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

Monday, April 30, 2007

George Tenet - Novice Author

Former Director of the CIA, George Tenet is 54 years old and has written a book for the first time. Apparently, it is creating quite a stir on the book circuit (is there still a "book circuit?). Though it deals with decisions regarding war and peace, it isn't an instant classic like Tolstoy's tome War and Peace. Though he probably was provided a capable ghostwriter, I'm sure it wasn't someone adept at rhyming like the late Dr. Suess. So, why are people talking so excitedly about this book? Oh yeah, like several other books written by former high ranking members of the Bush administration his book is being used to bash the president and vice president. Does anyone think he'd be interviewed on 60 Minutes if the book wasn't mainly unfavorable?

I have not yet read the book, so I won't comment in detail about it. However, I was asked yesterday why Tenet wrote the book now. At the time, I responded the mostly likely reason is money. Publishers understand that the shelf life for interest in a book about the inner workings of government is very limited. Tenet signed the deal to write this book in December 2004 five months after leaving the CIA so I'm a little surprised it hasn't made it to book stores earlier. Another reason people write "tell all" books is to rehabilitate their reputation. Considering everything that took place during Tenet's tenure as DCI I have to conclude repairing his reputation is just as important as the financial gain.

Separately, some are using Tenet's betrayal of confidences (honest or otherwise) to revive the the old criticism of President Bush for not having cleaned house when he took office. On its face, that criticism seems valid since most presidents replace the CIA director upon taking office. Problem with that criticism is it ignores the unusual circumstances of the 2000 election certification. The months spent dealing with Al Gore's inability to understand how the Electoral College works ended up delaying the transition process. With a truncated time frame prior to the inauguration a decision was made not to do all of the normal wholesale changes, especially in positions dealing with security. Beyond that, the charge that he should not have been retained because he was a longtime Democrat doesn't hold water. Yes, he was appointed DCI by Clinton, but his political career began as a legislative aide to Republican Senator John Heinz.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not excusing Tenet for his decision to write the book now or for any of the inaccuracies. However, I am saying that it is easy in hindsight to claim he shouldn't have been retained. Reality is, while it did not work out in this instance, continuity in some of these positions (which shouldn't be all that political anyway) isn't such a bad idea.

Some other people have read Tenet's book and are prepared to comment about the particulars.

Rich Lowry of National Review Online says George Tenet’s Slam-Dunk "At the Center of the Storm" is a classic self-serving tell-all. The whole article is a good read but the last two paragraphs are what matters.

Victor Davis Hanson examines how Tenet's memory differs from what he asserted prior to the invasion of Iraq, particularly regarding Abu Musab Zarqawi.
Both the description of Zarqawi as a threat with al Qaeda links and enjoying sanctuary in Iraq seems born out by his later deadly career and blustering letters to al Qaeda heads. So why the contrition now on that casus belli? Al Qaeda was responsible for killing 3,000 Americans; one of its worst terrorists was freely enjoying sanctuary in Iraq; what has changed about that fact?

William Kristol examines one of the most blatant inaccuracies (lies?) in the book. Tenet apparently made up a quote from Richard Perle to demonstrate that there was a fervor to go to war with Iraq immediately after 11 September 2001.

Thomas Joscelyn of the Weekly Standard reviews Chapter 18 of the book and what it tells us about the relationship between al Qaeda and Iraq under Saddam Hussein.
Some will no doubt highlight Tenet's claims about the Bush administration hyping Saddam's ties to 9/11. In reality, he provides little verifiable evidence to back up this claim. As Tenet's chapter title suggests, he also believes that Saddam's Iraq lacked "authority, direction, or control" over al Qaeda. Few would argue with this assessment. But that does not make the threads of evidence connecting Saddam's regime to al Qaeda any less troublesome.

Zarqawi, AI, chemical weapons projects, high-level contacts, Egyptian al Qaeda members plotting from Baghdad: it adds up to a very alarming picture.

