Axis of Right

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

Archive for October, 2007

Her Democrat Debate Flip-flop

Posted by Ryan on October 31, 2007

First off, I totally agree with Mike’s take on last night’s Democrat Debate.  She Who Must Not Be Named did a horrible job, but still looked more competent than the other lot.  All of them scared me with their defeatism and socialism.  True “Mischief Night” to borrow a phrase from Michelle Malkin’s live-blogging link in the previous post.

A colleague of mine said that he only caught the part of the debate when SWMNBN flip-flopped right before our eyes (she’s horrible when she’s not scripted)!  So, I looked through the transcript and found the following exchange from last night’s debate. NOTE:  I edited it the following passage; check the official thread for the full text.  The bold points are the ones to read.  Also check out this eleven-minute video from the debate to see how it went down (you should fast-forward to exactly 7:00 on the video to see the exchange below):

“RUSSERT:  Senator Clinton, Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer has proposed giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.  [You]*** told the Nashua, New Hampshire, Editorial Board it makes a lot of sense. 

Why does it make a lot of sense to give an illegal immigrant a driver’s license?

SWMNBN:  Well, what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is fill the vacuum left by the failure of this administration to bring about comprehensive immigration reform….

RUSSERT:  Does anyone here believe an illegal immigrant should not have a driver’s license? …

DODD:  This is a privilege….  The idea that we’re going to extend this privilege here of a driver’s license I think is troublesome, and I think the American people are reacting to it….  

SWMNBN:  Well, I just want to add, I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do…

(UNKNOWN):  Wait a minute…

SWMNBN:  And we have failed.  We have failed.

DODD:  No, no, no.  You said—you said yes…

SWMNBN:  No.

DODD:  … you thought it made sense to do it.

SWMNBN:  No, I didn’t, Chris.  But the point is, what are we going to do with all these illegal immigrants who are driving…

DODD:  That’s a legitimate issue.  But driver’s license goes too far, in my view.

SWMNBN:  Well, you may say that, but what is the identification?  If somebody runs into you today who is an undocumented worker…

DODD:  There’s ways of dealing with that….

SWMNBN:  Well, what Governor Spitzer has agreed to do is to have three different licenses, one that provides identification for actually going onto airplanes and other kinds of security issues, another which is another ordinary driver’s license, and then a special card that identifies the people who would be on the road, so…

DODD:  That’s a bureaucratic nightmare.

SWMNBN:  … it’s not the full privilege.

RUSSERT:  Senator Clinton, I just want to make sure of what I heard.  Do you, the New York senator, [She Who Must Not Be Named], support the New York governor’s plan to give illegal immigrants a driver’s license?

You told the New Hampshire paper that it made a lot of sense.  Do you support his plan?

SWMNBN:  You know, Tim, this is where everybody plays “gotcha.” It makes a lot of senseWhat is the governor supposed to do?  He is dealing with a serious problems…. (video clip ends, but the transcript continues.)

EDWARDS: …  I want to add something that Chris Dodd just said a minute ago, because I don’t want it to go unnoticed.  Unless I missed something, Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes just a few minutes ago.

And I think this is a real issue for the country.  I mean, America is looking for a president who will say the same thing, who will be consistent, who will be straight with them….

WILLIAMS:  Senator Obama, why are you nodding your head?

OBAMA:  Well, I was confused on Senator Clinton’s answer.  I can’t tell whether she was for it or against it.  And I do think that is important.”

So… is this a flip-flop moment?  She tried to get away with a cheap political trick that the Dem crew were not going to let stand at this late date.  This exchange happened after the third commercial break after an evening of taking SWMNBN to task so a tangible testiness was in the air.  I hope that the Republican campaigns use clips like this all next year.  I have no doubt, even though she had a bad night, that she’ll be their nominee, but it’s great to see her stumble when asked real questions.

*** To demonstrate a little media bias: I find it almost humorous that the MSDNC transcript uses the word “he” here when the video clearly shows Russert saying “you.”  That one word is quite important when one thinks about the gravity of her statement and response.  Very, very shady and remarkably transparent move by the MSM!

AP photo.

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics | 1 Comment »

She Who Must Not Be Named Wins Democrat Debate

Posted by Mike on October 30, 2007

I have this Democrat debate on in the background and I’d like to let you all know that you’re not missing much. The donkeys still lack the seriousness needed in a Commander in Chief. John Edwards already sounds like a high school dropout who thinks he’s intelligent because he saw a Michael Moore DVD in mother’s basement. Apparently, he’s actually more afraid of the “the neocons” than the Iranians. As for the rest of them, they are convinced that calling the Iranian regime a terrorist regime is akin to a declaration of war.  Worst of all, Senator Gravel isn’t there for comic relief.

Even though it’s only the second quarter, She Who Must Not Be Named has already won this debate. It is much easier to pretend to be moderate when surrounded by these freaks. The way this is going, she could literally duplicate her western counterpart’s performance in the Wizard of Oz, complete with green paint, and she would still seem more Presidential than all of the others combined. It’s a dubious distinction I know, but if she can continue to disguise her true beliefs and keep this foil going after the Democrat coronation, she will be a formidable foe. Thankfully, she will face tougher competition next year.

AP photo

UPDATE: As always, Michelle Malkin’s liveblogging is worth a read.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 4 Comments »

Democrats Poor Record

Posted by Ryan on October 30, 2007

This Politico article quote regarding the “revised” SCHIP bill says it:

“They spent $1.5 million through their various shill outreach groups attacking me and a handful of my colleagues,” Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.) said before the Hoyer meeting, “but they did not spend five minutes to approach me to ask for my vote.”

People are noticing.  Despite the “outreach” effort, the Dems led by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, only switched one Republican vote which happened to be against the new measure!  With abysmal approval ratings, now even Mr. “New Tone,” President Bush, is coming out and taking them to task!  The 110th Congress is a disaster.  Here’s George today:

“The House of Representatives has wasted valuable time on a constant stream of investigations, and the Senate has wasted valuable time on an endless series of failed votes to pull our troops out of Iraq.”

