Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy 2007: Don't fall for those dire predictions

Are you tired of so many dire predictions? I am.
See Climate of fear By Jeff Jacoby:

"Well, that's climate change for you. Maybe Mother Earth is warming up, or maybe she's cooling down, but either way it's always bad news."
Take a good look at the Top 10 Junk Science Moments of 2006 compiled by
My favorite is related to VP Gore's new career:

"1. Some Real Inconvenient Truth.

Al Gore whipped the world into a global warming frenzy with his doomsday documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Milloy personally asked Mr. Gore to help arrange a debate between scientists about the purported climate catastrophe.
He declined (twice) without explanation -- leaving me to wonder why global warming alarmists are unwilling to explain why they believe in non-validated and always-wrong computer guess-timations of future climate change rather than actual temperature measurements and greenhouse-effect physics that indicate manmade emissions of greenhouse gases are not a problem."

Enjoy your 2007 and take all of these dire predictions carefully.
Didn't they say 25 years that we would freeze to death? Or that we would run out of food?
Go ahead with your party plans. Enjoy 2007 and many more. The world is not coming to an end anytime soon.
The truth is that God has a time line for the end of the world. The good news is that he did not share that information with VP Gore!

Saddam humor

Here is a New Year's Resolution. Make Scrappleface one of your favorite places for 2007. This is a wonderful web site for political humor.

Woodward Releases Embargoed Chat with Saddam By Scott Ott, Editor-in-Chief,

"Reporter Bob Woodward said today he would soon allow his Washington Post editors to publish a secret interview he did in 2005 with former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in which the dictator questioned U.S. President George Bush’s rationale for invading Iraq.

Mr. Woodward, who recently permitted his employer to publish a similar covert interview with the late former President Gerald Ford, said Mr. Hussein agreed to the no-holds-barred chat on the condition that the transcript be embargoed until after he “retired from public life,” which he did earlier today.

“I have always thought that President Bush did the right thing when he ordered the invasion,” Mr. Hussein told the star reporter.

“However, I never understood why he made WMD such a big deal. Those canisters are so easy to hide and ship, and the lab just looks like any other lab after we scrub it.”

Mr. Hussein said if he were a U.S. president he would not have “wasted 12 years negotiating toothless resolutions” in the United Nations Security Council, but would have extended the Iraq no-fly zone “border to border, and also made it a no-drive, no-walk, no-breathe zone until the Baathist regime fell.”

“If Bush’s father had tried to take Baghdad in 1991, we would have run like a herd of goats from a pack of wild dogs,” he said.

“I’d be living in peaceful seclusion in Geneva now, working on my memoirs with Judith Regan, and trading old war stories by email with the exiled former leaders of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and so on.”

Yes, Saddam clearly miscalculated. He is not living in Geneva but has joined his two brutal sons in hell!

Good vibes for Mexico but the border is still a problem

Pres. Calderon is off to a good start. He is making lots of friends in the US business community and Mexico. IBD has good vibes about Mexico 2007:

"If Mexico had just dodged a bullet on Election Day last summer and avoided seating a radical leftist as president, most people would have been happy.

But it's better than that. President Felipe Calderon is showing strong and effective leadership that's giving the country a new direction — upward.

He began by taking out the trash, blasting leftist rebellions and drug-trafficking cartels. Going predecessor Vicente Fox one better, he sent 17,000 troops — rather than police — into troubled Michoacan state as he seeks to win back the one-quarter of Mexican territory that is controlled by traffickers.

Calderon's leadership has won him respect in Mexico's Congress, which had tried to stop his inauguration through fistfights.

Calderon got the budget he wanted and, even more unexpectedly, has seen ex-opponents agree to work with him to modernize Mexico's state-run energy industry through private partnerships.

Where did this strength come from?

Probably from Mexico's increasingly stable institutions, such as an electoral board that refused to yield to mob pressure and a more-transparent stock exchange.

But it's not just the government; it's also the people.

Independence-loving Northerners are rising politically as their economic power grows.

Business formation is high, investment is rising and homeownership is growing.

With Calderon's leadership directed toward making Mexico prosperous, the migrant flow to the north may ebb."

This is a good.

On the flip side, the border is still a mess and a human tragedy. See
Border crackdown fuels smugglers' boom on U.S.-Mexico border:

"Inspectors at a San Diego crossing found a 14-year-old girl strapped under the metal bars of a car seat, the driver sitting atop her, and occasionally find children inside compartments that once served as the gas tanks.

Smugglers in Arizona have hijacked loads of customers from rivals -- in one case, resulting in a highway shootout that killed four people in 2003.

