Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hugo's golpe, part 2


For more on Chavez, see 'Rule By Decree' - One More Step on Chavez's Road to Serfdom by Marian Tupy, a Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity:

"Hugo Chavez came one step closer to becoming a full-fledged dictator on January 17. As the Associated Press reported, "Venezuelan lawmakers gave their initial approval to a bill granting President Hugo Chavez the power to rule by decree for 18 months so that he can impose sweeping economic, social and political change." The vote in the National Assembly was unanimous — as befits a budding communist country. Not that Chavez's powers were much constrained prior to that vote, but his soon-to-be official recognition as Venezuela's dictator serves as an important reminder that state control of the economy and dictatorship go hand in hand."

This is not a shock. However, where is Cindy Sheehan and the world's left. Chavez is now an embarrassment for all of those who supported him: As Tupy wrote:

"Chavez, on the other hand, wishes to pursue Soviet-style economics. Moreover, his quest for total power reminds us of the anti-democratic nature of socialism. As such, he is turning into a major embarrassment for many on the political left who supported him. What the proponents of socialism repeatedly fail to realize is that it is the message, not just the messenger that is embarrassing."

How popular is Chavez? See
Thousands Fleeing Hugo Chavez's Venezuela:

"Each day after dawn, hundreds of Venezuelans gather outside the Spanish Consulate in Caracas, hoping to get papers allowing them to flee the South American country for Spain. Others form long lines at other consulates, equally fearful of the future of Venezuela under President Hugo Chavez."

Gingrich on Iran


The Threat of a Nuclear Iran By Newt Gingrich is another indication that the former Speaker is a serious politician:

"Israel is facing the greatest danger for its survival since the 1967 victory. Israel maintained its dominance since 1967 even after the 1973 failure. In 1984 I wrote that WMD and terrorism would pose a threat for US national security. If two or three cities are destroyed because of terrorism both the US and Israel's democracy will be eroded and both will become greater dictatorial societies."

Gingrich has a message for those who are calling for a withdrawal from Iraq:

"From 1947-1950, while there was an under funding of defense, there was a simultaneous coming to terms intellectually with the threat of Communism. To those that advance a withdraw of troops in Iraq; the onus is on them to explicate the consequences of defeat. In 1979 the US looked weak in the Middle East with the hostage crises and embassies coming under attack. I have been told that there are not enough marine detachments to protect embassies for when they potentially will be under the threat of attack. It is not the Bush doctrine that is at stake, but our very lives. Thus national security should be advanced rather than mere utopianism."

As of today, I don't see Gingrich winning the Republican nomination. Yet, he is a man of ideas and could help shape the debate.

Hillary was not misled! She is misleading us!




In a previous post, we compared Hillary Clinton's position in 2003 with her current statements about the Iraq war vote.

Frankly, it's OK to change. It is not OK to be dishonest.

See Michael Goodwin's
Hillary's big lie grows (The senator needs to end the victim act and stop blaming Bush for her vote on Iraq):

"To hear the Clintons fudge now, you would think the invasion began the very next day. In fact, it began five months later, in March 2003. During those months, as U.S. troops massed in the Mideast, there is no record of Hillary Clinton opposing the invasion or claiming she had been misled."

Hillary was not misled. Instead, she is misleading us now!

Please put the demonstrations on TV for all to see



Did you see the signs at the antiwar demonstrations? Do these people hate war or the US?

Take a look at these
pictures!

In sheer numbers, it was a disappointment. According to polls, the country has turned against the war. Shouldn't you get more than 50,000 people in Washington?

Also, where were the politicians? Was any major presidential candidate there? The answer is no. Why not? Because the Democrats understand that these marchers are poison.

Contrast the anti-war demonstrations with the pro-life turnout. More people turned out against Roe v. Wade than the Iraq War.

My question is this: Will any of the "oldies" in the crowd take responsibility for the aftermath of the Vietnam War? In the meantime, check out a recent episode of "24" and the WMD that goes off in an American city!

Christopher Orlet is a frequent contributor and runs the Existential Journalist. He recently wrote Breaking With Left Fascism, which is review of What's Left? How Liberals Lost Their Way by Nick Cohen:

"In a chapter titled "The Disgrace of the Anti-War Movement," Cohen recounts the February 15, 2003 anti-war marches that took place in hundreds of cities on every continent (yes, even Antarctica). Between six to 10 million participated in anti-war demonstrations, marching "to keep a fascist regime in power." It was not the numbers of protesters Cohen found disturbing, but the gaiety and the circus atmosphere that prevailed, especially in London. Whether they knew it or not, these people were saying continued torture and summary executions, ethnic cleansing and occasional genocide were preferable to a U.S./British invasion. Would not a somber demeanor have been more appropriate? he asks."

Where were these protestors when Saddam Hussein dropped chemical weapons on the Kurds? or do they protest the torture in the other Cuban prisons, the ones across the street from our GITMO?

