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.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Where No Congress Has Gone Before

Now you, too, can become a super sleuth from the comfort of your own home. Congress, which controls a budget of $2,784,000,000,000, just can't seem to come up with a solution for the border security crisis. But a handful of citizens figured something out and did it themselves in just a couple of years setting up mobile cameras along the border that anyone can access via the web. Somehow, I don't recall this in Gabby's "comprehensive plan." It looks like we've created a high tech world and elected a low tech congress.

Thanks to Iris for making this available. Here's the link to the KGUN-9 report:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Here's the Skinny. . .

I can cross one of my life's goal's off the list, I got my name in the Skinny.

Yeah, I know it isn't much, but I did dodge some of the editorial bombs delivered to Daniel Patterson and David Gowan. In fact, it appears that I avoided any labeling outside of "Republican" and "blogger," which I can live with. Additionally, Mr. Nintzel knows enough about what we do here to correctly identify me as an individual blogger of a few on the site, which means that he has a passing familiarity with my views. To top it off, we got a link too. Thanks, Jim.

To our faithful readers, know this: I will not quit, I will not tire, I will not relent until I get my characiture printed in a future column as well.

Hillary Is Out, Obama Is In

No longer is Hillary the woman to beat. The latest Zogby poll suggests that Obama is now the favorite. According to the poll, all of the top five Republican contenders defeat Hillary while Obama polls over all Republican leaders. Edwards, likewise, polls over Republicans, but not as strongly as Obama.

Of course, as I've said before, the race isn't a national popularity contest; it's a state-by-state competition. And only state-level polls are really relevant. But it is interesting to see how things can shift substantially as the only polls that matter draw near.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Tough Tightrope to Walk

It's never easy trying to maintain strong ties to critical political allies and financial supporters when they don't always agree with many in your constituent base. Some in the Arizona GOP congressional delegation found that out in last year's election when Bush administration and RNC officials interfered with last year's CD8 race. Even though they tried to maintain public neutrality, some of our delegation found themselves wiping their prints when leaving the gate open for the NRCC. Admittedly, it was a tough position to manage. What made it even more stressful was the fact that some were up for reelection and counted on campaign work and votes from the very conservative base they were selling to their D.C. allies. 

It didn't end there, however. After the election, the congressional delegation again found themselves pushed onto the tightrope in the battle for control of the state Republican party. Even though when it was over most Republicans felt relieved that everyone could then go back to the business of defeating Democrats, some elected officials couldn't let it end there. While staying out of the fray, publicly, they have found ways to continue the battle. Not that it makes sense for the local party to depend on financial support from elected officials, anyway. But it's difficult for local activists to reconcile their feelings about this behavior with what they know needs to be done to retain critical seats for Republicans.

I don't know, but I think if I were planning to run for re-election, I would be trying to communicate that I'm part of the constituency that elects me. I think I would want to be a force for unity ensuring that regardless of differences, I desire to alienate nobody, particularly those who walk the streets and get out the votes for me. Sometimes it pays to be a Republican first and a D.C. politician second. Some in the party apparently still need to get that message.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

It seems that over two hundred years ago, some religious guy wasn't too PC to write and sign this proclamation. Some might think he didn't understand the principles on which the nation was founded, but I suspect he had a pretty good idea of what he was doing. Of course, the ACLU wasn't around at that time or he surely would have been sued.

Anyway, Thank-you George Washington for helping us remember the great blessings we have and from where they come.

And thanks to Sonoran Alliance for posting  the holiday declaration penned by our first President.

Who's supporting Ron Paul?

I have read with some amusement much of the analysis concerning Ron Paul supporters. The interesting part is that much of this takes place without actually speaking to Ron Paul followers. It's not that hard to find them, and they are more than happy to speak to you and tell you anything you want to know. My results are somewhat anecdotal, but I have spoke to a number of supporters, and here is what I have found. I'll lay it out by showing the conventional wisdom, and then what I found:

1. Ron Paul supporters are the normal third party ragtag that show up every now and then then go away. No, most of the supporters that I spoke to are Republicans with strong Republican voting records. A majority voted for President Bush in the last Presidential election. Extrapolated outward, an independent run by Paul would be a disaster for Republican chances for winning the White House. Ron Paul Supporters are no more fringe elements than Huckabee supporters as far as their party creds go. Republicans would do well to respect them as they would any other candidate's supporters, especially on the local and state levels.

2. Ron Paul is making his name as an anti war candidate. I didn't get that from the supporters that I spoke to. The overriding sense that I got was that monetary issues trumped everything with them. Indeed, the fact that the US dollar is worth less than the Canadian dollar was more likely to raise their hackles. Objection to the war was much in part to the treasure wasted and the needless entanglement of American interest rather than some "BUSH LIED!!!" screed. It's my belief that Liberals who view Paul as a reflection of their own disdain of the war aren't fully informed.

3. Ron Paul supporters will make good targets for Democratic flipping. If you think that Ron Paul people dislike George Bush, ask them what they believe about Hillary Clinton. Outside of ending the War in Iraq, there is very little that would attract Paul followers to current Democratic policy. And the War issue is not as important as you have been led to believe.

4. Ron Paul Supporters are all young students. Some of the more visible supporters are students, but they are balanced out by supporters of all ages. Indeed, you do not raise 4 million in one day on the back of students. Again, many of the supporters are lifelong Republicans with firm Republican voting records.

5. The "Paul Surge" will be viewed as a 2007 phenomenon. This is simply not true. There is little as far as charisma goes to account for Paul's following. It's his message that is making headway, and that is not going away. Granted, we are a ways off from Goldwater-like reframing, but there is a growing section of the Republican party that is entirely dissatisfied with spending and expansion of government. There is also the looming sense that the opportunity to do anything about it is going to close. As the issues of the War and Immigration are dealt with one way or another, this issue will move closer to the forefront, and the groundwork built by Paul and his followers will be expanded. This will probably be evident in local and state elections first where, for the most part, the War and Federal enforcement of immigration aren't on the table.

I invite any feedback or criticism.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Toe-mah-toe, Toe-may-toe

Some people demand perfection in political correctness. Any slip ups are grounds for rebuke by having a nasty label slapped on the perpetrator—labels like racist, bigot, homophobe, male chauvinist pig. You know the drill. So, for all those tired of being afraid to open their mouths for fear of offending, here's something for you in THE PC OF IT ALL.

It'll Be a KOLD Day in Tucson...

KOLD news was the only station to get a report that the military was notified last May of several Iraqis who had entered the U.S. from Mexico through border tunnels and planned to attack Fort Huachuca. No timetable was given for the possible attacks. After reporting the information on KOLD news channel last week, some viewers got their hackles up thinking the report was a bit sensationalistic. I suppose some would have thought a similar report about an attack on the Twin Towers to be, likewise, sensationalistic. After something like that happens, it's much more difficult to NOT feel a need to know and inform. In any case, here's  the KOLD News response to viewers.

Monday, November 19, 2007


American Border Patrol has announced it will be featuring live cameras along the border at their ranch on the border south of Palominas. People will be able to view live action of illegal aliens crossing into the U.S. At the same time, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas announced they have the money (3 Million) to provide the same 'service' in the state of Texas. They had tried this before for a month and had over 225,000 'lookers'. Not to be outdone, here in Cochise County a new organization, , will eventually be covering 1600 square miles of the area, giving members the opportunity to be armchair patriots anywhere in the U.S. Makes you wonder how these private patriots garnered the 'millions' for such projects? As any entrepreneur knows, only government needs 3000% more funds than any private-for-profit enterprise.

