"You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick." -Gov. Sarah Palin-


"The media are not above the daily test of any free institution." -Barry M. Goldwater-

"America's first interest must be to punish our enemies, then, if possible, please our friends." -Zell Miller-

"One single object...[will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation." -President Thomas Jefferson-

"Don't get stuck on stupid!" -Lt. Gen. Russel Honore-

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." -Isaiah 5:20-



Petition For The FairTax




GOP Bloggers Blog Directory & Search engine Blog Sweet Blog Directory

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Righty Blogs Of Virginia

Coalition For A Conservative Majority






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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Middle-Eastern Illegal Aliens Nabbed In Mississippi

I've lost count of how many times liberals became indignant at the suggestion that our open border with Mexico is a perfect pathway for terrorists to come into the U.S. and with the help of local Mexican authorities, a pathway for them to bring weapons and equipment in. Although the libs have nothing to back up their indignation with, we Conservatives can point to drug smugglers shooting at Border Patrol agents killing one recently, U.S. citizens beng attacked by armed illegals and trucks full of illegal drugs being driven into the U.S.

Well, we have a new story here about OTM (other than Mexican) illegals and we really should perk our ears up at it. From One News Now:

Operation Uniforce was conducted during a two-week period this month by a special Border Patrol task force targeting I-20 because federal agents believe it is a new corridor for smugglers to ferry illegal aliens to the East Coast. A similar operation was conducted on I-10 last year at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama. According to the Border Patrol, greater scrutiny of the I-10 corridor prompted smugglers to move further inland to I-20 -- which is 800 miles from the Mexican border.

While most of the illegal immigrants nabbed came from Mexico, two individuals from "special interest" countries -- one Egyptian and the other a Palestinian from the West Bank -- were also apprehended. Rodney Hunt with the Mississippi Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement says people are concerned that terrorists are entering the U.S. across the porous border. "And I think this just shows [that] these people from these special interest countries ... [are not just] ... people coming here taking jobs from Americans, but we have potential ... terrorists," warns Hunt.


Those two were found with one group of illegals. How many more of their compatriots are roaming the United States unchecked because they were never found out?

I would love to be able to pose a question to both the Dem and GOP candidates about their positions on this one.

You can access the complete story on-line here:

Middle-Eastern Illegal Aliens Nabbed In Mississippi
Chad Groening
OneNewsNow.com
January 30, 3008

Berkeley, California Calls Marines "Unwelcome Intruders"

How idiotic can leftists in America get? To what degree can they assume the role of "useful idiot" to our enemies? Well, whatever those limits were before, the city of Berkeley, California has just pushed back the frontiers and set new standards for idiotic behavior.

From Move America Forward:

The City of Berkeley, California has passed two resolutions attacking the United States Marine Corps, calling the Marines, “uninvited and unwelcome intruders in the city.”

The Berkeley City Council voted to condemn the Marines on Tuesday night (January 29th) as part of a campaign by anti-war activists to shut down a U.S. Marine Recruiting Center located in the city of Berkeley.

...

“It is disgraceful that in the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, anti-military activists would attempt to silence the same military men and women who serve this country and give their lives to protect the free speech rights of all Americans, including these ungrateful and despicable people on the Berkeley City Council,” said Melanie Morgan, Chairman of Move America Forward.

The actions by the Berkeley City Council followed continuous protests by Code Pink and other anti-military organizations that vandalized and defaced the U.S. Marine Recruiting Center in September 2007.

One of the two resolutions passed by the Berkeley City Council last night granted a parking spot in front of the Marine Recruiting Center to be used by anti-military activists to harass Marine recruiters. The anti-military activists would not need to apply for a sound permit for the next six months – allowing them free reign to disrupt the day-to-day operations by the Marines.


Terrorists around the world, and anyone else with an anti-U.S. ax to grind are no doubt cheering this move by some of America's most useful idiots.

If you would like to let the city of Berkeley, California know how badly they have screwed the pooch, go to the following website:

Contact The Berkeley City Council

You can access the complete news item on-line here:

Marines Attacked In Berkeley, California
Move America Forward
January 30, 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Ire Over Illegal Immigration

We all know about it. We all know its happening. We all know what needs to be done. Yet, many politicians still don't get it. Maybe that's because those politicians don't have to deal with it up close and personal like the people of Orange County, California. No, this isn't like the reality TV series or the drama of O.C. This is the real Orange County.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

At Chapman Avenue and Hewes Street, dozens of day laborers - many of whom are illegal immigrants - have been swarming mothers driving SUVs as they pull in to buy groceries, fed-up locals complain. Women say they are nervous to drop off laundry at the dry cleaners next door and men heading into the Ace Hardware are reluctant to leave their tools in the back of their pickup trucks.

...

The Field Poll of California voters last week showed McCain and Romney in a statistical dead heat. But more recent polls, taken before the Florida primary, show McCain taking a stronger lead.

For Romney, Phyllis Beilharz might be an ideal voter. The day laborer issue in the Albertsons parking lot has her steaming mad.

"It's a nuisance. It's uncomfortable. They stand close to your car. Sometimes you're scared," said Beilharz, 70. "I hope they send them all back. The ones who are citizens can stay, the ones who work hard."

...

[Orange Mayor Carolyn Cavecche] put a police officer on patrol full time to go to where day laborers gather and hired more code enforcers for the illegal boarding houses that rent space to more than a dozen men at a time.

After the past month of extra enforcement and new regulations, the Albertsons parking lot has mostly cleared out, but dozens still hang out at Friendly Donuts.

"For me, it's like squeezing Jello. You know, what I did just put them in someone else's town," Cavecche said. "I'm going to take care of my city. It's what I was elected to do."

Now, she said, if only a new president would do the same.


If only. Maybe if the President had to look at people like this on a daily basis:



He might have a different platform.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Presidential Election: Among GOP Voters, Ire Over Illegal Immigration
Julia Prodis Sulek
Mercury News
January 30, 2008

DeMint: Real Change Requires Principled Conservatives

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has put pen to paper in an effort to remind Conservatives of what we are about and what we should expect from those in leadership positions. What policies we should be pursuing and what issues he and other Conservatives are going to push on our behalf. Personally, I say: "Good luck! You're gonna need it!"

From Town Hall:

As a Senate conservative, I will work with my colleagues to put forth principled conservative ideas for action in Congress.

...

The biggest issue on the minds of most Americans right now is our economy. And one of the top problems with our economy is out of control Federal spending. We are 17 trillion dollars in debt, and much of that debt is held by foreign nations such as China. Reform is needed. We will propose a balanced budget amendment, to make sure we do not spend more than we take in. This amendment will make it harder for politicians to raise the taxes of Americans by requiring a supermajority vote in Congress.

We will also provide a comprehensive global competitiveness program to bring back companies and jobs which have gone overseas. The job losses we have seen are not the fault of the American worker, they are the fault of Washington politicians who see their mission to tax, regulate, and harass businesses until they finally move overseas. Liberals prefer to complain about the jobs that have left. Conservatives will fight to get them back, by lowering taxes on American companies, cutting red tape, and providing other reforms that create a business environment that becomes a global magnet for high quality jobs.


FairTax anyone?

Mr. DeMint continues:

We must secure our border and enforce our immigration laws, without providing amnesty for illegal aliens. We will offer legislation to fund the entire border fence, increase the number of border patrol agents and provide our law enforcement the tools to enforce our immigration laws.

We must reform the way Washington spends your money. Last year, Congress passed an appropriations bill that was approximately 2 feet tall, 3,417 pages long, contained an estimated 9,170 earmarks, with no debate and only 46 hours and 8 minutes to read the bill. The system is a national disgrace. I commend the President for moving the ball forward on this issue. Conservatives in the Senate will carry the President’s call for reform by putting forth earmark reform legislation to provide transparency, disclosure, and reduction of wasteful earmarks.


Of course, the Republicans could have done that any time between 2002 and 2006 when they held both the House and Senate. It wasn't until they realized that the base was feeling disenfranchised (i.e. after the disaster of November 2006) that they began listening to us. The problem is, I can't be sure if they are listening right now.

And If I remember right, the Democrats promised to reform earmarks during the 2006 mid-term campaign. Looks like the Dems are going to have some splainin' to do.

On other issues:

We will also propose fundamental tax reform. In the short term, we must support the President’s call to make the tax cuts permanent. We will also put forth a proposal to give all taxpayers the option of a flat tax. You can stay in the current system, or you can choose a flat tax with no deductions. It’s up to you, the taxpayer. In the long term, we want to scrap the current tax code altogether because it is loaded with special interest giveaways, loopholes, and complicated hidden taxes. It is time to move to a fair system that taxpayers can understand.

