Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Baseball at Memorial Day 2005

There are 3 guideposts in the baseball season:

Memorial Day: roughly one third of the season

All Star Break: mythical half way point

Labor Day: the pennant race stretch (last 25 games)

So let's look at the standings.

In the AL East, Baltimore leads Bos & NY by 4 games. The O's are playing at a .620 pace which translates into 100 wins. It won't happen. Baltimore won't win 100 games and will fizzle out. My money is on NYYankees winning this division. I am not so optimistic about Boston, although they may win enough games to win the wild card again!

In the AL Central, it's the Chisox playing at a .667 pace, or a projected 108 victories. It won't happen. The Chisox will slow down considerably and Minnesota will sneak in with a strong finish. This is going to be a very exciting race in September but only one will move on the post season.

In the AL West, Texas and the Angels are a virtual tie. The Angels should win this division but the absence of Vlad Guerrero is killing them. The Rangers continue to amaze me because they have a very talented core of young players and their pitching has been excellent so far. Nevertheless, I think that the Angels are just a little bit better than the Rangers.

In the NL East, the Marlins, Mets, Nats and Braves have a wonderful 4 team race. I like the Marlins' young pitching. This could be a 3 team race in September. I think that the Nats will eventually fade.

In the NL Central, St Louis is running away and will win by 10 games. It's going to be a long year for everyone else in this division.

In the NL West, San Diego and Arizona are surprises. I think that the LA Dodgers will make it close but SD will win.

So let's check out my predictions at the All Star Break in 6 weeks.

Monday, May 30, 2005

No to Chirac!

As they say in Texas, it could not happen to a nicer man.

Jacques Chirac is the big loser of the French vote.

Again, it could not happen to a nicer jerk.

Like others, Chirac opposed Bush on Iraq. First, he told Powell that France would support the war. Then he stabbed Bush by pulling out at the last minute. Then he did everything possible to hurt the US effort, even putting US forces at risk by working diplomatically against Bush and Powell.


Chirac had intentions of turning into the leader of the United States of Europe, the big leader of the anti-American brigade. It worked for a while. It distracted Europeans from their high unemployment and zero growth economies. It turned Bush into the bad guy and it bought irresponsible leaders a little bit of time.

But high unemployment has a way of catching up with demagogues. Sooner or later, people want jobs whether they hate Bush or not!

Where are we now?

First, it does not take a genius to figure out that Chirac was taking money from Saddam to support him at the UN. They are now calling him a "lame duck" in Paris. They are also calling him other names, but I can't repeat them in front of children!

Even the French have figured out their corrupt Jacques. The latest approval ratings from France put him in the low 30s.

Second, the European economies are a mess. High unemployment and high taxes are killing the continent. You can't find work in Europe!

So here we are. Two and half years after Iraq and this is the latest box score:

Bush was reelected. His approval ratings range from 46% (Gallup) to 51% (Rasmussen).

Our southern friend, Vicente Fox, and our northern friend, Paul Martin, would give you an arm and a leg for an approval rating like that. The latest poll from Mexico has Fox in the high 20s and Martin is probably a little bit better.

The UK's Blair and Australia's Howard were reelected. Neither one had to offer a Cabinet post to an opposition member to keep his job!

Over in Germany, Schroder is in trouble too.

Over in Spain, Zapatero is having a hard time explaining to his countrymen why there are more terrorists in Spain today. Didn't he say that terrorism was due to Aznar's support of Bush?

Why is all of this happening?

The US economy has a lot to do with it. Once again, the US economy is growing and showing the world that Bush tax cuts, like Reagan tax cuts, are a good medicine for economic growth.

The second factor is the over valued euro. Europeans can't export.

The third, and most important, factor is leadership.

People respect leaders. Leadership is what separates Bush, Howard & Blair from Martin, Fox, Chirac & Schroeder.

Blair, Bush & Howard are in the tradition of FDR and Churchill.

Bush probably would not want to trade places with any other head of state. Yet, most of the world's citizens would love a "moron" leader with a GDP growth of 3.5% and 5.2% unemployment!

Our allies in France and Germany need a moron for a leader. They need a moron who can cut their taxes and give them some economic growth.

Last but not least, our friends need a few more babies!

Our friends need to break their addiction to secular socialism. They need to follow our lead and create a Reaganeque economy!

Will they do it? I don't know. Time will tell.

The bottom line is that they have learned that bashing Bush is not going to solve their problems!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

What happened to the spirit of the compromise?

Last Monday, I went along with the big compromise.

I know that I am a minority within the Republican party. I understand that most of my fellow Republicans were ripe for a fight with the Kennedy clan.

However, I am sick and tired of all of this partisanship coming from Washington. I don't like Senators calling each other names. It is stupid. Also, I would prefer a solution that respects the rights of minorities. Frankly, I don't want to surrender options that could be used by Republicans in the future when some liberal president appoints a liberal nominee.

Besides, we are fighting a war. We need to fix Social Security. We need to do something about the chaos on the US-Mexico border. We need an energy bill. We need to make a tough call on Iran and North Korea. Add to this the growing militarism in China.

In other words, there are some big issues on the table. Judges are important but not the most important. We need to lower the partisan volume coming from Washington. Our entire Senate should not be shut down because the left wants to defend abortion at any cost!

So I went along hoping that the mood would change. I went along believing what Lindsey Graham said that the "14 moderates" could bring order back to the Senate.

On Thursday, the Democrats blew up the spirit of the agreement by holding up the Bolton vote. They don't call it a filibuster. What is it? 60 votes looks like a filibuster to me.

The Democrats are a bunch of sore losers.

Under our system, the President gets to have his man at the UN. This is not John Kerry's man at the UN. This is Pres. Bush's man at the UN.

The same Democrats who talk about Senate traditions do not want to observe other traditions as well.

We have certain traditions in this country that the Democrats can't seem to remember:

1) Losers accept results.

2) Losers concede quickly and do not put the country through mindless legal gimmicks to change results.

We saw a contrast here between Nixon in 1960 and Gore in 2000. Nixon had a far better case than Gore ever did regarding electoral issues. Nixon had evidence of electoral fraud in Chicago and South Texas. Gore did not. Gore could have won the election by simply carrying Tennessee or if Clinton had delivered Arkansas. It was that easy for Gore!

Yet, Nixon went against the wishes of many, including Pres. Eisenhower who insisted in recounts in Illinois and Texas.

Nixon put the nation first. Gore didn't.

3) Another tradition is that Presidents get to have their own team. No one said that John Kennedy did not have the right to put Bobby Kennedy, his brother, as Attorney General. No one said that Bobby Kennedy lacked legal experience, which he obviously did.

How about those traditions as well?

It is insane for a small group of sore loser Democrats to continue to play games and delay everything.

I did not vote for Carter or Clinton. Yet, I thought that they were entitled to their own man at the UN.

