Archive for December, 2007

Ms. Pelosi, Meet Mr. Gingrich

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

Nancy Pelosi, aka the Pelosiraptor, just finished her budget battle with President Bush. Ms Pelosi, with all due respect…you got your hide kicked.

Dubya slapped you around, lifted your skirt up, and branded a big old “W” on your hide. He let you know who was boss, and it was not you.

It is one thing to be the first person to do a job. It is quite another to look at history and ignore it. Nancy Pelosi must not be a student of history, because she only had to go back 12 years to see the seeds of her own demise.

In 1994, Newt Gingrich was a hero. He led the republicans to power after 40 years of democratic control. He then helped pass several planks in the Contract With America. He tried to reform medicare, which was a noble endeavor. Then the government shutdown happened. Newt Gingrich squared off against Bill Clinton. Clinton mopped the floor with Gingrich. How did this happen? Gingrich was rising, Clinton was sinking. What did Gingrich overlook?

Gingrich missed the key determinant in the battle. There is only one President of the United States.

Trying to take down a President is akin to the analogy of trying to kill a king or a bear. If you shoot the king and only wound him, he is coming at you with his entire army. The bear does not give a second shot.

The President has an army, ranging from hundreds of staffers, a media that, while hostile, must cover him, and a leadership role that is unmatched. The President is the Commander in Chief, and the Chief diplomat.

Gingrich was a very strong speaker. Bill Clinton was a weak President. It did not matter, because it is not a fair fight. The playing field is not level. I could play Chess against Gary Kasparov, and even if he forfeited his queen before the game started, his skill level is so deep that he would defeat me anyway.

Gingrich overreached. The public was disgusted with Bill Clinton and the democrats, but this did not mean the entire country was in love with republicans.

Flashing forward to 2006, Nancy Pelosi never grasped that the public was angry at the republicans and George W. Bush. This did not mean they were embracing liberalism. The public was upset at the way the war was going, but they were totally open to staying, provided that they saw evidence it could be won. They were not angry that the war was still happening, but that it was not progressing.

Also, disagreement with the President did not mean people hated his guts. The public was fed up with republican sex scandals, and many conservatives were frustrated not that the President had swung too far to the right, but that he did not go far enough.

The Pelosiraptor had one other disadvantage compared to Mr. Gingrich. Mr. Gingrich had a plan many people disagreed with. Ms. Pelosi had no plan at all. Disgust with republicans won a midterm election, but it is difficult to actually govern when there is no uniting philosophy of those in the majority. Does anybody remember Nancy Pelosi advocating any policies during the campaign?

Nancy Pelosi should have learned from Newt Gingrich that America does not have a Parliamentary system of government. There is no Prime Minister. The Speaker of the House is not a head of state. They are the head of 535 lilliputians that each answer to maybe a few thousand people.

Nancy Pelosi put on a burkha and sipped tea with Bashar Assad. She simply looked like an imbecile, making statements about foreign policy that she had to disavow several minutes after the words were uttered.

When President Bush has a meeting with a world leader, it means something. He speaks for America. Nobody else has that power. Senators and House members do not. Not even ex-Presidents wield such influence. Presidential spouses certainly do not have as much gravitas. The Vice President and the Secretary of Defense can only convey so much.

Newt Gingrich overreached, and within four years of being Speaker, became a private citizen. The Pelosiraptor is well on her way to being a private citizen, which would be the best thing she could do for America.

Could she recover? Of course. Anything is possible. Unfortunately, political parties eat their own, and the democrats are cannibals. She had a chance to break the President, and she instead got broken. The temptation upon achieving power is to seek vengeance and punish the new minority, but this strategy backfires. The American public wants results. They are not democrats or republicans. They just want solutions and accomplishments. Nancy Pelosi did not deliver.

Ms. Pelosi, you got too big for your britches. You might want to step out of San Francisco and Washington, DC, and get to know Middle America. They eat red meat, want us to win the war, watch football, and like country music. You might want to learn who Toby Keith is, because while there are angry Americans out there, they are angry at terrorists, not the President.

Ms. Pelosi, George W. Bush is the President. You are not. Assuming you keep your job, show some respect next time. You went after the Dub, and he took your best shot, and remained alive and kicking. That is why a year later, you ended up with a Texas sized boot in your @ss.


Another boring mainstream election

Friday, December 21st, 2007

The 2008 primary elections will bring boring and predictable results, and the general election will have two safe candidates fighting until the conclusion.

There will be no surprises, no shocks, and no earthquakes in the primaries. The media are desperate for a story, and writing about the candidates that will win would force reporters and columnists to run out of ink before the general election.

Every election has the upstarts, the dark horses, the gadflys and the lunatics. When their collective 125 minutes of fame are up, the favorites always win. Let me say this again. The favorites always win.

The democratic party is almost democratic in the sense that it does not immediately rally behind the favorite. The republican party simply anoints whoever is next in line. Whoever’s “turn” it is gets the nod. This pattern has not changed in decades, and will not change any time soon.

In 1980, people love to gush about how Ted Kennedy nearly took down sitting President Jimmy Carter. Only in politics is almost winning a victory. Carter won for the democrats. For the republicans, Ronald Reagan was the favorite. Yes, upstart George Herbert Walker Bush won Iowa, and no, it didn’t stop Reagan. John Anderson was the gadfly, and he won nothing.

In 1984, Walter Mondale was the favorite for the democrats, yet Gary Hart was the upstart who had early success. Jesse Jackson was the gadfly. Mondale won the right to get trounced by Reagan.

In 1988, George Herbert Walker Bush was now the favorite for the republicans. Yes, Bob Dole was a well known war hero and Senator, but he was an upstart, nothing more. The gadfly lunatic role was played by Pat Robertson, who did well in Iowa. President Bush won handily. The democrats had a cast of characters. Gary Hart dropped out way too early to be factored into anything. Michael Dukakis was the favorite, with several upstarts in Dick Gephardt, Al Gore and Paul Simon. Jesse Jackson and Pat Schroeder were the gadfly lunatics. Yes, there were some early surprises, but when all was said and done, the safe, inoffensive, technocratic Dukakis was the winner.

1992 is another example of people gushing over an insurgent, and unlike Ted Kennedy, Pat Buchanan won nothing. President Bush won every primary and the nomination. It was not Buchanan who wrecked President Bush, despite a horrible speech that was the lowlight of a disastrous convention. Ross Perot did actual damage in terms of votes, not Buchanan. Buchanan was the upstart, the gadfly and the lunatic all in one, and his impact to this day remains overstated. The democrats fawned over non-candidates such as Mario Cuomo, but of those running, Bill Clinton was the favorite. Paul Tsongas was the upstart, with Jerry Brown the gadfly lunatic. Tsongas won New Hampshire, and Bill CLinton won the nomination anyway.

In 1996, Bob Dole was pretty much handed the job, proving that the republican party primary process was a waste of time. He might have been the weakest frontrunner in history, but that was enough. Phil Gramm, Steve Forbes, and Lamar Alexander were the upstarts, Pat Buchanan the full fledged lunatic gadfly, Alan Keyes, Bob Dornan, and Morrie Taylor as additional gadflys, and pretend drama when Buchanan won New Hampshire. This led to the expression, “As New Hampshire goes, so goes New Hampshire.” Pete Wilson and Dan Quayle were more than upstarts, but were simply not frontrunners. Arlen Specter was an upstart. Bob Dole quickly won the nomination.

In 2000, Vice President Al Gore was the favorite, and upstart Bill Bradley was going to shock the world. After all, he was a basketball hero. Apparently, the establishment was unimpressed, and Al Gore won the nomination. The republicans had George W. Bush as the favorite, upstarts in Elizabeth Dole and John McCain, and similar gadflys who would not go away. McCain won New Hampshire, and George W. Bush won the nomination and the White House. People want to talk about Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan, but the bottom line is there have always been third parties, and they win nothing. They also have nothing to do with the primaries.

In 2004, John Kerry was the favorite. Yes, Howard Dean rocketed to fame as an upstart, lunatic, gadfly all in one, but when all was said and done, he lost badly. The “invisible primary” that respected former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw talked about is not a substitute for actual votes. Outside of the 10-12 people who watch the Sunday morning talk shows, nobody cares who wins the Iowa Straw Poll. Dick Gephardt may have been more than an upstart, and had he been anointed the favorite he would have won. Joe Lieberman was not the favorite, although he might have been slightly more than an upstart.  John Edwards and Wesley Clark were the upstarts. The gadfly lunatics were Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich.The safe choice was Kerry, and he won most of the primaries.

Other characters in elections are the “respected, cerebral candidates people like but can’t win the nomination.” In 1980 the republicans had Howard Baker. In 1996, the republicans had Richard Lugar. The democrats had Bob Kerrey in 1992.

Both parties have their “if only they had run they would have changed the world” dream candidates. The democrats had Mario Cuomo in 1988 and 1992, and George Mitchell in 1992. The republicans had Colin Powell and Jack Kemp in 1996.

Both parties have had their “if only they had not had bad luck they would have won” candidates. If Gary Hart had not gotten caught on the boat for the democrats in 1988…if Pete Wilson had not contracted chronic laryngitis in 1996…if, if, if…nothing.

None of these candidates would have won.

So what will happen in 2008?

For the democrats, Hillary Clinton is the favorite, Barack Obama is the upstart, John Edwards is the quasi-upstart, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel are the gadfly lunatics, and Bill Richardson and Joe Biden are the dark horses nobody will consider. Christopher Dodd is an even darker horse.

For the republicans, there is dispute over who the original favorite actually is. Some say Rudy Giuliani, some say John McCain. They can be considered co-favorites, which is unprecedented, although they can both make a case for being next in line with Dick Cheney opting out. Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Fred Thompson are the upstarts, Duncan Hunter the respected dark horse, and Tom Tancredo, Alan Keyes, and Ron Paul rounding out the lunatic gadflys. Jim Gilmore, Tommy Thompson and Sam Brownback also ran, and were also rans.

When all is said and done, this mythical, media manufactured excitement will be nothing but Trivial Pursuit answers to meaningless questions.

By the time Hillary’s minions are done destroying Obama, people will believe he molests puppies and kittens. Edwards will escape her wrath as long as he flies under the radar and does not actually win anything significant.

As for the republicans, Mike Huckabee will fail in the 49 states not dominated by Christian activists. Mitt Romney, only making headway because George Allen self destructed with one macaca moment, is an impressive upstart. Fred Thompson will be back on Law and Order because somebody has to keep Sam Waterson’s Jack McCoy from being an arrogant gasbag.

Hillary will win for the democrats, Giuliani will win for the republicans, and McCain winning for the republicans is possible.

Everything else is a media creation.

Wesley Clark, Colin Powell and other handsome, telegenic celebrity candidates keep reporters employed. They do not win elections.

Enjoy the exciting days of December 2007, because within weeks of 2008 beginning, the 9 month general election will be tedious, neverending, and decided between frontrunner candidates that we all knew were going to win the whole time.

How do we know this? Because while people claim that they clamor change, Americans by nature are minimalists, incrementalists, and risk averse. They prefer evolution to revolution.

Speculating about primaries can be faked into looking exciting, but the results will be traditional, stable, and boring.


General Petraeus and the CAIR Bears

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Although Time Magazine has not been relevant for a couple decades, their “Person of the Year” award is a clever marketing tool that allows the magazine to convince people once a year that people actually read the thing. Long known as a liberal shill, U.S. News and World Report left it in the dust by making the revolutionary decision to actually report the news (hence the title) rather than editorialize it.

In the great tradition of the Academy Awards and the Nobel Peace Prize, The Person of the Year is another way of crowning somebody on the political left. The only time anybody right of center can win is under situations so calamitous that pressure mandates it. This happened in 2001, when 9/11 forced the magazine to pick Rudy Giuliani, since the only other option was George W. Bush. The magazine even flirted with giving the prize to Osama Bin Laden, and backed down under pressure. In 1995, Newt Gingrich was picked, again only after virtually every single democrat in the country was fired.

This brings us to 2007. There was nobody anywhere close to the significance of General David Petraeus. He is one of the greatest Generals in American history, and Iraq is a much more stable place in 2007 due to 2006 because of his genius and expertise in the field. If you believe that the War on Terror is the defining issue of our time, and that David Petraeus has led the effort to help win this war, then he is the only logical choice for Person of the Year.

Yet Time Magazine does not see the War on Terror as being of vital importance. Let us run down the list of the people deemed more important than General Petraeus.

