Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hunter on Red State Radio

Check out the interview here.

Rep. Hunter's concept of "the arsenal of Democracy" sets him apart from the field, and will resonate in the American heartland. He is the only one talking about the destruction of our manufacturing base as a national security issue, and not merely one of economics.

Hunter's consistency in opposing illegal immigration and in supporting life issues also show him to be a genuine conservative. The big 3 must be scared to death of this guy gaining traction, and will continue to ignore him in the hope that people don't notice he's there. It will interesting to watch that dynamic play out when the candidates are face-to-face in the debates.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Romney's game plan...

...sort of revealed here by Globe. Nothing surprising; if anything, it tells me that as a blog we could collectively serve as political advisors! Some excerpts:

Romney will define himself in part by focusing on and highlighting enemies and adversaries, such common political targets as "jihadism," the "Washington establishment," and taxes, but also Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, "European-style socialism," and, specifically, France.

McCain is described as a war hero and maverick with a compelling narrative and a reputation for wit, authenticity, and straight talk. But he's also seen as "too Washington," "too close to [Democratic] Left," an "uncertain, erratic, unreliable leader in uncertain times." "Does he fit The Big Chair?" the document asks. The plan calls McCain, 70, a "mature brand" and raises questions about whether he could handle the rigors of leading the free world.

Giuliani is called an outside-the-Beltway rock star and truth teller who earned the nation's trust for his leadership of New York City's response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But he is described as a one-dimensional Lone Ranger whose social views -- he supports abortion rights and civil unions for gay couples -- could destroy the "GOP brand." "We can't disqualify Dems like Hillary on social issues ever again" if Giuliani is the nominee, the document states.

The plan also touches on what it calls Giuliani's ethical issues,...It raises Giuliani's "personal political liabilities,"...

But the campaign, according to the blueprint, also wants to avoid attacking either man too directly or harshly, in part because Romney wants their supporters to ultimately shift to him.

The plan concedes that, with McCain and Giuliani in the race, Romney is unlikely to be the top pick for those voters looking for a "war/strong leader." His goal appears to be establishing himself as a credible second choice for those voters, but the first pick for voters looking for an energetic, optimistic, and innovative chief executive. (A page titled "Own the future" dubs McCain the past, Giuliani the present, and Romney the future. )

The case for Romney, according to the plan, is this: "Mitt Romney, tested, intelligent, get-it-done, turnaround CEO Governor and strong leader from outside Washington, is a better candidate than McCain & Giuliani to ensure that America's strength is maintained so we can meet a new generation of global challenges."

The document underscores Romney's aim to become the "only electable choice" for socially conservative voters.

Al Bore

Should al gore decide to throw his name into the ring, he certainly would represent a formidable opponent given his enormous popularity on the ground these days. That's why it's critical that the truth be told about him. Luckily, it has. It seems by Al Gore's actions that conservation is a good idea for everyone else - apparently he can't be bothered with it.
Monday, February 26, 2007

Romney

RCP interview with Romney here. Fair amount of discussion about Iran and Iraq. If he can hang on to at least 10% for now, I think he'll break as front-runner once Rudy starts to fall.

On another note, I hope everyone is as disgusted by the treatment our wounded soldiers get at Walter Reed as I am. If my taxes aren't going to provide support for our military - both during and after a war, then what the hell are they going to? This is where I get sick of all politicians, Republicans or Democrat. They can vote themselves the day off to watch the OSU-Florida BCS game, but can't get it together to take care of our veterans?? The vets should have nothing less than world-class facilities. Speaking of which, I again urge people to support the Intrepid Fallen Heroes fund. They will provide the type of care that apparently our politicians cannot. Best of all, 100% of your donations go to fund activities - zero is taken out for administrative costs, which are instead picked up by their board members.
Saturday, February 24, 2007

US Archery Budget v. Pyongyang

From George Will's editorial this week -

"[T]he administration believes it found, in Banco Delta Asia, a lever that moved Pyongyang. The Macau bank was pressured into freezing 52 accounts holding $24 million — yes, million, not billion — of North Korean assets because Pyongyang has been using them for illicit purposes. If Pyongyang flinched from being deprived of $24 million — less than Americans spend on archery equipment in a month — Pyongyang's low pain threshold suggests how fragile, and hence perhaps how containable, that regime is."

Here's the rest http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/will022207.php3
Friday, February 23, 2007

A Rudy Haiku

Inspired by Krusty's call for Haikus, I conjured up this poetic gem:

Rudy's people say/
He's a "Functional SoCon"/
Is you serious?
Feel free to make your own contributions at Krusty or here.

