Monday, December 31, 2007

Air Force dust-off...

The Air Force is pitching in for the medical evacuation mission over in Afghanistan, and doing a fine job of it. Part of this is due to a lack for the rescue squadron's original mission - saving downed airmen.

The sad thing is, they are relying on aging choppers to carry out the mission. The HH-47 has been tied up in a string of protests and media battles (the KC-X aerial tanker has touched this off, too).

One wishes that people might be able to remember the admonition laid out this past August.
Sober people can debate the strengths and weaknesses of the Boeing win. We’re agnostic on the issue other than to say that it seems the Air Force picked a heavy lift helicopter for a medium lift job. Hearing the Boeing folks talk about the superior range, speed and payload of the HH-47 was kind of like hearing Boeing say the C-17 is better than the Lockheed Martin C-130…of course, they’re different aircraft in separate classes.

But it’s starting to get to the point where the debate has devolved into the arcane world of defense contracting procedure and who dotted which “i” and crossed what “t” and when. At the same time, America has hundreds of thousands of troops worldwide in combat who will need this capability and it may start getting to the point where the bickering comes at the cost of our troops’ lives.
It really doesn't get any simpler than that. The Air Force is doing its part in the war on terror. We need to back them up with the best possible equipment and plenty of it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Not an endorsement I wanted to see...

Tom Tancredo's endorsement of Mitt Romney is not a good thing for Mitt.

In essence, it means no real solution to the very real problems we have on the southern border. Instead, we get the usual BS that we have seen - we'll get a fence that will ultimately be as effective as the Maginot Line, we'll raid a bunch of fast-food joints and landscaping companies, and we will delude ourselves into thinking our borders will be secure.

Meanwhile, what it will really take will be ignored in the name of ideological purity.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Time for conservatism to transform...

I'm going to join AJ-Strata in calling for a conservative transformation, and will join him in his second litmus test.
And I have a second litmus test - end the Bush bashing unless you are President and can do better. Bush’s Compassionate Conservatism is a great new model. And it has been a huge success. It avoided creating factories of embryos for the creation of spare parts - probably one of history’s most important decision points in terms of being pro-life. Abortion is bad, but it is an individual choice which is losing its luster. Government sanctioned and funded factories of embryos destined for destruction (and probably representing more human beings than those in wombs waiting to be born) would have been the proverbial pact with the devil. And George Bush avoided this path against great pressure.

His work on education (schools now get and “F” when they fail to teach), Senior Citizen health and quality of life (access to prescriptions IS lowering health care costs), taxes and the war - to name a few - have been enormous successes outshining even Reagan.

There are conservatives who seem to be meeting the challenges of today. Mitt Romney stands out in this regard, and certainly deserves better than he is getting from some quarters in the GOP. George W. Bush, for all the complaints of the commissar wing of the GOP, did the same.

When one puts upholding the tenets of an ideology paramount in solving problems, failure is sure to follow. George W. Bush and Mitt Romney both saw this, and both of them dealt with it in an appropriate manner - they use their beliefs to guide their solution, but refused to let them dictate a solution.

Ultimately, if the GOP wants to win, they'll focus on solving the problem. If they do that, it will leave the left with few options, and it will de-power the hard right at well. Both the left and the hard right are more interested in money instead of real solutions.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

AJ's hopes on the purity wars...

I hope that AJ-Strata's view of how things are going is right. The money quote is below:
And then the party will face a stark choice. It will be possible that Bush will have been vindicated in Iraq by this spring, so the Democrats will have failed to fail and Iraq will be spreading the word al-Qaeda is the great Satan (the word is getting out now). So will the party turn on its successful leader and a nominee who follows in his successful steps? A moderate candidate at the head of the ticket could entice enough moderates back from the Dems to make a 2008 a surprise year. Which groups actually wields more power in the GOP is an interesting question - one which will be answered in 2008.
That said, I wish I felt as confident as he does.

Let's face it, the GOP, at least in Virginia, has listened to the commissar wing of the conservative movement. We have seen Mitt Romney plummet to second in Iowa not due to any fault of his own, but instead on the basis of his religion (to some extent), an appeal that Huckabee is not alone in making.

Not only that, we have heard many of the self-same people who threatened to sit out over a Giuliani nomination get all hot and bothered because folks like me are willing to sit out (at the very least) if Huckabee is selected.

For folks like Alexham at RedState (whose posts I linked to), they are now receiving the very same treatment they gave to someone who was actually going pretty far to emphasize common ground and who was NOT out to pick a fight with them.

Would I go so far as Ace of Spades and vote for the Dem if Huckabee is the nominee? Dan Riehl makes some points that I can't disagree with, particularly given the fact that Huckabee would have trumped Romney's superior resume by making an issue of his religion. And that is dangerous on several levels. Government caused enough problems trying to rectify perceived economic wrongs (Microsoft case, the Great Society, and so on). Huckabee seeks to use the government to rectify perceived cultural wrongs (which is why I suspect Jim Gilchrist gave Huckabee his endorsement). At least Republicans would fight Hillary.

And to look at the Democratic candidates, I see Obama as someone who is as much a lightweight as Huckabee, albeit he is one who hasn't really played as dirty. He also seems like the type of person who will give you a fair hearing. He'd do his best, but he would be in way over his head. If he had run for governor in 2010, and gone for the Dem nod in 2016, he'd be an unstoppable juggernaut. Hillary is calculating enough to know that any perceived weakness in the War on Terror combined with a terrorist attack will doom the Democrats for a generation, and so she won't take chances there. John Edwards is perhaps the scariest, if only because he has out-and-out pandered to the 9/11 Truthers.

I'm not a Fred Thompson person, but his character in Hunt for Red October had a great line that describes the GOP's situation: "This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Predator crashes...

The Air Force admitted the loss of another Predator. This follows the loss of at least one more, possibly two, late in November (the Air Force fact sheet listed two other crashes in late November).

Back in March, USA Today reported that the Air Force had lost 53 Predators out of 139 delivered. The Air Force fact sheets reports an inventory of 97. More are on the way to both the Air Force and the Army.

One hopes the Air Force and Army have some backup options in mind - because the loss rates are very reminiscent of the losses suffered by the 8th Air Force over Germany in 1943. Those were considered unsustainable.

Seems to me that it is time to think about reconnaissance versions of the F-35 and F-22.

Remaining serious...

It used to be that the GOP tended to nominate the man who would be the best President out of those who stepped forward.

This is why the Chicago Sun-Times commentary is shocking for its necessity. In 2000, George W. Bush was the best of those who stepped up. In 2008, the best would seem to be Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani.

Yet, the choice instead has boiled down to an actor who spent an eight-year sabbatical in the Senate, or a former preacher with a checkered record as governor.

One hopes the GOP primary electorate will be smart. I, for one, am disinclined to spend my time and effort to bail them out.

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's the resumes, stupid!

The paraphrase of James Carville in the title is probably my best explanation as to why I am becoming very disillusioned about conservatism in general.

For the Presidential nomination, assume five candidates:

Candidate A was a preacher for 12 years before starting in politics, spending three years as lieutenant governor before becoming governor in a small Southern state for ten years, where he did a so-so job and had a string of ethics complaints, and a tax burden 47% higher than ti was when he took office.

Candidate B is a naval veteran decorated for his actions while a prisoner of war who later ran for Congress before being elected to the Senate for several terms. He has not always gotten along with his party.

Candidate C had a lengthy record in business, and is responsible for the successful launch of at least one business that is a major nation-wide chain. He served one term as governor, during which he handled several hot-button issues in a statesmanlike manner, and also was able to turn a deficit into surplus without any tax increases.

Candidate D is a former prosecutor who was mayor of the nation's largest city for eight years. During that time, he presided over an incredible drop in crime, particularly the murder rate, and he also managed to cut taxes a number of times. His performance in a major crisis won rave reviews from just about everyone. His personal life is a bit touchy, and one appointee who performed very well, broke a number of ethics rules.

Candidate E is a lawyer-turned-actor who served 8 years in the Senate before returning to acting.

Which resumes would you whittle down to be your finalists? For me, the answer is very clear - C and D would be very close to the top spot, with B as the respectfully close third. A and E would not merit consideration for the job.

And yet, conservatives seem inclined to reject C and D for reasons utterly unrelated to job performance. Candidate C, it turns out, belongs to a religion that isn't considered mainstream by some. Candidate D's personal life and lack of ideological purity seem to be a problem as well. Candidate B's problems are of his own making - in disagreements with the base, he has gone out of his way to tick them off.

