Sunday, September 30, 2007

Betcha can't wait for this radio!!!

Air America is slowly going under, and many people have pointed to its failure as a sign that liberal talk radio can't work. Maybe it can't, but I'm not sure that Air America really put libtalk in the best light. Jerry Springer was bad enough, but Vegan Talk Radio??? Is anyone going to listen to that?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Mistakes by John and Hill

The Republicans have not run a perfect campaign. All of the GOP candidates have made gaffes. Mitt Romney suggested that by working for his campaign, his sons were serving their country just like the soldiers in Middle East. Rudy Giuliani, infamously, answered a phone call from his wife in the middle of a speech. Fred Thompson, when asked about the widely publicized Jena Six case, said that he didn't know anything about it.

But the prize for gaffes has got to go to the Democrats. To show his concerns for black youth, John Edwards said that "pretty soon", all blacks will be in prison or dead. "One of the two", which doesn't really speak very highly of his opinion of African-Americans.

Or, apparently, his perception of reality. There are four times as many blacks in college as prison. Of course, Edwards doesn't exactly have a finger on the pulse of American opinion. He is apparently under the impression that a feud with Ann Coulter will propel him into the White House.

Hillary Clinton was seized by a generous if somewhat random generous impulse. Of course, the aforementioned impulse will be payed for by our money, but still. She proposed, for no real reason, that we give every baby born five thousand dollars.

This is, of course, pure socialism. In addition, it would probably be ineffective. If everyone starts out with five thousand bucks without working for it, then inflation would probably result, and by the time the kid was eighteen, the money probably wouldn't be all that valuable.

Besides which, it would be expensive. There are four million babies born each year. Times five thousand, and you have twenty billion dollars a year. And that is just the money that goes directly to the baby. Given that most of the money we spend on welfare is absorbed by government bureaucrats, the final price tag would be far more.

As I noted above, I can forgive a few mistakes. But if the mistakes pile up, and make one wonder whether the candidate has any grasp at all on the real world, then you start to wonder if that person is ready for the Presidency.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fred's Weakness

Many conservatives have critizied Hillary Clinton's candidacy on the grounds that she accomplished little in the political arena. While this is valid, Fred Thompson supporters should ask themselves the same question about Fred Thompson. While he did more in the Senate than Hillary Clinton (which isn't hard), he still wasn't exactly a dynamic leader. Still worse, the one bill that he worked hardest on was the McCain-Feingold bill limiting political contributions. Conservatives should take a hard look at his Senate service.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Ownership and Social Insurance Societies

The contrast between the right and left is as sharp as it has ever been right now. The right stands an Ownership Society (aka capitalism). The left stands for a social insurance society, or put more briefly, socialism.

The Ownership Society believes that what you earn is yours, and belongs to you only. A man's resources are his own, and the government has no right to take it for anything other than what is absolutely necessary for government to function.

The individual does not have a legal obligation to provide for the less fortunate. If someone experiences misfortune, they are, for the most part, on their own. (Even the most die-hard capitalist usually advocates some degree help for only the most underprivileged). It is a philosophy that rewards hard work and success, but punishes laziness and failure.

The social insurance advocate's cry is "we're all in this together". They view someone with more than enough for himself as someone with a legal obligation to provide food, shelter, and resources for the needy. A rich man owes the society he exists in. The flow of money is not based on supply and demand, it is based on the needs of society.
Fairness in the allocation of resources is valued above all else. The Utopian society is one in which everybody has a equal share of resources. In business, everyone would play with a level playing field. There would be no monster Wal-Marts crushing all competition under its merciless heel. Everyone would have a nearly equal share of the economy.
Social insurance people argue that in a capitalist society, there is a mad race to the top that results in very good living conditions for the rich, but abysmal ones for the poor. As the wealthy get their claws on more and more pieces of the pie, the lot of the poor grows worse and worse. In the end, the only ones to benefit from this society are the select ranks of rich, supported on the backs of the working poor.