In Tijuana, across from heavily fortified San Diego and the world's busiest border crossing, three bullet-ridden bodies were found in May, covered with roasted chickens.

Spanish slang for a smuggler includes "pollero," literally a poultry handler.

"It's become a very good business -- more dangerous, but a good business," said Daniel Rivera, 63, who recruits migrants walking the streets of Tijuana."

Pres. Calderon has a lot big things on his plate but he is off to a good start! Let's hope that Pres. Calderon will bring a new realism to the illegal immigration problem.

Illegal immigration, like any violation of the rule of law, has created a circle of corruption, from the "coyote" or "pollero" to the US employer who hires someone outside of the law.

I think that Pres. Calderon understands that Mexico needs investments rather than "remesas". Let's hope that he can persuade more Mexicans to see that point.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

We are moving to the south and west

According to the new census projections, we are moving south and west.

By now, everyone has heard that the US's population has reached 300,000,000! See
The Latest Census Figures by Michael Barone:

"Over the decade, 2000-06, growth has been much higher in the West (9.7 percent) and the South (8.8 percent) than in the Midwest (2.8 percent) and the East (2.1 percent).

In 2000 there were more people in the Midwest than in the West; in 2006 it was the other way around. And in 2006 there were more than twice as many people in the South as in the East. So we're becoming more western and southern: Nearly 60 percent of Americans live in one of those two regions."
Population shifts have a huge electoral impact because House seats and The Electoral College are determined by population.
In the future, specially the 2012 presidential election, we will see more electoral votes coming from southern and western states.
It's hard to predict the future. However, it is clear to me that future presidents will continue to come from the South and West.
From LBJ ('64) to GW Bush, our presidents have come from Texas (LBJ, Bush and Bush), California (Nixon and Reagan), Arkansas (Clinton) and Georgia (Carter). Ford was the exception (Michigan).
Can we predict the future? No. However, we are a nation that lives in the South and West!

Senator McCain is starting to look better and better

According to Rasmussen, McCain Leads Clinton, Gore in 2008 Match-Ups:

"McCain now leads Clinton 49% to 45% and Gore 49% to 44%. This is the second straight survey where McCain has enjoyed a four point lead over the former First Lady.
In early December, he held a 48% to 44% lead over Clinton. The last time we polled a McCain-Gore match-up, it was McCain by seven.

McCain holds a lead against every Democratic challenger and has done so in every Election 2008 poll we’ve conducted to date."

It gets even better when you put John Kerry or Wesley Clark in the game. See McCain Crushes Kerry and Clark:

"McCain leads Kerry by 18 points, 53% to 35%. That’s very similar to the 53% to 36% edge McCain enjoyed in our previous poll on this match-up.

McCain also leads Clark by 18 points, 51% to 33%. This is the first time we’ve polled a McCain-Clark election. Against both these Democrats, McCain attracts votes from roughly one-of-every-four Democrats. He also leads these candidates by a 2-to-1 margin among unaffiliated voters.

Most voters (59%) have a favorable opinion of John McCain."

Of course, it's early. Also, Guiliani is out there and he is a very strong candidate.

Yet, McCain stands out because his willing to tell us what we don't want to hear. In this, he is quite a contrast from Obama, who is treating the presidential quest like an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Obama is not a serious man. McCain is serious.

I love Senator Backbone By Lawrence Kudlow:

"In the midst of the latest doubt, pessimism and quibbling over our direction in Iraq, here is John McCain digging his heels in the sand. He is fighting the defeatist tide, and though it might endanger his presidential bid, he is entirely comfortable with his posture. I believe this is called courage. Principle. Leadership. It's what has long described this highly decorated former Navy fighter pilot and Vietnam prisoner of war."

What a contrast with the other side.

Friday, December 29, 2006

A message for an Iraqi widow

Today, I saw this article about a US military officer who was in Iraq in the mid-90s.

Check out
By Lt. Colonel Rick Francona:

"In 1995 and 1996, I was involved in the CIA’s covert operations to overthrow Saddam Hussein, operating from several Middle East countries bordering Iraq, as well as inside the Kurdish-controlled area of Iraq itself."

Let me say this about Lt. Col. Francona. I'm glad that he was there. I like his message to the Iraqi widow about justice and Saddam:

"I told Mrs. Al-Shahwani that someday Saddam would pay for his crimes. Finally, that day is here."

The Democrats have forgotten about immigration reform!

In plain English, the "out of power" Democrats flirted with the Mexican vote in the US. Now, the flirt has to put up or shut up. It looks likely that the flirt won't put up!