I'm sure there will be more articles picking apart this book by some of citing it as gospel by others who feel it bolsters the preconceived notions about the current administration. Tenet will be in the news until a pretty blonde girl goes missing or someone swimming in the ocean is surprised to find out we keep sharks in the water.

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Monday night news and links

I frequently bemoan the sad state of our overly litigious society. Well, here is an article showing it is not just an American problem.
Amputee wins damages after train fall
Basically, this woman was trespassing and tried to climb on a moving train unsuccessfully. In failing to get on the train she succeeded in losing a leg. Somehow she convinced some moron judge to make the railroad company give her half a million dollars for failing to keep her from trespassing and doing something stupid. The judge should be removed from the bench and disbarred for excessive stupidity.

Here is an obviously dishonest headline:
John Edwards: I’d invest billions in Michigan
Since Edwards only made millions as an extortionist tort attorney suing doctors for failing to be perfect he can not personally invest billions. I have to believe his actual intention is to offer to other peoples money as a bribe to get the citizens of Michigan to vote for him.

Alan M. Dershowitz wrote an article for FrontPage magazine titled The Real Jimmy Carter.
In reading Carter's statements, I was reminded of the bad old Harvard of the nineteen thirties, which continued to honor Nazi academics after the anti-Semitic policies of Hitler's government became clear. Harvard of the nineteen thirties was complicit in evil. I sadly concluded that Jimmy Carter of the twenty-first century has become complicit in evil.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Liberal response to higher gas prices

While foreign affairs and social issues get considerable coverage in describing the differences between conservatives and liberals, the differences on economic issues are equally telling. When gas prices go up due to unrest in the Middle East, or storms in the Atlantic, conservatives who understand economics realize it is just market forces at work. What is the liberal response to higher gas prices? We need more taxes.
Is it time to raise gas taxes?

Daniel Kammen, a professor of public policy at UC Berkeley who specializes in energy issues, said he expects gas prices to hit $4 per gallon in the not-too-distant future.

"I strongly believe that we need higher gas taxes to fund research into energy alternatives," he said. "We'll need European-level gas prices before the U.S. engine of innovation gets really serious."

So how high should gas prices be? "A doubling of where we are today is what we need," Kammen said. "It would do the country a world of good."
Yep, that's our problem, taxes aren't high enough. What moroons.

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Another example of government overreach

Most bad legislation comes from good intentions. Here is another example from the Peoples Republic of Minnesota.
Restroom law would help open the doors in a hurry

Help may be on the way for Johnson and 27,000 other Minnesotans with inflammatory bowel diseases that make finding a bathroom -- fast! -- a matter of frequent and critical concern. The state Senate gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill that would require retailers to open their employee restrooms to folks such as Johnson.
It might be a proper and decent thing for people to allow someone in distress to use their restroom, but it is highly improper and very indecent for our omnipresent government to order someone to be nice.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Do you have something in common with Alec Baldwin?

I haven't bothered writing about the "news" that actor Alec Baldwin left a nasty message on his daughter's answering machine mostly because I understand that divorces can be messy and kids are often used by one parent against the other.

Today, I see a news item that leads me to think I may something in common with Baldwin - maybe you do as well.
Baldwin: 'If I never acted again I couldn't care less'
I couldn't care less if he never acted again either.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Abuse of congressional protection?

Our Constitution rightly contains protection for legislators against prosecution for performance of their congressional duties. Specifically, the Constitution says:
Section 6
The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
This provision was inserted by the founding fathers aware of how the monarchy they rebelled against had suppressed debate with heavy handed actions against parliment. However, this provision has been stretched and abused over the last couple centuries. What brings this up is the lawyer for former senator Mark Dayton (D-MN) cited this provision in attempting to get a former employee's discrimination lawsuit dismissed. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case which could make this a precedent setting ruling. Oddly enough, from the details contained in the article, I believe Dayton's legal team had a better chance of winning the case on its merits than by invoking congressional privilege. By heavy handedly attempting to dismiss the lawsuit they may end up exposing his congressional cohorts to a narrower interpretation of their congressional protection. This is one of those Supreme Court cases where the ruling could end up affected other parties much more than either the plaintiff or defendant.