I like this from Mark Noonan:

"On a broader note, if the signs being carried are any indicator, then the left is absolutely convinced that President Bush is the enemy - they really, really hate the man. They consider the Iraq war to be imperialist aggression, that we're engaging in war crimes as a matter of course, that the Iraqi government is a puppet of the Untied States, that the terrorists in Iraq are freedom fighters (well, truth be told, they are said to be fighting for - among other things - their "dignity"...why is it that leftwingers are always fighting for dignity....which is something you either have, or you don't, entirely by personal choice)...really strange bunch of people, and I do wonder how they get through life carrying that much venom around."

This is insane.

I love
ANTI-WAR PROTEST: WHERE IS EVERYONE? by Rick Moran:

"The netnuts are fond of calling those of us who support the mission in Iraq chickenhawks. What do you call someone who sits on their ass in front of a keyboard, railing against the President, claiming that the United States is falling into a dictatorship, and writing about how awful this war is and yet refuses to practice the kinds of civil disobedience that their fathers and mothers used to actually bring the Viet Nam war to an end?


I call them what they are; rank cowards. There should be a million people on the mall today. Instead, there might be 50,000. Today’s antiwar left talks big but cowers in the corner.

I have often written about how unserious the left is about what they believe. The reason is on the mall today.

If they really thought that the United States was on the verge of becoming a dictatorship are you seriously trying to tell me that any patriotic American wouldn’t do everything in their power to prevent it rather than mouth idiotic platitudes and self serving bromides?"

I like The "Celebrity Protester" Crowd is Back By Ed Koch:

"The old "celebrity protester" crowd is back. There they were in Washington, on the mall: Jane Fonda, formerly known as "Hanoi Jane," has now become "Baghdad Jane;" Danny Glover and Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, husband wife, exhorting the crowd against President Bush and the war in Iraq. The crowd’s signs read, “No War Is A Just War.” Not even the war against Hitler in World War II? Another sign read, “Bush = Evildoer.” Really?

The President believes, as I do, that the Islamic terrorists want to kill us, and already have at the World Trade Center and elsewhere, and if they are not stopped, they will seek to conquer and threaten the entire world into submission.

President Bush, who fights Islamic terrorism, an "evildoer?"

A "golpe" by Hugo



Hugo Chavez is quite a man. He wins an election and now wants to run the country by decree:

"Venezuela's Congress on Wednesday gave initial approval to a bill granting President Hugo Chavez powers to rule by decree for 18 months as he tries to force through nationalizations key to his self-styled leftist revolution." (Venezuela gives initial approval to Chavez powers)

Did the people of Venezuela expect this? Probably not. Why did Chavez even hold an election?

Hugo Chavez is a prime example of why the US needs to cut its oil imports. Chavez is a problem because he is earning billions from oil exports.

Let's hope that cooler heads prevail in Venezuela. We need a democratic Venezuela not another tyrant in Latin America.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

You can not detach HIllary from Bill



Hillary's "I can handle evil men" line quickly created a controversy. See HILL'S 'EVIL' JOKE ON HUBBY BUBBA and the front page of The NY Post.

This little campaign incident underscores two huge problems:

First, Senator Clinton is not an experienced campaigner. It's true that Mrs. Clinton campaigned with Pres. Clinton in the past. It is very different to be the candidate's wife than to be the candidate.

Second, Mrs. Clinton cannot separate herself from her husband. In simple terms, she is Bill's wife and that's it.

My advice to Senator Clinton: Sit out for a few more years and develop a legislative record. Then run for president as an accomplished senator rather than Bill's wife.


P.S. Also, many liberals do not think that Senator Clinton can win! See DAMNING DEM DOUBTS ON HILLARY By DICK MORRIS and EILEEN McGANN.

How can you believe anything from this woman's mouth?


Over the weekend, Senator Clinton made some rather amazing remarks about her vote for the Iraq War. Thankfully, we have a record of what Senator Clinton said from 2002 to the present. See Dems A to Z.

Better than that, read Hillary's amazing words from
2003:

"There is a very easy way to prevent anyone from being put into harm's way, that is for Saddam Hussein to disarm. And I have absolutely no belief that he will.
I have to say that this is something I've followed for more than a decade. If he were serious about disarming, he would have been much more forthcoming.
I ended up voting for the resolution after carefully reviewing the information, intelligence that I had available, talking with people whose opinions I trusted, tried to discount the political or other factors that I didn't believe should be in any way a part of this decision. I would love to agree with you, but I can't based on my own understanding and assessment of the situation.

With respect to whose responsibility it is to disarm Saddam Hussein, I just do not believe that, given the attitudes of many people in the world community today, that there would be a willingness to take on very difficult problems, were it not for the United States leadership, and I'm talking specifically about what had to be done in Bosnia and Kosovo where my husband could not get a Security Council resolution to save the Kosovar Albanians from ethnic cleansing.
And we did it alone as the United States, and we had to do it alone. And so I see it somewhat differently. So forgive me for my experience and perspective."

See the
video!

In this speech, Senator Clinton contradicts those who say that Pres. Bush rushed to war or did not listen to our allies. In fact, Senator Clinton admitted that the allies did not listen to her husband either. This is why her husband had to go around the UN in Bosnia and Iraq. In this video, Mrs. Clinton confirms that many allies were not serious about doing anything about Iraq. Are you listening Senator Kerry?

