Monday, October 31

strong #'s

The WSJ this morning opined about the American economy, which, despite an incredible amount of bad news in the month of September, continues to chug along. Third quarter Gross Domestic Product rose 3.8%.

Not bad considering Katrina and Rita. Factor out those two storms and the GDP would have been 5%.

More from WSJ:

"The economy has now grown at an annual rate of more than 3%, and often more than 4%, for 10 consecutive quarters going back to the second quarter of 2003. Students of fiscal policy will recall that this is the same time it became clear that tax cuts on dividends, capital gains and in marginal income tax rates would pass the Congress, retroactive to January 1, 2003."

"Yet in Washington, many Democrats still claim that tax cuts were a failure, and many Republicans are so politically timid that they're afraid to argue for their own policy success. GOP Senators Kyl and Grassley are exceptions in that they are pushing to extend the 15% dividend and capital gains rates past their current expiration date in 2008 through 2010 as part of this year's budget reconciliation bill."

"The tax cuts have been a success, producing a windfall for the government. Federal revenues rose in the fiscal year the ended September 30 by an estimated $274 billion, or 14.6%. That's roughly five times the inflation rate, and reflects a boom in both corporate (47.6% increase) and individual (14.8%) income tax receipts."

It's time for us all to agree that Democrats--wrong about so much--are also wrong about fiscal policy. Oh, while we're at it, let's also agree that deficits really don't matter.

'off the map'

I loved what Tony Blair said about Iran recently.

After President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke last week about how the Jewish state 'must be wiped off the map,' the UK PM said 'Can you imagine a state [like Iran] like that with an attitude like that having a nuclear weapon?'

Exactly.

R.F.L. FLASHBACK:

During the '04 Presidential campaign, John Kerry advocated giving Iran nuclear fuel. A fact which demonstrates, yet again, that Democrats are not to be trusted with the foreign policy of the United States.

joe wilson

The New York Sun correctly urges the President to pardon Scooter Libby. It also sums up nicely the ignored reality of the entire bogus CIA leak case:

"If Ms. Plame didn't want her identity out, she shouldn't have gotten her husband a secret mission and then allowed him to wage a public campaign against the president's foreign policy. The leading prevaricator in this case is Mr. Wilson himself. He has accused Mr. Bush of falsely leading America to war. Mr. Bush had claimed "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Mr. Wilson drank tea in Niger for a week and said that Mr. Bush's claim was not true. But even after Mr. Wilson's objection, the July 2004 report by the British government's Butler Commission found that Mr. Bush's comment was "well-founded." In a July 2004 report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senators Roberts, Hatch, and Bond said of Mr. Wilson, "The former Ambassador, either by design or through ignorance, gave the American people and, for that matter, the world a version of events that was inaccurate, unsubstantiated, and misleading."

Fitzgerald is prosecuting the wrong guy. 'Mr. Truth' Wilson, not Libby, is the one who should be under indictment.

a fresh start

It seems fitting, with all the things going on, both good and bad, that today is Halloween.

It's gotta be scary to be a Democrat this morning with the SCOTUS nomination of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Samuel Alito Jr.

Judge Alito is another John Roberts-type candidate. Brilliantly qualified, in fact, the BEST qualified nominee in 70 years. This guy attended Princeton AND he's a Yale law grad--take that all you judicial snobs--he has a command of Constututional Law and is an arch conservative which is exactly what the members of my party have been waiting for and working toward for thirty long years.

Alito is going to be overwhelmingly confirmed--as he already has been twice before in the Senate--much to the chagrin of the Left and their pro-choice allies, and then the Court really will be tilted to the Right. It will be Halloween all year long for the Left.

Check out what Alito's 90 year old mother said about her son: 'Of course he's against abortion.'

Scary too for the Dems is the prospect of President Bush--recently reunited with his loving, passionate conservative base after the Miers fiasco--back to his usual effective and formidable self going into '06.

Of course, I realize that my characterization of the Bush White House differs dramatically from the m.s.m.'s caricature. According to Newsweek's Howard Fineman, that paragon of truthtelling, the White House last week was 'grim, quiet.'

I'll let you in on a little secret Howie. The White House doesn't have time to be anything other than busy...Read the above link from Newsweek...Perhaps you'll find it the way I do--scary--that the American press doesn't report the news as it really is. Rather, most stories are opinion pieces that disparage Republicans and glorify the Left.

It's very scary that Scooter Libby was indicted Friday on five charges UNRELATED to what Independent Counselitzgerald has been investigating for the past two years. That's not to say that I'm giving Libby a pass. Lying to the Feds is a big deal. Lying to a Grand Jury is a big deal. Indeed. But Libby was charged with lying about a crime that wasn't even committed.

Take a second and put yourself into Libby's place. You spend your day talking to reporters on the telephone. Are you really going to be able to remember whom said what, whom told whomever else what, when and why? Some of these conversations are on background, others aren't.

I can't remember the last time I went to the bathroom, much less the specifics of a conversation I had in the summer of '03.

The fair thing would have been for Fitzgerald, after determining the source of the CIA leak did not come from the White House sixteen months ago, to pack up his shit, go back to Chicago and save the American taxpayers $50 million.

Thursday, October 27

janice rogers brown


I hear how Bush is supposedly 'weakened' by this whole mess. How is he weaker? Conservative support for the next nominee will be through the roof. The Republican Party, if anything, is going to be even more emboldened, and we're already the Majority.

My hope is that the President selects Janice Rogers Brown for purely political reasons. Not that she doesn't have a brilliant legal mind. She most certainly does. I'm just really looking forward to the anemic Democratic Party committing political suicide by opposing the nomination of a conservative African-American woman to the Supreme Court.

rockstar

Does anyone remember that late '70s cult film 'The Warriors'?

Rockstar Games, the benchmaking video game company responsible for the 'Grand Theft Auto' series and the 'Midnight Club' franchise, has adapted the film into a hot, new game that's in stores now.

Unlike G.T.A., which was an orgy of car chases and heavy artillery, 'Warriors' has no vehicles and no standard weaponry. The characters walk and run everywhere and when they get into trouble, they can pick up a variety of objects, like toilets, rocks, trash cans and chunks of wood. Of course, Rockstar being Rockstar they throw in the obligatory baseball bats and brass knuckles.

This might be a good holiday diversion for yours truly.

next

First, let me admit that I was wrong. I predicted with certainty that Harriet Miers would be confirmed.

My reaction this morning? Relief mixed with regret. Clearly this nomination was out of control due to the zealotry of the anti Miers cabal, so something had to be done. Was it the 'Krauthammer Solution' that I told you about earlier in the week? Perhaps.

The regret stems from my desire to hear Miers in her own words. I hated the way people of my persuasion ripped into Miers. Not one of us actually knows much about this lady, and yet she was the object of scorn these last three weeks simply because she lacks a judicial and educational pedigree.

Democrats seem to be quite muted too, even a bit mournful. They thought they dodged a big bullet with a moderate Miers. Ooops.

Next.

The bench is deep, which was pretty much the point of the Miers flap. 'All these brilliant judges with paper trails and Bush picks a crony?'

Off the top of my head--and don't worry, I'll be doing a much more detailed analysis for your review--we've got Rogers-Brown, Luttig, McConnell, the two Edith's, Wilkerson and Owen...

Hey, remember I always wanted Janice Rogers Brown? Maybe now I'll get my wish. And the Right wing cabal that wanted a big, nasty nomination fight--they get their wish, too.

Wednesday, October 26

the coleman report

I'm very impressed with Senator Coleman. A former Democratic Mayor of St. Paul, he defeated Fritz Mondale back in '02 for Paul Wellstone's seat.

Coleman is a tireless enemy of corruption and I really respect the work he's done the last couple of years on exposing the graft of the Oil For Food program. And then there's this report on Saddam's old buddy George Galloway, as promised from the previous post.

I don't hear Norm mentioned in the lists of Republicans to watch as we approach '08. I'm thinking that will change, particularly because Coleman has gravitas, unlike Allen and Frist. Plus, he's a fresher face than McCain, Rudy and Newt.

