Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day

President Bush's comments at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day:
Today, we gather to honor those who gave everything to preserve our way of life. The men and women we honor here served for liberty. They sacrificed for liberty. And in countless acts of courage, they died for liberty. From faraway lands, they were returned to cemeteries like this one, where broken hearts received their broken bodies -- they found peace beneath the white headstones in the land they fought to defend...

It is a solemn reminder of the cost of freedom that the number of headstones in a place such as this grows with every new Memorial Day. In a world where freedom is constantly under attack and in a world where our security is challenged, the joys of liberty are often purchased by the sacrifices of those who serve a cause greater than themselves. Today we mourn and remember all who have given their lives in the line of duty. Today we lift up our hearts especially those who've fallen in the past year...

I am humbled by those who have made the ultimate sacrifice that allow a free civilization to endure and flourish. It only remains for us, the heirs of their legacy, to have the courage and the character to follow their lead, to preserve America as the greatest nation on Earth, and the last, best hope for mankind.

And Senator Obama's comments:

On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes -- and I see many of them in the audience here today -- our sense of patriotism is particularly strong.

I had an uncle who was ... part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps.

Um, someone should tell him what we mean by "fallen heroes." Also, while Obama's uncle did serve in World War II, he did so for the United States, not the Russians who liberated Auschwitz.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Politics of Fear

In a recent cover story, Newsweek "breaks new proctological ground for the depth and breadth of its butt-kissing of the Obama campaign," according to Jonah Goldberg in the print edition of National Review. Newsweek claims (in a cover story, mind you, not an editorial) that "the Republican Party has been successfully scaring voters since 1968, when Richard Nixon build a Silent Majority out of lower- and middle-class folks frightened or disturbed by hippies and student radicals and blacks rioting in the inner cities."

Do Republicans sometimes play on people's fears? Of course they do. Fear is a powerful motivator. Believe it or not, there are things to fear on this planet and I don't see anything wrong with addressing them. However, Republicans do not have a monopoly on fear, as Goldberg points out.

It might strike some as odd to start at 1968 when, four years earlier, the Democratic party ran its infamous 'daisy' ad suggesting that a vote for [Barry Goldwater] might well render The Children into radioactive cinder.

How Al Gore can emit so much CO2 about Bush's fear-mongering without spontaneously bursting into flames of hypocrisy is beyond me, given that his whole post-vice-presidency has been dedicated to scaring the bejeebers out of the whole planet about global warming. 'Hurricanes! Cyclones! Famine!'

Liberals, Democrats, Clintonites, and environmentalists would respond to all of these counter-examples by saying... it's 'raising awareness' and 'highlighting the issue.'

I guess it's only fear-mongering if we're not supposed to be afraid. Clearly the media, in labeling the Republican party as the party of fear, has decided for us that we should fear global warming, "two America's", and the free market, but not terrorism or porous borders.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

McCain's VP

Conan O'Brien: "John McCain invited Louisiana's governor, Florida's governor and Mitt Romney to a barbecue at his home in Arizona because he wants to choose one of them to be his running mate. McCain says he got the idea to choose his running mate this way by watching 'Flavor of Love.'"

I'm guessing Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is still in the mix as well, but he has a wedding to attend this weekend. So we have a 50/50 chance of getting a conservative on the ticket. Pawlenty and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist are McCain Republicans while Romney and Bobby Jindal have good full-spectrum conservative credentials. Jindal is generating a lot of excitement, but is only 36 and is serving his first term as Louisiana Gov. Having a young, energetic minority on the ticket could counter Obama and it's not like the Obama camp can challenge him on lack of experience. However, I think Romney is the best choice (I'm sure you're all shocked). Romney's business experience will play well as the economy becomes one of the top issues in the campaign. It's possible that McCain will only serve one term, so his VP would be set up nicely for 2012. Hopefully McCain will reject the centrist Republicans and finally reach out to the base by giving a rose to Romney or Jindal.

Gas Prices Update

"Does it trouble any of you when you see what you're doing to us?"

This was Dick Durbin's (D-IL) question for oil companies executives dragged to Capitol Hill. CBS suggests that the question might be turned back on Senator Durbin. Chicago has some of the highest gas prices in the nation thanks to the highest taxes in the nation. On a $4 gallon of gas, Chicagoans are paying 79.2 cents in taxes. Yet Senator Durbin insists oil company are stealing from us by keeping a dime or two per gallon. We could also ask Durbin why his party is standing in the way of drilling for more of our own oil and building new refineries. All this doesn't seem to trouble Durbin.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

With the First Pick...

David Stern: The Chicago Bulls select Michael Beasley, from Kansas State.

A few minutes later...

Stern: The Chicago Bulls have traded the rights to Michael Beasley to the New Orleans Hornets for Tyson Chandler.

How much do you want to bet?