Honest people can disagree with this war. However, how can any honest person take this woman seriously?

Bush is looking to Iran




Iran's Role in Iraq Will Be Exposed BY ELI LAKE is timely:

"New evidence of Iran's role in Iraq will be made in Baghdad by the chief spokesman for the multinational forces in Iraq, Major General William Caldwell. The Directorate of National Intelligence worked over the weekend to clear new intelligence and information that sources inside the intelligence community said would implicate Iran in deliberately sending particularly lethal improvised explosives to terrorists to kill coalition soldiers."

This is good. Iran is killing coalition soldiers. It's time to draw the line and hold them accountable.

Last but not least:


"If Iran escalates its military actions in Iraq to the detriment of our troops and - or innocent Iraqi people, we will respond firmly," Bush said in an
interview with National Public Radio.

Is Code Pink against abortion?


On the surface, they present themselves as women against war. Who is really Code Pink:

"Behind the deceptive façade of stagy protests and moral outrage, the women running Code Pink are serious and very radical political activists.
They subscribe in varying degrees to strands of Marxist, neo-Marxist, and progressive left-wing thought, and their ideas belong to a long and complex history of radical politics going back to the early Bolsheviks. As I pointed out in my book, The Politics of Peace: What’s Behind the Anti-War Movement?, the leadership of the current anti-Iraq war movement is an outgrowth of the old Communist Party and of Communist splinter groups that emerged in reaction to Stalinism. The women who lead Code Pink are in that tradition." (Code Pink Undermines War on Terror by John J. Tierney)

P.S. It's true that 3200 young men have died in Iraq.


Yet, 3000 babies will be aborted today, and another 3,000 tomorrow.

Where is Code Pink?

Also, why won't they salute the electoral successes of women in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Listen to internet radio with Silvio Canto Jr on Blog Talk Radio

Monday, January 29, 2007

Watch for Ralph Nader in 2008!


Ralph Nader will be the wild card of 2008. My prediction is that he will be the biggest consequence of the 2006 Democrat takeover of the Congress.

Why? Because the Democrats are afraid to tackle big issues and the "Naderi-stas" won't put up with it. See
Move to middle hurts Democrats By Glenn Hurowitz:

"It seems clear that Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid are convinced that undoing the Bush agenda would be good for America, but they are worried that pursuing a confrontational agenda could turn off the independent voters who split in their direction just enough in 2006 to give them their narrow majorities. Although pursuing only modest goals comports well with conventional Democratic political strategy, it's not a good strategy for maintaining and expanding independents' support - and it runs the risk of turning off the progressive organizations and activists who increasingly provide money and volunteer power for Democratic campaigns."


The so called progressives won't put up with this careful centrism. They will turn on Pelosi & Reed quickly! You are already hearing hints of that in the antiwar protests yesterday.

Also, get ready for leadership issues. Reed is an ethical time bomb. See A deal in the desert for Sen. Reid? Pelosi displayed a little hypocrisy with her tuna problem!

As for Nader, he is an honest man. I don't agree with him on most issues. However, Nader does not read polls! Nader has been taking unpopular positions for decades.

In the next 12 months, the 4 million who voted for Nader in 2000 will determine again that the Democrats won't stop the war or do anything about free trade agreements.

The progressives will turn on Senator Clinton, who represents the worst of the poll reading Democrats. Yesterday, Senator Clinton said that Pres. Bush "rushed to war". Why didn't she say that in March 2003? Why did she wait until the war record became an issue?

Therefore, Nader will reappear in 2008 and enjoy incredible support from the same people who turned against VP Gore in 2000! As I wrote before, the Democrat leaders will long for the days when all they had to do was to sit in the bleachers and second guess Pres. Bush!

P.S. What's Nader doing these days? See
THE SPOIL:

"An Unreasonable Man, a new documentary on Nader’s life and career by former staff member Henriette Mantel and her filmmaking partner Steve Skrovan, deals with all sides of the fight, interviewing both angry Democrats and Nader defenders alike."

For a review of Ralph Nader's positions in 2000, see
this! Nader was a huge critic of Pres. Clinton on NAFTA, Kyoto, bombing Iraq, going into Bosnia without the UN, invading Haiti without consulting with Latin American leaders, bombing Iraq for 4 days without the UN, welfare reform and The Defense of Marriage Act.

For more on Nader, see
this!

This is what
Nader said of the 2000 Democrat platform:

"The 2000 Democratic platform would gut the social safety net, especially New Deal and Great Society efforts over the past seven decades to improve the lives of working and poor Americans, in favor of debt reduction, and endorses the authority of international free trade cabals to override national and local labor, environmental, and human rights protections."

Why is Senator Clinton hedging her Iraq War bets?


Why is Hillary Clinton so careful with her Iraq War vote? Why hasn't she regretted her vote? It may be that Senator Clinton understands history. See Earning History's Scorn by Dean Barnett:

"THE VOTE TO SUPPORT THE FIRST GULF WAR was a close run thing. The vast majority of Senate Democrats voted against the first President Bush on the matter. When the first Gulf War ended as a hugely popular success, all the Senators who had been so wrong on that vote were essentially out of presidential contention for 1992. When Bill Clinton chose Al Gore as his running mate, one of the reasons was because Gore had been one of the very few Senators to vote the right way on the war."

