Monday, March 31, 2008

McCain and the 100 Years Comment

The Democrats are off and running with McCain's comment that we may have a military presence in Iraq for 100 years:
  • “He (McCain) says that he is willing to send our troops into another 100 years of war in Iraq” (Barack Obama, Feb. 19).
  • “We are bogged down in a war that John McCain now suggests might go on for another 100 years” (Obama, Feb. 26).
  • “He’s (McCain) willing to keep this war going for 100 years” (Hillary Clinton, March 17).
  • “What date between now and the election in November will he (McCain) drop this promise of a 100-year war in Iraq?” (Chris Matthews, March 4).
  • McCain promises “an endless war in Iraq.” And “McCain’s strategy is a war without end. . . . Elect John McCain and get 100 years in Iraq.” (Howard Dean, fund raising letter)
Charles Krauthammer argues in National Review that these are very dirty lies. What did McCain actually say?
Asked at a New Hampshire campaign stop about possibly staying in Iraq 50 years, John McCain interrupted — “Make it a hundred” — then offered a precise analogy to what he envisioned: “We’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea for 50 years or so.” Lest anyone think he was talking about prolonged war-fighting rather than maintaining a presence in postwar Iraq, he explained: “That would be fine with me, as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.”

Is there any doubt that McCain was talking about having a troop presence in a peaceful Iraq, like our presence in Japan, South Korea, or Kuwait? Will the Democrats demand an end to our 67 year war with Japan? Maybe Obama should consult one of his leading military advisers and his campaign co-chairman, Gen. Merrill McPeak. Five years ago McPeak, although he is a war critic, suggested that “we’ll be there a century, hopefully. If it works right.”

Our military presence around the world projects power and gives stability to vulnerable countries. In the future it's possible that Iraq could pay most of the costs of our military presence, like Japan does now.

Our country needs to have a real debate about what to do in Iraq. Should we stay and keep Iraq on the road to peace and democracy or should we cut and run, leaving the country to terrorists (including Iran)? Is the prospect of a free and peaceful Iraq worth the cost to us in lives and treasure? The Democrats' lies about McCain's plans for Iraq do not constitute a serious debate.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

MLB Opening Day

Opening Day - a sure sign winter is over even if the weather isn't as convincing. The Detroit Tigers have assembled the best lineup in baseball with the acquisition of Miguel Cabrera and Edgar Renteria. If the starting pitching can recover their magic from '06 and the bullpen isn't terrible, getting back in the playoffs should be a given. Here's a season preview from the Detroit Tiger Weblog.

ESPN baseball analyst and former MLB GM Steve Phillips calls this Tigers lineup the best in MLB history and predicts a Tigers - Mets World Series with the Tigers winning in 6 games.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bulls and Pistons

In the late 80's to early 90's, the Detroit Pistons - Chicago Bulls rivalry was one of the best in sports. Growing up in Michigan as a die-hard Pistons fan, I hated the Bulls, especially after the Pistons' championship run was over and many Michiganders began jumping on the Bulls band wagon. Fast forward: the Pistons have won 50 games for 7 straight seasons and the Bulls will likely miss the playoffs in a conference where Davidson could probably grab the 8th spot. What happened? Joe Dumars has proved to be a better GM than John Paxson, just as he was the better player when they battled at the height of the rivalry.

  • Traded Jerry Stackhouse for Richard Hamilton
  • Signed journey man and career backup point guard Chauncey Billups
  • Traded 4 easily replaceable backups and 2 draft picks for Rasheed Wallace when no one else wanted him
  • Pulled off a sign and trade deal that sent Grant Hill (a restricted free agent) to the Magic for 3 players. One of those players was Ben Wallace.
  • Key draft picks: Mehmet Okur at #38 in '01, Tayshaun Prince at #23 in '02, Jason Maxiell with the 26th pick and Amir Johnson with the 56th in 2006. I know he had the #2 pick in '03 with Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosch, and Chris Kaman on the board but I just can't remember which one he decided to go with.
  • Refused to overpay an aging free agent: Ben Wallace
  • Key draft picks: Jay Williams #2 overall in '02 (OK that's just bad luck, but I bet he wishes he had Amare Staudemire), Kirk Hinrich #7 overall in '03 (pretty good pick), Ben Gordon and Luol Deng at #3 and #7 (not bad, considering the lack of talent in the draft in '04), Tyrus Thomas #4 overall in '06 with Brandon Roy and Rudy Gay still on the board (oops)
  • Signed Andres Nocioni as an undrafted free agent in '02.
  • Traded Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler with little to show for it.
  • Signed aforementioned aging free agent Ben Wallace to a 4 year, $60 million contract, realized his mistake and traded him.
Overall, Paxson's draft picks have been pretty good. Dumars has done more with less (with the exception of Darko). The biggest difference has been in their trades and free agent signings. Dumars has gotten the better end of most of his trades, Paxson the opposite. The team Dumars assembled has been the 2nd best in the league after the Spurs over the past 7 seasons. They play hard, play defense, and have a balanced offense. Paxson's draft picks have not been good enough to make up for his trades and free agent signings. He was unwilling to part with enough of his precious young players to acquire Pau Gasol or Kevin Garnett. Paxson may be fired soon, but I don't see the Bulls competing with the Pistons for the Central Division in the near future.

