Monday, April 30, 2007

Romney (Re)Defines the Enemy

In what is a truly encouraging sign for the upcoming Presidential cycle, it seems that at least one candidate will be willing to buck the P.C. police and call our enemy by name. That candidate is Gov. Mitt Romney. Check out some of the quotes from this article from ABC News:

"They are terrorists, yes, but more directly they are Jihadists," the White House hopeful told ABC News. "That has broad implications."

Romney believes Jihadists are just a "very narrow and very extreme sector" of Islam. But given that there are more than one billion Muslims in the world, he warns hat "a small percentage of a very large number is still a large number."

"It's important for as many of us as possible to understand the nature of those who are our enemies in this war," Romney told ABC News. "They are Jihadists -- an extreme and tiny slice of the world of Islam. They will be defeated by military might and by the forces of modernity and moderation within the world of Islam."

If we can't have a serious converstaion about the nature of our enemy at this point, we may truly be lost. We must be able to realize that Jihadism as an ideology is real, dangerous, and needs to be confronted--primarily through intelligence agencies, covert ops, law enforcement, and direct diplomacy with the sovereign states that control the territory where Jihadist organizations exist. We must also be willing to use trade policy and international organizations to encourage moderate Muslims to seek cooperation with law-abiding Western nations, and not succumb to leaders who preach only war. And both our friends and our enemies need to know that we have the resolve and the ability to confront them militarily, if absolutely necessary. If all the other tools at our disposal are used properly, it shouldn't be.
Thursday, April 26, 2007

Congrats, D.C.!

On the birth of your daughter! 9 lbs, huh? You just couldn't make life easy on the mrs.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hey Linderman...

What's your take on Gonzalez v. Carhart? Inquiring minds want to know...

Carbon emissions: actually the fault of Indonesia?

Apparently so. Read this astounding post at RedState that shows one of the real culprits behind increased carbon emissions. Whether or not AGW results I'll leave to you, but the carbon emission facts are interesting nonetheless.

For instance:

...peat fires are a recurring (2004, '06) phenomenon in Indonesia.

And not a natural phenomenon, for the most part. Most of the fires are man-made; slash and burn techniques are used to clear forests, and the forest fires in turn ignite the peat, which smolders like a burning cigarette. The Indonesian government has contributed to the problem by trying to drain some of the peat bogs for conversion to agriculture.

But here's the mind-blowing part:

[It is] estimated that during 1997 and 1998 smouldering peat beneath the Borneo forests released between 0.8 and 2.6 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. That is equivalent to 13 to 40 per cent of all [global] emissions from burning fossil fuels, and contributed to the CO2 peak in 1998. [emphasis added]

Peat fires are a two edged sword. A natural peat bog is actually a carbon sink, so its destruction not only releases the sequestered carbon to the atmosphere, it reduces the earth's capacity to regulate the carbon balance.

So why aren't these facts being discussed, or the Indonesians "being held to account," as we demand of uncaring Westerners? I'll let you guys take some guesses there.
Monday, April 23, 2007

Wedding Dress

A little humor for OccObs..

A woman, married three times, walked into a bridal shop one day and told the sales clerk that she was looking for a wedding gown for her fourth wedding. "Of course, madam," replied the sales clerk, "exactly what type and color dress are you looking for?" The bride-to-be said: "A long frilly white dress with a veil."

The sales clerk hesitated a bit, then said, "Please don't take this the wrong way, but gowns of that nature are considered more appropriate for brides who are being married the first time - for those who are a bit more innocent, if you know what I mean? Perhaps ivory or sky blue would be nice?"

"Well," replied the customer, a little peeved at the clerk's directness, "I can assure you that a white gown would be quite appropriate. Believe it or not, despite all my marriages, I remain as innocent as a first-time bride. You see, my first husband was so excited about our wedding, he died as we were checking into our hotel. My second husband and I got into such a terrible fight in the limo on our way to our honeymoon that we had that wedding annulled immediately and never spoke to each other again."

"What about your third husband?" asked the sales clerk. "That one was a Democrat," said the woman, "and every night for four years, he just sat on the edge of the bed and told me how good it was going to be, but nothing ever happened.
Saturday, April 21, 2007

alec baldwin

DC: Wish Granted

That said, I hate to revel in a man's personal problems. But then again, this is Alec Baldwin...

