Archive for August, 2008

Conservatives and caring

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

The Chicago Cannonball and I were discussing politics the other night. To be more specific, she asked me a question, and I bored her to tears. Since it was over the phone, she could not throw objects at me. She is a good woman, and at the end of the day, if a man has a warm bed, warm meal, cold beverage, and love of a good woman, he is a wealthy man. Throw in a big screen tv and an Oakland Raiders team worth watching on it, and billionaire would be the right term.

The reason we get along is because we do not have litmus tests. We respect each other’s beliefs.

Yet the other night she explained her beliefs in a way that I found necessary to address. I absolutely respect her point of view, but I did disagree. Below are her comments.

“I think the major difference between us is that I believe people need to be stood up for, and that takes precedence over economics. I do not hear anything in your 4 items that protects the people I love proactively. Well, besides their being blown up.”

She is an exceptionally bright woman, but her comments get to the heart of my beliefs as a conservative. Although he is one of the most unfairly maligned politicians in history, former Vice President Dan Quayle was brilliant when he pointed out that his campaign would never use the words ‘compassionate conservative,’ because ‘conservatism is compassion.’

More importantly, I believe with every fiber of my being that liberalism is poison. It takes people and destroys them. It rips their insides out. Below is my response to the Chicago Cannonball.

"The last me, their right not to be blown up is a pretty big deal.

However, as for protecting the people you things are:

1) Lower taxes
2) kill terrorists
3) less regulation
4) more freedom and liberty

So how does that connect to the down trodden, the tired, the poor, etc...

The left believes that government handouts are compassion. The left (which I do
not include you in, you are center-left) has absolutely destroyed the very people
they claim to care about.

Welfare destroys poor people, especially black people. It traps them in a never ending
cycle of dependency. Conservatives wanted to reform welfare to give these people
dignity. We were castigated for it, but the 1995 welfare reform law worked. 

In 1965, the late democratic senator Pat Moynihan decried the black illegitimacy
rate. He said it would destroy their communities. He and others were deemed racists.
He and they were right. 70% of black children are born out of wedlock, and these
kids have a much lesser chance of escaping the hellish cycle of illegitimacy combined
with welfare.

The left will not allow the teaching of abstinence in schools. That is deemed
religious. Abstinence is the only guaranteed way to avoid pregnancy and diseases. 

I see the goal of the left as to get as many people as possible dependent on
government. That way these people will have to vote for the left. Once 51% of
voters need government to survive, democrats will win every election. The left
does not care about these people. They use them to maintain power.

When poor people are able to become self sufficient, this threatens the left. When
black people become conservative, they are called 'Uncle Toms.' 

So how do we help the poor and the downtrodden?

We let those that do it best do it, and ask those that make things worse get out
of the way.

Businesses and faith based institutions get things done because they have to.
Governments don't because they can't.

If a business loses money, shareholders get angry, CEOs get fired.
Governments just create more money for themselves.
Faith based institutions are not religious zealots. They are people who believe
God commands them to help the downtrodden. The left is hostile towards these people
simply because they happen to be religious.

The answer is mass privatization. The government should protect the country (military)
and little else. I would privatize the post office, and virtually everything else.

The left is about intentions. The right cares about results. We may come across
as mean or uncaring, but we are not into useless symbolic displays of affection
that make matters worse.

4 decades have passed since the Great Society, and their vision didn't work.
Conservatism is not warm and fuzzy, nor is it perfect...but it actually works.

Black home ownership has never been Americans have never had such
political power...Stem cell research is now legal...gays have never had as much
freedom...this all happened under President Bush (who even back in college absolutely
refused to gay bash when goaded by his other frat friends).

Also, women's rights have never been higher. Yes, the Dub is pro-life, but he
also b*tchslapped the Taliban and Saddam, allowing women in Afghanistan and Iraq
to have the right to walk in the street without being beaten. Women worldwide have
freedom because of his commitment to ending tyranny.

People don't know this because the Dub doesn't go around taking victory
laps bragging about his accomplishments. He quietly goes about his business.

This is why people like me shout from the rooftops, because he won't do it.
We wish he would so we would not have to. He won't. The fact is that he absolutely
does care about the least among us, because his faith demands that he does, and
he is committed to his faith. His policies reflect that, they are just never talked

Conservatives simply let the results speak for themselves. We don't like bragging.
We make the mistake of thinking that we don't need P.R. So we stop marketing
ourselves, and find out that we do need P.R. Many on the left have great P.R., but
nothing underneath to back it up.

People may never know the heroism of John McCain. They know he is a hero, but they
do not know the depths of it. If they did, he may win 90% of the vote. He doesn't
talk about it, because true heroes don't talk about it. 

(In contrast, I chest thump after scoring in kickball)

People who support Obama believe he will do great things, and he may very well,
but with McCain we can like him not for what he will do, but for what he has already

Conservatives absolutely care about the people you care about it. We just do more and
say less (present company exempted). The left has better words, but the actions don't
back them up.

Ok, I am have given you enough politics to last a lifetime, but this is near and
dear to my heart. I am very sensitive to the charge of not caring. It's just

Not one word I said will affect her vote in 2008, nor should it. I love her just the way she is. I just want to show her and others that it is easy to label an entire ideology as cold, uncaring and unfeeling. We don’t like being told that we cannot have candy all the time, and that we have to go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Tough love does work, and the conservative ideology, while in serious need of better public relations, has the heart, soul, and mind of a caring. Conservatism works, and spreading it is spreading kindness and love.

Regardless of who wins the election, a liberal dose of love from a kind woman is good for the soul. I am blessed.


Often Wrong, Never in Doubt

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

The Veepstakes are in high gear. Before offering final prediction, I went back 6 months.

Call it crow. Call it humble pie. Call it being as far off the mark as a drunken archer on acid. What liberals are to accuracy in issues, I am to accuracy in predictions.

Yes, that safe, boring election between Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani is right on track. I did say that McCain could take the republican nomination, but as for the democrats, I was almost as big a nitwit as they were.

Before offering my final VP predictions, below were the guesses I submitted to Michelle Malkin 6 months ago.

"Ms. Malkin,

A slogan I stole from a guy named Bill Fleckenstein is "Often wrong, but never
in doubt."

Here are my VP Predictions:

McCain will pick Giuliani. Yes the conservatives will go nuts, but Giuliani would
make an amazing attack dog, slashing Hillary while letting McCain be above the fray.
This puts states in play, helps with the Jewish vote in key states, and makes Giuliani
next in line in the hierarchy that is the republican party.

Hillary will pick Max Cleland. He has the credentials of Wesley Clark, but his being
disabled will appeal to another special interest group. He is almost impossible
to attack...a woman and a disabled person.

Romney and Obama are done. Hillary will find a way to destroy Obama at the last
second, and Romney cannot get past the hierarchical structure of the republican
party. yet, since this is hypothetical...

Romney would pick Haley Barbour to balance the ticket.

Obama would pick Bob Kerrey (despite Kerrey's earlier comments about him), or
again, Max Cleland.

Mike Huckabee and John Edwards have no shot. Thompson wants it handed to him but
does not like campaigning.

Often wrong, but never in doubt.


eric aka the Tygrrrr Express  2/1/8"

Ahem…cough cough…well now…

Now, I offer what I really meant.

With the democrats, it will be Delaware Senator Joe Biden.

I have said that the democrats are a bunch of children. Joe Biden is an adult. Yes, an Obama-Biden ticket would be the “All Gasbag” ticket. They are both pompous and insufferable.

Nevertheless, Biden has foreign policy experience. While I found his Iraq partition plan to be hopelessly wrong, at least he had one. Plus, Colonel David Hunt has praised him, and that is high praise from a respected military source.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is also an adult with a strong resume, but he is a horrible campaigner. Plus, he has “bimbo problems.” Obama does not want to be near any Bill Clinton or John Edwards type scandals.

Indiana Senator Evan Bayh might be one of the most overrated politicians in America. He is colossally boring. Every four years his name gets floated, and I cannot figure out why. His 1996 keynote speech was beyond dull. Also, he is pro-life.

It will be Biden.

For the Republicans, I am still praying that John McCain decides to shock everybody and pick Rudy Giuliani. Given that I have accepted that this will not happen, I still cannot understand why Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle was never suggested. If Sarah Palin of Alaska merited consideration, then Linda Lingle should have as well. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota never received consideration, probably because she only joined Congress in 2006. Look for her in the future.

Therefore, there is only one logical choice for the republicans.

The nominee will be Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

I have said it before and I will say it again. He is tall, he has good hair, and he is inoffensive. He is safe enough not to make waves, but not so boring like Evan Bayh that he will put people to sleep.