And so, the two weakest resumes are now in contention for the GOP nomination, push forward by conservatives who dominate the primaries. And one of the candidates with an extremely strong resume is apparently losing support because some people have made an issue of his religion (including a state co-chairman for one of the candidates, and ads run by another).

Is this supposed to fill me with confidence in conservatism?

Another dumb idea from San Francisco...

OK, we shouldn't be surprised... but San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom is now proposing a soda tax.

Is there anywhere the left wants to stay out of? They're in my wallet, they're trying to get into my gun closet, they're in a tug-of-war with the hard right over what gets to decide my choice of listening... and now the left want to get into my fridge.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Isn't this still America?

The difference...

I can bet that Huckabee supporters are claiming that Mitt Romney is attacking Huckabee - and trying to make claims that there is an equivalence after Mitt went after Huckster.

Yeah, right.

Mitt Romney went after Huckabee's Kos-esque criticism of President Bush. He also compared his record on immigration. Neither compare to Huckabee's playing of the religion card.

To claim they do defies logic.

Still, some will try to defend it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Time to walk away?

At some point, things change and you need to re-think some things - like whether politics is worth sticking around with.

As Peggy Noonan points out, today's GOP would expel Ronald Reagan for insufficent ideological purity. Mitt Romney has been theologically lynched by Mike Huckabee, to the apparent approval of the GOP primary electorate. The other candidate with a superb resume, Rudy Giuliani, has been ruled out as well.

Both parties have gone insane. The GOP is pandering to a bunch of people who, in the name of some culture that they have not defined, will run the economy into the ground. Naturally, they will claim that those who oppose their views on issues like immigration or their moral crusades have sold their souls or are traitors.

The alternative is to elect a party that is singularly incompetent in national security matters and who wants to tax me into oblivion (I do hope to use my novel-writing and screenwriting as a means to make a fair amount of money).

Either way, I'm hosed. Now, what remains is to figure out what sort of political home I have left, if any. The Republican Main Street Partnership and Republican Leadership Council appear to be the best options for me at this time.

And for the first time, it becomes very likely that sitting out 2008 may be my only real option. Either that or I write my vote in.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The special elections and thoughts on immigration...

The only thing remarkable about the special elections is how much like a normal election they were.

Virginia's 1st District saw the GOP candidate outperformed by Bush's performance in 2004 by less than a percentage point. In Ohio's 5th district, Bob Latta's margin was not much different from the ones racked up in 2004 and 2006 by Bush and Paul Gillmor. It was a rounding error at most.

And here, the right claims a mandate for a hard-line immigration policy. I don't buy it. These results hold little, if any, difference from what you would have had in a normal election. so what really changed? Nothing - two strongly Republican districts sent Republicans to fill out vacancies left by Republicans who died in office. No mandate here. Not even a shift in the numbers that would have indicated something was up.

Which brings me to immigration in general, and why the GOP is making a mistake. When I see rhetoric claiming that those who sought comprehensive immigration reform were pursuing the dispossession of America, I have to wonder what is with the right. Do they really believe America can be dispossessed by gardeners, cleaning ladies, restaurant workers, and nannies, among others? That speaks of either a lack of faith in America or a raging paranoia. Either alternative is not something I want holding some of the highest offices in the land.

It does not help the cause of those at Redstate when they also imply that their opponents are motivated by sedition (and this is mild when compared to Cella's pronouncements of treason in earlier posts). To claim such is simply not true in many cases, and certainly it speaks little for their desire to compromise as well.

In essence, on immigration, we have an impasse. We cannot deport all the illegal immigrants in this country, not without major changes. There is talk of a new national ID card, and requiring proof of citizenship - in essence, we would go to an America where we could be asked, "Your papers, please."

Is that the America we want? My answer is no. In essence, we would be creating the kind of internal controls that Hillary would love for her purposes - and she would not be using them to control illegal immigration. We also see what John Edwards is willing to impose on people as well.

And looking at people like Mike Huckabee and Tom Tancredo, I get the sense that some on the right will be pursuing the same thing. And gladly so. They have their ideas of what America should be, and they strike me as being very willing to use the government to enforce it.

Perhaps this is why some were right - the government needs to stay out of a lot of issues. I really do not think it should be involved in whether restaurants are smoking or non-smoking, how people decide to breed dogs, whether they want to go online to put some money on a baseball or football game, or things like that. Watching the GOP Congress in late 2005 and most of 2006 was, in so many ways, embarrassing.

The House GOP took their ball and went home when they didn't get their way on the immigration issue. Then they passed a lot of bills on small issues that really didn't matter while our troops dealt with airlifters that had cracks in their wings and the housing crisis crept up on us. They then had to pile on with the left rather than point out blatant incompetence by the likes of Kathleen Blanco, who made Frank Jack Fletcher and George McClellan look like decisive leaders in a crisis.

Priorities and common sense matter. And the right cannot seem to figure that out yet.

An apology I cannot accept...

So, Mike Huckabee has apologized.

It is an apology I am not ready to accept by a long shot.

Why? Well, let's look at the basic issue: As I said Tuesday, Mitt Romney's track record and resume far surpasses that of Mike Huckabee. Romney has repeatedly taken businesses that were in trouble and turned them into success stories. He has also given us some of today's most recognizable companies via his work as a venture capitalist (Staples comes to mind). Then, he also served the public, first in turning around the 2002 Winter Olympics that were in very serious trouble, then by serving one term as governor of Massachusetts.

During his tenure as governor, he not only turned a bad fiscal situation around without tax increases, he also confronted two divisive issues of social policy in a manner that was statesmanlike and impressive. Yes, his positions have changed, but it is just as reasonable to argue that the judicial imposition of same-sex marriage and the human cloning bill were muggings that led to a change in perspective (a circumstance that has been the subject of a long-running joke among conservatives).

What has Huckabee brought to the table? Not much as governor, except for getting a rapist paroled - who then went on to commit more violent crimes. Oh, he lost 100 pounds. I'd buy a diet plan from Huckabee, but do I want him in the Oval Office? Not unless he is there to give the President an autographed copy of his book.

In terms of resumes, Romney beats Huckabee hands-down.

And fundamentally, this is the first reason why the defense offered by Joshua Trevino fails.

The second reason is tied to the first. If as Trevino postulates, Huckabee's positions on economic policy and foreign policy are defensible, then why is Huckabee not defending them against criticism? As someone who has studied theology, and thus who might be able to make a moral case for them, he should be able to do that very well. Yet, it seems we get more of the moral argument about why we should be nice to terrorists from McCain than from Huckabee. As a Southern Baptist preacher, who probably gave many sermons (which he has refused to release, leading me to wonder what Huckabee is afraid of on that count), he should be able to make the compelling case.

Huckabee has not done so. Instead, he has played the religion card, as has documented so well. What we have found out over the last two weeks certainly makes it very likely (at least in my mind) that Huckabee is behind the "push-polling" that was so controversial around Thanksgiving. I'll discuss that part later.

In essence, Huckabee did not defend his resume or track record. He instead has complained about comparisons of his track record in ads. He instead appealed for votes on the basis of his religion. His comments in the New York Times Magazine profile also leave little room to give Huckabee the benefit of the doubt.

This is why I am not willing to accept his apology. Huckabee is not sorry that Mitt Romney's religion has come under attack. He is not sorry about the consequences of the attacks, which have given him a decent lead in Iowa. He is just sorry that his Mormon-baiting is now undeniable - and his apology is an attempt to gloss over the indefensible actions of his campaign, desperate to gain momentum against a candidate with a superior resume and superior resources.

Huckabee will not get my vote in 2008. I have far better things to do with my time than to empower a two-bit religious bigot who oozes sanctimonious hypocrisy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

National Review endorses Mitt Romney...

Their editorial on the endorsement lays out the case for Mitt in very good detail, and cites the reasons why he's my top candidate, beating Rudy Giuliani out in a photo finish.

The big quote is here:
No other Republican governor had to deal with both human cloning and court-imposed same-sex marriage.
The claims of flip-flopping never really resonated - not when there is a much more plausible alternative theory to explain his shift: He got mugged. Not once, but twice.

After one such event, re-thinking would be in order. With two such muggings, the shift is not only explainable, but the presumption should be that it is genuine.

Regrettably, he is not likely to win Iowa - largely due to Mike Huckabee playing the religion card. Now, I can hear the complaints from bloggers like Joshua Trevino - who feel that the real issue is how "untrustworthy" Romney is. I beg to differ, and cite the alternative explanation I have outlined above.