The American people: still creative, still stubborn and still determined to keep the homeland free from invasion, with or without the help of the Federal government.

Friday, November 16, 2007

U.S. Attorney Sutton Has a Change of Heart?

What a surprise! According to The Washington Times, Aldrete Davila, the drug smuggler who was caught with 800 pounds of marijuana and shot by Border Patrol agents Compean and Ramos while trying to escape, has waltzed into the U.S. allegedly with a Department of Homeland Security-issued VISA. No, that's not the surprise since it has been going on for a couple of years. What IS surprising is that after having for years bebopped into the country at will under a federal escort, he found himself under arrest for... (drum role, please) known drug smuggling that occurred over two years ago.

In 2005, the DEA tried to convict Davila, but U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton's office refused to allow it. So, why the sudden interest in prosecuting the criminal long pampered by Sutton? Surprise, surprise, it just so happens that agents Compean and Ramos will have their appeal cases heard December 3rd, just a couple of weeks away. Is Sutton trying to gain favor with the judge who will likely come down hard on him for unscrupulous practices? Or is Sutton hoping for leniency when Attorney General Mukasey and the Senate Judiciary Committee go after him as requested by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher? It should prove interesting as Sutton scrambles to salvage something of his crumbling image.

Of interest in the Times article is that presidential candidate (and congressman) Duncan Hunter today hand delivered a letter to President Bush requesting a pardon for Compean and Ramos before Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pelosi's Silly Games

Last night, Pelosi managed to push through a troop withdrawal bill in the House that is simply one more off-task attempt to shoot another spitwad at President Bush.

The bill requires combat troops to be withdrawn by the middle of December 2008. According to Voice of America, the bill which passed by a vote of 218 to 203 has no real chance in the Senate. Obviously, even if it did, it would be sunk by a Bush veto with no hope of an override.

What's also silly about this is that troops are already scheduled to begin scaling back within a month or so. One soldier I know is spending his time in Iraq dismantling equipment and turning over security duties to the local police in an area that not too long ago was one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Now, it's fairly peaceful and troops can spend their time preparing to leave.

So, what is it about "progress" that Pelosi doesn't understand? Personally, I don't think the action has anything to do with the war in Iraq. Pelosi can frustrate us with her agenda, but she doesn't do things without a reason. Knowing the bill was a waste of effort since it had no chance of becoming law begs the question regarding an ulterior motive. One simple explanation is that it's part of the Democrat party leadership plan to keep hammering the president and smearing the war in the faces of voters so they won't forget come election day. It's not about the business of the country. It's about the business of politics.

Of course, Pelosi isn't the only politician playing this game, but that doesn't change the fact that it is what it is.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The good and the bad

First, the bad

Representative Lena Saradnik recently suffered a stroke while traveling in Massachusetts. Apparently, it was a light stroke and she should be home by Thanksgiving. By all account given in the article, she appears to be recovering nicely, and should be back to work in January. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family and we hope she makes a full recovery.

Then the good,

Today at 3:30 pm, little Rebekah Humphries was born. Her mother is recovering nicely, and the baby is beautiful. Blogging and Campaigning will be light for the next few days, but hopefully we will see if we can get some pictures up for those interested.

Government Economic Data Doesn't Add Up

If you ever wonder why your experience doesn't seem to match what is reported by the federal government, you're not alone. It probably has to do with the fact that since the late '80s, reporting methods have kept changing to make the sitting president look better. So when people start throwing around numbers relating to past CPI, unemployment, inflation, etc., it gets frustrating very quickly as everyone seems to have different numbers for the same reporting periods.

As a NEWS YOU CAN USE tip, check out John Williams' Shadow Government Statistics site. Although it's set up as a paid subscription service, he provides quite a bit of education free to visitors. It's enlightening as well as frightening.

During the Clinton years, for example, unemployment rates were played with several times so that today's unemployment is grossly underreported. Likewise, inflation reads artificially low under our current reporting methods. Add to this comparisons with other countries who have their own reporting methods and self-serving biases and it's easy to become somewhat cynical with it all.

Preferring to live in a slightly rosy world, however, rather than think of it as deceitful, I choose to consider it all as creative. And knowing how the system works, I can simply take this creativity into consideration when looking at the numbers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More Forethought, Please

Sometimes, it's important to realize that a decision to help someone in need may have results that far outweigh the benefit to a single person. For example, I learned that in a country I recently visited—one that takes the benevolent position of accepting anyone and everyone into the country no questions asked—a person from a third country brought TB in with them. Now, everyone who was in the office I visited has to undergo testing to see if the disease overtook others.

Considering the economic plight of so many of our neighbors to the south of us, it's easy to simply throw out thoughtless statements about how we should let them all in and give them a chance to better their conditions. But the reality is, every person who comes into the country outside of proper channels presents a threat to the health of millions of others. TB, for example, continues to be a disproportionate problem in border states and counties brought on by the large numbers of people coming into the country without proper screening. And TB is not the worst problem.

When people casually toss around the notion that we should help everyone, they should consider how many may be hurt by a careless attitude about how to do it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Veteran's Day Message from Bruce Ash

Listen to Bruce Ash's Veteran's Day Message

The Tidball factor

In early November Sonoran Alliance broke the news that a credible independent candidate is running in the eighth congressional district. They did not seem too worried about his campaign and even wondered if Tidball took votes away from Gabby more than Bee.

SED then contacted Tidball and did a good follow-up story. Matt did not specifically address the issue of whom Tidball helped or hurt by being in the race.

I have learned through sources that Tidball has the higher-ups in the Republican establishment all worked up. Despite the fact that Tidball is registered and running as an independent there is talk within Republican circles of getting him out of the race. How does that work exactly, telling someone outside your party whether to run or not? There is more to come on this story and we will be very interested to see if Tidball is still in the race come 2008.

Friday, November 09, 2007

A Double-edged Sword

What does it mean when conservative Pat Robertson joins forces with Rudy Giuliani? Does it mean pro-life conservatives will suddenly rally to Rudy? Not likely. More than social conservatives, the move gives Rudy access to Jews like never before. Even Jewish Democrats responding to Pat's fiery rhetoric against Muslims are lining up in Rudy's camp.

Of course, such a move isn't without a price, albeit a small one. CAIR, a U.S. Muslim civil rights group, is less than thrilled.

It seems a smart move for Rudy. He softens his image with conservatives, attracts Jews, and only manages to upset a very small segment of voters. As for Pat Robertson, it's a bit more difficult to rationalize his decision.

If nothing else, the move serves to dampen the belief that social conservatives are united in their support for a particular candidate. And the reasons for their support seem to be as varied as the number of candidates.

Bi-partisanship No Longer Just a Buzzword

What bill in Congress could possibly have 44 Democrat and 46 Republican signers before being introduced? What issue could unite representatives from the Congressional Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, Immigration Caucus, Republican Study Committee and Blue Dog Coalition?

Strange as it may sound, we're talking about illegal immigration and a bill designed to address least in part.

