Another cog in the wheel known as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to combat the Extreme Left-Wing Media.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

College football coaching carousel

Several colleges are preparing for a coaching change. Some are firing the current coach due to losses. Some are unexpectedly looking for a new coach because the present coach has resigned to take a job at a school with a higher profile. I understand that every school is anxious to get a new coach in right away due to recruiting concerns. Having said that, I'm bothered by the trend of contacting a coach at another school before their current season has finished. Here in Cincinnati, Mark Dantonio was lured away from the University of Cincinnati to coach at Michigan State University. Dantonio is in his third year at UC where he has made strides towards being a highly competitive team. UC finished at 7-5 this year and will be playing in a bowl game in late December. Now, in between their last regular game and their bowl game the head coach departs. While I understand the desire for a higher paycheck and the opportunity to compete at the highest level, this lack of loyalty to his players speaks poorly of Dantonio. I think the NCAA needs to take a look at this practice of contacting coaches prior to conclusion of their season. If that is a recruiting set back for a team looking to change coaches so be it. Maybe teams will give a second thought to firing their current coach if they realize they have to wait until January to hire a new one.


How long before Virginia voters have buyers remourse

In the last election, voters around the country elected Democrats who portrayed themselves as being from the moderate wing of their party. I wondered how long it would take for these new congressmen to vote or act in a way which belies their moderate comments on the campaign trail. Well, if the new senator from Virginia is any indication it won't take long.
At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia's newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn't long before Bush found him.

"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly
If you are so immature that you won't shake hands with your nation's president maybe you shouldn't go to a reception at the White House. I'm sure the hard left is proud of Webb's act of disrespect, but my guess (based on living in Virginia for 20 some years) is most folks who voted for him don't approve of his initial behavior as their representative.


Lack of postings

Sorry about the lack of posts the past week. A number of things contributed to my absence. Biggest was a stream of relatives visiting over the Thanksgiving weekend followed by hanging the Christmas lights. Secondly, there was an a lack of inspiration for blogging. Relatively, things have been quiet on the political front. Other than political in-fighting over who would be in which leadership position in the Senate and House not much is going on except folks positioning themselves for 2008 (which I'll get to later). I highly doubt anyone was interested in reading about the spider I found behind the containers of Christmas decorations. It was humongous. It was so big I didn't kill it right away. I waited until the kids came home from school so I could show it off before killing it. Enough about spiders, more later about sports and politics.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's hoping you and yours have a great Thanksgiving Day.

Enjoy time with family and friends.

Eat too much.

Compliment the cook (even if something tastes funny).

Enjoy the football games.

Remember to keep in mind the purpose of Thanksgiving. We need to be thankful for the many blessings which have been bestowed upon us.

Pray for our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines around the world who are unable to celebrate the holidays with their families. Their sacrifice enables us to celebrate in comfort.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Justin Morneau American League MVP

In a surprising development, First Baseman Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins was announced as the American League Most Valuable Player for 2006.

Morneau had a very good season, but leading up to this announcement he was hardly even mentioned as a contender. This morning, ESPN had people arguing over whether Derek Jeter of the Yankees or David Ortiz of the Red Sox was more deserving. Myself, I thought Morneau's teammate, Joe Mauer who won the batting title was the MVP for combining his offensive performance with exceptional defense at the critical catcher position. I assumed incorrectly that with the Twins having three viable candidates (Morneau, Mauer and Santana) that their votes would be divided keeping any of them from getting in the top few spots.

I get email breaking sports news alerts from the Boston Globe. To show how this announcement caught people off guard, here is subject line of the email they sent to advise that Morneau was the MVP:
Breaking Sports Alert: Mauer wins AL MVP
For the record Mauer finished in sixth place. The body of the email had the correct information.

To further illustrate how out of the blue this announcement is, the blogger with the best Twins coverage, Aaron Gleeman listed Morneau 10th on his ballot last week.

Despite Indians having a very poor season, Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore got some consideration. Somehow Hafner got one second place vote. Hafner did lead the league in SLG and OPS and hit 6 grand slams this season, but after he missed over 30 games due to injury even a big Tribe fan like myself couldn't put him in the top 5.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Movie review: The Nativity Story

Tonight I attended a preview of the movie The Nativity Story. I braced myself to be disappointed, expecting Hollywood to add something to the story of Christ's birth in an attempt to make the movie more profitable. I was pleasantly surprised by an excellent movie which stayed true to the Bible.

This movie can be summed up in one word. Faith. Faith is central to the entire storyline. The Jewish people living under an oppressive Roman occupation had faith that their Messiah would come. Mary had her faith tested by an angel's pronouncement that she was to bear a child without having relations with a man. Mary's parents had their faith tested by their daughter's claim. As the father of a teenage daughter, I wondered how I would respond if my daughter were to claim she was with child but had never been with a man. Joseph had to accept that his betrothed was pregnant without his help. All of these people had their faith seriously tested.

