Axis of Right

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

Archive for August, 2007

Michael Deaver Dies at 69

Posted by Ryan on August 19, 2007








Ronald Reagan’s Chief of Staff from 1981-1985, Michael Deaver, died of pancreatic cancer yesterday at the age of 69.  For anyone who doesn’t know, pancreatic cancer is extremely painful and there is no known cure or ways to slow it down once it is entrenched.  Deaver was a brilliant manipulator of President Reagan’s surroundings and image, and one of the few people that Nancy Reagan trusted fully.  While not too delving too in depth with day-to-day policy matters, he helped carry Reagan’s “Great Communicator” reputation a little bit further by selecting venues, settings and choice photo ops for the former President.  But there was more to Reagan than image, there was a message that resonated with the people, judgin by two huge electoral landslides in 1980 and 1984, ostensibly recreating a real, distinguishable two-party system in America.  Deaver selected the D-Day 40th Anniversary venue at Point-du-Hoc, and the controversial Bitburg wreath laying in West Germany a few years later.  His four books added depth to what we knew about the daily activities of the Reagan Administration and his perspective and stories will be surely missed.


Advertisements

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

AP College Football Rankings Are Out

Posted by Mike on August 18, 2007

The AP released its first college football poll of the 2007 season today. Not surprisingly, Southern Cal is ranked number one. With the departure of several seniors and a questionable defense, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame are understandably nowhere to be found. Although I oppose a college football playoff and largely agree with this year’s initial rankings, the AP and coaches polls remind of the one thing that bugs me about college football: the people who vote in these polls.

There is no question in mind that Southern Cal deserves the top spot, but the preseason number one ranking will give them an unfair advantage later in the season. Because voters are often reluctant to move a lower ranked team ahead unless teams ranked ahead of them lose, Southern Cal will be allowed to lose a game and still compete for the national championship. For many lower ranked teams, one loss will be fatal.

Part of the problem could be solved by following the Harris poll’s lead. The AP and coaches polls should not be released until at least after the fourth week of the season. That way, assessments will be at least partially based upon on-field performance rather than ESPN’s bloviating.

Go Irish!

UPDATE:  Link now takes you to current polls.

Posted in Sports | Leave a Comment »

Tony Snow is Leaving

Posted by Ryan on August 17, 2007

White House spokesman and former Fox News Radio guru Tony Snow is leaving his job.  Not because of his recurring colon cancer, but because of the money.  He earned plenty more cash in the private sector and as a 52 year old father of three with cancer he’d rather make more money while he can.  I can’t blame him.  He said he loved being White House spokesman, but it’s only a measely $168,000 a year.  That’s a lot to you and I, but with someone of his reputation and talents, it’s a no brainer.  Prestige only goes so far in today’s market with Snow’s specific circumstances.  Plus, if he wants to spread the conservative message, he won’t be bound by the Administration and more people will listen to his talk show daily than would ever see him on TV.  It’s good all around.

I liked Ari Fleischer the best of the Bush spokesmen.  I thought Scott McClellan was the worst person to be in front of the cameras at the worst possible time– not forceful or very articulate at a time when the press was in open revolt on Iraq and Bush’s impending reelection.  We could have used Tony Snow then to spread the good word.  If the President’s not going to talk to us directly, then someone like Tony Snow should take the mantle, and did for the last 18 months or so.  He will be missed and we hope his health improves greatly in his absense.  Good luck, Tony!

Fox News photo.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments »

Mitt Wins Illinois Straw Poll

Posted by Ryan on August 17, 2007

What does Mitt Romney’s victory in yesterday’s Illinois straw poll mean?  Clearly he has a statewide organization that can get out the vote this early to lead him to victory with an impressive 40.4%.  Some will say that these early straw polls really don’t mean anything, but in some ways I think this does. 

Romney would be an ominously a strong candidate if people knew who he was.  He more conservative than Giuliani, he’s more stable than McCain, and he’s more polished than Fred Thompson.  Yes, he’s a Mormon, but people will look past that once he gets the opportunity to articulate a response to the issue that people actually hear.  Most telephone polls at this point reflect name recognition and media play, but when Iowa and Illinois Republicans show up to cast actual votes, they’ve chosen Romney twice now.  It means that when the primaries and caucuses get into full swing, Mitt will show up as a candidate people are familiar with, at least in these two states, forcing his opponents to possible spend money where they do not want to.  Alas, the RPC average still has Romney pulling fourth place at 11.4% nationally, but we all know that politics is local during the primaries and Mitt’s competition better start showing up to these kinds of things– hint, hint Rudy and Smeagol.

Here’s how the vote went in Illinois:

40.35% — Mitt Romney

19.95% — Fred “Not Yet a Candidate but Rockin’ the Field” Thompson

18.87% — Libertarian Ron Paul

11.61% — Rudy Giuliani

4.12% — Smeagol

3.04% — Mike Huckabee

1.08% — Sam Switchback

0.65% — Vice President Duncan Hunter

0.33% — Tom “One Issue” Tancredo

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 3 Comments »

Some Dinosaur Media Going the Way of the Dinosaurs?

