Archive for February, 2008

My Meeting Karl Rove

Friday, February 29th, 2008

I had the pleasure recently of attending a lecture sponsored by the American Jewish University. The lecture took place at the Universal Amphitheatre, and the speaker was political consultant Karl Rove.

I am well aware that people hear his name and immediately jump to conclusions. These people may be surprised that he is human, flesh and blood, and a nice person. He is exceptionally bright, and very self effacing.

I took crystal clear notes. Unfortunately, my black clad, swashbuckling alter ego “El Dorko,” lost them. Several failed attempts to retrieve them, followed by a significant amount of Presidential sized expletives, did nothing to solve the problem.

So for those that have failed to lower their standards when reading my column, I warn these people again to do so.

Thankfully, I did not forget everything. With that, I bring the cryptic version of the wisdom that is Karl Rove.

“Running for President means that half your time will be spent raising money. The other half will be spent campaigning, with 80% of that time spent in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.”

For those who see Rove as a puppet master pulling strings, Rove made it clear that he knew who the boss was, and it was not him. The President has nicknamed him “Boy Genius,” and “Turd Blossom.” In fact, when Rove would enter the room, President Bush would say to another subordinate, “That idea is so f-ing bad that it must be something Rove came up with.” Sometimes President Bush would say to Rove or one of his other staffers, when they would ramble in business meetings, “Y’all think this is worth wasting the President’s time over?”

Yet Rove is a political animal and a political junkie. He got hooked as a youngster, and officially became a full blown addict in 1968, when he went to an event. To see Nixon, Humphrey, and Wallace all on the same stage was mind blowing for him.

He is grateful to his colleagues. “We joy in our friends, we learn from our enemies, and we develop our character through our colleagues. I had a fabulous time working at the White House because I had great colleagues.”

In the introduction preceding his speech, the speaker made a lighthearted joke at Mr. Rove’s expense. When Rove took the stage, he began by thanking people. He then turned to the man who introduced him and said, “To show my appreciation, tomorrow I will be taking you to Guantanamo Bay.”

In the middle of the speech, a cell phone would not stop going off. It was a beeping sound. Rove looked around and said, “I’m scared.” It continued, and he said, “Ok, now I am really scared.” He checked his own phone, which was off. He proudly showed off his I-phone by saying. “I have an I-Phone, which means I’m cool.” It turned out that the phone belonged to the fellow who introduced him, causing Rove to say, “Ok, I am not waiting until tomorrow. As soon as this speech is done, you are bound for Guantanamo Bay.”

The audience genuinely enjoyed his humor. His speech was deliberately non-partisan. He spoke about the process of running for President.

Before he spoke (I know I am jumping around, you try winging things with no notes), the person who introduced him asked how many democrats were in the audience. He then asked for the number of republicans. The audience was about split down the middle. The fellow then said, “This concludes the audience participation aspect of this evening. This is a lecture series, not a Townhall meeting.” The audience laughed, but the message was clear. The audience was completely respectful the entire evening. Perhaps the overwhelming number of police officers had something to do with it.

Mr. Rove does not analyze politics city by city. He does it block by block. He pointed out that “6 in 10 people vote. 4 in 10 people do not. The 4 in 10 that do not vote are the same as you and me. They might be more black, more poor, and more young, but they are the same. They also would most likely vote in the same percentages as the 6 in 10 who already vote.”

It is for this reason that he also said, “Ignore Richard Nixon. To try and run to the extreme in the primary and then run to the center in the general election is wrong. You have to have a consistent message that will play to people in both elections.”

He also rejected the idea of playing to current voters. “You have to expand your appeal. You have to turn out new people.” He pointed out that John Kerry in 2004 had millions more voters than Al Gore in 2000. The difference was that President Bush increased his vote total by about 20%, which was enough.

Rove also offered an interesting battle tactic. “Don’t attack your opponent’s strengths. Attack what your opponent thinks are his strengths, but are actually his weaknesses. John Kerry ran as a military hero reporting for duty. He thought this was his strength. His career has been as an anti-war protester. He voted for the 87 billion before he voted against it. We were able to use that.”

Rove’s knowledge and obsession with crunching the numbers was a primary reason that George W. Bush won West Virginia twice, despite democrats controlling that state for generations. From the gun owners to the coal miners, Karl Rove read the numbers. He refused to cede the state. He challenged the republican party in West Virginia. He told them that for every dollar they raised, the national party would bring in much more. West Virginia republicans were not used to even seeing national leaders, much less their money. Rove kept his word regarding the financial commitment. Republicans were able to compete in what was thought to be a one party state, and the state flipped.

The moderator of the event was Dr. Robert Wexler, the President of American Jewish University. For the sake of full disclosure, I was a student at what was then known as the University of Judaism. Although Dr. Wexler’s politics are more in line with the majority of American Jews than mine are, he has always been friendly with me. I have a deep respect for him, and he himself has agreed to do an interview with me. So while some of the questions were partisan in nature, they were asked in the classy manner that Dr. Wexler conducts all of his interviews.

I mention this because while Dr. Wexler and Mr. Rove are different ideologically, they both want to build political bridges. Mr. Rove wants to get people enthused in politics, which cannot be done if half the audience walks out in disgust. Dr. Wexler has to run an entire university, which cannot be done effectively if ideology gets in the way. Both men had to raise a lot of money, and neither man would say that a person’s money was no good if it came from across the political aisle.

As for the questions, Dr. Wexler did want to know about the 2000 election, specifically the bitter South Carolina primary between George W. Bush and John McCain. Rumors were spread that John McCain had fathered a black baby out of wedlock. Rove gave a passionate and heartfelt answer.

“That story came from one professor at Bob Jones University. It did not come from our campaign. What always surprised me was that McCain spun it as a negative instead of a positive. John and Cindy McCain went to Asia and adopted a black child, a beautiful child that is now a teenager. It was a beautiful thing to do, and they should have shared that story. We were surprised that they instead went after us when it was one nutty professor that floated the rumors.”

When asked about his current relationship with McCain, he stated that it was good. He mentioned that in 2004, “McCain stepped up for us big time.” The most fun on the campaign was when they went to rallies in the Florida Panhandle. “This was Bush Country, where the President routinely won 70% of the vote. We drove by in the bus and there were thousands of people lined up to see us. McCain got so excited on the bus that he kept hitting my arm. It hurt. He asked if campaigning was always like this. It was raining all day, and the people still came out. Then we got to a rally in Florida with 25,000 people, and the sun came out. It was just a great night. He told stories of his youth involving a fast red car, alcohol, and beautiful women. He was a wild man as a naval officer. We then went to a couple other rallies, and it was just a great couple of days.”

Dr. Wexler asked if the favor would be returned in 2008 by President Bush.

“Absolutely. President Bush will help in any way he can. However, the best thing he can do is exit the stage and stay behind the scenes. He should hold fundraisers. He can raise a lot of money.”

One point Rove kept hammering is that “Americans are forward looking. They are not backward looking. Elections are about the future, not the past.”

He was an absolute believer that outgoing Presidents should get off the stage. “Ronald Reagan only did one public event for the first President Bush. President Bush stayed out of sight when his term ended. His successor did not. President Bush should. The election in 2008 is not about him. It is about John McCain and whoever his democratic opponent will turn out to be.”

Rove also mentioned that he donated the maximum allowable contribution of $2300 to the McCain campaign. He was used to raising money, but did not realize fully how expensive politics was until he had to write that check and explain it to his wife.

Dr. Wexler asked him, “Are you that good a political consultant that you could get Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, and what would you do?”

Rove replied, “Yes I am, and I’m not telling.”

When the laughter subsided, he elaborated. Absolutely I could develop a plan for them to win. You have to do that with your opponent to then develop a counterattack. In 2004 we had a plan for John Kerry to win the election. We were surprised that he did not run according to that plan.”

As for 2008, he said, “I am going to enjoy life away from the campaigns. I can go on the lecture circuit, promote my book that is going on sale for $29.95 by Simon and Schuster.”

He mentioned that twice to laughter, before again saying, “By the way, this is still my I-Phone. Again, I’m cool.”

When asked if he would consider helping any republican campaigns, he replied, “I might already be helping a campaign from the sidelines. You never know. I’m not telling.”

When asked about how the democratic race was dragging out, he replied, “I planned that. I am actually consulting for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, but neither one knows I am helping the other one.”

Some would infer that Rove enjoys being seen as the evil mastermind lurking from the shadows. Actually, like most people, he would rather be liked for being a nice guy. However, his attitude is that if people are going to say awful things about you, those things might as well be true.

Dr. Wexler asked Rove if there were times when he and President Bush disagreed, and who was right more often. Rove was humble and folksy in his response.

“We have disagreed many times, and I was right some of the time, but usually President Bush was. One thing I got wrong was Vice President Cheney. I gave President Bush six reasons why Cheney should not be the choice for Vice President. President Bush cut through each point, and in the end, I agreed. President Bush then turned to Dick Cheney and asked, ‘So what do you think of Karl Rove?'”

When asked about how the democrats had much larger turnout, and therefore a decisive advantage, Rove showed why he is such an expert.

“John McCain is leading among republicans 80%-10%. Barack Obama is only leading among democrats 74%-18%. This means that McCain is leading Obama in crossover votes by 2:1. McCain is leading Hillary in this category by 3:1. These votes are important because when you expand your base with a new voter, you are gaining one vote. When you get a voter to flip, you are gaining two votes, because you are gaining one, and the other side is losing one. After a tough stretch, McCain seems to have republicans locked up, and that is helping him.”

Rove also made it clear that substance is critical. Style will not get it done. JFK was a great speaker, but he had big, bold ideas. Reagan was a great speaker, but had a clear vision.

“Voters are not stupid. The masses are not @sses. The media are interested in process. Voters are interested in what you are going to do. The problem is that the media gets bored much quicker than the voters. This leads to discussions about process. Candidates cannot fall into this line of campaigning. They must campaign on ideas.”

While style cannot be enough to win by itself, in today’s internet world, a lack of style or misstep can bury a campaign. “Just go on the internet and see Senator George Allen say the word ‘Macaca.’ Go on You-Tube and watch the video of ‘M.C. Rove.'”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln5RD9BhcCo

When asked about the problems facing the Clinton campaign, Rove reiterated that one democratic candidate was talking about the future, while the other candidate was harkening back to the past. It did not matter whether or not the past was seen as good or bad. Voters are forward looking. He also pointed out that Barack Obama was doing something smart by bringing new voters into the process. This was an advantage because there was no guarantee that they would support any other candidate.

Another thing that Obama did right was that when it came time to deliver a major post primary speech, he used a teleprompter, while other candidates on both sides used notes. The teleprompter was out of view, but it allowed Obama to remain crisp, cool, and polished. Notes simply do not work as well according to Rove. I wouldn’t know. I do everything from memory. I already apologized. Let it go.

Another point Mr. Rove made was that raising money alone will not do it. The only people who seem to spend more than members of Congress are political consultants. Hillary Clinton’s campaign had a high “burn rate.” Mr. Rove stated that one trouble with campaigning is that “at the end, a losing candidate is broke. In fact, almost all of the candidates at the end are broke. The best thing that happened to John McCain was that his initial campaign team burned through his money. He then fired the guys who mismanaged his money. He ran a guerilla campaign, which might have been the best style of campaign for him to run.”

This brought up another issue for candidates. “You must have a plan. You will have to alter the plan and adapt, but you cannot develop a plan on the fly. You must have a plan. You must have a team that knows what they are doing. Most importantly, the consultants must care about you. Losing candidates often have consultants that leave, and then write a tell all book trashing their former boss. Those people don’t truly care about helping their candidate.”

Shifting gears, Dr. Wexler brought up the Iraq War.

This allowed Karl Rove to be at his very best. He mentioned several quotes offering a full throttled endorsement of going to war that were offered by Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry. Mr. Rove truly relished separating President Bush from craven political opportunists that shift with the political winds.

