embarassing, losing a vote in the House of Commons can topple a government, leading to a nearly immediate election conducted in the aftermath of the governing party’s recent embarassment.  Brown will probably avoid this scenario.

Gordon Brown is probably savvy enough to weather this storm, either by fulfilling Labour’s promise to hold a referendum or by dropping the idea of an EU Constitution.  Hopefully, he’ll choose the latter.

Posted in UK Politics | Leave a Comment »

“Opus” of Political Correctness

Posted by Ryan on August 27, 2007

Berkeley Breathed’s cartoon strip “Opus” was striken from Sunday’s Washington Post and other papers (probably syndicates) because it had the audacity to knock radical Islam in a satirical way.  Apparently, when shown the cartoon, a few Muslims on staff had an “emotional” response to the cartoon so the execs chose to strike it from the paper.  Some Muslims recoiled over the fact that the cartoon mixes a sexual innuendo in a cartoon where Islam is a theme.  Oh boy, load up the martyrdom vests, the Crusades are here! 

However, in what can only be called a ridiculous double standard, the Post ran an “Opus” cartoon last week where the girl, Lola, knocked the late Reverend Jerry Falwell.  I wonder if those same execs at the Post believe that Christians might have an “emotional” response to their religion being satirized?  Do they even ask?  Why does it seem that Islam gets a pass from the satirists pen, while other groups can be knocked and diminished?  In America, we don’t get murdered for our political points of view on religion– this isn’t Denmark yet.

These kinds of controversies created by media types only serve to aggravate both sides of what should be an open dialogue on a serious issue.  We satirize things in America.  That’s a part of our culture that we all have to live with.  It’s that whole free speech thing.  Radical Islam (roughly about 1% of all Muslims, which is still millions of people) wants to destroy America, forcefully convert Christians, wipe out Israel, and eliminate all non-Islamic Civilization.  I think we should be able to discuss these things in an open forum, which (to the chagrin of some) includes political cartoons.

The Washington Post Writers Group cartoon.

Posted in Culture, Media Bias, War on Terror | Leave a Comment »

Alberto Gonzales Resigns

Posted by Ryan on August 27, 2007

Embattled Attorney General and long-time Bush friend Alberto Gonzales has tendered his resignation this morning amid endless investigation and controversy.  He will stay on until September 17.  Solicitor General Paul Clement will serve as his replacement until a new one can be found.  Alberto Gonzales dug his own grave on this one.  Every member of the President’s Administration “serves at the pleasure of the President.”  Simple and long-standing precedent.  Had Gonzales stuck to this statement from the beginning of this Democrat witch-hunt rather than admit that those eight fired US attorneys had done something wrong and he didn’t want to get into it, he might still have his job and we’d have moved onto another in a slew of Democrat investigations into whatever.  The press was fueling the flames and the Democrats could smell blood and weakness from the Administration.  RINOs like Arlen Specter didn’t help either, jumping on the bandwagon (that’s what happens, Mr. Bush, when you support a Specter over a Toomey!). 

The Attorney General’s post is unfortunately a political post and Gonzales needed to defend himself and the Administration better.  All allegations of wrong-doing, 1000s of pages of documents, 100s of emails, dozens of witnesses could not find anything against Gonzales, yet he’s the one resigning.  Having been abandoned by the Administration early and using the August recess as cover, Gonzales leaves permanently marred by the Democrat witch-hunt and with a long-time friend in the President who didn’t really help.  By the way, the Dems have vowed to continue their investigation.

AP photo.

Posted in Judicial Watch, Politics | 2 Comments »

His / Hers and ….

Posted by Ryan on August 26, 2007

You can’t make this stuff up!  The University of Vermont has installed “gender neutral restrooms” in the new student center at about $2500 a pop.  These include a toilet, a sink, a shower and a lockable door.  Well, one problem solved only creates a new one sometimes.  Some trans-gendered students (by the way, could somebody give me a working definition for that term?) have felt awkward about using existing public facilities, but others feel awkward about having to use the new ones, which would single them out and raise questions about how their gender would be read by others.  Hmm… OK. So, UVM put them up, demonstrating yet another example of a way that college life does not resemble real life.

