December 30, 2007

Space Wars '07

We couldn't have a year pass in Boston without rehashing the old argument of reserving parking spaces with household items during a snow emergency. This year the debate rages just as virulently as ever. It's basically trench warfare out there in the streets of Boston during and after a snow storm dumps mounds and mounds of the white stuff everywhere in sight.

The parking and overall traffic situation is already a major problem for the city. The amount of cars on the roads and cars that need to be parked on the streets is an ever increasing proposition, with no relief in sight. With construction projects blighting the city at every other intersection, the amount of room to maneuver and/or park your vehicle anywhere in the city is of the ever increasing difficulty variety.

When there is news of an impending snow storm in the greater Boston area, a kind of general mania sets in amongst its population. Suddenly people realize that they have to rush out and do 5 more errands. Housewives rush to their mini-vans to go pick up their dozens of kids early from school. Everyone dashes to their car to either leave work early or do those last few deliveries. Public service personnel and the transportation industry deploy all of their assets to aid those who feel the need to flock around as if a nuclear device was about to be detonated somewhere in the city. Every car that can start its engine in the entire greater Boston area hits the roads in some form or another. And if they're lucky that's the only thing they'll hit in the upcoming bedlam.

The first snow storm of the year this year resulted in massive traffic jams throughout the state of Massachusetts resulting in 7,8,9, hour commutes for some people depending on just how ambitious of a journey was being undertaken.

The 'Deval Crawl', as its come to be known, was probably the single worst experience commuters have ever endured in the history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The overall chaos, which represented a confluence of factors including the mania of the people and clear mismanagement of the situation by state and local officials, is not the end of the story however.

The mania does not recede when the snow ceases. In fact it intensifies as frustration slowly builds in those seeking to navigate the now almost impassible in some cases, streets of greater Boston. The surface area of the already over crowded streets is reduced because of the massive piles of snow buffeting parked cars and covering street signs entirely.

Then the real fun begins when the perennial debate and struggle I call 'Space Wars' ensues. Vigilantism and 'street justice' are the order of the day when Bostonian sets upon fellow Bostonian in the struggle to find a place the park their car. In recent years, the Mayor has weighed in, ordering residents not to deploy household items into the street in order to reserve a shoveled-out parking space. But despite the pleas of Mayor 'mumbles' Menino, all manner of items have been and continue to be employed as an informal disincentive to park in "some one's" space all day long when they are at work or simply out on the streets causing grid lock.

The situation has gotten so out of hand that last year a city councilor from South Boston came out in support of residents reserving their little piece of public property indefinitely with whatever manner of unsightly piece of house hold refuse. The mania caused by snow storms even drives many space holders to keep their devices in place on the public streets long after the majority of the snow has melted. It does start to look exceedingly silly to see old toilets and rusty lawnmowers sitting on the side of the road when merely a few hand fulls of very dirty snow are strewn around. Only in an old school town like Boston would so many residents defend the practice of reserving spaces like this with a straight face. People are set in their ways, and are immune to the use of logic in order to dislodge a long held view that during a storm a given person has the right to temporarily posses a piece of public property.

Read this Boston Herald article for a good laugh and view the comments section of the article to get a glimpse into the mindset of those who are proponets of this sociological phenomena.

December 28, 2007

The Centrist Ticket

I'll take the centrist ticket over any combination of two of the following names: Clinton, Obama, Huckabee, Edwards, Kucinich, and Ron Paul.

Fateful Moment

Pakistan's interior ministry said Friday that Benazir Bhutto died from hitting her vehicle's sunroof when she tried to duck after a suicide attack, and that no bullet or shrapnel was found in her.

Ministry spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema said the opposition leader had died from a head wound she sustained when she smashed against the sunroof's lever as she tried to shelter inside the car.

"The lever struck near her right ear and fractured her skull," Cheema said. "There was no bullet or metal shrapnel found in the injury."

December 27, 2007


Pakistani television is reporting that Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated in what appears to have been at least a two pronged attack involving several suicide bombings and a secondary gunman attack. This is terrible news.

December 21, 2007


At this point Mike Huckabee has distanced himself from his own belief that illegal immigrants should be entitled to pay instate tuition as well as distancing himself from his own disbelief in Darwin's Theory of Evolution. The other day Huckabee raced to assure Larry King, of all people, that his own disbelief in evolution would in no way change or effect his public policy if elected president.

Today Huckabee, in response to Condi Rice's ardent defense of Bush foreign policy, is essentially backtracking on his comments about the Bush administration's "bunker mentality" as he called it. He's parsing, dodging, and weaving even suggesting that he was not responsible for writing his own commentary which appeared in the most recent issue of "Foreign Affairs Journal".

Huckabee is man who seems to come out proudly and say the wrong thing and when pressed on it, rather than admit he was wrong, he prefers to backtrack and/or obfuscate. "Did she actually read the article?", he said today in an obvious attempt to muddle the issue by suggesting that his criticism of the Bush Administration has been some how misinterpreted or taken out of context. No Mr. Huckabee, nice try though. We all knew what you meant. We've heard the exact same refrain countless times from your leftie brethren and other agenda driven critics of the Bush administration's foreign policy.

I'd have more respect for Hackabee if he just flopped and said," I was misinformed or mistaken and I'm sorry, I was wrong." Instead we have this bad Bill Clinton impersonation of parsing the truth. "My comments were taken out of context." Yeah... sure they were.

December 19, 2007

Christmas Message (and response)

No Mr. Huckabee, I'm not worn out from all the political ads but I can imagine why you are. For your sake, the less conservatives know about you the better. So I'm not very surprised to see that you seem to be advocating a moratorium on political ads.

Sorry Huck, but we're not suspending civics and politics because it's Christmas time. Christmas will come again next year, but the opportunity to expose you for the closet liberal that you are is a now or never proposition.

Stressful times

December 15, 2007


Rich Lowry of National Review is quickly becoming one of my favorite political analysts. In the following brilliant piece he succinctly lays out why Huckabee winning the Republican nomination would be a disaster for Republicans.

The ghost of Howard Dean haunts the pundit class. As soon as a candidate of either party spikes up in the polls, he is compared with Dean, who had a spectacular boomlet in the second half of 2003 only to deflate as soon as people began to vote in early 2004.

After many false prophecies, Dean circa 2008 has finally arrived. He is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Not because he will inevitably blow himself up in Iowa. But because, like Dean, his nomination would represent an act of suicide by his party.

Like Dean, Huckabee is an under-vetted former governor who is manifestly unprepared to be president of the United States. Like Dean, he is rising toward the top of polls in a crowded field based on his appeal to a particular niche of his party. As with Dean, his vulnerabilities in a general election are so screamingly obvious that it’s hard to believe that primary voters, once they focus seriously on their choice, will nominate him.

The GOP’s social conservatism inarguably has been an enormous benefit to the party throughout the past 30 years, winning over conservative Democrats and lower-income voters who otherwise might not find the Republican limited-government message appealing. That said, nominating a Southern Baptist pastor running on his religiosity would be rather overdoing it. Social conservatism has to be part of the Republican message, but it can’t be the message in its entirety.

