Saturday, April 29

fewer blends

I like what Paul Ryan (R-WI) is saying about cheap gasoline, including lowering the number of so called 'boutique' gasoline blends from the current 46 down to 5.

drill now

From today's WSJ:

"Mr. Schumer and most of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate -- the very crowd shouting the loudest about "obscene" gas prices -- have voted uniformly for nearly 20 years against allowing most domestic oil production. They have vetoed opening even a tiny portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas production. If there is as much oil as the U.S. Geological Survey estimates, this would increase America's proven domestic oil reserves by about 50%."

"They have also voted against producing oil from the Outer Continental Shelf, where there are more supplies by some estimates than in Saudi Arabia. Environmental objections seem baseless given that even the high winds and waves of Hurricane Katrina didn't cause oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico. In the 1970s the environmentalists and their followers in Congress even protested building the Alaska pipeline, which today supplies nearly one million barrels of oil a day. If they've discovered some new law of economics in which a fall in output with rising demand can cause a reduction in price, we'd love to hear it."

Friday, April 28

ridiculous, part ii

"We want full amnesty, full legalization for anybody who is here (illegally). That is the message that is going to be played out across the country on May 1."

-- Jorge Rodriquez, a union official responsible for organizing earlier protests.

You'd think this type of lawless behavior would be rejected by state governments? Not here in California, where our state senate yesterday passed a resolution by a 24-13 margin 'recognizing "The Great American Boycott of 2006," saying it would educate the United States about the contributions made by immigrants.'

Educating by legislating? Sounds like socialism to me.

involvement

The situation in the Sudan is an outrage. The senseless killing of innocent men, women and children has been going on for years.

I first became interested in the Sudan when my friend Suzy became a missionary to the region. She and her husband and their two kids are in harm's way everyday. I love them and salute them and pray for their safety.

I've often wondered why the Bush Administration hasn't put regime change in the Sudan closer to the top of the priority list. Meanwhile the corrupt and feckless United Nations is cutting aid to Sudan due to 'lack of funds.'

It's good to see George Clooney and others getting involved in Darfur.

ridiculous

Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee was on Larry Kudlow the other night advocating a rebate check for consumers in light of the insanely high gas prices. Ridiculous? Very.

But yesterday, Republican Senator John Thune said the same thing. Republicans now support giving consumers $100 rebate checks. I'm not sure what the GOP is thinking these days, whatever is on their minds, they certainly aren't leading the country. Take a look at the above photo. House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert, leaving a news conference yesterday in DC. He is exiting a hybrid SUV and getting into a gasoline powered SUV.

This simple example nicely illustrates just how out of touch many of our political leaders happen to be. Arriving in a hybrid vehicle but being taken back to Capitol Hill in a gas guzzler? What's the point?

Even Pam Anderson is getting in on the ridiculous act. She wrote an op-ed in today's WSJ on behalf of PETA...some crap about human beings, forcing animals to appear in television and film projects is 'no way to treat our relatives.'

I'm going back to bed...

Thursday, April 27

debating society

Arlen Specter is considering legislation to halt funding to President Bush's wiretapping program. That seems rather imprudent in a time of war, doesn't it?

Says Specter: "Institutionally, the presidency is walking all over Congress at the moment," Specter, R-PA, told the panel. "If we are to maintain our institutional prerogative, that may be the only way we can do it."

Translation: The constitutional duty of 'advise and consent' has gotten out of control in the minds of some Senators, like Specter, who views himself as a sort of regal creature. Specter would prefer talking a particular issue to death rather than setting aside his ego and acting swiftly for the betterment of the country.

Specter apparently believes that Senatorial hubris and bureaucratic process usurps the national security of the United States.

'an example for the nation'

The Boston Globe is reporting that Teddy Kennedy's opposition to the construction of a sprawling windmill farm in Nantucket Sound is about to be challenged by Democrats and by Greenpeace.

According to the Globe, 'a group of rank-and-file House members, worried about the political ramifications of rejecting alternative energy sources while motorists pay $3 a gallon at the gas station, have persuaded House leaders to sidetrack the entire bill for at least several weeks, even though it was slated for action this week. The delay could give supporters of the wind farm time to make their case to members of Congress.'

Meanwhile environmental groups are pressing Democrats to 'abandon' Kennedy and 'back a promising source of renewable energy.'

More from the Globe:

"The maneuver to stop the wind farm ''is clearly a backroom deal, and they're going to get called publicly on it," said John Passacantando, executive director of Greenpeace USA. ''The Democrats are going to kill the first big offshore wind farm in the United States because of their relationship with Ted Kennedy."

It is believed that the wind farm, once operational, would provide 3/4 the 'energy needs' for the Cape and the Islands.

Wednesday, April 26

neil young

Free speech is beautiful, even erroneous speech. Here are the lyrics to Neil Young's “Let’s Impeach The President,” from his new record, "Living With War."

"Let’s impeach the president for lying

And leading our country into war

Abusing all the power that we gave him

And shipping all our money out the door

He’s the man who hired all the criminals

The White House shadows who hide behind closed doors

And bend the facts to fit with their new stories

Of why we have to send our men to war

Let’s impeach the president for spying

On citizens inside their own homes

Breaking every law in the country

By tapping our computers and telephones

What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees

Would New Orleans have been safer that way

Sheltered by our government’s protection

Or was someone just not home that day?

Let’s impeach the president

For hijacking our religion and using it to get elected

Dividing our country into colors

And still leaving black people neglected

Thank god he’s racking down on steroids

Since he sold his old baseball team

There’s lot of people looking at big trouble

But of course the president is clean

Thank God."

my latest passion

4-6 months

Remember the '04 campaign where four punk ass Democratic campaign workers in Wisconsin slashed the tires of Republican-rented vans destined to take voters to the polls?

Judge Michael B. Brennan exceeded the recommendation of prosecutors and sentenced these guys to four to six months for misdemeanor property damage.

"Voter suppression has no place in our country," Brennan told the defendants in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. "Your crime took away that right to vote for some citizens."

From CBS affiliate WFRV.com:

"The men, including the son of U.S Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, had pleaded no contest in January to misdemeanor property damage in a plea agreement with prosecutors who recommended no jail time."

'arschloch'

Yesterday I was supposed to get my oil changed, but I was sick and stayed in bed all day.

So this morning I call my guy, this big time German guy named Ben. I apologize about not calling yesterday, but he's always been great about working me in whenever it was convenient for me, etc. In fact, that's the reason that I didn't call him yesterday. I figured he'd tell me not to stress about it.

Anyway, he interupts me and says (in thick German accent) 'Zuh, Kent. Zi schzedule waz screwezed up yezterday, becauze zu dizn't call. Zi no zonger zish tuz do buziness witz you. Zi runz a tight shipz.'

A tight ship? The last time he serviced my BMW the appointment was at 9 o'clock. He showed up at a quarter to ten.

I should have realized he was unbalanced the minute I saw the 'Buck Fush' bumper sticker on his car.

fifth time

Karl Rove is testifying again today before the federal grand jury investigating the Valerie Plame leak case.

The topic on the mind of Pat Fitzgerald is why Rove originally failed to inform him that he spoke with Time Magazine's Matt Cooper about the outed CIA agent Plame back in '03.

leftovers

Left wing media seems to be a hard sell these days. The Air America radio network has lost a third of its marketshare in New York City in the past 12 months and 'Crashing The Gate,' a book written by Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas has sold only 3,600 copies in four weeks.

From Drudge:

"NIELSEN claims only 2,062 copies of 'Gate' have been purchased at the retail level; the rest coming through 'discount' outlets."

Taking a look at Daily Kos, Moulitsas strikes back:

"What's a poor partisan hack like Drudge to do with his idols running the country and Iraq into the ground? Aha! Claim that some book isn't doing so hot."