"You are useless, Arec Bawdwin"

Thank you Team America guys for summing it up so well.

If not sure how to post video links directly (a la the instant classic Candy Mountain) so I'll just drop the link here:

This is some great audio of one of the world's most unabashed liberals showing what he's really like behind closed doors. Imus must be livid right now...
Friday, April 20, 2007

Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent comes out swinging against those who would move to limit our second amendment rights. This is right in line with comments from Linderman and myself the other day.

Poll #s

A quick look at the current RCP average in GOP field indicates roughly that Rudy = 32%, McCain = 20%, and you have 3 guys (Mitt, Newt, and Thompson) hovering around 10% each. Looking at these #s, I think things can break well for Mitt as follows. First, Newt will not run. Second, Thompson will not gain much traction, and I'm not sure he'll raise enough money to mount a legit campaign, so I expect him to bow out at some point. That leaves ~20% of voters up for grabs. I doubt any of those votes go to Rudy or McCain - those two are well-enough-known commodities that anyone who is going to support them is already reflected in their 32% and 20%, respectively. Which means Mitt's job is to make sure he mops up that 20%, and doesn't let them turn into non-voters.
Thursday, April 19, 2007

Rudy flipping around on PBA

Found this article over at the Brownback campaign website:

In 1996, Rudy Criticized JPII, Defended Clinton over Partial-Birth Abortions

April 19, 2007

In the wake of yesterday's momentous Supreme Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of the PBA Ban that Senator Brownback has long fought for, the Republican Presidential candidates were busy lining themselves up behind a piece of legislation that approximately 70 per cent of the country supports. Rudy Giuliani also desired to number himself among the supporters of the bill, saying "The Supreme Court reached the correct conclusion in upholding the congressional ban on partial birth abortion. I agree with it."

Unfortunately for Rudy, Townhall's Matt Lewis has written a devastating article which shows what a shallow attempt at political damage control Rudy's statement really is...

Read the rest of it here.

Today's Image

Hat tip: Fumare
Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Partial birth abortions...


Great news, indeed. Which reminds me, there is no phrase that irritates me more than, "a woman's right to choose." Huh? First, why are women given the "right" to choose to end a life? Why would this ever be the case in any society that has any respect for life? Second, last time I checked, it takes a man and a woman to create a life, so even if you weren't against abortion, why would this be a "woman's" right and not a "couple's" right? The whole thing reeks, but luckily it reeks just a little less today.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007

For the sake of his sorrowful passion,

have Mercy on us and on the whole world.

Folks often pray for the intercession of St. Joseph that they may avoid a sudden death, and this sad situation reminds me why. I, for one, don't feel remotely prepared to answer to the Judge of All for my actions in this world; and while no one is going to confuse me with Padre (St.) Pio, the college version of Fredo was in a much, much worse place. I pray for all the victims of this vicious murderer, and hope they were more prepared than I to answer for their deeds and omissions. If not, may we all pray to our mericful Lord that he looks not upon their sin, but upon their faith and the faith of God's people instead.

I'll be saying a Divine Mercy Chaplet for all of these victims today. I should probably be doing the same for the perp, but I can't go there yet.
Monday, April 16, 2007

2008 Power Rankings

I posted this in a comment over at R 4 2008. My current evaluation of the state of the race.

1. Mayor Giuliani: With his sizeable lead, how could he not be number 1 right now?

2. Gov. Romney: With McCain’s backwards momentum, the negative media attention on his age and “tired look”, and his poor fundraising results, I believe Mitt has leapfrogged into the #2 slot. As the media focus tightens, Mitt will continue to benefit from his smooth delivery and strong articulation of solid conservative ideas (the ideas are solid, even if you think he’s an opportunist). Especially on the hot-button issues, Mitt’s stances will appeal more broadly to conservatives than McCain or Giuliani: on abortion, defense of marriage, and illegal immigration. Unlike some of the true SoCons, Mitt’s focus on economic and tax policy, and his background as a coporate CEO, will keep him from being pigeonholed as an “extremist”. The Mormon issue will have run its course long before Iowa rolls around.