McCain likes him. Everybody likes him. He shined during the Minnesota bridge crisis. Most importantly, he is the only one that will not lead to an open revolt.

The social conservatives will not accept a pro-choice running mate, or one that became pro-life in an election year. The Wall Street Journal Conservatives will not allow a tax raiser. Coalitions are about compromise, and Pawlenty is the consensus compromise candidate.

Obama and Biden will take on McCain and Pawlenty.

Now to go back and scrub my predictions of 6 months ago so nobody sees them.

Then I need to leave a note by the fridge to delete this column and all evidence of it next month.

Often wrong, but never in doubt.


A Great Jewish Debate About 2008

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Another Jewish debate about the 2008 Presidential election took place at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.

These debates have taken place at various Synagogues around the country, but this one was probably one of the better ones. It was the way debates are supposed to be. It was civilized, polite, and informative. When people talk about “The Great Debate,” they refer to either Lincoln versus Douglas or Kennedy versus Nixon. Substance mattered. In today’s world of style, sound bites, and gotcha moments, adult debates are rare. One phenomenal debate was the Vice Presidential debate in 2000 between Joe Lieberman and Dick Cheney. The two calm and understated men sat inches from each other at a table, with the moderator barely noticeable. It was two men having a chat about issues, free of nonsense.

The debate at Sinai Temple had sharp disagreements, but the tone was very gentlemanly. It truly was a great debate.

The moderator for the debate was Brad Greenberg of the Jewish Journal. While the Jewish Journal does skew to the left, Mr. Greenberg made sure that the debaters, and not he, was the focal point.

Speaking for Barack Obama was California Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff. One of his claims to fame is that every April he pushes an Armenian Genocide resolution. He is married to a woman named Eve, which he gets kidded about.

Speaking for John McCain was Larry Greenfield, the California Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

(For the sake of full disclosure, I am a member of the RJC Leadership, and Larry is a friend of mine.)

Larry remarked that he had his own ribbing at Sinai Temple. Once a month, Craig Taubman and his band play music at the synagogue. Craig kicked Larry out of their first band together because Larry was a lousy piano player.

Larry and Adam have a deep respect for each other, and he debate was a quality one. With that is the debate between RJC Director Larry Greenfield and Congressman Adam Schiff.

LG: “It is good to be here with Adam Schiff. He is not a partisan hack. He is a dedicated legislator. I have worked with him on anti-gang activity and on anti-nuclear proliferation issues.”

“With regards to debating, I prefer more light than heat.”

“The rise of Jewish republicanism is real, and it is frustrating to Jewish democrats.”

“Concerns with Obama run deep with regards to foreign policy, Israel, and combatting Islamofacism.”

“Islamofacism has been around for 1400 years. Jews were Dhimmis under Islamofacism during the Middle Ages, and women were and still are being mistreated. After 1400 years of Islam, Jews and women are still not equal. Sharia Law Finance studies are now taking place. We need to track the flow of sovereign wealth and other funds from nations. Islamofacists are using religious and cultural institutions to spread money to finance terror.”

“There are two main distinctions between the parties. The first distinction is that it is the republican party that is pushing to get us off of foreign oil. We can drill where it is safe, where tourists will not be affected. Congress is off right now, and they should be in Washington.”

“The second distinction is with economics. Some of my best relatives are still democrats. Yet entitlement reform is vital. 15.3 cents of every dollar is stolen out of your paycheck. The government does a lousy job with your money. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid make up 60% of the Federal budget. These costs have to be reined in. The democrats smeared such reforms as investing in Enron. We need Personal Savings Accounts.”

“The GOP agenda is a liberty agenda. We are not the party of taxes or the nanny state in Sacramento. The American dream and the dream of protecting our security interests is still alive in the GOP.”

AS: “Things will not get nasty tonight, although the crowd needs to know that Larry went to Cal and I went to Stanford.”

“I am Adam, I am married to Eve, but my children are not Cain and Abel. We were going to name one of them Noah, but thought that that might be too much.”

“I am not the Adam Schiff from the television show ‘Law and Order.'”

“Get involved in whatever campaign you choose. While I hope you will support Obama, get involved regardless of which candidate you support.”

“I am from Boston, and I grew up believing in the Kennedy era tradition that public service is a noble calling. My wife and I took our children and walked South Carolina precincts for Obama. Young people are seen as apathetic, but not this time.”

“The political climate is bitterly poisoned and partisan.”

“The public is weary after eight years of President Bush. In other nations, running against the United Staes is a good campaign strategy.”

“Electing Obama would be a catalytic event. Only a nation like America can do this.”

“We need help from other nations. It is tough to get helped when the USA is so disliked.”

“Obama’s election would have an effect on how we view ourselves.”

“Look for the candidate who can unite us. Today’s problems are not worse than World War II or the Cold War, but we are less united.”

“There are two very good people running for President. They are men of integrity with compelling personal stories. Primaries are said to often winnow out the best candidates. In this case the primaries winnowed in the two best people.”

“McCain is an honest man, but he is no longer a maverick. He has adopted the positions of the republicans and President Bush. He will keep to the pledges he is making now.”

“The issue of energy crosses all lines. It is a security issue, a foreign policy issue, an economic issue, and an agricultural issue. Obama is not tied to the oil crowd.”

LG: “McCain is a unifier. He has reached across the aisle. He fights earmarks. Obama secured an earmark for his wife’s company. Obama is not a candidate of hope or change. He is not a unifier or problem solver.”

“Democrats are making our allies nervous. On trade, they talk about repealing NAFTA. They are upsetting Columbia. Their protectionism talk is worrying the world.”

“Right now our relations with Japan, India and South Korea are high. Germany, France, Italy, Mexico and Canada all have center-right governments that are pro-American. In London, Red Ken Livingstone has been kicked out of office. In Australia, there was a pro-American government for a long time. Even when that government changed, the new government is equally pro-American.”

“The world does not hate us. The world’s left hates us.”

“The world likes Obama’s evenhanded neutral approach towards Israel. European leftists, the BBC, and intellectuals want Israel thrown overboard. President Bush won’t do this.”

“This is not your father’s democratic party of FDR, JFK, and Scoop Jackson. Joseph Lieberman was kicked out of the party. The takeover of the democratic party worries many Jewish democrats. We would go far to the left on foreign policy.”

AS: “We produce 3% of the world’s oil. We make up 25% of world demand. No amount of drilling could change this. The oil companies already have 68 million leased acres. They should drill there instead of asking for new leases. The oil from ANWR would supplu us for about 6 months.”

“On Israel, Obama has an A+ record with AIPAC. He worked on divestment from Iran.”

“We need to take the profits out of the petro industry so that we ar enot sending money to nations such as Russia and Venezuela.”

“The House has passed an energy bill.”

“Under this administration, we have built up deficits. We have cut taxes, but not spending. We should give tax credits to wind and solar companies instead of oil companies. They have the largest profits of any industry. McCain wants to continue giving tax cuts to the wealthy.”

LG: “Demagoguery regarding ANWR is completely wrong. ANWR is frozen tundra, not the setting described in a Hallmark card. One mile from here, we are drilling by Beverly Hills High School. It provides one million barrels of oil per year. The Arab Middle East is still only producing 30 million barrels a day, the same as 35 years ago. There is a deliberate supply restriction.”

AS: “The lethargy of the auto industry has come at a terrible price. We’ve lost jobs, while there are waiting lists for Priuses. The automakers went kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. The GOP’s primary focus is on drilling. What’s good for big business is good for America.”

“I am from the Tom Friedman school when he says that this is insane policy.”

“Obama worked with the GOP to pass ethics reform. He supports campaign finance reform. He worked with Dick Lugar  on anti-nuclear proliferation. He wants to stop the spread of loose nukes in Russia.”

“Obama is trying to run a positive and bipartisan campaign.”

Moderator: “In 1956 Dwight Eisenhower won 40% of the Jewish vote, with Ronald Reagan picking up a third of that vote in 1984. Given that those numbers are lower today, how can Jews be for the GOP?”

LG: “When asked if they support a close relationship between the USA and Israel, 90% of republican say yes. Only 50% of democrats say yes. Jews fit well within the party of Lincoln.”

“Some Jews think they ar evoting for FDR’s 20th consecutive term. The myths of FDR cn be disspelled another night. He turned back the Jews. Carter called Khomeini a prince.”

Moderator: “How does Obama address his Jewish problem?”   

AS: “Jewish GOP support has gone from 24% in 2004 to 28% today, a 4% increase within the margin of error. There have been scurrilous rumors about Obama. My dad is part of the Boca Raton Jewish Mafia. He hears them.”

