Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

A bit of the surreal make it all the more Halloweenish around here today. My son volunteered to participate in a Blood Drive at school today. Very Halloweenish, you see. I like that he can give blood.

Then to cap things off this afternoon, I was parked in the car pool line, awaiting the dismissal of school, minding my own business, reading my fabulous read "Eat, Pray, Love" and what do I see? One of the Houston Independent School District (HISD) patrol cars go to the front of the line and park. Out comes an officer and he goes into the school. Hmm. What's up, I ponder? Not too much times goes by and out comes said officer, escorting a tall, thin, young black woman with her hands behind her back, in handcuffs. Well now. Then another officer comes out of the school and gives the first officer the paperwork. Off they drive.

So, son comes out of school and after the usual pleasantries like how was your day, what'd you eat for lunch, etc., I said to son, "Anything unusual happen today?" To which he said, no, why? Remember it is a very large school and divided into four sections. Over 3,000 students attend. Plus, my son tends to stay within his own orbit. So, I say, well, I just saw HISD take away a girl in handcuffs. "Oh, that!" Seems a friend of his told him about the fight between her bff and another girl, the one taken away. Seems it was a brutal fight and the girl had to be tased, bro, before they could get her off the other girl. All over a boy, of course. Jeez.

Happy Halloween. No candy for her.

Camelot lost its Lancelot last night. At the age of 73, Robert Goulet passed away while awaiting a lung transplant. How sad. What a voice. He was diagnosed with interstitial pulmonary fibrosis in September, so that was a quick passing. Did you know it was his singing voice used for Wheezy the Penguin in Toy Story 2, in 1999?

The White House has named the 2007 Medal of Freedom winners, according to
They are : 1. Oscar Elias Biscet, a Cuban dissident, anti-abortion and pro-democracy activist; 2. Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; 3. 1992 Nobel economics prize winner Gary Becker; 4. Francis Collins, a Human Genome Project leader; 5. Benjamin Hooks, US civil rights leader; 6. Henry Hyde, former Illinois congressman, former House Foreign Affairs committee chairman; 7. Harper Lee, author of "To Kill a Mockingbird", (yeah), and 8. Brian Lamb, my hero. Brian Lamb is the tv executive who brought C-SPAN to our nation. I heart him.

The Medal of Freedom is the highest US civilian honor. Established in 1963, it is awarded for "especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the U.S., world peace, or for their accomplishments in the areas of culture or other significant public or private endeavors."

The debate last night of the Dem presidential candidates? Didn't watch. I have seen and heard more than my fill of clips from the debate, though, and the only difference this time was that Edwards and Obama, and briefly Dodd, went after Hillary a bit. She was shown as she is and covers nicely: a person with no compass, no firm ideas. Lots of slogans and she bashed Bush whenever she had nothing else to say, but that's about it. Dodd chastised her on her waffling on the N.Y. state driver's licenses for illegals - she is really good at sounding as if she's all things to all people. Dodd reminded her that a driver's license is a privilege, not a 'right'. In the end, I am sure her sheeple will continue to follow her blindly, her Clinton star power in tact.

I never understood how she was able to go through the 1990's reign at the White House with all the elites proclaiming her the smartest woman on the planet and such a feminist, strong on women's and children's rights. Please. She doesn't think on her feet well, that was shown last night. And, when it gets a bit tough for her, her staff sends out a press release stating Tim Russert was too "aggressive" with her questioning. Typical Clinton. Always someone else's fault. If she is thrown off her standard answers, as she finally was asked some real questions last night, then she doesn't fare very well.

She'll still be the nominee, though. Her sheeple will see to it. And Bill will, too. He can't wait for another eight years of Asian money and interns.

Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Splash in Ecuador, Isolationism and Kofi, Too

Lots of fun reading out there today on the current events front. We have Daryl Hannah in Ecuador, Ron Silver's take on the joys of isolationism, and Kofi goes to Buckingham Palace.

Let's begin with Ms. Hannah. You remember her, don't you? She was the mermaid in "Splash" and now she is an official spokeswoman for The Earth. Most recently, Ms. Hannah has been in the news, making a splash so to speak, about using vegetable oil in her auto for fuel. OK, fine. But next time she may want her political advisor to be a bit more thorough on the research end of a publicity stunt type of trip. Seems Ms. Hannah went to Ecuador and "ventured into the Ecuadorean Amazon in June to have herself photographed dipping her hand into a lake of black sludge, she characterized the situation as 'potentially the biggest environmental case ever.' Only one problem: The supposed villain in the plot, Texaco--now merged with Chevron--ceased operations in Ecuador in 1990." That is from the story in today's

Yes, Ecuador is a pit. The oil industry has not been kind to the area. The state owned PetroEcuado, according to Latin Business Chronicle is seen "as one of the most inefficient state oil companies in Latin America." So, why the lawsuit now? Because according to the Energy Minister, "for over 30 years, PetroEcuador has done absolutely nothing to remediate those pits under its responsibility." And, you might ask, why go after Chevron? The lawyer said Texaco "made all the decisions about technologies and methods" and did "Substandard work compared to what they were doing elsewhere." What he doesn't say is Chevron has the money. Who are they going to hold responsible? Their own State Owned industry?

The problem is that in these nasty third world countries, there is no consistent legislation, as there is in the U.S., to protect the environment. They simply want the natural gas and the oil out of the ground, or the water. Drilling companies have little control over policy, despite what this lawyer says. Ever seen the coast of Nigeria?

So, while the lawyer privately admits it isn't really "Big Oil" as the devil, it's the State Owned industry. The little mermaid missed the mark this time. Good photo, though. She was a willing shill for a fat settlement, they hope, for the country of Ecuador. It'll not help The Earth. It'll fatten some bank accounts, though.

Ron Silver, actor, has a fun piece on isolationism over at Pajamas Media today. You may know him most recently from "West Wing", he was Bruno Gianelli. I have huge respect for the man now, post 9/11, as he is one of the few in Hollywierd who woke up that day and gets it. The left and the defeatists continue to go on about the theory that if the U.S. would just leave other countries, the world would like us. Although I have never understood this line of thought, as the world has never liked us, truth be told, but Silver tweaks them pretty good. He offers 6 steps that the political parties can introduce at their conventions to make the world like us again:

1. "We can start by helping the Arabs retake Andalusia. Having conquered it once, it belongs to them forever. This goes for most of the Balkans as well as Austria up to the gates of Vienna."

2. "Let's remove our troops and fleet from the Pacific. China is a great country - props to being able to control Google, even Bill Gates can't do that - and what the hell are we doing in that part of the world anyway? I'm sure without our meddling in China, the Korean Peninsula and Japan and Taiwan in addition to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore as well as Indochina will finally be able to get over centuries of enmity. Let's face it - Tibetan culture couldn't have been so great if it's that easily annihilated while the International Community, excuse me, the family of nations, didn't notice in their stampede to joint ventures in the Shanghai rush."

3. "Disband NATO - the French never really liked it anyway... I know France is back and Sarko is good, but protecting Europeans all these years was not a good idea. They are far more sophisticated than we will ever be and they know how society can be organized and we all can live the good life. They don't need us to tell them how to deal with Persia and Putin."

4. "South America and Mexico and Canada are easy. Open our borders. Green cards are so '87. And whatever Hugo says, goes. He seems to have a grip on things."

5. "We should not act unilaterally in Africa. Africa is not our responsibility (it's Bono's). We should leave it to the international community, with its many indispensable nations, Russia, China, the EU and Principe and San Tome to take the lead. With the able assistance of the Great African Leaders of Sudan, Chad, Somalia and Zimbabwe, Kofi Annan who was head of peacekeeping for the U.N. during the genocides in Rwanda and Srebrenica, and as Secretary General, presided over the massacres in Darfur can help his former colleagues work it out."

6. "We need to speak with Persia. If they want nukes and their neighbors want nukes, who are we to say it's a bad idea? Appoint Sen. Larry Craig our Ambassador. "

That's the short version of Silver's suggestions. Brilliant man, that one. I was completely amused early this morning and I appreciated that. Not bad at all for the former president of the Actor's Equity Association, (from 1991 to 2000). He's a member of the Council on Foreign Relations now.

And, speaking of Kofi Annan, from the Rosett Report, Claudia Rosett's excellent column tells the tale of his private ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Seems he was the recipient of an honorary knighthood. Yes, that's right. See suggestion #5 above, please. He was made an honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. Since Kofi isn't British, he's an African you know, he is not entitled to the title "Sir."

So, in honor of turning his back on his homeland and its people, allowing genocide in more than one country without proper intervention by the U.N., turning a blind eye and then profiting, along with his family members, in the Oil for Food scandal - the biggest single monetary, not to mention humanitarian, scandal of all time, hypocritically lecturing the world about 'good governance' and on and on, Kofi gets a British honorary title.

Way to go.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sarkozy Slaps Stahl

So, who's not loving French President Sarkozy this morning? I heart him. He is a finger in the eye of the elites in this country bemoaning the alleged fact that no one likes us anymore. Pouting that Europeans say mean things about the U.S. Is this anything new? No, of course not. The leaders of other countries like to jab us and act as though they are the forward thinking leaders of the future, yet we know the score. We are the only country on the face of the planet who can help others in a big way during their time of need.

Chirac pulled his stunts and tried his best to look like a tough guy when the going got rough. When it became clear that the administration of George W. Bush was serious about removing Saddam, our national policy of regime change in Iraq since 1998 to be enforced, then those on the take, receiving kickbacks and bribes from the corrupt Iraqi government squawked. We'll not help the imperialist, nation building U.S., they said.

Then the Oil for Food scandal finally broke. Even CNN and the other defeatist networks had to report about that one after others shamed them into doing it. The U.N.? Worthless. Unless, of course, you think their mission is to send peacekeepers to hot spots who turn around and rape and brutalize the very women and children they are suppose to be protecting. Unless you think their mission is to be bribed and blackmailed by the bad guys. Unless you think it's ok for the 'security council' to be chock full of the very torturers and dictators the world would like to be rid of. Accuse the U.S. of torturing? Please.