Kos claims that Bookscan 'just surveys a sampling of big box retailers,' the implication being that Drudge's figures are misleading.

More from Kos:

"So let's see. The book has been out three weeks. It has sold 5,100 copies of the special edition and 3,630 according to Drudge (if he can be trusted) in a sampling of the big box bookstores.

That's 8,730 right there. Now throw in the indy bookstores (we've probably sold close to 1,000 just in the book signing events I've attended), and we're getting close to 10,000.

Then there's the online retailers. Currently, CTG is ranked #25 on Amazon.com, and is ranked #5 in the politics category. Through the links at the top of the this page alone I've sold 700 copies of CTG."

From my perspective it seems that 10,000 books sold is a mighty small number given the popularity of Daily Kos, America's number one political blog. The guy gets tens of millions of hits a week, they've been promoting the heck out of this book and the best they can do is this anemic number?

Which fellow has more credibility?

bush and schumer

From Tony Blankley @ TownHall.com:

"One of the things that always made me feel good in the morning was waking up and realizing I did not belong to the same political party as Chuck Schumer. It made me feel clean -- even before I took a shower. But now, with my Republican president pulling a "full Schumer," even a series of showers will not help."

"Of course, no sensible person -- not even a sensible liberal (yes, there are still a few of that species roaming about in obscure locations, though they dare not show themselves at Democratic Party media events) -- believes that the price of gasoline went over $3 a gallon because of nefarious practices by Big Oil."

it's tony

Fox News should know about what Tony Snow is doing and they are in fact reporting that Snow is the choice for new White House press secretary. A press conference is scheduled for 6 AM PST.

The selling point for Snow, apparently, is the promise that he will be a part of policy making decisions with more access to the President, in addition to his primary duty of briefing the press. The arrangement reminds me of the relationship President Bush enjoyed with his first press secretary, Ari Fleischer.

Tuesday, April 25

kicked to the curb, update

Here's an update on a story you won't read about anywhere else...

The ranking Democrat on the House ethics committee, Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, who was, as I call it, 'kicked to the curb' by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi while being investigated for ethics violations, last year bought a 300-acre farm with the head of a small defense contractor that had won a $2.1 million contract from funds that the congressman added to a 2005 spending bill.

I'm sure Democrats are outraged.

pump pain, part ii

pump pain

Word is that the President caught a glimpse of gas prices at an DC Exxon station today on his way to give a speech about gasoline prices and he immediately called for a probe.

What to do? Bush has already decided to temporarily halt deposits to the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve to make more oil available for consumer needs. I hope the Bush Administration also will end the .54 tariff on Brazilian ethanol, which is the equivalent of those nasty steel tarriffs in place against Canada. I hope they will repeal the national gas tax. That would help consumers, as would eliminating taxes on gasoline at the state level.

It is a crime that the US gets 60% of our oil from foreign sources -- Canada, Mexico, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia -- instead of using our own resources. Blame falls directly on the Democrats, plain and simple, because attempts at drilling offshore or in Alaska, are always blocked by the Left with the trial lawyers and the Greens.

Had the Senate passed ANWR in '01, I wouldn't be paying $3.18 for a gallon of gas at my neighborhood Mobil today.

I just finished watching Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) on Kudlow & Company. Shadegg threw out some interesting numbers about America's natural resources: 400 trillion cubic feet of natural gas...20 billion barrels of oil. We've got to start utilizing America's own natural resources. End of story.

Let's be clear about the oil companies. They are not gouging. If there was any gouging going on, the Federal Trade Commission would have already put a stop to it, since they do nothing but pore over gas pricing all day long. Hell, Coca-Cola has higher profit margins that the big oil companies do. Gas prices are set by world market pricing and it happens every year ahead of the big travel summer months.

tony or dan?

Tony Snow is reportedly ready to become the next White House press secretary.

I don't see it...The guy's got colon cancer...My choice would be Dan Senor. He's more aggressive.

four more long years

Like Tom Daschle before him, Harry Reid's big Liberalism now that he's the Democrats big gun in the Senate, is costing him support of his constituents back home.

I can't think of anything that would cheer me up more today -- I'm at home sick -- than to know for certain that the good people of Nevada are going to turn this corrupt old bastard Reid out on his crooked keister...In four years.

Monday, April 24

immigration

Finally, Bush is talking about immigration in Southern California. He should be here in San Diego, but Orange County is definitely a start.

Here are some highlights from his speech this morning to the Orange County Business Council:

"I think that the best way to enforce our border and the best way, besides making sure it's modern and we've got manpower and equipment down there, which we do, and it's increasing every week, is to come up with a rational plan that recognizes people coming here to work and let them do so on a temporary basis. That's why I'm for a temporary worker program that will -- (applause) -- that says to a person, here is a tamper-proof card that says, you can come and do a job an American won't do, fill a need. A tamper-proof card all of a sudden makes interior enforcement work. In other words, we now know who's getting the cards and we know they can't be tampered with. So the guy says, show me your tamper-proof card before I hire you. And if they do, fine. But if they don't, say, I'm not hiring you. You got to have the card to get work."

"Secondly, I believe that a person should never be granted automatic citizenship. And let me tell you why I believe that, that if you've been here -- broken the law and have been here working, that it doesn't seem fair to me to say you're automatically a citizen when somebody who has been here legally working is standing in line trying to become a citizen, as well. In other words, there's the line for people."

"But what I do think makes sense is that a person ought to be allowed to get in line."

Read the entire draft of Bush's speech by clicking on 'immigration' above.

a valuable read

Washington Times ace reporter Bill Sammon has written three NYT bestselling books about President Bush. He's got some amazing access to the Bush White House and the latest installment, 'Strategery,' is an invaluable account of the '04 campaign and the shocking behavior of the 'objective' American media.

Some highlights of the book for me:

+ How could John Kerry have more Purple Hearts than Bob Dole? Dole rescued an Italian radio operator and in the process got his arm and back shot all to hell. He was in the hospital for three years, recovering from his injuries. Kerry never suffered a serious injury, yet was awarded three P.H.'s in under three months' time.

Those Liberals constantly obsessing over various Bush conspiracy theories should try putting some of their ample brainpower into solving THAT mystery.

+ The Swift Boat guys really performed an important public service to the country and the world in raising serious questions about John Kerry's military record. Think of that the next time you see 'JK' on Meet The Press.

+ Liberal bias regarding anything George W. Bush.

In the 2000 election, the television networks called Florida early for Gore, even though the polls hadn't closed. An expected Bush lead of +10,000 votes then to shrank to 537. Without the partisan media's intervention there would have been no 36 day recount.

In 2004, Bush won Ohio by 120,000 votes yet the networks only called the state for Bush following the Kerry concession the day after the election. To this day, the MSM also fails to report that Bush won the largest number of popular votes in American history, instead choosing to characterize his re-election as another questionable victory by a razor thin margin.

+ The extreme CBS News choice to change the course of the Presidential election.

Producer Mary Mapes and anchor Dan Rather, in their bloodlust to take down Bush, aired patently false stories about the President's service in the National Guard, which were purportedly supported by phony documentation. CBS News, formerly the paragon of journalistic ethics and virtues, died in 2004.

+ The debate debate over the outing of Mary Cheney first by lightweight VP nominee Edwards and then by Senator Kerry. If a Republican candidate had even UTTERED the name of the gay offspring of a Democrat there would have been holy hell to pay in the MSM. The Republican would have been crucified in the press. They would have been permanently vilified and branded as homophobic.

But because Democrats raised the specter of a gay child born of Republican parents -- in this case, Satan himself, Dick and Lynne Cheney -- both Edwards and Kerry got a complete pass from the 'objective' press.

+ Compare and contrast the ways the two candidates treat their Secret Service details.