My favorite scene was when Mary visited her cousin Elisabeth. My son who watched the movie with me thought the scenes with the Three Wise Men were the highlight of the movie. Watch and decide for yourself.

I strongly recommend watching this movie and fully expect it to become a regular every Christmas season.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Headline that makes you go "WHAT!?"

From the New York Sun's foreign desk we get this headline:
President Carter Could Lead U.N. Investigation of Israel
What, was Mel Gibson unavailable?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

One less crook for the cops to catch

Ex-Black panther, hijacker dies at 75
Mr. Brent was still a fugitive when he died, sought by U.S. law enforcement officials for his June 1969 hijacking of TWA flight No. 154 to Cuba. The plane, with 76 passengers aboard, was bound for New York from San Francisco. At the time of the hijacking, Mr. Brent was facing charges for his role in a 1968 Panther shootout with San Francisco police. One police officer was severely wounded but later recovered.

Potential terrorist caught at Detroit airport

This guy may just be involved in the illegal drug trade, but I wouldn't count on it.
A man was arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after officials say they found him carrying nearly $79,000 in cash and a laptop computer containing information about nuclear materials and cyanide.

Sisayehiticha Dinssa, an unemployed U.S. citizen, was arrested Tuesday after a dog caught the scent of narcotics on cash he was carrying, according to an affidavit filed in court.
Vigilance is the key. People should not let down their guard just because we have not been hit in over five years.

Avian Influenza update

The Sun has a scary headline today "Mutant flu 'will kill 50 million." It would be easy to dismiss the article because The Sun is a tabloid known for hyperbole. It would also be irresponsible to ignore influenza as a serious threat. Flu pandemics throughout history have attacked human population aggressively about once every other generation. In the early part of the 20th century we had a world wide Spanish Flu epidemic which claimed between 2.5 and 5% of the Earth's population. Multiplying the low end of those estimates against todays population would equal 150 million people. For comparison, HIV/AIDS has been known for about 25 years and has claimed around 25 million lives.

I don't expect the Avian (bird) Flu to claim anywhere near as many lives as the Spanish Flu percentage wise mainly because of improvements in hygiene in the last hundred years. However, some of that could be offset by the incredible increase in international travel. At the time of the Spanish Flu pandemic it took weeks to cross the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. Now it takes hours. Normally, the best course of action would be a quarantine of an infected area. However, with bird migration that may not be all that effective.

Anyway, wash your hands frequently and pray the pharmaceutical industry hasn't been deterred by the constant threat of lawsuit anytime their products don't achieve perfect results.

Blue Dog Democrats

Blue Dog Democrats are considered to be social and economic moderates within the Democrat party. Many have rushed to declare that the majority of the freshman class of the 110th Congress are Blue Dog Democrats. These new congressmen are getting that label based on comments made while campaigning. It would be nice to think there might be some moderation of the extreme leftward tilt to that party, but I think it is extremely premature to call someone a moderate just based on sound bites during a political campaign. Now that they have won an election lets see how they vote in congress. Label them based on their actions not their words. The new members of the House of Representatives will have an early test as they vote for a majority leader. They have a choice between the fairly moderate (at least by today's standards) Steny Hoyer or the ethically challenged and far left leaning Jack Murtha.

A new member of the senate, Bob Casey ran for election as a pro-life Catholic (is there another kind?). In his case as well, words mean nothing. Let's see how he votes on judicial nominees. Will he follow Ted Kennedy's example? Kennedy pretends to be a Catholic when he visits Massachusetts but when he returns to D.C. he votes like a member of NARAL.

The Extremist Agenda

We were last attacked on our home soil over 5 years ago and it is easy for people to get into their day to day life and forget we are at war with Muslim extremists. Well, last night talk radio host Glenn Beck aired a show on CNN titled The Extremist Agenda to remind us (the link goes to a transcript if video becomes available I'll update).

I won't attempt to summarize Beck's program, but his main purpose was to let people see what we are up against and how the extremism is passed on to the youth. Here in the introduction to the show he explains how he decided to do this tv special.
BECK: A few months ago my producers showed me a video of Islamic extremists leading a massive rally against Israel and the U.S. in the Middle East. It shocked me to my core. Not just because of the size of the crowds and the depth of their hatred, but it was beyond that. Here I am. I`m a guy who`s in the U.S. media, and I had never seen that video before. That is when I made the decision to create this hour- long special devoted to exposing everything that I had seen, and everything that you are not seeing.

