Thursday, January 31, 2008

Which One Resembles Gollum Most?

Fans of LOTR know all too well the character Gollum and his obsession with the ring. In American politics the "ring" is winning the Presidency. Of all the candidates running for this office in '08, Hillary and John seem to me as the two who have obsessed and worked longer and harder at becoming President than anyone else.

George Will recently wrote a piece where he observed

If, this autumn, voters must choose between Clinton and McCain, they will face, at least stylistically, an echo, not a choice.

Note the word stylistically, because there are differences between them on the issues.

I personally hope that this autumn voters must not choose between two sitting US Senators. We the people usually choose a President as someone who has not been residing in Washington DC for the last 16 years.

The ones who are most pleased with this choice between John and Hillary currently reside in Washington, and Dana Milbank has written a book and this WaPo article referring to them as "Potomac man." an excerpt
In the tongue of the Piscataway Indians who first occupied these shores, the very word "Potomac" means "where the goods are brought in." To this day, the savages who live here are a breed unto themselves -- Homo politicus, or Potomac Man -- and they continue to bring in the goods in strange and sometimes scary ways.

There still is an outside chance that things will work out differently. I certainly hope so. If this is the choice I am left with I will in the parlance of Dana Millbank vote for the "heretic John" instead of the "blood avenger Hillary."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bill O'Reilly, I Applaud These Secular Progressives!

This week on my commute to the office I heard this interesting interview on NPR radio. It was part 5 of a 6 part series
The report is that French President, Nicholas Sarkozy has appointed Muslim women to his cabinet.

After taking office, President Nicholas Sarkozy announced the appointment of the first Muslim — who is also a woman — as justice minister. Rachida Dati, 41, was the 12th child of a Moroccan laborer and an Algerian mother.

The foreign undersecretary for human rights is Senegal-born Rama Yade. The undersecretary for urban affairs is Fadela Amara, an activist from the immigrant housing projects.

Amara, 43, known as the ghetto warrior, organized the first town hall meeting in this desolate, graffiti-laced project. Facing a mostly female audience, Amara lashed out at sexist patriarchal cultures that, she says, harm young women.

She tells the audience members that they must speak out and denounce violence against women in the ghetto — and against the growing number of forced marriages. And, Amara warns, they must be more vigilant against Islamist preachers who pollute the heads of young men with fundamentalism.

The daughter of Algerian immigrants, Amara was a political activist as a teen.

After a young Muslim girl was burned alive by a Muslim thug who thought she was too independent, Amara founded a movement with a provocative name: Ni Putes Ni Soumises, or Neither Whores Nor Submissives.

It put the spotlight on abuse of women in the high-rise ghettoes.

After I got home from working I let Google be friend again, and I googled "Ni Putes Ni Soumises", and I found this web site. I clicked on the little Union Jack flag and the screen refreshed with English text.

I came across this petition on the site
Towards a new feminist struggle

Because we want to defend women’s right to decide over their body. Because we believe gender should not determine a person’s destiny. Because the principles of secularism and mixity guarantee the equality between the sexes. Because the most urgent battle to secure the emancipation of women is the fight against fundamentalism and obscurantism.

Today, facing the threats against our lives and our rights, we can no longer remain silent without becoming accomplices.

The law of silence has relegated many victims of violence to humiliating circumstances, whether in the private or the professional world. Those that speak up are singled out, in the ghettos or elsewhere. Across the world, women and men are speaking out against the tyranny of archaic traditions. It is a universal struggle towards a free, democratic and egalitarian society.

Cultural relativism and the “respect” for different “cultures” have allowed violence against women in ethnic minority communities to continue unchecked. In the name of “respect” for different “cultures” and freedom of choice, the principles of human rights have been compromised by tolerating violent acts against women such as polygamy, genital mutilation, forced marriages, so-called “honour” crimes, etc…. Bilateral agreements have turned the West into an accomplice of sexist traditions that relegate adult women to the status of minors.

Under the pressure of fundamentalists mixity is coming under increasing attack.

Now is the time to join the struggle for women’s rights, sexual equality and against all forms of discrimination and violence. The anniversary of the Veil law, which legalised abortion in France in 1975, is symbolic : it is a reminder that the law touches everybody, male or female. Secularism is a non-negotiable value of our struggle against violence and the principle that fuels our aspiration to create a more just and equal society.

We call on women and men, from here and elsewhere, to join our fight for the emancipation of women and men across the world. It is in our interest to carry the torch for those that fought for women’s rights before us. A democratic society is one that upholds women’s rights. We call on all women and men to stand up and fight to ensure that all women can take advantage of their rights.

Join us for the international women’s day demonstration!

The collective for a new feminist resistance

If you want to support us by your signature please send an e-mail to :

Well, first of all I am not applauding this secular group for the first sentence of the petition which promotes women to have abortions if they choose.
Second the translation word from site "mixity" should really be "misogyny"

I do applaud this group for standing up against hatred of women. I applaud this group for acknowledging how the Muslim ghetto law of silence humiliates victims of violence, and for speaking out against the tyranny of archaic traditions.

I agree with them that cultural relativism and the “respect” for different “cultures” have allowed violence against women in ethnic minority communities to continue unchecked.

I applaud them for standing up against violent acts against women such as polygamy, genital mutilation, forced marriages, and so-called “honour” crimes.

Amara, president of this group is a firm believer in the secular values of mainstream French society, and she demands that France live up to its ideals of liberty, equality and brotherhood for all its citizens. I applaud her for this.

What they want is acceptance and inclusion in French society. For example, rioting ghetto youths don't brandish religious symbols but rather their French ID cards.

This desire for inclusion was also expressed by French Muslims surveyed in a major Pew poll in 2006, in which 78 percent said they want to adopt French customs.

And the 2004 law banning headscarves in schools was much more sharply criticized abroad than by French Muslims.

I also find it noteworthy that it took a new conservative victory in France's elections to get these appointments into the Cabinet. The liberals didn't want to include them. They wanted them to be pitied poor ghetto dwellers who depend on the state for their every need.

I hope that as you read my diary your displeasure over the issue of abortion does not blind you to other good and worthy goals of these folks.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Hope The Next POTUS Gets It Like W Does

Today at the White House President Bush met with Elsa Morejon, Wife of Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient Oscar Biscet in the oval office. Oscar is a prisoner in a Cuban jail.

