Sunday, April 30, 2006
Air America made one huge mistake. It invested itself in every stupid version of Bush bashing. In the end, Air America was predictable and silly. How many times can you hear that Pres. Bush is a moron who stole the election? Even liberals tuned out Air America!
So good-bye Al Franken. Pres. Bush will be around a lot longer than Air America. How is that for sweet justice?
Saturday, April 29, 2006
The so called pro-immigration movement took another step in the wrong direction today. Does anybody have any "sentido comun"?
The latest idiotic act from the open borders crowd is a Spanish version of the Star Spangled Banner. (http://www.townhall.com/news/ap/online/entertainment/music/D8H4QGDO2.html)
First, this is offensive. The flag and anthem are a nation's symbols. They should be left alone.
Second, how is such a stupid act going to gain the sympathy of the millions who will vote in November?
It won't. In fact, they are going to get more mad.
The leaders of this "open border" movement are either blind or deaf or both.
Scott Rasmussen is a very successful pollster and he has published a 50-state survey of US public opinion on immigration. It does not have very good news for the "open border" crowd:
"1. Most Americans in all states want a welcoming national immigration policy that lets our nation assimilate new people into the national melting pot. Our polls have consistently found strong support for a policy goal that welcomes everybody except criminals, national security, threats, and those who want to live off our welfare system.
2. Just as important, most Americans also want a policy that emphasizes enforcement first. They want the nation to gain control of its borders and enforce existing laws before other reforms are considered.
3. As a pragmatic step to support the first two points, most Americans want to build a barrier along the Mexican border.
These goals are not at all contradictory. In fact, they flow naturally from the fact that we are a nation of immigrants, a nation of laws, and a nation of pragmatic problem solvers." (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/blog/2006/04/immigration_issue_could_lead_t.html)
It's very simple. Americans want order first and work permits second.
The "indocumentados" are being shortchanged by their leaders. In the end, they may regret the marches and the boycott.
Again, there is no "sentido comun" in this movement!
Friday, April 28, 2006
As I said before, I support a work permit (or visa) for the millions already here. They are working. They are not taking jobs from anyone. We have a 4.7% national unemployment rate, which is almost full employment.
Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, one of the indocumentados's best friends, is urging immigrants not to participate in a worker and student boycott planned for May 1:
"People of good will, desirous of enacting fair and just immigration legislation, can differ on which strategies will help bring about the immigration reform needed. Personally, I believe that we can make May 1st a “win-win” day here in Southern California: go to work, go to school, and then join thousands of us at a major rally afterwards." (http://www.archdiocese.la/archbishop/story.php?newsid=738)
The Cardinal is right. I agree with him for two reasons:
1) A one-day boycott is not going to have any impact in a US$ 15 trillion economy. Furthermore, people will buy on Tuesday or Wednesday what they didn't purchase on Monday.
2) This boycott will increase tensions over immigration.
Every poll shows that the US public is growing impatient over the border. This boycott will give more people a reason to vote for a fence.
In November, Americans will vote. As of today, Americans are in a bad mood about the border and immigration. This boycott will increase that anger.
P.S. I should add that there are growing tensions within the Latin community about this boycott.
Check out "Immigrant Groups Split on Boycott--Walkouts May Do More Harm Than Good, Some Say"
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Yesterday, I found this profound quote from the late Pres. Reagan:
"How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin." —Remarks in Arlington, Virginia, September 25, 1987 (http://whygrr.blogspot.com/2006/04/top-10-reagan-quotes.html)
In my life, I have found that this is true. Most people who favor communism do not really understand it or have lived under it. They see it as some romantic idea.
This is why it's so for me to understand someone from South Vietnam or Poland. It's easy for them to understand that communism was, and is, a great lie.
I would recommend that you check their web sites and familiarize yourself with their objectives.
These groups are not interested in immigration reform. What they want is the de-Europeanization of North America. They want people like me, who trace our origins to Spain, to go back to Europe.
Question # 1: Where in Europe do I move to? Frankly, I don't know anybody there.
Question # 2: Why are they bringing Che placards to the marches? Is Che a Maya? Did I miss something from Che's life?
The Che placards illustrate the leftist and communist inclinations of these groups. It's time for the immigration leaders to repudiate them.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Don't be fooled by the talking heads. There is no polling evidence that the Republicans will lose the Senate or House.
Indeed, history is against Pres. Bush in 2006. Reagan, Eisenhower and FDR had losses in their 6th year. I won't deny that the Dems have an advantage but it is not enough to win in November.
It's early but here are my projections in the US Senate.
As of today, there are two very weak Republican incumbents----Santorum in PA and Talent in Missouri. I think that they will go down. Burns is weak in Montana but he will recover.
There are several weak Dem incumbents----Maryland is an open seat, Menendez in NJ, Stabenow in Michigan and Cantwell in Washington. Minnesota is an open seat and that state is tilting Republican. The Dems will hold all of these but I'm praying hard for Steele in Maryland.
So the Senate won't change at all. The Reps will lose 2 and lead 52-47 and one independent from Vermont.
I will review the House later in the summer. As of today, there is no polling evidence that the Dems will win enough seats to make a difference.
Again, do not fall for the talking heads who say that the Republicans are headed for huge defeats. They are expressing "wishful thinking opinions" rather than anything based on polls.
Just remember. Vote in November and turnout will take care of everything.
For more information, check out:
Larry Sabato's "Crystal Ball"(http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/2006/senate/)
What About the Senate? By Jay Cost(http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/04/what_about_the_senate.html)
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Should Dana Priest and James Risen be proud of winning a Pulitzer based on national security leaks? I don't think so.
Did Dana Priest know that Mary McCarthy had an agenda? Did Dana Priest really believe that Mary McCarthy was simply saving the world from Pres. Bush and VP Cheney?
