Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sabathia and Sheets possibly gone?

The Brewers have made a pretty good offer to Sabathia, but it seems that the f***ing Yankees are putting obscene money down.

And with Ryan Dempster signing for four years, $52 million, the market for Ben Sheets now has a floor figure.

In a sense, it's looking tough for the Crew.

They have to lay out $152 million over five years... which means that Weeks and Fielder would be likely to walk in free agency. Or, they try to keep Weeks and Fielder... and have questions in the rotation, where the top guys would be Parra and Gallardo, who have problems staying healthy.

Even sports looks to be a downer this winter. [sigh]

Monday, October 20, 2008

Interviewing to be the Brewers manager...

OK, so Dale Sveum won't be back as manager.

Over at Al's Ramblings (Octobr 18, 2008, 10:24 AM), some interview questions have been placed.

I'll put down my answers here.

1. Coaching-wise, what do you think can be done to get Rickie Weeks to fulfill his potential? And I'd extend the question to the likes of Hart, Parra, etc.

In Parra's case, I think the big issue was hitting the wall due to a lrge increase in innings pitched. For Weeks, Hart, and Hall, I would probably want to compare their hot streaks to their cold streaks as a start, and try to get a baseline. In the case of Hall, I'd try to see if he's done anything different in 2007-2008 than he did in 2005-2006.

2. What's your theory on bullpen management? What's the strengths and weaknesses of the current group and what would you want the GM to do?
Strengths: The current bullpen tends to be reasonable strong in terms of getting the job done. Some relievers have ugly end-of-season stats (like Riske), but that is arguably distorted by 10% of outings where they got pounded. There are plenty of guys (Torres, Villanueva, Shouse, McClung) who can handle the middle innings. There is young talent (Dillard, Stetter, Pena). Mark DiFelice might also be able to contribute.

Weaknesses: Lack of a dominant closer. Gagne didn't do the job, and while Torres was a fill-in, he was kind of miscast. Also, some pitchers (Torres in particular) got overworked,and that dropoff will be a major concern if the rotation loses Sheets and Sabathia. The best thing the GM can do for the Brewers bullpen, if he entrusts me to be manager, is to keep one or both of those starters in the fold.

3. How do you evaluate Tony Gwynn Jr.? (And the candidate that thinks he should be handed the centerfield job and made the leadoff hitter is going to set off all kinds of alarms in my head.)
Ideally, Tony Gwynn Jr, is the 5th outfielder, the team's top pinch-runner, and a defensive replacement in the late innings of some games (usually a blowout when I would want to give a starter a rest). If he ends up in the lineup (and hopefully he is NOT starting games), he bats eighth.

4. What are your beliefs in bench construction? What's the role of the backup catcher?
I believe that the bench's primary purpose is to provide a manager with the tools to win a game despite unforeseen events. Ideally, the players are to be versatile, able to play more than one position, and able to hold their own at the plate. On the present 40-man roster, my 2009 bench would consist of Mike Rivera, Alicides Escobar, Joe Dillon, Vinny Rottino, Tony Gwynn Jr., and Gabe Kapler. The backup catcher's role is to be ready to fill in - ideally so that he and the team's pitchers do not miss a beat - should the starter be injured or need a day off.

5. Lineup construction, what's your general ideas?
Leadoff slot: High OBP, lots of speed. Power is a bonus. #2 spot: Someone who hits a lot of doubles, draws walks, and who gets on base. #3 and #4 hitters: The two players who will likely have highest OPS totals. Braun and Fielder. The #5 hitter will be someone who racks up a high SLG, OBP less relevant. #6 and #7 hitters will be a lot like the #2 hitter, although I am flexible on the #6 hitter - someone with a lot of power may take that spot. The #8 hitter needs to be an OBP/speed guy - if for no other reason than to get to the pitcher's spot, so the next inning starts with the leadoff man.

This is a team that is built around the long ball. While "small ball" is not this team's forte, I will at least try to get the team to be competent at it, if only to have greater flexibility.


Well, we get to see if I get the job. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I am Joe

Tip o' the Hat to Iowahawk.

I am Joe.

I am just another American with the usual bag of hopes, fears, strengths, and flaws.

I am Joe.

I am an American who wants to succeed or fail through my own work.

I am Joe.

I am an American who still believes in the First Amendment, in citizens participating in the political process, in expressing disagreement with others' ideas without becoming disagreeable about it.

I am Joe.

I am an American who believes that I have the right to ask tough questions of those who seek my vote, and that it's utterly reasonable to expect serious answers to those tough questions.

I am Joe.

I am an American who now wonders if my disagreement with The One, Barack Hussein Obama (PBUH) will someday result in a howling cybermob demanding my scalp.

I am Joe.

I am an American who now wonders if my disagreement with The One, Barack Hussein Obama (PBUH) will someday result in the press spending 48 hours to dig up every last bit of possibly-embarrassing information on myself, my wife, or my daughter.

I am Joe.

I am an American who has just discovered that, in Iowahawk's immortal words, "Web 2.0 turned into Berlin 1932.0."

I am Joe.

And if the fact that I am Joe offends you . . .




I am Joe.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Been away, I know...

Much has happened.

The Brewers made the playoffs - then didn't get past the first round. Still, it's good to make my brother say "Wild Card."

It does speak volumes, though. It took a lot of work to make it happen. Only eight out of 30 major-league teams make the playoffs. It's nice to see the Crew near the top.

Also, some promising news has turned a bit tougher. I hope that I can work out something that could lead to a dream happening after a bit of a setback earlier this year.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Spaying/neutering... not so risk free...

I am on an e-mail list that discusses guinea pigs. They are wonderful creatures, and they are cuter than the puppies owned by my sisters (each has one). They are loving, and a bit smarter that you can imagine (put it this way, never rustle a plastic bag within earshot of my brother's guinea pig - he will start asking for a treat, and it actually sounds a little bit like he is crying out "Treat!" "Treat!").

So, when on the list someone loses their beloved guinea pig, I feel rotten inside. I have been there twice, having lost a pair of guinea pigs.

But a loss announced earlier this week is all the more heartbreaking. Apparently, the owner had taken the guinea pig, a young boar (that's a boy) to be neutered. The guinea pig entered the vet's office alive and well, but after the operation, the guinea pig had some trouble and died.

Which is why I have decided that as a pet owner, I will not put any animal I own through elective surgery - to include spaying or neutering. Unless the animal needs the surgery for a valid medical reason, it ain't happening.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

National Tortilla Month...

The Weekly Standard has a good article on food.

While you read it, I'm gonna probably pick up some Taco Bell. Good food. :)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

No Ordinary Americans Need Apply

I usually have no use for Pat Buchanan, but this is an exception and well worth the read.

She is a businesswoman, someone who has taken on her own side of the argument and won, a mother, a mainstream Christian--in short, a representative of many American women today.

I cannot think of anyone, man or woman, who has inspired this much hatred on the part of their political opponents in such a short time. The level of bile and invective is truly something to behold; and, as so frequently happens, Churchill's maxim about a lie being halfway around the world before the truth has its boots on is demonstrated again to be true.

The left is fond of asking why the Islamists hate us--and answering it ith a recitation of America's alleged (and imagined) sins. Well, why do these oh-so-enlightened-and-tolerant-folks (who have self-righteousness the way some people have BO and halitosis) hate Sarah Palin so damn much?

Because she reminds them that their beliefs are not shared by a majority of ordinary Americans. More importantly, she reminds the rest of America, as well.

Well into the 20th Century, it was not uncommon for "Help Wanted" signs to say "No (Select an Ethicity) Need Apply." To the modern American Left, elective office has a "No Ordinary Americans Need Apply" sign.

Well, here's a cheery yob' tvoyu maht' to the Kos Kids, Air America, and the mainstream press. I'll vote for whoever I damn well please, and y'all can kiss my fundament.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

RIP Don LaFontaine

In a world of movie trailers, he was the King . . .

Time is the hunter, and has just bagged another trophy . . . as Time always has, and always will.

His voice prompted me to see a lot of good (and some not-so-good) movies; only recently did I learn who he was. Having read about him and seen some of his recent work with GEICO, I learned that he had a sense of humor about himself, his work, and that he was generous with those who wished to learn the voiceover craft--traits that are admirable and increasingly rare.