The link to the video is HERE.

You can read the entire release HERE.

Part of what Pres. Bush said
We have a comfortable life here in America by and large, and it's hard for us to imagine what it would be like for -- to live in a society as repressive as the society of Fidel and Raul Castro. This good woman has had to suffer through days and weeks of deprivation and worry because the love of her life is in a Cuban prison -- simply because of his beliefs. It's my honor to welcome you here.

My call is for the world to help women such as Elsa. My call is for those who believe that the Cuba of today is a hopeful place, to recognize the realities. This is a country that has got political prisoners who are languishing in the jails, who are mistreated in the jails. Our message is, is that political prisoners ought to be free, and so should the Cuban people: free to express themselves and free to realize their God-given talents. So I want to welcome you.

I put in boldface to point out how we the people of the United States of America can not appreciate our own circumstances and situations compared places in the world sometimes. Cuba is in the same horrible spot for freedom. According to this Heritage Foundation report only North Korea is worse off than Cuba.

Pres. Bush has provided more money for democracy funding, radio marti, tv marti, etc... In fact $45 million just for 2008, than any previous administration.

Too often people want to slam Pres. Bush for not fighting the press and the US politicians as savagely as he should. And I can't disagree with many of the comments I have read about Pres. Bush in this regard. But I will say this as a credit to our President. He knows the world and the places in the world where people are truly suffering. I hope the next POTUS 'gets' this like 'W' does.

Sen. John McCain: "Proud Republican - Yes Proud Conservative - No"

Sen. John McCain is a proud Republican. He is a lifetime member of the href="">Republican Main Street Partnership and they awarded him the Chafee Award.
Main Street was proud to present Senator McCain with our Chafee Award for his leadership on issues of critical importance to centrist Republicans across the nation.

Sarah Chamberlain Resnick, Executive Director of Main Street

Proud Republican? - Yes Proud Conservative? - No

Sen. John McCain 2006 ACU rating in the US Senate is higher at 65 than any Democratic Party Senator. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) has an ACU rating of 64. There were only 8 GOP Senators who had a lower ACU rating than McCain. That list includes:
Lincoln Chafee 24
Olympia Snowe 36
Arlen Specter 43
Susan Collins 48
George Voinovich 56
John Warner 64
Richard Lugar 64
Ted Stevens 64

Proud Republican? - Yes Proud Conservative? - No

Sen. John McCain's stated position for opposing the Bush tax cuts.
I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief.

Proud Republican? - Yes Proud Conservative? - No

On a February, 23, 2005 edition of Meet the Press
Tim Russert:
Would you support as part of the solution to Social Security's solvency problem, that you lift the cap so that you would pay payroll tax, Social Security tax, not just on the first $90,000 of your income, but perhaps even higher?

Senator McCain:
As part of a compromise I could . . . I'm proud of the job that Senator Lindsey Graham has been doing in his leadership position on this issue and showing some courage.

Proud Republican? - Yes Proud Conservative? - No

Sen John McCain's leadership brought passage of an "incumbent protection act", officially named McCain-Feingold. Pat Toomey at Club for Growth put it this way
In defense of the provision banning issue advocacy ads that mention a candidate 60 days before an election, McCain said, "These ads are almost always negative attack ads, and do little to further beneficial debate and healthy political dialogue." In his brief to the Supreme Court, Senator McCain continued along the same lines: "These ads are direct, blatant attacks on the candidates. We don't think that's right."

Thus, Senator McCain and his partner in crime, Senator Russ Feingold, have anointed themselves the arbiters of appropriate political speech, worthy of deciphering which speech is "right" and which should be permitted in American political debate. To this day, Senator McCain remains responsible for the greatest modern infringement of political free speech. While bestowing significant advantages upon incumbent office holders, this feat has created neither a less corrupt political domain nor a more democratic one.

Proud Republican? - Yes Proud Conservative? - No

In a room just off the Senate floor Sen. John McCain had the following to say to Sen John Cornyn

F- - - you! This is chickens- - - stuff! You've always been against this bill, and you're just trying to derail it. I know more about this stuff than anybody in this room.

Talking this way to John Cornyn who has an ACU rating of 96.

Proud Republican? - Yes Proud Conservative? - No

Sen. John McCain gave a speech in Seattle WA. just shortly before his formal announcement that he is running for POTUS. After the speech, McCain was asked by an audience member if he was "sucking up to the religious right." He drew laughs by responding: "What's wrong with sucking up to everybody?"

Proud Republican? - Yes Proud Conservative? - No

Sen. John McCain may very well win the GOP nomination, and I will hold my nose, and vote for him as the lesser of two evils. But nobody, and I mean nobody is ever going to convince me that John McCain is a "Proud Conservative". I disagree with some that think he is not a Republican. That is ridiculous. He has campaigned hard for Senate Republicans like Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Gordon Smith, and Norm Coleman. He has also campaigned hard for the "Trojan Horse S-Chip Republicans" that Michelle Malkin has written an excellent blog about. For those reasons I can call McCain a "Proud Republican". This kind of Republican "Brand" is offensive to me, but we only elected 2 conservative Presidents in the 20th Century, Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan. It is just so rare to enter the booth at a polling site and proudly cast the vote. It's much more frequent to slither into the booth, hold your nose, and choose the lesser of two evils.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Here's Why McCain Is The Worst Choice

Can we sufficiently trust a McCain administration to produce consistently strong economic policies? Unfortunately, both his rhetoric and record suggest that the answer is NO.

From Club for Growth white paper

The reduction of tax rates on income and investment is a cornerstone of limited-government philosophy and economic growth. When the most important pro-growth tax cuts in a generation were proposed by President Bush in 2001 and 2003, Senator McCain vigorously opposed them. The depth of this opposition goes a long way towards tarnishing the Senator's fiscal credentials.

First, it is notable that Senator McCain stood so astride the Republican anti-tax position that he was one of only two Republican senators to oppose the 2001 tax cuts and one of only three GOP senators to oppose the 2003 reductions.

Second, Senator McCain's stated reason for opposing the Bush tax cuts rhetorically allied him with the most radical anti-growth elements of national politics. Senator McCain argued, "I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief." Senator McCain's eager embrace of grossly inaccurate class-warfare demagoguery demonstrated, at best, a painful ignorance of pro-growth economic principles.

