Wednesday, May 31, 2006
The Mavericks are naturally taking most of the headlines. Dirk & Co. are playing very well and should face Miami for the NBA finals.
Have you checked the AL standings lately? The Rangers are in first place.
Monday night, rookie John Rheinecker pitched 8 1/3 innings and got his first major league win, a 2-0 shutout against Seattle. I can not recall another rookie pitching that well. Maybe my memory is failing. Can anyone remember a better rookie performance?
Back in March, it was supposed to be Millwood, Eaton and Padilla. Who had ever heard of Korocka and Rheinecker? What about Loe?
It's early but the Rangers are starting to look like a team that can win the AL West.
P.S. The Rangers announced that they had extended the contracts of television announcers Tom Grieve and Josh Lewin, and English radio announcers Eric Nadel and Victor Rojas.
Nadel & Rojas are fantastic. Lewin is OK. Grieve is great as an analyst. No one can replace Mark Holtz but Nadel & Rojas are a wonderful team.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Senator Durbin wants the US to consult with Mexico prior to building a fence.
This is not a joke. This is true.
Check it out:
""CONSULTATION REQUIREMENT -- Consultations between United States and Mexican authorities at the federal, state, and local levels concerning the construction of additional fencing and related border security structures along the United States-Mexico border shall be undertaken prior to commencing any new construction, in order to solicit the views of affected communities, lessen tensions and foster greater understanding and stronger cooperation on this and other important issues of mutual concern." (http://newsmax.com/scripts/printer_friendly.pl?s=pf&page=http://newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/5/28/112803.shtml?s=lh)
That's sweet. Senator Durbin is such a sweet man.
In a perfect world, neighbors should talk about their problems and border disputes.
However, we do not live in a perfect world.
We live in a world where the Mexican political class won't fix Mexico. Instead, they encourage their citizens to go north, get amnesty and send back lots of "dolares"!
Thankfully, the House will kill this silly provision.
Memorial Day is about the soldiers, the ones who were lost in battle.
It was started to honor the dead of The Civil War. (http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html)
Today, we honor the young men who are fighting the War on Terror.
They are the best of heroes. Let's remember their sacrifice.
Christopher Hitchens has a great piece in The Wall Street Journal about the young men in Iraq:
"This Memorial Day, one might think particularly of those of our fallen who also guarded polling-places, opened schools and clinics, and excavated mass graves. They represent the highest form of the citizen, and every man and woman among them was a volunteer. This plain statement requires no further rhetoric." (http://opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008441)
Check out "America at war on Memorial Day"
By James M. Dubik (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2003021649_sunmemorial28.html)
Enjoy your burgers and ball games today. Take a minute to remember the reason they call it "Memorial Day".
Sunday, May 28, 2006
In one generation, we have seen two men pass Babe Ruth's fabled 714 homeruns. To be honest, I did not think that it would be possible to catch the Babe. How can some average 35 homers over 20 years?
Aaron did it. And now Bonds has done it. (http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/pgStory?contentId=5646564)
We also saw Pete Rose pass Ty Cobb's 4191 hits. Again, how can some average 200 hits over 20 years. Rose did it from 1963-85. I did not think that anyone would ever come close to Cobb either.
We also saw Nolan Ryan throw 7 no-hitters. He passed Sandy Koufax who had 4. Ryan had his 5th in 1981 and then his 6th in 1990, or 9 years later!
So what's the next record to fall?
Let me say for sure that no one will break DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak. Pete Rose had 44 and Paul Molitor had 39.
So congratulations to Barry Bonds.
On July 2nd, Mexico will choose a new president. Unfortunately, the candidates are already talking about challenging election results.
Check out Ed Lanza's post on the Mexico elections! (http://hispanicon.blogspot.com/2006/05/mexico-elections.html)
Mexico needs an electoral resolution on July 2nd. So let's pray for someone to win easily, say 5 points! Otherwise, Mexico could be thrown into terrible disarray and the peso could spin out of control.
Friday night, our beloved Trojans were eliminated from the state baseball playoffs by The Woodlands. (http://www.dallasnews.com/cgi-bin/bi/gold_print.cgi)
Coach Blair and the Trojans had another good baseball season. They won the district again and several players will be continuing their baseball careers in college.
Preston Clairborne is going to Tulane. Donald Williams will play in OK-State.
The big story was Kyle Drabek.
