Monthly Archives: June 2007

“If America were a Stock, it would be a Buy”

It seems that all we hear about is the continuing demise of American influence in the world. It is true that we have lost some respect, we are not as feared as we once were – Russia and Iran have no problem defying us. Our actions in Iraq have had a negative effect on our influence abroad. But all is not lost with America’s place as the world’s superpower of influence. The Economist of all publications has written a very interesting and thought provoking piece on the future of America in the international arena. It is refreshing to hear some optimism on this issue.

American Power: Still #1 – The Economist

Here is a segment of the article:

If America were a stock, it would be a “buy”: an undervalued market leader, in need of new management. But that points to its last great strength. More than any rival, America corrects itself. Under pressure from voters, Mr Bush has already rediscovered some of the charms of multilateralism; he is talking about climate change; a Middle East peace initiative is possible. Next year’s presidential election offers a chance for renewal. Such corrections are not automatic: something (a misadventure in Iran?) may yet compound the misery of Iraq in the same way Watergate followed Vietnam. But America recovered from the 1970s. It will bounce back stronger again.


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Why I support Mr. Fix It for President

I was not planning to post on this yet, but I just read an article from CNN Money that basically gives every reason while I whole heartedly support Mitt Romney for President. In fact I think he is the best Presidential candidate since 1984, the last time Reagan ran.

The Republican’s Mr. Fix it – CNN Money

If there is anything in the country that needs to be fixed it is the government. Romney business record and acumen and his enjoyment of delving into data is exactly what this country needs and makes him the antithesis of President Bush. Sure, he can be a little TOO business like, in moments that is less than ideal and people will hold that against him, but that hardly is a reasonable argument against his candidacy. Like any candidate since the inception of this country, he is far from perfect and I do not agree with him on everything and have some of my own criticisms. But that being said, he is still one of the best candidates we have seen in a long time and, more importantly, would restore international respect to a country who has seen it erode in the last five years.

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Young Voters Support Obama, Hillary; no way, really?

So young voters aged 18-30 overwhelmingly support Obama and Hillary for President. Wow, this is breaking news..oh wait, no it’s not. How is this news! I’ve seen this on CBS, CNN, Fox News, Drudge, NRO, etc, etc. They all seem surprised. Since when is it a surprise that young people lean left? The writers seem surprised that they support universal health care, increased minimum wage, government subsidies, etc, etc. So, in addition to announcing who young voters support, they add this:

By contrast, young voters aren’t feeling the love for Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson, who were each favored by less than five percent of youths. CBS News reports that, in fact, GOP primary voters were more enthusiastic about Obama (8 percent) than Thompson or even Sen. John McCain.

Again, how is this news? I could have written that exact article without ever polling anyone. Somebody, sometime once said something like, “If you are 20 and not liberal you have no heart, if you are 40 and not conservative you have no brain.”


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Stupid People and Immigration

I have been trying to avoid the issue of writing about the current illegal immigration legislation that is all the rage today. It is one of those issues that, as I observe both sides, seems to have nothing but irrationality throughout, especially on my side of the aisle. I consider myself pretty conservative. Ask anyone who knows me and they would probably say that I am among the most conservative people they know. But on this issue I think I oppose most other conservatives. I do not support blanket amnesty and am completely against illegal immigration, like most Republicans, but it seems that Republicans’ emotions about this issue has become so heated that they have lost all sense of rationality and reality.

I just read that a Senate plan to send immigrants home to apply for a visa was defeated. Good! Anyone who thinks that it is remotely feasible or realistic to essentially extradite 12 million illegal aliens to their home country has completely lost their mind. I understand that this is ideal, but we Republicans and conservatives are supposed to be realistic and smart, stupid idealism is supposed to be reserved for the left. Sending 12 million people who are, at least a good percentage of them, working in America would severely damage our economy, it would stretch our already inefficient bureaucracy to never-before-seen gridlock, cost millions to billions of dollars, and you have to deal with their children who were born in America and thus are citizens. Please start thinking rationally and realistically.