Dr. Wexler also asked why President Bush only had between 22-25% of the Jewish vote despite his Pro-Israel position.

Mr. Rove was candid. “It can be frustrating, but we have made inroads in many communities. We had 44% of the Latino vote in 2004. We improved among Catholics and women. We had 20% of the Jewish vote in 2000, and increased it to 25% in 2004. You have to do what you believe is right, and do what you can.”

I would have offered a different answer. I told Dr. Wexler after the event that I believed the Jewish vote was closer to 30%, but that so many Jewish republicans are scared to death to speak up. In college, I was terrified, and I was not the only one. Republican Jews are the new gays, slowly coming out of the closet.

Dr. Wexler made a valid point that Ronald Reagan had a higher total than that. I conceded that the first President Bush did not help himself with Secretary of State James Baker, and undoing the damage takes time. However, a 50/50 split among Jews would benefit all Jews because swing voters have more power than constituencies that vote as a bloc.

After the speech and the question and answer session, a friend was able to get me to a private after party where I got to meet Karl Rove. Very few people were allowed to this later event, so it gave Mr. Rove more time to interact with the people who were. He spoke to every single person, signed autographs, and took pictures.

When I took my picture with him, the flash did not work. Yet one of his security guards noticed this and told me to get back in line, and that he would make sure I had a good picture. When Mr. Rove saw me again, I told him, “I’m sorry, I am not trying to vote twice.” I have to confess that despite doing what seemed like several things at once between handshaking and talking to people, he remembered that my flash had not gone off. The guard did not tell him. He just remembered. The second picture came off without a hitch. He thanked me for being a blogger, and I gave him a present of a couple columns I wrote singing his praises. Yes, that was for my benefit as well.

http://tygrrrrexpress.com/2007/08/thank-you-karl-rove/

Karl Rove was an influential figure in American politics during a very critical time in American history. His power and influence have been overstated by his enemies, and understated by Mr. Rove himself.

As important as his contribution to President Bush’s political career has been, I hope more people see the other tough job he has, that of a husband and father. He is a human being, and a nice guy at that. The handshake at the end between Dr. Wexler and Mr. Rove was sincere. Political opponents do not need to be enemies.

I admire them both. I also have to hide from both of them, since I can only donate so much. My political party or my alma mater?

I am not going near that one. I will hire a political consultant to help me spin my way out of that potential debacle if anybody asks. I do know the best in the business. He does not come cheap, but he does get the job done.

Be well Mr. Rove. It was a pleasure.

eric

My Interview With Bruce Herschensohn

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

I had the privilege and pleasure of interviewing Bruce Herschensohn this week. He is bright, funny, and brilliant. I would expect nothing less from a Jewish republican. He was a U.S. Senate candidate in 1992, and is currently a professor at Pepperdine University.

One of his funniest self-effacing lines was during his Senate run. 1992 was the year of the woman, as several women, some of them unqualified, used the Anita Hill smear of Judge Clarence Thomas to get elected. Instead of asking why men vote republican, republicans had to be asked why women vote democrat.

Bruce Herschensohn then held a dinner with 400 conservative women in attendance. They loved him. He explained that he was scaring off some women voters because he was too darn macho. Some women are afraid to vote for a man “who looks and talks like John Wayne.”

John Wayne, if alive today, would be proud to know a tough but nice guy like Bruce Herschensohn. With that, my interview with him is below.

1) What have you been up to since 1992, and is there another run for political office in your future?

I have been teaching U.S. Foreign Policy at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy, writing, speaking, and a good deal of foreign travel. No possibility of running for office again. (The Senate was all I was interested in.)

2) Who are your top 3 American political heroes of all time, and who are your top 3 political heroes on the world stage? Who are your 3 favorite political inspirations that are not actual politicians?

Since so many of them are before my time, my contemporary political heroes, in order of service, are Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan.

Those that are not politicians are personal and most of them are not public figures.

3) With regards to foreign policy, what have we done right, and what have we gotten wrong, in the last 8 years, and what steps can be taken to improve the situations that require improvement?

Both interventions — in Afghanistan and Iraq — on the War against Islamist Terrorism were absolutely right. The improvement I believe we should make is to stop fighting a politically correct war on battlefields and at home. We didn’t fight a politically correct war during World War II on the battlefields or at home — and we won that war. And it is justifiably called the Greatest Generation. Would it be if we had lost?

4) What have we gotten right and wrong with domestic policy?

Those things we think of as being entitlements, none of which are in the U.S. Constitution.

5) In general the media are seen very unfavorably. Do you believe this reputation is justified, overblown or even understated? If not overblown, what can the media do to improve itself?

It is correctly thought of as unfavorable. However, it is better than it was previously when we only had three television networks and few balanced news-gathering media. Talk-radio and at least one television network (Fox News) has created more balance than we had before. The media will only improve itself with more balance if the public demands it.

6) A large segment of our society seems to have an irrational fear of anyone deemed “religious.” Do you feel this is true, and how do you balance your commitment to your faith with the fact that some Americans may unfairly consider all expressions of religion to be equated with zealotry and intolerance? Also, does that faith play any role in either your career?

Of course my faith takes an important part in my life and career and those who are critical of that consume none of my time.

7) Given the liberal bias in education, how do you or anybody get through to the “South Park Conservatives” before they get indoctrinated? Should we all home school our kids and declare public schooling a lost cause?

School-choice and Home-school are the only answers I know at this late stage.

8.) Respected investor Jim Rogers once stated that “no nation has ever devalued its currency to prosperity” Is the falling dollar a crisis, or is this overblown? Is America declining financially? Is our nation as sound as the dollar, and is that good or bad?

I do not believe it is a crisis but it is a cycle that we have gone through periodically. I do believe in free trade, but we should only engage in free trade with free nations.

9) What would be the main qualities and criteria you would look for with regards to Supreme Court justices? Could they disagree with you on major issues, and still be qualified? Are there any cases, such as the second amendment cases coming up, that you are following extra closely?

The qualities and criteria should be the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution as its authors intended. To me, the Second Amendment is so clear in the people’s right to keep and bear arms, that I do not understand its frequent and intentional misinterpretation. Like most people, abortion is of much interest to me. I do not understand how “the right of privacy” has ever been a criterion in the taking-away of life.

10) What are your thoughts on the 2008 elections? What makes 2008 important to you?

The most important issue of our time is winning the War against Islamist Terrorism. I believe John McCain is the best qualified to do that. Wars are won or lost. If we lose, all other issues will be decided by an Ayatollah, Imam, or Mullah.

11) What are your views on the Bush Doctrine of preemptive military force? Do you feel we are headed in that direction with Iran? Should we consider that? How do

you feel on Israel taking preemptive action against any one of its enemies?

We have to take preemptive action. The alternative is waiting for another attack on the United States. We all knew that right after 9-11, and then we relegated 9-11 to history rather than the current. Since you asked about Israel, I believe Israel should take more preemptive action than it is taking. It used to take it which is why Israel is still a nation. But Israel now seems to be copying our politically-correct agenda, and that is very dangerous.

12) Besides you, who else should be on John McCain’s short list for Vice Presidential candidates? Do you have any predictions?

Not me, for sure. And I don’t think he should announce a Vice-Presidential choice until the Republican Convention. Luckily, the Democrat’s 2008 Convention takes place before the Republican’s 2008 Convention.

13) If you were given five minutes to interview President Bush or Vice President Cheney, what would you ask them? What would you say to them?

What I stated above regarding fighting politically-correct wars.

14) Given that there are many liberals in America, why are they failing in some segments of the media from ratings, and more importantly, a financial standpoint? Are Air America and the Jayson Blair Times anomolies, or typical of a larger problem?

They are typical of a larger problem. I believe they so often fail because they have even ceased to be interesting.

15) Are the many Clinton scandals involving Hillary such as Travelgate, Filegate, The Pardons, Whitewater, and the Commodities Trading, fair game for the 2008 election if Hillary pulls out the nomination? Even if it is fair, is it politically wise? Do you think it would hurt Hillary or have a boomerang effect that will hurt republicans?

I believe in keeping to policy.

16) Are the Clinton scandals specifically related only to Bill Clinton’s alleged sexual crimes fair game for the 2008 election? While Gennifer Flowers and Monica

Lewinsky involved consensual sex, should people be reminded that Kathleen Willey accused him of sexual assault and Juanita Broderick accused him of rape? Is this

a politically wise move, or do you think it would boomerang back and hurt republicans?

It would boomerang. And he isn’t running for office.

17) What do you think have been the most positive achievements of the Bush Presidency, and what has left you most disappointed? If you were writing the history book or the biography of the Bush Presidency, what would be its core theme?

He has enough critics without allies writing books in which disappointments are itemized. I wouldn’t think of it. The core theme of his Presidency is taking preemptive action and having the eventual goal of everyone in the world living in liberty. Not Bad.

18) You, Bruce Herschensohn, are President on January 20th, 2009. What are the first three things you do? What is your hundred day plan?

Win the war, no matter what it takes. (If the 111th Congress is like the 110th Congress, the president who takes over on January the 20th of 2009 might be impeached for winning it – but so be it.

19) What are the main positive and negative contributions to society that the blogosphere has brought us? What can be done, if anything, to as the song says, accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative?

I think it’s wonderful. It is the 21st Century version of the Town Hall. Only the readers can act to accentuate the positive. The real elimination of the negative will never occur.

20) What do you want people to know most about Bruce Herschensohn the person? What do you want most out of this world? What do you want people to remember about you

100 years from now?

I would be surprised if I’m remembered one year from now!

Mr. Herschensohn’s modesty notwithstanding, he will absolutely be remembered. He was very friendly, and he left a warm message on my cellphone thanking me for taking the time to contact him. As a Jewish republican and staunch supporter of the War on Islamofacist Terror, I am proud to have associated in any way with Bruce Herschensohn.

As I mentioned to him, politics is like sports. The fans often take losses harder than the players. America would have been blessed to have had him as a Senator, but between Bruce Herschensohn and Judge Kenneth Starr, Pepperdine is a beacon of intellectual light in what is often a darkened university system.

At the risk of ending the interview on a bittersweet note, an event took place the day after I interviewed him. It was a sad day for conservatives everywhere. At the age of 82, William F. Buckley left the world of man and Yale to join God. I asked Mr. Herschensohn to comment on Mr. Buckley’s death…and life.

"In answer to your question regarding William Buckley:  William Buckley was a
treasured friend who I always thought would live forever.  And he will.
Through his tremendous intellect, humor, and wisdom he changed this nation's
political thought for the better, not just for his own generation but for
all those yet unborn who will read and learn from his giant presence that
cannot be undone."

Mr. Buckley was not just conservative. He was classy, dignified, and friendly. He raised the level of discourse. He advanced his own convictions without denigrating others.

It is that principled conservativism that I embrace. It is that principled conservatism that Bruce Herschensohn stands for. It was a pleasure getting to know Bruce Herschensohn.

I wish Bruce Herschensohn the best of everything, always.

eric

Hillary Clinton, Meet Joey Tempest

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

I love Europe.

No, not the continent. That I could care less about. I am referring to the 1980s hard rock band led by Joey Tempest. Before getting to the democratic debate, I want to offer why Europe the band is relevant.

Sure, like most debates, they had songs that offered fluff, such as “Rock the night.”

“Rock now, rock the night…till early in the morning light.”

Europe, in an age that was often seen as more style than substance, offered both. The song “Cherokee” is meaningful.

“The white man’s creed…in search of gold…made the nation bleed…the promises were lies…Cherokee…marching on the trail of tears…Cherokee.”

Yet the song that will forever define Europe could very well be the swan song for Hillary Clinton. That song is “The Final Countdown.” The song is so intense is because it is about the possible very end of what is held dear.