Actually, I'm guessing Derrick Rose will be coming back home to Chicago. Beasley is a great scorer, but John Paxson probably hopes Rose can do for the Bulls what Chris Paul did for the Hornets. The Bulls could turn into a very entertaining, up-tempo team with Rose leading the break as Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, and Larry Hughes fill the lanes and Ben Gordon spots up for three. The Central just got a little more interesting.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

But I Like To Eat

This just in from Oregon: as president, Obama will not allow us to eat as much as we want. Or drive as much as we want. Or choose what temperature to set our thermostats in our own homes.

We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That's not leadership. That's not going to happen.

Is there any shred of individual liberty that will be spared by global warming fanatics? I guess I'll start stockpiling food now.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

About Time, President Bush

President Bush's comments to Israel's legislative body, the Knesset, have prompted strong criticism from Obama and other Democrats, who didn't like the President's critique of their proposed foreign policy. This is what Obama has labeled a "false attack" on him:

Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along.

We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is—the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

Apparently the President is not allowed to criticize appeasement without being accused of "attacking" Obama. The Messiah retorted: "President Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the president's extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel."

Unfortunately, that's not really true. The Iranian Republican Guard has been declared a terrorist organization and Iran routinely funds and trains terrorists who then kill civilians and US troops. Obama has repeatedly promised to meet with Iran. Obama said he would meet with Hugo Chavez, who has given the FARC terrorist organization $300 million. He would also meet with Kim Jong-il who tried to help the Syrians start a nuclear weapons program.

President Bush is dead on. Hamas may be taken with Obama's vision for America (his campaign said they were "flattered" by Hamas' endorsement) but I don't think Obama has any "ingenious arguments" for the other terrorists.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

George Will Grills McCain

Well, in his Newsweek column anyway, asking several tough questions of the Republican nominee. Highlights:

You vow to nominate judges who "take as their sole responsibility the enforcement of laws made by the people's elected representatives." Their sole responsibility? Do you oppose judicial review that invalidates laws that pure-hearted representatives of the saintly people have enacted that happen to violate the Constitution? Does your dogmatic deference to popular sovereignty put you at odds with the first Republican president, who nobly insisted that there are some things the majority should not be permitted to do—hence his opposition to allowing popular sovereignty to determine the status of slavery in the territories? Do you also reject Justice Antonin Scalia's belief that the Constitution's purpose is "to embed certain rights in such a manner that future generations cannot readily take them away"? Does this explain your enthusiasm for McCain-Feingold's restrictions on political speech, and your dismissive reference to, "quote, First Amendment rights"? Would you nominate judges who, because they think those are more than "quote … rights," doubt McCain-Feingold's constitutionality?

You say that even if global warming turns out to be no crisis (the World Meteorological Organization says global temperatures have not risen in a decade), even unnecessary measures taken to combat it will be beneficial because "then all we've done is give our kids a cleaner world." But what of the trillions of dollars those measures will cost in direct expenditures and diminished economic growth—hence diminished medical research, cultural investment, etc.? Given that Earth is always warming or cooling, what is its proper temperature, and how do you know?

You propose a "cap and trade" system to limit the carbon dioxide that many companies can emit. Is not your idea an energy- rationing proposal akin to Bill Clinton's BTU tax?

McCain's cap and trade global warming program will dramatically increase taxes and cause energy prices to rise even higher without having any meaningful effect on the temperature of our planet. While his judicial nominees would be head and shoulders better than Obama's (they might actually care what the Constitution says and probably wouldn't find the right to abortion in it) I am concerned about the philosophy of anyone who supports McCain-Feingold - one of the greatest attacks on free speech our nation has seen.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mayo's Money

OJ Mayo (the gifted freshman guard from USC who is expected to be a top 10 pick in the NBA Draft in June) is accused of taking cash during his high school and college days from the agent who is now representing him. Listening to the commentary on ESPN radio today, I was struck by how most of the talking heads put the blame on either USC, the NCAA, or the NBA. The NBA now requires players to be at least one year removed from school to be eligible for the draft. According to these geniuses, that makes them culpable for creating a situation where Mayo-type situations are inevitable. In my mind, there are two parties to blame: OJ Mayo (and his family) and the agent and his cronies.

Doesn't the NBA, as a private organization, have the right to conduct it's business as it sees fit? They have decided that it's bad for business to draft 18 year olds and pay them millions (based on their performance against high school kids) to sit the bench (Jermaine O'Neal) while they learn to play. The NBA doesn't owe it to an OJ Mayo or Michael Beasley to let them enter whenever the player sees fit.

However, here's a plan that might improve things for everybody: anyone can declare for the draft out of high school, but if you are not taken in the top two picks, you can't be drafted. If un-drafted, you go to college or join the NBA's development league. The next year, you can be drafted, but must be taken in the top 5. The third year, you must be taken in the first round. This would allow the NBA to benefit from players who can be stars immediately (Lebron, Derrick Rose), but teams wouldn't be tempted to make risky picks on unproven athletes. The players would be more likely to get an education and for those who aren't college material, they could make a decent living and develop their game in the D-League.