Hey, Dick Morris? Are you reading this? How about a Rice/Coleman ticket in '08?

george galloway

Galloway is a former member of the British parliament who was on the payroll of Saddam Hussein. He denies it, of course. But it's been proven again and again. This week Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman released a report proving that Galloway was on the take. (see 'the coleman report' posted above)

It's always wildly entertaining to hear someone like Christopher Hitchens destroy mindless Liberal idiots like Galloway with logic and facts.

And it never ceases to amaze me, the hypocrisy of Liberals, especially those of the Socialistic European variety, who, in their red hot anti-American, anti-capitalism rhetoric, blast the rampant commercialism and out of control consumerism of the United States. Then, the next thing you know, Galloway--scallywag that he is--has written a book and has arrived on the shores America--the Great Satan-- to go on book tours and prance about the lecture circuit as an active participant in capitalism.

'neighbors and friends knew'

From the July 15, 2005 Washington Times:

A former CIA covert agent who supervised Mrs. Plame early in her career yesterday took issue with her identification as an "undercover agent," saying that she worked for more than five years at the agency's headquarters in Langley and that most of her neighbors and friends knew that she was a CIA employee.

"She made no bones about the fact that she was an agency employee and her husband was a diplomat," Fred Rustmann, a covert agent from 1966 to 1990, told The Washington Times."

squeaky clean?

I've run this photo of Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson before, but I think in light of the CIA leak hysteria it's worth taking another look at the liar and his overt operative wife.

This is the woman supposedly 'outed' by Libby, Rove and Cheney? Interestingly, the msm chooses to ignore it's own reporting on the subject.

Valerie Plame was written about in the late '90s as being known to her neighbors as a CIA agent. She's been written about as a contributor to the Gore campaign in '99 and as a donor to Americans Coming Together, a Left wing advocacy group, in '04.

This is a 'covert operative' being written about and yet the press was writting stories about her? Where was the cloak of secrecy back then? Where was the outrage?

And what about the law about how a 'covert operative' is only considered covert if they have served in an overseas capacity within the past five years? Plame and Wilson were married in '98 and at that time, she had not recently served overseas. The 'covert' tag didn't apply to her then and it certainly doesn't now.

Then there's that little speech that hubby Joe made in '03 to a Left leaning Washington DC think tank. In the speech, what did he do? He OUTED his wife, a ONE FULL MONTH BEFORE that infamous column by Robert Novak, where Plame's name appeared yet again.

This 'covert operative' sure gets her name in the paper a lot, doesn't she?

Taking all of those facts together it is highly unlikely that any charges will be filed against anyone. Unless of course, it it nothing more than a partisan witchunt--which is always possible in DC--or one of the witnesses got their stories, or their timelines tangled.

This is all kind of funny if you think about it. If this is the best scandal the Democrats can concoct against the White House then I would call the Bush Administration the cleanest in American history.

Tuesday, October 25

to indict or not to indict?

ABC News reported for a brief time tonight that Vice President Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby has been indicted.

A reporter for ABC claims the network has 'double sourced' the claim, while the White House has 'determined' that the network was 'bluffing.'

There is no mention of this 'story' currently on ABCnews.com. Maybe they were bluffing. For the record, I stand by my earlier prediction that no charges will be filed in this case.

So let's say that Cheney and Libby discussed the identity of the wife of White House critic Joe Wilson. So what? It's not illegal. They get to do that because they both have security clearances.

Libby, Cheney and Rove also get to defend the White House from lies. It's not illegal. And when they are asked by a reporter they had every right to voice their opinion on what Wilson was saying in '03.

It's still a free country, right?

the anti-miers crowd

It is outrageous that a group of people in my own party continue to savage Harriet Miers.

Above is the link for the ad that begins airing tomorrow.

And have you heard of the so-called 'Krauthammer Strategy'?

The White House presumably can save face by refusing to release documents relating to Miers' service as a Presidential advisor citing executive privilige, while Miers can request that her name be withdrawn, out of respect for the process, allowing a graceful exit for everyone.

congratulations

Iraq officially has a constitution.

Nary a mention about this historical development on CNN.com.

46 miles

When I got my car back from the dealer a few weeks ago, I noticed there were 46 extra miles on the odometer.

Of course the dealer had a variety of explanations...they wrote the mileage down incorrectly, I was incorrect in the amount of gasoline left in the tank, etc.

My car was in the shop to repair a broken power seat. I can understand driving the car a quarter mile, or a half mile to make sure the car was perfoming okay, but 46 miles?

mental


Al Franken is the most vile, hateful person. Can you imagine the morally bankrupt mind that would predict, with laughter, the execution of two White House aides? I wonder if he believes in karma?

Muchas gracias to Newsbusters for the link.

no milestone

"The spokesman for the American-led multinational force called on news organizations not to look at the 2,000 death as a milestone in the conflict. Lt. Col. Steve Boylan described 2,000 figure as an "artificial mark on the wall."

"I ask that when you report on the events, take a moment to think about the effects on the families and those serving in Iraq," Boylan said in an e-mail. "The 2,000 service members killed in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone. It is an artificial mark on the wall set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives."

Conservatives celebrate the service and the sacrifice of our brave men and women in the US military and we mourn each and every loss. We also understand that 2,000 casualties in a war that has spanned two and a half years is an extremely low number, tragic as it is. Our agenda continues to be the spread of democracy and freedom around the globe.

Liberals tend to believe that 2,000 Americans died for an 'illegal, unjust' war and with that opinion they dishonor our military. Accusing someone of doing something 'illegal' is insulting, after all. The Liberal agenda is to weaken the United States, to embarrass President Bush and to score political points in the run-up to the '06 and '08 elections.

no cred

If Fitzgerald indicts either Libby or Rove, or both, imagine Joe Wilson on the stand being cross examined by hard nosed defense attorneys. His story won't stand up for five seconds.

That will be the moment that Wilson will rue the day that he decided to tell his phony story.

Monday, October 24

dark days?

Reading the mainstream press you can't help but come away with the impression that life in America these days is tantamount to the Great Depression. No jobs. No food. No money. No opportunity. No hope. No relief. Gloom and doom.

Of course, taking a step back from the relentlessly negative news being reported one begins to see clearly a cornucopia of great things happening daily in America and around the globe:

A safer America; free and fair elections in two Middle Eastern nations; a brand new Constitution in Iraq; a fundamentally stronger economy; lower taxes; education reform; better, smarter environmental policy; a disarmed Libya; a newly chastised North Korea; the prosecution of corporate crime;

Today's piece in the New York Daily News describing the President as 'angry, even bitter, and placing blame' sounds nothing like the man the country and the world has come to know over the past five years.

I am more than familiar with the inaccurate caricature that the press has created of Bush. He's not very smart. He wasn't really elected President. He surrounds himself with smarter people. He's arrogant. He can't take responsibility. He never works. He's a cowboy. He lied about WMD.

We've seen this before. The press spent eight years trying to tear down Ronald Reagan, which was a big reason that American people adored the 40th President.

Take into account that second terms are historically challenging for any President.

'A seemingly uncontrollable insurgency in Iraq,' Wrong. Attacks are down dramatically.

'Possible Rove/Libby indictments'? It's not gonna happen. Patrick Fitzgerald has been at this investigation for two years now. It's a non-story, given the facts of the case. The more likely outcome of this matter is that Fitzgerald will conclude that no crimes were committed and end his inquiry.

The rocky and 'already-doomed' Miers nomination? The jury is out on this, but I still believe Miers will be confirmed.

Bush is so dismayed that "the only person escaping blame is the President himself," said a sympathetic official, who delicately termed such self-exoneration "illogical."

And stupid. 'Placing blame'? Bush doesn't do that. He doesn't even take credit when things go well. It's not his way.

The only accurate thing in this story is this quote:

"He's like the lion in winter," observed a political friend of Bush. "He's frustrated. He remains quite confident in the decisions he has made. But this is a guy who wanted to do big things in a second term. Given his nature, there's no way he'd be happy about the way things have gone."

Anyone would be frustrated. Think of everything that's happened during his Presidency. This guy has incredibly thick skin.

Consevatives must accept, acknowledge and understand the fact that anything residing in the Bush universe will always be seen and discussed through the permanently jaundiced eyes of the press.

180

Since White House advisor Ben Bernanke was picked by Bush to be the next Fed Chief are we going to be treated to more charges of cronyism running amok at the highest level of the Federal Government?