Some students and moral advocates have a problem with this special treatment.  Civil rights in America has always been about the struggle for equal rights.  The problems lately have been more about enforcing special rights.  What if older women felt uncomfortable in the shower rooms because the younger women are prettier?  Should they get their own facilities, too?  Vice versa for men.  What if band geeks (I’m talking real deep-down tried and true hardcore band geeks) feel awkward sharing facilities with the jocks?  Should they be made to feel uncomfortable or discriminated against?  When does this stop?  We have discrimination laws on the books and recourse for those who’ve been victims of abuse.  Placating like this does nothing but aggrivate the issue beyond its original bounds.

University of Toronto pic.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture | 2 Comments »

Drooling Too Soon

Posted by Ryan on August 26, 2007

At the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference this weekend, prominent Republicans seemed to be foaming at the mouth in delight at the prospect of a She Who Must Not Be Named general election campaign.  Some Republicans had an “anybody but her” attitude, others weren’t too clear on who they wanted competing against her, and some worried about turnout next year. 

One thing is absolutely clear to me:  she will be their nominee if things keep on this course.  O’Bama’s wife knocked SWMNBN this week, Edwards knocked her too– then both campaigns subsequently distanced themselves from the comments as being directed towards her.  I know Edwards and O’Bama can only hope to run for Vice President at this point, but do they have to make it so obvious while simultaneously showing us how spineless they really are?  With nearly 100% name recognition and her viable opponents not even attacking her, she will win the Democrat nomination. 

I think we could beat her in the general election depending on our nominee.  SWMNBN’s supporters say that the Republicans drooled over her getting into the New York Senate race in 2000, and look what happened.  Yes, she won, after her main competitor, then New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, left the race due to cancer!  He could have even beaten her… pre-9/11 at that!  Alas, Rick Lazio was an inexperienced stand-in, plus, lest we forget, she ran in New York, not nationwide. 

There are many skeletons in her closet and America is not apt elect a “Victim-in-Chief” candidate during the War on Terror when she tries to play the “poor me, those evil Republicans, boo hoo” card in the general.  That guff may have worked in the ’90s, but not today.  But, like I qualified earlier, it depends on having a nominee to get out the vote– we can count on some, but not enough, negative turnout to swamp the polls to prevent that cow from becoming our 44th President.  Let us choose wisely. 

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 4 Comments »

Brzezinski Loves Barry

Posted by Ryan on August 26, 2007

Friday, Democratic Presidential candidate Barry O’Bama got a “boost” from a premiere Democratic foreign policy “expert”, Jimmah Carter’s own, Zbigniew Brzezinski

Brzezinski believes that O’Bama has the historical sense to repair the damages that the Bushies have done to America’s reputation in the world.  He actually liked what O’Bama had to say about unconditionally talking to and possibly making deals with our sworn enemies.  He did knock She Who Must Not be Named, essentially saying that being First Lady doesn’t prepare you to be President.  However, it seems Brzezinski forgot about the “two-for-one” co-presidency theme of the 1992 Presidential campaign, when it was obvious that we were electing SWMNBN and her husband Bill.

The fact that Brzezinski is considered a “paragon of foreign policy eminence” in the article shows how wacky things have gotten in the minds of Washington Post reporters and editorial staff.  In case you forgot, Brzezinski was National Security Advisor to Jimmah during those dark times of the Carter years.  So, the much lauded Democrat’s “paragon of foreign policy eminence” was advising Jimmah during the Iran Hostage Crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the collapse of SALT II, the 1980 US Olympic Boycott, the OPEC squeeze that produced gas-lines here at home, the Cambodian genocide, the communist infiltration of Central America, just to name a few wonderful foreign policy horrors under his tenure.  Jimmah was the primary character in that foreign policy freak show back then, but the man whose job was to advise him on national security issues had to have some impact… all while Brzezinski’s reputation was being “hawkish.”  So he likes Barry.  Good for Mr. O’Bama, at least someone does.  