3. Sen. McCain: Could have dropped much further, but has rescued his candidacy with strong performances on the stump recently, and some good press coverage as well. Whether he can win this thing will have to do with (1) whether skeptical conservatives really believe that he’ll nominate a true originalist pro-life judge to the S.C., when he’s been very willing to backstab conservatives (e.g., Kennedy-McCain, McCain-Feingold, opposing Bush tax cuts, etc.) to avoid being seen as an “extremist” or by the MSM and losing the appearance of the “conservative that liberals can like”; and (2) how things go in Iraq. If the situation turns around rapidly in Iraq (I’m holding out hope), McCain quickly catapults back to #1 on the list for his steadfast leadership in the area.

4. Sen. Thompson: Polling great, but needs to prove that there is actually a pro-Thompson groundswell and not an anti-Rudy McRomney groundswell. I’m not convinced this candidacy is going anywhere, especially since he (1) has cancer, (2) has no executive or private-sector leadership experience that I’m aware of, and (3) is not as conservative as everyone wants to believe. His lifetime ACU rating is not markedly better than McCain’s (86 vs. 82), and much worse than the other CCA’s like Brownback (94) (hat tip: Caucus Cooler) which kind of defeats the whole raison d’etre of his candidacy. Also didn’t distinguish himself as a leader in the Senate Caucus and didn’t have a lot of fire for the fight, leaving politics after 1 & 1/3 terms. Seems to have a lot of down-home appeal and that Southern accent convinces a lot of folks he’s a real conservative, but more viable than some of the other conservatives, so I guess we’ll see. He could go anywhere from here: winning the nomination to never entering the race seems possible.

5. Spkr. Gingrich: The personal negatives simply can’t be overcome (IMHO) in the general election. The most innovative policy thinker in the field and his conservative bona fides can’t be questioned. Will have his staunch backers if he enters without a doubt.

6. Sen. Brownback: Should be doing much better, but his 1Q fundraising was adequate to keep him in the race. With his down the line solid conservative views (exception on immigration policy), and midwestern roots, he should be cleaning up right now in IA. His lack of personal appeal and flat presence on the stump seems to be the problem, IMHO.

7. Gov. Huckabee: Similar to Brownback except his mixed track record on taxes puts him at a disadvantage to the KS senator in terms of his history. However, a much more effective stumper. If Huckabee starts getting some momentum he could be a dangerous candidate as a CCA.

8. Rep. Hunter: Ahead of some of the names below him only because he seems to get pockets of enthusiastic support in the areas where he campaigns. Surprisingly strong showings in straw polls in SC and AZ show he can’t be counted out before the debates. A few strong performances and he might find some financial backing.

9. Gov. Thompson: This one is the real head scratcher. For a conservative governor who had so much appeal in his homestate, and so many real accomplishments from a policy perspective, he doesn’t seem to be gaining any traction among voters or donors. I know it’s a matter of subjective preference, but for someone who is not a lightweight, he sure sounds like one on TV.

10. Rep. Tancredo: Johnny-one note on an issue where a lot of folks want a Johnny one-note. Will have a core of supporters. Easily pigeon-holed as a racist white guy by the MSM, so he will find it difficult to broaden his support much.

11. Sen. Hagel: Unless Republican voters make the wholesale choice that they would prefer to return to an Eisenhower-style foreign policy and renounce the Bush doctrine, Hagel’s going nowhere. I don’t see it happening. The fact that his dissents from Bush were angry and undiplomatic don’t help him any.

12. Gov. Gilmore: Many conservatives in his homestate feel he was only a marginal governor. That’s a tough track record to run on when you’re from a red state like VA.

13. Ron Paul/John Cox/Other: Please leave the stage and stop taking up debating time from candidates we’d actually like to hear from.

Rudy's story keeps changing

First it was: I'm not as socially liberal as they say.

Now it's: the party needs to get off these social issues and stop worrying about it.

He's digging a big hole for himself, and it's going to be increasingly difficult to dig out of it.

Get past social issues, Giuliani tells backers

April 15, 2007

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani warned GOP activists in Des Moines on Saturday that if they insist on a nominee who always agrees with them, it will spell defeat in 2008.