The United States is probably the world's largest bastion of capitalism. And the results are: the social insurance folks are right when they say that there is widespread poverty. The poverty rate is 12.3 percent. The United States does have more poverty than many socialist states.

So are the socialists right about the economic path the U.S. should follow? No. They ignore the fact that the U.S. has a standard of living higher than any country in the world. Our gross domestic product is larger than that of any other country in the world. We consume a larger share of the earth's resources than any other country, sure sign of widespread prosperity. (And maybe greed, too. But definitely prosperity). Sales of expensive and luxurious electronic equipment are sky-high. Those who live in the United State live amid a greater profusion than any other society in the history of the world.

Socialism has few success stories, as vicious dictators tend to take over and kill off any dissent, and then proceed to manage the economy for their own interests. However, there are some successful socialist states. Sweden was long the prime example of a welfare state that could get things done.

Sweden provides socialized medicine, education, and insurance. The government runs virtually everything. Swedes pay the highest tax rates in the world, and in return the government completely controls the economy.

So how does it work? The Swedes, for a long time, did get a fairly high living standard (although nothing like that of the United States). Swedish industry wasn't exactly rocking the world (the United States and Japan seem to develop most of the more advanced products), but it was adequate. Crime was relatively low. The system seemed to work.

Until the problems entrenched in socialism caught up with it. Crime (fueled by high immigration rates) is skyrocketing. Swedish defense is a joke. The number of troops in training is between 5,000 and 10,000.

And the famous Swedish welfare? That, at least, should be providing good service, right? After all, most of what the people earn goes into the government coffers. On the contrary, it is being radically downsized- with no lessening of the tax burden. As the immigration population of Sweden continues to grow, it is probable- no, inevitable- that the welfare state as they know it will not exist.

As the Left's demand for global "economic justice"? The Gross Domestic Product for the whole world was divided evenly and fairly among the world's approximately six billion people, everyone would get the princely sum of 8,040 US dollars. Instead to some the people living in misery, everyone would live in misery. Some improvement.

It seems clear the capitalism as represented by the United States is the best economic choice. However, the Left in this country wants to end it, and replace it with the system seen in Sweden, France, or England. While doubtless all of those countries are pleasant enough places to live, ask yourself: is anyone fighting to get in there, as they are here?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the U.S.

The thought of France taking the lead in confronting Iran is as oxymoronic as the thought of Paris Hilton delivering a doctoral thesis on string theory. However, that is exactly what France is doing. Although President Nicolas Sarkozy has not threatened war, he is quite outspoken about the threat of a nuclear armed Iran. Some would like France to be a little more hawkish regarding Iran, but it is important to remember that France is not strong enough to occupy Iran, and any military action would be the nature of a surprise attack. Under these circumstances, it may not be prudent to threaten war. Anyway, it's not like the threat of a French attack really scares anyone, so for Sarkozy, it is advisable to threaten sanctions first.

Sarkozy is also actively trying to reestablish good relations with the United States, which would indicate support in the event of a U.S. strike in Iran. Although the United States probably doesn't absolutly need France's support in the event of an attack on Iran, Sarkozy's support is still important. For years, radical Islamists like Saddam Hussein have been able to count on diplomatic support from France. At long last, however, France is seeing the danger of radical Islam in particular, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in particular.

It is a good thing that France is seeing the light, because Ahmadinejad is a nut. He seems to be under the impression that bold denials will actually make people believe his rantings, as he denied, without putting forth any contrary evidence, that Iran is not producing terrorists, and that it is not supplying weapons or know-how to Iraqi insurgents. It's all a plot by the Americans to make Iran look bad.

His appearance at Columbia University should cemented his reputation as a moron, as it makes the last Osama bin Laden tape look intelligent and insightful. Ahmadinejad stuck to his guns on the Holocaust denial issue, which earned him a well-deserved tonguelashing from Bollinger. He also claimed that Iran doesn't want to go to war with the U.S. (Actually, this is probably true. He doesn't want war, which implies that the U.S. will fight back. He just wants to be able to attack us with impunity.) He also claimed that he doesn't really have a problem with Israel, that he is just looking out for the Palestinians, which is so absurd that it really doesn't require a response.