In just a minute, we`re going to start by airing some unbelievable propaganda used by extremists. But first, I want to make a couple of very important points about what you are going to see in the next hour.

No. 1, and you`ve heard me say this over and over again: I am not a journalist. More importantly, I don`t pretend to be one. I have also been extremely honest with you every step of the way if you watch this program every night.

I am a conservative, so when you hear me talk about anything from politics to religion to, yes, Islamic extremists, you have to understand that I express my opinions fully, no matter what anybody else thinks, like it or not, right through that prism.

I also want to make it clear that this next hour is not a balanced perspective on Islam or the Middle East, but it is an important part of the story. It has to be understood and seen if we`re ever truly going to accomplish balanced coverage.

Finally, the video you are going to see tonight is from all over the Middle East, people that are involved in many different conflicts. But there is one common thread: they all use religion to justify their hatred. And it all starts with one of most important weapons that they have in their arsenal: the weapon of propaganda.
Many of us have rightly criticized CNN for being confused about whose side they are on in the war. However, I have to give them credit for airing this special. I don't know how many people watched the show but no one could watch it and not understand the nature of the enemy we face. I laughed at people who said after 911 that we need to understand why they hate us, but now I agree people need to understand why they hate us. They hate us because they are taught from childhood on by their religious leaders that they should.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday morning links

Peter Bronson of the Cincinnati Enquirer has a humorous column which says to Democrats: Okay you've won, now where's your plan.

Read this column and tell me again why the RSCC sent so much money to the Lincoln Chafee reelection campaign. You can not tell me that the money wasted on that joke couldn't have been better utilized defending the seat of a senator who actually believes in Republican principles.

Speaking of Republican principles, John at Right Wing News has come up with a pretty good list of abiding principles for the party. Here are a few, click the link to see the rest or to suggest additions in his comments section.
Among other things, the Republican Party should be:

The "America First" party.
The capitalist party.
The daddy party
The law and order party.
The party of free trade.
The party of honest government and reform.
The party of low taxes.
The party of moral values.
The party of optimism.

For independents and moderates who voted for a "conservative" Democrat congressman here is a sound bite from the congressional leadership they elected by proxy which should give them an idea what the new congress thinks of the rubes in the supposedly red states.
Rangel, D-N.Y., was quoted in a Thursday article in The New York Times, saying: "Mississippi gets more than their fair share back in federal money, but who the hell wants to live in Mississippi?"
Speaking of Rep. Rangel, here is his plan: First Order of Business for Democrats: The Draft
On Sunday Gerald Ford will pass the late Ronald Reagan as the longest living U.S. president. He will be 93 years and 121 days old. There is an interesting tidbit about long living former first ladies at the end of the article.
The oldest living former first lady is Lady Bird Johnson, who turns 94 next month. Bess Truman, who died in 1982 at age 97, was the longest living first lady in U.S. history.
For some reason I thought I had read that Mrs. Johnson already held that longevity record.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Stupid voter stories

I know, I know the results are one big stupid voter story, but this one takes the cake. The headline says it all.
Intent on voting, Pa. woman, 95, calls 911
If you can't already guess her party affiliation you can click the link to confirm.

Something different for a change

Enough politics for a while.

The Cleveland Indians kicked off baseball's off season player movement by trading pitcher Andrew Brown and infielder Kevin Kouzmanoff to the San Diego Padres for second baseman Josh Barfield. This is a really good move. Rather than spending big money from a limited budget for any of the crop of washed up infielders on the free-agent market the Tribe filled a position of need fairly cheaply. Money saved needs to be used to address the need for a power hitting corner outfielder and a closer.

Celebrity Jeopardy starts tonight (channel 9 here look it up for your own area if you aren't here). That should raise my spirits after yesterdays disappointing election results. I always feel smarter after watching the famous people look stupid on Jeopardy.

We are at the half way point of the football season and only the Colts remain unbeaten. The Browns have as many wins as the defending champs (Steelers) and are on track for another losing season.

College football is nearing the end of the season and there are only five teams left undefeated. Two of them square off in New Jersey tomorrow as Louisville visits the resurgent Rutgers team. A week from Saturday two of the remaining undefeated teams will face off in one of the most anticipated regular season football games in years as TSUN (that school up north) visits Columbus, Ohio.

Breaking news - Rumsfeld out as Defense Secretary

In a somewhat surprising development it is being announced that Donald Rumsfeld is stepping down as Secretary of Defense. A dedicated and hard working public servant, Rumsfeld is being made a scapegoat for the fact that war isn't easy and doesn't happen without casualties. In my opinion Rumsfeld was the best man to hold that office since its inception in 1947. He attempted to reform the entire military structure, but was resisted by many career officers resistant to change. Many in the military as well as civilians in the Pentagon regard service secretaries as temporary help who shouldn't make major changes. The current hostile political environment means immediate history will not be very kind to him. Maybe the passage of time will lead to a more fair assessment of his service. Regardless of how he is judged I believe he knows he did his best to protect our country in dangerous times.