“Our party is going to grow, and we are going to win in 2008 if we are a party characterized by what we’re for, not if we’re a party that’s known for what we’re against,” the former New York mayor said at a midday campaign stop.

Republicans can win, he said, if they nominate a candidate committed to the fight against terrorism and high taxes, rather than a pure social conservative.

“Our party has to get beyond issues like that,” Giuliani said, a reference to abortion rights, which he supports.
Sunday, April 15, 2007

Obama flaunting success

And why not. If you've got it, show it.


Check out this headline from Drudge:


Obama released a list of top fundraisers Sunday that showed how deeply his presidential primary campaign has cut into the Democratic Party establishment...

There's no story behind the headline (yet), just a headline. That said, one wonders if his donors will balk at having their names used to prove the Clinton's don't have the lockdown on the Dem political elite. I mean, I'm sure they already know there will be hell to pay if Hillary takes the White House. But to have their names thrust front and center this early on? I wonder if his Q2 donors will have to think twice before putting themselves in the crosshairs of the Clinton political machine.

Chew on this...

I'm not sure whether this article, and this reference to it, seem right to me because I'm a clear thinker or because I'm spiritually corrupted. We report, you decide...

The classic modern reptilian manifesto is a bewitchingly Machiavellian article published in Foreign Affairs in 1999 by Edward N. Luttwak, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Perhaps because of his European accent (he is Transylvanian-born) and his penchant for caustic pronouncements (he observed recently that the Transportation Security Administration can find a bomb only "if you attach it to a pair of nail clippers"), Luttwak has something of a Strangelovian reputation in foreign-policy circles, though no one disputes his brilliance. Characteristically, he titled his article "Give War a Chance."

War, he argued, is a great evil, but it has one indispensable virtue: It brings peace. Too often, well-meaning diplomats or peacekeepers interpose themselves in conflicts that should be left to burn themselves out. Alas, cease-fires and peacekeepers "artificially freeze conflict and perpetuate a state of war indefinitely by shielding the weaker side from the consequences of refusing to make concessions for peace," he wrote. "The final result is to prevent the emergence of a coherent outcome, which requires an imbalance of strength sufficient to end the fighting." In other words, war ends in a stable peace only when one side loses, and understands it has lost. "If the United Nations helped the strong defeat the weak faster and more decisively," Luttwak wrote mischievously, "it would actually enhance the peacemaking potential of war."

Hat tip: Jonathan Rauch, National Journal

Mitt is frustrating me

Why stretch the truth? Especially when you know you're going to get called on it and people are already looking to jump on you for lacking "core convictions"? Mitt would, from what I've seen in his bio, be a good president. But he's not going to be elected (despite his numerous advantages over other candidates) if he keeps tripping over himself. Having to defend statements on when and if you were a hunter as a young man, or if someone who joined the NRA last year can truly be called a friend of the 2nd amendment, means less time for him to be articulating his positions on spending restraint, GWOT, taxes, immigration, etc.

As if Peggy Noonan wasn't already the best

She goes and quotes Casey Stengel (in quotations) but doesn't feel the need to reference his name. Not just a genius political commentator, Ms. Noonan is also apparently a baseball fan. Not only does she know some vintage quotes, but she assumes they are so well known that the speaker need not be cited. You can read the article here.

The main thrust of the article was actually to point out the lack of dignity with which the current crop of presidential contenders are conducting themselves. She saves some of the most pointed criticism for Rudy:

...this is how Mr. Giuliani opened a speech to citizens considering his candidacy for the American presidency. "Thank youse all very much for invitin' me here tuh-day, to this meeting of the families from different parts'a California."

He was imitating Marlon Brando in "The Godfather." (The rendering comes from a Newsday report.)...

Ah. Can't have enough candidates for president who whimsically employ the language of mobsters.

Rudy is No. 1 in the GOP polls, but he has been displaying the worst stature gap on the trail. He can't see why his wife sets people's teeth on edge; he can't see why it would disturb us to have her at cabinet meetings; he assures us she actually won't be at cabinet meetings. This was followed by his statement that of course he continues to be pro-choice on abortion, and yeah, actually, he's probably also for taxpayer funding of abortion, but maybe not.