Benedict Arnolds in the Faculty Need to Go

So the word has come down. The Board of Governors, after years of deliberation, two consultant reports, and one shoddy piece of propaganda by Prof. Falvey (leaked to the public against the will of the BoG by someone who had access to Prof. Falvey's report--could've been anyone), has decided to move the school to Florida. There it will join with Ave Maria University in the brand-spanking new facilities that are being built at Ave Maria Town near Naples, FL.

As has been well chronicled at this blog and elsewhere, a small cadre of professors has engaged in a scorched-earth campaign meant to blackmail the BoG into staying put in Ann Arbor. Their implicit threat: stop with the move or we'll ruin the reputation of the school.

Clearly, these professors felt more strongly about their preference to live in MI, than they did the mission of the school. Now that the BoG has decided to move, and the time for deliberation and debate are over, do you think that the pro-MI profs will simply go back to doing their job? Hardly.

Check out the letter released by Prof. Falvey here. I particularly liked this line:

"In an effort to promote the best interests of this community—most importantly the interests of the students and alumni who provide the true reason for the Law School’s existence—we are continuing our efforts to explore all possible avenues of maintaining our program of legal education in Ann Arbor."
Funny, but after all due consideration, the people who actually get to decide what's in the interest of the community chose Florida. Let me translate Prof. Falvey's letter for the uninititated:

"In an effort to prevent me and my bow-tied bud from having to pay a 6% realtor fee--nobody's interests are more important than my own--I will continue to agitate against the expressed will of the Governors and seek to openly present myself as an 'alternative administration,' complete with fund raising apparatus. If you have two nickels to rub together, give me a call."

You probably think I'm overstating the case. That Prof. Falvey doesn't really want open civil war at the school. That they actually want AMSOL to succeed, but honestly believe it's in the students' best interest to remain in Michigan. They're good people who will keep plugging away for the success of the school and her mission while trying, in reasonable but firm tones, to convince the community that moving is not a good thing. To those of you who think that way, I would offer this tidbit from the comments section at Fumare:

you should have transferred when you had the chance! Now you're all going to have to expain why there is no AMSL in Michigan in your interviews, good luck with that! Wow, am I glad I took Falvey's advice to transfer!!!
too little, too late 02.22.07 - 11:40 pm #
I won't even address the silliness being offered by "too little, too late." What's important is that Falvey is actually counseling current students to walk away from AMSOL. Does a Colonel tell his soldiers to go AWOL when he doesn't like the General's battle plans? In this case, yes.

These guys offer the language of stewardship, but the actions of traitors, scoundrels, and mutineers. Time for them to go.

BoA Update

BoA trying to defend their program to give out accounts to those without SS#.. Tancredo and Dobbs come out swinging:

"After September 11th, we were told that money was the lifeblood of terrorists, and that we should do everything possible to block their access to financial resources," Rep. Tom Tancredo, a Colorado Republican and prominent illegal immigration opponent, said Thursday in a statement.

"Today we are hearing a far different message," he continued. "I hope the (Bush) Administration will shut down this reckless and illegal program."

Meanwhile, CNN host Lou Dobbs, another illegal immigration opponent, has called the card program "outrageous," and the idea that Bank of America isn't marketing to illegal immigrants "fundamentally, absolutely and unequivocally a lie."
Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dem in-fighting

Gotta love it! Pull up a chair, kick your legs up and sit back as the mud-slinging begins among the Dem candidates. Hopefully the Repubs can avoid these potentially damaging attacks amongst themselves, but I doubt it. The gloves will have to come off at some point.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Why France (still) sucks

Just in case you were having a hard time remembering why you hate France.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Update on the Anglican-Catholic dialogue

Here's a copy of the joint document that called for increased dialogue between Catholics and Anglicans, and has apparently led to a plan for reconciliation between the two communities that will be published in '07. This doc is 42 pages, but it's well worth your time. If, that is, the ongoing cosmic struggle between God and Satan, fought on the battlefield of the human heart, with the stakes being the eternal fate of millions of souls, is the kind of thing that interests you.

If not, there's always gin rummy. Oh, and I think the Professional Bowling Assoication is on ESPN later.

Welcome Linderman!

That is all.

Mitt's first TV ad

See it here. A nice bio piece. It sets a positive tone, proclaims his accomplishments, and looks professional. I wish it had been more forceful in addressing the flip flopping charges. Mitt's opponents keep making their only go-to move: re-hashing the fact that he (admittedly) changed his position on abortion. Obviously, whenever Mitt releases a new ad, makes a big speech, or has a good news day, his opponents will dig up an old reel of his making a speech from before his pro-life conversion, and sell it has "new news." They did today. They'll keep doing it until Mitt starts hitting back.

