Friday, August 27, 2004

Appeasement is crawling back.

The dangerous precedent established by Spain is having a spill-over effect upon the rest of the world. It has been determined that there were explosives places aboard one of the Russian passenger planes that went down. It's unconfirmed whether or not Chechen rebels affiliated with various Islamic terrorist groups were responsible. But a jihadist website is claiming credit for the crash.

Appeasement has reared its ugly head again. This must be part of that "sensitive" war that John Kerry has mentioned. Emboldened terrorists feel that they can hurt democratic countries by influencing elections. This must stop. Elections driven out of fear produce the worst conditions for a democracy. It's the first step towards the creation of an un-democratic state. Elections driven by cowardice are victories for the scumbags of the world who want to see us fail by our own democratic procedures.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The Bush Camp responds: "You can't have it both ways" John Kerry

That just about sums it all up.

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Hypocrisy runs rampant

I am not a big fan at all of the 527s. I thought McCain-Feingold, which was hailed as a savior to the campaign finance process, was and is overrated. I made the prediction that there would always be another way to get past the regulations. This election is evident of that. 527's on both sides of the political ideological realms are leveling some of the most brutal ads I have ever seen. But it's really funny how one 527 ad can stand out as the worst of the worst.

I'm tired of hearing about how the Kerry camp can't handle the pressure exerted by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group. I'm tired of hearing Kerry accuse the Bush Administration of using "smear and fear" (as opposed to Kerry using anything to shock and awe us with).

John Kerry, YOU chose to make your Vietnam record the centerpiece of your campaign. You had NOTHING else to run upon, so you resorted to what you thought was untouchable. If you waved the bloody shirt like the Republicans did post-Civil War, you thought you'd be safe. Nobody has a problem with your service. I don't question it, regardless of what the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth say at this point. But you know WHY so many of these veterans are against you? YOU came back with your medals and PROTESTED and DEFILED the men who were serving in the war with you. You handed a victory to the North Vietnamese that they never had to fight for.

John Kerry resorts to trump his service in a war that he protested. I think it speaks volumes of his 'integrity' and 'character' and ominously foreshadows his incapabilities as a leader.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Ruling Against "Mr. Fahrenheit 9/11"

To all those that were quick to jump on the case of Representative Tom Delay and immediately press for an ethics investigations, you should know that perhaps another ethics investigation may be coming. I’m sure a story like this will ultimately be buried but that doesn’t excuse that fact that Representative Jim McDermott has gotten himself into more hot water.

Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA) is now closely associated with the hotly contested Michael Moore movie, “Fahrenheit 9/11.” In the movie, and on the floor of the House, one can find McDermott making wild assertions and flamboyant speeches that ultimately attest to one thing: George W. Bush has purposely and repeatedly deceived the American public regarding Iraq and terror alert levels. McDermott’s rhetoric is needless to say not as cautious as the words that I use to describe him and one must frankly see it to believe it.

It seems that the long-time Representative is doing a bit of deceiving of his own though and has failed in his lengthy legal battle to prove otherwise. In 1996 Representative McDermott, then serving on the Ethics Committee, was given an illegally recorded tape from a Florida couple. The tape held a discussion between Representatives Boehner, Gigrinch, and others in the House Leadership, and dealt specifically with how to address the new ethics charges raised against then-Speaker Gingrich. The contents then mysteriously made their way into the media, which McDermott now takes credit for, but he simply claims that is his First Amendment right. Free Speech, McDermott claimed, somehow encompasses his right to leak a tape that was recorded illegally and given to him for partisan purposes. U.S. District Judge Hogan presided over the lengthy legal battle and ultimately decided that McDermott’s activities do not fit within the realm of First Amendment rights.

I must commend Hogan for his ruling as McDermott truly had it coming with this one. The tape was recorded illegally, using a scanner, and McDermott had to know that the contents were not only not meant for his ears but they certainly weren’t meant for the ears of the press. If I were Representative Boehner I would promptly file ethics charges of my own, against McDermott this time, and show that an encroachment of this magnitude cannot be somehow construed as “Free Speech.” All of this having been said, I can’t help but shake my head that McDermott has no serious challenge in this election. I know the Washington Republicans would be better off focusing on elections that they actually stand a chance in (McDermott has won handedly in his past elections), but nonetheless McDermott’s association with a controversial movie, not to mention very controversial beliefs, have landed him on the wrong side of the railroad tracks yet again. Oh well, I guess Congress wouldn’t be Congress without Representative Jim McDermott and his “Holiday Tree.”

Personal Comment: I’m headed down to California tomorrow, on what is sure to be a lengthy trip, and will unfortunately not be around on this wonderful blog for a few days. Thanks again to all our readers who have helped us reach 2,000 strong and I hope that we can continue to wage lively debates in the upcoming months. For now, I bid a temporary farewell to the RWC.

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Monday, August 23, 2004

And the Dance Continues...

The Bush campaign continues to take the high ground in the debate over 527s and more specifically the SBVT. Today the Bush campaign did, in a roundabout sort of way, answer the calls of the Kerry campaign to publicly ask for the removal of the SBVT ads that are currently airing on television. In doing so, President Bush continued his longtime message of commending Kerry for his service and also calling for a renewed debate over the complete abolition of all 527 advertising. Bush today said from Crawford, Texas, “That means that ad and every other ad. I don't believe we ought to have 527s. I think they're bad for the system…" Bush is right and will hopefully prevail on this issue in the upcoming Congress. The unregulated and unrestricted money coming from 527s on both sides of the aisle is not only deplorable but a hindrance on the entire election. Instead of focusing on the real issues we’re left, in the month of August mind you, decrying ads, filing lawsuits, and engaging in back and forth that appears to be doing nothing to either side.

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Sunday, August 22, 2004

Senator Bob Dole steps up

Excerpt:

Dole told CNN's "Late Edition" that he warned Kerry months ago about going "too far" and that the Democrat may have himself to blame for the current situation, in which polls show him losing support among veterans.