There is an embarrassing ad-hoc-ness, a bush-leagueness to this. It's as if he hasn't thought it through, as if he's just deciding everything each day...

I thought her observation about Judy Nathan was interesting. For reasons I can't quite pinpoint (other than her blatant Manhattan-centric mannerisims), I've been telling Mrs. Fredo, "wait till Iowans get a load of her. She's going to go over like a lead balloon." I guess Ms. Noonan feels likewise.

Forbes endorses Rudy

Steve Forbes gives a solid endorsement of Rudy here. Mitt's still my man, but Forbes does a nice job highlighting specific fiscal and crime-reduction accomplishments under Rudy's tenure as mayor.
Friday, April 13, 2007

NBC and CBS Want Sick Children To Die

Otherwise why else would they have fired Don Imus now?

MSNBC pulled the plug on the I-man's television simulcast on the eve of his annual 48 hour telethon for the CJ Foundation For SIDS. Then CBS boots him off the radio the next day. Nice move, douchebags!

For the last 18 years, Imus has run this telethon. Last year they raised over $3 million which goes towards research in various childhood illnesses and the funding of his southwest ranch, where sick children are given a chance to have fun and get away from the grim reality they face every day AT NO COST to their families.

Apparently we have come to a point in this society where one's words speak much louder than actions, even if those words are spoken in a comedic forum and are dissected into sound bites that overexaggerate them.

Imus has made a career of making fun of people. Last I checked this is a Constitutionally-protected right. However, black "leaders" who are desperate for camera time feel that there should be a double-standard on what can be said by whom. As stated by Snoop Dogg, Steve Harvey, Al Sharpton, et al, if Imus were a black rapper it would have been fine for him to make these comments.

Looks like we are heading for the point where we have multiple versions of Enlish officially spoken in the US, separated by race. And this is the "best-case" scenario.

Worst case? As Eric Cartman put it so succinctly, "RACE WAR!"

Buckle up kids--it's gonna get bumpy.

Rant cut short by necessity of Babies-R-Us run...
Thursday, April 12, 2007

The NBA should be dissolved

and I really don't care a whit about it. That said, this was one of the funnier first paragraphs I've read in a while:

Tanks for nothing, NBA
By Bill Simmons
Page 2
Editor's note: This column appears in the April 23 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

If ESPN ever creates a channel called ESPN Anti-Classic, I hope it launches with a telecast of April 4's stink bomb between Milwaukee and Boston. Ever seen opponents basically shave points at the same time? Well, it happened. Already playing without Andrew Bogut and Charlie Villanueva, Milwaukee shelved Mo Williams ("sore knee") and Michael Redd ("sore knee") in a desperate bid to blow the game for lottery position. And it would have worked, but they sorely underestimated an always-say-die Celtics team missing Paul Pierce ("sore elbow") and Al Jefferson ("hog-tied to a radiator"). Milwaukee lost by winning; Boston won by losing; every paying customer lost, period.

Carlos Slim Helu overtakes Buffett

The Mexican magnate has become the #2 wealthiest man in the world, hot on Gates' heels for #1. And it looks like Mr. Helu has really embraced capitalist principles, and shares no liberal white guilt or liberal wealth guilt:

The tycoon has brushed off criticism that his Telmex company is effectively a monopoly, saying earlier this year: "When you live for others' opinions, you are dead. I don't want to live thinking about how I'll be remembered."

He has derided Gates and Buffett for giving away so much of their wealth, reportedly saying: "Poverty isn't solved with donations," according to Forbes.

Building businesses, he reportedly said, did more for society than "going around like Santa Claus."
Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Global warming

Well, whether or not human activity is a sufficient contributor to recent warming trends is becoming all but irrelevant, as numerous companies and individuals, most notably recently ConocoPhillips and Newt Gingrich, seem to be conceding the point. The trend for companies now seems to be: better to get in front of this issue and play a role in defining any legislation, instead of waiting for very onerous policies to be forced upon them. Certainly a good business decision if you are convinced that you cannot win the counterpoint argument (at least in the court of public opinion, which is apparently all that matters these days), which seems to be what they are saying.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Maggie G is disgusted with Rudy

Ms. Gallagher wanted to support Rudy, but he wouldn't meet her half-way. Or even, as she says, a quarter of the way:

I know I tried really hard to find a way to make the match work. But it takes two to tango, and Rudy's clearly not interested in meeting anyone -- not me, not most of his spouses, not his son -- halfway. Or a quarter of the way. In fact, being Rudy, he's not budging a step. All the deep-seated longing for rapprochement clearly runs in only one direction.