Posted by Mike on August 16, 2007

Some people seem to think that the extinction of local newspapers would be a bad thing.  Perhaps there will always be a niche that only small local newpapers can address, but I really won’t care if people need to find out about a local bake sale elsewhere.

Posted in Anything Else | Leave a Comment »

Big Brother 8: Seems Rigged to Me

Posted by Mike on August 16, 2007

Dustin was evicted from the Big Brother house tonight by a vote of 4-2 and is now the first member of the jury who will ultimately determine the winner. Fellow nominee Evil Dick survives and re-joins the other seven remaining contestants to compete for the $500,000 grand prize.

Many viewers were shocked at the result but internet message boards saw it coming, especially when it began to appear that CBS was trying to manipulate the result. Although CBS has long been suspected of using diary room interviews to subtly influence voting, many now believe the network has crossed the line into outright vote rigging. This video of Jen discussing the situation with Amber seems to confirm those suspicions.

As does this video of Jen and Jessica.

It is true that America’s Player Eric had to both vote and campaign for Dustin’s eviction due to online voting. Fair enough. However, many think that CBS tampered with the voting by reprimanding America’s Player for not campaigning forcefully enough against Dustin. The fact that he “did a 180” and stepped up his campaigning immediately after leaving the diary room was seen by many as evidence of CBS skullduggery.

Many internet fans also speculated last week that CBS was up to something when Kail was evicted instead of Eric. At the time, I gave CBS the benefit of the doubt. Not anymore. Last week, the last-minute turn of events coincidentally saved their America’s Player twist; and this week’s “unpredictable” events kept the controversial Evil Dick in the house and on the television screen.

CBS claims that their show is produced by Alison Grodner even though it now looks more like a Mary Mapes production. I suppose I could continue to watch this CBS program, but I’d Rather not.

UPDATE: For those still watching this crap, Daniele is the new HOH.

Posted in Reality Television | 4 Comments »

Jenna’s Gettin’ Hitched!!!

Posted by Ryan on August 16, 2007

The party-girl Bush twin, Jenna (25), is engaged to wed 29-year-old Henry Hager.  They’ve been dating since at least the 2005 Inaugural balls, where he was first seen in public with Jenna.  Hager is the son of Virginia’s former Lieutenant Governor and is in his second year of graduate school at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.  Jenna is a school teacher, according to the article.  That must be strange, having the President’s daughter as your teacher. 

Good for Jenna and congratulations!  It’s also less of a shock to me because I fancy her sister Barbara more.  Barbara being off the market would have really hit deep.  Barbara just seems less party, more business, prettier, more focused and brighter than her sister.  Plus, she looks more like her mom.  

Here is Barbara with her sister:

Washington Post pic on top, and Slate.com pic second.

Posted in Culture, Pop Culture | 1 Comment »

Trouble Picking a “Flawed” Candidate

Posted by Ryan on August 16, 2007

On yesterday’s Rush Limbaugh radio program, Karl Rove stopped by the EIB Network for Advanced Conservative Studies to chat with El Rushbo.  CNN picked up the story and added some responses to Rove’s allegations.  What Rove did was he referred to She Who Must Not be Named as a “fatally flawed” candidate and that once she gets the Democrat nomination, she will lose next year because of it.  Quite bold. 

SWMNBN got the typical folks to go out there to combat Rove’s point of view by saying he’s writing O’Bama’s talking points… of course ignoring the substance of Rove’s argument.  Rove points out that no one in polling history has ever come into a campaign with negatives as high as SWMNBN.  This makes sense but I disagree with one point:  SWMNBN is already so well known by the American people that she is essentially running as an incumbant in my opinion.  So, I think one must look at incumbancy numbers a year before an election before the fatality of the flaw can fully be judged.  Was Bush’s negative numbers in the high 40s in 2004 like SWMNBN is today?  It’s an important angle to explore.  But I also disagree with one of SWMNBN’s campaign guys saying that these negatives will go down once we get to know SWMNBN.  The American people already know her so her numbers are not apt to change as time goes on.  If you don’t like her now, you’re not apt to like her next year either. 

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 2 Comments »

Germany and Poland Fight Over Mozart

Posted by Mike on August 15, 2007

A little brew ha ha has broken out between Germany and Poland over an original copy of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 manuscript and the original manuscript of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8. Originally owned by Germany, the manuscripts were moved from Berlin to a Polish monastery during World War II by the German Nazi government to protect the treasures from Allied bombing. Unfortunately for the Germans, Poland held on to the manuscripts following their liberation. Now the Germans want the manuscripts back.

My first reaction to this was “finders keepers” but that isn’t entirely accurate. It isn’t as if the Poles stumbled upon the artifacts but that isn’t really important. The Germans should have thought about the loss of their priceless treasures before they embarked on their little er. . . adventure back in the 1940s, you know the most recent of many. After centuries of invading and partitioning Poland, the least the Germans can do is let them keep the manuscripts. Kudos to Poland for not caving. Kocham Polskie!