Third, Senator McCain not only voted against the Bush tax cuts, he joined leading liberal senators in offering and voting for amendments designed to undermine them. All in all, Senator McCain voted on the pro-tax side of 14 such amendments in 2001 and 2003. These included such odious measures as:

* An amendment sponsored by Senator John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) to prohibit a reduction in the top tax rate until Congress enacted legislation to provide a prescription drug benefit
* An amendment sponsored by Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) against full repeal of the Death Tax. This vote is in keeping with Senator McCain's 2002 vote against repealing the Death Tax
* An amendment sponsored by Tom Daschle (D-SD) and co-sponsored by Senator McCain to limit tax reduction in the top tax bracket to one percentage point

Finally, John McCain recently claimed that he has never voted for a tax increase, but the congressional record tells a different story. As Chairman of the Commerce Committee in 1998, he sponsored and voted for an enormous 282% tax increase on cigarettes.

Senator McCain's vigorous opposition to and misguided rhetoric against the most pro-growth tax cuts in twenty years should make economic conservatives very worried about the tax policies that would emanate from a McCain presidential administration.


During his 2000 presidential campaign, Senator McCain's plan for Social Security reform included a pledge to incorporate personal retirement accounts within his first year in office, and correctly criticized the inherent unfairness of the current program which forces "workers to give a portion of their hard-earned money to finance a system with low or negative returns for themselves."

This positive stance on personal accounts though, is marred by his willingness to raise Social Security taxes as part of a package that would include personal accounts. On a February, 23, 2005 edition of Meet the Press, Tim Russert asked Senator McCain if he would support "as part of the solution to Social Security's solvency problem, that you lift the cap so that you would pay payroll tax, Social Security tax, not just on the first $90,000 of your income, but perhaps even higher?" Senator McCain answered, "As part of a compromise I could . . . I'm proud of the job that Senator Lindsey Graham has been doing in his leadership position on this issue and showing some courage."

Raising Social Security taxes in this manner is not a sign of courage. It could constitute a massive tax increase and prove devastating to economic growth in this country. Furthermore, Senator McCain's support for Lindsey Graham's proposal to raise Social Security taxes contradicts his own observation about the woefully poor return workers receive. Raising taxes would only make that return worse. As Senator McCain hinted in 2000, it is not Social Security taxes that are too low, but the below-market return on those taxes that should most concern policy makers and taxpayers alike.

John McCain's support for raising Social Security taxes demonstrates that even his pro-growth positions tend to be muddied by a heavy anti-growth undercurrent. Unfortunately, this undercurrent can sweep away the good with the bad.


Most egregious is Senator McCain's leadership role in two bills that would have drastically restricted free enterprise. The first was the Patients' Bill of Rights, which he sponsored with Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and former trial lawyer John Edwards (D-NC). The bill allowed the government to impose a set of onerous mandates on insurance coverage instead of allowing individuals to make their own decisions about healthcare plans in the marketplace.

Two years later, the Arizona maverick took a another swing at the free market with the Climate Stewardship Act, a bill he sponsored with Joe Lieberman (D-CT) to require greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to 2000 levels by the year 2010. This intrusive bill was projected to cost $76 billion annually by 2025, with huge increases in the cost of electricity and gasoline according to the Department of Energy.

Unfortunately, these two bills do not close the book on Senator McCain's regulatory indiscretions. Over the years he has voted for a number of other big-government bills. These include:

* Voted for an amendment that would authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to set prices on prescription drugs under Medicare
* Voted against a bill that would prohibit an increase in CAFE standards
* Voted for an amendment that would prohibit oil drilling in part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska
* Voted (along with all of his Senate colleagues) in favor of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, an overreaction to corporate malfeasance that imposed heavy financial burdens on companies

Much like his record on taxes, these terrible votes cast a dark shadow on Senator McCain's positive votes. His anti-growth votes are exacerbated by his characteristic vociferousness in cases like the Patients' Bill of Rights and the Climate Stewardship Act. His occasional eagerness to support and encourage increased government regulation suggests a troublesome mistrust of the free market.

Political Speech

Senator McCain was the driving force behind the ultimate passage of the McCain-Feingold Act, a bill that imposed grossly unconstitutional restrictions on citizen participation in the political process.

Over the ten-plus years since Senator McCain first introduced campaign finance reform legislation, he has pursued his trampling of the First Amendment with a vengeance. On a April 28, 2006 taping of The Don Imus Show, McCain cavalierly admitted as much: "He [Michael Graham] also mentioned my abridgement of First Amendment rights, i.e. talking about campaign finance reform . . . I know that money corrupts . . . I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government."

In defense of the provision banning issue advocacy ads that mention a candidate 60 days before an election, McCain said, "These ads are almost always negative attack ads, and do little to further beneficial debate and healthy political dialogue." In his brief to the Supreme Court, Senator McCain continued along the same lines: "These ads are direct, blatant attacks on the candidates. We don't think that's right."

Thus, Senator McCain and his partner in crime, Senator Russ Feingold, have anointed themselves the arbiters of appropriate political speech, worthy of deciphering which speech is "right" and which should be permitted in American political debate. To this day, Senator McCain remains responsible for the greatest modern infringement of political free speech. While bestowing significant advantages upon incumbent office holders, this feat has created neither a less corrupt political domain nor a more democratic one.


However, McCain's maverick moralism often manifests itself in the form of more government, less freedom, and a distrust of the individual and the free market system. This is dramatically the case in his opposition to the Bush tax cuts, his class-warfare rhetoric, his occasional support for large-scale increased government regulation, his willingness to raise Social Security taxes, and of course, his abysmal record on political free speech.

Senator McCain's outspoken pursuit of anti-growth and anti-free-market policies in the realms of taxes, regulation, and campaign finance reveals a philosophical ambivalence, if not hostility, about limited government and personal freedom. This ambivalence, combined with a rebellious nature, often leaves taxpayers the victims of his latest cause célèbre. The evidence of his record and the virulence of his rhetoric suggest that American taxpayers cannot expect consistently strong economic policies from a McCain administration.

from the Heritage Foundation research paper on the McCain-Kennedy Amnesty Bill

The Senate is currently considering a massive immigration reform bill, the "Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007" (S. 1348). This bill would grant amnesty to nearly all illegal immigrants currently in the United States.