Vladimir Putin won. He is a leftist, which is a good start to win this award. Personally, I like Putin. I like how he handles terrorists. He murders them in cold blood before they can do likewise. When children were kidnapped when a school was taken hostage, he threatened to go in and kill everybody. The terrorists called his bluff, thinking he would not allow children to become collateral damage. The terrorists were wrong. The children would have been killed anyway, and the terrorists understand Putin is not a man who bluffs. If I were a rebel in Russia, I would look at Putin and say, “I don’t need this, I am taking up golf.” That is what leaders do to terrorists. They crush them.

Yet as much as I admire Putin, he is not the most significant man this year. He could be a candidate for the selection if he leaves power peacefully and helps Russia move further towards democracy. This was not the year for him.

Yet as bad a choice as Putin was, Al Gore came in second. Never has a less consequential man been given so much adulation for doing so little. He wins awards for talking about global warming, now known as global climate change to protect the greeniacs if the climate cools. He has not offered any practical solutions. He wins awards for speaking about the issue. Only liberals could give each other awards for talking rather than doing.

Yet even Al Gore fails to be the least relevant person to be considered. J.K. Rowling? She writes children’s books for crying out loud!

I have never read Harry Potter. I am sure they are delightful books for kids. What does this have to do with the world at large? I liked “The Berenstein Bears,” as a child. i don’t remember Stan and Jan Berenstein being considered for Nobel Prizes.

If Time Magazine could somehow get past their leftist biases, they would see that the true people who helped change the world for the better were right of center this year.

Nicolas Sarkozy has to be considered. He has instantly…and I mean instantly…changed France from a borderline enemy and supporter of terrorist nations to a friend of the USA who talks tougher on Iran than any democrat and some republicans running for President. In 2002, it was Tony Blair, and in 2007 we have Sarko the American. His finest moment was when he called French rioters “scum.”

Another person who must be considered is outgoing Australian Prime Minister John Howard. He managed their economy so deftly that the nation currently has zero debt. He was a staunch supporter of the war on terror, and cracked down on immigrants that refused to adhere to Australian values. As America faced New York City tragedy, John Howard fought back against bombings in Bali.

For those who think that trees are more important than human beings, try being a schoolteacher in a fundamentalist nation. Give children a teddy bear, and when they name it Mohammed, watch as you get arrested and sentenced to 200 lashes.

This column did lead to some lighthearted moments, some of which were clever enough to warrant reprinting with consent of those quoted.

“I’m taking a large teddy bear to Ottawa to present it to the Sudanese ambassador there – I am hoping to do this by Sunday. We’re encouraging Muslims to mail in teddy bears, with the name ‘Muhammad’ written on them, to the Sudanese ambassador.”

I commented on this below.

“My worry is when they start sending teddy bears back.

At some point somebody living in a Western democracy will receive a teddy bear with a Muslim t-shirt on it.

Throw the bear into the river as fast as possible before it explodes.

Teddy bears can also be used to smuggle drugs and small weapons, so I hope these teddies do not unscrew. Otherwise, we are sending them containers to keep their bad behavior in.

Or, perhaps I am overthinking this. )

Others responded with sharp wit as well.

“Is there room in the store for an extended line of C.A.I.R. Bears? 1.Burka Bear 2.Honor-Kill Bear 3.Jihad Bear 4.Infidel Bear 5.Submit Bear 6.Sharia Bear, etc…”

“I’d like to see 10,000 of them doing this over Sudan. Operation Teddy Drop

“Top Ten Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Mohammed Teddy Bear

10. Is it halal to keep him on the same bed as Piglet?
9. Does my homeowner’s policy cover fatwas issued against me?
8. What if he wages jihad against the cat?
7. Would he behead the other teddy bears if they don’t submit to him?
6. Would I have to buy burkas for the Barbie dolls?
5. Is this really a suitable Hanukkah gift?
4. Does my toybox face east?
3. Would G.I. Joe rip the stuffing out of him?
2. Could I be accused of waterboarding if I clean him in the washing machine?
1. Could he make an IED out of a honey pot?”

“I still like the idea of putting suckers on the feet so we could hang them inside our car windows, though I’m not sure Progressive insurance covers that.”

“I hope they’ll still be on sale after my recovery from Christmas. This little darling will sit proudly beside my bobble-head Mohammed. D

“I thought of these bears yesterday as the news had the inevitable picture of the shrine set up in memory of the girl killed by her father.”

“Rusty’s teddy is more to the point.”

“What I would like to see, is a huge WWII style air drop. 5000 airplanes spread out all across that country, little parachutes strapped to these bears in the same manner as the Ruperts of D-Day only these would have ‘Mohammed’ emblazened across it, stitched into it in Arabic, English and whatever other language would be necessary to get the point across, at at a designated time, synchronized in true military fashion, a drop, filmed of course, to the music of ‘Flight of the Valkyries’ all across that country, Teddy Bears fall from the sky, everywhere. No matter where you look or step, Mohammed is being insulted to the point that their pointy little heads pop off their pencil necks. Teddy Bears from heaven. Millions of them, floating down, Mohammed from the sky. Picture it. Oh, to have Richard Branson’s money. *sigh* There would be nothing to top that. The look on IRB’s face alone would be worth it.”

Beneath the lighthearted jokes is the fact that Islamofacists don’t just lash people indiscriminately. They beat people in the town square. They behead people. They get enraged over cartoons that show Islam to have practicers who engage in violence, and they communicate their rage by engaging in violence!

Yes, there are people that believe that Islamofacism is not the prevailing threat of our time. Perhaps these people should try clicking their heels three times together and saying, “There’s no place like home.”

Come to think of it, perhaps Time Magazine can give their “Person” of the year award, previously given to a computer, to animals. They should start with the Tin Man, The Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow, because their editorial board is living in Oz.

(For those too young to know the movie, “Oz” is not Australia)

Where do we draw the line? How about we give the award to Paris, Lindsay, or Britney? They do keep plenty of people employed covering their missteps, benefitting the economy.

The world entering 2008 is a far better place than it was at the start of 2007. The reason for this is largely correlated to the leadership of the man who literally wrote the book on counterinsurgency, General David Petraeus.

Perhaps when and if Islamofacists accidentally bomb Time Magazine headquarters, not realizing it is one of their worldwide bases of support, these liberals will remain the few un-mugged, and unaware. 9/11 never happened, the Halcyon days of the 1990s still exist, and the most significant people of the year are people telling tales of fiction and fantasy, that being J.K. Rowling and Al Gore.

They both made money, and are famous. That does not make them relevant, and it certainly does not make them as important as a man saving the world from Islamofacist murderers. Reasonable people can understand this. Time Magazine cannot.


My Interview With John Podhoretz

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007


I had the pleasure of meeting John Podhoretz a few days ago in San Francisco. He was part of a panel of Jewish political conservatives discussing issues in the news. The event was put on by Jonathan Schanzer of the Jewish Policy Center, and Mr. Podhoretz contributed to it being a phenomenal event.


Mr. Podhoretz is the son of the revered Norman Podhoretz, the father of the Neocon movement. He did a fabulous job raising his son, politically speaking.


John Podhoretz is the author of the book, “Bush Country: How Dubya became a great President while driving liberals insane.” After that, he penned a book about Hillary Clinton entitled, “Can she be stopped?”. Both of these books are easy and enjoyable reads, mainly because Mr. Podhoretz mixes serious political analysis with lighthearted humor.


Mr. Podhoretz spent several years as a columnist for the New York Post. While he normally writes about politics, his open letter to his daughter nine days after her birth is a column for the ages. Mr. Podhoretz is now the Editorial Director at Commentary Magazine, taking over for his father. In January of 2009, he will be the Editor. For serious analysis of foreign policy issues, Commentary is the platinum standard.




It was a pleasure meeting him, and bringing his analysis and humor to the Tygrrrr Express. With that, below is the interview.


1) How does a nice Jewish person from a good family end up, horror of horrors, politically conservative?


Just lucky, I guess.


2) 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 deep commitment to your faith with the noble goal of educating some Americans who may unfairly consider all religion to be equated with zealotry and intolerance?


I’m not sure I take it as a goal of mine to educate Americans who equate religion with zealotry and intolerance. That view is held most especially by people who fancy themselves better educated and more intellectually minded than those who profess faith, and the one thing you can say about people who fancy themselves intellectual is that they are far more closed-minded than people who don’t fancy themselves much at all.


3) What can ordinary citizens do, besides donating money and buying your books, to help win the War on Terror? What obligations do we have, and how can we help?


I think the key here is simply to do two things: First, to speak up in conversation about how important this is so that the conversation is never dominated without response by those who argue we are doing too much, or acting unnecessarily. Second, to vote.


4) 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?


Oddly enough, our government does very big things right. It builds big ships and fighter planes and weaponry right. It manages to send out tens of millions of Social Security checks without fail. You never hear of anyone who doesn’t get his IRS refund. What it does badly is micromanaging anything, and it should do less of that.


5) Without giving an endorsement unless you choose to do so, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the five main republican candidates?


The strength of Giuliani is that he has proven himself the most effective governing official in modern American history; the weakness, that he has a sloppy personal life. Romney’s strength is that he is a brilliant and well-spoken man; the weakness, that his candidacy is a marketing plan and not intrinsic to him. McCain’s strength is that he is means what he says and says what he means, and was right on the key issue of the decade; his weakness is that he has a perverse hunger to insult people who should be his core supporters. Fred Thompson’s strength is that he is funny and thoughtful; his weakness is that he doesn’t actually want to be president. Mike Huckabee’s strength is his wit; his weakness is that he is an identity-politics candidate.


6) 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?

(This question is best answered by going to

and reading every single word of every single article)



7) What were the main challenges you faced in your life? What were your greatest successes, and what do you need more time to accomplish?


The main challenge I face in my life is my weight. My greatest success is my marriage. I need more time to lose weight.


8.) Our country is incredibly polarized. Outside of another 9/11, is it even possible to unite Americans? What can be done to help reduce the acrimony among Americans today?


I, for one, have no interest in uniting with Michael Moore. I have no idea how to reduce the acrimony. People enjoy it more than they admit.


9) The American dollar seems to be in free fall. Should government get involved, and is this even a problem at all? If so, what needs to be done?


The best thing the government can do for the dollar is to avoid protectionist measures.


10) Who are your three favorite American political leaders of all time?


George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan.


11) Who are your three favorite world political leaders of all time?


Moses, Cincinnatus, Abraham Lincoln.


12) 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 they should rule on the two second amendment cases in front of them?


A Supreme Court justice should be willing to rule based on what law and precedent and the Constitution say, even if that ruling will make him unpopular. I can only speak to the D.C. case, and clearly, I think, the court should rule that the Second Amendment trumps the wildly overreaching law that forbids all D.C. residents from possessing a handgun.


13) Many Jews see Judaism as being in lockstep with liberalism, even though the highest for of Tzedakah involves helping someone achieve self-reliance, a very conservative philosophy. How do you explain the synthesis between Judaism and political conservatism to others?

I don’t think Judaism and political conservatism are especially congruent, actually, just as I don’t believe Judaism and liberalism are congruent. Judaism is a religion. Liberalism and conservatism are the terms we use to describe differing political and philosophical approaches to the world. Both are right and both are wrong to some degree.

14) Former Attorney General John Ashcroft once said that if the law conflicted with his religious beliefs, he would resign. Alabama Justice Roy Moore refused to obey a law requiring that he remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom, based on his beliefs. Has American law ever conflicted with your religious beliefs, and how did you or would you handle this conflict?

Respect for the law is the fundament of representative government. I think there are times when people feel they must disobey the law because they are called to do so. That choice cannot be free of cost.

15) 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 Podhoretz Doctrine?


Yes, I support the Bush Doctrine, and it may well be necessary to take preemptive action against Iran, but only if we know what to hit. Right now, I don’t have faith that we know what to hit.


16) 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?


My view is that Israel has the right to defend itself against existential threat like any other nation, and that Israel, like the United States, would have good reason to degrade the Iranian nuclear program — if it knows how. After Lebanon, I see no reason to have faith that Ehud Olmert knows how to find the men’s room.


17) Is Iranian President Armageddonijad a terrorist? If so, should he be banned from any functions not directly related to the U.N.? Can and should the U.S. Government prohibit such people from visiting American universities, and should poison ivy league universities face sanctions or pressure for hosting such people?


He is the head of government of a sovereign state. The U.S. government should not act in that manner. On the other hand, any institution that hosts him should be judged harshly.


18) 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 demagogued by the demagoguic 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 seniors?