So, the question then becomes what do we do? Really it is quite simple. First, like most issues, there are plenty of laws already on the books; start enforcing them. This avoids more useless legislation and saves taxpayer money. Second, secure the borders. Stem the tide of illegal immigrants coming into this country by 75% (we will never be able to completely stop all illegal immigration, but we can make it extremely difficult). Once the borders are secure and the tide has stemmed, it is at that point that we take up the issue of what to do with those that are already here. Frankly, make them pay some fine and pay back taxes and then give them legal residency; dare I say Amnesty.

Why is this a logical plan? Because it works for all involved. The problem with the last immigration legislation that was passed under President Reagan was that people stayed for free and we didn’t secure the borders, so others thought – ‘hey, they went illegally and got of scot free, so can I’. That is our fault for being stupid. Once the borders are secure we can forgive and forget those that are currently here, and then any new illegals that are caught are immediately fined and deported. Enforcement, enforcement, enforcement.

Is this less than ideal, of course. But it is the only plan that makes sense.


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Does Flip-Flopping Matter?

Politics is politics, people will do whatever they have to do to get elected. The 2008 election is no different from any other one. My estimation is, is that the only two Presidents not to “flip-flop” in a campaign were George Washington and John Adams. Why? because they didn’t campaign. So why do we make such a big deal about flip-flopping?

Now let it be known, that I railed on Kerry for flip-flopping, so I probably sound like a hypocrite. Fine, say what you will, but at least none of the Republicans have said “I voted for it before I voted against it” and the Republicans are at least sticking to their new found positions, something Kerry failed to do.

Hugh Hewitt, a confessed Romney apologist (me too, by the way), wrote an article precisely about this. He makes some intriguing points that we should consider:

It’s easy to turn a blind eye if someone’s flip-flopping in my direction, but that’s not it. Rather, it’s that at some point, you’ve gotta dance with the ones that brung ya. Said another way, the positions Romney et al. (Giuliani, Thompson. McCain) are taking now, in the most important campaign of their lives, are the ones they’re stuck with — whether they like it or not.After his public conversion and being pilloried as a flip-flopper, do you seriously think that Romney can walk back his pro-life positionwithout destroying himself? Does anyone actually think that Romney would be so stupid as to advance public funding of elections after running as the enemy of BCRA? If Romney runs and manages to get elected as a conservative, why would he revert to a non-winning position?

If you look at history, how candidates run — regardless of what they believed earlier in their career — is how they govern once they win. Conservatives may feel betrayed by George W. Bush but his campaigns were stellar examples of truth-in-advertising. Remember, he got elected as a different kind of Republican who was pro-immigrant and who was more concerned about taxes than spending. How Bush governed is exactly how he ran, except maybe for the nation-building thing (and there was a pretty big change in circumstances there.)

Slippery as he was, Clinton ran as a Third Way Democrat and governed that way.Bush the Father was the mixed bag we expected him to be. Once he became pro-life, he stayed pro-life. But no one expected him to be Ronald Reagan (“kinder, gentler nation”) and he wasn’t. And what you saw was what you got in Ronaldus Maximus.

Apparently they all flip-flopped or changed their views to fit those whom they were courting. Ideal? No, but hopefully they are at least changing their positions to fit ours. It is an excellent point that Hewitt makes that the candidates governed as they campaigned, and that is really what is important. For we pro-lifers, I would rather have someone who once was pro-choice, now says they are pro-life to get elected, and governs and appoints judges as a pro-lifer than I would a Giuliani who was pro-choice, is still pro-choice, and will govern pro-choice. More from Hewitt:

And does authenticity still matter? Yes, it does. But at some point, your basic positioning on issues has to matter too. And primary voters have a right to evaluate that.

We need to start thinking of this imperfect field not as a problem, but as an opportunity. Conservatives, these guys need you. They can’t take a single vote for granted. You should be forcing them to take positions that are more to your liking, because they won’t be able to live them down after running (and hopefully winning) on them.

Amen to that.