I will also add one other counterpoint: By the standards that Trevino has set, Ronald Wilson Reagan's track record as governor of California would have utterly disqualified him to be the Republican nominee - because he would have been far less trustworthy based onhis track record. Reagan signed legislation that liberalized California's abortion laws. Mitt Romney's track record is far more pro-life than Reagan's was - and he fought his battles in a much more hostile political environment.

Furthermore, I will add this to the discussion: When you take religion out of the picture, Mitt Romney's track record and resume far surpasses that of Mike Huckabee. To witness his conduct during the gay marriage battle was to see a consummate statesman standing up against an imperial judiciary and a legislature that abdicated its responsibility to stand up for the people it represented. It was notable not just for what Romney did (making the case very eloquently and effectively), but for what he did not do (the demonization of opponents on this issue was conspicuously absent).

And yet, Huckabee is ahead in Iowa by a wide margin. His supporters and his ads have played up the theme that he is a "Christian leader" lately as well (again, see, which has covered this issue). Coincidence? Happenstance? I doubt it. In essence, the candidate with the superior resume will not be hired by Republican primary voters, and his religion appears to be a major reason, if not the major reason.

Rudy Giuliani's resume/track record is perhaps the only one that really rivals Romney's. It tops Romney's in one critical area for the President of the United States: Crisis management. He also has matched Romney in a number of other areas, and he has also, unlike John McCain, gone to great lengths at times to emphasize the common ground he holds with conservatives, rather than seeking to stick his thumb in their eye. His private life has been a mess, but unlike Bill Clinton, there seems to have been no effort to deny or minimize it on Rudy's part.

Either Romney or Giuliani would make a fine President - and I have sent both of them small donations (what I can afford). Hopefully, one of them will emerge victorious for the nomination, and will select the other as their running mate. It would be the strongest ticket the GOP could put together.

Giuliani's common sense...

If you want to see the type of common sense that has rarely been on display from the right on immigration, see Rudy Giuliani's comments in the Examiner today.

“Why don’t you throw out the people who are drug dealers, that are coming out of jail? And before they hit the streets, we can turn them over,” Giuliani recalled telling the INS. “We couldn’t work that out with them. They wouldn’t do it for us.

“They wouldn’t do it for us because they had, you know, some professor with a visa first, and they had two restaurant workers, and three gardeners. Now it may or may not be right for them to be here, but they’re not threatening anybody. These drug dealers are threatening people. I couldn’t get them to do that, so I had to handle the thing myself. And I handled it.”

I do not think it is unreasonable to insist that ICE have a proper sense of priorities. Drug dealers, gangsters, and terrorists must come first in trying to deport illegal immigrants (and we should be double-checking the legal immigrants to make sure that we did not get any terrorists, gang members, or drug dealers there, either.

Any detention that involves a professor, a restaurant worker, a cleaning lady, a gardener, or some kid in high school that never even knew he was here illegally until ICE took him into custody is a detention that is leaving a dangerous criminal in the United States to commit more crimes.

Who in their right mind would want that?

Rudy doesn't. I certainly believe that Mitt Romney would also be able to set priorities as well. That's why they got my donations - and why one of them will get my vote come February 5. Which is somewhat up in the air. Romney looks better all-around, but Giuliani would be a sure winner in the general election.

It's the kindof tough choice I like to have.

The Democrats want Huckabee

Why? Because according to Drudge, they think they can club him like a baby seal.

If the GOP nominates Romney or Giuliani, they win. It's as simple as that. If they nominate McCain, there is a good chance of winning.

Anyone else loses.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Screw Huckabee...

I really mean it this time.

Huckabee gave a speech at a Baptist convention. He's a Baptist preacher, so that is to be expected, so that is not why I'm pissed off.

No, it's what was passed out:
The other book was Mormonism Unmasked by R. Philip Roberts, who examines the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Mormon-baiting continues. I guess he needs to do it - after all, his track record on granting real slimeballs parole could be a killer. Or how about his tax increases?

He's just like Tancredo, albeit rather than nativism, he seems to instead prefer turning a blind eye to anti-Mormon bigotry. I find it hard to believe his staff did not know what was being handed out to reporters.

I hope that he will address this. Because if not, then the GOP could face some serious trouble down the road. Evangelical Christians alone cannot make a majority. they need allies. If they piss off their allies, will they really have any sort of chance at enacting an agenda, or are they more interested in braying about how they make "principled stands" as they get their butts handed to them?

Brewers get a whole new bullpen...

The Brewers have picked up a higher-end bullpen at the winter meetings.

Note, this was a team, that when they were putting together a bullpen with castoffs, still managed to pretty much have a game in hand when they were up after seven innings.

Don't believe me? Look over their relievers for the past decade. Bob Wickman was good enough to bring Richie Sexson to the Brewers. That ultimately gave the Brewers a bunch of good players. In essence, it was buying low and selling high.

Now, they have a contending team and have lined up a bunch of relievers who aren't castoffs. They have a lineup that can make any National League pitcher feel like a baby seal on any given day. And with pitching and offense like that, I can like with Ryan Braun at third base. Especially when it's even money whether he or Prince Fielder will lead the Brewers in homers.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Romney hits it out of the park...

Earlier this year, I outlined a few facts about Ryan Braun, the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year due to his tendency to treat National League pitching like a bunch of baby seals.

Well, Ryan Braun had nothing on Mitt Romney yesterday after his "Faith in America" speech. Oh, there was Mormon-baiting from one of the usual suspects, but he got support from perhaps his biggest rival for the nomination.

It was a home run of a speech. The sad thing is that such a speech was made necessary due to the apparent playing of the religion card by Mike Huckabee, who, if you ask me, is probably behind the push-polls in Iowa (he had the most to gain from this, and his background does point to him as a suspect as well) - although, with Fred Thompson having Cyndi Mosteller as his campaign co-chair in South Carolina, he cannot be ruled out.

But Romney may have helped tamp the Huckaboom. That's not a bad thing.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It looks good...

The pre-released excerpts from Mitt Romney's address today - "The Mormon Speech" if you must call it that - look very good.

If so, then Huckabee is going to be in some serious trouble. Romney will have pretty much countered the religion card, and he will have managed to make Huckabee look like a bigot if he keeps running the game plan he is currently.

It's a little early. Romney was probably planning to give this speech in response to Mormon-baiting by Hillary (and yes, I think she would do it) as the general election was being set in stone.

Oh, and sorry for the gap... I was getting a new laptop.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Make or Break for Mitt...

Mitt Romney will make or break his Presidential campaign with a speech on his religion.

If he pulls it off - he will probably emerge as the front-runner as "not Rudy" in the GOP primary.

The best reactions come from Article 6 Blog.

It does appear that Mike Huckabee played the Mormon card - and did so in an adroit fashion. He took advantage of a number of things - and not all of his gains can be undone if Romney pulls this off. At best, he has to get Huckabee to overreach on this - to openly play the religion card.

Romney is off his game a little bit. This is what decides if Romney makes it, or if we now will see a presidential candidate who has excellent qualifications will be shot down due to what amounts to religious bigotry. If Romney is shot down, then conservatism and I will part for good due to irreconcilable differences.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Another Democrat protecting Iran

It looks like Joe Biden is now joining James Webb in going to the mat for Iran.

Let's review some of what Iran has been doing:
* They support Hezbollah, the terrorist group that bombed the Marine Barracks in 1983, with all sorts of weapons, including C-802 anti-ship missiles.

* They have provided weapons to insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan - weapons used in fatal attacks against our troops.

* The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps has sent advisors to terrorist groups and the insurgents in Iraq.

* Iranian leadership has openly declared their intentions to acquire nuclear weapons and to wipe Israel (perhaps America's best friend in the Middle East) off the map.

Biden's defense of this regime is appalling. What part of "Iran helps terrorists kill our troops" doesn't he understand?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

There's a reason it was called Clinton News Network...

It seems CNN picked up at least one planted question.

In fact, the whole CNN debate struck me as more of CNN's caricature of Republicans (Lou Dobbs seems to be their classic example) rather than a real debate.

MacRanger has a decent round-up.

This was a set-up, and anyone going on CNN needs to know it's hostile territory.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A dark side to the Huckabee surge?

I hope that Article 6 Blog is wrong, but reading the New York Times coverage on Huckabee today really leads me to doubt it.

If so, then I think conservatism needs to head to the ash heap of history.

If the New York Times is to be believed (and a fair degree of salt is required with that outlet at times), it seems that Huckabee's people are playing the Mormon card. Now, is it true? I don't know, although a Huckabee supporter did go after Sam Brownback for being Catholic.