At the same time, we must deal with our entitlement system, which is in serious financial trouble. The first step to reforming Social Security is to stop the raid. The Social Security Trust Fund should have a massive surplus of funds paid by workers for their retirement. But, every year, Congress raids the trust fund to pay for wasteful spending and earmarks. If a business did this, they would be prosecuted. When politicians do it, they get re-elected. The public is starting to wake up to these accounting tricks, and with your help we will end them.


Again, I have to ask. Why wasn't this done between 2002 and 2006? Did it take what President Bush called a "thumpin'" to finally wake you people up?

And this:

We must provide free market health care options for all Americans.

...

Today, too many of our education dollars are being wasted on meddlesome bureaucrats in Washington who provide no added value to local schools. We will provide education reform to give flexibility to states and localities, eliminate burdensome regulations, and ensure that nearly all of our Federal education funds are being spent in the classroom, and decisions are being made by school boards, teachers, and parents – not politicians and bureaucrats.

We will also reform the corrupt and ineffective bureaucracy known as the United Nations. American taxpayers pay the largest contribution to the UN, and what do we get for it? We must refuse to continue sending billions of taxpayer dollars to the UN until it reforms the way it does business.


Well, good luck, Mr. DeMint. Those are some very lofty goals, but we need to clean house first. We need to get the "Good Ol' Boys" out of Congressional leadership positions and put new, younger blood in their place. Personally, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

But you did write a good column. Too bad you are preaching to the choir.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Real Change Requires Principled Conservative Leadership
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
TownHall.com
January 29, 2008

Irregularities In Florida Primary And Congress Gets A Raise

Flip Pidot has something interesting today. He notes that although Florida was supposed to be a closed primary, exit polls showed that it was not quite as closed as it should have been. From his blog entry:

In my attempts to self-soothe in the wake of Romney's Florida defeat, I'm poring over the details of the exit polling in search of encouraging morsels, thus far with sporadic success. Mitt beat McCain soundly among conservatives (37-29), among "issues" voters (35-27), and even edged him out among voters for whom terrorism was the most important issue (29-26).

One breakout that puzzles me though is the vote share by party identification. Romney and McCain were tied among Republicans at 33-33, while McCain won independents 44-23.


Now, if I understand Florida law correctly, the only people who should have been voting in the Republican Primary were Republicans or those who changed their party affiliation to Republican in the last 30 days.

So why this:



Self-identified Independents voted in a supposedly closed Republican Primary? Note the 44% that McCain got from these people.

Flip goes on:

Despite my support for Romney, I'm loathe to hunt for extra innings in this or any contest. That's a game usually better left to the Gores, Kuciniches, Paulnuts, and the other dark-minded conspiracy buffs of the world. And to be clear, I'm not suggesting conspiracy is afoot, only that Florida's record of electoral execution is... well, checkered.

At the risk of being lumped into the ranks of the aforementioned, and given that the impact of participation by non-Republicans in this primary appears to account for the entirety of McCain's margin of victory, I'm tempted to swallow my loathing and press for some answers as to what might have happened. Exit polls rely on the accuracy of the verbal responses given by the pollees and therefore aren't definitively dispositive of anything at all. But 17% of 1,500 respondents self-identifying as independents who voted Republican means something irregular took place, unless hundreds of voters chose to tell pollsters a similar lie.


We need answers for this. Florida seems to have a great deal of trouble voting these days. Perhaps it is not the system that is broken so much as it is the people who run the system.

You can access the complete blog-entry on-line here:

Was Florida A Closed Primary Or Not?
Flip Pidot
SuitablyFlip.com
January 30, 2008




And Congress got another pay raise on New Years Day this year. Jeff Jacoby has this to say in the Boston Globe:

While the median income of US families has increased by around $11,000 since 1998, the income of their representatives in Washington has increased by more than $30,000. Considering that the latter work for the former, the imbalance between them is striking.

It is also unconstitutional.

Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution authorizes Congress to pay itself with public funds, but the 27th Amendment circumscribes that authority. It provides: "No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect until an election of Representatives shall have intervened." The amendment limits the power of Congress to change its salary by preventing any pay raise from taking effect until the voters have had their say. Members of the House and Senate are free to alter the next Congress's salary, but they are prohibited from enlarging their own.


Go figure.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Congress Helps Itself, Again
Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
January 30, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Another Response To John Bowyer's Misinformed Criticism Of The FairTax

Looks like lots of people read John Bowyer's January 9, 2008 column where he sarcastically questions the FairTax. Over at TownHall, William Phelps has a response to Bowyer's questions. Here are some of the more pertinent ones:


Q: Are sales taxes, where they area currently in operation, simple and free from special interest lobbying?

Since there are no exemptions and no tax shelters under the fair tax, there would be no work for the tax lobbyists in Washington who currently manipulate the income tax for the special interests.

Because the fair tax includes the prebate reimbursing on the necessities of life, there is no need for exemptions.

Fair tax is not based on any existing system, but was developed based on original research by leading institutions and economists on the charge to develop of the best tax system for the federal government.


Since the tax applies uniformly to all new goods and services a tax lobbyist would have to get Congress to consent to changing the tax on one single commodity, say lumber. However, in order to make up the shortfall, Congress would have to raise the tax on a comparable commodity, say plumbing supplies. Such a manipulation of the tax code could not be hidden and would immediately be seen by consumers (as the FairTax applies at the retail level where consumers pay the bill) and Congress would face major negative publicity as a result, not just from constituents, but from business leaders of other industries. That would be incredibly bad for re-election prospects.

Q: Isn't it that the rate is not really 23% but 30% at least, because it's tax inclusive?

Bowyer doesn't understand that inclusive and exclusive ways of computing rates don't change the dollar amount of the tax. Either way the tax is the same $23 per $100. Computed the same inclusive way as the income tax, the fair tax is $100 -$23 = $77. Computed the exclusive way it is $23 divided by $77. =30%. If you computed the income tax on the exclusive basis, the 25% bracket would be the 33% bracket, or $25 divided by $75 =33%. Either way it is the same $25 tax per $100.


This just shows how desperate opponents of the FairTax are to find a flaw in the system. They parse words and play with numbers to make people think the FairTax is more than it really is. But as Phelps notes, it does not matter what rate you believe in, in real numbers, the tax on a $100 purchase will always be $23.

Q. How do we determine interest rate portion of the mortgage?

Just as now, the market rate is the interest rate, but market interest rates will fall to the level of tax free bonds today which will make it easier for home buyers who will be paying the purchase price in pretax dollars, rather than after tax dollars under the income tax. The borrower and lender will continue to state the interest rates in the debt instruments, but this is irrelevant to how the home would be taxed.

The fair tax applies to the purchase price of the home, if it is new.


This last question (as well as the question about used goods being taxed) is why I firmly believe that Bowyer never even read the FairTax Plan. Had he done so, these questions would have seemed stupid to him.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

A Fair Defense For The Fair Tax
William Phelps
TownHall.com
January 28, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

Herman Cain Supports The FairTax

Despite naysyers like Bruce Bartlett and Jerry Bowyer and others who throw uninformed criticism at the FairTax, the FairTax movement is growing. One day, the FairTax will be a reality and the United States will undergo a major economic boom as a result, regardless of how loudly people like Barlett and Bowyers yell or how many times they stamp their feet in protest.

The FairTax, unlike any other proposed tax reform plan, would address three end-goals:

1) The plan must remove from the IRS any power to intrude on the private lives of American citizens.
2) The plan must remove from the K Street lobbyists any power to influence Congressional votes.
3) The plan must not allow hidden taxes to be passed along to the consumer at any time.

Curiously, whenever anyone criticizes the FairTax and then is asked how these three end-goals are to be achieved through any other tax reform plan, they quickly become quiet, almost as if they are embarrassed for not having an answer.

In his January 17, 2008 column, Herman Cain looks at the FairTax movement with regards to the 2008 Presidential Primary:

Immediately after the Iowa Straw Poll last August, the noted and respected journalist George Will referred to the FairTax believers who supported Mike Huckabee as “those FairTax people.”

He made it sound as if the people who helped Huckabee finish an unexpected second place among Republican presidential contenders were politically challenged, unfit to associate with the political elites.

Jay Bookman, a columnist with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, referred to the FairTax believers in his editorial on Dec. 23, 2007, as a “cult.” He called it “Huckabee’s Fantasy FairTax” as Huckabee was surging in the unreliable presidential polls leading up to the Iowa caucuses held on January 3.


And yet, neither Will nor Bookman has come up with an alternative proposal that addresses the three end-goals stated above.

Cain continues:

Because of George Will’s history of writing thoughtful and credible opinion articles, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that his comment was just a slip of the tongue. This may have been motivated by his acquired skepticism of any dramatic changes being possible in the halls of Congress. Personally, I hope this was indeed the case, because I would miss George’s political insight if he were forced to take a Don Imus-like sabbatical.