Hillary Clinton badly and desperately wanted to be President. She may still be, but her dream is slipping away.

“Will things ever be the same again? It’s the final countdown!”

Hillary Clinton does not go down gracefully. Like a nuclear bomb destroying all of civilization, she is embarking on a scorched Earth strategy that could destroy everyone, including her. If she cannot have the job, nobody can.

Like aging rockers that have to be forced into retirement, living off their past, Hillary continued to talk about her 35 years of experience, basking in the glow of things she claims to have done when her husband held the job.

Perhaps she should take note that Europe did wane in popularity for awhile, but put out a final hit song that asks the question, “Will we survive? In the future to come?”

The future is what matters, not the past. We can romanticize deeds past and songs past, but we cannot rebuild the future exactly as the past was. We can wax nostalgic, but we all grow older, and doing so gracefully allows people to be remembered more favorably. Refusing to accept that time marches on often leads people to be crushed by the changes of life, which always come no matter how hard we try to stand in the way.

Texas may have been the Alamo, but the Cleveland, Ohio debate may have been Hillary’s last stand.

Europe’s hard rock love ballad “Carrie,” says it perfectly.

“Can’t you see it in my eyes…that this may be our last goodbye…oohhhhhh…Carrie…things they change my friend…ohhhh…Carrie…maybe we’ll meet again.”

It fades out with the words that began the song…”when lights go down.”

The lights have not been turned out, but the people are exiting Hillary’s stage, and she is screaming at them to stay, even when they are clearly stating that they want to go to the new rock concert across the street.

With that, below is the Ohio debate recap.

Much of the debate contained significant rehashing of the points covered in the Texas debate only several days earlier.

http://tygrrrrexpress.com/2008/02/texas-smackdown/

Hillary was asked about her warm fuzzy statements from the close of the last debate in contrast with her scorched Earth comments in days after the debate.

Hillary answered the inconsequential question with an inconsequential answer. She did so in a calm manner before meandering into health care. She said Obama’s information was false, misleading and inaccurate.

She was then asked about the photo showing Obama looking like a member of the Taliban.

She stated that it did not come from her campaign.

Obama stated that he took Clinton at her word. He stated that Hillary’s campaign has sent mailers smearing his plan in places from Iowa to Nevada, before reiterating the health care mandate issue. He stated that his campaign “does not whine about it.”

Hillary repeated her arguments from the Texas debate. She cited her experts, and Obama then cited his. He again proffered the same issue from Texas regarding how Hillary would enforce her mandate.

Every time moderators try to shift gears, Hillary interrupts them and insists on talking more by saying this issue is “too important.” She then repeats the same rehashed points from previous debates.

Obama claimed he “was being filibustered on this topic.”He again explained the difference between mandates on children and mandates on adults. Obama pointed out that Medicare Part B is voluntary, and not a mandate, and yet people still utilize it.

Hillary kept interjecting and rambling. Obama calmly reiterated his plan.

The debate finally shifted to NAFTA. The Houston Chronicle loves it, an Ohio Congressman detests it. Hillary was asked who was right.

Hillary then had a meltdown. She stated that it was curious that she always gets the first question on issues. She alluded to the Saturday Night Live skit making fun of the media’s love affair with Obama. She looked like a spoiled brat complaining.

She then straddled, saying that NAFTA did some good things, but had hurt others. We need to “fox” NAFTA, and have a “trade timeout.” She had cited that the Cleveland Plain Dealer criticized Obama’s “attacks on her.”

Obama pointed out that Hillary campaigned in 2000 for Senate supporting NAFTA, and that it is false for her to claim to always be against it. He was always against it. He stated that Hillary has “shifted positions.”

Tim Russert repeated Hillary’s many comments supporting NAFTA, and asked if she would invoke the 6 month opt out clause of NAFTA.

Hillary again straddled, saying that she would opt out “if NAFTA was not renegotiated.” When she tried to shift into an attack on Obama, Russert refused to let her do so. She grew flush with anger, and kept trying to have both sides of the issue.

When again pressed about opting out, she again stated that she was “confident it would be renegotiated.”

Obama wanted to avoid being a deer in the headlights like Hillary was, so he just stated that he “agreed with Hillary.” He filibustered and offered some class warfare, but nothing of substance.

Obama was asked if NAFTA was good for Ohio given that they are fourth in the nation in exports.

He replied that Russert’s question was a “valid point,” before blaming “the wealthy.” He then stole a line from Hillary about “green jobs.”

Hillary’s arms were folded and she looked angry.

Hillary was asked about her pledge for 5 million new jobs new jobs, when the same pledge made in 2000 for 250,000 new jobs for her Senate race fell flat into a jobs deficit. She was given the chance to revoke her pledge.

She instead blamed republicans, stating that her pledge was based on Al Gore being President. She then cited her husband’s job creation record.

Obama was asked about comments attacking his foreign policy experience. It was compared to President Bush.

Obama coolly got off a great line by stating that Hillary “equates experience with longevity in Washington.” He then reiterated their differences on Iraq, and again laid out his views on Pakistan.

Brian Williams pointed out that Hillary “took a pass” on answering the question in the last debate regarding Obama’s experience.

Hillary again passed, but took credit for things that had nothing to do with her. She claimed credit for peace in Northern Ireland, which was the work of former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell. She also cited standing up for women’s rights in Beijing. This is ironic because she criticizes Obama for being all talk and no action. Her words in China moved nobody.

She also stated it was unfair that he gets credit for claiming he took positions before he was in the Senate, and that once he got to the Senate they voted the same way. She then again unleashed her resume. She claims she would be much better equipped to take on John McCain.

Obama disputed Hillary’s antiwar claim, mentioning that he was in the middle of trying to get elected when he passionately came out against the war. He stated that those who voted for the war “drove the car into the ditch.”

As Obama stated that Hillary “enabled” George W. Bush, Hillary actually looked like she would explode in anger. His views are not based on a “speech.” They reflect his “judgment.” He stated that her position was the same as that of President Bush until she started running for President.

Before Hillary could reply, Russert shifted to the issue of troop withdrawal. He asked if the troops would be immediately withdrawn if the Iraqis wanted that.

Obama mentioned a “phased” withdrawal.

Hillary stated that there is “no military solution.” She would “absolutely” listen to the Iraqi government.

Russert asked a tough question. If things in Iraq went to hell after we left, would we reinvade?

Hillary argued it was hypothetical, Russert insisted it was a “real” scenario,” and Hillary argued with him. Hillary criticized President Bush and Obama, but would not answer the question about reentering Iraq. She mentioned that Obama has not held one hearing on Afghanistan or Pakistan.

Obama pointed out that he only became chairman of this particular committee since 2007. He ducked the question about reinvading. He then stated we should “always cooperate with our allies.” That reminded me of John Kerry’s 2004 “global test” remark in one debate that hurt him.

Hillary tried to respond, and Brian Williams needed to cut to commercial. She tried to cut him off, but the commercial break won out.

Obama was asked about Hillary’s sarcastic remarks towards him in speeches. Obama heard his own words and said, “sounds good,” to laughter. Hillary cackled. He stated that Hillary was amusing. He stated that he has a 20 year record, and that if Hillary thinks he is all talk, she should talk to the “veterans of Walter Reed.” This was in regards to a law he helped shepherd to help such veterans. He offered his rational for running, which was to help people.

Hillary stated that she was “just having a little fun,” with her jabs at Obama, before moving on to attacks against special interests, oil companies, and President Bush, none of whom had anything to do with the question. She then tried to mention every city in Ohio for the sake of mentioning them. She pointed out a couple differences on votes, such as Obama supporting Vice President Cheney’s energy bill that she voted against, in addition to a credit card bill they disagreed on.

In a hint of irony, she attacked those that would “never give up.” She said this as she flailed away, with the moderator again trying to get her to stop talking.

Obama was showed the video of him criticizing Hillary for using her First Lady experience when it suits her, while running away from that record when it does not suit her.

Obama reinforced his statements, using NAFTA as an example of her claiming she was behind the scenes disagreeing with it. Obama stated he voted against the credit card bill, and brought up the issue that Hillary in a previous debate said that she “voted for it but hoped it would not pass.” Obama, to laughter, pointed out that the way to keep bills from passing is to simply vote against them.

Obama then calmly offered a dagger. He pointed out that Hillary keeps claiming to be a fighter, which she herself again mentioned in her previous answer dealing with health care. The problem is she fights with everybody, and that her health care approach in 1993 excluded people like the late Senator Patrick Moynihan, and that in the end nothing got done. He can work with people. It was a cooly delivered but very persuasive argument. He also pointed out that there was nothing silly about inspiring people. He also mentioned Hillary taking millions of dollars from special interests.

Russert asked Obama about his pledge to opt by public financing, which he is now “waffling” on.

Obama stated that if he became the nominee, he would sit down with John McCain and try to work out a fair deal. He [pointed out that 90% of his donations were from smallinvestors, with the average donation being $109.

Russert persisted about opting out, and Obama reiterated his position. Russert then pointed out to Hillary that she she and her husband would not release their tax returns. Russert stated that Americans have a right to know who is bankrolling her campaign.

Hillary replied that “the American people who support me are bankrolling my campaign.” She stated that she “will release my tax returns, I have consistently said that.”

Russert asked, “Why not now?”

Hillary replied that normally campaigns do it when they become the nominee, or earlier, and that she “has been as open as I can be.” She said she “will get it together, but not right now, she is a little busy (with the campaign), hardly have time to sleep.” She will “work towards releasing” them.

She was also asked about her archives as First Lady be released. Hillary stated that she absolutely would, and blamed a slow process. She somehow blamed the Bush White House for slowing the process. I give her credit for officially being the most brazen human being in existence. She stated she will take care of this, “as soon as we can, she urged it to be taken care of.”

Russert asked Obama of his being endorsed by Louis Farrakhan.

Obama nailed it. He condemned Frrakhan’s antisemitic remarks, and stated that the endorsement was not solicited. Russert asked if the endorsement should be rejected. Obama stammered, but then stated that he will not object to somebody else “thinking I am a good guy.” There was mild laughter, and Obama again denounced Farrakhan’s antisemitism.

Russert asked about Obama’s Pastor Jeremiah Wright, who has supported Farrakhan. Specifically, Obama was asked about whether his Jewish support would dry up as this becomes more well known.

Obama stated that some of his strongest support is form the Jewish community, and that he is a staunch supporter of Israel. He would “not tolerate antisemitism in any form.” He also wants to “rebuild a historical relationship between the Jewish and African-American communities.” He took his remarks further by saying, “I would not be sitting here were it not for a whole host of Jewish Americans who supported the civil rights movement, and helped to ensure that justice was served in the South.” Obama pointed out that on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, he spoke out against antisemitism at a Baptist Church.

Every black American that harbors antisemitic attitudes should be forced to watch that clip of Obama. It was a spectacular…and true…answer.

Hillary took the opportunity to point out that in New York in 2000, the Independence Party was controlled by antisemites. She rejected their support and refused to be associated with them. She claimed it was a bold stand on principle, but the truth is the Independence Party at the time was a fringe element, and any sane person would reject them. It was the right thing to do, but not bold at all.

Hillary contrasted by saying she rejects the support while Obama merely denounces it. Obama laughed uncomfortably. Obama said he did not see the difference, but that if Hillary felt rejection was a stronger word than denunciation, he would “concede the point and reject and denounce.” Hillary said, “good, good,” as if she had won a significant argument. The crowd clapped for Obama. Brian Williams made light of the difference as well, allowing the semantics to segue to a commercial.

Williams then pointed out to Obama that his record was more liberal than Ted Kennedy according to the National Journal.

Obama responded that the National Criteria Journal had only two votes where he and Hillary differentiated. One was an arcane immigration point, in addition to a procedural aspect of an ethics bill. He successfully showed it to be inside baseball, and that the “categories don’t make sense.” Obama stated that “people don’t want to go back to old labels of liberal vs conservative. They want common sense.”