To quote Walter Sobchak, "Am I wrong?"

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Real Lesson of Burma

The devastating news from Burma gets worse and worse. The death toll may reach hundreds of thousands due to disease and hunger. Many if not most of the deaths could have been avoided if the communists that run Burma (or Myanmar as the commies call it now) had bothered to warn the people about the tsunami or if they would allow foreign aid in. The government is doing next to nothing about this crisis. They don't care at all for these poor farmers and they hate foreigners even more.

Al Gore blamed the tsunami on man-made global warming on NPR (where else?). Despite the fact that we haven't had any in the last 10 years and the global warming alarmists say not to expect any for the next 10. Actually, this year global temps dropped by about .7 degrees Celsius, which is almost equal to the warming that's occurred since 1880 (.8 degrees). Also, studies do not support this little hurricane theory. Using this disaster to advance the case for massive global warming taxes that will limit our freedom and harm our economy is pretty shady.

If there's a lesson to be learned from this disaster it is the danger communist dictators pose to the world. Spreading freedom around the world is a worthy cause.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Match the Date to the Statement

A fun game (there's more):

A. 5/5/2004 1. "[Obama attends] Sunday service at Trinity... every week."
B. 5/5/2004 2. "Obama's pastor, Reverend Wright, has become a close confidant."
C. 4/30/2007 3. "Senator Obama is proud of his pastor and his church."
D. 2/25/2008 4. "[Wright] is like an old uncle who [says] things I don't agree with."
E. 3/2/2008 5. "I don't think that my church is actually particularly controversial."
F. 3/18/2008 6. "I can no more disown [Wright] than... the black community."
G. 4/29/2008 7. "I am outraged... [he is] not the person that I met 20 years ago."

Answers: A-1, B-2, C-3, D-4, E-5, F-6, G-7.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Liberalism On Display

As Obama's liberal views are made known he slides down in the polls, Todd Feinburg argues in American Thinker. Highlights:
As virtually every intelligent (and honest) pundit noted, along with millions of average Americans, the Wright controversy wasn't about race. It was about patriotism. Any person seeing those clips said to themselves, 'I would never have been part of this man's church. I'd have gotten up and left'... Underpinning the key character question of "why did he stay" is a more ominous problem for Democrats - the question of what liberals believe.
The linkage between the activists and the liberal establishment is more apparent now in the era of MoveOn.org and the Daily Kos. These are fringe organizations that ooze radicalism and disdain for America's prowess, and they have moved that radicalism from the closet into the mainstream of Democratic politics today. Candidates must satisfy this liberal underbelly without offending the sensibilities of traditional blue collar democratic voters. Now there's a death defying trick that just may kill the magician.
We can look inside and see the baggage of traditional liberalism that Barack carries. No one else would have invited Reverend Wright on the ride, so why did Barack? No one else would have accepted the career assistance that unrepentant terrorist William Ayers provided, so why did Barack? No one else would have done the shady land deal with Tony Rezko, so why did Barack?

Obama can use his charisma to reassure voters that he's really not as extreme as he's being made out to be ("Just because my voting record is the most liberal of any Senator in Washington doesn't mean I'm extreme..."), however he's also getting hurt by his struggle to connect with rural voters, who Obama proclaims to be bitter clingers to religion, guns, and "antipathy to people who aren't like them." Complaining about the price of Arugula at Whole Foods to Iowa farmers and bowling a 37 probably didn't help.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Obama has now accused McCain and Clinton of pandering to the car-driving public by supporting a cut in the federal gas taxes. Ha! This from the politician who blames oil companies for high gas prices, blames free trade agreements for our economic problems, and supports a church that blames whites for all the problems of black America. Cutting taxes is not pandering, Senator Obama. It's our money, not yours. Promising to tax some people more so you can redistribute their money to others in order to get their votes might fit within the definition, though.

In her response, Senator Clinton did a little pandering of her own: "I want the Congress to stand up and vote. Are they for the oil companies, or are they for you?"

Liberals should stop promoting the fallacy that private companies who provide products we want at prices we're willing to pay are oppressing us. Profits are not evil, they are the portion of your voluntary transaction that pays for the investment someone made to bring you a product you want. Taking away profits reduces investment. If you want less of something, tax it more. Using government to interfere (more than absolutely necessary) in the free market and hampering the oil companies' ability to bring us gasoline doesn't just hurt the oil companies, it hurts the consumer as well (this goes for big business of all kinds). Everyone loses, except for the Democrats who get elected.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wright Isn't Going Away

In his big race speech, Obama said, "I can no more disown [Rev. Wright] than I can disown the black community." Now that Obama is casting him aside, is he disowning the black community?