It's time for the Democrats to read the newspapers from the last 10 years. They are losing elections. Losers do not pick Cabinets, UN reps or judges!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Two pollsters have more bad news for Dems

Two Democrat pollsters gave their party some bad news this week.

The Third Way is a Democrat pollster and this is what they concluded:

"Rather than being the party of the middle class, Democrats face a crisis with middle-income voters," (The Washington Post, May 27, 2005)

The Third Way's exit polls concluded:

"The 45% of voters who make up the middle class -- those with household incomes between $30,000 and $75,000 -- delivered healthy victories to George Bush and House Republicans in 2004."

The Democrats did well with blacks but The Third Way has some bad news about Hispanics, the fastest growing ethnic group in the US:

"The more Hispanics move into the middle class, the less they vote Democratic. Kerry's margin over Bush among Hispanics with household incomes below $30,000 was 21 percentage points, but among those with incomes between $30,000 and $75,000, it was 10 points."

This is bad news but not as bad as the message from Stanley Greenberg, another in house pollster:

"Greenberg conceded that the biggest current weakness among Democratic candidates is that they "do not know what they stand for, they don't know their policy direction, they don't know their underlying values, they don't know who they fight for." (CNCS News, May 27, 2005)

No conviction. They don't stand for anything. It depends what the definition of "is" is! It sounds like the Democrats have turned a full Clintonian circle.

We saw this with Iraq. Kerry was for the war when everyone agreed that Saddam had WMDs. He and Edwards made some of the most strident pro-war speeches on record. Then, He turned against the war when Howard Dean energized the secular left. Finally, he settled on a middle of the road position that confused the electorate.

We see this with Social Security. They are against Bush's plan but they don't have a plan.

Last but not least, the loss of the middle class goes beyond Iraq and Social Security.

It has to do with abortion, homosexual marriage and the other so called cultural issues.

The Democrats decided to place their bets with Michael Moore and his secular gang. Now, they have to deal with the consequences of turning left in a nation that is turning right.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Another Friday of good economic news!

It's Friday. So it must be more good news from the US economy.

As I said before, we have never had a perfect economy. Yet, this one looks good. Unfortunately, some people are still counting votes in Florida and have not paid attention to the good news coming from the US economy.

Read Lawrence Kudlow, who is is a former Reagan economic advisor, a syndicated columnist, and the co-host of CNBC's
Kudlow & Company:

"The headline number for first-quarter gross domestic product has been lifted to 3.5 percent from the so-called advance number of 3.1 percent. Meanwhile, core private-sector GDP (consumption plus business investment) has been lowered from 4.4 percent to 4 percent.

Profits on an IRS income-tax basis, as reported in the national income accounts, have moved up to 10.9 percent of GDP -- the highest level since 1968. On an after-tax basis the profit share of GDP is at a post-WWII high of 8.1 percent."

Kudlow then makes a point that most liberals fail to understand:

" Profits are the hinge of business, and business is the backbone of jobs and the economy. With profits rising to record levels, future economic expansion is assured.

Actually, we are looking at non-inflationary prosperity for several more years to come. This is a good stock market scenario where the broad indices still look to be 20 to 25 percent undervalued. In policy terms the Fed has done its job by restraining inflation and President Bush’s supply-side tax cuts have reignited economic growth. The results are unmistakably positive."

MICHAEL J. MARTINEZ writes in the SFGate.com:

"Oil's going to be slipping and sliding around, but the fact remains it fell nearly $10 from its highs," said Bryan Piskorowski, market analyst at Wachovia Securities.

"It's injecting a little caution into the market, but otherwise the GDP number didn't make any waves, kind of in line with what we expected, and we're getting a bounce off it.

"The economy turning in good growth, inflation is moderate — that's a very favorable economic backdrop for the financial markets," said Richard Rippe, chief economist for the Prudential Equity Group. "The Fed isn't quite finished raising rates, but there's nothing in these numbers that say they should get more aggressive in that process."

Another Friday and another day of good news for the US economy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Congratulations to my son Silvio

Our son, Silvio, graduates from Newman Smith High School in a few days. He will receive a diploma with honors.

In a few months, he will start his new life as a freshman at Texas A & M University.

So we are very proud of his work at school.

It does not seem possible that time has flown by this quickly. Frankly, it seems like yesterday that he was playing shortstop on our Little League team.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Very liberal Howard is costing the Dems money & votes

Like many others, I watched Howard Dean on "Meet the Press". I learned very little. Howard is still Howard. As a Republican partisan, I am very happy about that.

We did hear the new Democrat strategy on abortion. From now on, we will hear the party talk about a woman's health care choice rather than pro-choice.

Abortion is now health care. Yes, abortion is now part of a woman's health care program. Howard Dean does not want Republicans to interfere with a woman's health care program, which now includes abortion.

It's only a matter of time before same sex marriage is also a health care issue. Why not?

Keep talking Howard. We can't get enough of you.

Howard Dean has been a failure as a party chairman. He is not raising money. His party continues to shrink.

The latest example is Arizona.

In 2002, Janet Napolitano was elected governor in a 3 way race. She won because a libertarian candidate took enough votes from the Republican to give her a plurality victory.

Since then, Napolitano has avoided the left in very Republican Arizona. She has presented herself as a pro-business, centrist politician.

No Michael Moore for Janet!

Guess who did not meet with Howard Dean?

The Phoenix Business Journal reports that:

"Dean addressed a rally hosted by the Young Democrats of Arizona and attended by state Democratic Party chairman Jim Pederson. Pederson is a shopping mall developer and is considering a challenge next year to GOP U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl.

But the head of the Democratic ticket, Napolitano, was not at the Dean appearance and had no meetings scheduled with the former Vermont governor and vanquished 2004 presidential candidate.

Napolitano spokeswoman Jeanine L'Ecuyer gave the obligatory scheduling conflict as the reason for no face time with Dean. Napolitano was in Mesa Wednesday morning, appeared on the local National Public Radio affiliate for a lunchtime interview and was scheduled to meet with high-tech and business executives this afternoon regarding the "sales factor" tax cut bill.

The Democratic governor has thrived politically in Republican-oriented Arizona by appealing to moderate voters and portraying herself as a pro-business, centrist.

Napolitano is up for re-election next year and could face a challenge from U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona or Marilyn Quayle, the wife of former vice president Dan Quayle.

The governor has avoided getting mixed in with the more left-wing, Michael Moore/MoveOn factions of the Democratic Party. Napolitano did not endorse Dean or another Democratic presidential hopeful last year until after Sen. John Kerry won the Arizona primary and had essentially secured the nomination."

Why are southern Democrats avoiding Howard Dean?

Dean is poison for Democrats running in the 31 states carried by Bush.

It also raises the real problem within the party. The national media is avoiding this battle within the Democrat Party. There is a tug of war between the centrist state parties and the leftist national party.

Why didn't Democrats running for governor in Mississippi, Kentucky and Louisiana invite national party leaders to campaign with them?