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ABC unable to admit they fired Rosie O'Donnell

The actual headline was "Exclusive: O'Donnell Leaving 'The View'" and the opening paragraph explains:
ABC has been unable to come to a contractual agreement with "The View" co-host. As a result, her duties on the show will come to an end mid-June.

The president of daytime programming for the Disney-ABC Television Group, Brian Frons, told, "Going in we knew we would have an amazing year with her, and that anything beyond that would be gravy. But we were willing to take the chance because we understood what a coup it was to entice Ro back to daytime television. So here we are a year later, and while we've tried to come to terms on a deal that would extend her co-hosting duties on 'The View,' we find ourselves unable to agree on some key elements."
In my opinion, she was basically fired without the network having the gumption to admit it. This allows ABC to get rid of this problematic, angry, bigoted person without offending the leftist segment of their audience which would be bothered by her outright dismissal. If she was contributing to the shows popularity and making money for ABC then they would have found a way to retain her services.

Who'd a thunk it? Donald Trump has the same opinion. She was fired and ABC is putting a happy face on it.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday's news and links

Sadly, we lost one of the better authors of sports books yesterday as David Halberstam died in a car crash. My personal favorite was "Summer of 49." He was enroute to interview NFL Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle for a book about the 1958 championship game. I wonder how far along he was in researching the book and whether anyone will be commissioned to finish it for him. Unfortunately, instead of sticking to writing on sports, he will also be remembered for undermining our country's efforts in Vietnam.

It is said that honesty is essential to a strong relationship. Well, this guy tried being honest with his fiancee and it didn't work out so well for him.
TORONTO (Sun Media) - A five-year hunt for a man accused of killing a police informant in Phoenix ended in Toronto's west end this weekend thanks to a "courageous" young woman who turned in her boyfriend. Mikhail Drachev, 24, who has been on the run since the "horrific" slaying of Konstantin Simberg in December 2001, was arrested by police Friday in the Rexdale apartment the pair had been sharing for more than five years.

"About a week ago, he decided to come clean and give her his real name because they were thinking about marriage," Staff-Sgt. Paul MacIntyre said yesterday. "She Googled his name and learned he was in fact on America's Most Wanted."

Last week I dismissed former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson's presidential campaign as being nothing but an opportunity for people to confuse him with Fred Thompson. George Will to a more serious look at Tommy Thompson and came away impressed. Recognizing the role that money plays in politics, I still don't expect Thompson to be in the race past the New Hampshire primaries.

Recently someone emailed me pushing the idea of Newt Gingrich for president after listening to Gingrich give a speech. I replied that while Gingrich is a very smart guy who is able to give a clear voice to conservative ideals, he is unelectable. I didn't really get into details just responded that between how demonized he was in the 1990's and his personal failings he had no chance. Today, I stumbled across a conservative blogger, Bob Lonsberry, who goes into the details and reinforced my unfavorable impression of Gingrich. Here is the opening paragraph:

Before you can be a good president, you have to be a good man, and Newt Gingrich is not that. In fact, Newt Gingrich is a snake, a man without honor or ability.
Read the rest.

In breaking news - "Full-Scale Riot" At Indiana Prison. I have initial off the cuff thoughts, but will wait for the rest of the story to play out before I comment.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Saturday morning links and comments

I've been pretty positive about the potential candidacy of former senator Fred Thompson. Well, predictably the supporters of other candidates are starting to pen columns to inform people why Thompson is not the perfect conservative. Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review Online has written "Thompson’s Tort Trouble." This article picks through Thompson's votes on the various bills that attempted to address the problems with our legal system. I'd like to see a candidate who strongly supported tort reform. However, I'm mature enough to understand we will not find a candidate with positions that mirror my own.

