Tuesday, January 31, 2006
He will likely be present tonight when Pres. Bush delivers the State of the Union speech.
The good news is that Alito, and Roberts, will be Bush's primary legacy. The bad news is that 42 Democrats could not get beyond abortion.
The Alito hearings are exhibit A for overturning Roe v. Wade. Abortion has poisoned our national discourse.
They were married in 1953. Ten years later, her husband was an international figure. In April '68, she was a widow.
Over the years, Mrs. King avoided the partisan politics and promoted her husband's causes.
She was a great lady. We will miss her.
Last week, I heard Dick Morris tell Bill O'Reilly that public opinion is moving toward a pro-life position. I don't know what specific polls support Morris' position. However, I do know that many states are passing laws that restrict abortions.
Michael J. New, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Alabama. He just published an article: "States Save Lives: Legislation around the country is reducing abortions". (http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/new200601300846.asp)
Dr. New points out:
"the pro-life movement succeeded in enacting an impressive amount of protective legislation during the mid- to late 1990s. That trend has continued into the present decade. For instance, since 2000 at least four additional states — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, and Oklahoma — have enacted parental-involvement laws.
Additionally, since 2000, at least seven additional states, including Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, have passed informed-consent or "women's right to know" laws. These laws give women seeking abortions information about the development of their unborn child, health risks involved with abortion, and public and private sources of support for single mothers. Furthermore, many other states passed laws designed to strengthen existing pro-life legislation during this time."
This is good news.
Overturning Roe v Wade is step 1. However, the pro-life movement must be ready for the big fight at the state level.
It appears that we are!
Rasmussen has some good news for Pres. Bush. He is at 50% approval for the first time in a few months. I don't know if this is a one day jump or something more permanent. (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/Bush_Job_Approval.htm)
One way or another, it is a contrast to other polls showing Pres. Bush in the 40's.
The poll also has good news for Republicans in the Minnesota Senate race. (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2006/State%20Polls/January%202006/Minnesota%20Senate%20January%2016.htm)
Monday, January 30, 2006
Ted Kennedy is the biggest loser of the Alito hearings. Kennedy sunk to a new low with his incredible Senate speech. I can't believe that Democrats are proud of this.
Watch the video: http://exposetheleft.com/2006/01/30/kennedynuts/
Has Senator Kennedy gone crazy? Yes. He has!
What is Kennedy going to do when Bush gets another nominee for the Supreme Court? Judge Stevens has been there for 30 years and is in his 80s. Judge Ginsberg is in bad health.
Chances are quite good that Pres. Bush will make another appointment.
What will Kennedy to do for a follow up?
Future Democrat presidents will remember this day. In other words, future Dem presidents won't have to put up with a filibuster when they nominate a liberal to the Supreme Court.
Now, let's move on to the up and down vote. Alito is a great judge and he deserves something more than a party vote.
I remember every Super Bowl, from I to XL. Of course, it was not called the Super Bowl back then. It was the NFL-AFL Championship game when Green Bay beat KC and then Oakland. I am not sure what they called it when the Jets beat the Colts in III or when KC beat Minnesota in IV.
Nevertheless, I have some favorite Super Bowl memories.
Without question, the best game was Pittsburgh-Dallas in '79. In Dallas, this is remembered as the day that Jackie Smith drooped a Staubach TD pass and kept the Cowboys from winning back to back titles. I had a chance to see an ESPN Classic of this game. It was a great game. The Steelers and Cowboys were the two best teams of their era and it showed on the field. Staubach Vs Bradshaw was like Clemens Vs Schilling in game 7 of the 2001 World Series.
The Green Bay wins in I & II were fun because I was rooting for the Packers. But they were not good games. In fact, I remember that many purists were calling for ending the game because it was a gimmick. There were lots of empty seats in both games.
The history of the Super Bowl starts with the Jets beating the Colts. I recall a sportscaster in Milwaukee predicting a 36-0 Colts victory. He said that it was no contest. I think that his name was Gillispie.
Like most people, I was stunned to see the Jets beat Baltimore. Actually, I was hoping for an upset because most teens back then were impressed that Joe Namath was so popular with the girls. Namath was cool. He was a rock star playing QB in the NFL.
The Jets were perfect that day. The Colts were sloppy.
Later that year, the baseball NY Mets beat the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. The Mets had gone from last place to first and it was an even greater upset. '69 was a year for upstart NY teams to beat favored veteran Baltimore teams! Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in '69 so maybe it was a year for unexpected things.
The Dolphins-Vikings game in '73 was curious because Miami finished a perfect season. Most of the games in the 70s and 80s were pretty bad. The next decent game was in '91 when the Giants beat the Bills in the last minute. The Denver-Green Bay was interesting because the Broncos ended a long NFC streak. The NFC won the Super Bowl from '85 to '98. In recent years, the Patriots and Rams had dramatic wins.
For the most part, the Super Bowl has not lived up to its promotion. Hopefully, the next 40 will be more dramatic.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
"First, it must address through some type of targeted earned adjustment the status of undocumented workers who are already here working, paying taxes, and contributing to our economy."
In other words, these people are already here. We can not deport them. They are taxpayers and consumers. Let'recognize that and take advantage of it.
"Second, immigration reform should allow employers to hire foreign workers under a temporary worker system after employers have failed to find U.S. workers."
Some call this a work visa program. I think that it makes a lot of sense.
"The third and final component of comprehensive immigration reform is stronger enforcement of our immigration and border security laws."
I agree with that.
It is interesting to see some solid proposals from Mr. Donahue, who represents a chunk of medium and small businesses.
In the late 1930s, Hitler said that he would build a big army and promote his ideas around Europe. Most stuck their head in the sand and waited for the storm to pass. In '39, Hitler went into Poland and everyone understood that Hitler did what he said. In '45, a defeated Hitler committed suicide as Allied troops marched into Berlin. 50 million were killed in WW2, including 6 million Jews in concentration camps!
What if Europeans had taken Hitler seriously?
History teaches us a bitter lesson. Bullies make threats and sometimes they actually put their words into action. The second lesson is that bullies see patience and diplomatic inclinations as weakness rather than signs of maturity.
Now, we have Iran. Their leadership calls for the destruction of Israel. Their president denies the holocaust.
Do we take this guy seriously or not? Israel does. We should, too.