That's right. Bill Clinton went out of his way in '92 to remind everyone that he and Gore were staunch supporters of removing Hussein from Kuwait.

In 2000, VP Gore reminded us that Sen. Lieberman was one of those pro-Gulf War senators as well!

Iraq could look a lot different in the spring of '08. Hillary Clinton knows that!

Romney is looking better and better


Gov. Romney continues to impress me as a presidential candidate in 2008. This is from a recent speech in Israel:

“No, what we should have realized since 9/11 is that what the world regarded as an Israeli-Arab conflict over borders represented something much larger. It was the oldest, most active front of the radical Islamist jihad against the entire West. It therefore was not really about borders. It was about the refusal of many parts of the Muslim world to accept Israel’s right to exist – within any borders.


“This distinction came into vivid focus this summer. The war in Lebanon had little to do with the Palestinians.
And it had nothing to do with a two-state solution. It demonstrated that Israel is now facing a jihadist front that from Tehran through Damascus to Southern Lebanon and Gaza.

“As Tony Blair astutely put it, Hizbullah was not fighting ‘for the coming into being of a Palestinian state…but for the going out of being of an Israeli state.’

“Yet we have still not fully absorbed the magnitude of the change. As far as our enemies are concerned, there is just one conflict. And in this single conflict, the goal of destroying Israel is simply a way station toward the real goal of subjugating the entire West.”

Right on target!

Can Romney win? Today, I would say no. However, I think that he would make a wonderful VP for McCain.

Let's look at the electoral college with McCain-Romney. McCain can count on a strong showing in the South and Mountain states. McCain will put Minnesota and Wisconsin within reach. Romney puts New Hampshire and Massachusetts in play.

It's very early but I am more and more impressed with Mitt Romney!


New version: Son de la loma


See this from Val Pieto of the wonderful Babalu Blog:

El Nuevo "Son de la Loma"

Enjoy the new lyrics to the famous Miguel Matamoros tune: "Son de la Loma":

MAMA YO QUIERO SABER,

SI SE MURIO EL "COMA-ANDANTE"

PUES YA HA JODIDO BASTANTE

Y NO DEJA DE JODER

CON SU GOBIERNO HUMILLANTE

Y SU MANERA DE SER.

¿EN DONDE ESTARA? AY MAMA!

¿INGRESADO EN LA HABANA...HACE UNA SEMANA?

¿QUIZAS EN SANTIAGO

HOSPITALIZADO?

EL "FIFO" ESTA EN COMA,

¿O ESTA CONGELADO?¡

OJALA!!! ¡ SI SEÑOR!!!

MAMA, EL QUIZAS ESTA EN COMA, QUIZAS ESTA CONGELADO

Y SI SALIO DE ESE COMA TAL VEZ ESTA YA ESTA EXILADO...

CORO : EL FIFO ESTA EN COMA

¿O ESTA CONGELADO? (SE REPITE DOS VECES)

OYE... FIDEL ESTA EN COMA,

OYE... QUE COMA MAS LARGA

POR QUE SERA QUE ESE NO SE LARGA

PARA QUE EL CUBANO COMA

CORO : EL FIFO ESTA EN COMAO ESTA CONGELADO?

RAULITO SE ME HA PERDIDO

OYE QUE COÑO LE PASA

ES QUE NO ENCUENTRA LA LLAVE

O QUE NO ENCUENTRA LA CASA
LOS DOS HERMANITOS

DE TAN MALA ENTRAÑA...QUIZAS ESTEN MUERTOS

O QUIZAS EN ESPAÑA

PORQUE SON DE LA LOMA Y BAJARON AL LLANO

Y ASI ESCLAVIZARONAL PUEBLO CUBANO

SON DE LA LOMA

UN SON TAN CUBANO

¡ABAJO FIDEL...Y ABAJO SU HERMANO!

Great lyrics. You will never sing "Son de la Loma" the same way!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Bears have proven the experts wrong before!




OK. I did pick the Colts. I understand that a computer picked the Colts over the Bears, too. See A game of real simulation :

"The game is over. Super Bowl XLI has been played -- more than 10,000 times. It has been played in various weather conditions with evolving injury reports and thousands of game situations. Bears fans shouldn't necessarily plan on attending a victory parade, but it appears the game will be much closer than what many experts are predicting."

However, this is a tough team and Lovee Smith is a good coach.

In the end, Manning will outplay Grossman.
P.S. The Bears will win the "passion bowl". The Bears' fans are a lot more passionate because of the team's long history in Chicago. The Colts are still fairly new in Indianapolis.

I like the Colts next Sunday




The Colts will win the Super Bowl. Actually, I want the Colts to win for two reasons:

Tony Dungy is a great coach and role model; and

Peyton Manning is great but needs a ring to join Starr, Griese, Bradshaw, Staubach, Montana, Aikman and Brady as the great QBs of the Super Bowl era. Look at Jim Kelly, Dan Marino or Frank Tarkenton. They were great but do not have a ring!