Ahmadinejad's stance on gay issues would be very funny if it wasn't so very sad. When asked about the human rights abuse towards gays, responded that "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country...we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have this". No, there are no gays in Iran. Here is why.

Could conservatives have been wrong about Columbia's invitation to Ahmadinejad? Lee Bollinger harshly criticized him, and it gave those who hate him a chance to show their disapproval. Before walking off the stage, he said: "I am only a professor who happens to be the President of a University. I speak for those yearning to express their collective revulsion. I only wish I could do better." I actually felt proud of Lee Bollinger when he said that. Although I am sure that he is very liberal, at that moment, he was speaking for most Americans.

Liberals have been so against the wars in Iraq and Vietnam that it is probable that they will never consent to a war unless the United States is actively being attacked. (And maybe not even then). This makes the 2008 elections all the more important. If the Democrats get power in 2008, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will get free rein in getting his madman's hands on nuclear weapons, a disastrous eventuality.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Presidential Stuff

If any Presidential candidate in the running right now is selected as a running mate, it would be Mike Huckabee, and the frontrunner in the GOP race is Fred Thompson (he is tied with Giuliani). Although there is still a long way to go for Thompson, and there is no guarrentee that he would pick Huckabee as running mate, I think we all know how well the combination of a Tennesee Senator and the Governor of Arkansas works in the Presidential races.

According to the Campaign Spot blog on National Review Online, Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee got the best reactions at the National Rifle Association's rally today. This is a definite pattern- Thompson and Huckabee have definitly articulated their positions best.

Newt Gingrich claims he will run for President if he gets $30 million by November. Yeah, that's going to happen.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Discontent with Washington

Americans hate both political parties, with good reason. The Republicans are corrupt. They campaigned on the promise to reduce government spending and end corruption. Instead, from the year 1994 when they took over, federal spending has increased. Jack Abramhoff, Duke Cunningham, and others have made the GOP a party of corruption.

They told us that they would end deficit spending. They did- until Bush came into office. Then our Republican Congress and Republican President brought back deficits as big as any in the Clinton administration. (I am aware that Bush had the War on Terror to fight, but still, there is no excuse for these kinds of huge budgets).

They claimed that Bill Clinton's sexual adventures were grounds for impeachment. Then came Foley. And Craig. While the whole party can't be judged by actions of only a few of its members, I do believe that the party should weed out its bad apples. The fact that Craig was arrested only a few months after the Foley incident is not an encouraging sign.

The Republicans claim to know what they are doing in the War on Terror. While they have done some good here (it is an impressive feat to prevent any terror attack on American soil for six years), they have mismanaged the war in Iraq. Virtually every expert on the subject believes that the Bush administration had no plan for the aftermath. It would be rash to say that the surge is too late, but there is no denying that is has been too long delayed in coming. The situation in Iraq, while improving, is still dire.

The GOP has also failed us on immigration. The inane immigration bill that was proposed this summer had prominent Republicans as its most passionate defenders.

The Democrats are worse. Far worse. The Republicans at least pretend to curb federal spending. The Democrats compete with each other in finding ways to increase it, as seen by their ever expanding health care plans. And of course, to pay their expensive social programs, they will increase both the national debt and taxes.

The Democrats are worse than the GOP on immigration as well. They will not only grant amnesty to illegals, they will provide them with the much coveted "oppressed minority" status. If amnesty is allowed, as the Democrats almost unanimously wish, then former illegals will have a wealth of governments benefits at their disposal.

As to the War on Terror, the policies of the Democrats would almost certainly result in more attacks. The whole party advocates a hasty withdrawal from Iraq. Of course, that would have the result of sending the whole nation into chaos and civil war. Possibly, Iran would end up with de facto control of the country (rather like North Korea's deal with China), thus giving our foremost enemy in the Middle East a puppet state to control.

The people's dissatisfaction with both sides of the government is obvious. Recent polls put Congress' approval rating at 11%. Bush's rating is around 30%. A recent Rasmussen poll revealed that not one of the major candidates has more people for him than against him. It is obvious that most Americans are disgusted with both political parties, and government in general.