"One day he's saying that we were shooting civilians, cutting off their ears, cutting off their heads, throwing away his medals or his ribbons," Dole said. "The next day he's standing there, `I want to be president because I'm a Vietnam veteran.' Maybe he should apologize to all the other 2.5 million veterans who served. He wasn't the only one in Vietnam," said Dole, whose World War II wounds left him without the use of his right arm.


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Friday, August 20, 2004

Cry me a river

Wah wah wah. What's this we hear? The John Kerry campaign reacting in the only way liberals can possibly react: they want to ban the book, "Unfit for Command". It's only typical for our liberal brethren to throw a fit and demand that the book be pulled because there just might be truth to it. Or that it simply goes against what Kerry has been brazenly wearing on his sleeve and thumping his chest with. Wow, talk about a loser. It reminds me of our Pomona College neighbors, who ran to their professor and screamed bloody murder because they were losing. How typical. And how childish. But hey, it's what we expect from a party that always looks to blame someone else for their problems.

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Where Have All The Catholics Gone?

If you know me, you know that I am not one to wear my religion on my sleeve. In fact, it is rare for me even to discuss it with other people. If you know my last name, you know that I am Irish; if you know I’m Irish, you could probably guess that I am Roman Catholic.

Historically, Catholics have been Democrats since the party was formed. One classic stereotype is the Irish-Catholic police officer from Boston who, not surprisingly, supports Democrats. There are many reasons why Catholics vote Democrat. Many Catholics are and have been of the working class, your classic Joe Six-pack, if you will. Lots of Catholics are and were involved in unions. They have had a clear economic interest for voting Democrat in the past. Similarly, many Catholics are what you would call classic liberals. For example, they have been big-time supporters of social programs that reach out to the impoverished, such as welfare.

I would argue that, since the parties have changed and evolved, the conservative agenda is more in line with Catholics than the liberal agenda. Perhaps the largest shift has been regarding social issues. The Democrats are increasing the importance of social issues that Catholics tend to oppose. Perhaps the largest of those issues is that nasty buzzword that begins with an “a”. Another big social issue for the Democrats, especially this election cycle, is gay marriage. Catholics simply do not agree with their positions on these issues, for the most part. Granted, there are Catholics who do agree with the Democrats on these liberal social issues, but I’m arguing that the vast majority of Catholics do not. The Democratic candidate for President is a good example of this. He is a Catholic, and a proponent of very liberal social issues.

Earlier, some Catholics called for Kerry not to take communion because he supports abortions. Whether you believe that it is right or wrong, or whether the Catholic Church is right or wrong, that is not the issue. According to the Catholic Church, if one performs or receives an abortion, they are to be excommunicated. It is clear that the Church believes that this is a serious issue, and its position is not vague and ambiguous. I believe that this will turn many Catholic voters off.

I understand that there is a certain hypocrisy that comes with voting Republican for Catholics. That is the issue of capital punishment. The Church believes that murder should never be committed. Personally, I do not agree with the Catholic Church when it comes to this issue. For the simple reason, if a loved one was murdered, I believe that I would want the killer murdered. I do not think that I am a strong enough person to resist that feeling.

A story just broke that Bush’s Catholic advisor has just stepped down because reports have surfaced that show he was accused of sexual harassment nearly ten years ago. Despite the fact that the allegations were already proven to be false. This is not good, however, for the image of Catholics in America. I will admit that there are problems with the Church, and that there are priests who have done horrible things. However, not all priests molest children. During the witch-hunt through the Catholic Church a couple years ago, a priest from the church I attend in Modesto was accused of molesting children. Through the investigation, they discovered that the claims were false, and the parents were simply trying to make some cash at the expense of the innocent priest. He is now associated with that event, even though he did not do anything wrong. So remember next time you make or hear a joke about priests molesting little kids; remember that it is no better than making some racial slur towards African-Americans or some anti-Semitic crack, just because it’s directed at Catholics. Sorry, I deviated a little bit from the political aspect of this post, but it has always bugged me that intolerance is acceptable if it’s targeted toward the right group.

Where have all the Catholics gone? This November, they have gone to George W. Bush.

T

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Thursday, August 19, 2004

John Kerry's Anti-Growth Agenda

One of the main concerns of the American economy is that its savings and investment rates are far too low. We are a consumer nation. 2/3rd of our Gross Domestic Product comes from consumption. President Bush and Mr. Kerry have both made it clear that they support middle-class tax cuts. The “middle-class” are the force behind our consumer-driven economy. Lowering taxes to spur consumption is a Keynesian notion, focusing on the demand-side. While this is a popular and politically friendly approach, tax cuts in this nature do not provide the necessary growth to maintain a robust economy.

Much of our capital is now coming from abroad because we do not save or invest enough of our own money. Now the middle-class is typically not the class to draw funds from for investment and savings. Consumption drives the middle-class tax bracket. Savings and investment has to come from the tax brackets that do have the funds. Unfortunately, there have not been too many incentives throughout most of the 20th century for the upper tax brackets to save or invest. Why?

The absurd capital gains tax and taxation of dividends are blocks to investments necessary to growth. If you buy and sell a stock with money (which has already been taxed to begin with) and you record a profit (in this case, a ‘capital gain’), you are taxed. Even though you were already taxed on the very funds that you used to invest the money with. At each step of the way, the government is there to collect the money from you. And if you’re not careful or not paying attention, you’ll find your pockets inside-out. This is called double-taxation. It is a very dissuasive measure to investment.

Mr. Kerry also seems to ignore the fact that it is the investor class, the class that he wishes to raise taxes on, that lost the most in the stock market decline of 2000. While overall this class is making sufficient income, it is important to understand the implications of these losses.

Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards will like you to believe that it’s the tax cuts for the ‘wealthiest 2%” that have contributed to the budget deficit. Since we have a progressive marginal tax rate system, the government’s revenues are strongly dependent upon the fortunes of the upper-income bracket. This means that when aggregate income falls, the upper-income bracket will suffer the greatest decline and pay less in taxes since they have made less than before.