What were McCarthy's motives anyway? I don't know but I think that Thomas Joscelyn is on to something:
"I noted above that McCarthy reviewed the intelligence surrounding the al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, which was destroyed by the Clinton administration in August 1998. We know from contemporaneous press reports that the intelligence coming out of Sudan was provocative to say the least. According to the Associated Press in late August 1998, “telephone intercepts collected by the National Security Agency included contacts between senior Shifa officials and Emad Al Ani, known as the father of Iraq’s chemical weapons program.” That is, the father of Iraq's chemical weapons program was linked to al Qaeda's pursuit of WMD. Why didn’t McCarthy leak copies of these intercepts to the press? We know she most likely reviewed them in April 2000. Well, because it didn’t fit her agenda. But as a supposedly independent journalist, shouldn’t Priest want to know why McCarthy would leak information about the CIA’s secret prisons, which when spun in the correct manner would paint the Bush administration’s prosecution of the war on terror in a negative light, but not evidence that may help vindicate the Bush administration’s approach to fighting the terror network?
This is the point behind all of this. Priest and her cohorts at the Times and the Post readily print anonymously-sourced stories with an anti-Bush flare. But, their sources are most certainly aware of evidence that cuts the other way."(http://thomasjoscelyn.blogspot.com/2006/04/mary-mccarthys-motives_23.html)
I don't recall any stories of how Bill Clinton lied about WMDs when he bombed Iraq several times.
I hope that Dana Priest and James Risen sleep well at night. Priest put several countries, and their people at risk, because of her story. Risen put his countrymen at risk because he leaked the NSA wiretapping story. I hope that they can live with themselves when Al Qaeda blows up a city or Americans are killed around the world.
It's great to have a free press and to hold politicians accountable. It's also important to choose sides, specially when the fight is between our way of life and fanatics who want to blow up innocent people.
Again, I hope that Priest and Risen sleep well at night, kissing their Pulitzer and hearing of another terrorist attack.
Monday, April 24, 2006
Barry Bonds hit his first homer of 2006. I heard a radio interview with a Bay Area baseball reporter and he indicated that Bonds looks old and slow. To be fair, Bonds is 42 which is usually when most MLBers start collecting their wonderful pension. Beyond that, Bonds is probably exhausted from all of the off the field controversy.
My opinion: Bonds should quit. No one is going to believe his record anyway. It would be shame if he passes Ruth. It would be a crime if he passes Aaron.
It's only 19 games but Texas is in first place. The best part is that the Rangers are 8-4 since that awful 2-5 start at home.
Why are the Rangers winning? The answer is their starting pitchers are giving the powerful lineup a chance to win every game.
The Ranges will score. What they need is a pitching staff that will keep them in the game.
Kevin Mench is on fire. Phil Nevin is making everyone forget his awful 2005.
Again, it's only 19 games but the Rangers are playing well.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays played Texas over the weekend. I had a chance to catch the games on TV. The DRays have some wonderful young players. They are committed to young pitchers, such as Edwin Jackson who pitched very well against the Rangers. They have the fastest outfield in baseball. Jonny Gomes is a good looking hitter.
The DRays also have a new owner. He is committed to developing the team. I pray that the citizens of Tampa Bay will build him a new stadium. Tropicana Field has a great name but it is the worst park in the majors.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
The anti-Bush madness has sunk to a new low. Today, we heard the news that a CIA officer was leaking information to the press. Her name is Mary McCarthy, a Clinton appointee and supporter of the Kerry '04 campaign. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12423825/)
For more background info, check out Thomas Joscelyn.
These leaks have hurt the US war against terrorists. The Dana Priest story exposed friendly governments to Al Qaeda. The James Risen story about wiretapping hurt our efforts to listen to terrorists' conversations.
What in the world is going on?
We have a war against Pres. Bush. Let me repeat. We have a gang within the government who wants Bush to fail. They can't accept elections results. They want their way even if it means going against the wishes of the electorate.
Josh Gibson of FOX NEWS called it like it is:
"What is really going on here is the secret war by CIA-types against President Bush and his policies. This is the group inside the CIA — think Valerie Plame — who think their opinions and analysis of the world should trump whatever it is the president thinks. If the president goes against their opinion, they call The New York Times and start leaking embarrassing stuff." (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,192673,00.html)
Again, if you disagree with Pres. Bush then you need to resign. If you can't carry out Pres. Bush's policy then resign.
The American people do not elect CIA officers to make policy decisions. This is why we have presidential elections.
Leaking classified information is a crime. Leakers of secrets should go to jail. It looks like some of them are finally going to go!
Congratulations to CIA Director Porter Goss for going after the leakers.
Liberals cannot win presidential elections. Therefore, they use leaks and friendly reporters to sabotage US foreign policy.
My message to liberals in the CIA is simple. First, win elections. Second, resign if you disagree with a presidential policy.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
The big question is this: why is Homeland Security getting serious about enforcing immigration laws now?
The answer is that the political class is getting an earful from their constituents. The public is sending the political class a clear message: Fix the border or we will replace you with someone who does.
Check out Howard Dean:
"The first thing we want is tough border control...We have to do a much better job on our borders than George Bush has done. And then we can go to the policy disagreements about how to get it done." (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20060420-115953-1553r.htm)
Why is Howard Dean saying this? Because he is reading the same polls that everybody else is reading.
Check out Rasmussen Reports:
"Forty-six percent (46%) of Americans said that they prefer the candidate with the harder line on illegal aliens while 38% opt for the candidate who wants to expand legal opportunities for foreign workers to find jobs. However, those who say the immigration issue is very important in determining their vote prefer the pro-enforcement candidate by a much larger margin, 67% to 23%. This suggests that the short-term political advantage on the immigration issue lies with those who want a tougher enforcement policy. Fifty percent (50%) of Americans say the immigration issue is very important. Another 32% say it is somewhat important." (http://rasmussenreports.com/2006/April%20Dailies/Immigration%20April%207.htm)
What happens next?
In the short run, the raids will cause panic in the manufacturing world. Plant executives and HR managers will meet to make sure that the employee's paperwork is in order.
In the longer run, more employers will think twice about hiring someone with soft documentation. Why? Because the illegal worker will be deported and the employer will go to jail.