Who cares? The stock market, which was up today 180 points, obviously likes the choice.

anne loves jesus

Anne Rice, the author of occult classics like 'Interview With A Vampire' and 'The Vampire Chronicles,' has found Jesus Christ. She even has a new book called 'Christ The Lord: Out Of Eqypt.'

Welcome to the family, Baby.

death tax

I may not be the smartest person on the planet, but at least I know that the death tax, or the 'estate tax' as it is sometimes known, is not a tax that is postponed until you die, as Deborah Solomon of the NYT believes.

Incredible.

Solomon interviews newsmakers each week in the Sunday NYT magazine. Her questioning of Democrats, or people with whom she agrees, she's cheery and respectful. When questioning Republicans, or those people with whom she disagrees, she criticizes and shows her disdain.

Yesterday's issue included an interview of Connie Mack, the former Florida Senator, who is the Chairman of the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform.

In response to one of Solomon's questions, Mack said that he would vote to eliminate the death tax because he believes it is 'unfair.'

SOLOMON: "I think [the death tax] is a perfect tax. The idea behind it was to allow people to postpone paying taxes until they die, at which point they presumably no longer care. Why do you call it unfair?"

MACK: "I still go back to the same notion that these individuals who have accumulated these resources have paid taxes on them many times in their life, and then to say, when you die, now you pay more taxes on it?"

I laughed when I read this, but the more I think of it, this idea of postponing taxes is a pretty good one.

new channel

There is a little known online technology that is about to become a big venue for advertisers, like Google, Yahoo, the Washington Post and Nikon, among others.

RSS, which is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication, is a feed service that allows users to gather updates from various websites, usually news and blogs, and display headlines and/or a brief summary at a single place, called a 'news reader' or an 'aggregator.'

You can get RSS feed updates by downloading an aggregator program on the web or by signing up for an account with an aggregator website.

While RSS technology has been around for five years, it is only now becoming commonplace enough to be noticed. In fact, looking at the upper right side of the browser bar of this blog, you'll see the blue rectangular 'RSS' logo.

RSS ads aren't fancy yet. No graphics, rather just a few lines of text surrounded by a border and labeled as an 'advertisement.'

From an advertising perspective, the RSS feeds present specifically targeted opportunities to reach the desired audience. An airline, for example, would run ads in a feed from a niche website dedicated to traveling. It's what advertising is all about--reaching people in new and different ways.

As of now, this emerging medium is extremely cost-effective and cheaper than internet banner ads. It's definitely a new channel by which advertisers can create awareness for their products and services. And, even better still, subscribers to RSS technology don't have to divulge any of their personal information, so privacy issues are not a concern.

And the big players are getting into the game early. Google, for instance, is using RSS advertising to extend it's AdSense program, where certain websites run related ads from the Google stable of advertisers.

being clear

The next time you hear the Democrats claim that they care more about the environment than Republicans, think about this:

Since President Bush took office in '01, air pollution in America is down 10%.

Yes it is.

In '02, Bush introduced the 'Clear Skies' initiative to reduce power plant pollution which would result in cleaner, healthier air nationwide. Furthermore, the legislation, sponsored by Senators James Inhofe of Oklahoma and George Voinovich of Ohio, will also reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury from power plants by 70% by 2018.

Clear Skies, in combination with strict diesel rules implemented in '04 by Bush, will bring the United States into compliance with the strict new air quality standards also implemented by the Bush Administration last year.

In August, the President signed new energy legislation that included the investments of clean-coal technology, which will ensure that we can cleanly and safely rely on coal for power generation. This keeps energy prices affordable, reliable and secure for both families and businesses.

Notice I keep saying that this legislation 'will,' and 'would' be beneficial? I say that because Clear Skies has not yet been made law.

So what is the status of Clear Skies? Surprise, surprise. The Democrats are blocking it.

They are obstructing it because the trial lawyers--a major Liberal constituency group--make a ton of money by litigating environmental policies.

In fact, the entire Democratic position on all things environmental is a sham, based upon a combination of junk science, scare tactics and slick marketing.

Beginning with Dr. Michael Mann's infamous and now disproved 'hockey stick' graph, which purported to show a link between man-made emissions and warming trends, was based on inaccurate data and mathmatetical errors, to the failed Kyoto Protocol which was rejected and disproved by more than 17,000 scientists, Democrats pretend to be good stewards of the environment when they actually are continually erecting barriers to cleaner air, cleaner water and affordable energy.

The bottom line is that Democrats aren't nearly as 'Green' as they claim to be.

Friday, October 21

and then--

--there's this, which I'm not at all sure what to make of exactly, except that my buddy John Fund wrote it.

sympathy

Dahlia Lithwick spews ridiculous Left wing avarice today in the NYT.

Lithwick's tiny little brain is so incapable of rational thought that she believes that the nomination of Miers--someone supposedly so bereft of intellectual firepower, a lady without a brain in her head, an 'inexperienced crony,'--to the highest court in the land ostensibly means that the President thinks 'the Supreme Court doesn't matter.'

She also believes that having both Roberts AND Miers on the Court will essentially have the effect of 'rendering the Court toothless.'

Toothless!

How stupid is this? How condescending? How mean-spirited?

Remember the role that sympathetic figures cut in our society. The more people knock them down, the more popular they become. Americans LOVE underdogs. And since Miers has been taking so many cheap shots from the Right, now that there is some blood is in the water, those slow-witted, stupid Liberals, the courageous opinion-poll-readers that they are, now they're piling on poor Harriet, too.

I'm thinking that all this venom might very well end up making Harriet Miers one of the most popular people in America before the confirmation hearings are all said and done.

Rubbish like this--this hateful vitriol--not only causes me to root for Harriet in a big way. But it also makes me want to go up to Mount Soledad, that's the mountain here in San Diego with the controversial cross on top, and tell the world that I am now Harriet Miers' fourth biggest fan, after the President, the First Lady and her ailing Mother.

dammit

Cameron Diaz lecturing on environmental policy at Stanford University?

I can't believe I missed it.

cancun

The last time I was in Cancun it didn't look anything like this.

special election

Californians are going to the polls on November 8 to vote on a number of initiatives.

Here's a brief R.F.L. election primer so you'll know the issues facing us here on the Left coast:

Prop 74 would increase the number of years, from two to five, that teachers would have to receive satisfactory reviews before receiving tenure.

Think of it. Work hard for two years and then be guaranteed a job for life. This is the reason we have so many mediocre teachers. No wonder our kids aren't learning.

And my buddy Kathryn makes a great point: If the California teachers union really cared about the quality of our schools and the education of our children they would have put the $80 million dollars back into the school system instead of spending it on an advertising campaign attacking Schwarzenneger.

BTW, education spending under Arnold is UP $3 billion.

Prop 75 would prohibit employee unions from automatically deducting union dues from the paychecks of police officers, teachers and firefighters.

Driving into the office this morning I was behind a very expensive car. On the back window there were two anti-75 stickers and I thought to myself, 'I bet the driver of this car is some union boss.' Sure enough, at the next light, I was suddenly side by side with this guy and he's got an enormous gold ring on his hand and a big ass Rolex on his wrist.

No wonder this guy is against 75--it would put a serious dent in his wallet.

Prop 76 would limit the ability of our wacko, Left wing Legislature to wildly spend the taxpayer's money. It's a very simple principle here: don't spend more money than you bring in.

Prop 77 would take the responsibility of redistricting out of the hands of the politicians and putting it into the hands of an independent three judge panel.

So, surprise, surprise. I'm voting 'Yes' on all of the above Propositions.

Here in San Diego, we're also going to the polls to elect a new mayor. The candidates, former SD Police Chief Jerry Sanders and current SD city council member Donna Frye, couldn't be more different.

Sanders, a Republican, believes in cutting waste and eliminating bureaucracy. He's got real world experience in those two arenas, having been the CEO of the local Red Cross and United Way chapters, both of which he restored to financial viability.

Frye, a Democrat, believes in appointing a committee to study San Diego's financial woes and raising taxes. Her real world experience: Running a surf shop, with her husband, surfing pro Skip Frye.

Gee...for whom shall I vote? Tough call.

Thursday, October 20

more 'false' reporting

What do we have here? A story that seeks to emphasize a non-existent rift between my Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and President Bush? No way!