John Kerry, after falling down while skiing, complained that he fell because his Secret Service agent, a man Kerry described as 'that son of a bitch,' knocked him down. Way to respect the guy who is prepared to trade his life for yours, Senator.

Shortly after his re-election, President Bush was in Chile. His agent, Nick Trotta, was left outside due to some local braggadocio by the Chilean security forces. The Secret Service and the Chileans were having an old fashioned rumble. Bush jumped into the scrum and pulled Trotta out of the scuffle.

On display everyday. Democrats versus Republicans. Trash versus Class.

earth and sky

Former 102.1 WNEW FM New York shock jobs Opie and Anthony -- currently heard exclusively on XM Satellite Radio -- have reached a deal with CBS Radio which will allow them to become terrestrial yet again. This time they will be based at 92.3 FREE FM, Howard Stern's former flagship station.

No word as to what will become of 92.3's current morning host, former Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth.

'recovery plan'

Time Magazine writes about new White House chief of staff Josh Bolten's five point recovery plan to get Bush and the Republicans 'back on track' ahead of the midterm elections.

[1] 'DEPLOY GUNS AND BADGES'

Talking to the conservative base. Make sure your peeps are happy so they get out and vote for you. This is not rocket science.

[2] 'MAKE WALL STREET HAPPY'

Talking up the incredibily positive and healthy economy to counter the full frontal assault of negativity from the MSM. Maybe replace John Snow.

[3] 'BRAG MORE'

About time Bush listed some of his many accomplishments. Clearly nobody else is going to do it.

[4] 'RECLAIM SECURITY CREDIBILITY'

Presumably how to handle Iran. Time's Mike Allen claims to be skeptical about this, but what Democrat has any serious foreign policy credentials? Joe Biden? Please.

[5] 'COURT THE PRESS'

Futile. No President in recent memory has been beaten up by the Fourth Estate. CBS News essentially flushed its storied reputation down the toilet in an effort to kill Bush's re-election chances. The press hates W. End of story.

egyptian explosions kill 22

Terror in Egypt...Three explosions rocked the Egypt's Sinai resort town of Dahab on Monday night, leaving at least 22 people dead and 150 wounded.

Its high tourist season and Egypt is in the middle of a five day holiday. All hotels and resorts are packed to capacity.

Love that religion of peace, don't you?

turnout matters

Fred Barnes is stating the obvious. Now that Rove is back in charge of the political portfolio I'd bet that before long we'll see the President embark on one of his famous midterm election barnstorming tours. They worked to perfection in '02 and in '04.

The conventional wisdom according to Barnes is that Republicans turnout in large numbers when they are angry, when they are inspired or when there is a combination of both. The big danger for the White House are Bush's anemic approval numbers among the Republican base. A couple of years ago he enjoyed support in the 90% range. Today its 66%. Rove will be successful in bumping that number skyward. A situation that the Administration 'could control' wouldn't hurt, either.

And since Rove enjoys a close relationship with new chief of staff Josh Bolten, all signs point to the likelihood that the White House will shortly again be firing on all cylindes returning to the vaunted disciplined form of old when Bush's effectiveness reached its zenith.

junk science

"The science is in," the actor-turned-politician claimed. "The facts are there that we have created, man has, a self-inflicted wound that man has created through global warming."

What 'science' is the Governor talking about? No credible science. For every 100 scientists who claim the earth is warming there are an equal number of scientists who will tell you that the earth is actually cooler today than it was 100 years ago.

I wonder how much emission, how much toxic waste, Arnold created back when he was doing the steroids? I'm only kidding.

He's wrong on gas prices, too. But, of course, he's unpopular and he's running for re-election. Whatever the people want to hear, especially here in California, 'Blue Heaven.'

Schwarzenegger said, "I think [current gas prices] are absolutely outrageous. And believe me, I am all for profit. I love when businesses are booming. But there is a certain point when you have a product that everyone needs and that everyone is relying on because of the situation that you have created. … We've got to protect the people."

Not that the oil companies have done ANYTHING to possibly earn their profits. No way. They've only REFINED the product. They have only TRANSPORTED the product. Why should they make any money for their efforts? Only the Middle Eastern countries should make a profit from their natural resources, right?

Sunday, April 23

double standard

The Democrats have been railing against the Bush Administration since '03 for allegedly leaking the name of former CIA operative Valerie Plame.

But now that Mary McCarthy, a CIA agent -- and a John Kerry supporter -- has been fired from her job for leaking classified information about secret American prisons in Europe, Democrats rise to defend her.

"I'm glad she told the truth," Kerry said. "You have somebody being fired from the CIA for allegedly telling the truth, and you have no one fired from the White House for revealing a CIA agent in order to support a lie."

One problem with that, Mr. Three (Unearned) Purple Hearts. Joe Wilson -- another Kerry supporter -- leaked the name of his own wife in an op-ed Wilson himself wrote for the NYT.

But c'mon. Everybody knows lying is only bad if Republicans do it, right?

whack him

I'm about to sit down to watch the East Coast feed of "The Sopranos." For the love of Tony, can we get someone from Jersey whack Vito, the fat bastard?

He's selling antiques in New Hampshire, so end somebody up there already.

the game

I have come to the conclusion that politics is a game and the smartest way to play is to vote for the candidate who has the best chance of winning. C'mon. If you aren't playing this 'game' to win, what exactly is the point?

The Democrats get this. That's why nine Senate Democrats have signed a 'letter of support' for Senate candidate Bob Casey who is challenging incumbent Republican Rick Santorum this year. Casey is pro-life, yet the zealously pro-choice Democrats, mindful of the opportunity this fall to shift the balance of congressional power back in their favor, are voicing their full fledged support.

Very rarely are you ever going to find a candidate that you agree with completely on every issue. You have to pick and choose the person with whom you most clearly identify. Certainly I don't like everything about George W. Bush. But to the core, I agree with him. Not all Democrats liked everything about John Kerry, and so on.

That's how it works.

At the same time, this 'game' has some high stakes attached to it. It does matter very much who wins and loses, especially in the post-9/11 world we now find ourselves. I'm cynical, but I'm also realist.

Let's test my theory, shall we? Here in San Diego the race to fill Duke Cunningham's seat attracted 14 GOP candidates, 2 Democrats, a Libertarian, a Green and an Independent. The 50th District is indeed Conservative, but how do you explain the moderate Republican Brian Bilbray (a former Congressman) winning the right to face Democrat Francine Busby in the June runoff? Why not the ultra conservatives like Howard Kaloogian or Bill Morrow?

San Diego Republicans voted for Bilbray because it is widely believed HE CAN WIN.

blow by blow

The Iraqi Parliament met today...

Read all about it @ IraqTheModel...

Saturday, April 22

happy earth day

Thirty years ago environmentalists were fearing global cooling. Today its the opposite. Will you guys please make up your minds?

As the WSJ points out, "Since 1970, carbon monoxide emissions in the U.S. are down 55%, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Particulate emissions are down nearly 80% and sulfur dioxide emissions have been reduced by half. Lead emissions have declined more than 98%. All of this has been accomplished despite a doubling of the number of cars on the road and a near-tripling of the number of miles driven."

For certain, the Greens have done some good things for the planet. Promoting higher standards for cleaner water and air and land are all net positives. But enviro-hysteria based on unsubstantiated science by the likes of Al Gore benefits no one and the blame for America's energy dependence on Middle Eastern sources of oil rests solely on the shoulders of radical environmental groups.

$75 barrrels of oil, anyone?

Friday, April 21

harry reid: american idiot

"We don't have the resources to hit Iran."

So says Harry Reid, top Senate Democrat.

More from the Reno Gazette Journal:

"Reid said the Middle East is a "powder keg" because of U.S. failures in Iraq, the rise of fundamentalism and the recent election of Hamas in Palestine."

"Our not being involved diplomatically in trying to solve the situation in Iran shows the Bush failure in foreign policy there and elsewhere."