“Obama has said that Jerusalem should be undivided. Obama is attacked by his associations. Jimmy Carter has nothing to do with this.”

“The Democratic Party does not feel entitled. We hav ethe spirit of Tikkun Olam, not the GOP. We must give back. This is not about ourselves.”

LG: “The facts have been well researched. This is about policy and ideology. Obama was mentored by Rasheed Khalidi and Edward Said. He gave money to the Arab organization that referred to Israel on its 60th anniversary as a ‘Nachbah (disaster).'”

“He is against the securtiy fence. He talks of no walls between peoples. In the real world, not the John Lennon world with no religions or walls, we need security.”

“He cites JFK’s meeting with Kruschev, which was a disaster. He cites Reagan meeting with Gorbachev, which came only after Reagan called them an ‘Evil Empire’ and had missiles pointed at them.”

“Obama’s advisers were against the September 6th, 2007, Israeli strike against Syria. Among Obama’s anti-Israel advisers are David Bonior and Chuck Hagel.”

“I was at the AIPAC conference. With an undivided Jerusalem, Obama backtracked the next day.”

“Does Obama hate Jews? No. Does he play political games? Yes. AIPAC gives everyone a good rating.”

AS: “McCain would be disappointed in the attacks and smears against Obama. Much of what Larry said has already been debunked. Bonior’s connection to the campaign was fighting for the Michigan delegation for Obama over Hillary.”

“Obama’s vote against Kyl-Lieberman was due to a provision regarding troop levels in Iraq.”

“Obama favors the same level of diplomatic engagement wih Iran, not McCain.”

“President Bush’s actions have not been helpful for Israel. They were helpful for Iran. His actions allowed North Korea to get bombs, and strengthened Hamas. McCain is the same as President Bush on Iran. Iran will develop the bomb if we don’t change our strategy. Iran cannot get the bomb.”

Moderator: “Why should I trust Obama on Israel?”

LG: “The question is what are the real term implications? It was President Bush that said no to dealing with Yassir Arafat.’

“Obama surrounds himself with people like Robert Malley and Samantha Power. Obama has said that Iran is not as serious as Nazism or communism.”

“We tried diplomacy with Iran. Russia and China blocked sanctions. Iran is a regime of terror. Negotiation gives them time to develop weapons.”

“The situation with Russia and Georgia is another problem. Obama does not carry a big stick. Yet people can calm down. McCain has 30 years of experience.”

AS: “Malley as an adviser has been debunked as a means of guilt by association.”

“This falsification is disturbing. Obama never said that Iran was no big deal. He favors muscular diplomacy. There is promise in Iran among the young people who like us, nd not the regime. This is the reverse of Saudi Arabia, where the regime likes us but the people don’t.”

“President Bush said that he looked into the soul of Vladiir Putin and saw great things. The President was impotent on Georgia. The President’s reaction had no effect on Russia. He had to go Albania to find a place where he was popular.”

LG: “Today we wrapped up a diplomatic success in Poland. We placed missile interceptors there. Poland and Libya have been diplomatic successes.”

Moderator: “What will make the next administration more effective than the last 8 years?”

AS: “Look at the primary turnout. Young peope are actually turning out. The President promised to be a uniter, and change the tone. The tone today is worse. Obama has the potential to bring the country together.”

“A McCain administration would be an intra-McCain battle for the soul of the McCain Presidency. If he announced he is only serving one term, then he is a lame duck after two years. There will be warfare within the GOP.”

LG: “We must be talking about different parties, if not different planets. The democrats are still warring, and might be at their convention.”

“We were unified after 9/11. Democrats decided to try and destroy President Bush when the going got tough.”

“Kerry, Reid, Murtha, and Durbin smeared our troops. The New York Times blew up our covert surveillance. The Moveon left as well as the Daily Kos have been Bush bashing for 7 years, in addition to their antisemitism. The left has destroyed civilized debate. They keep trying to silence conservatives through the fairness doctrine and union tactics. Obama is a partisan hack. McCain builds bridges.”

AS “Conservative talk radio is bad for the discourse in the United States.”

Moderator: “Where do the candidates stand on gun control?”

LG: “If Jews had guns during the Holocaust, there would have been a lot more dead Nazis. McCain is pro Second Amendment.”

AS: “Obama backs moderate Second Amendment support. He supported the FISA bill.”

Moderator: “Why should pro-choicers support McCain?”

LG: “McCain supported Breyer and Ginsburg. Obama was not highly generous regarding dignified people such as Roberts, Alito, and Bolton, who is a hero to Jewish people.”

AS: “Bolton is irrelevant with regards to abortion. Obama supports choice. McCain has been consistently anti-choice.”

LG: “I am aware that Bolton is not invovled with abortion. I was using him as an example to show that even somebody who is a hero to Jewish people will not get a fair shake from Obama. Bolton fought to overturn the ‘Zionism is racism,’ U.N. resolution, and that is not good enough for Obama.”

Moderator: “What are the most important issues?”

AS: “Energy, Iraq, the economy, and health care.” 

“Obama believes in a phase down of the troops. I’ve been to Iraq 4 times. There has been progress, but not politically.”

“Obama is criticized for for bringing up unilateral action regarding Pakistan. We need to draw down troops so Iraqis can make progress without using us as a buffer.”

LG: “McCain was the author of the surge.. No withdrawal until the job is done.”

“Israelis are safer without Saddam Hussein paying suicide bombers.”

“Obama’s inexperience an arrogance are a bad combination.”

“Go to the website for Investors Business Daily. Obama voted for tax increases 94 times. He wants to raise taxes on those making $42,000 or more. Tax cuts worked. JFK and Reagan understood this.”

“The United Nations is a group of dictators. Obama supports the U.N.”

“We need to empower entrepreneurs. Paying 50-60% in taxes is enough. Obama disagrees.”

“Obama’s ‘One Worldism’ finances dictators.”

AS: “One worldism is is conservative talk radio stuff to make Obama seem new agey. He does not want to turn over U.S. sovereignty to the U.N.”

“Obama is only raising taxes on those making more than $250,000 per year. McCain is not knowledgeable on the economy.”

“Too little regulatory oversight led to the economic problems we have today. Oil companies are not paying enough taxes.”

The debators then made their closing statements.

LG: “Make foreign aid tied to better performance, not by the U.N. The U.N. fails at everything.”

“McCain wants a liberation alliance.”

“This election is the American Hero vs. the American Idol. We are told not to engage in guilty by association, but an administration is comprised of the associates.”

“Israeli polls support McCain.”

“Democrats want to silence the debate through the Fairness Doctrine and check cards for unions.”

“McCain has been smeared by Wesley Clark and by anti-Israel Jim Webb.”

“There are thousands of stories of McCain. They are stories of service, sacrifice, resoluteness, and bipartisanship.”

AS: “McCain has a copelling story. He is a hero. Yet how will McCain handle the economy and foreign policy? What about universal health care?”

“Robert Malley is an anti-semite, but he has no ties to Obama.”

“Both McCain and Obama are men of integirty. Attacking Obama is personally beneath us.”

“I was the poster child in Congress for McCain-Feingold.”

“McCain went negative in this election because the GOP can’t sell McCain without tearing down Obama.”

“McCain should run on his record, but he is not the man for this hour.”

While there is plenty of time to analyze why Congressman Schiff is wrong, I commend him for a civilized discussion. I met him after the event, and spoke to him and his wife for several minutes. Consensus was not reached, but they were both very pleasant. I thanked him for his tone, and let him know that my main objection to him was that he was an effective spokesman, and that I wish fewer people would listen to him. He thanked me for the compliment.

Adam Schiff and Larry Greenfield gave us a spirited debate the way debates are supposed to be done.

The crowd was split, as is the nation.

Time will tell.


Pakistan After Pervez Musharraf

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

For those in America spending every waking moment wondering whether Barack Obama will tap Joe Biden to form an “All Gasbag Ticket,” dealing with the many children that make up the demagoguic party will have to wait. Real world events take precedence, which relegates Paris, Britney, and Obambi to the sidelines.

Pervez Musharraf stepped down as President of Pakistan.

American liberals can now rejoice. A staunch ally in the War on Terror has been removed. If an Islamofacist theocracy gains access to nuclear weapons, liberals can be delighted in knowing that they made a difference.

Democrats running for President, who think that evil exists in our inner cities, and that America commits evil in trying to prevent it, are willing to go limp against everybody that despises America, while getting tough with those trying to work with us.

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards were the main three nitwits running for the demagoguic nomination. Their bellicose rhetoric on Pakistan, and Musharraf in particular, accurately reflects an entire party of people that are uninformed, unrealistic, unintelligent, and determined to drive America underground.