With the Dems looking for something other than a slightly higher minimum wage (woo hoo?) to run on next year, they are going to need some real legislative accomplishments, not just window dressing.  That’s where the Republicans have to come in and demanded compromise to stem the tide of liberalism, and create a road back to the more responsible government philopsophy in which they once believed.  The Republicans can help to foment an anti-incumbency mood between now and next year if they stay consistent and on the offensive against the politically weak Dems in Congress.  She Who Must Not Be Named, however, is another concern altogether, but having a Republican Congress to stymie her blatant socialism would be critical if the worst-case scenario were to take place.

Newsmax photo.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 2 Comments »

Romney’s Amusing Blunder

Posted by Mike on October 29, 2007

Executive experience is an important asset for a Presidential candidate and rightly so. After all, the Presidency is the most important executive position in the world. The President is the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, the supervisor of the Cabinet-level department heads, the person who nominates Supreme Court Justices, and is the our representative to the world. Having experience in running something, whether it is a state, a major city, or even a corporation can come in handy when running the country. For this reason, it is perfectly legitimate to question one’s opponents’ executive experience.

That is exactly what Mitt Romney has been doing quite effectively against She Who Must Not Be Named in the last month or so. Unfortunately, Romney got a little too clever in a recent interview with Sean Hannity. Comparing any of other candidates, especially John Edwards, would have been funny. Well, comparing SWMNBN, our former President’s wife, to an intern is funny too, but it’s also counterproductive. It only gives her Death Eaters another opportunity to complain that they would rather discuss issues without actually discussing issues.

I’d rather have the SWMNBN campaign trying to defend his candidate’s socialist tax-and-spend policies than whining about how Romney had to bring up the fact that the former President was so gaga over SWMNBN that he had to indulge in cigar sessions with the fat chick in the blue dress.

Comparing SWMNBN to an intern was pretty funny, but it wasn’t Romney’s “A game.”

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Grade the Parents? Yes!

Posted by Ryan on October 29, 2007

I couldn’t help but laugh when I heard about Manchester, Connecticut’s Board of Education member, Republican Steve Edwards, suggesting that parents be graded on whether or not their children have had a good breakfast and are otherwise appropriately prepared for school!

Sweet Jesus would I love to do that for a change!  But only for shallow reasons.  Teachers get knocked around and even blamed for the state of education in this country: we’re not totally innocent.  But from the other side, many teachers see a lack of parenting as a major contribution to those poor results since our students are more and more likely to be ill-prepared for school than they were 20 years ago.  As a high school teacher for about seven years, I cannot tell you how many times my colleagues and I would have loved to grade a few choice parents on what is obviously negligent parenting leading to their pain-in-the-[expletive] kids that end up in our classrooms (it’s even more fun when their siblings show up a few years later!). 

Don’t get me wrong, the vast majority of all parents would easily pull an “A”, but some parents need a reality check.  One can’t start being a parent when your child is 15.  I’ve seen what happens when some parents try it and it’s scary: a sense of powerlessness and huge amounts of frustration have led many parents to tears in parent/teacher conferences.  Parenting is not a part-time job. 

Sure, I absolutely believe that people have freedoms and can parent the way they want.  No one is going to get parenting completely right and kids are pretty independent at a certain age and can make their own logical decisions: good parents can have not-so-great kids.  I can’t hand select my students either so I’ll continue to suck it up.  Yet, I think it’s every teacher’s dream to send a progress report home to some parents, but only to satisfy our frustration with teaching those particular kids.  The grades wouldn’t be binding, of course, but it would be a lot of fun from this end! 

As for Manchester or any other school district: it’s the property taxes of those parents that pay your salary, so I don’t think this kind of initiative will go anywhere.  Steve Edwards’ job may go somewhere, but his initiative won’t.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Politics | 5 Comments »

Vote Democrat for Higher Taxes

Posted by Sal on October 29, 2007

When I was six, I remember my parents following the 1984 Presidential Election.  My mother had gotten two bumper stickers, one red one that just had the words “Reagan” on it, and a blue one that said, “Vote Mondale for Higher Taxes.”  Even at six, I instinctively knew that higher taxes were a bad thing.   The bumper sticker above should be reissued as “Vote Democrat for Higher Taxes.” 

If anyone thought that the Democrats would not raise taxes this time around, think again.  Chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, Charles Rangel, a close ally of SWMNBN, introduced what he termed “the mother of all tax reforms.”  I call it “the mother of all heists.”  The Democrats here are trying to steal more money from the middle class under the guise of “taxing the rich.” 

Under Rangel’s plan, he would repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax.  This tax was enacted in 1969 to get about 155 rich families who were not paying any taxes to pay some taxes.  Now, due to the fact that it was never adjusted for inflation, over 21 million families are subject to this tax, costing them an average of $2,000 extra in taxes per year.  On its face, this proposal is a good idea.  The AMT was a mistake and is causing much hardship for the middle class.  If the tax bill ended here, it would be a good thing.  However, the Democrats insist on paying for this tax cut, not by cutting spending, but by raising taxes elsewhere. 

The first area of tax increase is the Bush tax cuts.  The Democrats plan to let these expire in 2010, and not renew them.  This will have the effect of: 

  • Raising the marginal tax rates from 10 to 15% for low-income familes, 25% to 28%, 28% to 30%,  to 33% to 36%, and 35% to 39.6%.  
  • Reinstate the marriage penalty, resulting in married couples paying more than their fair share. 
  • Taxpayers with children will lose 50% of their child tax credit
  • Taxes on dividends and capital gains will increase, thereby slowing investment. 
  • The death tax will return. 

The Bush tax cuts spurred the economy in one of the most sustained periods of steady economic growth in memory.  Unlike the tech bubble of the 90s, the growth (with the exception of the housing sector) has been real, sustained, and long-term.  Raising taxes by letting these cuts expire will devastate the economy. 