This ensures that tax revenues will decline. The Internal Revenue Service reported that it was falling income, which affects the amount of tax revenue collected, that accounted for the bulk of the decline in income taxes paid. That explains why in 2001 the top 2% paid 41.3% of taxes while only accounting for 22.4% of income in the nation. It makes perfect sense why there would be a deficit. Less tax revenue= less available funds to spend than before.

And if income has fallen, why would most investors shy away from investing? Because they have less money to invest? Seems logical. That is why the capital gains and dividends tax reductions were smart moves by President Bush. They are incentives meant to spur investment. Reducing the penalty for successful investment encourages more investment, which is exactly what the economy needs. Increasing the penalty for investment discourages economic development and growth. Investors become far more reluctant to put their money in the market if they are going to have up to 40% of it taken away.

I strongly advocate a permanent repeal of the capital gains and dividends taxes. President Bush wants to make his cuts permanent. Mr. Kerry wants to raise these back up to their absurd levels from the Clinton era (even then, Clinton was able to secure a cut with the Republican Congress from an even higher and more ridiculous rate).

I am far more skeptical about Mr. Kerry’s proposals. He seeks to reduce the budget deficit by one half within five years by raising taxes. Does he propose any cuts in spending? Probably just for military spending. Mr. Kerry’s health-care plan is slated to cost $900 billion. That’s two times the budget deficit right now. Now maybe you can do the math for me here. If Mr. Kerry raises taxes, he will supposedly have enough to reduce the budget deficit. He won’t completely eliminate it but it will be reduced. For simplicity, let’s say it is reduced to $225 billion (negative $225 billion). So tack onto that negative $225 billion another $900 billion…and are we back at another huge deficit? How is he going to offset that?

I can assure you that tax hikes will not provide the necessary revenue to balance that out. And case in point, the Congressional Budget Office just reduced their estimate of the budget deficit due to ‘unexpected revenue growth’. I wonder where that could come from. Truth is, Mr. Kerry is a liberal cut straight from the cookie cutter: he will tax and spend. He may encounter difficulty with what looks like a Republican 109th Congress when it comes to spending. But Kerry can start off pretty quickly as President by raising taxes if he vetoes legislation that extends or makes permanent the Bush tax cuts.

Mr. Kerry’s economic proposals are detrimental to not only the short-term prospects of the U.S. economy, but also the long-term health of it as well. It has been proven time and time again that an economic environment friendly to investment and growth will raise the living standards for us all. President Bush and his economic advisors understand this. The Kerry-Edwards ticket does not.

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Goodbye Sacramento

Sadly, for me at least, this is my final update from Sacramento, as tomorrow is my last day in the office. I have had a very interesting and informative experience this summer. In the process, I have made some observations on the workings of the California government.

People around the world were shocked last year when actor and muscleman Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected as governor to the great state of California. Historic as this event was, it was also a major step in the right direction. I say this not because a Democrat was recalled and a Republican rose in his place. Instead, I say this because it demonstrated that California State government was able to change.

Change is necessary, more than anything is right now. There are many problems with state government in California. One simply has to look at the dysfunctional Legislature to realize this. For over a decade now, they have not been able to pass a budget on time, let alone a balanced budget. Hundreds of new laws are passed each year and many are absurd. These are just a couple of the problems with the Legislature, and they occur because of the polarization that currently exists. This polarization is a direct result of the gerrymandering of districts that has taken place over the past 30 years. The districts that have been drawn in California are essentially single party districts. This clearly causes problems; it allows Democrats who are to the left of the median Democratic voter to be elected, and Republicans who are to the right of the median Republican voter to be elected. When you put those types of people together, watch out!

I believe that we need to go to independent commission redistricting as an alternative to the current system of reapportionment. This would create more balanced districts, which would lead to a more balanced legislature, which would lead to less polarization, which would be extremely beneficial to Californians.

Another problem I see is a splintered executive branch of government. I would advocate a system more similar to the federal government, where the governor appoints his own cabinet. I will give you an example. In February when SF mayor Gavin Newsom began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, he was in clear violation of the law. Whether he was right or wrong, he was violating the current law. The duty of the Attorney General is to uphold the law. Instead, he refused to shut down the operation. Arnold called on him to do it, but he refused, mainly because he does not have to answer to him politically. I think this is inefficient, and if a business were run this way, it would surely fail.

Finally, California is just run poorly. It needs to be modeled much more like a business. It is bulky, inefficient, and unreliable. I think that the California Performance Review is a good thing. Of course, I realize it will never pass in that form, if any. But, I believe that someone needs to have accountability, because right now, no one does. And this is bad. We need to let the governor truly govern, or else why even have a governor. Why not just have thousands of boards and departments that govern themselves? But hey, what do I know right? I’m just a lowly staffer who’s going back to school.

T

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More Kerry Credibility Problems

It’s no wonder that John Kerry has had trouble convincing the American voters of his credibility. Undoubtedly many attribute this to the Republican “attack dogs” that are currently directed solely at Kerry’s flip-flopping ways, but I firmly believe that the American voters are incredibly intelligent and can see through much of Senator Kerry’s exterior. He has given them no reason to have faith in what he says; no matter if the charges being leveled against Kerry from the SBVT or Bush/Cheney ’04 pan out to be true John Kerry has failed to build up an impression of trustworthiness.

Yesterday FactCheck.org, a non-partisan political group aimed at cutting through “deception” in American politics,
released their assessment of the Bush/Cheney television ad titled “Intel.” The results have shockingly proved that Senator Kerry’s counter-spin on the accusations leveled by the Bush campaign was blatantly false. If you haven’t seen the ad, you probably should before reading on in this post as I will assume that all are familiar with its content. The ad’s number one charge leveled against Senator Kerry was that he missed 76% of the Intel Committee’s public hearings when he served on that select committee for eight years. The Kerry campaign countered with the following accusations:

Selective math and sketchy methods: The Bush-Cheney Campaign is using misleading numbers and cannot pretend to have the facts. They rely only on whether Sen. Kerry made statements in one of a small number of open hearings.