Go Colts! I must confess that Indianapolis Colts still sounds strange after cheering for the Baltimore Colts for so long. (I miss Chuck Thompson, the late voice of the Colts and Orioles!)

According to Rasmussen: 58% of Fans Expect Colts’ Victory! Also, who watches the game:

"Overall, 57% of Americans say that they’re planning to watch the showdown in Miami. That figure includes 63% of men and 51% of women. Most (56%) will be watching at home. Another 33% will be at the home of a friend or a relative. Just 8% say they’ll be at a sports bar. Football fans are a bit more likely to watch at home while more casual viewers of the big game are a bit more likely to be found at the home of a friend or relative."

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The anti-war left does not like toothless words either


As we mentioned a few weeks ago, the anti-war movement wants action from Congress:

"Andrews said congressional Democrats are in danger of spending all their time debating "toothless words." He was referring to the nonbinding resolution against President Bush's plan to send 21,5000 additional troops to Iraq, which the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed this week." (Tom Andrews, national director of the anti-war group Win Without War)

For more, see:


"Actor Sean Penn said lawmakers will pay a price in the 2008 elections if they do not take firmer action than to pass a nonbinding resolution against the war, the course Congress is now taking. "If they don't stand up and make a resolution as binding as the death toll, we're not going to be behind those politicians," he said."

On this one, I agree with Mr. Andrews and Mr. Penn. It's time for people to put up or shut up. Support the war or cut the funding. The Democrats should not play games with the war and the soldier who volunteers to serve his country.

Our Lady Macbeth?


Hillary continues her conversation with the American people. What does this woman believe in? See The vaulting ambition of America's Lady Macbeth by Gerard Baker:

"
As you consider her career this past 15 years or so in the public spotlight, it is impossible not to be struck, and even impressed, by the sheer ruthless, unapologetic, unshameable way in which she has pursued this ambition, and confirmed that there is literally nothing she will not do, say, think or feel to achieve it. Here, finally, is someone who has taken the black arts of the politician’s trade, the dissembling, the trimming, the pandering, all the way to their logical conclusion.

Fifteen years ago there was once a principled, if somewhat rebarbative and unelectable politician called Hillary Rodham Clinton. A woman who aggressively preached abortion on demand and the right of children to sue their own parents, a committed believer in the power of government who tried to create a healthcare system of such bureaucratic complexity it would have made the Soviets blush; a militant feminist who scorned mothers who take time out from work to rear their children as “women who stay home and bake cookies”.

Today we have a different Hillary Rodham Clinton, all soft focus and expensively coiffed, exuding moderation and tolerance."

So long John Kerry


Yesterday, Senator Kerry dropped out of the 2008 election. Of course, Senator Kerry once said this:

"December 17, 2003: Newsday

“Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe we are not safer with his capture, don’t have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president.”

For lots more, see John Kerry's Quotes on Iraq (http://www.archive-news.net/Articles/IR041003.html)

Friday, January 26, 2007

It's OK to talk but.....


This is good and long overdue:

"The Bush administration has authorized the U.S. military to kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq as part of an aggressive new strategy to weaken Tehran's influence across the Middle East and compel it to give up its nuclear program, according to government and counterterrorism officials with direct knowledge of the effort." (Washington Post)

We can talk all day long. However, it's about time that we hold Iran accountable for killing US soldiers in Iraq. Also, Iran is messing around with Lebanon! It's important to deliver Iran a clear message that the US will defend its soldiers and interests in the region.

See Potential New Evidence of Iran Providing Weapons to Iraqi Insurgents (Pentagon Expected to Present Details as Bush Targets Iranian Agents in Iraq) By MARTHA RADDATZ.

Comprehensive immigration reform must include Mexico


This week, Pres. Bush made a modest proposal for fixing our illegal immigration. It will probably die in Congress for two reasons:

1) Democrats leaders do not want to deal with large problems. Don't take my word for this. See
An Opening for the Democrats By David Ignatius:

"And here's what Emanuel doesn't want to do: Fall into the political trap of chasing overambitious or potentially unpopular measures."

2) There are too many Democrats who beat Republicans in conservative and suburban districts by running against illegal immigration.

Will anything happen? Don't be on it. In Congress, you need votes and I don't see them!


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

"In the days after the election, Democratic leaders surprised pro-immigration groups by not including the issue on their list of immediate priorities. Experts said the issue is so complicated, so sensitive and so explosive that it could easily blow up in the Democrats' faces and give control of Congress back to Republicans in the next election two years from now. And a number of Democrats who took a hard line on illegal immigration were also elected to Congress."

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

"As the Democratic Party prepares to take power on Capitol Hill in January, tensions are surfacing over the details of plans to overhaul the nation's immigration policies.Statements by incoming members such as Claire McCaskill, the Democratic senator-elect from Missouri, could provide an early warning of the difficulties ahead. In a September television spot, McCaskill sat at a kitchen table and looked directly into the camera. "Let me tell you what I believe in," she said. "No amnesty for illegal immigrants."