Someone needs to tell Huckabee. His first TV ads in Iowa touted him as a “Christian leader,” and his target audience of evangelicals has responded. But according to a Pew poll released in early December, only 1 in 7 nonevangelical Republicans support him in Iowa and 1 in 20 nonevangelicals in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Huckabee has declared that he doesn’t believe in evolution. Even if there are many people in America who agree with him, his position would play into the image of Republicans as the anti-science party. This would tend to push away independents and upper-income Republicans. In short, Huckabee would take a strength of the GOP and, through overplaying it, make it a weakness.

He’d do the same on taxes. In general, the public tends to support Democratic proposals for bigger government, which Republicans counter by saying that the proposals will require higher taxes. Huckabee will be equipped poorly to make this traditional Republican comeback, given his tax-raising history in Arkansas. Huckabee tries to compensate with a sales-tax scheme that allows him to say he supports eliminating the IRS, but is so wildly implausible that it would be a liability in a general election.

Then, there’s national security, the Republican trump card during the Cold War and after 9/11. Huckabee not only has zero national-security credentials, he basically has no foreign-policy advisers either, as a New York Times Magazine piece this Sunday makes clear. In a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in September, Huckabee struck notes seemingly borrowed from Barack Obama, hitting the Bush administration for its “bunker mentality” and strongly supporting direct talks with Iran. A foreign-policy debate with a Democratic nominee would be a competition over who can promise to be nicer to foreign countries.

None of this is a winning formula. Huckabee has been running his campaign out of his back pocket, and has done it extremely well. There’s a reason, though, that serious candidates surround themselves with policy experts. It’s necessary to running a campaign based on more than sound bites. Wherever you scratch Huckabee on policy, he seems an inch deep. Do Republicans really want to enter what is already a tough political year with a candidate apparently allergic to preparation, and who has shown no predilection for organizing or fundraising, when he can do cable TV appearances instead?

Democrats have to be looking at Huckabee the way Republicans once regarded Dean — as a shiny Christmas present that is too good to be true.

December 13, 2007

'Crashingly Dull'

The lefty journalists in charge of today's Des Moines Register Republican debate were so focussed on stacking the deck against the Republican candidates that they totally missed the goal of making an interesting debate. The humorless moderator announced that no discussion of illegal immigration or the war in Iraq would be allowed. What???

Is it mere coincidence that discussion of these issues makes Democrats look bad? The war is going better and the Democrats have failed to effect any change in war policy, which pisses of the far left. Illegal immigration makes Democrats look bad because they are not on the side of the rule of law and favor amnesty and open borders.

And then the Des Moines Register, who are obvious fans of Hillary Clinton, insert Alan Keyes into the Republican debate in order to provide further distraction of relevant issues while at the same time they disallow Denis Kucincich from appearing in the Democratic debate. The debate organizers are scrambling to come up with a reason for the obvious double standard. I'll save them the trouble... there's no squaring it! Democrats have to stack the deck at the debates and in other formats because they will never win on the merits. In a raw un-interupted, un-handcuffed discussion of the issues, Democrats lose all day long.

Zoning Out

As soon as I saw the dour and humorless moderator hosting today’s Democratic Presidential debate I wondered just how quick the Bush bashing would begin. I didn’t have to wait long. The very first sentence delivered by the candidates involved throwing president Bush under the bus. And as I watched softball question after softball question, all met with the same sort of bush bashing answer, I started to zone out.

It wasn’t until later that I paid attention. I was semi stunned out of my stupor by the shrill tone of Hillary Clinton. She was giving a generic enough of an answer but I noticed how she seemed to me to be yelling. “Why are you yelling?”, I said to the TV as I considered just how loud in terms of decibels she must have been speaking. I concluded that she wasn’t necessarily that loud, yet listening to her voice made me very uncomfortable. It was that angry, grating tone that made me leap up to turn down the volume of my TV.

Hillary doesn’t seem to be able talk quietly and/or calmly very well. She seems to slowly build in shrillness to a crescendo which usually has the phrase “Bush administration” in it. Later in the debate, she had a revealing moment in which she cackled loudly when Obama appeared to be uncomfortable having been asked the one and only non-softball question of the entire debate relating to his experience. And on that matter, Obama’s resume may be paper thin, but Hillary’s modest senatorial experience is hardly something to draw too much attention to let alone make it the lynch pin of your campaign.

The Democratic candidates, have you zoned out yet?

December 12, 2007


'Romney for President' by the editors of National Review:

Romney is an intelligent, articulate, and accomplished former businessman and governor. At a time when voters yearn for competence and have soured on Washington because too often the Bush administration has not demonstrated it, Romney offers proven executive skill. He has demonstrated it in everything he has done in his professional life, and his tightly organized, disciplined campaign is no exception. He himself has shown impressive focus and energy.

We believe that Romney is a natural ally of social conservatives. He speaks often about the toll of fatherlessness in this country. He may not have thought deeply about the political dimensions of social issues until, as governor, he was confronted with the cutting edge of social liberalism. No other Republican governor had to deal with both human cloning and court-imposed same-sex marriage. He was on the right side of both issues, and those battles seem to have made him see the stakes of a broad range of public-policy issues more clearly. He will work to put abortion on a path to extinction. Whatever the process by which he got to where he is on marriage, judges, and life, we’re glad he is now on our side — and we trust him to stay there.

For some people, Romney’s Mormonism is still a barrier. But we are not electing a pastor. The notion that he will somehow be controlled by Salt Lake City or engaged in evangelism for his church is outlandish. He deserves to be judged on his considerable merits as a potential president. As he argued in his College Station speech, his faith informs his values, which he has demonstrated in both the private and public sectors. In none of these cases have any specific doctrines of his church affected the quality of his leadership. Romney is an exemplary family man and a patriot whose character matches the high office to which he aspires.

December 07, 2007

The Genuine Article

Recall the early days of the first Continental Congress in Philadelphia, during the fall of 1774. With Boston occupied by British troops, there were rumors of imminent hostilities and fears of an impending war. In this time of peril, someone suggested that they pray. But there were objections. "They were too divided in religious sentiment", what with Episcopalians and Quakers, Anabaptists and Congregationalists, Presbyterians and Catholics.

Then Sam Adams rose, and said he would hear a prayer from anyone of piety and good character, as long as they were a patriot.

And so together they prayed, and together they fought, and together, by the grace of God, they founded this great nation.

And in that spirit, let us give thanks to the divine "author of liberty". And together, let us pray that this land may always be blessed, with freedom's holy light.

God bless this great land, the United States of America.

-Mitt Romney

November 28, 2007

Mano a Mano

One of the most heated exchanges of last night's CNN YouTube debate last night occurred right at the outset between Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, arguably the two front runners. The topic was illegal immigration and I believe it's fair to say that Romney came out ahead by attempting to confine the debate to matters of public policy whereas Giuliani strayed into the personal. And, as Fred Thompson alluded to in the very next question, Giuliani is not one to be casting aspersions upon some one else's personal hiring practices given his own recent troubles vis a vis Bernard Kerik. Romney also prevailed in a lively one-on-one debate with John McCain regarding issues related to the nature of torture.