Unlike prior bills that contained some sort of amnesty provision, this one is centered solely on border security and enforcement. Representative Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) wrote the bill known as the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act or H.R. 4088. The focus of the bill is two-fold: It provides funding, bodies, and equipment for securing the border including more fence, and it requires employers to make sure all current and prospective employees are legal. For this last requirement, all employers must comply within 4 years—large employers (over 250 employees) get 1 year, and progressively smaller companies get more time. All will be required to use the eVerify program and respond to mismatch letters from the Social Security Administration.

This one is worth watching!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Dianne Feinstein Is Clearly NOT a Liberal

Despite help from Mel Martinez and Larry Craig on the GOP side, Dianne Feinstein dropped her plans to ressurrect the AgJobs bill—at least for now—that would have granted amnesty for an estimated million or so illegal farm workers. The argument for farm worker amnesty goes "if we paid a legal wage, produce would be too expensive" and "nobody wants to do these jobs, anyway."

Does that mean that food has, until the past decade, sat rotting in the fields because we didn't have enough illegals to do the work? Let's look at what history tells us. I'm old enough to remember how under Pres. Bush Sr., Secretary of Labor, Elizabeth Dole worked with the INS and with a vengeance went after employers that were hiring illegals rounding up thousands of illegals and fining employers. She struck fear in the hearts of non-complying businesses. Going back a few years was Pres. Eisenhower's non-PC parlanced initiative Operation Wetback which is said to have cleared out nearly a million illegals in a year through forced and voluntary deportation. In a third example, Cesar Chavez led the United Farm Workers in a huge strike that was constantly sabotaged by illegal immigrant scabs who crossed the picket line. In response, Chavez led a march to the border with Walter Mondale and Ralph Abernathy (remember them?) demanding a stop to the illegals' crossings. It got so bad that Chavez' brother led strikers in patrolling the border beating up illegals they caught crossing into the U.S. In none of these cases is there any evidence that produce prices shot up significantly as a result of fewer illegal immigrant laborers.

Nine years ago, Senator Edward Kennedy, openly argued against illegal and temporary legal workers because of the high rate of unemployed U.S. agricultural workers. If you look at farming counties across the country this hasn't changed with unemployment rates in some California agricultural counties reaching over 16%. In other words, their aren't even enough picking jobs for U.S. citizen pickers to fill. With pickers in California averaging over $10 per hour, the 24% of farm laborers who are illegal must be saving some farmers at least a buck or two. Based on the number of workers and the labor cost per apple at 7 cents, however, we would be lucky to add a penny to the price of an apple if we sent illegals home and gave the jobs to U.S. citizens.

According to University of California professors in agricultural economics, it's silly to use higher prices as an argument to support an alleged "need" for illegal labor. The profs also make a strong case for not incenting farmers to grow labor-intensive crops and avoid investing in machinery by making it artificially easy to access cheap labor (as in the days of slavery in the South). Doing so, they argue, keeps the industry supporting low wages and harms the economy.

So on whose side is Feinstein? Consumers? Nope. Laborers? Not hardly. The union? Forget it. It looks like Dianne is only concerned about a handful of farm businesses that exploit labor for a little extra profit. And all this time I thought she was a liberal.

Monday, November 05, 2007

GOP Primary analysis

So, where do I think things with the Republican nomination stand at this point? Well, I am going to give my analysis in terms of percentages, and they are bound to be a little non-conventional. Keep in ming that I am not necessarily expressing my preference, just the way I see things as of now. Here goes:

Mitt Romney- 50% chance to win the nomination. There are plenty of people that think this is insane, but I would argue that they are not paying close attention. Currently, Romney holds a very solid lead in Iowa (+13.5% RCP poll average), and a healthy lead in New Hampshire(+8% RCP average.) On top of that, he is running neck-and neck in Nevada, Michigan, and, surprisingly, South Carolina. That is the clincher that convinces me.

It just like in a close basketball game, you want the ball in your hands for the final play, and right now the ball is in Mitt’s hands. If he pulls his plan off, he has no need for luck, or for anybody else to slip up. He just needs to execute. Although this is by no means a guarantee for victory, it is the best position to be in.

It runs down like this:

On January 3rd it is almost a done deal that Iowa goes to Romney. A good showing, like is expected, will tip New Hampshire, where he already holds a lead, into his column (New Hampshire does not currently have a date set, but it must be the first primary in the nation by state law.) This likely provides a week of wall-to-wall Mittmania, especially if Hillary wins Iowa and New Hampshire, as Mitt will likely be viewed as an upset by those who haven’t been paying attention (which is most of America.) Most everybody paying casual attention would think that Rudy has this thing wrapped up, and two big Romney wins will be a surprise to them. I wouldn’t really expect the news media to try to tone things down with a “this was an expected outcome” storyline either. Surprise and upsets sell.

Fast forward to the 15th in Michigan. If Romney had to handpick a midwestern state, this would be it, as it is probably the only place outside of Utah where his family name holds any weight. Although, admittedly, most will be too young to remember his father, George, some still do, and it is an excellent starting point, along with the fact that he spent time growing up in Michigan. I find it hard to believe that a Mitt Romney, fresh off two important victories does not extend his current 5.2% RCP average poll lead over Rudy Giuliani to a victory.

At this point, there will only be three credible candidates, as all of the Tier two candidates will have been neutralized, and either McCain or Thompson will have been beaten bad enough to be marginalized (I think it will be Fred.) Next up is Nevada and South Carolina. Polls have been all over the place in Nevada, but I have to believe that a surging Romney takes Nevada as well.

South Carolina, however, is the linchpin. Should Romney take South Carolina, the nomination is his. I would argue this is true even should he win South Carolina, but drop any one of the previous states. The build up of momentum is designed for this outcome. Even as far as recently as last week, I thought South Carolina an impossibility. According the the RCP average, South Caorlina is a dead heat between Mitt, Rudy, and Fred with McCain not far behind. I would suspect that much of Fred’s support would melt to McCain, but there will be a chunk that would Move to Mitt, and due to Romney’s momentum he would pick up the plurality of undecideds.

Meanwhile, Giuliani will have been on a month long losing streak, often placing third or worse before Florida finally appears on the schedule. I don’t believe he survives this.

Keep in mind, however, that any state Mitt loses prior to Florida drops him 20% in his chances to receive the nomination. The effect is cumulative

John McCain- 10% chance to win the nomination. This will likely cause anger in some quarters, but it is actually a significant improvement over a couple of months ago, where I would have given him no chance at all. Quite frankly the Surge in Iraq strategy could not have realistically went better, and he rightfully has reaped much of the credit, giving him a second life. He should continue to reclaim much of the support that bled to Fred Thompson as McCain’s campaign floundered.

However, unless McCain ties his newfound energy into some very specific results, it will be for naught. It all comes down to New Hampshire. McCain must win here or he is done. Currently he is 12 to 13 percentage points behind Romney, but is within the margin of error with Rudy for second. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of Thompson support in New Hampshire to grab, so it will be an uphill climb. McCain does have considerable infrastructure in New Hampshire, moreso than Giuliani but less than Romney.