President Musharraf was not perfect, but the alternatives were far worse. This is a man who had assassination attempts against him on a frequent basis, and yet worked with America to rout the Taliban.

The left condemns measures that forced out Saddam Hussein, a sworn enemy of America. Yet these same leftist miscreants celebrate removing Pervez Musharraf, whose only crime seems to be trying to balance helping America while not getting murdered for it.

This is the same American left that condemns thuggish tactics in other nations, while using thuggish tactics to avoid extinction as a party (Fairness Doctrine, Unions and other criminals, and ecoterrorists).

Pakistan is a complicated situation. It requires adult analysis and deliberate, measured movements. The same leftists that refer to President Bush as a Cowboy (not being bright enough to understand that he is a rancher, the complete opposite of a Cowboy) were hell bent on removing Musharraf. They did everything but yell “Gung Ho.”

Pakistan is not a situation that can be resolved with hope, change, or ‘Yes, we can.” That eliminates Mr. Obama. It cannot be resolved with tough talk from pretty boys that made their living suing people. Sorry, Mr. Edwards. 35 years of experience and solutions do not count if those solutions are completely fictional. Mrs. Clinton, just sit down.

I repeatedly refer to the republicans as the party of adults precisely because of moments like this.

Pakistan has nuclear weapons. If Islamofacist terrorists gain access to these weapons, the entire world could blow up. Do those on the left care? Of course not. Musharraf was an ally of President Bush, so he must be bad.

This is what the left calls reasoning. President Bush is evil. Therefore, his allies must be evil as well. His enemies must be good, which is why condemnation for Musharraf was not extended to Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden.

The only thing we can do at this moment is pray. I pray that Pakistan remains on track to becoming a secular democracy.

Folks, if Russia and Georgia was not a 3am moment, than the alarm clock is blinking brightly and ringing loudly. It is 3am, and everything the world values is on the line.

President Bush, I hope this situation works out. I also hope for John McCain, so that at least there is a chance that serious decisions will be made.

Nice job liberals. The clock is ticking. Any blood spilled in Pakistan will be all over your hands.

Keep worrying about Darfur and global warming/cooling/climate change. Sit in a circle and sing Kumabaya.

Conservatives don’t have time for such nonsense. We have to stop nuclear weapons from getting into the hands of those trying to murder us.

We understand what true evil is. We understand that we have to stop it at any and all costs. Now we have to do it with one less ally.

Liberals, nobody is asking you to make things better. You can’t. Just sit and be quiet for once, and stop trying to get the good guys killed.


Saddleback Smackdown

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Pastor Rick Warren, author of “A purpose driven life,” heads up Saddleback Church in Orange County, California. Orange County is approximately the midpoint between Los Angeles and San Diego. Although known as a white, republican, Christian bastion, Orange County is changing and diversifying, as is America itself.

Before getting to the Saddleback Candidates’ Forum, a quick piece of good news is in order. I was published in the Washington Times a few days ago.

Returning to Saddleback, Barack Obama and John McCain both spoke at this church about religious and other issues in separate remarks. Rather than provide complete transcriptions, I will present the red meat along with analysis.

Speaking of red meat, I was hoping the debate would be at Saddleback Ranch, a well renowned steakhouse.

With that, below is the best of the Saddleback Smackdown.

Obama said America’s greatest moral failure is not taking care of the weakest among us. We don’t think about those with least.

When asked when he bucked his party, he spoke of working on campaign finance reform with McCain. This is false. It was McCain that bucked his party. The democrats supported it. Obama also mentioned opposing the Iraq War, but again, most democrats were fine with that.

When asked what he changed his mind about, he admitted that Bill Clinton’s welfare reform law worked better than he expected.

His most gut wrenching decision was opposing Iraq. He conceded that Saddam Hussein was a bad guy.

The abortion question of when life begins left Obama like a deer in the headlights. The answer was “above his pay grade.” He copped out on gay marriage, arguing a states rights position.

He supported the Bush position on stem cell research.

Evil exists. Obama cited Darfur, abusive parents, and inner cities. We cannot erase evil from the world. That is God’s task. We should have humility. We have committed evil in the name of defeating evil.

Obama would not have nominated Scalia or Thomas, but thinks Scalia is qualified.

He meandered about faith based programs.

On merit pay for teachers, a careful observer could see puppet strings being pulled by the teachers unions.

When asked to define “rich,” he stated that a family making under 150k was middle class or poor. More than 250k was rich. He left those inbetween undefined.

When asked what is worth dying for, he replied “American freedom and interests.” He stated that we should act if we can act “in concert with the world community.” Internationalism is important to him.

He praised President Bush for working to combat AIDS in Africa.

When asked why he wanted to be President because he believes the American dream is slipping away. He can build bridges.

McCain then had his turn. While Barack Obama would seek advice from Michelle Obama, McCain brought up General David Petraeus. That alone should distinguish the candidates. McCain also showed bipartisanship by praising Representative John Lewis.

His greatest moral failure was the failure of his first marriage. America’s greatest moral failure was not always doing what is right in terms of serving a cause greater than our self interest, although we are better than other nations.

When asked how he bucked his party, he cited climate change, spending, and torture. McCain is wrong on these issues, but unlike Obama, does reach out. That is called compromise, when republicans act like democrats.

A position he reversed from 10 years ago was offshore drilling. McCain was emphatic. One does not have to agree with stands, but at least he has them. On this issue he is completely right.

His most gut wrenching decision was to refuse to accept early release from a Vietnam prison ahead of his friends who had been there longer.

He believes life begins at conception. He is against gay marriage, but also supports a states rights position. He supports stem cell research but has hope that skin cell research will make the embryonic issue moot.

We should defeat evil. He will follow Osama Bin Laden and “bring him to justice if he has to follow him to the gates of Hell.” Islamic extremism is the evil of the 21st of the century. Iraq is the central front of the War on Terror.”

His answer should be placed side by side with Obama’s in campaign ads right now. Radical Islam is the primary evil, not Darfur or bad schools. This is why McCain should win. He is an adult.

McCain would not have nominated Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Stevens, or Souter. He will only hire strict constructionists who will not legislate from the bench.

He unequivocally supports federal funds for faith based organizations. He pointed out that faith based organizations came through after Katrina.

He would absolutely have merit pay for teachers and “find bad teachers another line of work.” McCain pointed out that Obama sent his kids to the school of their choice.

When asked to define “rich,” he defined it as “a home, a good job, an education, and a better future.” He does not want to “take money form the rich.” He wants “everybody to get rich.” He did not need to provide an actual number since he is not the one attacking the rich. He also pointed out that the issue is spending, not taxes. “We spent 3 million to study the DNA of bears. That was either a paternity issue or a nature issue.”

When asked how to decide between privacy and security, McCain immediately brought up the right of union members to have a secret ballot.

When asked what is worth dying for, he gave the same answer as Obama. He cited freedom and American interests. Yet he diverged by not babbling about internationalism.

McCain spoke eloquently about the crisis between Russia and Georgia.

With regards to human rights, the President should use the Bully Pulpit. McCain at least did not advocate activism on the issue. Speeches are fine. It is not our job to deal with human rights.

On the issue of orphanages, McCain mentioned that we must make it easier for Americans to adopt children so that they do not have to go overseas. McCain has an adopted daughter himself.

He wants to inspire a generations to serve a cause greater than their own self interest. That is why he wants to be President. In his case, you can see he means it because he has lived that life. “I have always put my country first.”

Pastor Warren did an excellent job asking tough but fair questions in an unassuming manner. He made it clear to the crowd that he wants a more civilized debate.

He is right. Both of these candidates are good and decent men. Obama is not a bad guy. He is just wrong, and hopelessly naive.

Evil is Al Queda, not inner city issues.

Obama is calculated, focus tested, and poll created. McCain is an American hero that truly understands the dynamics of the War on Terror.

When Obama speaks about committing evil to stop evil, he makes the moral equivalence argument that sickens me. There is nothing America today that comes close to the evil of Islamofacism.

Obama is also slick. In an entire conversation about religious issues in a church, Obama never mentioned his own church of 20 years, with such beautiful lunatics as Pastors Wright and Flegler.

McCain is an adult, and this debate was one of his finest performances.

Obama looked like a deer in the headlights on several occasions because he had to carefully calibrate answers to offend nobody and please everybody. McCain is not interested in being warm and fuzzy. There is work to be done, and he is prepared to do it.


Raiders Recap–Preseason 2008 Week 2

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

The Oakland Raiders played the Tennessee Titans in Week 2 of the 2008 NFL Preseason.