But letting the Bush cuts expire is not enough for Charlie Rangel.  No, he wants to go further and raise taxes even more.  First, he wants to raise taxes on managers of hedge funds and venture capital firms, and others who manage investment funds.  All this will serve to do is cause the managers of these funds to raise their cut of the profits to cover the tax, taking investment income away from the middle class. 

Finally, in the most egregious tax hike of all, Rangel wants to impose a 4% “surcharge” on the “wealthy”.  He defines wealthy as any individual making $150,000 or more, or a married couple making $200,000 or more (another marriage penalty), and an increase of 4.8% on those who make more than $500,000/yr.  Now, I know in some parts of the country, 150k or 200k seem like a lot, but on the coasts (New England, New York, California) where the cost of living is high, these salaries are not out of the ordinary at all.  Additionally, this surcharge would be made not against taxable income, but Adjusted Gross Income (the income on a tax return before any deductions are made).  This would have the net effect of basically cancelling out most deductions that individuals can make.  The bill also would begin a phase-out of personal exemptions and itemized deductions, making the average tax bill far higher than in the past. 

In total, Rangel’s tax bill would raise taxes to the tune of 3.5 trillion, the largest tax hike in history.  The effective top marginal rate would be 48% for individuals making over 500,000.  This bill effectively wipes out both the Bush and Reagan tax cuts, seriously endangering the last 25+ years of economic prosperity.  This is what Americans have to look forward to if they hand the government to the Democrats next year.  Be prepared to pay, and pay big. 

 Update:  The RNC is fighting back (courtesy of Michelle Malkin). 

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Michael Gerson Tells us to Learn the Right Lessons from Iraq

Posted by Ryan on October 28, 2007

In an upcoming Newsweek book spotlight, former Bush speechwriter, Michael Gerson asks the American people to learn the right lessons from Iraq.  He argues in his book, Heroic Conservatism, that Iraq was an important war in the history of the Mideast.  Democracy will take hold in the Middle East and, in his view, is the only way the major sects in Iraq will be able to govern themselves.  The alternatives are more blood, more suspension of freedom and more instability.  Though mistakes have been made, this former Bush speechwriter believes that all is not lost.

His most important point dealt with the future.  The title of this piece is ” No Cause For Hypercaution.”  Towards the end of this excerpt he insinuates that the MSM and the Democrat Party have imparted something potentially dangerous in the American consciousness:  that tough times and continuous attacks automatically mean we’re losing, that there must be absolute proof of wrong doing (an Adlai Stevenson moment every single time there’s an international security issue), that the blessing of the United Nations must be a part of any international action, that people not used to democracy will never be able to adapt to it. 

I agree with his points about the MSM and the Dems.  I counter that Bush’s resolve alone has kept us in Iraq and may lead us to an eventual victory there, since even Republicans had been scared of the MSM’s incessant portrayal of defeatism and horror on the news every night.  The problem with Adlai Stevenson moments is that in regards to the Cuban Missile Crisis holding those pictures up of the missile silos was fine, but it was too late:  the silos were there and (we now know) operational.  Gerson makes the point that the NATO intervention in Kosovo was not sanctioned by the UN, but was done anyway and had the support of many nations and the American people.  Also, he uses the example of India in the 1940s as not looking like a bastion of democracy, but today (after the growing pains) India is the world’s largest democracy and is quite stable.

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

Big Brother 8: CBS Loses Even More Credibility

Posted by Mike on October 27, 2007

From the cut and paste editing of E.D. Donato, to the Diary Room influencing the votes, to changing the rules in the middle of the game, the hit CBS show Big Brother 8 was one of the most rigged television game shows since the old version of 21.  Until now, people had to rely on their own eyes and deductive reasoning to reach this obvious conclusion.  Now we have evidence straight from the horse’s mouth.

One of the major elements of the big Brother game is the power of veto.  Contestants’ decision to use or not use the power often determines who is eliminated and can shift the game’s balance of power.  One week last season, contestant Eric Stein won this power and CBS played clip after clip of Stein discussing the pros and cons of using and not using the power of veto.  Had Stein used the power, it most likely would have led to the elimination of one of CBS’s favorite contestants, E.D. or Daniele Donato.   Unfortunately, CBS was lying through their teeth every time they showed Stein discussing his “decision.”

As the network of Dan Rather and Mary Mapes was telling their audience that Stein faced a major decision, the show’s producers had already told Stein that he forbidden to use the power of veto, effectively rigging that week as they had done previously for their favorite contestant and ultimate winner, E.D. Donato.

Last summer, CBS broadcast programs called Big Brother 8 and Power of 10. Too bad the former was no better than the old version of 21.  At the very least, Allsion Grodner should be replaced as the show’s producer.

Posted in Pop Culture, Reality Television | 1 Comment »

Iran Rips America, Israel

Posted by Ryan on October 27, 2007

Not being ambiguous on how they feel about America and Israel, the Iranian military had an inspection march for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei where Zulfiqar (the Sword of Ali) rips through a Star of David and an American flag!  Of course, taking a cue from the leftist moonbat sentiment here in America, the American flag is decorated with a red swastika rather than with stripes.  And what does Iran do with homosexuals?  How does Iran feel about the Jews?  How do we treat those and other groups here in America?  Right.  Iran suffers from the same historical ignorance and lack of perspective that some of today’s college students enjoy, except Iran’s is for propaganda only.

This video from MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) highlights the extremism coming from Iran not just from Mahmoud (which we are used to seeing), but from the leader of the Islamic Council that actually rules Iran.  This comes on the heels of the USA slapping major sanctions on Iran this past Thursday in an attempt to show Iran we’re not messing around. 