Enforcement works. Surprised? I am not.
We are entering a new phase of this immigration debate. The American people are now marching and the politicians are listening. Why? Because Americans are angry and mad voters usually vote.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Yesterday, the federal government got serious and showed up at a few plants around the country. (http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/04/20/immigration.raids/index.html)
Is this an isolated example or a sign of things to come?
I hope that it's a sign of things to come because we need enforcement. It's time for the federal government to do its job on immigration.
Michelle Malkin has a wonderful chart about how we don't enforce the law: "POLITICALLY-TIMED IMMIGRATION RAIDS" (http://www.michellemalkin.com/mt/oct05-tb.cgi/4369)
The bottom line is that we are not enforcing the law. Why is that? I don't get it!
Stop hiring people without papers and the human traffic will cease. Again, I can not blame a Mexican for coming over and working in the US. We opened the door and looked the other way when he presented false documents.
It's time for the federal government to start enforcing our laws. We don't need new laws. We have plenty of laws already on the books.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
My guess is that most Republicans are cheering today. Karl Rove is moving in the right direction. Karl is going to play a central role in politics again.
For a year, I have asked: Where is Karl?
Part of the answer is the Libby issue. Rove was apparently a target of the Fitzgerald investigation but did not get indicted.
Welcome back Karl. We need you to win another election.
Rove faces a tough challenge. Like every President, Bush will take losses in his 6th year. The key is keeping those losses down and holding on the majorities in Congress.
The Republicans need a simple strategy for 2006.
First, we believe in the rule of law and will bring order to the border. After order is established, then Republicans should look to accommodate the millions working without papers.
Second, the US will prevail in Iraq and attack terrorists wherever they are.
Third, Iran will not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.
Fourth, Republicans will work for school choice. It should start in the inner cities and move to the suburbs.
Fifth, Republicans will oppose same sex marriage.
And Sixth, Roe v Wade should be overturned and the issue returned to the states.
The Bush record is strong and worth running on. The problem is that the border mess has divided Republicans and someone needs to close the gap.
Karl is exactly the man to close the gap.
Let me cast my vote for Karl Rove. I think that he is getting the right job! I agree with Fred Barnes:
"THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA may have trouble resisting the temptation to declare that Karl Rove has been demoted, but the truth is quite the contrary. By giving up his role as deputy White House chief of staff, Rove has been freed to do what he does best: shape big issues and develop strategies to win elections." (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=12119&R=EC04124BE)
Karl knows how to win elections, which is why the Democrats hate him!
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
It’s too early to draw a conclusion. 14 games is not even 10% of the baseball season. Yet, the Rangers are getting some good pitching.
Pitching was a huge priority in the offseason. They signed Milwood, Eaton and Padilla. This is the first time in years that Texas has 3 quality starters.
The big surprise is Kameron Loe, who should be 3-0 rather than 0-2. He pitched very well in his first and third start. Loe is 6-7 and he looks like he should be playing for the Mavericks. (http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/team/player.jsp?player_id=434180)
Vicente Padilla has been very tough too. He won 14 games in 2002 and 2003 with the Phillies. I would take 14 victories from Padilla this year! Can you recall a #3 starter in Texas history who won 14 games and threw 200 innings? I can't think of one.
Kevin Millwood turned it around last Friday. Adam Eaton won't pitch until midseason.
So far, so good.
The Rangers are known for their power not pitching. So it’s a great surprise to see such good starting pitching, specially Loe who is a rookie on the starting staff.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Where are we on this immigration debate?
First, the marches were huge but their electoral impact was negative. See Deborah Orin's excellent analysis: "ILLEGALS' RALLIES ALIEN-ATE VOTERS" (http://www.nypost.com/commentary/62416.htm)
Second, the Democrats don't have a clue. Ruben Navarette recently wrote "The Democrats Sell Out Latinos":
"Hector Flores, president of the League of United Latin-American Citizens, told me that he tried to impress upon Reid's office that it was important to get immigration reform done. "Apparently, it fell on deaf ears," Flores said." (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/04/the_democrats_sell_out_latinos.html)
Navarette is not alone. The San Diego Union editorial hit the Democrats very hard:
"You have to hand it to Democrats in Congress. If you're not concerned about leadership or honesty or consistency, and if all you care about are slick and deceitful maneuvers that make you look good while making your opponents look bad, then this bunch is for you." (http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20060414/news_lz1ed14bottom.html)
The Democrats also have a "union problem"! See "Unions worked up over illegals" By Charles Hurt:
"Labor unions, which are among the Democratic Party's most loyal supporters, are deeply at odds with the party's push for a guest-worker program, and many Capitol Hill aides say erosion of labor's support undermined the Senate immigration-reform bill last week." (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20060414-110533-7413r.htm)
Third, the Republican Congress is divided. Tancredo wants a tough bill. McCain wants work visas. Republicans came together two weeks ago but the Democrats pulled the plug on a compromise. My guess is that Republicans got an earful from their constituents during the Easter recess. Most Republicans are probably leaning toward a "tougher border" solution because that's what the public wants.
What happens next?
The table is set for Pres. Bush to step in and score a huge political victory. Are you listening Karl Rove?
First, Pres. Bush needs to make a speech about the importance of border security in a post 9-11 world. The President should put troops on the border to reflect his seriousness about the anarchy.
The troops on the border will be a big hit and reconnect the president with the right wing base. It will drive his approval numbers over 50% again. Law and order is always a winning issue for Republicans.
Let's face reality. Bush is down in the polls because the Republican base is furious about the border. Fix the border and the base comes home for November.
Troops on the border will be a big hit with Spanish speaking immigrants as well. They are sick and tired of the chaos and anarchy on the border. Every poll confirms that Hispanic immigrants do not want open borders or support illegal immigration. Read the recent Pew survey.
Secondly, Pres. Bush should call for "earned citizenship", which will be a big winner in the Hispanic community. Politically speaking, "earned citizenship" has more spark than a work visa program.