Posted in Culture, Europe | Leave a Comment »

Calling Iranian Terror by its Name

Posted by Ryan on August 15, 2007

I’ve been attending an educator’s workshop series this week on the Cold War and the War on Terror.  In fact, one of the speakers today was called by MSDNC this morning to comment later on a talking-head show about our classifying the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terror sponsoring group on the terror watch list.  The speaker said it was about 28 years late, but he’ll take it. 

This means that any companies who do business with the IRG cannot do legitimate business with American companies OR companies that trade with American companies.  Ouch.  I was not aware until today that the IRG gets its cash from domestic and international business ventures which it funnels to Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Mookie al Sadr’s band of mighty idiots.  The kick is that China is the IRG’s largest non-Iranian trading partner!  Also, the IRG is a separate entity from the conventional Iranian military and veterans like Mahmoud rise through the ranks of government through connections they made in IRG service.

This is not a declaration of war by any means, but it is a step to show Iran we’re serious about their disengagement in Iraq and the region.  If the IRG is on the terror watch list and we catch them in Iraq or elsewhere we can shoot first and ask questions later.  It’s important that Iran knows that.  The last thing they want is a war with us right now.  They just believe that a constant hum of destabilization in the region is in their best interest until they get their nuke and paint blue and white stripes next to the phrase “To Tel Aviv: With our love, infidels! -Mahmoud”. 

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

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Comeback

Posted by Mike on August 15, 2007

Benjamin Netanyahu was recently re-elected as leader of Israel’s Likud Party. Although his re-election would probably be newsworthy under ordinary circumstances, it is especially so given the unpopularity of current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Because of Olmert’s weakness in dealing with Hezbollah last year, Netanyahu’s Likud Party is on the verge of winning of the next election, meaning Netanyahu is most likely the next Prime Minister of Israel.

This is wonderful news. While many politicians are capable of making good decisions, few have the ability to persuasively explain those decisions in the context of an overarching philosophy. This has never been a problem for Netanyahu. When he was Prime Minister during the 1990s, he took a hard-line stance against Palestinian terrorists who threatened his country and articulately explained the moral necessity of challenging those who would terrorize the innocent.

At this point in history; when the British Prime Minister refuses to refer to Islam when describing terrorists who attacked his country, when world leaders are preemptively appeasing Iran and when the Democrat Party is undermining a war against Al Qaeda in Iraq while the otherwise unflappable President Bush doesn’t even bother to respond, the world is in desperate need of moral clarity. Benjamin Netanyahu has provided that in the past and will do so in the future if Israeli politics continues to play out as it is now. Let’s hope our Republican Party follows Likud’s lead in 2008.

Posted in Politics, War on Terror | 1 Comment »

No Document Dump for She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

Posted by Ryan on August 14, 2007

She Who Must Not Be Named’s tenure as First Lady:  missing documents, FBI files, short memories, bad policy decisions, obstruction, thinking they elected her… ah, I do miss the Clintons sometimes.  Hardly! 

According to this LA Times article, 2 million pages of SWMNBN’s personal documents, records, diaries, phone logs, etc. on file at the Bill Clinton Presidential Library and Massage Parlor will not be released to the public until… oh wait let me see… hmm… when should they come out… oh yes! after the 2008 Election!  The article, obviously demonstrating their leftist spin, loathes the prospect that opposition may try to use this material against her in the campaign.  Material, I’m sure, that would put her on the defense and have to explain her positions on things in a way the MSM could not ignore and would not like. 

But, should we know what she truly did or really feels about things before we (shudder) elect her President?  Damn straight!  We already know that the minutes and records of the health care debate back in 1993-4 have SWMNBN’s statements taken clearly out of the records.  However, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) can be a wonderful thing.  Her opponents in the primaries and the eventual Republican nominee next year will use these records (or her people’s refusal to make them public) an issue that won’t go away.  One way or another she’ll have to reckon with this development more than she wants to.  In fact her people have already brought up the Presidential Records Act as a way to obstruct release of these documents until her coronation next year, due to the fact that her opponents might use them against her!  Well, why not!  I want America to know as much as possible about her before we vote.  I’m sure we’d relive all the bad parts of the 1990s that we’d sooner like to forget.

Pic from Democrat.org Blog.

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics | 2 Comments »

Two Women in the Race?

Posted by Ryan on August 14, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards is not techincally running for President, but she might as well be!  She has everything that the Dems want– an aggressive female victim of a tragedy.  Whereas She Who Must Not Be Named fits that category too, it’s great seeing another woman in this race looking like she cares about becoming our next President.  It’s a great tactic by the Edwards Campaign.  No Democrat will touch her because of their undying allegiance to the sanctity of victimhood.

Among other things, Mrs. Edwards had this gem the other day: “We can’t make John black, we can’t make him a woman.”  We can’t make him poor either, can we Mrs. Edwards?  Maybe then he could really understand the plight of thosein that other America wallowing in that post-Katrina sludge. Anyway, Mrs. Edwards complained that her husband’s rivals, SWMNBN and O’Bama, have not done enough to match their rhetoric in accelerating their cut-and-run strategy and socialized health care in the Senate.  While normal people might applaud their reluctance, Mrs. Edwards knows that the Democrat primary voter is typically a lefty extremist and would take offense to O’Bama and SWMNBN’s slow action on losing the war and destroying our health care system. 