AP photo.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | 3 Comments »

Newt Advises Fred on Announcing Candidacy

Posted by Ryan on August 25, 2007

Robert Novak has reported just such a thing in a Human Events political wrap-up piece posted today.  Fred Thompson is planning on participating in a Republican debate on September 27.  So, taking Newt’s advice, Fred plans to finally announce his candidacy online, following She Who Must Not Be Named’s model (I’m sure Fred will come off better in that medium).  Perhaps, Newt believes Thompson to be a viable conservative candidate– the only kind Newt said he’d support, and whose existence would prevent Newt from running.  However, if Fred crashes and burns, then Newt probably will run as the conservative alternative to Giuliani’s social liberalism.  Fred may also have been willing to sign off on Newt’s poll-tested conservative agenda that Newt’s been compiling since 2002.  It’s worth watching, but Fred really has to get moving on this whole campaign-thing.  It’s getting pretty late in the game.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Wag the Cow

Posted by Mike on August 24, 2007

Sometimes its funny when Democrats sound like parodies of themselves. At other times its frightening when Democrats sound like parodies of themsleves.  This one is a little bit of both.  Here is a parody of She Who Must Not Be Named discussing terrorism; and here is SWMNBN sounding like said parody. Sometimes the jokes almost write themselves.

Link to real story via Drudge.

AP photo.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 2 Comments »

Made in China

Posted by Ryan on August 24, 2007

China has an image problem.  Its products litter dollar stores, Walmart, and countless electronics and toy stores all over the United States.  China has been in their own version of the Gilded Age for about twenty years.  Ten percent economic growth per year is considered necessary to keep the newly created middle class happy enough not to stir in the streets.  Working conditions, pay, quality control, and man-made environmental disasters are all major issues in China, as they started to be in America about 120 year ago.

Whether we’ve realized this or not, America and China have been in a minor trade war over the past few years, which has accelerated recently.  Do you really think that this was the only time Chinese companies used lead paint on its toys, or used very small parts, or nasty chemicals in dog food or toothpaste?  Of course not!  America wants China to free its currency, the yuan, from the US dollar and let the market control the worth of the yuan rather than keep the artificial parallel to our dollar.  In essence, China’s money is artificially more valuable the way things are now which makes buying US Treasury bonds more lucrative for the Chinese.  They’re cheating. 

In response, China threatened to call in its bonds, thereby threatening to sink the US economy and engaged in another military drill with Russia.  Suddenly, Chinese products have flaws in them and recalls were necessary.  China finally blinked and is taking a four-month look into its manufacturer’s practices— they don’t want the name “China” on products to mean “cheap” or “unsafe.”  It’s a little late for that, but this does confirm a thought I’ve had for a while– China needs America more than America needs China, and China just admitted it in this lastest round of the trade war.  We’re not done with China yet since their still cheating on their currency, but a victory is a victory.

AP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Deadly Mistake at Rhode Island Hospital

Posted by Ryan on August 24, 2007

An 86-year-old brain surgery patient, whose name is yet to be released, eventually died Saturday of a botched operation.  The nurse practitioner didn’t specify which side of the patient’s brain needed to be operated on, but the doctor went ahead anyway, on memory of an old CT scan.  Once he realized his mistake he began to work on the proper side.  The result was three weeks of agony and eventual death of the patient. 

A sense a huge lawsuit in the works!  Doctors and nurse practitioners make a heck of a lot of money.  Given all that money and the prestige of the job, there’s no excuse for this kind of deadly gaffe– especially with brain surgery!  Dr. Frederick Harrington is currently under investigation because of it and Lifespan, the company that owns Rhode Island Hospital, has come out strongly against the doctor, wanting to know if the mistake led directly to the patient’s death.

Plus, those of you who’ve never lived in Rhode Island cannot appreciate how small it is.  Everybody knows everybody by about two degrees of separation.  New Jersey is 8.5 times larger than RI in population and seven times its size in square miles.  Add the fact that nearly all of RI’s million residents live within 25 minutes of Providence or Newport.  When something like this happens, everyone gets freaked out, panics, and it stays in the local news for a long, long time.

Posted in Rhode Island | 1 Comment »

California Dreamin’!

Posted by Ryan on August 23, 2007

The few vocal Republicans in the State of California have gotten together over the last month or so with a brilliant idea to mess with the Democrat monopoly in their state.  The 1986 Amnesty Act virtually guaranteed a voting bloc of non-English speaking, socialist-leaning immigrants that will make California virtually impossible for Republicans to win for a while.  As its population grows, so does its percentage of the Electoral College, now up to 55, which is 9.8% of the total, or 20.4% of a candidate’s goal to the magic number of 270. 