"Asked if the U.S. is headed toward a military option, Reid said, "we don't have the resources to do it" because of the ongoing war in Iraq."

Way to support the troops, Harry. Way to show solidarity with coalition forces, Harry. Way to encourage our enemies, Harry.

next n.o. mayor?

The population has shifted...but we still have Ray Nagin, who, amazingly, is considered the 'frontrunner'...we also have Lt. Gov. Landrieu...And a guy named Forman...

What to do? For whom to vote?

UPDATE: Nagin 38% Landrieu 28%...runoff next month...

cia agent fired

CIA agent Mary McCarthy, a Kerry supporter and senior director for intelligence programs under Clinton -- appointed by the document stealing Sandy Berger -- flunked a polygraph exam, has been fired for leaking classified information to a reporter and is now under investigation by the Justice Department.

Just how long do you think it will be before we're treated to stories in the press that Bush authorized this woman to leak classified documents?

From MSNBC:

"The leak pertained to stories on the CIA’s rumored secret prisons in Eastern Europe, sources told NBC. The information was allegedly provided to Dana Priest of the Washington Post, who wrote about CIA prisons in November and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for her reporting."

graffiti marketing

Fashion brand guru Mark Ecko describes himself as being "rich," which is how he managed to scrap enough cash together to rent a jumbo 747 jet, paint it to look exactly like President Bush's personal Air Force One, and then shoot a video about the entire affair, which has been getting broad attention after being posted on the internet.

"I wanted to do something culturally significant, wanted to create a real pop-culture moment," said Marc Ecko of Marc Ecko Enterprises.

It was professional looking enough to concern the Secret Service. "We're looking at it, too," Lt. Col. Bruce Alexander, a spokesman for the Air Mobility Command's 89th Airlift Wing, which operates Air Force One. "It looks very real."

kicked to the curb

The top Democrat on the House ethics committee, Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, has left the panel while he defends his own financial conduct. Funny isn't it, how House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wasted no time kicking Mollohan to the curb in this election year?

Mollohan has come under fire after an article in the WSJ two weeks ago raised questions about the millions of dollars steered to non profit groups by Mollohan. Much of the funds going to people who, in the past, have funded Mollohan's campaigns.

Additionally, questions have been raised about the veracity of Mollohan's statement of assets on financial disclosure forms.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Alan.

meet al-malik

Good news about Ibrahim al-Jaafari stepping aside as the Iraqi Prime Minister. I think a combination of things happened:

[1] He finally took a freaking hint

We've been leaning on him pretty hard, as have the varying factions on the ground in Baghdad.

[2] He saw the writing on the wall

Nothing productive was going to happen as long as he was in charge and his reputation as a weakling was too entrenched into the minds of people.

[3] He realized what was important

His power, ego, the prestige of being 'the first' post-Hussein PM, whatever. The well being of the country emerged as the priority. Finally. Good for Iraq. al-Jaafari, is a patriot.

It will be interesting to see how new nominee Jawad al-Malik (above) handles himself going forward.

toast a pint of stella...

Britain's Queen Elizabeth turns the big 8-0 today. Happy birthday, Old Girl!

4 days in california

R.F.L. cub reporter (the always inquisitive) Annalis informs me that the President is in the San Francisco Bay Area today, as part of a four day California visit, pushing the competitiveness plan he introduced in his State Of The Union speech.

Obviously it is vitally important to invest heavily in the tech industry's agenda, including more money for science research and education funding so that American can remain competitive with China and India.

He's been touting the initiative in speeches all week, so to underscore the program he's dropping by tech giant Cisco today for a panel discussion with CEO John Chambers, Governor Schwarzenegger, a San Jose State University student and education leaders focused on training a more skilled workforce.

Dubya will also honor Joe Russo, a 68-year-old IBM retiree with the President's Volunteer Service Award for his dedication to the elderly at the Willows Senior Center, where he teaches computer classes.

Next, the President will chopper off to Stanford University's Hoover Institution for a visit with former Secretary of State George Schultz. After that he'll spend the night in St. Helena and talk up fuel cell technology tomorrow in Sacramento. Sunday and Monday he's in Southern California to visit military families and to give an immigration speech.

You've got my cell # Mr. President. Let's go to Chipotle and have a burrito.

walking shoes

A year ago I was living in Beverly Hills. Good thing I don't live there anymore -- $4.049 for a gallon of gas today? Ouch. If I was still there, I'd kick off the Ken Coles, put on my comfy Merrill walking shoes, and hoof it...

Thursday, April 20

joan miro

Have some art with your search engine...

r.f.l. 'best blog on politics'?

Rolling through Technorati and I found a website, "Best Blog On Politics." This blog -- the mighty R.F.L. -- is ranked #1. Click the headline above for more info.

Yeah, I knew it was just a matter of time before I left Hugh Hewitt and Michele Malkin in the dust.

I'd like to thank the Academy, the fine folks at Blogger, my Mom, my sixth grade english teacher Barbara Orza...

speaking freely

People tend to forget that China is a nasty communist country. They terrorize their citizens and they sterilize people who step out of line with the government.

Hu Jintao, despite his warm and fuzzy appearance, is totally committed to running rough shod over his people.

I loved President Bush's comments about 'speaking freely' and having 'the freedom to worship' to Jintao today.

The timing of the woman with the press pass who unfurled the yellow Falun Gong banner wasn't coincidental either.

'President Bush, stop him from killing'... 'Stop persecuting the Falun Gong,' she yelled... She also shouted in Chinese, 'President Hu, your days are numbered, No more time for China's ruling party.'

The woman was taken away by uniformed secret service officers, but not immediately.

As this was happening, China TV went black, as it did with CNN International's post-speech commentary.

Wednesday, April 19

$9.95

Imagine trying to try to raise John Lennon from the grave via seance? It's coming to you via pay-per-view on April 24.

moon over my hammy

You are looking at ze bum of German Chancellor Angela Merkel while on holiday in Italy.

'worst'

How does anyone write about 'history' without first allowing said history to happen?

George W. Bush won't leave the Presidency until January '09. There's a lot of time left. We might not even be able to actually determine Bush's place in history in my lifetime. How could we possibly take seriously any attempt to label him now?

But for the sake of argument, let's say that Bush is the worst President in American history. What then does that say about Bill Clinton? Here's a guy who was too busy chasing interns around the White House to ever formulate much of a foreign policy. He was so asleep at the switch he ignored the gathering threat of terrorism, which resulted in the death of 3,000 people on 9/11. The deaths of those people rests solely on Clinton's shoulders. By that standard alone, Clinton is the worst President in American history.

If Bush is the worst President in history what in God's name does it say about Jimmy Carter? 'Mr. Malaise' was responsible for 21% interest rates, long gas lines, the Iranian hostage crisis and the rise of modern terrorism?

Rolling Stone should just stick to writing about music and pop culture because they don't know beans about politics.

Tuesday, April 18

23%

As you know, I don't care much for the polls. But the next time you hear a Liberal celebrating the fact that Bush's job approval numbers are hovering somewhere over 39% remind them that the so-called "Democratic" leadership in Congress has job approval ratings of 23%, the lowest ever recorded by the Gallup organization.

new budget director

As widely expected, US Trade Rep. Rob Portman has been tapped to take Josh Bolton's old job as Director of the Office of Management and Budget, subject to Senate confirmation.

It will be interesting to see if this choice is as popular on Capitol Hill as the Administration is expecting.

dishonest presentation

God help us. Al Gore wants to waste an hour and a half of our lives by convincing us he knows something about climate change. He's made a movie called "An Inconvenient Truth."

Even uber Liberal columnist Richard Cohen is even mocking it: "Boring Al Gore has made a movie. It is on the most boring of all subjects - global warming. It is more than 80 minutes long and the first two or three go by slowly enough so that you can notice that Gore has gained weight and that his speech still seems out of sync."