The fiscal consequences of this amnesty will vary depending on the time period analyzed. It is expected that many illegal immigrants who are currently working "off the books" and paying no direct taxes will begin to work "on the books" after receiving amnesty, and therefore tax payments will rise immediately. By contrast, under S. 1348, benefits to these immigrants from Social Security, Medicare, and most means-tested welfare programs (such as Food Stamps, public housing, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) will be delayed for many years. In consequence, then, the increase in taxes and fines paid by amnesty recipients may initially exceed slightly the increase in government benefits received. In the long run, however, the opposite will be true. In particular, the cost of retirement benefits for amnesty recipients is likely to be very large. Overall, the net cost to taxpayers of retirement benefits for amnesty recipients is likely to be at least $2.6 trillion.

I don't need to disagree with my friend gamecock about McCain's Gang of 14 compromise because McCain's record and rhetoric on economic policies alone are sufficient to discourage electing this man to be our next President.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

What Will I Do If Fred Drops Out?

Fred is IMO the only true conservative candidate running this year. In my lifetime only two true conservatives have won the Republican nomination, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. The Democratic Party tried to talk Eisenhower into running as a D. Nixon did government price controls on gasoline as just one example of a non-conservative move. Ford favored detente and peaceful coexistence with the Soviet Union. George H.W. Bush raised taxes. Bob Dole supported all kinds of corporate welfare. George W. Bush supported amnesty for illegals. Voting for a moderate Republican in the general election is not a new prospect for me.

I still prefer to vote for a moderate Republican than a Democratic socialist. Here is how I analyze the four moderates from least favorable to most favorable.

John McCain has over 30 years of service in the US Congress, and he has strongly supported the elections of fellow Republican candidates for Congress. In terms of supporting the Armed Services and their operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other hot spots around the world his Presidency will be like a third term for W.

Mike Huckabee has a gift for public speaking and winning passionate support for his candidacy. He has the ability to passionately stand up for his Christian faith and values. In terms of ESCR and pro-life issues his Presidency will be like a third term for W.

Mitt Romney has a lifetime of living the American Dream. He has experience as a business executive and improving every business endeavor he has been involved with. Mitt would bring a fresh new change to managing the Executive Branch of the US Government.

Rudy Giuliani has the experience as the Mayor of New York City of improving the government bureaucracy dramatically. He reduced the size of the workforce while improving the quality of the work. He reduced the size of the city taxes while increasing the incoming revenues. Rudy is a law and order guy who is unapologetic about not suffering fools lightly like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. As the only candidate who actually worked for Ronald Reagan, Rudy would be most likely to bring back the spirit of optimism for America that Reagan gave to us.

I'm not going to take my ball and go home. I'm not going to whine about any unfairness of the process. The election process is what it is, and I salute anyone who is able to subject themselves to this ordeal that I personally couldn't stand.

Perhaps some of you disagree with my opinions about the number of conservatives the GOP has selected over the last 56 years. That's my opinion, and I am a persistent cuss.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Barak & Hillary Use The Same Playbook

There have been some blogs that intend to show some differences between Barack and Hillary. I'm writing this one to point out similarities between the two.

Similarity #1. Both Hillary and Barack are graduates of the same school of Saul Alinsky Chicago south side politics. The American Thinker has posted this about Hillary, and this about Barack.

Here are some rules for this style of politics written in this book by Saul Alinsky. Hillary wrote a thesis about Saul Alinsky.

The eighth rule (Rules for Radicals; p. 128):

Keep the pressure on.

Once you identify a potent adversary, seize every word, every event -- no matter how trivial - and turn it around to your advantage. Make a big deal of it. Keep doing it. Over and over again. Eventually, you will wear down your opponent and win. And the bloodless revolution succeeds.

The tenth rule (Rules for Radicals; p. 129):

The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.

The operations of the revolutionaries must be cohesive, organized and constant. An action causes a reaction, which causes another reaction to the reaction, "ad infinitum."

Alinsky's 13th tactic: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. (p. 130

The Saul Alinsky method of community organizing:

The agitator's job, according to Alinsky, is first to bring folks to the "realization" that they are indeed miserable, that their misery is the fault of unresponsive governments or greedy corporations, then help them to bond together to demand what they deserve, and to make such an almighty stink that the dastardly governments and corporations will see imminent "self-interest" in granting whatever it is that will cause the harassment to cease.

The first American Thinker article refers to another Saul Alinsky model from his book that he calls political jujitsu.

The only reason that Hillary Clinton keeps up the public façade of "moderation," and doesn't dare to go on record with her deep disdain for our military is that she is following the Alinsky model, which admonishes revolutionaries to milk their white, middle-class backgrounds and appearances to achieve the political power necessary to carry out the socialist revolution.

They are using Alinsky's "basic tactic in warfare against the Haves," which Alinsky refers to as "political jujitsu." (Rules for Radicals, p. 152) This tactic advises the Have-Nots to "club the enemy to death with his own book of rules and regulations." (p. 152)

Similarity #2 Both Hillary and Barack have received lots of money from George Soros to run their campaigns. I don't think George Soros cares whether Hillary or Barack win because from his viewpoint they are really one and the same.

The second American Thinker article does point to one distinction between Hillary and Barack

Barack Obama seems to have effortlessly achieved voter adoration, fresher, younger, more at ease within his own skin than she will ever be. He would appear to be as much a natural as her own Bill. It may appear to a great many observers that Barrack Obama is just one incredibly audacious, even lucky, albeit frighteningly charismatic dude.

These personal qualities are not the sole reason he is where he is, and I suspect the wily Mrs. Clinton knows this full well. I suspect it must bother her that Obama also appears to have mastered the playbook used by her own political teacher, the legendary amoral guru of left wing activism, Saul Alinksy.

Hillary has met not only her match in Alinsky tactics, she has met the master of bloodless socialist revolution, in my opinion.

Obama's Alinsky Lessons

Barack Obama had just graduated from Columbia and was looking for a job. Some white leftists were looking for someone who could recruit in a black neighborhood in the south side of Chicago.