As for the anti-Romney clip, it's not new. He has consistently explained that he ran as "neutral" to state aborition laws (which, as he rightly describes them in the clip, were pro-choice). Hey, if Reagan was a pro-life convert, I can accept converts into the fold. After all, the Gipper was a pretty potent pro-life President (and would have layed the groundwork for overturning Roe, had Teddy K not gotten the drop on him in the Bork hearings), despite the fact that he had governed California as a pro-choicer.

Happy Florida Day!

This message brought to you by friends of AMSOL who trust the Bishops, religious, and philanthropists of the BoG. And who are enjoying listening to gripes and moans of the malcontents that are too inconvenienced to move (best interests of the school be damned), and their lackeys with blogs.

Off we go into a bright new future!

P.S. Hey Kevin Lee: SEE YA! Maybe you could take a few of your buddies with you on your way out?

On second thought, I hope they stick around. In all charity, they should get the chance to trade in their little lab building for that bright, shiny and new AMT campus. And enjoy it. Every single day. Year after year.

Romney Gaining Some Important GOP Backing

It's not quite an endorsement, but Jeb Bush is steering some of his top folks towards Mitt. Read about it here.
Monday, February 19, 2007

Duke Lacrosse: More than rich white snobs?

...when you hear the words "Duke lacrosse team," you might have a negative reaction...

...All the negative stories have smeared Duke and its lacrosse team. From the get-go, the Duke players were called "spoiled" or "rich frat boys" or "racist and sexist." Nowhere did you read about the positive achievements of the players.

Now you will.

This story is about the strong character of Duke lacrosse player Jim Regan. It's a story that should change your perception of Duke -- particularly because, unlike much of what has been alleged about Duke and its lacrosse team, this story is true.

And now, as Paul Harvey would say, "the rest of the story..."
Sunday, February 18, 2007

Anglicans returning to the fold?

This article says an inter-faith dialogue, started under the previous Archbishop of Canterbury, has led to a document that will suggest how the Church of England could recognize the Pope as the universal leader of Christendom.

I am certainly interested to read this document when it is made public.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Gingrich

According to the latest polls, Romney is struggling to break into double-digits, while Gingrich is picking up steam and Rudy continues to pull away from the pack. Now, while I would strongly consider supporting Newt if he ran, as would many Repubs, I seriously doubt he could win in a general election in '08, and I do NOT want to see Billary in office. Unfortunately, Newt is old news and damaged goods in MSM, and neither one tends to run well in general elections in US. The smart play would be for Mitt to propose Newt as VP, a Romney/Gingrich ticket would be unstoppable. I have no idea whether Newt would be interested in VP (probably not), but I can definitely see him being interested in a senior cabinet position (Sec. of State?) Mitt should work behind the scenes to suggest that if Newt throws his support behind Mitt and actively campaigns for him, he'll be rewarded with cabinet position or VP.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

James Sherley

Update here, he continues his hunger strike.

Bank of (Illegal) America

If you happen to have an account at BoA (which luckily I don't), now might be a good time to close it. That is, unless you'd like to support extending credit to illegal aliens. Also, when they default on their payments (and they will), and BoA has no way to find them (funny thing about not requiring a SS # and probably not even an address), guess who will eat the cost: you, in the form of higher rates and annual fees.
Monday, February 12, 2007

Read it. Love it. Memorize it.

A betrayal of calculation.
By Paul J Cella

“I don't want my 17-year-old son to have to pick tomatoes or make beds in Las Vegas.” That, reportedly, is what Karl Rove pronounced recently as a defense of his boss’s immigration policy. Mark Kirkorian answers it well here. Mr. Kirkorian bemoans the fact that it is now necessary “to explain why this is an obscene statement”; I agree with him. The Republican Party, under the leadership of George W. Bush and Karl Rove, has come to believe and teach that some work really is beneath us, that the lawyer or financial analyst really is “somehow better than the parking-lot attendant.” It is difficult to imagine an uglier trend in our politics than this.

Karl Rove is not alone in his expression of this trend. We have heard its like many times. It is rather horrifying to see this brazen appeal to class interests; and the horror is only magnified by the denigration of some category of honest work. A rather provocative way to state the problem is that the Republican Party, under its current leadership, is advancing a plutocratic theory of politics: an aristocracy of wealth. But even this does not capture the full ugliness of the thing, for in a true plutocracy, no form of wealth is derided. That a man made his fortune by, let us, “picking tomatoes” or “making beds,” does not bar him from entry into power. But here it is indicated that some occupations are dishonorable by nature, and that even success at them is contemptible.

It is noteworthy to me that this position flips the whole “jobs American won’t do” argument on its head. It’s not that there are jobs Americans won’t do: it’s that there are jobs we shouldn’t, because we are better that. Some are born to be served; and some are born to serve.