This was smooth, but another example of a liberal being too gutless to simply admit proudly that they are a liberal.

Russert then asked a very relevant question about the Russian election on March 2nd, and what they knew about the man that would be the successor to Vladimir Putin.

Hillary stated that the man is a “handpicked successor.” Hillary attacked the guy, but did not mention his name. Perhaps she did not know it. She did correctly point out that Putin is trying to hold on to power, and attacked President Bush’s Russia position. We need a “more realistic and effective strategy.” When asked if she knew his name, she stuttered. She then had trouble pronouncing it, and then after saying the name, added the word, “whatever.”

Yes, this is the lady that detests President Bush so much. Thank the heavens for You Tube for moments like this.

Obama said that Hillary spoke accurately about Putin. Obama then criticized Bush’s friendly relationship with Putin.

Russert showed why he is one of the best in the business. He is a bulldog. He asked Obama what he would do if the new Russian President Medvedev helped Serbia retake Kosovo.

Obama stated he would “work with the international community…state that this is unacceptable.” He mentioned NATO. He then praised the Clinton administration with regards to Kosovo.

What Obama did not mention was the willingness to use military action.

Russert then asked a question that has been asked before, but is still relevant. He wanted to know if either of them had a vote they would like to take back. Hillary is unable to ever admit she is wrong. Even on Iraq, she claims to have been duped by President Bush. This was another opportunity for her to admit she is not perfect.

Hillary again brought up her 2002 Iraq vote, and again blamed the President. Again, Hillary failed to ever admit that she herself was ever wrong about anything. It makes the charge of Obama’s stick, that she takes credit for the good, but never takes blame for the bad. She can’t do it. Humans make mistakes. It is what makes the human. This lack of ability to do this is what makes Hillary come across as an android.

She then shifted to pablum about the future. She mentioned the failure to end the genocide in Darfur. It was her husband that failed to end the genocide in Rwanda, yet she continued to say that “we could have an entire program on what we inherited from George W. Bush.”

Obama mentioned the Terry Schaivo situation. He mentioned that Congress intervened in the matter. Obama was against intervening, but he did not stand on the Senate floor and try and stop it. He stayed silent, and that was a mistake. He even added, “as a constitutional law professor, I knew better.” He also said that “inaction can be as costly as action.”

This is the difference between the two candidates on this issue. A sincere question was asked about what they did that was wrong. Obama answered it, and Hillary did not. It is another reason why he is likable and she is not.

Americans like those that take responsibility for their failures. JFK took the blame for the Bay of Pigs Fiasco. Harry Truman is famous for his sign that said, “the buck stops here.” With Hillary, the buck stops with every other human being who is not her.

Obama then praised Hillary, and stated that he was proud to be campaigning with her, echoing her comments about him from the previous debate. It was an attempt to end positively, but both candidates may or may not have been aware that one question remained.

The last question by Brian Williams was to both candidates. Each candidate was to state what the other candidate needs to still answer to be worthy of being the nominee.

Obama stated that Hillary would be worthy, but that he would be better. Otherwise he would not be running. He stated that Hillary is better than Senator John McCain, who is tied to President Bush. Obama stated that the reason he thinks he is better is that he “can bring people together in a unique way.” This will be necessary, and he has the track record to do it. He has a “unique bias in favor of opening up government.”

Hillary mentioned being the first woman President, and the audience clapped. Her issue was who can actually change the country. Shockingly enough, she mentioned her 35 years of experience. She then again spoke about health care.

Not a single question about the War on Terror was asked.

This was a reversal of Texas. Obama was cool, calm and collected. Hillary was angry, shrill, combative…she was basically herself at her worst. She blamed the moderators, Obama, President Bush, and everybody but the one person that is responsible for her failure to be more likable…herself.

Barack Obama won this debate by a landslide.

“Prisoners in Paradise…so far from Heaven’s door…we had it all, but still we wanted more…I asked myself, was it right or wrong, for me to turn away…we’re just children of tomorrow, hanging on to yesterday…I realize, that I can’t turn back…the future’s here to stay…we’re just children of tomorrow…hanging on to yesterday.”

This is not a Joey Tempest in a Teapot. It is about choosing the next leader of the free world. Europe left a legacy of beauty. Hillary will be remembered. The only question is if she wants to be remembered as somebody who truly tried to raise a village, or if she was more obsessed with burning the village for not making her the leader.

“I’m not superstitious…I have no doubt…that there’s a reason…that things turn out…I want you to know…you’re on my mind…every day…all of the time… So keep on walking that road, and I’ll follow…keep on calling my name, I’ll be there…if a mirror should break…it’s easy to take…deep down I know that you care…I’m not superstitious.”

Hillary is not yet history, but she is collapsing under her attempt to try and shape all of the near history herself. Existence is bigger than her, and she is crumbling under the weight of trying to accept that before she existed and long after she is gone, the world will do just fine.

It’s the Final Countdown.

eric

The ZOA and the Jerusalem Post

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

The last couple days have been very politically charged in real life. I met Karl Rove, which I will elaborate on later in the week. The day before that I had the pleasure of meeting Gil Hoffman, a political correspondent at the Jerusalem Post.

No, I was not in Israel. He was in Los Angeles. He was speaking on behalf of a pro-Israel group known as the Zionist Organization of America.

Zionism is the concept of moving to Israel, also known as making”Aliyah.” Aliyah is the pilgrimage.

Zionism is a very charged concept among Jews, and even more so among non-Jews. Zionists believe that all Jews should live in Jerusalem. Jews living anywhere else in the world are in exile, and therefore miserable.

While I respect Zionists, I am pretty happy living in a luxury condo in Los Angeles with all the trappings of power. My exile is pretty good.

In the 1970s, enemies of Israel, and Jews in general, helped pass a United Nations resolution equating Zionism with racism. It was a vicious antisemitic act led by a useless governing body that to this day only exists to detest the USA and Israel. The resolution was overturned by former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. Despite being a friend to Jews everywhere for this deed, John Bolton’s nomination was held up by liberal Jewish Senator Barbara Boxer.These struggles exists because among liberal Jews, liberalism trumps Judaism. They would tell you the two ideas are synonymous. This is why they see republican Jews as foreign creatures to be either misunderstood or derided.

Nevertheless, while the ZOA is officially non-partisan, they are not shy about working with both political parties. They were very pleased with President Bush, and feel comfortable with John McCain. His entire career has been as a staunch friend of Israel.

Mr. Hoffman did surprise the crowd by stating that the Jewish concerns in Israel about Barack Obama were not intense the way they were in America. Americans, mostly non-Jews, have pointed out that Obama’s middle name is Hussein, and that his father is Muslim. They also point out his pastor, who has ties to Farrakhan.

The Jerusalem Post is not worried about Obama on these issues. He states that he is Christian, and they accept his explanation that one can love people, including relatives, that have views that are offensive, without embracing those views. Obama’s Jewish outreach coordinator has warm ties to Israel.

My worries about Obama are not that high from a Jewish standpoint because I think that he is too inexperienced to do any harm. On many foreign policy issues, inexperience is a major negative. On this issue, he would fail to successfully have the votes to screw anything up. Stalemate is acceptable.

Hillary Clinton is forceful enough to be effective. Domestically I see her as too stubborn to get anything done, but foreign policy decisions require less consulting with Congress on many levels. Hillary could bully Israel into a bad deal. Her husband is beloved by American Jews, but Israelis were not happy with the Clinton-Barak-Arafat debacle. American Jews are suspicious of George W. Bush, but Israelis like him. Hillary Clinton kissed Suha Arafat, and that is not forgotten.

Yet Mr. Hoffman’s main point was that Israel will not rise or fall based on American leadership. Israeli leadership was key, and right now Israel is suffering under the incompetence of Ehud Ohlmert. The smart money is betting on Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu returning to power. He led Israel from 1996-1999, and his stint as Ariel Sharon’s Finance Minister was largely successful. He instituted reforms that has helped the Israeli economy rebound significantly in the last few years.

One of the poignant aspects of the evening were the bracelets they gave us to enter the lecture. The wristbands had the name of three kidnapped Israeli soldiers, which was the impetus for the 34 day Israeli war with Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006. Those three soldiers have still not been returned, although at least one of them is believed to be alive. This bracelet meant a lot to me because I wear a necklace with the dog tags of the three soldiers. I will wear it until they come home.

Yet while politics and war are a part of any Israeli discussion, the ZOA was not about conflict. It was about the beauty that is Israel.

I personally have never been, and will go in 2008 or 2009 at some point. The ZOA and the Jerusalem Post want the world to know that Israel is not the war zone it is made out to be. It had only one suicide bombing in 2007, resulting in 13 deaths. While anything more than zero is intolerable, it is less than the hundreds of deaths from multiple bombings only several years ago. It is also important to note that the lack of successful bombings is not due to Arabs becoming peaceful. The Israeli Defense Force is just better at foiling most of the plots. The IDF’s vigilance is the world’s gain from a tourism standpoint.

For more information, the ZOA website is www.zoa.org

The Jerusalem Post website is www.jpost.com

 

Also, while she is primarily known (to me anyway) as a gorgeous republican Jewish brunette, Spree at http://wwwwakeupamericans-spree.blogspot.com is an expert on Israel issues.

Also, for those who are either Jews, or supporters of the People of the Book, it was pointed out by Mr. Hoffman that the problem is not antisemites, but hypocritical ones. Therefore, people who hate Jews should no longer use cell phones, since most of those are made in the Israeli equivalent of Silicon Valley. They should also give up their pacemakers, and most other medical devices that allows them to prolong their lives.

As for me, I am a republican Jewish blogger. I often try to advance a republican point of view. Every once in awhile I need to contribute to the alleged Jewish conspiracy to take over the world by advancing that agenda as well.

I hope people enjoy the Jerusalem Post, and wish much success for the ZOA.

Most importantly, I hope and pray for Israel, and Jewish people everywhere.

Never again.

eric

 

 

Citizen Journalists–Thankfully here to stay

Monday, February 25th, 2008

Hollywood had some ceremony involving statuettes. Nobody of consequence cares. Now on to serious business. 

Several days ago, a blogger won a journalism award. The fellow is Joshua Micah Marshall, and his site is Talking Points Memo.

I want to make it clear that I had never heard of this fellow or his website, and I personally found the story that he won his award for to be a completely worthless non-story. Having said that, I am still pleased that he won an award, and am thrilled that the “mainstream media” is upset about this.

One hostile newswoman derided the entire blogosphere as “people sitting around in their pajamas, sipping coffee, and typing.” This “pajamas” slur has been around for several years. In fact, one particular website that does political news decided to call itself “Pajamas Media.” Make no mistake about it. It is a solid site. www.pajamasmedia.com

The bottom line is that liberal elitists will not acknowledge the dignity and relevance of ordinary people. They are classless, unrefined, untrained peasants, and bloggers are one step away from being homeless people. They are certainly not “real” journalists.

First of all, I want to make some disclosures. This already separates me from the mainstream media, which seems to often “forget” to disclose key facts.

I do not have a journalism degree. I have never gone to journalism school.

I have never claimed to be an ” investigative reporter” in the sense that I do not spend my time trying to break news stories. My column contains a heavy dose of opinion, and that opinion is biased. Human beings have biases, and unlike the mainstream media, I admit my bias upfront, loudly and proudly. I do not pretend to be neutral just because I have a name people have read before.

So how can I possibly analyze world events without a journalism degree? Simple. I have a brain. I am capable of logical reasoning. Most humans come equipped with this. It does not take an advanced degree from a top university, although I do possess one. Long before I graduated high school, my brain allowed me to filter quality intelligent thought from utter garbage. Most people have this ability.