Kyle was a toddler when his dad pitched with the Pirates in the early 90s.
Doug Drabek was one of the best right-handers in baseball. He played for the Pirates, a team that lost the NLCS to the Reds ('90) and Braves twice ('91 and '92).
Check out Drabek's MLB player page: http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/stats_historical/mlb_player_locator_results.jsp?playerLocator=drabek
Many say that Drabek's Pirates were one of the best teams never to make it to the World Series. I agree. Drabek's team included Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla and manager Jim Leyland. They lost two great 7-game series to the Braves. In '92, they lost in the bottom of the 9th.
Young Kyle inherited his dad's pitching skills. He is going to have a great professional career.
Remember the name. Kyle Drabek. He will soon be wearing a major league uniform and striking out lots of hitters.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
As of this weekend, the Tigers are the big shock in the AL Central. Will they keep it up? I don't think so. I think that the White Sox will eventually catch Detroit and don't overlook Minnesota.
The Rangers have a 3 game lead in the AL West. Every team is playing poorly, specially the Angels. I won't rule out LA yet but they need to start winning soon. The edge is to Texas because the young Rangers have talent and Buck Showalter is an excellent manager.
In the AL East, I'm expecting Toronto to catch on fire. I think that the young Blue Jays will outplay the veteran Yankees down the stretch. Boston will hang around but this is not their year.
Over in the NL, I am not surprised that the Mets are playing well. Where are the Braves? What's happened to Bobby Cox's team? The Braves have won 15 division titles in a row. I won't bet against them yet. Let's see where the Braves are on Labor Day.
St. Louis is running away with the NL Central. No surprise here. Will the Brewers get going and challenge for the wild card? I think so.
The NL West is still up in the air. Didn't Arizona lose 100 games in '04? Are these guys in first place?
Bud Selig has a few challenges on his desk.
First, how is baseball going to deal with franchises like Tampa Bay, Florida, Pittsburgh and KC,
Second, what about the upcoming labor contract? Will baseball cut back a couple of teams? Will the Marlins move to San Antonio? Can we finally see a salary cap?
Baseball has problems. Every sport does. Overall, the '06 season is off to a very good start.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Carlos Tabares retires from the school district next week. Over the years, Carlos has been the friendly face of ESL classes at the Pearl Street Annex.
Carlos is going to spend his retirement between the US and his native Colombia.
I found this retirement quote:
"Retire from work, but not from life" by M.K. Soni
Carlos will retire from work but he will continue to live a full life!
We wish him well.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
The US Senate will approve a bill before Memorial Day. It will include a fence, employer penalties and some type of guest worker program. In other words, the Senate will approve something similar to what Pres. Bush proposed last week.
The House and the Senate will meet this summer and come up with a compromise. The Republicans will not punt on immigration. It's in the party's interest to draw up an immigration plan.
What will the bill look like? This is my prediction:
1) The House will kill the Social Security provision. It passed 50-49 in the Senate. There are not enough votes to defend this.
2) The House will add another 300-400 miles of fence.
3) The House will go along with the Senate on a guest worker provision that allows some to stay and others to leave. The key will be "children". If you have US born children then you will get preferential treatment over those who do not.
4) The House will tighten up employer sanctions. It will be very costly to hire someone without papers, or with false documents.
Before Labor Day, Pres. Bush will sign an immigration bill that has a lot of border enforcement, employer sanctions, a limited guest worker program and a long path to earning residency and citizenship.
It won't please everyone but it will be a big political victory for Pres. Bush.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Check this out.
Rick Monday of the Cubs grabs the US flag from a couple of idiots trying to burn it. Watch the video:
Rick Monday had a very nice baseball career. He hit 241 homeruns and had over 1600 hits.
He is well known for hitting the 9th inning homerun in game 5 of the Dodgers-Expos 1981 NLCS. It put LA in the Series and they went on to beat the Yankees.
By coincidence, I was in Monterrey, Mexico, for a business trip and had a chance to watch the game at a restaurant. Valenzuela pitched for LA on that day! The entire restaurant started screaming when Monday hit the homer!
His greatest day was when he saved the US flag!
We are living in very unusual times.
I would strongly recommend "The End of Motherhood?"By Robert Samuelson (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/05/the_end_of_motherhood.html)
Samuelson is the latest observer to look at the demographic suicide taking place in much of the West.