As FactCheck.org notes, this defense of Kerry’s record doesn’t really hold water:

FactCheck.org examined the official, published records of those hearings. And indeed, Kerry is listed as attending only 11 of those hearings. Kerry's apparent absence from 38 of the hearings actually figures out to an absentee rate of 77.6%. However, the Bush ad's lower figure plays it safe -- giving Kerry credit for attending one hearing for which the record is a bit ambiguous. The record of that hearing, on June 22, 1999, lacks the usual list of the senators and staff members who attended. We checked the full transcript for any sign that Kerry had been there, and found no record of Kerry speaking, or anyone else noting his presence…But if he attended and didn't speak, then he would have missed only 37 of the 49, for a no-show rate of 75.5%, which the ad properly rounds up to 76%...That's [Kerry’s accusation that Bush doesn’t fairly examine the actual attendance records] not true. Records list senators and staff members as being present whether or not they spoke, and -- to repeat -- the 76 percent figure actually gives Kerry credit for attending one hearing for which there's no evidence of his participation.

Kerry’s second claim is that the ad only takes into account public hearings, which constitute a small minority of the hearings. This is true; the Bush ad makes no secret that the 76% absence rate only applies to public hearings. The private hearings unfortunately do not have publicly available attendance records, but can be released by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman upon Senator Kerry’s request. Even though Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) has challenged Kerry to request that the records be released, Kerry has since made no request (this is also covered on FactCheck.org’s report). If he doesn’t have anything to hide, and if America should trust John Kerry, perhaps now is the time to be forthright with all of his records that he is supposedly running on (and not running from).

The final interesting charge that FactCheck.org brings up is more for comical value, but is nonetheless telling of the Kerry campaign’s willingness to say what sounds good and not what might necessarily be accurate. The following appears to be less researched so I caution everyone to read on with a bit of humor about the following alleged Kerry gaff. The campaign’s website apparently claimed that Kerry’s intelligence record was so strong that he even served as Vice-Chair of the committee for a time. Unfortunately, the aides running the site must have confused John Kerry with Bob Kerrey, who indeed did serve as Intel Vice-Chair. Unfortunately, John Kerry has never served in that capacity.

Okay, that’s a long enough rant. Most of it is just rehashing the material that FactCheck.org dug up. I again encourage everyone to
read the article, and I’m sure we’ll have plenty of lively discussion on the topic in the coming months. This is another one of those stories that I’m sure is continuing to develop.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Formatting Update

To All Our Readers:

As you've undoubtedly noticed our blog is going through some formatting changes. First and foremost, we've decided that to increase readability of this blog only the first paragraph or two of each post will be posted on our main page with a link so you can read the rest. This will hopefully allow more people to sift through the posts that they want to read and not miss anything due to an extraordinarily long rant by yours truly! Please make sure to send us any comments you might have regarding this new format, as always we're continually looking for new ways to increase not only the aesthetic appeal of the blog but also its functional format. Thanks again everyone for reading and we all look forward to hearing from each one of you.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I'm John Kerry and I promise to raise your taxes.

John Kerry has an economic plan. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for Mr. Kerry, you can’t really flip-flop on economic policy. But if anyone can do it, Mr. Kerry probably can. Mr. Kerry’s plan is to euphemistically “roll-back” the tax cuts for the two top tax rates. What this means is that the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 are going to expire. What this really means is that Mr. Kerry is going to raise taxes.

Currently, the top two tax rates are 33% and 35%. Under Mr. Kerry’s “roll-backs”, the two rates would be raised to 36% and 39.6%, respectively. That’s just on income taxes. Adding onto his “roll-backs” are the hikes on the capital gains tax rate and the dividends tax rate. For filers with gross incomes exceeding $200,000, the capital gains tax rate would rise from 15% to 20% and gains on dividends would rise up to an absurd 39.6%. Mr. Kerry and his Vice-Presidential candidate John Edwards simply label it as ‘raising taxes on the ‘richest 2%’’.

The Democrats have no problem with marginalizing a class to play upon their classic socialist agenda of class warfare and fuel the fires of division. But there are some inherent problems with the Kerry-Edwards ‘solution’. Yes, there are many individuals who make enough money to fall into this bracket. 1 in 8 Americans make $200,000 or more. But Mr. Kerry fails to see an obvious hole in his blind attempt to appease the liberal will to tax and spend.

Mr. Kerry claims to be a friend of small-business owners. Small-business owners play an integral role in the American economy. They are the most direct display of American entrepreneurship. And they play a key role as employers. Big corporations will always exist and are less liable to suffer the pings and pangs of the economy compared to small business owners. Big corporations will lay off people even in good economic times. Small business owners do not.

Small business owners fall into the tax bracket that Mr. Kerry seeks to raise taxes on. Mr. Kerry’s talk about job outsourcing speaks to deaf ears upon small business owners. That is something that they generally do not confront. Small business owners are often not incorporated. Their income from their business happens to also be the income that they file with the IRS. Their personal income often coincides with what they earn from their small business. A direct hike on this tax bracket is a direct attack by Mr. Kerry upon the small business owners of America. And he claims to be a friend of small business owners

Mr. Kerry’s plan to raise taxes would be like a blow from a crowbar to the knees of small business owners. Small business owners face a continually difficult environment to develop: rising health-care costs, out of control lawsuits, and other employee-related issues are headaches for these owners. Raising taxes would be like twisting the vise even tighter around them. Tax hikes stifle the entrepreneurial spirit that has nurtured the necessary growth for economic development. Raising taxes would also create several other problems.

this is part one of a two-part post. part-two will be published shortly.