My last disclosure is that I have never been in my pajamas when writing a column. I have a full time job. I am gainfully employed, a Vice President at a brokerage firm. I wear a suit and tie. Then after my paying job, I come home in the evening, and type my column. I then wait until the next day to publish my column, because facts can change overnight.

What I am saying, without any humility, is that my column is better than the Jayson Blair Times, formerly known as the New York Times.

The JBT has a larger readership, but it had a 100 year start on me. It has also gotten stories wrong much more than I have. When I am wrong, I am prepared to print a large retraction, not hide behind fine print on a back page.

I do research. I make sure that I can verify what I write. I make sure that my sources are credible. This is simple ethics. It should not require anything other than a moral conscience.

Being politically liberal does not automatically make the Jayson Blair Times a failure as a media entity. What makes it so awful is that it repeatedly gets stories wrong. It does so shamelessly. I would be embarrassed if my track record was that dreadful.

I also prefer quality topics. “Real” reporters this week will be focusing on Hollywood celebrities walking down a red carpet. Their clothing, who they are squiring, which drugs they are ingesting, and what they think about everything and anything, will be repeated ad nauseum. Now ordinary people understand that the least consequential people on Earth offering uninformed opinions on random topics is not actual news. It is certainly not “informative,” unless the goal is to prove that famous people can be as useless as the average person. Yet the people interviewing these parasites are considered “reporters,” covering “news.”

The blogosphere has allowed ordinary people to try and get information on world events that actually do matter. Yes, bloggers can be as narcissistic as any other group of people, but there are some high quality blogs out there that break real stories.

Matt Drudge broke the Monica Lewinsky story, showing that a President lied under oath, a violation of the Constitution. The mainstream media decided it was only about sex. Yet the mainstream media had no problem reporting sex “scandals” that were not scandals at all, which meant that the victims of the false charges were republicans.

My column has a purpose. It is to end ideological bigotry, and to advance a conservative republican agenda. Others disagree with my purpose, and they are given more freedom to express that dissent then any republican would have trying to convince a liberal mainstream media outlet to be fair and openminded.

The blogosphere has been successful because the mainstream media has repeatedly abused the public trust. Printing stories from tainted sources, using memos that were “fake but accurate,” and refusing to apologize or rectify mistakes in a timely and fair manner have buried these institutions under an avalanche of their own lying rot.

I became a blogger reluctantly. I am glad I did, and am proud of my work. I may never be as big as the Jayson Blair Times, but I pray I never become as disgusting.

I was on the radio for 15 years, including a respected radio station in Hollywood. Not one time did I compromise my integrity to try and get higher ratings. Quality always superseded sensationalism.

This is how my blog will avoid giving in to “Tabloid Journalism.” Then again, I have read the National Enquirer. It often gets stories before “mainstream” papers, and it is forced to issue fewer retractions. Tabloid is a relative term.

If the mainstream media did not destroy itself by becoming a bunch of colossal screwups, the blogosphere would not be where so many people go to get information.

So yes, even a liberal blogger writing a non-story winning a journalism award is a cause for celebration. Conservative bloggers should not expect to win anything. Liberals give each other awards, and I as a conservative know that awards are nothing but bragging rights. I won the 2007 Bloggers Choice Award for Most Passionate Fan Base. I am qualified to say that besides sitting above my tv, it has not given me a raise at work, improved the taste of food, or made one girl have a louder orgasm in my presence, be it real or fake. It feels good. That is nice. Yet it will not allow me to relax. There is plenty of work to do.

Make no mistake about it. Citizen Journalists are here to stay. We should all be thankful for this. More sources of information is not a threat to democracy. More sources of information is democracy.

eric

 

 

No More Twinkies!

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

I have stated on many occasions that my life is a traveling carnival of adventure. Sure there are the occasional mishaps, and I am still thankful to a member of the Glendale, Arizona Police Department for helping me not end up dead on the streets of Phoenix. Yet even that danger did not offset the real memory, that of witnessing one of the greatest Superbowls of all time. A half of a century from now, I will tell my future grandchildren, “I was there.” Heck, in 50 years I will probably tell people that I was on the field playing.

The Tygrrrr Express was relatively calm for the rest of February, but March and April are already shaping up to be ridiculous. I will be bouncing around America like a ping pong ball. As I say to people, “as the carnival travels.”

In March I have a political function in Las Vegas, where former Australian Prime Minister will be. I hope to meet him. After that I am off to Atlanta on a business trip, where I will then face a potentially life altering decision. I will either go to Miami and frolic during Spring Break, or go to Alabama. Either way, I come back to Los Angeles long enough to breathe, before attending a wedding in San Diego.

April will be just as insane. I have another political function, this time in San Francisco. Apparently Western Civilization is collapsing, because I will actually be one of the speakers. After that is a business trip to Chicago, followed by a New York business trip to Wall Street, which will allow me to see family, and attend the NFL Draft.

Yet even burning the candle at both ends will not wear me out if I manage to finally break away from what really distracts me from personal growth…twinkies.

I must give up twinkies. I do not care how hot they are. If a woman is too young for me, I will ignore every wriggle, wiggle, bounce and jiggle. It is time to get serious. No more twinkies.

At age 24, I was lusting after a 19 year old brunette. I realized that I liked 19 year old brunettes, and continued to date them as I turned 25 and 26. They were never 18 or 20, just 19. At age 27, I was still dating 19 year old brunettes. I was partying like it was 1999, although that could have been because it actually was 1999.

I made a decision that I could not live like this forever. The Millennium was approaching, and I would turn 28 only 8 days later. I developed a plan called “Maturity 2000.” I would stop dating twinkies. No more 19 year old brunettes. I would now date 20 year old brunettes. Baby steps away from babies. At age 29 I was dating a 23 year old. This was progress. True, her best assets were above her waist, but I always rationalized that any woman with a hot body had to be intelligent. I was a smart guy of substance, so I would not be so shallow as to romance somebody just because they had yummy bouncies.

Yet when the guys would discuss Middle Eastern politics, she would want to talk about Britney Spears’s Pepsi commercial. The handwriting was on the wall. I was dating a woman I could not have intelligent conversations with solely because she bounced and jiggled.

I broke off the relationship, turned 30, and met a nice girl at a party for graduate students. I was a grad student, and I figured her to be 24 or 26. I cannot explain why I did not think she was 25. One day she confessed to me that my assumptions about her age were off base. Even though she was intelligent, she was…magic number…19. Breaking it off on the spot would have been cruel, and I did like her company. In fact, I think she did my homework once.

It was a computer project, and I am technologically incompetent. The project was incomplete when I went to bed, and when I woke up I saw a message from the professor thanking me for emailing him the completed assignment, which was perfect. She insisted that she did not do it, and my roommate, also a computer expert, insisted he did not do it either. I could have walked in my sleep and done it, but to this day I have no idea how the project got done.

Nevertheless, we broke up at some point on very friendly terms. A 30 year old man should not be dating a 19 year old. My next girlfriend was more in my age range. She was 20, and she had yummy bouncies as well. The fact that we had nothing in common forced me to again evaluate my life. Maturity 2000 did not get implemented, but I had turned 30 myself. Round numbers for some reason inspire people to arbitrarily do things. I then unveiled my upgraded model of life, known as “Maturity 2002.”

Implementation proved rocky, but I thought I had finally reached adulthood when in 2005 I was dating an older woman. She was 9 years my senior. I thought my family would be thrilled. Instead, my dad referred to her as Mary Kay Latorneau.

I made a decision that I needed to stick within my age range. I also decided that 10 years my junior would be an absolute cutoff The numbers could be 11 apart if it was less than 10 1/2 total. 2008 was the year I was officially over 35. I was much closer to 40 than 30. I began dating a smart woman looking to become a criminal prosecutor. She was intelligent, sweet, beautiful…and 22.

14 years. I was truly on the verge of becoming a letch. I did not want to be one of those 50 year old guys dating women half my age, driving an expensive car to overcompensate, one of those guys with no hair on top and a pony tail, and a pretentious fake British accent to round out the stereotype.

Things hit home when we went to a party. At 2am I was tired. I wanted to go home. She would have partied all night. I need a nap during the day to be able to effectively celebrate the “other 9 to 5.” I think after that night she saw me as a senior citizen. We broke up. It may not have been the age difference, but that did not help.

I am single as of a few days ago, and while I did not officially launch “Maturity 2008,” I hope that version does not have bugs in the software.

A big test for me will be my trip to Hotlanta. I am one of those guys that gets totally dopey around Scarlett Ohara type Southern Belles, especially the brunettes. After Atlanta, the key decision of Alabama versus Florida will set in. The fate of my maturation may hang in the balance.

South Florida allows me to visit my parents, and after they go to sleep, hang out in South Beach. In Miami the clubs are open until 5am. It is 75 degrees at midnight, and the clubs are on the beach. I do love hanging from the balcony of a couple of the clubs surveying the scene. “The Clevelander” is a bar surrounding a swimming pool. Hot Miami nights appeal to me. Spring Break is approaching, and I am still barely young enough to date grad students.

http://tygrrrrexpress.com/2007/03/miami-will-smith-is-100-right/

Yet there is more to life than twinkies. I would like to become a husband and father, and some of the loveliest yummy bouncies have not led to anything of substance.

I vow to avoid playing bedroom volleyball with any young coed from now on, no matter how spectacular their God given gifts are. I will ignore them from front to back.

Perhaps to avoid Temptation Island Miami altogether would be wise. My friend in Alabama lives on the Auburn campus. Auburn fans are the Tigers. It is a sign. I have been to Princeton, New Jersey, and Clemson, South Carolina. I do like meeting my fellow Tigers.

It is a sign. Miami is crack. I should go Westbound and Down, and take the Tygrrrr Express to Alabama instead.

Besides, Auburn is a college campus with grad students. There is no way I could get into trouble there.

Or maybe there is.

eric

Foreign Policy Matters More

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

One of the reasons it is difficult for some to cover the relevant moments in democratic debates is because those moments are so few and far and inbetween.

In a world with serious issues, some at the crisis stage, the left in this country, from the media to the politicians, are preoccupied with nonsense.

Several stories were covered in depth in the last few days. Several serious situations developed during that time. These two aspects of life appear to be mutually exclusive. The overlap between what is discussed and what matters is virtually zero percent.

The main story seems to be that John McCain was accused by the Jayson Blair Times of engaging in adultery and malfeasance with a lobbyist. Yes, I could spend an entire column verbally bashing the skull of Arthur Sulzberger Jr., but others have taken care of that. Besides, at some point referring to an idiot savant as a retard becomes tiresome.

I personally held off on discussing that story because I wanted to wait for the truth to come out, which is what separates me form the Jayson Blair Times to begin with. It could have been a serious story if true, but it wasn’t, so it wasn’t.

Continuing the subject of toxic liberals, Hillary Clinton is still running for President. Will she and Barack Obama spend their next debate arguing about health care the whole night? Of course. Will they discuss Al Queda? Of course not.

While I would prefer the democrats not win the White House, I can take comfort knowing that they cannot govern. Here are some facts.

The troops are not coming home soon. In fact, the democrats winning the White House increases the chances of escalation. Conservatives are trusted to make peace. Liberals have more latitude to wage war. Most wars have been led by democrats, because they could. Their let flank fell into line, and the conservatives certainly would not stand in the way. When liberals make peace, it is seen as surrender.

This is true worldwide. It is why Richard Nixon can go to China, Ariel Sharon can negotiate the West Bank, and Ronald Reagan can shake hands with Mikhail Gorbachev. On the flip side, it is why Tony Blair can emphatically support a war, LBJ can escalate Vietnam, and Ehud Ohlmert can order 34 straight days of bombings on Arab enemies. Ultimate success or failure is less relevant than perceptions. Conservatives have to show their heart. Liberals have to show their steel.

In addition to continuing the war, free trade is here to stay. Democrats can get away with lowering taxes, while republicans that want to destroy themselves in the long run have an easier time raising taxes in the short run.