For more, go to:

Despite an 8 yard gain on first down, the Raiders went three and out. Vince Young was sacked on the second play from scrimmage, as the Titans went three and out as well. On the second Oakland possession, another opportunity was squandered. Justin Fargas picked up 9 yards on first down, and yet the team was punting a couple plays later. Tennessee was the mirror image, as a false start on 3rd and 1 followed by an incomplete pass led to another punt. Both teams were playing good defense, although part of it was inept offense.

On the 3rd Oakland possession of the game, Darren McFadden broke through for an 11 yard gain and the first 1st down for either team in the game. Yet 3 plays later, the Raiders were again punting the ball. Lendale White broke through for a 23 yard gain, giving the Titans their initial 1st down. It set up a 49 yard field goal that was no good.

On the next Oakland possession, JaMarcus Russell had a nice play action pass to Zach Miller for 23 yards. On the next play Russell completed a pass to Ronald Curry for 12 yards. Another pass from Russell to Miller went for 15 yards to the Tennessee 12. A 3 yard pass ended the quarter, as the question became if the Raiders could finish the drive they started. On 3rd and 7 form the 10, Russell escaped a sack and through a bullet to Miller for a touchdown. 16 seconds into the 2nd quarter had the Raiders up 7-0 on a 6 play, 61 yard drive.

Tennessee responded with Young completing a pass for 18 yards. Yet after some initial success, on 3rd and 7 from the Oakland 40, Young’s pass was tipped and nearly intercepted. Tennessee punted again.

Russell stayed in the game, as the Raiders began at their own 15. They went nowhere, and the team had acquired 7 penalties in less than a quarter and a half of football. A 71 yard punt by a backup punter filling in for the injured Shane Lechler bailed the Raiders out. Yet Vince Young was misfiring on all cylinders, as the Titans quickly punted it back. The Raiders did their part to keep them boring by running 3 plays, losing a yard, and punting on 4th and 11.

Vince Young was done for the day after a miserable outing. He went 4 of 13 for 37 yards. Former Raider Kerry Collins came in for the Titans and the team immediately picked up a spark. A pair of running plays had the Titans on the move. Yet on 3rd and 6, a Collins pass that was a bit high bounced off the receiver’s fingertips, falling incomplete.

On the next play, the Raiders made a mistake that would have had me screaming in rage if this was the regular season.

Johnny Lee Higgins fielded a punt inside the 10 yard line, for mistake number one. He then ran backwards and sideways, for mistake number two. He then fumbled the ball, where Tennessee fell on it for a gift touchdown. Yes, he did run a punt return for a touchdown a week earlier. This time he returned one zero yards for a touchdown for the other team. The Raiders were in complete control of the game, and one mistake later, with 4 minutes left in the half, the game was tied 7-7.

A personal foul on the ensuing kickoff on Tennessee had the Raiders starting at their own 42. The first play was an end around to Johnny Lee Higgins for 8 yards. It was a smart coaching move to get him involved quickly to get his confidence back. Michael Bush then entered the game and picked up the first down. The drive stalled at the 2 minute warning, and a punt had Tennessee starting at their own 15. They reached the Oakland 37, but turned it over on downs.

With 9 seconds left in the half, a run by McFadden went for 25 yards out, setting up a 56 yard field goal attempt by the backup to Sebastian Janikowski was good with plenty to spare. The Raiders led 10-7 at the half.

2 minutes into the second half, after a 19 yard Collins completion, the Raiders called timeout while on defense. It did not help, because on 2nd and 8 from midfield, Collins threw a bomb for a touchdown and a 14-10 Titans lead. Yes, this was against backups on defense, but a breakdown is a breakdown. The home crowd at Adelphia Coliseum finally had something to cheer about after a lifeless first half.

Andrew Walter came in at quarterback, officially ending the important part of the game. Nevertheless, a pair of handoffs to Michael Bush had the Raiders on the move. Michael Bush looked good this preseason, although against backups on defense. On 3rd and 1 form the Tennessee 46, Bush was stopped just short of the first down marker. On 4th and inches, Walter snuck across for the 1st down. On 3rd and 9, the Raiders tried a handoff out of the shotgun, setting up 4th and 4 at the 40. Walter’s pass was off the mark and incomplete.

Travis Henry broke through for a 20 yard gain to the Raiders 40 on the first play of the next Tennessee drive.
Again, the Titans stalled, and the Raiders took over at their own 9 yard line. Running by Michael Bush combined with a 3rd and 10 pass by Walter that went for a first down by the nose of the football had the Raiders at the Tennessee 44. A perfect strike by Walter set up Oakland with first and goal at the 8. Naturally, this was followed by a false start. These are the Raiders after all.

Despite dominating time of possession 12 minutes to 3 in the 3rd quarter, the Raiders trailed. A 27 yard field goal with 12:45 remaining had the Raiders to within 14-13. A 17 play, 82 yard drive ate up 8:33 of clock, but produced only 3 points.

The Titans went 3 and out, and Walter went right back to work with a 22 yard completion. Another completion went for a first down to the Titans 48. On 3rd and 6, Louis Rankin ran for a first down. A 45 yard field goal attempt bounced off the upright and went through. The Raiders led 16-14 with 5:19 left.

This was a typical Raider game. The team was dominating the game, but led by only 2 points. The defense only gave up one touchdown, The offense moved the ball but could not finish drives. The time was right for a defensive collapse to end the game. In all fairness, the 3rd stringers were in the game, so there is no way to tell what would happen in a real game.

3rd string quarterback Ingle Martin came in for Collins. On 4th and 3, with 3:08 remaining, the Titans decided to punt. A penalty on Tennessee made it 4th and 8, as the Raiders had them rekick. The Raiders took over with 2:51 remaining at their own 20. They had a strong running game all game, so their was hope they would run out the clock. Marques Tuiasasopo came in for Walter.

Both teams brought in the 3rd stringers with little time left. A running play by Rankin picked up 6 yards, but he ran out of bounds. On the next play, Echemandu broke away for what appeared to be a touchdown. However, aft6er a 72 yard gain, he was pulled down at the Tennessee 6 yard line. A touchdown would ice the game. Echemandu took it down to the one yard line. On second and goal from the one, Echemandu was ruled just short of the goal line.

Only the Raiders could screw this up. They did. A fumble was recovered by Tennessee. 2:10 remained, and Tennessee was at their own 2. Now all that was needed was a defensive meltdown to make this complete. The defense obliged, and a 30 yard pass play had Tennessee at their own 38 with 1:32 remaining. On 3rd and 15 from the 33, Martin converted the first down.

Martin was then sacked for a 13 yard loss. After a short gain, on 3rd and 17 from their own 42, with 48 seconds left, Tennessee took their final timeout. A pass by Martin appeared to pick up the first down, but was reviewed to see if it was caught short of the marker. Given that the Raiders may have never gotten a call in their entire history, it would have been better to just give the Titans the game. The catch was made a yard short, but it was ruled a first down with 26 seconds remaining.

A short pass over the middle split the seams all the way to the Oakland 16 yard line. The Titans ran up to the line and spiked the ball with 2 seconds left from only 33 yards out. The kick was good, and the Titans had won a game that only the Raiders could lose.

The Raiders are not a complete waste. There is plenty of room for improvement. The starters outplayed the Tennessee starters, but finishing games, even in preseason, is helpful.

17-16 Titans.


Raiders Recap–Preseason 2008 Week 1

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Saddle up leatherheads! It’s time for NFL Football, Silver and Black style.

After 8 months, the Oakland Raiders took the field against the San Francisco 49ers. It was their first preseason game. Yes I am aware that the game took place a week ago, but cut me some silver and black slack. I was in Israel.

With preseason, the score is less important than how the players looked. With Jamarcus Russell at quarterback and Darren McFadden at running back, this team should have a decent offense to match up with a solid defense.

The last few years have been tough, but the past is just that, dead and buried.

Welcome to NFL Preseason 2008, live from the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum.

For additional coverage of the Raiders, go to:

The 49ers decided to start J.T. Sullivan over Alex Smith. The Raider defense forced the 49ers into a 3 and out situation.

The Raiders must have made Al Davis smile by going for the bomb on the first play. The pass was incomplete, but the 49ers had jumped offsides. More importantly, it was nice to see an aggressive start. It was not good to see the disorganized Raiders need to call a timeout before they ran their second play, but Justin Fargas then ran for 11 yards and a first down on the next play. The drive then quickly bogged down and the Raiders punted. Shane Lechler is already in midseason form from his very first punt, which went 57 yards.