On the other hand, Bookman clearly displayed his ability for misinformation and factual inaccuracies, too many to spend valuable time and space refuting. Anyone familiar with the facts of the FairTax can peruse his attempted assassination of the FairTax for himself. One would also note that pure media bias could hardly be an excuse.

If Huckabee’s success continues, the greater the attempts will be to derail him by the liberal opposition, the Republican establishment and, naturally, his Republican presidential rivals.

The FairTax is the biggest cure for our tax code insanity on the political table. Mike Huckabee’s courageous embrace of the idea has heightened interest in it by many, and attracted contempt against it by many more. Since death to the FairTax has not been achieved swiftly by skepticism, denial or distortion, then we can expect repeated attempts to kill the FairTax by a thousand cuts.

Fortunately, there are millions of believers in the FairTax, and they have been around much longer than the current presidential race. It is a legitimate movement in this country that is based on solid economics and analysis. The real cult consists of people who are skeptical of dramatic changes, and those who are content with allowing this country to drift into economic mediocrity.


No matter what you think about Mike Huckabee or his personal choices in life, he has brought the FairTax to national prominence. It may not be such a big player in this election, but in 2012, after millions more people have had the chance to read the real FairTax Plan rather than someone's misinformed criticism, the FairTax will loom large in the campaign.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

The Attempted Assassination Of The FairTax
Herman Cain
NorthStar Writers' Group via FairTax.org
January 17, 2008

Also, Professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Professor of Economics at Boston University, has this rebuttal to Bruce Bartlett's criticism of the FairTax:

Why the Fair Tax Will Work
Laurence J. Kotlikoff
FairTax.org
January 15, 2008

And here is a rebuttal to Jerry Bowyer's column criticizing the FairTax. It should be noted that had Mr. Bowyer actually read the FairTax Plan before commenting on it, he would have found the answers to the very questions he posed with such sarcasm.

The FairTax Crowd Answers Jerry Bowyer
Louis R. Woodhill
FairTax.org
January 14, 2008


Americans For Fair Taxation


Economic Freedom: What Does It Really Mean To Us?

TownHall Chairman Doug Wilson has a good one for us today. In a nutshell, he tells us that without economic freedom, we will have no freedom at all. But how do we lose this "economic freedom?" Higher taxes means less freedom. More government spending means less freedom. More government regualtion means less freedom. If it seems like the government that has pledged to protect our freedom is the one entity that is destroying our freedom, then you have not misread anything I've written.

From Mr. Wilson's column:

More than at any time in recent memory, troubled citizens want the government to address their most basic problems. Whether it’s healthcare, the economy or the mortgage crisis the common thought process seems as follows: “I have a problem. What is the government going to do about it?”

This is a dangerous, if slightly understandable impulse—and it is one that Washington does nothing to curb. Consider, for example, that Washington’s response to the current economic slowdown consists largely of tax rebates despite the fact that supply-side tax cuts would do more to stimulate the economy by incentivizing work and investment in a way that a check-in-the-mailbox never will. But a rebate, of course, reinforces the notion that government gives and takes as it pleases, and that it can and will cater to the needs of its increasingly dependent citizens.


What we need more than anything else from our government is for them to get out of our lives and out of our pockets.

The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Streel Journal have a joint venture known as the "Index of Economic Freedom." I referenced this index regarding Great Britain in a previous blog entry here:

A Hidden Tax On New Cars, NY Times Lies About Veterans And Great Britain Is "Mostly Free"
84rules
January 17, 2008

Mr. Wilson looks at few categories the Index takes into account:

Investment

The United States scored 80 out of 100 in the Index’s category of investment freedom, tied with four other nations in second place. According to the Index, the U.S. received points because it does not require foreign investors to register with the federal government, nor does it restrict the purchase of real estate on a national level. The U.S. lost points, however, because of its restrictions on foreign investment in banking, mining, defense contracting, certain energy-related industries, fishing, shipping, communications and aviation. While the U.S. allows for relatively free investment, it should move to ease some of these restrictions in order to expand investment opportunities.

Spending

Last year, U.S. government expenditures equaled 36.6 percent of gross domestic product. Thus, the U.S. rates 59.81 in the Index’s rankings for size of government; that’s fully 35 points behind Hong Kong, the most economically free nation in the world. Despite the severity of the problem, excessive spending has long been a concern limited mostly to political junkies and economists. No more. In an increasingly global and competitive economy, the U.S. must reduce its spending in order to limit public debt and foster private enterprise.

Business Climate

The Index confirms what many enterprising individuals have long known: America is a great place to do business. Accordingly, the U.S. received a 91.7 rating for business freedom. These high scores result, in part, from the fact that business owners are largely free to launch, maintain and close businesses with impunity. Across the globe, it takes an average of 43 days to start a new business. By contrast, one needs an average of only six days to start a business in the U.S.


As things stand now, the United States is ranked #5 on the list of economically free nations. But as always, such rankings are precarious and can be upset with the slightest change in policy.

Read on:

[A]s Thomas Jefferson put it, “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

One way we can remain vigilant in the protection of our economic freedom is to support the extension of the Bush tax cuts. Indeed, my friend Ed Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation, has noted that if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire in 2010, the U.S. will almost certainly fall from its position among the five most economically free nations in the world.

Ultimately, true economic freedom stands in stark contrast to the populist instinct to encourage government meddling in the economy. In light of this, our duty this political season is clear: We must demand nothing less from our candidates than full support for true economic freedom for all Americans.


In a Capitalist society, freedom isn't just about being able to take your family on vacation to Disney World every year. It's about having the power to make autonomous decisions in your life. To choose which doctor you want to see, to choose which job offer you want to take, to choose where you want to live, to choose what car you want to buy, to choose what you want to eat, to choose how many children you want to have.

But all of those options come from having the economic power to make choices. Higher taxes, more government spending and more restrictive regulations reduce our economic freedom and unjustly limit our choices. We already know that a major economic recession is heading this way at full steam. How should we deal with it when it gets here?

Just something to think about as we head into the 2008 election year.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

No Freedom Without Economic Freedom
Doug Wilson
TownHall.com
January 28, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

Compare The Presidential Candidates' Positions On Energy Policy

Okay, this is the most objective comparison I could find on how each candidate views the current energy situation and how to deal with it. From the Energy Tribune:

There is a predictable split among the candidates on two key issues. The Republicans generally favor more nuclear power and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, while the Democrats generally oppose those moves.

...

[W]e thought Energy Tribune readers should have a chance to look closely at the ideas being put forward by them. So peruse the following article at your leisure, and regardless of your political stance, remember to vote in your state’s primary.


You can access the complete article on-line here:

Primary Energy: The Presidential Candidates' Energy Platforms
Robert Bryce
EnergyTribune.com
January 15, 2008

Another good place to look for Energy Policy comparisons is here:

Q: Where Do You Stand On Energy Policy?
Physics Today
Campaign 2008 Blog

Hillary Caught In Huge Lie!

If there was any lingering doubt that Hillary Clinton was a pathological liar, such doubt has been completely erased. After denying that she ever knew Tony Rezko and then tried to link him with B. Hussein Obama, a picture surfaced. From the Drudge Report:

Clinton injected the indicted developer's name this week in heated debate with Obama: "I was fighting against those ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago" ... Clinton tells NBC 'TODAY' show on Friday: "I probably have taken hundreds of thousands of pictures. I don't know the man. I wouldn't know him if he walked in the door..."


But to say that she never met him? That's hard to believe:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Drudge Report
January 25, 2008

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Some Global Warming Skeptic Papers And Ann Coulter Looks At John McCain

Here are some good research papers regarding Global Warming and the (lack of) evidence thereof. For example, this first paper by Dr. John R. Christy looks at the economic impacts we would be risking in relation to conflicting data.

Dr. Christy notes that "We know, for example, because of continuous and accurate satellite monitoring since 1979, that in 2007 the Arctic sea ice area retreated to a record minimum, and curiously, that the Antarctic sea ice area expanded to a record maximum."

That's pretty conflicting. You can read the full 10 page paper on-line here:

Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee
John R. Christy
University of Alabama in Huntsville
November, 14 2007

Next is a paper from the Civil Society Coalition On Climate Change. This paper basically says that governments should reject calls for a post-Kyoto treaty (“Kyoto 2”) with binding limits on carbon emissions. The report says a better strategy would be to focus on removing barriers to adaptation, such as subsidies, taxes and regulations that hinder technological innovation and economic growth.

Civil Society Report On Climate Change
Civil Society Coalition
November 27, 2007

Then we have a letter to the U.N. signed by over 100 scientists stating that trying to influence climate change is futile and should not be undertaken. In this letter we learn that IPCC cherry picked the data rather than considering all of it together.

100 Scientists To The UN: Attempts To Control The Climate Are Futile
Various Scientists
December 13, 2007

And finally we have a nice little piece about Antarctic temperatures in which we learn that average the temperature at or near the south pole has been stable since 1970.