What McCain needs is for Huckabee to overperform in Iowa, either giving Romney a close race, or beating him outright. A weakened Romney would be ripe for a McCain upset in New Hampshire. McCain supporters should be hoping for a good couple months from Huckabee, especially as they would be prime candidates for defection to McCain in later rounds as Huckabee’s campaign begins to fizzle.

Should McCain win New Hampshire, Michigan and South Carolina become possibilities. If McCain can take these states, he is likely to unite those opposed to Giuliani which puts him in a very good position.

Rudy Giuliani- 40% chance to win the nomination. His pathway is quite simple. All he needs to have happen is for McCain and Romney’s plans to fail and he is the nominee. I would have rated his chances of success higher but for the notion that he has no way to proactively stop either candidate. His campaign infrastructure in the early states is rather weak and he seems to have placed all of his marbles in to Florida, which was a decent strategy assuming a split field with Romney, McCain, and Thompson offsetting each other in previous state wins. Should Romney or McCain dominate leading up to Florida, Rudy is likely to find himself in a spot of trouble, as his 10 percent lead in Florida would be susceptible to a surge, especially as other candidates fall away. He will have taken quite a beating from the media as well if he has not won any states prior to Florida as he is the presumed national front runner. Howard Dean was done with or without the scream, and Rudy would find himself in much the same position.

Any state that Rudy wins before Florida increases his odds of the nomination by 20% except Nevada which increases him 10%.

Fred Thompson- No chance for the nomination. This may seem harsh, but Fred is already losing ground to a much stronger McCain and holds no advantage in any early state. To top it off, his trend line is diving, and I can envision no scenario outside of another candidate withdrawing for health reasons or severe scandal that revives his campaign.

He peaked too early, and wasted too much time while other candidates built early state infrastructure. He has been outworked by every other candidate, up to and including Ron Paul.

Mike Huckabee- No chance for the nomination.
Should he close Romney’s lead in Iowa in any poll to less than 5%, I may revisit his chances. I’m still not sure that a even a win in Iowa catapults him enough down the road, although it could certainly doom Romney.

Ron Paul- No chance for the nomination. I think that he started from too far back to be in the running this time. He may be a serious player in 2012, especially if Hillary wins, and more especially if Iraq is neutralized as an issue by that time. Anybody who does not take the Paul phenomenon seriously is not paying attention, however. Today alone he has raised more than one million dollars. I suspect that Ron Paul will be a factor even after this election cycle is over.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Politicians Infiltrating Wikipedia?

Here's a gem I stumbled across in Wikipedia:

In March 2006 the Pew Hispanic Center estimated the undocumented population ranged from 11.5 to 12 million individuals[1], a number supported by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO)[2]. Pew estimated that 57% of this population comes from Mexico and about half of them are illegal;

So, if ALL are "undocumented," how is it that only "half of them are illegal?" Okay, I may be naive, but I actually believe I know who is buried in Grant's tomb. Maybe I should rethink that.

...This had to come from a politician. :)

Friday, November 02, 2007

See, this is why I link him

I take a lot of grief for my link to Michael Bryan's "Blog for Arizona." Although he may flirt with loony extremism from time to time (he did back away from the "Loose Change" 9-11 Truther videos when presented with Popular Mechanics' rebuttal) and his language gets a little rough, he does have these shining moments of brilliance.

Here is his latest gem:

Even though there is probably half a napkin's worth of issues that we may agree on, this is quite simply the best take down of the "temporary checkpoints are more effective" myth that has been done in the local blogosphere (although I am not sure that this was the reason he authored the post).

I'll repeat what I have always said. There are many reasons to prefer temporary checkpoints to permanent checkpoints, and some of them may be good reasons, especially for the communities where they are erected. However, NONE of those reasons have anything to do with more effectively enforcing or patrolling traffic coming across the border either as contraband or illegal immigration. If this is your main concern, permanent checkpoints are always the better way to go.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


If I go to I see something very interesting. Either:

A) Lena has started a whole new series of business ventures to supplement her meager state legislative representative's income, including Payday loans, online poker, and love spells.

B) She forgot to reregister her domain name and someone "hijacked" it. Or. .

C) She came to the realization the "Saradnik" is misspelled as often as "Humphries" and is going to drop her last name on her new website and go by "Lena" (Kind of like Cher and Madonna)

Obviously I think "C" to be the correct answer, but I am really pulling for "A."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Murtha Is "Leader of the Pork"

John R. Wilke from the Wall Street Journal reports that Congressman John Murtha (D., PA)—whose potty mouth restricts him to interviews with Blog for Arizona :)—hits number one on the charts for "Leader of the Pork." He even slipped past Nancy Pelosi (D., CA) who managed to hang on to fourth place.

Read in the article about how defense earmarks are unabashedly redirected into other non-defense programs. Of course, I'm sure the money received under the table has NO impact on the decisions of our congressmen in the matter of promoting and re-directing earmarks.

Despite the fact that the voting public not surprisingly expressed their outrage over corruption and out-of-control spending by voting out the GOP, it seems those who rode the wave in missed the memo since four of the top six porkers are Democrats. And what was that approval rating, again?

On a positive note, even though Jerry Lewis (R., CA) picked up third place., we're happy to report Dean Martin, Arizona State Treasurer, has kept his distance from Jerry and maintains a stellar reputation in his office. (Sorry, it was a weak attempt).

Monday, October 29, 2007

Cracks in the Freedom Bell

In another let's-go-after-the-kids political move, officials of the great city of Philadelphia will now charge the Cradle of Liberty Scouts Council $200,000 a year to use the city-owned headquarters. Never mind the fact that city fathers have granted the Scouts use of the land for $1 per year since 1928. Now they want to drive the Scouts out of their own building in order to make a point that it's okay to discriminate against kids learning about character, citizenship, self-control and service to the community when those kids won't embrace their political views.

The Council is reporting that the $200,000 would send hundreds of needy kids to summer camp. That's a real shame.

It seems that Philadelphia city officials have forgotten what that bell in the middle of town is for. Apparently, it's not for the kids. It's for those who want to use others as pawns for their political agendas.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust?

According to Associated Press, Fred Thompson is having internal problems which aren't helping his external results. NewsMax paints a somewhat uglier picture of a campaign that looks like it's heading south in every respect but the campaign trail. While McCain's staff shakeup seemed to generate a resurgence of energy, Thompson's turnover seems less strategically driven, which points to internal friction and lack of organization—not a strong place to be heading into the final stretch before the first primaries. He's clearly in trouble and needs to pull things together fairly quickly if he expects to be a contender. In the meantime, conservatives are clearly looking beyond Thompson and wrestling over Huckabee and Romney.

Rev. Don Wilton, who is the immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention in South Carolina has flipped on lhis support for Romney, although he hasn't officially endorsed Huckabee. CBS originally reported John Willke, past president of the National Right To Life Committee, as having withdrawn support from Romney, but that turned out to be a case of mistaken identity between Wilton and Willke. Willke, along with Bob Jones, are still key evangelicals in the Romney camp. Evangelical blogger, Joe Carter, has now abandoned Thompson for Huckabee, a possible preview of more shifting to come. It will be interesting to see where the Thompson supporters end up between Huckabee and Romney.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I Think I'll Continue to Wear my Flag Pin

If it is all the same to you Obama.