What is earned citizenship? According to Fred Barnes:
"Earned citizenship would permit the 12 million immigrants living illegally in the United States to apply for citizenship. They would be required to work for six years, commit no crimes, pay back taxes, and learn English. Then and only then could they get in line to become citizens, a process that takes five years." (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/104dybwn.asp)
Work visas are a temporary solution. Earned citizenship is a permanent solution.
Bush has a great opportunity to win back the disenchanted Republican base and score with Hispanics. Beyond that, he has a chance to solidify the gains that the Republicans made with Hispanics in 2004.
P.S. Let's remember this from the last election: "The Hispanic vote elects Bush" by Dick Morris (http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/11/4/203450.shtml)
Monday, April 17, 2006
I would recommend that you link to Rush and listen to it. It is very good! (http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_041706/content/eib_interview.guest.html)
I have one simple question. Why didn't some of these generals resign years ago? or during the Iraq planning stages?
Thomas Lipscomb is senior fellow of the Annenberg Center for the Digital Future. Today, he wrote an article asking the same question: "If Rumsfeld's so bad, why didn't generals resign?" (http://www.suntimes.com/output/otherviews/cst-edt-ref17.html):
"But if Generals Gregory Newbold, John Batiste, Zinni and others have believed Rumsfeld's policies have been so dire that they are calling for his resignation, their opinions would have carried far more weight if they had stated them at some personal cost to themselves while on active service by resigning in protest. That action might have also carried some evidence of the courage Americans expect of the highest ranking officers of its uniformed services."
This is a fair question.
I recall Sec. Vance resigning over Pres. Carter's decision to rescue the hostages. It was a principled decision. I respect a man who resigns over principle.
In the public sector, resignation is the preferred way to file a protest.
If you don't support the Secretary or the President, then resign. Call a press conference and resign.
Why didn't they? I don't know but it's a fair question. It is a good question but no one in the media has challenged the generals.
My life changed on April 17, 1961. It was the Bay of Pigs invasion. Without question, this invasion was the biggest political event of my childhood.
Over the years, both sides have argued about the invasion. The Kennedy apologists blame the CIA. Cuban-Americans blame Kennedy.
On this one, Kennedy let us down. He inspired us during the 1960 election. It was Kennedy who delivered the tough anti-Castro speeches during the debates and the election. In fact:
"By the time Kennedy took office in January 1961, he had already made serious commitments to the Cuban exiles, promising to oppose communism at every opportunity, and supporting the overthrow of Castro. During the campaign, Kennedy had repeatedly accused Eisenhower of not doing enough about Castro." (http://www.historyofcuba.com/history/baypigs/pigs3.htm)
The Bay of Pigs made the missile crisis possible. It projected the image that Kennedy was weak and indecisive. It probably forced Kennedy to overreact in Vietnam.
Many brave Cubans died at the Bay of Pigs. Castro put thousands in prison because they supported the invasion. Many were executed or spent years in some of the world's worst political prisons.
Let's remember the heroes of Brigade 2506 today. They were Cubans determined to fight for their country.
How many games have I watched over the years? Quite a few, probably a lot of games. Yet, I have never seen a pitcher give up 3 homeruns in 3 consecutive pitches.
Saturday afternoon, Vicente Padilla had a 4-2 lead after 5 innings. He was pitching great.
First pitch, Swisher hits it out.
Next pitch, Frank Thomas hit a long fly ball to left field.
Third pitch, Milton Bradley hits a line drive to the right field seats.
I have never seen anything like it. I recall many years ago that 6 Twins hit consecutive homeruns.
It was a strange day for Vicente Padilla. I don't think that he will forget the moment. (http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20060415&content_id=1401751&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=tex)
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Most of us associate April 15th with Tax Day. Yet, April 15th is one of the saddest days of US history.
This is from the Lincoln Log. (http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/lincoln/index.php)
On Friday, April 14th, and also Good Friday, the President and Mrs. Lincoln, accompanied by Clara Harris and Maj. Henry R. Rathbone, enter Ford's Theatre for performance of "Our American Cousin" featuring Laura Keene. (Washington Chronicle, 16 April 1865; Washington Star, 14 April 1865.)
[Exact time of assassination is not agreed upon. After extensive research Otto Eisenschiml wrote:]
"It is therefore safe to say that Booth fired his shot at or close to 13 minutes past 10 P.M." Otto Eisenschiml, In the Shadow of Lincoln's Death (New York: Funk, 1940), 353.
Shortly afterward President, completely insensible, is moved across street to house of William Petersen, 453 10th St. NW., and placed upon bed in small room at rear of hall on ground floor.
Mrs. Lincoln stays near her husband. Robert Lincoln and John Hay come from White House. Dr. Stone tells Robert there is no hope. Family and others whose official or private relations to President give them right to be present begin their long night wait for death to overtake him. John G. Nicolay, A Short Life of Abraham Lincoln: Condensed from Nicolay & Hay's Abraham Lincoln: A History (New York: Century, 1923), 539-40; Arnold, 433.
Surgeons maintain constant observation of President through night. About 2 A.M. Vice President pays call.
Dawn finds Mrs. Lincoln and Robert still waiting in Petersen's house. James A. Bishop, The Day Lincoln was Shot (New York: Harper, 1955), 268.
Dr. Charles S. Taft at bedside records his observations: President stops breathing "at 7:21 and 55 seconds in the morning of April 15th, and 7:22 and 10 seconds his pulse ceased to beat." Otto Eisenschiml, In the Shadow of Lincoln's Death (New York: Funk, 1940), 351; Henry J. Raymond, The Life and Public Services of Abraham Lincoln . . . Together with his State Papers, including his Speeches, Addresses, Messages, Letters, and Proclamations and the Closing Scenes Connected with his Life and Death (New York: Derby & Miller, 1865), 783-801.
Silence follows and is broken by voice of Sec. Stanton: "Now he belongs to the ages." John G. Nicolay and John Hay, Abraham Lincoln: A History, 10 vols. (New York: Century, 1890), 10:302.