The question is this: Do we want a nuclear Iran run by a party that wants to destroy Israel?
What do we do about it? I agree that we should give diplomacy a chance. I believe that we should make it clear to the Europeans that we are expecting them to put boots on the ground.
This is a big test for the UN. If the UN Security Council cannot act decisively, then the UN is finished.
If our allies cannot act, then they should not blame the US when we act against Iran.
How crazy are things down at the US-Mexico border?
Last week, we had a big controversy on the border when soldiers were spotted going back to Mexico. Some say that the uniformed soldiers were members of the Mexican military. Others say that it was a hoax. Some suggest that it was drug lords buying elements of the Mexican military for protection.
I don't know but it stinks. It demonstrates once again that the US-Mexico border is a mess and should not be.
Add to this the unbelievable story of the Tijuana-San Diego tunnel. Again, who built this tunnel? It was not people with a 2nd or 3rd grade education. This tunnel is the sophisticated work of someone with a lot of money and something to "export" to the US. My guess is that the tunnel is for drugs or people traffic. However, it could also be used by terrorists!
The bottom line is this. We cannot afford this chaos on our border.
Check out pictures of the tunnel: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/mexico/tijuana/20060126-9999-7n26tunnel.html
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Time flies or what? Pres. Bush will give his 6th State of the Union speech next week.
Who remembers a State of the Union speech? I've heard most of them since Nixon. Like the World Series, they used to be in the afternoon but now it's a prime time speech.
What moments do I remember? I remember Pres. Ford saying that the "state of the union is not good" in the middle of the '75 recession. I recall Pres. Reagan carrying a stack of papers and dumping them on the table. Reagan was complaining about amendments and resolutions. The Clinton speeches were too long, despite the fact that they were brilliantly delivered. GW Bush had the great "axis of evil" line in '03.
Overall, the state of the union speech is unimportant. However, it does set the tone for the partisans. In '81, Reagan used the speech to launch his tax cuts and enjoyed high polls until the recession hit us in '82.
Perphaps the strangest moment was Pres. Clinton delivering a speech in the middle of the Senate impeachment trial.
So let me suggest the following ideas to Pres. Bush. Stick to a couple of things and fight for them.
On the domestic side, the US economy is doing fine. Go to the next level. Eliminate the current tax code and replace it with a national sales tax. No American should pay federal income taxes. We have a US$ 15 trillion economy. A national sales tax should provide the federal government with a trillion dollars.
On education, go for school choice. US public schools are failing inner city kids. Give the parents a voucher and let them choose a school.
On cultural issues, call for an amendment that protects traditional marriage between a man and a woman.
By the way, school choice and traditional marriage are issues that will connect with blacks and Hispanics.
On foreign policy, continue to talk about "the killers" a.k.a. terrorists. We are in a war with evil people and they must destroyed or they will destroy us.
On Iraq, support the new Iraq democracy. The Iraqi people have rejected Osama and voted 3 times in a year. They continue to show up at police and army recruiting stations despite terrorist threats.
On the Middle East, the US will not support a nuclear Iran, Hamas or anyone who threatens Israel. Make it clear that the military option is on the table but the US prefers a diplomatic resolution.
Be simple, clear and forceful.
P.S. I think that Pres. Bush should remind us that Social Security cannot be sustained without radical change. He tried in 2005. He needs to try again!
Friday, January 27, 2006
As I said before, the Democrats have history on their side in 2006. The party out of power usually gains seats in the 6th year of a presidential term.
However, the Democrats are not going to win the US Senate. Why? Because they have to defend New Jersey, a safe seat until Corzine ran for governor.
The latest info is this. The Gloucester County Times reports:
"Newly appointed U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat appointed this month to fill the seat abandoned by Gov. Jon Corzine, has yet to spark a fire with South Jersey voters, according to a poll released Wednesday.
According to the Quinnipiac University survey, Menendez leads Republican challenger state Sen. Thomas Kean Jr. statewide by a margin of 38 percent to 36; the numbers fall within the 3 percent margin of error." (http://www.nj.com/news/gloucester/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1138266923295670.xml&coll=8)
Kean has great name recognition, which is a rare quality in an incumbent.
The US Senate is 55-45. The Democrats need a net gain of 6 seats to create a 51-49 majority. A 50-50 tie is broken by VP Cheney.
The Democrats cannot win the US Senate if they have to defend blue states like New Jersey.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Who in the world is Joel Stein of The LA Times?
He is the guy who wrote this horrible column about the US armed forces:
"Warriors and wusses" (http://www.latimes.com/news/columnists/la-oe-stein24jan24,0,1168298.column?coll=la-news-columns)
The LA Times has a circulation problem. My guess is that their problem just got a little bigger!
Stein has the right to oppose the war. Many people agree with him. However, I draw the line with the troops. They are volunteers. They are obeying orders. Frankly, they are doing a very good job!
I hope that advertisers and readers cancel their subscriptions. Someone at the LA Times needs to explain how you can print a column like this in the middle of a war.
P.S. You can read his interview with Hugh Hewitt by going to the Radio Blogger. (http://www.radioblogger.com/#001332)
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Monday night, I watched the Canadian results for a few minutes. Frankly, I was happy with Mr. Harper's victory, although it did seem that the polls overstated the conservatives' chances.
Canada is for Canadians. I don't really care what Canadians decide. Yet, I am glad that we do not have a multi-party system.
More importantly, I hope that the new Canadian government will take its military more seriously. The liberals have sadly turned Canada into a nation that stands for abortion and same sex marriage and little else.
Michael Barone analyzed the election in his blog this way:
"The Liberal Party is now primarily the party of culturally liberal metro Toronto, home of Canada's Anglophone media and corporate elite, of the Anglophone corners of Quebec, and of the economically lagging Atlantic provinces.
The Conservatives are the party of Great Plains provinces and of the less metro parts of Ontario.
The NDP is the party of a few central cities—Toronto, Hamilton, Halifax, Winnipeg, Vancouver.
The Bloc Quebecois is purely and unblushingly Quebecois."
I saw this on the Austin blog and it makes a lot of sense:
"I’m for rebuilding what was once one of the best military organizations in the Free World, the Canadian Army.
Its decline and degradation have reduced Canada’s international political influence.
I think the decline of the Canadian military has weakened Canada as aglobal political player.