Word is Rumsfeld's replacement will be Robert Gates current president of Texas A&M University and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I wish Mr. Gates well in this very difficult assignment.

Why Mike DeWine lost

People will over analyze Mike DeWine's loss to see how a two-term senator lost to a fairly unknown congressman with far left views. Some will wrongly say DeWine should have moved to the center. No, here is why DeWine will no longer be a senator:

DeWine lost because he ignored Ohio.
DeWine lost because he took reelection for granted.
DeWine lost because he waited too long to fight for his job.
DeWine lost because he tried so hard to prove he wasn't beholden to republicans that republicans by and large felt no need to support him at the polls.
DeWine lost because he failed to clearly explain to voters how far out of the mainstream Brown is on nearly all issues.
DeWine lost because he failed to distance himself from disgraced Governor Bob Taft. If DeWine and other Ohio republicans had quickly, publicly and loudly called for Taft's resignation it would have muted some of the Dem talking points which painted all Ohio Republicans with Taft's sins.

In some states an incumbent senator can coast to victory without doing much campaigning. Well, guess what Mr. DeWine, this is Ohio not Massachusetts or West Virginia and your name isn't Kennedy or Byrd.

Who else will declare victory?

Last night, Democrats were elected to majorities in the House of Representatives and very likely the Senate. However, Democrats are not the only ones celebrating today. Who else will declare victory? At the risk of being accused of hyperbole, the terrorists are celebrating a hard fought victory. A few years ago terrorists blew up a train in Madrid and the people of Spain rewarded them by electing a new president who promised to surrender in the war. Last month, terrorists in Iraq escalated the violence killing over a hundred U.S. servicemen in an attempt to influence our election. They succeeded which should shame of all of us.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Is this election a referendum on Iraq?

Listening to the radio I just heard the announcer reading the results of a poll asking whether these mid-term elections are a referendum on the Bush administration's conduct of the war. I didn't catch the exact results but it really doesn't matter. This election, as much as it reflects voter opinion on the war, can not be a referendum on the administration's strategy and actions. At most it could be a referendum on what the mainstream media has chosen to tell voters about the war.

Every so often I see an article that quotes a soldier or Marine in Iraq and their most frequent complaint isn't the attacks by insurgents but rather how their efforts are being misreported as failing by our media. If our media wants to show they support the troops then step one is to tell the truth about their successes. Why are people slipping in their support for the war? The main reason is our media has treated each casualty as an opportunity to claim we are losing the war. Average people getting their news from Katie and friends at night and the Plain Dealer or the Dayton Daily News in the morning are worn down by the steady drumbeat of negativity. With our current media we would have quit WW II and gone home the day after D-Day. And we would never have responded to Pearl Harbor. Each lousy island in the Pacific cost us many more casualties than we have lost in Iraq. Sure, it would be wonderful if our military could operate without the enemy ever returning fire, but it just doesn't work like that.

A new kind of vote fraud

Thomas Sowell has a great column today. Read the whole thing, but here is the last sentence which basically sums up the Dem strategy in this election.
Getting people to vote for moderates, in order to put extremists in power, may be the newest and biggest voter fraud.
People in the heartland of the country may think they are voting for a Democrat who isn't that far removed from their own values. However, they are actually voting for Speaker Pelosi, Judiciary Chairman Conyers, Intelligence Chairman Hastings, Ways and Means Chairman Rangel. Because of house seniority rules a vote for a relatively moderate Dem is really a vote extremists to have the real power.

Civic responsibility fulfilled

Ken Blackwell has at least one vote. I just got back from voting and even though I didn't have to wait long, poll workers said the volume was a little higher than normal. That is a good thing since this county went for Bush by a large percentage in 2004. Now all we can do is sit back and wait and hope for lousy weather in the northern end of the state.

Monday, November 06, 2006

2006 Election Predictions

Here are my predictions for tomorrow, many of which I hope are wrong.

Ohio Governor's Race:
Strickland 54% Blackwell 41%
The better man will lose this race. I'm sad to say this but I believe a couple percentage points in this race can be attributed to the vestiges of racism. Anecdotal evidence is not admissible in court but last time I checked this is just a blog. Anyways, my brother-in-law related a story where someone he knows made a comment like "I ain't voting for a n!&&@#." I hope I'm wrong, but I'm guessing he isn't the only idiot who thinks along those lines.