But then he goes on to describe how great Gore is, what a great President he would make, and how that America simply cannot afford to "allow Gore to lose again" in his quest to warn us all about global warming.

"Gore will do more good for his country and the world with this movie than Bush ever did by winning in 2000."

Wow. That's a grand statement. Okay, Gore shot a film. But who did the fact checking? Meanwhile President Bush has freed 50 million Muslims and has been responsible for the holding of free and fair elections in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Yeah. I'm starting to see Cohen's point. A movie is way more important.

Gore has two things on his resume from his political career, and neither one of them could be described as 'good.' One, he loosened FAA restrictions in his quest to 'Reinvent Government.' Two, he permanently underminded global elections because of his dishonest challenge to the 2000 presidential election.

Cohen also claims that this movie somehow will 'put the heat on Bush,' because he's such an idiot, "his preferred method of birth control is abstinence and his dismissal of 'science' means that he has undernourished his mind with the empty calories of comfy dogma."

"You cannot see this film and not think of George W. Bush," Cohen writes. No Richard. I cannot see this movie without thinking about what a phony Al Gore continues to be.

See the trailer by clicking the above title.

Monday, April 17

maryland

Good news out of Maryland. Voters are broadly embracing the message of Republican Senatorial candidate Michael Steele and the Democrats are so concerned that they have issued a memo urging an immediate full scale attack on Steele -- an attack that they believe can't wait until the conclusion of the Democratic primary.

Maryland is one of the Bluest states in the country and African Americans have always voted for Democrats by default because the Republicans never tried to field decent candidates.

Democrats have essentially held the black community hostage for forty years by opposing civil rights legislation in the 1960's. And the failed policies of today's Liberalism are the reason that African Americans are trapped in decrepit neighborhoods and are forced to send their children to failing schools.

By design, Democrats have kept blacks poor and stupid, pretending to care about the plight of African Americans every two and four years just to get the black vote -- but once elected -- conditions never improve.

Republicans favor personal empowerment for each individual. We favor equipping individuals with the tools needed for success. Look at what Bush has done for blacks. In the last five years alone African American home ownership is at record high levels. The American dream is available for everyone, regardless of skin color.

A Steele victory would be tantamount to the freeing of slaves. It would be great news for Maryland. Let's hope that the truth of Steele's message will drown out the bigotry and the dishonesty of the Democrats.

general shame

Retired Army Generals actively engaging in politics and criticizing the leadership in a time of war? It is way above your pay grade, gentlemen. And it's tacky.

Anthony Zinni, a self described supporter of 'realism' in the Middle East, never supported the liberation of Iraq in the first place. Zinni's vision of stability in the region means we just leave dictators like Hussein alone to invade other countries and impose genocide on their own people.

His opinion doesn't matter.

Major General Charles H. Swannack Jr., who once commanded the 82nd Airborne in Iraq, was quoted last week saying the Defense Secretary's "absolute failures in managing the war against Saddam in Iraq" mean he is not "the right person" to continue leading the Pentagon."

Perhaps Swannack is bored and looking for a job? Sorry Chuck, it doesn't appear that Rumsfeld job is going to be available anytime soon.

Former Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor rips Rumsfeld because he believes that the U.S. advance on Baghdad in March and April 2003 was slowed by Rumsfeld and by cautious commanders in the field, which 'may have allowed' insurgents to become free to fight coalition forces.

Second guessing when trouble arises, isn't brave, noble or productive. But it certainly is cowardly. If you want to rip your Nation's policies, do it while you're on active duty. Not after.

Meanwhile Don Rumsfeld continues to have the full support of President Bush.

Second guessing is also damaging. The message sent to the radicals overseas and to our troops in the field is that even America's own military leaders are in disagreement over Iraq and the War On Terror.

Zinni, Swannack and Macgregor sully their own accomplishments with this type of inexcusable behavior. The Democrats are famous for politicizing wars. That's not surprising. It is far worse for military men to be stupid and short sighted enough to play politics with troops in the field and missions still currently underway.

Funny isn't it? The Democrats align themselves with the military only to take cheap whacks at the Bush Administration.

'living with war'

I always liked Neil Young, a great Canadian poet. But now I understand his new record "Living With War," is a ten song screed against America and President Bush.

"I raise my hand in peace ... I never bow to the laws of the thought police ... I take a holy vow ... to never kill again ... In the big hotels ... in the mosques and the doors of the old museum ... I take a holy vow ... to never kill again," Young sings.

That's brilliant. A Canadian criticizing America for again doing the right things around the globe. What courage!!! Does Neil think only Americans 'kill'? Saddam Hussein was all about killing his own people. What about the fanatical Muslims who kill? Does Neil have a problem with them?

I wonder what Young would think about the world if he woke up one day and he suddently realized that he had lost his freedom to write, record and perform his music?

Young seems quite fickle -- given the fact that he was a strong supporter of Bush after 9/11. He was a vocal supporter of the Patriot Act. He recorded 'Let's Roll' in tribute to the passengers of Flight 93.

Maybe it has something to do with the anemic sales of his last record, "Prairie Wind," which has sold only 450,000 copies as of last week. Announcing to be 'anti-Bush' is the fastest way for anyone these days to get some press. And we know that any press is good press, right Neil?

Wouldn't it be great if some talented musician wrote a song called "Freedom Must Be Defended"? I'd definitely download that music from iTunes.

picking a fight

The most effective country in the world in perpetrating suicide bombings -- Iran -- promises to have 40,000 suicide bombers 'ready' to attack the West if the United States moves against their nuclear facilities.

This sabre rattling might end up getting Mahmood Ahmadinejad in hot water. Although few in America will learn about his threat. I just Googled 'Iran, 40,000 suicide bombers' and the top five hits were all foreign media, from Australia, Spain, among others.

Iran seems to believe they are in the drivers seat because of the global reality of oil. That's why it is so important -- listen up Democrats -- that America and free countries everywhere become energy independent and that means taking advantage of our own natural resources. That means drilling in Alaska and drilling offshore.

Sorry you environmental freaks, but my need to drive to work is way more important than displacing ten caribou in Juneau or killing some salt water fish.

a rare attack


As the new Israeli government was being sworn in today, a 16 year old Palestinian suicide bomber was busy killing innocent Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv.

Looking at the photo of Sami Salim Mohammed Hammed, pictured above, makes me sick. This little bastard killed nine people and injured nearly 70 because he was taught that hatred is a productive tool. As I write this post, Hammed is burning in hell.

Anyway, this bombing was the first attack in Israel since January '05, which is due largely to the wall dividing Israel from Gaza as well as the ability of Israel to infiltrate West Bank terrorist groups with a high level of success.

The break in violence also has come as Hamas, by all standards a terrorist organization, has forsaken senseless violence while pursuing political advancement and now leads the P.L.O.

There are no drastic changes expected to take place in Israel's anti-terror policy, other than continued incursions into Gaza and the West Bank on a 'case by case' basis. But new Prime Minister Ehud Olmert did say this:

"It is not something we did not suspect would happen," Olmert said. "We know terrorist elements are trying all the time to find opportunities to carry out attacks inside Israel. We will know how to respond, and will continue to act with all the means at our disposal to prevent further terror attempts," he said.

'refresh and re-energize'

New White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolton ran his first staff meeting today and encouraged staffers not fully committed to staying through the end of the year to 'go ahead and leave now.'

President Bush has given Bolton full authority to make personnel changes and to offer 'advice and counsel' on other possible changes. Interestingly the President offered his full support to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The departure of Press Secretary Scott McClellan is something I would certainly welcome. No doubt Scott is a great guy and being a press flack for the President is a ball busting job. But he's almost always rhetorically out-witted by aggressive journalists. Simply stated, McClellan is no Ari Fleischer.