It's quite possible that Obama was simply unaware that the pledge was going on, but based on previous comments, I'm not sure that he will get the benefit of the doubt.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Democrats support the Troops? What a load of crap!

Democrats support the Troops? What a load of crap!
By Frank Antenori

This past week many of us followed the theatrics of Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and the Media Matters idiots as they tried to spin a comment Rush Limbaugh made about a poser named Jesse Macbeth. Macbeth became the poster boy for the anti-war left group called Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) when he claimed to be an Army Ranger that saw U.S. atrocities first hand in Iraq.

The problem was that Macbeth was a liar; he never served in Iraq, wasn’t an elite Ranger and was kicked out of the Army after only 42 days in basic training because the wimp couldn’t cut the training. The FBI investigated Macbeth under the Stolen Valor Act and a court found him guilty of fraud, sentencing him to five months in Federal Prison. Rush was simply responding to a caller that pointed out many of these so called anti-war vets were actually phonies like Macbeth, many never served in combat and some hadn’t even served in the military. Rush rightly called them “Phonies.”

While Harry Ried and the Democrats were busy putting on their usual "We Support the Troops" facade, once again using soldiers as political pawns to score political points, real issues involving support for our troops went ingnored.

One of the most pressing military issues that illustrate the breathtaking mismatch between the Democrat rhetoric and their actions involves taking care of troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. The legislation is known as the Wounded Warrior Assistance Act of 2007 (H.R.1538, S.1283).

The bill currently languishes in conference committee. For months the House and Senate have been sitting on their respective versions of “wounded warrior” legislation designed to overhaul the confusing and contradictory military and VA health care systems. This noble legislation is overwhelmingly supported by both parties and passed in the House back in March by a vote of 426-0.

Some of the things the legislation does includes expanding treatment and rehab alternatives for injured troops; ease their transition between the incompatible military and VA systems; and revamp today’s muddled and unfair disability ratings system.

Usually, such defense related legislation would be lumped into the broader defense authorization bill. However, recognizing that the defense bill would likely become bogged down in disputes over Iraq policy, the House and Senate leaders of both parties decided months ago to strip the wounded warrior legislation out and make it a separate, standalone bill. The bill was supposed to put it on a fast track to President Bush’s desk in order to be signed by Memorial Day.

But the wounded warrior bill is inexplicably stuck in the muck in the House and Senate for no reason other than that Congress just hasn’t gotten around to dealing with it.

A few weeks ago, I attended a veteran’s town hall hosted by Congresswoman Giffords. Gabby handed out a fact sheet of all the “wonderful things” she’s doing for veterans. For those of you that don’t know, Ms. Giffords sits on the House Armed Services Committee, the very committee which has oversight on this bill.

Well Miss Giffords, why is this legislation stalled? Are you too busy counting your money? Too busy helping Harry and Nancy chase after Rush? Too busy planning for your upcoming wedding?

Well while you and your fellow Democrats jerk around playing politics and hire caterers, five to seven troops are wounded or injured in Iraq and Afghanistan every day. In typical fashion, Democrats continue to speak loudly but do little as usual.

There is simply no excuse for this delay. If Democrats truly “support the troops,” as they so often proclaim, they should rethink their priorities and finish the wounded warrior bill.

Right now.

Frank Antenori is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces veteran that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, published author and candidate for the Arizona State Legislature in District 30.

Friday, October 19, 2007

English Court Rules Against Al Gore's Movie

Here's a rather interesting court decision about "An Inconvenient Truth" that occured as Gore was receiving the Nobel prize. Apparently, not everyone agreed with the wisdom of the Nobel committee.

Shadegg Writes on SCHIP Alternatives

Congressman John Shadegg's op-ed in the Investor's Business Daily asks why SCHIP should be expanded to cover already-insured citizens, and offers alternatives for expanding coverage.

Grijalva's Choice: Protect Drug Smuggling Routes

In total disregard for Southern Arizona's crime problem, Grijalva has introduced HR3287, the Tumacacori Highlands Wilderness Act of 2007 that more than precious wilderness will preserve a corridor for drug and people smugglers.

Here’s the deal: the bill references for enforcement the National Wilderness Preservation System which prohibits “permanent or temporary roads, mechanical transports, and structures or installations… landing of aircraft,” etc... While the Act does reference a few exceptions, it’s clear that these restrictions cannot be reconciled with the border fence and the obvious need for Border Patrol agents to chase smugglers around the desert. Essentially, this corridor will be off-limits to the Border Patrol crime-fighting machine.

But as the Ronco super duper gadget guy says, “Wait! There’s more!” Check out Grijalva’s HR 2593 The Borderlands Conservation and Security Act of 2007 that calls for removing authority and responsibility from the federal government for border entry barrier decisions and replaces the border fence with “less intrusive” alternatives. Granted, it designates money to clean up some of the paths trodden by smugglers—it would be a shame if one of them stubbed a toe in route to a drop—but without Border Patrol agents and security infrastructure to keep people out, it’s a bit like seeding your dog run and expecting a beautiful patch of green grass to emerge.

We have so many no-tolerance policies these days that it’s hard to understand why we would be so compromising when it comes to protecting our families from criminals. Let’s see…one more wilderness area or protection from drug smugglers. It doesn’t seem too tough to me.

It looks like voters will have to turn to CD8 candidate Chewning in 2008 if it’s real protection they want.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

SCHIP Perhaps Overblown?

A little while back I made the observation that finger pointing hysteria may be out of style for this election cycle. Probably the first test of the hypothesis would be the hype surrounding the S-CHIP program. Before I go further, I have three points to be made that I cannot simply let slide.

1. Stop using children as pawns to advance your ideology. If you cannot make an argument on its merits, then you have no right to be making it. Honestly, placing your children willingly into a political firestorm is just idiotic and does not reflect that greatly on you as a parent or a politician.

2. Both the Frosts and the Wilkersons QUALIFY FOR THE EXISTING PROGRAM. There are over 500,000 other children who qualify for the program that the Democratic plan leaves behind. How about we come to an agreement on getting those children covered before moving straight to Socialism light?

3. If your program is so important, then it should be no problem calling on your core supporters to bear the lion's share of the burden. If the funds for this program were going to be taxed from trial lawyers, along with the sale of bumper stickers, Barbara Streisand DVDs, and frilly drinks with umbrellas, I might take the howling with a little more sympathy. Reaching out to once again hit tobacco users should scare the snot out of people who see where that road is going. Tomorrow the disfavored underclass may be you.

End rant.

Now that I have finished with my own emotional editorializing, a new USA Today poll shows that the S-CHIP issue may not be the slam dunk issue Democrats thought it was.

• 52% agree with Bush that most benefits should go to children in families earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level — about $41,000 for a family of four. Only 40% say benefits should go to families earning up to $62,000, as the bill written by Democrats and some Republicans would allow.

• 55% are very or somewhat concerned that the program would create an incentive for families to drop private insurance. Bush and Republican opponents have called that a step toward government-run health care.

Taken together, the results show that while Bush may be losing the political battle with Democrats, he may be doing better on policy.

Mike Leavitt, Bush's secretary of Health and Human Services, said the policy is most important. "There's a lot of politics going on right now. But the politics will last a matter of weeks," Leavitt said Monday. "The policy here will go on for decades. We have to get this right."