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Sunday, August 15, 2004

Democrats for Bush

While I know some of our readers and many Americans have merely written off the Democrats for Bush movement to such honorable men like Senator Zell Miller, it seems that another vocal Democrat has joined the ranks. Former Mayor of New York Ed Koch has been a Democrat all his life and has made no secret about his affiliation. In his New York based law office the walls are adorned with pictures that include Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and these aren't anomalies as the ex-Mayor claims that he always votes Democratic for president (this includes McGovern to Koch's chagrin). But this year Koch is ready to break the trend. He openly admits that he disagrees with President Bush on almost every domestic issue but nonetheless claims:

There is only one issue I think is important today, and it overshadows and trumps any other issue...On the most important issue -- dealing with international terrorism and standing up -- President Bush has been magnificent, and I believe the Democratic Party does not have the stomach to take on year after year international terrorism.

This isn't a new stance for Koch, as he has made no mystery of his support for President Bush, but it is an important one as I don't believe any Democrat could quickly call Koch a "Zell Out." Please don't mistake me for one of those Democrats that hate Zell Miller, in fact to no one's surprise I love Senator Miller. His presence and speaking ability captivated me this last winter. As far as a Democrat for Bush though, Senator Miller would need to do a lot to convince any Democratic base that he's successfully crossed party lines. These last few years in the Senate Miller has been a consistent advocate for Republican policies and has been all but shunned by his former-friends across the aisle. Koch on the other hand has the chance to really make waves with his support of the President. New York's three-term mayor has made no mystery of his opposition to Bush's "tax reductions favoring the wealthy" or his push for "privatizing Social Security." In my humble opinion I think the Bush campaign should be happy to put a camera on the ever-present Koch and I have little doubt that they will indeed do this.

Bush's strong point is undeniably the War on Terror. Despite all of Senator Kerry's attempts to paint himself as the man to lead this country in a new, perhaps more "sensitive" direction (I'm just kidding back off Jordan), Bush still retains a ten point lead on the issue of handling terrorism
. It is here where Bush actually stands a chance to attract swing, and maybe even a few Democratic, voters. By playing up Koch's allegiance to the Bush campaign based SOLELY upon the War on Terror perhaps more Americans will see what we here at "The Conspiracy" already see, President Bush is the right person to lead this country in its ongoing fight against terrorism worldwide.

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Thursday, August 12, 2004

The Questioning Continues

Senator Kerry has for years held on high his dedicated service to our country during the Vietnam War. I will not dispute Mr. Kerry on this point; his vigilant service during a very tumultuous time in America's history is one that we should all commend. What exactly went on during that time, and more importantly after that time, is what we should examine. The Swift Boat Veterans for truth have been a group that have been making huge waves across the U.S. From their controversial ad to the new book Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, the Swift Boat Vets have stirred up nothing but trouble. The Bush campaign has been elbowed to disavow their ad, the always vocal Sen. McCain has decried their claims, the Kerry campaign has asserted that none of the men even knew John Kerry while in Vietnam, and finally the television pundits have been given plenty to talk about this last week. I take all of this aside; I do not endorse or condemn the Swift Boat Vets. Some of them, including the co-author of the Kerry book, have made very inflammatory claims that I cannot get behind, but I do believe the story is developing and only time will tell the reality of their claims.
That said, I think the story has taken an interesting turn as the Kerry camp has had to rescind an earlier claim made not just by candidate Kerry but also by Senator Kerry. In countless speeches, including one on the floor of the U.S. Senate (this is taken from a secondary source and I do apologize for that), John Kerry has claimed that he spent Christmas of 1968 in Cambodia. "I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States tell the American people I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia." This is excerpted from Kerry's floor speech There are two problems with this statement. One, Nixon, who Kerry seems to be referring to here (though I and the World Net Daily could definitely be wrong), was not inaugurated into office until 1969. Two, Kerry allegedly was not even in Cambodia for Christmas like he claims and the campaign seems to have changed its tune. The following is from an article from Charlie's favorite newspaper, The Daily Telegraph:
"The Kerry campaign responded, initially, that Mr Kerry had always said he was 'near' Cambodia. Then a campaign aide said Mr Kerry had been in the Mekong Delta 'between' Vietnam and next-door Cambodia - a geographical zone not found on maps, which show the Mekong river running from Cambodia to Vietnam."
I must admit I don't know what to make of the whole issue. As I stated earlier, Mr. Kerry must be praised for serving in Vietnam. I wasn't there so I have very little room to talk, but at the same time we must analyze this issue as it is Sen. Kerry, not President Bush, who is making the issue out of Vietnam service. This is definitely a story that continues to develop...

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Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Secret Agent Man

I am sure that this will be a very contested issue in both real-life and blog-life. As I’m sure you all know, yesterday morning, in the White House Rose Garden, President Bush nominated Florida Congressman Porter Goss as Director of Central Intelligence at the Agency.

Surely this will be called out as a politically charged move by President Bush and he will be dragged over the coals by the media, especially AAJ (American al-Jazzera…a.k.a. CNN). They are probably correct. This does have political consequences, and no one is going to say that Bush’s advisors are too stupid to realize that fact. However, I do not want to talk about that. Instead, I want to tell you all why I think that Porter Goss is a good choice for DCI.

Goss is a graduate of Yale, like everyone and their mother in Washington right now (it will soon be CMC!). Upon graduation, he joined the Army, where he served for 6 years. From the Army, Goss set up shop at CIA, where he spent 9 years in Clandestine Services as a field spook. In 1988, he ran for Congress, and was elected to the House of Representatives. While in Congress, he rose to become the Chair of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and Vice-Chair of the Rules Committee, as well as a member of Republican Leadership.

The experience that Goss has in the Army, the Agency and in Congress will be a major asset to CIA with him at the helm. The role of DCI is a difficult one to play. DCI must be a liaison between the Agency and the rest of Washington. Goss knows what it is like to be out in the field. He will have the respect and knowledge necessary to give field operatives what they need and to protect them. His service in Congress will help him when he must go before Congress to testify, ask for funding, etc.

I do not believe that this position should be political. What I mean by that is, I don’t believe it matters whether the DCI is a Rep or a Dem. What is important is that he can protect his field operatives, provide good intelligence to Congress and the President, and will always try to do what is best for the country. I think that Porter Goss can do those things.