Also on the matter of CNN's credibility or lack thereof, it turns out that of the dozen or so questions asked of the candidates, amongst the questioners was a Clinton operative, an Obama supporter and two John Edwards supporters. So, the Democratic YouTube debate featured softball question after softball question with no follow up questions and the Republican YouTube debate featured questions asked by planted Democratic campaign members attempting to ambush and/or embarrass the candidates. CNN is laughably biased at this point.

November 13, 2007

Benazir Bhutto

There is an interesting yet deadly serious situation developing in Pakistan. Pervez Musharraf, the President of Pakistan, has been and hopefully will be in the future, a valuable ally in the war on terror. Lately however, he has taken certain anti-democratic steps in order to restore order in his country. Among other things, he has suspended the constitution thereby making public political demonstrations illegal. The political opposition leader is a politically charming woman by the name of Benezair Bhutto. Obviously, the fact that she is a woman is likely incompatible with any Taliban-style Islamic fundamentalism. This makes her an appealing figure in the mind of anyone seeking to bring modernity to the greater Islamic world.

However interesting Bhutto may be as a political figure, this situation obviously puts the Bush administration the difficult position of having to choose between supporting an ally or supporting democracy. It'll be interesting to see what happens. Let’s just hope that Bhutto survives the Muslim fundamentalist assassins seeking to silence her by committing violence upon women, which by the way, is supposedly incompatible with the teachings of Islam.

The Guy From Boston!

You might wanna turn down the volume one or two notches before you listen to this hilarious rant by internet phenomenon "The Guy from Boston". It's not for the politically correct. It's Paulie Walnuts meets Michael Savage. He's so angry about illegal immigration, he can barely see straight.

November 07, 2007

Swift Boated?

I always chuckle when I hear the term "swift boated" not only because it reminds me of that hapless effort known as the John Kerry presidential campaign, but because I am reminded that none of claims made by the swift boat veterans for truth were ever successfully refuted to this day. And yet the term has somehow passed into common acceptance, certainly in the mind of Democrats, as another way of describing scurrilous, baseless, and utterly untrue personal attacks made during a presidential campaign.

As you may know, the phrase "Swift boated" refers to a series of ads which ran in the 2004 presidential race. Apparently, a large group of veterans who served with John Kerry in Vietnam had various gripes and a wide array of non-partisan reasons as to why they felt John Kerry wouldn't make a good commander in chief of the armed forces of the USA. Whether or not you believe that the Swift Boat veterans were justified in making their complaints, I would submit that in fact, the public took away exactly only what they needed to and not much more: that John Kerry was a pompous jerk 30 years ago and for mainly that reason, he pissed off many former colleagues. The fact that Kerry responded to the ads by attacking the character of his detractors without actually bothering to factually refute the charges didn't help, but essentially the swift boat ads were merely a symptom rather than the cause of Kerry's doomed presidential aspirations.

Listening to them talk, some Democrats would have you believe that the sole reason as to why John Kerry lost the '04 election was because of the swift boat veterans for truth ads. This interpretation of the impact and nature of 'Swift Boating' is now widely accepted amongst Democrats. And now, perhaps the most recognizable and revered modern Democrat of all time, Bill Clinton, has raised the dreaded specter of the almighty "Swift Boated" effect. On Monday of this week, Clinton compared the recent criticism of his wife in her most recent and most dreadful debate performance to the effective 2004 election political ads. While it's funny to get into just how awful and how flip-floppy Hillary was the other night, what I'm interested in here is that the term 'swift boated' has now morphed into yet another iteration of itself. Bill Clinton now sees swift boating as something that refers to the posing of legitimate questions that the public is dying to know the answer to. The other night in Philadelphia, Tim Russert simply wanted to have some clarification on a few black and white issues that we still to this day do not know the answers to. Namely, is Hillary for or against the issuing of driver's licenses to illegal aliens. And, will Hillary Clinton, who is most certainly in charge of her own records, authorize the release of certain archived correspondence between herself and Bill during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Needless to say, Hillary's responses to these inquiries were less than illuminating. And the longer Hillary dances, confuses and/or stonewalls on these issues the worse she looks.

One lesson to take away from this episode of the Clinton saga is that for many Democrats and especially for Bill Clinton, reality is simply what you make it. For Clinton and anyone who believes what he is saying on this matter to be with merit, objective truth is merely an abstract notion. If you repeat something enough times in your mind like a mantra, no matter what objective truth dictates, it becomes true. It becomes your reality. So for example, the fact that the swift boat veterans were actually telling the truth is extraneous to the new imagined reality.

Also reinforced for us was the lesson that the Clintons, to their core, really do disdain from being subjected to difficult and/or probing questions. Since the now infamous Fox News Sunday Chris Wallace interview with Bill, we have been exposed to a new extra prickly and super indignant side of Mr. Clinton. No longer is he the fun loving party guy who played saxophone on Jay Leno. Those without concrete memories of the 90's will regard Bill Clinton as an indignant victim, which is how he currently portrays himself and most recently, Hillary. Claims of victimhood have never seemed to be particularly attractive qualities for a presidential candidate, but now we are being asked to simultaneously believe that Hillary Clinton is the victim of sexism/'swift boating' and also that she is a bare knuckles, rugged politician ready to take on anyone. The phrase 'wanting to have it both ways' is an understated characterization of this particularly laughable chapter of the Clinton saga. Watch out Clintons, incoming probing questions, commence obfuscation. Failing that, just claim victim status.

November 01, 2007

Baggage Train

In the MSNBC Democratic Debate the other night, Hillary Clinton stumbled badly when attempting to parse her position on whether or not illegal immigrants should be issued drivers licenses. During the debate, within the span of a a few minutes, Ms. Clinton proclaimed adamant support for both polar opposite sides of the issue.

Beyond her unscripted gaffe which much has already been made of, the debate represented the first time that other democratic candidates actually scored winning hits upon the HMS Hillary. Obama and Edwards are beginning to drive home one of the most compelling reasons why Hillary should not be president. The argument is simply this, do we really want to go back to the Clinton 90's with all of the baggage that would accompany a Clinton presidency?

On both sides of the aisle, a constant theme is that tired cliche, "change". However pedestrian the theme may be, it does seem to be universally desired to bring in fresh blood to the presidency. And here we are being asked to entertain the possibility of a Clinton Presidency? Please...that's so 90's.

October 19, 2007

Empty Suit Nexus

Who cares what kind of governance would be provided, when you can feel good for voting for someone because of the color of their skin?

September 09, 2007

Painted into a corner

Let's examine the general Democratic position on the war in Iraq using some simple logic.

If it is fair to say that anti-war Democrats want out of Iraq as soon as possible, then one would be justified in assuming that good news coming from Iraq would be welcomed by Democrats because now the conditions under which we can responsibly withdraw from Iraq are perhaps beginning to present themselves.

But in the upside down world of anti-war Democrats, there is no way that any kind of good news coming from Iraq is compatible with the political agenda that they have pigeon-holed themselves into at this point.

The reason is, Anti-war Democrats have carved out such a niche as the cheerleaders of bad news from Iraq, that good news, even news that theoretically may advance their proposed agenda of withdrawing, is bad news for them.

This kind of divorce from any kind of logical progression is what happens when Democrats chose political posturing over seeking the truth and serving the American people.