Movie trailers will never be the same. The industry will never be the same. LaFontaine reminds us that each of us has unique gifts, and that what matters most is how we choose to use those gifts.

My condolences to his friends and family, and to all whom he mentored.

Rest in peace, sir.

Friday, August 29, 2008

On Palin: A Bag of Mixed Emotions...

Intellectually, I recognize that John McCain could have done very well with either Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney.

Palin brought in an avenue to reel in disaffected Hillary supporters. She puts a very articulate and reasonable face on the issue of domestic energy production. She is a reformer and maverick - which fits into McCain's career and image very well. She also has impeccable pro-life credentials (I don't think a woman should be forced to carry her rapist's child).

She lacks experience, though, and on the economy in general, she is not as strong as Romney. But the pluses far outweigh the minuses.

Romney had the economic credentials - in spades. He also had no real skeletons, had been vetted, and would have not only locked down some uncomfortably close Mountain West States (Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico), but he had a very good chance of flipping Michigan. The way this election is shaping up - McCain winning Michigan means game over for Obama.

There were downsides. He and McCain didn't exactly get along in the primary. The other, though, leaves me with a bag of mixed emotions.

To wit, Mitt Romney was shot down for the Presidential nomination by anti-Mormon bigotry among evangelicals - a bigotry that was played to by Mike Huckabee. It was a bigotry that a lot of leading conservatives did not denounce. Why they did not do so is a mystery. Afraid of losing support? Was it a reluctance to make a charge that has all too often been used by the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson with little merit? Who knows? But the fact they didn't take on Huckabee has led me to seriously reconsider my alliance with conservatism.

Worse, it also colors my views on a very dedicated wife, mother, and public servant. As much as Sarah Palin is a good nominee, and knowing intellectually that it is very likely that she was selected on the merits, a part of me will always wonder whether she got the slot entirely on the merits (which make it just about a coin toss), or because McCain blinked vis-a-vis Huckabee and other anti-Mormon bigots. I’m probably being very unfair to Governor Palin, but that question just is not going away any time soon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

An open letter worth reading...

See Article6Blog.com for something worth leading.

August 18, 2008
The Honorable George H.W. Bush
George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
1000 George Bush Drive West
College Station, TX 77845

Dear Mr. President:

Last December, it was our distinct pleasure to visit the magnificent library archiving and celebrating your service as the president of our great nation. The occasion was your hosting Mitt Romney’s “Faith in America” speech. Your introduction of Gov. Romney was most gracious and his speech captured the very essence of what is great about the American vision of how religion and public life intersect.

Sadly, since that time, some involved in the current presidential election cycle have behaved, very publicly, in a fashion that represents some of our worst tendencies when we stand at that intersection. Of course our nation is full of groups with their own particular viewpoints, all vying for attention - and that is to be encouraged; it is an important part of America’s greatness.

Candidates for the highest office in the land, however, must, as Gov. Romney said that day in your auditorium, rise above petty bickering to unite our nation. To accomplish that, candidates must unite their political party, not tear it apart on religious, ethnic, or other grounds.

And yet, former presidential candidate and current FOX News commentator Mike Huckabee seems intent on creating such discord and disunity. His recent efforts to stand at the head of the “anybody but Romney for vice president” movement are simply offensive. His protests to the contrary notwithstanding, that movement and his energy on its behalf are so clearly based in religious bias, even bigotry, that they simply step outside the boundaries of legitimate presidential electoral debate and threaten our party’s unity. Such behavior can only serve to cheapen our nation’s political discourse as it increasingly descends into the gutter.

This is more than mere conjecture. Recent polling evidence, particularly that out of a Vanderbilt University study based on surveys conducted when both Huckabee and Romney were still active presidential candidates, clearly indicates that the very limited arguments Gov. Huckabee uses in his opposition to Gov. Romney play on traditional Christian prejudices concerning Mormons. In many cases those arguments cases are simply “code” for “we cannot vote for him, he’s a Mormon.”

In 1908, William Howard Taft sought the presidency. Mr Taft was a Unitarian and he was opposed on religious grounds by William Jennings Bryan using tactics similar to those we are seeing Gov. Huckabee use against Gov. Romney today. The man leaving the presidency at that time, Theodore Roosevelt, felt it necessary the defy the convention of former presidents staying clear of the fray and to defend the right of every American, regardless of religion, to hold the highest office in the land. He did so in a series of now-famous letters to the various parties involved.

Today we write to you, as the senior Republican statesman in our nation, to ask you to take a similarly bold stand, to write such an important letter and to do so openly. Much has changed since the turn of the last century; our politics are conducted far more publicly than they once were. We ask that your letter be open and made available in the leading journals of this time.

This type of behavior we are seeing simply must be repudiated. You stand in a unique position to provide such repudiation. Gov. Huckabee must be made to understand that to continue to behave in this fashion will permanently disqualify him, and those he represents, from serious consideration for any leadership role in the Republican party ever again. Few people, if any, can speak for the entire party with as much wisdom, experience, and insight as you can. You alone not only are beyond the battles of presidential politics, but also enjoy the moral authority coming from having won them. You can help us keep our party, this nation and our electoral processes within the bounds of traditional American understanding and decency. We will be a much worse nation indeed if we break down into identity group bickering instead of uniting to elect the best people to govern us.

If we may be of any service to you in your efforts to fulfill our request, please do not hesitate to call upon us.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter and may God bless!


Lowell Brown
Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Article VI Blog
John Schroeder
evangelical Presbyterian, member of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America
Article VI Blog
What is there to disagree with in this?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Weeks goes O-fer...

But there are O-fers... and there are O-fers...

Three walks, three runs scored... is an O-fer that can be lived with.

A few hot streaks later...

And the Brewers now have a three-game lead for the Wild Card.

26 years is a long time to wait...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Laurie in the fold...

Brett Lawrie is now in the fold. This is a good sign.

Not so good, the apparent meltdown in the dugout.

If you think dating is tough, try rooting for the Brewers.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

7-0 on the road...

My job doesn't give me the time I used to have to post here.

That said, I would be remiss if I didn't pump my fist and celebrate the Brewers 7-0 road trip. They're leading for the Wild Card now. If the Cubs had been kind enough to lose, they'd be T-I-E-D for the NL Central lead.

Damn, it's good to be a Brewers fan.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Sabathia a Brewer!

The Brewers have acquired CC Sabathia for Matt LaPorta, two minor-league pitchers, and a player to be named later.

As a rental - it's a good deal. The Brewers offense leaned heavily to the right side of the plate, and so, in a sense, LaPorta was too much of a good thing (being a right-handed hitter, albeit a very good one).

If the Brewers make the playoffs, they win this trade, no matter what happens in LaPorta's future (which I hope is a good one).

The only question will be whether Sabathia and Sheets sign with the Brewers, or if they give Jack Zdurinek and Doug Melvin the chance to pick up four more players in the first 60 picks than one would otherwise expect (due to major-league baseball compensation system for free agency).

If Sabathia and Sheets re-sign, the Brewers will be in the driver's seat of the NL Central for a long time.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A healthy attitude...

Chris Cannon's attitude is the type of thing I wish we had more of in DC.

Quite frankly, his defeat is a bad sign. He had a 96% ACU rating in 2007 - which is not exactly a failing grade - or at least it didn't use to be a failing grade. I guess now, the commissar wing of conservatism will go after you year after year until they get you.

They don't want principle. They want blind obedience.

That is not what conservatism is about.... or at least not what I thought conservatism was about.

I'm not leaving conservatism.... conservatism's leaving me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Off the table...

Well, the Supreme Court has now decided that it, and not state legislatures, was fit to decide if a child rapist should get the death penalty.

Was the Louisiana law too broad? Arguably. But it had been rarely used in any case - they had no real grounds to determine whether or not that penalty was being misused.

The real losers, though, are voters. The Supreme Court has made its decision, for good or for ill, and it is very unlikely to be changed. If it is the wrong call, we the people have no viable recourse to change this or to hold those who have made that change accountable in any way, shape or form.

It makes you wonder just how much your vote matters, doesn't it?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A principled candidate loses...

It looks like Chris Cannon has been primaried out by the Tancredobots.