Friday, April 14, 2006
Some of us are old enough to remember Nov 4-1979. On that day, the US embassy in Tehran was overrun by Iranian fanatics. The crisis lasted 444 days. It was the last straw for the failed Carter presidency.
Amir Taheri wrote an intersting article about all of this:
"A clear path runs to 9/11 from the day of the raid on the U.S. embassy in Tehran and the seizure of American hostages. Between Nov. 4, 1979, and 9/11, a total of 671 Americans were held hostage for varying lengths of time in several Muslim countries. Nearly 1,000 Americans were killed, including 241 Marines blown up while sleeping in Beirut in 1983. For 22 years the United States, under presidents from both parties, behaved in exactly the way that Khomeini predicted. It took countless successive blows, including the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, without decisive retaliation. That attitude invited, indeed encouraged, more attacks. The 9/11 tragedy was the denouement of the Nov. 4 attack on the U.S. embassy in Tehran." (http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/8781)
The War on Terror did not begin on 9-11. It began the day that we allowed Iran to hold our diplomats hostage and Pres. Carter did nothing about it!
Today, Iran is violating its international commitments. Iran has publicly said that it wants to destroy Israel. They claim to have a nuclear weapon.
The UN is behaving as it did in the 90s. The bottom line is that they can't do anything about anything. Russia and China have no desire to impose sanctions on Iran, just like France and Germany supported Saddam Hussein in exchange for doing business with Iraq.
The London Telegraph has it right:
"Mr Ahmadinejad's announcement came on the eve of a visit to Teheran by the IAEA's director general, Mohamed ElBaradei, and well before the deadline by which the Security Council had ordered Iran to suspend uranium enrichment. This defiance faces the council with a challenge similar to that presented by Saddam Hussein. Does it have the will to impose economic sanctions that will bite? Or will it shirk that option, confirming its irrelevance when it comes to maintaining international peace and security, and thus pushing America and its allies into taking action on their own?" (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/core/Content/displayPrintable.jhtml;jsessionid=RW20EABY52IPTQFIQMGCFGGAVCBQUIV0?xml=/opinion/2006/04/13/dl1301.xml&site=15)
For the US, there are no pretty options over Iran. There were no pretty options for Pres. Roosevelt on Dec 7-41 or for Pres. Linconl on April 1861 either. Pres. Truman did not have pretty options in August 1945 when he chose to drop an atomic bomb and destroy two Japanese cities to force a surrender. Gen. Eisenhower did not have pretty options on the morning of D-Day. Eisenhower knew that D-Day would kill thousands of Allied young men.
There are no easy options for Pres. Bush in 2006 either!
Every war is about bad choices. Sending young men to battle is a horrible choice. Living with a nuclear Iran is a worse choice.
Let's pray for a diplomatic solution. However, I hope that Pres. Bush has ordered the Pentagon to prepare a range of military options.
For some historical perspective, read "Unacceptable? Is the America of 2006 more willing to thwart the unacceptable than the France of 1936?" by William Kristol (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=12095&R=EBFD3666C)
For a review of military options, read
"Thinking about the increasingly thinkable"
Read "Target Iran" by Thomas McInerney
Two weeks ago, marchers carried Mexican flags and horrific placards. Last Sunday, they came back with US flags and white shirts.
Indeed, the second march was more positive.
However, did it work? Did it turn public opinion.
The answer is no.
The Zogby poll is bad news for the march leaders.(http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1100)
According to the findings:
"A majority of Americans said they oppose amnesty for undocumented workers from other nations who are already residing in this nation, the survey shows.
"...recent protests across the nation against immigration proposals in Congress – particularly to make it a federal felony to be an undocumented worker in America – have not persuaded a majority of U.S. likely voters across the country. More said they are having a negative reaction to the protests than are having a positive reaction."
"32% said they are now more sympathetic to their plight, while 61% said they are less likely to be sympathetic as a result of the protests."
This is very bad news for the march leaders, and specially for the undocumented workers that they claim to represent. In my opinion, these marches have actually set back any solution, such as offering work visas or work permits to the 10 million already in the US.
The marches have backfired. This is a shame because I support a comprehensive program to legalize those already working in the US.
The LA TIMES/BLOOMBERG POLL comes to a similar conclusion:
"Most Americans say the United States should confront the challenge of illegal immigration by both toughening border enforcement and creating a new guest-worker program rather than stiffening enforcement alone, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found."
This poll shows support for work visas but only after the border has been tightened.
Overall, it was a bad month for the marchers and the leaders. They have missed an opportunity to promote the interests of undocumented workers.
We need to call on march leaders to stand back and give the politicians a chance to work through the details of immigration reform.
Once again, we need to fix the border and close it immediately. After that, let's design a work visa program that recognizes the value that undocumented workers bring to our society.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
The Newt episode is a good example.
The media is desperately seeking anyone who will criticize Pres. Bush on Iraq.
They drag out retired generals, who are promoting books and their TV careers, and do Monday morning quaterbacking shows on Iraq military decisions. (By the way, read Prof. VD Hanson's analysis of this "Dead-end Debates" (http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200604130743.asp)
None of these generals, or anyone else, stood up in March 2003 and said: Stop this war because Saddam does not have WMDs.
In March 2003, everyone stayed quiet or joined the crusade. Democrats went into mute mode in March 2003! They started talking when Howard Dean built up a 20 point lead in New Hampshire!
The latest nonsense from the media has to do with Newt Gingrich's remarks. Read or watch the speech. (Remarks on Iraq at the University of South Dakota
Gingrich did not say anything like the headlines all over the media.
Check out "More Deception From "Good Morning America"
Many in the left wing media think that they are hurting Pres. Bush. In fact, they are hurting the media, i.e. their profession.
I don't expect any media to be pro-Bush or pro-Clinton. I do expect editors to be honest and shoot straight with readers.
Hugh Hewitt had a great discussion of the Iran situation on his show. Hewitt is drawing an analogy between March 7, 1936 and today.