One question though: What does the Breck Girl, himself think about these developments?  I’m just waiting for the day when the Edwards’ decide to run a campaign on a “co-presidency” ticket like the Clinton’s back in the day.

Rush 24/7 picture.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 1 Comment »

Phil Rizzuto (1917-2007)

Posted by Mike on August 14, 2007

New York Yankees broadcaster and Hall of Fame shortstop Phil Rizzuto passed away earlier today at the age of 89.

Rizzuto’s passing is especially sad for me because he was the first baseball announcer I remember. Although he would often wax poetic on things that had little or nothing to do with the game in front of him, listening to Rizzuto was always enjoyable. His cries of “Holy Cow!” and blatant cheering for the Yankees made him a legend in the booth. Like the seven World Championships he helped the Yankees win, memories of Rizzuto’s broadcasting will always bring smiles to the faces of Yankee fans everywhere.

Phil Rizzuto will be missed. May he rest in peace.

AP photo

Posted in Sports | 1 Comment »

Going for a Record Skydive

Posted by Ryan on August 13, 2007

Drudge posted this story about a 63 year old French man named Michel Fournier who wants to break three skydiving world records at once.  He wants to have the record for the world’s 1) longest skydive, 2) highest parachute jump, and 3) highest altitude achieved by a human in a weather balloon.  To do this he plans to use a special suit and weather balloon to climb 25 miles up (or roughly 130,000 feet) and jump.  He plans on breaking the sound barrier with his body after about 37 seconds, and hopes to hit 1000 miles per hour before deploying his parachute somewhere over the Canadian plains.

Having gone on a tandem-dive once, myself, I can say that this guy is a bit nuts!  I jumped at about 10,000 feet and it was really cool– I may never do it again but it was a great check of my life’s to-do list!  130,000 feet is 13 times higher than that.  If he pulls it off it’ll be incredible: it’s practically space, the atmosphere is brutal, and the luck, physics, and suicidal intestinal fortitude it takes to even go through with this is enough to think this guy’s future may be limited should he try it as scheduled next March 1.  Good luck to him though!

Pic from Maryland Sky Dive.

Posted in Anything Else, Pop Culture | Leave a Comment »

Karl Rove Resigns

Posted by Mike on August 13, 2007

Liberals received a late Christmas. . .er . . . solstice . . . er . . . holiday present today when Karl Rove announced his resignation as a White House adviser effective at the end of the month. Unfortunately for our liberal friends, Rove is leaving on his own terms.

Part of Bush’s famous Texas inner circle, Rove constructed two successful gubernatorial campaigns, a successful run for the Presidency, an historic off-year election victory, and a successful re-election.  The key to Rove’s success in these campaigns was not so much his ability to persuade Americans to love George W. Bush, but rather his ability to cause Democrats to act like they were auditioning for the lead role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Rove’s successful political strategies on behalf of the President sent liberals into repeated fits of rage throughout the President’s two terms. Overplaying their hand at every turn, the Democrats were repeatedly outmaneuvered by the man they saw as a dunce. Seeing as most political oppositions win two mid-terms even against the most popular of Presidents, the Democrats’ inability to win nothing more than a single off-year election against their “stupid” opponent caused an explicable frustration. During Bush’s second term, some of our lefty friends even took this frustration to the point where they acted as if successful politics were grounds for investigations. No one got under liberals’ skin like Karl Rove. For that, he will be missed.

He was no Mark Hanna though. Although his strategies led to political victories, people should not to be too quick to call Rove a political genius. Many of the President’s victories were by narrow margins against inept political figures who should have been sent into the political wilderness with George McGovern and Walter Mondale. Running for re-election as a wartime President presiding over a strong economy, George W. Bush only managed to win re-election by three points. This was in spite of a phony, radical left-wing opponent from Massachusetts who could not hold a single position for more than 18 minutes at a time and whose claim to fame was that he slandered his fellow soldiers in 1971. The 2004 election should have been a 40-plus state landslide.

During the second term, Rove’s new tone of not responding to liberal lies about the Iraq War, the President’s character and phony media polls led those phony polls to become self-fulfilling prophecies. This self-created poll situation has undermined the President’s authority vis-a vis the Iraq War during his second term. As a result the troops and the country suffer because of liberal attempts to prematurely end their mission and expose America to greater risk. A wartime President must enjoy the confidence of the American people. The new tone failed to recognize this new dynamic and that will be Rove’s failure.

Karl Rove helped convince our country to make the right decision in 2000 and 2004. That is something we will always remember. However, Rovian-inspired silence in the face of despicable opposition undermined a war effort. For that, we will never forget.