And John Snow is...kinda strange. I saw him interviewed by Fox's Stuart Varney and Snow leaned into Varney worse than one of the famous 'close talkers' back on 'Seinfeld' some ten years ago. It was classic! Varney was completely uncomfortable and uncertain of how to respond to the Treasury Secretary nearly embracing him. Snow was left to mumble incessantly and gesticulate wildly. This guy's gotta go. No wonder the press won't report good economic news!

'lessons'

Newt Gingrich seems to be everywhere these days and he's constantly carping on Republicans to radically reverse their present course, to dramatically alter their current strategy on governance and legislation because it seems the country might very much be in a mood for change.

"Are they [Republicans] going to learn some lessons and get their act together?" Gingrich asked. "We were sent here to reform Washington, not to be co-opted by Washington," he said.

"The country absolutely wants control of the borders," Gingrich said. "The country absolutely wants us to insist that becoming an American citizen requires that you passed a test in English."

He's right. Those policies have wide support among Americans. And unless the GOP does a pretty swift u-turn and begins leading and proving themselves to be the Ideas Party in this election year, come November they very well might find themselves to be the Minority Party.

I also think that Gingrich is increasing his visibility because he's considering a presidential run in '08.

Stop snickering!

Just look at what he's doing. He's wisely positioning himself, in the event of sweeping GOP congressional losses, as the loyal conservative who repeatedly warned his party to shake things up. And if Republicans retain control of the House and the Senate then Newt can then claim his advice worked, keeping the GOP in power for at least another two years.

I have long said Newt would be a great President. Intellectually, he has few peers. But many people find him as divisive as Bush. His electability is a huge question.

pocket flowers

I spent an awesome 'urban weekend' with my lovely friend, L -- who has become -- in an incredibly short period of time, one of my favorite people.

L is instantly lovable. She has a beautiful mind, she's very attractive and we never tire of each other. The sport of the weekend -- rumination on diverse topics like popular culture, fashion, family and politics -- was peppered with periodic gentle, yet sometimes brutal, mocking...always in good fun.

Our tastes are remarkably similiar.

We snacked on calamari, swordfish, veal, mini hamburgers called 'sliders,' and chicken fajitas and sipped Stone Ale, Stella Artois, Bass Ale, Ketel One, Trader Joe's tangerine juice and some damn smooth tequilla.

The soundtrack of the weekend consisted of copious amounts of great music, including three cd's she gave me: Pink, Augustana and The Flaming Lips. (I will never be able to hear the song 'Beautiful People' by Marilyn Manson without thinking of her)

She's a cool chick.

P.S. Next time, I'll bring the toothpaste.

Friday, April 14

bunnies, candy & eggs...

...have absolutely nothing to do with it. Remember to take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday.

Happy Easter everybody!!!

Thursday, April 13

making his day

Moussaoui said Thursday it "made his day" to hear accounts of Americans' suffering from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and he would like to see similar attacks "every day."

He also mocked a Navy sailor who cried while testifying about two of her subordinates. "She is military, she should expect people at war with her to want to kill her," he said.

Asked by prosecutor Rob Spencer if he would like to see it happen again, Moussaoui responded: "Every day until we get you."

He also believes that President Bush will release him and he spoke about the origins of his hatred for America:

"Israel is just a missing star in the American flag."

Isn't the 'religion of peace' wonderful?

representing

The talent agency that sent me that rejection letter last week -- CAA -- is branching out into the world of sports.

iran

"The problem (with regard to Iran) is that our policy has been all carrots and no sticks. And the Iranians know it."

--President George W. Bush

beer and politics

My buddy, the blogger Chris over @ Political Notio, was in town for a work thing so we met up for Imperials and Sam Adams at The Bitter End on Fifth Avenue last night.

Interesting guy, Chris. He's a former policy analyst for a well known Senator and he just grew tired of the b.s. We talked about Iraq, we talked about Bush, (who he described as 'having the foulest mouth of any person I've ever known') we talked about Tom DeLay, we talked about Teddy Kennedy, we talked politics in general. It was fun.

Chris, you're a cool guy. Thanks for the beers, Dude. Let's do it again. And best of luck with the new career.

final moments

Yesterday the cockpit voice recordings of Flight 93 were played at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui. Compelling stuff. I've been thinking about it all morning. I wonder how I would have reacted had I been on that plane, knowing I was about to die.

It is important to note that the 9/11 Commission Report never concluded that passengers breached the cockpit. Maybe they did:

"At 9:57, the passenger assault began. Several passengers had terminated phone calls with loved ones in order to join the revolt. One of the callers ended her message as follows: “Everyone’s running up to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.”85
The cockpit voice recorder captured the sounds of the passenger assault muffled by the intervening cockpit door. Some family members who listened to the recording report that they can hear the voice of a loved one among the din. We cannot identify whose voices can be heard. But the assault was sustained.86

In response, Jarrah immediately began to roll the airplane to the left and right, attempting to knock the passengers off balance. At 9:58:57, Jarrah told another hijacker in the cockpit to block the door. Jarrah continued to roll the airplane sharply left and right, but the assault continued. At 9:59:52, Jarrah changed tactics and pitched the nose of the airplane up and down to disrupt the assault. The recorder captured the sounds of loud thumps, crashes, shouts, and breaking glasses and plates. At 10:00:03, Jarrah stabilized the airplane.87

Five seconds later, Jarrah asked, “Is that it? Shall we finish it off?” A hijacker responded, “No. Not yet. When they all come, we finish it off.” The sounds of fighting continued outside the cockpit. Again, Jarrah pitched the nose of the aircraft up and down. At 10:00:26, a passenger in the background said, “In the cockpit. If we don’t we’ll die!” Sixteen seconds later, a passenger yelled, “Roll it!” Jarrah stopped the violent maneuvers at about 10:01:00 and said, “Allah is the greatest! Allah is the greatest!” He then asked another hijacker in the cock-pit, “Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?” to which the other replied, “Yes, put it in it, and pull it down.”88

The passengers continued their assault and at 10:02:23, a hijacker said, “Pull it down! Pull it down!” The hijackers remained at the controls but must have judged that the passengers were only seconds from overcoming them. The airplane headed down; the control wheel was turned hard to the right. The airplane rolled onto its back, and one of the hijackers began shouting “Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest.” With the sounds of the passenger counterattack continuing, the aircraft plowed into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 580 miles per hour, about 20 minutes’ flying time from Washington, D.C.89

Jarrah's objective was to crash his airliner into symbols of the American Republic, the Capitol or the White House. He was defeated by the alerted, unarmed passengers of United 93."

Wednesday, April 12

idiot

mobile bio labs

Remember those mobile weapons factories we found in Iraq that were used, allegedly, for dispensing biological and chemical weapons? Turns out that they were actually nothing of the sort. According to the WaPo, these mobile bio labs were used for producing hydrogen for weather balloons.

Before the Democrats and the press start banging on Bush about another Iraq failure, let's recall with clarity that, pre-invasion, virtually every Congressional Democrat believed that Saddam had WMD.

correction

I'm happy to see that Scooter Libby prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is backtracking, I mean, he has corrected an incorrect government statement.

The incorrect item released last week claimed that Libby had been authorized by the White House to 'misstate facts' told to the NYTimes' Judith Miller.

"Mr. Fitzgerald advised the judge overseeing the case, Reggie Walton, that the government's April 5 filing was inaccurate. "We are writing to correct a sentence," Mr. Fitzgerald's letter begins. He told the judge an error occurred in the following statement: "Defendant understood that he was to tell Miller, among other things, that a key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium."

According to Fitzgerald, the brief should have read "Defendant understood that he was to tell Miller, among other things, some of the key judgments of the NIE, and that the NIE stated that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium."

bilbray and busby



Now the 50th Congressional seat comes down to a June runoff between Francine Busby and former Congressman Brian Bilbray.