I don't hold with National Review's brand of conservatism much any more. But Kathryn Jean Lopez is dead on target in this column:
If you are not going to support Republican Mitt Romney for president because you don’t think he is the guy to win the war on terror, that is your call. If you are pro-life and you do not buy his abortion conversion story, it’s a free country. But if you are not going to support Mitt Romney for president because he is Mormon, or because you think he will not be elected president because he is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, say your prayers for America.
I'll be watching very closely, because the questions that emerge are going to be very basic. I'm already uncomfortable with the fact that some on the right seem to view disagreement with them on immigration as "treason", or a difference of strategy s being a sign that I'm a "party hack" who "sold my soul". Now, they seem to think that playing the religion card is acceptable conduct.

It's going to take one hell of a reason for me to work for their political empowerment.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

They want us there...

The Iraqi government seems to be eyeing a long-term American military presence.

If I'm a Democrat running for Congress or the White House, the "Oh, crap!" meter is running very high at this news. If there is this formal request that the United States of America maintains a long-term presence in Iraq, it becomes much harder for the Dems to please their political base. It would put them in line with Muqtada al-Sadr as well as Iran and Syria, but that would be it.

Oh, and they would be leaving an ally in the lurch. Typical of them (see their treatment of Colombia under President Uribe), but it won't play well here, especially if the declaration of intent becomes public.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Jeffs is off to prison.

May he drop the soap, and may he be brought to his cell, and greeted by his cellmate, saying, "My name is Spike, honey."

Monday, November 19, 2007

They're up to no good...

Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez recently paid a visit to Tehran to meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

This is one meeting which I hope NSA bugged and wiretapped six ways from Sunday.

Best to know what these folks are up to.

EDIT: Looks like "up to no good" was an understatement.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Why I'm not backing McCain, Reason #3382343

Liz Mair discusses John McCain's attack on Rudy Giuliani.

Perhaps the most damning is this sentence from the "correct answer" given for one of the questions on a quiz.
The nomination of Rudy Giuliani would likely lead to the formation of a third party made up of social conservatives.
Quite revealing, if you ask me. In essence, John McCain is willing to give the third-party types a stronger hand if it increases his chance.

It's the nasty side of John McCain, which has, in the past, flared up. In this campaign, his supporters have Mormon-baited, particularly in South Carolina. Repeatedly. And it was not hard to track it down, either.

It's the reason why McCain's an also-ran, and Giuliani is the front-runner. McCain will disagree with you and jab you in the eye. Even if you agree with him, you can find his approach counter-productive in the extreme. Giuliani may disagree with you, but he works to find common ground.

Thus endeth the post.

Can I have one?

Anyone who lives in the DC area and who deals with the traffic will appreciate this report from the Popular Mechanics blog.

Youtube has a 71-second video.

Who has one? Dunno, the company ain't sayin'.

I wanna know how much it costs.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Witherspoon's baggage...

It seems that the Tancredobots have found their challenger to Lindsey Graham: Sitting RNC member Buddy Witherspoon. Pink Flamingo did some digging, and found out some stuff that people ought to know.

Read it - and keep it in mind the next time Michelle Malkin complains about "race-baiting" or "misrepresentation" - when someone's tied with the Council of Conservative Citizens, he's with some very shady company. Malkin seems willing to look the other way.

I doubt that South Carolina voters will.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


That is the Democrats' track record on cutting and running from Iraq.

And now, the surge has shown signs that it is succeeding. And it is causing a turnaround in public opinion, according to
Republicans (including the president) have made real progress in swaying opinion to their side, while 10 months of Democratic efforts have failed to persuade citizens that the war continues to be a disaster. The war of partisan persuasion has tilted towards the Republicans and away from the Democrats, at least in this particular aspect.
In essence, the battle of public opinion is being won here, and that means our troops have a chance to win the war over there.

And the Democrats now get to explain reality to their base.

Monday, November 12, 2007

She's no Iron Lady...

Hillary seems to play the victim any time someone asks her a hard question.

Hillary is smart and she can be pretty good. But when you throw her off her script, she gets rattled, big time.

Add to that the way the MoveOn/DailyKos wing has been calling the shots, and the Dems are in a hole. Tack on the do-nothing Democratic Congress, and the Dems have real problems.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Rove's read...

Karl Rove's read of the 2008 landscape - at least as it pertains to Congress - is worth keeping in mind.

Why is Rove's take worth remembering? Let's lay it out: When he and President Bush were running the game plans from 2000-2004, the GOP made electoral gains.

After pledging a "Congress that strongly honors our responsibility to protect our people from terrorism," Democrats have refused to make permanent reforms of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that the Director of National Intelligence said were needed to close "critical gaps in our intelligence capability." Their presidential candidates fell all over each other in a recent debate to pledge an end to the Terrorist Surveillance Program. Then Senate Democratic leaders, thinking there was an opening for political advantage, slow-walked the confirmation of Judge Michael Mukasey to be the next attorney general. It's obvious that this is a man who knows the important role the Justice Department plays in the war on terror. Delaying his confirmation is only making it harder to prosecute the war.

Democrats promised "civility and bipartisanship." Instead, they stiff-armed their Republican colleagues, refused to include them in budget negotiations between the two houses, and have launched more than 400 investigations and made more than 675 requests for documents, interviews or testimony. They refused a bipartisan compromise on an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, instead wasting precious time sending the president a bill they knew he would veto. And they did this knowing that they wouldn't be able to override that veto. Why? Because their pollsters told them putting the children's health-care program at risk would score political points. Instead, it left them looking cynical.

The list of Congress's failures grows each month. No energy bill. No action on health care. No action on the mortgage crisis. No immigration reform. No progress on renewing No Child Left Behind. Precious little action on judges and not enough on reducing trade barriers. Congress has not done its work. And these failures will have consequences.
In essence, I think AJ-Strata has been right - the American public is going to look for a problem-solver in 2008. The Republicans have two of them competing for the nomination, and ranking 1-2: Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney.

The 2006 midterm defeat is now looking like a great boon to the GOP. In essence, the GOP now has the chance to shake some of its strident fringe on issues like immigration and abortion, instead focusing on winning the Global War on Terror and getting the economy in shape. The Dems will be beholden to their strident fringe, which bitterly opposes the war.

Shades of 1988, anyone?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Conservative strategic incompetence, revisted

Well, another election in Virginia is over. The Republicans have once again suffered losses when all the votes were counted.

For the third straight year.

In each of these three years, they took a hard line on immigration. And let's see what it got them:

The governorship? Nope, an avowed liberal who opposes the death penalty is currently in the governor's mansion.

The Senate seat held by George Allen? Nope, it's now held by a Democrat who has been determined to coddle Iran.

The state senate, which had been Republican for eight years? Nope. That is now gone.

Ever since conservatives staged their revolt against President Bush, citing his failure to adhere to principles, the GOP has been losing ground in the state of Virginia. This is not one election, this is three elections.

This is not a matter of explaining ourselves better - I could buy that argument if it had been one election or maybe two. But losses in three straight elections? No, I cannot buy that argument. I can only conclude that people are not buying our explanations.

Certain people have promised that holding to principle on this issue (in essence, maintaining a hard line) would be a cornerstone of victory. Well, if there have been victories, I have not seen them here, or across the country for that matter (the GOP had more of a mixed bag across the country).

It is time to hold them accountable. I ask that my readers begin to do so by contributing to Republicans who supported President Bush's approach to immigration. I also encourage them to donate to groups like the Republican Main Street Partnership and the Republican Leadership Council.

And for conservatives who wish to complain, I can only quote Ernst Stavro Blofeld in You Only Live Twice:
"This is the price of failure[.]"

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Prudes strike again...

Don Wildman is really starting to piss me off. Once again, he is trying to tell the military how to run their exchanges.

C'mon, Don, these guys are risking their asses to protect your right to be an asshole. Letting them read Playboy if they choose to do so is a small favor we can do for them.

Monday, November 05, 2007

GOP chances in 2008...

Fred Barnes has a good article in the Weekly Standard.

Two things did jump out at me. The portion about the Hispanic vote is what I'm saying here, as well. The hard line has arguably turned off Hispanics.

The second is Bush. President Bush has a personal following, largely among people who think he has done his best and like him. I cannot speak for anyone else, but when Republicans were trashing the guy who was doing a good job calling the shots, I really did not feel like sticking my neck out for them.

In essence, the conservative revolt has now alienated the Bush Republicans - people who are largely conservative, but who bristle at those who try to impose an ideological doctrine on them. I'm one of those - largely on immigration - who has found himself increasingly leaning towards the Republican Main Street Project and the Republican Leadership Council, largely because I do not really trust conservatives at this juncture to put the Global War on Terror first.