Contested Senate races:
OH - Brown 49% DeWine 48% Dem pick up (Boxer and Kerry no longer in the
fight for most liberal senator title)
TN - Corker 52% Ford 45% Rep retention
MD - Steele 50% Cardin 46% Rep pick up
VA - Allen 53% Webb 44% Rep retention
NJ - Menendez 49% Kean 49% Dem retention after month long recount
RI - Chafee 47% Whitehouse 46% Rep retention
PA - Santorum 49% Casey 47% Rep retention
MO - Talent 51% McKaskill 48% Rep retention
MT - Tester 50% Burns 47% Dem pick up
AZ - Kyl 56% Pederson 42% Rep retention (this shouldn't even be listed)
MI - Stabenow 49% Bouchard 46% Dem retention
MN - Klobuchar 54% Kennedy 42% Dem retention
WA - Cantwell 52% McGavick 46% Dem retention
WV - Byrd 58% Raese 39% Dem retention if Byrd lives another day

Total: Dems pick up 2 seats. New senate breakdown 53 Rep, 45 Dem, and 2 Ind.

House of Representatives:
I'm not crazy enough to attempt to pick 435 house races or even the 75 seriously in play. There are too many races that could go to either party for anyone to say with much confidence today who will have the majority come January. Additionally, unlike national or statewide races most House races are polled infrequently or not at all. My guess is Dems will lead 219 to 216 in the 110th Congress. The Republicans best hope is that the polls are as bad as they have been historically.

GOTV Effort Problem

GOTV (Get out the Vote) effort is considered key to any chance Republicans have of maintaining a majority in the house and senate. If that is the case, I hope they are not relying on their emails to voters. Tonight I got an email from Michael DuHaime
RNC Political Director with this message:
The polls in Ohio show a tight race and your vote could make the difference. Here's where you vote tomorrow:

What: VOTE on Election Day, Tuesday, November 7
Where: Your Polling Place
8300 Cox Rd
West Chester, OH 45069
When: Polls open 6:30am-7:30pm
It is great that they are taking time to remind voters to vote, but that isn't my polling place. It is the closest one, but it isn't the one where I'm supposed to vote. That doesn't lend itself to an optimistic outlook heading into tomorrow.

UPDATE: I guess I wasn't the only one to receive an incorrect email as I just got a correction of sorts.
Earlier today we sent you a message with your local voting information that in certain cases may have contained outdated or inaccurate information. We encourage you to verify your polling place location at Ohio Secretary of State Website or Polls are open from 6:30am-7:30pm in Ohio.

Crook or Terrorist?

A man on the terrorist watch list got caught the other day attempting to withdraw money from a bank under a fake name.
Red flags went up when a man tried to withdraw thousands of dollars from an Upper Darby bank. Police said he had a Pakistani passport that had been tampered with, a fake driver's license and a fake Social Security card. Police said they were investigating whether the man was connected to terrorism. The man went into a Commerce Bank Wednesday and withdrew $8,700. He returned the same day to take out another $9,700. That's when he was arrested.
No telling what this guy intended to do with the money he was withdrawing. One thing we do know is terrorism isn't cheap. The logistics involved in planning an attack are very expensive. That is why it was so infuriating when the media arm of the Democrat party (The New York Times) disclosed one of the key methods used to track funds which could be heading to finance terrorism. Terrorists may be nuts but they aren't stupid. If we tell them how we are working to stop them they will change their methods.

2006 Elections - Stretch Drive

Tomorrow is election day and as is expected each party is trying to shore up their base and make last ditch efforts to convince undecided voters.

In this mornings USA Today, there are editorials from the national chairmen of both major parties. Here is the editorial from the RNC's Ken Mehlman and here is the one from the DNC's Howard Dean. Judge for yourself, but I see Mehlman's piece being a positive review of past accomplishments and future goals. Dean's editorial is more a list of complaints with no plan for the future.

Despite not having his own name on the ballot, Joe Negron appears to have a very real chance of winning Foley's old seat. If Democrats can't even win win Foley's seat after he had to resign in disgrace maybe the predictions of national doom and gloom were overstating the case.

If you are looking for one website to follow all the election news then Real Clear Politics is the place for you. No other website has as much election coverage. The way they summarize polling data is very useful and easy to read.

Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette makes the case for reelecting Sen. Rick Santorum. Santorum is the incumbent senator in danger who I'm most concerned about losing. No one on the political scene is consistently true to his core beliefs. He is not the sort to wait for polling data to determine his position on an issue.
The three GOP senators thought to be in the deepest kimchee are Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. The republic would miss Mr. DeWine only a little, and Mr. Chafee not at all. Rick Santorum is another story. Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, among others, has attested to his effectiveness as a senator. New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote, "I could fill this column, if not this entire page, with a list of ideas, proposals and laws Mr. Santorum has poured out in the last dozen years."