This disgust is not a good sign for Hillary, given that she has been a major part of Washington for the last fifteen years. Hillary Clinton is firmly enmeshed in the culture of Washington.

This disgust is, however, a very good sign for Fred Dalton Thompson. While he definitely has his negatives, he has at least been out of Washington for several years. In addition, he does not sound like a politician. While he "folksy" style does have negatives (it is sometimes hard to hear, and Thompson definitely rambles sometimes), it at least sounds different then the usual completely canned answers we get from most politicians.

(I am an avid talk radio listener, and thus have heard most the Republicans answer many of the same questions from different hosts. On the hard questions, they always answer in a very fast tone, as if they trying to hurry past it, which they probably are. Their answers are also notable for being virtually the same, word for word, every time they are asked.)

While Thompson's image will not necessarily win him the trust of the average voter, I believe that his non-Washington influenced act will be a definite, and possibly deciding, asset.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

McCain and the War

The Republican party is showing some courage on the issue of Iraq. The Democrats, who lack the resolve to simply cut off funds for the war, tried a more roundabout approach by introducing a bill that would require that troops spend as much time at home training with their units as they spend deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. This would cripple our already stretched army. Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain led opposition to the bill. Both came under fire for the amnesty bill, but they both deserve a great deal of credit in this case.

John McCain, in particular, has been slammed by most of the leading conservative thinkers, with good reason. His positions on immigration and taxes, are in are opposition to that of the GOP. While these are serious issues, he is no more liberal than pro-abortion, anti-gun, pro-gay rights Rudy Giuliani, who also has immigration issues. He has been a leader in the War in Iraq. While not a perfect candidate by any means, perhaps conservatives should give him another look.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Florida Tasering and O.J.

p>GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A university student with a history of taping his own
practical jokes was Tasered by campus
and arrested after loudly and repeatedly trying to ask U.S. Senator
John Kerry questions during a campus forum.
Andrew Meyer, 21, spent a night in jail before his release Tuesday morning. His attorney, Robert Griscti, did not return messages seeking comment.

Some liberals are under the impression that this is the first warning of the coming brutal police state that will crush all dissent. Some even blame Kerry for allowing the event to happen, as if Kerry would rush down from his podium and single-handedly rescue the kid. (Maybe it could happen. John Kerry served in Vietnam and was a war hero. If you question otherwise, you dragging politics into the gutter). But the truth is the kid deserved it. Kerry was doing a question and answer session with the students (who were these students, though? Does anyone care about what he has to say?) when Andrew Meyer rushed to the microphone and starting complaining that Kerry wasn't answering the student's questions. Kerry finished his current question, then let Meyer have a turn. Meyer, apparently, went over his allotted minute, got cut off, refused to get off the stage, and the rest is history. Maybe the campus police acted too quickly in Tasering Meyer (apparently he was handcuffed when he was Tasered), but I can sympathize with them.

Maybe I am heartless, but the whole thing amused me.

Simpson and the men have been charged with seven felony offences: conspiracy
to commit kidnapping; conspiracy to commit robbery; first degree kidnapping with
use of a deadly weapon; burglary with a deadly weapon; robbery with a deadly weapon; assault with a deadly weapon and coercion with a deadly weapon.
The four men have also been charged with the misdemeanor offence of conspiracy to commit a crime. If convicted on the most serious charges Simpson would face several years, possibly decades, in prison.

While I hate to mention O.J. Simpson, since it is a story that has been way overexposed by the media, mainstream or otherwise, I think that the odds are pretty good that he will get the book thrown at him by the jury. Not only for his latest heist, but they will remember his last crime. At least we were spared watching O.J. struggle to announce football games after his first felony (Tiki Barber is the latest athlete turned broadcaster who makes me cringe).

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hillary and Health Care

Hillary Clinton unveiled her new health care plan today, which will cost us 110 billion dollars a year.