Which country's citizens most trust the United States to act responsibly on the global stage? Surprisingly, according to a recent poll, eighty-five percent of respondents in the Republic of the Philippines said they trusted the United States either a “great deal” or “somewhat.” That level of trust is higher than the 81 percent in Israel, 59 percent in Australia and 51 percent in Poland. Unfortunately, that is the only good news in the poll.

Here is an interesting read. The lost 20 years of CIA spies caught in China trap. The Cold War was real and these agents lost a large portion of their life in a Chinese prison.

Here is an example of students with good sense of priority.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton finally dropped by Rutgers to meet with the school's women's basketball coach -- but the players themselves skipped the half-hour meeting, citing their studies and Imus fatigue.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thursday's links and comments

Politicians of both parties often don't follow the laws the enact to control the behavior of rest of us common folk. Usually it doesn't make for a major story. However, if you're governor of state which strictly enforces seatbelt usage and you get seriously injured in a high speed accident while not wearing your seatbelt then you can expect the hypocrisy to be noted.
Last year, New Jersey law officers ticketed 271,182 people for not wearing seat belts. This year, one seat-belt violator stands out: Gov. Jon S. Corzine, who was critically injured in an automobile accident last week.

Over the recent past, the Islamic fanatics have shown an inability to handle any criticism. Consider how they reacted to Salmon Rushdie's Satanic Verses or the violent protests over some cartoons less than favorable to Islam. With that in mind, how do you expect them to react to finding out a direct descendant of their Prophet Muhammad performs in gay porn movies?
Andrew Embiricos, 21, is a junior New York socialite. He is the son of Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, a grandson of Rita Hayworth, and nephew of the current Aga Khan. By tradition of the Aga Khan blood line, he is a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. Also, he is an amateur gay porn star, uploading videos to the Internet with names like "Chelsea Bareback Whores."

Apparently, Sen. Harry Reid has decided that even though our military hasn't lost a single battle we have lost the war. Pathetic.

I'm not sure I could explain why rap music is bad for kids as well as a rapper himself. From The Drudge Report we get an advance copy of an 60 Minutes interview with some loser I've never heard of before called Cam'ron. Here is a snippet.
Rap star Cam'ron says there's no situation -- including a serial killer living next door -- that would cause him to help police in any way, because to do so would hurt his music sales and violate his "code of ethics."
Hope that works out for him. He'll have his street cred' and he'll get lots of money for crappy "music" and he'll likely be dead before he reaches 30 years old.

John Miller of National Review Online takes on one of the most hypocritical laws on the books. The Minimum Drinking Age of 21. His first paragraph says it all.
In the first four years of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 563 Americans under the age of 21 were killed in the line of duty. These citizen soldiers were old enough to vote, old enough to put on military uniforms, and old enough to die for their country: They were old enough to do just about anything, except drink a red-white-and-blue can of Budweiser.
At 18 years of age we let a person sign contracts, join the military and die for our country but if they have a cold beer we treat them like criminals. Disgraceful. If we want to keep the minimum drinking age at 21 then lets make 21 the minimum age to serve in the military as well!

Virginia Tech massacre and gun control legislation

As expected, the tragedy in Blacksburg, Virginia is being used to argue the case for and against greater infringement of the 2nd Amendment.

Boston Mayor Mumbles Menino had this to say:
"The federal government could take action . . . by getting the NRA to back off these issues," Menino said in a telephone interview. "Young kids have guns today. . . . How is this being perpetrated throughout the country? It's not just a Boston problem. It's a national problem."
I guess he is going after the 1st Amendment as well in declaring the federal government should get the NRA to back off issues they support. What Mumbles fails to grasp is cities like his and New York with very restrictive gun control measures have higher rates of violent crime because crooks realize law abiding people there are soft targets.

David Kopel has a commentary piece in the Wall Street Journal titled 'Gun-Free Zones.' The whole article is worth reading but here are a couple paragraphs which really jumped out:
But let's take a step back in time. Last year the Virginia legislature defeated a bill that would have ended the "gun-free zones" in Virginia's public universities. At the time, a Virginia Tech associate vice president praised the General Assembly's action "because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus." In an August 2006 editorial for the Roanoke Times, he declared: "Guns don't belong in classrooms. They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same." Actually, Virginia Tech's policy only made the killer safer, for it was only the law-abiding victims, and not the criminal, who were prevented from having guns. Virginia Tech's policy bans all guns on campus; even faculty members are prohibited from keeping guns in their cars.