You can access this article on-line here:

Antarctic Temperatures: 1958-2002
Chapman, W.L. and Walsh, J.E.
December 19, 2007

Too bad Al Gore isn't a true scientist. He might find all of this data and these findings fascinating.




I've been following the Primary Elections with some interest, provided no one tries to promote anyone's viewpoint to the exclusion of others' viewpoints. I find such tactics boorish and tiresome. Instead, I like to make comparisons and see what the key differences are.

Sometimes, you have to look at a candidate all by himself and make comparisons over time. You'll be surprised at some of the stuff you find. Ann Coulter did just that when she looked at John McCain's campaign. Here is a little of what she found:

John McCain is Bob Dole minus the charm, conservatism and youth. Like McCain, pollsters assured us that Dole was the most "electable" Republican. Unlike McCain, Dole didn't lie all the time while claiming to engage in Straight Talk.

Of course, I might lie constantly too, if I were seeking the Republican presidential nomination after enthusiastically promoting amnesty for illegal aliens, Social Security credit for illegal aliens, criminal trials for terrorists, stem-cell research on human embryos, crackpot global warming legislation and free speech-crushing campaign-finance laws.

I might lie too, if I had opposed the Bush tax cuts, a marriage amendment to the Constitution, waterboarding terrorists and drilling in Alaska.

And I might lie if I had called the ads of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth "dishonest and dishonorable."


And his stance on amnesty for illegals is really going to hurt him:

McCain angrily denounces the suggestion that his "comprehensive immigration reform" constituted "amnesty" -- on the ludicrous grounds that it included a small fine. Even the guy who graduated fifth from the bottom of his class at the U.S. Naval Academy didn't fall for this a few years ago.

In 2003, McCain told The Tucson Citizen that "amnesty has to be an important part" of any immigration reform. He also rolled out the old chestnut about America's need for illegals, who do "jobs that American workers simply won't do."

McCain's amnesty bill would have immediately granted millions of newly legalized immigrants Social Security benefits. He even supported allowing work performed as an illegal to count toward Social Security benefits as recently as a vote in 2006 -- now adamantly denied by Mr. Straight Talk.


If John McCain does somehow get the GOP nod, I'm probably going to go ahead and vote for the Dem candidate. Why? Because out of the entire field of both Dem and GOP candidates, any of the Dems would be a disaster, but McCain is the only GOP candidate guaranteed to be a disaster. Given that choice, I'd fix it so the Dems take the blame.

You can access Ann's complete column on-line here:

'Straight Talk' Express Takes Scenic Route To Truth
Ann Coulter
Human Events Online
January 23, 2008

Time Editor Wants 'Macaca' Moment, Planned Parenthood Protects Child Rapists And Feminists Silent On Islamic Suppression Of Women

The leftist elites of Old Media, aside from being entrenched in a philosophy that has always been on the wrong side of history, are seemingly incapable of learning or of having integrity. The latest case is one Ana Marie Cox who arrogantly suggested that something Mitt Romney said in jest should be treated as a "macaca moment" by Old Media.

From NewsBusters:

Time online editor Ana Marie Cox apparently believes a dated quip by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should be considered a "macaca moment." During a Florida event on Monday, Romney, joking with a group of young people, quoted a rather lame song by the Baha Men. After asking who had a camera, he blurted, "Who let the dogs out? Who? Who?"

Now, most people would simply smile or appreciate Romney's friendly, if somewhat dorky, sense of humor. Cox, however, at Time's "Swampland" blog, wondered, "Shouldn't it be a 'macaca moment'? I suspect he's not being pilloried for it because the moment [sic] less offensive than it is cringe-inducing..."


How pompous can a newsreader like Cox get? If she ever makes a claim that she is somehow objective and not trying to push an agenda for a leftist political party, the above shows how big of a liar she is.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Time Editor On Romney Quip: Shouldn't It Be A 'Macaca Moment'?
Scott Whitlock
NewsBusters.org
January 23, 2008




Although Planned Parenthood likes to paint itself as a supporter and proponent of women's rights and all that, they clearly have another mission too: to cover-up sex crimes in which 13-year-old girls are sexually assaulted by adult men.

From OneNewsNow:

Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline says there is a new important battleground in dealing with the abortion industry -- the enforcement of current laws and the enforcement of new laws once Roe v. Wade falls.

Kline, now the district attorney for Johnson County, Kansas, has filed a 107-count criminal indictment against federally funded Planned Parenthood. Among other things, he charges the nation's largest abortion-provider with performing late-term abortions, which are illegal in the Sunflower State.

While speaking at the Blogs for Life Conference at the Family Research Council, Kline noted that Planned Parenthood admits in its own studies that it is servicing 13-year-old children -- who have, on average, 22-year-old male sexual partners -- who are predominantly in coercive sexual relationships. "[Planned Parenthood's] idea of treatment, of course, is to allow [that] relationship to continue," explains Kline, "by either helping cover up the crime through an abortion, or providing birth control that will help conceal something later from revealing the crime."


Pedophiles all over the U.S. are cheering to have their sexual deviancies covered up by PP. But I doubt that parents of the victims of these cover-ups would be on the same sideline.

Perhaps PP should come out and say what they really stand for.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Federally Supported Abortion Clinics Labeled 'Safe Havens For Child Rapists'
Jim Brown
OneNewsNow.com
January 23, 2008




And while we are on the subject of women's rights, FrontPageMag has an interesting piece about feminists and the treatment of women in Islamic countries. Here's how it starts:

The David Horowitz Freedom Center has succeeded in putting the feminists and Islamists on the defensive. As David Horowitz and Robert Spencer note in the article below, the DHFC's exposure of the feminist movement's lack of attention to women's rights in the Muslim world has caused many of the movement's most prominent activists to sign a letter protesting that they originated concern for Muslim women. The letter, drafted by feminist writer Katha Pollitt, has been signed by such notables as:

  • Susan Faludi, the author of Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women, which argues conservatives are trying to suppress American womyn, and The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America, which claims terrorism provided a handy excuse for the American Right to begin binding women's feet again;
  • Julianne Malveaux, who expressed her feelings about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on PBS' To the Contrary, "I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease"
  • Jennifer Baumgardner, a Nation writer whose idea of fighting female oppression is staging productions of The Vagina Monologues;
  • Dana Goldstein, an employee of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress and a writing fellow at the Soros-funded The American Prospect; and
  • More than 700 more leftists.

The letter spread quickly, beginning on the website of the far-Left's flagship publication, The Nation. (The Nation's piece was also picked up by Yahoo News). Soon, it had been posted on Mother Jones, the Islamic Forum, the University of Maine, and many other sites -- including that of a woman named Heart who is running for president. Not all are pleased; at least one insists U.S. immigration laws and Israeli treatment of Palestinians are a more direct affront to women's rights than clitorectomies. (She asks, "Does Ms. Pollitt think that 'Muslim countries' are particularly hostile to women’s rights for some reason?") Nonetheless, the very fact that the Left, so long silent about the crimes countenanced by its Islamic partners in the antiwar movement, now feel they must mount a rousing defense is vindication of our efforts. -- The Editors.


That's just the reaction from the left. How long have we conservatives been trying to bring light upon how women are being treated in Muslim countries? And only now do the feminists respond by criticizing the effort to expose such treatment?

David Horowitz and Robert Spencer have a fantastic response to this open letter. It is difficult to single out any details as more important than the others as there are so many good points to ponder.

Read on:

The signers of this Letter claim that, “contrary to the accusations of pundits,” they support Muslim feminists in “their struggle against female genital mutilation, ‘honor’ murder, forced marriage, child marriage, compulsory Islamic dress codes, the criminalization of sex outside marriage, brutal punishments like lashing and stoning, family laws that favor men and that place adult women under the legal power of fathers, brothers, and husbands, and laws that discount legal testimony made by women.”

Well, we welcome these avowals of support for the rights of Muslim women. However, forgive us for doubting their sincerity. As one of us pointed out in a speech given at the University of Wisconsin during Islamo-Fascism Week:

“One of our concerns … is the failure of the Women’s Studies Movement to educate students about these atrocities. There are probably 600 Women’s Studies programs on American campuses, which focus on the unequal treatment of women in society. We have had a very hard time locating a single class which focuses on the oppression of women under Islamic law.”

What was true last October is still true today. As recently as December 10, a Muslim teenager was strangled by her father for refusing to wear a hijab without a protest from the American feminist movement. And that is only one of many crimes committed in the name of Islam against Muslim women over which the feminist movement continues to be silent.

On New Year’s Day, Amina Said, 18, and her sister Sarah, 17, were shot dead in Irving, Texas. Police are searching for their father, Yaser Abdel Said, on a warrant for capital murder. The girls’ great aunt, Gail Gartrell, told reporters, “This was an honor killing.” Apparently Yaser Said murdered his daughters because they had non-Muslim boyfriends.