The centerpiece of Clinton's "American Health Choices Plan" is the
so-called "individual mandate," requiring everyone to have health insurance —
just as most states require drivers to purchase auto insurance. Rival John
Edwards has also offered a plan that includes an individual mandate, while the
proposal outlined by Barack Obama does not.

I do not believe that it is governments place to tell that I need health care. Likewise, I don't think that government has the right to take my money to pay for the health care of others. (Obviously, in extreme cases, I might make an exception. Severely disabled people, for example, might require some aid). I would love to see all Americans with affordable, efficient health care. But if such a day comes, it will be because of the efforts of the market, not because of a government plan.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Analyzing the Surge

Many conservatives are are ecstatic over the perceived good effects of the surge, which are indisputable. The Petraeus report leaves little doubt of that. However, it would behoove many conservatives to maintain a realistic perspective of the surges effects.

Militarily, it is indisputable that the surge has been a remarkable success. The number of insurgent attacks has declined dramatically since last fall- although there are still over five hundred attacks per week. Violence has plunged in most of Iraq's large cities, and literally dozens of Al Qaeda's leaders have been captured or killed. Petraeus also reveals that Iraqi battalions have been slowly but surely starting to take control of their country.

So is the surge "one of the greatest military strategies of all time", as Sean Hannity is wont to proclaim in moments of hyperbolistic exuberance? No. The Maliki government is still weak and divided, which is a major problem. Although it is not as significant as most Democrats claim, the fact that Iraq has an ineffective government is a serious obstacle to a U.S. withdrawal in the near future.

In addition to this problem, the Bush-Petraeus strategy fails completely to address the problem of Iran. Nuclear considerations aside, Iran is training insurgents, providing them with safe havens, and supplying them with weapons. In the early days of the War, television journalists moonlighting as grizzled military theorists constantly reminded us that it is basic military thinking to strike at the enemies supply lines. By letting Iranians trained killers to slaughter our soldiers with no consequence to Iran is, to my view, a grave mistake by the President.

Although the Iraq surge has not achieved all its goals, it would be a grave mistake to pull out in the face of the success we have accomplished. Apart from the fact that a U.S. defeat would be an enormous PR boost for Al Qaeda, the primary goal of the surge was to end Al Qaeda's military dominance in Iraq. A realistic look at the facts reveals that it has done so. Therefore, it would unfair of Congress, which allowed, however unwillingly, the surge to take place to end it now. It would be a completely unnecessary defeat.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Assault on Petraeus

The smearing of General Petraeus by congressional Democrats is a disgrace. started the attack by calling General Petraeus General "Betray Us" in an attack ad published in the New York Times (at a special "attack Republican" rate), an ad that no prominent Democrat Senator has repudiated.

Far worse, however, than the MoveOn smear was Hillary Clinton's attack on Petraeus. A far-left blog could be excused for attempting cast doubt on Petraeus on grounds of ignorance, overzealousness, or ill judgement. There is no excuse for a ranking member of the Armed Services Committee calling a four star general a liar with absolutely no basis whatsoever for her accusation. Clinton said "You have been made the de facto spokesmen for what many of us believe to be a failed policy. Despite what I view is your rather extraordinary efforts in your testimony both yesterday and today, I think that the reports that you provide to us really require a willing suspension of disbelief."

I suppose that Hillary knows all about "suspension of disbelief", considering that she had no idea that Bill had had an affair. Now that's suspension of disbelief. Hillary's remark also makes one wonder why she thinks that she has a better handle on the situation in Iraq than the person who is actually in charge there. What intelligence service does she receive that provides better information than that which Petraeus possesses? Or if Petraeus if an unmitigated liar, why didn't she tell us this in June, so we wouldn't have to bother with a Petraeus report?

Many people seem to consider this attack on a respected general unprecedented and an example of Democrats pandering to leftwing blogs such as the aforementioned Neither impression is really accurate.

The left wing attacked American soldiers in Vietnam simply for being there. They were called murderers, and the men who led them were undermined from home. The Democrats inquisition and character assassination of General Petraeus is mild in comparison to the vitriol that was directed at the military by the Democrats forerunners in Congress.