It worked for McCaskill! The article goes on:

"Some unions strongly object to Democratic support for guest worker programs that would not allow participants to gain citizenship. Party leaders worry that backing a bill that included a path to citizenship would alienate some blacks, who have traditionally competed with Hispanic immigrants for jobs. And the Democrats will have to contend with a newly energized left wing, which could push to do more for legal and illegal immigrants."

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

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

In the long run, US indecision may be the best medicine for Mexico. It may force Mexico to make the tough decisions that will fix its economy.

See
How Will Illegal Immigration End? By Victor Davis Hanson:

"So how will Mexico ever achieve parity with the United States? The Mexican government must begin selling off inefficient state enterprises, especially in gas and oil.
It should offer greater protection of property rights and ensure title searches. Mexico must stop the old nationalist rhetoric and welcome foreign investment, create a transparent judicial system and allow land to be freely bought and sold. Most importantly, the Mexican bureaucracy must end endemic corruption that so exasperates foreign investors who would otherwise bring to Mexico efficient job-producing businesses."

As we have said before, the answer lives in Mexico. The US can change its laws but it cannot fix Mexico.

At the end of the day, change will happen in Mexico when Pres. Calderon (and the Mexican Congress) can not count on $20 billion in "remesas".

Change will come when thousands of young men march in Mexico City rather than work in the US.

My solution is harsh but it is the best medicine for Mexico.

Close the border and force Mexicans to solve their problems.

Again, Pres. Calderon is off to a good start. It looks like he understands that Mexico must change. It appears that he wants to defend Mexico against drug cartels and the border chaos.

However, Mexico needs radical change. It won't happen overnight but it starts when Mexican politicians realize that their solution is job creation rather more "remesas".

Venezuela's brain drain


Another leftist and more brain drain. See IBD's Venezuela's Lost Human Capital:

"Who's coming? Not farmworkers or day laborers. Sadly for Venezuela, we're getting the cream of the crop. The doctors working in department stores and teachers working in fast food places are among the many coming here who've had some opportunity to develop their skills as professionals and entrepreneurs.

Weston and Doral are full of business startups, beginning with Venezuelans who own bakeries and restaurants and other businesses. Most assimilate here swiftly. Among them also are software developers, advertising account executives, doctors, scientists, classical musicians and lawyers. Our gain is Venezuela's loss. These newcomers represent the human capital of Venezuela, something that Chavez, grounded in Marxist materialism, can't understand. He views these talented people as political pawns — traitors.

A month ago, Chavez made a speech mocking those who leave, saying that if anyone didn't want to blindly follow his "revolution," he could "just go someplace else. Go to Miami."
Plenty did."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

From Caracas to Miami





This is starting to look a lot like Cuba. See More Venezuelans seeking U.S. asylum (Newly released immigration statistics show a surge of Venezuelans seeking asylum, residence and other immigration papers in the United States) BY ALFONSO CHARDY AND CASEY WOODS:

"Parallels in Alejandro Costa's family history are unsettling.

His father, José Costa Moure, fled to Venezuela in 1959 after Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba. And after concluding that Castro's ally in Caracas, President Hugo Chávez, was turning Venezuela into another Cuba, Costa fled Venezuela in 2004. More than 2,000 Venezuelans received U.S. asylum in 2004 and 2005, figures newly released by the Office of Immigration Statistics indicate. In 1997 -- the year before Chávez was first elected -- only nine Venezuelans received asylum in the United States. The latest figures show a surge of Venezuelans moving to the United States either through asylum, permanent residence or other visas. The number of Venezuelans who got green cards in 2005 -- almost 11,000 U.S. permanent residents -- was more than double those in 2000. Those who seek asylum are claiming persecution or that communism is about to take hold in Venezuela. In 2004 and 2005, more than 3,000 Venezuelans filed petitions for asylum in immigration courts -- a dramatic rise from 1997 to 2001, when only a few dozen applied each year."

Crazy Chavez


Venezuela's Hugo Chavez said that Fidel Castro is recovering, "almost jogging" in recent days.

Hugo is optimistic about Fidel. We cannot be optimistic about Venezuela.
Marcel Granier is chairman of Radio Caracas Television. Today, he wrote Remote Control (Venezuela's Hugo Chávez sets his sights on the media) in The Wall Street Journal:

"The president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, has verbally announced his decision to shut down Radio Caracas Television (RCTV)--our TV station, the oldest in Venezuela as well as the one with the largest audience.

So continues a long series of attacks against journalists, employees, management and shareholders of many independent media companies. The aim of all this is to limit the citizens' right to seek information and entertainment in the media of their choice, to impede public access to those media where they might express or encounter criticism of the government or their proposals for reform, to stifle the pluralism of opinion in news and talk programs, and to cut off the free flow of information and debate in Venezuela. Instead, the Chávez government seeks to install a system that it has described, without apparent irony, as the "communicational and informative hegemony of the state."

Read the full article. This article is going to bring a lot of unpleasant memories to my parents' generation. Didn't they see something like this in Cuba many years ago?

Hillary Clinton is no Margaret Thatcher


Sorry Hillary. You are no Margaret Thatcher

PM Thatcher did not govern by polls. She was one of the most consistent leaders of the 20th century. She was tough and honest.