On the stump, Mr. Santorum has been sounding Churchillian. If President Bush spoke as clearly and forcefully about the threat we face and how we should deal with it, he'd be more popular, and we'd be safer.
Manuel Miranda of Human Events also urges voters to keep Santorum and warns people that his opponent, Bob Casey Jr. is a trojan horse.
Pennsylvanians may think that voting for Bob Casey Jr. is a viable alternative to Santorum because Casey is Catholic and pro-life. You are wrong. Casey has already told you that. He said the life issue will not be central to what he will do in the Senate. New York’s Sen. Chuck Schumer’s has told you also. Schumer told big liberal donors that Casey would vote with him to block judges. And as Schumer added, “that is the whole ball of wax.”
I've learned that a politician saying he is pro-life means nothing. Several senators who happen to have been raised in Catholic families (Kennedy, Kerry, Durbin, etc) claim to be against abortion, but want to protect a woman's choice to kill her inconvenient child. Don't tell me you're pro-life - tell me you will vote to confirm judges who have read and understand the Constitution.

Of all the conservative bloggers or columnists, Don Surber of the Charleston Daily Mail has been the most consistently optimistic in his predictions for this election. He expects the GOP to hold both houses of congress and really going out on a limb he is predicting the West Virginia legislature will go to the Republicans for the first time in 74 years. He will either be awfully proud or eating a lot of crow on Wednesday.

The Investors Business Daily looks at potential House Speaker Pelosi's choice to chair the House Intelligence Committee - Alcee Hastings. They remind us that Hastings was impeached and removed from the bench as a federal judge for taking bribes. Why is Pelosi likely to pick Hastings over the current ranking Democrat (Jane Harman) on the committee? Because Harman has committed the unpardonable sin of not being partisan enough in dealing with national security. This committee already has a bad reputation for leaking sensitive information for domestic political gain.

While Keith Olbermann of MSNBC (yes, they are still broadcasting even if no one is watching) is hoping to emulate journalistic legend Edward R. Murrow this column from the Daily Inter Lake believes he more closely resembles the cartoon character Max Headroom. If the Republicans retain both houses of congress it will almost be worth watching his show to see if he will have a breakdown right on the air.

I'll come up with other predictions later, but here is one I can make with no hesitation. There will be a new speaker of the house regardless of which party has a majority. By most accounts, Rep. Dennis Hastert is a good guy. Doesn't matter. He is in a leadership position and failed to lead. When Bob Ney plead guilty to corruption charges Hastert should have insisted that Ney resign immediately. When Rep. William Jefferson was caught with $90,000 in marked money from a federal bribery sting, did Hastert demand that Jefferson resign? NO, Hastert saved his indignation for the federal agents carrying out a warrant to search Jefferson's office. The right to hide evidence in congressional offices was more important to Hastert than the need to root out corruption. If Hastert had shown real leadership over the last few years the GOP would not be in danger of losing their majority. If we are going to say we aren't like the bums in the other party then we have to act like it. Our problems in maintaining the majority have nothing to do with policy issues and everything to do with elected Republicans behaving in the manner we've always criticized Democrats for doing (corruption, arrogance, spending, etc). Regardless of his good intentions, Hastert needs to be replaced. The number of seats lost on Tuesday will have a lot to do with who is in best position to challenge Hastert for the leadership position. If I had to guess today I'd put my money on Mike Pence.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam Hussein & freinds found guilty!

Early this morning Saddam Hussein was finally convicted of crimes against humanity. He his half brother and some other character were sentenced to death and the others convicted with him were sentenced to lengthy prison terms. For some stupid reason there will be appeals prior to carrying out the sentence.

Pray for our Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airman as they deal with the response from Hussein loyalists. My own guess is that this will be a major step towards the Iraqi people accepting that Hussein's iron rule is truly over.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

2006 Election Endorsements

Not that I've left much doubt over who I support in this election cycle, but anyways here are my formal endorsements for races and issues being decided next Tuesday.

Ohio Governor: I enthusiastically and unequivocally endorse Ken Blackwell to be the next governor of the Great State of Ohio. Mr. Blackwell in addition to being clearly more qualified than his opponent based on past work history is also the candidate with the ideas that will lead Ohio back to economic prosperity. During this campaign Rep. Ted Strickland has successfully misled people into believing that Ken Blackwell was a supporter of the disgraced and incompetent current governor, Bob Taft. Politically astute Ohioans know that Ken Blackwell opposed Gov. Taft at every turn and that Rep. Strickland's election would result in continuing down the tax heavy path of Bob Taft. Beyond the obvious difference on economic matters there couldn't be a pair of candidates offering a starker difference between two candidates socially. Ken Blackwell is 100% pro-life while Strickland has a 100% rating from the pro-abortion group NARAL. Separately, BizzyBlog has a series of "Dealbreaker" posts explaining why Ted Strickland shouldn't get any reasonable person's vote even if they somehow agreed with his positions on the issues. Lastly, Strickland has had no executive or leadership experience to prepare him to lead a state government with over 40,000 employees. Unprepared and unqualified plus wrong on the issues equals wrong for the job.