The answer is that the national party is too liberal and most state leaders are scared to death of having abortion and homosexual marriage wrapped around their necks.

According to Robert Novak, Dean has been a failure raising money:

"First quarter figures show the DNC received only $13 million from individuals, compared to $32 million raised by the Republican National Committtee (RNC). Overall figures were $34.2 million by the RNC, $16.7 million by the DNC."

Let me leave you with the NYPost review of Howard Dean:

"In fact, he's been touring the country, firing up the Democratic base with forays that would titillate the party's Michael Moore wing.

What it's doing to the rest of the party is another matter:

Fund-raising is down under Dean; in the first quarter of '05, the DNC raised only half as much as its GOP counterpart.

This week Arizona's Democratic governor, Janet Napolitano, said unexplained "scheduling difficulties" prevented her from meeting with Dean, who was in Phoenix for a major campaign rally.

On Sunday, Dean makes his first national TV appearance as DNC chairman, on "Meet the Press."

If he keeps up the unseemly rabble-rousing, it may be the rest of the Dems who'll be screaming."

That's right. They will be screaming: Tell Dean to shut up and go back to very liberal Vermont!

However, as a partisan Republican, I want the Democrats to keep Dean where he is.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Judges, filibusters and the secular agenda

Roe v. Wade was a horrible decision.

At first, I opposed it because it made abortion legal. Over the years, it has poisoned the political climate.

It imposed a right to abortion which is seen as immoral by large numbers. Over the years, opposition to abortion has been around 40-50% of the electorate. The Gallup reports that it is 51% today.

Without Roe v Wade, the American people would have settled on some definition of abortion. Some states would have it and others not. It would have had a smell of legitimacy because it would have represented the will of the public rather than the opinion of a judge.

Since Roe v Wade, Republicans have gained electoral strength because of this cultural war. It started with Reagan in 1980 and it continues to today.

Roe v. Wade gave us the "Borking" of judicial nominees.

In the past, most judges were accepted because both sides understood that elections had consequences. I don't recall bitter judicial battles in the past. Both sides did play games but nothing like we are seeing today.

Not anymore. It's all about abortion now. This whole battle over judges is about abortion and the secular agenda.

On one hand, you have Republicans who feel that the reversal of Roe v Wade is within reach. They are emboldened by larger and larger Republican majorities in Washington and state capitals.

On the other hand, you have a Democrat party that has to fight for abortion because its primary source of contributions is the secular left. The Michael Moore wing of the Democrat party is the source of money and passion today.

I am not afraid of the voters. I am not afraid of taking this fight over judges to the voters in '06.

Why are people like me angry with judges. Let's look at just what happened in Nebraska.

Bruce Fein is a constitutional lawyer and he writes:

"In 2000, citizens of Nebraska worried over a potential rising tide of judicial outlandishness in the interpretation of state constitutions regarding same-sex "marriage."

Their fears were amply justified.

In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court insisted the framers of the state's 1780 charter intended to erase any distinction between same-sex and opposite-sex unions in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health.

Before that caper, the Hawaii Supreme Court had tortured the meaning of the state constitution in favor of same-sex "marriages."

Approved by more than 70 percent of the popular vote, the Nebraska amendment provides that "only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in Nebraska.

The uniting of two persons of the same sex in a civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar same-sex relationships shall not be valid or recognized in Nebraska."

Like all other provisions in the Nebraska Constitution, the same-sex "marriage" amendment (section 29) would trump conflicting state statutes enacted by the legislature, just as the U.S. Constitution defeats a contradictory federal law.

Indeed, the whole purpose of a constitution is to place certain subjects beyond alteration by simple legislative majorities."

The people of Nebraska spoke but some judge didn't like what they said.

So he canceled the election.

Judge Joseph Batallion savaged an amendment to the Nebraska Constitution intended to block same-sex "marriage" in Citizens for Equal Protection Inc. v. Bruning.

Where does a judge get this power? How can a judge reverse the will of 70% of the people of Nebraska?

This is why the Democrats are playing the "delay" game over Bush's nominees. The Democrats want judges to impose what they don't have the political courage to campaign for.

Democrats do not want to be the party of homosexual marriage. They know that such a platform would kill the candidates across the board.

Like abortion, they are hoping that a judge will give them what the voters won't.

This is what this battle is all about.

As Charles Krauthammer wrote in The Washington Post:

"Democrats have not had a very good run recently in the popularly elected branches.

Since choosing the wrong side of the culture wars of the 1960s, they have won only three of the past 10 presidential elections.

A decade ago they lost control of the House for the first time in 40 years, and now have lost all the elected branches.

They are in a panic that they will lose their one remaining ability to legislate -- through the courts.

And this they have done with great success, legislating by judicial fiat everything from abortion to gay marriage to religion in the public square.

They want to maintain that commanding height of the culture and are not about to let something like presidential prerogative and two centuries of Senate history stand in their way.

Hence the filibuster strategy."

The Republicans need to take this fight to the end. Some judges are out of control. It's time to put judges back in the bottle and force them to interpret the law.

If a judge wants homosexual marriage, then he should take off the robe, put on a political uniform and get in the arena.

Let him or her run for office under a platform that calls for homosexual marriage. Let the people decide.

Of course, the Democrats know what the people will decide. The secular agenda is opposed by most Americans.

The latest Gallup is bad news for Michael Moore Democrats:

"President George W. Bush has called for a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, thereby superseding state and local laws that permit gay marriage.

According to a Gallup Poll taken in late April, Americans tend to agree with Bush on this issue. The majority says that marriages between homosexuals should not be recognized as legally valid; only 39% say they should be valid."

This is confirmed by Rasmussen Reports:

"Among all Americans 67% favor the traditional definition of marriage. Twenty-five percent (25%) disagree."

This is why they are investing their hopes for a secular agenda in a handful of friendly judges.

As Doug Patton wrote:

"Make no mistake: this entire battle over judicial nominees is all about redefining marriage and about preserving the unfettered right to abortion on demand.

This culture war is at the heart of the current battle over the Senate filibuster of judicial nominees. Senate Democrats and the radical special interest groups pulling their strings are frantic to hold onto the courts that are furthering their left-wing agenda.

Liberals know that an up or down vote on any of the president's current nominees will result in approval by the full Senate.

They also know that there will soon be one or more vacancies on the Supreme Court, and once a nominee receives approval to a lower court, it will be hard to deny that same nominee approval to the highest court in the land."

Fight the filibuster.

Stand up to Sen. Reid and Sen. Schummer. Stand up, fight and let the public decide who should stay in office in '06.

Force Hillary Clinton to take a position on abortion and homosexual marriage. Don't let her hide behind the "courts". We need politicians to take public positions on these issues.

We don't need wimpy positions like "finding common ground". Force Hillary Clinton to vote "yes or no" on abortion and homosexual marriage.

Force her to explain to the Michael Moore Democrats why she voted "no" because she is trying to appeal to the married middle class.