The truth is that these sanctions will only work if Europe is on board since Russia and China are being obstructionist ninnies on this whole ordeal.  Economic pressure can break Iran’s back and get them to behave in regards to their nuclear program and the IRG in Iraq, but only if others get involved to add more pressure.  I also believe that the real threat of force is the only way to keep Iran guessing, making them think through every move just that much more carefully.  Some in this country don’t get it, so here’s how it works:  we leave real force on the table where everyone can see it, thereby decreasing the likelihood we actually use it (think Reagan in the 1980s).

Posted in War on Terror | 1 Comment »

Peter Paul Sours a Birthday

Posted by Ryan on October 26, 2007

She Who Must Not Be Named turned 60 today.  It’s big milestone since much of that time she had to endure a loveless marriage of political convenience, smiling through moments when we could tell she wanted to stab Bill.  But, she made the choice to stay so I don’t want to hear it. 

But, I digress.

There’s this two-part 15-minute trailer to an upcoming documentary by former SWMNBN donor, Peter Paul, which exposes how she may have broken campaign law in 2000 and committed a full-fledged felony.  The gala in question was put together by, among others, the legendary Stan Lee and his associate Peter Paul, where many Hollywood types donated money and had a great dinner and a show.  Former SWMNBN chief campaign fundraiser, David Rosen, already faced the heat for these actions, so they guessed that was the end of it (like Web Hubbell’s death essentially ended the Clinton headache about Whitewater).  Not exactly.  Check out the video and see for yourself.  The first part sets up the allegations while the second part actually shows a conference-call where some alleged illegal activity took place.  You be the judge.

This is what we’d get if SWMNBN and her husband are back in the White House.  Sleaze and scandal follow these people around like few I’ve seen in my life.  Bush is accused of all sorts of things, but rarely are any of them true.  SWMNBN and her husband seem to be surrounded by real scandal while influencing and destroying everyone who gets in their way or knows too much.  It’s like the mother says to the cops who have her son in custody, “No, no, no, you must be mistaken!  Little Billy only plays with the bad boys, he’s not one of them!”  Right.

Pic from Peter F. Paul.

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics | 1 Comment »

Burning Bridges with the Politics of SCHIP

Posted by Ryan on October 25, 2007

The Democrats love it.  They get to keep this SCHIP bill out there banging the President’s head against the wall over and over and over again just to make their twisted point:  Republicans want your child to be sick.  But, like Iraq and amnesty, the Democrats seem to be overplaying their hand here too. 

They’ve just scheduled the next SCHIP vote to coincide with the President and seven members of the Republican Party visiting the fire-damage inflicted areas of Southern California.  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer believes that the absence of these Republicans won’t matter anyway.  The Republicans, however, have responded to this by saying that it’s poor timing, and reeks of mean-spirited political gamesmanship.  Thirteen Republicans from fire-damaged districts have sent a letter to San Fran Nan to ask for a delay of the vote for a while.  Plus, House Minority Leader John Boehner still wants to give the President a bill he can sign, which is apparently not on the Democrat’s agenda since according to the leadership, “no one has seen any details” of the reworked legislation.

On the substance, though, Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert implied that the Dems are “taking advantage of a disaster to loot the American treasury.”  The “cosmetic” changes to the bill that failed to be overridden is becoming a blind attempt to keep the issue alive rather than solve the problem at the children’s expense.  Otherwise, they’d be working to get an actual bill created that can be signed.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 2 Comments »

Bush’s “Great Society”

Posted by Ryan on October 24, 2007

The Ownership Society was supposed to have been a series of initiatives that President was looking to push in his second Administration.  It sounded good:  the more Americans own, the more they’ll care about their property and communities.  Instead of an Ownership Society, recent spending analysis shows that Bush beats Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” in terms of an increase of spending during his tenure!  Check out this from the conservative CATO Institute:

Exposed is the domestic and conservative failure of President Bush:  he’s a pro-defense, tax-cutting big government Republican.  Hence, he also fails to be the true heir of Ronald Reagan.  If all of this extra spending was war-related, then give him a break, but this recent article indicates that even so, Bush (and the Republicans that sent him most of those bloated budgets) spent like crazy:  worse even than Jimmah Carter and LBJ, two icons of liberal spending!  For shame. 

I think this issue contributed to the depressed Republican vote last November.  Why wouldn’t it?  If there’s no substantive difference between liberals and Republicans except on the war, then at least make sure we have the right strategy in that war or the 2006 Election may be a sobering preview of 2008!  

The accusations against the Republicans of being drunk with power and swallowed whole by the Washington establishment have been true in regards to discretionary spending.  If one’s spending rivals LBJ, then there’s no hope for you.  Sure, the deficit’s down and Bush has found new fiscal responsibility since getting a Democrat Congress, but that doesn’t reflect his true self.  When given a Republican Congress and the political capital to push initiatives, Bush chose to follow the path of being fiscally irresponsible with much of the people’s money… on a level that rivals Mr. Modern Liberal Big Government himself, LBJ.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

Obama Gaffes

Posted by Sal on October 24, 2007

The darling candidate of the media is in a freefall.  Barak Obama does not run a politically-smart campaign.  First, he declares that he refues to wear flag lapel pins as a sign of his patriotism, and that he stopped wearing them after 9/11.  Now, in his latest gaffe, at a steak fry event for Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Obama does not put his hand on his heart during the national anthem (picture below courtesy of Time Magazine Online). 

Poor Obama.  He just can’t win.  This all after saying that he would invade Pakistan while inviting Hugo Chavez to the White House for a beer.  These missteps show that Obama does not have what it takes to run an effective Presidential campaign in the general election, let alone be our Commander in Chief.  Unfortunately, that leaves us with the prospect of SWMNBN, and that is not pretty. 