Clearly, I, or hardly anyone else for that matter, have no idea what the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community will look like in the near future. With talk of an intelligence Czar, all this could be moot. But, in the current situation, I believe that Porter Goss is the best choice for the position.

T


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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Ahh...To Be an Ant...

This is a little anecdote that my boss sent me. I usually don't even find these things funny, but I was surprised by its intelligence.

OLD VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible

MODERN VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, "It's Not Easy Being Green."

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome." Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

Tom Daschle & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Peter Jennings that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share."

Finally, the EEOC drafts the "Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act," retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients.

The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Vote Republican

T

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Sunday, August 08, 2004

Alan Keyes for Senate

The long search for a GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in Illinois has come to a surprising end as Alan Keyes has agreed to the Party's request that he run. Dr. Keyes is regretting some of the words he had said about Hillary Clinton's carpet-bagging in New York. A Maryland native, Alan Keyes believes he offers a fair balance to the Illinois ticket, and will represent the state well in the Senate.

Indeed Illinois is a state with a rich history in this nation. One of the greatest American statesmen, Abraham Lincoln ,himself battled an intense Senate race in Illinois against Stephen Douglas. The race came down to a bitter ideological battle, in which there was a discussion of the very virtues and truths for which America stood. Lincoln referenced the original writings of America's founders, leaning heavily upon the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. The people of Illinois had a true choice, not between two similar politicians, but between two opposite ideological viewpoints.

This year Barack Obama and Alan Keyes will have a similar showdown. Ambassador Keyes believes in a limited government of authorized powers. He believes that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. His political philosophy is based upon the foremost document in America: The Constitution, and his personal philosophy is dominated by his trust in a higher power. The voters in Illinois will again have a clear choice between 2 different ideologies.

Just like Lincoln a century and a half ago, Ambassador Keyes will likely lose this election. It is certain however, that the state of Illinois, and the United States overall will be better for his defense of what is Right in America.

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Saturday, August 07, 2004

Louisiana Gets A Bit More Red

Rep. Rodney Alexander has given the Democrats a taste of their own medicine. Approximately three years ago I fumed when Senator Jim Jeffords switched from the Republican Party to an “Independent,” who for all intents and purposes mine as well have been a Democrat. Now, it’s payback time, on a much smaller scale of course. Rep. Rodney Alexander has announced that he’s switching parties from Democrat to Republican, and running in his Louisiana reelection bid as a Republican. This not only gives the Republicans a more solid majority, but also makes it near impossible for Democrats to recapture the majority this November. With 12 seats now needed to pickup the House majority, the Democrats better focus on their Senate elections where at least they have a chance. Retiring Democratic Senator John Breaux (LA), who himself has been known for crossing party lines on such important issues as tax cuts, quickly cried foul when he heard of Alexander’s switch. Breaux claimed that Alexander has “effectively prevented the people of his district from a having a choice" and called Alexander a “confused politician who has placed loyalty at the very bottom of his priorities.” Funny, I don’t remember Democrats yelling when Jeffords switched parties. In fact, Tom Daschle said the following of Jefford’s switch a mere two years ago, “We all remember that powerful and eloquent speech in which Senator Jeffords explained why he was leaving the Republican Party…I expect it will go down in history as one of the great American declarations of political conscience.” It’s funny how a single act can represent political conscience one day and block people’s choice the next. Oh well, I guess I’ll never understand Democrats. In the mean time, thank you Rep. Alexander for acting your conscience and ensuring House control for at least two more years.

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Good News from the CBO - Finally!

I know most of you have already heard about this but I thought that this is necessary to point out due to the fact that this election is largely a mandate on Bush’s policies. The questions that voters will be asked to consider is whether or not Bush’s policies have worked both domestically and abroad. Democrats have suddenly begun talked about deficits as if the label of fiscal conservative belonged to them. While I admit that our current administration hasn’t done everything within its power to lower discretionary spending, somehow buying into a Kerry fiscal plan as a crazy penumbra of fiscal conservatism is ludicrous. Don’t let John Kerry fool you; Americans will pay higher taxes under a Kerry Administration. Whether or not he calls these tax increases “rollbacks of the Bush tax cuts” or simple “tax hikes” the meaning is the same. For Kerry the only way to decrease deficits is to take money out of the hands of those best fit to use and spend it. But a recent report published by the CBO might throw a bit of a wrench in Senator Kerry’s plans. The CBO recently stated that the deficit for FY 2004 will be $422 billion dollars ($56 billion less than the CBO projected in March of this year). This is excellent news and as the CBO explained it is due in large part to unexpected revenues. Also, the CBO remarked that at 3.6% GDP the deficit, while the highest in dollar amount in U.S. history, is well below the peak deficit levels of the 1980’s “relative to the size of the economy.” It seems that President Bush was right. If you cut taxes the revenues will come. Maybe Senator Kerry should notice this good news and start realizing that the days of tax and spend are over.

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Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Boxes Have Been Demolished

I apologize for being a total slacker and not finishing my post earlier.

Last weekend, a copy of a report from the California Performance Review Board was leaked to AP. This report recommends the largest governmental overhaul in 50 years.

The California Performance Review recommends the following:

  • Eliminate 118 of 339 boards and commissions
  • Collapse 90 agencies and departments into 11 departments with subdivisions
  • Reduce projected 09-10 state work force by 12,000
  • Increase the number of toll roads
  • Join a multi-state lottery to provide more money for schools and education
  • Reform the public school system statewide to improve accountability
  • Require public college and university students to perform community service in exchange for affordable education
  • Phase out subsidy program for elderly and disabled

In his State of the State address in January, Arnold claimed that he would not just move boxes around, he would blow them up. Until now, he has been no different than Davis. But this is huge. The California Performance Review Board worked in private to publish their findings for the last 7 months. I do not see anyway that this would ever be passed in the state legislature. I am almost positive that this will have to go before the voters of California in the form of a ballot initiative.