It's not a good thing, and not just because the commissar wing will be celebrating. The fact of the matter is that a principled Congressman has been booted out (albeit it took multiple attempts) because he just would not kowtow to people like Tom Tancredo and Michelle Malkin.

It looks like I will be going independent after this November.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Fourth War in Europe?

America has fought three wars in Europe in the 20th Century - World Wars I and II, and the Cold War.

However, this article from The New Republic could explain the genesis of America's Fourth European War.

Key paragraph:
Is it likely that prosecutions will be brought overseas? Yes. It is reasonably likely. Sands's book contains an interview with an investigating magistrate in a European nation, which he describes as a NATO nation with a solidly pro-American orientation which supported U.S. engagement in Iraq with its own soldiers. The magistrate makes clear that he is already assembling a case, and is focused on American policymakers. I read these remarks and they seemed very familiar to me. In the past two years, I have spoken with two investigating magistrates in two different European nations, both pro-Iraq war NATO allies. Both were assembling war crimes charges against a small group of Bush administration officials. "You can rest assured that no charges will be brought before January 20, 2009," one told me. And after that? "It depends. We don't expect extradition. But if one of the targets lands on our territory or on the territory of one of our cooperating jurisdictions, then we'll be prepared to act."
I cannot imagine the United States sitting still in such an event, even in an Obama administration. Obama would be pushed into doing something, if for no other reason than his inaction would be seen as political retribution - and of a decidedly more cowardly form than actually doing the trials himself.

It would mean the destruction of the NATO alliance. I don't think Europe really wants to go there.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Another ally insulted...

It seems Mark Krikorian likes to make a big deal out of small things, and to take the most unreasonable position possible.

In this case, he's throwing a tantrum about DHS arranging visa-free entry for people from Bulgaria. Now, Bulgaria is a member of NATO - in other words, by any reasonable definition, it is an ally.

He acknowledges that, and then proceeds to minimize it.

I guess he thinks it is okay for Bulgarians to die alongside Americans in the global war on terror, but such willingness should not be taken into consideration when it comes to how we treat them should they want to visit the United States.

Krikorian lacks class.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Signs of a witch-hunt continue...

Today's Wall Street Journal has an editorial that should frighten any American who is concerned about the direction this country is headed.

Should Obama be elected, it is becoming increasingly likely that in order to sell retreat in the global war on terror, he will proceed to turn those who carried out a reasonably successful policy into criminals. He has to. There will be no other way to sell a return to the failed policy of treating terrorists like your garden-variety thugs.

Monday, June 16, 2008

He won't come out and say it...

...but Barack Obama seems to be admitting that perhaps things are not as rosy in his Presidential campaign.

Why? He's trying to sell people on winning the Presidency without Ohio and Florida.

That's a total of 47 electoral votes.

If Obama's having to go to a Plan B in two of the critical swing states of the last two Presidential elections, then he's got a problem.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Quick quiz...

OK, if you are the head of the Department of Homeland Security, what should be your first priority?

A. Tracking down and catching terrorists
B. Checking the paperwork of American businesses

We know where hard-liner Mark Krikorian answers that question when he goes after former POW and current Congressman Sam Johnson.

Now, why ignore the threat of terrorists and gangs like MS-13 to chase after people working the 40-hour-week just to send it on down the line?

Why would he send comparatively scare resoruces to chase businesses instead of deporting folks who had committed violent crimes?

Inquiring minds would like to know...

EDIT: And with this lack of common sense on Krikorian's part, is it any wonder that Lindsey Graham wins his primary by a 2-to-1 margin?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Graham wins by a landslide...

The commissar wing's attack fails again. Lindsey Graham, a supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, beat zampolit wing favorite Buddy Witherspoon by a 2-to-1 margin.

In other words, a silent supermajority of the GOP in a conservative stronghold was okay with a candidate who stood for comprehensive immigration reform.

It seems that the conservative alternate media (talk radio, National Review, etc.) is once again out of step with the GOP.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The coming witch-hunt...

It seems that now, we have Obama promising a witch-hunt.

As I said back in April, the man is a pyromaniac.

Unless, of course, it is just empty rhetoric.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A solid double...

John McCain's speech last night was a solid double. Reading the transcript, McCain's strategy is very simple: Draw contrasts - and see if Obama starts squealing like a stuck pig.

I have my disagreements with John McCain, but I have no doubt he truly wants what is best for this country. Ultimately, that will be why he gets my vote.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Why Obama can't unify America...

Barack Obama has been painted as someone who can unify the country. However, reading a report from Eve Fairbanks on The Stump, one must have doubts about his ability to do so. Adding his latest priest problem, one can arguably wonder if it's just lip service.

Now, I know I complained about the Huckabee campaign's exploitation of anti-Mormon bias. But comparing Obama's church to Romney's church is like comparing apples and carrots.

You see, as Lowell Brown at Article 6 Blog points out, comments like those of Michael Pfleger and Jeremiah Wright just don't happen over Mormon pulpits. And this is despite the fact that unlike African-Americans, Mormons were the subject of an extermination order. In my years of attending church, I only recall hearing my church leaders make one statement on an issue of the day - and that was to oppose the establishment of a state lottery in Virginia. Not even gay marriage drew that sort of comment - at least as far as I can recall.

And this is why Obama will not be able to unify. Because, fundamentally, to unify the country, he has to believe it's worth his effort. And to have sat in a church where "God damn America" was preached for twenty years, to have surrounded himself with people who believe that "America is the greatest sin against God" speaks volumes about how he views this country. It is fundamentally divisive.

Obama will only give us a more divided America. He may not have meant to, but his poor judgment of the character of those he chose to surround himself with twenty years ago will have that consequence.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Why the name Jose is not a big deal, Mr. Krikorian...

Mark Krikorian pitches a fit at the Corner over the name Jose being the most popular among boys born in Texas over the last year. He is taken to task for it, but a bit more response is called for.

Shall we look at what have we seen people with the name Jose accomplish in America in the past? There are a number of All-Star baseball and football players, like Jose Hernandez (all-star shortstop in 2002) and Jose Contreras (all-star pitcher in 2006). Men named Jose are cops, firefighters, lawyers, and in just about any other honorable profession in America.

Oh, yeah, and three men named Jose have earned this country's highest military honor while defending this country: Sergeant Jose M. Lopez, Private First Class Jose F. Valdez, and Private Jose B. Nisperos.

Mr. Krikorian, it seems American has done well by men named Jose. On the other hand, you have managed to out yourself as someone who seems awfully obsessed with people who have Hispanic-sounding names.

Age of Google 101 for Daily Kos...

Don't think that by deleting a post, it will go away.

Google caches can always come back to bite you. As this Redstate blog notes.

The cover-up is always worse than the crime...

"Christmas in Cambodia" every day!

That's what Barack Obama seems to be giving us these days. While some are outraged, I think the best medicine here is laughter.

Yes, I do think it's hitting the level of comedy. Besides, Obama's expecting an angry attack. Laughing at him will throw him off kilter, and might provoke a more... useful response.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Unpatriotic Conservatives, 2008 style...

In 2003, David Frum wrote a brilliant takedown of anti-war conservatives. It pulled very few punches, and laid out a compelling case that they were clearly .

Today, though, there is a new batch of unpatriotic conservatives who are perfectly willing to sell out our troops by sitting out 2008 - perfectly willing to let Obama win, despite the deleterious effects he will have on the country. If there are better words than unpatriotic and selfish, I'd like to hear them.

Quite frankly, they are going about immigration all wrong. We do have some problems, particularly with gangs and drugs. But how do we deal with that aspect of border security when we waste our time raiding meat-packing plants and construction sites? We don't. But it provides plenty of bloody shirts for people like Michelle Malkin to wave in the immigration debate.

But when they will, through their inaction, elect someone who is likely to surrender in the war on terror, someone who is stupid enough to meet with people like Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without preconditions, and someone who will likely appoint Supreme Court justices who will be more inclined to engage in judicial putsches on issues like gay marriage, it's time to call them out.

What is truly the most important issue facing America, immigration, or the war on terror? I think most Americans would argue the latter. Holding our troops hostage over immigration is despicable, and it will not win friends.

Iraq Progress...

Powerline has a very good post on the Iraqi campaign of the war on terror.

