Monday, December 31, 2007

Pima County GOP Fills Open Position

David Jorgenson, who finished strong in last year's LD26 primary race for state House, was widely expected to be the replacement county party member-at-large when Dorothy Shanahan moved out of state. Others speculated that one of the several long-time party activists who applied would fill the slot.

As it turns out, all the speculators were wrong. In a surprise move, Judi White selected relative newcomer, Tom Dunn, known for his blogging on ThinkRight Arizona. Tom brings the number of LD26 representatives on the executive committee to three in addition to LD26 chairman, David Smith.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Goddard Office Dealing In Black and White?

We recently became aware of an alleged racial issue in state agencies under Governor Napolitano beginning with the Department of Public Safety licensing division which is suspected of collusion with certain private security agencies. It seems that new security firms run by certain minorities have been dragged through the mud when it comes to getting a license. In what is said to be a racially motivated effort, DPS licensing personnel are suspected of colluding with existing security firms friendly to DPS. One firm fighting the battle with DPS has been successful for many years in other states, but has been forced to run the obstacle course with DPS for most of 2007 with no license in sight. In the meantime, Terry Goddard's office has been identified as a possible colluder with DPS. There are some big names that are involved behind the scenes. It may be interesting to see where this ends up as lawsuits begin to be filed.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Here We Go, Again

We don't do much about Kwanza at our house, but Christmas was a great day and we're still enjoying it. It's a holiday like no other in our country possibly enjoyed most of all by those crazy people in Washington.

President Bush, for example, signed an omnibus appropriations bill yesterday that was pushed across his desk by a congress drunk with holiday spending of taxpayer dollars. Not only did our self-proclaimed hawkish-on-spending Democrats give the Prez 8 billion with a capital B dollars more than he asked, but piled on the Christmas ham sneaking in 21,000 (yes, I got the zeroes right) earmarks.

Remember last year's Secure Fence Act? Read their lips, "No more fencing." This bill completely gutted the 2006 law stripping away the financing and shoving it into proverbial pig farms.

HO! HO! HO! Here we go...again.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Re-aligning Has Begun: Tom Tancredo Kicks It Off

Maybe the lines have been drawn, but they're now being re-aligned. Tom Tancredo starts it off by being the first major candidate to announce he's stepping out of the race. On the way out, he paused long enough to hand his endorsement to Mitt Romney.

It's interesting that he chose Romney. Clearly, Duncan Hunter is the strongest of all remaining candidates when it comes to advocating border security. Then again, Hunter may be the next candidate to bow out. If Tancredo had given his endorsement to Hunter, what would he have accomplished? Romney, on the other hand, does have a reasonable record on Tancredo's favorite issue and has a chance at taking home all the marbles.

Tancredo's endorsement doesn't create a huge advantage for Romney since Tancredo's campaign never really gained traction. But, border security is still a major issue with Americans and the endorsement does lend credibility to Romney on a key platform issue that he needs to counter the perception of Giuliani's strong 9-11 leadership, and as a stick in Giuliani's eye when it comes to his record on illegal immigration.

So, who will be next? Ron Paul and Alan Keyes are in the race on principle. They want to get their messages out, so they won't leave anytime soon so long at they have money to show up at debates. The next candidate to drop out will probably be Duncan Hunter followed by Fred Thompson after a couple of primaries. Hunter, like Trancredo, will probably back Romney. Again, it won't have a huge impact, but does bolster Romney's credibility among strong national security advocates and gives Romney some needed support on foreign policy issues. Thompson is a little harder to predict and a lot rides on how long he stays in the race. Most likely, Huckabee will be the first to show a significant drop in popularity in the early primaries which will encourage Thompson to line up behind Romney. This will cause a significant group of conservatives to shift into Romney's column thereby further weakening Huckabee who will have no money to stay in the game. Where do Huckabee's followers go? Most will go to Romney making McCain supporters the wild card in the race between Romney and Giuliani.