This sort of arrogance and elitsim, I submit, positively permeates the immigration enthusiast position among political strategists. There are those who are immigration enthusiasts out of a misplaced idealism, an overconfidence in a culture that has lost its nerve, compounded by a complacency with the sedition in the street and treachery in the administration of our laws. But the idealists have a strong and influential ally in the calculators and sophisters, who do not share their admirable idealism. For this latter faction, I do not hesitate to use words like “betrayal,” “treachery,” and even “treason.” They have betrayed the ideals of their party; and the effect of their machinations is to subvert the ideals which are integral to the American political tradition.

I suspect that the betrayal derives from despair or resignation. These men are realists, by and large: they are not possessed of any illusions about the mettle of American culture; they are well aware that the assimilationist ethic has been overthrown; they have seen the failure of such eminently mild things as removing bilingual education, and have read the writing on the wall. Except this writing is not the doom of God’s judgment, but of Mammon’s. They want to get ahead of the wave of the future; plutocracy, servitude, balkanization, the dissolution of the Republic and the dispossession of our inheritance as Americans.

We may not, in the end, be able to defeat their contrivances; but God help us if we join them. If we are to lose this struggle, let us leave a monument for our descendents that, should it survive the scrubbing of history contemplated by the coming regime (a scrubbing already perceptible in our public schools, in our new myths and legends, in the falsification of history our academics peddle), will teach those who care to know that not everyone was lost to despair and false hopes when the Republic was imperiled.
Saturday, February 10, 2007

AMT

Don't think the AMT is coming for you soon? Well, think again. The budget Bush just submitted anticipates that a whopping $499 B (that's billion, with a B) will be collected by AMT by 2012. The one-year shield for 2007 is anticipated not to be renewed, such that 26.5 M taxpayers will be hit by AMT next year - compared to only 3.5 M last year.

Where are the days of smaller government conservatives??? Mitt, please save us! Looming entitlement payouts threaten to cripple the economy over the next decade. We need much better fiscal policy and restraint from the next president.
Friday, February 09, 2007

US Muslims

Interesting interview about Sunni vs. Shiite in US.. Nothing groundbreaking here, but interesting to see thoughts from the inside.

Primaries

As I look at the primaries, I become increasingly convinced of one thing - neither McCain nor Obama will finish in the top 2. I think Dems will be Hillary - Edwards - Obama, Republicans will be Mitt - Rudy - Huckabee. McCain's real appeal is among independent voters and central-leaning Dems. Unfortunately for him, neither of those two groups vote in Repub primary. Once the candidates become better known, I don't see McCain's appeal over Mitt or Rudy. If you aren't concerned about social issues but you want a strong leader and conservative fiscal policies, Rudy's your man. If you want conservative policies both fiscally and socially with good leadership, Mitt's your man. I'm not sure who ends up picking McCain over these or other candidates once the dust settles, except for the group who believes that in the general election only McCain can beat Hillary.
Thursday, February 08, 2007

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Here's an interesting (unsubstantiated?) list of major companies and their political donations.

Waffle House. 100% Republican. Who would have guessed?

In a related topic, I've recently discovered some anti-ACLU non-profits that seem donation worthy:
American Center for Law & Justice
Thomas More Law Center
Alliance Defense Fund

An Acceptable Public Display of Religion?

The DNC's idea of an acceptable public display of religion baffles and disturbs me deeply. Apparently they thought it was a good idea to have a Muslim extremist, who publically supports terrorists, lead them in prayer. WTH? Read the whole article here. Pffff.

Mitt and Mormon

Mitt being Mormon is of course "the" issue that MSM will be discussing about him from now until primary. Here's a first piece by the king of MSM, NYT. Looks like Mitt has taken some early steps to combat the challenge he will face, and is having some traction. I think he will require one of the big evangelical preachers to support him to pick up southern states though.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Rudy as terror-fighter

I asked:
does Rudy really deserve all the heavy-breathing over his presumed ability to conduct the GWOT?

SHK replied:

Rudy clearly has demonstrated [the ability]... to provide solid leadership in a crisis situation. While this is an excellent attribute to have in government, it does not necessarily imply any ability to deal with GWOT and prevent attacks on the US. For me it is not a foregone conclusion that Rudy is the best of the candidates to conduct GWOT; in fact, if anything I'd say McCain with war experience and Congressional committee experience probably has the best creds at this point.


Yes, you are reading that correctly. That was SHK giving conventional wisdom a big, extended middle finger.