There are big issues that clearly warrant supporting McCain over Obama. AJ-Strata lays it out. The country needs to win the global war on terror farmorethan we need to placate conservatives on immigration.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Doomsday Strategy

AJ-Strata discusses Hillary's latest comments, and is well worth the read.

That said, it's a very interesting strategy... one that could very well sink Obama in 2008.

Think about it: Come June 3, Hillary is likely to emerge with a slight lead in the overall popular vote. She will have won a large number of the major primaries. And, of course, there are two large delegate-rich states which she won, but which will probably not have a single delegate.

Once the delegates are denied, Hillary will refuse to endorse Obama. She and her supporters will very publicly sit on their hands. She will simply state that she cannot support the disenfranchisement of Michigan and Florida. Obama, of course, will have to find some way to mollify her - and in doing that is going to reinforce the perception that he's a bit of a wimp.

Eventually, when the damage is done, Hillary will graciously (yeah, right) stand aside for Obama and watch him lose. She will then run in 2012 on an "I told you so" campaign.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What does the GOP need?

Governor Schwarzenegger's comments about the GOP's need of re-branding will probably touch a few nerves. But in a sense, he is right, albeit, it's not so much "re-branding" the GOP needs, but to instead ditch the "new brand" that largely emerged from 2005 to the present.

From 2005 on, a certain group of conservatives (not all, but a very vocal segment) have decided that at some point, they had a monopoly on principles. Those who did not toe their line on certain issues (most notably immigration, but you can include Terri Schiavo and the nomination of Harriet Miers on that list as well - if you want, you can even include No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D as well) were often derided as RINOs, unprincipled, or worse.

The result... well, I'll let you read some views from SJ Reidhead, The Anchoress, AJ-Strata, and myself.

Take some time to peruse those blogs (outside the posts I linked to), and see if you can describe where SJ Reidhead, The Anchoress, AJ-Strata, and myself tend to stand on issues.

I dare to say that most people would think that the four of us are probably in the mainstream of George W. Bush's political coalition. They'd peg us as Republican and right of center.

Yet all four of us are feeling less and less welcome in the GOP, and that is largely due to the fact that people like Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, and Ann Coulter have routinely talked down to us as if we were somehow not good enough to be in their club, and a lot of party leaders have gone along with their commissar act, and have not called them out on it. then of course, when this "new brand" of strict compliance was no savior at the polls, they demanded even stricter compliance, claiming a lack of principle was the problem.

The fact that people may have looked at their "true conservative" brand and decided to reject it does not seem to have crossed their mind at all. So they try a harder and harder sell, ticking off more and more people. By insisting on a coalition of the pure, they are literally shrinking their base of support. As long as the GOP goes along with that, then they will find their base of support shrinking as well.

So, maybe the GOP needs to tell the commissar wing to stuff it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Conservatives out of touch...

OK, what would you consider to be the most pressing issue facing America this week?

War on Terror? Energy? The economy? Nope, none of those are the pressing issue of the week, according to Michelle Malkin. No the big issue of the week is Beyonce's new clothing line.

Good fucking grief.

If you wonder why conservatives have image problems, this is an example right here.

They obsess over the trivial - and woe unto those who suggest that there is a bigger picture or more important things to deal with. And they wonder why I prefer to think of myself as a Donald Bellisario Republican as opposed to a conservative?

U.S. Congressman a FARC go-between?

Interpol has recently confirmed that Raul Reyes's laptop has not been tampered with. If that is the case, then Gateway Pundit raises an interesting bombshell.

Perhaps it's time to ask Barack Obama if he intends to sell out Colombia to the tender mercies of Hugo Chavez and FARC.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

No regard for democracy...

Today, the California Supreme Court went rogue, throwing out a law that had been enacted by the people of California in a referendum back in 2000 - and by a pretty fair margin.

As I discussed this issue earlier, this is pushing America to a fundamental question that we will have to answer in 2008: How is this country supposed to work, is it run by "we the people," or will it instead be run by a judiciary that has metastasized into a polite and gentle dictatorship?

That is not the only case. The polar bear listing is another, and contrary to complaints from Hugh Hewitt, Secretary Kempthorne really had no choice on this matter, and arguably has taken the only course of action that will minimize the effect. If he had refused to list the polar bear, the NRDC and other groups would have found a judge all too willing to overturn the decision of an Administration that was chosen twice by the American people to make such decisions - something that has happened repeatedly.

It's not a small question for me. I want to know if my vote will count, or if it will be tossed out because some judge thinks he or she knows better?

Braun signs!

NL Central pitchers beware! Ryan Braun has apparently signed a big extension.

Now, if they can only get Prince Fielder signed to a similar deal...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Why the Congressional GOP is lagging McCain...

AJ-Strata has an excellent post on why the Congressional GOP is lagging McCain.

The tone the right has taken on immigration has been shrill, declaring those who did not toe a hard line traitors repeatedly, as well as enemies of the Republic (Paul J. Cella is one of the more easily found ones, but you can see similar sentiments in some comments on threads at Free Republic). As I posted elsewhere, such comments have been counter-productive, to put it mildly, and arguably, destructive to the Republican coalition. Some of the comments, quite frankly, would only have been resolvable via the Code Duello.

The hard-liners on immigration have been akin to the people crying about global warming - with practically no proof for their dire predictions, and their response, is much like those of the global warming believers to critics, as described by Michael Crichton.

Some of this rhetoric borders on the fringes as well. In the age of Google, it is easy to find. It's why the "dirty pool" MacRanger describes can stick, as well, even when the specifics are false. Just glance at the immigration threads at FreeRepublic.com, or comments at Townhall (particularly those directed at supporters of President Bush on immigration, like Linda Chavez or Ruben Navarrette), and you can see just why the dirty pool works. The lies are believable.

Contrary to what Mac wants to believe, the MS-1 loss, as well as Hastert's seat, indicates that conservatives have lost touch with America in some respects. I can't speak for anyone else, but who wants to vote for someone who views them as a traitor over a disagreement - much less work with them?

Perhaps MacRanger can answer that question. Because the Congressional GOP needs to either answer that question - or they need to mend fences with the moderates they have been working so hard to alienate.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Understanding Hamas...

It seems Barack Obama says he understands Hamas's view.

Given his statements, I have to disagree.

If someone truly understands Hamas, they would not be opposed to letting Israel do some serious ass-kicking.

Friday, May 09, 2008

If you ever doubted the Burmese junta was slime...

Read this, and all doubt should be gone.

The Burmese junta is damn lucky we have a Global War on Terror to fight. Because if we had the Marine Division available, it might be worth it to force the relief supplies in.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Took a bit of a break...

Quite frankly, blogging needed a bit of a break. Hope to be a bit more regular on here soon.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Congressional medding goes both ways...

When Congress tried to overrule the Air Force on CSAR-X, it set a bad precedent. In essence, by dragging a lot of politics into the mix, they have delayed that program for a while.

Now, KC-X is facing a similar delay, this time, rather than trying to stick it to Boeing, Congress is going to earmark the contract to Boeing. Now, I will not call this a pork-barrel situation, as CAGW did (CAGW in the past has come out for going back to oil-fueled carriers, killing the V-22,and has called the C-130J pork, so take their national-security recommendations with the appropriate level of salt).

The fact is that there are some people have about the Northrop Grumman entry. They are questions that deserve answers.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wright's stuff bites Obama again...

Jim Geraghty reports on another sermon.

Now this shit is pissing me off. And not just because Wright's sermon is aiming right at those who serve this country (in my immediate family, that includes a brother-in-law and my father).

The fact is that there are huge differences between America's defenders and al-Qaeda. Don't get me wrong, our guys have bad moments at times. But for us, the bad moments are the aberration from a norm.

Anyone who is trying to equate the two is either stupid, holding a reckless disregard for the truth, or just flat-out unpatriotic.

And let me make a wild-ass guess: Barack Obama didn't hear that sermon, either.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Deserving an ass-kicking at the polls, part 342345

Seems a Republican congressman has decided that porn is the biggest crisis facing the military, and he wants to ban it.

Not aging SAR choppers, not tankers bought when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, not the fact that we are in need of troops for a surge in Afghanistan, but the fact that Playboy and Penthouse are available at the local PX.

Talk about stuck on stupid...