A few years ago, I saw this quote:

"Flirtation: attention without intention" by Max O'Rell. (I believe that it comes from a novel but I can't link it. I found this about O'Rell.)

The Democrats flirted a lot. Now, they will prove that it was all attention without intention. Also, we will see a huge disconnect between the Washington liberals (like Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi) and the new centrist faces elected in 2006.

What are some already saying? Gerardo Sandoval is a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. This is where he stands on immigration reform:

"So the Democrats have taken over Congress. The confetti has fallen, been swept up and recycled. Now the question is: Can Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean and the rest of the Democrats deliver? Will the 110th Congress really be able to break free from the past six years?"

Good luck Gerardo! It was a lot easier to blame Bush than to come up with solutions.

Breaking the Wall on Immigration Reform By Marcela Sanchez:

"Nevertheless, Democrats aren't exactly seizing the day. On their list of priorities, the so-called New Direction for America, immigration is conspicuously absent. In her first news conference after the Democrats captured the House, soon-to-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not even mention the "I" word."

Why are you shocked Marcela? How can you believe anyone who will say anything to get your vote? Are you so naive Marcela?

This is from The Washington Post a few days after the election. See Democrats
May Proceed With Caution on Immigration (Explosive Issue Not A Top Priority For Incoming Leaders) By Darryl Fears and Spencer S. Hsu:

"In the days after the election, Democratic leaders surprised pro-immigration groups by not including the issue on their list of immediate priorities.

Experts said the issue is so complicated, so sensitive and so explosive that it could easily blow up in the Democrats' faces and give control of Congress back to Republicans in the next election two years from now. And a number of Democrats who took a hard line on illegal immigration were also elected to Congress."

Democrats clash on immigration policy (Tensions in party rise to the surface) By Nicole Gaouette:

"As the Democratic Party prepares to take power on Capitol Hill in January, tensions are surfacing over the details of plans to overhaul the nation's immigration policies.

Statements by incoming members such as Claire McCaskill, the Democratic senator-elect from Missouri, could provide an early warning of the difficulties ahead.

In a September television spot, McCaskill sat at a kitchen table and looked directly into the camera. "Let me tell you what I believe in," she said. "No amnesty for illegal immigrants."

It worked for McCaskill! The article goes on:

"Some unions strongly object to Democratic support for guest worker programs that would not allow participants to gain citizenship.

Party leaders worry that backing a bill that included a path to citizenship would alienate some blacks, who have traditionally competed with Hispanic immigrants for jobs.

And the Democrats will have to contend with a newly energized left wing, which could push to do more for legal and illegal immigrants."

FAIR's analysis of the 2006 elections is interesting. See
Support for Immigration Enforcement was a Key Factor in Many Democratic Victories.

In fact:

"In countless races across the country Democrats pointed to Congress’ failure to control illegal immigration. The administration’s refusal to back House Republicans on critical legislation undermined the party’s standing with the public. Many victorious Democrats ran on a platform of support for immigration enforcement."

Another example comes from Arizona. Take a look at The Great Illegal Immigration Myth of '06 by John Hawkins:

"J.D. Hayworth's loss was particularly noteworthy because unlike the other candidates being mentioned, he could fairly be called one of the leaders of the "tough on illegal immigration" crowd.

However, what you will never hear amnesty fans mention about Hayworth's loss is that his opponent, Harry Mitchell, actually tried to run to his right on the illegal immigration issue.

For example, on October 24, 2006, here's a message that was posted prominently on the front of Mitchell's web page:

I’m proud to show you the second television spot of our campaign which highlights an important issue to all Arizonan(s):

securing our border and ending illegal immigration.

My opponent likes to talk tough about immigration, but the truth is he and those in Washington have failed in their responsibility to secure our border.

The number of illegal immigrants in our state has increased 400% during his tenure in Congress.

My opponent has rewarded illegal immigration by voting for amnesty four times.

Just last month, he voted against 12,000 additional Border Patrol agents and against implementing the border security recommendations of the bi-partisan 9/11 Commission.

In his 12 years in Congress, J.D. has given us a lot of rhetoric, but not a lot of results.

Now, after reading that, does it sound like J.D. Hayworth had problems because he was "too tough" on illegal immigration? No, it doesn't."

The bottom line is that many Democrats went to the right of Republicans on immigration. And they won!

Who is going to take the lead in immigration reform? Don't bet on the Democrats!

Everything points to Iran

This week, I saw this on Drudge: U.S. Is Holding Iranians Seized in Raids in Iraq.