In the US, we are doing OK for the moment. However, from Canada to Europe, babies are rare and populations are getting older.
Why are Americans having more babies than Europeans or Canadians? Samuelson cites three reasons:
and stronger religious values.
Americans are optimistic. They see a good future and they want to have children.
Marriage and babies went out of style in the 1970s. It may be time to bring them back.
Without babies, our societies will get old and no one will be around to protect our heritage or values. In other words, we will look like Europe and that's a dreadful thought!
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Most people remember Lloyd Bentsen because of the 1988 VP debates. ("I knew John Kennedy, and you are no John Kennedy")
Great line. It will be around forever.
In Texas, Bentsen was known as a good Senator and the last of the old Democrats.
They don't make Democrats like Bentsen anymore. This is why the Democrats have lost 7 of the last 10 presidential elections!
For more, read this: (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,196614,00.html)
McCain spoke directly and was not intimidated by the childish behavior of students and faculty. At one point, rude faculty and students turned their backs on the Senator. How silly can they get?
McCain spoke about the real world. Unfortunately, there were too many in the audience who have no idea of what the real world is.
McCain spent 6 years in a communist prison. He knows torture. Love him or hate him, he is an American hero with a perspective that none of these kids or teachers have.
Yet, he was treated poorly.
The left has raised a loud and angry bunch. They will go after the Democrats in 2008 with fury. I pity the pro-war Democrat who wins the '08 nomination. The angry left will turn the convention into "four letter word" screams and anti-Bushims. In the end, they will turn off the electorate, just like they did with their irrational attacks on Nixon, Reagan and Bush.
It was not a good weekend for those trying to rescue the Democrats from the angry left syndrome!
Monday, May 22, 2006
Dallas was up by 20 points.....the Spurs were up by 3 with 32 seconds....then the game was tied with 12 seconds but the Spurs missed their last shot.
In overtime, it came down to the last seconds.
This is a wonderful victory for the young Mavericks.
The Mavs are a young team on their way up. They will win an NBA title or two in the next 10 years.
However, it won't be this year.
San Antonio will win tonight and go on to win another NBA title. I don't see another team that can stop the Spurs. They are the class of the league right now.
My wish: I hope that this post is 100% wrong in 7 hours.
Pres. Clinton spoke to Univ. of Texas graduates this weekend. He said this:
"I think we should be in the Kyoto climate change system," Clinton said. "We can't solve global warming or any other problem in the world you can mention that amounts to a hill of beans by ourselves." (http://reuters.myway.com/article/20060520/2006-05-20T200944Z_01_N20271311_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-ENVIRONMENT-CLINTON-DC.html)
Pat Jackson, the Reuters correspondent, then writes this:
"During Clinton's administration, the global Kyoto Protocol to curb the release of greenhouse gases was created but the Bush administration has rejected it on grounds it will hurt the U.S. economy."
Pat Jackson needs to check facts. It was the Clinton administration who sat on Kyoto Treaty in the late 90s. Clinton did not bring the treaty to the US Senate for ratification.
Why? Because he could not get enough Senators to support him.
Clinton has been running around the world promoting himself and Kyoto. Yet, he did nothing about it when he had a chance.
I expect Bill Clinton to say anything. I expect something better from Pat Jackson and Reuters.
On Saturday, I read "How New Orleans Drowned"
By DOUGLAS BRINKLEY"
According to Brinkley, Mayor Nagin was "in Texas parlance, all hat, no cattle."
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Ten days ago, the Rangers started a very tough road trip to Boston, New York and Houston. In simple terms, they were scheduled to play 10 games against the NL Champs and two of the 2005's post season teams.
They were 1-0 in Boston because of the rain. They were 2-2 in New York and 1-2 in Houston.
On balance, the Rangers did well. They have survived a tough road trip and still stand at top of the AL West.
The Angels and A's are coming in next. It's early but the Angels need to make a move. They are 10 games under .500 and in last place.
So far so good. I like this Rangers' team.
Some of us are old enough to remember Mantle's last homerun in '68. Or, Mays and Aaron hitting their 500th, 600th and so on.
Of course, I remember Aaron tying and breaking Ruth's record. It was a Monday Night Game early in '74. The pitcher was Al Downing of the LA Dodgers. I can remember Aaron rounding the bases and getting a handshake from Bill Russell, the Dodgers' shortstop.