What happened 70 years ago? As Hewitt points out, "March 7, 1936 is the day Hitler ordered German troops to reoccupy the Rhineland, and the date generally believed to have been, in retrospect, the ideal time to have stopped Hitler's march towards the war that followed. Britain and France did nothing, and the war came."
What if the US had attacked Hitler in 1936? The European street would have accused Pres. Roosevelt of being an unilateralist imperialist.
I don't know about nuclear weapons. I am not a military expert either. Yet, I do know that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable.
Tony Blair and the UK will help us. I don't believe that the rest of Europe has the will or wallet to do anything.
As the Wall Street Journal points out that Iran:
"has escalated the situation by deceiving U.N. inspectors, indulging in incendiary rhetoric and abandoning its international commitments. Tehran has even resisted Russia's offer to let it enrich uranium in that country under Moscow's supervision."
The Iranian situation has entered into a dangerous situation. We may have to act very soon.
Check out the Pew Research Center Biennial News Consumption Survey, and specifically page 28.
Rush is # 1 again. Keep it up! We love you Rush!
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Daniel Johnson writes from Europe:
"Yesterday was a dark day in the history of Europe, not only because both France and Italy turned their backs on economic reform, but because both of these great nations have visibly lost their nerve in the face of an even greater challenge - a challenge to Judeo-Christian civilization itself. For the real beneficiaries of this collective loss of nerve will be Al Qaeda and its Islamist power base, who pose a more immediate threat to freedom in Europe than they do in America." (http://www.nysun.com/article/30759)
If you are going to Europe, make sure that you take lots of pictures and hug Europeans. What we are seeing is the disintegration of the Europe that we have known into something that we won't recognize.
According to Ruben Navarette:
"Who killed immigration reform? The autopsy shows it was Senate Democrats." (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/04/the_democrats_sell_out_latinos.html)
I am glad that Hispanic Navarette is pointing out that Democrats killed the Senate deal. In retrospect, it looks like Republicans had a good compromise but Democrats wanted an issue for the weekend marches.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
We had a big march in Dallas. The police estimate was 300-500,000! That's huge. There were other marches across the country.
What about the larger number that stayed home and did not march? In fact, more Hispanics stayed home than showed up at the march!
According to the Pew Hispanic Center:
"...relatively few Hispanics favor increasing the flow of legal immigration from Latin America" (http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/52.pdf)
Beyond Hispanics, are the marchers winning the argument? I don't think so.
According to Rasmussen:
"Forty-six percent (46%) of Americans said that they prefer the candidate with the harder line on illegal aliens while 38% opt for the candidate who wants to expand legal opportunities for foreign workers to find jobs. However, those who say the immigration issue is very important in determining their vote prefer the pro-enforcement candidate by a much larger margin, 67% to 23%. This suggests that the short-term political advantage on the immigration issue lies with those who want a tougher enforcement policy. Fifty percent (50%) of Americans say the immigration issue is very important. Another 32% say it is somewhat important." (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2006/April%20Dailies/Immigration%20April%207.htm)
The bottom line is that immigration is going to be a huge issue in November. I expect that those who stayed home on Sunday and Monday will make a statement with their votes.
On immigration, we need reform and do the right thing to do for the country. First, close the border by putting troops or building a fence. Secondly, enforce labor laws by making it very expensive for any business owner to hire someone with false documents. Third, create a work visa program for those who are already here. Last, but not least, open the door so that more people can come legally to the US. The US needs more workers and we should have a legal way to do it.
The operative word is legal. This is about the rule of law.
For more on Latino attitudes, check out: "Latinos divided on immigration issue" (http://kvoa.com/global/story.asp?s=4749422&ClientType=Printable)
Monday, April 10, 2006
The immigration debate is difficult. I would like to see the marches and placards disappear. They do not help. It's time for both sides to stop calling each other "criminals" and "racists". Let's move on and drop the slogans and placards.
On one hand, you have 10 million people who crossed the border and work without papers. They are not criminals. They are here because Democrats and Republicans let them in. They are cutting our grass, cleaning our homes and doing many jobs that Americans won't do.
Or better put, jobs that Americans won't do for minimum wage! For example, Americans have no problem working in very dangerous mines. Why? Because they pay excellent wages.
On the other hand, there are people like me who came here legally and have to play by the rules.
Are people like me getting a raw deal? Check out Mark Steyn's article "No easy answers on immigration conundrum" (http://www.suntimes.com/output/steyn/cst-edt-steyn09.html)
Last week, I asked a group of undocumented workers: How many of you have filed or plan to file your tax returns? One woman raised her hand. The others looked at me and did not what I was talking about. Then a young man said that his boss pays him in cash and he does not know anything about taxes.
I asked a second question. How many of you know that it costs $6,000 to send a young boy or girl to a Texas public school? Again, no one knew that either. Several of the people in the group are sending their kids to public schools. They think that it's free because they do not pay at the door.
Back to the real world. Yesterday, I made my annual visit to the "tax service" and had my return prepared. Unfortunately, I need to write a $2,500 check to Uncle Sam this year. I did my best to squeeze every deduction but it was not enough.
This is the dilemma. I am legal. I play by the rules. I pay my share of taxes so that my kids can go to a good public school.
Some of them are not legal, do not file a tax return, do not declare their income, do not pay taxes but get the same schools and roads that I do.
As a responsible father, and husband, I pay for a major medical program and life insurance policy. On the other hand, undocumented workers use Parkland Hospital and get medical services for free. (They are not "free" because Parkland must raise money to be the hospital of last resort)
Something is wrong in this picture. It's time to legalize those who are here and stop illegal immigration. The US has the right, and duty, to insist that immigrants must meet a minimum set of requirements.
Again, I agree that undocumented workers are not criminals. However, I am not racist, or anti-Mexico, for suggesting that the border should be respected and that everyone should enter the country legally.
The American dream is great and I'm glad that so many people want to pursue it. Yet, those seeking the American dream must do what my immigrant parents did: pay taxes and obey the law!
Sunday, April 09, 2006
I predicted a 4-3 or even 5-2 start. In other words, you go 1-2 or 2-1 against Boston and take 3 of 4 from Detroit.