Not only do I favor the partial privatization of Social Security, it has already happened. There isn’t a sane person in America without a 401 K plan. Fundamentally, Americans understand that Social Security will not suffice. Therefore, Social Security payments are just a transfer tax from the younger to the older, and when the system can no longer afford the transfer, it will end in some manner. But only when a crisis is reached.


19) How can the USA win the War on Terror when we cannot even win the public relations war? How do we balance freedom of speech and freedom of the press with the problem of media institutions such as the Jayson Blair Times revealing troop movements and getting our own soldiers killed? Should such actions result in criminal investigations and possible criminal sanctions? How can we win the public relations war?


We can win the war on terror even so. It’s like we’re chaining a lead ball to our feet when we have to run a race — it’s stupid and counterproductive and maybe even dangerous. But in the end, we’ll win that race.


20) Without delving into your personal life, what would you want Americans to know about John Podhoretz 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?


I would like the world to remember that I was thin, because that would mean I lost weight and kept it off. Also, that I grew to be very, very old, and yet still played tennis. It would be nice if people, upon thinking of my name, said, “You know, he wrote pretty well.”


I would like to thank Mr. Podhoretz for his humor, his time, and his insights. Anybody who questions the power of Jewish republicans to positively influence the public debate must delve further into the world of John Podhoretz. Given how much enjoyment I have taken from his columns, the only thing I can do in return is offer him a joyful sentiment of my own.


In keeping with Ronald Reagan’s optimism, to answer the question of his last book, I emphatically state that yes, she can be stopped, and yes, she will be stopped. It will not be easy, but I will do my part from a small corner of the blogosphere, and he will effectively do his part from his justifiably platinum platform.


I wish John Podhoretz and his family much happiness always, and I hope he knows that he and I both have something in common with “The Dub.” We both drive liberals insane, and will continue to do so, from the right…by being right.




Lieberman vs Lamont Redux

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

On many occasions I have stated that the democratic party are a bunch of children, and the republicans, while far from perfect, are adults. In 2006 the democrats decided to lash out at Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman for having the nerve to be an adult. The temper tantrum toddlers on the left turned to Ned Lamont. Before seeing what they are talking about now, a brief look back is necessary.

Joseph Lieberman is an Orthodox Jew with an unorthodox political streak, and on virtually every single issue, he is a moderate to liberal democrat. On one issue…and only one issue…Lieberman deviates from, not religiously speaking, orthodoxy. Joe Lieberman supported the Iraq War from the very beginning, and has never wavered. While many lily livered republicans bolted from President Bush, Lieberman has stayed by his side on this issue.

Given that the democratic party is the party of intolerance, Lieberman’s 90% voting record with the left was not sufficient. His refusal to hate the President’s guts made him unfit to be a member of a party that long ago abandoned the moniker of loyal opposition. In a democratic primary, Lieberman faced a primary challenger named Ned Lamont, whose primary qualification seemed to be support from those who want to burn the President in effigy, and hang his charred body by his feet in a matter befitting Mussolini, who the left seems to think President Bush is to begin with.

Lamont did win the democratic primary, but Lieberman ran as an independent, trouncing Lamont in the general election. Loyal democrat that he is, Lieberman still caucuses with the democrats, even though he could have kept the republicans in control of the Senate had he become a republican. The man is simply principled, and to the shock of most democrats, a democrat.

So where are they today? Lieberman wrote an article explaining why he has decided to cross party lines and endorse John McCain for President of the United States. His rationale is the same one that democrat and former Mayor Ed Koch used to support President Bush in 2004. Lieberman understands that the primary issue of our lifetime is not global warming, abortion, gay rights, or other issues that get activists hysterical. The issue of our lifetime is the War on Terror, civilization versus barbarism. Islamofacism is barbarism, and Lieberman gets this. He believes that John McCain is the best man to help America win this war.

For the sake of full disclosure, I backed McCain in 2000, and he is my second choice in 2008. While some argued about the surge, McCain wanted a full scale escalation. While he has angered many republicans by criticizing the Bush administration a little too freely, he has been the staunchest supporter of the war from the very first day until now.

As for Ned Lamont, he is on the verge of entering the political equivalent of the ash heap of history, next to Howard Dean and every other enraged, screaming, leftist lunatic. At the time of Lamont’s defeat, the nutroots were 0 for 26, making it all the more mystifying why anybody in the democratic party acknowledged their existence, much less kissed their feet. Cowardice is as cowardice does.

So where is Lamont now? He is currently the writer of an article praising Al Jazeera. Yes, the only terrorist organization that calls itself a legitimate media outlet, Lamont wants us to see the beauty behind their madness, the positives of their zealotry. Zealots do gravitate towards each other, but even leftists should draw a line well before Al Jazeera.

So to compare and contrast the adults and the children, below are some excerpts from Big Daddy Joe and Little Lamonty, in addition to the entire articles.

Lieberman: “On all the issues, you’re never going to do anything about them unless you have a leader who can break through the partisan gridlock. The status quo in Washington is not working.”

Lamont: “I recently spent a hot day in October at the Arabic news channel Al Jazeera, which is a virtual public square, giving voice to Arabs who challenge their governments, and ours.”

Yes, Al Jazeera, that noble bastion of freedom. God bless their Jihad loving hearts.

Lieberman: “Political party is important, but it’s not more important than what’s good for the country and it’s not more important than friendship.”

Lamont: “One of these (Arab shows), The Opposite Direction, is the Arab world’s most popular talk show, spotlighting the popular host Dr. Faisal al-Qasim, a high-octane blend of Jerry Springer and Bill O’Reilly, who thrives on pitting two ideological combatants against each other and egging them on.”

Combatants? No, the people in Guantanamo Bay are combatants. When in desperate need to win an argument as a liberal, mention Bill O’Reilly. After all, he gets excited, and on some issues is conservative. Comparing him to an Arab terrorist organization serves the purpose of either softening Al Jazeera or knocking conservative talk show hosts. Try comparing any liberal talk show host to Al Jazeera, despite their unifying hatred of all things republican, and see how quickly they claim their patriotism is being attacked.

Lieberman: “We desperately need our next president to break through the reflexive partisanship that is poisoning our politics today. I honestly believe that he can reunite our country.”

Lamont: “Many commentators believe that Al Jazeera Arabic is toning down its content compared with the early days of the Iraq War, when it ran graphic videos of American Humvees being blown up by roadside bombs and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld branded it ‘the terror network.’ Al Jazeera’s most recent offspring, Al Jazeera English, is more like PBS on a slow day.

While PBS is a disaster, and Bill Moyers does despise republicans, conservatives, and President Bush as much as Al Queda, there is no evidence that PBS directly supports homicide bombings. The only bombings they seem to support are the obliteration of their own ratings. As a welfare child, they just beg people for money and get government assistance to survive. At least Al Jazeera competes, although I suspect any other networks might get “killed” before they get started.

As for “toning it down,” genocidal lunatics and their supporters do not get gold stars on their report cards for taking a few days off. This is like Hezbollah obeying ceasefires because they need time to regroup and rearm.

So while one of the last few remaining moderate democrats decides to help us win the War on Terror, his former primary challenger and hero of the leftinistra fringes decides to swoon over and admire the propaganda arm of our enemies.

If the late comedian Redd Foxx were alive today, he would offer up the wisdom of junkyard dog Fred G. Sanford.

“Lamont, you big dummy. Shut up Lamont.”

I listen to Lamont and his ilk and think,”Elizabeth…this is the big one. I’m coming home.”

How else can one explain how any American, even a liberal, can admire Al Jazeera? Outside of lunacy, I cannot think of an explanation.

The Lieberman point of view is expressed well inside of Israel.

“Al Jazeera toning it down? Nonsense,” says Ehud Yaari, who tracks the Arab media for Channel 2 in Israel. “They always thrive on crisis,” he told me. “They’re still pouring oil on the flames of the intifada.”

The Lamont point of view is expressed by those supporting Palestine, which is a fictional country that only exists in the minds of those trying to destroy either Israel, republicans, or both.

Challenged that Al Jazeera thrives on shouting “fire” in a crowded theater, network spokesman Satnam Matharu responded calmly,  “In Palestine and the Middle East, there are many fires and many people shouting. All we do is report.”

They actually are like the liberal media, come to think of it.. Openly cheering for one side, they fake neutrality.

Democrats supported Lamont in 2006. Republicans crossed party lines to support Lieberman.

The Lamont supporters continue to yell, scream, throw their food from the table, and find more beauty in the enemies of America than in our friends such as Israel. The Lieberman supporters are busy trying to save the world.

Lieberman is not trying to win any popularity or charisma contests, but being a parent is not an easy job. Parents would love to give out free candy, but they understand that dental bills are expensive.

The liberals are not bad people. Some of them are very good kids. They can run wild for a finite period of time, but when it is time to keep them safe, the adults need to be called in.

You won’t hear about protecting American children on Al Jazeera. Then again, Ned Lamont is a private citizen. He can say what he wants.

Joe Lieberman does not have time for such tomfoolery. He is busy working. Parenting is a tough job, but he and the republicans who supported him are up to the task.


Ideological Bigotry Part X–Contrasts in Civility

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Once again, as I have said on many occasions, Jewish liberals make the Klan proud by allowing hatred of republicans to be considered acceptable. Yet despite the fact that many in my community need to publicly be verbally flogged and shamed into showing humanity towards those that are not socialists, there is hope that when given civility, some liberals might respond in kind. Two experiences this past weekend offered the best and worst of what liberalism can be.

Before getting to that, another fine fellow in cyberworld offers his own tale of ideological bigotry. If you have one, please share it with me.

As for me, Friday night was a very negative experience, which, shock of all shocks, took place at a Synagogue. Like most Jewish places of worship, this place cannot burn republican figures in effigy due to their tax exempt status, but they can engage in “stealth liberalism.” Evenings dedicated to “social justice,” which is code for political liberalism, are designed to teach Jews that the only way to live an acceptable Jewish life is to vote for liberals. Bringing in Ruth Messinger to speak about Darfur on Memorial Day weekend is a way to marginalize soldiers.

I went to this particular Synagogue because about 1000 people attend once a month, and there are events specifically for young Jewish singles. Yes, it is a cattle call, but some of the meat at this meat market is fine quality ground chuck. Also, it is one block from my home, allowing me to make a cameo, and exit quickly if I am not pleased with the livestock.

I normally avoid politics because ideological bigotry among Jews is out of control. I started talking to a woman, and the conversation was very pleasant. We seemed to be clicking. I told her that I was recently in San Francisco, and met a couple that was gay, Jewish, and republican, in addition to one of them being French. Like others, she was fascinated. It is an odd amalgamation. She said she was less shocked by the gay aspect than by the republican aspect. I knew what she meant, but I decided to ask anyway. She then brazenly stated, “Well I can understand why they would be ridiculed. I don’t like republicans.”

At this point I had several options. I could have played along. I could have berated her until she cried, which sometimes I take joy in doing. Forcing people to justify why they are not hate mongers is a decent sport. If she would have made the same comment about blacks or gays, those that laced into her would be praised. Instead, I just stared at her, not so much a scowl as a look of astonishment. She then realized that she may have placed her foot in her mouth. She asked, “Wait a minute. Are you a republican?”

I icily responded, “Have a good evening,” and proceeded to walk away. I felt her tug at my arm, but I writhed away, and kept on walking. I would like to think she felt bad, but my experience with liberals leads me to believe that she learned nothing from the experience. I genuinely regret that I did not curse her out and make a scene. I had good friends in attendance, and they would have backed me up. She could always have seen the error of her ways, but I simply felt that crushing her into the ground would have been a good release for me.

I started blogging to force liberals, especially Jewish ones, to look in the mirror and ask themselves if they disagree with conservatives, or despise them. If the answer is the latter, I will try to change them one by one, and verbal brickbats are my choice of instruction.

Yet even in the darkest of places, some people have light inside of them. A positive occurrence came to me in the form of a telephone call. A young girl was calling me from the Hillary Clinton campaign, asking if I would be willing to volunteer.

As shocked as I was to receive this call, the young girl, most likely a college student, was very polite and personable. Given that I am always preaching civility, I felt I owed that to her, rather than slamming the phone down and saying, “not interested!”

I asked her how she got my name, and she explained that I had visited one of Hillary’s websites. She was telling the truth. I did go on a Hillary website once, specifically for opposition research. I have to say that this again reminded me that anybody who underestimates Hillary is fooling themselves. One visit to her site, and they were calling me. I was impressed with what is obviously a disciplined campaign, but again one I want to see defeated. It also concerns me that none of the republican candidates have contacted me, and I am on their sites often.