As we suspected, Iran is in the middle of much of what goes in Iraq. They are funding and feeding a lot of the violence. Why? Because they want lots of blood on our TV screens so that the US will go home!

Last week, a judge connected Iran with the killing of US soldiers at The Khobar Towers in '96. Add the '83 bombing of the Marines in Beirut.

See The Power Line's
The mullahs at war: "The war continues. Whether we like it or not."

Iran is next!

Check out Showdown By Kenneth R. Timmerman:

"The nuclear crisis boiling away under the surface for the past three years with Iran has finally erupted. Over the next three to six months, expect things to get much worse, with a very real possibility of a war that could spread far beyond the confines of the Persian Gulf."

We remember President Ford

Pres. Carter spoke those words within minutes of taking the oath. I recall listening to it on the radio. It was a nice touch. It got a big applause. It was the best line of the speech!

Over the last day, I have watched a lot of the news coverage regarding the life and times of Pres. Ford.

As a naturalized citizen, I've always been impressed with US history. Where does the US get men like Gerald Ford? Where do we get leaders who are willing to do the right thing, i.e. the Nixon pardon and the vetoes?

I remember 1974 quite well. Pres. Ford was grilled by opportunistic Democrats who were looking for another cheap shot against Pres. Nixon. Yet, Pres. Ford stood up, answered the questions before a congressional committee and did not back down.

They used to call him stubborn! He wasn't stubborn. He believed in doing the right thing which is not always the most popular thing! We learned this in the eight years of Pres. Clinton's poll-reading presidency.

See the Wall Street Journal's wonderful editorial
President Ford:

"He made a particular contribution in pardoning Nixon, though he knew Nixon's enemies would accuse him of a quid pro quo. The decision cost him dearly in the polls and may have cost him the election in 1976, but it also spared the country from years of division over a criminal trial that special prosecutor Leon Jaworski seemed determined to pursue.

Congress had trampled over a weakened Nixon, and another Ford contribution was restoring some measure of executive authority. Far more than Nixon, he used his veto pen (66 times in 895 days), blunting liberal excesses after Democrats picked up 46 House seats in 1974.

He also deserves credit for resisting the isolationism that was rampant as the Vietnam War wound down. It was a rare period in postwar U.S. history when the public favored spending less on defense.

Democrats exploited the mood in early 1975 to block Ford's funding request for our allies in South Vietnam, as the North began its offensive. Ford pleaded with Congress that "American unwillingness to provide adequate assistance to allies fighting for their lives could seriously affect our credibility throughout the world as an ally," but to no avail. Saigon fell by April, and the boat people and massacres in Southeast Asia soon followed.
Thus one irony of this week's praise for Ford as a unifying President: At the time, he was mocked as clumsy and dull, and he was vilified for blocking Congressional priorities.

Any of this sound familiar?"

The Ford news coverage reminded me of unpleasant moments: the two assassination attempts in 1975. Did any other president have two attempts on his life within a month? I don't think so!

Here is a bit of Ford trivia.

I did not realize that Pres. Ford was the only president from Michigan. In fact, Ford was born in Nebraska but raised in Michigan. See He led with honesty and civility by George Weeks of The Detroit News:

"Many a Michiganian has coveted the presidency. Former territorial Gov. Lewis Cass was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee in 1848. A century later, Owosso's Tom Dewey, then New York governor, lost as Republican nominee to Harry Truman -- despite polling that suggested Dewey would win and a Chicago Tribune headline that said he did. Later in the 20th century, presidential ambitions of six-term Democratic Gov. G. Mennen "Soapy" Williams fizzled as Michigan had a financial crisis all too common for Michigan governors. Republican Gov. George Romney made a more serious bid for the nomination, but also failed."

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A couple of notes about Iraq

Iraq is doing a lot better than we read in the media. See

"WHILE the American political elite is using Iraq as an excuse for fighting internal political wars, a different reality is taking shape in parts of this war-torn nation. Wherever some measure of security is assured - that is to say in more than 80 percent of Iraq - towns and villages long left to die a slow death are creeping back to life."

More on Iraq. See
Female Iraqi lawyers gaining in popularity By Basim Al Sharaa:

"With Iraqi society becoming ever more religious and conservative, large numbers of women are turning to female lawyers for advice on marriage, divorce, and inheritance. As a result, legal practice has become a lucrative business for female lawyers."

Where are the feminists? Why aren't the world's feminists cheering the gains made by women in Iraq?

So long James Brown!

James Brown left us a huge legacy of songs and albums.

In many ways, James Brown had a great life. He was born in poverty and worked his way to the top. He did make a few mistakes. Frankly, who hasn't?

So goodbye James Brown.