Obama answered a help-wanted ad for a position as a community organizer for the Developing Communities Project (DCP) of the Calumet Community Religious Conference (CCRC) in Chicago. Obama was 24 years old, unmarried, very accustomed to a vagabond existence, and according to his memoir, searching for a genuine African-American community.

Both the CCRC and the DCP were built on the Alinsky model of community agitation, wherein paid organizers learned how to "rub raw the sores of discontent," in Alinsky's words.

In these methods, euphemistically labeled "community organizing," Obama had a four-year education, which he often says was the best education he ever got anywhere.

Is it any wonder, then, that Obama's Alinsky Jujitsu is making mincemeat of the woman who merely interviewed Alinsky, wrote about him, and spent the next 30 years in corporate law and in the lap of taxpayer-funded luxury in government mansions?

I fervently hope and pray that the voters in November reject this infusion of socialism, and not elect either of them President. Myself and many others here have lived long enough to remember to rue the days that Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were elected President. We have survived their Presidencies, but I truly fear the future of this country with a President Barack or a President Hillary.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Blind Faith - Ayaan Hirsi Ali Book Review

In the Sunday January 6, 2008 NYT Book Review section Ayaan Hirsi Ali has written an excellent book review of a Lee Harris book, The Suicide of Reason. In her own gentle yet firm way she applauds him for writing of a very important development, and then slams him down for his conclusions. I encourage everyone to read the entire article, but I will place in this blog what I thought were the highlights of this review.

Harris, the author of “Civilization and Its Enemies: The Next Stage of History,” devotes most of his book to identifying and distinguishing between two kinds of fanaticism. The first is Islamic fanaticism, a formidable enemy in the struggle for cultural survival. In Harris’s view, this fanaticism has acted as a “defense mechanism,” shielding Islam from the pressures of the changing world around it and allowing it to expand into territories and cultures where it had previously been unknown.

The second fanaticism that Harris identifies is one he views as infecting Western societies; he calls it a “fanaticism of reason.” Reason, he says, contains within itself a potential fatality because it blinds Western leaders to the true nature of Islamic-influenced cultures. Westerners see these cultures merely as different versions of the world they know, with dominant values similar to those espoused in their own culture. But this, Harris argues, is a fatal mistake. It implies that the West fails to appreciate both its history and the true nature of its opposition.

Nor, he points out, is the failure linked to a particular political outlook. Liberals and conservatives alike share this misperception. Noam Chomsky and Paul Wolfowitz agreed, Harris writes, “that you couldn’t really blame the terrorists, since they were merely the victims of an evil system — for Chomsky, American imperialism, for Wolfowitz, the corrupt and despotic regimes of the Middle East.” That is to say, while left and right may disagree on the causes and the remedies, they both overlook the fanaticism inherent in Islam itself. Driven by their blind faith in reason, they interpret the problem in a way that is familiar to them, in order to find a solution that fits within their doctrine of reason. The same is true for such prominent intellectuals as Samuel Huntington and Francis Fukuyama.

Harris’s book is so engaging that it is difficult to put down, and its haunting assessments make it difficult for a reader to sleep at night. He deserves praise for raising serious questions. But his arguments are not entirely sound.

I disagree, for instance, that the way to rescue Western civilization from a path of suicide is to challenge its tradition of reason. Indeed, for all his understanding of the rise of fanaticism in general and its Islamic manifestation in particular, Harris’s use of the term “reason” is faulty.

Enlightenment thinkers, preoccupied with both individual freedom and secular and limited government, argued that human reason is fallible. They understood that reason is more than just rational thought; it is also a process of trial and error, the ability to learn from past mistakes. The Enlightenment cannot be fully appreciated without a strong awareness of just how frail human reason is. That is why concepts like doubt and reflection are central to any form of decision-making based on reason.

Harris is pessimistic in a way that the Enlightenment thinkers were not. He takes a Darwinian view of the struggle between clashing cultures, criticizing the West for an ethos of selfishness, and he follows Hegel in asserting that where the interest of the individual collides with that of the state, it is the state that should prevail. This is why he attributes such strength to Islamic fanaticism. The collectivity of the umma elevates the communal interest above that of the individual believer. Each Muslim is a slave, first of God, then of the caliphate. Although Harris does not condone this extreme subversion of the self, still a note of admiration seems to creep into his descriptions of Islam’s fierce solidarity, its adherence to tradition and the willingness of individual Muslims to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the greater good.

In addition, Harris extols American exceptionalism together with Hegel as if there were no contradiction between the two. But what makes America unique, especially in contrast to Europe, is its resistance to the philosophy of Hegel with its concept of a unifying world spirit. It is the individual that matters most in the United States. And more generally, it is individuals who make cultures and who break them. Social and cultural evolution has always relied on individuals — to reform, persuade, cajole or force. Culture is formed by the collective agreement of individuals. At the same time, it is crucial that we not fall into the trap of assuming that the survival tactics of individuals living in tribal societies — like lying, hypocrisy, secrecy, violence, intimidation, and so forth — are in the interest of the modern individual or his culture.

Harris is correct, I believe, that many Western leaders are terribly confused about the Islamic world. They are woefully uninformed and often unwilling to confront the tribal nature of Islam. The problem, however, is not too much reason but too little. Harris also fails to address the enemies of reason within the West: religion and the Romantic movement. It is out of rejection of religion that the Enlightenment emerged; Romanticism was a revolt against reason.

Both the Romantic movement and organized religion have contributed a great deal to the arts and to the spirituality of the Western mind, but they share a hostility to modernity. Moral and cultural relativism (and their popular manifestation, multiculturalism) are the hallmarks of the Romantics. To argue that reason is the mother of the current mess the West is in is to miss the major impact this movement has had, first in the West and perhaps even more profoundly outside the West, particularly in Muslim lands.

Thus, it is not reason that accommodates and encourages the persistent segregation and tribalism of immigrant Muslim populations in the West. It is Romanticism. Multiculturalism and moral relativism promote an idealization of tribal life and have shown themselves to be impervious to empirical criticism. My reasons for reproaching today’s Western leaders are different from Harris’s. I see them squandering a great and vital opportunity to compete with the agents of radical Islam for the minds of Muslims, especially those within their borders. But to do so, they must allow reason to prevail over sentiment.