The Democrats attacks on Petraeus are not pandering to and the DailyKos. They have charted the antiwar path long ago. For Democrats to win in 2008, Iraq must be a disaster. They campaigned on that message last November, and they have campaigned on that message for the whole duration of this Presidential campaign. An optimistic Petraeus report would be disastrous for them. They are not attacking Petraeus because of They are attacking him because, given the position they are in, it is the only thing they can do.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I just wanted to take this time to remind everyone to never forget September 11th, and to never forget the sacrifices our brave men and women in uniform are making for us.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Daily Kos and Osama

The Daily Kos has published a post analyzing Osama bin Laden's latest video. The post, entitled Decoding bin Laden's Latest: An Odd Congruence, is written by FMArouet. Although one does not expect to see much logic or patriotism coming from the Daily Kos, this post, in my opinion, should automatically disqualify the website from having any credibility in either the blogosphere and the world at large.

FMArouet begins by complaining that discussions of Osama tend to get sidetracked because so many people consider him "crazy" or "evil". Since they start from these negative premises, people get sidetracked from his actual points. (Which until recently have consisted of "Death of America. Death to Israel". But I digress).

Osama is not crazy, says FMArouet, because:

[H]e is highly intelligent, and he speaks coherently and persuasively to his
audience. He is regarded throughout the Arab World as astute and dignified, and
he appears to possess genuine charisma. He has excellent organizational
skills, and he thinks strategically. He has the capacity to imbue his followers
with great loyalty and sense of mission--even unto martyrdom for his, and their,
cause. Watch video of him closely. He does not rant. He does not rave. He does
not foam at the mouth. He does not gesticulate manically like Der Führer or
stare wild-eyed into the camera. He appears to speak with conviction and with
gravitas. At least most Arab observers think so.

I do agree with the author here. Osama is probably not crazy, except possibly in a weird Ron Paul combined with Timothy McVeigh sort of way. His next conclusion, however, more than makes up for whatever kernels of logic may have crept into the one above.

[B]in Laden does not hate the U.S. or its (or other Western) people for what they
are or for what they personally believe. He is opposed to specific U.S. policies
in the Arab and Islamic World and seeks to organize and inspire resistance to those policies.

Well, as I recall, bin Laden advised the United States to give up on democracy, which seems to me to qualify for "hating us for what we are".

After informing us that Osama doesn't hate our way of life, he just has issues with our foreign policy, FMArouet turns his attention to the question of whether Osama is actually evil or not. Because that is a issue that should be considered carefully when dealing with mass murderers. (Next week, we will examine whether Charles Manson was really a bad guy). The answer?
Bin Laden is no more evil than other revolutionary leaders in other times
or even than ordinary national leaders who propel their countries to war for
"national honor," or to acquire the resources of others, or even to "do good."
Wow. War is seldom a good thing, but even the most depraved empires usually had the decency to attack targets with military value. Dresden? Hiroshima? They had military value. The Germans were forced to use a considerable number of anti-aircraft guns in their Motherland that could have been fitted for tanks on the Russian front, and Hiroshima did end the war. The military value of the World Trade Center? Zero. Even the Imperial Japanese surprise attacked us at Pearl Harbor, which was a naval base. Apparently, murdering three thousand people doesn't make one evil.

The rest of the post considers the policy points mentioned by bin Laden and recommends accommodating him if not against the best interests of the United States, which none of them, according to the Daily Kos, are. This is possibly the worst part of the post. Bin Laden may or may not be making valid points. But why should we listen to him, a mass murderer, of all people? Many others have made identical points (think Michael Moore). Does it make sense for us to give his demands extra attention due to the fact that he is a wholly evil mass murderer?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Osama bin Laden's New Message

Osama bin Laden released a tape yesterday, in an attempt to frighten the decadent West and show his faithful supporters that he hasn't lost a step since his last tape three years ago. Judging from his performance on tape, he hasn't just a step, he might be missing a whole staircase.