Virginia Tech thus went out of its way to prevent what happened at a Pearl, Miss., high school in 1997, where assistant principal Joel Myrick retrieved a handgun from his car and apprehended a school shooter. Or what happened at Appalachian Law School, in Grundy, Va., in 2002, when a mass murder was stopped by two students with law-enforcement experience, one of whom retrieved his own gun from his vehicle. Or in Edinboro, Pa., a few days after the Pearl event, when a school attack ended after a nearby merchant used a shotgun to force the attacker to desist. Law-abiding citizens routinely defend themselves with firearms.

In NewsDay, James Pinkerton writes an article that ties this event to others where a killer unconcerned with his personal survival can kill many people and goes on to examine what steps we can take to reduce their success:
To put it bluntly, America, with a few exceptions, is mostly one big "soft target." So if we want to protect ourselves, we need a nationwide "hardening." We must have a new architecture - legal, physical and psychic. Take a look at each:

First, legal. Obviously, procedures for dealing with Cho-like figures need to be streamlined. If human nature in the 21st century includes more mass killers - and sicko hoaxsters, who have been numerous in recent days - we have to be ready for them with stern law enforcement.

Second, physical. Are public places secure? Do we need more surveillance cameras? More police? More gates and checkpoints? More sanctuary-like panic rooms? More protective walls around facilities? It's not pleasant to think about fortresses, but it's worse to think about more acts of terrorism.

Third, psychic. What's the best way to react to a shooter? Run? Barricade the door? Fight back, like the "let's roll" passengers of United Flight 93? Should more people be carrying tools for self-defense?
His questions are but a start. These horrific situations should not lead to hasty legislation. Rather any proposed changes should be considered calmly and not just with an eye on ensuring no future attacks (which may not be possible anyway) but also with a review of cost, potential unintended consequences, constitutionality, etc.

What is the Democrat definition of patriotism?

Over the last several years, various Democrat politicians would get very indignant and complain that people were questioning their patriotism whenever their judgment on national defense was challenged. Well, after a recent speech by a leading Dem presidential candidate John Edwards I have to wonder if they have any understanding of the word patriotism. Discussing a plan to heavily charge (okay, tax) industry for creating greenhouse gases to generate money for investing in clean technology Edwards finished with these words:
"That is an aggressive goal but an achievable goal," Edwards said. "We need you, we need America to be willing to be patriotic about something other than war."
So, now it is a form of patriotism to want to cripple industry with a 40 billion dollar assessment in an attempt to solve a problem that may not even exist. However, in their bizzaro world dealing with a real threatening enemy (Islamic fanaticism) that has vowed to kill us if we don't pray to Mecca five times a day has nothing to do with patriotism. Huh?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Today's argument for tort reform

Today's argument for tort reform comes from St Louis.
The mother of a boy who was shocked and fell 35 feet after climbing an Illinois electric tower on a $5 bet is suing the utility for allegedly failing to properly warn of the tower's dangers and keeping children from it.
We have a system where a group of jurors can punish a company and reward a woman for her kids stupidity and if she loses the case she loses nothing since there is no real penalty for filing frivolous lawsuits (a legal form of attempted robbery). Most of these BS lawsuits are settled out of court as companies give in to the extortion rather than risk getting a jury that decides to be nice with other people's money. I think the only way to reduce the number of these type of lawsuits is to hold the attorney liable for counter suit by the defendant.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tuesday links and comments

This is kind of funny. If you are running for traffic court judge, I'd recommend double checking to make sure all your past tickets are paid off.

The Weekly Standard has a lengthy profile of Fred Thompson. It is getting clearer that Thompson is going to run in 2008.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has an article touching on the trait that separates Thompson from other candidates, "GOP's Thompson: A great communicator."