Put on a good show for all of your fans in heaven!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A bit of good news from Mexico

It's been a very tough year for Mexico. Therefore, it's nice to see some good news about Mexico and Pres. Calderon.

See this one from The Dallas Morning News.

For more good news, see CALDERON TO ROGUES: ENOUGH:

"In his first three weeks in office, President Felipe Calderon has sent a message to the rogue powers that have paralyzed or terrorized much of Mexico: Enough is enough.
Just days after his Dec. 1 inauguration, Calderon's government arrested the figurehead of the violent protests in Oaxaca City. And a week later he deployed thousands of soldiers and police to combat increasingly bloodthirsty drug traffickers in his native Michoacan state.

Calderon's swift use of force is a major departure from the conciliatory style of his predecessor, Vicente Fox. But that may be just the point — to separate himself from Fox's often-perceived image of a weakling.

The moves come after five months of chaos in colonial Oaxaca and a raft of beheadings in western Michoacan, including one incident in which the traffickers dumped five human heads on a dance floor.

"The message is very clear: To say to the traffickers that there are things you can't do," said Jorge Chabat, a crime analyst in Mexico City. "You can't chop off heads and throw them on a dance floor, because that affects Mexico's image.

"If you're president and you want to attract investment, you can't have your country looking like Rwanda during the civil war."

I like this one from Alan Wall in Mexico City. He writes Is Mexico About to Fall Apart?:

"I’ve heard for years that Mexico is "
on the verge" of a revolution. It hasn’t happened yet and I don’t see it in the foreseeable future.

In the mid-90s
things were looking bad too. There was an uprising in Chiapas, there were high-profile assassinations (including a presidential candidate and a cardinal) and other negative developments. And a disastrous peso crash effectively cut everybody’s income in half (including mine).

But, Mexico survived and here we are a decade later…hearing the same predictions of collapse. As they say, there’s a lot of ruin in a nation.

Mexico faces enormous problems that are not about to magically disappear. Corruption, incompetence and bad policies are greatly in evidence. Nevertheless, the political system, the bureaucracy and the levers of power are still functioning, with no viable secession movements on the horizon. All the major political forces, in fact, have a vested interest in holding the system together.

I live in Mexico. If I believed it were falling apart, I’d be getting
my family out of here."

Over the past, I've written a lot about Mexico. Frankly, we want Mexico to succeed.

We are not happy that Mexico is a poor country despite wonderful natural resources. We are not pleased that Mexico has to export its young people so that they can send "remesas" back home.

We want Mexico to succeed. Why? Mexico is Texas' biggest trade partner.

We wish Pres. Calderon and Mexicans a good and prosperous 2007.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It takes a certain kind of mom not Hillary!

What Hillary Clinton will show up in 2008?

Dick Morris knows the Clintons well. In his latest website
report, Morris predicts that Hillary will run as a "mom" in 2008:

"Hillary the Hawk may ultimately be the way to win the centrists who dominate the general electorate. But Hillary, the Mom, another Mother for Peace, is the way to capture the left that runs the Democratic primaries. And that’s exactly what she’s doing."

I guess that this is the strategy: After 43 "fathers", the US needs for a mother for # 44.

Of course, I don't have a problem voting for a mother for president. Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir were great leaders because they didn't read polls.

For example, my mother would make a great president. Why? Because she is honest and unafraid to kill our enemies. She has core values and knows what she stands for.

Can we say that Hillary is honest? Core values? Even Democrats have trouble with those two!

Is Hillary unafraid of our enemies? Hard to tell. However, do you want to put the national security in the hands of a woman who will tell you anything you want to hear?

At the end of the day, my problem with Hillary, Obama, Kerry, Edwards and the rest is that they tell us what we want to hear. Can't a Democrat look in the camera and say something other than what we want to hear?

What we need is a father or mother who will tell us the truth!

The first truth is that we have enemies who want to blow up a US city. They wake up every morning trying to figure out a way to carry out their plans. They don't give a "four letter word" whether we have a Democrat or Republican in the White House. Also, these terrorists won't go back to "insurance sales" if we leave Iraq.

The second truth is that Social Security is a time bomb. We diffuse it now or have it blow up later.

The third truth is that European socialism does not work. It does not create jobs or prosperity. This is why so many young Europeans are lining up at US embassies and consulates looking for a visa.

My mother is not the Senator from New York but she will speak her mind. Can we say that about the current senator from NY?

If we want a "mom", vote for mine! If you want another phony Clinton who will read polls 24/7, vote for Hillary!