He was greeted at the plate by a young Dusty Baker. Tom House, who later served as the Rangers' pitching coach caught the ball in the bullpen.
It was very exciting. Like many fans, I was invested in Aaron's achievements.
Sorry but I don't have that feeling today. Bonds just does not have the same positive impact on me that Aaron or Mays did.
Maybe it's because I grew up loving Mantle, Aaron and Mays. Maybe it's all the stuff about steroids.
Shortly, Bonds will pass Ruth and go after Aaron's 755. According to reporters who have been following him, Bonds looks tired and worn out. He is 41 and his injuries are catching up with him.
Retire Barry. Hang it up and leave Aaron's record alone.
You can check Bonds' 714th by clicking this video.(http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060501&content_id=1427974&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb)
Saturday, May 20, 2006
On Thursday, Gen. Hayed went before the Senate for confirmation hearings. He was outstanding. His best line was that there is too much partisanship around intelligence.
Over the years, the CIA has messed up a few things. Unfortunately, we never hear about the things it got right.
Also, there are too many liberals in the CIA who want to undo elections. They don't like that Republicans have won 7 of 10 elections.
I hope that Hayed cleans up the leaking and restores a little order to a very disorderly place.
We need a viable CIA. We needs lots of intelligence about our enemies.
On another front, the NSA story is dead. The public is not buying it.
Today, we learned that the journalist behind the story is a partisan Democrat. Worse than that, we learned that the telephone companies are calling for retractions.
Where do we go from here? Hayden will be confirmed soon and USA TODAY may have a little explaining to do!
Friday, May 19, 2006
"There are 12 million Mexicans on the other side, 12 million people who live every day in anguish about the need for a reform to let them live peacefully..." (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060518/ts_nm/usa_immigration_mexico_dc_3)
Sec. Derbez said that Mexico may sue the US for placing National Guard troops on the border, or worse, building a fence.
Are you joking Sec. Derbez? The 12 million on this side do not live in anguish. Nobody is forcing them to live in the US. They are here and want to stay here!
Please do not insult my intellegence with remarks like that!
First of all, Mexico has troops on the border too. They secure the north from drug dealers and the daily violence consuming cities like Nuevo Laredo and Cd Juarez. What about Mexican troops on the Guatemala border? The bottom line is that Mexico has the duty to protect its northern and southern borders.
Second, the US National Guard is protecting US territory. They are not going to chase anyone into Mexico.
Third, and most important, who is giving Sec. Derbez political advice?
The US public is already in a very sour mood on this whole issue of illegal immigration. How is this going to help?
My suggestion to Sec. Derbez, Pres. Fox, Mr. Calderon, Mr. Lopez-Obrador and the guy running on the PRI ticket, is to change Mexico so that its citizens don't have to leave to find work!'
P.S. Check out Bill O'Reilly's great video reply to Sec. Derbez, "Threats From Mexico?" (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,195987,00.html)
Thursday, May 18, 2006
On Wednesday, Pres. Bush signed "....legislation to extend investor-oriented tax cuts and shield middle-class taxpayers from the alternative minimum tax..."(http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%7BB48F81BE-3F58-49DF-BCE8-E166A3CE0EC7%7D&siteid=google)
The current Bush tax cuts are the third experiment in cutting taxes.
Pres. Kennedy cut taxes in the 1960s. Pres. Reagan cut taxes in the 1980s. And now Pres. Bush.
Every tax cut was followed by a healthy expansion. They create jobs and tax receipts go up.
Of course, the Democrats play the "envy" card and say that Bush is helping the rich. This is not true.
The Wall Street Journal put this nonsense to rest:
"As for whether the tax cuts favor "the rich," this deserves longer treatment on another day. For now, suffice it to say that one reason tax revenues are rushing into the Treasury at a record pace is because the rich are paying them. The tax payments of the wealthiest 3% of Americans increased at twice the rate of the tax payments by everyone else from 2001-2004. And those richest 3% now pay nearly as much income taxes as the other 97% combined. While the incomes of the rich have risen, the lower 2003 tax rates are still soaking them for the government's benefit."
Well done Pres. Bush!
Why do we waste our time with the UN? Check it out. This is not fiction like The DaVinci Code.
"Cuba wins seat on U.N. Human Rights Council By PABLO BACHELET"
They say that this is a procedural step. In other words, it's Cuba's turn to serve on the council.