“My message wasn't about Democrats,” Busby said. “It was about all of us really trying to change the way Washington works. Stop the pay-to-play system and the corruption that we all experienced, unfortunately, with Cunningham. And I think that's what Americans want.”

Not about Democrats? Does that mean Busby won't be a predibtable Liberal vote in Congress? The reason Busby is not emphasizing her party affiliation is that the district is 70% Republican. There's no way she's going to win this seat.

Why?

Despite Busby's lopsided victory yesterday in an extremely crowded field, Republicans still outpolled Democrats. With 10,000 absentee and provisional ballots remaining to be counted, Republican candidates combined won 53.4% of the vote, eight points ahead of Democrats with 45.2%.

Front running candidates headed into runoff elections don't fare at that well, either. Historically, the second place finisher in runoff elections has an advantage because voters already had the opportunity to vote for the advertised "front runner," and a majority voted for someone else.

Once voters begin to compare -- REALLY compare -- the experienced Bilbray against the lightweight Busby, it will be over.

"The two most dangerous places to stand in San Diego County are in front of a tolley car downtown and being in first place going into a runoff election," said San Diego Republican leader Ron Nehring.

Tuesday, April 11

my brother

The Democrats believe that the Francine Busby race here in California is a bellwether for the midterm elections. I disagree.

The real bellwether contest this year is the Michael Steele Senate race in Maryland -- one of the Bluest states in the country.

If an African American Republican candidate wins a statewide race Maryland it will mean that the electoral map of the United States is even more Red than previously thought.

photoshopped, but still funny

enriched uranium

From the AP:

"Iran has successfully enriched uranium for the first time, a landmark in its quest to develop nuclear fuel, hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday. He insisted, however, that his country does not aim to develop nuclear weapons."

From Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

"At this historic moment, with the blessings of God almighty and the efforts made by our scientists, I declare here that the laboratory-scale nuclear fuel cycle has been completed and young scientists produced enriched uranium needed to the degree for nuclear power plants Sunday."

"I formally declare that Iran has joined the club of nuclear countries,"

the 50th

The polls are predicting the top vote getters will be Democrat Francine Busby and Republicans Eric Roach, Brian Bilbray and Howard Kaloogian today in the special election for California's 50th Congressional seat.

The thinking goes that if Busby wins it will serve as a bellwether for Democrats nationwide leading up to the midterm elections.

That's why it is so important that the GOP holds this seat.

The race is so vital to the Democrats the feckless John Kerry came to town last night to attend a private event for Busby. Busby's made transparency, honesty and integrity the hallmarks of her campaign, yet she's taking money from Air America and MoveOn.org AND she's hanging out with Kerry at a PRIVATE event?

Out of the Roach, Bilbray, Kaloogian triumvirate I like Roach the least. He's got big bucks but he's short on specifics about what he'd do on immigration. Bilbray and Kaloogian are two veteran politicians with records. Kaloogian was largely responsible for the recall of Gray Davis. Bilbray favors 'stiff penalties for knowingly hiring illegal workers.'

Bilbray is the more moderate, Kaloogian is the hard core conservative. Both guys are solid choices to represent San Diego.

capitulation

Jacques Chirac, without realizing, has performed an admirable public service. In capitulating to popular opinion over the new French jobs law he has provided proof of why Liberals -- whether they be in France, Britain, Germany, Italy or America -- are unworthy of holding public office because they lack the fortitude to stand by tough decisions and ignore idiotic public opinion.

The French were attempting to reduce unemployment among the youth, an admirable goal in a bankrupt socialist country. The law was going to spur the economy by rewarding productive workers and eliminating unproductive employees.

(Doing my best French impression) 'What's that you say? I could actually LOSE my job, my benefits and my guaranteed vacation by underperforming? You filthy capitalist swine!'

So the French did what they always do: They went on strike and they held violent protest rallies. The rallies went on and on and on, until finally, yesterday, Chirac -- courageous 'man of the people' that he is -- caved, insuring that the French economy will continue to be in the toilet.

John Kerry reminds me very much of Chirac. There's simply no question in my mind that if a Democrat currently occupied the White House the war on terror would be fought with much less vigor, if at all.

We live in a very dangerous time in world history. Do we really want our leaders to be more concerned with being popular than they are with doing what is best for our country and our fellow citizens? That was Clinton's approach to the Presidency.

To President Bush's great credit, he continues to do the right things for America and the world, even in the face of an angry, vocal and uninformed electorate.

Monday, April 10

good things

Everyone seems to be predicting gloom and doom for the GOP this year but what about that 4.7% unemployment rate?

What about the strong economy? What about the 211,000 new jobs added last month?

What about the 27 million seniors that have signed up for the new prescription drug program? The popularity of the drug benefits should help Republicans come election time.

What about the war in Iraq? True, it's still an unknown, but the next time someone tries to tell you that Iraq is going badly, tell them that 11 million Iraqis have voted since liberation.

What about national security? Americans still prefer the GOP went it comes to security issues.

And what about morals and ethics? For all their bluster about the GOP 'culture of corruption,' a cursory Google search will show that Democrats are more scandal-ridden than Republicans. Its just the pot calling the kettle black.

I remain optimistic about the future. And that's a big reason why I'm a Republican.

free lost, housewives

ABC television announced today that it will be offering shows like 'Lost' and 'Desperate Housewives' online for free.

The programs can be fast forwarded and rewinded, like TiVo. But commercials cannot be skipped over, and Disney is hoping they have figured out a way to generate profit with its television properties online.

By the way, I love 'Desparate Housewives.' Does that make me gay?

protest rallies v2.0

These illegal immigrant rallies around the country are nothing more than campaign events for Democrats. DNC operatives and all the crazy, wacko fringe groups have organized these events specifically to hand out literature (like the pamphlet above) and to recruit voters for the midterm elections.

Schools are even giving credit to students for skipping class and attending these rallies! Isn't that insane?

I think all of this stuff is going to backfire badly for the Democrats. And here's one quick example of why I'm correct. Last week the only flags you saw at these rallies were Mexican flags. Today, we're seeing Version 2.0 of these same rallies and American flags are figuring prominently. They are everywhere.

We're also beginning to see the anti-rallies. From KVOA, the NBC affiliate in Tucson:

"Contrary to scenes of hundreds of thousands of united Latinos marching across the country in support of immigration reform, a sizable number of the ethnic group opposes the marches and strongly objects to illegal immigration."

Meanwhile, middle America is watching these rallies and digust is setting in. I lost any and all sympathy that I once had for illegal immigrants last week.

Sunday, April 9

seymour hersh

I just ran across a piece of so-called 'reporting' by The New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh in January '05. Funny thing about The New Yorker -- opinion pieces run in a section of the magazine called 'Fact' -- most of the magazine is crap.

Anyway, before I completely dismiss Hersh's piece as excrement, I'll read it again carefully. Click on the headline above to read it for yourself.

'operational security'

Some government bonehead posted a 'secret document' about the missile defenses, and detailed interior maps of the cabin layouts of Air Force One.

Even exposed were the locations of Secret Service agents on the planes. According to SF Gate, "the document also shows the location where a terrorist armed with a high-caliber sniper rifle could detonate the tanks that supply oxygen to Air Force One's medical facility."

This document was still posted as of two days ago -- Friday, April 7th.

wanna help my church?

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome has reportedly been dating actress Sofia Milos -- a hot chick who once starred on CSI Miami -- since February. The two lovebirds are frequently spotted around San Francisco and Los Angeles, sneaking kisses, posing for photos and attending post-Oscar parties.

Hey, I'm as romantic as the next guy, but check this out: Turns out Milos is a Scientologist. And her church just happens to be planning to 'expand into San Francisco.'