Yet what eventually shapes the world are world events, and that transcends any one leader in the short run. Serious events occurred recently, and those issues are being lost among the tabloids such as the JBT.

First of all, Fidel Castro resigned. In the short run, nothing has changed. Raoul Castro is no better. Yet there is a chance for improvement. Cuba could turn into Mexico. Mexico still has a long way to go, but they are much better than 20 years ago. After Luis Donaldo Colosio was murdered in 1994, Ernesto Zedillo led political reforms. Vicente Fox is far from perfect, but he did represent a breakthrough from the past. Cuba has a chance to follow the same path.

This should be a major issue in the Presidential election. The solution is free trade. Democrats want protectionism and isolationism. They want to slow down free trade, and in some cases reverse it altogether. This is not fluff. This is a serious policy issue. A republican President could open up Cuba, and a free trade deal with Cuba would be a boon to the world. Bill Clinton could not have normalized relations with Vietnam without John McCain. Clinton did not have the moral authority as a draft dodger. He knew this. When the announcement came, Clinton made sure John McCain was in every single picture. John McCain normalized relations with Vietnam. He can be trusted to do so with Cuba.

The other critical situation involved the bombing of the U.S. Embassy at Serbia. This is not an inconvenience. This is an act of war. Nobody died, but the bombers did not know that. Some Americans are war weary. Unfortunately, the enemy is not war weary. The genie cannot be put back in the bottle. We cannot go back to the sleepy pre-9/11 world.

What did Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have to say about this? It was not even mentioned in the debate. Hillary mentioned the word “Serbia,” but offered nothing else. This was the area of the world where World War I began. Trouble in that region should be on page one of every newspaper.

John McCain can be trusted to deal with these serious issues. He is an adult.

As for his liberal opponents, can they at least talk about it? Can the liberal media at least mention it? Are idiotic non-stories that important? Are we truly unwilling to avoid becoming a nation of imbeciles?

Cuba is relevant. Serbia is relevant. The Jayson Blair Times is irrelevant. I guess I do not have time to worry about their p*ss yellow journalism because there are life and death matters at stake. As I have said before, the War on Terror cannot be won until we are fully engaged. We must first win the war against nonsense.

Hard news is out there. Adult issues require adult conversations. If liberals want to reverse their quarter of a century slide into irrelevance, they might want to start dealing with these matters. It requires making hard choices. It requires being responsible.

Domestic policy and tabloid gossip matters to those that remain employed by it. Foreign policy determines if civilization survives. Foreign policy matters more. So let’s either force the left to start discussing it, or send the children to bed so the adults can begin the serious process of analyzing the trouble spots that can either benefit or cripple our nation, depending on how they are handled.

eric

Texas Smackdown

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

There was a Texas Smackdown between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Liberal helpings of style and gravy were served, with little substantive beef required.

Actually, there were discussions of how the issues should be discussed if they were to actually be discussed.

I initially thought the debate was on the Playboy Channel instead of CNN, only because if ever there was an anchor that should be modeling lingerie, it is Campbell Brown. Fine, I am a sexist because I have the nerve to find a gorgeous woman gorgeous. Only Lisa Guerrero as a moderator would have been an improvement over Captivating Campbell.

Less captivating was Jorge Ramos of Univision. Can we go through one democratic debate without kowtowing to every politically correct minority on Earth? I have worked with Turks, Persians and Armenians over the course of my lifetime. They all kept their cultural heritage while speaking perfect English. Asking questions in English and Spanish was a perfect way to kiss minority rumpus. Enough already. If people cannot read a ballot in English, they should not be allowed to vote.

Since both of the candidates are Senators, the debate format adhered to Senate traditions by beginning with filibusters, or as they are known in debates, opening statements.

In their opening statements, the candidates came across as rock stars that shout out the name of the City or somebody in the city so that the crowd would go crazy just hearing where they live. Many candidates do this, but it is still tiresome.

Hillary sucked up the crowd by mentioning the late former Governor Ann Richards, and the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. She then mouthed stuff that somebody, somewhere, found consequential.

Obama started out by lying, insisting that he and Hillary were friends who would remain that way after the campaign. Then he morphed into John Edwards, lamenting over random human sob stories. He then stated that there is not a lack of good ideas, but that “Washington is where good ideas go to die.” He then also quoted Barbara Jordan, who once said that “America is only as good as its promise.”

The first question, asked in English and Spanish, was an intelligent question. The candidates were asked if they would be willing to unconditionally meet as President with new Cuban President and Murderous Thug Dictator for Life Raoul Castro, the brother of the ex-President, Murderous Thug Dictator For Life Fidel Castro. This question allowed for a clear contrast.

Hillary at first ducked the question, mainly because she is Hillary. She announced that she wanted to see political prisoners in Cuba released, followed by an opening up of the Cuban economy. She wants to bring the region together, and work with our European Allies. SHe wanted to see evidence of real change in Cuba first. When pressed further, she stated that she would not meet with Raoul Castro until she saw real change first.

Obama may be completely wrong on issues, but at least he is unequivocally wrong. To his credit, he answered “Yes.” He stated that the starting point was the liberty of the Cuban people. He would meet Raoul Castro without preconditions, but human rights must be on the agenda for any meeting. He stated that we must talk to our enemies. America should currently loosen the rules regarding remittances and travel restrictions. There should be progress in Cuba before normalization of relations is achieved, but that the goal has to be normalization. He then quoted JFK because democrats worship him.

Hillary stated that she wanted democracy with all, including Iran, but that they differ on a Presidential meeting. She then quoted JFK as well before bashing President Bush, because democrats do that when they are out of ideas. After castigating the President, she stated that she wants a “very vigorous and bipartisan diplomacy.” There should be no more “unilateral arrogance” of the Bush Administration.

So to sum up, Bush is terrible, let’s be bipartisan, and Bush is terrible. Yes, this woman really believes in reaching out. She just does it swinging a baseball bat at those she despises, which is confined emrely to those who disagree with her, or agree with her but stand in her way.

Obama then meekly offered a “me too” anti-Bush sop to the crowd, but his heart did not seem in it. He disagrees with the President, but cannot bring himself to hate the guy. He also stated that what would really be arrogant would be to withhold a Presidential meeting.

The candidates were then asked about how they differ on the economy. They both gave their plans on how they would destroy the economy, although they used different words.

Obama stated that the economy has been bad for four years, and for some it has been bad for decades. Despite the fact that most people that have taken Economics 101 in college would disagree, they are all wrong. Obama said so, so it must be so. He then offered his plan to wreck the economy, which consisted of repealing the Bush tax cuts, most likely because Bush passed them. He would also offer strong labor, environmental and safety standards. He would create a “green economy.” Apparently he believes that trees are more important than money, because to me a green economy means promoting financial wealth.

He did make a good point that while democrats agree the issue was how to get it done. A working majority was needed, which was a thinly veiled swipe at Hillary.

Hillary’s plan to ruin the USA came in the form of obliterating the sanity in the tax code, which she referred to as altering. The wealthy had a President for 7 years, and she would change that. There would be a “trade timeout,” which apparently means that nations would be forced to sit in the corner until she was ready to have them speak. She would have a “trade prosecutor” to enforce trade deals. I am sure this will be as effective as other “Czars” that are given fancy titles to spectacularly fail at things.

She then spoke about a “foreclosure crisis,” stating that we need a “moratorium on foreclosures.” In the true spirit of the Age of Aquarius, she was true to her spirit in abandoning personal responsibility. She then offered sob stories about poor innocent victims and greedy lenders. She forgot to mention that she and her husband were predatory lenders during the Whitewater episode. She spoke of people who got hoodwinked, although she did not mention the people who suffered because of her. She wants to freeze interest rates for 5 years, which is because she is smarter than the free markets.

Her three part plan to save America from good government consisted of spending 5 billion dollars on clean, green jobs, rebuilding our infrastructure, and end President Bush’s “War on Science.” The crowd clapped, proving that setting pictures of President Bush on Fire matter more than intelligent analysis to these liberal sheep. The sheep also like meaningless slogans, which is why they appreciated Hillary desiring America to become “Innovation Nation.”

The next question dealt with “undocumented workers, or as those who respect the rule of law call them, “criminal illegal aliens.” Those who argue that we should not stigmatize them should criticize them for violating the law to begin with. Yet despite the obvious slant from Univision, the specific question asked whether raids should ended.

Hillary was a complete pretzel on this issue. She would “consider” ending the raids, except in “egregious circumstances.” She also wants illegal immigrants to have a “path to legalization.”

Obama talked about how he helped get a bill out of the Senate, although it died in the House. This is an example of what he considers accomplishing something, because he did successfully shepherd a bill through one chamber, completing 33% of the process. Most people consider 33% a failing grade. It was not his fault the bill failed, but nevertheless, nothing was accomplished.

He then stated that we all need to “tone down the rhetoric.” There should be “no discrimination against those with Spanish surnames.” He wants to fix the legal immigration system, end the backlog, lower the fees and legal expenses associated with immigrating, have better relations with Mexico, and something about President Bush being bad on the issue. No, he did not actually answer the question about raids, but I am tired of people calling him an empty suit. He looks nice in it. Substance is overrated.

Also, rumor has it that Michelle Malkin had to be taken to the hospital when her head (and the heads of many sane people) exploded due to the many inane questions asked in Spanish and English. Luckily, fluff is now bilingual. She is allegedly resting comfortably, and is being given an IV drip of common sense to eliminate the toxins that may have killed her brain power. Idiotic debates are toxic, and I wish her and others who injured themselves from lockjaw or falling out of their chairs and breaking arms and legs a speedy recovery.

http://michellemalkin.com/2008/02/21/the-swan-song-of-hillary-rodham-clinton/#comments

The next immigration question to be left unanswered in a gutless manner dealt with whether or not the border fence should be finished, or discontinued altogether. This required a one word answer, but substanceless Senators like to expand, offering everything but actual answers to what is asked.

Hillary blamed President Bush. She then showed the class and grace that makes her the sweet bundle of viciousness that she is. She said there was a “smart way and a dumb way” to do things. Yes, the people in the audience loved it. Hillary then stated that she was fighting with President Bush about Canada, because he is too strict on the northern border. She announced that President Bush has “gone off the deep end.”

Yes, this woman is truly ready to lead all Americans, if by all Americans she means hateful people that offer nothing positive. She then said we should listen to people living on the border. She finally almost answered the original question by stating that technology and “smart fencing” were preferable to a physical barrier. She then blamed President Bush for eminent domain actions, even though it was liberal Supreme Court Justices that created that entire mess. The conservatives despised the eminent domain ruling.

Obama also stated that President Bush is “not good at listening.” Fencing in “some areas may make sense.” Even by Obama standards this answer was gibberish. He then said America should “provide opportunities for 12 million undocumented aliens.” He implied that republicans want to round up all 12 million and deport them, which is a lie. He wants to pass the “Dream Act,” which allows kids raised in America to get access to higher education.

In continuing with fair questions that would remain unanswered without objection, the candidates were then asked if there was a downside to a bilingual education.

Hillary stated that it is important for all of us to learn a second language, although she never did. Yes, she is a hypocrite. “English unifies us.” However, she also said that, “English should not be the official language.” That discriminates.

Obama also stated that English binds us, and that every student should learn another language. He then attacked the “No Child Left Behind” law, and condemned the focus on standardized tests. This is because as a liberal, he jumps when the teachers unions tell him to do so. Additionally, liberals hate standards in general, unless those standards lower the quality of life in the United States. No Child Left Behind neglects foreign languages. Perhaps this is because the law focuses on reading and math, but facts are irrelevant.

The next issue dealt with Obama being an empty suit. He is. Hillary has said he is. Yet given a chance to answer whether Obama was “all hat and no cattle,” Hillary turned gutless.