So, Sarkozy is elected by a big margin in France to take the helm. Guess what? He likes the U.S. and wants France to embrace some of our principles. He wants to help fight corruption and tyranny on the world stage. He doesn't seem to expect the administration to come groveling for forgiveness for foreign policy. Interesting.

Sarkozy is confusing the elites in our country, big time. Why does he come to New Hampshire to vacation when he has fabulous Europe at his disposal, like the elites from America, who are so sophisticated and love to hop the pond. Why does he not try to ingratiate himself to American media? He chastised American photographers as they intruded on his family vacation in New Hampshire. Then, he got up and walked out on Leslie Stahl, as the interview last night on 60 Minutes showed. It was great.

Here's Sarkozy, not in the mood for a tv interview with Leslie Stahl and fussing at his press secretary about arranging it on a very busy day. That should have been Stahl's first clue. But no, she nags Sarkozy that it's all set up and why is he so testy?

She is told in advance to not ask about the impending divorce with his wife, who left him two years ago in the midst of an affair with another man but came back to Sarkozy to reconcile last year. It didn't work, obviously, and they were in process of divorcing when this interview was taped. So, what does Stahl do? Yeah, as she gets into the interview and realizes she'll not be getting any America bashing, or more specifically, Bush bashing from him, she goes for the marriage questioning. He politely declines to answer. She continues to push. So, he stands and leaves the room. Interview over. She's sitting there like the fool she is. Priceless.

Why, how dare this man not answer this arrogant American reporter's question. Personal questions about his private life. Aren't these the same folks who defended the Clinton marriage and insisting it was not any one's business?

Time spent watching the interview : about 10 minutes.
Sarkozy's handling of Stahl? Worth every minute.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lessons Learned

I read two interesting commentaries about Mike Huckabee yesterday. One from contributor, John Fund and one by Pat Toomey representing the tax reform group, Club for Growth.

I'll start with John Fund's piece, because it was better, and the point made is that Huckabee while touting his social conservative cred, being pro-life especially, is a liberal/populist on the economic issues. Sounding familiar? So, while he's a smooth talking Baptist minister and cheered on by the religious right, he is also praised by liberal columnists.

"Rick Scarborough, a pastor who heads Vision America, attended seminary with Mr. Huckabee and is a strong backer. But, he acknowledges, "Mike has always sought the validation of elites".

"Mr. Huckabee's reluctance to surround himself with conservatives was evident as governor, when he kept many agency heads appointed by Bill Clinton."

Huckabee claims he has to fight the obstacle of being a 'man from Hope', as Clinton is known to be, though Clinton was only born there and lived there only briefly. We know that was all about slick political campaign commercials. Hollywood loved Hope.

The most disturbing quote, though, is the opinion held by a former Huckabee aide on his style of governance: "He's just like Bill Clinton in that he practices management by news cycle." "As with Clinton there was no long-term planning, just putting out fires on a daily basis. One thing I'll guarantee is that won't lead to competent conservative governance."

According to the piece by Pat Toomey, "Huckabee makes no secret of his desire to turn the GOP leftward, calling himself a 'different kind of Republican,' adopting protectionist positions, and peppering his campaign speeches with the kind of class warfare rhetoric one expects to hear from John Edwards. No doubt, this is the reason that the liberal media is so smitten with him."

Toomey goes on to point out why the Republicans lost some many seats in 2006. It wasn't because the country suddenly lurched left. We are still very much a center/right country. The Republicans and Independents were, however, quite fed up with the liberal spending policies of this administration and the corruption that has seeped into the culture of the party politicians. Republicans and Independents don't want conservatives to act like liberal Democrats. It was the easy common commentary that said it was all about Iraq. Iraq was a part of the frustrations but the reality is this: Democrats didn't win, Republicans lost.

So, I think it's right that Huckabee is no where near ready for prime time in Washington. I'm not even so sure he should be looked at as VP. We need strong national defense policy in Washington. If Huckabee is spouting off about his isolationist tendencies, that is not a good sign. He may as well be Ron Paul.

And the religious right having the temper tantrums over the abortion policy? If they are so concerned about a social conservative in the White House, why haven't they mobilized behind Huckabee and made him the top tier candidate? No candidate is going to fill the bill 100% for anybody. That's human. The voter has to cast a ballot for the person most in line with his or her reasoning on how the country should go forward.

For me, it's all about national security. Without that, nothing else will matter. I don't want a squish or a woman with her finger in the air. My family deserves better and our country depends on it. Hillary and Bill's policy of treating terrorism as a legal matter brought us to 9/11. It's harsh but true.

Did they learn nothing from the Bush terms? Clinton carried a bible to church each Sunday, for the cameras. Hillary speaks of her faith. Neither are moral people in my book. The rhetoric and trappings of faith in politics is interesting but we don't elect the preacher in chief.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

It's All Good

Did I mention this is the absolute perfect time of year here in the nation's fourth largest city? Our weather doesn't get any better than this, my friends. Cold enough for the heater at night, sunny and 70's during the day and very low humidity. Perfect.

The chili was eaten with rave reviews from my guys last night. I'll take 'em when I can get 'em. Tonight the menu is baked salmon and freshly made coleslaw. The boy was spoiled this morning with bacon and chocolate chip muffins made for him by his proud mother. We are still a little buzzed out around here that he is officially an Eagle Scout now, having survived the last Board of Review Tuesday night. The best part? His realization that he can achieve goals with perseverance and work. That is exactly the right lesson to learn as one turns 18 years of age, if you ask me. Every eighteen year old should feel there is a world of possibilities out there.

One of the husband's notebook computers is keeping me entertained with the live feed from NASA tv, as I watch and listen to the astronaut space walkers. So freakin' cool. These people leave me feeling awestruck.

I have lots of reading on the do-to list today. Cooking, baking and reading. A great day, indeed.

Charles Krauthammer, one of my favorite thinker/writers wrote an interesting column published by Real Clear Politics. While many Republicans are still not quite there in support of one candidate above the others, Krauthammer writes that we have an excellent field of them. The social conservative wing of the party is uneasy with the top contenders for views past and present. But, as Krauthammer points out, everyone is looking for a modern day Reagan. The problem is, Reagan is not here and he is not coming back. He was, indeed, the greatest president of the 20th century. He was a good man. A strong leader. He was a Democrat during his acting days and his tenure as president of the Screen Actors Guild. Then he became a Republican and ran for political office. He knew who he was and stayed true to his beliefs. On the flip side, he took naps, "granted amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants in the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli bill. As governor of California, he signed the most liberal abortion legalization bill in America, then flip-flopped and became an abortion opponent. What did he do about it as president? Gave us Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy, the two swing votes that upheld and enshrined Roe v Wade for the last quarter-century."

Krauthammer points to these facts of Reagan's legacy not to criticize him but to bring a little reality into the present candidates positions. "And to argue that in 2007 we have, by any reasonable historical standard, a fine Republican field: One of the great big-city mayors of the last century; a former governor of extraordinary executive talent; a war hero, highly principled and deeply schooled in national security; and a former senator with impeccable conservative credentials."

Well said.

He finishes with this: "Yes, I know. I've left out Huckabee, whom some of my colleagues are aggressively trying to promote to the first tier. I refuse to go along. Huckabee is funny, well-spoken and gave a preacher's stemwinder that wowed the religious right gathering in Washington last Saturday. But whatever foreign policy he has is naive and unconvincing. In wartime, that is a disqualification for commander in chief."

Couldn't agree more.

I'm reading a couple of opinion pieces on Huckabee by two different conservatives. I'm seeing a few kinks in the armor. I think he would make a better VP candidate. Let him get some on the job training, so to speak.

I may post more later on him. After I finish the reading. Depends on how much I like the Chardonnay chilling in the fridge. It's Saturday, you know.

Friday, October 26, 2007

From the Lone Star State

Have you seen the moon the past night or two? It is full and radiating pure brilliance of moonlight and making the earth's surfaces glow. Last night, a night of clear sky and chilly air, the moonlight reflected off the water in our swimming pool and streamed into my bedroom as if it was a night light. One of life's amazements.

With the aforementioned chill in the air, there is a fine pot of chili simmering on the stove for supper. Max the dog is loving coming and going in and out of the back yard sniffing all the new smells in the air. He appreciates low humidity, too.

This morning I read of a new initiative to secure the Texas border at Laredo by the U.S. Border Patrol. It is labeled as a 'zero tolerance' operation. The plan is "to prosecute, jail and deport all illegal immigrants caught in the bustling Laredo area, marking a significant tightening of immigration enforcement along a key U.S. border corridor." That, according to James Pinkerton writing for the Houston Chronicle, is an expansion of the Border Patrol's Operation Streamline project in Del Rio and in Yuma, Arizona. Both have been very successful.

The Houston Chronicle article, however, leaves the reader to believe it is a big push by the Bush Administration and the Dept. of Homeland Security, which it clearly is not. Pardon me, but if the Bush administration felt that border security was a priority then this kind of policy would have been enforced in his first term, not as he is on the way out of office. This operation in Laredo is coming forth thanks to the leadership of Rep. John Culberson, R-TX and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-TX. Culberson is my congressman, I am proud to say, and Cuellar represents Laredo. The Houston Chronicle conveniently does not even mention Culberson, thank you.

"The Border Patrol is expecting big results in the Laredo sector." That at the end of the article this morning. Enforce the laws on the books. It works. Crime rates drop and social services get a breather. Who knew? Just the people it affects, I guess.

And on the medical research front, on Nov. 6, Texans will vote on Proposition 15, a decision voters will make whether or not to fund $3 billion for cancer research. We have a world class cancer medical facility here in Houston, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, (recently and consistantly ranked number one by those who study such facilities) and the governor, Rick Perry, and the legislators of the state feel the time is right for an unprecedented push in research for cancer treatments and cures. The proposition enjoys broad bi-partisan support and people like Lance Armstrong are encouraging passage with public service announcements and appearances.