My predictions were wrong. They are 1-5 and play Detroit today. Worse than that, Kevin Millwood is 0-2. The hitters can't hit or score. Even Kevin Mench, who hit the ball all over the spring, can't hit.
Texas will get on a roll. They will win 5 or 6 in a row and even out the slow start. But I hate slow starts because they can spoil the fans' excitement.
P. S. Speaking of good starts, the Brewers are 5-0 and I'm not shocked. Milwaukee has a good young team that will be a factor in the NL Central.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
According to the latest reports, the US economy added 211,000 jobs in March. The overall unemployment rate is down to 4.7%, which is extremely low by any historical standard.
Gary Burnison, chief financial officer of executive search firm Korn/Ferry International said:
"It's a very, very, very strong jobs market."
Why all the doom and gloom? Frankly, I don't know.
Rush Limbaugh had a great line today:
"We are beyond full employment. We have another economic expansion. If this president's initials were WJC, William Jefferson Clinton, instead of GWB, this would be one of the most spectacular economies in our nation's history and we would be reading articles about how Clinton should be the next face up on Mount Rushmore."
This is a good economy. It's about time that Pres. Bush got some credit!
Friday, April 07, 2006
The immigration debate is getting silly and sillier.
On one hand, some people want to deport everyone. You can't do that. We don't have enough buses or train cars to send them back. Also, many employers will scream if you send back their employees! Let's face. Most of these people are working and their bosses are very happy with them.
We have 4.8% unemployment. Illegal immigrants are not taking work from Americans. They are generally doing the minimum wage work that most Americans won't do, such as picking tomatoes.
On the other hand, you have those who want amnesty. You can't do that either. Amnesty will simply invite another round of people to cross the border and wait their turn. Amnesty will mock those who have followed the legal procedures to come to the US.
Deportation and amnesty are bad ideas. It's time for both sides to stop screaming and get real about a very complicated problem. Like terrorism and Social Security, we chose to do nothing and now have to face the consequences of our indecision and lack of leadership.
It looks like the Senate came up with a compromise. According to reports, the plan divides immigrants into various groups and applies different standards to each one:
"Illegal immigrants who have been in the country for at least five years could receive legal status after meeting several conditions....Illegal immigrants in the country for between two and five years could obtain a temporary work visa after reporting to a border point of entry....Illegal immigrants in the United States for less than two years would be required to leave the country and apply for re-entry alongside anyone else seeking to emigrate." (http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060407/D8GQQS3G0.html)
Frankly, this is a good place to start. I understand that it won't please everyone but that's why they call it a compromise.
The final product must include tough steps to protect the border. If necessary, put troops on the border to convey a message that the US is serious abour it. Make it clear that crossing the border is a felony and you will be sent back. Eventually, the message will get through and people will stay home!
A work visa program without border enforcement won't work. We will simply end up with another dozen million illegals in 20 years.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
As a practical matter, it is hard to shed a tear for the French.
In World War II, American young men died liberating France. Since then, the US armed forces provided a defense shield for France and much of Europe.
US tanks, and troops, stationed in West Germany kept Soviet tanks, and troops, from marching into Western Europe. US ships and planes have protected European airspace and coastlines since WW2.
Did the French appreciate their liberation from Hitler or their protection from the USSR? They didn't. They have been a pain in the behind for 50 years.
Again, I'm in no mood to shed a tear for the French.
Yet, France is exhibit A of what much of Europe, and to a lesser extent the US, will face in the next 10 years.
The era of the welfare state is over.
The US has a big advantage over Europe. Our economy is flexible and growing. The European economies are not flexible and not growing either.
As Pat Buchanan writes:
"Since World War II, every country in Western Europe has been ruled for a time by socialists. These regimes put in place laws that ensured job security, a living wage, a shorter workweek than in the United States, generous unemployment benefits, early retirement, magnanimous pensions and state-subsidized health benefits. To finance these maternal welfare states, European regimes take 40 percent or even 50 percent of the economy in taxes, as compared with a U.S. federal, state and local tax bite of 33 percent." (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/03/the_death_of_eurosocialism.html)
The party is over. Unemployment in France is 10% and 20% for young people. Simply put, the young can't find work and the adults can't create any prosperity.
The second lesson from Europe is that it's very hard to take back entitlements from people who have been raised with a welfare state mindset.
France is now on the brink of anarchy. It's leadership is too weak to stand up to anyone. Beyond pampered young people, there are thousands of young immigrants outside of Paris waiting for the right moment to start burning more cars.
What will happen in France? Who will replace Jacques and Dom?
Nobody really knows. Who wants to be President of a country where no one wants to work and everyone thinks that the government owes them everything?
How do you say "Titanic" in French?
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Don't get me wrong. I don't have a problem with the Mexican flag. I just don't like people demmanding rights and sticking a foreign flag in my face.
On Saturday, we will see another march. Let's hope that people behave and show their appreciation for what the US has done for them.
Check out: "Mexican flags draw dissent" (http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0405mexicanflag0405.html:
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Yesterday, Pres. Bush threw the first pitch of the Reds' season. It was great and he got a wonderful reception.
Check out the video (http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060403&content_id=1381642&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb)
Opening Day should be a national holiday. I'm not suggesting that we shut down the post office and the banks. It should be a national holiday for baseball fans.
Before working for myself, I would always take a personal day on opening day. I recall doing this in Baltimore. My boss was also an Oriole fan so he understood that opening day was good for my self esteem and productivity. He would rather have me at the ballpark than sneaking a TV in my office.
My favorite opening day memory is April 7, 1970, the day that baseball returned to Milwaukee. We spent the entire month of March anticipating that the Seattle Pilots would move to Milwaukee.
The Pilots moved a few days before opening day. Within hours, the team printed tickets, a program and got the uniforms ready. I can still recall lining up with my school friends to buy tickets and joining some 37,000 at County Stadium.
A few days ago, I found a picture of Lew Krausse throwing the first pitch of the game, and Brewers history, to Sandy Alomar.