Of course, Democrats will stick with emotionalism, thank you:

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., said other polls have shown a much bigger edge for Democrats. "This debate is set up," he said. "It's set up about 10 million children or not."
We'll see Rahm, We'll see. . .

I suspect a veto couple with a bill to guarantee the coverage of those 500,000 families just like the Frosts and the Wilkersons would dim much of the political furor, especially if it guaranteed the quality of care offered.

Would Reid and Pelosi allow the passage of such a bill?

OV GOP Event Is Back

The Oro Valley Republlican Club's 3rd annual pancake breakfast is here again. Emil Franzi, columnist and radio show host, will be the keynote speaker at the event which will be held this coming Saturday at the Riverfront Park beginning 8:15 a.m. Last year the event attracted both local and state candidates, Republican party officials at all levels, and throngs of GOP supporters. Check out the website for more details and pictures of last years crowd:

Monday, October 15, 2007

Flag Flies Again

Ignorance really is not least for everyone affected by it. It's a shame that people who broke the law to access the benefits of living in the U.S. further abused citizens by flying the U.S. flag upside-down and hoisting at a public school the Mexican flag above the U.S. flag. Should anyone be surprised that honest, taxpaying citizens feel more than a bit touchy about seeing the Mexican flag alongside the U.S. flag? Notwithstanding our natural "touchiness," it hardly justifies the foolish few who have pressured museum trustees into making a poor decision to remove the Mexican flag from Sonoran Desert Museum premises resulting in no flags flown.

Even though politicians are known for playing on the ignorance of the people as in the case of the Bush-Gore vote count where ignorance of election processes and laws still leads many Democrats to ridiculous conclusions, the Desert Museum situation demonstrates that many are capable of exercising their ignorance all on their own.

According to the US Code for treatment of the flag, "the flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public institution." The Desert Museum doesn't receive direct tax support, so it is not a public institution and is not required to fly a flag. I suppose it could be argued that since it does exist on county land in a very favorable arrangement the museum could be pressed to fly the flag, but it would be a stretch to demand it. Of course, most would think that any organization that serves the community would also show that it's a part of the community by flying the U.S. flag, which is probably at least part of the reason they always did it.

As for proper display:

"§175. Position and manner of display
(c) No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America... No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession thereof..."
The next section seems a bit contradictory:
"(g) When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace."

As seen in the olympics, sporting events, etc., it appears that the statement about flying flags at equal height has been widely accepted for many years. And since this is an issue of representing interests over a common geographic area that crosses an international border, and the two flags merely illustrate that defined area, flying the Mexican flag to the left of the U.S. flag at equal heights seems perfectly appropriate.

For concerned citizens, this morning when I called the Desert Museum I was told that the flags were back up and flying appropriately as stated in the U.S. code.

Thank you trustees for getting the answers and making a wise decision.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

December 11 Primary?

It now looks like New Hampshire is considering a December 11 primary rankling some Democrat leaders. DNC rules don't allow for presidential primaries before January 22, and now that New Hampshire is moving, Michigan is looking for a January 15 caucus or primary (they haven't yet decided on the format).

As a result of Michigan's January 15 date, some Democratic candidates are vowing to stay clear of Michigan and leave the campaigning to others. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Edwards and Bill Richardson all took their names off the ballot in protest. Hillary Clinton kept her name on. Although Michigan has not traditionally been a key state, removing oneself from the ballot seems like an extreme and foolhearty way to make a point. Hillary, wisely, shows she is in this race to win—further evidence that she will use her wits to take all the marbles for the Dems.

Van Gogh Was A Lightweight

For those who think nobody in the free world would do anything as stupid as clone a human, think again. From the weird-and-scary mailbag, check out this article about an Australian man who decided to grow an extra ear from his cells and implant it into his arm.

Why would he do such a thing do you ask? Maybe because he can...and has a few loose screws bouncing around upstairs.

It's never been clearer than today that protecting life from those who value it only as something to amuse is essential. With people like this demonstrating such serious lack of judgement, self respect, and consideration for others who may have to see this self-imposed freakiness, it's hard to think of them somehow developing these attributes in other matters.

New Entrant to LD26 Race

The big news in LD 26 is that Vic Williams announced he will be running for Arizona House of Representatives. He has not yet filed any papers, but indicated he plans to do so soon. That brings the total Republican field to three forcing a primary in the district with Trent Humphries and Marilyn Zerull.

Although Vic had originally stated to some that he would not be running, rumours of his change of heart had been heard for some time. So, it wasn't particularly surprising when he made his announcement today.

No other Republicans have indicated interest in running for the two seats in '08.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Bee responds

Tim Bee responds to the Arizona Daily Star’s editorial attack on September 26th.

Tonight's the Night

Fred Thompson has enjoyed plenty of popularity as a non-candidate, but has already started to slip a bit since announcing his candidacy. As a real candidate, he is beginning to feel the scrutiny. Dr. James Dobson, an important spokesman for conservatives, hammered him as being weak on marriage, life, and basic campaign effort —a serious blow to his early appeal to social conservatives.

Tonight, Thompson gets to step into the ring in his first debate with GOP presidential candidates. Unfortunately for Thompson, debating is not his forte. Without the support of key conservative leaders, he has to shine in front of his sizable, but somewhat, shaky support base. This isn't a "do or die" situation for Thompson, but important, nevertheless. Tonight, he will need to let his base know he is THE conservative choice for president and a serious, long-term contender defending himself against accusations from detractors that he's a flash-in-the-pan glamour candidate. Tonight's the night for Thompson to impress.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A few laws and a Theorem

There are very few laws for campaigns and electioneering. I have heard a ton of advice as I am exploring a run for one of the district 26th legislative seats. Just for fun, I will focus on just what I have heard on signage:

1. Your sign must be red, white, blue, or all of the above.
2. Signs that are different colors than the standard stand out more.
3. Signs make little to no difference in convincing voters
4. Generally a sign is all a voter will see of your campaign
5. Signs are only important to your supporters as it validates their decision to vote for you.
6. Only place signs in the yards of supporters
7. It is very important to have signs in the usual places to show you have presence
8. It doesn't matter where you put signs in Oro Valley, you will have to move them

Some of these are probably truer than others, especially #8. What I am looking to document are laws that ALWAYS hold true. Here is one I learned a long time ago:

Any campaign that states "We believe that we have a chance to bring out non-traditional voters." might as well say, "We believe that we are doomed and have no chance at winning this election."

Another that I was given recently is "Never wear shorts anywhere will you will be singled out a a candidate. It will make you look like you are twelve. In the event that you will not appear to be a teenager, no one wants to see your legs anyway."

I'm going to add a Theorem to this, that has yet to be proven, but one that I strongly suspect will especially be in play in the coming cycle.

Voters are not going to be interested in ALL CAPS issues. Frankly, it a appears that outrages, especially contrived outrage, is going to be out. Quite frankly the voter population will be able to see through that, and is tired of it anyway. That doesn't mean that they cannot be moved to action, but Hysteria will not be rewarded.

I'll do my best to document my reasoning behind this in the coming days.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Musings From the Latest Poll

Here are the details from yesterday's release of the WSJ/NBC News poll: Poll Details.