And looking at Pakistan, can there be any that issue is far more important. Some are even willing to try to blackmail the Republican party over this, or declare that I have "sold my soul" over that stuff. And that approach is repulsive enough to overcome my general agreements with most of their positions.

Conservatism is in trouble. If I can't bring myself to back them when I agree with them most of the time, how do they hope to persuade others who may have more disagreements with them than I do?


The situation in Pakistan is a very rough one. I've written something at Strategypage, but we need to talk the options.

Now, we hear that President Bush may be reassessing the relationship with Musharraf. We do need to assess the situation, but we have something else to think about: Over 40,000 coalition troops who we need to supply - from us and thirteen allies. Fourteen if you count Afghanistan and the 50,000-plus personnel there.

Musharraf is friendly, and he is rational. Given that Pakistan has nearly 100 nukes, we need to keep him in as long as possible, until we have a better idea who will succeed him. But right now, things are risky.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Schilling to Milwaukee?

If this report is anywhere close to true, then Doug Melvin needs to talk with the guy ASAP.

Sheets, Schilling, Gallardo, Villanueva, and Suppan would easily be the best rotation in the majors.

Can Brewers fan hope?

Thursday, November 01, 2007


From the Drudge Report:
Bush says Dems beholden to ' bloggers and Code Pink protesters'... Developing...
Given that the Democratic presidential nominees seem to be arguing over who will roll out the most cowardly foreign policy, one has to agree with this on a factual level.

Remember, even opposed kicking Taliban ass after 9/11.

UPDATE: We have a link.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Does the GOP wish to kiss off another voting block?

In the last two elections, the Hispanic vote has been about 8% of the electorate.

That is why I find this Steven Malanga article to be disingenuous.


Look at the African-American voting share. In the least two elections, it has been at 11 and 10 percent, respectively.

In both elections, it is a 89-10 split, or 9 to 1. In essence, the GOP is down by a net of 8 percentage points in a good year. In a bad year, it is close to 9.

Now, take the 8% Hispanic vote and give the Dems a 70-30 split. That is 5.6 to 2.4, or a net loss of 3.2 percent in the national popular vote.

And we are to believe that Hispanic voting clout is a myth.

I think I'm gonna say this myth has NOT been busted.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A vet challenges Murtha...

William T. Russell is running against Jack Murtha for the 12th Congressional District in Pennsylvania.

Murtha, most folks do not need much introduction to. He's the one calling for a course of dishonorable cowardice vis-a-vis Iraq, and he fired off some very questionable accusations against the Marine Corps.

It's time he had to answer for his opposition to the war on terror.

Pelosi's cratering numbers...

It seems Nancy Pelosi's poll numbers are cratering. The explanation that we are supposed to believe is that she's not making changes.

I don't think so.

I think we got a very good look at what Pelosi and other Democrats wanted to do (quit with regards to the war on terror, particularly Iraq; massive tax increases; a bumbling foreign policy), and decided they don't like it.

EDIT: Hint to Nancy - Dishonesty and attempts to intomidate only make it worse.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A new start...

Making the transition from my old day job to this new venture is interesting. I certainly hope to do my best.

In one sense, it is very liberating. I have the chance to do something that is far more mentally engaging than the day job was. It's tough, and I have a lot to learn. I can only do my best.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The abominable Fred Phelps...

Reading about the lawsuit filed against Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church leaves me with mixed emotions.

On the one hand, it is nice to see that Phelps has to answer for his despicable actions in court. He and his batch of bigots (these thugs are NOT a church) have desecrated the funerals of America's fallen heroes and have brought untold pain to their families. Their misuse of the First Amendment is disgusting. There is no other word for it.

On the other hand, one has to be grateful that we do have that freedom. But some days, that gratitude is greatly tempered.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sock it to `em... but not directly.

Charlie Rangel's new idea is a tax increase on all of us.

The attempt to soak the rich is nothing new. But the real sucker-punch for all of us is the corporate income tax increases. Those are gonna get passed right on to us.

Rangel's betting that because we don't see it, we won't be upset. Got news, Charlie. I can figure it out. And I'm spreadin' the word.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bolton's dishonor...

I used to be upset that John Bolton was not confirmed as UN Ambassador.

After reading this, I'm not upset any more.

John Bolton undercut Colin Powell's efforts to deal with the Iranian nuclear program. It was insubordination - or its kissing cousin.

Quite frankly, even though I disagreed stringly with his position, I feel that General Anthony Zinni handled his opposition to the liberation of Iraq with far more honor than John Bolton handled his disagreement with the approaches chosen by his superiors.

Conservative Strategic Incompetence... Example One

I have often been critical of the strategic incomptence on the right. For a recent example, look at Tom Tancredo's demands that attendees at a press conference to make the case for the DREAM ACT be arrested.

Does he want to guarantee its pasage due to the backlash that having these arrests would generate? That's what would happen. People don't like gangs, drug dealers and terrorists. But students and kids are a very different matter. The DREAM Act merely applies the same sort of principle that our juvenile justice system is based on to immigration law - in essence, it reflects the diminished capacity to form mens rea juveniles have. They do pay a price for their actions. It simply is not the price that vindictive people like Michelle Malkin and Tom Tancredo would have them pay.

Which means, of course, that we can expect the usual nonsense about "Congress passing an amnesty" to be spewed forth by the usual suspects.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Henry Waxman reprises Cotton Mather...

Henry Waxman's latest charges against Blackwater remind me of the time I read something Cotton Mather wrote about one of the Salem witch trials in high school.

It was not fun to read - not because I tend to prefer a good Tom Clancy novel, but because there was no interest in justice. If you ask me, Waxman has made up his mind about Blackwater already. Any hearing he has will be about as fair as those trials were back in the day.

Think of it as left-wing McCarthyism.

Back in the day...

...pirates would have been hangin' from a yardarm as the Royal Navy warship entered port.

There is a much worse fate for these pirates... they get to deal with a very pissed-off RIAA.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Don't count it out yet...

Strategypage reports the Army views the SDB as a dud.

If anyone counts it out, they're being dumb. The SDB was not designed for an insurgency. It's a first-day-of-the-war weapon designed to be used from the F-22 or F-35, designed to allow them to do Very Bad Things to critical targets like radars, SAM launchers, and other targets you want/need to take out so that you can go after the stuff that really matters.

Now, why would counting it out be a mistake? Read an earlier article I did at that site.

When you're done, just think about what could have been, had the Army decided to stick it out with Comanche... just an example.

Friday, October 19, 2007

My response to Pete Stark...

By now, most of you have heard about or seen Pete Stark's comments about President Bush.

President Bush will probably turn the other cheek. Again. We won't see him ask Stark if he'd care to repeat that comment to his face. We won't see him say Stark needs his ass kicked. He won't tell Stark "yob tvoyu maht", even though Condi Rice could make sure he could get the pronunciation right.

I view every one of the deaths the United States has suffered in the Global War on Terror as a tragedy. For amusement, I pay Pete Stark's mamma a visit.

Reality on the Right?

John Hawkins may be getting some idea of the problems on the right.

One of his points, though does strike me as funny.

We Don't Reach Out To New Constituencies: Conservatives have started to get into the bad habit of allowing ourselves to be perceived as hostile to potential blocks of new voters, for no good reason.

When Ken Mehlman was Chair of the RNC, he regularly reached out to black Americans. That seems to have stopped with his departure from the RNC. In the fight against illegal immigration, the Democrats have tried to falsely portray conservatives as being anti-Hispanic and some conservatives have unwittingly helped them with careless immigration rhetoric. Pre-9/11, the majority of Muslim Americans voted for the GOP because they shared our concerns about the culture, but some conservatives have started talking about all Muslims as if they're the enemy, instead of specifically hammering away at terrorists and their supporters.

You don't win in politics by needlessly alienating people or writing off whole blocks of the population that might be willing to vote for you. Granted, the GOP can't be all things to all people, but it doesn't hurt to make the best case for your principles to all potential constituencies.

In essence, the hard line that conservatives - including Hawkins - demanded on immigration has probably scuppered Hispanic outreach for the next decade at the very least. It was an effort that was proving far more fruitful than outreach to the African-American community, I might add. The GOP got 44% support from Hispanics in the 2004 election. That number dropped to 30% in 2006. That was about the time conservatives revolted and demanded the hard line, with no compromises acceptable. Just look at the abuse dished out to Jon Kyl, no squishy moderate on issues, when he tried to reach a solution that wasn't to the hard-liners' liking.