Krausse was eventually traded and I don't know what happened to him. Alomar had two sons----Sandy and Roberto, a couple of All Stars.
As for the Rangers, they opened at home for the first time since 2002. They lost 7-2.
The best news from opening day is that Jimmy Rollins got a hit in the 8th, probably his last at bat, and extended his streak to 37!
Monday, April 03, 2006
As a purist, I hate that baseball starts on Sunday night. I love afternoon openers, specially the tradition of the first pitch in Cincinnati.
Baseball is here. From now until October, baseball will be with us everyday. It is a wonderful daily grind.
In the NL East, the Braves will win their 16th consecutive division title. This team won 2 titles under the first Bush, 8 under Clinton and 5 under GW Bush. The Braves have been retooled several times but they keep on winning.
In the NL Central, the St. Louis Cardinals will repeat easily. This is the most complete team in the league.
The NL West is up for grabs. If the Giants are healthy, and Barry Bonds is not a major distraction, then they should win. Otherwise, I like the Dodgers. No matter what, this is the weakest division in baseball.
The wild card is up for grabs---Mets, Phillies, Nats, Astros and the Brewers. Yes, the Brewers will be the surprise team in the NL. Milwaukee has a good young team. Doug Melvin should be the GM of the Year!
So Atlanta, St., Louis, San Francisco and Milwaukee will play in October.
The Cardinals will win the NL flag.
In the AL East, Toronto will end the New York-Boston domination. The Blue Jays have built a young team and should arrive in 2006.
In the AL Central, Chicago, Cleveland and Minnesota will give us an exciting September. Eventually, Chicago will win it because of their deep pitching.
In the AL West, Oakland will win and make Billy Beane the talk of baseball again. The Angels are great on paper but age is a problem. The Rangers are a very good young team but pitching may not be deep enough to catch Oakland.
The wild card will be between New York, Boston, Texas, Cleveland, Minnesota and Los Angeles. I will go with the Rangers because they are hungry and Buck Showalter is a superb manager. Also, Mark Texeira is going to have a banner season and win the MVP!
So Toronto, Chicago, Oakland and Texas will play in October.
Oakland will win the AL pennant in a tough series over Chicago.
The Cardinals and A's will play in the World Series. Tony LaRussa will lead the Cardinals over his old team in 6 games!
I'll check my predictions around Memorial Day. In the meantime, everyone is in first place and let's play ball!
Sunday, April 02, 2006
As I have said before, most "indocumentados" are working hard and carrying their weight. Yet, they are here illegally and this situation must be cleaned up!
How do we fix this illegal immigration problem? It's in everyone's interest to have workers with proper documentation.
The US needs comprehensive immigration reform. We need a new system that protects the border and invites workers to the US legally.
Beyond work visas and border solutions, Pres. Bush, Republicans and Democrats must demand more from Mexican politicians. Mexico is not going to deal with its economic problems until it addresses structural problems.
Mexico is sitting on one of the world's largest oil deposits but PEMEX can not explore oil. It has every possible advantage, such as great lands, beautiful coastlines and ports. Yet, Mexico has to export 11 million people and collect $20 billion in "remesas" to make ends meet.
David Frum wrote this today:
"For the 6% of Mexican households that receive remittances, these funds can mean the difference between extreme poverty and an income roughly in line with the Mexican average. And as Mexico's economy has malperformed since 2000, remittances have become more essential than ever - not only economically, but politically." (http://frum.nationalreview.com/)
We've had immigration debates before. We had them one hundred years ago. But as Frum indicates:
"Today, almost one-fifth of all living Mexican-born people now make their homes in the United States. You have to go back to the Irish potato famine to find a parallel. But Mexico is not suffering famine: It is suffering from a comprehensive failure of political and economic leadership."
George W. Grayson, who teaches government at the College of William & Mary, is the author of "Mesias Mexicano," a book about Mexican presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. He has just written "Mexico prefers to export its poor, not uplift them" for The Christian Science Monitor. Check this out:
"When oil revenues are excluded, Mexico raises the equivalent of only 9 percent of its gross domestic product in taxes - a figure roughly equivalent to that of Haiti and far below the level of major Latin American nations. Insufficient revenues mean that Mexico spends relatively little on two key elements of social mobility: Education commands just 5.3 percent of its GDP and healthcare only 6.10 percent, according to the World Bank's last comparative study." (http://search.csmonitor.com/search_content/0330/p09s02-coop.html)
Sorry. It's time to Mexicans to get angry with Mexico rather than US immigration laws! Mexico is failing its citizens and being a very bad neighbor.
Saturday, April 01, 2006
France is a sick economy. It can't grow or create jobs. It needs to change its labor laws.
What did Jacques and Dom do? They gave in to lawless demonstrators.
Did Chirac's concessions please the protesters? No. They promised more violence.
In the words, the street wants their way or nothing at all.
Check out these pictures from Paris. (http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2006/03/would-you-let-your-daughter-go-to.html)
These are not protests. This is anarchy! It's going to be a very violent year in Paris.
Who was George Mason? Let's find out:
"The Bill of Rights received a lot of attention during its recent 200th anniversary, but little recognition was given to George Mason, who was the driving force behind the document. Mason (1725-1792) was the author of the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, which the Marquis de Condorcet called "the first Bill of Rights to merit the name."
Mason fought against ratification of the United States Constitution because it contained no bill of rights.
As a leader of the AntiFederalists, his objections led to the first 10 amendments, which were ratified in 1791.
Mason is relatively unknown among the Founders, but his intellect was renowned as one of the finest in the Colonies. In fact, Thomas Jefferson called Mason "the wisest man of his generation."
Fellow Virginian Edmund Randolph added: "He was behind none of the sons of Virginia in knowledge of her history and interest. At a glance, he saw to the bottom of every proposition which affected her."
James Madison praised Mason as "a powerful reasoner, a profound statesman, and a devoted republican." (http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/B/gmason/gmasxx.htm)
They named a university after him. It is a great university. (http://www.gmu.edu/)
Let's win it for George!
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