Sunday, November 28, 2004

Thanksgiving weekend musings

Well folks, it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to write, and many things have happened aver the past several weeks which I’m just now getting around to writing about. Please bear with me while I recap the major highlights of the past several weeks.

First, the Arlen Specter debate. I’m glad that this is settled and he’s getting the position as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Not that I agree with how he came across to the party and the general public with his “I got mine, but you might not get yours” attitude and comment. After all, it was President Bush and the junior senator from PA that helped get Sen. Specter reelected in a blue state and allow him to ascend to the chairmanship. The comments he made and the subsequent negotiations are the things that are best done behind closed doors so that when everyone comes out into the light of public view, all are walking the same walk and talking the same talk. HE does have a good track record of approving Republican nominees, so he is an appropriate choice for the position.

Second, the Target/Salvation Army debate. This has been making the rounds of the blogosphere with hardly a mention in the MSM. Apparently Target has finally begun to enforce its own corporate policy of not allowing solicitors on store property, regardless of charitable or profit status. However, since this involves a very public charity whose main money raising time is the Christmas season, many are up in arms about the issue and have made it clear that they’ll take their business elsewhere. To all those who feel that Target has committed a mortal sin: get over it. Target made a business decision to stop making an exception for the SA since they were getting deluged with other groups who wanted in on the deal with the “well, if you allow the SA there, then we should be allowed too!” argument. Let me call the waahh-mbulance for you so they can take you away and I can get inside the store to conduct my business. Contrary to popular belief, Target stores (and all other private retail establishments) are PRIVATE PROPERTY, which means that they can run their stores however they like, that the First Amendment doesn’t apply on their property, and that you have the right to shop elsewhere if you choose. If you have a real problem not dropping money into the kettle, then shop somewhere else or send in a check as your donation. But stop complaining to Target to bring them back; business decisions are made for a reason, and in this era of extremely eager trial lawyers, maybe limiting one avenue of liability is a good thing.

Third, the defeat of intelligence reform legislation. This has got to be the biggest boondoggle to emerge from Congress in recent history. Intelligence reform in the light of 9/11 and the GWOT has become one of the biggest political issues of the year, almost rivaling Social Security for the title of “third rail” issues. The bills that emerged from both houses were very similar; the big debate has come over the power that the intelligence chief has over the budget, personnel, and intel gathering/sharing issues. Neither side has the strength to come to the table with meaningful intelligence reform: a cabinet level position that actually could dictate policy and enforce it, with full hiring/firing authority and discretionary authority over the intelligence budget. The biggest opposition has come from the Pentagon of all places. It seems that the generals there don’t want to share their intel info with the other civilian agencies. The result: lots of overlapping efforts, wasted time and money, and bad intelligence information all the way around. The Pentagon, CIA and FBI are all still stuck in a “cold war” mode where the enemy is clearly defined and Mutually Assured Destruction could actually save the world. Because of this, the agencies are still very territorial and not willing to work harmoniously to defeat an enemy that has no country or solid target to destroy. This, my friends, has got to change and this needs to be done yesterday since the Cold War ended 12 years ago. President Bush and his cabinet understand this, hence the nomination and confirmation of Porter Goss to head the CIA. This has many in the Company scared, mainly the higher-ups who don’t have a clue about the new enemy, what intelligence is needed to fight them and how to defeat an enemy that is more specter than solid. My advice to Congress is: pass the legislation, get it on the books and send it to Pres. Bush. This way he’ll sign it and then it can be modified by the next session of Congress.