This is a travesty. Cuba is one of the world's worst violators of human rights.
Snow was very impressive. He is a real asset to the Bush team. Did anyone catch his little exchange with Helen Thomas?
Well done Tony Snow!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Worse than that, the Rangers had a 10-1 lead in this game. The Rangers lost it, came back to take the lead, lost it again, tied the game, went ahead dramatically in the top of the 9th and then lost the game when Posada hits a 2 run homer!
Don't believe it? It did happen. This is one of those box scores that will likely end up in the Hall of Fame, or perhaps in the Rangers' Hall of Shame. (http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20060516&content_id=1456948&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb)
On the US side, Pres. Bush has proposed a reasonable compromise. It won't please everybody but that's what happens when you make decisions. On the whole, Pres. Bush has the right approach. First, you secure the border. Then, you create a guest worker program and deal with the internal issues.
Yet, the key is Mexico. What is Mexico going to do to fix itself?
Mexico is in the middle of a presidential campaign. Yesterday, Lopez-Obrador raised the issue of Mexicans working abroad. He referred to it as a failure and a disgrace. He blasted Pres. Fox for failing to create jobs and forcing thousands to go north.
Lopez-Obrador has the right idea but the wrong solutions. He wants to move Mexico further to the left, which will hurt Mexico's economy. It will drive the poor and the middle class north.
Mexico cannot change overnight. Its system is the result of 70 years of misguided populism. However, there is hope for change. Mexico needs to look to Chile, Ireland, Taiwan and South Korea for ideas.
My opinion is that Mexico needs to privatize PEMEX and turn around its agricultural sector. It needs to attract more investment so that jobs are created in Mexico.
July 2nd is a key date on this immigration debate. Are Mexicans serious about fixing their country? Or have Mexicans given up and plan to move north?
For further info on Mexico's problems, check out:
"Mexico's shame" by George W. Grayson (http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20060514/news_mz1e14grayso.html)
"Mexico's Addiction to Remittances from Illegals In U.S." By Victor Davis Hanson (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/05/are_remittances_as_bad_as_oil.html)
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
This is where we are on this immigration debate.
On one side, you have a bunch of people who will oppose any border restrictions. They want open borders, full amnesty and a quick path to citizenship.
They are crazy.
One the other side, you have a group that won't accept any idea of a guest worker program. They want to deport everyone.
They are unrealistic.
Where is Pres. Bush?
The President wants to secure the border, which is the start of any conversation for me. You cannot talk about a guest worker program until you secure, or even close, the border.
The President wants employer penalties. I like that. Keep up the raids. Enforce the law.
The President wants a guest worker program. I like that too. Give people a chance to work in the US if the job is available. We have 4.7% unemployment. No one is taking jobs from anybody.
Overall, I liked the President's proposals.
Does anyone have a better idea?
Monday, May 15, 2006
Florida was dismantled again. TB, KC and Pittsburgh are just small market teams that can't compete.
Baseball needs to make a decision. Eliminate these teams or create a financial structure that allows TB to develop and keep its outstanding young players. The Devil Rays have wonderful young talent. How long will Carl Crawford play in Tampa?
I don't like this financial system. Baseball needs 30 healthy franchises. It does not have them today.
Over and over, we hear about polls that say that Americans prefer Democrats over Republicans.
We call these "generic polls". Do they matter? Not really. Why? Because Americans do not vote in generic elections.
In 2006, Americans will choose between Johnny Democrat and Johnny Republican. They won't vote for a party or generic candidate.
How are the real candidates doing? Take a look at the latest CQ scorecard. (http://www.cqpolitics.com/).
As of today, Republicans lead 224-202 with 9 up in the air. It takes 218 to have a majority. If the Democrats win every "too close to call" race, they would still trail 224-211. (http://www.cqpolitics.com/risk_rating_house.html)
Close but no cigar!
In the US Senate races, CG has Republicans leading 54-45, with one too close to call. (http://www.cqpolitics.com/risk_rating_senate.html)
Not even close!
What's my message to Republicans?
Go into 2006 and play hard. Do not assume anything and work on getting a huge turnout.
If we get our voters out then we will keep our majority and even add a couple of seats!
Sunday, May 14, 2006
We have too much garbage on TV and too many polls.
CNN has just done a poll comparing Bush to Clinton. Of course, Clinton won!