The signers of the Open Letter say that they are against honor killing. Here is an honor killing in the United States. Where are these feminists on this issue? Why are they not supporting the hunt for Amina’s and Sarah’s killers and organizing a campaign in the Muslim community to stop such practices?

On Sunday, January 20, the New York Times published an article, “A Cutting Tradition,” which falsely described female genital mutilation practiced under Islamic law as “circumcision” and portrayed it in a generally positive light, and even warned against “blindly judging those who practice it.” The article made no mention of the physical effects of this barbaric practice, which affects 140 million Muslim girls who have their genitals sliced off yearly, and in some 15 million cases their vaginal tract sewn up.

...

Where is the feminist outrage over the New York Times article? Where are the feminist demonstrations against this practice? Where are the campus teach-ins? Where are the candlelight parades? What Muslim organizations have been confronted for their complicity in this assault on female Muslim children? This is a horrific crime against the female gender -- global in extent -- and yet one would be hard-pressed to identify a single public event, protest or march organized by feminists to oppose it.

The Open Letter mentions the feminist “V-Day” organized to protest violence against women. We challenge the signers of this letter to identify the speeches given during “V-Day” that protested female genital mutilation in the Islamic world. We challenge them to identify the Vagina Monologue of Islamic misogyny.

We are encouraged by the fact that these American feminists feel the need to respond to our challenge over their silence as a movement on violence against Muslim women and to assert their opposition to these barbaric practices. We challenge them now to put actions behind their words.

Join us in sponsoring a campus tour on the Oppression of Women in Islam with speakers such as Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Form academic committees to provide curricula on these subjects in Women’s Studies courses. Devote a major segment of your V-Day demonstrations to the plight of Muslim women. Join us during Islamo-Fascism Week II this spring in appealing to campus Muslim organizations to condemn these practices.

Then we’ll know you’re serious.


Wow. If only the newsreaders of Old Media had the courage to say such words.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

A Response To Feminists On The Violent Oppression Of Women In Islam
David Horowitz and Robert Spencer
FrontPageMag.com
January 24, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

'Grave' Drug Wars On The Border, Impotent U.N. Still Going And Joe Kennedy Still Hawking For A Brutal Dictator

They say that Nero fiddled while rome burned. Actually, he was plucking a harp and spouting some very bad poetry. So what is President Bush and the Democrat controlled Congress doing while our border remains unsecure with our citizens getting attacked by illegal aliens and our border patrol agents getting murdered by drug-smugglers?

I can tell you for certain that our government is not doing anything worthwhile. At least Nero was out and visible during the fire.

Case in point. The current situation along the U.S.-Mexico border has become intolerable and soon, the citizens (that is, the legitimate citizens) of the United States will boil over their anger as a result. What do we hear from the President or Congressional leaders about it? Nothing. It is without a doubt the worst case of mass dereliction of duty in the history of the U.S. Government.

Twenty years ago, we heard about the Columbian Medellin Drug Cartel and how badly their drug-smuggling efforts were affecting the United States. And Columbia doesn't even border the U.S. Today, the threat has landed closer to home. In fact, for some, it has come home.

A story in yesterday's Washington Times illustrates exactly how bad our government has allowed the situation to get:

"What we face is more of a challenge than law enforcement can be expected to cope with," said Kent Lundgren, chairman of the 800-member National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO). "The best solution is for the U.S. military to assume armed positions along the border ... and use whatever force is necessary to control the border zone."

On Jan. 12, Mexican Brig. Gen. Rigoberto Garcia Cortez said the Mexican military and other personnel had surrounded five border cities in the lower Rio Grande Valley — Matamoros, Reynosa, Rio Bravo, Miguel Aleman and Nuevo Laredo — in response to gunfights between Mexican police, military forces and heavily armed drug smugglers.


That's right, the Mexicans brought their military in to bear on the situation. Now, here in the U.S., that may not be an option since such use of the military may not pass the test of posse comitatus but we may be beyond that threshold entirely.

More:

"Unfortunately, border violence south of our nation's border is not new," Border Patrol spokesman Michael Friel said, adding that it not only has increased in Mexico but also has directly affected U.S. authorities.

The number of assaults against Border Patrol agents on the border rose from 384 in 2005 to 987 in 2007, he said.

...

Violence has been the key to long-standing efforts by the Gulf Cartel to control drug smuggling on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mr. Lundgren said NAFBPO, whose membership includes eight former chiefs of the Border Patrol and 14 former INS district directors, thinks the next step for the Mexican military will be to begin closing the "noose on the gangs," but the targeted cities "abut the Rio Grande River, the international boundary and Mexican forces must stop there."

"The predictable consequence is that those bandits will retreat across the Rio Grande into the United States — they will not surrender to Mexican authorities," he said. "We need not expect Mexican authorities to inhibit their departures.


Posse comitatus anyone?

You can access the complete article on-line here:

U.S. Faces 'Grave Threat' In Drug Fight
Jerry Seper
The Washington Times
January 22, 2008




We all know that Kofi Annan has been one of the worst disasters in history as U.N. Secretary-General and we also hoped that Ban Ki-moon would be an improvement. Well, Ban is certainly an improvement over Kofi, but the rest of the U.N. is just as it was. Incompetent, impotent and scandal-ridden.

From Front Page Magazine:

Especially disappointing is the situation in Darfur, where there was a glimmer of hope last year that a combined UN-African Union peacekeeping force could be put in place which would be large enough to stop the mass killings there. Ban admitted at his first press conference for 2008 that he has only 9000 out of the estimated 26,000 soldiers needed. “That is why we are very much concerned about this ongoing deteriorating situation in Darfur”, he said.

Things have not worked out as Ban had hoped because the Sudanese government has thrown up all manner of obstacles and China is still running interference for its ally and major oil supplier. Seventy percent of Sudan's Chinese oil revenues, which now top $1 billion per year, have been reportedly used by the Sudanese government to attack the non-Arab population in the Darfur region.

Another Rwanda is unfolding before our eyes. The UN remains impotent to stop the genocide. All it seems that Ban Ki-moon can do right now is to continue begging the Sudanese leader to cooperate, and to make symbolic gestures such as he did last week in designating actor George Clooney as a UN "messenger of peace".


And this:

The UN’s human rights apparatus is still in the clutches of the worst human rights abusers on the planet, who pat each other on the back for their faux commitment to human rights. Meanwhile, millions of dollars of U.S. taxpayers’ money are being squandered by these hypocrites on non-stop investigations and condemnations of Israel. To his credit, Ban Ki-moon has spoken out against this gross one-sidedness.

...

Then there are all those alarmist reports that keep streaming from the UN bureaucracy on everything from AIDS to climate change. The UN regularly puts out reports that are full of exaggerated statistics and worst-case assumptions designed to gather political and financial support for more UN personnel, studies and conferences. In November 2007, for example, UNAIDS, the United Nations coordinating organization to combat AIDS, conceded that it had overestimated the size of the world-wide HIV-AIDS epidemic and said that it would have to drastically slash the reported number of people suffering from the disease.

Serious flaws have also been discovered in papers used and cited by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”) in its own reports. Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC, criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC. Unfortunately, playing on the fears that these exaggerated claims engendered, Ban Ki-moon has added his voice to the hysteria surrounding global warming, which he has called the defining issue of our time. He even went so far as to blame the slaughter in Darfur on climate change!


Can anyone give one single, good reason as to why we still send money to such a fouled-up, incompentent, anti-Democratic and anti-American organization?

I can't come up with one either.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Rearranging The Deck Chairs At The UN
Joseph Klein
FrontPageMag.com
January 23, 2008




And finally, we have Joe Kennnedy back in the news hawking his schpiel for Venezuelan Dictator Hugo Chavez. You can view my last blog entry on the topic here:

Joe Kennedy: Bad Politics And Even Worse Judgement
84rules
January 5, 2008

Well, Newsbusters takes a look at him now:

Kennedy is now using the most recent Citgo commercial as a launchpad to blast the U.S. government and "Big Oil" as you can see in this video. After an introduction similar to the previous commercial showing poor people suffering from the cold, Kennedy goes on the attack:

...Yet our own government cut fuel assistance. And the Big Oil companies with oil and money to burn all said "no" when we asked for help. All but one. Citgo. Owned by the Venezuelan people, is donating millions of gallons to non-profit Citizens Action...


Actually Citgo is owned by the Chavez run Venezuelan government, not the "people." As for the Venezuelan people themselves, it turns out their plight is getting even worse under the corruption ridden Chavez government.