I'm not sure Rudy gets it: Big and strong is good, but only if it's used on our behalf and not against us. A big strong guy who just doesn't care what you think is scary, not reassuring. The same Rudy who cleaned up the mean streets of New York is the same Rudy who used his leadership abilities to dump his wife via a press conference and then tried to make the rest of us feel ashamed for caring about how he treats his family. It's the same Rudy who came out swinging to defend his new wife (whom he clearly loves) and left his son slowly twisting in the wind with dying hopes of some attention from his dad. That's the same Rudy who last week endorsed public funding of abortions as a constitutional right, thus killing two birds of hope with one stone.

In 1989, Rudy stated "there must be public funding of abortions" and criticized President George H.W. Bush for vetoing federal funding for abortions. Asked by CNN if this remains his position, he said: "Probably ... Generally, that's my view." When asked, "Would you support public funding for abortion?" Rudy answered, "If it would deprive someone of a constitutional right, yes." Ultimately, he said that if it's a constitutional right, you have to provide public funding to make sure poor women can do it.

As the editors of National Review recently pointed out, this "makes neither logical, moral, nor political sense." No statements issued afterward by campaign spokespeople can undo the revelations of the way this candidate actually thinks and how he will govern.

Get your anthropogenic global warming before it's gone!

Joliphant has a post over at RedState that picks up on the growing scientific skepticism over AGW. The BBC link is here.

Rush has been hitting this point for years. Combined with the recent story showing that Mars(!) is likely warming at a similar rate to Earth, it sure makes you wonder.

Loved Jolli's postscript:

Are they going to start selling solar offsets? Perhaps paying people to put mirrors on the equator?
Monday, April 09, 2007

Cella on Conservatism

Another great post by Paul Cella, this one at RedState. It is worth reading in its entirety.

Two points really jumped out at me. First, his argument that conservatives cannot, for prudential reasons, reflexively demand smaller government in all cases. While smaller may be generally preferable, the expansion of the state's influence over the past few centuries has become so irreversible that to completely undo it would be to invite chaos in certain circumstances:

It is true, of course, that long experience has taught the Conservative a deep distrust of the modern State. But the Conservative, knowing his history, also knows that the modern unitary State, with its tendrils reaching into almost everything, is a consequence of a revolution made in human politics: a leveling of the older social order, with its rich tapestry of authority, distinction, and variety, and its independent sources of power. The power available to the modern State, which rushed in to fill this vacuum produced by this revolution, is beyond anything ever conceived by the most ambitious despots of the older tradition; and thus the despotisms of the modern age, as wise men like Burke foresaw, have exceeded anything ever before seen. To borrow a phrase from Evelyn Waugh, what Burke saw in Revolutionary France was the modern age in arms, a proto-totalitarian state where politics is all there is.

So the Conservative’s view of the State is ambiguous and skeptical — skeptical not only of the claims of statists, but even of the claims of anti-statists. The modern State is available for manipulation, and it is an instrument of terrible power. But it is not always in the interest of sheltering what is dear to him to effect a weakening the State. To sweep aside all laws against indecency, obscenity, or blasphemy, for instance, may indeed momentarily diminish the power of the State; and concomitantly diminish the capacity for ordered liberty. Here the Conservative may, upon examination, find that he is grateful for the mild application of legal sanction against the obscene or indecent, which would pollute the public life of his community and poison the minds of his own children. It is not true, always and everywhere, that to reduce the role or size of the State is to enlarge liberty. For off at the end, the obliteration of all those apparently trivial or even petty laws against vice may issue in a vicious people; and a vicious people, ruled by mere whim and appetite, will either be governed by a firm despot or not governed at all. Anarchy or despotism will be the lot of such a people; or worse, both at once. It does not require a great insight into the nature of things to see that men who will not govern their own appetites, and who throw up elaborate legal sophistries to protect their license, are unlikely make for a free, as in self-governing, people.