Today's article concerning Proposition 15 focuses on Cathie Adams, president of Texas Eagle Forum and her recent e-mail to Republicans in the state addressing the fact that the funding may be used for research on human embryos, in embryonic stem cell research. There is absolutely no indication that embryonic stem cell research is a part of the plans for the funding but Adams is sounding the alarm, just in case. The governor, for one, is a strong advocate for Proposition 15 but his spokeswoman, Krista Moody, said he "staunchly opposes" embryonic stem cell research. M.D. Anderson's president, Dr. John Mendelsohn, said it was never the intention to turn the cancer research proposal into funding for embryonic stem cell research.

However, there is no statutory language to prohibit the funding and no statutory language prohibiting the research. So, Adams fears the lines will be blurred and funding will go to grants by scientists focusing on that research.

Adams notes that the ban on embryonic stem cell research has failed to pass in the Texas Legislature two sessions in a row. Adams is known in political circles as a strong and powerful socially conservative voice. She has superior organizing abilities.

I think she's off the mark this time. I'm voting for Proposition 15.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Turns Out She's Human After All

Poor Oprah has had a run of bad stuff lately, hasn't she? First she realized even she would experience menopause when her age and body hormones merged, then she has to put out the fire that is the scandal ridden girls school she built and opened in South Africa. What's a billionaire to do?

Here's the deal, Lucille, er, Oprah: women of a certain age go through menopause. It is not a revelation. It is only a revelation to you now because you are facing challenges brought on by this time of life. I am younger than you and the whole malfunctioning thyroid thing hit me a over a year ago and I am doing just fine with a little pill each morning. No fuss, no muss.

Now, I don't have a talk show or an ever present audience of sheeple women from the suburbs who breathlessly wait for your next dispatch, but I do look to the same woman doctor/author/motivational speaker that you used on your show to explain all this to women around the world. However, when I saw a brief piece of a big time story of your newly discovered 'health crisis' on an entertainment news kind of show, while waiting for another show to begin on the channel, I thought to myself, "Self, this is a bit much, even for you, Oprah." Health crisis? Please. You gained weight, you were tired, you went to Africa for a month over the summer break from your show to rest, and then you did just what you should have done, you went to the doctor, after calling the aforementioned doc and chatting about it. It's a blood test and then medication. It's not a crisis of your health.

None of us are getting any younger. And, the word crisis is entirely overused. Eventually, the very reaction wanted by the use of the word stops.

Then the scandal broke about the girls school in South Africa. The school that Oprah built and opened last year is coping with an allegation that one of the female staff member is charged with assault to sexual misconduct. Rumors that the employee choked a girl and threw her up against a wall. Oprah dispatched a team of private investigators, former Chicago policemen, to get the story. She has flown to the school two weekends in a row. I'm thinking it'll be a regular weekend trip now until it's all sorted out.

I have pondered for a while now that Oprah is just not a very good judge of people. Years ago when I watched her show I noticed a pattern. She would bring on guests, especially celebrities, and fawn all over them as talk show hosts do. For example, Mike Tyson and Robin Givens spring to mind. Still to this day. Oprah said they were the perfect couple, so happy, blah, blah, blah. Next thing you know they're grabbing headlines that he beats her up, he's a manic depressive personality, they're divorcing. Another one was her 'girl', as she called her, Hallie Barry. She's so beautiful, so wonderful, so solid. Then we read she's charged with a hit and run accident. And she keeps marrying guys who abuse her.

I haven't watched her show in years. It's too insulting. I know she's a philanthropist, she's successful and very wealthy, a rags to riches story. She reads and can make an author successful overnight by picking his/her book for her book club selection that month. But still.

She's just human.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Predictable Responses All

It took only about 24 hours for the two reactions I predicted to come true. When the devastating wild fires began in California, I said that soon the blame will be put on global warming and at President Bush. I was not proven wrong. Pity.

The first was the claim of global warming. I heard that standard catch all logic for the ills of the world used by a county public official in southern California only hours after the drama there began. Then Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader told reporters it was global warming, too. Then when questioned about it mere seconds into the claim he denied he said it. Too bad it was caught on tape, huh Harry? And the topping to the cake came with the news blurb on Drudge's web site this afternoon that says CNN's network president, Jon Klein, told his employees to "push" their "Planet in Peril" special by linking global warming to the fires. But, not "irresponsibly" he told the reporters. Nice.

Any wonder why serious people don't listen to them anymore?

Senator Barbara Boxer, D-CA, was the first I officially heard to link the war in Iraq with the fires. She claimed if the National Guard wasn't busy in Iraq, then they could be there to help. Well, yeah, but another official, a responsible grown up, when questioned about that stated that they had plenty of guardsmen and equipment available and other states were helping out, too. Boxer was forced today, after actually going to the state and seeing the facts on the ground, to admit the governor had people and equipment in place and everything was being done that could be done. She is so blatantly ignorant that it boggles the mind that she is in any position of power at all.

Any wonder why Congress is in the tank with polling numbers?

The governor of California, a Republican, and the President worked together and got the job going, along with local mayors and the Red Cross. The grown ups. The Democrat politicians, however, did as they always do. They stood on the sidelines and pointed fingers and made false accusations, all for their own political agenda. Who's needs did that serve? Do you think those evacuating homes and struggling to pull their families and pets together appreciated that nonsense? We'll check the polls at a later date.

Right now is the time to get the people who can go back into their homes, back. It is time for the firefighters to receive all the help and support they can get. The state and federal aid is there and more is coming. This is further evidence that when local, state and federal levels work together the mission is accomplished. This isn't Katrina or Rita when the local and state levels wouldn't listen to reason or work with the federal officials. These people in California are actually competent.

And, as far as the global warming cult goes, the problems with the Santa Ana winds have been with California since the beginning of time. The forest management decisions, the public policy decisions made to manage public forests like the ones some many of these subdivisions now border, well, that's a good place to begin to look for future solutions. Controlled burns and clear cutting decisions must be re-evaluated.

Also in the standard reaction column: Did you know First Lady Laura Bush is in the middle east promoting education and medical research and programs for women concerning breast cancer. What? You haven't heard about that? Shocking.

In the Houston Chronicle yesterday there was one photo, no article, at the bottom of the last page of the first section of the paper showing Mrs. Bush and six women in Abu Dhabi. There was a little caption under the photo stating she was there as part of a 4 day trip around the middle east to raise breast cancer awareness. They didn't exactly break a sweat with the info there.

When Hillary Clinton boarded an aircraft? Front page news and story after story about her greatness. She did world tour after world tour with huge entourages, at taxpayer expense, to keep busy after the health care fiasco, yet nothing substantial was accomplished. Except fabulous travel, you know.

Some 'journalists' are on Mrs. Bush's trip. Greta van Sustern from Fox News will have a report on the trip when she comes back from it. One of the alphabet networks sent a woman and all she was quoted about was asking a local woman if she thought this was the U.S. butting into their health care business. The woman, however, didn't provide the answer I know the reporter was counting on. You know, because the world hates us. The local woman said it had nothing to do with the U.S., it was the First Lady encouraging and educating women who needed help. Either these reporters have no idea how stupid they look, pushing the agenda of the day, or they just don't care as long as the paycheck is in the bank account. Despicable either way.

Mrs. Bush has recently spoken out in support of the people of Burma and gotten the people of this country involved. She has made several trips to Afghanistan and the middle east countries in support of women there.

She didn't kiss the check of Sula Arafat either.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fruits and Nuts

From the floor of the House of Representatives a full five days ago:
"You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement," Rep. Pete Stark D-CA said during the S-CHIP debate.

From the floor of the House of Representatives today, a full five days later:
"I want to apologize first of all to my colleagues, many of whom I have offended, to the president, his family, to the troops that may have found offense in my remarks as were suggested in the motion that we just voted on, and I do apologize...With this apology I will become as insignificant as I should be and we can return to the issues that do divide us but that we can resolve." - Rep. Pete Stark, D-CA after a vote to censure him was defeated by a mere 23 votes, with 8 voting 'present'.

Then Rep. Pete Stark, D-CA, left the floor and cried for a full five minutes as his Democrat colleagues surrounded him.

So, why'd he apologize today after he defiantly refused to do so the past five days? I'm guessing because House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, finally said the remarks were "inappropriate" and because the House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-OH, brought the resolution to censure today. Just a guess.

This is not the first time Rep. Pete Stark, D-CA has used abhorrent language, personally attacking those with whom he debates on the floor of the House. So, while the far left rejoiced in his nastiness and probably actually believe there is truth in the remarks because they are so deranged, Rep. Pete Stark, D-CA has given the Republicans a choice sound bite for the upcoming 2008 elections. The scheming class in D.C. figured that tidbit out and knew they had to let Pelosi appear to throw him under the bus.

He is a pitiful old man.

It's reported in today's Houston Chronicle that Nobel laureate Doris Lessing 'Said the Sept. 11 attacks were not that terrible compared to IRA attacks in the United Kingdom". There is one distinct difference Doris doesn't bother to note, though. The almost 3,000 innocent lives lost on a single day in four attacks overwhelm the 30 years it took for that many to be lost in the violence of Northern Ireland.

"Some Americans will think I'm crazy. Many people died, two prominent buildings fell, but it was neither as terrible nor as extraordinary as they think. They're a very naive people, or they pretend to be". she said. She went on to bash Tony Blair and President Bush, of course. Predictable.

She is a pitiful old woman.

I bet Rep. Pete Stark, D-CA and Nobel laureate Doris Lessing could have a fabulous visit together.

And then there's the revelation about Professor Dumbledore. JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series of books, decided to out Professor Dumbledore. Why, after 10 years of books and more recognition and publicity than any author in recent times, she decided to out Professor Dumbledore and chat about his sexuality at this point is curious. It's fiction, for one thing. For another, who cares? And this fuels the fire of all those religious fundamentalists who bellyached about the evils of the book series with the wizardry and all certain that children across the country would promptly go to the dark side. Now they are convinced, according to the local radio talk show I heard this morning, that the young readers are scarred for life. They'll probably all become gay now. Every reader loved Professor Dumbledore, before his timely demise, and now they'll just want to copy him, you know.

Help me. Please.