Joe's politics are certainly bad. How bad? Bad enough that the left-leaning New Republic has taken him to task for his pro-Chavez stance:

This widespread corruption has even been recognized in the the latest issue of the liberal New Republic. Alvaro Vargas Llosa has this to say about life under Chavez in Slum Lord:

After an extensive visit to the slums of this capital, I am convinced that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez lost the recent referendum that would have extended the time he could remain in office not because his countrymen value democracy so much, but because his social programs are crumbling. In the barrios of Petare, Catia, Baruta and other places, the nationalist/populist model is collapsing.

Through a network of "missions," the government has been using oil revenue to provide food, housing, cars, education and health care for millions of Venezuelans. In theory, Venezuelans are enjoying the "social justice" denied to them during decades of rule by the country's elites. In real life, the missions are plagued with corruption and inefficiency, and are severely hampered by the insecurity and the shortages that have become the hallmark of Venezuelan society.

...Corruption has eroded the prestige of the Habitat mission through which the government supposedly dishes out checks to poor Venezuelans so they can buy a house. It is not unusual for an aspiring homeowner to find out that a mystery person has cashed the check using his or her name. "The same people who hand out the checks cash them for the benefit of their relatives," explains Eladio, who told me a nephew recently suffered such an experience.

..."The government led Venezuelans to believe that they could become a consumer society without producing anything," says Luis Ugalde, the president of Andres Bello University, "and the results are now speaking for themselves."

When I asked Beatriz, a social worker who spends her time in Catia, to talk to me about Chavez's missions, she responded, "One cannot speak about that which doesn't exist." That strikes me as an appropriate way to sum up Venezuela's nationalist/populist. model


Newsbusters goes on to suggest that Kennedy should actually visit Venezuela and see the people that Chavez is crushing right now.

Personally, I don't see that happening. Despite the courage shown by John F. Kennedy both as a Naval Officer and President of the United States, the Kennedy's are not noted for having that much integrity.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Joe Kennedy Uses Latest Citgo Commercial To Slam U.S. Government And 'Big Oil'
P.J. Gladnick
Newsbusters.org
January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Oil Prices Down For Fear Of Recession, Rupert Murdoch Against The NY Times, GOP Takes On Earmarks, And Malaysia Goes After Christians

Lots going on today as "Black Tuesday" rolls onward. Markets around the world slid yesterday on fears of a U.S. recession. Our markets were closed due to the MLK holiday but opened to expected losses, until the Fed cut interest rates by three-quarters of a point and now the market is on the rise again. I'm not sure how well that is going to play out since I am not an economist, but do I seem to recall that slashing the rates like that devalues the dollar which in turn leads to higher prices for us abroad.

That means that foreign markets will be losing confidence in the U.S. economy and it is already showing.

Here are the market indices from Asia yesterday:



But we've also found out that the price of oil is going down. Many people will see that as a positive sign, but I think it is a portent of more troubles ahead.

From the Associated Press:

Oil futures dropped sharply Tuesday on mounting concerns that the U.S. economy may be heading toward a recession that would dampen demand for crude.

While the Federal Reserve’s interest rate cut helped crude futures recover some of their earlier losses, many investors doubt the move will stave off a serious slowdown.

“Whenever you see a rate cut of that magnitude between (Fed) meetings ... it conjures up images of desperation,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Ill.

...

High energy prices also have been cited as a force pushing the economy toward recession. If oil prices continue to fall, as many analysts now expect, that could relieve some pressure on the economy. At the pump, gas prices have mostly fallen in recent weeks after rising sharply earlier in the month as oil set a new record above $100 a barrel.

Overnight, the average national price of a gallon of gas held steady at $3.01 a gallon, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. But prices have fallen 2.3 cents a gallon since Friday.

Other energy futures also fell Tuesday. February heating oil futures dropped 4.74 cents to $2.46 a gallon on the Nymex, while February gasoline futures fell 4.59 cents to $2.2575 a gallon. February natural gas futures dropped 17.6 cents to $7.817 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, Brent crude futures for March delivery fell 4 cents to $87.47 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.


Did you get all that? Although it looks like prices are trying to stabilize themselves in the free market, the truth is that this is a sign of decreased spending potential and decreased amounts of capital in the overall economy. That will lead to higher unemployment and then to a recession.

Get ready. It's coming. (But, I really do hope I am wrong.)

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Oil Prices Sink On Fears Of A Recession
Associated Press via MSNBC
January 22, 2008




Ed Lasky at the American Thinker gives us some great scoop on Rupert Murdoch and his plan to unseat the New York Times as the nations' "newspaper of record." Given how poorly the Times has been managed over the last few years, it shouldn't be hard for Mr. Murdoch to accomplish.

From Mr. Lasky's column:

Legendary media baron Rupert Murdoch has just completed his purchase of the Wall Street Journal - a paper that also enjoys nationwide reach, but one that has heretofore focused on the world of business. Change is afoot. Murdoch is a man who makes no "small plans"; he makes "big plans".

...

Murdoch's goal is to transform the Journal into a rival of the Times, and then surpass it, making the Journal the nation's preeminent general interest newspaper. Given Murdoch's history, zeal, resources and talents -- all qualities sadly lacking in the fourth generation of Sulzbergers, as symbolized by Pinch -- the Times will be toppled.

The downfall of the Times was almost pre-ordained once family members placed Pinch Sulzberger in control of the paper. He had no real world experience to prepare him to lead the Times. He had two brief sinecures working for other companies (he was a reporter with the Raleigh Times and the London correspondent for the Associated Press) before joining the family paper. Once he was "promoted" to be both the publisher and Chairman of the Board (duties that many believe should be divided between two people for ethical as well as business reasons), he was uniquely positioned to do double the damage to the paper. And damage he has done. Indeed, his greatest "accomplishment" seems to be his ability to drive the paper and his extended family fortune into the ground.

...

One can envision something of what the future will bring when the Wall Street Journal enjoys all the benefits that other parts of News Corporation will provide. As it is transformed into a paper geared toward all the American people, features that are developed at other Murdoch properties can be easily "parachuted" into the printed pages of the Journal.

Entertainment news? No problem. News Corporation has wonderful connections via its Twentieth Century Fox operations.

More religious coverage for an increasingly religious America? News Corporation recently purchased Belief.Net, a key website for people who want to better understand their faith (an acquisition that would be unlikely to pass muster at the religiously secular New York Times).

More local news, more international news? Easy access with ownership of over 100 newspapers around the world and Fox radio and TV outlets throughout America. The News Corporation can be its own in-house Associated Press combining the people in place with the wherewithal to put even more of them in place) to report from outposts around the world.


In short, look for the Wall Street Journal to supplant the NYT in the years ahead.

Think it can't happen? Notice that the New York Post, also owned by Murdoch, already has a larger circulation in New York City than the Times has.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Toppling The Times: Rupert Takes On Pinch
Ed Lasky
The American Thinker
January 21, 2008




During the 2006 Congressional midterm campaigns, the Dems loudly proclaimed that they would put and end to Congressional earmarks. But alas, they've done no such thing. According the Jed Babbin at Human Events:

The process of earmarking -- despite conservatives’ efforts this year and Democratic leadership promises to the contrary -- was kept concealed from the public’s view last year. Congressmen such as John Murtha (D.-Pa.) -- the uncrowned king of earmarks -- have fought successfully against disclosure because they do not want any accountability for what most observers agree is the waste of billions of tax dollars.

Now, a small group of Republican House conservatives is planning a move that could force reform on House Democrats and the Senate.

These conservative members -- including Representatives Jeb Hensarling (Tex.), Mike Pence (Ind.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.) -- are planning a major initiative against congressional earmarks on which they will try to get conference-wide agreement at the Republican retreat scheduled for Wednesday through Friday of this week at the Greenbrier Resort.

According to a congressional source, the conservatives plan to ask the entire Republican House Conference to agree to a yearlong moratorium on earmarks.


Will this plan work? Jed goes on:

The impact of this moratorium could be significant. First, it would demonstrate the commitment of House Republicans to real reform of how the peoples’ money is spent. Second, if it is followed by the appointment of Flake to the Appropriations Committee, it would be, in the words of our source, “putting our fox in the henhouse.”

The source also said that the House GOP meeting at which committee members will be chosen was, only last Thursday, postponed until after the retreat, which opens the window of opportunity wider for the conservatives’ move.

If the conservatives succeed in obtaining agreement to the moratorium and then in getting Flake on the Appropriations Committee, the Democrats will be under enormous pressure. They will be Flake’s only targets.


Sounds good to me! Looks like someone on the GOP side of the ailse finally got some brains and a backbone to go with them. I, for one, will be very anxious to see how the Dems respond if the GOP can actually get this plan into place.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

House GOP Prepares One-Two Punch On Earmarks
Jed Babbin
Human Events Online
January 22, 2008




And finally, we have more disturbing news coming out of an Islamic dominated nation. (Are you really surprised by this?) Malaysia is confiscating Christian Children's books because they violate Sharia Law. From the Washington Times:

Malaysian authorities confiscated Christian children's books, claiming the illustrations of prophets such as Moses and Abraham violate Islamic Shariah law.