As the Canadian military declined, the Liberals’game of “we aren’t America” (which is a fair fame to play, and one thatcan actually strategically benefit the cause of freedom) declined into rank, adolescent anti-Americanism.
Is there a connection between increasinglystrident rhetoric and the loss of military capability?
I think the answer is probably “yes.”
The decline in military capability means Canada cannot act with a full spectrum of foreign policy options— a wonkese way of saying Canada’s lack of military prowess creates weakness.
Internationally, strident rhetoric usually indicates one of two conditions:
a bully, attempting to intimidate (Iran) or it’s an attempt to mask weakness.
I think Canada suffers (obviously) from the second condition.
Perhaps this is a minor issue among Canadians. It shouldn’t be. (http://austinbay.net/blog/?p=834)
Congratulations PM Harper. We wish you the very best!
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
The Judiciary Committee is not in the business of holding seminars on abortion. Alito is very qualified man and should have been sent to the Senate floor with some Dem votes.
Shame on Democrats.
The good news is that Samuel Alito will be a Justice by the end of the week!
Imagine a movie that goes like this.
Two people meet to forge a new country. They spend the next 10 years working together in the making of the republic. One becomes the first VP and the other is in the first Secretary of State.
They turn into bitter enemies in the first contested election of the new nation. They stop talking to each other.
Later in life, they start writing letters. Their correspondence turns into one of the greatest series of letters of the English language.
Last but not least, they die on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
No one would believe it. Yet, that's the way it happened.
The documentary also tells us about Abigail Adams, perhaps the greatest First Lady of the early days.
What a great show. What a great story. Most of all, it's true.
The 9-11 report notes that terrorists operated freely in the US. Therefore, it is not surprising to hear this:
"Had this program been in effect prior to 9/11, it is my professional judgment that we would have detected some of the al-Qaida operatives in the United States..." (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/n/a/2006/01/23/national/w083533S59.DTL)
These are the words of Gen. Michael Hayden, the former NSA director. Today, he described the program as narrowly targeted. In other words, it was targeted on certain individuals suspected of Al Qaeda ties.
You can read Hayden's full presentation on The Power Line blog: http://powerlineblog.com/archives/012915.php
"The constitutional standard is "reasonable." And we believe -- I am convinced that we are lawful because what it is we're doing is reasonable."
Reasonable indeed. What else is a President supposed to do?
Monday, January 23, 2006
The NFL does it with Roman numerals. So this is Super Bowl XL.
My predictions turned out to be wrong. It will Pittsburgh vs Seattle rather than Carolina vs Denver.
Frankly, the Steelers are just wonderful. I like this from Vic Carucci, National Editor, NFL.com:
"For a No. 6 seed, the NFL playoff road is supposed to be, well, exactly that. A road. A long, treacherous, unforgiving pathway that is difficult, if not impossible, to negotiate. Three games of trading the cozy confines of the home stadium for noisy, nasty environments. Three weeks in a row of packing, flying, busing, and sleeping in strange beds. Throw a different time zone and altitude into the mix and you were supposed to have enough reasons to believe the Pittsburgh Steelers would never be able to complete this hellish journey to Super Bowl XL." (http://www.superbowl.com/news/story/9181427)
It does not apply to the Steelers. They won 3 in a row!
The Seahawks are a newcomer to the NFL post season stage but they are wonderful too. It has been a season of "firsts" in Seattle.
My thinking is this. If you can shut down Steve Smith then you deserve a trip to Detroit! (http://www.seahawks.com/ArDisplay.aspx?ID=6464)
So it should be a great game. I will pick the Steelers. I'm tired of picking against this wonderful team.
Go Steelers. Go win another Super Bowl. Besides that, I want Lynn Swann to enjoy another Steeler victory. It will be a prelude to his election as the first black Republican governor of Pennsylvania!
Sunday, January 22, 2006
You can read the entire op-ed piece (and it is very long) at the US News & World website: http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/060130/30lede.htm
Barone runs down presidential history and war. He points out that Iraq is not the first war of choice. On the contrary, every war is a war of choice.
For example, Barone looks back at WW2:
"Woodrow Wilson chose to bring the United States into World War I when he could have acquiesced to Germany's demand that we stop trading with Britain and France.
Franklin Roosevelt, beginning in 1939, took daring and controversial decisions--starting with his sending massive aid to Britain and the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany--knowing they raised a grave risk that Germany or Japan would attack."
Every war has had critics. Abraham Linconl faced serious critics in the Civil War:
"Lincoln's Democratic opponents called for a compromise peace with the South, retaining slavery, or even letting the Confederacy go."
War is a complex issue. I believe that most presidents have reluctantly gone to war. In retrospect, we have been blessed with presidents who were willing to fight rather than listen to the appeasers.
James Carville and Mary Matalin, plus Paul Begala, were on "Meet the Press" Sunday morning to discuss "Take it back", a new book about current politics. (http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/1/16/174657.shtml)
I have not read the book. Carville & Begala say that it is about taking the country back from Bush & the evil Republicans. It is also about convincing Democrats that they have a "spine" problem, i.e. they are perceived as standing for nothing. (http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/1/16/174657.shtml)
First, Carville & Begala are the two most overrated political consultants of our time. They have been branded as geniuses ever since Bill Clinton was elected president with 43% of the vote in 1992.
The real genius of 1992, and Clinton's eventual victory, was the one who persuaded Ross Perot to get in the race. Without Perot, 1992 would have been a campaign between the governor of Arkansas and the President of the US.
Clinton spent much of 1992 watching a Perot-Bush debate. He enjoyed the luxury of saying nothing and taking easy positions.
Nevertheless, Begala & Carville have been riding this election into every talk show in the country. Today, they say that Dems waffle, that they lack a spine and get killed on cultural issues, such as same sex marriage.
Why do Democrats waffle? Why are they killed on cultural issues?
They waffle because their primaries force candidates to move left. They waffle because the candidates have to move to the center after they have locked the nomination. This is why John Kerry had to take so many positions on Iraq. Kerry had to compete with Dean in the winter and with Bush in the summer & fall. He had to be for the war, against it and then some incredible position that no one understood.
The primaries put Democrats next to idiots like Michael Moore and Whoopie Goldberg. After the primaires, they have to hide from these charlatans as Republicans put their pictures on TV ads.