I told my son and husband about JK Rowling's answer to the question posed by a young adult reader. My son, who has literally grown up with Harry Potter and the gang wasn't phased in the least. He ho-hummed the talk and said, sure, he's gay. Then the husband chimed in. Of course he's gay, he's a wizard, the husband declared. What? Did I miss that memo, too? Bad enough I had to be clued into the bathroom etiquette of gay rendezvouses by Senator Larry Craig, R-ID, recently. The husband was teasingly saying all wizards are gay.

At least I think he was kidding.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Of Polls and Reality

I'll have what Mark Penn is having, thank you. Penn is Hillary's chief strategist. He also holds the position of worldwide CEO for an international public relations/lobbying firm. He didn't quit his day job to work for Hillary. You know, like, say, Karl Rove did when he signed on with Bush. He sold his consulting business and just did the one job. But, stop picking on Hillary and all the pesky questions about ethics.

It seems Penn is trotting out a theory, based on polling he has allegedly seen, that a solid 25% of Republican women would vote for Hillary for president. Because, you know, she's a woman. Apparently all women are so desperate for a woman in the Oval Office that they will vote just on gender. Penn claims in exit polls from 1972 to 2004, an average of 9% of Republican women have voted for Democratic candidates. Hey, are those the same exit polls that declared John Kerry the winner in 2004? OK.

Then, according to Cook/RT Strategies Polling, if the race was between Rudy and Hillary, Hillary receives just 7% of Republican women voters. Seems, in fact, this polling shows more Democratic women crossing over to vote Republican and against Hillary by 9%. So, who are you going to believe?

The Clintons are not exactly possessing the stellar reputation in the truth-telling area. Nor are her people. Just sayin'.

Hillary still has the highest negatives in polling than any other candidate ever. Ever. I hear Democrat women saying they don't want to vote for her. I'm fairly confident in saying there won't be a stampede of Republican voters heading her way. Her only hope is women voters. She expects them to be there for her, if for no other reason than just that she is a woman.

I can't tell you how insulting I think that is. I'm a feminist but I'm a Republican. I would say I am a more honest feminist than Hillary ever has been. I would never think to belittle stay at home moms by saying I wouldn't stay home and bake cookies when I could use a law degree for a career. I think all choices are personal and noble. Are we really to believe all women vote the same? In voting statistics, the only generalization to be made with confidence is that the black vote is about 88% Democrat and that's on the optimistic side on the Republican vote.

Hillary, in fact, would never be seeing her ambitions for the Oval Office to fruition if not for the fact of being married to Bill. She was promised a Senate seat by him to overcome her humiliation before the entire world for his behavior and impeachment. From there the plan was always for her to go for the big one. In reality, what has she ever done on her own? When she followed Bill to Little Rock, she was at a law firm, hired as a rainmaker with her connections. Duh. She was the governor's wife and given the special nugget on working on the education woes of the state of Arkansas. The state was still at the very bottom of the list when she left Arkansas.

Hillary went to D.C. and was given health care. It bombed after tons of secret meetings and behind the scenes arm twisting and the like. Are we seeing a pattern here?

What has she done as Senator? The answer is nothing of note. She's been too busy running for president and acting all centrist. Until primary season began and she lurched to the left so fast she had to catch up with her stories on some votes she's made. When she gets the nomination, and make no mistake she will be nominated, she'll go back to faux centrist Hillary and dangle the return of Bill to the White House. Still using Bill as bait.

That's her version of feminist. I just call her an opportunist. And incompetent.

The most disturbing development with Hillary so far on the campaign trail is the emergence of the fake cackle laugh. Someone has told her to loosen up and appear more spontaneous. There is absolutely nothing spontaneous about Hillary Clinton. She is one calculating cold fish.

The first political campaign I volunteered for in a big way was in support of a woman. A Democrat, too. She was running for mayor of my city at the time. I thought she would be a fresh face in City Hall, a new perspective for our city. A break from the good ole boys network. But not just because she was a woman. Sure, that was the initial interest in her for me but that wasn't the reason to support her. She was experienced in politics as a city council person but she was also experienced in the private sector. She and her husband owned and ran a PR/marketing firm. She knew how to bring people together and she knew her own opinion. She was competent.

She lost. A good ole boy won. C'est la vie.

Do we need the continuing drama of the Clintons again? The Chinese money scandals, the FBI files on Republicans that just turn up in a flunky's office, 1600 of them, keeping Bill roaming around the globe to keep him busy, national security advisers stealing papers and shoving them down pants and in socks, socialism and through the roof taxation? Another record indictment producing administration? You remember the one that was to be the most ethical one ever?

Yeah, I would love to see a woman in the Oval Office. Just not that one.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday Night in Orlando

With a mere 74 days left until the Iowa caucus, the Republicans held a presidential candidates debate tonight.

It was somewhat interesting. No new news. More of the same as the last one. I think Huckabee is stronger and moving up to be a surprise sleeper candidate. Thompson still looks old and slow. Ron Paul is still a loon and was booed by the audience. Romney looked a bit off tonight. He looked tired and he wasn't his usual super groomed self. His hair was messy, for goodness sake.

McCain had a good night. Rudy is still strong and confident. Why is Tom Tancredo still there? I like Duncan Hunter but, still, what's up?

Speaking about the museum to Woodstock and how he stopped the pork, $1 million, to build it as Hillary and Schumer wanted, McCain had his best line of the night: "I'm sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event. I was tied up at the time." I love it when he sounds like his earlier self.

McCain also had a chance to use a favorite line of his: "I would much rather lose a campaign than lose a war."

When Rudy was asked if he holds the same views towards some of the big policy issues, he replied: "You've gotta be kidding me." Lots of laughs there.

And, with the others poking fun at Hillary and her possible presidency, Huckabee said, "There is nothing funny about Hillary being President."

True enough.

Louisiana Wins

Yesterday a fresh start for the state of Louisiana began. This morning, after searching the news for confirmation that Bobby Jindal is indeed the next governor of the state, I did a happy dance, Snoopy style and with sounds of piano playing a la Linus rotating in my head, I fixed celebratory Belgian waffles for breakfast. What a dose of good news.

Bobby Jindal is a young superstar in the Republican party. He is 36 years old and he is the son of Indian immigrants. All indications pointed to a strong victory for Jindal and it happened. He won with more than 50% of the vote.

At the age of 24, yes, 24, Bobby Jindal was appointed to the position of Secretary of the state Department of Health and Hospitals in 1996, by then Governor Mike Foster, the last Republican governor Louisiana. I lived in the state then and I saw great potential in Jindal.

Jindal ran for his first elected office in 2003, running for governor and only lost the election to Blanco by 4 points. Blanco is very well connected to the Democrat political machine so that was quite an accomplishment. Most expected him to run again. He went on to represent his district in Congress in the mean time.

Blanco saw the writing on the wall with very low poll numbers after her dismally incompetent handling of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita so she bowed out of running for re-election. Jindal had such early momentum going that candidates like Mitch Landrieu, the current lt. governor and former senator John Breaux decided to pass on running.

The Democrat machine went into gear, viciously attacking Jindal by claiming voters would be turned off by his religious thought, his dark skin and his Indian heritage. He rose above all of it and kept on campaigning.

When I was in south Louisiana over Labor Day weekend, I noticed signs up in yards in bayou country - all for Jindal. I knew he would win. The signs I saw in the French Quarter were for John Georges, a Democrat candidate with his campaign headquarters there. Georges was the first to concede the race Saturday at the Monteleone Hotel. From, it is reported that Georges put $10 million of his personal money into his campaign and heavily concentrated on getting out the black vote in the last days of the campaign.

The next to concede was state senator Walter Boasso, a successful businessman who left the Republican Party this year and made himself into a new Democrat using commercials linking Jindal with President Bush and touting his own rags to riches story.

Candidate Foster Campbell, the fourth major candidate, a Democratic Public Service Commissioner was long on political connections but short on contributions. He was suppose to carry north Louisiana. Didn't happen.

Remember the system of election voting in Louisiana, an open primary and if a candidate breaks 50%, no run off is needed.

The worst of the attacks on Jindal included the allegations that the 'racist' northern part of the state would never vote for him. I was particularly offended by this kind of attack as I grew up in Shreveport and know that part of the state as well as the southern part I lived in as an adult. It's a stupid, easy style of bottom feeding political discourse and I am sick of it. Racism is in all parts of the country, not just the Deep South, thank you very much.

Bobby Jindal earned degrees from Brown University, then from Oxford. He decided to pursue public service over a career in law or medicine.

The rise of Bobby Jindal signals bad news for Mary Landrieu and her senate re-election bid next year. She is thought to be the most vulnerable anyway and this is further proof of her misfortune. She has been receiving low marks for some of her recent political stunts back home, such as signing the letter of Harry Reid about Rush Limbaugh, and just yesterday was all over the Internet for sponsoring the push to tax the Internet. Not good, Mary.

Power to the people.

I have some hope now for Louisiana. Recent years have been quite demoralizing with the state leadership. It's a new day.

Jindal's campaign focused on the need for stronger ethics laws, better management and fiscal prudence. You know, how Republicans used to act. Real Republican principles.

A hurricane sized wind of fresh air has descended upon the state of Louisiana.

About time.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Wrong Place, Wrong Time

I watched a documentary style program tonight on the History Channel about the kidnapping of the American Christian missionaries and others by the al-Qaeda wannabes in the Phillipines back in May,2001. This was written and narrated by Mark Bowden, author of the "Black Hawk Down" book and he went back to the Phillipines on the hunch that the CIA must have been involved in the operation there to take down the terrorists.

He discovered never-before released documentation confirming his hunch. In "Stalking Jihad" Bowden tells the story of the history of the group known as Abu Sayyaf, a radical jihad group who had the trademark of demanding ransom for hostages taken and of beheadings of their victims. They also believed in the idea that civilian lives meant nothing so they were entitled to rape women hostages and make them their slaves. Only the lives of the Muslim jihadis were valuable.

I remember the story of Martin and Gracia Burnham somewhat. I remember the film broadcast in America of them in the jungles of the Phillipines as hostages and how bad they looked from the effects of their captivity. Martin was completely emaciated and Gracia had the look of complete shell shock. Martin was killed as they were being rescued.