She stated that “President Bush is.” As for Obama, she and her are “just different.” She has solutions, working to make a difference. She stated that she has a record of accomplishments, and snidely mentioned an Obama supporter that got caught on television being unable to name a single accomplishment that he had.

This is what separates Hillary from Obama. She tried to be nice, but she can only do so for so long. Yet getting into the gutter is a winner for her. If Obama refuses to answer it, the charge sticks. If he fights back, and they are both in the gutter, she wins. He has nowhere to go but down. Scorched Earth benefits her, especially because it is her expertise.

Obama then briefly turned into Obambi. He simply would not hit back. He meekly stated that he has a 20 year record of action. He stated that the soldiers at Walter Reed like his actions.

He then temporarily toughened up, explaining that Hillary’s battle cry of “let’s get real,” implied that all his supporters were delusional. He mentioned that he had the endorsement of all the major Texas newspapers.The reality is clear. We must “bring people together, and stop the bickering.” This is not “just about policy positions. We must inspire people or face gridlock.” The crowd roared in approval, and the standing ovation showed that charges must be answered.

Yet the next question dealt with Obama being guilty of plagiarism. First of all, he was. So what? Hillary plagiarizes his speeches. She is a poll driven, focus group tested robot. Also, Obama did point out that he used the lines of Deval Patrick, who is one of his National Cochairs. They share views, and talk of plagiarism is “silly.” He again mentioned Barbara Jordan. We should focus on “issues, not silliness.” He is proud that some of his speeches are “pretty good.” He stated that college tuition credits of $4000 and ending the Iraq War are concrete policy proposals. He then looked at Hillary and stated that we should “not tear each other down, we should lift the country up.”

Hillary then drove in the dagger. “If a candidacy is about words, and speeches are plagiarized, then this is not ‘change we can believe in.’ It is change we can Xerox.” The crowd mildly booed, but she continued, going after Obama due to differences on health care and a moratorium on foreclosures. She then stated that “the world will breathe a sigh of relief when President Bush is gone.” While I am sure she meant gone from office, and not dead (her supporters get less charity on this issue), Al Queda wants him gone in every sense of the word. She then announced that she is “tired of companies deciding who will live and who will die.” Al Queda is nothing. We need to get those big bad companies that provide American jobs.

Obama did briefly fight back, announcing that his health care plan was fine when he was down by 20 points in the polls, but all of a sudden it is not fine because he is ahead. He acknowledged that their plans were 95% similar. Hillary wants to force people to buy health care, while he wants to lower costs. He points out that former Labor Secretary Robert Reich agrees with him. The argument of 15 million uninsured under his plan is not true. He pointed out that in 1993, Hillary went behind closed doors for her health care plan. He will be more open. Politics must change, or plans mean nothing. Again, he implicitly hints at what he needs to explicitly state, that Hillary is too polarizing to get anything done. She has ideas, but not likability.

The next question asked Hillary whether she thought Obama was unqualified. Given that her entire campaign is based on her being ready to lead from Day 1, her refusal to answer showed her for what she is, which is not worth describing.

She stated that the issue was “up to the voters.” She then immediately shifted the debate back to health care. It had nothing to do with the question, but it was a brilliant maneuver. She supports mandates. She praised John Edwards and the late Texas President LBJ, stating that Social Security and Medicare were mandates, not voluntary.

Obama, after briefly mentioning that he would not be running if he thought he was unqualified, took the bait and stayed on health care. He stated that mandates should be on government, not on people in the form of paying fines. Forcing people to buy health care requires stiff penalties for those who don’t, including wage garnishments.

Obama is right on the issue, but it plays to where Hillary is strongest, that being arcane policy details.

Hillary then explained that this issue was personal for her, which is her way of saying she is right and nobody else has moral authority to discuss the issue. She pointed out that Obama has mandates on parents to provide care for their children. In her view, the “social compact requires that all pay.”

Obama could have pointed out that people did not want Hillary’s social compact. He did point out that children have no choices, but that adults do. Hillary sighed in the same manner that got Al Gore into trouble in his debates.

Again the moderators tried to bring the issue back to whether Hillary thinks Obama is qualified. She continued to talk about health care.

She stated that she has represented our country for 15 years, and that she has represented 80 countries. So this means she did run the country from 1993-2001, making her ineligible to run again, and further reducing her husband to his proper irrelevance. As for the 80 countries, she did mention in a speech, but not at this debate, that she stood up to the Chinese and lectured them about human rights. Obama could have brought up that she did not actually change any policies, and that her words fell on deaf ears. She was on the Armed Services Committee, but not for 15 years. She mentioned nations such as Pakistan, Cuba, Kosovo, and Serbia, which only means that she reads newspapers. She has nothing to do with any of these recent world events. She properly pointed out that they are serious issues. She then implied that she is ready. Yet she would not explicitly state that Obama was less ready than her.
Obama pointed out that “Job # 1 is keeping people safe.” He wants us to have the strongest military and proper roations, which President Bush messed up. He showed judgment on Iraq from the beginning, and Hillary did not.”He also stated that Al Queda is stronger than any time since 2001. I believe he got this from himself. He stated that it is easier for the military to get Taliban weapons than getting our own government to properly equip our soldiers. He then again claimed that he had good judgment, which apparently does not come from talking to military generals. He conclude dby stating that it was wrong for us to put all our eggs in one basket in the form of Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan, and that he has been proven right. Again, his focus group on this issue is him, and maybe his wife.

Hillary was then called out by the moderator for her attack on General David Petraeus. It was explained to her that not only did the surge work militarily, but even Iraqi political progress is occurring. The candidates were asked how they could compete against Senator John McCain, a war hero who was right about the surge. When liberal networks are right about something, then the entire civilized world has grasped the idea first. Now the candidates on the left needed to do another contortionist imitation.

Hillary stated that the purpose of the surge has “not been fulfilled.” The Iraqi government has been slow. After all, America from 1776 to 1789 was all hearts and flowers. She would then begin withdrawing troops within 60 days, which would pressure the Iraqis to act. Actualy, it would result in mass murders of inocent civilians, as happened in Southeast Asia, but again, facts are irrelevant.

Obama stated that it was “indisputable that there has been a decrease in violence.” Yet he still had the audacity of…well, just plain audacity…to then state that he was right for opposing the war from the beginning, and therefore the best person to take on John McCain. Because of Iraq, we are ignoring Latin America, and Iran benefited from the Iraq War. The Iraq War also drains us from spending at home. On this point I agree with Obama, but am happy about this. I would rather money be spent that is not a waste, than brought back here and wasted. Obama also got a laugh by stating that “McCain endorsing President Bush’s policies proves he does not understand the economy.” I can only wait to hear McCain explain life to Obama.

The next topic was earmarks, with Obama being asked about his 91 million in undisclosed earmarks.

Obama replied that this was not true, and that he declared everything. He mentioned a website called “Google for Government,” with Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. He referred to Senator Coburn as a “common sense fiscal conservative.” He then threw in the obligatory joke about “No bid Halliburton contracts.” I wonder how the candidates would stammer and stumble if forced to answer a question about what Halliburton actually does. “Something with big oil” is not an answer.

Hillary was then asked about her 342 milion on earmarks. She was not asked why this was all President Bush’s fault, but she was asked if McCain was better than her on this issue. Given that it is his signature issue, she could not simply concede that he was much better.

Instead, she blamed his support of tax cuts and the Iraq War. First of all, those are not earmarks, and second of all, McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts, although he now wants to make them permanent. He has supported tax cuts in general, so maybe Hillary is opposed to tax cuts in general. She blamed President Bush for turning surpluses into deficits, although 9/11 and the War on Terror caused most of that. She made a remark about how we “borrow money from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis.” It is a great line, but meaningless since she has proposed nothing in terms of altering that strategy. She also stated that President Bush “outsourced the government.” Yes, this woman needs a muzzle. No, I am not stating all women need muzzles. Hillary does.

The candidates were then asked about Nany Pelosi’s remarks that the Superdelegates, also known as “democratic party fatcats” or “grand poobahs,” would not alter the will of the people. This was in response to allegations that Hillary is trying to steal the nominations by any means necessary, which she is. Michigan and Florida broke the rules, they were punished, and Hillary wants to reward them anyway solely because she finished ahead in those states, mainly by reneging on promises the candidates made to not compete there.

Hillary did not have the guts to say what she has been doing. She blathered that the “process will support itself out.” She then actually shut up.

Obama stated that “primaries and caucuses must matter.” He again quoted Barbara Jordan by stating that the “democratic party at its best can summon a higher purpose.”

The candidates then were asked about the toughest test they ever faced. This question was designed to see what qualified them to be President.

Obama spoke of his dad leaving when he was 2 years old, his being raised by his grandparents, his rocky youth, and the struggle to learn to take responsibility for his own actions. He then offered class warfare about how he became a civil rights lawyer rather than somebody who went to Wall Street. He is “worthy of the decency and generosity of the people.”

Somebody ought to tell every liberal that there is nothing noble about being poor, and that being rich does not mean ill gotten gain. Tyhen again, they have not grasped this for two centuries, so starting now would be pointless.

In essence, Obama is qualified because he had a rough life, and appreciates the good poor people over the bad rich, or as they should be called, productive, people.

Hillary stated that she “lived through crises and challenging moments,” and the audience began clapping wildly. Yes, she reminded people of her struggle against the evil republicans, refusing to acknowledge that this cuts to the heart of the argument of why she should never be President. All she does is fight with people, and she blames others for her own failures. She continued.

“How does she do it? How do others do it?” Yes, she was comparing her soap opera drivel with real struggles of everyday Americans, commenting that her struggles paled by comparison. If she believed this, she would not have even offered the comparison. She stated that she and McCain spoke at the Brooke Medical Center. She offered more sob stories. She then stated how “honored she was to be on stage with Barack Obama.” This allowed her to get a wild standing ovation to end the debate.

Analyzing winners of debates is not based on personal feelings. Hillary is a bad person. There is no way around it. She will say, do, and lie about anything. The ends justify the means. Obama is a better person. This is irrelevant.

Analyzing winners of debates is also not about issues and substance. These candidates are liberal, meaning they are wrong on virtually everything.

George W. Bush is a much better human being than John Kerry. He is also right on the issues. Yet Kerry won the debates. This did not lead to an electoral triumph because Kerry was seen as better with words. President Bush was and is more likable.

Analyzing winners of debates is about points in debates, and nothing more.

Hillary Clinton cleaned Barack Obama’s clock. She attacked, and he did not hit back hard enough and often enough. Obama needs to “grow a pair.”

Maybe Obama is right, that he can smile and pleasantly wave his way to a win. Yet nice guys usually do finish last, and Hillary is as mean as they come. She decked him, and stuck knives in him, and he tried to remain cool and calm and above the fray.

She wants more debates because she is good in debates. The fact that she is awful on so many levels does not matter. She will not give up. She would destroy the party before surrendering.

She is prepared for scorched Earth. I wonder if he is prepared. After all, he will never be ready to fight terrorist rogues if he cannot even stand up to Hillary.

He wants to lift people up. She wants to tear people down.

She is too polarizing to govern, but she only needs 50.1% of the vote in several large Electoral College states, despite her wanting to abolish the Electoral College a few years back when it seemed to be less useful to her ambitions.

Hillary Clinton won the Texas Smackdown.

Good luck Mr. Obama. You will need it. Lady Macbeth is just getting started.

eric

My Interview With Dr. Walter Williams

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

I had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing Professor Walter E. Williams.

 

Dr. Williams has served as an economics professor at George Mason University for over a quarter of a century. His syndicated column can be read in 140 newspapers and locations as diverse as Townhall to Jewish World Review. He is often asked to testify before Congress on economic issues due to his expertise on such matters. He is also an occasional guest host for Rush Limbaugh, blending lighthearted humor with a serious and principled conservatism. He announces to his audience that he is “Black, by popular demand,” which fits in perfectly with Limbaugh’s over the top humor.