Finally, let me touch on Thanksgiving and what it means to me. This uniquely American holiday is like none other in the world. Most people have taken it to mean a four-day weekend when they visit family, eat profane amounts of food and then go into a food coma while watching football, then lumbering out of the house at an unholy hour to go stand in a cold line with many others waiting to storm a store like a band of Huns for Christmas “bargains” that really aren’t and will be marked down the next week anyhow. Not me. While I did consume my share of food at a friend’s house on Thanksgiving, I didn’t go shop myself silly on Friday or gain 30 pounds. Instead, I spent the time with some great friends and felt thankful for being a citizen of the greatest country on earth, not forgetting to give thanks and remembrance for our sailors & soldiers deployed around the world to defend democracy and defeat an enemy that abhors all we stand for. To me, that is what makes Thanksgiving special: the ability to have a day of bountiful food and to remember and be thankful for all that makes this country great and unique in all the world. TO quote Andy Rooney, “…we have more to be thankful for in this country than in any other.” Truer words were never spoken.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Sunday afternoon humor

Found this out on the 'Net today, an update of an old favorite:

One sunny day in 2005, an old man approached the White House from
across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he'd been sitting on a park bench.

He spoke to the Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in
and meet with President Kerry."

The Marine replied, "Sir, Mr. Kerry is not President and doesn't
reside here."

The old man said, "Okay," And walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House, and said
to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Kerry."

The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Kerry is
not President and doesn't reside here."

The man thanked him and again walked away.

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to
the very same Marine, saying "I would like to go in and meet with
President Kerry."

The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man
and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking
to speak to Mr. Kerry. I've told you already that Mr. Kerry is not the
President and doesn't reside here. Don't you understand?"

The old man answered, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it.

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow."

Friday, November 05, 2004

Sour Grapes from MIchael Moore

Here's a little ditty that shows how Michael Moore really feels about the election:

Dear Friends,

Ok, it sucks. Really sucks. But before you go and cash it all in, let's, in the words of Monty Python, “always look on the bright side of life!” There IS some good news from Tuesday's election.

Here are 17 reasons not to slit your wrists:

1. It is against the law for George W. Bush to run for president again.

2. Bush's victory was the NARROWEST win for a sitting president since Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

3. The only age group in which the majority voted for Kerry was young adults (Kerry: 54%, Bush: 44%), proving once again that your parents are always wrong and you should never listen to them.

4. In spite of Bush's win, the majority of Americans still think the country is headed in the wrong direction (56%), think the war wasn't worth fighting (51%), and don’t approve of the job George W. Bush is doing (52%). (Note to foreigners: Don't try to figure this one out. It's an American thing, like Pop Tarts.)

5. The Republicans will not have a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate. If the Democrats do their job, Bush won't be able to pack the Supreme Court with right-wing ideologues. Did I say "if the Democrats do their job?" Um, maybe better to scratch this one.

6. Michigan voted for Kerry! So did the entire Northeast, the birthplace of our democracy. So did 6 of the 8 Great Lakes States. And the whole West Coast! Plus Hawaii. Ok, that's a start. We've got most of the fresh water, all of Broadway, and Mt. St. Helens. We can dehydrate them or bury them in lava. And no more show tunes!

7. Once again we are reminded that the buckeye is a nut, and not just any old nut -- a poisonous nut. A great nation was felled by a poisonous nut. May Ohio State pay dearly this Saturday when it faces Michigan.

8. 88% of Bush's support came from white voters. In 50 years, America will no longer have a white majority. Hey, 50 years isn't such a long time! If you're ten years old and reading this, your golden years will be truly golden and you will be well cared for in your old age.

9. Gays, thanks to the ballot measures passed on Tuesday, cannot get married in 11 new states. Thank God. Just think of all those wedding gifts we won't have to buy now.

10. Five more African Americans were elected as members of Congress, including the return of Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. It's always good to have more blacks in there fighting for us and doing the job our candidates can't.

11. The CEO of Coors was defeated for Senate in Colorado. Drink up!

12. Admit it: We like the Bush twins and we don't want them to go away.

13. At the state legislative level, Democrats picked up a net of at least 3 chambers in Tuesday's elections. Of the 98 partisan-controlled state legislative chambers (house/assembly and senate), Democrats went into the 2004 elections in control of 44 chambers, Republicans controlled 53 chambers, and 1 chamber was tied. After Tuesday, Democrats now control 47 chambers, Republicans control 49 chambers, 1 chamber is tied and 1 chamber (Montana House) is still undecided.