Force Hillary Clinton to explain to the Michael Moore Democrats why she threw them overboard in order to look more centrist. (This is what Pres. Clinton did in 1995-96 when he was seeking reelection)

Force Michael Moore Democrats to choose between a liberal who reads polls, like Hillary Clinton, and a liberal who has convictions, like Ralph Nader.

Michael Moore, and 4 million others, decided that Nader was their "man" in 2000 because Clinton-Gore did not stand up for anything, except reading polls!

I am completely confident that the voters will support our side. Why? They have been doing so since 1980.

Also, on a practical matter, we are better organized and more effective at getting the vote out. Just ask the former Minority Leader Sen. Daschle, who was defeated in '04.

Let's fight. I am not afraid of telling people where I stand on cultural issues. The Democrats are afraid and this is why they want judges to make these decisions rather than voters!

MSNBC's Chris Matthews had a radical idea last week. He said that the answer was for the Democrats to win elections.

Elections? What a radical idea!

P.S. The Washington Times has published a historical overview of judicial appointments:

"Senate majorities and judicial nominees"

The link is:


Saturday, May 21, 2005

Who made these terrorists angry?

Over the last two years, we have heard this argument:

The terrorists are mad because Bush invaded Iraq. This is why they are blowing up police stations and killing innocent men, women and children. The terrorists will attack vulnerable innocents but won't face the US military directly.

Before I go on, let me make one point. The terrorists are not killing their "own". Most of the terrorists are not even Iraqis. They are foreign. During the past year, foreign terrorists have come to Iraq to fight the US.

Let me make a second point. If Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda then why is Al Qaeda fighting in Iraq? Why didn't Al Qaeda say: this is not our fight. This is between Bush and Saddam.

They are in Iraq because they understand exactly what this battle is about.

Back to the main point.

Over and over, we hear that the terrorists are angry because Bush invaded Iraq.

The New York Times has just published an article that caught my attention. The headline is:

Qaeda Letters Are Said to Show Pre-9/11 Anthrax Plans By ERIC LIPTON

"Al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan began to assemble the equipment necessary to build a rudimentary biological weapons laboratory before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, letters released by the Defense Department show.

The operatives were not immediately able to obtain a sample of the deadly anthrax strain that they wanted to reproduce in their laboratory, according to the letters.

The letter specifies a training program for the staff, lasting six to eight months for senior workers and two to four months for technicians.

The letters appear to be the same documents referred to in the report of a special presidential commission on intelligence failures and unconventional weapons led by former Senator Charles S. Robb of Virginia and Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the federal appeals court.
The report, released in March, describes a biological weapons program that "was extensive, well organized and operated two years before the Sept. 11."

So let me get this straight. Al Qaeda was planning biological weapons programs when Bush was governor of Texas!

Between 1993 and 2001 the US was attacked often without retaliation.

Who made the terrorists mad in '93 when they tried to blow up the World Trade Center?

Who made them mad when Osama Bin Laden declared war against the US in the mid-90s?

Who made them mad when two US embassies were blown up in August '98?

Who made them mad to attack the USS Cole in October '00?

It looks to me that someone was very mad at the US before 9-11 and Iraq.

Clinton's soft approach did not work. It simply convinced the terrorists that the US would not fight.

Bush changed and hit them back.

I agree with Bill O'Reilly:

"Now the liberal press wants Americans to believe that the administration's war tactics have turned the Muslim world against the USA. That's what the left is selling. "Talking Points" is not buying.

For eight years under President Clinton (search), the jihadists grew in power and ferocity. They attacked the World Trade Center in 1993 and continued attacking throughout the '90s, killing Americans all over the Middle East and Africa. America's response was tepid to say the least. And the terrorists grew bolder.

When President Bush took office, he didn't pay very much attention to the jihad. If you believe Richard Clark (search), Bush continued the Clinton policy of allowing Al Qaeda (search) to base and train.

Then came 9/11 and everything changed. The Bush administration became aggressive in hunting down and incarcerating terrorists. The invasion of Iraq was part of a strategy to fight terrorism by spreading democracy. That strategy is still unfolding. Time will tell.

But let me ask you one simple question.

Who would you rather have fighting the jihadists? Margaret Carlson or President Bush?

How about Carlson and the entire editorial staff of The New York Times? How about -- well, you get the picture.

The Bush administration has made mistakes, no question, but I think it's obvious that the soft approach on terrorism didn't work. And to say the jihadists are angry because of Iraq and Guantanamo is simply stupid.

Jihadism hated us for decades and no country could wage war against them the way the liberal press in America wants to.

During World War II, mistakes were made every hour of every day by American forces. What does Margaret Carlson think about that?

The terror war is indeed hell and so is the liberal media's coverage of it."

Well said, Mr. O'Reilly!

We understand now why you have the best ratings on cable TV.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Wake up! The enemy wants to kill you and me

Our biggest problem is that the left does not think that we are in a war. They do not see the threat nor feel that we should defend ourselves. They are stuck in a 1960s mindset and can't let go of "Give Peace a chance".

Wake up my friends: Someone is trying to kill you and me. They are trying to kill us because we love freedom and think that women should go to school.

Take a look at Newsweek.

Why did the magazine publish the toilet reference at all? Did not the magazine editors understand that such a comment would put many Americans at risk around the world?

Austin Bay talks about the enemy:

"Newsweek's editors haven't entered the 21st century. Anti-American propagandists -- and that includes Al Qaeda -- have used Gitmo and Abu Ghraib as emotional/political weapons. Responsible reporting must take that into account. News organizations will ultimately lose credibility if they fail to factor the Al Qaeda propaganda angle in their reports on Gitmo and Abu Ghraib."

So let's listen to the enemy directly. This is the latest from the region (CNSNews.com):

"The priority is for jihad (holy war)," and it's okay to kill women and children in pursuit of that goal, says a new tape recording supposedly made by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Let's listen to the words of an enemy leader, Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris, which ran last weekend on the Palestinian Authority's official TV station: :

"The day will come when we will rule America.

The day will come when we will rule Britain and the entire world - except for the Jews.

The Jews will not enjoy a life of tranquillity under our rule because they are treacherous by nature, as they have been throughout history.

The day will come when everything will be relieved of the Jews - even the stones and trees which were harmed by them.

Listen to the Prophet Muhammad, who tells you about the evil end that awaits Jews.

The stones and trees will want the Muslims to finish off every Jew." (David Brooks, NYTimes, May 19, 2005)

I'm sorry to rain on the left's parade.

It sounds to me that these people are very serious about killing us.

When is our left going to get serious about fighting them?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Abortion and a future mother's health

During the political conventions last summer, there was one scene that captured the cultural differences between Democrats and Republicans.

It showed a woman at Kerry's convention walking around with a T-shirt saying "I had an abortion".

It was intended to be a statement of feminist sovereignty. It became another factor that drove married women to Bush!