So, to make their state competitive and actually draw Presidential candidates to campaign in California, Republicans have proposed a ballot initiative that would propotionately divide the state’s Electoral Votes by district, just like both Maine and Nebraska do.  It’s a bold move, and completely constitutional since a state has the right to choose the manner in which their Electoral Votes are divided.  Colorado debated this concept too in 2004, but was rejected last year.  If this would happen in California, then around 20 Congressional districts that consistently vote Republican would not go to the Dems, but the Republican candidate!  Had Bush won these districts in 2004, he wouldn’t have had to worry about Ohio, and Kerry would have bailed election night, rather than symbolically the next day.

48 states have a winner-take-all system.  With some people incessantly complaining about the Electoral College, California’s passage of this referendum, should the Republicans be successful, would undoubtedly lead other large states to do the same.  However, I’m not sure where this will end up.  Letting independents vote in primaries was designed to help Republicans back in the 1980s, but has since led to “independents” crashing the polls in order to select some other party’s nominee (read: McCain 2000).  I like the Electoral College– it forces candidates to run national, not sectional, campaigns and continues the tradition of state sovereignty, since the President is constitutionally the President of the states, then the people.  California Republicans are being savvy here and the initiative is likely to get more press as time goes on. map.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 1 Comment »

Mitt Romney’s Real Flip-Flop Problem

Posted by Mike on August 23, 2007

I’ve complained for months that liberals and certain Republicans tend to exaggerate when portraying Mitt Romney as a serial flip-flopper because the former Massachusetts Governor is not as guilty as his opponents would have us believe. Unfortunately, these exaggerations usually carry a badge of credibility. For that, Romney has no one to blame but himself.

Although he has not waffled on nearly as many issues as his opponents claim, it is undeniable that Romney has been on both sides of the abortion issue. To make matters worse, his position du jour always happens to coincide with the constituency he needs to win over. When he ran for Governor in pro-abortion Massachusetts, he supported Roe v. Wade. Now he claims to be pro-life at the precise moment he is running for the Republican Presidential nomination. Who can blame his opponents for accusing him of having a “Road to Des Moines” conversion?

Romney’s most recent gaffe is emblematic of his problem. In describing his new pro-life perspective, Romney explained that he supports a constitutional amendment protecting the unborn. A few weeks earlier however, he explained that the issue of abortion should be decided on a state-by-state basis. Although these statements seem contradictory, a consistent pro-life politician could credibly and easily explain away this poorly-worded statement. When Roe is eventually overturned, the abortion issue will become a state issue by default. Some states will protect the unborn and others will not. Although not the ideal situation, it would nevertheless be an improvement because more unborn children will protected than under current “law.” At that point, a Constitutional amendment would be the next step in the process. A consistently pro-life politician could credibly offer this explanation.

For Romney this is not so easy. The subtle consistency in Romney’s two statements will appear to many as opportunistic. When the seeming inconsistency of Romney’s recent statements is coupled with Romney’s past vacillation, it becomes increasingly clear that the Governor still has a problem.

I appreciate that Romney has taken a Reagan and George H.W. Bush-style conversion on this issue. He even seems to understand that respecting embryonic stem cells is an essential component of a pro-life position. However, given Romney’s past, it is all too easy for his opponents to jump on statements like these. This is important for Republican voters to keep in mind.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 4 Comments »

Bush’s Vietnam Angle

Posted by Ryan on August 23, 2007

Rove leaving… Cheney in an undisclosed location… It would seem that Dubya going in front of a camera would be nothing the Left would care about.  However, Bush’s VFW speech yesterday did something that the Left simply did not anticipate:  among other things, Bush compared Iraq to Vietnam.  What?  Is this a betrayal of those who’ve supported him and made a huge effort to demonstrate the differences between those two conflicts?