 

I interviewed Dr. Williams by telephone on Presidents Day, and the conversation lasted for about 25 minutes. I shared with Dr. Williams that in the early 1990s, Rush Limbaugh was looking for a potential guest host. One of Rush’s stagehands suggested a brilliant conservative thinker, but got the name wrong. The stagehand mentioned “Juan Williams,” a liberal radio host on National Public Radio. This led to a comedy bit where Rush roasted his stagehand for committing an act of heresy by confusing liberal Juan Williams with conservative Walter Williams. That mistake led me to research Walter Williams. I recommend that any person desiring a brilliant analysis of economic and political issues spend a significant amount of time on his site.

 

http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/wew/articles.html

  

With that, it is with great pleasure that I bring you the words and wisdom of Dr. Walter Williams.

 

 

1) Does government do anything right? What should government do?

 

The Federal Government should be bound by the U.S. Constitution. Article I, Section VIII of the Constitution lists about 21 things that the Federal Government is authorized to do. Today, 2/3 of our spending is unauthorized, whether it be justified by misuse of the Commerce Clause or the General Welfare Clause.

 

In 1794, James Madison was against spending $15,000 to help French refugees. Madison stated, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” Today the Federal Government spends on benevolence from everything from crop subsidies to prescription drug benefits. It should spend money specifically on what the Constitution authorizes it to spend, such as providing a National Defense, and providing Post Offices.  

 

http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/wew/articles/02/generation.html

 

      2) With regards to the stimulus package…you have come out against it, decrying it as economically insignificant. Yet what about psychologically? Does that matter, and should it? Can bad policy be good policy by merely being seen as good policy?

 

There is no evidence that such stimulus packages work. In terms of actual dollars the stimulus package is a drop in the bucket. With most stimulus packages, studies show that 2/3 of the money given out is either saved or used to pay bills. What would be far more helpful would be to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.

 

http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/wew/articles/08/stimuluspackagenonsense.htm

 

      3) What part of the conservative message should appeal to black America, and so far why is the republican message not being received by 90% of black voters?

 

This has always perplexed me, since blacks have suffered the most from the failures of government. The government failed to end slavery in a timely manner. The government is responsible for the rotten state of public education today. The government has failed to protect people in their neighborhoods. The democratic party propaganda has been believed, yet the democratic party has been in power where blacks have suffered the most whether it’s the Jim Crow of the past or the major cities of today. Part of the problem with the republican party is that the republican party is not for limited government either. However, it was republicans that ended slavery. The democrats would not have passed civil rights legislation without the massive support of republicans. Black Americans, like all Americans, would benefit from less government intrusion.    

 

      4) Poison Ivy League Universities recently did their version of Tea with Mussolini, in this case Columbian Coffee with Armageddonijad. Should sanctions be levied against universities that invite terrorist enemies to speak on their campuses?

 

It might be debatable if President Ahmadinejad is a terrorist. Iran is a terrorist nation. It is not worth the argument. If anything, the visit showed what leftist universities really are. It exposed them. After his visit, Columbia University professors trekked to Iran to personally apologize to President Ahmadinejad for the rough treatment he received on campus.

 

      5) The Jayson Blair Times has been accused of giving away troop movements. Does freedom of speech allow for this? If not, should media outlets that engage in such behavior face criminal sanctions?

 

Absolutely. I’m 71 years old. In World War II, people who gave away secrets were tried for treason. Treason is not treated seriously anymore. In earlier days people were shot for treason. People accused of treason should be given a fair trial and a good defense, but if they are found guilty, they should be punished. 

 

      6) Chris Rock says the same things in his comedy routines that Bill Cosby and Juan Williams express regarding concerns facing black America. Yet Chris Rock gets a pass because it is comedy. Do you believe that most black Americans truly disagree with the issues being discussed, or are they just keeping silent due to fear of repercussions?

 

People who the media focus on disagree with the average black person. Black Americans living in bad neighborhoods are worried about being mugged, the sounds of gunshots, and having their property destroyed.   Polls show that a slight majority of blacks are in favor of the death penalty, against abortion, and in favor of prayer in schools. The black so-called leadership express other values.

 

Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have more in common with white hippies than with the average black person. Black people, according to survey polls, actually have more in common with Jerry Falwell. Most black voters are supporting Barack Obama, while the Congressional Black Caucus is supporting Hillary Clinton. This is another example of black leaders not reflecting black people. Also, the term “black leaders” is a strange term. Go to any other culture and ask who their leaders are and you will get strange looks. Who are the Irish leaders? The Italian leaders? The Jewish leaders? The Chinese leaders? Why do we alone as blacks need leaders? Are we too dumb to think for ourselves that we need leaders? Again, black leaders appeal to white hippies, but most black Americans are closer in thinking to Jerry Falwell.  

 

      7) Who are your 3 favorite USA political heroes, and your 3 favorite non-USA political heroes?

 

My favorite American political hero is President Grover Cleveland. He was known as the “Veto King.” His total number of vetoes exceeded the total number of vetoes of his predecessors combined. He understood that charity is not part of the U.S. Constitution. In vetoing a charity bill, he stated, “I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit.”

 

http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/wew/quotes/govt.html

 

I also admire former Presidents James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. As for world leaders, obviously there is Margaret Thatcher. In addition, I admire Golda Meir and Winston Churchill.     

 

      8.) Outside of Milton Friedman and Dr. Thomas Sowell, not many economists are achieving legendary status today. Has the age of the “superhero uber-economist” passed? If not, who are the rising economists we should all know and admire?

 

(When Dr. Williams expressed that he was not sure he would call either Milton Friedman or Dr. Thomas Sowell “legends,” even though he had befriended both of them, I stated to him that I was arbitrarily bestowing that title on them. He laughed.)

 

Milton Friedman was a good friend of mine. Thomas Sowell is a good friend of mine. The problem with economists is that we haven’t made the tools and thinking of our profession accessible to the ordinary person. There is too much jargon and technicality. Also, economists tend to be the skunk at the picnic. When politicians are talking about free this or free that, economist point out that nothing is free and in order for government to give to one person it must take from another. People don’t like to hear that. This prevents economists from being seen as rock stars. The average person does not relate to such a dose of reality.

 

      9) Mutual Fund Manager Bill Fleckenstein uses a slogan “Often wrong, but never in doubt.” With that in mind, do you have any predictions for the democratic primaries, and the General Election? Do you have any personal preferences?

 

Also, as a follow up question, G. Gordon Liddy has referred to Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and other harsh critics of Senator John McCain as “Suicide Bomber Republicans.” Should we fall in line behind Senator McCain, or is it reasonable to just stay home, or even vote for Hillary to teach republicans a lesson?

 

I have no predictions, and I condemn all of the remaining candidates on domestic policy. John McCain is the best among them on foreign policy.

 

As for teaching republicans a lesson, that would not be smart, to stay home. It is alright to criticize Senator McCain. To take it a step further, it is also perfectly alright for Republicans to criticize President Bush when he is wrong, such as with the prescription drug benefit and “No Child Left Behind.” If Al Gore had been President and done half of what President Bush did, conservatives would have been all over him. We can hold Senator McCain’s feet to the fire, and still vote for him. Domestically, he is the lesser of three evils.

 

      10) How would you like to be remembered? 100 years from now what would you want people to think about Dr. Walter Williams the person?

 

While my primary job is teaching economics, my goal is to sell Americans on the moral superiority of personal liberty, whose main ingredient is limited government. If liberty dies in America, it is dead in all places for all times. I would hope people would remember that I tried to teach people about the importance of liberty.

 

 

 

I would like to thank Dr. Williams for his generosity with regards to his time. He mentioned to me that he does not take days off, and that he works seven days a week. He has the energy of a man half his age, but the brilliance obtained with the wisdom that age delivers. His intelligence is beyond dispute, but his humility was refreshing. He clearly understands that great concepts are meaningless unless they can be communicated effectively to the average person. He is not afraid to take on the flaws in his own profession, and he puts principles above sacred cows.

 

If Rush Limbaugh needs to take more time off, his show will not miss a beat as long as Dr. Williams is filling in. The only people who would suffer for this would be liberals having their arguments dispelled, and students at George Mason University, who would miss out on top notch economics lectures on those days.

 

I wish Dr. Williams the best of everything, and look forward to reading his next column.   

 

After all, as he reminds us, he is black, by popular demand.

 

eric

Copacabana–From Hawaii to Havana

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

With apologies to Barry Manilow, who should himself apologize for so many reasons, I bring you the 2008 political version of the Copacabana, from Hawaii to Wisconsin to Havana.

Supporters of Hillary…

They yelled “You go, girl!”

Oh she of ever changing hair,

and not an ounce of flair…

She would meander…

and cackle “ha-ha!”

and while she tried to be a star

Obama came in from afar

He commanded a crowded floor

And Oprah added more

They were young, hip, and attractive

Who could ask for more?

It was pure Oprah…

and Obamamania…

From Hawaii to Wisconsin to Havana…

Obama reached out…

Hill hates republicans…

Barack inspired passion,

Hill was out of fashion…

Obamamania…

Hill lost the love…

His name was Fidel…

He ruled an Island…

Decrepit in his chair

He saw Hillary standing there

When she finished…

He called her over…

2 socialists in love…

Until hubby Bill took off the gloves…

And then the punches flew…

Chairs were smashed in two…

One man collapsed from boredom upon the floor…

But who bored who?

Not Oprah…

Or Obama…

They were hot from Honolulu to Havana…

Obamamania…

had swept Wisconsin

Barack brought more passion

Hill fell further out of fashion

Obamamania…

She lost more love

Her name was Hillary…

They once screamed “You go, girl!”

But that was many years ago

When she and Bill ran the show

There is still dancing…

but not for Hillary

Fading like Fidel…

Her dreams have gone to hell…

She’s now even more unkind

She beats Bill till he’s blind

She lost her youth,

She lost the election,

Now she’s lost her mind

Because Oprah…

and Obama…

Are off to Texas and Ohio with momentum

They worry about John McCain…

and the General Election Campaign…

Heroism vs passion…

Both gave Hill a smashing…

Yet she learned nothing…

2012 with love…

Ok folks, I admit it. I have some serious screws loose.

I guess I am just giddy. First the New England Patriots lose.

Then Fidel Castro leaves not with a bang, but with a whimper, in the form of a note, most likely one spelled badly.

Anything truly is possible. I truly still believe Hillary will somehow find a way at the 11th hour to steal…

You know what? Never mind. I will declare today an optimism only zone.

Thank you Hawaii, Wisconsin and Havana. The world is three small steps closer to being a better place today than it was yesterday.

Despots do not go gently into that good night. They hang on by their fingernails, dragged from the world stage kicking and screaming.

Yet lord willing, get dragged away they will. Fidel Castro and Hillary Clinton are not gone.

Yet slowly, ever so slowly, they might just might be on the verge of leaving.

Hillary is right that Obama is an empty suit, but it is a likable suit that looks nice. Unfortunately for her, she is an empty suit that is unlikable. She will hopefully soon be confined to wherever people keep leisure suits. Perhaps she can wear one while playing shuffleboard at some political retirement home, far away from Washington, DC.

The 2008 race for the democratic nomination and the right to get trounced by republican John McCain continues. He is one tough hombre. It would be fitting if the old war hero outlasts the Cuban cancer that bedeviled 10 previous U.S. Presidents.

(quick election update…with 8% in Hawaii, Obama led 77 to 23%. More importantly, Hillary had exactly 666 votes. I could not make that up if I tried)

The old warhorse will prosper, while Fidel Castro and Hillary Clinton will get lost once and for all.

At the risk of plagiarizing Barack Obama, or perhaps Deval Patrick, on this issue…

I have hope.

eric