For years, many of us have argued that abortion is wrong on moral grounds. Our central point is that abortion is the taking of a human life. Some are more blunt and call it murder.

As I tell everyone, my wife and I have three examples of what happens when you do not have an abortion (i.e. our three sons!)

For years, we have been making our anti-abortion points from a religious or biblical perspective. In other words, we concluded that abortion is wrong.

More and more, it looks like the secular world is turning into our best source of information to argue against abortion.

Let's listen to the doctors.

There is a story in the UK's Telegraph that caught my attention. The headline is:

"Revealed: how an abortion puts the next baby at risk"

The story is written by Michael Day and it quotes a new study and some doctors:
"Having an abortion almost doubles a woman's risk of giving birth dangerously early in a later pregnancy, according to research that will provoke fresh debate over the most controversial of all medical procedures.
A French study of 2,837 births - the first to investigate the link between terminations and extremely premature births - found that mothers who had previously had an abortion were 1.7 times more likely to give birth to a baby at less than 28 weeks' gestation.

Many babies born this early die soon after birth, and a large number who survive suffer serious disability.

The research leader, Dr Caroline Moreau, an epidemiologist at the Hôpital de Bicêtre in Paris, said the results of the study, which appear in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, provided conclusive evidence of a link between induced abortion and subsequent pre-term births."

How many women in the US have been affected by this? We don't know for sure. We know that 40 million abortions have taken place in the US since Roe v Wade in '73.

We know that many women have more than one abortion. This is specially true of sexually active women who want sex but no babies.

However, the latest evidence should be a wake up call to women and the doctors that perform the abortions.

Let's go back to the article. Dr Moreau said:

"Clearly there is a link. The results suggest that induced abortion can damage the cervix in some way that makes a premature birth more likely in subsequent pregnancies."
Her study compared the medical histories of 2,219 women with babies born at less than 34 weeks with another 618 who had given birth at full term.
Overall, women who had had an abortion were 40 per cent more likely to have a very pre-term delivery (less than 33 weeks) than those without such a history.
The risk of an extremely premature baby - one born at less than 28 weeks - was raised even more sharply, by 70 per cent."

Abortion is bad for women who want to have babies in the future.

The Bible does not say that. The doctors do!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

We need more diversity in the newsrooms!

Here is some food for thought. Dennis Prager wrote:

"If an American interrogator of Japanese prisoners desecrated the most sacred Japanese symbols during World War II, it is inconceivable that any American media would have published this information.

While American news media were just as interested in scoops in 1944 as they are now, they also had a belief that when America was at war, publishing information injurious to America and especially to its troops was unthinkable.
Such a value is not only not honored by today's news media, the opposite is more likely the case.

The mainstream media oppose the war in Iraq and loathe the Bush administration.

Whatever weakens the war effort and embarrasses the president raises a news source's prestige among its domestic, and especially foreign, peers."

We need more diversity in the newsmedia. We need affirmative action for conservative reporters. We need balance in the newsrooms.

There are too many anti-Bush liberals.
This is exactly what the problem is.
Liberals love to talk about diversity and having something that looks like America.
How about a newsroom that looks like America?
It does not look like America today. America reelected Pres. Bush with 51% of the popular vote, 31 of 50 states, 81% of counties and 97 of the 100 fastest growing suburban areas in the country. Bush got a higher share of the popular vote than Kerry, Gore, Clinton (twice), Carter and JFK.
Yet, Kerry won the newsroom, 68-26%. The newsroom does not look like America.
Dick Morris wrote:
"It is high time that the American people got the point:
The organs of establishment journalism are slanted and biased toward the left and disregard the standards of fair and accurate reporting, with impunity, when an election is on the line.
The list of false stories is telling:
• In the spring of 2004, the BBC reported that Blair had ordered his intelligence people to “sex up� reports of the Iraqi program to make weapons of mass destruction. For months, Blair was on the defensive because of the report, and the intelligence operative who was the alleged source of the story committed suicide.It took a parliamentary commission to debunk the story and to force a BBC retraction. The ongoing damage to Blair’s credibility likely helped to account for his marginal showing in the most recent U.K. election.
• In September 2004, CBS News’ “60 Minutes� television program used forged and phony documents to try to besmirch Bush’s record in the Texas National Guard. It was only the careless error of the forger in printing the suffix “th� above the line that led to the truth.
• In the week before the election, The New York Times, the citadel of journalistic accuracy, ran a front-page story alleging that 370 tons of explosives had disappeared from an Iraqi storage site during the American occupation. The implication was that the carelessness of the Bush administration had put into the hands of the insurgent terrorists the very weapons now being used to kill our troops. But the Pentagon soon established that the weapons either had been removed early in the U.S. occupation or had never been there when our troops arrived. The Times story led John Kerry to change his TV ads and focus his endgame campaign on the allegation.
• And now Newsweek has published an inflammatory story that has led to massive anti-American demonstrations in Afghanistan — the first since the war — protesting the seeming defilement of sacred texts. Sixteen people are dead because Newsweek got the story wrong, and the image of the United States is damaged in the Islamic world. And Newsweek refuses to hold anyone to account for this outrageous error, least of all its own senior management.
Each of those “mistakes� was biased in favor of the left and was committed in the haste of liberal journalists to get some ammunition to discredit Bush and the Iraq war."Well said, Dick Morris.
We need more people who believe that writing a good story about the US or the military is a good thing.
In fact, there is a lot to write about. US soldiers are building hospitals and schools in Iraq. Women vote today in Afghanistan, and serve in the new Iraq government, because of Bush.

Yet, where do you read this?

The bottom line is that we have cultivated a cynical crop of reporters who want to see Republicans fail, specially those Republicans who oppose abortion.

We need more people in the news media who agree with the majority of Americans on cultural issues.

The latest Gallup indicates that 51% of Americans do not support abortion.

The latest Gallup and Rasmussen show that large majorities oppose homosexual marriage.

Yet, surveys of the news media show that there is a huge rift between the press and the public on these cultural issues.

The Australian provides a healthy international perspective:
"Last week an internal panel set up at the NYT to "improve our journalism" reported that, among other things, the NYT needed to lift its game on reporting religion in America.
It found, as just one example, that its coverage of gay marriage "approaches cheerleading".
In fact, the panel even admitted that the NYT needed to "cover the country in a fuller way".
Translation: let's try to be more mainstream.
It's a big admission.
And better late than never.
After all, as the NYT acknowledged, the Pew Research Centre recently found that 45 per cent of Americans believed little or nothing of what they read in their daily newspapers, with the NYT rating around average with only one in five readers believing all or most of what they read in their NYT.
A staggering 14 per cent believed almost nothing they read when they picked up the NYT.

The so-called mainstream media is so unplugged from its mainstream readership it has spurred a backlash."