I could have kept this girl on the line by pretending to be interested, but I would have only done that if she was rude. I explained to her that I went on the Hillary website to do opposition research, and that I was voting against Hillary. I also could have bashed Hillary relentlessly, but I did not feel it was my place to crush this young girl’s idealism. Additionally, such an action would most likely have the reverse effect, and push her further towards what may not yet be an entrenched position. I wish college professors would follow my example. 

As for her, for a young college student, she was definitely not scripted on the telephone. I expected her to hang up the phone at that point, but instead she asked me why I was against Hillary. I was stunned by this, but I said to her, “Well I do not want to keep you on the telephone. That is not fair to you.”

She then said something that made me laugh, and could not have pleased her bosses. “That’s ok. I’ve been making calls all day. I can take a couple minutes.”

I have to confess that while this does fit into the stereotype of young people as slackers, perhaps she was just bored. Telemarketing is not for everybody. I have been asked to make telephone calls for everything from Jewish organizations to republican candidates, and while I believed in the people I was asked to call for, I simply did not want to be bothered. I do not stuff envelopes either.

I told the girl, ” Well I disagree with her on most issues. I do not hate her, but I disagree with her vision.”

The girl persisted, although again, in a very pleasant manner. She asked for examples of how and why I disagreed with Hillary.

I responded, “Well, I support President Bush. I support the Iraq War. I am a conservative republican, and will be backing the republican nominee. As I said, I do not hate Hillary, but I do disagree with her, and will therefore not be voting for her.”

The girl, again in an incredibly genial manner, said, “Well those are big differences. What I can do is remove your name from our list so that we do not call you any more.”

I thanked her, told her I would appreciate that, and she wished me a good day. She did not slam the phone down, get in a nasty parting shot, or anything of the sort.

Some might say that this girl might be too nice to be a successful telemarketer, but one call is not a representative sample.

Yet her tone was absolutely sincere. She did not get belligerent when I expressed my disagreement with her. She made a couple reasonable attempts to persuade me, and when she realized that would not be possible, ended the conversation in a dignified and classy manner.

She did not freak out at the word “republican.” She saw an opening to persuade someone, and appropriate backed off when she saw there was a stalemate.

I wish the girl at the Temple could have shown similar decency. Yet sometimes people are so far gone that all they know is hatred and bile.

Then again, water is wet, and Jewish liberals are tolerant, depending on what “is,” is, and what “tolerant” means.


NFL 2007–Week 15 Recap

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

The weather is getting colder, the contenders and pretenders are diverging, and again to quote John Randle, “This is when the big dogs come out.”

With that, here is the Week 15 NFL Recap.

Denver Broncos @ Houston Texans was the Thursday night game. A fairly evenly matched game was also fairly unremarkable in the sense that nothing good or bad came out of it. There were no spectacular or awful performances. After three quarters, the Texans led 17-13. In the 4th quarter, Sage Rosenfels connected with Andre Johnson to give Houston some breathing room. A 28 yard Johnson reception late in the game set up another touchdown, as the 7-7 Texans clung to slim hopes of making the playoffs for the first time in franchise history under former Broncos quarterback Gary Kubiak. As for the Broncos, at 6-8 they are all but eliminated. 31-13 Texans

Cincinnati Bengals @ San Francisco 49ers was the Saturday night game. Twice in the 1980s this game meant everything. Tonight it meant about 100% less than that. Nevertheless, as awful as a game between a pair of 4-9 teams can be, this one was well played. There were no turnovers, and the teams combined for only 4 penalties, three by Frisco. Shaun Hill made his first NFL start for the 49ers, and completed 21 of 28 passes, including a touchdown pass right before the half that put San Francisco up 14-10. Frank Gore ran for 138 yards, and the 49ers kept the ball for 36 minutes while converting 9 of 15 3rd downs, including a 3rd and 9 late in the game that allowed them to run out the clock. 20-13 49ers

New York Jets @ New England Patriots–Despite a Nor’easter that should remind everybody why the New England area is a horrid place to live, it was not snowing at game time. New England came in 13-0, yet with a chip on their shoulder. The Jets had come into New England last year in the snow and beaten them. Also, The Bellichick-Mangini feud coupled with the taping scandal was still fresh. New England actually had to punt on their first drive, but a fabulous special teams play forced the Jets to start at their own three yard line. After a run went nowhere, Kelly Clemens went back to pass from his own end zone, got rocked and driven into the turf. Worse, his pass was intercepted by Eugene Wilson for a 5 yard touchdown in the Thiesmann to Squirek tradition. Brad Smith replaced Clemens, and ran the option. Leon Washington took a pitchout for 49 yards. They tried it again, and lost 8 yards. On 3rd and 18, Chad Pennington was brought into the game. He threw a 17 yard pass. For some ridiculous and bizarre reason, Brad Smith then came in on 4th and 1, and his pass fell incomplete. 3 quarterbacks, -7 points.

The Patriots faced a 4th and 2 at the Jets 20 as the first quarter ended. Then to start the second quarter, they called a timeout before running a play. Brady ran for the first down himself. On 4th and 1 from the 8, Bellichick decided to gamble again. New England took another timeout. Instead, a 26 yard field goal was made to put the Patriots up 10-0 in a game where points were possibly expected to be at a premium. The 17 play drive lasted nearly 9 minutes. The Jets carousel continued as Pennington was brought back in, to no immediate avail.

After New England could not move the ball, Chris Hanson came into punt. He fumbled the snap, which appeared to be right in his hands. He tried to punt it anyway, and it was blocked and returned for a touchdown by Mike Nugent to get the Jets back in the game.The Patriots had run 36 plays to only 12 for the Jets, and led 10-2 in first downs. Yet the score was only 10-7. However, with just under 2 minutes left in the half, The Patriots blocked a punt themselves, starting their next possession at the New York three yard line, setting up a rushing touchdown and a 17-7 lead.

The second half was a slugfest, and with the Jets driving, the Patriots called a timeout on defense with 6 1/2 minutes left. Until the fourth quarter, the Jets had no third down conversions, but this sustained drive had them in the red zone. On 3rd and 1 form the 16, they tried a pass, which was incomplete. They then opted for the field goal, and the 33 yarded cut the gap to seven points. 17 plays and 7:40 off of the clock later, the Jets had hope. That hope was apparently dashed when Brady completed a bomb to Moss, setting up a field goal that put the game out of reach. Leon Washington did return the kickoff over 50 yards, and a 15 yard horse collar personal foul tacked on allowed the Jest to start at the New England 31. A touchdown pass was ruled bobbled and out of bounds, and a field goal attempt went wide, as the Patriots went to 14-0, locking up home field advantage throughout the playoffs. 20-10 Patriots

Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers–While the Buccaneers remained a quiet 8-5 team looking to wrap up their division, the Falcons remained a team in turmoil, as Bobby Petrino abruptly resigned as coach to take the Arkansas job. Given his expertise is at the college level, some would say the Falcons would have been a good fit. Nevertheless, they are a pro franchise, technically. Ronde Barber returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Buccaneers lead.

This game also featured some history. The Buccaneers entered the league in1976, and in over 30 years, they had never…not one time…returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Well today it happened, and the 90 yard kickoff return by Micheal Spurlock after an Atlanta field goal ended one of the oddest football factoids. It propelled Tampa Bay to a 14-3 lead. Shannon Sharpe had the quote of the day when he stated that Atlanta challenged whether it really was the very first Tampa Bay kickoff return. It was, and Atlanta lost a timeout. Tampa continued to pour it on, leading 24-3 at the break. For some reason, the second half was played. The Bucs clinched their division. 37-3 Buccaneers

Green Bay Packers @ St. Louis Rams–On Green Bay’s opening drive, Ryan Grant ran it in from 2 yards out to put the Packers up 7-0. As terrible as the Rams have bee this year, they have had devastating injuries. Marc Bulger returned for this game, and his short touchdown pass to Torry Holt tied the game. Brett Favre came back with a short touchdown pass to put the Packers back up 14-7. After the Rams tied the game on a 46 yard touchdown run by Stephen Jackson, a Mason Crosby field goal gave the Packers their third lead of the game at 17-14. After a field goal extended the lead, Brett Favre threw a deep rainbow to Jennings for a touchdown and a 27-14 lead. Additionally, his next completion allowed him to pass Dan Marino for the all time passing yardage mark of 61,361. The 7 yard toss to Donald Driver capped a day of perfection. 33-14 Packers

Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers–The game was scoreless after 3 quarters, although it was less exciting than that. This was not weather induced. It was simply what it was. Carolina was starting their 4th string quarterback Matt Moore. A field goal put Carolina up 3-0 with 12:18 remaining in the game. With Seattle facing 4th and 1 at the Carolina 6, the Walrus opted for the tying field goal. From 23 yards out, the game was tied 3-3 with 8:23 left. Carolina went back up 6-3, but Seattle was driving at the 2 minute warning. Hasselbeck then got belted from the blind side by Thomas Davis, forcing a fumble that Carolina recovered with 1:38 left. It was the only turnover of the game, and it was the difference. One play and 18 seconds later, Deangelo Williams ran for 35 yards and a touchdown to put the Panthers up 13-3 to ice the game. A meaningless garbage touchdown at the end of the game was not enough to prevent Seattle’s five game winning streak from being snapped. Their loss allowed Dallas to earn a first round bye. Seattle had to wait to clinch the NFC Worst. 13-10 Panthers

Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns–This was the blizzard game of the day. More importantly, the 7-6 Bills and the 8-5 Browns, after several years of futility, both had a serious shot at making the playoffs. Cleveland was only one game out in their division. A field goal had the Browns up 3-0, and in the second quarter a mistake possibly induced by the blizzard added to the total. Punting from near their own end zone, the snap sailed over Brian Moorman’s head. He smartly kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety and a 5-0 Browns lead. A field goal had Cleveland up 8-0. Neither team did much after that, although a punt with 6 minutes left pinned the Browns at their own 4 yard line. With 2 minutes left, facing 4th and 1 at the 48, Romeo Crennel decided not to gamble, punting it back. Trent Edwards moved the Bills down the field, and after converting 4th and 10, the Bills then faced 4th and 5 from the Browns 10 yard line with 15 seconds remaining. A completed pass was short of the first down, and the Browns held on, all but knocking the Bills out of contention. The Browns moved into a first place tie in their division. 8-0 Browns.

Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs–Vince Young and Brodie Croyle both had a touchdown pass, as Kansas City led 14-10 in a game the Titans needed to keep their playoff hopes alive. After an exchange of field goals, Vince Young’s second touchdown pass to Roydell Williams had the Titans up 20-17 with 11 minutes left. Kansas City gotno closer. 26-17 Titans

Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins–The Dolphins had to be careful not to overlook Baltimore before their anticipated showdown with New England next week. Just kidding. While the Dolphins have failed to win all year in 13 tries, a win today was not an insane thought given that the Ravens came in having lost 7 straight after a 4-2 start. Shockingly, it was an ugly game, and with the Ravens leading 6-3, a Kyle Boller touchdown pass had the Ravens up 13-3 at the break. The Dolphins tied the game 13-13 in the fourth quarter, and actually took the lead 16-13 with 2 minutes remaining.

Kyle Boller got injured, and Troy Smith saw his first NFL action with the 2 minute drill against an 0-13 team being the introduction. Smith moved the Ravens down the field, and faced 3rd and goal at the 10 with 17 seconds left. A completed pass appeared to be a touchdown, but was ruled out of bounds inside the one yard line with 12 seconds left. Billick decided to go for the field goal, tying the game 16-16. The players wanted to go for it, but Billick ordered the kick. The Ravens got the ball first in overtime, but Matt Stover’s kick indoors from 44 yards out was no good. The Dolphins had life. Jason Taylor had blocked a Stover kick earlier, as the Ravens could not put the game away. A quick slant pass from Cleo Lemon to Greg Camarillo turned into daylight, a foot race, and a 64 yard touchdown. The Dolphins stopped the bleeding. They needed an extra quarter to do it, but they happily rendered their game against New England meaningless. The 1972 Dolphins have yet to pop their champagne corks, and the 2007 Dolphins certainly did not, but the 1976 Bucs did. The Ravens lost their eighth straight, and the Dolphins had a win. 22-16 Dolphins, OT

Arizona Cardinals @ New Orleans Saints–A pair of 6-7 teams came in clinging to playoff life, and Kurt Warner and Drew Brees put on an aerial show. Warner threw three touchdown passes, while Brees was 26 of 30 with two touchdown passes.The Saints led 21-14 at the intermission. Brees kept firing in the second half, putting the Saints up 28-14. Warner responded, bringing the Cardinals within 28-21. A field goal gave the Saints some breathing room, but the Cardinals added a field goal of their own to close the gap. They would get no closer. The Saints were still alive, and the Cardinals were not. 31-24 Saints
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Pittsburgh Steelers–This was the snow game of the day, as flurries came down. The field was completely visible, as play seemed undisturbed. A pair of 9-4 teams known for hard nosed running and defense squared off. Josh Scobee kicked a field goal to put the Jaguars up 3-0. Roethlisberger then threw a pass into traffic that was deflected at least once, and somehow caught for a touchdown by Heath Miller, putting the Steelers up 7-3. A David Garrard touchdown pass just before the half had the Jags up 10-7. The snow worsened in the second half, but a time consuming drive culminated in another Garrard touchdown pass. Although the placeholder fumbled the snap on the extra point, Jacksonville still led 16-7.