14. Bush is now a lame duck president. He will have no greater moment than the one he's having this week. It's all downhill for him from here on out -- and, more significantly, he's just not going to want to do all the hard work that will be expected of him. It'll be like everyone's last month in 12th grade -- you've already made it, so it's party time! Perhaps he'll treat the next four years like a permanent Friday, spending even more time at the ranch or in Kennebunkport. And why shouldn't he? He's already proved his point, avenged his father and kicked our ass.

15. Should Bush decide to show up to work and take this country down a very dark road, it is also just as likely that either of the following two scenarios will happen: a) Now that he doesn't ever need to pander to the Christian conservatives again to get elected, someone may whisper in his ear that he should spend these last four years building "a legacy" so that history will render a kinder verdict on him and thus he will not push for too aggressive a right-wing agenda; or b) He will become so cocky and arrogant -- and thus, reckless -- that he will commit a blunder of such major proportions that even his own party will have to remove him from office.

16. There are nearly 300 million Americans -- 200 million of them of voting age. We only lost by three and a half million! That's not a landslide -- it means we're almost there. Imagine losing by 20 million. If you had 58 yards to go before you reached the goal line and then you barreled down 55 of those yards, would you stop on the three yard line, pick up the ball and go home crying -- especially when you get to start the next down on the three yard line? Of course not! Buck up! Have hope! More sports analogies are coming!!!

17. Finally and most importantly, over 55 million Americans voted for the candidate dubbed "The #1 Liberal in the Senate." That's more than the total number of voters who voted for either Reagan, Bush I, Clinton or Gore. Again, more people voted for Kerry than Reagan. If the media are looking for a trend it should be this -- that so many Americans were, for the first time since Kennedy, willing to vote for an out-and-out liberal. The country has always been filled with evangelicals -- that is not news. What IS news is that so many people have shifted toward a Massachusetts liberal. In fact, that's BIG news. Which means, don't expect the mainstream media, the ones who brought you the Iraq War, to ever report the real truth about November 2, 2004. In fact, it's better that they don't. We'll need the element of surprise in 2008.

Feeling better? I hope so. As my friend Mort wrote me yesterday, "My Romanian grandfather used to say to me, 'Remember, Morton, this is such a wonderful country -- it doesn't even need a president!'"

But it needs us. Rest up, I'll write you again tomorrow.

Yours,

Michael Moore

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Glory days are here, but are bittersweet for some

Here we are on the day after the election, and what a beautiful day it is. We've achieved something that hasn't happened since the 1920's: over a decade of GOP control of the Congress and the Executive Branches. And the largest popular vote majority since 1988. What wonderful times we live in, and what a message it sends to Hollywood, the Northeast and the world in general:
  • that the U.S. is still a fairly conservative nation;
  • that we're not in favor of the agenda that you're trying to force down our throats;
  • that we're tired of the Hollywood elites and Michael Moore's claiming that they represent the mainstream views of the American people;
  • that we don't care what the U.N. and the global community think when it comes to the GWOT an the security of the U.S. and our interests;
  • that we'll go to any and all lengths to secure and protect those same interests;
  • that the Hollywood elites, northeastern and collegiate intellectuals and MSM have become ineffective at best and irrelevant at worst;
  • that we're going to stand up for our country and take it back by whatever means necessary and keep it heading down the right path.
The votes and states fell along the lines I thought they would, so there are few surprises there. This big surprises were in:
  • South Dakota, where Daschle was dumped for Thune. When those South Dakotans feel they've been wronged and ignored, they'll throw the baby out with the bathwater and elect new leadership that has their interests at heart.
  • Colorado, where the Dems swept to victory in both houses of the Lesgislature; CD 3 with John Salazar replacing the retiring Rep. Scott McGinnis; and Attorney General Ken Salazar beating Pete Coors for Sen. Campbell's seat. This means that Colorado will no longer be represented with unity in the Senate and a clear majority in the House. These changes can be attributed directly to poor management and electorate intelligence by the GOP leadership in Colorado. This signals to me that change is needed in order to get Colorado back on track in time for the 2006 election. These changes have also relegated Gov. Bill Owens to the role of a vetoer, as he'll be the only check against the bad legislation that will be coming out of the Legislature for the next two years. I can only hope that the Colorado leadership can get back on track quickly and work the right these terrible wrongs.
So now the election is over, the celebrations are ending, and now the real work begins for the next four years. Pres. Bush has the next 8 weeks to build relationships with the opposition for the upcoming Congressional session, and I think that he'll be able to do so quite handily given the overwhelming popular support show for him last night. We also have at least two years until the next election cycle, so we must ensure that the work we do is purposeful and productive at all levels in order to capitalize on the chance that the American people have given us. If not, we could be in for a rough ride in 2006.