It will be interesting to see which way the Democratic presidential candidates twist in the wind vis a vis Iraq given the forthcoming positive news from Iraq.

September 04, 2007

The regular season

Fred Barnes, political commentator and football fan, pointed out today in a discussion panel that, "...the pre-season is over". He was, of course, referring to the presidential election pre-season which just happens to essentially coincide with the NFL schedule. Both contests, it would appear, are now beginning in earnest.

For their part, The Democratic contenders just recently started to trade barbs meant to inflict more than mere flesh wounds. Hillary Clinton and Obama still never seem to be able to mention each other by name, but the distinction drawing has become sharper as of late. Obama indirectly refers to Clinton when he insists that experience in Washington is in fact a detriment to a presidential candidate rather than an asset. Clinton makes almost exactly the inverse argument; that experience in Washington is needed in these uncertain times and that we cannot afford to elect an unseasoned political rookie at this particular point in history. The gloves are not yet off, on the Democratic side, but we are getting close to some sort of direct confrontation between two candidates who, up until this point, seem too terrified to even mention their counterpart by name.

On the Republican side, Mitt Romney has cultivated early success in some of the key battle ground states in which the earliest primary elections are held. Overall, Rudy Guiliani is still the odds on favorite, but Romney's tactics of flooding markets with television ads and his overall strategy to dominate early in the early states to gather momentum might prove formidable down the stretch. As far as the rest of the Republican field, John McCain has essentially fizzled at this point (but may stage a comeback) and TV actor Fred Thompson has only now thrown his hat in the ring.

With another summer fading into only a memory, the professional sport of presidential politics has officially begun.

August 03, 2007

Bad News = Good News

In the bizarro, topsy turvy world that is the mindset of a congressional Democrat, positive news from Iraq, that our armed forces are making progress, is terribly unfortunate news. Such was the sentiment expressed by House Majority Whip James Clyburn earlier this week. Clyburn warned his own party that a upbeat assessment delivered by General Patreus in the fall would likely cause a schism between the far left/Move on .org/Daily Kos wing of the party and the more moderate "Blue Dog Democrats" who came to prominence as a result of the 2006 mid term elections.

I wonder if some of these Democrat actually listen to the words that come out of their own mouths. We now have a public declaration by Democrats that a successful war effort is incompatible with the agenda of one of the two major political parties. I find this jaw-dropping moment of candor to be almost refreshing, if it wasn't so inane. Democrats might now have to stop parroting that they "support our troops". I would love to ask a Democrat, how is it that you can support our troops while at the same time be routing for their failure? As logic has never been a strong suit of the left, I imagine that my query will go unanswered.

August 01, 2007


Barrack Obama proclaimed the other day that he is for the unilateral invasion of Pakistan in order to kill or capture OBL. It's fairly amazing that Obama seems to have no compunction about threatening Pakistan, a nuclear power and ally in the war on terror. While it is reassuring to see that Obama actually concurs with President Bush that Islamic terrorism represents a fundamental threat to America's security and way of life and that it should be aggressively confronted, I do notice that Democrats always seem to be in favor of a different war than the one we are fighting. This sabre-rattling speech by Obama the other day was vintage disingenuous political posturing.

July 30, 2007

A war we might...

"Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with." -Micheal O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, New York Times op-ed contributors

Two prominent critics of the Iraq war have returned from Iraq telling a story not exactly in line with the script from which Harry Reid, Russ Feingold, and most Democrats have been reading from lately. Essentially, O'Hanlon and Pollack demonstrate that the surge is starting to show signs of success. While conceding that the political situation is far from stable, the article raises the question of: If we start to see clear signs of improvement from Iraq, should we possibly reconsider the knee jerk desire to cut & run? Speaking of cut & run, Harry Reid, arguably the worst Senate majority leader in history, declared several weeks ago that 'the Surge' in Iraq had failed before it had even been fully implemented. This is just one recent example of what has become painfully obvious at this point, that is: Harry Reid and others who agree with him are deeply invested in America's defeat in Iraq. With the release of this New York Times op-ed found here, perhaps we have reason to believe that Harry Reid's and the Democrats' worst nightmare may be realized: that we might prevail in Iraq.

July 19, 2007

Dismissed II

The last remnants of "Plame-Gate" have been washed away. Valerie Plame's lawsuit against members of the Bush Administration has been dismissed as of today, representing the final nail in the coffin of the supposed controversy.

U.S. District Judge John Bates rejected the lawsuit in a 41-page ruling today.

from The Washington Post:

...While Bates did not address the constitutional questions, he seemed to side with administration officials who said they were acting within their job duties. Plame had argued that what they did was illegal and outside the scope of their government jobs.

"The alleged means by which defendants chose to rebut Mr. Wilson's comments and attack his credibility may have been highly unsavory, " Bates wrote. "But there can be no serious dispute that the act of rebutting public criticism, such as that levied by Mr. Wilson against the Bush administration's handling of prewar foreign intelligence, by speaking with members of the press is within the scope of defendants' duties as high-level Executive Branch officials."

July 06, 2007


As of today, the matter of the NSA wiretapping program is settled. Another trumped up controversy dismissed.

July 03, 2007

Items to discuss

-The defeat of comprehensive immigration reform.

-The commutation of Scooter Libbey's sentence by President Bush.

-The defeat of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Massachusetts.

-The proposed revival of the "Fairness Doctrine".

-Mike Nifong's resignation and disbarment.

June 15, 2007


“It’s time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few. Time to reject the idea of an on-your-own society and replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity. I prefer a we’re-all-in it together society.”

This example of leftist propaganda was not spoken by Karl Marx, Joseph Stalin, or Mao Zedong. These words were spoken a few days ago by quite possibly the next President of the United States of America, Hillary Clinton.

In this quote, Ms. Clinton is speaking the language of socialism and leftist political ideology. The pressures on Hilary from the anti-war left have apparently reached such a crescendo that she is now blatantly reciting Marxist philosophy. In this quote, Clinton candidly describes her philosophy as a repackaged version and thinly veiled ode to the Hammer and Sickle Communistic world view. When Clinton says, “Time to reject the idea of an on-your-own society…” I wonder if she realizes that she is espousing the exact opposite of what is known as the quintessential American spirit of self reliance, individuality, personal responsibility, and the general “on your own” frontiersman spirit that has made America great since the inception of our country. Ask yourself this question: Did the early American political separatists from England and frontier farmers who helped to shape this country have a “we're all in it together” political philosophy? Of course not, the best qualities of Americans throughout our relatively brief history stand in direct contrast to the philosophy that Hilary Clinton espouses in this quote.

June 13, 2007

General Attack

The following general attack upon conservatism is one of the most thought provoking comments posted to this blog:

"History is a valuable tool from which to learn and history has taught anyone open to its lessons that liberals have never been wrong and conservatives have never been right. From the Spanish Inquisition, the persecution of scientists, the crusades, racism, and general intolerance, it is universally accepted that conservatism failed humanity. We are all liberal in hindsight once we are emotionally detached from a situation.

It is possible for conservatism to embody many diverse views because conservatism is not, an ideology like many believe, it is a method of thought. Society and culture are the variables that allow many views to be derived from a constant philosophy.

The only diffrence between a supporter of terrorism, a member of the KKK, and a conservative in America today is the society they were born into.