Where else, but in the mainstream press, could a scheduling conflict turn into a rift between two big time Republicans?

The President is going to be here in California tomorrow for the opening of a new wing of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and then later W's hanging out in Beverly Hills for an RNC fundraiser.

But, according to the AP, Governor Schwarzenegger is 'miffed' that Bush is here raising money just three weeks ahead of a statewide election which will largely determine the future of the state, as well as the political fortunes of Schwarzenegger, himself.

Arnold has a lot on the line with Propositions 74 (teacher tenure), 75 (paycheck protection), 76 (spending limits) and 77 (redistricting reform).

I'll tell you more about this stuff later. But, presumably, Arnold is 'angry' that the Bush and the Republicans are going to 'taking' money away from Californians when the Governor needs money to run expensive television spots to ensure the passage of the above propositions. I don't buy it.

I smell more bad reporting...

noisy

I love what President Bush calls the recent spate of events. 'Background noise.' That's exactly what it is. All of the developments lately, the objective press corps would have you believe is 'bad' for Bush. That somehow his Presidency is over and he has been rendered impotent by:

The charges of cronyism with the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court;

The fact that Iraq has a brand, new, voter-approved Constitution;

High gas prices;

The bogus CIA leak investigation;

The bogus assertion that the President was caught slow footed in reacting to Hurricane Katrina;

The bogus 'legal troubles of Tom DeLay and Bill Frist;

Bush is Bush because he's unconcerned with the ebbs and flows of Washington. That one of many reasons he has been, and continues to be, such an effective President: He doesn't care what the press thinks and writes about him.

wilma

smear

My opinion of Austin, TX District Attorney Ronnie Earle is that he's a partisan who abuses his office to settle scores with a legion of political enemies. When it comes to the prosecution of Tom DeLay, let's remember some facts that are omitted by a judicious and objective press.

First, Earle indicted DeLay but was unable to present the document on which the indictment was predicated, as is his custom. Earle has been described as a 'Grand Jury Shopper,' that is, he'll convene a grand jury for the sheer appearance of the process, regardless of whether or not he believes he can actually prove his case in court. Judicial activism, abuse of power, whatever you want to label it. Ronnie Earle is a bad guy, no two ways about it.

Second, Earle is seeking to hold DeLay to a strict campaign finance law interpretation--which would be fine if it weren't for the fact that the campaign finance laws on which he bases the charges--had not yet been enacted at that time.

Third, Earle has a long and rich history of losing cases, usually when a judge dismisses for lack of evidence.

Fourth, DeLay is a hugely successful architect of the Republican Congressional Majority. He is a prodigious fund raiser. Is it that tough to imagine the Democrats doing ANTHING to embarrass him or take him down? Earle has been predicting for years, YEARS, that he was 'going to take down DeLay.'

cia leak investigation


First, I'm on the record about my disdain for 'diplomat' Joe Wilson and his claims to be a non partisan whistle blower.

Second, I am so tired of hearing about how someone, whether it be Bob Novak or Scooter Libby or Karl Rove, OUTED Wilson's wife Valerie Plame. She was already out. And she was out because her husband OUTED her.

Let's get it straight as well that Plame was NOT a covert operative of the CIA. She had not been overseas in any CIA-sponsored capacity in five years and therefore, according to the law, she was not 'an agent.'

Third, Wilson is a well-known Democrat. While he was attempting to sell his bogus story he was really nothing more than a paid spokesperson for the DNC. He regularly appeared with Chuck Schumer and he was a paid advisor to the Kerry campaign.

During this time he and his 'covert CIA agent' wife did a photo spread in Vanity Fair. Oops. He outed her again.

I'm not sure what will become of Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation. Rove has testified four times. Libby, several times. Judy Miller went to jail for 85 days to protect her source--Libby. It could really go either way at this point. Nothing would surprise me. And while Fitzgerald has solid credentials, all the Democrats care about, both in this case and in the DeLay matter, is 'perception.' Guilt doesn't have to be proven, it's just what it looks like.

I don't believe that the White House, their subordinates or Novak did anything untoward with regard to Wilson's wife. And I don't think DeLay is guilt either. (See next post)

But if we've learned anything, it's that Wilson, self described 'patriot,'

1. 'Wishes the Iraqi Constitution vote had failed, to force America to go back to the drawing board.'

How anti-American is that statement?

2. 'Had too many wives and took too many drugs in the sixties' to run for political office.

Classy.

3. Is ashamed that America is 'just another imperial power who has unleashed the dogs of war.'

Stupid. And wrong.

4. 'He said his decision to 'tell the truth' was not heroic, but what any good American would do.'

Wilson's story has been debunked so many times. He is a proven and admitted liar.

5. 'Neo-conservatives want to turn this country into an empire.'

Sounds to me like he's been reading too much Daily Kos.

6. 'It is in the DNA of the people in (the Bush) administration to go after anyone who questions them.'

Wilson is clearly confusing the current Administration with the previous one, which employed a full time private investigator who was tasked with intimidating and smearing Bill and Hillary's political enemies.

With his slash and burn activities, his history of prevarication and his opposition to all things good, decent and reasonable, it seems to me that Joe Wilson makes the picture perfect Democrat.

'little red book of business'

James McGregor has a new book, "One Billion Customers: Lessons From The Front Lines of Doing Business in China."

Tuesday's edition of the WSJ reprinted a 'crib sheet' of tips the author has gleaned about the Chinese.

"To be a truly powerful Chinese executive or politician is to be able to avoid responsibility for your decisions.

The Chinese understand the outside world better than the outside world understands them.

Contracts aren't a guarantee of anything. It is the relationship built in negotiating the contract that will give your business some hope.

The Chinese will ask you for anything because you may just be stupid enough to agree to it. Many are.

Avoid joint ventures with government entities unless you have no choice. Then understand that the partnership is about China obtaining your technology, know-how and capital while maintaining Chinese control.

If you decide to sell your soul and succumb to China's corruption, get a good price and focus on charity work in your old age.

In China, a conflict of interest is viewed as a competitive advantage.

Government officials can lie to you, but you must never lie to them. Exclude information, but don't provide false information.

Any tech company doing business in China should assume that its designs and products are being copied. When forced to share your technology in China, isolate the pieces from each other so that your partner doesn't have the whole picture.

If your boss wants to come to China to do a quick deal, lose his or her visa.

China is not one market, but a collection of many local markets. It's often best to start your business as at provincial level where officials are more entrepreneurial. They can be very loyal and protect you.

hiatus

It's really time for me to get internet access at home, isn't it?

So where the hell have I been? I wish I could tell you that I've done something amazing or that I jetted off to some exotic locale for a vacay.

Truth is, my girl Pepper--I call her 'Sugar Plum'--had a medical problem last weekend that stretched into this week. Like most mature Labrador Retrievers, the hair on her elbows has worn off over time. And since she's bored and just lays around most of the time while I'm working she seems to find enjoyment in licking her elbows. With that comes frequent infection and it just turns into a big mess.

Additionally, I'm working on screenplay #3. I find it impossible to work on scripts at the office, so, in between putting hydrogen peroxide on doggy elbows, I've managed to write 120 pages of complete crap. I wrote 60 pages, hated it and deleted it. Then I did another 60, and those pages were even worse. The third draft so far is 26 pages and it's pretty good, if I may say so myself.

My friend Lynda called me yesterday. She read screenplay #1 last week while she was in China on business. Why do I find that cool? Maybe it's because I've been trapped at home all week. The notion of going anywhere--the grocey store, Starbucks, the Irish Pub, even communist China--appeals to me at this point.

Friday, October 14

sinking credibility

"It's not like we were trying to pass it off as something it wasn't," NBC Today spokeswoman Lauren Kapp said.

Michelle Kosinski, from NBC's Today show, was in a canoe, making it look as if she was out in the open water. Until two men--the 'Two Wise Men,' as co-host Matt Lauer referred to them--walked by her, revealing that she actually in SHALLOW WATER!

Oh, the hypocrisy!

pub stories

I'm not Irish. I just hang out at a little pub near my house, from time to time. The owner of the place, Rob, is in my fantasy football league.

Lately I've been going in there quite a bit. So much so that they consider me a 'regular,' and I've got a bigger beer belly.