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

California Continues to Burn

Posted by Ryan on October 23, 2007

The big story on all the networks and the Internet over the past two days has been the swiftly spreading wild fires that are ravaging Southern California.  About 518,000 people have already been evacuated form their homes, 1300 known structures have been ruined, 45 people have been injured including 16 firefighters who were hurt battling the blaze, hotels have been opened up to help the displaced, and people are even seeking refuge in the San Diego Charger’s Qualcomm Stadium

Hot temperatures, dry conditions and those notorious Santa Ana winds (which can gust from 70-100 mph) are the culprit for making this incident a full-blown disaster that has already torched an estimated 583 square miles as of this moment: an area larger than New York City and nearly half the size of Rhode Island.  President Bush and the Governator are already responding to the needs of the people at this time (thought I should at least get that on the record, you know, just in case), declaring seven counties a disaster area to speed up federal aid and sending in the National Guard, respectively. 

The weather is calling for more of the same for the next few days so we hope and pray for the the locals and first-responders during this difficult and tragic time.

AP photo.

Posted in Anything Else | 2 Comments »

Spanish Judge Misjudges His Own Authority

Posted by Mike on October 22, 2007

The United States does not have a monopoly on out-of-control judges.  Take Spain for example.  A Spanish judge recently ordered the Catholic Church to cancel a Valencia man’s baptism certificate.  The Curt Jester rightly questions the court’s jurisdiction and suggests that the man seek out “John the Debaptizer” instead.  Heh.

In all seriousness though, I wonder how long it will take Justice Breyer to try to cite this Spanish decision as binding persuasive authority here in the U.S.?

Posted in Europe, Judicial Watch, Religion | 1 Comment »

Bill Maher Experiences the Raw Left

Posted by Ryan on October 22, 2007

Bill Maher is a leftist and has said some pretty inflammatory things that have irked the Right and the mainstream, but even Maher can be in the crosshairs of the loony, moonbat Lefties!  This video from Friday night demonstrates how even Bill Maher can be a target of the Left-wing nut jobs, especially those 9/11 conspiracy nuts who sneak into a live audience to demand their voices be heard by shouting down the hosts. 

Bill loses it and charges one of them behind the security guards.  You can see his frustration as the shouting continues from all over his studio audience as he tried to continue his show.  If you play on the same neighborhood as these wackos, eventually they’ll come down your street.  Bill Maher experienced the far-left turning on the left-left in his own studio.

WARNING: the link contains a video with adult language and themes.

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

Chavez’s Religious Emergency

Posted by Ryan on October 22, 2007

Hugo Chavez is creating a socialist paradise kingdom of his own.  We know he controls the media, we know he’s nationalized industry, we know he’s working with America’s enemies like Iran and Cuba, but now he’s setting his sights on the Catholic Church!  He doesn’t yet have control over the bishops, which came out recently against a proposed referendum which gives Chavez’s forces the power to detain citizens without charging them during “political” emergencies or natural disasters.  The referendum is expected to pass in December because even though it is an obvious power-grab at the expense of civil liberties, it promises to shorten the working day and provide more government handouts!  Woo hoo– an easier ride with half the freedoms!

So the Catholic Church is a bit upset about this blind attempted power-grab aimed at squashing dissent in Venezuela.  Chavez called the bishops “morally unacceptable” after they used the same phrase to describe this power-grab.  Since the RCC in Venezuela is still an independent organization that criticizes Chavez, look for the Church to be another stop on Chavez’s ultimate road to totalitarianism.  Now, the church is all about giving to the poor and generally supports quasi-socialistic tendencies when governments provide obtuse social securities to their people.  Many of the nations in Latin America are fervently Catholic and have strong welfare states.  This makes Chavez look even worse because the Church has the moral high ground on many local political issues as well, and Chavez knows it.  That’s what makes this a potentially dangerous situation brewing down the road.  Who knows?  Perhaps the Church may be involved in a “political” emergency of its own sometime soon.

Pic from Theodore’s World blog.

Posted in Anything Else, Politics | 3 Comments »

Fox News Republican Debate

Posted by Mike on October 21, 2007

The following is this undecided conservative’s take on tonight’s Republican debate.

There were two winners tonight: Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson.

Tonight’s Winners:

Rudy Giuliani was one of tonight’s two winners. Once again, he demonstrated that he understands the dangers of the world in which we live. This was especially clear in his answer on the issue of Iran when he compared the relative worldviews of today’s liberals and conservatives with the differing perspectives of Jimmy Cater and Ronald Reagan 27 years ago. He noted that the former’s worldview led to the 400 plus day hostage crisis whereas the latter’s worldview led to the hostages’ release within an hour. Now that’s a legitmate analogy Barack.

Giuliani was also impressive when it was his turn to whack what would literally be the world’s largest pinata, She Who Must Not Be Named. At one point, the Mayor quoted SWMNBN as saying “I have a million ideas.  America can’t afford them all.”  Rudy’s response to the quote: “America cannot afford you.” This showed Republicans across the country that he is capable of challenging the witch in a humorous way. That would be key in a general election. Giuliani would be a formidable candidate.

Fred Thompson was tonight’s other winner. In fact, his words told me that of those running (with the possible exception of Duncan Hunter), he would be the best President of the United States. His answer to the tort reform question spoke volumes. According to Thompson, he supported tort reform at the federal level but was reluctant to do so on traditional state-level torts. This showed me that Thompson has a clear appreciation of our Constitutional framework.

Because Thompson understands that it is not a President’s or a Senator’s job to address state-level issues, it is almost certain that he understands how judges should view their Constitutional roles. If Thompson were to become President and a Supreme Court vacancy were to arise, that would mean a Thompson nominee would join Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito on the Supreme Court. If that happens, kiss Roe goodbye. The question remaining is whether he can defeat SWMNBN.

With regard to electability, Thompson helped himself tonight when he directly addressed a major concern regarding his candidacy, the perception that he is lazy. Listing his lifetime of accomplishments and the fact that such an old guy could have such young children showed a self-deprecating sense of humor that would come across even more impressively when contrasted a witch’s cackle. Moreover, who doesn’t love a good fat joke at the expense of Ted Kennedy?