One of the things Fred Thompson needs to have happen is Tommy Thompson giving up his unlikely candidacy. Tommy Thompson, despite being a successful governor of Wisconsin and a former cabinet member, is virtually unknown outside his immediate family. Having another candidate out there with the same last name can't help Fred. Especially if the other guy is spending his time apologizing for a speech where he connected making money with being Jewish.

Sadly, the "Blame Game" has already started in the Virginia Tech tragedy. Don't blame the police chief, the university president or the gun. Blame the demented person who pulled the trigger. Hindsight may show that the police or the school could have responded differently, but it is deplorable to see the Monday Morning Quarterbacking within hours of the shooting. There will be time enough for that later. Instead, today we should recognize the heroes of the day and pray for the recovery of the injured and for the families of all the people affected. By heroes I'm referring to the various first responders and men such as the teachers who sacrificed their own lives attempted to buy time for their students to escape. Here is a link to an article about Professor Liviu Librescu who died blocking a door so his class could escape through the windows.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Do you pay enough or too much taxes?

With April 15th falling on the weekend, today is the deadline to file your federal income taxes. I've previously groused about how our friends in congress have added too many complications to the system out of an attempt to either modify behavior or reward certain constituents. Today, I'm more concerned peoples perceptions of the end result. I'm asking people to answer two questions in the comments section.
1. Do you believe that you pay too little, just enough, or too much in federal income taxes?
2. Do you believe that "the rich" pay too little, just enough, or too much in federal income taxes?

This post was spurred by this article from Investor's Business Daily which examined the same basic questions.

My own answers are:
1. The amount I pay in taxes is probably a reasonable amount. My main complaint is with the goofy system (okay, okay, I also don't like some of the crap the money is spent on)
2. I also think the majority of the new rich pay their share of taxes. You'll notice I said NEW rich. That is because we are using an income tax system. So the second generation and beyond of the very rich (the Fords, Rockefellers, Kennedys, Hiltons, etc) don't derive their money from normal income in most cases. No, the descendants of Henry Ford live on dividends which are taxed at a much lower rate.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Random thoughts

Random musings about life, entertainment and politics.

First a little advice to parents out there - Limit the number of teenagers allowed to sleep over. Two teenage girls can be relatively quiet. Three or more get unbearably loud and screechy.

Regarding the Don Imus affair, am I the only one really tired of hearing about that goof and the stupid stuff he said? Is it even news that he said something offensive? News flash time. He has been saying offensive crap for decades. Let his sponsors and guests decide if they want to be associated with him, but end the non-stop coverage.

Several Democrat presidential candidates have announced that they will not participate in a debate sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus because the event is being co-sponsored by Fox news. Apparently, they perceive Fox to have a conservative slant to their coverage. How much outrage would we have heard if Republican candidates had ever refused to participate in debates with moderators from CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC or PBS all of which have very well documented far left leanings. Also, how would these candidates deal with the problems they would inevitably face as president if they are afraid of a moderator with a conservative point of view. Curiously, some candidates (McCain, Biden, etc) have had no problem appearing on Imus' show despite his long history of racist and sexist garbage.

West Virginia blogger Don Surber has the definitive statement on the Duke lacrosse non-rape case:
West Virginia may be 49th in income but North Carolina is 50th in justice.

Burt Prelutsky of has a plan to solve the prison over crowding problem. I may not agree with all his ideas but can't argue with this part of his plan.
While I'm at it, pedophiles would all be executed. No more of what we have now where baby rapists go to jail for a few years, only to be released into a society that doesn't want these creeps anywhere around their kids. I can't be the only person who's sick and tired of watching law enforcement trying to monitor sexual predators 24/7. Anybody who can't be trusted not to attack some three-year-old has no right to live.