In 1976, Mrs. Hatcher (The Iron Lady) said this:

"There are moments in our history when we have to make a fundamental choice.This is one such moment—a moment when our choice will determine the life or death of our kind of society,—and the future of our children. Let's ensure that our children will have cause to rejoice that we did not forsake their freedom."

Hillary's version of that speech would be this:

"There are moments in our history when we say what people want to hear. We vote for wars because we do not want the Republicans to say that we are weak. We cheer the troops so that we can be tough. Then we say something else because we want to win primaries. Then we calculate our positions so that we can be on both sides when the results are in!"

Hillary is not tough or honest.

Hillary may win because anything can happen. However, it won't be because she believes in anything or has any core values beyond a lifetime obsession with being president of the US.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pres. Bush stands up, Dems continue their non-binding ways!


As for Pres. Bush, he was back in the game, as they say in sports. I saw several Democrats and it was much of the same. Again, can some Democrat explain to me what redeployment means and where do we redeploy troops? Also, if Iran walks in after we leave, what happens to our redeployed troops?

On domestic issues, Pres. Bush made an interesting proposal on health care. I agree with The Wall Street Journal:

"Individuals who buy their own health insurance now struggle because there are so few of them and they can buy only in a single state market. That means insurers have little incentive to develop and market innovative products. But this will change if the equalized tax treatment convinces enough people that it makes more sense to have their own, portable policies than take whatever their boss offers. Imagine the same kind of capitalist energy devoted to selling health insurance as you now see selling where to roll over your 401(k)."


On immigration, Pres. Bush made a reasonable proposal. On education, he was "right on" with calling for school choice, specially in the inner cities where so many schools are failing.

On energy independence, we have failed miserably since Pres. Nixon made a similar case in '73. I support whatever it takes to unleash our free market economy to discover alternative fuels. Our dependence on foreign oil has put billions in the pockets of people like Hugo Chavez and the Iranian leaders.

Of course, Iraq dominated the speech.

Let me say it again: The Democrats do not have a plan.

A non-binding resolution is not a plan. A non-binding resolution is good politics today but it is not a plan for tomorrow.

Senator Webb had an Eisenhower analogy during the Dems response.
Candidate, and then Pres. Eisenhower, ended the war responsibly. He forced North Korea to accept South Korea. He added 40,000 US troops to make his point. Today, South Korea is a prosperous country rather than the economic basketcase in the North.

I agree with Sen. Webb's comparison to Korea by Vel Nirtist:

"I was struck by Senator Webb's comparison, in his reply to the State of the Union address, of the present Iraq situation with the Korean war. I thought about this comparison in my blog some months ago. I came to precisely the opposite conclusion, to the conclusion that such comparison gives weight to the president's policy, rather than invalidates it."

Like Pres. Truman, Pres. Bush does not govern by polls. I guess that's why Pres. Truman's standing continues to go up.

Also, Senator Webb said this:

"The President took us into this war recklessly".

OK. If Sen. Webb believes that, why isn't calling for Pres. Bush's impeachment and removal. Doesn't he have a constitutional duty to do that?
It's time for the media to start challenging the Democrats. No more free ride on Iraq!

Democrats need to stand up and take a principled position. No money for the war is a principled position that I can respect. Everything else is a reckless soundbite.

Show me some spine, Democrats. Cut the funding.
Wonder what Pres. Truman would say of today's Democrat party?

John from Power Line had the
best summary of the speech:

"When he offered a sentence about Iraq that ended with the word "victory," the Democrats had no alternative but to stand up and cheer. Apart from the ceremonial trappings, there was a good reason why so many Senators and Congressmen had to voice their approval: the President's logic was compelling. The importance of Iraq; the disastrous consequences of failure; the grave long-term stakes in the Global War on Terror; and the need to give our new strategy a chance to succeed, are all hard to dissent from."

Pres. Bush is going to win this debate because he has a better case. Again, the Democrats continue to speak in generalities and do not advance an Iraq plan.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Can we get serious about Social Security reform?



In 2005, Pres. Bush put a Social Security idea on the table. It wasn't perfect. What is? Yet, it forced the nation to think about the issue.

The Democrats responded with the usual "demagoguery" that Republicans want to hurt old folks.

The bottom line is that nothing happened. We are now two years closer to the point when baby boomers retire and start collecting their checks.

Nobody wants to face reality: The 65-and-over population will double by 2030 to almost 72 million, or 20 percent of the total population. For more numbers, see
Entitled Selfishness (Boomer Generation Is in a State of Denial) By Robert J. Samuelson.

Entitlement reform, and the war on terror, must be the issues of 2008. As Michael Barone just wrote:

“Here is his sobering conclusion:

To summarize, because of demographic changes and rising medical costs, federal expenditures for entitlement programs are projected to rise sharply over the next few decades. Dealing with the resulting fiscal strains will pose difficult choices for the Congress, the administration, and the American people. However, if early and meaningful action is not taken, the U.S. economy could be seriously weakened, with future generations bearing much of the cost. The decisions the Congress will face will not be easy or simple, but the benefits of placing the budget on a path that is both sustainable and meets the nation's long-run needs would be substantial.”

Let’s get started. Let’s ask our presidential candidates to tell us what we do not want to hear!