Why are they getting killed on cultural issues? Because they are running on San Francisco values in a country that does not agree with a single thing going on in that city.
Begala & Carville are wonderful talk show guests. They create a lot of conversation. Yet, they have not won any elections since Ross Perot elected Bill Clinton.
My advice to the Democrats: Get some new blood.
According to Rasmussen, Swann leads incumbent Gov. Rendell by a couple of points. It's too early but a lead is a lead. (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2006/State%20Polls/January%202006/Pennsylvania%20Governor%20January%2015.htm)
In November, we could see a black governor in Pennsylvania and a black US Senator in Maryland.
And they are both Republicans!
The party of Linconl is moving ahead and more blacks are coming home.
Last night, I watched a good show on EWTN. The guest was Theresa Burke, PhD, one of the ladies that runs the retreats at Rachel's Vineyard.
Dr. Burke has also written articles and a book about abortion: Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion.
The organization is also supported by Fr. Frank Pavone, Pastoral Director, Rachel's Vineyard and National Director, Priests for Life.
According to the group:
"Rachel's Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer you a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing."
First, check out the website: http://rachelsvineyard.org/index.htm
Second, share the website with anyone who is considering an abortion or dealing with the trauma of post-abortion. Lately, I have been reading more and more about the emotional and physical consequences of abortion.
Abortion is not a choice. It is a bad and unnecessary choice.
Last but not least, this website reminds us that abortion is the taking of a human life. We should remember this point as we reach the 33rd anniversary of Roe v Wade.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Everyone assumes that Sen. Hillary Clinton will be the 2008 nominee. Indeed, Sen. Clinton is the early favorite. She has the money and the votes to sweep the primaries and win the nomination.
Yet, the question remains: Can Hillary win? Can Hillary get 270 electoral votes?
We have a new poll that shows McCain leading Clinton, 52-36%. Frankly, I don't think that McCain will win by 16 points. We have not had a double digit margin since Reagan defeated Mondale, 60-39% in '84.
So I will downplay this poll and admit that McCain has a 7-9 pt lead. Nevertheless, it is a lead.
Molly Ivins, a foremost liberal, just wrote this:
"I'd like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president." (http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/01/20/ivins.hillary)
Ivins is not allone. Liberals are angy with Sen. Clinton over Iraq.
John McIntyre is the co-founder and President of RealClearPolitics. He wrote this:
"The more we see of Monday’s Hillary Clinton, the more I return to the analysis that her chances of winning in a general election are low (without a significant third party candidate) simply because she probably starts with 40% of the voting public saying ‘NO.’"(http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-1_20_06_JM.html)
In other words, Bush won 31 states in 2004. How many of those states can Hillary Clinton win? Maybe she can win New Mexico and Iowa but that won't give her 270. It will come down to Ohio but that assumes that McCain can't carry Minnesota or Wisconsin.
Time will tell. It is too early to be looking at the 2008 election. Yet, Hillary Clinton looks weak. Last but not least, no one turns on the Republican base more than Hillary Clinton.
So don't be surprised if Sen. Hillary Clinton decides to skip 2008.
25 years ago, I was on a business trip in Northern Mexico. At noon, I picked up Pres. Reagan's inauguration ceremony. It was a wonderful moment. Carter was out. Reagan was in. Weakness was gone. Leadership was in.
Later that day, the Iranians released the US hostages. It was one of those split screen moments. On one side, the new President at a ball. On the other side, US hostages boarding a plane.
Pres. Reagan is getting a lot of good press from historians. He looks better and better.
RICHARD REEVES is the author of "President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination." He has written an op-ed piece about my favorite president.( http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-reeves20jan20,0,7754315.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions)
"TWENTY-FIVE YEARS ago today, on Jan. 20, 1981, Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 40th president of the United States. The former governor of California faced west, away from the front of the Capitol, and gave a most extraordinary inaugural address. He touched on four simple themes, the ones he had been repeating for years, first as spokesman for the General Electric Co., then as governor of California and as the post-Goldwater icon of the conservative wing of the Republican Party: reducing taxes and budget deficits and thus reducing the power and size of the government; rebuilding the American military; confronting communism around the world; and renewing American pride and patriotism."
The Wall Street Journal reviews Reaganomics:
"Perhaps the greatest tribute to the success of Reaganomics is that, over the course of the past 276 months, the U.S. economy has been in recession for only 15. That is to say, 94% of the time the U.S. economy has been creating jobs (43 million in all) and wealth ($30 trillion).
More wealth has been created in the U.S. in the last quarter-century than in the previous 200 years. The policy lessons of this supply-side prosperity need to be constantly relearned, lest we return to the errors that produced the 1970s. The heart and soul of Reagan's economic agenda were sound money (making the dollar "as good as gold," as Reagan used to put it) and lower tax rates."
Reagan was a simple man. He was blessed with two wonderful attributes:
1) common sense, and
2) a strong belief in the American people and free markets.
A few years ago, I bought an audio tape of Reagan speeches. It is great. He inspires me as much today as he did that day 25 years ago.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Osama released a tape. What does it mean?
First, we are winning. More specifically, we are killing the Al Qaeda leadership. Last weekend, we nailed a couple of leaders in Pakistan. According to ABC News, we got Midhat Mursi, aka Abu Khabab al-Masrithe, the master bomb maker and chemical weapons expert.
Who is this guy? Check out "Al Qaeda's Mad Scientist The significance of Abu Khabab's death" by Dan Darling. (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/602zqghe.asp)
Reuters is reporting that other leaders may have been killed. (http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2006-01-19T135403Z_01_SP13150_RTRUKOC_0_US-SECURITY-PAKISTAN-QAEDA.xml&archived=False)
Secondly, Osama is having zero impact on the Iraqi people. They have voted 3 times in a year and defied Al Qaeda. Osama is killing innocent Iraqis but they are still showing up to vote or volunteer for their country.
Last but not least, Pres. Bush is committed to victory. He is not listening to Cong. Murtha or Howard Dean.
Osama's threat reminds the public that Al Qaeda is still our enemy. It makes the case for further surveillance.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
A few minutes ago, I heard that Pickett died of a heart attack. (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,182264,00.html)
I am sad about this.
I saw 3 good articles about public education.