As one of those who supported the President on the immigration bills, it is nice to see Hawkins admitting that he may have been wrong. I certainly hope he will follow up this column by supporting conservatives like Jeff Flake, Linda Chavez, and Chris Cannon in their efforts to pass immigration legislation that will actually address the problem, and reflect reality, rather than the hot air that comes from the likes of Tom Tancredo and Michelle Malkin.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A power play fails...

The Dems had to pull their joke of a surveillance bill yesterday. In essence, they were trying to force a law-enforcement model on the military - and to do so without allowing any amandments or a real debate.

That power play failed, and the Dems are going to shift to more SCHIP demagougery - an endeavor that will be more likely to succeed thanks to the antics of some on the right.

Not a good situation for the Dems at all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Malkin quits The Factor...

Pink Flamingo reported Monday that it seems Michelle Malkin has quit the O'Reilly Factor, apparently because Fox wouldn't fire Geraldo Rivera over some crude comments he made about her. Now, I think Malkin is not a nice person, to put it mildly. In fact, she dispenses venom quite liberally. She associates with highly questionable company on the immigration issue. And I think she is quite a prude, to boot.

But Geraldo Rivera's comments were just not a good idea. Spitting on someone, even a venom dispenser like Michelle Malkin, is not only crude, it's bad tactics. In essence, Geraldo, even though most of his comments about her were dead on, gave her an opening to play the victim. That said, it was nice to see Michelle get a taste of some venom after her constant dishing it out.

We have also learned that like most schoolyard bullies, she can dish it out, but she can't take it when someone stands up to her.

Believe it, Dems...

It seems some Democrats cannot believe Giuliani is the front-runner.

They need to believe it. In some areas, Giuliani is a welcome change from Geroge W. Bush. He is the type to engage in bare-knuckle fighting when necessary - just look at his comments about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. George W. Bush, for all the good stuff he has done, just never had his heart into a brawl - and the same could be said for Mitt Romney to a degree.

So, a lot of Republicans are putting disagreements with him on some issues aside. Primarily because he is their strongest candidate, but also because he does agree with them on the big issues (war on terror and economics). The social conservatives' strategic incompetence over the last two-plus years has also benefitted Giuliani (more on that later).

In essence, this has been Giuliani's to lose for a long time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Army C-17s?

If this report from Aviation Leak - I mean, Aviation Week- is true, then this is a good thing.

After all, with apologies to Robert A. Heinlein, TANSTATMC17s - There Ain't No Such Thing As Too Many C-17s.

Why do I have a bad feeling about this?

No, not the JJ Abrams Star Trek movie, but the fact that "Killing Pablo" is set for the big screen in 2008. Hollywood's not exactly endorsed the idea of kicking real-world bad guys in their asses, either individually, or collectively.

The book, which I reviewed for Strategypage, is a good one. But will the troops who helped Colombia be portrayed as heroes who helped an ally accomplish a very difficult task many said was impossible? Or will they get the shaft again?

Monday, October 15, 2007

If there was any doubt...

Al Gore receiving the Nobel Peace Prize should remove all doubt about that award having become noting more than a joke.

Sorry, but Gore did nothing to advance world peace. All he did was push junk science, and get an Oscar for his presenation (and the Oscars are becoming a joke, too).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Open Letter to Redstate

I've not been around you folks for a while - at least as an active poster. I've lurked some, but no longer felt comfortable posting. That discomfort will remain for a LONG time.

But Erick's recent missive warrants a response. He wonders why there's a bit of disunity. Well, here's my perspective.

I'm generally right-of-center on a lot of issues. I am pro-life, and feel abortion should only be allowed in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk. I like lower taxes. I support the traditional definition of marriage. I want judges who will show restraint, and not use their positions to make law.

So, why am I at this point, not with you folks? Because, quite frankly, since about September 2005, I have found myself suspicious at best of those who presently speak of conservatism, as well as its leadership. It was, in large part, driven by the Harriet Miers and immigration debates. It was not the disagreements, but it was the way they were pursued - largely the absolutism that reigned, plus a little bit of bad faith.

On Miers, I believe the bad faith was in trying to force the withdrawal of her nomination. In 2002, and 2004, the Democrats were rightfully upbraided and beaten because they were filibustering nominees and denying them up-or-down votes after hearings. The names Miguel Estrada and Janice Rogers Brown come to mind. Miers never got the hearings, or the up-or-down vote. And those who were saying she should got labeled on Redstate as "party hacks", while he held himself up as acting on principle. Well, you got Alito out of it, and that may have worked. At least for now.

The immigration debate, though, was worse. There, it really was the final straw for me. There is a big split between Wall Street Journal Republicans and the social conservatives on that issues. But it didn't help when the insinuations of treason started flying. And then it went beyond insinuations. What proof of treason was there beyond the fact that people disagreed with Paul J Cella's immigration position - even if it was for strategic/tactical reasons? And this is in the face of what I would call real treason, when the New York Times and Washington Post were blowing intelligence programs that are crucial parts of preventing the next 9/11.

Finally, to top it off, it failed. Just look at the 2006 mid-terms. The results are plain as day, when Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House. This was what the 2005-2006 conservatism did, and now it wants to call the shots, when it has shown highly questionable competence in a strategic sense. For all of Bush's faults, he was able to win two Presidential elections, and in 2002 and 2004, he delivered gains. And if one just compares the 2004 and 2006 exit polls, we can see how he did it. He managed to stay competitive among the various groups that Republicans weren't in 2006 (moderates, independents, and Hispanics, in particular).

In essence, you racked up three strikes of your own. Strike one, conservatives managed to look hypocritical on a signature issue that I agreed with you on (judges), and then got sanctimonious with those who disagreed. Strike two, conservatives viewed disagreement with them as treason, when the real thing was there for people to plainly see. Then, strike three, the conservatives' actions - in essence, you decided to bench George W. Bush as the play-caller, despite his electoral success - led to a shellacking at the polls.

Conservatives have managed to dig themselves quite a hole with their absolutism and strategic incompetence, and quite frankly, I have better things to do than to politically empower those who view me as a "party hack" who has sold his soul and/or a traitor to this country. In case you didn't notice, non-support or outright opposition is what happens when people do that sort of thing.

Now, you get to deal with the political landscape as it stands - a landscape that Redstate itself helped to create. I don't envy you. But, I have new endeavors on which I must focus - and, quite frankly, I've had the impression that you never really wanted my help.


Harold C. Hutchison

Friday, October 12, 2007

More nanny-state nonsense...

Schools sending obesity notices to parents.

Watch - in the future, there will be charges filed against parents whose kids who do not have the "approved" BMI (which, incidentally, labels NFL All-Pro middle lineback Brian Urlacher obese).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fail to properly plan, plan to utterly fail...

One of my biggest beefs with conservatism is that these days, they seem utterly unable to strategize in pursuit of their agenda. Instead, they seem to rely on a twist of the Absolute Moral Authority approach that we have seen Democrats use in issues like SCHIP and the war on terror.

Take SCHIP. The Democrats' tactics should have been easily foreseeable. They would use kids - and they would be willing to play the "no health care for children" card. Yet, rather than come up with a plan that would avoid going into the teeth of the attacks from the left, the conservatives walked right into it.

What is worse, is that when people DO want to strategize, there is almost universal disdain.

"This is not a matter of strategy, this is a matter of principle!" is the usual cry that comes from the people on the right who usually walk into the left's attacks in such cases. They seem to think that taking these attacks is a badge of honor. I say, it is not. It is foolishness at best. Those who display such follishness should not be calling the shots at a Litle League baseball game, never mind for one of two major political parties in the United States.

They don't seem to recognize it. As such, one must ask what the real objective is for them. Do they just want the issue to complain about? Or is it something else?

Making immigration a non-issue?

Well, this may be a sign of it.

If Taco Bell can take off down there, then we can probably solve illegal immigration in the same way that we took down the Soviet Empire: A tonof rampant capitalism and exportation of American pop culture.

As if you didn't need more evidence...

Nancy Pelosi, it seems, schedules meetings... to discuss the agenda of the next meeting. OK, I can see that happening in a freakin' Dilbert strip, but from the Speaker of the House?

And James Dobson wants to further empower Pelosi with his third-party antics by handing the White House to the Democrats? The foolishness of his scheme should be revealed for all to see with stuff like this.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Good news and bad news for Fred...

From Fred's debut in the debates:
The good news: He had a quality outing - no real serious flubs, and he got better as the debate went on. He's like a pitcher who goes seven innings and allows two runs.

Now the bad news: If Fred has a quality outing, Romney had a better one (only one verbal misstep) - kind of like the pitcher who only gave up one run in seven innings, and Giuliani had an excellent debate - kind of like a pitcher tossing a one-hit shutout.