Diversity. We need more diversity in the editorial board room.
We need more reporters who do not measure everything by Vietnam. In fact, we should disquality anyone who uses the word Vietnam in any newsroom discussion.
James Taranto nails this obsession with Vietnam and Watergate:
"The obsession with Vietnam and Watergate is central to the alienation between the press and the people.
After all, these were triumphs for the crusading press but tragedies for America.
And the press's quest for more such triumphs--futile, so far, after more than 30 years--is what is behind the scandals at both Newsweek and CBS."
Simply put. Stop looking for a Vietnam in every war and a Watergate in every Republican administration.
We need more reporters who will challenge their editors to say nice things about the US. The media does not have to be a blind cheerleader for the country but it shouldn't be an automatic critic either.
Were the American people told by the media that the Pentagon has taken incredible care to respect the holy book in Guantanamo?
The answer is no.
W F Buckley touches on this point:
"In the alleged matter of the Quran and the toilet, there was no immediate intervention by military authorities, quite the opposite.
For one thing, stories of desecration of the Quran had been circulating for two years, and were apparently met with an appropriate skepticism.
The same military that provides swaddling clothes to protect the Quran is not likely simultaneously to engage in a deliberate profanation of the sacred book."
The US has gone out of its way to respect Islam. Linda Chavez points this out:
"In fact, the U.S. military has bent over backwards to respect the religious beliefs of some very dangerous fanatics who want to kill us.
We give detainees in Iraq and Guantanamo copies of the Koran; we allow them to pray and celebrate their feast days; and we strictly prohibit any disrespect to detainees' religious beliefs and observance.
The military has gone so far as to proscribe who may touch the Koran and how it must be handled.
In a January 2003 memo, the Pentagon issued rules saying only Muslim chaplains and interpreters can handle the Koran, and only after donning clean gloves in plain sight of the detainees.
The memo directs personnel to use both hands when handling the Koran out of "respect and reverence."
Has "Newsweek" done a story on this? I have not seen it.
Diversity. That's the problem. We do not have diversity.
As Austin Bay said:
"Wake up. There's a war going on -- a global war. American lives and liberty are at stake, but Newsweek and its clan are still trying to "Get Nixon."
The bad news is that the liberal media does not get it.
The good news is that the public does.
The American public is turning off the liberal media in massive numbers. Sooner than later, the advertisers will get it, too!
It is obvious that the public is fed up with a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage, anti-military, excessively secular and "always looking for a Watergate and Vietnam" media.
The bottom line is that people are fed up with snobbish reporters who think that hating Bush is what everyone else does.
Diversity. We need more diversity.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The media shoots itself again!

The AP reports on Sunday:

"Newsweek magazine has apologized for errors in a story alleging that interrogators at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay desecrated the Quran, saying it would re-examine the accusations, which sparked outrage and deadly protests in Afghanistan.

Fifteen people died and scores were injured in violence between protesters and security forces, prompting U.S. promises to investigate the allegations.

"We regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst," Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker wrote in a note to readers."

The good news is that Newsweek is up front and apologized for getting it wrong. At least, they are not dodging the issue like Dan Rather did last fall.

The bad news is that we can not bring back the dead.

I think that there is a larger point here that goes beyond the "mistake".

Take a look at this recent survey of journalists by the University of Connecticut Department of Public Policy that ran today on Real Clear Politics:

68% voted for Kerry in 2004, one in four voted for Bush

There is a terrible anti-Bush bias in the national media. The best example of this is Iraq.

On the weekend of the Iraq election, most of the world was admiring the videos and pictures of millions voting and showing their purple fingers. What was Newsweek doing? They were running a cover story on the the insurgents!

The US media has missed the real story going on in Iraq. It reminds of something I read days before the Iraq election. A Canadian election observer stated:

"The Canadians on the ground say something marvelous is happening in Iraq. You may not see it just yet, not through the dust and debris of car bombs. But they do. And the words they use to describe it are nothing short of breathless.

The big story just isn't getting out. But it is really happening. Despite what you see on cable news, despite the bombs and the beheadings, Iraqis are putting their lives on the line for this thing called democracy. They have a thirst for it. They want it. And they're getting it." ("Canadians playing key role in crucial election" by
MITCH POTTER, Jan 29-2005, The Toronto Star)

The US media did not see what was brewing in Iraq that resulted on a marvelous display of people power on election day. Why? Because they did not want to see it. They were hoping for a huge Bush failure but the Iraq people had different ideas.

First, the liberals in the media have spent much of the last two years pushing a Vietnam analogy. Why? Because too many liberals think that Vietnam is the most important event since the birth of Christ. It's always "Vietnam, Vietnam, Vietnam".

For most liberals, the history of the world began and ended with Vietnam.

It makes no sense. Iraq is not Vietnam. The main difference is that Bush did not cut and run. The military's successful military operation on the Syria border is another example that Bush plans to do whatever it takes to win.

We have chosen to defeat the enemy in Iraq. It's not easy but it is being done. We did not do this in Vietnam. We left the North Vietnamese march into Saigon without one single act to defend the treaty signed two years earlier.

The Vietnam analogy is silly. Yet, every liberal in the news media has been looking for a Vietnam since this war started.

Secondly, they have spent the last year over covering the prison scandal. During the last year, thousands of mass graves have been found in Iraq but none of this has been covered by the US media.

The prison abuse was wrong. But the coverage was wrong too. It was out of proportion and it simply provided the likes of Al Jazeera with free video that they could run over and over again to promote anti-Americanism.

Third, they have been over spinning the WMD story. Prior to March 2003, every intelligence service in the world said that Saddam had WMDs. Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, et al said that Saddam had WMDs.

No one stood up on March 2003 and said: Stop this war. Saddam does not have WMDs.

Bush had a choice to make in a post 9-11 world. Do I believe what every intelligence service, including the UN, is telling me or do I give Saddam the benefit of the doubt?

Additionally, this is the same Saddam who had accumulated 17 violations of the '91 cease fire and was shooting at US planes enforcing UN resolutions.

This is also the same Saddam that used chemical weapons twice before.

The bottom line is that too many in the media have been bent on damaging Bush. They have focused on bad news and have missed the good news. They have covered every story damaging to the cause and overlooked all of the good things going on in Iraq.

Why would Newsweek print a story quoting an unidentified source that a copy of the Koran was flushed down the toilet?

The answer is simple. They want to believe anything because they oppose the war and hate Bush.

As we saw with the CBS scandal, too many US journalists have lost their common sense over Bush. They hate Bush so much that they will believe anything, or print anything, just to hurt his policy.

Fortunately, they are not hurting Bush. Sadly, they are hurting the credibility of the media!

Newsweek is going to pay a heavy price for this "mistake". Who is going to believe them in the future?

What price will they pay?

Check out CBS's ratings. Check out the declining circulation of liberal heavyweights such as the LATimes and NYTimes. Take a look at CNN's dismal prime time ratings.

Bush is the luckiest man in the planet. He could not have prayed for better enemies.

P.S. Let me close by recommending a couple of excellent articles.