The other night I was there with a couple of high school buddies, watching college football. The pub doesn't serve hot food so Rob let's us bring food in. Luckily, there's a taco shop and a sandwich place nearby and one really nice italian place that delivers.

We opted to get some cheap mexican, and while one of my buddies went to get the food, we sat down at a table. The conversation turned to my car, which I had just gotten back the day before. (see the post 'convertible diaries') This guy I'd never seen before sits down and starts telling me that he's a mechanic, gives me his card and offers to buy me a beer.

I thought he was gay. So, of course, I said yes. I'm straight, but I love the gays. And I love beer.

When the food arrived this guy--I'll call him 'Mooch,'--just hung around. He didn't leave, like I would have done. After a few minutes, he asks me if he can have some of my food.

'Sure. You bought me a beer,' I said.

Then he wanted more. And more. And more. He ended up eating 3/4 of the plate. I was mad until I remembered how big my belly has gotten.

'You're really doing me a favor,' I said.

So last night I cruised in after work to catch a few innings of the Astros/Cardinals game. Right when I walk in the door I see 'Mooch.' He's all like 'Hey Buddy, what are you doing here?'

We exchanged pleasantries and then, as I turned my back to walk away, I hear him mutter under his breath, 'are you gonna buy me a beer?'

I turned around and said 'No I'm not buying you a beer because we're even, Dude. You bought me a beer and you ate most of my food.'

I sat down at the bar, ordered a Bass Ale and started talking to the guy next to me.

This guy, Tracy is a true baseball aficionado. He knows players, teams, stats, the whole thing. You should know that I could really care less about baseball. I kinda get into it during the playoffs and then I watch the World Series, but that's it.

Which actually is kinda sad because I used to follow the box scores in the paper every day. I knew all the players, I knew the E.R.A.s of all the pitchers, the batting averages. I was a student of the game.

I used to love everything about it, even the pace of the game. Now I think baseball is so slow. I can drive back and forth to Los Angeles during one game. It's a waste of time.

Not suprisingly, Tracy took umbrage at my comments, so we did what any two guys in an Irish Pub would do.

We ordered another round of drinks, opened a bag of hot & spicy pork rinds and Tracy began telling me why I was wrong.

'Mooch' suddenly appeared. Tracy and I were talking, so I never once looked away from Tracy. I just tilted the bag of pork rinds toward 'Mooch.' Hesistating for a second, he must have realized he wasn't getting a beer out of me and that the pork rind was my best offer. So he took one and walked away, completely defeated.

Bastard. I bet he's a Democrat.

Anyway.

'Baseball is the smartest game around,' Tracy said. 'And it's accessible. You--the fan--can 'manage' the team right along with the manager. You don't have to learn a bunch of plays with fancy names like in football, like yellow orange foxtrot 788.'

'What about basketball?' I asked. I love basketball.

'My least favorite sport. All it is is a slam-fest.'

Then Tracy diagnosed my baseball problem. It's one simple thing.

I don't have a favorite team. I like about ten teams, and root for them all.

'You can't do that,' Tracy said. 'Pick one. And then you live and die with your team every day, every game.'

We talked about baseball collectibles. We talked about ballparks. We talked about the Angels and the stupidity of calling them 'the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.' We talked about steroids. We talked about how hot the pork rinds were. We talked about the Oakland A's, how they were 'my team' back in the 1970's when I lived there. Those were the glory days, back when Charley Finley owned the team.

Then he quizzed me about the guys who have 500 home runs. And while I was able to name about ten of them, he obviously wanted me to remember the entire list because he scribbled all 20 names on a napkin.

Ted Williams
Raphael Palmiero
Barry Bonds
Mark McGwire
Sammy Sosa
Mickey Mantle
Mel Ott
Willie Mays
Willie McCovey
Hank Aaron
Frank Robinson
Ken Griffey, Jr.
Ernie Banks
Jimmie Foxx
Reggie Jackson
Harmon Killebrew
Eddie Matthews
Eddie Murray
Babe Ruth
Mike Schmidt

This is your homework over the weekend...memorize the members of 'the 500 Club.' There will be a quiz bright and early monday morning.

support miers now

I'm sorry, but those people calling for the President to withdraw the Miers nomination are just stupid.

Withdrawing would hand the Democrats--and by extension, the msm--a big victory.

Withdrawing would prematurely weaken the President. Bush's lame duck status won't be complete midterm campaign season begins in earnest next year, but if he pulls Miers, he'll become lame immediately.

Why do that?

Withdrawal would seriously erode Republican congressional power.

WE CAN'T DO THAT!

I've become convinced, while listening to all the carping, that Harriet Miers will be a good Supreme Court Justice. And I've lost a lot of respect for Bill Kristol, Laura Ingraham, David Frum, Ann Coulter, among many, many others, who look down at Miers only because her name doesn't appear on some hotshit list of Ivy League judges.

They can kiss my ass. Screw the judicial snobs.

'doing a run through,' part 2

Sgt. Ron Long was one of the soldiers featured on that teleconference yesterday with Bush. He blogs about his reaction to press assertions that the event was 'staged.'

'We were told that we would be speaking with the President of the United States, our Commander-in-Chief, President Bush, so I believe that it would have been totally irresponsible for us NOT to prepare some ideas, facts or comments that we wanted to share with the President.'

read this

US troops got their hot little hands on a letter written by al Zawahiri to al Zarqawi. Apparently the insurgency isn't going all that well...

'doing a run through'

Here I am, doing some mobile-blogging, or blogging from a not-so-secret disclosed location: the Apple Store @ San Diego's Fashion Valley Mall.

I came in this morning--and now it's nearly afternoon--to transfer some files from my old Mac to my new Mac, for free. (They tell me this 'normally' is a costly affair, but I'm quite the popular fellow here, so...) I have another hour to wait.

There are some really hot looking women in here, btw. Maybe I'll come back sometime, when I don't need anything, just to chill.

So what's the big deal about Bush's teleconference with the troops yesterday? From what I gathered from the morning radio shows, the msm is tearing the Administration another new one for 'rehearsing answers' with the troops before going live. Um, excuse me, but that what all news people do. The talking heads, the reporters, the guests. Hell, Katie Couric does it every morning about 50 times. They all do. THEY PRACTICE WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO SAY BEFORE THAT LITTLE RED LIGHT ON THE CAMERA GOES ON.

Do you think that when Elizabeth Vargas 'throws' it to Terry Moran at the White House that Vargas and Moran haven't practiced EXACTLY what they are going to say 'on air'? Get serious. They do. Everytime. Trust me.

It's called television and if you've ever been in front of a television camera IT'S VERY SCARY. So the producer on hand makes you do what's called 'A Run Through,' they make you practice. Most people, in fact, freeze on camera. But they don't want you to freeze, because it usually doesn't make for very good television. So rehearsing, getting comfortable, learning to breathe, relax and KNOWING WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO SAY is essential.

Certainly one would require a bit of relaxation before going on international television with the President of the United States, no?

Yeah. But no, according to Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer, Bob Schieffer, Moran, Claire Shipman, Andrea Mitchell, Couric and about 30 other msm folks. 'The Bush Administration just committed another gaffe and they LET US WATCH!' 'THE SOLDIERS WERE TOLD WHAT TO SAY!'

No they weren't.

And neither was the Iraqi soldier who spoke directly to President Bush. He said WHAT HE WANTED TO SAY.

Which prompted Washigton Post writer Dana Milbank to mock the Iraqi man's accent when he appeared on Keith Olbermann's pathetic little show. Love those 'tolerant' Liberals!

But enough of that...I'm going to go introduce myself to that hot blond to my left....

Bye.

Thursday, October 13

the cole

Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the al Qaeda bombing of the U.S.S. Cole.

I was struck, after watching 'The Cole Conspiracy' on the History Channel, about the lack of a Federal response to the bombing of the Cole. The attack occurred in the early morning hours in Aden, Yemen on October 12, 2000 and yet the sailors of the Cole were alone to fend for themselves for three days. Three nights they slept out on the top deck. They bailed water. They cared for their injured. They mourned their dead.

For three days.

People have been extremely critical of Bush in the wake of Katrina, even though it was local and state officials in Louisiana who dropped the ball. Why hasn't former President Clinton ever been criticized for ignoring the Cole?