To argue, as Harris seems to do, that children born and bred in superstitious cultures that value fanaticism and create phalanxes of alpha males are doomed — and will doom others — to an existence governed by the law of the jungle is to ignore the lessons of the West’s own past. There have been periods when the West was less than noble, when it engaged in crusades, inquisitions, witch-burnings and genocides. Many of the Westerners who were born into the law of the jungle, with its alpha males and submissive females, have since become acquainted with the culture of reason and have adopted it. They are even — and this should surely relieve Harris of some of his pessimism — willing to die for it, perhaps with the same fanaticism as the jihadists willing to die for their tribe. In short, while this conflict is undeniably a deadly struggle between cultures, it is individuals who will determine the outcome.

The concluding remarks by Ms Ali remind me of America's history in dealing with tribes of native Americans. We had individuals then who determined the outcome of whether or not citizens must accommodate tribes who attacked and scalped western homesteads. Reason won over romanticism, and rightly so. No apologies should be offered or required for our adopting a culture of reason over romanticism.

Ahead of the United States’ invasion of Iraq in 2003, Saddam Hussein’s policemen dressed as suicide bombers for a parade in Baghdad.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

An All Style No Substance Look At The Candidates

The "I hate rich people" populist candidates, Mike Huckabee & John Edwards

The "Old bulls it's our turn we're most experienced" candidates Hillary Clinton & John McCain.

The "Blame America first truther" candidates Bill Richardson & Ron Paul.

The "I'm the new young fresh face in politics" candidate Barak Obama

The "I most closely resemble Addam's Family Uncle Festus" candidate Rudy Giuliani.

The "I most resemble The Munsters Herman Munster" candidate Mitt Romney.

The "I'll do it my way I owe you reporters nothing" candidate Fred Thompson.

Photo Caption Contest - NH Debates

The big moment for Charlie Gibson and ABC when they had all 10 candidates appearing on the stage together. So what is the best caption for this photo. I'm thinking about the motivational speaker, Matt Foley, selling himself as the champion of all those little people out there living in van down by the river!

I could have the wrong caption, and you may have a better one. I invite one and all to propose a caption for this photo.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

End This Practice, London. Prosecute Now

I just came across an article in London Daily Mail about how the unspeakable practice of female circumcision is destroying young women's lives in Britain. A snippet from the article
It is carried out for a variety of cultural reasons. Such is the secrecy that surrounds the practice that even those aware that it occurs in large swathes of Africa and Asia will be shocked to learn that it is prevalent in Britain.

During a highly disturbing, four-month investigation, however, we uncovered evidence that thousands of British-African girls, in towns and cities throughout the country, have been forcibly "cut".

By conservative estimates, 66,000 women and girls living in Britain have been mutilated. This figure, accepted by the Metropolitan Police, came in a report by a volunteer organisation funded by the Department of Health and carried out with academics from the London School of Tropical Hygiene and the City University.

And thousands more girls are at imminent risk as families club together to fly professional "cutters" from Africa to Britain.

These women "elders" perform the crude operation for up to £40 a time, often on kitchen tables or floors, without anaesthetic, using filthy, blunt knives, razor blades or scalpels.

Many readers will be distressed by our report, but this practice is an abomination which has no place anywhere, let alone in a civilised society, and if it is to be expunged then this is a story that must be told.

Whatever the arguments, the fact is that genital mutilation is a reality, and the Metropolitan police is so concerned that it recently set up a special unit to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators. Heading the unit is Detective Inspector Carol Hamilton, herself a mother, who was horrified when she discovered what was happening to other people's daughters.

The Met team also educates regional police forces about FGM, and speaks to mosques, community groups and local authorities.

Usually their visits are well-received, but we found that at least one London council declined to publish material highlighting the suffering and danger the practice causes - for fear of offending ethnic African residents.

This kind of attitude incenses Detective Inspector Hamilton. "We are all becoming very culturally sensitive," she says. "People are a bit frightened of saying 'You can't do this here' because people shoot back with 'But it's our culture'.

"But it's not: this is just plain cruel. I won't be put off by the politically correct argument. We have to be seen to be strong on this. I don't care about human rights - I care about the rights of the child. Everything else has to go out of the window.

"We have one rule in child protection: the child is of paramount importance. I stick by that firmly."

Together with the Waris Dirie Foundation, an international campaign group formed by the Somali-born supermodel who suffered genital mutilation as a five-year-old child, the Met announced a £20,000 reward last July for information leading to the conviction of anyone who performs or abets cutting.

Under the 2003 Female Genital Mutilation Act, those involved could be jailed for 14 years. Yet the fact that no one has been prosecuted says much about the problems the police are facing.

"There are thousands of girls being cut in your country," says Waris Dirie spokesman Walter Hutschinger. "We are sure it's going on, and on a very big scale. Your law is one of the most comprehensive in the world, but it is useless if nobody will help to implement it.

Perhaps we should take a lead from France, whose methods of prevention have been strengthened following a landmark case in 1999, when a woman of West African origins was jailed for eight years for cutting 48 young children.

Now all French children of African background are closely scrutinised by social workers and doctors during infancy, and any abnormal behaviour or prolonged absence from school is immediately investigated.

It is also considered a duty of French doctors to examine any ethnic African girls they suspect have been mutilated and, waiving usual patient confidentiality rules, report their parents to the police if their suspicions are confirmed.

In this age of political correctness, no doubt, factions in Britain will argue that such interventionist activity is discriminatory and a breach of human rights. There will also be those who believe female genital mutilation to be an issue for the African community to resolve, arguing that our overstretched police and health professionals have more pressing matters to address.

Detective Inspector Hamilton was persuaded otherwise when she sat through a graphic video showing a cutter at work. With its haunting screams and bloodied instruments, this real-life horror film changed her life.

"These little girls shouldn't have to live in that other world," she says. "They go to school here. Their homes and friends are here. They are our little girls. They are British. What is happening to them is barbaric - and it must be stopped."

I give a hearty and strong AMEN to the concluding sentence of this article. This must be stopped now. The UK should follow France's example of prosecuting this barbaric practice. Last year French Presiden Sarkozy awarded Waris Dirie the "Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur."