For a little history, do you remember this from Jonathan Goldberg?:

"In the 1980s Chris Matthews popularized the idea that the Republicans were the Daddy party and the Democrats were the Mommy party. I’ve since learned that Matthews was re-packaging a pretty old idea. Robert Frost, for example, once said "The father is always a Republican toward his son, and his mother is always a Democrat." Still, the idea remains true. Dad protects you and sets standards of conduct. Mommy forgives and nurtures. For decades we wanted a Republican president and a Democratic Congress because we like a President who can send people to their rooms without dinner and we like a Congress which will sneak us dessert when nobody’s looking."

Or, what about Venus at the Ballot Box by Cathy Young:

"The election deadlock of 2000 that provided such a surreal -- and fitting -- end to the Clinton era would not have happened if only one sex had gone to the polls. An all-male electorate would have handed George W. Bush a decisive victory, 53 percent to 42 percent. If only women voted, Al Gore would have won 54 percent to 43 percent. These numbers are unlikely to startle anyone who has followed American politics over the last two decades.

Women get the credit, or the blame, for sending Bill Clinton back to the White House in 1996, when exit polls showed Bob Dole with a 1 percent lead among men. Women are also more likely to vote for Democrats in congressional elections. There is a widespread perception that Republicans are the party of men and Democrats are the party of women. Paraphrasing John Gray's pop psychology best-sellers, you might call it Mars and Venus at the Ballot Box."

Friday, December 22, 2006

Talk to Iran about what?

So how do we talk to Iran?

We talk to Iran precisely how Pres. Bush is doing it.

First, you make it clear that the US expects certain things, such as no nuclear weapons and a respect of Israel. You can not have a fruitful chat with a nation that publicly calls for the destruction of Israel.

Second, you communicate with the Iranian people through radio and TV. We should be using the media to let Iranians know that there is a future with the US if they overthrow their current government.
I agree with A Reagan Strategy by ABRAHAM D. SOFAER:
"Negotiating with enemies can be a useful aspect of effective diplomacy. But successful negotiations with enemies result not from the talks themselves but from the diplomatic strategy that accompanies them.
The group's recommendations deserve support, but must be effectively integrated into President Bush's strategy of ending state-sponsored terror."

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It was a bad week for our sons and daughters!

This is a funny cartoon. Also, this is a very serious subject.
As the father of 3 teenage sons, let me confirm the obvious. It is difficult to raise positive children with so much negative garbage around us.

Call me old fashioned but I can recall my Mom and sister watching Miss USA pageants. They used to argue about the gowns and hair styles! It was extremely boring for my dad, brother and I but we survived.

Call me a conservative dad but I don't believe that Miss USA should be drinking and behaving poorly. She represents the country.

Donald Trump is right that people deserve a second chance. I appreciate his attitude.
At the same time, I hope that our current Miss USA learns her lesson and behaves like a proper young woman!

On the positive side, Miss Teen USA dropped by anti-liquor group:

"Mothers Against Drunk Driving said Wednesday that allegations of illegal under-age drinking led it to sever ties with 18-year-old Katie Blair, the reigning Miss Teen USA.

MADD said it was ''disappointed'' by news reports of hard partying by Blair and Miss USA Tara Conner, who on Tuesday tearfully admitted drinking at New York nightclubs as a minor. Conner turned 21 on Monday.
''In the past, MADD has teamed with Miss Teen USA to raise awareness about the serious and often deadly consequences of under-age drinking. However, we do not feel, at this time, that Ms. Blair can be an effective spokesperson on under-age drinking and will not ask her to represent MADD in future initiatives,'' Heidi Castle, a spokeswoman for MADD, said in a statement."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Iraq economy

A couple days ago, I saw Newsweek reporter: 'Iraqis are more optimistic about the future than most Americans are'
by Don Surber. It caught my attention because Don has a great blog.

Then I saw Economy Quiz - What nation is this? by Kevin McCullough:

"I know that you haven't heard about any of this but let's have some fun...What nation is this?

7,100,000 cell phone subscribers - up from 1,400,000 only two years ago. This nation's leading cell phone company took in $333,000,000 in 2005, and is on track to take in $520,000,000 in 2006.

34,000 registered companies in the chamber of commerce - up from 8,000 two years ago.

GDP growth in 2005 was 17%, in 2006 13%. (We get jazzed when our GDP is 3-4%.)

$41,000,000,000 in oil revenues in 2006.

Salaries have risen more than 100% since 2003.

Income taxes have been reduced from 45% to 15%.

Real Estate prices have risen several hundred percent in the last two years, indicating a red hot real estate market.

Gasoline is .14 cents a liter.