When the troops have the gear they need, when we've won the Global War on Terror, when we don't have other problems, then we might be able to talk about whether Playboy should be available.

Until then, while our troops are fighting, let them have the latest Playboy and Penthouse issues.

Why Malkinbots don't get it...

Right Wing News shows how Malkinbots manage to blow it.

His beef is over a young woman brought into the United States as an infant who had had several liver transplants due to a liver disorder.

Let's repeat one phrase here: As an infant. In other words, her presence here in the US is not due to any criminal action or intent of her own.

And this is what we are seeing by allowing the problem to fester for a long time, rather than solving it when we had a chance to do so with much less difficulty.

Now, what do we do about people who were brought here at young ages, who have not committed crimes, other than to grow up here? Or whose families wanted nothing more than to save their lives?

Most people don't blame kids for this stuff. And the type of stuff in the comments of Right Wing News will be found repulsive by most Americans. There is a reason that non-generic Republicans tend to do a bit better. PArt of it is the tone-deaf attitude conservatives seem to be showing.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tancredo/Dobbs vs. the Pope

The Wall Street Journal has a very good editorial on the recent rants from Tom Tancredo and Lou Dobbs against Pope Benedict XVI.

And people expect me to believe that there is no bigotry involved?

Do they think I'm stupid?

The impossible debate...

On Saturday, I mentioned the case of border security blowback, and pointed to a debate.

Well, the debate kind of went how I expected it to. Eventually, some of the usual people with an irrational obsession about Mexico came in, and AJ-Strata, myself, and SJ Reidhead found ourselves on the receiving end of abuse, ranging from implications that we must have been under the influence of marijuana to at least two insinuations of treason.

I'm sick of the people who act like schoolyard bullies on this issue - and quite frankly, that is an accurate characterization of the people largely on Malkin's side of the debate. The abusive venom aimed at people like Linda Chavez (just look at the comments about her columns at Townhall.com) and others cannot be described as anything else.

Until conservative leaders are willing to rein in the venom, debate will be impossible.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Border Blowback...

Read this from Strategypage, and weep:
April 2, 2008: As it gets more difficult to illegally cross the U.S. border, it costs more to pay a professional smuggler ("coyote") to assist. But those higher smuggling fees have attracted the drug smuggling gangs, who are now taking over the business. As subsidiaries of drug cartels, this new breed of "coyote" is heavily armed and vicious. The violence is often directed at the clients (the people paying to get smuggled into the U.S.) This is bringing the Mexican border war into the United States.
Weren't the fence, and the hard-line border-security measures that Michelle Malkin and Tom Tancredo wanted supposed to keep this sort of thing from happening? Instead, what do we have? We have folks who are an even bigger threat to Border Patrol agents getting involved.

I suppose, somehow, Michelle Malkin will find some way to blame it on President Bush, when it is the policies she demanded that seem to be causing this.

AJ-Strata has more on immigration, and refers us to a debate over at Right Voices.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

An important case...

Yesterday, oral arguments in Kennedy v. Louisiana were held at the Supreme Court. A summary of the case is here.

I admit to some bias here. I have three nephews... and will become an uncle twice more later this year (I don't know if it's two more nephews, two nieces, or one apiece yet). So, yeah, to a degree, I have an emotional dog in this fight.

Folks, if there is any crime short of murder that warrants the death penalty, then raping a child under 12 fits the bill. The perp here pulled of a very vicious and horrific rape, and then tried to put the blame on someone else. Thankfully, the cops got to the truth of the matter. I think the Louisiana Supreme Court has laid out a strong opinion on this case that should be read.

Hopefully, the Louisiana Supreme Court will be upheld.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Obama promises witch-hunt...

Read it and weep.

I think we now see Barack Obama's version of restoring America's image.

The man is playing with fire.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Now THIS is good eatin'

To the left is a photo from Jonathan Martin's blog at Politico.com.

Looks delicious. I'll have one of each. ;)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Playing with fire...

If Marc Ambinder is correct, there is a very strange idea of healing going around certain camps.

This is frightening - because if so, then one way or another, we will have instability in America for a long time. The reason is best explained by Orson Scott Card in the afterword to his book Empire:

Rarely do people set out to start a civil war. Invariably, when such wars break out both sides consider themselves to be the aggrieved ones. Right now in America, even though the Left has control of all the institutions of cultural power and prestige -- universities, movies, literary publishing, mainstream journalism-- as well as the federal courts, they feel themselves oppressed and threatened by traditional religion and conservatism. And even though the Right controls both houses of Congress and the presidency, as well as having ample outlets for their views in nontraditional media and an ever-increasing dominance over American religious and economic life, they feel themselves oppressed and threatened by the cultural dominance of the Left.

And they are threatened, just as they are also threatening, because nobody is willing to accept the simple idea that someone can disagree with their group and still be a decent human being worthy of respect.

Can it lead to war?

Very simply, yes. The moment one group feels itself so aggrieved that it uses either its own weapons or the weapons of the state to "prevent" the other side from bringing about its supposed "evil" designs, then that other side will have no choice but to take up arms against them. Both sides will believe the other to be the instigator.

Could Ambinder be blowing smoke? I hope so. But both Hillary and Obama would have motives to pursue such investigations. Hillary has a vindictive streak that is bigger than the Rocky Mountains.

Obama would probably have to do so in order to placate his political base, especially if he has had to back down from a confrontation with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and General Petraeus over Iraq, a confrontation that would probably torpedo his administration. You thought the 1993 gays in the military controversy was rough?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Not the GOP's problem...

This commentary by JB Williams shows why I can't stand conservatives these days.

Why? Because he seems to ignore the fact that conservatives have done their fair share of bridge-burning in the past few years.

In recent years, some conservatives have taken a position that anyone who is not 100% with them to be enemies. This has been particularly true on immigration, where accusations of treason and the "anti-American" label are common. then there are cases where those who dare depart from the latest wisdom of talk radio and the conservative intelligentsia get called "party hacks" who "sold their souls" as well.

So what is to be done by those who receive such fire?

Me, I'm inclined to respond with some serious return fire. As far as I am concerned, it makes no sense to try to please people who view me as a traitor or party hack. You want to call me that, don't expect me to work with you.

Conservatives need to stop blaming others for their failure to close the sale with Republican primary voters - that is who elected the delegates that will make John McCain the GOP nominee.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Senator Jay Rockefeller, You're an Idiot

Well, Senator Rockefeller (Moron-WV), an Obama supporter, really put his foot in his mouth this time:

In the Charleston Gazette Sunday, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, who has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said that Sen. John McCain "has a temper" and, according to the story, "believes McCain has become insensitive to many human issues.

"McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they [the missiles] get to the ground? He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues."

OK, in order:

1. McCain was an attack pilot, not a fighter pilot. Big difference. Fighter pilots make movies. Attack pilots make history. Properly utilized, fighter pilots kill other fighter pilots. Properly utilized, attack pilots kill governments.

2. McCain was an attack pilot long before precision-guided munitions were in use; he had to fly close enough to well-defended targets to risk getting his ass shot down, which explains why his ass WAS shot down.

3. McCain endured five years as a POW without any idea of when--or IF--he would be released. He declined an early release offer as part of keeping faith with his fellow POWs. He probably cares more about people than you do, Senator Rockefeller. Frankly, your remarks make me wish that stupidity were physically painful; we'd have a whole lot less of it.

Monday, April 07, 2008

William J. Murray tries to pull the woll over people's eyes...

William J. Murray's response to the outcry over his anti-Mitt ad is yet another example of the volume of disingenuous comments made by the anti-Mitt social conservatives.

He's trying to claim that Mitt Romney being Mormon had nothing to do with that open letter.