The independent news agency Malaysakini reported the Internal Security Ministry confiscated the literature from bookstores in two cities and one small town in mid-December.

...

The Rev. Hermen Shastri, general secretary of the Malaysian Council of Churches, confirmed the report and accused the government of persecuting Christians.

"The officials have offended the sensitivities of Christians because their publications and depictions of their Biblical personalities have now become targets of unscrupulous Muslim officials bent on curtailing religious freedom in the country," Mr. Shastri said.

"Immediate steps should be taken to amend administrative rules and regulations, especially in the Internal Security Ministry, that give a free hand to enforcement officials to act on their whim and fancies," he said.

Christians, Hindus and other religious groups in Malaysia say they are increasingly being targeted as the nation gradually cedes jurisdiction to Shariah courts.


Tolerance? Diversity? Religion of peace? Hello?

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Malaysia Seizes Christian Books
Elizabeth Eldridge
The Washington Times
January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Compare The Presidential Candidates' Position On Taxes

I've noted that one of my more popular blog entries was a comparison on the Presidential Candidates' various positions concerning illegal immigration. Well, another big issue (probably the big issue) is taxes. The Americans For Tax Reform website has put together a matrix to show where each of the major candidates stand on various tax issues. TaxProf Blog provided a link to this matrix.

You can access the document on-line here (requires Adobe Reader):

The Candidates And Pro-Taxpayer Positions At A Glance
Americans For Tax Reform via TaxProf Blog
January 19, 2008

A Hat Tip To The Virginia Federalist

Great blog entry about Hillary vs. the facts:

Hillary Vs. U.S. Constitution Vs Fact
The Viginia Federalist
January 21, 2008

Some Cartoons Today




Friday, January 18, 2008

A Different Look At Two GOP Candidates

So, how much do you know about the GOP field? I'm willing to bet that most people don't know very much more than what they've been told through Old Media soundbites on CNN or some other news outlet. When I workout at the gym, the gym TVs are always on CNN so I am stuck watching Wolf Blitzer while I'm churning away on the Cross-Country Ski machine. What I normally see is Wolf fawning over Democrats for any reason and criticizing the GOP for any reason.

Thus, it is a good idea to not listen to liberal newsreaders like Blitzer and actually get information from those who know what they are talking about.

I am going to present here two different columns about two GOP Candidates that actually look at the qualities of each rather than automatically assume the worst just because they are Republicans (ala CNN style). The first is about Fred Thompson.

(Disclaimer: My first choice candidate was Tom Tancredo. My second choice is Fred Thompson and my third choice is Mitt Romney.)

Jed Babbin, writing for Human Events Online has this to say about Fred Thompson:

Among the serious contenders in South Carolina is Fred Thompson. Is he the unifying force around which conservatives can rally? His record is based more on personal choices than on alliances with liberals. Thompson’s ability to unify Republicans stems from two things. First, his gut-level conservatism. Which leads to the second, trust.

When asked a question, Thompson reacts comfortably without pausing to ponder which focus group will react in which way. He seems comfortable in his own skin. His avuncular style is a bit too folksy at times, but his answers are consistent and – in a way voters will see – principled. Which means people will trust Thompson.

This year the American electorate is more angry and disgruntled than I have seen it in more than four decades of study. Neither the President nor Congress – having failed to win the war, secure our borders or control reckless government spending – have the voters’ trust. The biggest issue this year may not be the war, or taxes, or the economy. Trust could overwhelm them all. And people trust Fred Thompson.

Fred Thompson is running an insurgent campaign in South Carolina. Having taken a pass in New Hampshire and Michigan, Thompson is operating without the media propulsion that benefit McCain, Romney and Huckabee. But South Carolina is historically friendly to insurgents: the most famous and successful American insurgent of all – General Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox – was a South Carolinian.


Yes, Fred does have all of those qualities and more. In fact, I've read more on-line endorsements for Fred Thompson than any other GOP candidate.

You can access Jed's complete column on-line here:

Thompson Can Unify Republicans
Jed Babbin
Human Events Online
January 18, 2008

And Ann Coulter used her latest column to talk up Mitt Romney. Here is what she wrote:

One clue that Romney is our strongest candidate is the fact that Democrats keep viciously attacking him while expressing their deep respect for Mike Huckabee and John McCain.

...

Turn on any cable news show right now, and you will see Democratic pundits attacking Romney, calling him a "flip-flopper," and heaping praise on McCain and Huckleberry -- almost as if they were reading some sort of "talking points."


See my comments above.

Ann continues:

At worst, Romney will turn out to be a moderate Republican -- a high-IQ, articulate, moral, wildly successful, moderate Republican. Of the top five Republican candidates for president, Romney is the only one who hasn't dumped his first wife (as well as the second, in the case of Giuliani) -- except Huckabee. And unlike Huckabee, Romney doesn't have a son who hanged a dog at summer camp. So there won't be any intern issues and there won't be any Billy Carter issues.

It's also possible that Romney will turn out to be a conservative Republican -- at least more conservative than he was as governor of Massachusetts. Whatever problems Romney's Mormonism gives voters, remember: Bill Clinton came in third in heavily Mormon Utah in 1992.


So, since Tom Tancredo is out, I am pushing for Fred Thompson. And if Fred fails to get in, it's going to be Mitt Romney.

You can access Ann's column on-line here:

The Elephant In The Room
Ann Coulter
TownHall.com
January 16, 2008

Environmentalists And Oil Prices, Massive Gas Field Detected And More Calls For Border Agent Pardons

Michael Reagan takes a look at what environmentalists and the Democrats have forced upon us in the way of energy policy and how we have been 1) paying for it and 2) forced into a very humiliating position with OPEC as a result.

From his column:

Here we have the humiliating spectacle of a president of the United States begging an Arab potentate to increase our supply of oil while Democrats, who bear the major responsibility for the problem, scoff at him as a mendicant groveling at the feet of a foreign monarch.

As humiliating as it is for the United States to be put in a position where our economy is held hostage to foreign oil producers who can make or break our nation simply by limiting their petroleum production, thus causing the price of oil to skyrocket, it is even more shameful that we have allowed the so-called environmental movement to escape the blame for our predicament.

Make no mistake about it, you are paying exorbitant prices at the gas pump solely because the environmental terrorists and their Democrat allies in Congress have all but shut down our domestic oil production while refusing to allow the exploration and creation of new sources of this resource so vital to our economic health.


Michael pulls no punches here. Those are the facts and realities we are facing today. How many years have we Conservatives been warning people about this? Too many.

More:

George Bush should have stood on his bully pulpit and pointed his finger at Capitol Hill and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and said, “How dare you not give the nation an energy policy? Because you won’t give us an energy policy I have been forced to go the Saudi Arabia, get down on my knees and beg them to give us what you refuse to give us – an adequate supply of reasonably priced oil.”

George Bush should point the finger of blame at Mrs. Pelosi and Sen. Reid and their environmentalist co-conspirators for refusing to enact an energy policy that dictates drilling in ANWR and the Florida Gulf -- where the Chinese and Cubans are drilling for the huge plentiful supply of oil beneath the seas to their heart’s content. We should also be harnessing nuclear power, and mining clean coal now locked up for alleged environmental reasons in well over a million acres of land in southwest Utah in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which contains at least 7 billion tons of coal worth over $1 trillion.


The problem is not that we don't have enough energy resources to fuel our needs. The problem is that we have these enviro-whackos who have bought off the leaders of the Democratic Party who in turn have forced us into the untenable position we are in right now.

We need to get rid of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and anyone else who smugly and arrogantly forces such unnecessary hardships on the American people.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Environmental Terrorism And The Price Of Oil
Michael Reagan
Human Events Online
January 18, 2008




And while we are talking about energy, check out this new discovery in the northeast United States:

A deep reservoir of long-hidden natural gas, stretching from New York through Pennsylvania and into West Virginia, could pump more than $400 billion into the Mid- Atlantic economy and push the U.S. toward energy independence, a Penn State researcher has found.

Geosciences professor Terry Engelder, collaborating with Gary Lash at the State University of New York, recently completed the analysis after spending 30 years and an estimated $3 million on research.

Penn State released overall findings on Thursday. State and industry experts said some companies already have begun to explore the prospects — with some early success within the past year or so.

Engelder said the gas, lodged 6,000 to 7,000 feet underground, promises the U.S. “a certain amount of energy security down the line.”


As I wrote above, it's not that we don't have energy sources available.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Massive Gas Field Detected
Adam Smeltz
Centre Daily Times
January 18, 2008




And finally, we have more calls for the pardons of wrongly convicted Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean. The calls came from Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and Rep. Duncan Hunter, both Republicans from California.