Reuters photo

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

Iowa Straw Poll Results

Posted by Ryan on August 12, 2007

After waiting over an hour for the Iowa Straw Poll results last night, Mitt Romney emerged as the clear victor.   After 14,203 ballots were cast the results were as follows:

31.6% to Mitt Romney

18.1% to Mike Huckabee

15.3% to Sam Brownback — or “switch back”; should have done a lot better given his home state’s proximity to Iowa

13.7% to Tom Tancredo — one issue guy, but shows how important that one issue is

9.1% to Ron Paul — should drop out and run Libertarian

7.3% to Tommy Thompson — will drop out as he promised if he didn’t come in the top three

4.9% was dispersed between Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, Duncan Hunter, John McCain and some guy named John Cox (still haven’t figured out if that’s a joke name yet). Romney clearly won the day in Iowa yesterday.  Voter turn out was pretty low and Fred, Rudy, Smeagol and Duncan Hunter put little if any effort into actually competing. 

But, showing up is what is important here.  Those who campaigned made an effort to get regular Americans to know them more closely and intimately than anyone outside of Iowa or New Hampshire is bound to experience.  Our country’s too big to have every candidate spend as much time and effort in every single state, every single town.  So, Iowa and New Hampshire have emerged as two important places in Presidential campaigning because average people can ask real questions and force the candidates to be consistent and honest when responding to the people– or suffer the consequences.  A candidate’s ability to connect with average people, and the salience of their arguments are on display in front of a groups of Americans who know they are important to the process.  That’s why I get suspect with those that don’t even want to try.  Spend a few bucks and blame it on the weather, but at least show up!

Though Romney won, Mike Huckabee is just as big of a story.  Coming in second place with nearly 1 in 5 people casting a vote for him propels Huckabee to the solid top of the second tier of candidates.  I’d say he has more of a future in this race than John McCain, whose campaign has obviously peaked, while Huckabee’s is just gaining steam.  He’s definitely one to watch, especially if one of the top four falter in the coming months.

AP photo.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 2 Comments »

EZ Pass to Court!

Posted by Ryan on August 11, 2007

I’ve lived in Jersey for nearly six years and I have yet to get EZ Pass.  Probably because I try to avoid toll roads and do not have to use them at all for my daily routine travels.  But millions of people use the EZ Pass system in 12 states in the Northeast and Midwest.   It’s very convenient, leads to a faster ride, and if you have to pay tolls there isn’t a more efficient way to do it given the volume on many toll roads.

However, I despise cheaters and adulterers.  I think it’s a huge character and moral flaw for members of either sex, and as a male, I think it demeans one’s manhood, is fundamentally selfish, and ultimately hurts everyone involved.  But, apparently, divorce lawyers have been catching cheaters by using EZ Pass toll records to show where the cheater had allegedly been!  “Jeez, I was just at an overnight business meeting Philly…” but EZ Pass said you didn’t get past Exit 14 in New Jersey that night… hmm…  I think it’s an ingenious use of technology to catch these losers, and may dissuade people from making a big mistake sometime in the future.

DOT pic.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture | 1 Comment »

The Global Warming Religion, According to Rush

Posted by Ryan on August 10, 2007

Rush was absolutely brilliant yesterday knocking the horrors of man-made global warming and I was hoping he’d post his rant on his website.  He did!  After making his point about the fallacy-filled 1998 NASA statistics on the average temperature that year (supposedly the hottest year ever) and taking a few calls, he went on a brilliant farce of global warming dogma and its similarity to organized religion.  Here’s a taste:

“You must take it [global warming] on faith.”

“It has a Garden of Eden – the original pristine Earth.”

“It has the arrival of Man.”

“It has sin… the destruction of the planet.”

“It has redemption.  Believing in Global Warming.”

“Roll back your lifestyle.”

“They want you under their control.” 

“It’s got salvation.”

Worldview, rules for life, creation myth, central system of control (bought and paid for scientists as shaman and government stooges as organizational leaders), devout followers, and the urge to spread the philosophy by convincing people that they are right and you are wrong (an “us versus them” kind of thing), the concept of evil:  All of these are found in most religions!  It’s funny in my opinion!  I wonder if they see it that way. 

Probably not, but I’ve always felt that people who have denied or not found meaning in religion will find religious-like things to latch onto.  Many atheists I knew in college were big environmentalists, big psychology people, or those who believe in UFOs and omnipotent aliens– all things that have a dogma, a worldview, a sense of right and wrong, and a “power” or theories that transcend all humanity… also a sense that they know better than the general public so they must proselytize their beliefs.  Not everybody, but many. 

Posted in Anything Else, Culture | 1 Comment »

Movement on Border Security

Posted by Ryan on August 10, 2007

Finally, some movement on border security!  This kind of stuff should have been done immediately after 9/11 if not sooner to protect the Homeland against a foreign incursion.  Better late than never, but they are only pushing this initiative through because of their righteous failure during the illegals debate earlier this year.  Illegal immigration is a national security problem*** and it’s best that Dubya understand that, lame duck or not.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s a good start, not the end of the debate.  Some of the things outlined in DHS Secretary Chertoff’s annoucement are as follows:

  • Regular, public “State of the Border” reports
  • Training local and state law enforcement to crackdown as well
  • Raise fines 25% on employers who hire many illegals (I don’t like the qualifier “many” on that one– it’s illegal or it isn’t, right?)
  • Finally checking the accuracy of the Social Security rolls
  • Tossing the illegals deeper into Mexico, rather than just over the border
  • New Americanization policies, like English immersion and our civic values on citizenship tests 
  • And last but not least, unmentioned in the article, is that the National Guard is being deployed along the border to help maintain a tight border.  I know because my brother left this morning for a three week deployment on the border.  Unfortunately his rules of engagement are really, really tight and limiting.