U.S. Senator from Ohio: Incumbent Senator Mike DeWine has disappointed conservatives on several matters over the past few years. He blocked drilling for oil in ANWR and he was involved in the Gang of Fourteen which halted the confrontation over the illegal filibustering of judicial nominees. Despite my disagreement with Sen. DeWine on those issues, I strongly endorse his reelection for several reasons. Mike DeWine is a decent, hardworking legislator with a better conservative record than most of his senate colleagues. Beyond Mike DeWine's qualifications, is the obvious fact that his opponent has values far to the left of the average Ohioan. If it is possible to find a candidate to the left of Ted Kennedy, the Democrats have succeeded in nominating Sherrod Brown. To illustrate this point consider how Brown matches up to his fellow house member and extreme nutty leftist Dennis Kucinich. The National Taxpayers Union gives Kucinich a D grade and Brown an F. The Eagle Forum ("Eagle Forum's Mission is to enable conservative and pro-family men and women to participate in the process of self-government and public policy making so that America will continue to be a land of individual liberty, respect for family integrity, public and private virtue, and private enterprise.) gives Brown a rating of 4 while Kucinich had a 15 rating and Ted Kennedy was at 7. By way of comparison Mike DeWine received a rating of 80. Sherrod Brown might be in the mainstream in Massachusetts, but he does NOT reflect our values and should NOT represent Ohio in the United States Senate.

8th District Representative to Congress: Rep John Boehner

Butler County Auditor: I may regret this but I am voting for the Democrat challenger Jack Zettler. The incumbent, Kay Rogers, is a nice lady, but she has had this job far too long. Rogers has been county auditor since 1995 and in recent years her office has been plagued with various allegations.

Butler County Commissioner: Greg Jolivette

Statewide Issues:

Issue One: There is no issue one.

Issue Two: Vote NO. This is being sold by proponents as a minimum wage increase. However, there are two big negatives to this ballot issue. First is it is a state constitutional amendment and I'm a firm believer that neither our state or national constitution should be amended to solve what could be short term problems. Secondly, raising the minimum wage will automatically result in a greater rate of inflation and will likely make it more difficult for people to get entry level employment. Beyond those two main reasons are the very valid privacy concerns over the information reporting requirements.

Issue Three: Vote NO! This issue is to amend the state constitution to allow slot machines and casinos in selected counties. I enjoy visiting casinos and actually wouldn't have a problem legalized gambling including sports books. However, I have to recommend against this measure mainly because it favors a couple counties. If we are considering amending the Ohio Constitution to allow something currently prohibited (gambling) then the change should be statewide. Then individual counties or municipalities could decide whether it is wanted in there area. Additionally, those in favor of this issue have produced some of the most dishonest advertising I've seen. If you need more reasons to vote against Issue Three, Jill from Writes Like She Talks has been counting down 57 reasons to vote against this constitutional amendment here is number 4 with links to the previous 53.

Issue Four and Issue Five: Vote NO on both. I don't smoke and don't like the smell, but we don't need any more nanny state laws.

Local levies and issues: Vote NO on any which would result in higher taxes or more government spending!

Friday, November 03, 2006

The economy and elections

This morning we get word that "employers in the U.S. added 92,000 jobs in October, and payroll growth in prior months was revised higher for the second time in a row, pushing the unemployment rate down to a five-year low." With unemployment at 4.4% basically anyone who want a job has a job. How will this play out in next weeks mid-term elections. One would expect that the incumbent party would be highlighting this as a direct result of the tax cuts. It has been proven time and time again that higher tax rates crush economic development. It is also a known fact that if returned to power Democrats will attempt to pay for their promises with higher taxes. Rep. Pelosi can tell Larry Kudlow that tax increases would be considered only as a last resort all she wants but no one with a clue believes her. Even left wing mouth piece Chris Matthews laughed at that quote.

Your choice next week is clear for many reasons, the economy is one where there is an easy to see cause and effect. Vote Democrat and you can expect higher taxes and higher unemployment.