From the Washington Times:

Two California Republican congressmen yesterday called on President Bush to pardon two former U.S. Border patrol agents sent to prison a year ago this week for shooting a drug-smuggling suspect in the buttocks as he fled back into Mexico.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher accused Mr. Bush of being "arrogant and heartless" for refusing to pardon or commute the sentences of former agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, who were ordered last January to serve 11- and 12-year prison sentences, respectively.

He said they had spent the past year in solitary confinement "suffering conditions worse than detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

"It has been a year since Border Agents Ramos and Compean entered prison," Mr. Rohrabacher said. "This marks a year of shame for President Bush, who has been fully aware of the details of this blatant miscarriage of justice and chosen to do absolutely nothing about it.

"The president has shown us his arrogant and heartless side by permitting the wrongful incarceration of Ramos and Compean to continue," he said.


At least the Dems can point to something that President Bush has done/is doing and say, "Hey! We aren't the only ones who are heartless and arrogant!"

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Rohrabacher, Hunter Call For Agents' Pardon
Jerry Seper
The Washington Times
January 18, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Hidden Tax On New Cars, NY Times Lies About Veterans And Great Britain Is "Mostly Free"

Remember the Energy Bill that Congress recently passed? Well, what is it going to achieve and what will it cost us? Will is even achieve its own stated goals of higher fuel efficieny standards and lower emissions? Not according to Investor's Business Daily:

The new energy law contains stiff new fuel-efficiency standards for U.S. automakers. But make no mistake: What you got from Congress was a big tax hike. Just ask General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz.

That's right. The CAFE standards embedded in the Energy Independence Act require fuel efficiency to jump to a fleet average 35 miles a gallon in 2020 from about 25 mpg now. That means you will soon be paying more — a lot more — to buy a car.

Maybe this sounds reasonable. To many, these new rules are long overdue. They'll help us cut our reliance on foreign oil, they say, while reducing global warming. Who could disagree with such noble goals?

The only problem is, based on what we know now, it'll cost automakers some $85 billion to comply. When all costs are factored in, other estimates put the total cost at about $18 billion a year.

Fine, say the populist politicians. Stick it to the automakers. But do they really think Ford and GM will pick up the tab? Of course not. It'll be you, as GM's Lutz made clear in comments Sunday.


Absolutely correct. It will be the consumer who will have to pay the higher prices. And remember that higher prices always have a ripple effect throughout the economy. Higher prices on one commodity lead to higher prices on others. If transportation costs go up, so do the prices of transporting things like food which in turn drives food prices up.

The article goes on:

New fuel-efficiency standards are supposed to clean up the air by encouraging people to drive cleaner cars, saving four million barrels of imported oil a day. This, too, sounds great. But like so many things that sound good in theory, it suffers when translated into reality.

In fact, the higher prices of cars will encourage consumers to keep their older, dirtier but cheaper vehicles for much longer. So the actual benefits will be less than forecast.

History bears this out. In 1970, just before the first CAFE standards were imposed, the average car on the road was about 5 1/2 years old. By 2000, the average car was 9 years old — thanks to the higher costs of buying and operating new cars, a direct result of higher fuel efficiency and safety standards.

That's not the only negative impact. One way manufacturers can more easily meet the tough new standards is by making smaller cars. That's why cars in Europe — cited by many fuel-efficiency proponents as a model for the U.S. — are so tiny.

Smaller cars are cute and oh-so-European, we agree. But they're also quite dangerous. That's why cars are so big and heavy today: They have lots of safety equipment and padding that makes them much safer than the econo-boxes of the 1980s.


Of course, no one in the Democrat majority of Congress thought about any of this when they were voting to "stick it" to the automakers, but we've come to expect that from a party that embraces failed left-wing socialist policies.

Finally:

So this is what Congress in all its wisdom has brought us: A 21% tax hike on cars, coupled with an official policy that could kill as many Americans in one year as have been killed so far in five years of the Iraq War. Some energy policy.

Yet on the stump, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain have all supported the new standards. In doing so, they punish a relatively small group of Americans — new-car drivers, auto industry workers and auto-industry shareholders — to benefit the rest of us. This is unfair.

It's also bad economics, which is a typical outcome of congressional meddling. Through shortsighted, feel-good policies and excessive regulation, our government continues to drive up the prices of many things — oil, food, cars and homes among them. Then it blames others — stupid consumers, greedy businesses, shady foreign operators — for the bad results.

It's time for some truth. The new CAFE standards, as Lutz suggests, amount to a tax — a rather narrow and inefficient one that will neither reduce our reliance on foreign oil nor curb global warming. It will, however, make us a lot less safe and well-off.


Another Central Planning Policy that will do nothing but make life hard on the average American while Congress enjoys lavish junkets and vacations at our expense.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

The Tax They Didn't Tell You About
Investor's Business Daily
January 14, 2008




The "Old Gray Lady" must be getting senile and hoping that the average reader is suffering from dementia as well, or at least a short memory. The New York Post exposes the Times for some shoddy journalism and blatent lies about America's military veterans:

Memo to New York Times Public Ed itor Clark Hoyt: Your urgent atten tion is needed on the slanderous 7,000-word front-page article published last Sunday about homicides allegedly committed by US veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns.

...

As our colleague Ralph Peters so adroitly demonstrated on these pages Tuesday, the article embraced the hoariest of overwrought clich├ęs - the US combat vet as psychotic killer.

But on what evidence?

None at all.

...

The article, said to be the first of several, reports that there have been 121 homicides involving active-duty or recently discharged Iraq/Afghan combat veterans.


But there is one problem. The author's of the Times article didn't really do any research nor did they crunch the numbers or do a proper analysis. Fortunately, the New York Post did:

As Peters noted, "to match the homicide rate of their [nonmilitary] peers, our troops would've had to come home and commit about 150 murders a year, for a total of 700 to 750 murders between 2003 and the end of 2007" - six times the number the Times cited.

That estimate is borne out by University of Pennsylvania political scientist John DiIulio, who notes on the Weekly Standard's Web site that 749,932 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan had been discharged by the end of 2007. Apply that to the 121 killings cited by the Times, and the homicide rate works out to 16.1 per 100,000 - over the entire six-year period.

By way of imperfect comparison, the US Bureau of Justice Statistics' most recent numbers demonstrate that the same rate among males ages 18-24 was 26.5 - 65 percent higher - for a single year, 2005.

It's not necessary to extrapolate that stat to understand that the Times has slandered some fine young Americans.

For none of those numbers appeared among the 7,000 words the paper published. Which means that the numbingly long piece, while loaded with affecting details, contained nothing that would place these cases in any sort of meaningful context.


But then, what did you really expect from a rag that exposes classified programs so that the terrorists can learn what governments like the United States are doing to protect their citizens?

You can access the complete article on-line here:

The Killer Vet Lie
New York Post
January 17, 2008






And the Telegraph has an interesting piece about the high-tax policies of the British Government. It appears as though Great Britain is sliding down the ranks from a "free economy" to "mostly free economy." (Is that anything like Earth going from "harmless" to "mostly harmless?" according to the Encyclopaedia Galactica?)

Anyway, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has this to say:

Britain has slipped out of the ranks of fully "free" countries in this year's Heritage Index of Economic Freedom, reflecting the sharp rise in the tax burden and ballooning state sector.

...

The country has continued to slide down the league under Gordon Brown's economic management, falling from fifth to tenth place over the last two years. It has been overtaken by Canada, Chile, Switzerland, Australia, and the United States.

Britain now scores below 80 points on a range of key indicators, dropping into the "mostly free" camp with Germany, Japan, Bahrain, Armenia and Trinidad.

Two eurozone shockers are Italy (64), and Greece (80), now ranked lowered than most of the old Communist bloc.

The ever harsher verdict on Britain comes as Mr Brown's tax and spend policies begin to reshape the basic structure of the UK plc, transforming it from one of Europe's leanest fiscal states to one of the most bloated.

"Total government expenditures, including consumption and transfer payments, are very high. Government spending has been rising since the 1990s and in the most recent year equaled 44.7 percent of GDP," said the UK country report.


The Heritage Index defines economic freedom as "the absence of constraint on the production, distribution or consumption of goods and services beyond the extent necessary for citizens to protect and maintain liberty itself".

Many European states, most notably Germany, have been trimming down the government's involvement in private sector economy. Great Britain has been increasing it and now it is beginning to hurt.

No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity, but many have taxed themselves into poverty. Einstein once remarked that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting adifferent result. Levying high taxes on the means of production, even though leftists claim it is a good thing, has only led to economic slow-down. So, why do leftists continue to push for high taxes thinking it will help and economy grow?

You don't need to be Einstein to figure that one out.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

High-Tax Britain Booted From Club Of 'Free' Economies
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor
The Telegraph
January 16, 2008




And this is why we don't trust polls: