Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Illegal Alien Sues, Saying NYPD Called in Feds

Only in this litigious country we call the United States of America could we get a story like this:
An unlicensed cab driver will seek to show a federal jury this week that the police department is failing to abide by Mayor Bloomberg's pledge that the city won't alert immigration authorities to illegal aliens who otherwise obey the law. The case of the cab driver, Waheed Saleh of Jenin in the West Bank, indicates that a New York City police lieutenant casually tipped off a federal immigration officer about Mr. Saleh's immigration status, court documents in the case show.
So this crook is here illegally and he is suing the police for telling immigration officials that this pain in the butt is here illegally.

Separately, if the cops did tell INS about this goof then why is he still here to sue them? Once again the system isn't working. Advocates of open borders and amnesty for illegals argue that you can't round up millions of people and deport them all. The counter argument is, just because you can't deport them all doesn't mean you shouldn't deport any. That is like kids telling their parents "I can't clean my whole bedroom so I decided not to start on any of it."


2008 Baseball Predictions

The 2008 Major League Baseball season begins today (I don't count the early games in Japan). Here are my picks for division winners and major award winners. Save these to mock me in November.

AL East
Boston Red Sox - If Beckett is out for a while I disown this pick.
New York Yankees - May take a couple steps back in first year after Torre.
Toronto Blue Jays - Good pitching backed up by solid defense.
Tampa Bay Rays - This team will challenge Toronto for 3rd.
Baltimore Orioles - Write them down for 100 losses.

AL Central
Cleveland Indians - Not a lot of stars, but a good balanced team with depth to
overcome the inevitable injuries.
Detroit Tigers - Their pitching depth is now in Miami. That will hurt in August.
Kansas City Royals - Gordon and Butler are going to power a much improved team.
Chicago White Sox - Counting on bounce back seasons from too many players on north
side of 30.
Minnesota Twins - Trades of Santana and Garza and Liriano's slow return from TJ
surgery leave the pitching cupboard bare.

AL West
Seattle Mariners - Pitching, pitching and more pitching
Angels - The season hasn't started and they already have a couple starting pitchers
out injured.
Texas Rangers - They'll score a bunch of runs but their pitching will allow more.
Oakland A's - They may do better than I'm predicting. Just too many players with no
track record.

NL East
Phillies - Everyone is talking about Rollins, Howard and Utley, but Pat Burrell may
be the one to watch put up an MVP season.
New York Mets - Jose Reyes stole 78 bases last year and he might be only the 3rd best
SS in his division.
Miami Marlins - Hanley Ramirez! 29 homers from a shortstop? Impressive. Add 51
stolen bases and a .332 batting average and you have the number one
pick in most fantasy baseball leagues.
Atlanta Braves - I don't see them being as good as everyone is saying.
Washington Nationals - Improving but they come up short in the pitching department.

NL Central
Cincinnati Reds - Better team than people realize.
Chicago Cubs - Pitchers won't like visiting Wrigley Field.
Milwaukee Brewers - Miller Park won't be a favorite place for pitchers either.
St. Louis Cardinals - Not much pitching.
Houston Astros - Even less pitching.
Pittsburgh Pirates - It is good to see there are some things we can count on.

NL West
Arizona Diamondbacks - Arizona fans will enjoy watching Chris Young and Justin Upton
develop into stars.
Los Angeles Dodgers - Can Joe Torre coax a winner out of this collection of injury
prone veterans and unproven young players?
Colorado Rockies - Good team suffers a let down after reaching WS last year.
San Diego Padres - Not enough offense.
San Francisco Giants - Not enough anything.

AL: Manny Ramirez NL: Aramis Ramirez
Cy Young's
AL: Felix Hernandez NL: Cole Hamels
AL: Scott Moore NL: Johnny Cueto
AL: Trey Hillman NL: Chollie Manuel

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Damn it!

I just saw on TV that the remains of Staff Sgt Matt Maupin, USMC have been found in Iraq. If you are unaware of Matt, then this news may not mean as much to you. However, for those of us in southern Ohio, Matt has been a central figure in the war. Matt, a young Marine corporal, was captured early on in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). For the last several years his family has been front and center in the local area. We have all prayed for his safe return. However, deep in our souls, we sadly acknowledged that he was likely already dead. Every time I saw his parents on TV I fought back tears as I wondered how they put up such a strong face. Cynically, it seemed to me they were just delaying the inevitable. However, on reflection I understand their reluctance and I no longer fight back those tears. Please pray that his parents have some measure of comfort going forward.


The Beatles shouldn't get old.

I was flipping channels tonight and mistakenly came across CNN with the Larry King Barely Alive show. Larry was interviewing Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. I don't know the age difference between McCartney and Starr, but Paul seemed to have more in common with Larry King than with Ringo Starr. Larry King was old before I was born and I'm not especially young. However, Starr seemed to look at McCartney like some of us might understandingly look at an uncle we love but wonder about.


A Blogs-eye View of Navy Life

Want a look at life at sea for Sailors in today's Navy? Check out The Destroyermen. Gives a first hand look at life aboard a deployed guided missile destroyer, the USS RUSSELL (DDG 59). Some cool pictures and commentary about shipboard life. Brings back some good memories. The ship's Executive Officer, LCDR Chris van Avery, is also the author of Yankee Sailor.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Today's Funny Headline: Chavez says U.S. relations could worsen with McCain

Venezuelan President (and resident madman) Hugo Chavez is afraid that relations with the U.S. could worsen if Sen. John McCain is elected president. How could they get worse. Chavez has repeatedly claimed the U.S. is plotting to overthrow his government, he has called President Bush various names included el diablo (the devil), and he has financially supported terrorists in Columbia (sort of an ally of the U.S.). Yet after all he has done to provoke the United States he is concerned things will get worse. How?

Richard Widmark - RIP

Prolific actor Richard Widmark has passed away at 93.

Widmark could be called the Dan Marino of actors. Marino reached the Super Bowl in his second season but never made a return appearance despite playing 15 more superlative seasons. Widmark likewise had early success - he was nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in the 1947 thriller "Kiss of Death." He played Tommy Udo, who delighted in pushing an old lady in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs to her death. Despite making over seventy more films it was his only Oscar nomination.

My favorite Widmark film is The Bedford Incident. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend renting it. The contentious scenes between him and Sidney Poitier are riveting.

26 March - News and Comments

Update your thesaurus, turns out "Misspoke" is synonymous with "lied."

The "No Kidding!" quote of the day:
US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Tuesday that America's Social Security program for the retired is "financially unsustainable" and needs an urgent overhaul.
Ya think? Anyone with a basic understanding of math knows that. Problem is politicians have been bribing senior citizens for their votes for decades with increases to the mandatory "Ponzi Scheme." After being reelected, President Bush sacrificed considerable political capital attempting to get congress to address this growing problem. I think we all remember how much cooperation he got from congress.

"Why McCain? He gets it!" is the title to an editorial in the Jerusalem Post endorsing John McCain. Huh, so people living in a country surrounded by enemies prefer the candidate serious about security. Okay, that makes sense.

You need a license to go fishing, but any moron with reproductive organs can have kids.
A drunk pregnant woman was arrested at her New Cassel home yesterday when officers found her twin 2-year-old daughters there partially clothed amid feces and broken glass, police said.

Ann Mendoza, 42, had called police to her home at 635 Broadway about 10:30 a.m. because she said she could not find her wallet, police said. When officers arrived, there was a strong odor of alcohol on her breath, police said, and Mendoza admitted to drinking eight beers.
Wow, check out the time she called the police. Ten-thirty in the morning and she is already mid-way through her second six pack!!! Good thing she slows her drinking down when pregnant.

I disagreed with the Rush Limbaugh strategy of voting for Sen. Clinton in the primary to keep her campaign alive so the Dems would continue attacking each other. Having said that, I have to grant that it has had the desired result. Both candidates are getting desperate enough to attack more aggressively. In Clinton's case she is risking irritating one to the Dem's most reliable voting blocks by directly addressing the issue of Obama's crazy racist preacher. Obama returned the volley by releasing his tax returns for the last 7 years highlighting the Clinton's refusal to do so. I still disagree with the idea of messing with the other party's primary, but I have to concede the results are what Limbaugh predicted: chaos.

Speaking of Sen. Obama's tax returns, since he was nice enough to release them we might as well take a look. Byron York notes Obama's charitable contributions from 2001 and 2002:
A lot of emailers have been taking a look at the Obamas' tax returns from 2000 to 2006, just released by the campaign. Several are pointing out the couple's charitable contributions prior to Barack Obama's big book-related payday — in 2002, the Obamas contributed $1,050 from an adjusted gross income of $259,394, and in 2001 they gave $1,470 from an adjusted gross income of $272,759.

I guarantee you, a lot of folks who make below $200K contribute more than fourteen hundred annually to charity. Will anyone care that his actions don't match his rhetoric? Probably not. He makes up for it by spending other people's money on charity through feel-good legislation.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Nancy Reagan to Endorse McCain

Tonight I received an email asking about the newsworthiness of the announcement that former first lady Nancy Reagan was endorsing John McCain for President. My friend had two concerns. First, why bother endorsing someone who already has the nomination locked up. Secondly, she wondered if people even listen to Nancy Reagan anymore.

Normally, it would be a little late in the game to bother with an endorsement of a candidate who has more delegates than the minimum needed to secure the nomination. However, I believe this endorsement was requested by the McCain campaign in order to minimize the damage of a recent New York Times article that talked about rumors that McCain seriously considered switching party allegiances twice in the last several years. Because of his occasional actions that irritate the more conservative Republicans, the Times article was especially problematic. I'm certain this endorsement is intended to reassure conservatives by tying the nominee to the late president who is revered both for ending the Cold War and for restoring Republican pride after the Watergate scandal.

As to the second question, I don't know if anyone listens to Nancy and assumes they are hearing a close facsimile of Ronald Reagan's views. Her only significant political action in recent years has been in support of government funding of embryonic stem cell research which I think is not something President Reagan would have supported. Having said all that, I think she does speak for the late president in endorsing McCain. Sen. McCain supported and advanced the Reagan agenda in the 1980's and Reagan was reportedly very fond of McCain. I suppose we will find out whether anyone listens to her by examining polling data in the days following the announcement.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Breaking News! Detroit Mayor Indicted

Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick charged with perjury, obstruction, misconduct.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy obviously is hoping to preemptively derail the defense strategy of claiming it is just about sex by making this statement:
"Our investigation has clearly shown that public dollars were used, people's lives were ruined, the justice system was severely mocked and the public trust trampled on," said a visibly angry Worthy. "This is as far from being a private matter as one can get."


24 March - Links and Comments

The Headline: Rep. Frank says he’ll file bill to legalize marijuana. The Reality: The most Rep. Frank can do is propose that marijuana possession and use no longer be a federal offense. My Take: Marijuana use is not a federal government issue. Let individual states and cities determine what their community standards should be rather than the federal government. When prohibition ended some counties decided to remain dry (ie: alcohol free). People were able to decide if they wanted to live in a normal county or a dry one.

In response to finding out that it appears Obama's pastor racist point of view is rather mainstream in predominantly black churches, Rachel Lucas has a take on the whole race thing that I believe is spot on for how a lot of white people think: They/we are just tired of the race BS.
You want equality, then take it, on all levels.

That means when Obama uses the phrase “typical white person”, he deserves to have his figurative ass kicked just like Whitey’s figurative ass would be kicked for saying “typical black person”. It means Reverend Wright is an asshole of a racist just like David Duke. Play fair or don’t play at all.

Listen, if I were black, I’d have simmering rage and resentment, too. I’d be furious if my ancestors came to this country in slave ships and if my grandparents had to drink from separate water fountains. What I wouldn’t do is blame white people who didn’t have anything to do with those things and never would because we were born in a different time and we know those things are WRONG. That includes most whites under the age of about 70.
Rachel is right, but I think the bigger thing that will in time come out of this is a revelation that a good number of black ministers are ill serving their flock by stressing past grievances. A more appropriate way of preaching would be to stress self-improvement. In other words, by focusing on who else is to blame for their problems these preachers are absolving their congregation from any responsibility to improve their own lot in life. Now, that is truly shameful.

Stolen Valor is a term for people who lie about their military service. It can be as simple as the drunk holding a sign saying "Homeless Vet Please Help" or guy in a bar saying he served in order to get someone to buy him a drink. It can be as complicated as a politician who actually served inflating or exaggerating his exploits to influence voters. Here is a story of a jerk who took it to a whole new level:
A Colorado man is accused of stealing an Army veteran's identity and using it for 24 years to get married, obtain free medical treatment and even serve as president of a VFW post.
Holy crap! Living a lie for 24 years and it was the wife who turned him in when she figured things out.

Iraq war protesters disrupt Chicago Mass. Absolutely disgusting! These same idiots would cry about any infringement of their First Amendment rights but don't give any thought to how they are impacting others rights. (h/t Don Surber)

From the Washington Post we get: The Next President's Plan . . .
Advisers to Sens. Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama Detail the Candidates' Ideas for Turning Around the Economy. Click the links and judge the plans for yourself. I believe all three propose too much government action in people's personal lives. McCain's ideas regarding talk of a housing bailout include these principles:
(1) No taxpayer dollars should bail out real estate speculators or financial market participants who failed to do due diligence in assessing credit risks. (2) Any financial assistance should be accompanied by reforms that ensure that we never face this problem again. (3) Too little equity -- small down payments by home buyers and too little capital at our financial institutions -- was a source of the housing and credit problem that must be reversed. (4) Where government assistance is merited, lenders and homeowners should make financial sacrifices to qualify.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Blog Roll Update

I've added a site to the blog roll column on the right. Ohio Politics dot com is sponsored by The Akron Beacon and includes input from bloggers with both port and starboard perspectives. Representing the conservative side of things is the insightful Ben Keeler who you should know from The Keeler Report. Coming from the other (ie: wrong) end of the political spectrum is Kyle Kutuchief of The Chief Source. While both Kyle and Ben are from northern Ohio, they don't limit themselves to local issues as everything is fair game. Stop on by Ohio Politics, read their point of view and leave a comment if you strongly agree or disagree with their point of view.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Is the Pope scared of a crazy Islamic terrorist?

This post's title is a play on the old "Is the Pope Catholic?" line to indicate the answer to a question was so obvious it didn't need to be answered. Earlier this week a tape from Osama bin Laden was played which included a thinly veiled threat to Pope Benedict XVI. The answer to the title question is obviously NO as shown by this:
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Italy's most prominent Muslim commentator, a journalist with iconoclastic views such as support for Israel, converted to Roman Catholicism Saturday when the pope baptized him at an Easter service.

Pray for both of them.


Oops, Sorry We Let you out of Jail by Mistake

Earlier this week upon hearing that Sara Olson (crazy 60's criminal, radical) was let out of jail I thought about posting that it was too soon. Turns out I was right.
Former ’70s Radical Is Back in Custody After a Parole Error Just days after her release on parole, the former 1970s radical Sara Jane Olson was headed back to prison on Saturday to serve at least one more year after what corrections officials called an “administrative error” resulted in her early release.

Criticism that followed Ms. Olson’s release on Monday prompted a thorough review of her sentence and the timing of her parole, said Scott Kernan, an official with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
So, in other words, if people didn't complain they would never have checked their math. The follow up question is how often do they screw up on cases that aren't high enough profile to rate scrutiny?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bill Richardson set to Endorse Obama

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is set to endorse Sen. Barack Obama in the Democrat primary. It is difficult to gauge how much endorsements influence primary voters, but this one is important as much for the timing as for who Richardson is endorsing. Since getting out to a fairly large lead in delegates, Obama has been coasting and lately has had to go defensive over various outrageous statements by his longtime pastor. Richardson's endorsement could help Obama in several ways. Unlike Obama and his opponent, Richardson has some foreign policy experience. Additionally, as governor of New Mexico, Richardson is one of the more prominent Hispanics in the country. Sen. Clinton is trailing by so much in the delegate count that her only chance to get the nomination would be to dominate thoroughly enough in the remaining primaries that she can legitimately claim that Obama is damaged goods and convince super-delegates to give her the nomination. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, Richardson's endorsement helps move the nutty preacher to the back burner. I don't think this completely saves Obama, but it helps. Obama needs the preacher story to fade. If it has legs past this Sunday's "news" programs, he will be trounced in Pennsylvania and beyond.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Culture of Corruption - Update

A key piece of the Democrat campaign strategy that lead to their takeover of the House and Senate in the 2006 mid-term elections was harping on a "Culture of Corruption." Rep. Pelosi and friends effectively used that term to paint the crooked politician stereotype as a mainly Republican problem. People who actually pay attention to what's going on in politics understand that both parties have far too many crooks holding office. Doesn't matter, since the Dems normally aren't targeting their rhetoric to people with a clue anyways. This is all brought up by the occasion of Georgia state Rep. Ron Sailor resigning after pleading guilty to money laundering. The third paragraph tells us he is a church pastor. However, you have to read all the way down to the 6th paragraph to find out Sailor is a Democrat. Sounds like a another great preacher:
Prosecutors charged that between Nov. 10 and Dec. 19, Sailor had transactions with an undercover law officer who he believed was a drug dealer from Florida. Nahmias said the case started as part of a drug money laundering investigation and focused on Sailor after authorities learned he was interested in laundering money. Sailor made at least one trip to Florida to meet the operative.

During the meetings, prosecutors alleged, Sailor laundered $75,000 for a 10 percent fee, returning the money to the undercover officer as business loan checks and payments for contracting work for a church that did not exist. On Dec. 19 when he was arrested in Atlanta, they said, he had taken possession of $300,000 that he had agreed to launder.
Maybe he isn't going down by himself. Consider this part of the story:
The arrest was kept a secret for nearly three months. During that time, officials said, Sailor was cooperating with authorities.
I bet some of Sailor's fellow legislators are sweating bullets trying to remember what they may have said to him recently and wondering if he was wearing a wire at the time.

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: A More Perfect Union

Faced with growing criticism of his racist demagogue of a preacher, Sen. Barack Obama gave a speech today aimed at quelling the outcry and allowing his presidential campaign to get back on message. Here is a link to the text of the speech. I may be in the minority on the right, but I'd call the speech an unqualified success. Mind you, he hasn't convinced me to vote for him in the Fall. However, that wasn't his goal today. His goal was to effectively put this story in the background. Something Bill Clinton was especially skilled at was addressing something and then whenever it was raised again simply dismissing the question by saying something like "I've previously addressed that and now it is time to move on to getting the people's business done." Time will tell if I'm right or not, but I suspect this story won't have legs past the current news cycle. His opponent, Hillary Clinton needs this story to stay alive to demonstrate to the super-delegates that Obama is unelectable in the general election. Compounding her situation is any action to keep the story alive can't be traced directly back to her doorstep. This will be fun to watch.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Progress is Incremental

It is kind of sad when it is an improvement when the incoming governor of New York admits to a long time extra-marital affair on the day he is sworn into office but at least he can claim he didn't have to pay for it.
Asked if he had used government or campaign funds to pay for any rendezvous with his former girlfriend, Paterson said he had not.
Well, that's good to know.

I guess at least they are getting ahead of the news-cycle.


The Broken Presidential Primary System

Our current system for selecting a president is broken. Even in election cycles were I was pleased with the final result I was irritated by the process. This cycle some of the problems have manifested in difficulties for the Democrats. However, that doesn't mean the system worked all that well for Republicans. The biggest issue I have with the primary system is that certain states (Iowa, New Hampshire, etc) have a disproportionate say in which candidates get their parties nomination. States have been jockeying to be earliest for decades. This is understandable as it can be worth millions of dollars in pandering by congresscritters mulling a future presidential bid. For example, how much of the federal push for ethanol is tied to an agricultural state like Iowa being the first primary (okay, caucus). Additionally, being first results in a much greater share of advertising revenue. This cycle a couple of states (Florida and Michigan) maneuvered their primaries earlier in the face of a threat from the DNC that their delegates would not be seated at the convention. The belief seemed to be that the favorite (Sen. Clinton) would coast to a victory and the delegates could later be seated without much fuss. Sen. Barack Obama's strong showing has ruined that plan. Here is a link to an article by Roland S. Martin of CNN arguing that no action should be taken to allow a re-vote by those two states. He's right - actions and decisions should have consequences. This is something that should be addressed for future election cycles. I'm an advocate of rotating state's position in the primary process. It wouldn't be too difficult to put the 50 states in a rotational pool wherein a state would move from the front to the back end of the political cycle.

The other problem that has been exposed this cycle is crossover voting. This has happened in previous elections, but this is the first time it has been done on a large scale with an open intent of messing with the other parties selection process. I'm strongly opposed to people pretending to switch party affiliation in this manner. However, unlike the problem of when states hold their primary, I don't think there is a really good fix to this situation. You can't (and wouldn't want to) stop people from switching from one party to the other as their positions change as they mature. People aren't born a Democrat or a Republican. Political parties are groups you choose to align yourself with because you believe they most closely support your views on various issues. Over time your views can change or the politicians in that party may no longer represent your views. Having said all that, I don't believe Republicans should request Dem ballots (or vice versa) unless they actually consider themselves to now be member of the other party. My main opposition is I wouldn't like Democrats picking my nominee so why should I feel I have any right in picking theirs. The only way to limit this problem would be to stipulate that voters need to declare themselves to be a member of a party prior to the first primary taking place.

Bottom line is we need to examine the process. Once this election is over and long before the run up to 2012 a bi-partisan review needs to be conducted to find a better way.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Howard Metzembaum - RIP

Longtime U.S. Senator from Ohio, Howard Metzembaum died yesterday at 90. Metzembaum was noted for being an unreconstructed New-Deal liberal. He was a lawyer who made millions of dollars from the airport parking lots. His nickname in the Senate was "Senator No." No need to speak ill of the deceased so I won't address the affects of the positions he espoused.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It is all just a Republican Conspiracy

Well, that didn't take long. Earlier today on CNBC Dennis Kneale, formerly Managing Editor of Forbes, started going on about how the whole Spitzer mess could be a Republican setup. He got real agitated and kept asking how many of the other clients or johns are Republicans, etc. Sorry, Dennis it doesn't work that way. He was investigated because he was sloppy with the way he handled the payments. His name was leaked because he is a state governor whose claim to fame was his taking down the high and mighty. If the other fools involved in the case were of any consequence their names would have gotten out as well.

Bottom line about Spitzer's future: After hearing how much he spent on prostitutes I wouldn't recommend hiring him for any job that requires budgetary oversight.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

11 March Notes from around the internet

Geraldine Ferraro, best known as Walter Mondale's running mate when he won a state in the 1984 presidential election, got in trouble today for stating the obvious.
"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."
Ben Smith of did a simple NEXIS search and found a previous Ferraro quote that sounds familiar (H/T Instapundit):
"If Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn't be in the race," she said.
Really. The cite is an April 15, 1988 Washington Post story (byline: Howard Kurtz), available only on Nexis.

Not sure how this will affect the ongoing Mary Ann or Ginger debate, but:
Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island," is serving six months' unsupervised probation after being caught with marijuana in her car.

Are you doing your push-ups? Here is a link to an article that finds that people who do a few push ups on a regular basis are more likely to survive a fall without sustaining major injury. This obviously is important info for older people, but don't wait until then to start.
Push-ups are important for older people, too. The ability to do them more than once and with proper form is an important indicator of the capacity to withstand the rigors of aging.

Researchers who study the biomechanics of aging, for instance, note that push-ups can provide the strength and muscle memory to reach out and break a fall. When people fall forward, they typically reach out to catch themselves, ending in a move that mimics the push-up. The hands hit the ground, the wrists and arms absorb much of the impact, and the elbows bend slightly to reduce the force.

Adm. William Fallon has resigned as chief of U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia after more than a year in the post, citing what he called an inaccurate perception that he is at odds with the Bush administration over Iran. I don't know anymore than what is in the story, but it appears to me that Fallon let his mouth get the better of him. He seems to have forgotten that while the press may not exactly be the enemy they definitely aren't friendlies either.

Monday, March 10, 2008

If Spitzer Resigns - Who takes his place?

News today has centered on Eliot Spitzer's involvement and speculation over whether he will resign. If he resigned his lieutenant governor would take over. What do we know about Lieutenant Governor David Paterson? Until last year, Paterson was a state senator from Harlem. He is a Democrat and comes from a family of politicians as his father served as New York Secretary of State and was the NYC Deputy Mayor. His biography says has been legally blind since birth.

Prior to today the only time I had heard of him was when he introduced some ridiculous legislation in the state senate requiring police to shoot to wound, rather than using deadly force. Paterson (D-Harlem) wrote that a police officer, under his legislation, "would have to try to shoot a suspect in the arm or the leg." This requirement demonstrated an amazing degree of ignorance of firearms and police accuracy. You are taught to shoot at center mass so you have some chance of hitting and stopping the immediate threat. I'm sure law enforcement officials in New York are thrilled to see this guy move into the governors mansion.

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Breaking News: NY Governor linked to Prostitution Ring

From the DRUDGE Report we get word that Eliot Spitzer, the sanctimonious governor of New York, is linked to a prostitution ring that federal prosecutors broke up last week.

Like Bill Clinton claiming he would have the "most ethical administration in history," Spitzer pledged to bring ethics reform and end the often seamy ways of Albany. Instead his term has had numerous scandals.

Citizens of New York should not be surprised. Spitzer was a borderline extortionist who used aggressive and underhanded tactics in going after high profile targets as New York Attorney General. I guess we can rule him out as Obama's running mate.

Separately, Spitzer's endorsement no longer appears on Sen. Clinton's presidential campaign website. Hmmm, wonder why?


Sunday, March 9, 2008

McCain's Campaign Strategy

Sen. McCain in securing the Republican nomination kept a grueling schedule to fight off the claim that he is too old for the job. McCain's age has led to comparisons between this election and 1980 when Ronald Reagan was similarly beset with old age comments. However, in some respects McCain's campaign could more aptly be compared with the 1960 race. McCain has talked of running a 50 state campaign. In 1960 Vice President Nixon vowed to campaign in all 50 states. In doing so, Nixon wasted valuable time in states he had no chance of winning. Additionally, while doing all the traveling to get to the 50 states, Nixon suffered a knee injury which got seriously infected forcing him to spend a couple weeks in the hospital. Even though Nixon was only 47 years old himself, the hospital stay contributed to the impression that the 44 year old John Kennedy was much more young and vibrant. Facing a much younger opponent, John McCain needs to guard against anything that would cause voters to question his health or stamina. Rather than give in to the temptation to prove his toughness by keeping a breakneck schedule, I'd caution McCain to divide his time judiciously and ensure he has something left in his tank for the stretch run.


Saturday, March 8, 2008

GOP Vice Presidential Choice - Update

With the Republican nomination secured, John McCain can take his time to select the right running mate. In my opinion, McCain's running mate choice will be more closely scrutinized than most. If elected McCain would be the oldest man elected to serve as president. Obviously, his running mate needs to be someone able to convey the ability to seamlessly ascend to the presidency if McCain is incapacitated. Another problem is McCain has gone out of his way to take positions certain to irritate his base in order to ingratiate himself with the liberal media. The right running mate could placate some of us on the right who will have a hard time bringing themselves to vote for the candidate who showed up on all the Sunday talk shows mocking them for the past few years. Here is a quick run down of potential VP picks and my guess as to their chance of being selected. Age listed is as of November.

Dr. Ron Paul - Texas Congressman (73). Positives: Actually more conservative than McCain on some issues. Negatives: Naive on foreign policy and even older than McCain. 0% chance.

Michael Steele - Former Lt Gov. of Maryland (50). Positives: Gave a great speech at the 2004 GOP convention, he's smart, well-respected. Negatives: Lost race for U.S. Senator in 2006. Odd note: Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson used to be his brother-in-law. 2% chance.

Rudy Giuliani - former mayor of New York city (64). Positives: Has administrative experience that McCain lacks. Negatives: Socially he is as liberal as most Dems. His personal life has been a mess at times. 5% chance.

Rob Portman - Former Ohio congressman, former U.S. Trade Representative and current WH Budget Director (52). Positives. Reliable conservative with good reputation, may deliver votes in key swing state of Ohio. Negatives: Limited name recognition. May be too closely tied to the Bush Administration. 10% chance.

Kay Bailey Hutchison - Texas Senator (65). Positives: Friendly demeanor to offset McCain's temper. Negatives: Age and McCain should already have Texas in the bag. 5% chance.

Fred Thompson - Former Senator and actor (66). Positives: Smart, reliable conservative. Negatives: Age. 7% chance.

Joe Lieberman Senator (66). Positives: Staunch supporter of military action since the 9/11 attacks. Negatives: Age. He is a Democrat turned Independent. 15% chance.

The remaining potential picks are all current or former governors. I believe because of his decades in the legislative branch of government, McCain will be very likely to pick a VP with executive experience.

Sarah Palin - Alaskan Governor (44). Positives: She compliments McCain's weaknesses nicely. She has been a reform minded leader cleaning up a very corrupt state government. Her youthfulness and reliable conservativism stand in stark contrast to McCain's age and maverick tendencies. Negatives: Fairly inexperienced. Very limited name recognition. Gave her kids goofy names (Bristol, Piper, Track, and Willow) bringing her judgment into question. 8% chance.

Mark Sanford - South Carolina Governor (48). Positives: Solid conservative to placate those leery of McCain occasional liberal silliness. Negatives: Limited name recognition. 30% chance.

Charlie Crist
- Florida Governor (52). Positive: Timely endorsement of McCain very helpful in winning Florida. Negatives: Relatively inexperienced - only been a governor for two years. 15% chance.

Haley Barbour - Mississippi Governor (61). Positive: Strong performance in wake of Katrina disaster stood in stark contrast to Louisiana governor's ineptitude. Negatives: Ties to lobby industry. 25% chance.

Jeb Bush - Former Florida Governor (55). Positives: Very successful and popular two term governor of a key swing state. Negatives: Last name is same as his older brother. Also, two of his three kids have criminal history the family would likely not want to see drug through a national campaign. 0% chance.

Mike Huckabee - Former Arkansas Governor (53). Positives: Charismatic speaker. Helps reach out to the social conservatives. Negatives: He is from Hope Arkansas. The voters he can deliver would likely end up going for McCain anyways. 42% chance.

Mitt Romney - Former Massachusetts Governor (61). Positives: Successful businessman and politician. Bowed out of race when it became apparent McCain would be the nominee showing he placed the country's future over his own ambitions. Negatives: Has a label of flip-flopper and many feel he took more conservative positions in recent years more out of political opportunism than principal. Residual animosity from primary campaign. 35% chance.

Tim Pawlenty - Minnesota Governor (47). Positives: Backed McCain early in the primary process. Negatives: Unable to deliver his own state to McCain in the primaries. 35% chance.

I'm sure there are many other potential VP's I overlooked. Please leave suggestions in the comments section.


Here are some additional names being floated for consideration:

Bobby Jindal - Louisiani Governor (37). Positives: Youth offsets McCain's ancientness. Very intelligent (Rhodes scholar), reliable conservative. Negatives: At 37 may be too young. Limited name recognition. Lack of experience (more experienced than Obama or Clinton, but who isn't). 17% chance.

Carly Fiorina - Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HP) (54). Positives: ??? Negatives: Never ran for elective office. 1% chance.

Duncan Hunter - California Congressman (60). Positives: Ready now. Best of the original group running for the GOP nomination. Long time member of the House Armed Services Committee including service as chairman when GOP held the majority. Has a strong stance on illegal immigration offsetting McCain's weakness. Decorated soldier from Vietnam War. Negatives: Limited name recognition. Not likely to even put home state of California in the winning column. 15% chance.

Paul Ryan - Wisconsin Congressman (38). Positives: Youthful contrast to McCain. Good speaker who has won his district by comfortable margin each time. Could be McCain's Dan Quayle. Negatives: Very limited name recognition. Five term congressman with no notable legislative accomplishment. Like McCain all his experience is in the legislative branch. 20% chance.

Condoleeza Rice - Secretary of State and former academic (53). Positives: Very intelligent. If Clinton gets the Dem nomination and bipasses Obama for VP then Rice's addition to the McCain ticket gives angry voters a place to go. Negatives: Outside of foreign policy, her positions on key issues are largely unknown. She bring the baggage of the current administration and has no natural constituency. Has never run for elective office. 1% chance.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Man, 101, to run London Marathon

If true this story is simply amazing. I say "if true" because I'm naturally skeptical.
Working plumber Buster Martin ran Sunday's Roding Valley half marathon in Essex in five hours 13 minutes, and is now focusing on London's 26-mile event.

On finishing the run, the first words of the ex-member of rock band The Zimmers were: "Where's my beer?"
A half marathon in over five hours equates to 11 hours for a full marathon and is barely a quick walk. Walking at all at that age is impressive, but I don't know if that qualifies as running.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Clinton Comeback

Hillary Clinton appears to have won Rhode Island, Ohio and Texas tonight. She will happily take on the title of "Comeback Kid" and will fight to get the previously disqualified Michigan and Florida delegates seated at the convention. If we see her inaugurated next January we can thank Rush Limbaugh and the fools who followed his advice to crossover and vote in the Dem primary for Clinton.

Big winner tonight? Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio who moved into the lead for the VP slot by securing a much needed win for Clinton.

Former Clinton Official Named as Russian Dupe

Strobe Talbott, a trusted aide to former president Bill Clinton and advisor to Sen. Hillary Clinton, was outed as having been a trusted contact of the Russian intelligence service by a Russian defector.

If the media pays any attention to this it will likely help her in the primary and hurt in the general election.

John McCain had an opinion of this goof before this came to light.
In 1993, when Talbott was nominated by President Clinton as Ambassador at Large and Special Adviser to the Secretary of State on the new Independent States (of the former Soviet Union), Senator John McCain took to the Senate floor to declare that, despite Talbott being a close friend and personal pick of the President's, "I cannot in good conscience vote to confirm his appointment."

McCain said that Talbott, as a writer for Time magazine and a commentator, had been guilty of making "mistaken observations" and suggesting "flawed policy solutions" on the matter of whether Russia "will evolve peacefully and democratically, collapse into chaos, or return to totalitarianism, be it Communist or fascist."

McCain noted that Talbott opposed all of the Reagan initiatives, including deployment of missiles to Europe and the Strategic Defense Initiative, which had kept Europe free from Soviet control and eventually resulted in the demise of the Soviet empire. McCain said that "it would require many more hours for me to cite all the examples of mistakes and inconsistencies upon which Mr. Talbott bases his reputation as a Soviet expert."

If Hillary Clinton is elected we will see more folks of Talbott's ilk returned to sensitive positions in our government.

John McCain Secures GOP Nomination

Tonight, with victories in Rhode Island, Vermont, Ohio and Texas, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) secured the Republican nomination for president. Meanwhile, the Democrats still have two candidates, Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton, competing to represent them in November. While the Dems sort out the head of their ticket, McCain can focus on choosing a running mate best suited to match his strengths and mitigate his weaknesses.

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Ohio Primary Contest

Yesterday, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh created a stir by recommending that Republican voters in Ohio request a Democrat ballot and vote for Hillary Clinton. His reasoning was we want her to stay in the race so the Democrat candidates will continue to bash each other and more importantly spend more money contesting the remaining primaries. I did NOT follow Limbaugh's advice and hope no one else did either. There are a couple reasons I disagree with that idea. The main reason is I think we should play in our own sandbox. I've resented this idea in the past when Dems have suggested similar tactics and it would be hypocritical for me to change my tune now. Beyond that, based on their extremist position regarding abortion, I feel it would be morally wrong to vote for either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton even just as a "joke" in a primary. Additionally, I think people are mistaken in thinking Clinton would be easier to beat in the general election. Polls may currently reflect Obama as doing better against John McCain. However, reality is Obama has yet to be fully vetted and once people start seeing the full picture the polls will swing accordingly. If Limbaugh succeeds and Clinton pulls off big wins today then we will hear a lot of talk about her resilience and she will assume the "Comeback Kid" label. Lastly, the one thing I learned from the Wizard of Oz movie is you better pour the water on the witch if you get a chance.

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New Blog Alert

For some unknown reason Blogger removed my previous blog.

Blog has been removed

Sorry, the blog at has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.
Unfortunately, they did this without any warning so I was unable to save the old posts or template and links. I'm rebuilding this blog from scratch. If I owe you a link to your blog leave me a note in the comments section and I'll add you to the sidebar.





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