Quote of the Day

"Our job is to bash the president"
-
Newsweek's Evan Thomas, on the role of the MSM

Rudy on immigration (and good timing)

Wow, Terence Jeffrey is everywhere. I linked to his article in the NRO yesterday. He's all over cable news, and now this morning, he has a new article up on Human Events.

Today's topic: Rudy's statements on immigration from the Hannity & Colmes interview.

Let me say that, in broad form, I share Jeffrey's surprise that the man who brought us the "broken windows" school of policing, to great success, would support a "virtual fence" over an actual fence. Especially since, as Jeffrey accurately points out, the already-approved fence could have the same electronic capabilities as a virtual fence--just with an actual barrier.

The nonsense about needing illegals to build the fence is just insulting.

I don't want to say that Rudy is a lost cause on immigration, if only because his core philosophy on crime does not seem to dovetail with what he's offering on border security. As a result, I'm hopeful he'll change his stance. But what he's offering now is the type of "normalization" lingo that means one thing to most conservatives: amnesty. From Jeffrey's article:
"And then I think there has to be regularization for the people that are here," he said. "There's got to be a program to regularize the people that are here, as you establish security at the border."

Hannity followed up, "Does that mean amnesty, though?"

"It doesn't mean amnesty," said Giuliani.

That's George W. Bush-talk for: Yes, it does mean amnesty.
I guess the kid-glove treatment for Rudy is over. It may have been smart for Rudy to hedge on whether he was planning to run. For the past few months, it's been Romney-bashing time. For the previous 6 years, it was McCain-bashing time. Rudy, by staying out of the limelight, has really been able to retreat to the safe glow of his 9/11 reputation. As a result, he's coming into the race now with a lead over McCain and Romney, whereas a few months ago he was even with, or even slightly behind, McCain in most polls.

Now we'll have to see how he weathers the close scrutiny and criticism which is undoubtedly coming his way.

Welcome, Mr. Mayor

We're glad to have a new contributor at the Occaional Observer, Mayor Protium.

And while I'm certainly happy that Hizzoner has joined us, he's already making me work. I'm looking stuff up on Wikipedia, and he hasn't even posted yet.

Protium can be any of several things:

-In chemistry, protium refers to hydrogen-1, the most common isotope of the element hydrogen, with one proton and no neutrons
-In botany, Protium is a genus of chiefly tropical American trees in the family Burseraceae, having fragrant wood
-In computer languages, Protium is a universal, symbolic programming language system
-In medicine, Protium is a commercial name for pantoprazole, a proton inhibitor drug

So MP, which is it?

Lieberman tax

This might be the only tax increase I would support. Lieberman's proposal is interesting, I'd support it for one reason but reject it for two others. On the one hand, I love the idea of knowing that 100% of the additional tax dollars I give are directly going to support soldiers and GWOT, and are not being wasted on the bridge to nowhere. His proposal is the only clear way to accomplish that. On the other hand, I believe there is probably sufficient fat in the entire budget that could be cut to free up appropriate funds for GWOT w/out raising taxes. In addition, I think it is a risky proposal b/c I am concerned that some day in the future the country might make the wrong military/political decision in GWOT just to save a few bucks. Economic cost of any plan should always be considered, but perhaps not as directly by the people as would occur under Lieberman's proposal.

James Sherley

Don't know the name? Well, read on and learn - this is probably the only time you'll find me on the same side of an issue as Noam Chomsky. Sherley is a bio engineering prof at MIT who started a starvation campaign two days ago outside the MIT president's office to protest his denial of tenure. He claims that the denial was based on racism, and ever since coming to MIT in '98 he claims he's been discriminated against.

The more likely reason that he was denied tenure is that his research focuses exclusively on adult stem cells; as a Christian he refuses to work with embryonic stem cells and challenges his colleagues to prove why one person's life is more valuable than another. I believe he knows this is why he was denied tenure, and is intelligently using the racist card here. That is to say, the liberal MSM would never support a professor who was scorned b/c he opposed use of embryonic stem cells, but watch how they'll flock to the story of someone denied a job b/c of racism. Smart play..

Now, maybe MIT is right, that at the end of the day his accomplishments just fell short of what they require for tenure. On the other hand, the last time I checked, people who have a bachelor's from Harvard, an M.D. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins, and are awarded a $2.5 M grant from prestigious NIH generally don't "fall short."
Tuesday, February 06, 2007

NRO Double Feature:

First, Terence Jeffrey on Rudy:

“Murder and graffiti are two vastly different crimes,” Rudy Giuliani once said. “But they are part of the same continuum, and a climate that tolerates one is more likely to tolerate the other.”

Good point, Rudy.

Now, what about a climate — not to mention a Republican presidential candidate — that not only tolerates, but allows unelected judges to legalize the practice of delivering a child until only its head remains within its mothers womb so the child can be killed by sucking out its brains?