And this list is just the tip of the iceberg...Doesn't sound like a nation facing an impossible "quagmire" does it?"

Then I saw

"Iraq's economy is starting to blossom, providing an underreported success story for a war that has seen little else but bloodshed and chaos, according to a new report."

Iraq's Economy is Booming :

"The withdrawal of a certain great power could drastically reduce the foreign money flow, and knock the crippled economy flat."

Let me say this. Can you imagine what this nation would like with a civilian government investing in the middle class rather than weapons?

Things are tough today. Didn't they say the same thing about Japan, South Korea and West Germany? Didn't those three countries turnout OK?

I am not sugar coating it. However, the potential is there. Did Iraq have this potential during Saddam's horrific reign?

This Kofi smells bad!

Kofi Annan is lucky that he works for the UN. Otherwise, this man would be facing a serious investigation and consequences for his corruption.

Mystery Surfaces Over Apartment of Kofi Annan By CLAUDIA ROSETT:

"The secretary-general misled the press for years about the nature of his son's business involvement with the Oil-for-Food program. When asked at a press conference last year about a Mercedes that his son shipped into Ghana in 1998 under false use of the secretary-general's name and the U.N. seal, Mr. Annan ducked the question by accusing the reporter of being a bad journalist."

Kofi Annan hates Claudia Rosett because of her wonderful work investigating The Oil for Food Scandal. Now, she may be on to something regarding Mr & Mrs. Kofi's apartment.

Which one of the dreamgirls will sing next?

Like Rick Moran, I can't see this lady winning the next election. Take a look at Rick's great post today "WHY HILLARY WILL NEVER BE PRESIDENT:
"From the “Now She Tells Us” Department, Hillary Clinton has disowned her vote to authorize force in Iraq. She wants a do-over, a mulligan as they say in golf. She wants us to forget that she and most of the Democratic party were so knock kneed with fright over the possibility that they would be branded “cowards” or “traitors” by Republicans in the 2002 mid terms, that they swallowed their well documented pacifism in the face of the killers and thugs of the world just to secure their own political hides..."
This is what Senator Hillary Clinton said in 2002:
""In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001." (You can read the entire speech by clicking here)
Who gave her this information? Was it her husband, Pres. Clinton? After all, didn't Pres. Clinton support the war in 2003?
What about Pres. Clinton's 4-day bombing of Iraq in '98? What did he whisper to Hillary about WMDs? See the entire speech here!
The bottom line is that Hillary Clinton will say anything.

Hillary in 2004:

"Obviously, I've thought about that a lot in the months since," she said. "No, I don't regret giving the president authority because at the time it was in the context of weapons of mass destruction, grave threats to the United States, and clearly, Saddam Hussein had been a real problem for the international community for more than a decade."

Hillary in 2006:

"This morning on NBC's "Today" show, Sen. Clinton was asked about her 2002 vote and offered a slightly evolved answer. "Obviously, if we knew then what we know now, there wouldn't have been a vote," she said in her usual refrain before adding, "and I certainly wouldn't have voted that way."
Of course, it will be a lot more difficult to be "this week's ice cream flavor" when she is debating Senator McCain in 2008.

P.S. For a little more, see Hillary's Calculated Hindsight By Kathleen Parker:

"There's no dishonor in not being prescient. No one can predict a war's outcome, especially not in the midst of it. But if things were going differently in Iraq today -- and they might have under better management -- we can be sure the woulda-coulda-shouldas would be singing a different song.

Not "If I'da known ... ,'' but, "Who didn't know?''

The French wimp out again!

So you want multinational operations? So you want a global test? So you want a world effort to fight terrorism? So you want to work with our allies!

Just don't expect the French to carry their weight!

A disappointing story in Afghanistan:

"The French decision is not only disappointing, it is alarming. NATO needs more troops in Afghanistan, military experts agree. Clearly the French don't have the fortitude to continue the difficult work it will take to make Afghanistan safe."'

The US has been doing all of the heavy lifting since WW 2. It's about time that other counties pick up their fair share.
Speaking of other Europeans, take a look at 'Old Europe' Can Gloat, but Then What? By Anne Applebaum:
"With some exceptions, the weird reality is that most European governments, whatever their original views on the war, are either officially or unofficially opposed to an immediate U.S. withdrawal: Chaos might ensue.