Oh, fer cryin' out loud!

Texas Tech, apparently is going soft on arch-rival Texas A&M.

It seems a fraternity came up with a T-shirt that is really tame in the long-running rivalry between the schools. When I went to college, they had T-shirts that read "Coe Sux" - a dig at my college's arch-rival.

What was so offensive? They took the Aggie's cry of "gig `em", and replaced it with "Vick `em", and the back had an image of someone in a Michael Vick jersey stringing up the Aggie mascot.

Heck, that T-shirt was tame compared to what some Army cadets did back in 2002!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

No posts today...

Had something come up last night, some good news, but I can't say much more right now.

Monday, October 08, 2007

They feel entitled...

Eve Fairbanks has hit on something interesting from a string of congressional scandals. Now, I think Larry Craig did get a bum rap - and his arrest was definitely mishandled and arguably unconstitutional.

But the worst are not people like Larry Craig, or Duke Cunningham, or John Doolittle, or Ted Stevens, or William Jefferson. It's folks who skate on things far worse than getting extra income on the side, to wit, Patrick Leahy and Robert Torricelli - politicians who leak secrets and continue to serve. Leahy still serves in the Senate twenty years after he was responsbile for the worst breach in security of the Senate Intelligence Committee (at the time, he still ranks as second-worst). Torricelli blew a source - and led to a purge of CIA assets - largely at the behest of his girlfriend at the time. He later went on to the U.S. Senate, where he served until some financial sleaze put him in a bad spot for re-election, and the Democrats had to pull a switcheroo.

But the double standard persists. Somehow, those who blow secrets and endanger national security are given a pass, particularly if they are Democrats, while a Republican who gets pinched in a very low-grade sting, and arguably should NOT have been arrested under the Constitution is now to be run out of town on a rail.

Just how many are there?

Is it 9 million, 11 million, 20 million or 38 million?

In any case, we are talking anywhere from 4 to nearly 16.5 times the size of our prison population. This does not include the folks who rent housing to them, employ them, or who know/suspect someone is here illegally and doesn't report them.

Folks, this is getting to be just like Prohibition. The enforcement of those laws have had some huge breakdowns (I'll blog more about those later), including the accidental deportation of an American citizen.

Just keep those facts in mind the next time Tom Tancredo, Michelle Malkin, or any other hard-liner throws a fit about this issue.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Mahmoud mouths off... again. For the umpteenth time...

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is mouthing off again.
"The Palestinian people are standing firm. The Iranian people and other peoples will not stop until all of Palestinian territory is liberated," Ahmadinejad told the faithful at Tehran University.

For an idea of what he means, look at these graphics from Strategypage. The genocidal intent is pretty clear, and these repeated statements only add tot he justification of preemptive action, should it be taken.

Moose thinks he is a cow...

This is not a joke.

Well, they both make good eating. ;)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

When did blackmail become a family value?

I'd love to hear James C. Dobson's answer to that question after his New York Times op-ed.

If you ask me, I guess he's not too concerned about the sanctity of life from terrorist bombings. Particularly if he is about to indirectly elect Hillary Clinton. Of course, his actions are in the name of principle, and so, according to the logic conservatives seem to be embracing these days, they cannot be questioned.

I call bullshit on that.

I hope the GOP will show that it doesn't give in to such blackmail.

Fix the Procurement Mess... NOW!!

It is becoming patently obvious that the procurement system is a mess. Worse, between multiple protests over CSAR-X, and now the media war that has broken out over KC-X, it's become obvious that contractors whose projects lose out (or might lose out) are trying to game the system.

People can argue this point - and there can be reasonable disagreements on the issue. But we need tokeep in mind that our troops are out there, and right now, they're relying on 50-year-old aerial refuelling tankers, along with SAR choppers that are over 20 years old. They need replacement, and sooner rather than later.

Just ask yourself: Who would you rather have making the call as to what platforms replace the current ones, the Air Force or Congress? It's a no-brainer for me.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Another Round of Immigration Stupidity

Eduardo Gonzalez, a petty officer second class with the U.S. Navy, is about to be deployed overseas for a third time. Making his deployment even tougher is the fact his wife may not be around when he comes back.

Essentially, Petty Officer Gonzalez's wife managed to put one foot wrong while dealing with the insanely complex immigration laws of this country. The instant she married her husband, she technically became an illegal immigrant.

OK, that is messed up.

But wait, there's more . . .

A judge in June granted her a one-year extension to remain in the United States. If her legal status does not change by June 8, 2008, she will have 60 days to voluntarily leave the country or face deportation.

That's just fine, according to Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which lobbies for tougher laws on illegal immigration.

"What you're talking about is amnesty for illegal immigrants who have a relative in the armed forces, and that's just outrageous," he said. "What we're talking about here is letting lawbreakers get away with their actions just because they have a relative in the military. ... There's no justification for that kind of policy."

Yes, there is, Mr. Krikorian. The justification is that Petty Officer Gonzalez, unlike you, has shown that he is willing to sign a check for anything, up to and including his life, to defend this country--even down to utterly worthless oxygen-wasting dirtbags like you.

OK, immigration hardliners, justify this.

Heck, while you're at it, justify the law you were demanding last year:

Remember that big, tough immigration bill the House passed last year but failed in the Senate? It would have made harboring, in your home, someone without legal status a felony. The husband would be facing jail time. If it was base housing, then whatever officer made the decision to grant the base housing to her would also face felony charges, too. That's what the House Republicans wanted in their get tough immigration bill.

(Hat tip to doc30 at Darwin Central, the Conspiracy that Cares)

I don't want to hear "Well, I didn't mean that." That does not feed the bulldog. I want to hear you justify the law as written. I want you to justify your braying "Enforce the law!" in this case, or y'all can have yourselves a big helping of STFU.

The society that does not show loyalty to its warriors has no call on their loyalty.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Right's out of whack, too...

AJ Strata discusses the latest list of right-of-center bloggers. I have to agree with his post, and really have to wonder just what conservatism's priorities are.

Their list does not have anyone who accomplished anything other than become a great pundit (read, Monday-morning quarterback) until you get to Fred Thompson, and Thompson's greater achievements are more in the realm of acting, not in public policy.

I guess I have don't have that much in common with them any more.

Oh, and for the record, my choices:
George W. Bush
Michael Yon
Bill Roggio
Mike Goldfarb (for taking the lead in the "Scott Thomas" matter)
Michael Totten
General Petraeus

If we didn't have to fight the war on terror...

I'd certainly place Burma's dictatorship as high on the list of countries who need their asses kicked. The latest news is quite bad. They even took potshots at a film crew.

The problem is that we have bigger fish to fry. Burma's leaders are bad guys, no doubt about it. But the bad guys we're dealing with in the global war on terror are worse - at least in terms of the harm that can be done to us.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Things I don't like...

I don't like sore losers, and I really don't like backstabbers.

Now it seems that there is a distinct possibility that some on the social right want to be both.

Some background: In 1994, I was backing Ollie North for the U.S. Senate in Virginia (well, as much as someone in high school and a college freshman could). He faced a primary challenge at the instigation of Senator John Warner. Ollie won the challenge, but then John Warner, DESPITE having had his go-around in the primary, ran a third-party challenger who siphoned off enough votes to re-elect Charles Robb.

I am proud to say that John Warner never got a vote from me.

Now, thirteen years later, I am feeling a bit of deja vu. This time, the social right is thratening to go third party if their guy doesn't win the primary.

The foreseeable consequence is to place a Democrat in the White House - and the leading Democrats have shown that the result will be a disaster with regards to the global war on terror. It's disgusting, and quite frankly, unpatriotic of them.

Friday, September 28, 2007

A great line...

Over at Flopping Aces, Wordsmith has provided us with an excellent line:
Do you see that bumpersticker that says "Department of Peace"? We have that dept. already. It's called "The Department of Defense".

Amen to that. People don't start fights when they think they're gonna get their asses kicked.

Face it, sanctions won't cut it...

The military dictatorship in Burma is not going to be hurt by sanctions. Not when they're willing to crack down on monks. They even killed a Japanese journalist wielding nothing but a camera.

There's only one thing the generals in Burma are going to understand, and that's an ass-kicking.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Why Louisiana is right...

Louisiana's law allowing prosecutors to seek the death penalty for child rapists is facing a possible Supreme Court challenge.

Hopefully, the justices will note this Nevada incident when they deliberate the case. These are folks who really cannot be rehabilitated. You either lock `em up for life (which is expensive) or you can make sure they will never hurt a child again (there is no recidivism after capital punishment is imposed on an offender).

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ahmadinejad doubles down...