Of course, a lot rides on how long candidates will wait to step out of the race. The longer they hold out, the more it hurts Romney and gives the edge to Giuliani, not that Romney is hurting for support. In the meantime, undecideds, who still play a major role, will begin deciding based on who emerges as front-runners. Perhaps they're the biggest wild card of all.

As events unfold the next couple of months, watch for the realigning of candidates because that's where most of the supporters will go which, undoubtedly, colors the perceptions of late-deciders.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Whose RIghts?

It's not discussed much in the media, but it's fast becoming a heated battle across the nation. This past year there were quite a few states that tried to pass some law or other relating to weapons in the workplace. Oklahoma was host to the biggest showdown that gave the first round to individuals, but ended with a ruling for employer rights.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) anticipates a major push in 2008 for more states to join in the debate and has issued the following statement:
“SHRM believes, and the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act requires, that employers provide safe workplaces for their employees, including safeguards from threats or acts of violence. Further, SHRM believes that a secure workplace, free from threats of violence, not only protects the physical, mental and emotional health of employees, but also positively affects productivity, morale, absenteeism, turnover, and employee and customer satisfaction.

“SHRM supports employers’ freedom to decide how best to create a secure and safe workplace. The Society opposes any legislative, regulatory or policy attempts that restrict employers from safeguarding their employees.”

Their position should come as no surprise considering they signed on as a friend-of-the-court supporting employers in the Oklahoma case. But it's a tough issue that strikes at the heart of two sacrosanct positions: personal property rights and individual 2nd Amendment rights.

So far, in an interesting mix of red and blue, Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky and Minnesota have supported individual rights and preventing employers from banning weapons in the workplace. Amazingly, this hasn't even emerged as a question in the debates the past few months. But maybe the presidential primary debates haven't yet hit the right state.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Facts Don't Add Up With the NIE

According to the Washington TImes, a Revolutionary Guard general, Alireza Asgari, is the Iranian who defected and is the source for the NIE”s statement that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

That's odd because when Asgari spilled the beans, everyone was quoting Frenchman Sarkozy who was suddenly concerned about Iran's nuclear weapons. It sure didn't sound like they were talking about a country that quit working on nuclear arms 4 years ago. In fact, just a couple of years ago, the CIA said it was convinced that Iran was pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

So what gives?

According to Senator Kit Bond, the NIE report relied on information from 2003. It's a shame it's now 2007 and that in-depth report is a bit rusty. Bond says Iran is still enriching uranium and developing missiles despite what the NIE says.

But that doesn't explain how the same agency can whipsaw back and forth about whether or not Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Is the problem really with outdated information? Some say the problem is with NIE boss, Thomas Fingar, who is known for his anti-Bush antics like helping the Democrats prevent John Bolton from being confirmed and cleaning out every staffer who speaks out about threats from anti-American dictators. It seems Thomas Fingar may have a political agenda and used the NIE report as a pawn in the game.

So much for reliable intelligence data from the NIE.

They Said It Was Impossible

Ronald Reagan would be proud. His SDI program (strategic defense initiative) was ridiculed by the left much like the nay sayers who laughed at the idea that we could put men on the moon. Well, the shield is up and according to the DOD all 50 states are now protected by the missile shield system. It's an amazing feat that took someone with vision and commitment to initiate.

Funny thing, a year ago we were hearing how a border fence was impossible. Now, nobody questions whether we can, just whether we should.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Wealth and Winning

This was kind of interesting to check out. The little guy in the race turns out to be a millionaire.

Check out the net worth of the top presidential candidates courtesy of Money Magazine.

Here they are from top to bottom:

Mitt Romney: $202 million mostly by founding and growing Bain Capital.

John Edwards: $54.7 million mostly from suing doctors for medical malpractice.

Rudy Giuliani: $52.2 million mostly as a lobbyist through Giuliani Partners.