The second point that really grabbed me was his artful description of "progressives." It struck a deep chord in me. It cut through the layers of accumulated disappointment that have dulled my senses to liberal shenanigans. I so expect them now that I hardly see them at all. Cella really pinpointed what, as a teenager, alarmed me so, and sent me down a path of questioning liberalism and the secular activism that I saw all around me. It is the blindness of the liberal to the real goods in the world, the simple things that every man is capable of enjoying. The liberal, by contrast, seems incapable of enjoying his or her life: instead they want to drag you down into the same misery of perceived injury (usually assumed to be orchestrated) in which they wallow daily. And the only solution to the "orchestrated misery" is division, strife, and ultimately, for those who are candid enough to admit it, revolution.

But the Conservative discovers, often to his acute regret, that his opponents are usually malcontents of some variety — “energumens,” in a term favored by Russell Kirk: men possessed. What so exercises them against the settled things of their society will always remain something of a mystery to him. But that this agitation issues in a habit of mind inimical to what the Preamble of the Constitution refers to as “domestic tranquility” is not so mysterious. The language of discontent positively permeates our politics. Senators sound more like generals when they talk of the necessity that Supreme Court nominees be prepared to “fight for women’s rights.” Our leaders conceive of new “wars” on social blights every other year. We hear talk of our country rent into “two Americas”; of the great and unending “struggle” against discrimination and prejudice; and so on. In this idiom there seems little to enjoy in the world, little to be grateful for, and much to be incensed about. Oakeshott again:

To some people, “government” appears as a vast reservoir of power which inspires them to dream of what use might be made of it. They have favourite projects, of various dimensions, which they sincerely believe are for the benefit of mankind, and to capture this source of power, if necessary to increase it, and to use it for imposing their favourite projects upon their fellows is what they understand as the adventure of governing men. They are, thus, disposed to recognize government as an instrument of passion; the art of politics is to inflame and direct desire.

This sort of politics — politics as “an instrument of passion” — fills the Conservative with alarm. It begins in some vaunted dream of a better world; it ends in cataclysm.

It is not that the Conservative is inclined to dismiss the long train of abuses, crimes, usurpations, perfidies, frauds, deceits, pillages, despoliations and betrayals that characterize so much of human history. Nothing could be farther from the truth. But the Conservative is certainly inclined to dismiss the malcontent’s delusion that only these things constitute reality, while the good things of life are mere chimeras.

Please read the whole article. You won't be sorry.

Thought for the Day

The American Indians found out what happens when you don't control immigration.

(This one's been making the rounds over email, but I thought it was worth a mention here on OccObs)
Friday, April 06, 2007


...continues to be hammered by Repubs, Dems, and press. Here WSJ suggests she may have committed a felony in traveling to Syria, while USA Today also blasts her.

Her tenure as Speaker has certainly been off to a rough start.
Thursday, April 05, 2007

Where is Our John Howard?

Don't get me wrong. I love the U.S.A. I could never imagine wanting to live anywhere else. But why is it the leaders here can't see things as clearly as he does. He isn't afraid to say the things his people are saying (or thinking). My first liking for him came after seeing this. He continues to exhibit (un)common sense this month by denying a visa to a known terrorist. I wish common sense was common in government (or even present).

Pelosi, part deux

Wow, even an MSM as big as WP agrees with my earlier post that Pelosi's trip to Syria dangerously undermines the presidency of the US. Even worse, apparently she completely misrepresented Israel's stance on a key issue when talking to Syria. I strongly suggest reading the full editorial because it is rare that WP will slam a Dem as much as they do in this piece; here are some key excerpts:

Pratfall in Damascus
Nancy Pelosi's foolish shuttle diplomacy

HOUSE SPEAKER Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered an excellent demonstration yesterday of why members of Congress should not attempt to supplant the secretary of state when traveling abroad.

In other words, Ms. Pelosi not only misrepresented Israel's position but was virtually alone in failing to discern that Mr. Assad's words were mere propaganda. "We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace," Ms. Pelosi grandly declared.