Seems that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not only a Holocaust denier, he's also a 9/11 Truther!

Maybe people saw him for the nutcase that he is. But when 45% of respondents to a Daily Kos poll say they'd want him as President... one just has to wonder about the left's sanity.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Idris Leppla, a senior at Columbia University, is astonished to learn that the Naval Academy exists to educate future naval officers. (Hat tip to Wizbang.)

To paraphrase the classic line from Billy Madison:

Ms. Leppla, what you've just written is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent article were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone who has laid eyes on your screed is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Balkanized Belgium?

Where can you find a political crisis, even though things seem normal? How about Belgium?

Eve Fairbanks has done some pretty good reporting on the situation there. It does seem like those who worry about the EU could be a bit premature. The chaos in Belgium - if things do spiral worse - might bode ill for the EU's attempt to extort Microsoft into surrendering details on its products. Not that such a development would be a bad thing, mind you.

It might be interesting to watch - if only to see the EU squirm.

Actions have consequences...

Columbia University is finding out actions have consequences. Host a Holocaust-denying asshole, face the potential loss of funding.

Now, who could have a problem with that?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sheets out... the season is in doubt.

If Ben Sheets is gone for the season, the Brewers have probably had it. Other than dealing with some taunting - call it being persecuted for my team's sake - it's not so bad. There was a lot of progress made this year.

Just last year, some injuries sent the team below .500. This year, the injuries knocked the Brewers only out of first place and turned what should have been the NL Central title in a runaway to a loss in the last 1/16 of the season.

Hillary's Dukakis moment...

Michael Dukakis once proudly proclaimed that he was a card-carrying member of the ACLU. We know how that worked out for him in the 1988 general election.

Fast forward to 2007. Hillary Clinton, with her Senate vote, chose to defend's defamatory ad aimed at General Petraeus. Petraeus has a 52% favorable rating - a lot higher than the 11% Congress has. The military in general is also something that 69% of people have at least "quite a lot" of confidence in. Compare that to the 14% Congress gets.

Republicans need to hammer this constantly. The Democrats are undercuttign our military while the country is at war. Most people won't stand for that.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Priorities quiz...

Here is a very simple priorities quiz:
You have a choice to either cheap shot the Vice President of the United States or you can dish some abuse on a head of state who has denied the Holocaust. Do you:

A. Compare the Vice President to one of the worst cinematic villains in history, or
B. Take a hard line against the nutcase head of state, and urge New York to make sure the piece of shit is on his own while he is there.

That is the kind of choice that gets made in 2008. America needs to choose wisely.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

2 Legit 2 Quit...

The Brewers fought their way to a tie for the NL Central lead, and now, the real question is, "How's Ben's hamstring?"

12 games for the Crew left. 10 for the Cubs.

Rickie's back and has been hot, Ryan's treated NL pitching like a bunch of baby seals, Prince has bcome the best slugger in the NL, JJ's broken out, and a bunch of other guys have all stepped up.

2008's dynamics just changed...

In 1995, the dynamics of the 1996 Presidential election changed due to the government shutdowns over GOP efforts to reform Medicare. The Republicans, with the best intentions and in trying to do the right thing, embraced a very poor strategy that enabled Bill Clinton to gain the upper hand in the 1996 election.

The same is happening in 2007, albeit it is not getting the play that the 1995 budget battle did. AJ-Strata has the details. The short version is that the Democrats were essentially banking on the troops to fail - and now that they have NOT failed, but instead have succeeded, the Dems are now in a huge pinch.

Their base is demanding an end to the war, and they have proven they can knock off those who displease them (see the 2006 primary for the U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut). However, in the 2006 general election, Joe Lieberman came back and won as an independent. In essence, the anti-war position is held by a majority of the Democratic primary eelctorate, but it is a very tough sell to the general public - and this was before things like the "General Betray Us" ad.

In essence, the Democrats are now going against the one institution that is held in high regard across a very broad spectrum of the American public. Meanwhile, the Republicans are not only sticking up for the troops and their commander, they are also following the miliary advice they are getting.

The Dems just put themselves into a hole... even though they may not realize it yet.

The EU and Microsoft

Greetings, everyone. Some time ago, my brother Harold invited me to contribute to this blog on an occasional basis, but I never really had the opportunity to do so until now. However, as I've often had to do in person, I need to correct my brother on some rather important points relating to Microsoft's behavior.

Before I begin, I should probably give an idea of my background. I am a computer engineer and UNIX administrator working in the DC area. My personal specialty is in computer and network security. While my primary job responsibilities involve running mostly UNIX and Linux servers, I also work with Windows servers and desktops quite a bit. At home, I have both a Linux machine and a Windows machine, and my laptop runs both Ubuntu Linux and Windows Vista Ultimate. While for day-to-day tasks, I prefer Linux (it's more productive for me), I also fully support using Windows when it's needed.

With all of that said, my brother is way off in his recent post on the EU and Microsoft. This is not akin to saying that Airbus has to hand over all of its blueprints to its competitors. In reality it is far different from that.

The EU case centers around client/server protocols that Microsoft built into Windows. The roots of the case stretch back to the early 1990s, and efforts by Microsoft to break into the server market. Since the 1970s, the server market has been mostly dominated by large mainframes and UNIX servers (with the UNIX servers growing in market share as they replace some mainframes). These servers are large, multi-user machines that would communicate with each other using various protocols (essentially languages used for one machine to talk to another).

During the 1980s, with the arrival of the PC, a new model arose, where single-user machines would also connect to the different servers using different protocols. Because of a series of savvy business deals, Microsoft rose to dominance over the single-user PC market with MSDOS, and later Windows.

In 1993, in an attempt to break into the server market, Microsoft released Windows NT. This used a brand new set of protocols to communicate between Windows desktop PCs and NT-based servers. Microsoft refused to release any information about these protocols, in an attempt to keep other companies from being able to work as easily with NT servers and Windows desktops.

Well, in 1998, SUN Microsystems filed a complaint with the EU because they refused to provide information on the protocols used by NT to communicate between servers and desktops. Essentially, they said that Microsoft was trying to use its dominance in one market (desktop PCs) to dominate another market (servers). Under European law, that is illegal.

Before we continue, it's important to note several things about protocols. As I said before, protocols are like different languages spoken between computers. If you are reading this, it's because your computer supports several different protocols, including TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), IP (Internet Protocol), HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) and DNS (Domain Name Service). In order for a protocol to work, both the sender and the receiver have to understand the same protocol. Just like two people cannot communicate if one of them only speaks German and the other only speaks Japanese, both a server and a client (desktop) need to understand the same protocol to exchange any information.

Using a variety of tools, you can listen in on the conversations that two computers have using a specific protocol. From there, you can reverse engineer the protocol if you are given enough time. However, this is a very slow and time consuming process. Moreover, it is extremely error prone, and you never know if it is complete. How easy do you think it would be to translate a message from Japanese to English just by listening to a lot of Japanese? Over time you have to guess at what specific sounds mean, and check to see if they are correct. Even then, you never know if you've learned the entire vocabulary. How would you know the word for dog if you've never seen it? In the same way, you can figure out some of a computer protocol, but you never know if it is complete.

To make a long story short, in March 2004, the EU ruled that Microsoft had abused its dominance in the desktop market to influence the server market through refusing to release their communications protocols. Whether you agree with the principle or not, it was in violation of EU law. Microsoft was ordered to release the specifications of their protocols in order to allow their competitors to be able to communicate with their servers. This didn't require source code. It only required that they release the protocols themselves. You can see a good example of how such specifications are usually written by looking at RFC 793: TCP. Notice carefully that there is no source code, only a description of how to talk using the protocol.

Well, Microsoft released a specification for the protocols, but several groups complained to the EU that the specification that Microsoft released was so poorly written as to be almost unusable. After reviewing the complaints and Microsoft's responses, the EU agreed that the complaints were justified. Microsoft was then ordered to release the source code of their implementation so that others could use it to verify compatibility. That doesn't mean that Microsoft's competitors can use Microsoft's code in their products. It only means that they can use Microsoft's code to understand the protocol, and then they still have to write their own code to translate it.

And that is the real debate here. Microsoft broke EU law, law that was in place before Microsoft was ever incorporated. That law applies to all companies that operate within the EU, not just Microsoft. When they were told that they had violated the law, Microsoft then refused to do what was required to fix the problem. As a result, Microsoft now faces harsher penalties than it would have previously.

You don't have to agree with the law, but that doesn't mean that you have a right to ignore it. Microsoft needs to play by the same rules as everyone else, and that means that they have to fulfill their obligations under EU law.