On their next possession, Garrard, unaware of the snowy conditions, threw a deep ball for another touchdown pass. The 55 yard rainbow to Dennis Northcutt put the Jaguars up 22-7. The extra point attempt was way wide, the only flaw in Jacksonville’s game up to this point. Yet when Garrard threw an interception, a Roethlisberer toss to Hines Ward had the gap narrowed to 8 points with 13 minutes remaining. The 2 missed extra points loomed large. Pittsburgh then scored again, and the 2 point conversion tied the game 22-22 with 5 1/2 minutes left. Fred Taylor ran it in with 1:57 left to put the Jaguars up 29-22. Facing 4th and 7, Roethlisberger threw a pass that went just near the marker, but was ruled short. The Jaguars moved to 10-4, and Pittsburgh fell into a first place tie with Cleveland. 29-22 Jaguars

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys–After 28 minutes, the Cowboys led 3-0, with the only notable play being a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Philly kicker A.J. Feeley while he was on the sidelines. He walked past the area where players are allowed to walk, accidentally bumping into an official. Yes, that was the highlight of the first half up to that point. However, a Lito Shepherd interception of Tony Romo was followed by a 28 yard Donovon McNabb Run, which led to a short McNabb touchdown pass to Reggie Brown. Philly led 7-3 at the break.

A Dallas field goal made it a one point game, and early in the fourth, Philly moved inside the Dallas 5 yard line. The drive bogged down, and a field goal had the Eagles up 10-6 with 13 1/2 minutes left. With 4:09 left, the Cowboys faced 4th and 2 at their own 41. They took a timeout, and decided to go for it, at which point Romo completed a 4 yard pass to Jason Witten. Yet the next play Romo was sacked for a 9 yard loss, and the following play Romo was intercepted by Brian Dawkins with 2:50 left. It was Romo’s 3rd pick on the day. After Dallas used their timeouts, Philly faced 3rd and 9.

Bryan Westbrook then broke trough for a first down, and had a clear sprint to the end zone. In a very bizarre but incredibly heads up play, Westbrook turned around, and instead of scoring, deliberately fell down at the one yard line. Theoretically, had Westbrook scored, Philly would have had a 17-6 lead. Yet Dallas could have scored, and recovered an onsides kick. By making the unselfish decision to foregoe a touchdown and just fall down. Philly had first down, with Dallas out of timeouts. McNabb kneeled on the ball 3 times to run out the clock. Was Westbrook point shaving? Doubtful. Andy Reid was even caught by surprise. Westbrook showed intelligence that many coaches do not even possess. Dallas still held the tie breaker over Green Bay, but the NFC was now going down to the wire for home field. 10-6 Eagles

Detroit Lions @ San Diego Chargers–The Chargers are Norvelous, but at least they have Ladanian Tomlinson. The lions have memories of a 6-2 start before futility, or as Detroit fans call it, reality, set in, with five straight losses. A pair of Tomlinson touchdowns propelled the Chargers, and an interception gave San Diego a 27-0 first half lead. The Chargers led 34-7 at the half, which concluded with John Kitna throwing a hail mary that was caught one yard short of the end zone. NFL rules required the Lions come out of the locker room for the second half. Billy Volek came in, as Rivers and Tomlinson headed to the bench. The CHargers, despite a 1-3 start, clinched the AFC West. 51-14 Chargers

Indianapolis Colts @ Oakland Raiders

For more on the game of the day, go to

The Colts scored a field goal on their first drive, and after the Raiders went nowhere, a 90 yard punt return by a player appropriately named T.J. Rushing had the colts off to a 10-0 lead. The Raiders managed to get to the Colts 40 on their next possession, when on 4th and 1, Lame Kiffin called a sweep that went nowhere. The Colts then drove down the field again, and at the end of the first quarter, they faced a 4th and goal at the Oakland one. A play action pass looked like a touchdown, but a prefect defensive play by Thomas Howard preserved the goal line stand. The Raiders were 99 yards away, with Jim Plunkett and Cliff Branch still retired. Josh McCown led the Raiders on a monster drive. The Raiders went 99 yards in 20 plays, eating 12 minutes off of the clock. The Colts were one yard from being up 17-0, and instead the Raiders only trailed 10-7 with 3 minutes left in the half.

For some inexplicable reason, despite McCown’s 99 yard drive, JaMarcus Russell started the second half. The Colts took over on their next drive, and again got to the Oakland one yard line. Again a goal line stand took place, and this time, Tony Dungy opted for the field goal, which put the Colts up 13-7. After an exchange of punts, Josh McCown came back in the game, and with tough running from Justin Fargas, were driving as the fourth quarter began. After eating up over 6 1/2 minutes, Justin Fargas rammed it in from 2 yards out on 3rd and goal to put the Raiders up 14-13 with 10 1/2 minutes left. Peyton Manning then threw a 20 yard touchdown pass to Anthony Gonzalez. The 2 point conversion put the Colts up 21-14 with 4:49 left.

Chris Carr, who could been returning kicks well all day, brought the ensuing kickoff back past the 40 yard line. At the 2 minutes warning, the Raiders had 3rd and 10 at the Colts 17 yard line. They had all 3 timeouts left. A 4th down pass fell incomplete, as blatant defensive pass interference against Jerry Porter was not called. The Raiders did not get the ball back, as the Colts clinched a first round bye. Since they cannot get the # 1 seed, the debate will be to rest everybody or play the starters. As for the Raiders, they are scratching and clawing, and have another high draft pick. 21-14 Colts

Washington Redskins @ New York Giants was the Sunday night game. The Redskins started Todd Collins, who last started a game a decade ago, when he subbed for Jim Kelly in Buffalo. Facing stiff winds, Collins had zero yards passing the first quarter. Eli Manning fared virtually no better, with 13 yards passing. A 50 yard field goal attempt was a gamble by Joe Gibbs that paid off, giving the Redskins a 3-0 lead after one quarter. Collins finally completed his first pass a couple minutes into the second quarter, a 35 yarder to Santana Moss. On the next play, he completed a 30 yarder to Yoder. A 31 yard field goal had Washington up 6-0. When a punt pinned the Giants at their own 4 yard line, Manning threw a strike to Sinorice Moss that would have been a first down had Moss not moved around to get more yards. He gave away the first down, and the Giants punted again. The Redskins moved the ball, and on 3rd and 9 from the Giants 14, the draw play was worked to perfection as Ladell Betts rambled 14 yards for a score, giving Washington a 13-0 lead with 3 minutes left in the half. With everything going right for the Redskins, Safety Landry took an idiotic penalty. On 3rd and 21, he had a beautiful hit that broke up a pass, which would have forced 4th down had he not been called for taunting afterwards. Instead of punting, the Giants ended up kicking a field goal, closing the gap to 13-3. Todd Collins then kept faking passes and handing off to Clinton Portis, and the Giants kept falling for it. The drive bogged down at the eight yard line, but a 28 yard field goal had the Redskins up 16-3 at the half. When Washington took the opening half kickoff and drive down the field in only three minutes, the touchdown made the score 22-3, all but effectively ending the game. The Giants still have the inside track for the playoffs, and the Redskins still need plenty of breaks. However, the Giants play New England in the final game, and a difficult game in Buffalo before that. It will be a mad scramble to January.

As for Todd Collins, as much as John Madden and I hate the phrase “managing the game,” Todd Collins did that. He was 8 for 25, but made no mistakes. As for Eli Manning, he had 34 incompletions, the most in a game since 1967. One of them was a dropped deep pass to a wide open receiver that was a gift touchdown that slipped away. A missed field goal later on hurt as well. The swirling winds hurt the Giants, but the Redskins played in it as well, and much better. 22-10 Redskins

Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings was the Monday night game. This was a truly ugly game, with the Vikings turning the ball over four times. The Bears started Kyle Orton at quarterback. Both teams have a running back named Adrian Peterson. Additionally, Brad Childress is bald, probably from tearing his hair out after each turnover. A battle of field goals had the Bears up 6-3, and a touchdown pass by Orton put the Bears up 13-3. A miscue on the ensuing kickoff allowed the Vikings to kick a field goal before halftime. In the 3rd quarter, a short pass led to a 71 yard gain down to the one yard line. Peterson barreled over for a touchdown, but the extra point was hooked wide. In the 4th quarter, Tarvaris Jackson led the Vikings down the field for the go ahead touchdown, and the 2 point conversion had Minnesota up by 7. The Bears had one final shot, but with 90 seconds left, Orton decided to go for all the marbles in one big bite. His bomb was  intercepted by Darren Sharper, snuffing out any rally. The Vikings have won five in a row, and at 8-6 are the # 6 seed. They control their own destiny, but several teams at 7-7 are waiting for them to stumble. 20-13 Vikings


Hillary, while you’re apologizing…

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

Hillary Clinton recently apologized for something.

Before anybody thinks that armageddon is upon us, keep in mind that Hillary is all about strategy and calculation, and if she thinks that apologizing for something will keep her on her quest for power, she will do it. What she lacks in decency, she does not lack in ambition.

Her campaign attacked Barack Obama for using drugs, which would be shocking if this was not already public information.

I do not endorse drug use, but Mr. Obama has handled his past with dignity. Unlike Bill Clinton, Obama admitted that he inhaled. Obama did not justify his behavior. He said he was young and foolish, and that he did not want young kids to waste away years of life as he did.

Hillary’s campaign attacked, and only after the attack boomeranged on them, was an apology offered. Make no mistake about it. If the attack was effective, it would be continued.

Some would say that since Hillary did not say the words, she should not apologize for what a campaign staff member said or did. This is false, Hillary understood this, and she apologized. In keeping with that spirit, Hillary should continue on this path. Attached is a list of further apologies she should pursue.

Gennifer Flowers: The issue is not adultery. The issue is the truth. We now know that Gennifer Flowers was telling the truth about her affair with Bill Clinton. Hillary should apologize to her for calling her a liar.

Paula Jones: Innocent people do not settle. James Carville referred to her as trailer trash. As a Clintonista, Hillary could have scolded him. She should apologize to Ms. Jones.

Kathleen Willey: Ms. Willey told the truth. The same rules apply.

Due to a lack of evidence, I will leave Juanita Broderick off of the list.

Dick Morris: She referred to him using an anti-semitic epithet. She had a “Macaca” moment many years ago, and if George Allen and Joe Biden can show contrition, she could as well.

George W. Bush: This could fill volumes, but for one thing she could apologize for showing a complete lack of decorum during his speeches. He has been gracious to her husband, and if she could ever separate opponents from enemies, she would understand this.

Nita Lowey: Ms. Lowey wanted the Senate seat from New York because she is a lifelong New Yorker who cares about the state. Hillary wanted a stepping stone. Ms. Lowey was shoved aside.

The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: They were right about Lewinsky. She apparently thinks New Gingrich or Richard Mellon Scaife forced her husband into sexually enjoying an intern.

Kenneth Starr: When the facts are against you, demonize the prosecutor.

Housewives: She was temporarily banished to the political wilderness for mocking women who stay home and bake cookies, but she never did disavow that remark.

Whitewater victims: Hillary has no business criticizing predatory lenders because she was one. Her aggressive tactics led to several people defaulting, which allowed her and her investors to keep the money and the properties. Those who lost their homes could use more than an apology, but it is a start.

Travel Office victims: Hillary had every right to fire the travel office workers and install her own people. It may be cold and cruel, but life is cold and cruel. People can argue about nepotism, but legally, people want loyalists in power. The problem was using trumped up embezzlement charges to oust them, rather than just firing them because they could. Billy Dale and the other victims were acquitted in one hour. It did not get their jobs back.