The first one is today's Wall Street Journal editorial:

"We aren't saying that reporters shouldn't be skeptical, and they certainly have a duty to report when a war is going badly.

Where the press corps goes wrong is in always assuming the worst about military and government motives.

Thus U.S. intelligence wasn't merely wrong about Saddam Hussein's WMD, it intentionally "lied" about it to sell an illegitimate war.

Thus, too, an antiwar partisan named Joe Wilson with a basically unimportant story about uranium and Niger is hailed as a truth-telling whistle-blower.

And reports from Seymour Hersh in late 2001 that the U.S was losing in Afghanistan set off a "quagmire" theme only days before the fall of the Taliban.

The readiness of Newsweek to believe a thinly sourced allegation about the Koran at Guantanamo is part of the same mindset.

We have all been reading a great deal lately about both the decline of media credibility, and the decline of both TV news viewership and newspaper circulation. Any other industry looking at such trends would conclude that perhaps there is a connection. Certainly a press corps that wants readers to forgive its own mistakes might start by showing a little more respect and understanding for the men and women who risk their lives to defend the country."

The second one is from liberal Christopher Hitchens. It is called:

"Why does the New York Times insist on calling jihadists "insurgents"?"

You can go this link for the entire story:

It tells you a lot about a news media that can't seem to understand who the good guys are in this war against terror. Let me quote Hitchens:

"At a time when new mass graves are being filled, and old ones are still being dug up, writer James Bennet practically pleaded with the authors of both to come up with an intelligible (or defensible?) reason for his paper to go on calling them "insurgents."

I don't think the New York Times ever referred to those who devastated its hometown's downtown as "insurgents." But it does employ this title every day for the gang headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

It's time for respectable outlets to drop the word, to call things by their right names (Baathist or Bin Ladenist or jihadist would all do in this case), and to stop inventing mysteries where none exist.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Compensation for support (the latest definition of a bribe)

How did Saddam Hussein do this? It takes two.

On one side, you have a dictator with cash and a strong desire to release himself from UN sanctions.

On the other side, you have corrupt Western politicians, who need cash and don't give a four letter word about the UN, respect for the law or anything else.

The net result is the ongoing Oil for Food Scandal, the biggest rip off of a nation in history.

Where are the demonstrations? Where are thousands marching down a Western capital saying:

"Chirac, Chirac, Chirac, give the Iraqis their money back". 


"Putin, Putin, how do you do, how many oil contracts did Saddam give you?"

FOX News has coverage of the Senate investigation. Read this:

"Saddam Hussein (search) and his government bribed Russian officials, paying them millions of dollars in Iraqi oil allocations, as part of the Oil-for-Food program, a congressional investigation concluded.
The payments were made so that Iraq could buy support for lifting sanctions against Iraq in the U.N. Security Council, former Saddam officials told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (search) investigations subcommittee.
Saddam's vice president, Taha Yasin Ramadan (search), told investigators that the allocations were "compensation for support," according to one of two reports released Monday.Click here to read the report about Iraqi oil allocations to the Russian presidential council (pdf).

The Washington Post has a story today on the Russians and The Oil for Food Scandal:

"Top Kremlin operatives and a flamboyant Russian politician reaped millions of dollars in profits under the U.N. oil-for-food program by selling oil that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein allowed them to buy at a deep discount, a Senate investigation has concluded.
The allegations -- which also include descriptions of kickbacks paid to Hussein -- are detailed in hundreds of pages of reports and documents made public last night by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in advance of a hearing tomorrow.
The documents outline a trail of oil and money that leads directly from Iraq to the Kremlin and the former chief of staff to Russian President Vladimir Putin and former president Boris Yeltsin.

The report said Iraq sought to influence and reward the Russian government because it sits on the powerful U.N. Security Council that oversaw sanctions against the Hussein government. Russia repeatedly sided with Iraq on issues before the Security Council."

How do you say bribe in UN slang? They call it "compensation for support".

Saddam gives you oil contracts and you give him your veto.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Will you sell your euros now?

I am not a financial expert or currency trader. Nevertheless, I told you last January to sell your euros.

I told you that the euro and Chirac had one thing in common: they are both full of hot air!

Maybe some of you did not follow my advice. That's OK! My feelings are not hurt.

Yet, it does look like others are picking up on the idea that the euro is overvalued and ready for an adjustment, i.e. devaluation!

How can France (with 10% unemployment) and Germany (12%) support a currency when the US economy just added another 274,000 jobs in April and is growing at 3.5%.

Bloomberg has a story on this:

"The dollar rose against the euro for a third straight week, surging to a seven-month high, as government reports showed the U.S. trade deficit narrowed and retail sales increased the most since September.

Demand for the U.S. currency accelerated amid signs Europe's economy is faltering.

The European Commission on May 12 cut its forecast for second-quarter growth in the 12-nation euro region, and Italy's economy unexpectedly entered a recession, a government report showed this week.

``The economic story in the U.S. is winning the day against the euro,'' said Nick Bennenbroek, currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in New York. ``The trend for now is to sell the euro and buy the dollar.''

Bloomberg cites one factor:

"The European Commission on May 12 cut its forecast for second-quarter growth in the 12-nation euro region to 0.4 percent, from 0.5 percent. The U.S. economy is expected to expand at a 3.2 percent rate in the same period, according to a Bloomberg survey this month."

The US is up and Europe is down. Briam M. Carney is editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe:

"Is the European "social model" doomed? It's a question that comes up with increasing frequency as unemployment across Western Europe has climbed into the double digits and economic growth has ground to a virtual halt across much of the Continent.

Updated GDP figures for the euro zone came out last week, and growth in the first quarter was a disappointing 0.5%.

Last month both the European Commission and the European Central Bank cut their annual growth forecasts for the euro zone to 1.6% from 2%, and that ugly word recession is in the air."

Maybe the Europeans will finally get the message that secular socialism is killing their continent. Again, let's go back to Carney:

"In 2002, U.S. taxes ate 26% of the economy, but in Europe spending had climbed to 42%, a 50% increase.

Over the same period, unemployment in Western Europe has risen from less than 3% to 8% today, and to nearly 9% for the 12 countries in the euro zone. These two phenomena are related; in a country with generous welfare benefits, rising unemployment increases government spending rapidly."

Maybe the Europeans will start having babies and cutting their taxes.

Don't bet on it but sell your euros.

Friday, May 13, 2005

The worthless UN

It's very clear that the UN is a corrupt and useless organization. It does not deserve to be so generously supported by US taxpayers. We pay 22% of the revenues and get most of the criticism.

The latest information about the Oil for Food program will hopefully be the last blow. The UN must be reformed or it should be phased out.

As we feared, France and other European diplomats were accepting bribes from Saddam.

How do you say bribes in French? I don't know and I don't care.

