Thursday, June 22, 2006
As Maryland Goes,...
[F]our years after becoming the Old Line State's first Republican governor since Spiro Agnew became vice president in 1969, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is in a strong position to win re-election this fall. He's raising plenty of money (including $1 million in one night at a fundraiser headlined by President Bush), is quietly cheered on by middle-of-the-road Democrats, and enjoys surprisingly high approval ratings. His approval rating has reached as high as 67%, and at the end of the Legislature's regular session in April--when ratings are typically at low ebb--he was polling at 55%.
This from a state who voted for Kerry 2 to 1 over Bush. Who says there is no hope for conservatives in a state like, ahem, Rhode Island?
Hundreds of WMDs discovered in Iraq
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Dan Yorke's Tirade
I always sense a tinge of contrivance on the part of Dan. He doesn't seem like a true believer of anything, though he tries to come across as strident on some issues. I think he is merely an entertainer, pulling for ratings. And I think he thought if he tried to really pour it on with Laffey today on his WPRO 63 radio program, he'd make some headlines and boost his ratings for being, well, controversial.
Well, I think even he knows he went a little over the top today.
Laffey's promo for the event said that the "Mayor will be discussing a wide range of topics. If you have a question for Mayor Laffey, please call "The Dan Yorke Show" at 401-438-9776." Little did he know that Dan had other plans.
What they ended up discussing, ad nauseum, was one issue of Dan's own choosing, relentlessly, and that was over something for which Laffey was but a mere bystander - some feud that Yorke has had with his former competitor John DiPetro, who has long ago moved up to a Boston station.
I was hoping for Yorke to discuss issues much like he had done with Chafee some weeks back, but his ego got in the way.
Laffey supporters should call the station and complain that he never received equal time. As for me, I am going on a boycott of all the stuff they advertise on Yorke's program until a change of some type is made. Please feel free to join me.
Yorke has demonstrated that he's no longer a legitimate talk show host. Ironically, Yorke enjoys exposing hacks on his radio program. Evidently, he did it again today, only the hack he exposed he sees every morning in his bathroom mirror.
Run For Your Lives!
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
One Man's Reacton to the Discovery of Our Fallen Heroes in Youssifiyah
Life. Freedom. Free speech, freedom of the press. Freedom of religion. The pursuit of happiness.
What do Islamo-fascists value:
Death. No religious freedom. Constrained speech. Manipulation of the press. The pursuit of a (false) nirvana after death.
What are the disadvantages of this vast divide in our values versus the so-called values of our enemies?
The answer is that our enemies will take advantage of our love of life, our freedoms and our sense of fair play.
How would they do that?
By being brutal and viscious in the way they treat prisoners, who are to them hostages that they can manipulate, torture at will, and exploit throug our own obligation to disseminate the facts.
What should we do about that?
What we shouldn't do is lower ourselves to their level. There were similar atrocities during World War II with Japan, who freely beheaded their prisoners, practicing their execution methods on them. We didn't resort to equal barbarism, though the visceral part of us would desire an eye for an eye, our culture is based on grace.
But the simple answer to this question is to be determined to pursue and obtain full victory in this war. And to never give up until the enemy is completely vanquished,
Sunday, June 18, 2006
His TV ads have been relentless and, sad to say, effective, though they are brimming with poppycock, and his guest visit by John McCain this weekend gave him some excellent press from an already biased monopoly newspaper.
I take off points for the fact that, when asked how he might vote on a resolution to set a timetable for removing the troops in Iraq, he said he was "undecided." This is vintage Chafee, he simply can't decide on something that others, with a little conviction, would consider a no-brainer.
Perhaps Laffey's advisors are recommending a better timing for his ads? I am aware that he's walking and knocking on doors, and is counting on the typical turnout for a RI Republican Primary, but I didn't see much in the way of campaign traction from the Laffey camp this week.
Advantage Chafee. But we're still in early innings.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Bremer on the Positive Turn in Iraq: Objective is Victory not a Timetable
Terrorist organizations are secretive to the point of paranoia. The tip that led us to Zarqawi came from within his organization. This is sure to concern the remaining killers. Which of their colleagues can they trust? In the past such uncertainty has led to devastating internecine squabbling, even war, inside terrorist groups. And intelligence tips from the Iraqi people have increased tenfold in the past year, suggesting that they are fed up with terrorist atrocities....Bravo Bremer! Now, consider the pap emanating from Sheldon Whitehouse and Lincoln Chafee on this subject.
Al Qaeda is still in Iraq; these killers from the outside have a simple vision for this country, which is to impose by force a Taliban-like extremist government that would support terrorism worldwide. Then there are the Iraqi insurgents, almost exclusively Sunnis. Killers from Saddam's intelligence and security forces, these men have a different, but equally clear, vision for Iraq. They want to shoot their way back into power and install a Saddam-like dictatorship. They share al Qaeda's hatred of democracy, have engaged in some operational coordination with the terrorists, and have given them safe haven....
Some in America instead speak of setting timetables for the withdrawal of our forces. This would be an historic mistake. Withdrawing our troops before Iraqis can defend themselves would endanger American security by encouraging more terrorism. It would betray the democratic government of Iraq and dishonor the sacrifices of American service men and women.
All the audiences to the ongoing drama in Iraq--the Iraqi people, the American people and terrorists everywhere--must understand that our objective in Iraq is victory and that we will do whatever is necessary to prevail.
Time to Lower the Hammer
BAGHDAD (AP) — U.S. and Iraqi forces killed 104 insurgents in hundreds of raids since terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was slain last week, and the American death toll in the war in Iraq hit 2,500, the U.S. military said Thursday.
Even as the Iraqi government released a document found in al-Zarqawi's hideout that appeared to show the insurgency was weakening, new violence erupted. Gunmen shot and killed 10 Shiites in Baqouba, northeast of Baghdad.
American and Iraqi forces have carried out 452 raids since the June 7 airstrike on al-Zarqawi, and 104 insurgents were killed in those actions, said U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell.
The nationwide raids led to the discovery of 28 significant arms caches, Caldwell said.
He said 255 of the raids were joint operations, while 143 were carried out by Iraqi forces alone. The raids also resulted in the captures of 759 "anti-Iraqi elements."
Don't let them Vietnamize this war. Let's go for a victory.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Death Tax Lives Another Day Thanks to Chafee
Senate Democrats managed to keep the death tax on life support yesterday, prevailing on a vote to break a filibuster by 57-41. The only two Republicans to oppose repeal were George Voinovich of Ohio and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, who sometimes seems to want to lose his primary this year.
This will be relatively good political news for the Laffey campaign, that is, that Chafee has once again sided unnecessarily with Democrats on an issue for which he really doesn't have any good reason to side with them.
When Chafee does these things, he further perplexes the Republican base; but the reason I think he does such things is because there are two aspects to the Chafee psyche that seemed to be ingrained and tough to refute.
- The man is a quintessential pacifist and
- He's never come across a tax increase that he dislikes.
I think the reason for this is his aristocratic upbringing. Since he can afford to pay taxes, he must think everyone can. Since he can afford to be unrealistic about war when we're attacked, he can afford to be an appeaser and a pacifist.
It's not personal, but it is not Republican either. The Wall Street Journal thinks he can't connect the dots when they say "he sometimes wants to lose his primary." But I don't think he's ever been able to connect the dots.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Zarqawi's Dead Part 2
I picked up the news at exactly 6 AM this morning when NPR news kicked on. I rolled over and whispered into my wife's ear, "Zarqawi is dead," as if it was a sweet nothing. Indeed, the news was sweet. Though he was likely dead at least 18 hours earlier, the coalition forces sat on this euphoria instigating news so as to take advantage of the chaos it would cause al-Qaida across the Middle East.
Who knows, if we're lucky, someone made a telephone call to eastern Afghanistan, and we're triangulating right now on a bigger target. I hope so.
In any event, it was a true reminder that we're still in a war, that we need to patient, that we will continue to have losses and mourn our brave, self sacrificing heros, and that there will be these twists and turns. Sometimes the news will be good (like today's) and sometimes bad (like it has been for the past four months), and that we can't blame that on a relatively well meaning yet inarticulate president.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Bill Dimitri RIP
Moreover he was a true intellectual. He read really good stuff, and continued to do so while a prosecutor and later an attorney and a judge.
He held strong beliefs and articulated them well. Though the Journal today was unkind about his representing "notorious" criminals and alleged criminals (including my brother during the RISDIC crisis of the early 1990's - or should I say the Sundlun induced crisis of the 1990's), he was tough on bad guys as a judge.
He put his whole personality into what he did, and he believed strongly in what he did. I recall him writing a letter to the editor to chide the Providence Journal in their unfair representations of one of his clients, long after he had been acquitted.
He was a man of true integrity, and he will be greatly missed.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Peter Pastore RIP
Peter was a Democrat, but his views and lifestyle were more Republican. He put his family above politics, and left the city council several years ago, concentrating on his young family and his job. He was pro-family, pro-life, and his record in the council was mainly one of a fiscal conservative who tried to hold the tax rate down while being fiscally responsible about spending.
On several occasions, Peter was the Democrats' hoped for mayoral candidate, but he put his family first and did not run. Though he was recently giving consideration to a return to politics, it was to be at a lower level, allowing time for his priority on his family.
Cranston lost one of its hall of famers, and a true public servant. Our deepest condolences to the entire Pastore family.
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