What about a climate where same-sex couples are given the same legal status as married couples, whether the resulting arrangements are candidly called “same-sex marriages,” or are semantically papered-over with terms such as “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships”? ...

The late Russell Kirk argued in The Conservative Mind that the first canon of conservatism is “[b]elief in a transcendent order, or body of natural law, which rules society as well as conscience. Political problems, at bottom, are religious and moral problems. …

By advocating abortion on demand and same-sex unions, Rudy is doing something far more egregious than, say, defacing a New York subway train. He is defacing the institution that forms the foundation of human civilization.

That is not conservative.

Rudy will not win the Republican nomination because enough of the people who vote in Republican caucuses and primaries still respect life and marriage, and are not ready to give up on them — or on the Republican party as an agent for protecting them.

And the nightcap, K-Lo on Mitt's need to more effectively communicate his pro-life convictions. In essence, she's saying Mitt's pro-life conversion makes him a more, not less, effective advocate of pro-life policies, and that he needs to define his convictions before the charges of the critics (flip-flopping opportunist) stick. But give it a read. As always, K-Lo's columns are worth it.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

On the 96th anniversary of the birth of our 40th President, Ronald Wilson Reagan, it's a great time to listen and remember. This is what conservative leadership sounds like.

Whales are great, but please, save the Christians!

BooBooKitty has a great post over at RedState contrasting the way the MSM treats Global Warming with breathless urgency, and the threat of Islamic Terrorism as overblown. And how crazy that is.

But just as good as her excellent post was this reply by Civil Truth:

And will we 21st century Christians be viewed as myopic for being so focused on trying to "connect" with the postmodern West that we fail to notice the rising power of a 7th century faith in a god who loves death rather than life and and seeks to exterminate everyone who does not submit to that vision, forgetting the cost of discipleship paid in blood by our forebears, thereby resulting in that price being required again of our generation and our descendants to an extent unprecedented in human existence.

Rudy on Abortion, Feb. 5, 2007

Some interesting quotes from last night's interview on Hannity and Colmes:

“Abortion…I hate it. As a personal matter it is something I would advise someone against. However, I believe in a woman’s right to choose...You have to leave that to conscience...You have to respect the choices that people make.”

"I think that's up to the Court to decide...at this point, it's precedent. It's going to be very interesting to see what Chief Justice Roberts and what Justices Scalia and Alito do with it. I think they're going to limit it rather than overturn it."

"Partial-birth abortion, I think that ban's going to be upheld. It should be. As long as there is a provision for the life of the mother..."

"[As mayor] we worked on adoptions as an alternative so that there would be a real choice, so that ultimately you respect a woman's choice but it should be a real choice. Adoption or if they make that choice, I don't think the criminal law can interfere with it."

While I made several comments on this interview at Race42008.com, perhaps the most on-point comment I read came from LJ, a contributor over there (bold emphasis is mine):

Well, speaking as a McCain guy and probably the biggest Romney basher on the site, I have to say that this interview really made me view Giuliani is [sic] a much worse light. I’ve railed against Romney’s countless flip-flops for months on end, but at least he tried to explain his conversion(s) with the stem cell meeting with Doug Melton on 11/9/04. As crazy as that is, at least it’s something. But Giuliani offered no explanation at all and no one called him on it.

I understand why Giuliani had to flip on some of these issues, especially PBA, because he would’ve been eaten alive in the primaries, if he hadn’t. But to flip in such a rank opportunistic way, just insults my intelligence and makes me devalue his vaunted authenticity. And that’s a shame, because that’s one of the things I liked best about him.


And one other spot-on piece of commentary from frequent RedState poster HeavyM:

How can we so quickly forget Rudy accepting the NARAL “Champion of Choice Award” just three short years ago? And now, with no explanation, he expects us to believe he is not only shedding everything he has ever worked for in his moral crusade for abortions, but in addition to that, will actively work against it?

That’s why I was disappointed in the interview. The guy couldn’t even say Roe was bad law, but then said he’d work to overturn it.


In all fairness, Rudy is (IMHO) right there with Mitt as the most accomplished manager of the potential GOP candidates, but pro-lifers really need to start contemplating if they want a GOP standard-bearer who is admittedly pro-choice. What will the ramifications be? While I'm not quite as pessimistic, Matt over at R4'08 summed up my fears:

I cannot accept a charismatic, titular head of the Republican Party, trying to sell a sort of “safe, legal, and rare” rhetoric. He’ll win too many converts and the pro-life movement will collapse into the abyss.


