Archive for March, 2008

Do ya’ think?

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Harvard published a study today that links increased insurgent activity in Iraq to “anti-resolve” media reports here in the US. Fox News reports here; a co-author of the study shared the news originally with US News and World Report.

Um…is this a surprise? I realize left-leaning politicians have a job to do, and I also understand that part of that job is to be against anything a Republican president wants to do or what Republicans in general might want to do. Unfortunately, in pursuing these short-sighted goals, real people die. Some of those people are Americans, and some of those are Iraqis.

So, any left-leaner worth his salt might say “hey, if we weren’t there in the first place, people wouldn’t be dying”. That statement is partly true — Americans in Iraq wouldn’t be dying. But Iraqis would most certainly be dying just as they died by the thousands under Saddam Hussein. And Americans might also be dying in other parts of the world — or even in the US — as terror attacks continued.

You don’t have to agree with the action in Iraq. You are absolutely entitled to disagree. But! Common decency (and maybe a little patriotic support?) suggest that you might not want more people to die. We don’t need politicians and media outlets taking the other side. And as the Harvard (no conservative bastion) study points out, the media reports we see every day basically do just that.

Abuse of the Sword

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Alan Dershowitz claims that American laws are too broad.  The breadth of these laws leaves ample room for abusive prosecution.  Dershowitz claims that Eliot Spitzer was wrongfully targeted using this abusive power.

American laws may indeed be too broad when it comes to money laundering and prostitution.  But Dershowitz  must have missed the rise of first prosecutor and then Attorney General Spitzer.  The man made a career out of abusive prosecution.

Dershowitz goes on to question the veracity of leaked reports as to how Spitzer was caught.  “Experts” doubt that the truth developed along the lines the story has unfolded.  Perhaps so…but welcome to the world of Spitzer’s victims.  Spitzer used leaks, lies, exaggerations, and the ultimate power of his office to destroy the lives of countless people.  Does a man like this think he won’t have enemies?  Does a man who “lives by the sword” actually think he won’t some day die by it?

If he does, he’s an arrogant idiot.  We have enough of those in politics.  Good riddance, Eliot.  I feel sorry for your daughters.  I feel only contempt towards you.

And Mr. Dershowitz?  Let’s work on that nasty hypocrisy problem, shall we?

Low Performance Approaches to Low Performance Policitics

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

In today’s Sunday Times (London), the democrats are portrayed as a bunch of bumbling idiots and Hillary is portrayed as a ruthless, self-serving politician:

However, the new strategy explains why Clinton is prepared to mount an assault on Obama that risks handing victory to McCain in the autumn. It is worth badly wounding her rival because she believes she has found a way to win.

“If she wins big in Pennsylvania, she can rack up a majority of several hundred thousand votes and be in hailing distance of Obama. So stay tuned,” said William Galston, an elections expert at the Brookings Institution.

Clinton’s new tactics depend on clearing up a mess in Florida and Michigan, which are banned from seating delegates at the convention because they defied party rules by holding early primary contests.

Obama leads Clinton by nearly 600,000 in the number of votes cast to date, but trails her by 30,000 if the votes of the two “rogue” states are counted. These states are now likely to stage some form of rerun.

Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives who will play a critical role in the event of a near-tie at the convention, met leading Clinton officials last week to discuss Florida and Michigan “do-overs”, the role of superdelegates and the campaign’s increasingly vitriolic tone.

Tad Devine, a senior Democratic strategist who has overseen bitter convention battles, said Obama was still the favourite to win. “He has a 50-state strategy and she has a 15-state strategy and in the end that may be decisive,” he said. “The most important factor for the superdelegates will be who has the most pledged delegates.”

Clinton will need improbably large victories in the remaining contests to narrow the 100-plus delegate gap that Obama has established. His lead is likely to grow after Mississippi votes on Tuesday.