The Burnhams were in the wrong place at the wrong time, it seems. They were celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary by going to a resort on the island of Palawan. Their three children were left with friends and the couple was taken the first night they were there, along with the other guests at the resort, 2 security guards, and one cook. They were 2 of the 3 Americans taken. The third American was a man from California and a beheading was his fate.

The Burnhams were residents of the Phillipines for 16 years and raised their 3 children there. They were members for the New Tribes Mission and Martin was a licensed pilot. The Phillipines is a predominantly Christian country but has a Muslim population on an island at the southern tip , Basilan. The radical element wants to secede.

The Burnhams quietly sang the national anthem the night of 9/11, Gracia said. It was 107 days into their captivity and they heard the news on Voice of America on a short wave radio. It was the only report they heard of the attack. The sang it when they were going to sleep that night. I thought that was an incredible statement from her.

Gracia was able to return to Kansas, where her children had gone after she and Martin were kidnapped. The State Department arranged for the children to leave the Phillipines. Their grandparents were in Kansas. They cared for the children until Gracia's return.

Gracia has written a book about the experience.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Harry's No Bid

What does $2,100,100.00 buy a gal these days? If you are Betty Casey and that was your bid to Ebay for the letter from the Senate Majority Leader to the CEO of Clear Channel Communications, Inc., you would receive the original letter from Reid, an attache case (Halliburton issue) housing said letter, a photo of Rush Limbaugh and the letter, and a letter of thanks from Limbaugh. The bid is being matched dollar for dollar by Limbaugh personally and the money goes to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation charity for children of fallen heroes. The charity will receive $4,200,200.00 in total.

Limbaugh was the subject of this unprecedented, historic abuse of power by Senate Majority Leader Reid. Reid chose to attack a private citizen on the floor of the Senate and unsuccessfully tried to eliminate the livelihood of Limbaugh by writing to Mr. Mays and calling on him "to publicly repudiate these comments that call into question their service and sacrifice and to ask Mr. Limbaugh to apologize for his comments." The letter alleges that Limbaugh called soldiers with complaints about the execution of the war in Iraq, 'phony soldiers'. The tape from his radio show clearly shows otherwise, the phony soldiers reference was used a few nights before the day of the radio broadcast by news anchor Charlie Gibson on ABC News and it references some who have been found guilty of falsely claiming military service to receive benefits not due them. Reid knew that. He chose, however, to distort it for political gain after the humiliation he and his party suffered from the MoveOn ad about General Petraeus.

This indignant outrage from the same Senate Majority Leader who took to the Senate floor and proclaimed the war in Iraq was lost, as our soldiers were on the field of battle.

This indignant outrage from the same Democrats who called General Petraeus a liar, a betrayer of the American people for his successes in Iraq and his life service to his country.

Forty U.S. Senators marched along with Reid and signed his letter, written on his Office of the Majority Leader letterhead, including Senator Dick "Gulags" Durbin the Assistant Majority Leader, Senator Charles "this war will win us Senate seats" Schumer, Vice Chairman of the Democratic Conference, and Senator Patty Murray, Secretary of the Democratic Conference. Tom Harkins, Jack Reed, Frank Lautenberg, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ron Wyden, Bill Nelson, John Kerry, Barbara Boxer, Bob Casey, Jr, Barbara Milkaski, Jim Webb, Patrick Leahy, Teddy (the swimmer) Kennedy, Jon Tester, Max Baucas, Byron Dorgan, Ben Cardin, Tom Carper, Carl Levin, Amy Klohibar, Jay Rockefeller, Blanche Lincoln, Ken Salazar, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, Daniel Akaka, Robert (kkk) Byrd, Debbie Stegenaw, Sherrod Brown, Barak Obama, and a few whose signatures I can't decipher. You'll note those running for President signing this letter stifling a private citizen's freedom of speech.

Reid tried to get the Limbaugh radio show taken off the armed forces radio networks. Reid discussed Limbaugh's military deferment, a medical one, on the Senate floor, Tom Harkin talked about Limbaugh's remarks and proclaimed Rush must be "back on his drugs". Medical privacy anyone?

Reid was too cowardly to accept the invitation to come on Limbaugh's radio program and discuss the alleged misstatements. He never issued an apology when the remarks were vindicated by all who actually listened to the tape.

Reid went to the floor of the Senate at noon today, shown on C-SPAN, and acted as those he was working with Limbaugh to get the level of bidding up on Ebay and encouraged everyone who could afford to bid to do so. Unbelievable. He congratulated the bidders and Rush for the money being raised for charity. Unbelievable. No mention of any matching bids from creepy voiced Harry, though. After all those sweet land deals, courtesy of his seat in the Senate and his lobbyist sons, he could well afford to be generous.

This pitiful old lady of a man is the very face of an egomaniac. He is one arrogant politician. To smear a private citizen while spreading a false story and bringing along 40 of his willing colleagues for what he thinks will be political gain, bowing once again to the likes of the MoveOn wing of their party and their dominance of the party, well, we see why his poll numbers are at an historic low. Reid has led his party over the cliff and they see no way back. Reid signed on to the money raising for charity and thus, waved the white flag of surrender.

Who is it that is trying to take away the rights of the American people?

They are telling us who they are, are you listening?

The winning bid for the auction is in the amount of $2,100,100.00 and it was bid by Betty Casey, a philanthropist. She is a Trustee of the Eugene B. Casey Foundation and they give millions to medical research and to the Washington Opera.

She listened and responded.

Rack up another failure of leadership for Harry Reid.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Long Live the Rat Pack

Joey Bishop died. He died Wednesday at the age of 89. The last of the Rat Pack is gone.

The Rat Pack, the coolest of the cool, circa the 1960's, was a group of Hollywood performers who frequently appeared together in Las Vegas at the Sands Hotel. Frank Sinatra was the leader of the Pack and his Rats were Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.

Joey Bishop was the lesser known of the group. He was the star of two tv programs, both with the name of "The Joey Bishop Show." The first was a sitcom with him playing a talk show host. For the other show, he was one.

I remember watching the talk show, the real one, with my Mamaw as a girl. His sidekick was Regis Philbin, a very young Regis Philbin.

The end of an era.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Brief Wrap Up

The past twenty-four hours have brought many odd and yet interesting stories to the forefront. Last night I kicked it off with the interview presented by Matt Lauer to Senator Larry "I am not gay" Craig and his lovely wife, Suzanne. I learned some facts about the senator that I didn't know before this incident occurred. Actually, I knew very little about Senator Craig. What has he done that has merited recognition?

From the interview I got: He's not resigning. He's planning to finish out his full term which doesn't conclude until January '09 and that the Senate Ethics committee is investigating this misdemeanor he's pleaded guilty to in Minneapolis. He's had a 30 year career in D.C., beginning in the House, then moving to the Senate in 1990. In 1982, it gets weird. According to Lauer's questioning, 2 House pages reported sexual impropriety by Congressmen. Craig was the only member to respond, by written statement, declaring his innocence. Hmmm. One year later he marries, for the first time, to Suzanne and adopts her children. Then the charges of a marriage of convenience began. They will celebrate their 25 year wedding anniversary in a few months.

Make no mistake, I have no use for Matt Lauer. He's as big of an opportunist as the rest of them, but, I'll say he was semi-decent to the Craig's. He wasn't copping an attitude, though it's hard to believe he's sincere when he voices concern as to how they are coping with the scandal as a couple, or as individuals. Suzanne said she watches a lot of the Food Network programs. I can understand that as a stress reliever. I do it myself.

I had to wonder about Suzanne Craig. What's the up side to agreeing to this interview? She looks like the dutiful, loyal wife, yes, but what is she thinking? She kind of had that Nancy Reagan vacant, yet adoring, look when she spoke of their marriage and her absolute belief that Senator Craig is completely innocent. And definitely not gay. Or bi-sexual. Yes, Matt Lauer asked.

Why would Craig's lawyer allow this interview, I pondered. I thought a client wasn't suppose to talk about pending legal matters.

I don't know. It was a sedated kind of freak show, though. I kept changing channels hoping to find something better to watch. Then I'd flip back and there they were. Like the proverbial car crash, I couldn't turn away. I ended up just feeling really sorry for them, especially her.

Today I watched President Bush twice. The first was a press conference with the stooges that cover the White House beat. They never disappoint. Bush was pointing out the fact that no legislation is being moved through Congress. No annual fiscal appropriation bills, no nothing. They'll drop everything to do non-binding resolutions or pimp out children for health care scares but that's not getting anything done. And, by the way, what kind of parents are allowing their children to be used in this manner? The press was more interested in asking what he thought of Lt. General Sanchez's remarks and when will victory be declared in Iraq. And asking about Putin's visit to Iran, for which he hasn't been fully briefed on yet. Oh well.

The last was a pleasant experience, mostly, except I had to look at Grandma Mimi for too long. The President and Grandma presented the the Dalai Lama with the Congressional Gold Medal. Can't resist - hello, Dalai. It was nice and Bush proclaimed the Dalai as a "universal symbol of peace and tolerance." True enough. They brought Laura Bush on the dais as the medal was presented. Bush is the first American president to appear publicly together with the Dalai Lama. Where's the liberal praise? Those all about human rights, because, you know, conservatives aren't. I'll not hold my breath.

And, we'll start again tomorrow.

No Rhodes Scholar

Perhaps stunts like this are one of the reasons no one listens to Air America, besides the fact it just isn't entertaining radio - yesterday on the liberal blog Talking Radio, a story surfaced about Air America hostess Randi Rhodes.

Colleague Jon Elliott spun a tale that Rhodes was mugged and beaten while walking her dog the previous night. The alleged incident occurred near her Manhattan apartment, on 39th Street and Park Avenue, on Sunday night.

Elliott explained that Rhodes was dressed in a jogging suit and not wearing any jewelry or carrying a purse so he speculated, "this does not appear to me to be a standard grab the money and run mugging."

Then he continues: "Is this an attempt by the right wing hate machine to silence one of our own, are we threatening them." "Are they afraid that we are winning. Are they trying to silence and intimidate us."