Of course, maybe Osama is simply auditioning for a spot on Air America, given the way that his entire tape echoed Democrat talking points. After gloating about the effect of 9/11 on American foreign policy (which at least sets him apart from the 9/11 truthers), and even dragging in a "neoconservative" reference, Osama decrees that the American media lost all credibility because of its initial support of the Iraq War, a theme often seen in the writings of Michael Moore. Osama even expands on this point to conclude that (gasp) the media's condition "has often been worse than the condition of the media of the dictatorial regimes which march in the caravan of a single leader." Because Al-Qaeda apparently isn't a dictatorship.

After bin Laden gives us his take on the media, he turns his mental gaze on to the pressing issue of Iraq. After informing us that Bush "harvests nothing buy failure" in Iraq and complaining that Bush hasn't given the United Nations enough say (seriously), Osama refutes the position that leaving Iraq would result in a holocaust. Nonsense, says Osama, Muslims aren't allowed to burn living things! Bin Laden gives us all a little alternate history lesson by reminding us of the well-known fact that if Germany was just a little closer to the Middle East, the Jews would been saved by taking refuge with Muslims!

And Christans don't have anything to worry about either. There are millions of Christians in Egypt alone who Muslims very graciously haven't slaughtered. Yet. Maybe some should tell Osama about the situation of Christians in Egypt, or Iraq for that matter.

After informing us that democracy has destroyed the concept of liberty in Iraq and that we have killed 650,000 Iraqis ( the exact figure on Michael Moore's site. Coincidence?), Osama tells us about Vietnam, which any liberal knows is an exact parallel to Iraq. Osama shares the amazing fact that is still unknown to many historians: Kennedy was killed by big corporations because he wanted to end the Vietnam War! Technically, Kennedy started the Vietnam War, but anyway. Well, you can see the parallels. If you can't, simply turn to one of Osama's favorite authors on the topic (drum roll) Noam Chomsky, who now has a ringing endorsement to put on the dust cover of his next book.

Osama next turns his sights (figuratively, not the gun kind) on the Democratic Party. The reasons the Democrats haven't stopped the war are the same ones that Kennedy didn't: its the corporations. Money talks. And if you see any non sequiturs there, just read Noam Chomsky to clear them up.

There are, according to bin Laden, two solutions for Iraq. Number one is: Al-Qaeda will push us out. Not to be spoilsport or anything, but America has lost about 3,742 soldiers in Iraq. Al-Qaeda has lost around 55,000. Given that we have 160,000 troops in Iraq, we should be exterminated after about 2,200,000 Al-Qaeda soldiers given their lives, a Pyrrhic victory if I ever saw one.

The other solution is for us to give up on democracy. (Don't you love being given a choice?) Look at what democracy has inflicted: interest related debts, "insane taxes" and mortgages, hunger in Africa, and of course global warming. (How could Osama tell if there's global warming? Its always hot in Afghanistan). And, according to bin Laden, America is due to fall in the next few years anyway. After we discard democracy, we can convert to Islam, which has a low 2.5 tax rate.

If worst comes to worst for Osama bin Laden, it must reassuring for him to know that he can always get a job as a host for Air America, or maybe blog for the Daily Kos.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The GOP debate

I think that Mike Huckabee did the best at the debate. His answer on abortion was very good, and his argument about Iraq with Ron Paul was brilliant. Huckabee has no chance of getting the nomination, but he was to be praying that Fred Thompson doesn't. Thompson is a fellow Southern social conservative, so it is doubtful that Huckabee would be picked to be his running mate. If Northeasterners Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney get the nomination, however, I think that his chances of getting picked are reasonably good.

I thought McCain did well too, and we won Frank Lunz's poll, but his campaign needs a lot more than a good debate performance to pick it up.

Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney both had good performances.

I blogged the first forty-five minutes here.

8:55: Fred Thompson runs his first ad just before the debate, probably trying to show how little he thinks of it. He sounds good, but his head-bobbing is annoying. As he says each word, he nods his head. It looks weird.