Take a look:(http://cnn.worldnews.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=CNN.com+-+Poll%3A+Clinton+outperformed+Bush+-+May+12%2C+2006&amp;amp;expire=-1&urlID=18229188&fb=Y&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F2006%2FPOLITICS%2F05%2F12%2Fbush.clinton.poll%2Findex.html&partnerID=2006)
Comparing Bush to Clinton is so silly that it makes me wonder what point the pollster was trying to make.
In the end, most of the problems that Bush has had to deal with were leftovers from the Clinton years.
Also, don't elections matter? How many Democrats did Bill Clinton elect? Did he help VP Gore win Arkansas in 2000?
Let's wait 50 years and ask historians the same question. Bush will be seen as a consequential president and Clinton will be remembered as the man who did not address problems.
Nice try CNN. However, most of us watch Fox News because we don't like your silly polls!
Friday, May 12, 2006
Also, I did not think that we would go 4 plus years without a second attack.
Are we lucky or good? I think that the Bush administration has done a good job of protecting the homeland.
Pres. Bush saw 9-11 and understood that warfare changed. On that day, we were attacked, and 3,000 civilians killed, by people living in the US. As the 9-11 Report points out, they were among us, made long distance calls to get instructions and carried out their plan because no one took them seriously. They took advantage of every window of opportunity that a free society offered them.
Again, warfare changed. We were no longer fighting an army of uniformed soldiers. We were fighting civilians in our own country.
And they are still living here!
What's the big deal about the NSA stories? I don't see it. Don't we have the right to hear what people are saying? Shouldn't we care? Haven't they said publicly that they want to blow up an American city?
Why all the fuss about the NSA story?
I want this debate. I want the Democrats to go after Hayden with the same fervor that they showed with Alito.
Bring it on Democrats.
Rich Karlgaard was right on target today:
"Rest assured: The Dems will blow their lead. They always do." (http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/4842957)
Pres. Bush needs to take this one to the Democrats. Again, let's have live TV hearings. Let Sen. Leahy go after Gen. Hayden.
Bring it on Democrats.
In the meantime, we are still fighting a war against people who want to blow up an American city. Are the Democrats aware of that? Do they even care?
P.S. As always, PowerLine brought some common sense to this debate:
"I did a quick calculation: assuming that there are 200 million adult Americans, each of whom places or receives ten phone calls a day (a conservative estimate, I think), it would require a small army of 35,000 full-time NSA employees to pay a total of one second of attention to each call. In other words, lighten up: the NSA obviously isn't tracking your phone calls with your friends and relatives."
("NSA Accused of Protecting U.S. From Terrorists" http://powerlineblog.com/archives/014051.php)
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Fulgencio Batista was accused of overthrowing an elected president and being a strongman. In fact, he was all of those things. Yet, he was a little leaguer compared to Castro. In short, Batista never made the Forbes Top 10, or top 100 or Top Anything.
At this point, it does not matter whether Fidel Castro is worth US$ 1 million or US$ 100 million. Let's just say that Castro is a wealthy man. Let's also say that he did not earn it by working hard or improving anyone's life.
Castro made his millions by making deals with opportunistic investors and by trading property confiscated years ago.
Batista had money. Castro owns the whole island!
Despite his riches, Castro continues to enjoy a privileged position with the international left.
Despite his political prisons, he continues to get accolades from Harry Belafonte.
Despite the lack of a free press, he continues to be treated like a "grandfather" by many other leaders.
It's time for everyone to call Castro what he is. Color this man a dictator and stop all of the pretense.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Pres. Bush's approval ratings are from 31% to 41%. This is a dangerous range for a President facing a mid term election and 30 months in office.
What has gone wrong?
Pres. Bush has done a marvelous job on the war on terror. He saw the threat and responded swiftly. On Iraq, he understood the big picture, the same big picture that John Kerry saw until Howard Dean built a 20 point lead in New Hampshire.
On the economy, the numbers speak for themselves.
On cultural issues, Pres. Bush has consistently nominated strong judges and has supported a constitutional amendment to define marriage between a man and a woman.
On immigration, the President is missing in action. I don't know why but he is. It is the single biggest issue driving his poll numbers down.
Listen to me Pres. Bush. You can still turn your fortunes around. You can prevent Dem. gains in November.
But it starts with immigration.
Shut down the border. Put troops if necessary. Enforce labor laws. Make it clear that we are a nation of immigrants but also a nation of laws.