Well now.

The tirade was nothing but political shenanigans as it turns out. Rhodes' attorney and a police source told the Daily News it was all a hoax, there is no evidence a mugging occurred, let alone a politically motivated attack.

As the article points out, "remember there was a time 15 or 20 or 30 years ago being mugged in New York was not even unusual. Thank you, Rudy Giuliani."

Sounds like Jon Elliott is no Rhodes scholar.

What a stupid publicity stunt. Desperation does strange things to people.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Face of A True Betrayer

Just when you thought it couldn't get much worse, this political divide between the supporters of the military and the defeatists who would have the U.S. lose in Iraq at any cost, it does. Now the House of Representatives is set to vote on a non-binding resolution condemning the genocide of Armenians in Turkey. In 1915. By a government that no longer exists.

Why is now the time to press the issue? Why, indeed.

According to wikopedia, this is the definition of genocide: the deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic, religious or national group. According to an article I read written by Richard Cohen in the Washington Post, an excellent article it is, the term was coined in 1943 by Raphael Lemkin, a Polish-Jewish emigre. It is natural that the term conjures images of the Holocaust as it is uttered. Solely by definition, the term genocide does not apply to the events in Turkey, according to Cohen. It is reported that as many as 1.5 million Armenians were killed but not all Armenians all over Turkey. Large communities like Constantinople were untouched. This is not a claim any German city can make concerning the genocide of Jews.

For 26 years, Steney Hoyer, Democrat whip in the House of Representatives, claims he has been pushing this resolution. As recently as 1998 the resolution was voted out of the House Foreign Relations committee with a bigger margin than it did this time around. Yet, in 1998, then President Clinton asked Speaker Hastert not to bring the resolution to the floor for a vote. Clinton argued our military would suffer. He was especially concerned about the no-fly zone missions executed by the fighter pilots securing the Iraqi air space.

That was a Republican working with a Democrat President, as opposed to now, a Democrat working with a Republican President. That was then. This is now.

Turkey is a Muslim nation. Turkey is a member of NATO. Turkey is trying to win acceptance into the European Union. Turkey provides a way into Iraq for our troops' supplies and fuel. Turkey is a democratic nation in the middle east. Turkey is a friend of Israel. Are you getting the picture?

So, today the true face of a betrayer is Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House. She has the power to bring or not bring the resolution, non-binding, to the floor for a vote. She chose to betray the troops, to betray the President, to betray the nation of Turkey at this delicate time, a time of war, and bring the resolution to a vote. She claims the vote will show "who we are as a country." She called any reprisals from Turkey "hypothetical" and that the vote would not be derailed.

When the House Foreign Relations Committee voted the resolution out of committee and the vote was announced, the reaction from Turkey was swift. They recalled the ambassador from Washington and cancelled two visits to the U.S. by at least two of its officials, according to AFP.

Did I mention that while this vote was occurring, Sec of State Rice was in the region and is now scrambling to make amends to our partner in the war on terror, Turkey? She was there to jump start the peace talks of Israel and Palestine but now she is dealing with this debacle. "Look at a map", is what the former Ambassador to Turkey, Mark Parris said in an interview last night. Turkey reluctantly signed on to help us in Iraq and now the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are jeopardized.

The resolution is opposed by 8 former U.S. Secretaries of State, including Maddy Albright. Rep. Jane Harmon was a supporter of the resolution until she traveled to the area last February and observed the facts on the ground. Like Pelosi, she is a California Democrat. She questions the timing of the resolution and wonders why Pelosi thinks it is necessary to embarrass a "moderate Islamic government in perhaps the most volatile region in the world." Good question. I thought it was Grandma Mimi and her fellow Dems who were so critical of President Bush and how he worked with other nations for support in the war on terror.

This looks to be yet another back door attempt to force defeat and surrender in Iraq by the surrender monkeys running the Democrat party today. They do not have the courage to bring about a vote on cutting funding to the war in Iraq, nor do they have the votes to pass that, so they have chosen a policy of 'slow bleed' as feeble slanderer Rep. John Murtha stated not long after the Dems took the reins in the House and Senate in January.

These are the true betrayers of our country. This non-binding resolution directly affects the safety and comfort of our soldiers on the ground in Iraq and in Afghanistan. It jeopardizes the successful workings of the Kurds in northern Iraq. The northern border of Iraq, the one bordering Turkey, is shaky at best without the resolution. There is a history there of violence at that border. This resolution, non-binding, threatens an Islamic nation striving for modernity and trying to show the two terms don't produce an oxymoron.

This resolution is also a bit personal, here at Casa Karen. The husband in the house has a personal friendship with an Armenian Christian living and working in the Baghdad area. I will continue to say, as bad as the war effort has been at times, when you have a face to put on the Iraqi struggle it is impossible to turn your back on them. My husband was in Iraq in 2003 and developed friendships with some of his Iraqi colleagues. Some were Muslim. Some were Christian. The Christians are best described by Abu Danny. The term Abu means 'father of' and Danny was the name of this man's son. That is the moniker by which he chose to be known. He welcomed my husband, the only American around, into his home and to a family birthday party. This at a time when my husband was the only American at his hotel in Baghdad and the Iraqis were afraid to speak to him, for fear he would be labeled CIA and they would be killed for speaking to him. Fear was in the air, everywhere. It was how Saddam ruled.

Abu Danny is trying to come here to live now. His daughter has moved here to Michigan. His two sons have moved to Jordan. He struggles to remain helpful in the Iraqi oil industry. He has been here to Houston to be hosted by my husband for classroom instruction. He sends the occasional e-mail to say hello and that he is still alive. He updates my husband about others they mutually know.

The defeatists do not support the troops. The defeatists do not support the people of Iraq. The defeatists do not want anything but power. They are not worthy.

Betray us? That would be Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Her non-binding resolution is all show, nothing more than to tweak the President at the expense of a NATO ally. She shows the same lack of judgement she showed when she went to Syria when she was asked not to. She is an old political hand. She knows exactly what she is doing.

She is a traitor.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Houston's Presidential Summit

Did you know that Houston is hosting a big time forum, a summit, featuring top ranking presidential candidates? It was news to me when I stumbled across the announcement on the Internet this afternoon. The moderator is Tim Russett, of NBC News so it may be a decent gathering. Sure beats Chris Matthews.

The purpose of this summit is "to inform and educate the general public on the critical role of energy to the economic prosperity and security of the United States." That is the reason for the summit stated by the sponsor, the Greater Houston Partnership. My husband is an engineer in the energy biz, so I was interested to read about it.

The Greater Houston Partnership is, according to the web site, "a 501 (c) (6) organization that is the primary advocate of the Houston area business community and is dedicated to building regional economic prosperity." The Chamber of Commerce partners up with them.

The candidates are a mix of Republicans and Democrats. All on the same stage. At the same time. What a concept. The candidates invited are listed as: Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, John Edwards, John McCain, Barak Obama, Mitt Romney, Bill Richardson, and Fred Thompson.

The date? November 13. The place? The George R. Brown Convention Center. Cost of tickets? Too expensive for my entertainment budget.

Wonder if they'll all show up? Wonder if they'll stay on topic?

Chris Matthews didn't.

UPDATE: 10/16 - Hillary Clinton's campaign declines the invitation.

What's the Big Deal About Sanchez?

Did those touting Lt. Gen. Richardo Sanchez (ret) and his recent remarks at the Military Reporters and Editors annual meeting actually see his remarks? I did this weekend, a re-broadcast on C-SPAN, and all I came away with was, what's the big deal?

Sanchez made these remarks on Friday and you would think some kind of new territory was covered. Why? Well, you may have heard all about his criticisms of the military planning, or lack of planning in his opinion and his criticisms of political leadership in D.C., both in Congress and the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon, but I am willing to bet your local newspaper didn't bother to cover the first half of his speech. Mine didn't here in Houston, no small town or readership.

Let's do a bit of background here. Lt. General Richardo Sanchez, now retired, was the Commander of Coalition Forces in Iraq from June 15, 2003 until he was relieved of duty in 2004, after a year's service in that position. He retired from the service after he was relieved of his duty and denied a promotion. He was the commander, you may remember, in charge during the Abu Gharib scandal. You may be interested to know he is still involved in a law suit brought by the ACLU, so occasionally he noted he was being guarded in his remarks due to the pending legal issues.

The first part of his speech concerned his relationship with the press and media during his duty in Iraq. He was a division commander in country before the promotion to Commander. He makes clear he was not a part of any strategy or decision making in the war plans before his command began. It was a bit like, hey, don't blame me. He made the point that the political rhetoric and partisanship in the press and in Congress is killing the soldiers in battle. It serves no purpose to try to score points on the back of the military. He said he completely stopped talking to Stars and Stripes, European edition, because they were completely agenda driven and their agenda is a defeat for the U.S. He said this is perfectly clear to him.

Do you find it interesting that when the audience was shown as he was speaking, absolutely no one was taking notes, except one man on a laptop computer? Do you find it interesting they were stone faced and looked to be in shock at the criticism? Do you find it interesting that once the second part of his speech began, when he was speaking of his criticism of the decision makers and Congress that suddenly all pens and pencils were up and writing away?

I thought it was interesting.

Sanchez stressed that the press doesn't seem to understand that the military commanders obey orders of the President. It is an oath the military take and it ensures we are a nation under civilian rule, not military rule. This was in response to a 'journalist' asking why more military doesn't speak openly to the press about problems that arise.

Sanchez was asked if he thought whistle blowers in the military would be a good thing, to shed light on problems. Can you believe that, the arrogance and ignorance all wrapped up into one? Sanchez didn't take the bait. He said he will be more open as the law suit allows and will name names of those he is unhappy with at a later time. Yes, he was asked to name names. His quote was "more to follow". I assume this means he's planning on a book deal. Who knows.

The question I have remains to be: Since when did it become acceptable for one political party to openly work for the defeat of our country in war? Since when did it become acceptable for the opposition party of the President to hate him more than love our country and support the military operations of our country?