I don’t buy the argument that kicking the illegals out will ruin our economy.  If it’s phased and targets employers hard enough, the cost of goods will be static and the demand for illegal workers will lessen.  Plus with a 4.6% unemployment rate, there are still unemployed Americans who will work for money.  Clinging to the idea that we need an economic underclass without access to minimum wage or standard humane working conditions to maintain our cozy lives is a cruel and racist notion in my opinion, and it’s unnecessary.

***This just in too, by the way: one of the main suspects in the Newark execution-style shootings of students for their cell phones was an illegal alien with a fake social security number.

Pic from the Maverick blog.

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

Big Brother 8: Kail Evicted

Posted by Mike on August 9, 2007

Kail’s luck ran out Thursday evening when she became the fifth houseguest evicted from the Big Brother house. She lost to fellow nominee Eric by a vote of 4-3, ending her streak of two consecutive near-eviction experiences.

Kail’s horrible gameplay practically ensured that she was never going to win the game. Her nominations as the first HOH were actually pretty decent, but she painted a huge target on herself by forming a four-person alliance at the very beginning. To make matters worse, she targeted an explosive and unpredictable jackass against the wishes of the house during week two. She was also easily rattled by Dick’s verbal abuse. There is no doubt that Kail’s gameplay was inadequate, but she seemed like a decent person. She was certainly the most normal houseguest. It’s a shame that she had to leave before Dick.

Speaking of the man who needs no nickname, Dick “the *#tches deserve my abuse” Donato confronted Dustin almost immediately after the vote was revealed for failing to do as he was told. Unfortunately for the schmuck, Jessica won the HOH competition at the end of the show, guaranteeing safety for herself and her allies Dustin, Joe Kennedy Sr.-sympathizer Amber, Jameka, and Eric.  Dick and his daughter Daniele (aka “Bones”) on the other hand are the most likely targets for eviction. Showing his typical grace under pressure Evil reacted to Jessica’s win by unleashing one of his patented abusive tirades at Jameka. Everyone gets a turn I suppose.

Photo from Bigbrothercaps.com

If this post is now outdated, click the reality television category link on the right side of the page for our most recent Big Brother posts.

Posted in Reality Television | Leave a Comment »

Stu Bykofsky is a “Sick Bastard”

Posted by Ryan on August 9, 2007

How do we steel resolve in America towards fighting the War on Terror?  Stu Bykofsky of the Philadelphia Daily News has a few tips:  please terrorists, hit America again!  This kind of leftist dribble is borderline treasonous– when free speech is used specifically to encite or invite violence against Americans, it needs a closer look in my opinion.  Poor historical perspective, bad anecdotes, and a solution for unity that rivals Bin Laden’s dreams infect this article!  Stu is trying to be that guy who thinks he’s cutting edge because he believes he’s just saying what everyone else is thinking but won’t say.  Rather, he comes across like a leftist loon trying too hard, unwittingly employing Bill O’Reilly’s infamous tendency to automatically-take-the-middle-of-anything, even on getting hit by terrorists!

Here’s a list of points Stu makes in his article:

  • He blames Bush and Congress for Iraq, but also for all the division it has caused our country.  See, it’s only division if you don’t agree with the leftist point of view, otherwise it’s automatically consensus.  It’s not the Republicans that split this country on Iraq, not even most Democrats, it was leftist boobs that believe our soldiers are the expression of American power which they view as malevolent.
  • He says America’s not in it, (or any war) for the long haul like Britain for example, yet somehow another 9/11 is going to automatically change that, as if all our enemies will suddenly appear in states with uniforms, armies with chains of command, and the open will to attack our military juggernaut on a specific geographic battlefield with capitals to take and treaties to sign on battleships.
  • Despite Stu’s uninformed assertion, Bush 41 made every possible mistake in the aftermath of the Gulf War, leading to two subsequent administrations having to pick up the pieces and finish the job.  Yet, Stu’s got nothing but praise for Pappy Bush, and nothing but criticism for Dubya, lending to my feeling that he might name drop historical events and dates, but has little understanding of them.  Could he have gone to public school?
  • By killing dozens, hundreds or even thousands of Americans, Stu seems to think this will help us end the debate.  I’m sorry to break it to Stu, but quabbling and debate is this thing called “democracy.”  Maybe he’s heard of it, maybe not– there’s that public school question in my head again. 

So, by logical extension, the death of many Americans by terrorists will crush democracy and thereby end the division in American society which to Stu has been “pulling apart like a cheap sweater.”  Way to go, Stu!  I think this guy may have gone to NYU by the way he’s ranting! 

I think he thinks his heart’s in the right place, but I don’t think he understands the gravity of what he’s proposing, making me wholeheartedly respond to the article’s second line: Stu, you are a “sick bastard” not for suggesting that a catastrophe would have a unifying effect, but with the reckless abandon in which you suggest the solution, even providing al Qaeda with potential targets towards the end.