Commodity victims: Commodities are a zero sum game. Her ill gotten gains came at the expense of others being given unfair losses. Yes, it is a risky game, although it must be fair. Anyone can win a rigged game, but those who lose a rigged game would want redress.

Susan McDougal: Yes, she chose to fall on her sword, but had she never met Hillary, she would not have gone to jail.

General David Petraeus: Look in the mirror before calling somebody else a liar, Hillary.

The troops: She did vote for the Iraq War, but then voted against funding them when popular sentiment waned.

These apologies will only occur if it will help her in the polls. As for why she does not apologize, it is simply because she does not believe she is wrong. She is never wrong. That is hubris. Yet the real apology will be the day after the election if she wins, as voters realize their error and buyer’s remorse kicks in at the first sign of her trying to enact policies counter to the persona she campaigned on.

Just don’t stand in her way. You will get run over, and since it will be for a greater good, any apology will not be forthcoming.


Democrats…even more boring than baseball

Friday, December 14th, 2007

The Denver Broncos played a competitive football fame with the Houston Texans, the only thing significant on television over the last 24 hours. However, my NFL recaps are on Sundays. Before getting to the democratic debate that changed history only in the sense that it may have been the least consequential debate ever, I want to say a brief word about the baseball steroid scandal.

Let all the players take steroids. Baseball is a colossally boring game, and the players still have to hit the ball. Anybody who gets indignant needs to blame the fans. That’s right, I blame baseball fans. They are obsessed with home runs. They left in droves after the 1994 strike, returning only in 1998 due to the McGwire-Sosa home run derby. 1-0 pitchers duels are not classics. They are dull. Baseball is not timeless or seamless. It is endless. It is as relevant to sports as the democratic party of Thomas Jefferson is relevant to politics. So either move every game to Colorado, or better yet, have the players go join the Hollywood writers on strike.

Speaking of dull and boring, the democrats debated today. I want to take an unpopular position and defend the moderator. Yes, she is a disaster. However, she was in a lose-lose situation today. She could be more polite, and be seen as a shill for the democrats, which she is, or she could be strident again and get battered again. She will never do another republican debate, but she had to make nice to avoid getting frozen out of both parties.

As for me, I am aware these debate columns are much longer than most of my columns. However, if this column is cut down today it will be seen as giving the democrats short shrift. Yes, on this blog I am the moderator, and like any moderator in need of improvement, it is all about me.

Excluding Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich was right, but Christopher Dodd, Joe Biden and Bill Richardson still could have been excluded as well. The fact that the debate format screwed the republicans by letting in everybody either intentionally or accidentally does not change the fact that they got it right this time with less candidates, albeit slightly.

The first question was legitimate. Should the budget be balanced every year? No candidate of either party would have the guts to say that deficits are irrelevant, that growth is the key, especially not the democrats.

Barack Obama babbled, ignoring the question. Richardson pointed out that as Governor, he was required by state law to balance the budget. He argued for the line item veto and balanced budget amendment, making me think I was watching the republican debate. He then praised the Clinton years, immediately again trying to suck up to get the VP slot. Biden wanted to gut the military. Dodd pointed out that running a federal government is more complex than a state government, politely disputing Richardson. He added nothing else. John Edwards blamed corporate power and greed, trial lawyer that he is. Hillary Clinton warned against tax cuts, and then offered blather.

Then the candidates were asked what situations would justify raising taxes. Again, this was a fair question. Richardson ducked the question. Edwards offered class warfare. Hillary tugged at heartstrings, but said she would raise taxes on corporations.

Continuing with the same theme, the next question was very intelligent. The moderator wanted to know how the candidates would pay for all their proposed new social programs when we would be in Iraq for some time to come. The answer of course is higher taxes, but the candidates had a chance to offer honesty. Biden blamed war spending at the expense of domestic priorities. Sounds good to me, except he was against this. Obama droned on. I was going to at this point refuse to write anything unless sit actually answered a question, but then I would have a blank piece of cyberpaper. Richardson avoided the question, as did Dodd.

Up to this point Bill Richardson was winning because he actually answered the first question, giving him one point, one more than everybody else. I wondered at that point if that one point would be enough to win when the debate was over.

The moderator continued to ask intelligent questions, and it is a disgrace the republicans did not get these questions. Given how much foreign debt the Chinese have of ours, it was asked how we should alter our relationship with China. The answer is that the issue is totally overblown, but again, that would require guts to say.

Richardson would get tougher with China, mentioning human rights. He is completely wrong, but at least he is offering answers. He never said how he would get tougher. The main issue is whether China is considered a friend or a strategic competitor. Richardson labeled China strategic competitor. Dodd blew it off the bat by stating it was an adversarial relationship. Usually such bellicose rhetoric is only used by democrats towards republicans. He actually said it was important not to get bellicose several seconds after I typed that he was. He bashed China, then asked for thoughtfulness.

The next question dealt with whether or not we should reform entitlements, and if so, how. Of course we should, but some liberals will not even concede that. Hillary did mention reigning in medicare problems by giving them the right to negotiate with the drug companies for lower prices, and deal with the HMOs. The expectations bar is so low that at least she offered specifics. Of course then she offered a blue ribbon commission, which I think cuts ribbons at shopping malls. Biden reiterated Hillary, which did not help him because she said it first, and articulately enough. Obama mentioned obesity rates, a valid point, but little else. Richardson mentioned diabetes, and mentioned getting junk food out of schools.

All of the candidates brought up legitimate points and then watered them down, but for the first time in any democratic debate, the children were becoming teenagers, if not full grownups. I still maintain that eliminating Gravel and Kucinich helped. Hillary and Richardson offered actual solutions.

Obama used his statement to offer his platitudes, which is for the most part his entire campaign. Edwards stuck to class warfare.

Like the republican debate, the moderator again asked how human rights should figure into the calculation of foreign trade. The correct answer is not at all, but these are democrats. Biden reiterated the problem, avoiding a solution. Richardson mentioned sanctions. Again, he may be completely wrong, but at least he offering something. Dodd praised Carter on human rights. Apparently that does not count U.S. hostages. Edwards again referred to his father as a guy who worked in a plant, when his dad actually owned the plant. Hillary wants smart, pro-American trade. She is brilliantly bland. She speaks so forcefully that one often fails to realize that there is no substance Yet she is downright substantive compared to Obama, who can make a roast beef sandwich seem like a 10 course meal with his loftiness. There is no there there. None. As Chris Rock says, “speaks so well is not a compliment.” Dodd interjected, offering nothing. Richardson won the round by offering more than nothing.

Biden used his statement to list off some of his accomplishments, which are respectable. Richardson started out by kissing rumpus, his specialty, but he did mention that the Iraq War was being given short shrift in the debate. He is wrong on the war, but right about it being overlooked.

The moderator, under harsh scrutiny by the media, much of it justified, continued to ask intelligent questions during this debate. She wanted to know how the candidates would pay for their energy independence proposals. Would democrats state how they would pay for anything? Of course not. Biden mandated all cars be flexible fuel cars by 2009, and was very bold in stating that corn ethanol would not take America the whole way. In Iowa, this earns him “guts points.” Richardson offered nothing. He offered several suggestions but then said they would not be mandates. Dodd offered higher carbon taxes. He earns major guts points for this. Hillary lectured the audience and blamed republicans, although more briefly than usual. Obama mentioned that anybody can talk tough on these issues in front of the Sierra Club, but he did this in front of auto groups in Detroit. Edwards preached. Dodd and Biden won the round.

Hillary then tried to make a joke about whether the candidates should raise their hands, in an attempt to bash republicans for having the nerve to raise the level of discourse. The audience laughed moderately.

A vote to replace farm subsidies with an insurance program with incentives was missed by all the candidates. The moderator asked how they would have voted, which is ridiculous considering that they could all lie. Dodd said he would have voted for it. Obama spoke about capping subsidies, but could not directly give a yes or no answer, saying he probably would have voted against it, but could support it with revisions. Bill Clinton would have been proud with that answer. Biden said he would have voted for the bill. Clinton would have voted against it, but voted today for something similar. She kissed up to Tom Harkin, even more than the other candidates. Dodd and Biden gave the clearest answers.

Hillary’s statement was a thinly veiled set of cheap shots and ludicrous promises such as ending the War on health care for all, knowing full well she has not voted to end the war. Dodd used his statement to mention that he was the only candidate to serve in the Peace Corps and the military, and emphasized the importance of service.

Richardson had the best statement, with Biden and Dodd offering decent enough statements. The top 3 candidates offered the worst three statements.

When asked how to make education the best in the world, I figured none of the candidates would have the courage to attack the NEA or discuss merit pay for teachers. Edwards wants universal pre-k for children age 4. He then offered great ideas to lower standards, but the question was about raising them. Richardson wants pre-school for all children under 4. He would give teachers a minimum wage of $40,000. He wants more money for art. He bragged about giving teachers more money, which to him means results. Obama would change No Child Left Behind, but not scrap it. He mentioned putting away the tv sets and video games. Personal responsibility never hurts for a good sound bite. Dodd reiterated Obama, which did nothing for Dodd. Hillary claimed that she worked on education issues for a long time, neglecting to say that her efforts in Arkansas failed, and got her husband fired from the Governor’s mansion. She wants a “holistic” view of this, baby boomer that she is. She offered nothing substant9ive, but did it forcefully. Edwards also stated that anyone who works while in college should get free tuition credits for books. It’s a disastrous idea, but at least he offered something. Biden spoke more and added little more. Edwards won the round by default, another 1 (1/2 actually) to multiple zeroes win.

The candidates were asked what they would all accomplish in their first year. Let the litany begin! Obama would end the Iraq War and stabilize the country, completely contradictory ideas. He would then review every executive order of George W. Bush. Then he would have health care conversations. At least he did not promise to fix the problem in a year, only to talk about it. Biden would end the war, end torture and holding prisoners. I do not think he meant he would free all jails. He would give all children catastrophic insurance. Richardson would end the war, start health care and energy initiatives (anyone can start something). He then vowed to weaken effective terror fighting tools, but he phrased it differently. Dodd would change the discourse, which I guess meant he would stop talking. Our current President is a nice guy. It is his opponents that keep attacking. Edwards, the king of promises, ironically noted the promises everyone else was making, although most of them were promises to talk about stuff, not actually do anything. It was like they were running for democratic seats in congress.  Edwards then offered a laundry list, said it was not doable unless we brought people together, and then bashed corporations, who he apparently does not believe deserve the same civility as everyone else. Hillary attacked Cowboy Diplomacy, even though Bush is a rancher. She also stated that Bush vetoed stem cell research, which was a complete lie.

It is one thing to be wrong about virtually everything. It is one thing to be shrill and then wonder why there is a lack of bipartisanship. It is another to directly lie so brazenly, and of course this lie went unchallenged by the moderator and the rest of the candidates. They all did terribly in that round, with Edwards being the least awful by promising the least, albeit barely.

Hillary was asked about transparency in her government. She bobbed and weaved like Muhammad Ali. She then criticized the current administration for stonewalling and denying information requests, confusing the current leaders with her and her husband’s time in power. She then claimed she supported public financing, even as she is most likely to opt out of it if she reaches the general election. To lie twice in a question about honesty in government is impressive, even for her.

Biden was asked a cheap shot question about insensitive racial remarks that he already apologized for. He was dignified in his response to this out of line question. Obama defended Biden, which automatically lets Biden off the hook because the media says it does. Also, it kept Obama looking like a saint, and prevented him from answering an actual question about an issue.

Edwards was asked how he could get anything done when he was so anti-business. This was a fabulous question. Edwards stated we have an epic battle, and of course he means American corporations, not terrorists. So I guess he can get nothing done, because if he could, he did not say how.

Dodd was asked a ludicrous question about whether or not he was running for the White House to avenge his father being censured in 1967. This moderator was begging to have Bill Parcells tell her it was a stupid question. Dodd mentioned his father’s love of public service. He did not directly answer the question, which in this case was totally justified. His answer was dignified and classy, which I do not normally say about Dodd. The crowd clapped in approval.

Richardson was asked about lax security while he was energy secretary, including Wen Ho Lee. Richardson did say that he had made many mistakes, and admitted he handled it badly. He said he has made many gaffes and was glad the moderator did not raise them all, which elicited laughter. It was a very humanizing moment. He also mentioned getting some things right.