The Wall Street Journal had a shocking editorial about the teachers' union:
"If we told you that an organization gave away more than $65 million last year to Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Amnesty International, AIDS Walk Washington and dozens of other such advocacy groups, you'd probably assume we were describing a liberal philanthropy. In fact, those expenditures have all turned up on the financial disclosure report of the National Education Association, the country's largest teachers union."
It's a new world for unions. Would you like to know where your union spends your dues? Go to www.union-reports.dol.gov.
Beyond that, Reg Weaver, the union's president, makes $439,000 a year. Weaver is a union president rather than a major league rookie. The NEA has a $58 million payroll for just over 600 employees, more than half of whom draw six-figure salaries. In baseball terms, the NEA would rank in the middle of MLB payrolls!
Last year the average teacher made only $48,000.
Where is the money in teaching? It's in the NEA and not in the classroom. Besides. the union leadership is doing quite well and supporting lots of left wing groups.
John Fund of the WSJ reported how liberals are blocking school choice in Wisconsin. (http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110007820)
Fund points out:
"Teacher unions have their own answer to the collapse of public education in the inner cities: ship truckloads of money to poorer districts in the name of "social justice."
But many Milwaukee parents aren't buying that. They have painfully learned that more money spent on a failed system does not produce better education. They want to make their own decisions about their children's future."
Hooray for Milwaukee parents. Keep the pressure on public officials.
Last week, John Stossel wrote "Myth: Schools Need More Money". (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-1_18_06_JS.html) It comes a few days after his ABC News special on public schools.
Stossel argues that our schools need more competition rather than more money. Stossel wrote:
"The truth is, public schools are rolling in money. If you divide the U.S. Department of Education's figure for total spending on K-12 education by the department's count of K-12 students, it works out to about $10,000 per student.
Think about that! For a class of 25 kids, that's $250,000 per classroom. This doesn't include capital costs. Couldn't you do much better than government schools with $250,000?"
It's time to give the money to the parents and let them choose a school. I'm not suggesting that we terminate public education. I'm simply saying that public schools should shop for students.
The biggest beneficiary of school choice will be poor parents. The liberals are for choice when it comes to abortion and same sex marriage. Yet, they want to maintain the public monopoly on public education.
Fifty years ago, it was Southern Democrats blocking black kids from going to white schools. Today, it is liberal Democrats, and the NEA, who are blocking the inner city kids.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Frankly, I think that political correctness is killing the US.
Alito and Kennedy have the right to join all male clubs. I don't have a problem if Senator Hillary Clinton belongs to an all female club.
Men and women are different. They should have the right to join clubs.
We need to get over all of this political correctness.
The first is the corruption that comes from being power too long. The Republicans need to watch it or they will pay a price for corruption.
The second kind of corruption comes from being out of power. Former VP Gore reminds us that the party of power can suffer from paranoia and persecution fantasies.
The Democrats must control themselves or they will drift into further irrelevancy.
VP Gore needs to pay Pres. Clinton a visit and get caught up with a little history. He should read what Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick testified in 1994:
"The Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes and that the President may, as has been done, delegate this authority to the Attorney General. It is important to understand that the rules and methodology for criminal searches are inconsistent with the collection of foreign intelligence and would unduly frustrate the president in carrying out his foreign intelligence responsibilities."
Sadly, someone forgot to brief VP Gore. Of course, Pres. Clinton could not deliver Arkansas for VP Gore either so what's new.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
The Cowboys did not make it. And the Colts were eliminated yesterday. So my team and my emotional choice are not in the Final 4.
The Colts-Steelers had an unbelievable finish. It looked like the Colts were dead with 5 minutes to go. Then Bettis fumbled and it looked like the Colts would win or tie the game. Then came the failed field goal.
So here it goes. Denver will beat Pittsburgh. The Steelers cannot win 3 games on the road. Logic tells me that the # 6 seed will fall eventually.
Carolina will upset Seattle. The Panthers are out of this world, and specially Steve Smith.
So a Denver-Carolina Super Bowl. Who would have believed this a month ago?
Monday, January 16, 2006
First, let's review the bad news. Former VP Gore talks too much. Today, he accused Pres. Bush of breaking the law over wiretapping. You can check his comments. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060116/ap_on_re_us/gore_domestic_spying_2)
Second, here comes the good news. Al Gore will never be nominated by the Democrats. He will never be President. His behavior since 2000 confirms that this man is not stable enough to be president.
Al Gore has been reduced to being another fanatical anti-Bushie. It's sad to see this. Al Gore had so much potential when he ran for president in '88. Today, he is a clown and a joke.
The Wall Street Journal had a great editorial titled "Saddam's documents":
"It is almost an article of religious faith among opponents of the Iraq War that Iraq became a terrorist destination only after the U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein.
But what if that's false, and documents from Saddam's own regime show that his government trained thousands of Islamic terrorists at camps inside Iraq before the war?" (http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007809)
All of this stems from an article by Stephen Hayes in The Weekly Standard and some documents that connect Iraq to training terrorists. (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/550kmbzd.asp)
Deroy Murdock, a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service, is also covering the story:
"Drip, drip, drip. Drop by drop, isolated news stories and emerging documents erode the popular myth Saddam Hussein was clueless about terrorism." (http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20060114-100847-8598r.htm)
It's time to release the information and let the chips fall where they may. I have always suspected that Saddam had ties to terrorism. Wasn't his regime paying money to the families of suicide bombers?
Don't be surprised if fresh information confirms what a certain Democrat said on the Senate floor:
"He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members .. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Sen. Biden actually spoke for 27 minutes and then got around to asking a question. Even liberal pundits were critical of Biden's big mouth. In 1988, Biden's mouth drove him out the primaries when he was found guilty of plagarism.
How far will Dems go to make moveon.org and the feminists happy? Quite far, even if it means political suicide.
Sooner or later, Democrats must come to their senses about turning every judicial confirmation into a debate over abortion. It worked with Bork but that was a "one hit wonder". Borking is over.
How do you get 270 electoral votes? Stop talking about abortion and talk about defending the country from people who want to kill Americans. The US is not San Francisco.
Try it. It may actually work!
The US desperately needs two centrist parties. Kennedy, Leahy & Schummer are not helping the Dems one bit. It may be time to replace the liberal trio with some Democrats who want to win elections outside of NYCity, LA and Chicago.