Race42008 listed some comments made about Mormons by signatories to that letter:

  • Matt Barber, Policy Director, Concerned Women for America quoted here as helping a reformed homosexual who converted to Mormonism find “scripturally-sound” evangelical churches to attend.
  • Ted Baehr, Author of Culture Wise Family, on the September 11th film: “What [the character of] Brigham Young does in the movie is talk about…that you have to have blood atonement… This is going to be an issue [for Romney]. ”
  • Janet Folger, President Faith2Action, See here: “Romney, as a Mormon, doesn’t believe Jesus was God’s only Son (Lucifer, they claim, was his ‘brother’). Nor does he believe in the virgin birth. Instead, Mormons believe God the Father had physical sex with Mary. The word blasphemy comes to mind. A bit more than a mere ‘denominational difference,’ don’t you think?”
  • Gary Glenn, President AFA, Michigan, played the “religion card” in his GOTV efforts for Huckabee
  • James Hartline, Founder and Publisher, California Christian News: “San Diego Republican Party Hits New Low - Invites Cult Member As Christmas Party Guest Of Honor” - “Mormon politics is more about promoting the economic interests of the Mormon Church and its wealthy members rather than any pseudo Biblical beliefs.”
  • Linda Harvey, President Mission America: “He used his Republican and Mormon identity to push through radical policies on gay marriage, abortion and pro-homosexual school programs that Ted Kennedy always dreamed about.” - link
  • Gregg Jackson: Writes here in an article entitled: “Is this the end of Evangelicalism in America?”: “A cornerstone of the Mormon Church, Grudem writes, is the classic heresy of Saint Paul’s day – angel worship. In his book, Grudem insists that an orthodox Christian must practice the theology he reads. So why would he step forward to become part of the Mitt Romney propaganda blitz trying to mislead evangelicals into doing what would shock most evangelicals in American history: elect a Mormon for president? “
  • Peter LaBarbera: “The sponsor of a homosexual-inclusive “hate crimes” bill in Utah is hailing the support of two Mormon-owned media organs, signaling the neutrality of the powerful and socially conservative church on an issue that is seen by many family advocates as the first step in the wider ‘gay’ agenda.”
So, Mr. Murray, who do I believe, you or what I'm reading with my own eyes? Seeing as you have borne false witness about Romney, I'll stick with my own eyes.

To explain any loud screams around the Washington Post newsroom...

Going back to my earlier post on the possible change at Miller Park, I have mentioned that I would like to be a fly on the wall of George Will's office when he finds out about their consideration of artificial turf.

Here's why:
From his April 3, 2005 column (see page 2):
This season, for the first time since the Astrodome opened in 1965, every National League game will be played on real grass.
Mr. Will seems to have spoken too soon.

I have already sent the Brewers an e-mail expressing my support for the considered change.

I strongly support the installation of artificial turf in Miller Park, not only for the better appearance,but also because I believe it would be a superb fit for the skill sets of a number of the players on the Brewers (Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, Tony Gwynn Jr. Bill Hall, Ryan Braun, and Mike Cameron), giving the team a bit more of an edge in Miller Park.

Call it getting the Brewers a bit more home-field advantage.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Artificial Turf at Miller Park?

The Brewers are apparently considering replacing the natural grass at Miller Park with artificial turf. This could be very good news.

With players like Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun, Bill Hall, Corey Hart, Tony Gwynn Jr., and Mike Cameron, this would be a huge benefit for the Brewers. Why? Because the ball goes faster and bounces higher on artificial turf.

Adding artificial turf would give the Brewers a bit of a home-field advantage.

UPDATE: Not like they need it when they polish off a sweep, but I want to be the fly on the wall of George Will's office when he finds out.

Anti-Mormon motivations? UPDATED

Race42008 has some more info on some of the backers of the ad opposing Mitt Romney as McCain's running mate.

Read their track records. Then ask for yourself if the objection is really about social liberalism, or if it's because he is Mormon.

Because I know what this looks and sounds like to me. So, do I believe the protests of people like commenter FreedomFighter in a previous post on that ad, or do I believe my own eyes?

UPDATE: More discussion at Townhall.

UPDATE 2: Redstate commenters blow off concerns about the ad.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Weyrich proves untrustworthy...

Memo to Mitt Romney: The next time you run for President, do not trust Paul Weyrich.

The reason: The ad that Weyrich signed on to. (Article 6 Blog has some info here.)

What changed between the time Romney ran for office and even suspended his campaign, and the present day, when he is one of those mentioned as a possible Vice Presidential nominee? I can think of only two things: 1. Romney dropped out and ultimately endorsed McCain, citing the needs of the country and the GOP and 2. Mike Huckabee's complaints that conservative leaders didn't back him.

So now, Weyrich seems to be caving in to complaints from Mike Huckabee. In one sense, you cannot blame him for the second factor - his bread is buttered by these people.

That said, there things that must be said openly: Weyrich's flip-flop makes him untrustworthy. He's not someone who will have your back. He seems to be an individual whose personality is that of a Soviet-era zampolit.

It should also be noted some major Huckabee supporters were behind the ad. I guess they're saying Mormons need not apply for VP as well.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Dobson projects...

James Dobson seems to think that John McCain has somehow divided the GOP.

In that, he is being grossly dishonest. Dobson needs to cast his eyes a bit closer to home. Specifically, he needs to deal with the fact that in dividing the GOP, he and his followers, particularly those who have demanded hard-line "no compromise" positions have been just as divisive, if not more so, than people like McCain.

Dobson, for instance, endorsed a candidate who made very liberal use of the politics of religious identity. He also seemed to be utterly unwilling to throw his support behind Mitt Romney when his support could have been very helpful, instead waiting until after Romney was out to make an endorsement. At the same time, when Huckabee's playing to anti-Mormon bigotry went on, he failed to say one word in opposition - probably to avoid upsetting his wife (which probably explains why he wouldn't endorse Romney in the first place).

Now, explain to this Mormon why the fuck I should trust James Dobson, or back someone he is inclined to support.

Of course, I will get the usual claims from Dobson backers that he was acting on principle, that Romney was not "really" a conservative, or some other bullshit explanation. But the problem is that Romney was the best shot to see those principles enacted in 2008.

So, this November, I'm pulling for McCain to win. Dobson will now have to kiss McCain's ass if he wants anything, and Republicans will be able to re-define certain relationships. Yeah, it's spite on my part. But I think I have some good reasons to feel that.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Man, it's gotta suck to be a Chicago Cub. When you can hear "Let's go Brewers" get chanted on the broadcast AT WRIGLEY FIELD.

But it's sweet for a Brewers fan.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Pelosi muscled...

AJ Strata reports that Nancy Pelosi has caved on the super-delegates.

One of two things happened: Most likely, the DCCC told her they could not hold the House if the donors pulled their funds. Or, she has just decided to flip-flop.

Hillary Clinton is a very good political brawler. She clearly won this round.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day...

The four sweetest words in the English language:
Brewers win, CUBS LOSE!!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

With screw-ups like this... no wonder people don't respect the law

It seems that the folks who decide on legal immigration have bollixed things up once again. This time, they are refusing to grant a visa to an interpreter who helped our troops in Iraq, even though he and his family are clearly facing death or physical harm from terrorists.

The bureaucrats at INS would not even take note of the letters in the file from Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter and General David Petraeus. One would think any reasonable person would take note of said letters, the medal awarded, and the fact that this guy is facing the very real risk of physical harm.

This is not the only situation. I became aware, via a second-hand account, of a Colombian family who faced a somewhat similar dilemma. They didn't translate for the US, but they had heard of a FARC "recruiting campaign" that was to take place at the school where one of their sons attended. They tried to get here legally, but ultimately, when faced with the likelihood of their son being kidnapped and used as cannon fodder by a terrorist group, they came here on tourist visas and overstayed.

We don't know why the INS decided not to approve this, and to even label him a terrorist. And that is the problem with that bureaucracy. With screw-ups like these, it is no wonder a lot of otherwise good people are deciding that the law is fouled up.

This is why I reject the whole Malkin/Tancredo approach on immigration. Ultimately, we are dealing with people. It's not numbers, it's not about culture, it's people - individual persons who deserve to get equal treatment under the law.

The Marine Corps would be perfectly justified in bringing this translator and his family home, providing them with support, looking after them, and daring ICE to come after them. This man had more than earned American citizenship for himself and his family by coming to our aid in helping liberate Iraq. They should also assign their top JAGs to this and similar cases where the fouled up immigration system is causing problems for them. Other services should do the same. The Army, for instance, had an illegal immigrant who took part in the liberation of Iraq - doing the defense of our country that the likes of Reverend Wright have vehemently opted out of (yes, I know Wright served in the Marine Corps - but that service does NOT cancel out "God Damn America").