My questions:

Why send the Cole to Yemen--a hotbed of al Qaeda--to refuel? It's tantamount to a suicide mission.

Why weren't other ships in the region dispatched to aid the Cole?

Why weren't Delta Force or Navy Seals immediately shuttled into Yemen to salvage the Cole, rescue the crew and treat the injured?

Why did Clinton, in his statement immediately after the attack, urge Americans not to 'rush to judgement' about the identity of the perpetrators of this act of terror? Everyone, from my milkman to Clinton himself, knew al Qaeda was behind the attack. It wasn't hard to figure out.

dreaming

Amusing piece in today's NYT about the Democrats' high hopes for the '06 midterm elections.

Robin Toner, staff reporter for the Times, trying to be the good Democrat that she most undoubtedly is, works hard here to give three topics to the team; Three topics the lame brains over @ the DNC can sink their teeth into. Three things that they believe will resonate with the public next year: the myth that the Bush Administration was slow footed in responding to Hurricane Katrina; the war in Iraq; and rising gasoline prices.

Really? The Dems think these three stories are going to catapult them to 'sweeping' victories across Red state America next year?

I think the Left is dreaming again.

Katrina. The Federal response to Katrina was not slow. The local response was slow. The state response was slow. That's been proven and the reconstruction of the region is well underway. This won't be an issue next year, or even next month.

The war in Iraq. I don't have a crystal ball, so I don't know what the landscape of Iraq is going to look like in November '06, but I do know that two days from now, Iraqi's are going to the polls to vote on their new Constitution.

Rising gas prices. Are you serious? Gas prices go up every year. They also go down every year. It's cyclical. And everytime it happens the Dems wring their hands and gripe about what an idiot W is, him bein' a former Texas oil man, and all.

None of these things matter NOW. Why would they matter a year from now?

The Dems still don't get it.

I don't think it is policy ONLY that resonates with the electorate. I think optimism matters much more to the voters, as does likeability. And the Democrats, as we've seen, aren't likeable.

Now, obviously events are fluid as are political campaigns. And it may very well be that the country, as is often the case with two term Presidents, might be suffering from 'Bush fatigue' next year and therefore might be in the mood for a change.

Or if, God forbid, al Qaeda strikes within the United States again, Bush is going to look bad. But, even then, I don't think that will help the angry, clueless, hapless, mean Democrats, because they have been proven to be untrustworthy with national security issues.

But who am I to stand in the way of a dream?

movie making in morocco

"The kingdom of Morocco has become a magnet for all manner of films, a sandy, evocative darling for the productions that are leaving Hollywood en masse. Pictures have been shot here ever since the days of Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock. But in these times of globalization and outsourcing, the influx of big-name films has turned Morocco into one of the most popular backdrops for American films, with "Black Hawk Down," "Sahara," "Kingdom of Heaven," "Alexander" and "Gladiator" all shot here."

joke

That's what I think of mainstream press reporting. It's a big joke.

Last night I watched two very different news segments, on two very different cable channels, on one subject.

The subject was Syria, and specifically, President Al-Assad's status as a cog in the wheel of radical Islamic terror.

On Fox, Neil Cavuto interviewed former Secretary of State Alexander Haig, who described Assad in less than flattering terms, like 'inept, incompetent, slow, uncertain,' were a few of the adjectives. Haig went on to describe exactly what is expected of the Syrians by the Bush Administration and why those expectations make sense given what is going on today in the Middle East. The context of Haig's remarks were larger and extended beyond the Iraq War.

On CNN, Christiane Amanpour conducted an 'exclusive' interview with Syrian President Al-Assad, who repeated again and again that he didn't understand what the United States expected of Syria with regard to Iraq or the entire Middle East region. It was a short clip, maybe 20-25 seconds in length.

Then, there was a cut-away shot to Amanpour outside the Presidential compound, where she instantly began to berate the Bush Administration for not 'clearly communicating' to the Syrians exactly what was expected of them.

Incredible. But actually not surprising, given Amanpour's (and CNN's) rich heritage of 'inventing news.'

Here's another laugher for you.

The MSM has been in a lather all summer about Bush's 'sagging' poll numbers, right? Poll numbers. The Holy Grail, the awe inspiring numerals, the metric Liberals blindly rely upon to reinforce their belief that everyone hates Republicans.

Well, the good people @ Powerline have done some homework by digging up the approval ratings of recent Presidents.

Johnson: 35%
Nixon: 24%
Ford: 37%
Carter: 28%
Reagan: 35%
Bush I: 29%
Clinton: 37%

President Bush's approval rating currently stands at 41.7%, which is considerably better than all those other Presidents at the low points of their terms.

And yet Howard Fineman today writes about 'the Conservative Crack Up,' which is linked above. The Huffington Post reports with glee that only 2% of African Americans give Bush a postive rating. Whatever the source, and understand the word 'source' is a reltative term, everybody's down on Bush.

It's a joke.

Wednesday, October 12

three days

I like the fact that President Bush called on Syria today to 'be a good neighbor.' How can Syria be a 'good neighbor'?

By not interfering in Lebanon. By not assisting Palestinian terrorists. And by not allowing insurgents to cross over from Syria into Iraq, that's how.

And surprise, surprise. Take a look at this. Ahead of Saturday's elections to approve the new Constitution, the Iraqi's are learning that politics really is the art of compromise.

After 'intense US mediation,' the Sunni's earned the right today to make substantive changes to the new Constitution in December after the new Parliament is elected.

Following those elections, Parliament will have four months to recommend new amendments to the Constitution. During this time, it's going to be a free-for-all, with all three Iraqi tribes--Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis--trying to consolidate as much power as they can for themselves.

After that, national referendum.

Then Iraq will have their Parliament, their Constitution, their country, and their freedom, thanks to President Bush.

video ipods

No, I already told you. I don't want to watch 'Desperate Housewives' on my iPod. And I don't want to watch 'Lost,' either.

I mean it.

'a different country'

That Darrell Hammond guy is everywhere.

Hammond, I mean, Gore, claims that if he were President today, the country wouldn't be doing much of anything at all.

No war in Iraq. ('we would not have invaded a country that didn't attack us,')

No tax cuts. ('we would not have taken money from the working families and given it to the most wealthy families,')

No news. ('we would not be trying to control and intimidate the news media,')

And absolutely no military action of any kind. ('we would not be routinely torturing people')

'We would be a different country,' according to Gore, criticizing American foreign policy while visiting Sweden.

Not really. It would be like 1992-2000 all over again, when Clinton and Gore were in office.

Back then the average American was blissfully unaware of how incompetent the President and the Vice President were.

Back then Clinton was raising money for his Presidential Library and not paying attention to the threat of terrorism.

Back then Gore was busy 'reinventing government' and loosening the rules on airline security.

Back then we were totally unaware of how much danger our country was in and how our leaders didn't do anything to protect us from the Islamic fanatics.

Actually, we are 'a different country.'

kill bill

Actually, there is one way for Hillary to beat Condi in the as yet 'mythical' Clinton/Rice '08 Presidential matchup.

If Bill died.

Am I crazy? Not really. Have you seen the former President lately? Super thin and sickly pale. He looks like shit.

Think of it this way. The death of Bill Clinton is going to be a world event. Multiple days of international mourning. And then the funeral, where his super-sized ego will be on display for the final time. Hillary Clinton will have been 'victimized yet again,' people will say.

She'll coast into the Presidency.

How ironic. Hillary Clinton, this supposed 'strong, independent feminist,' is really nothing of the sort. She's done absolutely nothing on her own, achieving fame only after hitching her fat butt to the Bill Clinton Express.

And yet some New Yorkers felt so 'sorry' that she had to 'endure' years of humiliation as 'Mrs. Clinton,'--and then she suffered yet another insult when Rick Lazio 'invaded her space' during that famous debate--that they gave her a Senate seat.

Hillary Clinton is only 'successful' when she makes herself a victim.

Bill had better watch his back. He might get whacked, like Vince Foster, which would be some pretty amazing karma.

enough already

While I'm beyond tired of the bickering about Harriet Miers in the Republican Party, I think it nicely illustrates that the GOP is capable of withstanding, and surviving, intra-party squabbles. Our tent is a big one. We welcome everyone and every opinion.

You don't see that with the Democrats, who always toe the party line with little or no dissent. The Democrats have tons of litmus tests for their candidates. You almost never hear of factions within their ranks because the DNC simply won't allow it.