Get in the game Mr. President and the base will rally around you one more time.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
For ten years, our family has watched "7th heaven".
I liked the show because it was family oriented and did not mock fathers. Modern TV is silly and anti-father. It makes fathers look silly, such as The Simpsons.
The series' last show was a mixed bag. I liked the bit about the twins but Simon's wedding was silly. I have a hard time believing that you can call off a wedding and still have a nice dance and party afterwards.
Great series but silly ending. On second thought, 7th Heaven should have ended 2 or 3 years ago!
Monday, May 08, 2006
A week ago, we had a march. A week later, we can say this:
1) There was zero economic impact. How can you impact an economy with a US$ 15 trillion GDP, a 4.7% unemployment rate and growing at almost 5% annually.
2) There was a political impact and it was negative. Can anyone find a poll that contradicts my conclusion?
Where do we go from here?
This movement needs a new voice and totally different message. Otherwise, the November elections will deliver a very unpleasant result. As of today, candidates who want border security and to curtail immigration are running ahead of those calling for amnesty.
The latest Zogby Poll confirms that. Read it! (http://www.cis.org/articles/2006/2006poll.html)
What can this movement do?
First, it should speak English. Why are so many speeches in Spanish? How are they going to win public support doing that?
Second, there are still too many foreign flags. This movement should make a public statement that foreign flags are not welcomed. Besides, what's the point of a foreign flag anyway? Why is someone bringing a foreign flag to these rallies? What point are they making?
Third, the movement leaders should make a public disconnect from ANSWER and other left wing organizations. Why did ANSWER organize the LA march and others? What is the point of having ANSWER in this movement anyway?
Last but not least, the movement leaders need to say publicly that the US has the right to protect its borders. "Open borders" is not a policy. It is a prescription for disaster. You can not have a country without borders.
Will the movement heed my advice? I hope so! Otherwise, they won't enjoy what happens on the first Tuesday of November!
Sunday, May 07, 2006
As Governor of Texas, George W. Bush did very well with Hispanics and better than expected with blacks. Bush was seen by most people as a good man with a Christian heart. It played well in the religious Hispanic and black communities.
Katrina hurt Bush. Katrina was used by black demagogues and media to suggest that Pres. Bush and Republicans left blacks behind. Of course, New Orleans has a black mayor and a majority black City Council. Why don't they get a share of the blame?
Looking ahead, there are three very exciting black Republican candidates. I wish them well and I hope that everyone sends their contribution and does whatever they can. Check out these websites:
Michael Steele in Maryland
Lynn Swann in Pennsylvannia
Ken Blackwell in Ohio
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Last night, ARod and the NYYankees were in town. It was a great game. Mussina left the game in the 8th with a 8-1 lead. Texas scored 6 and had the bases loaded to end the inning. In the 9th, Rivera was Rivera and the Yankees won.
In 2001, ARod came to Texas after signing that huge $252 million contract. I did not like deal because the Rangers needed pitching rather than the best player in baseball.
ARod had 3 great seasons in Texas, including an MVP season. He hit 57 hrs one year. He played great defense. He gave the fans 300%!
But he did not fit the Rangers and was eventually traded.
Since leaving, ARod gets booed and I don't get it. ARod is a great player. He was a great Ranger. He just did not fit the Rangers' plans.
No ARod bashing here. ARod is great and I hope that he goes on to win another MVP.
Friday, May 05, 2006
OK. It's only May 5th but the Rangers are in first place at 17-12. What I love is that the starting pitching has been impressive during the 6 game winning streak.
OK. The Rangers swept Tampa Bay and Baltimore, two of the weak AL sisters. Yet, this is what you have to do to win. You beat up the weaker teams and then split with the big teams.
The Rangers have a big test coming up. They play the NY Yankees at home, then move on to Boston and New York.
Texas has built up a little cushion at 17-12. They can go 4-5 or 5-4 against NY and Boston and still sit pretty in the AL West.
Speaking of firsts, Millwood pitched a complete game with 100 pitches last night. You don't see a lot of those anymore.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Besides, Galbraith was a liberal economist and I was more interested in reading Milton Friedman. Nevertheless, I always found Galbraith to be very interesting.
Both men died this week.