Posted in Culture, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Leave a Comment »

Big Brother 8: *$#t Hits The Fan

Posted by Mike on August 9, 2007

Scandal is nothing new to Big Brother television series but this season is in a downward spiral. First off, I’d like to withdraw my previous support for the human waterworks known as Amber. As most of the internet already knows, the “Sea Hag” was caught making anti-semitic statements that might even make those who overuse the word “Zionist” blush. Although she should not removed from the show for her comments, one would hope that her days in the Big Brother House are numbered.

In related scandal news, many devoted fans now seem to believe that the Big Brother producers have taken what used to be known as subtle diary room influence and transformed into outright vote rigging. This may may or may not be true; only time will tell if CBS does not. If true, the rigging would be as counterproductive as it is shameful. The game concept of the show is entertaining enough to deliver its ratings without manipulation.

That said, Big Brother has a history of ratings-killer contestants outlasting fan favorites so I’ll give CBS the benefit of the doubt for now. Assuming the game is legit, I am rooting for the alliance of Jessica, Dustin, and Jameka. Although anyone would deserve to win more than Richard.

Screencap via Survivor Sucks

Click the reality television category link on the right side of the page for our most recent Big Brother posts.

Posted in Reality Television | 3 Comments »

“Deeply Worried,” Newt Gets It

Posted by Ryan on August 9, 2007

Here’s a CNN video from the National Press Club with Newt Gingrich giving a five-minute response to a question on the War on Terror.  Ignore the title on the top of the page, it refers to the text of a related story and not the substance of the video itself.  When you hear what Newt has to say it seems like common sense to a conservative, but no one really wants to hear it.  I don’t want to hear this kind of gloomy stuff, but I recognize his message and fear it given our society’s complacency on radical Islam.

General Tommy Franks once said something like Newt does in this video.  Thousands of people wake up every morning with the sole purpose of destroying America.  This is a real, serious threat and our ruling elites have simply ignored numerous motives of our enemies.  Listen to what Newt says about Iran– scary, very scary and rings true if one just listens to Mahmoud’s own statements!  If a WMD takes out an American city, most likely a dirty-bomb or major infrastructure attack, then the Constitution and our civil liberties will be at serious risk, because the American people will demand it so.  Is it going to take such an event to mobilize us into action?  We have a major candidate in a major political party running for President that denies the existence of a real war on terror as has been recognized in the post-9/11 world!  It is ominous, unfortunately.

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, War on Terror | 2 Comments »

Bush Answers a Dumb Question

Posted by Ryan on August 9, 2007

The second MSM reaction to the I-35 Bridge collapse was to blame Bush and Republicans for their tax policy (the first was shock).  Zero-sum economics went out with feudalistic-style mercantilism back in the 1600s.  The knee-jerk reaction of the left-leaning undereducated press was to use President Bush’s first press conference since July 12 to bring up a silly, populist point about tax raising.  

Predictably, President Bush said that he would NOT raise taxes on gasoline to pay for transportation infrastructure.  Bush said, using numbers and facts as his guide, that there’s plenty of money for infrastructure, but Congress and local governments need to think about how they set their spending priorities.  Then and only then should new taxes be debated. 

I don’t even think that option should be on the table.  We have the money, it’s just the bureaucracy has so much red-tape on so many different levels with workers who do not have a sense of urgency to accomplish their tasks in a timely manner.  If they take too much time or go over budget, is the state going to contract a new company at that point?  Of course not.  There’s no consistent standard for accountability either.  The I-35 Bridge had already been cited numerous times for being a troubled bridge.  No amount of money was going to prevent that bridge from falling if no one’s going to take the warnings seriously.

Bush also answered questions on Iraq, Iran, Pat Tillman, Club Gitmo, and the subprime lending collapse and its effect on the economy, etc.  Typical yawning press conference boilerplate with typical Bush-like answers.

AP photo.

Posted in Media Bias, Politics | 3 Comments »

Giuiani Does Democrats’ Dirty Work

Posted by Mike on August 9, 2007

Mitt Romney’s campaign recently took a swipe at Rudy Giuliani’s record on illegal immigration, accusing the Mayor of running New York as a sanctuary city during the 1990s. Outraged, the Giuliani campaign issued a response accusing Romney of being a flip-flopper and denying the charge. I’m troubled by Giuliani’s response because it is patently false and reinforces liberal exaggerations of a fellow Republicans record.

Romney accused Giuliani of running a sanctuary city and the Mayor’s campaign denied it. Unfortunately for Giuliani, Romney was right. Although it was Mayor Koch who originally turned Gotham into a sanctuary city, Giuliani proudly continued and even defended the disgraceful policy.

“Some of the hardest-working and most productive people in this city are undocumented aliens,” Giuliani said at the time. “If you come here and you work hard and you happen to be in an undocumented status, you’re one of the people who we want in this city. You’re somebody that we want to protect, and we want you to get out from under what is often a life of being like a fugitive, which is really unfair.”