The 49ers punted on their next drive, and the Raiders took over inside their 10 yard line. On 3rd and 7, Russell threw a quick slant pass to Johnny Lee Higgins for a 1st down. Darren McFadden then entered the game, and his first carry straight up the gut went for 4 yards. Another 4 yard carry by McFadden set up 3rd and 2. Fargas then picked up the first down after a 9 yard run. Despite the opening bomb, the Raiders seemed more interested in establishing the run. McFadden continued to run well with a pair of 5 yard runs. The drive bogged down after the Raiders crossed midfield, and the Raiders punted again.

Excellent punt coverage forced the 49ers to start at their own 8 yard line. As the first quarter ended in a scoreless tie, the 49ers had reached their own 45 yard line. J.T. O’Sullivan continued to throw well, as the 49ers reached the Raiders 35.

A poorly thrown ball was intercepted at the 2 yard line by Stanford Routt, but he made a preaseason mistake that should never occur in the regular season. He tried to run laterally, fumbled the ball, and was lucky that big Turdell Sands fell on it for the Raiders.

The theme for the Raiders this year might be “back to the past.” Given that this is clearly JaMarcus Russell’s team, Josh McCown and Dante Culpepper were shipped out of town. Replacing them were two quarterbacks released from the Raiders a year earlier, Andrew Walter and Marques Tuiasasopo.

Andrew Walter was hard to judge in the past. The offensive line was awful, and Walter took a beating. He just got killed. Now he was being asked to come in the game and start at his own 2 yard line. With Russell done for the night, it is fair to say that he did lead a couple decent drives, but there were no points to show for it.

Walter could not muster anything from his own goal, but even with the 49ers taking over and facing a 3rd and 1 just past midfield, a false start pushed them back. On the next play O’Sullivan fumbled, and the Raiders recovered at the San Francisco 45 yard line. They went straight back to the ground game, with McFadden picking up 6 yards. A 3 yard McFadden run set up 3rd and 1. The third running back Michael Bush picked up the first down. At running back, the team had depth.

McFadden was not flashy, but he kept picking up 4 and 5 yard gains. Michael Bush had another decent run for 7 yards, for another first down at the San Francisco 19 yard line. Andrew Walter was managing the game. Yet a couple short runs later set up 3rd and 8. A pass to Michael Bush was short, setting up 4th and 2 at the 12. With Sebastian Janikowski injured, the Raiders decided to go for it. This would not occur in the regular season. They didn’t make it, and 2 San Francisco turnovers were squandered.

J.T. O’Sullivan was done for the night, and Alex Smith came in. The 49ers went 3 and out.

Johnny Lee Higgins is a very talented return man. He had a 39 yard punt return in the first quarter that was nullified by a penalty. This time he had a 53 yard return for a touchdown, and there were no flags. If the Raiders try to count this as offense, it will be a long season. However, points are points, and the Raiders led 7-0 with 3:26 left in the half.

San Francisco started their next drive at their own 37. Despite struggling, Alex Smith threw a 25 yard completion on 3rd and 10. The Raider defense had been solid throughout the half, but this was a breakdown. With 1:50 left in the half, a personal foul on Turdell Sands had the 49ers at the Oakland 13 yard line. Yet on 3rd and 2 at the 5, a run was short. With 18 seconds left in the half, San Francisco called a timeout. On 4th and 1 at the 4, the 49ers kicked a field goal.

The first half was typical Raiders. An offense that could not score, a defense that kept them in the game, and good special teams. The Raiders led 7-3 at the half, and it was hard to tell if the Raiders were improved, since the 49ers are not a good measuring stick. The Raiders led in time of possession 18 minutes to 12 thanks to a strong running game.

On the first play of the second half, a fake handoff and rollout led to a 19 yard completion for Walter to the Oakland 44. Andrew Walter threw short passes, and Michael Bush took over the running game. From the Oakland 32, after a 5 yard penalty, Walter completed a screen pass to Michael Bush that went for 23 yards. From the 14 yard line, with the crowd expecting more runs, a throw into double coverage was luckily not intercepted. On 4th and 1 from the 5, Michael Bush appeared stopped, but made a couple gorgeous cuts, and was in for a touchdown and a 13-3 Raiders lead. The 49ers were offsides on the extra point, so the Raiders decided to go for a 2 point conversion from the 1 yard line. This would not happen in the regular season, but it was good practice. Walter completed the pass for a 15-3 lead to cap a 13 play, 75 yard drive that ate up 8:14 off the clock. That is what wins football games.

San Francisco took over from their own 32. Alex Smith completed a pass, but the receiver had the ball stripped. The Raiders recovered the fumble. The 3rd turnover had Oakland at the San Francisco 44. Back to back penalties set up 3rd and 20, at which point a surprise running play picked up 14 yards. On 4th and 6 from the 41, the Raiders went for it again. Again, this was preseason. A short pass led to a turnover on downs.

Sean Hill came in for Alex Smith. On 3rd and 3 from the Raiders 36, a swing pass was just out of reach. The 49ers decided to go for it. On the last play of the 3rd quarter, Hill was intercepted near the goal line. Again, there was some dangerous running, but it was brought back to the 18. It was the 4th turnover of the day.

Marques Tuiasasopo came in. 4th string running back Louis Rankin took a handoff and ran 72 yards. Rankin was brought down by a horse collar tackle that was not called. From the 10, Rankin bulled to the 5. Rankin got it again, and was brought down at the 2. Rankin was brought down inches from the goal line. On 4th and goal from inches away, the Raiders suffered a false start.

Yes, this was preseason, but this is what causes Raider fans to bang their heads in frustration. Forget the score. The field goal was a defeat for the Raiders, even though they led 18-3.

On the next San Francisco drive, they failed to convert a 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 48 yard line. Unfortunately, on 4th and 1, the Raiders jumped offsides. The Raiders never make it easy. An end around went for 19 yards on the next play. Yes, these were backups, but the last 5 years have seen so many dumb mental mistakes that must be addressed before the regular season if the Raiders have any hope of improving this year. Hill drove the 49ers to the Raiders 13 yard line. A sure touchdown pass by Hill was dropped.

This was shaping up to be a typical Raider game, but to their credit, the defense came up with an 8 yard sack back to the 21. For some reason the 49ers decided to kick a field goal, cutting the gap to 18-6 with 8 minutes remaining.

On the next drive, the Raiders decided to go for it with 6 minutes remaining on 4th and 6 from their own 49. If ever this was an example of preseason experimenting for situations that would not occur come September, this was it. The pass was incomplete, turning it over on downs. The 49ers reached the Oakland 31 yard line, but turned it over on downs with 3:19 to play.

Tuiasasopo handed off to a running back named Echemandu. He played well during the preseason a year earlier. Despite being cut from a team loaded at running back, he was brought back to try again. The team is so deep at the position that he again might not make the team. He merits playing somewhere. On 3rd and 8, Tuiasasopo faked to Echemandu, and rolled out on a naked bootleg that went for 32 yards.

The 49ers took over with 1 minute left. The game ended with Hill being sacked.

The Raiders have plenty to improve on. Coach Lane Kiffin needs to figure out how to cut down on the penalties. The offense bogging down at the one foot line is not acceptable.

Nevertheless, there were some positives. The 49ers did not score a touchdown. However, the Raiders only scored one on offense, the other being on the punt return. The defense gave up some big gains, but was solid overall.

Most improved is the Oakland running game. Also, the offensive line held up, and the penalties were not against them.

The 49ers might be dreadful, but the Raiders have a ray of hope. Time as always will tell.

18-6 Raiders.


My Interview With Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

Friday, August 15th, 2008

I had the pleasure recently of interviewing Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

I met her in May at a leadership meeting in Washington, DC, for the Republican Jewish Coalition. She wowed the crowd, and is definitely a rising star in the Republican party. At that event, she agreed to an email interview. Her staff was friendly, courteous, and responsive. It took three months to finish the interview, which is consistent with members of Congress.

Before getting to the significant amount of substance that Congresswoman Bachmann brings to the political discussion in America, I first want to offer one piece of frivolity that is apolitical.

The Congresswoman is gorgeous. She might be the most beautiful woman in all of politics. I suspect she went into politics because while modeling is glamorous, it does not allow for tackling world issues. I plan to start a rumor that Minnesota voters believe their state lottery is rigged because her husband won the lottery by being married to her.

Fawning aside, she is brilliant on the issues. She is an unapologetic conservative republican , and she wears her conservative credentials with pride. The republican party in general has great ideas, but does not always market them properly. Congresswoman Bachmann is a highly effective spokesperson, and the party would benefit from giving her a prime time speaking slot at the GOP Convention in her home state of Minnesota.

Until then, America will have to settle for her brilliance in this email interview.