I was very pleased to read Bill Buckley's article on Galbraith. It was very classy, which is what I would expect from Buckley:
"Forget the whole thing, the getting and spending, and the Nobel Prize nominations, and the economists' tributes. What cannot be forgotten by those exposed to them are the amiable, generous, witty interventions of this man, with his singular wife and three remarkable sons, and that is why there are among his friends those who weep that he is now gone." (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/05/john_kenneth_galbraith_rip.html)
As for Rukeyser, I did not know that PBS had fired him years ago. Rukeyser's show focused on business. He actually made Wall Street interesting, which is why it lasted so long.
Rukeyser & Galbraith were good men who contributed a lot to the world.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
We have been focused on the immigration issue. Yet, there are a couple of other topics out there for general discussion.
The good news is that the US economy continues to grow despite everything. How many more doom and gloom predictions can you hear?
Here is the bottom line: The US economy is growing at a 4.8% annual pace and the unemployment rate is 4.7%.
That's pretty good by any historical standard. The doom and gloom crowd need to put a smile on their face.
The bad news is that Iran continues to be a problem. I have no idea whether Iran is 2 days or 20 years from having a nuclear bomb. I do know that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable. Beyond that, the UN is proving to be as worthless over Iran as it did over Iraq. It's time for Pres. Bush to make it clear to the UN and Iran that the US is not going to sit around and wait for a round of worthless resolutions.
We are going to hear a lot more about Iran over the next 24 months.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
What happens now?
I think that this movement has run out of gas. Why? It does not have public support. Better put, it has turned off a large majority of Americans.
Rasmussen's latest poll indicates that "24% of American voters have a favorable opinion of the people who have recently marched and protested for immigrant rights in major cities." At the same time, "67% oppose amnesty." (http://rasmussenreports.com/2006/April%20Dailies/Immigration%20April%2029-30.htm)
Also, there appears to be an internal struggle between the leftist groups and centrist elements. Lou Dobbs reports today that:
"Just how significant is the impact of leftists within the illegal immigration movement? It is no accident that they chose May 1 as their day of demonstration and boycott. It is the worldwide day of commemorative demonstrations by various socialist, communist, and even anarchic organizations." (http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/05/01/dobbs.immigrantprotests/index.html)
Mark Krikorian makes a similar point:
"Prominent among the organizers of the street actions have been CISPES, the ANSWER Coalition, and other communist organizations, with CAIR and its ilk joining in, Subcomandante Marcos sending Zapatistas to protest at our embassy in Mexico City—and even Mumia Abu-Jamal expressing his solidarity!" (http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ODIzZjMyODA0YmZkNDQ3NDgzYTMyYmM2ZDE1NGY0OTA=)
In short, this movement committed political suicide. Between now and election day, US politicians will emphasize border security and labor law enforcement. We will see more raids.
These marches were a gift for Tom Tancredo? What did he do to get so lucky?
What about the "indocumentados"? They were terribly served by the leaders of this movement.
Monday, May 01, 2006
As a matter of fact, I would love to pay 23 cents a gallon. I recall driving with my father and filling up our '65 Ford Galaxie 500 for $5.
Those were the days my friend. Gasoline was cheap and McDonalds hamburgers were 15 cents. Bleacher tickets at County Stadium were 50 cents and the box seats were $4.25! (I have a '71 Brewers' program to prove it!)
I should add that the minimum wage was 69 cents!
Nostalgia is great. But we live in the real world. We do not live in the 60s anymore. We live in 2006.
Many people are sour over gas prices. I understand that. I don't like $3 gas either.
Can politicians do anything about it? The answer is nothing.
Let me repeat. Nothing.
Gas prices reflect supply and demand. Today, Chinese and Indian drivers are consuming gasoline at a growing pace. In 10 years, they will be consuming more.
What do we do?
How about drilling for more oil in the US? We are already buying energy from Canada. We are buying a lot from Mexico. Frankly, we have enough oil reserves in the US to replace some of our high risk providers, such as Venezeula and Nigeria.
Why did Pres. Clinton veto drilling plans in Alaska in '95?
How about nuclear energy? Why can't we develop more nuclear energy?
Can the politicians do? They should focus on supply rather than demagoguery about oil companies.
Speaking of oil company profits, the news media has been irresponsible on this. It does not matter that an oil company makes billions of dollars. What matters is return on investment and oil companies are not out of line in this area.
Washington is a silly place these days, from the Dubai ports to oil companies' profits.