As Mark Steyn wrote today:
"The poor fellows had no choice but to sacrifice themselves on national TV at the behest of NOW and Daily Kos and the kookier parts of the base." (http://suntimes.com/output/steyn/cst-edt-steyn15.html)
Bush is a lucky man. He lets his political enemies get hooked on moveon.org's money!
Why is that?
My guess is that most Mexicans do not believe that their vote matters. It is the tragic legacy of corruption and vote fraud. Also, too many Mexicans in the US have never voted anyway.
Nevertheless, this is a huge mistake. Their vote matters.
A year ago, I felt that Mexicans in the US would help the more conservative and pro-business PAN candidate. Today, I don't know anymore. Mexican apathy may end up helping the PRD, the left.
It is very important for Mexicans to care about their elections.
Mexicans in the US cannot have it both ways.
You cannot say that the US does not care about Mexico if you don't care to vote in Mexico's elections!
It sounds familiar. Doesn't it?
A middle east madman claims to have WMDs. Most of the world believes him. He names Israel as enemy # 1. He attracts European and Russian support by creating economic relationships. He does not obey UN resolutions.
Iraq is now Iran. Take a look at this new photo: (http://powerlineblog.com/archives/012834.php)
What do we do about?
We need to give diplomacy a chance. It would be nice if Iran would turn democratic and respect Israel's existence.
Nevertheless, we have to put the military option on the table. Iran needs to know that Bush will pull the trigger.
I agree with Professor VD Hanson:
"Finally, the public must be warned that dealing with a nuclear Iran is not a matter of a good versus a bad choice, but between a very bad one now and something far, far worse to come." (http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200601130837.asp)
I agree with William Kristol:
"Our adversaries cannot be allowed to believe that, because some of the intelligence on Iraq was bad, or because the insurgency in Iraq has been difficult, we will be at all intimidated from taking the necessary steps against the current regime in Tehran." (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/585tdlqf.asp)
Iran is serious stuff. Pres. Bush will have to make a tough decision. He needs to prepare the public for the difficulties ahead.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Pres. Bush is going to have a lasting impact. His biggest legacy will be the courts. Check out this graphic in The NYTimes: (http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2006/01/14/politics/20060115_ALITO_GRAPHIC.html)
Alito will join Roberts later this month. It is very likely that Pres. Bush will get a 3rd nomination because of Justice Stevens' advanced age. Then there is Justice Ginsberg's health. So he may get a 4th choice!
Also, Pres. Bush has already appointed one quarter of all federal appeal judges.
During the 2000 & 2004 campaigns, Pres. Bush promised conservative judges. The Republicans scored huge Senate gains by running against judicial activism.
The Democrats' problem is very simple. They have lost 7 of the last 10 presidential elections. It is unlikely that they will capture the Senate in '06.
So get ready for the future, a.k.a. "The Bush Court".
Last night, I saw a sample of the latest Liberal TV ad. It makes the case that Mr. Harper would be good for the US or specifically Pres. Bush.
At the same time, the liberals argue that they have been good for the economy.
It is true that Canada enjoys a good economy. Why is that? Because the US economy is doing very well. Canada is totally dependent on the US economy. Most Canadians make a living selling to or making something for the US.
You cannot say that Bush has been bad for Canada. Instead, the Bush economy has been great for Canada: low unemployment, high productivity, lots of outsourcing to Canada, low inflation, etc.
The liberals won't be happy with the latest poll.
Captain's Quarters is a blog that has been following the Canada election. Their latest report shows a growing conservative lead:
"The Conservative Party will come within a few seats of winning a majority government, if current levels of voter support hold up....
PM Martin is finished. It's a shame that he is leaving by playing the anti-US card.
Friday, January 13, 2006
David Brooks has written three of the best political columns of the last year.
After the 2004 election, he wrote "Red Diaper Babies". It is a fascinating look at how the red states are having babies and the blue states are not. Sooner or later, voters get old and die. They are replaced by new voters. In 25 years, there will be more young adults voting for the first time. I can not guarantee that red state babies will grow up to be Republicans. However, I can guarantee that there will be more young people growing up in places like Texas than New Jersey.
In the spring of 2005, Brooks wrote one of the best articles on Roe v. Wade. He analyzed how the decision has poisoned the political well.
Today, he wrote one about the Judge Alito hearings. This column should be required reading in every Democrat candidate seminar. The Dems won't win until they understand what Brooks is saying.
Check it out Online at (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/viewpoints/stories/DN-brooks_13edi.ART.State.Edition1.1da6e5c8.html)
Let me be frank. I am not an expert on Canada's political affairs. Yet, I do think that Canada will vote for change in a couple of weeks.
The conventional wisdom is that PM Martin's liberals are corrupt and the public is tired of them. This is true.
Yet, I agree with my Canadian friends in Texas. They are appalled by the "Europeanization of Canada"
For years, Canada and the US were very similar on cultural values. Today, Canada and the US are drifting further apart.
Unelected liberal judges have made Canada look more and more like Denmark or Holland----secularism, same sex marriage, dismal birth rates and a welfare state that can't be maintained.
Get ready for change up north.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
In this war, we are not fighting an army of rational military leaders. Success is defined by stopping them from attacking us. We must spy on them so that we can stop them from blowing up an American city.
9-11 happened because we did not keep up with terrorists. We cannot make that mistake again. We must do whatever it takes to keep them from acting. Unconditional surrender is not in the cards.
Terrorists do not have privacy rights, or any rights. I want the US government to do whatever it takes to spy, listen or check on terrorists.
Americans get it. The latest Washington Post confirms this. The good people at The Power Line have a good analysis of the poll. Check this out: "Americans Want Terrorists Caught"
Can some Democrats get over Bush and see the big picture?
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
First of all, I feel sorry for the Alito family. Most of us can shut off the TV when Sen. Kennedy is giving a speech. The Alitos have to sit there and listen to it. It was apparently too much for Mrs. Alito. How can a wife watch her decent husband go through this?
It's over and the Democrats know it. So the hearings have turned into a platform for making political speeches for the 2008 primaries.
Democrats understand that the left dominates the primary process. They want Soros' millions and Moveon.org's free publicity.
So they are trying to position themselves for the post Roe v Wade future.
Democrats want to remind voters in 2008 primaries that they voted against the one man who overturned Roe v Wade.
Alito bashing will be another form of liberal fundraising. It won't be long before his face is on every liberal fundraising letter. He will be "evil Alito" soon.