This would be great for California. We need to run more like a business, and provide some accountability to the people of the state. I know I left some out, believe it or not, I wrote the damn post only for it to be deleted. I will answer any questions in comments if you want.

For now…Farewell from the Left Coast.
Timmy

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Kerry's is not Bush...We Get It!

John Kerry today has stepped up his rhetoric of not being George Bush. The problem is by now the entire world gets this simple fact. John Kerry has built his campaign themes around the simple premise of "remember whatever Bush did and I would have/will do everything differently." I understand why this is a decent strategy at this point because America is very much divided, with a great deal of Americans willing to vote for “Insert Generic Candidate Here” as long as he’s someone other than George Bush.

This assumption of mine was further reinforced by my recent trip to San Francisco. A group of DNC activists were on the street doing one of the things that I love to do, gather and rally support by talking with people. The problem here was that the DNC folk didn’t have anything positive to offer. They didn’t talk about the merits of Kerry as a candidate, nor did they even mention Kerry’s name. Instead these individuals simply shouted and pitched themselves as there to “help kick Bush out of office.” I realize that this campaign is destined to be negative and both campaigns are fueling the fire, but all I ask is that candidates either pitch their record or their vision. If we’re going to be negative let’s at least be constructive about it.

Anyways, back to the topic at hand. John Kerry speaking to minority journalists in Missouri declared that he would have acted differently than George Bush on September 11th. He went on to blast the President for continuing to read to the Florida students, claiming that he would have acted quicker and more decisively. This sounds familiar and seems to be a little Michael Mooresque. I know John Kerry is closer to Moore than I am and efforts to separate him from the Democratic Party have failed, with his face plastered all over the TVs during the DNC, but nonetheless I think it’s irresponsible to be echoing his rhetoric. Emma E. Booker Elementary school is now famous and the principal of this once unknown school has come out and bravely commended the President for his acts that morning. "I don't think anyone could have handled it better…What would it have served if he had jumped out of his chair and ran out of the room?” This is similar to the sentiment that President Bush offered the 9/11 Commission when he said it was, “important to project strength and calm until he could better understand what was happening.” This having been said, I guess Kerry would have been more comfortable with jumping out of his chair and knocking over small children on his way out the door. I know I’m being facetious but it is slightly alarming that Kerry would go so far to “not be Bush” to claim that he wouldn’t even take a few precious moment to think out the best course of action. I guess John Kerry doesn’t have any room for accusing the Bush Administration for being too hasty in their actions (does anyone remember Iraq?)

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The Manchurian Democrats...I mean Candidate

I thought that this article up on the National Review site was very, very interesting. Especially if you have seen the movie. Again, a big thanks to Kris for making the blog rock.

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE & THE IDIOT VOTE [08/05 08:26 AM]

After overdosing on politics during convention week, I caught the new film The Manchurian Candidate. Maybe it's because I just came from 96 straight hours of Kerry-palooza, and maybe I noticed little bits of dialogue that other moviegoers won't. But I walked out of the theater wondering if the movie could cost John Kerry the election.

(Warning — there's no way to explain this point without revealing some of the movie's plot twists in this article. If you want to be surprised, bookmark this article and come back after you've seen it. If you have seen it or have no intention of seeing it, read on.)

First things first — this movie aims to slam Bush and Cheney harder than Fahrenheit 9/11. The Manchurian Global Corporation is clearly meant to be a stand-in for every rumor, conspiracy theory, and allegation — founded and unfounded — against Halliburton Corp. The evil ticket runs on the slogans "Secure tomorrow today" and "Compassionate Vigilance." Dean Stockwell and the other central-casting Old White Men in Suits who are the villainous CEOs might as well have "GOP" tattooed on their foreheads.

Director Jonathan Demme is quite open about the political point his movie is supposed to make. Appearing on The Today Show, he said, "In our picture the story suggests that the multinational corporation that profits on war may just be a huge ingredient of the great global threat today. Now with the war in Iraq going on we're reading about the misadventures of — of some of these multinational corporations, so I don't think we're making anything up in our movie."

(Nothing's made up? Must be a documentary then, and Dick Cheney really is a brainwashed sleeper assassin with a control chip in his brain.)

But despite the satirical scalpels aimed at the Bush administration, in scene after scene, the filmmakers have made stylistic decisions that unnervingly echo John Kerry and John Edwards. If Kerry campaign honchos Mary Beth Cahill or Bob Shrum watched this movie this weekend, they probably threw their popcorn at the screen in frustration.

The screenplay was finished years ago, and the movie finished filming in 2003. If the screenwriter, director, and cast knew how the political scene was going to evolve in the past six months, they almost certainly would have dramatically altered certain dialogue and scenes. But what we must conclude is an eerie coincidence, the evil candidate keeps emulating the men challenging George W. Bush.

Liev Schreiber, playing Rep. Raymond Shaw, is a long-shot candidate to be picked as his party's vice-presidential nominee. We watch the young, two-term congressman in an early speech: "We need to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. We need to bridge the gap between blacks and whites. We need to bridge the gap between the government and the people!"

Upon hearing that dialogue, I did a spit-take on my Sprite. It's John Edwards's "Two Americas" speech!

Then we see the most talked-about performance, Meryl Streep as the villainous Senator Eleanor Prentiss Shaw, mother of the congressman. After the trailers, some blogs buzzed that she was imitating Hillary Rodham Clinton. Then Streep revealed that she based her performance on two conservative women, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan and Bush adviser Karen Hughes.

If you watch a lot of Noonan on Chris Matthews's show, you can pick up certain phrases and mannerisms of Streep's character that vaguely evoke the columnist. At one point, Streep says (paraphrasing as best I can recall), "Terrorists are going to hit us again and they are going to hit us hard. The American people know this, and can feel it in their bones." (Noonan is big on gut reactions and the public's emotional antennae.) But otherwise, for most of the movie, the audience is watching an iron-willed, powerful woman senator, wearing stylish, professional pantsuits who can be charming one moment and ruthless the next. At one point, dealing with co-conspirators who she finds gutless, she laments, "Where have all the men gone?"