As for me, I plan to keep this page going and continue with my own brand of analysis, insight and humor relating to the events of the political scene. My focus will now shift toward the state level, as Virginia elects a new governor next year. I'll also keep involved with the Colorado scene since they are a key state for the future and just a great place to follow politics. And of course, I'll be keeping an eye on the next Presidential cycle when the candidates start fleshing themselves out in mid- to late-2006.

For now, I'm going to relax and enjoy a wonderful holiday season with The Fetching Mrs. Morrison. I'll post sporadically throughout the holiday season and will return in full force in January.

Finally today, some post election humor from George Carlin, the "Bad American". Enjoy the message cloaked in laughter:

YES, I'M A BAD AMERICAN
by George Carlin


I Am Your Worst Nightmare. I am a BAD American. I am George Carlin.

I believe the money I make belongs to me and my family, not some mid-level
governmental functionary, be it Democratic or Republican!

I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized, and does not
entitle you to anything.

I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac, try to do it in English.

I think fireworks should be legal on the 4th of July.

I think that being a student doesn't give you any more enlightenment than working at Blockbuster. In fact, if your parents are footing the bill to put your pansy ass
through 4 years plus of college, you haven't begun to be enlightened.

I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when and where they want to.

My heroes are John Wayne, Babe Ruth, Roy Rogers, and whoever canceled Jerry Springer.

I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor.

I know wrestling is fake and I don't waste my time arguing about it.

I've never owned a slave, or was a slave, I didn't wander forty years in the
desert after getting chased out of Egypt. I haven't burned any witches or been
persecuted by the Turks and neither have you! So, shut the hell up already.

I want to know which church is it exactly where the Reverend Jesse Jackson practices, where he gets his money, and why he is always part of the problem and not the solution. Can I get an AMEN on that one?

I think the cops have every right to shoot your sorry ass if you're running from them.

I also think they have the right to pull you over if you're breaking the law, regardless of what color you are.

I think if you are too stupid to know how a ballot works, I don't want you
deciding who should be running the most powerful nation in the world for the next four years.

If this makes me a BAD American, then yes, I'm a BAD American.

If you are a BAD American too, please forward this to everyone you know.

We need our country back!

Actually, George, we just did get our country back! Glory days are here again!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Today's the day!!!

Well, today's the big day for America, and it looks like people are taking this one seriously. Reports of long lines at the polls and voter fraud are already starting to pour in, and the polls have only just opened. This is going to be a long day, and we'll all be tuned in to hear the results later this evening. I'll be here and at a victory party later today to watch the results as they come in and post my thoughts once all is finished tonight.

Remember, get out and vote today, our future is counting on it.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Dems cheating again

The DNC is at it again: Gen. Schwarzkopf demands Kerry stop fraudulent endorsement phone calls.

Actions like these call into question the integrity level of the campaign, its volunteers and the Democratic Party in general. This just shows that the Dems will stop at nothing to cheat their way to victory.

Tasteless Halloween Costumes

Well, its the Monday before Election Day, and what a better way to start the week than with some tri-partisan political humor: Tasteless Halloween Costumes.

I hope you all enjoy this while I get my other posts ready today.