After a bizarre first week of the baseball season the Indians are 3 and 1 with four games snowed out. I won't blame baseball for scheduling home games this early in the season. The weather isn't always that rough in April. I will blame baseball for scheduling two west coast teams who only make one visit to Cleveland for the first 7 home games. Why are those teams and others like the Yankees only making one visit to Cleveland? Two reasons - interleague play and the unbalanced schedule. Baseball went to an unbalanced schedule a few years back so teams will play more games (18 or 19) against teams in their own division. In a five team division you end playing 75 games against divisional foes. Then you waste 15 games on the asinine inter-league idea. That doesn't leave a whole of games to play against the other nine American League teams.

Clarice Feldman, the undisputed expert on the Plame Affair, pulls no punches as she addresses Rep. Henry Waxman's (D-CA) attempt to fan the flames of that fake controversy.
Is Congressman Harry Waxman, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, ignorant, lying or counting on the fact that the press is both?

He is now picking a fight with Secretary of State Condi Rice based on utterly false premises.

Chairman Waxman insists that Rice explain why in his 2003 State of the Union address the President "asserted that Iraq sought uranium from Niger" and demands that she provide information about what she knew about this assertion and how it ended up in the address. In this demand, Waxman continues to cite misinformation as fact.
Read the rest and keep this in mind every time some idiot declares the president lied to get us into this war.

Went to the dentist yesterday and afterwards while I was writing a check the receptionist asks if I've gotten one of their calendars yet. I say no figuring they were just clearing out the few they had left for this year. Then she hands me a 2008 calendar book. 2008? Already? It is only April. If there is such a thing as too efficient this is an example.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Reason 5,347 why Michigan is going broke

Michigan continues to serve as a cautionary tale about the harmful effects of excessive government taxing and spending. I can only hope Ohioans are watching and learning. Here is the latest and most blatant example:
We have come to the conclusion that the crisis Michigan faces is not a shortage of revenue, but an excess of idiocy. Facing a budget deficit that has passed the $1 billion mark, House Democrats Thursday offered a spending plan that would buy a MP3 player or iPod for every school child in Michigan.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A non-frivilous lawsuit?

I occasionally mock the actions of lawyers and others who attempt to turn personal tragedies into winning lottery tickets, but I have to make an exception for this guy.
An Air Force veteran has filed a federal claim after an operation at a Veterans Administration hospital in which a healthy testicle was removed instead of a potentially cancerous one.
I can just see the doctor in surgery talking to himself "Now, was it my left or his? Oh well, I have a 50/50 chance of being right, no sense wasting time double checking." Amazing.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Dick Cheney for president?

Here is an opinion piece discussing the idea of Vice President Dick Cheney running in the 2008 election. I like Cheney and think he would be a better president than the great majority of those currently running. However, this is a case where my opinion of the potential candidate really doesn't matter. This VP has been demonized to such an extent that I don't see him having any chance of being elected. Just one example of how Cheney has been treated is the fact that the only picture anyone has seen accompany any article involving Cheney is this one with him looking like he is snarling.

Beyond the fact that I don't think he would have much chance of winning there are a couple other reasons this is useless speculation. First, Cheney has stated very emphatically that he is not running. Secondly, he has had a series of medical problems and he would be better off stepping down from the public stage and just enjoy being a husband, a father and a grandfather.

Separately, the floating of this idea (much like people pushing Fred Thompson to run) is an indication of conservative dissatisfaction with the current choices.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Maryland votes to become more irrelevent

Maryland's state House voted yesterday for a plan to have their electoral votes go to whichever candidate wins the popular vote nation wide. Leaving aside the question of the constitutionality of such a plan, how do the politicians in Maryland justify this as being in their state's best interest? Currently, the electoral college system is the only reason presidential candidates bother visiting any of the smaller states. If we switch to a popular vote system, election results wouldn't change as much as the way campaigns are conducted. Issues of importance to only a few states would not get much attention. This idea is being floated in a number of states by people who don't understand what they should have learned in 5th grade social studies and are still upset about the 2000 election results.

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A little political advice

If you've never thrown a baseball before, just politely decline when invited to throw out the first pitch. Video link.