Conservatism is the politics of delay. It seek to preserve the society in which it exists and will arbitrarily oppose anything counter to this irrespective of its merit. So long as society is imperfect conservatism will be wrong.

Although the specific ideology of each conservative movement is dependent on society every society, and therefore every conservative movement has some common traits. These include: the containment of new ideas of new ideas and foreign cultures, a fear of change, a rejection of outsiders, and a desire to preserve society in its present form.

How could such an illogical philosophy flourish? There are three basic and interconnected roots of conservatism: ignorance, fear, and hate. Ignorance is the deepest root of conservatism. Within the context of politics ignorance is ultimately the sole cause of two other roots. This may be an alarming statement for some of my conservative friends, but it is easily demonstrated when looking to examples of conservative philosophy.

Racism has been the most widespread and controversial conservative belief. Racism is fear of a benign change in culture, an ignorance of others, and a hate of a people perceived as inferior. Characteristically we think of the south (a traditional hot bed for conservatism), slavery, and segregation. However racism manifests itself in our culture even today.

For example, the immigration debate. The simple facts of this issue are that having a large number of immigrant laborers in our country is a mutually beneficial economic relationship. Conservatives, however, fear their culture may be diluted, hate a people who they perceive as criminals, and are ignorant of the facts of this issue. It has been noted, and successfully demonstrated, that any Minutemen project volunteer allowed to see firsthand the life of an immigrant family would quickly renounce their previous opinions on the topic.

Gay rights is another issue where conservatism's motivations shine through. Conservatives passionately oppose granting any rights extended to heterosexual individuals despite the fact that this would cause them no harm. Conservatives hate gays for their "sin", an issue that is frankly beyond their control (doesn't the Bible instruct that "he who is without sin may throw the first stone"), fear something they cannot understand, and are ignorant of the facts that most gays have more in common with them then they'd be willing to admit.

I will not go into any more examples although any conservative belief, ancient or modern, can be traced back to these three factors."

And now, my response:

The beginning of the comment is general enough that I don’t necessarily have a substantive complaint. My first serious problem arises when the author claims the following:

“The only difference between a supporter of terrorism, a member of the KKK, and a conservative in America today is the society they were born into.”

This juicy example of moral relativism is further proof that liberal philosophy is something that I do not ascribe to. I want no part of a philosophy that imagines that those who target women and children are either somehow misunderstood or in some way the equivalent to any member of the modern American body politic. Where liberals see gray, conservatives are able to determine who may be considered enemies of our country. To liberals like this commentator, terrorists are simply misunderstood revolutionaries. Conservative leaning individuals like myself are able to understand that Islamic terrorists, for example, represent a serious threat the safety and security of our country and democratic way of life. They should be seen as the blatant enemies to America that they espouse and believe that they are, who employ tactics that the Western world never dreamed of using even in their darkest medieval days. Strapping an explosive device to child is nothing even the dreaded Spanish inquisition, Nazi Germany, or any other example of the worst in western civilization would ever consider doing to achieve a political agenda. The moral relativism employed by many liberals, which equates cold-blooded killers to traditional Americans, allows those on the left to rationalize much of their anti-American and/or 'blame America first' code of conduct. This surely is not a political philosophy that I would ascribe to.

Which brings me to my next point. In order for leftist or liberal wishes to come true, to have their philosophy universally embraced, those who disagree must be silenced, shouted down, or brow beaten and personally attacked with the charges of bigotry, fear, racism, and hatred. In what I call the totalitarian leftist worldview, there is no room for dissent. Ironically enough, there is no room for tolerance in this brand of liberalism. Sure, liberals are fans of tolerance in the form of “diversity” at the expense of merit in the workplace by artificially imposing quotas based on the color of one's skin for example, but there is no room for philosophical or political diversity in the world of the totalitarian left. Like a proselytizing missionary, these liberals seek to indoctrinate and change conservatives, whereas conservatives essentially want to be left alone. Leave us, our wallets, and our country alone. Society always changes naturally over time, must we race to do away with all of the systems and traditional concepts that have worked well up to this point for America?

As the commentator says, one of the most common traits found in various forms of conservatism is “…a desire to preserve society in its present form.”

To liberals, this notion of preservation is outrageously unenlightened. 'Anonymous' seems to want to cite history but fails to pay any tribute at all to the traditional and time honored values of Americans through the years. Its as if America became the greatest county on earth through some random cosmic phenomena or some other kind of arbitrary and nebulous circumstances. To “…desire to preserve society in its present form” is to cherish and value the basic building blocks that have ensured American prosperity in the world. But this is not good enough for the totalitarian left. Americans are not allowed to want to preserve the English language. Americans are not allowed to want to keep more of the money they earn. Americans are not allowed to want to preserve the tradition of marriage as defined by Websters dictionary that has been a cornerstone of successful societies for thousands of years. Americans are not allowed to determine who and how many immigrants are allowed to enter our country at any given time. To do so is racist in the mind of left leaning individuals like the anonymous commentator I’m addressing here.

Under a totalitarian leftist regime, I must be controlled. And I don‘t desire to be controlled by any group of persons or any particular political ideology. I enjoy the very precepts that makes a liberals skin crawl: the quintessential American values of individuality, self-reliance, and personal responsibility. I believe that as citizens of a sovereign nation we have the right to determine who and how many foreign nationals are allowed to enter into or reside in our country at any given time. I believe that allowing Americans to keep more of the money that they earn stimulates the economy and is consistent with and stands to preserve (yes preserve) the fundamental and essential qualities that have shaped our country and made it into the most prosperous and successful democratic country in history.

April 14, 2007


The North Carolina Attorney General, Roy Cooper, put the final nails in the coffin that was the Duke Lacrosse "rape" case on Wednesday. Cooper officially dismissed the charges of sexual assault that had been levied against the three former Duke Lacrosse players seen above; Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann.

The Attorney general stopped short of declaring that the prosecuting Durham district attorney, Mike Nifong, was guilty of prosecutorial misconduct but did accuse him of being guilty of "a rush to accuse".

It's clear to me that Nifong was pursuing his own politically correct and politically ambitious agenda rather than the truth. He should be disbarred for prosecutioral misconduct and dismissed from his public office.

April 05, 2007

Act of War

Iran decided to release the 15 kidnapped Britons yesterday. So to review, in the last several days, Iran managed to commit an act of war as well as violate the Geneva Conventions by airing footage of coerced testimony. Clearly, this was a contrived incident meant to provoke America and England. Showing grainy footage of Western captives is not the kind of behavior one would usually associate as the practice of an official nation state, more a desperate terrorist group. Iran has behaved exactly as the terrorist state that it is. Unfortunately for the people of Iran, for all immediate practical purposes, there is no difference between a terrorist state and a state that is mereley run by terrorists.

March 06, 2007

Fall Guy?

The political witch hunt referred to by some as “Plame-gate” has culminated today with a guilty verdict for Scooter Libby on four of five charges of obstruction of justice and perjury.

Katie Couric declared today with unmitigated glee, “Scooter Libby is found guilty in the CIA leak case!”

Harry Reid’s reaction to the news was as predictable as it was childish. “…for the first time in a hundred and thirty five years someone working in the White House is indicted and now convicted, I think that says it all”.