Obama was asked how he could represent change when he had a bunch of Clintonites advising him. Hillary started cackling obnoxiously, stating that she wanted to hear that answer as well. It was totally crass on her part, but then again, she is her. Obama then got off the line of the night by stating that soon enough, he would be looking forward to her advising him as well. She cackled even louder but then scrunched up her face, and boy did she look ticked. He then went back to his standard stump speech, although he did briefly say something nice about Bush Senior in passing.

On substance, the bottom 3 candidates continued to do better than the top 3 candidates. Biden, Dodd and Richardson appeared heartfelt. They can admit their mistakes. Hillary cannot. Yet for style points, Obama’s remark did well in the round.

Another pointless question asked about using signing statements. Signing statements have existed since 1776. Photo ops are part of life. Hillary bashed President Bush, and apparently was miffed that he had the nerve to veto something she proposed. Oh, the horror. This according to her means he perverts the rule of law, which was the next phrase she used, again confusing the current leader with her and her spouse. Edwards tried to jump on the bandwagon, but it was little more than a “me too” following of Hillary.  Edwards stated that Bush thinks he is king, which seems odd given that he voluntarily stepping down as ordered by the Constitution, which apparently is not what kings do.

The candidates were then asked their New Years’ resolutions, which was almost as dopey as the previous day, except that at least they did not have to make resolutions for others as the republicans were asked to do.

Hillary promised to spend time with her family and exercise, and rebuild optimism. Apparently she forgot her slashing attacks a few moments earlier. Edwards spoke of human suffering. He could not even answer a question about resolutions. Dodd also failed to answer the question, but elicited humor for wishing for Iowans to caucus correctly. Richardson also made the audience laugh by vowing to lose weight, which he vows every year. He is no Ronald Reagan, but his self effacing jabs did seem sincere and warm. He wished for Congress and the President to stop fighting. Perhaps he should tell the congressional leaders to stop calling the President a liar and a loser. Biden soberly stated that he vows every year to remember where he came from, because life can change in a moment. It was a very sincere moment because at age 29, he lost his wife and child in a  car accident. He did not explicitly mention this as he has in the past, but it again showed a very human side of him. Obama vowed to be a better father and husband.

For some reason, Richardson and Biden, and sometimes Dodd, appear sincere when they show their human side, while Hillary and Edwards come across as completely fake. Obama is inbetween.

The last question dealt with lessons learned from Iowa. Yes, a brilliant question about what the candidates learned at school. The moderator was dreadful with republicans, and had a good first half with the democrats, but clearly reverted to nonsense towards the end. Perhaps she was as tired or bored as most people are with these leftist lightweights.

Hillary joked that she ate her way across the state, which was funny the first time Richardson said it a few minutes earlier. Edwards decided what the voters learned, not what he learned. Dodd also made the food joke, and also told the voters what they learned. Richardson joked that what was best about Iowans was that they liked underdogs. Unlike the others, his jokes did not fall flat. He was very gracious. Biden made a statement that could be seen as arrogant or appropriate. He stated that Iowa deserves him because they take the process seriously. Yes, that is a pompous statement, and Biden can be a gasbag, but in all fairness, he does take this seriously, mitigating what initially seemed arrogant. However, when he said that citizens told him that without him this democracy would be in trouble was a giant ego balloon, even for him. Obama spoke about the core decency of the people, and he admired the generosity of spirit, looking forward to tapping into it further.

Hillary and Edwards were disasters. They competed to see who could be the most hateful and insincere. Obama got in the best single line of the night, but was otherwise bland. He was average. The moderator was better. Dodd handled himself better than average for the most part. Biden did very well, but the clear winner of the debate was Bill Richardson. He was underwhelming in past debates, but spectacular in this one.

The democratic party is the biggest loser because its three strongest candidates are at the bottom and its three weakest candidates are the only ones with a chance to win the nomination.

The republican party should be pleased that the democrats have yet to figure this out. Yet caution should abound. In 2004 the democrats were about to nominate a complete disaster, and instead chose a safer loser, but one that was not a lunatic.

Although I am Jewish, I will now pray for a white Christmas, filled with many ice storms that keep the candidates from campaigning at all, so that people can enjoy bowl games and holidays in peace. At least none of the candidates are currently doing steroids. Besides, Hillary is more into gymnastics.

Oh, and in relevant news, the Texans defeated the Broncos 31-13.


Alan Keyes?????

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

Ok, I am now going to quote Popeye the Sailor Man. That’s all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more. 

I have always maintained that the republicans were adults, and that their debates would be serious discussions. I have also maintained that the democrats were a bunch of children, and that their debates would be nonsense.

The whole debate process is nonsense. It is fluff. It should be treated like Iran and Syria…it should cease to exist in its current form, and be blown up completely and rebuilt from scratch.

A valid argument can be made that the republican party cannot be faulted for the fact that a hostile media that hates their collective conservative guts asks questions that are stupid, biased, or both, or plants “undecided” citizens to do likewise. That argument does not cut it. The republicans need to start fighting back hard.

Dick Cheney accurately pointed out that Kerry and Edwards could not be trusted to stand up to Al Queda because they could not stand up to the Deaniacs. Yet republicans are so scared to look like crybabies that they allow themselves to be in dog shows, and then lament that they are treated like dogs. Attacking the moderators and the format is wrong when it is fair and tough, such as with Tim Russert. Yet if the format actually is unjust, go after it.

Former NFL football coach Bill Parcells was a master at this. He would wait impatiently for a pinhead reporter to finish, look at them, and say, “That is a stupid question.” The reason why he got away with this is because he was a proven winner, and in most cases, it was a stupid question. Being combative is allowed if it is justified, and the combative person is right. That is what separates surliness from justified exasperation with nonsense. The republican candidates need to stop being so gracious towards those wishing them electoral harm.

For one thing, the democratic debate excludes Kucinich and Gravel. I agree with this, and have repeatedly said that the clowns need to leave the stage or be removed by the hook. The republicans not only kept the dwarves, but added another one. Alan Keyes has entered the building.

Alan Keyes? Is this a joke? Well, yes, it now is a complete and utter joke.

For the sake of full disclosure, I was an Alan Keyes admirer back in 1992. His speech at the 1992 republican convention was one for the ages. He could have been a star in the republican party. He also endeared himself to Michael Moore of all people when he was the only presidential candidate to accept Moore’s dare to jump into a mosh pit. Moore remains a wretched individual, but seeing the crowd carrying Alan Keyes in the air, while not dignified, was actually funny.

Yet Alan Keyes never reached more than 1% in the polls when running for President. He then out of nowhere decided to challenge Barack Obama for the senate seat in Illinois even though he was from Maryland. Yes, it worked for a woman who shall remain nameless, but it was pointless, especially when Dr. Keyes went off the rails and made bizarre charges about Mr. Obama that only made himself look like a wingnut.

For him to enter the race at this late stage, absent any groundswell of support, is bordering on the insane. It was a circus before he got there, but more importantly, he does not bring anything to the debate besides fiery speaking skills. His main passion on the stump is moral issues, mainly abortion. Mike Huckabee, and even Fred Thompson, have this covered. If there was a vacuum, that would be one thing, but there is not.

Carolyn Washburn, the moderator for this excuse of a debate, forgot that it was not about her. Aside from looking like the school librarian that we all wanted to paddle if she would only let her hair down and toss off those glasses, she had no redeeming qualities.

Once it was announced that Iraq would not be part of the debate, a main rationale for even having the debate died. If the news in Iraq was bad, you can guarantee it would be included. Anyway, the schoolmarm continued, and I forced myself to get through it.

The first question was intelligent, and legitimate. The candidates were asked if the country’s financial situation, specifically the debt, presented a security risk. This good question deserved good answers, but the candidates were told to limit their answers to 30 seconds. I was hoping at least one of the serious candidates would take off their microphone and walk off the stage and say, “I don’t have time for this nonsense, I am going campaigning.” It would be bold, risk…and right.

As for the question, Rudy Giuliani answered the question solidly, and differentiated between economic security and national security. Duncan Hunter brought up the trade deficit. Ron Paul gave an unequivocal yes, and brought up the crisis of the dollar, and then as usual railed against foreign U.S. policy. Tom Tancredo brought up dependence on foreign oil. In all fairness, neither Rupaul nor Tancredo went bonkers early on. Fred Thompson mentioned the trade deficit with China, and mentioned his own social security plan. He also stated that we need to increase military spending, winning him points for having guts to express a view not popular with many Americans. Romney offered pablum, saying nothing. Huckabee also gave a definitive yes, stating that America must feed, fuel, and fight for ourselves. John McCain mentioned that increasing taxes is not the answer, and connected the price of oil to funding terrorists. He stated that he would make us oil independent in five years without stating how.

I genuinely wanted to hear if Alan Keyes would add or detract. He can speak calmly, but he can also give thunderous speeches Al Pacino style. He was not awful on the first answer, but abolishing the income tax is not a serious proposal because it will not get implemented. At least he was calm.

Thompson, Huckabee and Giuliani did the best in that round, Romney the worst (again, I am ignoring the dwarves).

The next question was also good, as some of the candidates were asked what sacrifices Americans should make to help lower America’s debt. JFK was famous for his “ask not what your country can do for you” line. It is still valid today.

Giuliani ducked the question by saying the problem was not the American people, but Washington spending. Rupaul said it was unnecessary for the people to sacrifice. Huckabee said we should do things differently, which was not the same as sacrifice.

The next question asked some of the candidates which programs if any were so important that it would justify running a deficit. The answer is simple. Winning the War on Terror and funding the military to do it is worth it. Nothing else comes close.

Romney ducked the question by saying that we could just eliminate what is unimportant. Tancredo said we should follow the Constitution, which had nothing to do with anything. Thompson nailed it perfectly. The military and the security of our people was first, and he also brought up infrastructure, as well as research and development. He eloquently stated that he refused to believe that Americans today were so selfish that they would allow the next generation to get hit with the collapse of social security.

Thompson clearly won the round.

The next question was the first stupid question. The candidates were asked who is paying more than their fair share of taxes relative to everyone else. They were given 15 seconds each to try and basically defend why overtaxing wealthy and productive people is wrong.

Alan Keyes nailed it perfectly by stating it was a question meant to embarrass. He did go on too long after that, but he earned the first “guts points” of the night. McCain danced around the question, mentioning payroll taxes. Huckabee danced likewise, mentioning the fair tax. Romney pandered. Thompson got folksy at Romney’s expense, and did so successfully by saying he hoped to one day be in Mitt Romney’s tax bracket. When Romney tried to respond, Thompson replied that Romney was getting to be a pretty good actor. This did not offer substance, but in terms of debating points it was masterful. Tancredo mentioned the fair tax, Rupaul mentioned the inflation tax, and I confess he did so eloquently and intelligently. Hunter mentioned the money spent preparing taxes, which was interesting, but a trickle of an issue. Giuliani got off a great line when he said he wanted to give the death penalty to the death tax.

Style points went to Thompson and Giuliani, but I am shocked that I had to give the round to Alan Keyes and Rupaul. Rupaul is a lunatic on foreign policy, but on this one question I give him his due. I chalk it up to the blinking VCR theory, being right twice a day. McCain seemed invisible, and Romney again did not answer the question well.

In a bizarre twist, the candidates were asked to give 30 second statements on anything. I have heard of opening and closing statements, but at the end of the first quarter? It turns out these statements were to be staggered throughout the debate, amking even less sense in terms of logical flow.

McCain reaffirmed his foreign policy credentials, judgment and experience. He stated that his one guiding principle was to keep America safe. Hunter mentioned a strong national defense, securing the borders, and bringing back high paying manufacturing jobs. He mentioned his accomplishments, but seemed less powerful than McCain in an intangible way.

The next question dealt with keeping foreign markets open while protecting good paying American jobs. Yes, it was a ludicrous question designed to look almost cerebral, but it was a way of trying to have cake and eat it as well, directly in contrast with the more realistic sacrifice question. Open markets do hurt American producers, but they help consumers.

Ron Paul (I vowed to stop calling him Rupaul every time he answers a question in a normal manner) started out well by supporting free trade, but then reverted back to form by saying we should trade with Cuba. Actually, reverted back to form is harsh. He was not going off of the rails, I merely disagreed with him. He then mentioned that we are damaging the dollar. He really was making sense. Romney reaffirmed his credentials as a business executive, and again did not take a clear stand. He looks presidential, but his answer was vague. We should not put up trade barriers, but we should reexamine trade deals. Some candidates favor free trade, some are protectionist. With Romney, who is normally a free-trader, on this answer I could not tell. Huckabee got off a great line about not being able to part the red sea, but could part the red tape. He mentioned the problem of excessive litigation.