CBS Exposes Hillary's Lie

Ah Hillary. You're just not as good at lying as your husband. Why must she constantly make up things to hype her foreign policy experience? Why not focus on Obama's terrible ideas for our foreign policy (like meeting with every thug, totalitarian, and leader of terrorist nations that has time)?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Winter Park

Sorry for the lack of postings, but I'm in Colorado for Sarah's spring break. We visited our friends Bobby and Missi Erskine in Denver before meeting up with Sarah's brother Alex and heading west to Winter Park. We'll head back on Wednesday after three days of skiing. So far we've had great weather and escaped injury. However, Sarah and Alex have been sunburned pretty bad in the classic raccoon style. Despite using the same sun tan lotion, I escaped their fate and have bronzed nicely without the raccoon look. This is my first time in Colorado - the skiing is just a little better than the Midwest. There are a lot of great blue and blue/black runs and many of them take about 15 minutes to get down.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Obama's Speech

A few thoughts on the race speech Obama was forced to give after all the guff he was getting about his black separatist, America-hating, spiritual advisor. Obama belonged to Jeremiah Wright's church, was married by him, Wright baptized his children. Until yesterday's speech, Obama claimed he was unaware of Wright's more controversial sermons (like how our foreign policy is no different than Al-Qaeda's, that the CIA invented AIDS and brought in cocaine to kill off the black population, and that instead of saying "God bless America" we should say "God #$%& America"). Obama denounced these statements (and admitted he was aware of them) but said rejecting Wright would be tantamount to rejecting the African-American community. Huh? He failed to explain why he demanded that Don Imus be fired yet still feels that his family should sit in the pew for Wright's sermons. The views of his pastor would be less disturbing if an analysis of Senate voting records didn't show that Obama is the most liberal senator in Washington (add to that Michelle Obama's statement that she wasn't proud of this country until now). I wonder if Wright's votes would have been any different.

The media and Obama fail to realize that America is beginning to see that hidden behind the smile and great oratorial skill, there is a hard core leftist.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rocketbird Takes Flight

After months of bragging telling people that I was in a band, we finally had our first practice last night with all members in attendance. It was everything I hoped it could be. I am playing bass, my friend Rudi (whose blog is probably in danger of being closed down for inactivity) is on guitar, along with two of Rudi's friends, one on guitar and the drummer. We are tentatively titled Rocketbird, based on this logo from a shirt. Rocketbird hopes to have a couple gigs by summer. If you have ideas for any sure-fire crowd pleasing songs (in the various rock genres preferably) we could cover, please share.

Margaret Sanger's Vision Alive and Well

A pro-life group in Nevada is making waves for catching a fund raiser for Planned Parenthood supporting the original mission of the abortion clinics - to kill black babies. An actor called posing as a donor and said he wanted his donation to go toward killing unborn black children because "the less black kids out there the better." Autumn Kersey, vice president of development and marketing for Planned Parenthood of Idaho responded, "Understandable, understandable. ... Excuse my hesitation, this is the first time I've had a donor call and make this kind of request, so I'm excited and want to make sure I don't leave anything out."

Planned Parenthood has criticized the employee for accepting the donation, but has not fired her. I don't know why they're so upset - this is perfectly in line with the beliefs of Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger. Sanger strongly supported eugenics, a theory widely accepted by elites at the time (not unlike global warming). Her goal was to reduce the number of black children in order to improve the quality of the population of America.

Whether or not you're happy about McCain's nomination, we need the Supreme Court justices he would nominate to overturn Roe v. Wade. We need justices that will uphold the Constitution. The justices that Obama/Hillary would nominate would continue the position of many of the court that the Constitution is meant to change with the times (i.e., it says whatever they want it to say).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Look Out!