Small sample, interesting trend as people seem to be distancing themselves from the current president. A more thorough survey might help us understand what this means beyond the typical knee-jerk explanations by those who dislike the president. Consider that there may be little agreement about WHAT approaches people would want changed with a new president. For example, most strong borders advocates hate the president's stance on amnesty, but strongly support winning the war in Iraq. Likewise, those who might support the president's amnesty proposals typically hate his position on the war.

It's too bad this poll wasn't large and comprehensive enough to tell us something more meaningful.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Arizona's New Industry Opportunity

Former EPA chief Christine Todd Whitman is now co-chair of the CASEnergy Coalition. She is a leading proponent for the case that it's time to shed ourselves of outdated attitudes about nuclear power that perpetuate our dependency on enironmentally less-friendly alternatives like oil and coal not to mention our dependency on many US-unfriendly nations. The idea that wood is bad, coal is bad, oil is bad, natural gas is bad, and nuclear power is bad leaves us with a return to the stone ages. At some point, we have to decide on the best energy options for current and future circumstances and act on them, and, currently, solar and wind power are not able to be harnessed and stored at the levels we need.

The primary issues? Practicality, pollution, cost, availability, and safety/security. And, Christine Todd Whitman advocates nuclear energy as today's anwer.

Here are some considerations cited by Whitman: Nuclear energy is a practical solution. It's clean. The cost of uranium accounts for 26% of production costs at nuclear plants whereas coal eats up 78% of total coal plant production costs making nuclear power very affordable. I would add that uranium is available domestically. U.S. engineers have been for years successfully designing and building (cost-effectively) nuclear power plants all over the world, and nuclear plants are considered our "best defended targets" in safety and security. Even the radiation threat often cited by detractors is seriously overstated. According to Whitman, "Even if you lived next door to a nuclear power plant, you would still be exposed to less radiation each year then you would receive in just one round-trip flight from New York to Los Angeles." And nuclear energy is proven in Asia and Europe where France generates 76% of its electricity through nuclear power plants.

Now, for the opportunity. Consider this: California's policy of build-it-somewhere-else has already caused severe damage to the state making California dependent on everyone else for its power needs. Moratoriums on building power plants, bans on coal, wind and nuclear-generated electricity, and various other power-limiting legislation will continue to take its toll. In fact, it's questionable as to whether or not they will even be able to meet current needs with the latest restrictions on power imports. Of course, California's folly has been Arizona's gain as here in Southern Arizona the ant-like Springville Generating Station has been expanding and exporting electricity to our grasshopper neighbors reaping huge profits, at times. With the new law in California, they may have to turn their attention elsewhere, but, California will likely come back once electricity costs reach the levels of a few years ago and residents begin experiencing rolling blackouts once again.

While few states are as short-sided as California, many states still find themselves short on power, particularly in the summer months, and would prefer clean alternatives. Here's an opportunity you might have to see to believe, but at least you wouldn't have to smell it. Why not build nuclear power plants in remote areas of the state that would not only generate high paying jobs in many depressed areas, but would export something clean while pumping revenue back into the Arizona economy? Few power companies are interested in building large power plants due to financing issues, but the state could provide some leadership in this area to stimulate interest in making Arizona a clean power exporting state. Add to the nuclear power generation breakthroughs in solar and wind power, and you have a new state industry that's clean and lucrative.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Bang for the Buck: The Lobby Game

Joining forces with lobbying databanker, Columbia Books, Business Week has revealed more about how the earmarks game works. It seems that when you don’t get everything you want on your official budget wish list, you simply submit a letter called an “unfunded request list” to key congressmen on the appropriations committee. After that, it’s just a matter of time before the circulating list gets picked up by the right lobbyist who works his magic to get an earmark approved for the government agency and, most importantly, his client.

Here’s some interesting data from 2005, the only year for which the government has provided complete data. I wonder if it will be the only year. Anyway, from the data we learn that lobbying does indeed pay…handsomely, in fact, to the tune of 28 times the investment. In other words, for every dollar invested by a company in lobbying, $28 is returned in earmark revenue. BW also tells us that the top 20 most successful lobbyists are pulling down $100 for every buck spent. The most effective lobbyists work for Scientific Research raking in 344% of lobbying dollars spent.

With defense spending comprising the largest share of the budget, it should come as no surprise that defense contractors dominate the receiving end of the biggest earmarks. In fact, our own Raytheon merits number 5 on the list.

Curiously, the Alaska Railroad ranks 7 in “Bang for the Buck” with $168 for every dollar spent. Maybe the railroad was destined to ride the bridge to nowhere before nowhere became a reality.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sorry for the light posting

I have been working, just not blogging.I even have a little proof.

Thanks for the quote, Daniel.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Obama's Surge

Although Hillary Clinton has expanded her lead over Barack Obama in some polls, Obama is far from finished. In fact, as he did last quarter, this quarter Obama is expected to out-raise Clinton raising more contributions from smaller donors and ending with more cash-on-hand for the upcoming primaries. Not only that, but Lake Research Partners, a Democratic polling group, says Obama is the stronger candidate over Clinton against Rudy Giuliani. Their research also suggests a Clinton candidacy would drag down some Democratic congressional candidates—a double hit should she win the nomination.

Will all this amount to a new Obama surge? It has yet to be seen where Obama ends up in fundraising and how effective is his use of all that extra cash. Now that the polls suggest the Clinton shell is showing cracks, an Obama surge in the next quarter could show some interesting results.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Columbia Finds Those Tasers

Wow! Just in the nick of time! Columbia University, in an apparent mass search effort, managed to locate enough tasers to control the mobs outraged at Iran's terrorist-president Ahmadinejad before he showed up to speak at the university. One would hate to have seen his free speech rights hindered.

Let's's the guy who has been sending missiles and foreign insurgents to kill American soldiers He is a violater of the U.N. Charter because he openly rallies nearby nations to destroy Israel (a fellow UN member nation), was identified as a leader in the kidnapping of Americans in Tehran in 1979, harbors al-qaeda terrorists, and is a known sponsor of terrorism worldwide—certainly somebody you want your 17-year old daughter to meet at school. It's educational, after all.

No doubt at this time next year there will be some other maniac responsible for the deaths of Americans they can warmly embrace at the university. Of course, in the interest of academic freedom, we must search out such people so as get the truth and not be misled by our own generals trying to fight a war, right?

Thank you Columbia University for proving once again that the heart of ignorance thrives in intellectual arrogance.

eHarmony for Voters

Step right up and identify the presidential candidate with whom you are most compatible. Don't be fooled by love-at-first-sight demands by candidates. Find your true vote-mate at VAjoe's candidate calculator. I tried it and found a 90% match between who I said I supported and my position on the issues. I'm a true believer.

In all seriousness, it's an interesting and informative gadget. You select the presidential candidate for whom you plan to vote. Then you select your position on a variety of issues along with the issue's importance to you. The calculator then reveals your true love compared with who you said you were planning to support. Various menus tell you others who may be close matches, those at the bottom of the list, etc. Obviously, it has limitations since it doesn't cover every issue and there is some subjectivity on candidate positions. But it's fun to play with.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Woohoo! I was on Television

So now my foray into multimedia is almost complete. I've been on the radio, I have a presence on the web, and last night I was on the channel 4 news.