This has nothing to do with political correctness, and it infuriates me that anyone can even say something like that. There is no need to put any religious or cultural language into any laws banning this practice. We can outlaw this barbarism using our own words and language. And rightly so.

Here is a video of Waris Dirie speaking out against this.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Fred Shrugged

As a Fred Thompson supporter, I write this blog from a bad case of election year jitters. Fred beat John McCain by a few hundred votes to place third in the Iowa caucus, yet watching any of the MSM talk shows you would not know it.

I am concerned that Fred Thompson is like the John Galt character in Ayn Rand's classic novel. Atlas Shrugged is the astounding story of a man, John Galt, who said that he would stop the motor of the world--and he did. Fred has thumbed his nose at the MSM, and bruised the ego of many of them. In one respect I admire this about Fred, but so many morons among us decide the worth of a Presidential candidate based upon what these folks are saying and writing about the candidate. They are not not saying and writing anything about Fred.

I hope that Fred will be successful in winning support for his candidacy in spite of the blackout by the MSM.

It's been a while since I actually read Atlas Shrugged. I loved the book, but I let Google be my friend, and found this review online. Here is a snippet for those who are unfamiliar with this novel.
Atlas Shrugged is a mystery story which pondered on why so many of the world's productive minds are gradually disappearing; the other being about the invention of a revolutionary new kind of motor.

The main character in the story are:

Dagny Taggart -- She is the vice-president for operations of Taggart Transcontinental railroad and the book's main protagonist.

Henry "Hank" Rearden -- As the founder and president of Rearden Steel, he is America's greatest industrialist.

John Galt -- Galt is a mysterious figure involved in the disappearance of the world's great thinkers and business leaders.

Francisco d'Anconia -- This heir to an enormous copper-mining fortune appears to be squandering his wealth and talent. He is Dagny's childhood friend and former lover.

The central theme of Atlas Shrugged is the role of the human mind in life and society they belong to. Rand argues that independent creative and innovative thinking is the engine that runs the world. In Atlas Shrugged she illustrated what would happen to the world if the "men of the mind" went on strike: the engine of the world would shut down and civilization crushed. The primary philosophy of the book has its roots entirely in Objectivism, the philosophical system propounded by Rand.

Atlas Shrugged is a novel about a strike. Ayn Rand sets out to show the fate that befalls the world when the thinkers and doers should go on strike. The author raises an intriguing question: What would happen if the scientists, medical researchers, inventors, industrialists, writers, artists, and so on withheld their minds and their achievements from the world?

The story of Atlas Shrugged takes place at an unspecified future time. Dagny Taggart, vice president in charge of operations for Taggart Transcontinental Railroad, seeks to rebuild the crumbling track of the Rio Norte Line that serves Ellis Wyatt’s oil fields and the booming industrial areas of Colorado. The country is in a downward economic spiral with businesses closing and men out of work. Other countries in the world have become socialist Peoples’ States and are destitute. Colorado, based on Wyatt’s innovative method of extracting oil from shale, is the last great industrial center on earth. Dagny intends to provide Colorado the train service it requires, but her brother James Taggart, president of Taggart Transcontinental, tries to block her from getting new rails from Rearden Steel, the last reliable steel manufacturer. James wants to do business with the inefficient Associated Steel, which is run by his friend Orren Boyle. Dagny wants the new rail to be made of Rearden Metal, a new alloy that Hank Rearden developed after ten years of experiment. Because the metal has never been tried and has been denounced by metallurgists, James won’t accept responsibility for using it. Dagny, who studied engineering in college, has seen the results of Rearden’s tests. She accepts the responsibility and orders the rails made of Rearden Metal.

Worsening the economic depression in the U.S. is the unexplained phenomenon of talented men retiring and disappearing.

James Taggart, in an attempt to recover the railroad’s losses on the San Sebastian Line, uses his political friendships to influence the vote of the National Alliance of Railroads. The Alliance passes what’s known as the “Anti-dog-eat-dog rule,” prohibiting “cutthroat” competition. The rule puts the superb Phoenix-Durango Railroad, Taggart Transcontinental’s competitor for the Colorado freight traffic, out of business. With the Phoenix-Durango line gone, Dagny must rebuild the Rio Norte Line quickly.

In this novel, Rand argues that all human progress and prosperity depend on rational thinking. Human have invented aeroplanes, telephones, computers, and televisions. Human had erect skyscrapers, and grow an abundant food supply. Humans have been to the moon and mars and had developed abundant technologies. Human beings have found cures for many diseases that had plagued the society. All of these achievements result from the human application of a rational mind. If intellectuals responsible for such advances would chose to abandon the world, then the world would turned into a regressive and primitive state.

The thinkers had gone on strike in Atlas Shrugged to protest the oppression of their intellect and creativity. The thinkers in Atlas Shrugged strike on behalf of individual rights and political freedom. They strike against an enforced moral code of self-sacrifice — the creed that human life must be devoted to serving the needs of others. Above all, the thinkers strike to prove that reason is the only means by which man can understand reality and make proper decisions; emotions should not guide human behavior. In short, the creative minds are on strike in support of a person’s right to think and live independently.

The focus of Atlas Shrugged is the role that the human mind plays in human existence. Atlas Shrugged shows that rational thinking is mankind’s survival instrument.

In the novel, the withdrawal of the great thinkers can cause the collapse of the nation’s economy. The strike proves the role that the rational mind plays in the attainment of progress and prosperity.

When Ayn Rand was writing Atlas Shrugged, many Americans strongly believed that the government should have the power to coercively redistribute income and to regulate private industry. The capitalist system of political and economic freedom was consistently attacked by socialists and welfare statists. The belief that an individual has a right to live his own life was replaced, to a significant extent, by the collectivist idea that individuals must work and live in service to other people. Individual rights and political freedom were threatened in American politics, education, and culture.

Rand argues in Atlas Shrugged that the freedom of society is responsible for its greatest achievements and that economic freedom would liberated the great creative thinkers, permitting them to put into practice new ideas and methods. But what would happen if economic freedom were lost?