John McCain: $40.4 million mostly from his wife who inherited Hensley & Co., the Anheuser-Busch beer distribution business.

Hillary Clinton: $34.9 million mostly from Bill's speaking fees, but also from her books.

Fred Thompson: $8.1 million mostly from acting jobs, particularly Law & Order.

Barack Obama: $1.3 million mostly from his books and his wife's job as a University of Chicago Hospitals executive.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Of Polls, Pontifications, and Pundits

According to CNN's latest poll, Obama has wiped out Hillary's lead and turned it into a tie in New Hampshire. Some say Hillary's weaker numbers are the result of Bill Clinton taking a more active role in the campaign. A clue that the critics may be on to something is the 10 point drop in support for Hillary is among Democrat women, not men.

Thompson barely flicked the needle on the scale of this one, which will further close the lid on his chances. Huckabee continues to show poorly with no meaningful progress in New Hampshire and with about enough money to run a strong congressional campaign. It appears that he may have peaked a hair too early for the momentum he needs, but not early enough to get the funding. Another blow to his campaign is the National Review Online choosing Romney over Huckabee as their editorial board's conservative choice.

Today's GOP debate was fairly lackluster across the board. I heard some gave the highest ratings to Thompson who was said to have made his strongest showing of the campaign. Personally, I thought he was strong on a couple of issues, but would be hard-pressed to give him the whole enchilada. Relatively speaking, I thought Hunter had the best performance with Romney perhaps close behind. Alan Keyes was noticeably present in this debate.

In all the polling and speculating, it's important to keep in mind that about half of voters/caucus goers, in the early primary states, are still trying to figure out who will get their votes.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Are We "Daft" in the U.S.?

A fascinating article describes how Brits choose to deal with religious diversity in their country when it comes to celebrating Christmas. According to the article,

Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims joined Britain's equality watchdog on Monday in urging Britons to enjoy Christmas without worrying about offending non-Christians.
"It's time to stop being daft about Christmas. It's fine to celebrate and it's fine for Christ to be star of the show," said Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

With so much nonsense about whether it's okay for the school choir to sing a Christmas song about Christmas, or if the HOA should allow homeowners to post a Christmas message on their front lawn, it's refreshing to know there exists some sanity in the world about celebrating religious holidays.

Freedom requires religion

I'll chalk it up to being sleep deprived due to the newborn baby, to muddling through the argument below. Fortunately the New York Post makes the succinct argument for me: (via The Corner)

We'd concede it may be possible in theory for a society to be both free of religion and politically free, but it has not happened any time in history that we are aware of, certainly not in contemporary Europe. The highest-profile attempts at religion-free societies, revolutionary France and Bolshevik Russia, both resulted in paroxysms of violence that trampled both political and religious freedoms. When the great editor of the Wall Street Journal, Robert Bartley, made a trip to the Soviet Union, he concluded that the great flaw in its system was its official atheism.

No one is suggesting that all religious societies are politically free; Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan under the Taliban are cases in point. Nor are we suggesting that the American government should establish one religion over another, or that atheists or agnostics cannot be good citizens. There are countless examples to prove otherwise. But belief in a higher power is so fundamental to the development of civilization and is such a ubiquitous, deep, and abiding feature of such huge numbers of civilized people that it is impossible, by definition, to exclude religion without destroying liberty for all.

If Mr. Romney left some of these particulars unsaid, perhaps he felt the point had been already made by the man after whom the Washington Post was named. In his 1796 farewell address, the first president said: "And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

If George Washington said it, it carries weight with me.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Romney's Faith In America Address

Should he, or shouldn't he? They said he shouldn't do it, but here it is: Romney's "Faith In America" Address.  Listen to it and judge for yourself. Should he have?

Gabby: "Change Can't Wait"

In last year's election, Gabby said "change can't wait," but we're still waiting. Instead of rolling up their sleeves and aggressively solving the nation's woes, the Dems decided they needed to cut back. Here's CNN's response.