That assessment is in fact the exact opposite of “saying it all”. Rather, it is a partial telling of the story without regard to the obvious truth of the matter that is; no charges were ever or will ever be brought about pertaining to the actual alleged transgression that was supposed to have taken place.

Presidential hopeful John Edwards weighed in saying, “…there are serious questions about whether the buck actually stopped with Libby. The American people deserve to know if Mr. Libby has been made a scapegoat in order to protect anyone else.”

This sentiment was echoed by at least one of the jurors who expressed concern that Libby was made out to be the “fall guy”.

This idea that Libby is the “fall guy”, which the Libby defense team unfortunately proposed themselves, is a mystery to me. Since no actual crime was alleged to have taken place regarding the identity of Valerie Plame, are we to believe that Libby is taking the fall for the actual person who lied under oath about who said what to whom and when about the identity of Valerie Plame?

Scooter Libby is not the fall guy. He either did or did not lie under oath about a matter that was not of great import in the first place. Even if the matter of leaking the name of Valerie Plame’s employer to the media did matter, it was in fact Dick Armitage, the right hand man of Colin Powell and frequent critic of the administration, who did the leaking and not Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, or any other member of the White House staff.

Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor, is most likely pleased with himself over today’s verdict, however getting merely a perjury conviction surely was not the goal of the investigation at its outset. Surely the point of the investigation was not simply to nail someone on a perjury charge. We are left to wonder... what was the point of the investigation in the first place? Answer: If the only result is a conviction of perjury and obstruction of justice, the investigation was in fact pointless. Today’s conviction teaches us nothing beyond the fact that one should not lie under oath when questioned by federal prosecuters, which is an obvious truth that should already be known to anyone who would rather avoid being sent to prison. In other words, nothing that wasn't previously evident was discovered as a result of today’s verdict.

Because Fitzgerald's investigation has amounted to essentially nothing, it has proven to be an utter failure and colossal waste of time and money. It is nothing approaching a vindication of Joe Wilson or an indictment of the Bush administration. Those who believe that today’s verdict is validation of some sort of conspiracy theory that supposedly took place within the Bush administration are most likely the same people who are in fact routing for America’s defeat in Iraq. Namely Katie Couric, Harry Reid, David Letterman, Rosie O’Donnell, and countless other knee jerk lefty hacks who are invested in America’s defeat in Iraq and the tireless vilification of the Bush administration.

March 04, 2007


I love the fake southern accent Hillary Clinton used in Selma, Alabama the other day when she tried to upstage Obama at various events in memory of the civil rights movements of the 60's. This was classic Hillary, as grating as it was disingenuous.

February 13, 2007


Mitt Romney announced his intention to run for the President of the United States today at the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn Michigan. Romney chose the location to underscore America’s history of innovation, particularly in the automotive industry, and as a reminder of the can do attitude which made him such a successful and effective manager in the private sector and as the Governor of Masschusetts. Democratic Jewish groups complained that the venue was inappropriate because Ford had a history of anti-Semitism, but this minor dust up has since been dismissed as the partisan attack that it was, made by those who would never vote for Romney in their wildest dreams.

Romney not only represents innovation and sound, levelheaded management, he brings a level of altruism to politics that is truly rare. Romney is the ideal public servant, crisp, coherent, and accountable. He is so well-reasoned, that I can’t think of something I have ever heard him say that I disagree with.

Romney is a solid conservative who used the language of moderation in order to allow the predominantly Democratic population of State of Massachusetts to be comfortable enough to elect him Governor. And as Romney implied in his announcement speech, actions speak louder than words. To examine the actions of Romney in Government is to realize that he is a conservative. He does not approve of abortion or gay marriage. He believes that America has the right and obligation to control its own international borders. Rather than retreat in Iraq he favors more troops to stabilize the country and region. He wants to fight an aggressive war on terror against worldwide jihad. If these are not conservative positions, I’m not sure what are.

Romney discussed his philosophy during his thoughtful and very presidential speech yesterday.

"There are some who believe that America's strength comes from government - that challenges call for bigger government, for more regulation of our lives and livelihood, and for more protection and isolation from competition that comes from open markets.

"That is the path that has been taken by much of Europe. It is called the welfare state. It has led to high unemployment and anemic job growth. It is not the path to prosperity and leadership.

"I believe the American people are the source of our strength. They always have been. They always will be. The American people: hard working, educated, innovative, ready to sacrifice for family and country, patriotic, seeking opportunity above dependence, God-fearing, free American people. When we need to call on the strength of America, we should strengthen the American people, not the American government!

"We strengthen the American people by giving them more freedom, by letting them keep more of what they earn, by making sure our schools are providing the skills our children will need for tomorrow, and by keeping America at the leading edge of innovation and technology.

Beyond declaring his intentions and explaining his political philosophy Romney did also make a few subtle digs at his competition. Perhaps alluding to the feel good rhetoric Obama used when he declaring, “…my candidacy is the vehicle of your hopes and dreams”, Romney said,“Our hopes and dreams will inspire us, for Americans are an optimistic people, but hope alone is just crossing fingers, when what we need is industrious hands. It is time for hope and action. It is time to do, as well as to dream.”

Romney's main obstacle besides name recognition will be convincing conservatives that he is indeed one of them. But if in the end Romney is not allowed to call himself a conservative, than maybe it’s not a conservative that we need to become President. Because it is someone of the intellect and sensibilities of Romney that we need to break through the partisan bickering that has beset Washington for as long as anyone cares to remember. And it’s someone with Romney’s philosophy that we need to restore order in the world and to see to the continued success and prosperity of America and Americans. Romney for President in 2008.

February 11, 2007


The Mort Kondracke theory of primogeniture dictates that it will be John McCain, not Giuliani or Romney, that will win his party’s nomination for President.

While I would prefer either Giuliani or Romney to win the primary, I’ll take John McCain over Obama or Hillary in the general election in a heart beat. McCain has life experience and gravitas that Hillary and Obama can only dream of having. That and he's not a socialist.

February 07, 2007

Philosophical Ramblings

I enjoy talking politics with anyone. Unfortunately, many of my fellow Bay Staters, specifically those on the left, in fact disdain talking politics. Let me qualify. They disdain talking politics certainly in the way in which I enjoy that is, constructively. I enjoy discussing politics and political philosophy in an open, honest, and logical manner; a Socratic dialogue if you will. Sure, you can get a Massachusetts liberal to engage in a session of Bush bashing or religion bashing, but as soon as a logical obstacle arises in front of them on a substantive matter of political philosophy or policy, the conversation turns sour, perhaps even more sour than it previously was. At this point in the conversation, the person questioning liberal dogma becomes the focal point of animosity for even raising perhaps another point of view that say for example President Bush is correct on a given matter or that religious people deserve some respect rather than ridicule.

One thing I have found is that liberals are not very tolerant. They are not tolerant of those that do not agree with their ideology and/or their political philosophy. I have had much first hand experience with this phenomenon. I call it a phenomenon because it is rather surprising that a group who claims tolerance as one of their bedrock principles are in fact very intolerant of those whom they do not agree with. And, as I have suggested at the beginning of this blog in perhaps my most controversial and discussed post, Everything is Everything, liberals tend to rely upon emotion rather than logic as the foundation of their philosophy and the driving force behind why they believe the way they do.