Cross posted at RedState
Monday, February 05, 2007

Don't say we didn't warn you...

when a Dem President raises your taxes. After all, they're already telling you that's what they intend to do:

"Yes, we'll have to raise taxes. The only way you can pay for a health care plan that costs anywhere from $90 (billion) to $120 billion is there has to be a revenue source," the former North Carolina senator said.

No word yet on how many billions could be shaved off the price tag if we eliminate ambulance-chasing malpractice attorneys.

T.R. on immigration

Speak softly and speak English:

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language…and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Glad to put that one to bed

Check out the video of Rudy here. He says that he will NOT run as an independent and will run ONLY as a Republican for the Presidency.

Good news for all Republicans and conservatives, whether you're a Rudy supporter or not.

'08 candidates

Let's go for some very early polling. Right now all indications are that '08 election will be a battle of all-stars between widely known names (Hillary vs. Rudy or McCain). But as each party gets to know their candidates better, will these early front-runners with dominant leads remain? How do people see primaries playing out?

For Dems, I don't see anyone knocking off Hillary. Her early lead is too big. With the political machine she has working for her that lead is insurmountable, especially from someone with as little experience as Obama.

Repub primary is a lot muddier, but I think Mitt will win and here's how. (1) If Newt enters, all other nominees will successfully label him as unelectable in general election, effectively killing nomination of candidate who is otherwise most likely top choice of Republican base. (2) Rudy probably could overcome being pro-gun-control and maybe even being pro-gay-marriage, but there is simply no way he can win Republican primary being pro-choice. (3) McCain has the same problem as Rudy - he is more popular in general election than within his own party. He's alienated Repubs too many times, he can't win primary. (4) I don't think Republicans will put up a lesser-known name against Hillary, unless one of the others (Huckabee, Hunter, Tancredo, etc.) really comes on strong and blows away the party. It is really going to be hard as one of these candidates to rise above the shadows that McCain and Rudy cast, and make a name for yourself. Especially if enough SoCons become convinced that Mitt is genuinely conservative, and they don't mind his being Mormon.

That said, top issues in '08 will likely be terrorism and spiraling health care costs + entitlement spending. Whoever establishes themselves as the leader on these issues early on will do themselves a favor.
Sunday, February 04, 2007

Will Saudi Arabia ban the letter "X"?

Apparently such a move is actually on the table. After all, it is an affront to all Muslims to allow a letter to be seen on the holy Arabian peninsula, when that letter resembles the Cross.

The Iraq Civil War spreads to the Homeland

Today's article in the NYT contained some interesting info:

DEARBORN, Mich. — Twice recently, vandals have shattered windows at three mosques and a dozen businesses popular among Shiite Muslims along Warren Avenue, the spine of the Arab community here.

Surprisingly, the vandals were not xenophobic Chrisitans, much to the dismay of the Times. It turns out they were Sunni Muslims. The Sunni-Shiite split has come home to middle America.

My first reaction was, "so what?" After all, my paesanos brought their clannish rival gangs here from the old country, too. Did that threaten America? I was just They were just offering protection to fellow Italian-Americans at a reasonable price.

Now that I think about it though, organized crime never sought to impose its belief structure on the rest of the world. While there was a mob equivalent to Sharia Law, we didn't much want to share it with the masses. It would have made it a lot harder to rob everyone if the whole world had become wise guys.

Back to Dearborn. Here's an interesting quote:

...most in Dearborn’s Iraqi Shiite community blame the Sunni Muslims.

“The Shiites were very happy that they killed Saddam, but the Sunnis were in tears,” Aqeel Al-Tamimi, 34, an immigrant Iraqi truck driver and a Shiite, said as he ate roasted chicken and flatbread at Al-Akashi restaurant, one of the establishments damaged over the city line in Detroit. “These people look at us like we sold our country to America.”

Let me make sure I got that right:

“These people look at us like we sold our country to America."

Yup, there it is again.

So Aqeel Al-Tamimi, who likes to eat flatbread at Al-Akashi, feels like his Mohammaden colleagues are judging him for selling out "our country to America."

I thought his country was America? I could have sworn that the lead line of the story stated he's from Dearborn, Michigan. You know Michigan: one time residence of Henry Ford, historical backbone of US manufacturing might, home of the mighty football Lions.

Well lets see how that works if what he meant by "our country" was America:

...like we sold America to America.

Doesn't sound right. I guess "our country" must mean something else.

Don't worry, folks. I promise you I'll keep watching the Times like a hawk. If there's any follow-up reporting, I'll let you know what Aqeel Al-Tamimi and his Dearbornistan neighbors actually consider to be their country.