The question for the next few days is will the Republicans make the case clearly enough to be understood by folks who don't watch CNBC or read the business section of their newspaper?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tale of two senate candidates

Earlier this week Sen John Francois Kerry insulted our military service members as uneducated. Since then there has been considerable but not universal condemnation of Kerry's comments and his transparent elitism. Most Democratic candidates with scheduled campaign appearances with Kerry have disinvited him knowing how politically harmful it would be to be seen standing with Kerry immediately following those comments. The differing reactions of two Democrat senate candidates is very telling in how they reflect their opinion of the views of their respective state's citizens.

Rep. Harold Ford Jr of Tennessee:
``Whatever the intent, Senator Kerry was wrong to say what he said,'' Ford said in a statement. ``He needs to apologize to our troops.''

Rep. Sherrod Brown of Ohio:
Rep. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat leading in late polls in his bid to unseat Republican Sen. Mike DeWine, said Republicans are merely trying to change the subject. "The people who should apologize are George Bush and Mike DeWine for sending our troops into battle without body armor and without examining the cooked intelligence," he said.

In my opinion, Ford understands that people in Tennessee support and respect our military personnel. Brown on the other hand is sending a very different message about Ohioans. I strongly hope that Sherrod Brown is greatly mistaken in his assessment of the level of support of our military by the Ohio voters.

Dirty campaigns and negative advertising

There is nothing more predictable in politics than the fact that each election cycle will bring claims that the current campaign is the dirtiest or the advertising is the most negative. I've had relatively intelligent people who should know better claim to me that this election has the most negative advertising they've ever seen. Well, Chris at A Large Regular scored a major interview with a past president and raised this very subject.
ALR: Perhaps the biggest topic of conversation during this current election cycle is negative advertising. Does it seem to you that the level of political discourse in this country has sunk to such low levels?

HST: Low levels as compared to when? Politics has always been the dirtiest of games. Think back to our founding where you had a man who lost the closest Presidential election in history and who served as Vice-President killing the man who created our banking system in a duel over rumors spread by one that the other was having inappropriate relations with his own daughter. Maybe I missed it but has anyone killed an opponent over rumors of incest like Aaron Burr killer Alexander Hamilton in this election cycle?

ALR: I see your point but I guess I was thinking of more recent, more modern history to compare to.

HST: Like when? The 50’s when accusations that a person was a Communist or “liked dark meat” could ruin not just the person’s election chances but also his life? The 60’s when protester’s threatened the water supplies of major cities or clashed with police on a regular basis in the late 60’s or in the early 60’s when violence was worse and civil rights workers in the South were killed for their beliefs or leaders assassinated like JFK, RFK or MLK? No the myth of a golden age of political civility is just a myth like the Easter Bunny. If anything politics are probably more civil today than the past.
Visit A Large Regular for the rest of the interview.

October Surprise?

In the last couple decades the saying "October Surprise" has entered our lexicon to signify information made public just prior to an election to hurt your opponent. Democrats have saved negative information to be released strategically to depress Republican voter turnout. In the past these have included politically motivated indictments (Cap Weinberger), leaking a decades old police reports (Bush's DUI) and this year waiting to report a misbehaving congressman until close to an election (Foley) for maximum affect. Projecting their own low ethical standards, Democrats have anticipated Republicans operating in a similar manner and have accused them of holding up releasing various information for strategic purposes. In recent election years Dems accused Republicans of everything from getting bin Laden to send a tape to al Jazerra before the election to claiming we had already captured bin Laden and were going to announce it right before the election. In the past I laughed off these conspiracy theories as nutty ravings, especially the ones that described Karl Rove as an evil genius. Now, I have to reassess my opinion. Maybe Rove is actually a genius. How else can you explain getting Sen. John Kerry (E-MA) to make disparaging comments about our service members eight days before an election. Democrats were perceived to have a chance to regain control of the House of Representatives. Their chances were largely based on an expectation of low GOP voter turnout. Kerry needlessly reminded regular folks why they don't like him. He looks down on us commoners. The only thing I haven't figured out is how did Rove get Kerry to make that comment?

HUMOROUS UPDATE: Minutes after posting the above entry about October surprises, I stumbled across the news that a perpetrator of a past October surprise was arrested yesterday.
The lawyer who divulged President Bush’s drunken-driving arrest days before the 2000 election was arrested at gunpoint Tuesday after he was seen on a highway construction site carrying a toy gun while dressed in an Osama bin Laden costume. Tom Connolly, 49, of Scarborough, was charged with criminal threatening after he stood at the site visible to commuters on Interstate 295 while wearing the Halloween costume and waving a sign. Police officers responding to motorists’ calls found a man wearing a white robe and carrying a fake assault rifle.
Before you dismiss this guy as a fringe character keep in mind that he was the Democrat nominee for governor in 1998.

(H/T Don Surber)