1) What is the Michele Bachman story? What made you decide to enter the

political arena and Congress?

I never longed to be a career politician, but an opportunity presented itself in 2000 to challenge an incumbent and not so responsive Minnesota State Senator. It turned out the numbers were on my side. I won then and again in 2004. In 2006, when Congressman Mark Kennedy decided to run for the U.S. Senate, I made a run for the U.S. House. Two years later, here I am in Congress seeking a second term, and I couldn’t be happier.

2) What can ordinary citizens do, besides donating money and voting for you?

to help win the War on Terror? What obligations do we have, and how can we


There are so many great organizations that exist who are truly proud to work with and honor the troops putting their lives on the line to preserve our freedom. I suggest that everyone find one of these organizations, such as Operation Minnesota Nice or Homes for Our Troops, and learn how to get involved. You can learn more about local options at

3) It is one thing to ask people to have faith in God. It is much tougher to

ask people to have faith in Government. What does our government do right?

and what does it need to do better so people can start believing in their

government again?

From the founding of this great nation, our forefathers have had heated debates on which policies are best for our nation. At the beginning it was Thomas Jefferson feuding with John Adams, today we have John McCain pitted against Barack Obama. What’s most unfortunate about politics today is the deep mistrust and bitterness that political parties have for each other. You do not see as many cross-party friendships as previously and the sense of working together as one body has greatly diminished from years past. We need to look no further than this energy debate we’re having now. With the exception of a handful of Democrats, it’s the R’s versus the D’s, and the Democrats are not willing to work with us to hash out a comprehensive policy. If it’s drilling they don’t want it, and they aren’t even willing to debate it. Americans deserve better.

With all that said, the mere fact that our country allows for so many differing opinions makes our nation a true model of government.

4) With regards to foreign policy, what have we done right, and what have we

gotten wrong, in the last 8 years, and what steps need to be taken to

improve the situations that require improvement?

9/11 has changed America’s foreign policy forever. We should support our military’s efforts to combat terrorism, to ensure the safety of our country, and to further democracy in other parts of the world.

The most important vote I have taken in Congress was for FISA to ensure that our intelligence professionals have all the tools they need at their disposal. Prior to 9/11, our intelligence community was at a great disadvantage as a result of the Clinton White House, and thankfully we’ve had a President who understands the importance of keeping our homeland safe and secure.

5) The American dollar seems to be in free fall, and homeowners are seeking

a bailout at taxpayer expense. Should government get involved, and is this

even a problem at all? If so, what needs to be done?

As a member of the Financial Services Committee, I’ve had the opportunity to take part in these discussions at the most basic legislative level. No matter how Washington spins it, the housing legislation it just passed does no good for America’s homeowners. With this bill, Congress is turning a blind eye to irresponsible borrowers and is, in fact, rewarding them with a federal program paid for by struggling taxpayers barely able to make ends meet. Proponents of the housing bill claim that it actually creates revenue because it forces Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – currently in a very precarious financial position themselves – to pay a principal balance of each business purchase. But, in the end, this only puts taxpayers on the hook for even more money when Fannie and Freddie end up raising their fees to lenders in order to curb their increased costs. Simultaneously, the bill gives Fannie and Freddie billions of dollars of taxpayer backing to remain financially stable with no guarantee that they will never again overextend in this same way and require another taxpayer bailout. Our nation’s housing market will recover more quickly if Congress is more circumspect in its actions. Giving the government the privy to expand programs and increase oversight only stunts the growth of the free market, and forcing more taxes on innocent taxpayers is not a solution, it’s a recipe for disaster.

6) What would be the main qualities and criteria you would look for with?

regards to potential Supreme Court justices? Could they disagree with you on?

major issues, and still be qualified? How do you feel about how they ruled?

on the DC second amendment case?

My ideal Supreme Court Justice is in the mold of Justices Scalia and Roberts, judges who do not view their position as an express lane to further their personal ideology and politics, but who are strict constitutionalists.

7) Do you support the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive action? Do you feel that?

it may be necessary to take pre-emptive action against Iran? How does it

differ from the Bachmann Doctrine?

We must do what we can to keep our nation safe. If there is compelling evidence that shows Iran is an imminent threat to the United States, we should act and act swiftly.

8.) What Americans call 9/11, Israel refers to as every day life. Israel is

then asked to show restraint. What is your view on Israel taking pre-emptive

action, including a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities if necessary? What

about with regards to the disputed territories such as Gaza? What about

against Damascus, who funds Hezbollah?

I believe that Israel has the right to defend itself against hostile extremists. Israel has been the shining symbol of freedom and democracy in an area historically rampant with violence and oppression and has become an economic leader of the Middle East by proving to its people the rewards of capitalism, while also leading the region in other facets of a free society, including human rights and freedom of the press. Israel should do what’s necessary to protect its citizens. I strongly urge my colleagues to stand committed to a free Israel.

9) Attempts to partially privatize social security and fix the ticking time

bomb of Medicare have been met with hysteria about throwing old people on

the street and leaving them to die. The issue was demagogue by the

demagogic party in 1995. Do you favor any privatization of social security?

If not, why not? If so, how can it be framed in terms that do not frighten


I believe that we should ensure that those currently receiving Social Security should continue to do so in its current form, but also give a new generation of workers the right to invest some of their money into accounts of their own. I understand the volatility of this issue, but it’s another instance where we must put partisan rhetoric aside and take action for the benefit of our nation’s future.

10) Many on the left preach compassion but you as a conservative actually

live it. What made you begin to bring foster children into your life, and do

you envision continuing to do so?

My husband and I have cared for 23 foster children, and I understand full well the struggles these children face on a daily basis. There are more than 500,000 children in foster care nationwide, many of whom come from troubled homes and have been moved from family to family several times. These children are family, and I firmly believe that Americans should extend a helping hand to those in trouble. Taking in foster children was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

11) Without delving too deeply into your personal life, what would you want

Americans to know about Michele Bachmann the person? 100 years from now,

what would you want people to remember about you, and what would you hope

the history books say about you?

What keeps me fighting every day is my mission to leave a better and safer country to my children and future generations to come. More government is not the answer to the challenges facing our nation. Never was. Never will be. America’s true stripes present themselves through personal liberty and entrepreneurship. We must do all we can to continue the proud history and heritage of our great nation.

12) Do you get bored with the marriage proposals that you get inundated with

on a daily basis, and does your share of the 18-30 year old male vote

decrease when they find out you are happily married?

For as many enthusiastic supporters that I have cheering me on, there are probably just as many hoping for me to fall. The more success you have, the more persistent these antagonists become. I firmly believe that our opponents may shout the loudest, but we can tell the truth the longest and we have to, because there’s too much at stake to cower away. I am so thankful to all my supporters.

I would like to thank Congresswoman Bachmann and her staff for their grace, class, and professionalism.

I suspect that her combination of charm and political intelligence will have her moving up the ranks rapidly. My prediction of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty being selected as John McCain’s running mate leaves a vacancy in the Governor’s mansion that she may be asked to fill. If Senator Norm Coleman fills the seat, then she would be a solid choice to fill that Senate seat.

Then again, Senator McCain could shock the world and select Congresswoman Bachmann to be the next Vice President.

Whatever her next position, America is lucky to have such a talented woman give her prime earning years to public service. I am taking part in a conservative radio blogger group that will be meeting her at the GOP convention. I look forward to thanking her again.


Israel Epilogue and Mish Mosh Thursday

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Before getting to various political issues in a slipshod manner, I have some final thoughts on Israel.

Although it is a beautiful country with lovely people and an amazing history, I did not feel the emotional charge that I felt when I visited Canton, Ohio, in 2006. Canton Ohio is the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

I know it sounds crazy, but the National Football League is my burning passion. I love football. I am proud to be Jewish, but I am not Israeli. Visiting Israel was similar to visiting Singapore in 2003. It was a pretty country with much beauty. Yet it is not my home. I am American.

So while visiting Israel did not reduce me to tears or cause me to kiss the ground like  I did in Canton,  it was still the trip of a lifetime.  I am better off for having gone.

I was not able to really deal with hard core politics during my trip. Now that I can, I shall now present Mish Mosh Thursday.

The Chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party was shot to death. There is no evidence that politics had anything to do with this senseless tragedy.

What should be taken from this event is that a man died way too young, and that a family no longer has a husband and father. I offer them my deepest condolences. However, I have no patience for those on the left that blamed “hateful talk radio” in general, and Sean Hannity in particular, for this terrible murder.