There is nothing wrong with emotion. It should be seen as a source of strength for human beings. Emotion should not be wholly disregarded either, as human beings are not robots. However, as Aristotle believed, the highest pursuit of man is reflection. Reflection is the cognitive process that a human engages in either before or after taking action. Implicit in reflection is the use of logic. So in way, reflection is short hand for logical reflection or more precisely the application of logic to events, surroundings, and circumstances.

All of this is part of why it is my belief that it is predominantly liberals who disdain discussing politics in an objective, highly logical, and constructive manner. I can’t tell you how many discussions with left leaning individuals I have had where the liberal becomes upset or angry with me because I hold a different opinion than they do. Again, unchecked emotion bears its unruly and uncivilized head. It is my belief that liberal philosophy itself is heavily and predominantly influenced from the top down by emotion. There are countless examples of this ‘policy ruled by emotion’ phenomenon that are part of the liberal rhetorical arsenal. Let’s just take the one example of the left leaning, and by the way politically correct, desire to have more “diversity” in the work place and in schools. Now on the surface, without thinking particularly logically or deeply, it might seem like a good idea to artificially create a diversity of race in the work place and in public and private schools. There is an emotional desire to want to see many different types of races represented in all the institutions of society. On the other (logical) hand, the best person for the job or the most qualified person to fit a given position, by objective standards, is not determined by the color of one’s skin. Also as an aside, is it not condescending to minority races to lower the bar of admission or hiring criterion based on the color of one’s skin, something that President Bush has called the 'soft bigotry of low expectations'? But moreover, what liberals never seem to grasp in the matter of diversity is that diversity of thought is something that should be encouraged and sought out, not simply diversity of skin color. In the realm of logic, true diversity is based on diversity of background and diversity of philosophy. The liberal enclaves who shout down conservative speakers, on college campuses for example, should take a page out of their own supposed playbook and allow and encourage diversity, not simply of skin color, but of thought. Not to be negative, but I point this out to liberals whenever I can, that a policy based on skin color is in fact itself a clear example racism. So, the affirmative action programs that ham handedly attempt to rectify centuries of racism, by the use of quotas or any other race based criterion, are in fact racist themselves. The liberal response to do away with racism is in fact to encourage more racism. Only those who are governed primarily by emotion and who are not particularly logically well thought out can bring about this kind of paradox. If you were to confront a liberal on these matters of ‘racism to rectify racism’ they would most likely get angry and either personally attack you, or try to change the subject. If you could somehow get a liberal to be completely logical, truthful, and objective about the matter they would concede that many of the policies of affirmative action are yes racist, but they are examples of ‘good racism’. The result of any honest and scientific inquiry would surely be that liberals, or anyone else who believes that diversity of skin color should be artificially imposed on schools and workplaces, believe that there is good racism and bad racism. And how is it decided as to who should be a target of good racism and who of bad? Well, that all depends on the color of your skin.

The affirmative action paradox is one the most glaring examples of why I believe that Liberals are heavily influenced by and reliant on emotion (rather than logic) when conceiving of their political philosophy. The use of emotion in liberalism is not limited to the derivation of their political philosophy. Emotion, or more precisely emotional behavior, is also a favorite tactic of liberals when engaged in a debate. This can be characterized by raising the voice, shouting down, personally attacking, or even changing the subject when engaged in a debate. Now, raising one's voice et cetera is not limited to liberals. However, since liberals rely so heavily on emotion when constructing their overall philosophy, I suppose they find it a useful tool to employ when engaged in debate. On the other hand, It is also my assertion that, since conservatives tend to rely on logic when conceiving of their political philosophy, that the tactical use of logic in an argument is only natural to them.

Some may believe that the conclusions I'm making here are simply a matter of common sense and therefore not newsworthy, but perhaps they would be surprised to learn that many left leaning individuals would not be capable of agreeing with any of the points I have made here, even in the most general sense. In fact, I can imagine a scenario where a liberal reading this would come back and make the exact opposite argument, declaring that liberals are more logical than conservatives and it is conservatives who are influenced primarily by emotion. In this particular hypothetical situation, the use of this 'turning the tables' tactic would not be particularly logically sound or in the end rhetorically convincing. Therefore, the use of this tactic would serve as further evidence that what I have said here has the virtue of being true. I could continue almost endlessly about this and related topics but seeing as these thoughts are the thread that runs through all of my posts on this blog, no doubt these matters will be revisited and further fleshed out.

January 29, 2007

The New Hillary

Have you seen the video footage of Hillary Clinton reacting to the questions regarding her “joke” on how she has had experience with dealing with evil and bad men in her life? In the footage I found online here, she is positively giddy. Suddenly Hillary Clinton is a light, bubbly and cheerful “valley girl” . Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the new Hillary, who has obviously been coached and has received acting lessons to come across as more “likable”. No doubt Terry McAuliffe and the rest of her entourage ran focus groups and took polls determining that Hillary was in need of a personality overhaul. And from what I have seen so far, they have done a remarkable job transforming Hillary from a shrill, ornery, menopausal battle-ax to a cheerful chipper and happy go lucky valley girl.

I think I like the old Hillary better, the one encapsulated well in audio clips I’ve heard of her shrieking at the top of her lungs -as if she’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown- about the Bush Administration. At least the old Hillary was a genuine Hillary. In a way the new Hillary is more insidious. The new Hillary reminds me of a bad science fiction movie where a demon has taken an innocuous human form. In short, the new Hillary is scarier than the old.

I’m also beginning to believe that Democratic voters don’t particularly care about a candidate’s policy positions or their ability to generate substantive new ideas and solutions to ongoing problems. Having seen the populist Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts being swept to power on the backs of a swooning liberal media with one of the most substance free and slogan heavy campaigns in political history, and now seeing the groundswell of mob-like zombie-ish support for Hilary Clinton regardless of what she represents (if we could even figure that out), I’m starting to think that Democrats really don’t care that much about substantive and specific platforms and policy positions when it comes to assessing the strengths and weaknesses of politicians and political campaigns. If you’re Hilary Clinton, because you have ovaries and because you have a (D) next to your name, you have automatically locked up a significant population of voters, regardless of what you say or do. So Mrs. Clinton can make as many bad jokes about her philandering husband as she wants to, Democratic voters will still swarm to her like moths to a flame.

As for me I prefer known quantities, so I'll always prefer the original recipe Hillary.

January 24, 2007


I’m not sure which prosecutor has behaved more atrociously, Mike Nifong, who is up on new charges of not releasing potentially exculpatory evidence in the Duke lacrosse rape case, or Patrick Fitzgerald the political witch hunter who is charging Scooter Libby with perjury because he could not recall some information correctly when questioned about the Valerie Plame CIA “leak” case.

Yesterday Patrick Fitzgerald’s first three witnesses could not recall with clarity the details about who told what to whom and when in the convoluted entanglement that was once refered to as "plamegate". The so called leak, as it turns out, was rather innocuous and had very little bearing on national security since it was common knowledge that Valerie Plame, who appeared in a Vanity Fair article, was an employee of the CIA. In fact, Patrick Fitzgerald himself even confused the order of who told who what and when in a press conference when he flubbed on describing who Libby had spoken to first about the identity of democratic operative and political hack Joe Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame.