For the chunk of the audience that isn't enough of a political geek to recognize the Noonan/Hughes mannerisms, Streep might as well be wearing a "HI, MY NAME IS HILLARY" button.

Shaw's qualifications for the nation's second highest office are limited. However, he has one sterling accomplishment that voters are constantly reminded of: He is a war hero.

Gulp.

Streep rallies her party's leaders, "Give them a war hero forged by enemy fire in the desert in the dark!" We are told he saved his platoon when they were ambushed during a routine reconnaissance mission during the Persian Gulf War. The biggest, clearest, and most squirm-inducing moments come during a scene in which Shaw's comrades, one after another, offer videotaped testimony of Shaw's bravery. "Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."

It's just too creepily similar to the recent testimonies to Kerry in the convention video and commercials.

Now — the Kerry Spot is unflinchingly fair to the Democratic candidate, so let's come out and say it — John Kerry is not a brainwashed zombie assassin. Or at least, to date, no one has presented any compelling evidence that this is the case.

But we know a certain number of voters are, for lack of a better word, idiots. They believe what they see in the movies. They believed Oliver Stone's theories of about LBJ helping Kennedy's assassins, they think The Day After Tomorrow is a realistic depiction of global warming, and they opposed nuclear power after The China Syndrome. Top Gun boosted Navy recruitment, and there are anecdotes apparently a few young men thought that it was commonplace for naval aviators to "work undercover" with civilian aviation experts who look like Kelly McGillis.

Thankfully, the idiot vote is probably only a few percentage points nationwide. But one starts to wonder...how will this minute, gullible minority react to a movie that tells them that the political candidate running on his reputation as a war hero is actually a brainwashed zombie assassin?

One other oddity — the movie supposedly takes place "today." But the opening expository monologue, coming from Air America's Al Franken playing himself, refers to "the war on terror stretching into yet another year. Americans remain fearful after the terrible recent attacks including Black Friday, and the flag-draped caskets of America's soldiers continue to come home from every corner of the globe...."

Demme has created a terrifying vision in this early scene, an America where 9/11 isn't even mentioned as the worst terrorist attack in recent memory, but this mysterious (and never mentioned again) "Black Friday" is. There are also references to a U.S. military campaign in Indonesia, and rumors of an upcoming invasion of Sri Lanka. (Did the directors just throw darts at a map when picking future U.S. military operations?)

In light of all this, the movie actually feels more like 2008 than 2004, a near future of perpetual Orange Alert and ominous paranoia. And in an early scene with her party's top strategists, Streep laments that her party has been out of power for eight years.

Which party could be out of power for eight years in 2008?

The producers of The Manchurian Candidate have created a perfectly bipartisan political thriller: The text suggests that Republicans are the evil villains; the subtext suggests the Democrats are the bad guys.


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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Don't wear it on your sleeve

Ron Reagan sure took a cheap shot at George W. Bush at his father's funeral when he deliberately mentioned that his father "never wore his faith on his sleeve".

It's interesting to note how easy it is to turn around that message. But that's no surprise coming from the Democrats and our good friend John Kerry. After all, he's perfectly OK with wearing his three Purple Hearts on his sleeve and telling us how he should be President because he served in Vietnam. The three Purple Hearts that he threw in protest and disgust (so how did he get those back? Did he not reject them? Why does he have them now) are practically dangling and clanking against each other on Kerry's sleeve. And he's not wearing them. He's shoving them in America's face.

I don't feel qualified to even examine Kerry's record and discuss his service. After all, I have not been in the military. I don't know what it's like to be shot at. But military service and Purple Hearts are not guarantees for anything. If that's the case, then Bob Dole should have been President in 1996. Of course Bob Dole never threw any of his deocrative awards away in spite and protest. Nor did he ever testify before a Senate committee and vilify American soldiers as plunderers, rapists, and pigs. John Kerry did. The deplorable actions of a few used to condemn the whole. And the aspiring political maven, John Kerry, was leading the bugle blowing. Does this sound like Abu-Ghraib, anyone?

It's interesting that we have these reports now from Vietnam veterans about Kerry's service and "record". The Dean-aholics (immersed in their fetish for paranoia and conspiracy) will say, "part of the Republican machine". I say took a look at who is saying what and how MANY are saying what they are saying.

I recently attended a speech given by Bob Dole. An intern had asked him about whether or not service was required to be an effective war-time President. Dole said that service would be a plus and perhaps secure credibility. But it's not a pre-requisite nor is it required. Mr. Dole made it a point that just because you served does not entitle you a seat in Congress or the Presidency. John Kerry and the Democrats think otherwise.

I also have spoken to several servicemen and veterans of the military while working on the Hill. A Marine Corps Vietnam veteran shared his disdain for Kerry with me. He didn't loathe Kerry for his service. He said he respected him that much for his service. What the veteran despised about Kerry was what Kerry did when he came back to America: the protests, the testimonies, and essentially, the backstabbing of his own American troops dying while Kerry clamored. This veteran, who has served a distinguished career, said he would often not acknowledge that he served in Vietnam because of the intense atmosphere of hate and vilification spurred by Kerry and his anti-war cohorts. In his own words, "John Kerry's in the same league as Jane Fonda."

And Ron Reagan, nobody believes that your speech at the DNC was given out of 'bipartisan' consideration.

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Veterans for Kerry?

This campaign I have been tortured with an onslaught of Kerry service this, Kerry heroism that. Frankly, I'm really sick of it. While I know the following sites must be treated with caution, as I believe all these stories are still developing and their factual content has yet to be fully substantiated. All of that withstanding testimonies such as these prove to be to be interesting reminders that Kerry's heroism is by no means a unanimous agreement. I know even as I type this that the liberal talking heads are warming up their keyboards for a full out assualt on George W. Bush's military record. I know this is a very contentious issue, Bush's service that is, but the one thing you must keep in mind is that he's not making a campaign issue of his National Guard service. Anyways, check out the following:

http://www.swiftvets.com

Should at least be worth a glance!

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