But this calls for a total revamping of immigration law in this country. It also means that we pass common-sense reforms that will deal with the real problems. Big Lizards has made a number of good posts on this issue, and the discussion should start there. There needs to be some penalty for breaking the law. But contrary to the assertions we hear from the right, it is not a choice between deportation and nothing. There are ways to ensure that those who broke the law pay a price for their actions. If they are fined, and agree to a form of probation, they have not received amnesty, contrary to the assertions from Michelle Malkin.

It is hard to respect laws when they are applied very poorly. Scrap the system, and start over.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How bad is it for the Dems?

Whoever wins the Hillary/Obama deathmatch will lose at least 19% of the other candidate's supporters, and as much as 28%.

This is not just losing, it's getting blown out.

Furthermore, the GOP is not likely to lose as many voters. On the one hand, Hillary engenders a fierce response from them. On the other hand, Obama's pastor caused a controversy that Obama has not handled well. This translates into a blowout win.

The conservatives who demanded ideological purity on immigration and elsewhere? Out of luck. John McCain will, in all likelihood, win without them.

They forgot one simple lesson: The winner decides the terms, not the loser. Now, McCain will win, and he will have a level of support in the general election that will likely be a mandate.

In other words, he will have the support to pass things like comprehensive immigration reform.

Conservatives gambled and lost. The consequences are going to be painful for them. Maybe now, they will learn that half a loaf is better than nothing.

Monday, March 24, 2008

It's the law...

Remember how all these food cops went crazy, and are now micro-managing vending machines?

Maybe people need to read this Victorville Daily Press article, ideally with Ice-T's "I'm Your Pusher" from his album Power is playing (it should be readily available via Amazon.com or iTunes for those who are not fortunate enough to have it).

Seems black-market sweets have managed to find their way into the schools. It's not that hard to imagine, when a box of 36-48 candy bars goes for about $15. Then keep in mind that the black-market candy bars usually go for $2 a pop. So you get anywhere from $72 to $96 per box of candy.

These candy pushers have it made. And they owe it all to the food nazis.

Just remember, "supply and demand" is not just a concept... it's the LAW!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

How'd he do?

Not too well, if you believe the Rasmussen poll.

Obama's speech handled the Wright controversy about as well as the Denver Broncos special teams unit handled Devin Hester last November.

And like Hester with just enough space, McCain seems to be breaking away for a big one.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Reading suggestion for Barack Obama...

Eli Lake's January 2007 article is well worth the read.

In fact, Barack Obama should have read it before he spouted off on McCain today.

Money quote:

An American intelligence official said the new material, which has been authenticated within the intelligence community, confirms "that Iran is working closely with both the Shiite militias and Sunni Jihadist groups." The source was careful to stress that the Iranian plans do not extend to cooperation with Baathist groups fighting the government in Baghdad, and said the documents rather show how the Quds Force — the arm of Iran's revolutionary guard that supports Shiite Hezbollah, Sunni Hamas, and Shiite death squads — is working with individuals affiliated with Al Qaeda in Iraq and Ansar al-Sunna.

Another American official who has seen the summaries of the reporting affiliated with the arrests said it comprised a "smoking gun." "We found plans for attacks, phone numbers affiliated with Sunni bad guys, a lot of things that filled in the blanks on what these guys are up to," the official said.

A gaffe was made, but not by Barack Obama.

Walking the Walk is more important than Talking the Talk...

Remember the whole Don Imus controversy?

Well, it seems that back then, Barack Obama had no problem calling Imus out over his comments (which were nowhere near as bad as Jeremiah Wright's).

But when Wright preaches "God damn America" and calls Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice a skeeze (Rice's bio, by the way, shows that she had it much harder than Obama did), Barack Obama asks us to understand why he cannot disown the guy.

Barack Obama looks more and more like he is either a hypocrite, or a man so averse to confrontation that he will always look for an easy way out. Neither thing is good in a President.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ultimate verdict: No Sale.

Barack Obama's big speech today was to try to put the Wright thing behind him. Or that is what he was hoping.

It didn't fly with me.

In essence, he flunked on two counts:
Strike one:
Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way

But the truth is, that isn’t all that I know of the man. The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God’s work here on Earth – by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
What Obama says may be true, but Mussolini made the trains run on time, and Hitler created the autobahn. But we still view both men as bad guys.

Had I heard some of the crap over the pulpit in my ward, I'd have walked out and found a new ward - while going to the stake leadership to explain exactly why I was doing so. I wouldn't hesitate to tell the speaker that he or she was in the wrong. If necessary, I'd stop going to church for a while.

Strike two:
And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.
Here is the portrayal of what an Obama administration will be: He'll deny problems when they exist, allowing them to get worse. He does not have the guts to take a tough stand and risk a lot of flak from his community or political base, the Democrats who choose to blame America for the world's ill - contrast that to President Bush, who has been more than willing to anger his community and political base when he felt it was the right thing to do (prescription drugs, immigration, etc.).

Obama has missed opportunities to do so. This was his last, best chance. He did not do so, instead, he tried to have it both ways.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-Il, Hugo Chavez, Raul Castro, Osama bin Ladin, and Ayman al-Zawahiri now have plenty of reason to celebrate if Senator Obama is elected.

Obama's character was weighed today and found wanting. That's why he won't get my vote.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Obama and Romney are apples and oranges...

Given the strong displeasure that I expressed about Mike Huckabee's playing to religious bigotry to derail the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, it may open me up to charges of hypocrisy to discuss the Obama-Wright matter. Indeed, Obama has also been the subject of some nasty rumors that he is really a Muslim, rumors, which appear to have no basis in truth.

But it's a case of apples and oranges when discussing Wright and TUCC/Mormonism.

Frankly, the issue has now shifted from Wright's comments, particularly with his departure from Obama's campaign. Now,the issue is how forthcoming Barack Obama has been, and if Powerline and Rich Lowry have gotten it right, then Barack Obama appears to have tried to BS the American people.

Contrast that to Mitt Romney's handling of the Mormon question. He did not drag his religion into the campaign. Romney never tried to dissemble about it, either.

Obama's now in a lot of trouble - there is no sugar-coating this. He had projected an aura of being genuine, of respecting those who disagreed with him, and of trying to bring people together as Americans. Now, though, this image is tarnished, if not in tatters.

Barack Obama may win the Democratic nomination, but if he wins, America will be just as divided as it was before.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Well, well...

AJ-Strata has found something interesting. Seems that Tom Tancredo's hard-line position on immigration is out of step with his district.

This is not surprising. Multiple GOP primaries have gone to candidates who favor a comprehensive approach, much like Senator John McCain has. They do not seem to be able to prevail in Republican primaries.

And that is the real issue. Social conservatives do not seem to be able to close the sale with significant chunks of the Republican primary electorate on issues like immigration to the point of rejecting a candidate on this issue. So now, they find themselves losing Republican primaries.

That is not John McCain's problem, and he is under no obligation (contrary to assertions from people like Rick Santorum) to accommodate them. To the contrary, the conservatives need to re-think, and ask themselves why they cannot close the sale. They certainly are not inany position to dictate terms to John McCain.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jeremiah Wright, meet Fred Phelps . . .

Sen. Barack Obama's pastor says blacks should not sing "God Bless America" but "God damn America."

The only discernable difference seems to be that Freddie says "God Hates Fags" and Jerry says "God Hates Whitey."

Now, a little discussion of the relationship between pastor and his flock . . .

Once upon a time at my parish, the visiting priest started giving a homily that absolutely nothing to do with the Scripture readings. He quickly stepped into a general attack on the United States in general and the U. S. military in particular, using the typical leftist ideological cant.

I walked out of that homily--as did others. I had to really carefully examine my conscience before I went up to receive Eucharist; even then, I subsequently sought out spiritual counsel from another priest whose guidance I'd come to trust.

That incident led me to quit serving as a Eucharistic Minister at the next opportunity to do so, because I felt that I could not stand in the sanctuary before Communion--a very visible sign of unity with the priest--should that priest turn up again on a day when I had the duty. Were it to become a pervasive attitude in that parish, I would probably have started attending Mass at another parish. (I've done that before due to other issues.)

There comes a point where silently sitting in the pew becomes assent. There comes another point where sitting silently in the pew moves from assent to agreement.

If Barack Obama finds these beliefs to be worthy of associating himself with, that's bad. If he actually believes it, it's worse.