That's what I came away with. The shock of the 'journalists' at being criticised on their performance, which travels the world and leaves no doubt that only bad news will be reported, and that the defeatists will not let success get in the way of their determination to report defeat. Sanchez complained that he gave reporters good news stories, stories of accomplishment and success, at each press briefing. Yet, those were not what the reporters were interested in and they didn't bother to report any of them.

It must truly be a Maalox moment now that even the Washington Post reports that the strategy of Gen. Petraus is working and success is now visible in Iraq. It must truly be a Maalox moment for hacks like Barbara Starr of CNN and her co-horts who just last week stated they couldn't report about a decrease in deaths of soldiers and Iraqis over the last two months as it is evident in statistics. Starr claimed she had no way of knowing if the success in less deaths would hold. Funny, she never expressed any doubts on deaths reported, just non-deaths.

But, they support the troops.

The web site for this organization is

Sanchez is not the first former military officer to come out and criticise the administration or policies. Sanchez is not the first to be bitter about blame he doesn't think he should be labeled with over something like Abu Ghraib. Sanchez is not the first to be bitter over a lost promotion. He is the first, however, to come back for his Commander designation in Iraq and publicly criticise the press in this country.

Was that the real story?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Al's Excellent Adventure

Hey, did you hear that Al Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize for his 'documentary' and work for the issue of climate change? I understand a person with passion and focus on one area of the problems of the world. I don't understand what Al Gore's passion about climate change has to do with peace.

There is no connection, of course. Unfortunately the Nobel Peace Prize has been reduced to nothing short of an award to promote leftist thought and actions in our world, especially if it is seen as a slap at the U.S., and in particular recently, a slap at President Bush. Those Nordic socialists, so predictable, aren't they? The awarding committee is comprised of politicians, not scientists.

The Nobel Prize is still quite legitimate in areas like medicine and those of true scientific process and thought. Let me be clear there. Also, let me be clear that, yes, there is climate change. The degree and the cause and solutions are what is debated by all arenas.

Sharing the award with Gore - does that mean they share the $1 million dollar monetary award, too, or do they each get the full amount? - is the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I guess the UNIPCC was recognized to balance out Al's message. The earth in the balance, you know.

Bjorn Lomborg, an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School and the author of "Cool It" and "The Skeptical Environmentalist", notes that factual understanding of the issue falls closer to the UNIPCC than Gore. This panel is comprised of thousands of scientists "are engaged in excellent, painstaking work that establishes exactly what the world should expect from climate change. The other award winner, former US vice president Al Gore, has spent much more time telling us what to fear. While the IPCC's estimates and conclusions are grounded in careful study, Gore doesn't seem to be similarly restrained."

This has been my problem with Gore and his crusade on climate change. Falling into the usual trap set by Democrats, in order to ratchet up attention to a subject, everything must be immediately dealt with in the most extreme measures because it is a crisis. Crisis. Whenever a power grab is attempted, it is because it is a crisis that must be handled immediately. By handled, I mean big governmental solutions paid for with your tax money. Do not for a moment doubt that for Gore, it is all about the power.

Gore himself has finally admitted that the faux documentary that is recognized as a movie that won an Oscar recently for him is full of exaggeration. The Oscar was won in the documentary category. Documentaries by their very definition are to refrain from exaggeration or personal opinion. School boards across the country, bowing to the Democratically controlled teachers unions, have included Gore's propaganda into the setting of the class room. Recently, in the U.K., parents objected that their children were to watch this borathon and the court ruled that, as 9 complete falsehoods are evident in the presentation, the film must be labeled propaganda. The disclaimer must be shown before the film is presented to the students.

And, most disgraceful of all, I don't recall any big movement to save the planet from the former VP's administration. They tried to push forward the Kyoto agreement yet it was unanimously defeated in the Senate. As VP, Gore was 'president' of the U.S. Senate. That's quite a slap in the face to him, no? Even Richard Nixon, disgraced as he was in office, signed into effect the Clean Air Act, as well as clean water legislation and the first Earth Day. No Noble Peace Prize, though. Plus, he opened up China to the world along the way.

Recently, a little known provision in the energy bill passed by the House and before the Senate now included Rep. Nick Rahall's, D-WVA, "strategic solar reserves" on federal lands, according to the weekend review. It's a miracle! We can harness sunshine if only we set aside federal land and put into place Rep. Rahall's pilot program. At closer look, a House staffer "reports that the provision was the work of the Natural Resources Committee and adds:'They don't propose storing solar energy, but instead identifying and setting aside as solar energy reserves public land areas that have high solar incidence...and that are not conflicted with other environmental or usage issues." The WSJ writer contacted the expert from the congressman's office but the expert was on an airplane and the staffer on the telephone directed the writer to a registered lobbyist for solar energy producers. The staffer said the lobbyist "had a hand in helping to craft this component of the energy bill."

Unlike, say, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve which stores emergency supplies for national uses, concerning the harnessing of solar energy, a University of Maryland physics professor, Robert Park, said, "This is our greatest single problem with energy - figuring out how to store electricity." Sunshine in a barrel? In a pipeline? Hmmm. What to do?

Congressional legislation written by a lobbyist? I thought Grandma Mimi was cleaning all that up.

So, here's a list of some of the possible candidates of the future for the Nobel Peace Prize committee to consider, provided by the You know, real heroes:

Morgan Tsvangirai, Arthur Mutambara and other Zimbabwe opposition leaders, arrested earlier this year peacefully protesting against dictator Robert Mugabe.

Father Nguyen Van Ly, a Catholic priest in Vietnam arrested and sentenced to 8 years in prison because he helped a pro-democracy group.

Co-founders of the League of Demanders of Women's Right to Drive Cars in Saudi Arabia, Wajeha al-Huwaider and Fawzia al-Uyyouni.

Garry Kasparov who leads Russians in protests against Putin's authoritarian rule in Russia.

How about the people of Iraq, working heroically to build a free country? The monks of Burma?

Tony Blair in the UK, Bertie Ahern of Ireland and the people of Northern Ireland who set aside decades of hatred in March and established the Catholic - Protestant rule of governing in Northern Ireland.

Chinese bloggers? They can and are being arrested for relaying uncensored information about their country to the rest of the world.

U.S. military service men and women working to free tens of millions of people around the world? Nah. That'll never happen. The socialist left despises the military. Until their countries are in need of help, then they demand help.

Al Gore worthy? Hardly.

Friday, October 12, 2007

With the Children In Mind

What is the easiest, lowest form of political pandering? That would be using children as political props while speaking about legislation your party wants to hoist on the American people. The most recent example? The S-CHIP program is a fine example.

Let it be said that all children must have medical care available to them. Let it also be said most children have medical care available to them. Do some fall thru the cracks? Yes, of course. Those are the ones we must strive to administer to with the S-CHIP program. Families too poor to pay for medical insurance use the system of emergency rooms in hospitals as a means of medical care for their children. No one is turned away due to lack of medical insurance.

So, what exactly is the S-CHIP being argued about in Congress? It is the State Children's Health Insurance Program, under the umbrella of Medicare and Medicaid. From the National Conference of State Legislatures web site: "The law authorizes states to provide health care coverage to 'targeted low-income children' who are not eligible for Medicaid and who are uninsured." Period.

Let it be said that President Bush is all for children receiving health care and providing it to the uninsured. His amount money included in the re-authorization of the program was seen as too low for the Dems and some Republicans so a new, higher amount was inserted into the pending legislation. The President said he would veto this legislation as it was too expensive for the purposes of intent.

And the predictable happened. Cries were shouted about the halls of Congress proclaiming President Bush hates children, poor, uninsured children. Republicans hate children, poor, uninsured children. The Democrat response to the President's Saturday morning statement to the country was to use the Frost family from Maryland as the 'typical' family the S-CHIP re-authorization, at the higher price tag to the taxpayer, would service. A child in the family, 12 year old Graeme, was put to the task of reading the Dem's rebuttal statement.

Halsey and Bonnie Frost have 4 children. They were involved in a serious automobile accident and relied on the S-CHIP benefits to see them through, as they are uninsured. Something seemed not quite right at the time but I just chalked it up to the typical use of children as props whenever the verbal arguments need a boost, especially by the Dems. It's always 'for the children' as they reach deeper and deeper into the pocket of the taxpayer.

The objection by most conservatives and the President is that the expansion being pushed by Congress included 'children' up to the age of 25 and there are loopholes that would allow those currently privately insured to cancel the private insurance and go on the government program. There are also loopholes that allow adults to be covered, though I would argue that by the age of 25, one is already an adult.

Turns out, after research by reporters and bloggers, the Frost family isn't quite the family they were presented to be. True, they live in Maryland and have 4 children. True they were involved in a terrible automobile accident. But...according to Michelle Malkin, the recipient of an unsolicited e-mail from a reader, a neighbor of the Frost family, the Frost family are good people but far left politically and not so bad off financially, as they would have you think. The neighbor states that the neighbors pitched in to cook meals and help after the accident. Bonnie works part time as a freelance writer and Halsey doesn't seem to be able to hold a job, despite his talents as a mill work carpenter doing good work installing custom interior and exterior trim work and cabinetry. The neighbor says there is no reason the man isn't making good money.

However, the point is made by the neighbor that every family makes choices. The choices of the Frost family include driving a Volvo SUV, a Suburban and his F250 Ford pickup work truck. They have a nice house and all 4 kids are in private school. Halsey owns the building out of which he works, self employed. Up until recently his wife was his bookkeeper and assistant.

In other words, despite finding a way for the education of 4 children in private school, the ownership of a home in suburban Maryland where homes like theirs are appraised from $400,000 to $500,000, and the ownership of the company building, and three nice vehicles, they chose not to have medical insurance for the family.

That begs the question - so who's responsibility is that?

This is hardly the picture of the 'needy' in America. For creepy voiced Harry Reid and Grandma Mimi to trot these people out as the beneficiaries of the S-CHIP legislation and expect everyone to just accept their argument is quite arrogant of them. Typical political gamesmanship. This family was already covered under the existing program so why the greedy grab? This kind of stunt is what weakens the argument for expansion.