Now that you have my take on the winners, I’ll give you my thoughts on the rest of the field.

The Other Top-Tier Candidates:

Mitt Romney: He was a little off tonight but he wasn’t bad. Romney is very talented at changing the subject when his weaknesses come up. As Duncan Hunter pointed out, Romney’s health care plan contains more mandates than most conservatives would tolerate. Romney responded by claiming the plan was a product of compromise with a Democrat legislature. He couched his answer in terms of problem-solving, which would be a very effective strategy in a general election context, especially against a . . . less than appealing female opponent.

Mike Huckabee: Once again, he had the best one-liner of the night when he talked about how hippies would line up in support of more private health plans once they found out about the free drugs. On a more serious note, he gave himself credit for being funny before delivering a great mini-speech about how there would be nothing funny about a SWMNBN Presidency. Finally, no one is stronger on defending the sanctity of human life.

John McCain: I hate saying this, but he is Bob Dole. Honorable does not even begin to describe John McCain, but I don’t think he should be our nominee. He is weak on too many issues and would be the old guy who would lose to SWMNBN. I loved his jab at Putin though, and his support of missile defense is commendable. This could be a future Secretary of Defense.

The Lower Tier:

These candidates did not get the attention they should have. If a candidate isn’t worthy enough to be spoken to, then they aren’t worthy enough to be invited. They were there however, so I’ll comment.

Ron Paul: This video pretty much sums up his performance.

Tom Tancredo: He was solid on illegal immigration once called upon, and his jabs at Michael Moore were appreciated.

Duncan Hunter: His detailed knowledge of military matters would serve him well in the role of Vice President. It would also serve our party well in a VP debate against whatever empty suit SWMNBN puts on her ticket.

With the exception of Ron Paul, any of the candidates on that stage would be superior to anything the Democrats have to offer. The question in the primary is which candidate has the right combination of conservatism and electability to carry our banner next year? I am still undecided but am closer to making my decision. I’ll let you know when I do.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 2 Comments »

Republican Victory Strategy

Posted by Sal on October 21, 2007

In what is supposed to be bad times for Republicans, there are a few bright spots.  In Louisiana this week, Rep. Bobby Jindal (R) defeated 11 other candidates and won the Governorship with 53% of the vote.  Louisiana requires that candidates for office receive a majority in an open election;  if a majority is not received, a run-off would have occured between the top two candidates.  In this case, Jindal won a decisive victory that shows that a clear Conservative message when paird against the incompetence of Democratic Leadership (in this case, Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who next to Mayor Ray “School Bus” Negan, was the person most responsible for what was the debacle that was the aftermath of hurricane Katrina).  Jindal, 36, and the son of Indian immigrants, is certainly someone to watch in years to come in the Republican Party. 

Republicans across the country should take this model into account.  The Democrat congress has literally done nothing (thank God), Pelosi and Reid are complete disasters, and the Democrat field of Presidential candidates are nothing to brag about.  The only thing stopping the Republicans from sweeping 2008 are the Republicans.  They are acting like scared children, trying again to coddle the media and not appear “mean” (see the whole S-CHIP fiasco where enough Republicans supported the bill to make it veto-proof in the Senate, and almost so in the House).  Republicans need to grow a spine and run as Conservatives and against Democrat incompetence.  With that strategy, the Republican party nationally will have the same success as the Jindal in Louisiana. 

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 4 Comments »

Romney Wins Values Voters Straw Poll

Posted by Mike on October 21, 2007

Even before the voting began, most outlets reported with surprise the fact that Mitt Romney was well received at the recent Values Voters Summit. This surprise was compounded when Romney won the straw poll held by the largely evangelical Christian group. Unfortunately, the media’s bewilderment over Romney’s success stems from a bigoted conventional wisdom that evangelical Christians would be reluctant to support a candidate who happens to be Mormon. Of course the conventional wisdom is no reflection on Christians. It is a reflection of the modern left’s bigotry against people of faith.

Liberal bigotry against evangelical Christians reared its ugly head in 2004 when the Kerry campaign honestly believed that evangelical Christians would stay home if they knew that Vice President Cheney has a daughter who happens to be a lesbian. Of course, southern Christians are not the bigots the Kerry campaign thought they were and actually turned out in record numbers to vote against the Democrat ticket. Unfortunately, the left did not learn its lesson in 2004 and continues to view southern religious conservatives as uneducated bigots who will refuse to support someone who is a little different. Once again, this view misses the mark.

Romney’s potential problem with evangelical Christians is his late conversion to the pro-life cause, not his faith. The Mormon religion believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, and opposes abortion, homosexuality, pre-marital sex, and alcohol consumption. I can think of one group who has a problem with these beliefs and it isn’t evangelical Christians.

What is shocking is the media’s belief that they could turn one group of religious conservatives against another by repeating the fact that the candidate is a Mormon. If anything, the more evangelicals listen to Romney and actually discover that the Mormon faith is compatible with other branches of Christianity, the candidate’s support among this group may continue to expand. Romney’s growing support among the evangelical community is just further evidence that Mormonism is not Romney’s problem. The left is simply projecting their own bigotry.

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, Religion | 4 Comments »

PKK, Turkey Ready for War

Posted by Ryan on October 21, 2007

The separatist Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) have wanted an independent Kurdistan and special rights for Kurds in neighboring Turkey for quite a long time.  However, cross-border raids into Turkey, killing Turkish soldiers and civilians is a great way to get yourself into a war you can’t win. 

That’s just what may be happening. 

So, where does the US play in all of this?  The Iraqi government would have a hard time dealing with cross-border attacks by Turkey, which would further strain our relations with Turkey, who America needs for fuel and transportation, including their airspace.  Turkey is a member of NATO, so that complicates things too.  The Kurds in general trade with and tend to be minimally diplomatic with Turkey, but the PKK is a Kurdish group performing acts of terror and intimidation in retaliation for they believe has been Turkish oppression of the Kurdish minority in that region, a region that they think should be part of Kurdistan. 