We keep hearing about "hope" and "change." Obama's pastor doesn't seem to offer either one.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Food Gestapo in the schools...

It seems that now, we have Food Gestapo in the schools. An eighth-grade honor student got suspended because he bought a bag of Skittles. I guess the schools in New Haven don't have any drug or gang problems if they can crack down on candy.
Michael Sheridan claims he was in a school hallway after lunch Feb. 26 when a classmate asked if he wanted some candy. The student had a lunch box filled with candy and a wad of money, he said.
And so, a principal decides to put a big black mark on a student for buying a freaking bag of Skittles with his money, simply because the school district established a "wellness policy" sans input from parents. The kid's mom has every right to be pissed off about this. The principal apparently decided to make an example.

This is what frosts me about a lot of people on the left and right. It's not enough that government practically rapes my wallet, not government is getting into people's refrigerators. What's next? Government in the john?

But the other lesson is what the vending machine bans have wrought. In a day and age where a kid can get to Costco or BJ's and buy a few boxes at about $15 each. Each box usually holds 36-48 candy bars. Sell them at $2 each, and you got yourself the makings of a thriving business.

It would serve the principal right for this suspension to not only be lifted, but for that school's black market in sweets to suddenly take off.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Coalition-Bulding 101... or The Lessons of IL-14

Jim Oberweis lost, but there are two lessons to be learned here:
1. Do not piss off large chunks of the primary electorate of your party by firing off nasty anything about your opponent. If you piss off people who largely agree with you because of some purity test or personal cheap shot, you have nobody but yourself to blame for losing. Mike Huckabee should bear this in mind for 2012 - and then act accordingly.

2. A hard-line policy on immigration does not win elections. In GOP primaries, like one in the third congressional district of Utah or the eighth congressional district of Arizona, the hard-line position usually cannot top 45% when it is faced with those favoring a more comprehensive approach (in Arizona 8, the only reason the hardliner won was because it was a first-across the line approach). This has even been the case in the 2008 presidential race.

3. The talk-radio hosts and major conservative media outlets have proven that they are largely out of touch with a large part of the Republican Party and the American public. If the GOP heeds their siren song, it will not go well.

Monday, March 10, 2008

It's not about cake...

I have a lot of respect for MacRanger. Being a guest on his show was quite an experience, and well worth pursuing. That said, with regards to John McCain, he is way off base.

The fact of the matter is that "true" conservatism did not close the sale with the Republican primary electorate in 2008, particularly on what seems to be the litmus test of the past few years, immigration.

And I find it quite telling that people like Mark Levin don't seem to get it, and in fact, seem to be taking issue with people like the folks at Powerline Blog, who point out (correctly) that conservatives are not in a position to make demands on John McCain. Levin's comments are just typical of the poor strategic and tactical sense shown by conservatives in the last few years. And poor strategy, tactics, communications, execution, and interpersonal skills will not be negated by how principled a person is.

Finally, one last note: Losers do not get to dictate terms to the winners. If conservative want McCain to respond to their desires, they have to go to him, and they need to move his way. It would be respectful of the Republican primary electorate. It may even be a matter of their political viability - because it is very likely that the Democratic nomination will end with a significant number of disaffected Democrats, and McCain will more than likely be able to appeal to a lot of them. And if he wins, with folks like Levin loudly campaigning against him because he lacked sufficient purity, he and Republicans will have every reason to ignore conservatives.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Some Thoughts on Anti-Trust

The recent contretemps over Northrop/EADS winning the KC-X tanker contract has led to think about the Clinton/Reno Justice Department's absurd approach to antitrust issues.

To fully understand why I view it as absurd, one needs to keep in mind two dates:

August 1st, 1997, and May 18th, 1998. Two dates that are less than a year apart. But they illustrate what the DoJ got wrong--and what they also got wrong.

On August 1st, 1997, The Boeing Company was allowed to gain a monopoly on domestic large airframe production. After that date, one had a choice of Boeing, or going to Airbus.

On May 18th, 1998, the Justice Department commenced its antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft. At that time, users had a choice of Windows, Macintosh Classic, or Linux for an affordable computer operating system. Now, one has a choice of Windows, Mac Classic, Mac OS X, BSD Unix, Solaris, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Debian, SuSE, FreeBSD, and the beat goes on . . .

Nowadays, web applications seem to be the way of the future, making the operating system less relevant than the browser, and there's plenty of choice in the browser world, too.

The Justice Department missed one fundamental point. Creating a computer program requires the following:

1. A reasonably quiet area to think
2. Skill in a computer language
3. A computer
4. Appropriate software

You can do it in your study or a public library. Get a bunch of people together with some venture capital or just a burning desire to show just how good and utterly cool y'all and y'all's ideas are, and you might end up being the next Microsoft or Google.

Creating a large commercial aircraft, in contrast, requires at least one hellaciously big factory (if not dozens of them) and a lot of expensive machinery. You can't do it in your study, or even in your garage (no matter HOW full of fancy tools your pegboard is).

So, Justice screwed everything up . . . and the fallout will likely screw a lot more things up.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Arrogance on the right...

Let's get this straight... Kevin James thinks that after the results of the 2008 Republican primaries, he can dictate terms to John McCain on immigration?

Mr. James, it is very simple, the candidates who backed your position (particularly Hunter and Tancredo) lost, and were barely asterisks in the polling data. Even Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee (in the most disingenuous flip-flop of 2008) couldn't ride it to victory.

You are not in a position to dictate terms to John McCain. The voters in Republican primary elections from across the country have chosen him.

And if I were John McCain, I'd be pissed off, and would probably tell you where you could go.

The people or the courts?

Remember when the cry was "count every vote" back in those days so long ago? Well, it turns out that there are times when those who would say that don't practice what they preached.

For an example - take California, where the left now seeks to overturn a 2000 referendum about gay marriage. In other words, they are asking judges to overturn the result of democracy they don't like.

I'm sorry, but that is wrong. I hate the Westboro Baptist Church freaks, but I fucking hate people who want to tell me that my vote should not count if they don't like which way an election went. It really comes down to how this country is supposed to work.

Do we the people get a say in this matter, through elected representatives who have public deliberations on controversial issues, or are we merely selecting those who choose the people to be judges, acting in a capacity that amounts to a polite and gentle dictatorship?

This issue was bound to happen with judges who decided to make the laws from the bench. It could have been any number of issues that would have triggered this confrontation. Gay marriage just happened to be it.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Democratic primary just went high-order...

Looks like the Democrats now have guaranteed themselves a nasty convention. Just looking at the maneuvering gives me the feeling that their convention will not turn ugly, it will start ugly.

And the superdelegates will have to decide it.

Meanwhile, McCain doesn't have to do that much...

Foolishness on the right...

It seems the GOP wants to remain the stupid party.

Never mind the fact that John McCain, a very vocal supporter of comprehensive immigration reform who has utterly rejected the Malkin-Tancredo hard line, has clinched the nomination. It seems that some conservatives will be pushing a hard line.

It has not won elections, it cannot even reliably win Republican primaries (only winning when there are multiple candidates supporting the approach favored by the majority of Republican primary voters in a given race).

Yet they insist on it. Conservatives are clearly out of touch with the GOP on this issue.

Friday, February 29, 2008

KC-X Winner

Northrop/EADS has just won the Air Force tanker contract.

Boeing is, of course, expected to file a protest.

I doubt that the protest will be upheld--after the hash the USAF made of the last go-around, the procurement office no doubt dotted every i, crossed every t, and minded every last p and q.

A Prince of a Soldier...

Prince Harry's combat career has come to an end.

In this case,it was due to some leaks from foreign media. The statement from the MoD says volumes.

It is well worth keeping in mind when one discusses leaks. Not only did a leak put Prince Harry at risk, it also now places the troops he fought alongside at risk. His early departure will mess with his unit, no matter how many contingency plans were made by his superiors.

Just whose side is the press on?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

OK, Ryan goes back to third, then...

Bill Hall got hurt this morning fielding grounders.

He wants to play today. I like the spirit, but I'd sit Hall, move Braun back to third, and stick Gabe Gross or Joe Dillon in left for today.

The Brewers start Cactus League baseball today. May they treat Athletics pitching like a bunch of baby seals... CLUB `EM!!!