The American people are ahead of the politicians on this one. They understand that the system is broken. We need leadership on entitlement reform.

Pres. Bush, the critics and General Petraeus


Let me set the table.

First, Pres. Bush is strong and resolute. He is willing to be right and unpopular.

Second, our solders are risking their lives.

Third, the war critics are just talking and risking nothing. They are working on a non-binding resolution, which is a worthless document.

Did your parents ever give you a non-binding resolution? Not mine!

The
contrast was evident today in the Senate:

"LIEBERMAN: “I want to ask you, what effect would Senate passage of a resolution of disapproval of this new way ahead that you embrace, what effect would it have on our enemies in Iraq?”


PETRAEUS: This is a test of wills at the end of the day, and in that regard, speaking purely as a military commander if confirmed, albeit, one who frankly does understand enormously and treasures the value of free and open debate, free speech, who has put himself in harm's way to protect those great features of our democracy, nonetheless, having said that, a commander in such an endeavor would obviously like the enemy to feel that there's no hope.

LIEBERMAN: And the resolution, Senate-passed resolution of disapproval for this new strategy in Iraq would give the enemy some encouragement, some feeling that -- that -- well, some clear expression that the American people were divided?

PETRAEUS: That's correct, sir."

It's time for the critics to stand up and vote on a binding resolution. Otherwise, they need to get out of the way and let Pres. Bush conduct the war.

As our leaders position themselves for next year's primaries, the world goes on:

See
Hezbollah-Led Strike Leads to Deadly Clashes Across Lebanon.

Pres. Bush and immigration



According to The White House website:

"President Bush Will Call On Congress To Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform. The President believes that America can simultaneously be a lawful, economically dynamic, and welcoming society. We must address the problem of illegal immigration and deliver a system that is secure, productive, orderly, and fair. The President calls on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that will secure our borders, enhance interior and worksite enforcement, create a temporary worker program, resolve – without animosity and without amnesty – the status of illegal immigrants already here, and promote assimilation into our society. All elements of this problem must be addressed together – or none of them will be solved."

It sounds good to me.

First, Pres. Bush will recognize that the borders must be secured. Sovereignty starts at the border. Beyond that, he will emphasize other areas.

It won't please everybody. The "amnesty" crowd won't be happy. The "send them back" crowd will scream, too.

However, I think that this is a good place to start.

More on Chavez and Venezuela



Do you have any friends in Venezuela? My family does and there is a lot of concern about Hugo Chavez' latest act. See Collapsing Venezuela By Richard W. Rahn:

"If Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez deliberately intended to sabotage his nation's economy, he would be hard-pressed to do anything different from what he is now doing to his country."

It is frightening to read what Hugo Chavez is doing to buy influence in other countries:

"Where has all the money gone? It has gone to buy foreign political influence and loyalties in places like Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and even the United States (notably to subsidize some New England fuel oil consumers through a company controlled by members of the Kennedy family). The money has gone to buy weapons from Russia, Spain and elsewhere, endearing those countries to Mr. Chavez. The money has gone to local cronies for inflated infrastructure and economic development projects and to buy the loyalty of government officials and supporters, including judges."

IBD has an editorial this morning. See A Dictatorship Rises:

"Chavez's declaration last week that he'll suspend Venezuela's constitution and congress for 18 months and rule by decree will turn Venezuela into a dictatorship. Checks and balances of democratic power sharing will end, and anyone who thinks Chavez will voluntarily return to democracy is a wishful thinker.

Chavez openly calls himself a communist and has ambitious plans to expropriate even more businesses, farms and buildings. He's giving himself carte blanche to meddle with the food supply and will create shortages. He intends to bulk up the military to intimidate his neighbors. That heralds a whole new level of trouble for the region because it's unlikely to stop at Venezuela."
Keep an eye on Chavez. He may not be a direct military threat to the US. However, he may be to allies like Pres. Uribe in Colombia and others.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Democrats want a different approach on abortion


It may be another case of poll reading but Democrats are looking to shed the "abortion" party label. See Democrats Seek to Avert Abortion Clashes (Leaders Back Bills to Increase Aid for Family Planning, Pregnancy Support) By Shailagh Murray:

"Democrats acknowledge that they alienated many social conservatives and churchgoing voters during years of combat with Republicans over the explosive issue of reproductive rights, and they want to change their emphasis to woo some of those voters back into the fold."

I'm happy to see that Democrats want a different approach. We will see. The Democrats need a presidential candidate who is pro-life. They have not had one since Jimmy Carter in 1976. (Carter was also the last Democrat to get 50% of the popular vote!)

Abortion and states



Lawmakers take up abortion fight points out that states are leading the fight against abortion:

"Doctors in Mississippi would be required to give a woman the chance to listen to her fetal or embryonic heartbeat and view a sonogram before undergoing an abortion, if some lawmakers get their way.

Mississippi is one of several states wrestling with new abortion restrictions this year in what has become a perennial fight in many state capitols.

Lawmakers in Georgia and Mississippi have proposed bans on the procedure, though such a ban couldn't be enforced unless the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, its 1973 decision that legalized abortion."

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