9:04: First question: Did Fred make the right decision by appearing on Jay Leno? All of the candidates try to be as critical of Thompson without appearing too critical. What happens is; each candidate makes a joke criticizing Thompson, then mentions how much he loves the people of New Hampshire, what a great state it is, and how much fun he had in New Hampshire. Rudy Guiliani says that Fred played the role on TV that he played in real life.

9:08: Next question is about illegal immigration. Romney hits Rudy on illegal immigration. He
brings up the issue of sanctuary cities like Rudy Giuliani's New York City.

Chris Wallace quotes Giuliani as saying: "If you come here and you work hard and you happen to be in an undocumented status, you're one of the people who we want in this city. You're somebody that we want to protect, and we want you to get out from under what is often a life of being a fugitive, which is really unfair." Rudy says that he had 400,000 illegals in the city, and had to do something with them. That something, apparently, was to accept them as legal citizens. Doesn't make sense to me.

9:20: Next interesting question (there were a couple of uninteresting ones I skipped) has a police lieutenant asking about the illegal immigrants already here. Rudy Giuliani says that we need to stop illegal immigration using both a physical fence and a technological fence with cameras and motion sensors. Its not technically an answer since sealing the border won't stop any illegals already here, but at least Giuliani would seal the border. He doesn't mention sanctuary cities.

Mitt Romney says that we need to stop funding for sanctuary cities (hint hint), and sanction employers who hire illegals. Most Republicans have made little mention of sanctions for employers of illegal immigrants. I was glad to Mitt Romney take a stand.

9:27: Question for Romney about abortion: "you see ending abortion as a two- step process: rolling back Roe v. Wade, which would leave it legal in some states; and then a constitutional amendment to ban it nationwide. If abortion is murder, how can you live with it being legal in some parts of the country and for how long could you do so?" Romney gives a pretty standard and mostly sensible answer about how he would like to overturn Roe v. Wade (a good idea) and then pass a constitutional amendment banning it (almost certainly won't happen). However, one part of his answer was extremely confusing. He stated:

I recognize that for many people, that is considered an act of murder, to have
an abortion. It is without question the taking of a human life. And I
believe that a civilized society must respect the sanctity of the human

If Romney merely "recognizes" that many people believe abortion is murder, then it would seem that he doesn't. If he did, he would presumably say that he does believe. However, his next line is that abortion is the taking of a human life. Very strange, in my opinion.

9:29: Giuliani is asked about Fred Thompson's critical comments about New York Cities gun control laws. He says that the FBI disagrees with Thompson, then mentions what a good job he did is New York. Okay, we get that you did a good job Rudy. He listlessly remarks that the states can decide about their own gun laws, but doesn't seem very interested.

9:33: Sam Brownback is asked about gay marriage. he gives a solid answer, but I can't get too excited. We are talking about maybe five percent of the population here.

Later on, Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul had it out about Iraq. Video here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Fred Thompson and the GOP debate

Since my last post, Fred Thompson has announced that he will announce his presidential run on Jay Leno's show on the night of the Republican presidential debate, leading to an inevitable round of second-guessing by many. I don't want to seem like a Thompson apologist, but again, I believe that he is doing the right thing. Some(Rush Limbaugh) believe that announcing on Jay Leno's show in lieu of attending the debate degrades the office of the presidency. This might have had merit at one time, but the questions asked and formats used at many of the debates have pretty much robbed them of any real use. Queries like "Do you believe in evolution?" and "What do you like the most about the person next to you?" (which is asked mostly of preschoolers and is stupid even then) somehow rob the debates of Presidential dignity.

And I doubt that Thompson's no-show will much effect New Hampshire voters. Although I could be wrong, it seems unlikely that four months from now they will still feel slighted. It may also be a moot point, since Romney has a comfortable lead in the polls there.

Speaking of Romney, many have given up on him as a candidate, which may be a mistake. He holds the lead in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and two early victories may give him a lot of momentum.

No one has suggested this (that I have seen), but perhaps Mike Huckabee would be a good running mate for Romney? His social conservative credentials would reinforce Romney's, and his wit would possibly distract people from Romney's sometimes stiff speaking style.