Never mind that that statement is ludicrous: As any diplomat with knowledge of the region could have told Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Assad is a corrupt thug whose overriding priority at the moment is not peace with Israel...

The really striking development here is the attempt by a Democratic congressional leader to substitute her own foreign policy for that of a sitting Republican president. Two weeks ago Ms. Pelosi rammed legislation through the House of Representatives that would strip Mr. Bush of his authority as commander in chief to manage troop movements in Iraq. Now she is attempting to introduce a new Middle East policy that directly conflicts with that of the president. We have found much to criticize in Mr. Bush's military strategy and regional diplomacy. But Ms. Pelosi's attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Looks like Obama basically tied Hillary's early fundraising efforts, bringing in $25 M. This should set up a nice amount of vicious in-fighting among Dems during their primary. Throw in Gore and it will get even uglier. Gotta love it!
Monday, April 02, 2007

The Fred Thompson Buzz

I have to admit being truly baffled about the Fred Thompson buzz. Novak's out with a column today stating that he's a serious threat to win the nomination. Novak knows the lay of the land, so I'm in no position to argue with him. But that doesn't answer the bigger question: why?

Why would a one-and-a-half term former Senator, with no executive experience whatosever, and a fairly low-key tenure on Capitol Hill, be rating so highly among the politically active GOP class?

I mean, surveying the ruins of the once mighty GOP majority, itself shipwrecked on the rocks of fiscal irresponsibility and executive incomeptency (whether W failed in substance or merely lost the PR war over Iraq and Katrina, he failed either way), one would think that GOP voters wouldn't want to take any chances in '08. They would want to vote for a conservative candidate who has the proven ability to run large, complex organizations; to balance budgets and cut spending; and to make the right calls under pressure.

Clearly a lot of Republicans are looking at Thompson and making the judgment that he seems like that kind of man. But why are they overlooking the current field, with two candidates that have proven the ability to do these things?

The answer I keep hearing: because Romney and Giuliani are not real social conservatives. In my personal opinion, I think that can accurately be said about Rudy and not Mitt. But even if these Fred Thompson supporters are not inclined to believe Mitt's conversion on life issues, I would ask this follow up: fine, Rudy and Mitt are out for you, but why Fred?

If the goal is to get a "real" social conservative, there are plenty of other options that are already in the field. And if you are as concerned with executive competency as I am, you could still get a more "pure" SoCon with some actual experience as an executive (Huckabee, T. Thompson, Gilmore). In addition to proving themselves as capable governors, Huckabee and Tommy were also able to maintain political support over time, something that would be a welcome change for our next standard-bearer.

Now, I'm not a Huckabee or T. Thompson supporter. I think Mitt is the right man at the right time. But almost any option makes more sense to me than Fred Thompson, who has been out of politics, lacked the fire to keep up the fight in DC, has never run anything, and wasn't a prominent leader in the organization he was a part of, the Senate caucus.

Do I think Fred's right on most of the issues? Sure I do. But I'm not willing to support a candidate just because he checks off the same issue boxes that I do. Not anymore. The past 8 years have shown me that political movements rise and fall not just on ideology, but on job performance. I need both from my next candidate.

1Q Fundraising

Romney is leading the GOP, within reach of Hillary:

Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney raised $23M this quarter, more than enough to top the field of Republican contenders.

That Romney was able to squeeze so many low hanging fruit sources in what has inarguably been a rough political quarter for him speaks highly of the relationships he’s cultivated over these years. It's also a testament to his fundraising team, led by Spencer Zwick, and the campaign's technologically advanced ComMitt activism platform. All Romney's money was raised into his primary campaign accounts.

Romney's burn rate -- tbd.

We await Sen. John McCain to report in. That might happen tomorrow.

His advisers are steeling themselves for a sobering number. Our educated estimate is that, of the top tier Republicans, McCain will raise the third most amount of money and have the third most on hand.

A very impressive total for Romney. At this point, where dollars represent achievment because there are no votes to count, Romney's campaign has been the most effective on the GOP side.

We'll see if he can continue his momentum in Q2 when he has to reach a little higher up the tree.


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Always sniffing for the truth

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