Alas, no!  Bush didn’t say Iraq is Vietnam the way the Left sees it (an unwinnable quagmire with clear parallels between 1968 and every moment since 2003), he spoke of the consequences of leaving a conflict prematurely because of political pressure to set artificial dealines and withdrawal schedules.  Words like “re-education camps,” “boat people” and “killing fields” were those introduced into our vocabulary after we left Vietnam when we refused to fund the South after the North predictably broke the treaty, despite our diplomatic commitments.  Thanks, Democrat Congress.  Also, he said the extremists we face in the Mideast are as sinister and evil as those we’ve faced in past wars.  The long-term impact of a successful Iraq will be felt long after Bush leaves the White House.  History is on Bush’s side in this view.

This irks the Left two-fold:  it shows Bush in his element– in front of veterans speaking about the ideals of fighting this war; and it demonstrates that the Left’s cut-and-run strategy has been clearly tried before with horrible results.

AP photo.

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

Democrat Dilemma on Iraq

Posted by Ryan on August 22, 2007

This Washington Post article basically lays out the Dems political problems on Iraq:  the Surge is working.  Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have been pretty adamant about us losing the war over there, but it turns out not to be so.  But, since the Dems have seen Iraq as one big political calculation since long before the war, they have to “refocus” their message.  We’re bound to see less “cut-and-run” and more whining about the lack of political progress in the run up to General Petraeus’ initial report on September 11.  Then, who knows?  They may even pick off a few wimpy RINOs along the way.

And they wonder why the American people are leary of them on Iraq: yesterday the war’s a failure, today they need to “refocus”, tomorrow they’ll starting picking on the lack of political progress in Iraq, and who knows where they’d go next?  Even al Maliki is getting impatient with Democrats, who complain about the lack political progress at the same time they work to undermine it. 

The candiates are all over the map too, trying to angle defeat on every single victory.  Barry O’Bama asked for 30,000 more troops in Baghdad.  She Who Must Not Be Named has been all over the map on Iraq, but she says the Surge is working.  The Breck Girl, probably speaking on behalf of his wife, actually said that SWMNBN is trying to have things both ways.  Of course she does!  Any bright spot in Iraq only hurts the Democrats, so even in signs of military victory, they must see the potential for defeat.  They have to.  They think the 2006 Election was a referendum on Iraq.  Polls immediately ater the election indicated it was more a repudiation of Republican political scandals than it was about Iraq.  Thinking that they are being populist, they are leading Congress’ abysmal approval ratings while continuing to scream for military defeat.  It must be a horrible place to be– rooting against your country because you think the people want you to, but feeling their ire will historically low approval numbers because of your attitude.  Jeez, Karl Rove’s even at 29%!  I wonder if they’d survive a no-confidence vote?

Pic from Cartoon

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Michelle O’Bama’s Clean House…

Posted by Ryan on August 21, 2007

…is apparently cleaner than She Who Must Not Be Named’s house according to these recent comments which include, “if you can’t run your own house, you can’t run the White House.”  While not a specific swipe at SWMNBN by name, it can and will certainly be taken as a swipe at the former Victim-in-Chief.  She has a point when looking to court values voters– how many of them are Democrats, we’ll just have to wait and see.  This is also the message some conservatives have been muttering quietly (though sometimes not) about the current Republican frontrunner, Rudy Giuliani and his personal issues that are guaranteed to distract from the race if he wins the Republican primaries. 

Also, Michelle O’Bama touches on the perceived culture of fear that has been, in her mind, the result of Republican mongering and policies — apparently not from the evildoers on a mission from Allah to kill every American they can find.  Some criticized her for being to light in her comments thus far in the campaign.  The criticism will not be taken by SWMNBN’s camp as a low blow that shows desparation, it’ll mean open season on Barry O’Bama and his family, even though Barry trails her by an insurmountable amount.  However, a healthy amount of mud being thrown, however indirectly, is good for the Dems and the general public to see.

H/T Drudge.

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Michael Vick’s Guilty Plea

Posted by Ryan on August 21, 2007

This Fox Sports editorial by Kevin Hench really makes the point about Michael Vick’s guilty plea in the dogfighting scandal.  Once his friends turned on him, there was nothing left for him to do.  Now his career is officially in shambles.  Perhaps when this is all over he can fall back on whatever his Virginia Tech college degree was in… oh that’s right, he left as a sophomore.