The House under Grandma Mimi's guidance is looking for 15 Republicans to switch their vote and go to the dark side on October 18 to vote to override the President's veto of this legislation.

It's for the children.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Crazy Aunt in the Attic

You know what Jimma Carter reminds me of? Yeah, the crazy aunt in the attic, the one who shouldn't be out in public without medication. The latest blurbs spewing forth? He tells Wolfie at CNN that our military is torturing prisoners. And that all of the Republican presidential candidates are trying to outdo each other on who'd go to war with Iran first.

Carter is a graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, I would remind you. He was a Navy officer. He is a former President of the United States. He is a Nobel Prize winner (which no longer means anything to serious people of thought but to some impressed with awards it is an honor) and an international elections monitor.

At one time in this country, it was unheard of for a former president to criticize the sitting president or the administration. It was unheard of for a former president to travel around the world and criticize the sitting president or the administration. It was unheard of for a former president to accuse our military of torturing prisoners. It was unheard of for a former president to accuse the sitting president of a policy in place encouraging torture.

Let's trace this back, shall we? Who in our recent history has conducted himself in such a way? One person until very recently. Jimma Carter. The former president, for whom we can thank for our current troubles with Islamofacists and the threats of terror to our country, is all out there alone in breaking this new ground. Recently, especially since it is campaign season for Hillary, she who must be obeyed, Bill Clinton has felt emboldened to sling insults at President Bush and the Republicans. Moral authority, Bill? Moral authority for the second president impeached? Moral authority from Bill, from the leader of the most corrupt and amoral administration in recent times? Yeah, priceless.

Can you imagine Ronald Reagan going about trading insults about subsequent administrations? Of course you can't. Reagan was a man of dignity. Can you imagine George H.W. Bush going about trading insults while Clinton was in office? No. He remained silent. George H.W. Bush is a man of confidence and humility. Character. He is a man of personal character.

Those are the last four Presidents of the United States. Two Dems and two Republicans. Which team would you be proudest to be a part of? And, just for the record? Which team was it that put rendition and wireless surveillance into policy? That would be Bill Clinton. You know, the one who feels your pain.

Random Four Meme

Today's meme is thanks to blogging friend, Janie, over at Sounding Forth. All of these categories have many more than 4 answers but here goes...

Random Four Meme:

Four Jobs I've Held:
1. Mom - Full time
2. Receptionist
3. Office Manager
4. Education Director @ Childrens Museum

Four Films I Could Watch Over and Over:
1. Gone With the Wind
2. Wizard of Oz
3. Desk Set (Hepburn/Tracy, fave old school couple)
4. You've Got Mail (Ryan/Hanks, fave current time couple)

Four TV Shows I Watch:
1. Grey's Anatomy
2. Brothers and Sisters
3. Army Wives
4. Saving Grace

Four Places I've Lived:
1. Ocean Springs, Mississippi
2. New Orleans
3. Bloomington, Indiana
4. Maturin Venezuela

Four Favorite Foods:
1. All non-fish seafood
2. Enchiladas
3. Strawberry Shortcake
4. Anything with milk chocolate

Four Websites I Visit Daily:
1. My Blogroll
2. NewsBusters
4. I Can Has Cheezburger

Four Favorite Colors:
1. Purple
2. Green
3. Yellow
4. Pink

Four Places I Would Love to be Right Now:
1. Kona, Hawaii
2. Boston
3. St. Simon's Island, Georgia
4. London

Four Names You Love, But Could/Would Not Use for Your Children:
1. Lois (was my Mother's name)
2. Beatrice
3. Ebenezer
4. Horatio

I won't tag anyone this time. If you want to do it, jump in. It's not as easy as it looks, I'll tell you that. At least it wasn't for me. No spring chicken anymore, I've lived lots of places and been lucky enough to have lots of interests to pursue. Life's a journey. I'm nowhere near done yet.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More Fun With Jimma and Hillary

Same old Jimma Carter, in an interview given to the BBC, pontificates as though he is privy to the inside workings of this current administration. As if. Reuters reports that the current rantings of this gasbag feature a seditious attack on VP Cheney. Jimma calls Cheney "a disaster" for the country. Well, Jimma would certainly know a disaster for our country, all right. This is his continuation of the international lobbing of the proclamation that the Bush administration as the "worst in history" in international relations. He forgot to add, except for his own, what with that pesky Iranian incident. Negotiations certainly worked there, huh, Jimma?

Suddenly Jimma is all smiley about Secretary of State Rice: "I'm filled with admiration for Condoleezza Rice in standing up to Cheney which she did even when she was in the White House under President George W. Bush". "Now secretary of state, her influence is obviously greater than it was then and I hope she prevails, Carter added in the Reuters accounting.

Jimma, I know Secretary Rice will be all warm and fuzzy inside now that she has your approval.

One thing I know to be true. When history is written, further down the road, along the lines of 50 or so years from now, fresh eyes and open minds will acknowledge the global war on terror and our execution was the right thing to do. More than 40 million people with a chance of freedom is a good thing. It is up to them to write their history now. I also know that history will continue to view Jimma Carter as a complete disaster. Forever.

So, there's that.

Further evidence of the Dems and their complete cluelessness about national security matters: The Dems in Congress would like to re-write FISA and the national intelligence legislation as it relates to foreign surveillance. They expect the president, any president, to get search warrants for international suspects. International. As if the administration is full of mind readers capable knowing exactly who will be at the other end of the telephone call. Unbelievable.

Alleged abuses of the current legislation? No. None to date. But, to just do what is working, what has been successful in thwarting plots to harm us, well, we can't have that. That's what the president wants so it automatically must be wrong. Object just for the sake of objecting.

The donkeys look like asses to me.

You will be able to rest easy now, though, because when Hillary is President, she wants to be the builder of a 'centrist coalition'. That, according to NewsBusters, will show old Hillary is just a uniter. Don't you understand that? "I intend to win in November 2008, and then I intend to build a centrist coalition in this country that is like what I remember when I was growing up."

When she was growing up? Like, when she was a Goldwater girl? Like when she volunteered for Republican campaigns in the suburbs of Chicago? Like, when the Dems had a 40 plus year death grip on Congress?

So much to look forward to, don't you think?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Republican Presidential Candidates Debate #6

What's a political debate without the mandatory throwing-the-baby-out-with-the-bath-water quip? Yes, tonight I heard it once.

No Alan Keyes tonight, but Fred was there.

I was curious about the inclusion of Fred Thompson and what he would bring to the debate. Well, he brought very little. I know some Republicans are seeing him through rose colored glasses but I just don't get it. He looks old, sounds slow and was rather nervous looking at the beginning of the debate. I expected more from an actor, a former politician. He is not Ronald Reagan. Reagan is dead. The era is over. Thompson simply doesn't distinguish himself from the others. Why is he running?

Ron Paul is still a loon. He said he won't commit to voting for the Republican nominee in the general election unless it is someone who will get up out of Iraq right now and did the usual bash on the military industrial complex. All that was missing were the black helicopters.

Rudy is still the one to beat Hillary. The guy is calm under pressure, acts like a leader, and has ideas. His best line? "If we have Hillarycare, Canadians will have no place to go for health care."

Mitt Romney still looks the most like a President. Very poised and polished. A little too much. He lobbed a few semi hard bombs at the others, mostly Rudy, to get attention. Romney's best line? "Republican debates are like 'Law and Order'. Huge cast, goes on forever and Fred Thompson shows up at the end." Clever guy.

Rudy and Mitt had a little dust up over taxes and then about the line item veto.

John McCain is hanging in there. Still calm and cool. Confident. His best line? "I have a glass of ethanol every morning but I still don't believe in subsidies." I wish he could be the candidate.

Mike Huckabee is funny and quick witted. He is quite intelligently quick on his feet with the answers. He should be the one all the social conservatives in the party are behind and pushing him forward instead of going off the reservation and pouting that they won't support Rudy. Huckabee grows on you, as an audience. He's like the guy next door. His best line? "We're in a race for our lives against people who want to kill us."

Duncan Hunter is still the tough guy on the panel. He is still easily identified as a former Marine. Yes, I know there is no such thing as a 'former' Marine. Once a Marine, always a Marine. He 's a big supporter of the Fair Tax. He sponsored legislation on it in Congress.

Sam Brownback and Tom Tancredo. Why are they still in? I don't know. Both for the Flat Tax. Tancredo pushes the illegal immigration issue and Brownback pushes the abortion issue. That's about it. Tancredo also said he won't commit to supporting the Republican nominee.

Tancredo singled out McCain to slap a bit about illegal immigration.

All are good people. All are strong candidates, mostly. Rudy's the one who can beat Hillary, and yes, that is what is most important.

Look, the nonsense that social conservatives will find a third party candidate is insane. If they are so hot about divorce and abortion, get behind Huckabee. He's conservative, Southern, even a minister. He's quick and funny. He's humble in manner.

But to say you'll not vote or go elsewhere rather than support your political party? What a bunch of losers. Politics is not about electing God. Or the Pope. Or your neighborhood pastor. Politics is about winning. Sometimes the choice is the lesser of two evils. You vote for the person who best represents your views. For the social conservatives to say they will 'teach the Republicans a lesson' and allow a Republican defeat is wrong on so many levels. First it guarantees President Hillary. How close is she to their values? Second, it sends the message that you are not a serious voter. Just stay home if is requires a little spine? And last, How'd that whole Ross Perot, we'll show them, election go for you? It got us eight years of the last Clinton.

I am the first to say, I am not a social conservative. Never have been, never will be. I'm the old school of Republican. The party of Rockefeller and Goldwater. The less government the better and the government does not run my personal life. I'm a big girl, I can do that myself, thank you. And the lectures of the holier than thou set? Turns my stomach.

So, after the candidate is selected in the primaries, I expect this damn party to come together. I expect this party to think of the greater good of the country. I expect this party to grow up. Yes, demand what you will of your party and work for that. Just don't expect me to support you if you are trying to hold my party hostage for your own selfish agenda. Remember Reagan was a divorced man and his children weren't too keen on him. He went on to change the course of our nation's history.

In a good way.