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.