Beyond that, why are we doing this to good public servants nominated to the courts? It is insane. It is unfair.
Fact: The Republicans did not do this to Pres. Clinton's two nominees.
We have polls for everything these days. The latest Washington Post poll indicates that the public supports Alito's nomination by 53 percent to 27 percent.
Why not? Alito looks like a high school history teacher. His wife looks like a Little League team mom. He comes across as a well mannered and extremely educated man. It's very difficult to convince anyone that Alito is a right wing monster who is going to take your rights away.
Last but not least, his views are mainstream. Let me repeat. Alito is in the mainstream!
Alito is not Roberts on TV. What judge is? Roberts was so good on TV that one wonders if he should switch professions and get a talk show.
Alito is not smooth but he represents the mainstream of American opinion and his easygoing demeanor disarms the angry left.
Years ago, this mainstream was in the Democrat party of FDR and Truman. Today, it is Republican Reaganism.
What happened to the Democrats? They left Truman and became the party of Michael Moore and Ted Kennedy. In fact, John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey could not survive in the party's leftist primaries.
How did the Democratic Party change? The answer is cultural social issues, such as abortion, same sex marriage and religion in the public space.
Alito is on his way to the Supreme Court. I don't think that he will be an ideologue or fanatic. He will be a good judge who understands the Constitution and our country.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
I am not against this selection. Sutter had 300 saves and was a clutch closer. He saved 36 games for the 1982 Cardinals, World Series champs. He had 44 saves in 1984. In short, Sutter had a great career. (http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/stats/historical/player_locator_results.jsp?playerLocator=sutter)
What about Gossage? or Blyleven? It's difficult to put Sutter in and keep the other two out!
I did not watch the Alito hearings. I did hear a chunk of it on NPR radio. So far, Alito had a good day.
The Democrats are desperately trying to turn a Judiciary Committee hearing into a national referendum on abortion. They can't win elections but they can make a lot of noise.
Frankly, bring it on.
Let Sen. Kennedy be the face of the Democrats. I want Kennedy and Schumer to be the faces of the liberal party.
As for Sen. Schumer, he ran into a little problem at Meet the Press this weekend: (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/blog/2006/01/russert_nails_schumer.html)
"Yesterday on Meet the Press Tim Russert nailed the major weakness for the Democrats when it comes to defeating Alito:
MR. RUSSERT: But here’s the situation, as many people see it. When Ruth Bader Ginsburg was put forward by Bill Clinton, she had been general counsel for the ACLU. Steven Breyer has worked for Ted Kennedy, and yet they were overwhelmingly confirmed because they had competence and temperament, as you say. And even though they had a more liberal, judicial philosophy than many members of the Senate, it was a Democratic president who had the right to make that nomination. If, in fact, Republicans supported Ginsburg and Breyer, why shouldn’t Democrats support Alito, who has been rated well qualified, the gold standard of the ABA, and whose philosophy may be conservative, but is no more conservative than Ginsburg and Breyer were liberal?"
Sen. Kennedy went even further. He attacked Judge Alito over the weekend.
(Read "Teddy Kennedy's Incredible Attack on Alito" by Ed Whelan http://bench.nationalreview.com/archives/086247.asp)
The left is making a big mistake. They are going to regret turning the Supreme Court nomination process into a Bork circus. It worked in '87. It won't work in 2006!
Liberals caught the conservatives flat footed in the Bork hearings. Not anymore. We are ready to hit back and we will.
Monday, January 09, 2006
"The Bull Moose is an unofficial blog sponsored by the Democratic Leadership Council. Although the Bull Moose has a deep affinity for the New Donkey, he is an independent in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive Party of 1912. The Bull Moose advocates a progressive politics of national greatness that promotes a strong national defense, economic justice, political reform and national service.
The Moose hopes that Democrats, Republicans and Independents who share this vision will join together to forge a new politics that defies the current partisan polarization." (http://www.bullmooseblog.com/2004/10/about-bull-moose.html)
The Moose has a message for Democrats:
"There will never be a Democratic President until the American people believe that the donkey will be as or more forceful than the Republicans in combating the Jihadists." (http://www.bullmooseblog.com/2006/01/intelligence-design.html)
Add to this the aforementioned Klein column.
It turns out that Democrats are very friendly with Abramoff, too. The Republican Senatorial Committee is running this great story on their website. (http://www.nrsc.org/)
Forty of forty five members of the Democrat Senate Caucus took money from Jack Abramoff, his associates, and Indian tribe clients.
Check out Sen. Kerry's $ 98,000! Below is a breakdown of how much each Democrat Senator received:
Received At Least $22,500
Received At Least $6,500
Joseph Biden (D-DE)
Received At Least $1,250
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Received At Least $2,000
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Received At Least $20,250
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Received At Least $21,765
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Received At Least $7,500
Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
Received At Least $12,950
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Received At Least $8,000
Jon Corzine (D-NJ)
Received At Least $7,500
Chris Dodd (D-CT)
Received At Least $14,792
Received At Least $79,300
Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Received At Least $14,000
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Received At Least $2,000
Russ Feingold (D-WI)
Received At Least $1,250
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Received At Least $45,750
Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Received At Least $9,000
Jim Jeffords (I-VT)
Received At Least $2,000
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Received At Least $14,250
Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
Received At Least $3,300
John Kerry (D-MA)
Received At Least $98,550
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Received At Least $28,000
Pat Leahy (D-VT)
Received At Least $4,000
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Received At Least $6,000
Joe Lieberman (D-CT)
Received At Least $29,830
Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
Received At Least $14,891
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Received At Least $10,550
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Received At Least $78,991
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Received At Least $20,168
Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Received At Least $5,200
Barack Obama (D-IL)
Received At Least $7,500
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Received At Least $2,300
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Received At Least $3,500
Harry Reid (D-NV)
Received At Least $68,941
John Rockefeller (D-WV)
Received At Least $4,000
Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO)
Received At Least $4,500
Paul Sarbanes (D-MD)
Received At Least $4,300
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Received At Least $29,550
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Received At Least $6,250
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Received At Least $6,250
Again, these contributions are legal. It is OK for a legislator to get money. However, it's not OK to frame this as a Republican scandal.
For more information, see the Republican Senatorial Website.