Wow. How's that for timing?

is it or is it not a state dinner?

Chinese President Hu Jintao is coming to Washington later this month for a state visit. Or is he really?

There are two sides. According to the Bush Administration the Chinese visit is not an official state visit. But to the image, honor and respect-conscious Chinese, Mr. Jintao is being given full American honors via President Bush.

"In many ways, the most important thing for the visit of the president of China to the United States is protocol," said Michael Green, who stepped down in December as head of Asian affairs for the National Security Council in the Bush administration."

Chinese negotiators keep copious records of what leader received what from whom on each state visit. The number of guns saluting a leader, the food served, even which American official greeted the Chinese delegation upon arrival, everything. Especially of interest to Jintao's staff is the willingness of President Bush to do something never done before -- they routinely ask "is there something you can do where you can say this is the first time that the president has done this with a famous leader?"

Why?

China just wants to make sure their citizens have some pomp and circumstance television viewing. "The Chinese public, especially out in the provinces, needs and wants to see their leader being shown the fullest respect," Green says.

playing some music

Every other sunday afternoon, Secretary of State Condi Rice plays chamber music at her Watergate apartment with her friends Soye Kim, Joshua Klein, Robert Battey and Lawrence Wallace.

"It's not exactly relaxing if you are struggling to play Brahms," she explained. "But it is transporting. When you're playing there is only room for Brahms or Shostakovich. It's the time I'm most away from myself, and I treasure it," says Rice.

berlusconi vs. prodi

Italians begin voting today and they very well might oust the flamboyant (and ethically challenged) Silvio Berlusconi.

Center Left candidate Romano Prodi is leading opinion polls by five points.

The critics bash Berlusconi for a weak economy -- among other gripes -- but what could possibly ever be accomplished in a government as fractious as one with over 70 political parties? The fact that ANYTHING ever gets done is nothing short of a miracle.

Repeat after me: 'special interests.'

UPDATE: According to exit polling, it appears that center Left candidate Prodi will defeat Burlusconi. With an margin of error of 2%, Prodi has between 50% and 54% of the vote, compared to 45% to 49% for Burlusconi. If these numbers are true, Prodi's coalition would hold between 159 and 170 seats in the Senate, compared with between 139 and 150 for Berlusconi's center-right alliance.

UPDATE 2: ABCNews.com is reporting that the race is now 'too close to call,' and that Prodi has postponed a press conference after hearing the latest polling information.

According to the Italian Interior Ministry, voter turnout was 84%.

"Projections showed Berlusconi's coalition leading in the Senate, but the two sides running neck-and-neck in the lower Chamber of Deputies.

Based on 95 percent of pollster Nexus' sampling, Berlusconi's alliance won 158 Senate seats, compared with Prodi's 151. The margin of error was between 1 and 3 percentage points."

optimism/pessimism

More typical MSM doom and gloom re: Iraq. Eric Schmitt and Edward Wong write in today's NYT:

"An internal staff report by the United States Embassy and the military command in Baghdad provides a sobering province-by-province snapshot of Iraq's political, economic and security situation, rating the overall stability of 6 of the 18 provinces "serious" and one "critical."

Why not write that 11 out of the 18 Iraqi provinces are stable?

Oh yeah. There's no such thing as media bias.

Saturday, April 8

april 9th

Sunday is Iraqi Liberation Day. A great time to remember that 11 million Iraqis have voted since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

That Bush sure is an idiot, isn't he?

smart economics

Tax cuts always help the economy. Last month, the blazing hot American economy added another 211,000 jobs, bringing the total number of new jobs since the enactment of the tax cuts to five million. Five million new jobs.

That Bush sure is an idiot, isn't he? He can't do anything right.

Friday, April 7

rudy's road map

Rudy Giulliani would be a great President. But can he win the Republican nomination with his socially Liberal views?

Part of me believes he could. And if we are to believe polling that shows the country is tiltling left, then Rudy might very well be 'the man for the times' ('08-'12) just as George W. has been the man for these times.

Word is, Hizzoner is going to be decide whether or not to run for President by the end of this year. Whatever he decides, his team is laying the groundwork.

"A lot of the events we've done have really laid the groundwork to go, if we need to, to raise money nationally," said Anthony V. Carbonetti, Mr. Giuliani's political point man, who is already planning campaign stops for July and August. "We really have a road map."

Intelligently Rudy has been raising money for candidates in states like California, Iowa, New Jersey and Michigan. He's campaigning with Pennsylvania's Senator Rick Santorum, who is locked in a tough re-election battle. And he's headlining a major fund raiser in May for Senatorial candidates.

Go Rudy.

rejection letter #1

That didn't take long, now did it? I just mailed the first round of query letters out a week ago.

'sweeping compromise'?

Here's the nuts and bolts of yesterday's immigration 'compromise' in the Senate, which promised to be passed by an 'overwhelming majority':

For those in United States illegally since April '01, in order to become 'legal' according to the bill, the immigrant must undergo a background check, pay back taxes and a $2,000 fine.

For those in the U.S. illegally since April '01 to January '04, same thing. Background check and back taxes. Plus these people must fill out all necessary paperwork and receive current documentation in order to qualify for work permits.

For those who have entered the country illegally since January '04, if they wish to stay they must leave and then re-enter the country. Once they enter they must have the necessary documentation in order to qualify for work permits.

All of this supposes that dishonest people will suddenly become honest people, which is quite a stretch.

UPDATE: So much for that 'overwhelming majority.' Today all of this 'compromise' talk has been tamped down after a Senate vote in which the Republicans unified to defeat the measure by a 38-60 vote.

Then Majority Leader Bill Frist tried to introduce "an alternative bill-- with no provision to let illegal immigrants stay but imposing large fines on employers who hire them -- and it received even less support in a 36-62 test vote," according to the WSJ.

I just hope the GOP recalls the tough lesson learned by former San Diego Mayor and California Governor Pete Wilson. Back in '92 he brought us Proposition 187, a tough anti-illegal immigration law, which passed overwhelmingly at the ballot box, only to be ruled 'unconstitutional' and overturned by a Liberal judge. Successfully framed as a racial issue by Democrats, Republican candidates have had a difficult, if not impossible, time winning statewide office ever since.

That could happen at the Federal level this year, if the perception takes hold that the GOP is anti-immigrant.

Hey, here's a radical idea: Mr. Majority Leader, rather than trying to invent the wheel, how about enforcing the immigration laws currently on the books?

Thursday, April 6

another liberal

I've always thought Meredith Vierra was a hot babe. Unfortunately she's just another predictable anti-war, media Liberal. But still hot.

A hundred bucks that says the ratings for the 'Today' show with Vierra will be HIGHER than they were with Couric.

Talk to me.

Wednesday, April 5

h.r. 4437

Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the author of House Resolution 4437 actually wrote an amendment to his own bill back in mid December, seeking to change the penalty of non-citizens being in the country -- from a felony to a misdemeanor -- but the amendment failed because the Democrats overwhelmingly voted against it.

Now we have the Democrats, like my own local represenatives Bob Filner and Susan Davis, ripping Sensenbrenner and the GOP for being anti-immigrant.

Shameless and dishonest politics serves none of us well.

word up

If you've stepped into a Starbucks lately you've undoubtedly noticed the index cards and coasters stuck all over the place with strange, mega-syllabic words printed on them.

Web vixen (and my buddy) Annalis told me about it, then I saw the cards for myself when I stopped by earlier today to get my Kenya beans crunched. Turns out the cards are a clever promotion for a new film, "Akeelah and the Bee," starring Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett.

Check out these mind-bending words...

Argillaceous
Cambist
Elucubrate
Euonym
Foulard
Pulchritude (I used this word earlier in describing Katie Couric)
Prestidigitation

When you get a chance look these bastards up. Like the Pixies said back in the day...'It's educational...'
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