And the chaos would be a lot closer to Europe than to North America. Most European governments, officially or unofficially, are also now worried that the next American president will retreat from world politics or become "isolationist."
If the US become more isolationist, it will be because of European leaders who stick their heads in the sand and won't fight!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gingrich was great on Meet The Press

On Sunday, Newt Gingrich was on
Meet the Press. He was outstanding. Gingrich won't win the 2008 nomination but he said a lot of great things yesterday:

"But the challenge I have for all of our good friends who are honest, well-meaning people, who say, “Well, we can afford to run, we can afford to leave, we can afford this,” describe the cost of, of defeat.

In 1979 under Jimmy Carter, America was seen as weak; there were hostages held in Iran against all international law, there was an American Embassy under siege in Pakistan, there was an American ambassador killed in, in, in Afghanistan.

If we summarily get beaten in Iraq, and what’s what we’re talking about, if we are defeated in Iraq, there are not enough Marine elements in the world to evacuate the embassies that’ll come under siege."

What a great point.

On freedom of speech, Gingrich hit it out of the park:

"MR. RUSSERT: Let me turn to the broader war on terror and some comments you also made in New Hampshire about the war on terror and the First Amendment. “This is a serious long-term war and it will inevitably lead us to want to know what is said in every suspect place in the country. ...

“And, my prediction to you is that either before we lose a city, or if we are truly stupid, after we lose a city, we will adopt rules of engagement that use every technology we can find to break up their capacity to use the Internet, to break up their capacity to use free speech. ...

“This is a serious problem that will lead to a serious debate about the first amendment.” Which freedoms, rights of speech would you curtail?

FMR. REP. GINGRICH: Well, let’s start with an incident recently in Illinois where the FBI sold hand grenades to a jihadist who wanted to go into a mall at Christmas and blow up himself and as many people as possible. The FBI now reports—and by the way, the local Muslim community thanked the FBI for trapping him, and the ACLU was worried that entrapment was involved. Just take those two standards. The local Muslims who are Americans and patriots and don’t want to be blown up in the mall thought it was terrific to arrest this guy for trying to buy hand grenades, and the ACLU thought there’s probably a real infringement of his legal right to be stupid.

MR. RUSSERT: But they’re Americans and patriots as well.

FMR. REP. GINGRICH: Yeah, Americans and patriots as well, but they’re suicidal in my judgment. So second, the, the FBI now reports that this jihadist almost certainly became a jihadist—he’s an American living in Illinois, and he’s getting on the Internet and he’s reading hate and he’s reading recruitment and he’s reading how to be a jihadist. Now, why would you tolerate that? I mean, in a free society that’s trying to survive? You know...

MR. RUSSERT: So close down Web sites.

FMR. REP. GINGRICH: You close down any Web site that is jihadist.

MR. RUSSERT: But who makes that judgment?

FMR. REP. GINGRICH: Look, I—you can appoint three federal judges if you want to and say, “Review this stuff and tell us which ones to close down.” I would just like to have them be federal judges who’ve served in combat.

MR. RUSSERT: Are you concerned, however, that with carte blanche, that the government could move in and say, “This mosque is closed, this Web site is shut down”?

FMR. REP. GINGRICH: No. You have—you have more censorship in the McCain-Feingold bill, which blocks the right of free speech about American campaigns than you have from the FBI closing down jihadists. We’ve already limited the First Amendment right of free speech by a set of rules that are stunningly absurd. In California, you can raise soft money to run negative commercials attacking your opponent through the state party and you cannot raise soft money to run a positive commercial on behalf of your own candidate. That’s California state law. It’s stunningly stupid and a clear infringement of free speech.

So we’ve had a 30-year period of saying it’s OK to infringe free speech as long as it’s about politics. But now if you want to be a jihadist, and you want to go kill people, well who are we to say that’s morally wrong?

I think that’s suicidal. I’m using the word deliberately. A country—a Supreme Court justice once said “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.” This country has every right to defend itself, and you saw the same thing recently on this U.S. Airlines provocation, where you had six people go way out of their way to cause trouble, and then claim they were infringed upon. And I think, frankly, the president should invite that U.S. Airlines crew to the White House and thank them, because we ought to set a standard that if you’re provocative about killing people, we’re not going to show you any mercy."

Again, Gingrich won't win but he is way ahead of everyone on putting some real ideas on the table.

Zapatero's bad friends

In the war against terrorists, there are warriors and then there is Spain's PM J L Rodriguez-Zapatero (a.k.a. Zapatero). He is certainly a character without much character.

Take a look at Muy Mal: Spain’s Zapatero hangs with the wrong crowd.By Rafael L. Bardají:

"Over the past two years, Spanish prime minister Luís Rodríguez Zapatero has cultivated a number of strange and dangerous friendships that may have far-reaching international consequences."

You can add Zapatero to the long list of European leaders who don't have clue.




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