So, are the PKK freedom fighters or terrorists?  Bombing a Turkish wedding party certainly doesn’t sound like the actions of freedom fighters.  I can’t say Turkey’s wrong here.  If “reconquista” bandits from Mexico came over and shot up some places or planted roadside bombs in our border towns, what would we do?  Heck, I support following the IRG into Iran and attacking their support bases while we’re there.  But, I also would like to see a different outcome here if possible.  Iraq is in a very vulnerable place right now and anything like this could destabilize it further, which is not the headache that America needs right now.

Posted in Politics, The Iraq Front | 10 Comments »

Albus Dumbledore is Gay!

Posted by Ryan on October 20, 2007

JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, told a crowd at Carnegie Hall yesterday that the reason why the super-wizard and beloved Headmaster of Hogwarts Albus Dumbledore never found a true love was that he was gay!  Secretly smitten by the dark wizard and contemporary, Gellert Grindelwald, Albus never found joy in the comfort of women.  Some fans have wondered what might be the deal with Dumbledore because he never had a girlfriend (though I just assumed that he and Professor McGonagall had a thing going on, but admittedly my “gay-dar” is horrible) and he had a mysterious and troubled past (but so could straight people, right?).

Rowling admits that a major theme in all her books is tolerance: notice how He Who Must Not Be Named hates mudbloods (wizards with non-wizard, or muggle, parents), Slytherin House also only takes pure bloods, Hermione (Harry’s brilliant friend) has muggle parents, Ron’s father loves muggles and gets flack for it at work,  Harry’s mom was a mudblood, and all that stuff. 

So, I guess having a major and beloved character be gay is another way for her to promote diversity and tolerance of others.  I did appreciate, however, that it did not become a major point in the books like, “Hi Harry, I’m your Headmaster and I like to have sex with men.”  I didn’t know, I couldn’t tell, and like many homosexuals in America feel:  being defined by how you choose to have sex is not as important as everything else you are about.  Of course, the Christian groups that have already despised the pagan motif of a wizarding world being targeted at a child audience are going to have yet another reason to take antacids after this new revelation.

Pic from a Spanish dictionary of some kind… just follow the link.

Posted in Culture, Politics, Pop Culture | 4 Comments »

Limbaugh’s $2,100,100 Letter

Posted by Ryan on October 19, 2007

Forty-one Senators signed a letter designed to scold radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh for his alleged “phony soldiers” comment that has been discussed thoroughly on AOR.  So, when Rush was given the copy of the letter, which was sent to CEO Mark Mays of Clear Channel Communications Inc., he decided to have a little fun and auction it off on E-Bay!  The proceeds would go to the Marine Corps–Law Enforcement Foundation that gives financial, scholarship, and health care assistance to children of fallen Marines or Federal law enforcement officials. 

As a result, Rush gets to write them a $2,100,100.00 check– the largest non-profit bid in the history of E-Bay!  In fact, Rush said he would match the bid, so in fact, this non-profit organization will be receiving a check for over $4 million!  Harry Reid actually had the audacity after trying to ruin this man to thank Rush for this while repeatedly using the word “we” continuously— as if he and Mark Mays were the only ones that had something to do with the bidding angle here.  Nice try!  How about putting your money where your mouth is, Mr. Reid, and match the bid too!  I’m not holding my breath. 

Photo from Ansir.

Posted in Politics, Pop Culture | 4 Comments »

Kevin Stuck in a Rudd?

Posted by Mike on October 18, 2007

The UK Spectator’s Coffee House has collected some articles showing that after just one week of campaigning in Australia’s General Election, Prime Minister John Howard’s government is gaining on the opposition Labor Party. One poll even shows Howard gaining nine points on the issue of which coalition leader would make a better Prime Minister.

Now I admit that wishful thinking motivated me to post this.  It may turn out that Howard’s surge is nothing more than a blip, but stranger things have happened. Although it is still more likely that Kevin Rudd will win the election, it is clear that John Howard is outcampaigning him. Whether Howard’s superior campaign skills are enough to turn the tide remains to be seen.  Let’s hope they are.

Posted in Australia, Politics | 1 Comment »

Sam Brownback Drops Out

Posted by Mike on October 18, 2007

Sam Brownback will drop out of the Republican race for President tomorrow.   Although he should applauded for his efforts to protect the rights of the unborn, Brownback’s departure is welcome.  The absence of Brownback will mean more time for the serious contenders, which will help our party make a more informed decision.  If only Ron Paul would follow Brownback’s lead. . .

Brownback was unable to break through the lower tier of candidates and this is no surprise.  He was a weak and unprincipled candidate on illegal immigration, at one point switching his amnesty vote on the Senate floor in the span of nine minutes.  To make matters worse, he was simply too boring to gain any traction.  She Who Must Not Be Named would have wiped the floor with him using the same broom she hopes to rename Air Force One.

That said, Brownback should continue to serve honorably in the US Senate.  The unborn are counting on it.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 1 Comment »

Dear Mr. Steinbrenner

Posted by Mike on October 18, 2007

FOAD

Sincerely,
Mike

Posted in Sports | 1 Comment »

Terror in Pakistan

Posted by Ryan on October 18, 2007

Former Pakistani Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto returned from exile today in front of a crowd in Karachi of roughly150,000 supporters.  There was a massive security contingent for the procession, but that did not stop terrorists from setting off a small, then a large, bomb killing 30 (at this point) and wounding 100.  Bhutto was unhurt in the blast.  She has recently been viewed as a symbol of normalcy after eight years of Musharraf’s military rule over the country.  Many Pakistanis believe that the situation that propelled Musharraf to power has passed and Bhutto, with other high-profile exiles, are a path towards civilian rule. 