So what now?  Will the sentence fit the crime?  I’m not sure.  Lately we’ve had judges who’ve gotten their jollies in either slamming or going easy on high-profile celebrities who have committed a crime.  For some, the plea deal will go too easy on him, to others too harsh.  I’d like to see him do some time (12-18 months would be nice), pay a fine ($250,000 would seem fair) and go through humiliating community service (in an orange jump suit if possible).  However, on top of that, I really want his career to end.  He’s sick man and needs to be made an example of as a deterrent to other sports celebrities.

AP photo.

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Janeane Garofalo’s Joining “24”?

Posted by Ryan on August 21, 2007

As if things weren’t ominous enough for the impending seventh season of “24”, word comes out that Janeane Garofalo is joining the cast.  “24” Season 7 begins shooting on September 10, but I’m getting less and less excited about that.  Not only are they going “green”, but they’re having a female President the same year that She Who Must Not Be Named is running for the real presidency, and now they add the leftist wack-job, former co-host of the doomed Air-America Radio and increasingly fringe nut who hasn’t been funny since 1993, Garofalo to the mix.  Prospects for Season 7 are slipping every time word comes out about the new season.  They’re supposed to be trying some new things this season to keep it fresh since Season 6 ended with a thud, but their fixes sound very PC, confusing, and certainly not encouraging to fans like me.  Maybe next season will be great, but it’s increasingly looking like the shark will have been sufficiently jumped by season’s end.

Posted in Anything Else, Politics, Pop Culture | 2 Comments »

Brown’s Bubble Could Burst if Promise Is Broken

Posted by Mike on August 20, 2007

Gordon Brown has been riding high in the polls ever since he moved into Downing Street despite ignoring the source of the attempted terrorist attacks on his country. In fact, Brown is doing so well that many of our British friends believe that a snap election may be called sometime soon.  Labour should not be planning their victory party so soon however.  Although David Cameron’s Conservatives have been unable to make so much as a dent in Labour’s lead, Gordon Brown may still be his party’s undoing.

Although the Labour government is more popular than at any point during its third term, it now appears that Brown is displaying the same kind of arrogance that led to Labour’s plummeting popularity in the first place. Despite promising a referendum on the unpopular EU Constitution, the Labour government now appears poised to pass the Constitution without bothering to hold their promised referendum. This is hardly surprising considering the previous referenda in other countries rejecting the Constitution. Even the French under Chirac sent a resounding “non” when asked if they wanted to be surrender their sovereignty.

Polls in the UK show that even those who would support the EU Constitution believe that the government should hold its promised referendum. If Gordon Brown goes through with his plan to ram the Constitution through Parliament despite his party’s promise to listen to the people, his bounce may disappear; that is, if the Conservatives play their cards right.

Posted in Europe, UK Politics | 2 Comments »

Rove in the Hot Seat

Posted by Ryan on August 20, 2007

Karl Rove, a major contributing factor to Bush Derangement Syndrome, made the rounds on the Sunday talk circuit yesterday, appearing on nearly every major talk show: “FNS”, “Meet the Depressed”, and “Deface the Nation”. His appearance on Fox News Sunday was the one that I caught and there were no real softballs coming from Wallace (a registered Democrat) except for the Rove-Rap clip. Rove downplayed the 2006 Election as being a typical second-term midterm election, he reiterated that She Who Must Not Be Named is going to be a problem for her party once she gets the nomination, and he refused Chris Wallace’s invitation to add more to the public record about Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson while noting that if leaking her name was a crime, Patrick Fitzgerald would have arrested Richard Armitage after questioning him.On top of that, Rove said that the GOP is in a good position for next year if SWMNBN is the nominee and the Dems still have approval ratings in the 20s. He also addressed an issue that I had about SWMNBN being like an incumbent since so many people already know her, so what were Bush’ numbers like in 2004? He said that Bush’s negative numbers were not nearly as low as SWMNBN’s numbers are now. I like optimism, but the party needs a leader willing to lead and a message that will resonate with the American people.

I also think it’s kind of funny how those affected with BDS truly and deeply hate Karl Rove. He’s only a political advisor who out smarted them, but it needed not be so– they just made it so easy. The Wellstone Funeral? Too easy. Nominating John Kerry? Also, too easy. But where have the victories been since Katrina in August/September 2005? I guess anything short of impeachment or assassination will do for those people. I have trouble understanding how people can harbor such hatred all the time! But it is entertaining to watch.

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