*(Campaign Finance Analysis Project Website, www.campaignfinanceanalysisproject.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Political Money Line Website, www.tray.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Internal Revenue Service Website, www.irs.gov, Accessed April 21, 2005)
Joe Klein is not a right wing conservative. Frankly, I am not sure what he is. Yet, he wrote a good article today on Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats.
It is called: "How to Stay Out of Power: Why liberal democrats are playing too fast and too loose with issues of war and peace" (http://www.time.com/time/columnist/klein/article/0,9565,1147137,00.html)
Klein analyzes Pelosi's double talk on the NSA program.
His closing line should be required reading for every Democrat:
"In fact, liberal Democrats are about as far from the American mainstream on these issues as Republicans were when they invaded the privacy of Terri Schiavo's family in the right-to-die case last year.
But there is a difference. National security is a far more important issue, and until the Democrats make clear that they will err on the side of aggressiveness in the war against al-Qaeda, they will probably not regain the majority in Congress or the country."
Sunday, January 08, 2006
The liberals in the Judiciary committee have a new standard for judicial appointments: Believe in Roe v Wade or you won't get in the court.
Why are the Democrats so determined to support abortion?
Beyond the so called "right to choose", abortion is killing Democrats' future electoral hopes.
Mark Steyn wrote a wonderful article a few days ago about European birth rates. He added this:
"In America, demographic trends suggest that the blue states ought to apply for honorary membership of the EU: In the 2004 election, John Kerry won the 16 with the lowest birthrates; George W. Bush took 25 of the 26 states with the highest.
By 2050, there will be 100 million fewer Europeans, 100 million more Americans--and mostly red-state Americans." (http://www.opinionjournal.com/forms/printThis.html?id=110007760)
So here is the bottom line. Roe v Wade will be eventually overturned because there will be more red state Republicans than blue state Democrats.
Sen. Hillary Clinton is obviously aware of this electoral reality. She is talking about something called "common ground" on abortion, which is a slick way of appealing to the conservative married women who did not vote for Gore or Kerry.
Frankly, the Democrats would be better served promoting "family-hood" and more "babies". Otherwise, they are going to get old and disappear like the Europeans.
Time, and babies, are on the side of the anti-abortion forces!
If you own a business then you need to keep up with Washington. If you don't, then you may find yourself at a business disadvantage.
Lobbyists flock to Washington because big decisions are made there. Every business (i.e., jobs) wants to protect and defend their interests. Unions do the same thing.
In this environment, it is inevitable that some people will get in trouble.
Jack Abramoff is the latest example.
What bothers me is that the media is overlooking Jack Abramoff's Democrat friends.
One of these friends is Harry Reid, the Senate Minority Leader. Check out: "They're not all Republicans" by Matthew Continetti (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/561rocjb.asp)
Michael Barone, senior writer at U.S. News & World Report and contributor to Fox News Channel, is co-editor of The Almanac of American Politics, 2006 (National Journal, 2005). He has been around, and written about, Washington DC for a few years. He wrote this:
"Mr. Abramoff's guilty pleas have both parties scampering to offer up lobbying reform; as fervent a Republican as he was, he made sure his clients gave money to Democrats too."
Want to get rid of lobbyists and corruption? You can't. In fact, Barone reviews the history of lobbyists in the US. (http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007781)
Want to reduce corruption? Cut down Washington's influence. Today, 535 Washington legislators spend over a trillion dollars and vote on regulations that make or break businesses. There will be lots of lobbyists as long as the federal government continues to have that much influence in our businesses and lives.
"Sadly, Supreme Court confirmations have devolved into litmus tests on policy positions, appropriate for the election of legislators but exactly the opposite of what should be required of a judge. This practice is often traced back to the confirmation hearings that scotched the nomination of Robert Bork." (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/07/opinion/07thomas.html)
In other words, this is a Supreme Court nomination rather than an election to the US Senate.
Sen. Kennedy fired the first shot with an op-ed piece reminiscent of some of the things that he once said about Robert Bork.
The liberals need to win elections. Borking conservative appointments is a terrible thing. It will haunt them when a future Democrat appoints a nominee.
Back in '66, my parents bought a GE record player. It was a big deal for our family. It gave us an excuse to buy our first singles and LP.
The five singles, or 45s, were "Nowhere man" by The Beatles, "Sloop John B" by The Beach Boys, "At the scene" by The Dave Clark Five, "19th Nervous breakdown" by The Rolling Stones and "You are she" by Chad & Jeremy.
A few days later, we bought our first LP "Greatest Hits" by The Dave Clark Five.
I sold the 45s to a collector in Mexico. However, we still have the LP.
Over the last few years, I have been replacing my old LPs with new CDs.
My first choices were:
1) "Rubber Soul" by The Beatles (US version). What else can you say about an LP that includes "Norwegian Wood", "Michelle", "Girl" and "In my life"? Add "I'm looking through you" and its almost perfect. The UK version, which included "Nowhere Man" was actually the first one released as a CD. Yet, they recently put out the US version, which is the one that I grew up listening to.
2) "High Tide and Green Grass" by The Rolling Stones. This is a collection of the Stones' 1964-66 hits. You can replace this one with a box set called "The London Years", which includes every single, including a lot of B-sides. Some of the Stones' B-sides were excellent, such as "We love you" (B-side of "Dandelion"), "Child of the moon" (B-side of "Jumpin' Jack Flash") and "Sad Day" (B-side of "19th Nervous Breakdown").
3) "First" by The Bee Gees. As the title indicates, this was the first US release. It included "New York Mining Disaster", "To love somebody" and "Holiday". It also includes "Turn of the century", which should have been released as a single.
4) "Horizontal" by The Bee Gees. This one sounds better on CD than just about any other pop album.
5) "The Moody Blues" Greatest (Double LP). Again, this one sounds great on CD. I love "Tuesday afternoon" and "Isn't life strange".
6) "Revolver" by The Beatles. I think that 1966 was the best Beatles' year. This one includes "Eleanor Rigby", "For no one" and the unusual "Tomorrow never knows". My favorite is still "Taxman"!
7) "Main course" by The Bee Gees. This is the LP that included "Jive Talkin" and the wonderful "Nights on Broadway". It also has two of the Bee Gees' best songs--"Come on over" and "Baby as you turn away".
There are others but I can't buy them all at once! More on this later.