RSC invites the candidates

In this story from the WaTimes, we find out that the Republican Study Committee (the conservative think tank of the GOP House caucus) invited the three front-runners for the GOP Presidential nomination to speak at their most recent study group. McCain and Giuliani declined to come, but Mitt gave a speech. The following line from Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) pretty much sums up where the RSC stands:

I don't see any one of them being singled out as a great front-runner by the House Republican members or any one of them being singled out as a 'no-go'

That sentiment will have to change soon for Mitt to make a real run. He needs to have a clear majority of supporters among conservatives if he's going to get enough traction, funding, and media attention to get past the name recognition candidates (McCain, Giuliani). It's still early. But these days, it gets late early.

One other interesting note from the article (my emphasis):

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay addressed the group Friday morning, but the most impressive performer, members said, was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who gave the dinner speech Thursday.

"We have to act independently of the White House. You do not serve the president, you serve with the president," Mr. Gingrich said, according to a Republican present at the dinner, which was closed to the press.

"Newt blew the group away," said another Republican who attended the dinner. "He is on such a different intellectual plane. He warned that the conference moves too slow and the RSC should be outmaneuvering the conference. He also said that the Republicans should neither blame nor support President Bush on issues that divide the Republicans from their base."

I have a hard time believing that Mitt takes a back seat to anyone on intellect, but Newt makes the big picture arguments that really hit home with base, as opposed to Mitt who, in the speeches I've seen, tends to move from the particular to the universal instead of the other way around.
Friday, February 02, 2007

Rudy

Rudy to run as independent? Well, at least for now he hasn't formally declared as a Republican. If Rudy or McCain ran as an independent it would really throw a wrench into things. It would almost certainly guarantee Republican loss, and maybe even Dem too. I'd be surprised to see Rudy burn the Republican party at this stage of his life (although less surprised if McCain did so), but who knows? He's already made a good amount of money from his consulting company, gets paid a fortune to speak, and if he figures he'll never have a shot at winning Repub primary he just might do it. I'm sure he realizes his best chance of winning presidency is in '08, and will only decline as we get further removed from 9/11.

Iraq

This is a great piece by Krauthammer, pointing out that it is Iraqis and others in the region responsible for the chaos they are now in. To blame the US is absurd - we gave them the opportunity of freedom, and so far they have chosen to squander it away by sinking into a civil war. That is their choice and their actions, certainly nothing the US wants or established.

Patty B on W's shady history

Please read the whole article at Human Events.

Said Bush: "Sometimes, nativism, isolationism and protectionism all run hand in hand. We've got to be careful about that in the United States. The 1920s was a period of high tariff, high tax, no immigration. And the lesson of the 20s ought to be a reminder of what is possible for future presidents."

What is President Bush talking about?

Under Harding-Coolidge and Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, tariffs were indeed doubled to 38 percent, but imports were only 4 percent of GDP and most imports came in duty-free. And Wilson's wartime income tax rates were not raised, but slashed from Wilson's 72 percent to 25 percent.

When Harding took office, the unemployment rate was 12 percent. When Coolidge went home, it was 3 percent and America was producing 42 percent of the world's manufactures. Between 1922 and 1927, the economy grew at 7 percent a year, the largest peacetime growth ever. They were not called The Roaring Twenties for nothing, Mr. Bush.

As for "nativism," the immigration law of 1924 simply cut back immigration to 160,000 a year, and declared that the racial and ethnic profile of America was fine and should not be altered. Sam Gompers agreed. A. Philip Randolph wanted immigration stopped.

Thanks to that law, by the 1950s, almost all immigrants and their children had been fully assimilated and Americanized. What was wrong with that, Mr. President? Or do you and your Journal acolytes simply not like the country you grew up in?

Ronald Reagan, who loved Cal Cooldige, went to Eureka College. Bush, who thinks the Republican Era of the 1920s a disaster, was educated at Yale and Harvard. Maybe that's the problem.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Romney gaining traction in the midwest

Caucus Cooler is a blog run by a connected Iowa Caucus-watcher that has become quite well trafficked recently. It's a great place to stop by if you want to hear what's being said around the Hawkeye state. C.C. is definitely a McCain-backing site, however. But they're pretty even handed in reporting the news.

Anyway, check out this article, a run down of this week's activity. It has a brief but significant mention of how Mitt's doing in attracting crowds. Here's the money quote:

Where in the hell did Romney find 300 people to come to an 11AM event on a Friday in Waterloo?

Did Huckabee and Brownback get 300 people combined if you add up the attendance at all their events this week?

You gotta be s'ing me

Can you believe this nonsense?

Prepare to be invaded...in 3, 2, 1...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iv84yS_RaQM

Norwegians deliver U.S. ultimatum: Go green or else...

...we will crown Al Gore your king.

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Always sniffing for the truth

Always sniffing for the truth

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