McCain alone was asked if trade deals should be altered based on human rights issues. I knew none of the candidates would have the guts to say “absolutely not,” but a guy can dream. McCain called himself the biggest free marketer you will ever see, and vowed to eliminate ethanol subsidies. He stated that a person cannot claim to be a fiscal conservative while supporting such subsidies. In the heart of Iowa farm country, he wins guts points hands down.

I wish the other candidates had been asked that question, but McCain won the round. Ron Paul also did well, ad while the bar for him is so low to begin with, I cannot deny that he was performing well, for the first tme in any of the debates. Romney continued to flounder.

The next question dealt with changes to Nafta. Giuliani praised Nafta and stated it needed to be enforced. He again reemphasized a global economy and free trade. Thompson praised Nafta, but made it clear other nations need to play fair and not close their markets to American farmers. Tancredo acted like himself, stating NAFTA was a disaster. Hunter pointed out the negative aspects with NAFTA in a saner way than Tancredo. Even though Hunterdisagreed with Giuliani and Thompson, all three of them did fine.

Ron Paul then delivered his statement. Maybe he was tired, or maybe he was replaced with an almost sane twin brother, but he kept harping on the economy, refusing to rail about illegal wars and global imperialism. Thompson used his to discuss national security. He looked tough, stern, and absolutely presidential.

The global warming question could have been valuable. The moderator wanted to know if it was a threat, and caused by human activity. The problem is she wanted a yes or no show of hands, when elaborate answers would have been totally valid. I again did not expect any of the candidates to have the guts to say no, even on the second part, but at least let them answer. What happened next was remarkable.

Fred Thompson had announced that he was not doing hand shows. Yes, some guts points in a big way, and a couple of the other candidates started to clap, probably wishing they had thought of it first. It was not walking off the stage, but it was still solid. The moderator then asked him to answer the question. The exchange was fabulous.

Thompson: “Are you going to give me a minute to answer it?”

Moderator: “No, I’m not.”

Thompson: “Well then I’m not going to answer it.”

The crowd went wild.

Romney asked for 30 seconds, and the moderator again said no. The bottom line is that by asking less questions in terms of quantity, it does allow for better answers in terms of quality (the same argument for eliminating some candidates from the stage altogether).

Thompson then stated that she wanted a mere show of hands, and he was not giving it to her. Fred Thompson, meet Bill Parcells. Nice job. To quote Stephen Colbert, Thompson truly was an Alpha Dog on that one.

McCain said global warming was real, and so did Giuliani. Giuliani said humans contributed to it, but when Hunter interjected, Giulinai stated that contributing did not mean totally. McCain said totally. Hunter disagreed.

When asked what economic impact would be acceptable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Romney mentioned getting off of foreign oil, but stated global warming was an issue. He was starting to drift, as he had done the whole night, but then rescued himself ina big way by stating that global warming should not be America’s problem alone. We must be independent and act unilaterally in our best interests. He had been floundering the whole night, but nailed that one well.

Alan Keyes was then asked about it, which reminded me that he was actually in the room. It had been so long since he had spoken. He babbled and did slip into Al Pacino mode, going nowhere near even answering the question. It was ridiculous, but it allowed Fred Thompson to again make the crowd laugh by interjecting that he totally agreed with Alan Keyes’s position on global warming. It was brilliant. Fred got to totally duck the question, announce that agreed with someone who ignored the question, and come out smelling like a rose. Keyes continued to filibuster, getting in a good line about the hot air of politicians, but it was too little, too late.

The moderator then testily stated that the next question would probably not have Iowans allow them to avoid answering. Yes, it is frustrating when candidates filibuster, but the moderator crossed the line from strict to rude. Again, it is not about her. Let the voters decide if a candidate is rambling. The question itself dealt with whether automobile mandates should take place even if it drives up livestock costs for feed and force people into buying flexible fuel cars. The key part of the question dealt with mandates.

Huckabee also seemed to be invisible, but he would not directly answer whether increasing mandates made sense. Hunter said the answer was incentives, not mandates. Tancredo agreed, and in a calm manner.

Romney did well, and there were no disasters outside of Dr. Keyes in this round, but Thompson simply stole the show on this question.

Tancredo statement, shockingly enough, was about illegal immigration. Before the debate started, the moderator announced it would not be a topic. This made Tancredo irrelevant even to the few that did not already feel that way. The issue has been discussed ad nauseum, and unlike Iraq, deserved the night off. Huckabee used his statement to ramble about the founding fathers.

The debate shifted to education, and what standards should be implemented.

McCain said we needed more choice and competition. He also mentioned home schooling and merit pay for teachers. He was solid. Giuliani mentioned that choices should be made by parents, not school systems, yet seemed less powerful on this one than McCain. Hunter brilliantly brought up Jaime Escalante, the hero behind the movie “Stand and Deliver.” It was an example of a guy ducking the question, yet still coming across as a winner. When the moderator pointed out that Mr. Escalante no longer was a teacher, Hunter was very prepared, answering that he got fed up, and that the unions drove him out. I have no idea if this is true, but it was a clear winner of an answer unless proven otherwise.

Romney defended No Child Left Behind, earning him guts points. He mentioned President Bush by name, while other candidates cower about this. I have to give him credit for that. He also mentioned English immersion. Huckabee wanted to tailor education to what the students want, a terrible idea. He claims students are bored. Who cares?

Keyes then took issue with the moderator when she tried to shift gears, demanding to answer the education question. He was combative with the moderator, and she backed down. His point of bringing God back into the schools was overshadowed by his completely going off of the rails. People used to clap wildly after his stemwinders. This audience did not. Dr. Keyes was going ballistic on the one night that Ron Paul and Tancredo were less crazy than usual. He also tried to be the values candidate in a race that had Huckabee. Huckabee says similar things, but in a quiet, calm, self effacing manner. To try and question Hukabees credentials on issues that appeal to social conservaitves is ludicrous, and Keyes got nowhere.

Ron Paul came out against No Child Left Behind, and emphasized local control, tax credits, and parental control. Thompson went after the National Education Association. He was earning major guts points. It is one thing to go after the mafia and terrorists, but taking on teachers’ unions is risky. He clearly connected the dots as to why choice helps everybody, especially the low income students. Tancredo is a former schoolteacher, which I did not know. However, when Tancredo went after Huckabee, Huckabee calmly deflected him. Romney stated that he had a better record on education than Huckabee, but in a lighthearted, inoffensive way.

Thompson, McCain and Romney all did well. Giuliani was almost nonexistent, which was mainly due to the format and the questions. Hunter won the round.
The next question dealt with what the candidates would do in their first year in office.

Giuliani finally got to mention Islamic terrorism, and then mentioned illegal immigration, tax reductions, and energy independence. It was not a bad answer, but offered too much at the expense of quality. Hunter focused on strengthening the military, protecting the border, and bringing back manufacturing jobs. The moderator snidely remarked that it was a tall order for a year. I can only imagine her trying that with Hillary. Rupaul finally went nuts and babbled about ending the war, and Tancredo said within the first 5 minutes he would free the imprisoned border guards. Tancredo then mentioned we were fighting radical Islam, the first time all night anybody mentioned it. Yes, the moderator tried to leave it out of the debate, but at least Tancredo refused to allow that. Thompson mentioned cracking down on activist judges, and forcefully stated that if congress did not go along, he would go over their head to the American people. Some see that as dictatorship, but he clearly meant in terms of popularity, which Reagan excelled at. Nobody had mentioned Reagan at all, and this might have been his subtle way of doing so. Then again, maybe it was not. Romney wanted to end global jihad, and then ticked off a laundry list. Huckabee then called it a laundry list five seconds after I wrote that. Huckabee focused on uniting people. McCain emphasized making America safe. He said he wanted to bring trust back to government, and said there was none today. This does not go over well with republicans. Keyes said he would restore moral sovereignty. He then droned on and on.

Shockingly enough, Hunter and Tancredo won the round, but only by default. Nobody was impressive.

Romney’s personal statement was a rump kissing of the Iowa people. Keyes mentioned the republican party betraying its core principals. Giuliani calmly played to his strength, that being problems requiring bold leadership, and mentioned his time as a U.S. Attorney. This reminded people it was not all 9/11. Giuliani did well.

Then some videos were shown of the candidates speaking on various topics. Why this was necessary is a mystery to everybody except for the moderator. Ron Paul finds the internet “delightful,” probably because it allows people to know who he is.

The moderator then asked about openness in government, leading to the first attack question, that being about Giuliani’s wife having a security detail while they were dating. Giuliani stated that his government was transparent, and everybody knew everything he ever did. Keyes stated people should be authentic, and knocked Romney on this point, as well as criticizing Giuliani on abortion. Givena chance to respond, Romney deftly stated that he was not sure. It garnered laughs. One should only respond to attacks that can be taken seriously, and anything from Alan Keyes was best left undignified.

When Romney discussed his journey to becoming pro-life, he finally became the first to invoke Reagan, as well as Henry Hyde and George Herbert Walker Bush. It came across as less pandering than had he only invoked Reagan, since invoking Bush Senior does not win hearts. It was skillfully done. Giuliani reiterated his pro-choice position, and invoked laughs by saying that even though Keyes would not vote for him, he would not change.

The next question then dealt with when it was necessary to disagree with available intelligence. Thompson got in another subtle dig at the moderator when he stated that this was the most important question asked today. Given that the debate was over half over, it was an effective dig. Unlike Keyes, Thompson was able to be combative in a way that made him seem dignified, not self righteous or angry. He also stated that people no longer have confidence in our intel industry anymore. He stated the British and Israelis are ahead of us, and that we cannot let a piece of paper by a bureaucrat solely determine what his actions must be.

More pointless videos were shone. Then Huckabee was asked about how his religious faith would impact health care and education. He answered the question well, although it was a stupid question that did not deserve answering.

Romney was asked whether it was more important to be a fiscal or social conservative. I am biased on this one because I am a fiscal conservative. Then again, it is most important to be a foreign policy conservative. Romney ducked, invoking Reagan again. This time it was pandering. At least he mentioned foreign policy conservatives. Hunter reiterated Romney’s answer, and then tried to go after Romney by stating his business dealt with China. It was pointless and ineffective.

Romney’s video mentioned judges, but with much less passion than Thompson expressed earlier. Tancredo’s video made no sense, and Thompson’s video was quiet but cerebral, emphasizing leaving a better world.

Giuliani, McCain and Thompson had the best videos. Romney and Huckabee did not.

Tancredo was challenged on his foreign policy credentials, and he did not hurt or help himself. Ron Paul was asked about his sweeping change proposals, but insisted he did not call himself a revolutionary. McCain was asked an example of when he wished he had compromised instead of holding firm on his ideals. McCain said he could not think of one example, and stated he had the most legislative achievements of anyone on stage. It was not a humble moment for him.

An idiotic question was asked about New Years resolutions. Even 15 seconds each was too much. Their resolutions was most likely to win Iowa January 3rd and New Hampshire 5 days later. This might have been one of the dumbest questions ever asked, because the candidates were to suggest resolutions for their opponents.

There comes a time when no matter how beautiful a woman is, and this woman was not a model (not ugly either), that a man cannot handle one more word. I wanted to clip her mouth shut with a potato chip clip, but perhaps having a spoiled bag of chips would be too high a price. Except for “The View,” dumber television has not existed.

Only Tancredo took the bait. McCain was very impressive in stating that he wanted everyone to raise the level of discourse. He was too polite to include the moderator. Huckabee echoed the discourse line. Romney was also superb in stating that they should all promise to rally around the nominee to make sure a democrat did not win. Thompson again found a way to ignore a question and still look good by vowing to be a better husband and father, which is especially nice in that nobody has questioned otherwise. Tancredo went after Huckabee for flip flopping on immigration. Ron Paul and Hunter added little but did not harm, and Giuliani stated that a sense of optimism was in order, America had so many positives that should be recognized.

The biggest loser of this debate was the moderator for not allowing the candidates to engage each other, instead focusing on only lightning rounds.

Alan Keyes was the biggest disaster, and I confess that Ron Paul and Tancredo, while still irrelevant, were not looney. Hunter did not help or harm himself.

Romney, despite flashes of brilliance, had too many bad moments, not in the form of stumbles or gaffes, but meaningless answers. He is smart, and looks presidential, but just did not offer substance in this debate.

Giuliani, Huckabee and McCain were adequate enough, but none of them had enough time. Giuliani especially was shafted in terms of questions and time allotted.

This debate had a clear winner by a landslide…Fred Thompson.