So, who did this?  Musharraf’s people?  Probably not, since Bhutto the martyr would be worse for him than Bhutto the anything-else.  Al Qaeda?  Probably them or some other Islamist group.  If Bhutto was killed it would show a continued need for military rule (which the people are getting sick of), it would also inflame the factions and spark more unrest.  The two-bomb modus operandiis an al Qaeda trademark.  Either way, Bhutto just experienced the life and times of Pakistan during the War on Terror. 

AP photo.

Posted in War on Terror | Leave a Comment »

SCHIP Gets Flushed

Posted by Ryan on October 18, 2007

Not exactly.  It’s still an exisiting government program that’s designed to help extend the scope of socialized health care and all that, but the really poor Democrat bill that President Bush vetoed went down today 273-156, or about 14 votes shy of an override.  So ends this phase of the Democrat’s demagoguery of a bad, irresponsible bill that offered health care to both people who could afford it anyway and to people who already have private insurance.  No Republicans changed their votes for the override– a good sign, but still too many Republicans did not stand on principle here.  One must admit that the Democrats came out better from this round in the realm of public relations, but they still lost the override vote.  Yet, the issue remains in the news for a few more weeks.

However, some news was made when Democrat and California Representative Pete Stark went stark-raving over the issue and made a personal attack on President Bush when he said:

“Where are you [President Bush] going to get that money? Are you going to tell us lies like you’re telling us today? Is that how you’re going to fund the war? You don’t have money to fund the war or children. But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old, enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement.”

Stark was given a “general reminder” not to make a personal attack according to House rules, but the Republicans were not happy about the gentle response to a blatant political hack-job.  Republican Kevin Brady of Texas responded:

“It is despicable to have a member of this Congress accuse the president, any president, of willfully blowing the heads, quote, ‘blowing the heads off’ our young men and women over in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It is dead wrong, and it is beneath contempt as well that we will sit here silently and allow such a remark to be tolerated, accepted, if not embraced.”

So we can’t both fund Iraq and SCHIP?  Yet, some of the Democrats running for President propose national health care, free money for babies, and matching 401K cash while leaving the troops there through 2013.  Hmm.  The Democrats could have just sat back and had the Republicans take the flack for not caring about “America’s children”, but no, they had to bring up Iraq and give the Republicans an opening to slap them back.  Both sides are playing bad politics on this one in my opinion:  the Dems just can’t side with the troops (even when the bill has no real connection to them), and the Republicans simply can’t get their message out in a clear way.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Giuliani Gives Obama a History Lesson

Posted by Mike on October 17, 2007

Democrats often cite Ronald Reagan when trying to defend their inexplicable desire to negotiate with America’s irrational enemies like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. According to them, if Reagan negotiated with the USSR, then we can negotiate with a leader who spends his free time threatening to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. What these Democrats always fail to mention in their selective retelling of history are the events which preceded Reagan’s dealings with the reasonable and rational Mikhail Gorbachev.

Finally, one of the Republican candidate for President has filled in the gaps of the Democrats’ selective recall. Responding to Barack Obama’s factually incomplete account of history, Rudy Giuliani reminded the empty suit of Ronald Reagan’s pre-Gorbachev stance toward the Soviet Union:

In a barbed speech, Mr. Giuliani told Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, who justified his pledge to negotiate with enemy leaders by pointing to Mr. Reagan’s negotiations with Soviet leaders, that he got his history wrong.

“I say this most respectfully — you’re not Ronald Reagan,” he said.

“Here’s what Ronald Reagan did before he negotiated with the communists. First, he called them the ‘Evil Empire.’ Then he took missiles — he put them in European cities, and he pointed the missiles at Russian cities with names on them. And then he said, in his very nice way, ‘Let’s negotiate,’ …” Mr. Giuliani said, drawing waves of laughter and applause.

This was long overdue.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments »

Dalai Does Washington

Posted by Ryan on October 17, 2007

Emerging from his undisclosed location when no one is watching except those home-stricken few or college types just waking up, surfing down the channels on their way to Maury or Jerry, flipping around in between technical school commercials.  But, anyway.  Bush hit on a lot of good topics , each worthy of their own post: like the status of SCHIP, World War III and Iran, the obstructionist Dems on FISA, Comrade Commisar and (former) KGB apparatchik Putin, and the new Congressional Gold Medal recipient, the Dalai Lama.

On the Dalai Lama: I actually saw him give a two-hour speech at Rutgers a few years ago on a brisk Sunday morning in September.  The audience was quite eclectic:  ex-hippies, Rutgers kids working off their hangovers, Christianites looking to convert others in the audience, but mostly those like me who felt it was just a neat opportunity to see a world-renowned philosophical figure speaking in one’s own backyard.  His message had to be translated and we heard his monks sing some really bassy Eastern-flavored religious tunes, which was neat for me being such a music fan. 

What he had to say was that peace should always be preferred to war, the Middle Path is important for a fulfilling life, and respecting human dignity is key to world happiness.  Actually, it was not really revolutionary stuff and I didn’t feel any closer to Enlightenment, though it was a great morning.  In China, though, that message could get you killed, deported, or tortured, and is viewed as inflammatory political speech. 

The Dalai Lama and his immediate followers are centered in India and have been since being chased out of Tibet in 1959.  China has been furious about Bush and Congress embracing the Dalai Lama, but their threats and anger are just for show.  China has devolutionary pressures in Tibet, in the southern Canton region, and Taiwan.  Taiwan has been ruling independent of China since 1949, and we’ll see how long that’ll remain in tact.  Yet, the Cantonese language and culture in the South has been brutalized by Beijing, and Tibet’s fate has been much the same but more high-profile.  Thanks to the efforts of the Dalai Lama, attention is persistently being drawn to the dark side of China: the brutal repressive side that does not take the will of the people into account over the demands of the state.  It’s also the side we don’t like to think about as we trade with a country with over a billion consumers of American goods and services.

Pic from the Rag and the Bone Man blog.

Posted in Culture, Politics | 1 Comment »