Just like that weird family down the street that never argues.

snackage

Dude, these sound good.

Also available in 'Cheddar Beer' flavor, which sounds disgusting but probably rocks.

Pepper is going to demand her own bag. And then, of course, she'll need a beer to wash it all down.

Snacking idea provided by CoolHunting.com.

apple

I told you last week that I had written a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs complaining about the recent string of bad luck I've had with Apple's 'vaunted' customer service department.

The letter was mailed last Monday the 3rd. A guy from Steve Jobs' office called me on Thurday the 6th.

cookin'

Pepper oversees the process of cooking every night. She even carries stuff out to the grill.

She's such a good girl.

The other night we did some fresh river salmon, marinated in lemon pepper and Tabasco soy sauce. I cooked it for about seven minutes a side.

She said it was awesome.

ass hitting door

What's this? Disgraced and defeated German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, showing himself to be a classless boob, by getting in a couple of digs at President Bush on his way out the door?

'I can think of a recent disaster that shows what happens when a country neglects its duties of state towards its people," said Schroeder.

What a brave statement. If he's talking about Katrina, he's got his facts wrong. But who cares?

I believe history will record the cowardice of Schroeder and his refusal to allow Germany, a once great country, to assist in the liberation of Iraq.

Asked about new Chancellor-elect Angie Merkel, Schroeder warned of conservative policies that will 'change' Germany.

"People do not want the state in their faces, but they want it by their side," he said.

I'd say that any government with a 60% tax rate is not only 'in the faces' of it's citizens, but simultaneously 'at their sides' as well, picking pockets.

Tuesday, October 11

greed

Remember how vehemently France opposed the removal of Saddam Hussein? Turns out that France was on the take even more than we ever thought or imagined.

Now comes word that France's former UN Ambassador is now in custody and being questioned as part of an ongoing investigation into the UN's corrput Oil For Food Program.

Jean-Bernard Merimee allegedly received oil kickbacks from Iraq. But even more damning is the fact that Merimee was a special advisor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan from 1999 to 2002, according to Breitbart, to 'help create a system by which the European Commission disbursed payments to the United Nations.'

Until this week a UN website listed Merimee as a 'special and personal representative and envoy of the Secretary-General.'

If Merimee, who apparently was tainted by Iraqi oil money, was charged with helping Annan 'disburse' European money to the UN, just imagine just how many other countries are were involved in the Oil For Food scandal/coverup.

How deep do you think it goes?

iraqi children

My buddy, Arizona Congressman JD Hayworth (pictured above in Mosul, Iraq) is doing a great thing for the children of Iraq. He's organizing a shipment of Beanie Babies--those cute, cuddly, soft, little stuffed animals that were all the rage about eight years ago--to be sent to our troops, who will then give the toys to children who help our troops save lives by identifying the locations of landmines and explosive devices.

If you'd like to help in this worthwhile endeavor, here is the contact info:

14300 N. Northsight Blvd., #105
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
480 614 1159 phone
480 614 1162 fax
Visit JDHayworth.com to learn about other ways to get involved.

condi versus hillary

Dick Morris says that Condi is the only person that can stall the Hillary train in '08. Maybe. I don't know.

What I do know is that the Secretary of State is on record as saying that she's not running for President. She said it on Larry King. She said it on 'Meet The Press.' And she keeps saying it. She's not interested in it. She doesn't want it.

My Mom just called to tell me that Morris is now encouraging a national 'Draft Condi' campaign.

I'm down with that.

Condi Rice is certainly qualified to be President. Not only has she served Bush with distinction as National Security Advisor, but she knows both the pre-9/11 mindset as well as the post-9/11 mindset. As S.O.S., she is in the process of creating excellent relations with the leaders of the other nations of the world. And she's extremely powerful in her role as S.O.S. because the entire world knows that she has the ear--and the confidence--of President Bush.

Hillary's record is particularly weak. So she was First Lady for eight years. So what? Actually, a non issue. She's been the junior Senator from New York where she distinguished herself with a conservative Republican-type voting record. Who does she think she's kidding? Matt Bai, that dumbass reporter from the NYT?

Certainly not me. I predicted that she would tact to the right during her time in the Senate, in an effort to re-brand herself a moderate, instead of the activist Liberal freak she really is. Hillary is a rockstar inside the self-deluded bubble of Left wing ideologues but no one else cares. Even Liberal Hollywood has Clinton fatigue.

Condi has a real story to tell. Raised in Alabama, her father couldn't register to vote as a Democrat so he registered as a Republican. She's was the provost of Stanford University. She's a concert pianist. She's fluent in God knows how many languages.

And Condi looks pretty hot in black boots.

quake

I believe bin Laden's been dead since late '01, but what if I'm wrong?

Hopefully that big ass 7.9 earthquake that hit Pakistan over the weekend killed the bastard and as many of his sick minions as possible.

life in the big city

Sometimes I forget San Diego is the seventh largest in the country. Weird stuff happens here, just like any major metropolis.

Strangely, a man named Khaled Yasufi committed suicide after police knocked on his door. There had been complaints of 'strange odors' coming from Yasufi's apartment.

I'm thinking this guy might have been a terrorist? Maybe he was making a bomb?

forrester for nj governor

Republican Doug Forrester ran against Robert Torricelli in the '02 New Jersey Senate campaign. You'll probably remember how Torricelli was engulfed in ethics charges for taking gifts from a contributor. Torricelli received all kinds of expensive swag, watches, cars, even a house.

I have respect for Forrester. He was cheated out of a Senate seat in '02--when the Democrats illegally replaced Torricelli with Frank Lautenberg at the 11th hour--and now he's back, running for Governor against Senator Jon Corzine.

It looked like Corzine was a shoe-in winner, when he leading by as much as 30 points, just a few weeks ago. Now Forrester has trimmed that lead, even pulling even in some polls.

A WNBC/Marist Poll of likely voters released Monday, 44% said they supported Corzine and 43% Forrester, with 13% undecided.

naming names

Why do some Liberals call themselves 'progressive'? By definition, progressive means 'favoring or implementing social reform, or new liberal ideas.'

I think I've established in this space my opinion that those on the Left are hardly progressive. Rather, in case after case, Liberals not only favor but advocate nothing but the status quo. They don't want to reform anything out of fear that they will offend one of their many constituencies, whether that be seniors, women, minorities, gays, whomever.

The term 'liberal,' when describing Democrats, is far from accurate as well. The word 'Liberal' conjures in the mind adjectives like 'tolerant,' 'flexible' and 'open minded.' Democrats are none of these things.

The Republicans are the true progressives, advocating Social Security reform, tax reform and tort reform, just to name a few. Republicans are the true Liberals too, welcoming, even respecting, divergent points of view from everyone, including fellow Republicans.

Even the names of the parties themselves, Democratic and Republican, are telling. Or in the case of the Democrats, inaccurate and misleading.

'Democratic' meaning 'favoring social equality,' or 'egalitarian,' is absurd on the surface. Not only are we, as Americans, far from being equal but 'social equality' denotes everyone being the same, which is, technically, European socialism.

'Republican' or 'Republic,' meaning 'a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives.'

institutional racism

Reading the 'Washington Whispers' column from US News this morning, a couple of interesting bits stood out.

One, about the hectic traveling schedule of Condi Rice. The other about the possibility of Al Gore seeking the Presidency in '08. Word is that Gore's advisors are urging Al to pick Senator Barack Obama as his running mate.

My question is why do writers Thomas Omestad and Julian E. Barnes find it necessary to write that Obama is 'the youthful Illinois African-American'? Wouldn't 'junior Senator from Illinois Barack Obama' suffice?

Why make it a racial issue? Why bring it up?

They make it a racial issue, my friends, they bring the issue of racism up because Liberals have racism on the brain.

It's disgusting.

facts, figures

I wrote a few weeks ago about my fruitless search for facts and figures about whether or not poverty is up or down and whether or not home ownership among blacks is up or down.

My search still hasn't produced any hard data supporting the facts either way. But, I caught Bill O'Reilly--who happens to be the only talking head mentioning this stuff--the other night and he threw out some numbers and I took notes so I could share them with you, my faithful R.F.L. readers.