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Over the past twelve years, the democrats have whined, cheated, bullied, manipulated, and otherwise acted like a bunch of spoiled children when it comes to elections. They can’t get their own primaries right; how are they going to get government right?

Changing the rules in the middle of the game? By the way, they want the Florida and Michigan taxpayers to foot the bills for their “re-runs”. Reasonable, right?

Superdelegates subordinating voters? Popular vote outweighing their own system of pledged delegates? “Scorched earth” mentality? Hillary apparently thinks that if she can’t have the nomination, Obama can’t either — she’ll hand the election to McCain.

Which brings me to another problem: McCain. Republicans might behave more maturely than democrats (unless they control Congress…then they spend like little kids with coins burning holes in their pockets), but McCain is a caricature of a politician. The phrases “What do you want me to say? I’ll say it?” seem to be his mantra. This guy doesn’t know where he stands, and if he does, he’s doing a poor job of communicating it.

The media loves him for two reasons: 1.) he bashes fellow republicans, and 2.) he most likely can’t win against Clinton or Obama. What’s not to love from the left-leaning, biased press?

And yet, McCain is increasingly being handed the chance to win. Clinton’s selfishness combined with Obama’s inexperience just might be enough — and then we’re in real trouble.

A President McCain is a president without core principals, and that spells disaster for all of us.

A Liberal Behaving Like an Adult

Friday, March 7th, 2008

It’s rare, I know…but in today’s Wall Street Journal, George McGovern proves that left-leaners can think and behave like responsible adults.  Check out his piece here.

McGovern argues that eliminating options and choices for individuals does not lead to a healthier society.  In today’s political climate, we have candidates from both parties telling us they’ll save us from “unfair” mortgages, they’ll pay for our health care, and they’ll save us from ourselves when we need cash (all examples in McGovern’s column).

This is crazy.  We’re a country built on a sense of personal responsibility our “leaders” are trying to squash.  At their roots, Americans are rugged individualists that also possess a strong sense of community.  We know when someone needs help, and we’re more than happy to provide it.

When I think “McGovern”, I think of the guy that lost one of the most lopsided presidential elections in history  (520-17 in the Electoral College).  But in doing a little homework for this blurb, I learned that McGovern was a mature liberal even then.  In his telegram to Nixon conceding defeat, McGovern wrote, “I hope that in the next four years you will lead us to a time of peace abroad and justice at home. You have my full support in such efforts”.

Can you see Hillary being as gracious to Obama?  Only if the cameras were running…

Hypocrisy

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Like most people, I am very intolerant of hypocritical people. This is one reason I find it easy to write about politicians. They’re easy targets in the hypocrisy game, and they’re excellent examples of how not to lead a high performance life (their perceived power and status notwithstanding).

I live in New York (part time). Over the last few years, my patience with the weather and with the politicians has worn incredibly thin. New York politicians fall very low on the totem pole of political integrity. These folks are so corrupt (and hypocritical) that one wonders how any of them stay out of jail. Eliot Spitzer is one politician in particular that has asked us all to sing to one tune while he dances to another.

In today’s New York Times, take a look at this piece detailing Spitzer’s tactics in raising campaign contributions. Spitzer announced a self-imposed “cap” on contributions to his campaign in an effort to cleanse the system of corruption. Like most things political, an effort to do one thing results in just the opposite; in this case, Spitzer is respecting the cap to his campaign while encouraging donors to contribute bonus funds to a democrat party account that he controls.

Also in typical political fashion, the hypocrite blames someone else for his actions. The Times reports that “Mr. Spitzer’s aides acknowledge encouraging contributors to give to both accounts, but say they are abiding by the law and the governor’s pledge, while trying to match the bare-knuckle politics of state Republicans.”

Oh those nasty, bare-knuckled republicans…

Say one thing, do another, blame someone else…it’s amazing to me that an entire generation leads their lives this way. It’s even more amazing that as a society, we elect these people to positions of power.