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The Real Guantanamo

When we hear about the detention centers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba that are run by our Military and government we tend to think of mush for food, dirt floors, inmates dressed in orange with bags over their heads, even severe torture. Rarely do we here how Gitmo is actually run and operated on a day to day basis. Certainly, we would never expect to hear another side of the story from a “liberal rag” like the New York Times, but today that is just what was printed in their editorial page. It is about time that someone who can get the ear of the national audience starts defending, at least, the conditions in Gitmo.

It is disappointing that so many embrace a contrived image. Reality for Guantánamo Bay is the daily professionalism of its staff, the humanity of its detention centers and the fair and transparent nature of the military commissions charged with trying war criminals. It is a reality that has been all but ignored or forgotten.The makeshift detention center known as Camp X-Ray closed in early 2002 after just four months of use. Now it is overgrown with weeds and serves as home to iguanas. Yet last week ABC News published a photo online of Camp X-Ray as if it were in use, five years after its closing.

Today, most of the detainees are housed in new buildings modeled after civilian prisons in Indiana and Michigan. Detainees receive three culturally appropriate meals a day. Each has a copy of the Koran. Guards maintain respectful silence during Islam’s five daily prayer periods, and medical care is provided by the same practitioners who treat American service members. Detainees are offered at least two hours of outdoor recreation each day, double that allowed inmates, including convicted terrorists, at the “supermax” federal penitentiary in Florence, Colo.

Standards at Guantánamo rival or exceed those at similar institutions in the United States and abroad. After an inspection by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in March 2006, a Belgian police official said, “At the level of detention facilities, it is a model prison, where people are better treated than in Belgian prisons.”

Critics liken Guantánamo Bay to Soviet gulags, but reality does not match their hyperbole. The supporters of David Hicks, the detainee popularly known as the “Australian Taliban,” asserted that Mr. Hicks was mistreated and wasting away. But at his March trial, where he pleaded guilty to providing material support to a terrorist organization, he and his defense team stipulated he was treated properly. Mr. Hicks even thanked service members, and as one Australian newspaper columnist noted, he appeared in court “looking fat, healthy and tanned, and cracking jokes.”

What a contrast to the image that we have been fed to believe! And I have no doubt, having been a former Service member, that the statements in the NYT piece are true and accurate. The Military, Defense Department, and other federal organizations are fanatical with oversight and compliance. Don’t you think they don’t recognize that every media outlet, NGO, and left-wing organizations are hovering like vultures around the US Military looking for any story to try to shame it and the United States. Of course they recognize this and as a result they are meticulous to ensure proper treatment of detainees.

Now, certainly there are going to be mistakes and failings. Having been an enlisted man, I can testify that there are some stupid people in the Military (the key word is ‘some’ and there are some stupid people in every organization on earth) and they are going to do stupid things, even among the officers and the leaders. Is this Bush’s fault or America’s fault, no. It is the fault of the moron that performs the actions. Of course the hovering groups I mentioned above don’t care, they just want to push their own agenda, and that’s fine, we are free to act and interpret all we want, but know that the Government knows they are watching and waiting for mistakes. The United States treats the detainees humanely and with respect. Far more humanely and respectfully than any of our soldiers could ever expect to be treated, even by “bona fide” governments like Iran, or even Russia or China. Gitmo is not Hell on earth.

One final note, I am not debating in this post the legality or illegality of keeping detainees there who have not been tried. While it relates to the issue, that is a discussion for another time and does not pertain to the point of this post. (The NYT article goes into this and it is well worth the read).

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Diane Feinstein: The worst Senator ever?

This quote by Dean Barnett on the Hugh Hewitt blog is fantastic, I laughed a lot (and couldn’t agree more!)

“Let’s talk about why Diane Feinstein is the worst Senator in history. And I’m not just talking about American history. I’m talking Roman history, all the mock student governments in history, the whole ball of wax. I’m also including fictional Senators in this assessment like that really mean guy in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and that scummy Nevada Senator from “Godfather II.”

Of anyone who has ever borne the title Senator under any circumstances, Diane Feinstein is the worst.”

The context, by the way, is regarding her desire to see the “fairness doctrine” reimplemented.


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