Shaq may be not be the player he used to be, but his 7-1, 325 pound frame can still give people heart attacks when he dives into the stands. After taking out a few fans on Sunday, he gave his own bench a scare last night...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Democrats and Sex

NY Governor Eliot Spitzer's fall from grace highlights a key difference between the two parties (Spitzer is a Democrat, a fact that most media outlets didn't think was important enough to mention when they broke the story). When Republican sex scandals emerge the offending perv gets the boot. When Democrats have sex scandals they circle the wagons. Critics are "moralizing and self-righteous jerks," to quote James Carville in his defense of Spitzer. Carville also took a page from the Clinton handbook and suggested a right-wing conspiracy was to blame and that Spitzer should not resign.

Breaking the law (perjury included) is apparently irrelevant to these "private matters." Spitzer probably committed a felony by attempting to disguise his payments for illegal activities. He also put himself at risk for extortion and black mail.

Consider the stories of Mark Foley and Gerry Studds. Republican congressman Foley was promptly booted by Republicans after he sent sexually suggestive instant messages to male Congressional pages. In 1983 Democratic congressman Studds was censured for having actual sex with an underage male page. The party rushed to his defense and he was even re-elected to several more terms.

Spitzer probably will resign, but only because of the funny business with the financial transactions. If this was just a sex scandal, he wouldn't be going anywhere.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Sarah and I signed up for Blockbuster's DVDs through the mail program ($3.99/mo. - not bad) and once in a while I even let Sarah choose the movie. On a recommendation from my brother Nate and his fiancee Emily, we gave Once a shot. It's a low budget film set in Dublin and is probably classified as a musical, but the songs feel natural. A street musician/vacuum repair guy meets a piano playing flower seller and they assemble a rag tag band to lay down some tracks so the musician/vacuum repair guy can go to London to pursue his dreams. All the actors are professional musicians and I think all the songs were written by the actors. I really liked it (4* out of 5, if you noticed my little list on the right). One reviewer called it a valentine to music, but it's also about romantic relationships, friendship, and the whole process of the singer/songwriter.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Obama's NAFTA Problem

Obama's NAFTA problem has become highly amusing to me. I wrote earlier of Obama's transformation into an anti-NAFTA crusader just in time for the Ohio primary. Understandably, the Canadian government was quite concerned about the potential leader of their largest trading partner reneging on our trading agreement. So the Obama camp sent his economic advisor Austan Goolsbee to reassure them that this is all just campaign rhetoric and that Obama has no crazy plans to change NAFTA. This soon leaked to the press. The memo reported that "He (Goolsbee) was frank in saying that the primary campaign has been necessarily domestically focused, particularly in the Midwest, and that much of the rhetoric that may be perceived to be protectionist is more reflective of political maneuvering than policy."

It is a relief to hear that the the Obama camp may have some understanding of the benefits of free trade to our country. This story also shows that Obama is perfectly willing to mislead the American people to get votes, even by promoting policy that he knows is bad for our country.

Fareed Zakaria exhoriates both Clinton and Obama for their protectionist rhetoric in his most recent column in Newsweek. Please read the whole thing, it's great. Highlights:
...The two Democratic candidates are united in the view that one of the big benefits of electing either of them would be an improvement in America's reputation and relations with the world. Hillary Clinton promises to send special envoys to foreign capitals the day after she's elected. Barack Obama offers to reach out to America's foes as well as friends. Unfortunately none of this will matter if they continue to spout dangerous and ill-informed rhetoric about trade.
The facts about trade have been too well rehearsed to go into them in any great detail, but let me point out that NAFTA has been pivotal in transforming Mexico into a stable democracy with a growing economy. And, in Lawrence Summers's words, '[it] didn't cost the United States a penny. It contributed to the strength of our economy because of more exports and because imports helped to reduce inflation.' Trade between the NAFTA countries has boomed since 1993, growing by about $700 billion. There are no serious economists or experts who believe that low wages in Mexico or China or India is the fundamental reason that American factories close down. And labor and environmental standards would do very little to change the reality of huge wage differentials between poor and rich countries' workers.
But both candidates surely know that no one is really paying attention to their policy papers on the topic. It is their general attitude and rhetoric that matter. And on this crucial topic they are pandering to the worst instincts of Americans, encouraging a form of xenophobia and chauvinism and validating the utterly self-defeating idea of protectionism.