The Duke Lacrosse case requires less explanation, for it is clear to any American with a brain that the student athletes are not guilty of the various fabricated charges that the accuser has leveled and the prosecutor Mike Nifong, for political reasons, mishandled.

Both lawyers should be disbarred for prosecutorial misconduct.


Maybe I'm crazy, and most of my fellow Bay staters would think that I am for what I'm about to say, but I thought that President Bush delivered a very good speech last night, I find him to be convincing and genuine. The country would be better served if Congress were at least somewhat willing to adopt some of the ideas he presented last night.

January 15, 2007


Despite the upbeat tone of my New Years Day post, it seems that things in Washington have reverted back into the petty partisan rancor that characterized the last several years. I had thought that now that the Democrats have a degree of political power after last year's elections, they would perhaps now demonstrate that they are the leaders that they have been claiming to be. Instead what we have is the same old Democratic party, with obvious exceptions like Joe Lieberman, that can be characterized by petty partisanship, pointless and backward looking Bush Bashing and an undeniable paucity of ideas of their own to replace the ones they shoot down on matters of security specifically the war on terror and Iraq.

When Nancy Pelosi declared endlessly, "Stay the course is not a strategy" not only was she intentionally mischaracterizing Iraq war strategy by implying that Stay the course means stay endlessly, but you would think that now that a new strategy has been conceived and presented she might relent somewhat. No dice. Instead, it has gotten worse. The obvious truth of the matter is that the Democrats do not have any strategy of their own in Iraq other that the one that they lack the backbone to publicly and openly promote that is: full retreat.

So Barbara Boxer can revive the petty "Chicken Hawk argument" and roll it out again against Condi Rice all she wants to. Nothing will change the fact that to most Democrats, the only acceptable strategy in Iraq and possibly the entire war on terror is full retreat. The problem is that most Democrats who believe in retreat lack the moral courage and intellectual honesty to admit they hold this position. Democrats, rather than admit they favor retreat in Iraq, would prefer to snipe away at Bush policy and make snide and petty remarks as if they were still the embittered minority party that they were four years ago. It may be a new year with some new leadership in Washington, but for many Democrats on Iraq, it’s the same old song and dance.

January 14, 2007

The Chicken Hawk Argument

Its time to revisit a subject I first covered in 2005. Barbara Boxer has dusted off the rather petty “Chicken hawk argument” and has deployed it against Condi Rice in a recent congressional hearing. Apparently Senator Boxer seems to hold the position that only those with family members serving at the front lines of a conflict should be involved in determining the policy and actions of our military. I guess that means that most of her Democratic colleagues are also disqualified from setting policy or even commenting on Iraq or what our military is involved with.

January 01, 2007

New Year, New Politics?

Happy New Year to all parts of the political spectrum!

I'd like to share with you the latest column authored by Dick Morris that is easily one of his best. In his latest poignant and historically minded E-blast, Morris wonders whether or not the New Year may be characterized by political consensus rather than partisan division. Morris points out that this may be the beginning of a new cycle of consensus that inevitably comes about after a period of division and rancor. This is something that I have hinted at a few months back in my post “Powers Point”. It is definitely a less dramatic and arguably not as much fun set of circumstances to find myself agreeing with Democrats who find themselves agreeing with conservatives on some issues, but perhaps in the end, it may prove to be more productive if Americans can move beyond the bitter political divisions born out of the 2000 and 2004 elections. Anyway, here is Morris' thought provoking article:

Is there something cyclical, but nevertheless extraordinary, happening in American politics these days? Are we moving from a period of partisan confrontation and division, to one that values consensus and seeks more unity among our public figures?

Otherwise, how can we account for the unusual persistence with which moderates like Rudy Guiliani and Senator John McCain are holding their large leads in the Republican primary electorate? Or, the surprising surge of perceived-moderate Senator Barack Obama into second place in the Democratic field?

The conservative right is trailing ignominiously in the polls for the Republican nomination, while Hillary is tied with the combined vote share of Obama and Edwards in the Democratic field. Never mind that the Republican voters don't realize how liberal McCain and Guiliani really are, or how left-wing Obama's voting record — all two years of it — indicates he might be. The fact is, that moderates in both parties seem to doing very well.

In 2005 and early 2006, it seemed that the partisan divisions would continue and exacerbate. The right was energized by the debates over gay marriage and illegal immigration, and the left licked its chops after beating Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman in the Democratic primary. But Lieberman ended up winning, anti-immigration zealots like J.D. Hayworth lost, and moderate Democrats won most of the House seats that switched parties in 2006. The center showed new energy.

American politics, of course, alternates between periods of division and consensus. Because our democracy works, we explore new political issues and challenges through polarizing debate (such as would never happen in Japan, for example). After the debate has raged for a while, we come to a national consensus embracing the best of each side and move on (unlike Italy or France).

A brief review of the past thirty years tells the story of this oscillation, usually clear only in retrospect. Because of Vietnam, partisanship and division reigned supreme in the 70s and early 80s, and consensus figures like the late President Gerald Ford lost out while polarizing politicians like Nixon, McGovern and Reagan emerged to lead their parties. But by the mid 80s, we had returned to consensus, seeking a formula for smaller government with a safety net offered by Reagan as he ran for re-election in 1984.

The recession of 1991 shattered that consensus, and we opted for the left with Clinton in 1992, and the right with Gingrich in 1994. But after the debate had raged through government shutdowns, we ultimately settled back into consensus, as Clinton worked with the Republican Congress to balance the budget and pass welfare reform. That consensus was torn apart by the Lewinsky scandal and the post-2000 election recount battles. As, a result, partisan divisions ruled the political scene. The terror attacks of September 11 brought us together again, but the Iraqi invasion broke the consensus as the left and the right pursued their respective conspiracy theories.

Could it be that, after listening to the debate over homeland security and Iraq for the past five years, America has come to a consensus — a new incarnation of triangulation — and wants its politicians to get on with enacting it?

The elements of this possible "coming-together" are clearly etched in the polls: less partisanship, wiretapping to thwart terrorism but with civil liberties protections, aggressive questioning of terror suspects but no torture, continued international presence in Afghanistan but a gradual withdrawal from Iraq, a move away from oil dependency, serious action on global warming, a more liberal attitude toward illegal immigrants already here, but with tightened border security to stop new arrivals, and strong action to stop North Korea and Iran from becoming nuclear powers.

Barack Obama may not be the man to embody this new consensus, but Americans seem to think he is. Listening to his speeches but not to his voting record, his surge against Hillary Clinton clearly exploits the perception that the New York Senator is the epitome of partisanship while Obama transcends it.

Can Obama pull it off? With only a two year Senate record to defend, he is largely devoid of partisan baggage and may be ideally positioned to move to the center and become the triangulation candidate embracing the new consensus.

Can McCain pull it off? It might be that his brand of centrism — social conservate, populist, and strong on defense — may appeal to newly pragmatic Republicans licking their wounds from 2006.

It may be that as we enter the New Year, we are entering a new era of moderation after five years of raging debate. Let's hope so.