Poverty entitlement spending under Clinton in fiscal year 1999 were $217 billion. Under President Bush, now in fiscal year 2006, is $367 billion. Again, this is according to Bill O'Reilly. Some people will automatically dismiss this post as partisan, but O'Reilly, from what I've observed usually gets his facts straight.

Poverty rate. The poverty rate under Clinton was 13.7%. Under Bush, today, it's 12.7%. But we've still got 38 million people in America living in poverty. We've got to do something about that. But, and O'Reilly said this too and it's totally true, there are some people who just don't want to compete in our society. There are some people who don't want to get out of poverty because they are too lazy, or because they don't mind living on welfare, or whatever reason they might have.

Where the Democrats have it wrong is they just continue to throw money and create social program after social program to eradicate the latest cause de jour. Then after they do that, they claim the 'we care more than Republicans do' mantle. Never mind the fact that there is no oversight into whether or not these programs actually work or not. Just because they throw money at the perceived problems in our society, they've 'done their job' by being 'caring,' 'compassionate' Liberals.

My side of the political aisle believes in the responsiblity of the individual. We're more than willing to give people the tools it takes to suceed, but we're not willing to continue to give handout after handout. At the end of the day the individual has to become responsible for themselves. And at some point, an internal audit has to be conducted. If the program to eradicate poverty works, fine. If not, we'll try something different.

That's been George Bush's approach toward public education and the 'Leave No Child Behind' program. He's big on accountability. Making sure that teachers teach and kids actually learn. This accountability mantra is applicable everywhere. If the government can help people out of poverty, by doing specific things, things that can be measured for success, let's do them and let's stop doing the things that haven't worked for 50 years.

Makes sense, right?

Let's talk about home ownership. According to O'Reilly, black home ownership is 'at record levels under Bush.' People scoffed at Bush's 'Ownership Society' during the '04 campaign, but guess what? If you own something--a house, a car--you're going to treat it differently than you would something you don't own. Owning things gives a person not only a sense of pride and accomplishment but also responsibility.

Just some stuff I'm thinking about this morning.

Monday, October 10

schroeder concedes

Angie Merkel is the new, and first female, Chancellor of Germany. Congratulations.

Which is it? Lady Chancellor? Madame Chancellor?

funny bastards

It's official. David Lee Roth, showman extraordinaire, will be the replacement for Howard Stern in New York and other key east coast markets, while comedian Adam Corolla, the co-host of 'Loveline,' will host Stern's show from Los Angeles and will be heard in key west coast markets.

Sounds like a great line up to me and sorry, but good riddance to Stern. His show has become the most boring thing on radio anyway as of late, presumably due to his dissatisfaction with his business relationship with radio giants Infinity and Clear Channel. Since he announced he was jumping to Sirius he's just been phoning it in.

And no, I'm not paying a subscription fee for satellite radio. I bought 500 shares of Sirius stock, but that's as far as I go.

What's Roth, the original lead singer of Van Halen, been up to? Since 1985 he's done a bunch of solo records, a lounge act in Vegas. He was an EMT in NYC last year and lately has been doing a morning radio show in Boston. This guy has always cracked me up.

Back in the '80s there was a syndicated rock program called 'Innerview.' Van Halen was a guest one week and the conversation turned to the food that the band ordered for their dressing rooms. It was mentioned that while they liked M&M's, they wouldn't eat the brown ones. So whoever was delivering the food had to remove all the brown M&M's because it was in the contract.

The irony was that most of the food was wasted anyway because they didn't eat it, they threw it at each other. Diamond Dave screaming 'I can't get no traction in the vegetables,' into the microphone is something I still remember twenty years later.

Adam Corolla is one of the funniest people alive. He's great on radio. In fact, the first time I ever heard Corolla I was hooked. He's one clever bastard.

'Loveline' was created and hosted by a guy named 'Poorman,' a.k.a., Jim Trenton for KROQ radio in L.A. But Trenton and station brass had some contractual problems, so they kicked 'Poorman' to the curb. After a revolving door of celeb co-hosts teaming up with Dr. Drew Pinsky, it looked like they had settled on Riki Rachtman on permanent host just as the show went national.

Those early shows with Riki were okay, but there was definitely something missing. The secret ingredient turned out to be Corolla. He was so great that Rachtman left the show.

And Corolla's stock keeps soaring. He's got the 'Loveline' gig, he's done 'The Man Show,' with Jimmy Kimmel. Now he's doing 'Too Late,' also on Comedy Central.

Funny stuff coming to your radio January '06.

happy monday

My great uncle Joe died on Friday. He was 89.

Joe was quite a character. Short in stature, but big on life and all it had to offer.

I didn't know Joe at that well. He was a fighter pilot in WWII. The last time I saw Joe and my other great uncle, Ed, was at my father's funeral back in 1997. I promised them I would come visit. Joe offered to take me flying.

Myy mom told me I couldn't go.

I can't decide. Do I send a card or should I send flowers?

Flowers.

The Louis Freeh interview on 60 Minutes last night was interesting. Defenders of Bill Clinton, in their attempts to undermine Freeh's credibility, are merely saying the former FBI director is hawking his book. As if that fact alone somehow absolves Clinton of being asleep at the switch when it came to dealing with the security of the United States. It doesn't.

Bill Clinton is a guy completely dedicated to making himself look good at the expense of everything--and everyone--else. He was able to raise $200 million for his Presidential Library, while he, and former President Bush, were only able to raise $100 million for the tsunami victims.

Clinton's 'antipathy' toward the bureau is well-known. I think Freeh's big contribution to the safety and the future of our Republic was his decision to stay on at the FBI until Clinton left office. God only knows what kind of inept, incompetent fool Bubba would have chosen to replace Freeh.

It occurred to me driving into work this morning...the fissures among the different factions of the GOP over the Miers nomination...

Notice how the various groups within the Republican Party are engaging in intelligent discourse. All sides are dispensing facts to support their arguments.

Contrast that with the way the Democrats discuss the various issues of the day. Everyone, according to the Left, is either 'dumb,' or everything 'sucks.'

Case in point. I was reading my buddy MJ's blog, 'Political Notio' this morning. Some bonehead named 'OK Liberal' posted a comment about how terrible everything is, how 'America today is a grim place. Gone are the optimism of the Bush Sr/Clinton days when we felt we could do anything.'

America is a grim place?

No one listens to people who bitch and moan all the time. That's why Democrats lose elections and why Air America doesn't have any listeners.

Friday, October 7

'truth & duty'

Here's an excerpt from 'Truth and Duty,' the new book from disgraced former CBS producer Mary Mapes:

"I was incredulous that the mainstream press--a group I'd been a part of for nearly twenty-five years and thought I knew--was falling for the blogs' critiques. I was shocked at the ferocity of the attack. I was terrified at CBS's lack of preparedness in defending us. I was furious at the unrelenting attacks on Dan. And I was helpless to do anything about any of it."

What about the fact that your story was false, Mary? What about the fact that your story was based on doctored documents, Mary? What about the fact that Rather was forced to step down and you were fired? What about those facts?

The MSM seems to have forgotten the reason that it exists. It exists to inform the American public in an unbiased, objective manner. It does not exist to advance an agenda, which is what CBS was attempting to do with the 'Memo-gate' story about Bush.

Interestingly, 'Truth and Duty' has apparently been pulled from Amazon.com.

More Mapes.

“And right now, on the Internet, it appeared everything was falling apart. I had a real physical reaction as I read the angry online accounts. It was something between a panic attack, a heart attack, and a nervous breakdown. My palms were sweaty; I gulped and tried to breathe. . . . The little girl in me wanted to crouch and hide behind the door and cry my eyes out."

Some feminist she turned out to be.

"Faxing changes a document in so many ways, large and small, that analyzing a memo that had been faxed--in some cases not once, but twice--was virtually impossible. The faxing destroyed the subtle arcs and lines in the letters. The characters bled into each other. The details of how the typed characters failed to line up perfectly inside each word were lost."

Faxing DOES NOT 'change' a document. What an idiot.

"To these people, there was no such thing as unbiased mainstream reporting, certainly not when it came to criticism of the president, no matter how tepid. To them, there was Fox News and everything else--and everything else was liberal and unfair."

Yeah. That's the secret behind the success of the Fox News Channel.
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