Just as troubling as the Giuliani campaign’s fibbing is their haste to reinforce a liberal exaggeration about Mitt Romney’s record. Early on in the campaign, Romney admitted to changing his position on the issue of abortion. Following this admission, liberals hit the airwaves and falsely accused the Governor of waffling on a number of other issues, gay rights being the most egregious example.

What these exaggerations accomplished was the creation of a perception that Romney is a serial waffler. Although this perception stems from gross exaggerations, it is something that Romney will have to defend in the general election should he win the Republican nomination. Giuliani lending the appearance of credibility to this mudslinging can only benefit She Who Must Not Be Named.

Although every Republican candidate wants to be the nominee, only one will win that honor. The eventual nominee, whoever it is, will have strengths and weaknesses as a candidate. It is perfectly legitimate for the Republican candidates to draw distinctions among themselves so long as those distinctions are truthful. Lending credibility to liberal exaggerations of Romney’s flip-flopping is no less disgusting than conservatives who lend credibility to phony liberal attacks on Giuliani’s anti-terrorism credentials. Our party’s unsuccessful candidates must not become an accomplices to the fountain of misinformation who will emerge on the Democrat side.

Romney drew accurate distinction on illegal immigration and the Giuliani campaign delivered a misleading, irrelevant, and unhelpful response. Giuliani should either admit his liberal position and move on, like he does with abortion; or he should change his position and explain why he was wrong, like he did on McCain-Feingold. That’s right. Rudy threw this stone from his glass house.

On this exchange: advantage Romney.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Carded??!!

Posted by Sal on August 8, 2007

Mrs. Sal got carded earlier this evening.  However, she didn’t get carded for buying a bottle of wine, a case of beer, or even a bottle of vodka.  No, she got carded for attempting to buy a can of spray paint at Home Depot.  We waited for five minutes at the self checkout while a clerk had to go through about 12 menus to unlock the block on spray paint purchases, after verifying her date of birth. 

Only in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. 

Posted in Anything Else, Culture | Leave a Comment »

Revealing Democrat Debate

Posted by Ryan on August 8, 2007

No one with a life watched more than twenty minutes of the AFL-CIO sponsored Democrat debate last night in Chicago.  I count myself amongst those.  Keith Olbermann in front of a Union audience with a bunch of megalomaniacal Democrats on stage is tough enough to stomach for longer than twenty minutes.  I watch the Dem debates mostly for entertainment, and to watch how perfect opportunities for Republicans to find, but not use, great sound-bites.  Here was the Republican highlight of last night’s debate:

While taking turns knocking Barry O’Bama’s ridiculous statements on Pakistan, She Who Must Not Be Named had this beautiful gem of a line:

“You should not always say everything you think when you are running for president, because it can have consequences.”

Sweet Jesus, what a line!  How Freudian of her!  That was the line of the night, I suppose.  C’mon Republicans, you can’t get those ads out early or fast enough!

Texas Hold ‘Em Blog pic.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 2 Comments »

Sadr City Raid

Posted by Ryan on August 8, 2007

It’s about time we raided Sadr City!  Sadr City is a northeast suburb of Baghdad and a huge breeding ground of Shiite extremists in the north.  It was part of my brother’s partol route when he was stationed in Taji.  He thought it was a place that was calming down, but needed to be handled.  That was before the Sunnis tried to start a civil war back in February 2006, unexpectedly leading to the reprisals and ethnic cleansing of Sunni neighborhoods in Shiite areas.  The Sunnis failed in that endeavor, as is evidenced with their cooperation, movement towards government involvement, and disdain for al Qaeda that has emerged since early 2007.  Plus, if genocide were to take place, the Sunnis realize that it would be they who are wiped out!

So, finally, US and Iraqi forces tracked down a splinter group of Mookie al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army who have been trying to sneak in explosive devices and had received training from Iran.  No surprise that they were in Sadr City!  So, we sent the troops and air support in and mowed down the bad guys.  32 militants and 9 civilians were killed, while 12 suspects were detained.  I’m of the firm belief that al-Sadr’s continued existence was a major failure of the IOF2 (Operation Iraqi Freedom II, stabilization and transition phase).  Al-Sadr was a spoiled little punk who grabbed onto his skirt and ran into a mosque.  He had 400 militants then, but we were waging a politically correct war and would not attack that mosque.  Today, he has 40,000 at his command and a dear friend with deep pockets in Tehran. 

I think a lot of frustration over the Iraq War is that we haven’t been kicking enough butt.  Americans know our military rocks and can beat anyone in a straight fight, so why havent we been doing that?  It’s complicated with asymetrical combat.  However, with the Surge, and with cooperation from the Iraqi Parliament, we now have the rules of engagement that allow us to do the job better.  Hitting targets in Sadr City is a great way to put Mookie and his Iranian stooges on notice.

Salon.com photo.

Posted in The Iraq Front | 4 Comments »

Barry Bonds Breaks Home Run Record*

Posted by Mike on August 7, 2007

Barry Bonds hit the 756th home run of his career Tuesday night off of the Washington Nationals’ Mike Bacsik. With this historic shot, Bonds passes Hank Aaron as Major League Baseball’s all-time home run leader*.

Reuters photo

Posted in Sports | 2 Comments »