In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand projects the culmination of a twentieth-century socialist nation. The government portrayed in the story has significant control over the domestic economy. The rest of the world has been swallowed up by Marxist States and subsists in abject poverty. A limited degree of economic freedom still exists in a democratic nation, but it’s prosperity is steadily declining. The successful are heavily taxed to support the poor, and the poor are similarly levied to finance the even poorer people in foreign Marxist States. The government subsidizes inefficient businesses at the expense of the more efficient. With the state controlling large portions of the economy, the result is the rise of corrupt businessmen who seek profit by manipulating crooked politicians rather than by doing productive work. The government forces inventors to give up their patents so that all manufacturers may benefit equally from new products. Similarly, the government breaks up productive companies, compelling them to share the market with weaker (less efficient) competitors.

In short, the fictionalized universe of Atlas Shrugged presents a future in which nation states which are treading toward socialism had been accelerated. Twentieth-century realities such as heavy taxation, massive social welfare programs, tight governmental regulation of industry, and antitrust action against successful companies are heightened in the universe of this story. The government annuls the rights of citizens, and freedom is steadily eroded, rapidly becoming a fascist dictatorship.

The result, in Rand’s fictional universe, is a collapse of a nation’s prosperity. Great minds are shackled by government policies, and their innovations are either rejected or expropriated by the state. Thinkers lack the freedom necessary to create new products, to start their own companies, to compete openly, and to earn wealth. Under the increasing yoke of tyranny, the most independent minds in a free society choose to defend their liberty in the most effective manner possible: They withdraw from society.

Atlas Shrugged shows that intellect is necessary to promote man’s prosperity on earth. But intellectual ability isn’t within a man’s volitional control. The ability of his brain is something that a man is born with, but he chooses whether he uses it. An individual can be judged only by what is subject to his control.

Rand suggests that a society will stagnate to the extent that independence and individual achievement are discouraged or demonized. Inversely, a society will become more prosperous as it allows, encourages, and rewards independence and individual achievement. Rand believed that independence flourishes to the extent that people are free, and that achievement is most fairly rewarded when private property is strictly observed. She advocated laissez-faire capitalism as the political system that is most consistent with these beliefs. These considerations make Atlas Shrugged a highly political book, especially in its portrayal of socialism and communism as fundamentally flawed.

Rand also argues that traits like independence and individual achievement, which currently drive the world, are actually virtues, and in her worldview are central to a "rational" moral code.

It's been 50 years since Ayn Rand published this novel, and yet life imitates art. Today many of the candidates running for President are promoting the same ideas that she railed against. The government portrayed in the story has significant control over the domestic economy. Promoting policies such as heavy taxation, massive social welfare programs, tight governmental regulation of industry, and antitrust action against successful companies. Unfortunately I read and hear this stuff from both Democratic and Republican candidates.

One thing that Sen. Thompson supported and now regrets is McCain-Feingold BCRA which eliminates 527's from putting any promotion of a candidacy on the air for 60 days before the election. This stupid law just enhances the power of the MSM networks to onfluence the outcome of the election.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Tune I'm Singin' If One I Despise Wins

The countdown is on for GOP caucus votes in Iowa less than 24 hours from now. I have been reading a lot of blogs here at RedState with heartfelt pleas for their guy to win. I have read blogs here where threats are made to go into seclusion, and never ever involve oneself in politics again if their guy doesn't win. I have read other blogs where the case is made for the opponent of their guy to be the vilest human on the face of the earth. If the other guy wins they try to convince you that we are DOOOOOOOOOMED.

As Colonel Potter would say.... Horse Pucky!

Politicians can and will disappoint, and there is no reason for anybody to get so worked up over things. There are many elections for many offices in 2008 besides President of the United States. If I despise the GOP nominee for POTUS it does not compute that I am going to forget about all of the Congress Critters™ and state and local elections, and just crawl under a rock somewhere. There are consequences for who wins those elections too.

Keep in mind that unlike some posters here at RedState I do consume alcohol when you listen to my tune. Also keep in mine that Ronaldinho is the world's best soccer player who can love playing a game that others have to work too hard to enjoy when you watch the video to my tune.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Thomas Sowell Starts Year With A Home Run

Thomas Sowell has just written an excellent article at Real Clear Politics. With all the football games to watch and hangovers to cure this may go unnoticed, and this is why I want to highlight an underscore the bullets Thomas Sowell fires in this piece.

Santa Claus may turn out to be the real front-runner in the primaries, judging by the way candidates are vying with one another to give away government goodies to the voters.

If taking our money and wasting it -- or, rather, using it to buy votes -- was all the damage that politicians did to the economy, that would be Utopia compared to all the damage they actually do.

What's more, politicians can picture themselves as the solutions to our economic problems, when in fact they are the biggest economic problem of all.

To this day, there are people who believe that the market economy failed when the stock market crashed in 1929 and that the Great Depression of the 1930s that followed required government intervention.

In reality, the stock market crashed by almost exactly the same amount on almost the same day in 1987 -- and 20 years of prosperity, low inflation and low unemployment followed.

What was the difference?

Politicians -- first President Hoover and then President Roosevelt -- decided that they had to "do something" after the stock market crash of 1929.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan decided to do nothing -- despite bitter criticisms in the media -- and the economy recovered on its own and kept on growing.

Back in 1971, President Richard Nixon responded to widespread demands that he "do something" about rising prices by imposing wage and price controls that got him re-elected in a landslide. Moreover, the later damage to the economy was seldom blamed on those price controls.

It is not just free market economists who think the government can do more harm than good when they intervene in the economy. It was none other than Karl Marx who referred to "crackbrained meddling by the authorities" that can "aggravate an existing crisis."

Ronald Reagan and Karl Marx did not have much in common, except that they had both studied economics.

After the departure of Senator Phil Gramm and House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Congress has been an economics-free zone. There is not one economist among the 535 members of Congress.

But, in an election year, that is not a political handicap. Santa Claus has won far more elections than any economist.

Thomas Sowell fired all six rounds out of his editorial six-shooter, and not one bullet missed the mark in my opinion. We have a problem in this country of resting on the laurels of Ronald Reagan's successful course and once again slouching toward Gomorrah liberalism. It doesn't do any good to blame the media for being biased. Of course they are biased, and so what? We need to articulate a positive message for America's economic future bypassing the media filters, and speaking directly to the future. I'm not sure this can happen before the country allows for some really bad things to occur first. I hope I am proven wrong this year, but history does tell us that Santa Claus has won more elections than any economist.