The Wall Street Journal has been on top of this scandal for over a year. Today, their lead editorial gets to the heart of the matter:

"Mr. Pasqua had long carried water for Iraq. In October 1993, he granted Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz a visa to seek medical treatment in France; he then met with Mr. Aziz to discuss re-establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In May 1994, the Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence believed Mr. Pasqua was "coaching the Iraqis behind the scenes."

In October 1994, an aide to Mr. Pasqua said France had "made a mistake" in supporting the Gulf War, and that "the time [had] come to return to Iraq, our natural ally in the Gulf."

As for Mr. Galloway, he is the man who once described Saddam's Iraq as "the center of a crusade against globalization backed by the U.S."

He also praised Saddam personally for "your courage, your strength, your indefatigability."

In 1998, Mr. Galloway established the Mariam Appeal, ostensibly a foundation to raise money for a sick Iraqi child named Mariam Hamze and to "demand the lifting of the sanctions on Iraq."

The Senate subcommittee says millions of barrels in oil allocations were funneled through the Appeal.

No wonder that when Saddam looked for Western allies in his campaign to have U.N. sanctions lifted, Messrs. Pasqua and Galloway would have seemed ideal agents of influence.

As it was, by the time Oil for Food got started, in 1996, the sanctions were already beginning to crumble, to the point that the program was sold by the Clinton Administration as the only way to keep the broader regime in place.

We now know the effect was the opposite: Oil for Food allowed Saddam to use his oil as a giant lever of political influence, propping up his own regime at home and weakening support for sanctions abroad.

Only the intercession of 9/11 and President Bush's determination prevented the dictator's rehabilitation. "

According to David SAnds, writing in The Washington Times:

"The U.S. Government Accountability Office last year said Saddam used bribes and oil smuggling to siphon off about $10 billion from the program before it was shut down in 2003"

The UK's The Daily Telegraph is also on top of the story:

"Saddam Hussein's spies planned a wide-ranging scheme to bribe members of the French political elite in the run-up to the Anglo-American invasion, including an offer to help fund President Jacques Chirac's 2002 re-election campaign.

That bid failed, according to Iraqi secret service papers seen by The Daily Telegraph, when Mr Chirac's aides allegedly said they did not need the cash."

Saddam got "busy bribing" at the same time that Bush got "busy talking" about Iraq.

Again, let's go back to The Daily Telegraph from the UK:

"The documents state that the plot to buy influence in France began in early 2002 on the direct orders of Saddam Hussein, just as America was issuing ever more bellicose statements about Iraq's flouting of UN security council resolutions."

Who is going to tell me now that Bush should have given the UN another chance to fix the Iraq problem. Frankly, this scandal only confirms that Saddam Hussein should have been removed in '98 when he gave the world the finger and kicked out the UN inspectors.

It's time to pull the plug on the UN and move it to Paris.

Let Chirac explain to the French that having the UN in Paris will fill the restaurants and fix the nation's 10% unemployment and 1% economic growth!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Iran and North Korea

As Sir Michael Howard, British strategic thinker, said:

"If America does not do things, nobody else will."

I'm getting pessimistic about North Korea and Iran. Frankly, I am more concerned about Iran because it is in the Middle East. I am still hopeful that China can play a role in eliminating the little midget in North Korea.

This is the latest.

Jim Bencivenga of http://www.csmonitor.com/ reports that:

"North Korea announced Wednesday that it had completed removing spent nuclear fuel rods from a reactor at its main nuclear complex, reports The Associated Press. The procedure would allow the secretive, totalitarian state to obtain weapons-grade plutonium that could be used to build a nuclear bomb and it is the "the communist state's latest provocation amid a deadlock in disarmament talks," says AP.

The step comes after South Korean officials confirmed last month that the Yongbyon reactor was shut down, which would allow the rods to be removed and be reprocessed to extract weapons-grade plutonium. The North didn't specifically say Wednesday it would take such a step."

The Economist from the UK is calling on the world to get over Bush and pay attention to the growing threats in Iran and North Korea:

"...the fact remains that the wolves are indeed at the door.

In the coming days or weeks, the world may face a double nuclear challenge from the axis's surviving members.

From North Korea, which quit the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 2003, have come reports that the regime is preparing its first nuclear test.

And Iran has just informed Britain, France and Germany that after six months during which it had suspended these activities, it will shortly resume converting yellowcake into the uranium-hexafluoride gas that can be enriched for a nuclear bomb (see article).

It would still be several years from making such a weapon, but it would be back on the way.

If you want a multipolar world, do something..........should either or both of these events come to pass, note please that it is the world and not just America that will have to rise to the challenge."

The European 3 have tried to persuade Tehran to come clean with its intentions.

According to Reuters:

"France, Britain and Germany have warned Iran they will break off talks and join Washington in seeking U.N. Security Council action if Tehran makes good on its threats to resume atomic work...."

So far, not much!

Why should Iran fear the Europeans?

What threats can the Europeans make?

I agree with Richard Pearle on this:

"Well, it is a step you have to go through, I suppose, so that people accept you tried to do it the easy way. But I doubt negotiations will work because the Iranians can't be trusted. In fact, it seems quite clear to me the regime is determined to acquire a nuclear weapon and no one is going to talk them out of it.

As for the Europeans, it is only a matter of time before the French and the Germans start blaming the US for not bringing the Iranians around. They will say it is us who spoiled the deal they were about to make. We will see the same split here as we saw over the Iraq war. Europe does not view Iran as a threat; the US does. They are not threatened by an Iranian nuclear weapon the way the US is. They are not threatened in the same way as the US by Iranian support for terrorism.

If the only way we can prevent the Iranians from acquiring a nuclear weapon is to take military action against their production facilities, then the US must do so." (RICHARD PERLE headed the Pentagon's influential Defense Policy Board until March 2003 and was an assistant secretary of defense during the Reagan administration. He spoke with NPQ for the weekly Global Viewpoint column as President Bush visited Europe.)

Thomas Friedman of The New York Times sees it this way:

"At the end of the day, the Chinese would rather live with a nuclear North Korea than risk a collapsed nonnuclear North Korea, and the Europeans would rather live with a nuclear Iran - that Europe can make all kinds of money off of - rather than risk losing Iran's business to prevent it from going nuclear. The Chinese and the Europeans "each assume that in the end, the U.S. will deter both the North Koreans and the Iranians anyway, so why worry.."

We are reaching a critical point over Iran.We may have to act and blow up the nuclear plants.

The bad news is that US action will bring massive protests against Bush.

The good news is that Bush does not care. Like Reagan, Bush does not lose sleep over international public opinion.

Bush will do the right thing. In this case, it looks like doing the right thing means tackling this issue and acting to protect the world from nuclear proliferation.

As Henry Kissinger said:

"IF George W. Bush's first term was dominated by the war against terrorism, the second will be preoccupied with the effort to stem the spread of nuclear weapons."

Bush will act because no one else has the stomach to act. Fifty years from now, we will remember Bush as a wartime leader and Chirac et al as the corrupt crowd who couldn't pass doing business with rogue regimes.




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