This is another example of the left wanting to curtail freedom of speech for those on the right. It is not acceptable, and I will fight any attempt to inject partisan politics into what appears to be a random killing. If for any reason the killer turns out to be a republican, and even if that killer did listen to talk radio, the responsibility would be that of the killer and the killer alone.

If this is not immediately accepted by the left, then the Clintons should be blamed for every suicide during their administration of small business owners brought on by the despair of higher taxes and crippling regulations.

It is about personal responsibility people.

In other news, John Edwards is a hypocrite and a liar. My heart goes out to Elizabeth Edwards. She married a sleazebag.

I personally do not think that the infidelity itself should disqualify the man from being President. Waht should disqualify him is a recklessness of character. Had he won the nomination, and then the affair would have exploded, he could have damaged the entire democratic party. As a republican, I have no problem with this. As a human being, as I said, his behavior was reckless. I suspect that Elizabeth Edwards wanted him to be President more than he did, and that she was driving the train. This in some ways makes her as calculating as Hillary Clinton. However, I lack the evidence to say this for a certainty. Elizabeth Edwards is going through a personal hell I wish on nobody. Also, they lost a teenage son to a tragic car accident, the nightmare of every parent. This should allow us to empathize for them as human beings, but not to accept that John Edwards is anything but a snake oil salesman with little to zero ethics.

Hillary Clinton is trying to sabotage Barack Obama. Let me rephrase that. She already has. Bill and Hillary Clinton are narcissistic, self indulgent, spoiled brats. They have no grace or class. Obama won the nomination fair and square. Yet he has proven to be weak in giving Hillary everything she wanted.

I am not saying Hillary is a terrorist by any stretch, but one does not negotiate or bargain away advantages when they have all the leverage. Obama should have called Hillary’s bluff, and given her nothing. Her supporters would not have the guts to vote for John McCain because all they care about is abortion. They would fall into line. Obama is not fit to stand up to world leaders if he does not have the guts to stand up to Hillary Clinton. This is very similar to 1988, when Michael Dukakis had to kiss Jesse Jackson’s racist rumpus. Hillary is destroying the democratic party, which would be meaningful if she actually cared about that at all. She does not. Her people are probably still digging dirt on Obama, hoping to catch him in a situation mimicking Bill Clinton or John Edwards.

Hillary was the one who kept mentioning the 3AM phone call. Barack Obama and John McCain received theirs in the form of the conflict between Russia and Georgia. McCain was decisive and bold. Obama was equivocating and tentative. This is because John McCain is ready to be President, and Obama is ready to lead a global rendition of “Hands Across America.”

Democrats are capable of occasionally accomplishing things during peacetime. During war, they need to be given their pacificiers and told to wait until the adults handle the problems. The Russian situation is serious, and platitudes won’t cut it. Hillary Clinton may have falsely claimed it, but it is John McCain that is truly ready to lead on day one.

Having said that, I completely disagree with the degree of McCain’s Russia bashing. He needs to tone it down. Insulting Putin is not the answer. I admire McCain’s toughness, but too much can turn into bellicosity. Force and hard power are needed with places such as Iran and Syria. Diplomacy, while normally a waste of time, must be utilized with Russia. We cannot have the Cold War again. Russia and America and China need to unite to defeat Radical Islam.

Speaking of China, some of their athletes have been accused of cheating at the Olympics. It’s the Olympics, and therefore I don’t care. The spirit of the Olympics has been tarnished for a long time, whether it be the Russian Fencing team or the USA Basketball team using professionals instead of amateur athletes. True, the USA was open and honest about it, but the bottom line is professionals should not compete in these games. That is why they are the Olympic Games and not Olympic Sports. These are not sports. They are games, and often rigged games at that.

As for human rights issues, I hope China cracks down on any protesters that makes the Tianamen Square seem like child’s play. Politics should not be in the Olympics, and agitators should get their hides kicked. If anybody thinks America is different, look at what the democrats are doing to homeless people and protesters in Denver. They are being given movie tickets, and those whor efused will be “removed from the streets.” There will not be in any tanks, but these are the “compassionate” people showing compassion. Also, the liberal delegates are grumbling at a lack of limousines, when they could walk or bicycle to the events. They are true greeniacs, these environmentalists. Then again, running over homeless people is easier in a limousine. Perhaps Ted Kennedy can be in charge of this. 

Ok, Mish Mosh Thursday has had its say.

The Michele Bachmann interview has been completed, and will be published soon.

I am still tired from my trip to Israel. When that changes, I may become coherent.

No, not really.


From Israel to Sleeping at my office desk in Los Angeles

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

The last day of my trip to Israel was sheer beauty. Today was the day for the “heavy” experiences.

We found a cab driver who took us all around Jerusalem for a fair price. That in itself proves that miracles exist in this holy city.

We saw holy Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sites. Pictures taken of everything from various churches to the holy Muslim site known as the Dome of the Rock were interspersed with the Jewish experience.

We went to the Mount of Olives, the Jewish cemetery.

The most emotional part of the day was going to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial.

This part of the experience brought out the worst in me, although it was confined to thoughts. My father is a Holocaust Survivor, and all the museum did was reinforce deeply felt hostilities already inside of me.

In my view, the world did nothing in 1933. They simply let us die. All it takes for evil to flourish, as the saying goes, is for good people to do nothing.

I was not sad witnessing the Holocaust Museum. I was angry. I did take pride in the Warsaw Ghetto people. They did not surrender. They fought. That reinforced my belief in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, and that the Jews that survived the longest had guns to fight back with. I do not see myself ever compromising on this belief.

Yet what made me angriest was not 1933, or even 1938. I felt like 2008 has the potential to be a repeat performance, and the world is doing nothing.

I see Iran and Syria as the new Germany. Some of the murderers even use Nazi literature to justify their teachings of hate. I have repeatedly said that Iran and Syria need to be turned into 50,000 golf courses. The Holocaust Museum reminded me “Never Again.”

Jews are being murdered by terrorists sponsored by Iran and Syria, and the world does nothing. Dead Jews? Who cares?

I do.

Some say Iran would not attack Israel because they would then get wiped out. This implies that the Mullahs are rational and logical rulers. I suspect otherwise. After all, it is not possible for diplomacy when destruction is the end result. You cannot bribe or bargain with those willing to die.

The IDF lost its power of deterrence in 2006, although perhaps the next Israeli prime Minister will be Bibi Netanyahu, and hope will return.

We also visited the Knesset, which was not in session. Like the rest of the world, they vacation to escape the Summer heat. We passed by the office building of Prime Minister Ehud Ohlmert. Nothing was being done today in terms of government business, so it was a typical day under his administration. He will be fired soon enough, and hope will return.

Yet the best part of the trip came in the form of our cab driver, and Arabic man named Faisal. He was a kind, decent man, and one of the only cab drivers that not only knew his way around, but did so in a safe manner. Israelis may cherish human life, but they do not value it in terms of most of their cab drivers.

Faisal told me how he wanted peace, and that as an Israeli Arab in Jerusalem, he leads a happy life. He has Jewish friends, and he enjoys showing people the city he was born and raised in.

Also, when there is war, it kills tourism, which hurts his economic survival. He hates Hamas and all the rest. He thinks that they destroy peace, and hurt Jews and Arabs.

I did not get political. Faisal expresse his opinions with no solicitation. Yet there was no faking the kindness of this man. I told him that he was “My first Arab friend, and hopefully not the last.”

One moment of beauty occurred outside a Christian Church. Outside the gate, an elderly woman of 80 and perhaps 90 was walking with a cane across some steps. She saw the Chicago Cannonball, and then me, and she clutched for our hands. I helped her several steps inside. Then a big, strong, Muslim man carried her down several steps and placed her in line so she could go through the Tomb of Mary, one of the holiest Christian sites.

The Chicago Cannonball and I did not go through because it is not our faith, and the moment would have been lost on me. Yet to have Jews and Muslims helping an elderly Christian lady reach one of the most important spiritual places in her faith was truly heartwarming.

The emotion of the tour and the sweltering heat took its toll, so we went back to the Old City, to end the trip on a lighthearted note by doing…what else…shopping.

Although the entire trip was a beautiful experience, it was time to go home. Exhaustion and fatigue had set in, and the 11 hour flight back to New Jersey would allow for some respite.

This was after of course, surviving the airport gift shops, as if we did not shop enough during the trip.

I thank God, and of course my friend Uri, for providing me the experience to go to Israel. It is in my rearview mirror, but Tel Aviv and Jerusalem will never be forgotten.

The Tygrrrr Express and the Chicago Cannonball are now back in America. Israel was beautiful, but America is my home.

She is in Chicago, and I am at work.

If anybody needs to find me, I am sleeping at my office desk in Los Angeles.