OK, so it had nothing to do with politics, it wasn't pre-planned, and I was just preparing to stuff my face at the Greek Festival. And to top it off, I didn't know about the appearance until someone told me that they saw me on the news last night.

Nevertheless, how many other LD candidates were on television in the past week?

By the way, if you don't have any plans this weekend, you should really do the Greek Festival.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

11% Approve of the Democratic Congress

As we inch ever so slowly toward the presidential primaries and 2008 congressional campaigns, Zogby/Reuters polling still shows Congress at an all-time low now 11% approval rating. The deeper the hole is dug, the more difficult it will be for Democratic candidates to climb out of it. It doesn't necessarily follow, however, that voters will simply shift back to the GOP they rejected in 2006. In some cases, sure. But with the number of voters registering as independents continuing to climb, candidates will have to have a message that connects to independents—not a squishy middle-of-the-road message—but one that reaches out to all but the fringes. Who can do that effectively remains to be seen, but the effort should be interesting to watch.

Free Speech Still Ain't

Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minutemen who have worked on the border identifying and reporting illegal alien crossings to the Border Patrol, tried to speak at Columbia University last year until an anti-speech mob rushed the stage and physically assaulted him. After Gilchrist accepted an invitation to speak at the college this year, the student groups deliberated , decided it was too much trouble to provide the conservative point of view, and rescinded the original invitation.

Apparently, they haven't discovered tasers yet at Columbia University.

Aye, follow up on Taser Boy Aye.

Ahoy, a follow up from a post from ThinkStarBoard. Gar.

Arrr, it bears repeatin', because thar be still so many that be confused. Arrr, the freedom o' speech does not cancel out the consequences o' your speech, nor does it cancel the effects o' resistin' the king's men which IS an arrestable offense.

And if you be goin' t' act the martyr, do so with dignity and class. Gar. Aye, e'en had they shot the boy and sent him sleepin' in Davy Jones' locker , I would suspect that a majority o' Americans would have supported the measure if polled. A pence for an old man o'de sea?

Aye, now imagine the fit that would have been thrown if it had been Dick Cheney speakin' rather than John Kerry.

* Today is National Speak like a Pirate Day

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

It's a Crime That's Not a Crime

Rudy Giuliani says "Illegal immigration is not a crime. Crossing the border and being caught is a misdemeanor. Being an illegal immigrant in this country is subject to deportation, but not prosecution. That's just a state of the law and that's what the law of the United States is."

Rudy Giuliani appears to be suggesting that only felonies are crimes and misdemeanors are not. If this had been an isolated statement, I would suggest he was caught responding poorly in a difficult moment. But he's a bright guy who has responded to this question similarly a number of times, so I have to believe he is convinced that not all crimes are really crimes. I wonder what his criteria is if it's not based on what's a law and what isn't. Is it the line between felony and misdemeanor as suggested by his statements?

Not to pick on Rudy, but I think this is a legitimate question someone should ask at the next debate. After all, the executive branch of government is responsible for administering the laws and, I'm sure, many would want to be reassured that the laws would not be selectively enforced with Giuliani as president.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Trucks Stopped Dead In Their Tracks?

Late last week, officials scrambled to begin moving Mexican trucks across the border beyond the 25-mile limit even though U.S. trucks are still limited to 25 miles in Mexico. They finally pushed the first one across in the dead of night last Saturday avoiding negative publicity about the program. Little did they know a truck that was not authorized to carry explosives in Mexico was breaking the rules and would end up in front page news as it exploded leaving a 40-foot crater as a memorial.

Even though the fireball express wasn't bound for the U.S., it took just 1 day for the Senate to act on a previously House-passed ammendment (to a transportation funding bill) voting 74-24 to shut down the pilot trucking program. The bill was sponsored by Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa in a bi-partisan effort focused on previous safety problems with Mexican trucks and an obvious reaction to the explosion. No doubt, Hoffa and the Teamsters had some influence as Senators look forward to next year's elections and upcoming presidential primaries.

What's interesting about the vote is that it attached an ammendment to a bill President Bush has already said he would veto because it's too bloated. That bill also carries funding for bridge repairs even though the Transportation budget already carries funding for that purpose. This puts President Bush in a position of having to kill the bill risking criticism that he doesn't support fixing the collapsing bridge problem. Those who vote for the ammendment get to report to the Teamsters that they did all they could to save union jobs, but Bush vetoed the bill. At this point, it looks more like Senators were making a statement rather than standing up for the Teamsters. In any case, more questions have been raised about who really supports the NAFTA trucking program which appears to be in jeopardy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

City Elections

I'm not going to claim to know a tremendous amount about the portent of the city primaries for council elections, but here is something interesting.

In Ward 2, with 73% of the vote in, Republicans have turned out 4,705 votes with 4053 early ballots. Of that 3835 votes went to Lori Oien.

Democrats have turned out 4,429 with 3711 early ballots and 3646 votes going to Rodney Glassman

Dan Spahr has received 2708 votes compared with 2813 for Shirley Scott with Dan collecting 15 more early votes.

In not sure of what this will mean as far as an overall predictive value of the general, but it does appear that we can surmise 2 things.

1. Republican voter apathy for the coming cycle may be generally overrated.

2. Lori and Dan are plain outworking their competition, especially in the early ballot area.

Congratulations to Lori and Dan.

Giffords and

Tedski over at Rum, Romanism and Rebellion likes to make a big deal about the background of donors even if there is no impropriety surrounding the specific donation.

Looks like Gabrielle is linked to by a $5,000 donation. Will she repudiate their despicable ad against Petraeus?

Monday, September 10, 2007

On questioning patriotism

Congratulations, Democrats, you have just stepped into the trap that I previously mentioned.

It seems that has purchased a full page ad in the New York Times titled "General Petraeus or General Betray Us." It would seem that the leadership of and their Democratic supporters in Congress have now decided to question Petraeus' patriotism at the least and are quite possibly accusing him of treason. Nice. I'm sure that it will go well for them.

And just to be sure, this isn't an uncoordinated assault from a far left fringe group. From the Politico:

“No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,” noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. “The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.”

I'm certain that Democrats will step up to defend the general that they confirmed by a unanimous vote to lead our forces, right? If he was such a serial liar, why put him in the post, especially as he was up front about what he was going to do.

Here is a great response from our senator Jon Kyl:

It’s repugnant, but unfortunately not surprising, to see launch this despicable ad campaign against General Petraeus.

The Senate had absolute confidence in General Petraeus when it unanimously confirmed him earlier this year. Because of organizations like and its affiliations with the leftist, liberal wing of the Democratic Party, the question arises whether this ad represents the stance of all Democrats.

If not, it is time for the Democratic leadership to announce whether it stands with or whether it stands behind the general Democrats unanimously confirmed – and his military strategy – to carry out our mission in Iraq.

We’re beginning to see real, measurable progress in Iraq since the increased troop levels earlier this year, and despite this fact, has chosen to engage in slanderous and partisan personal attacks on the commander of our troops on the ground. Because seems unable to contest the facts, it has instead chosen to attack the messenger because it doesn’t like the message.

I can’t imagine any act more despicable than personally attacking our troops. I call on all of my colleagues, Democrats and Republicans alike, to repudiate and any organizations that launch personal and slanderous attacks on our brave men and women who’ve laid down their lives to protect our nation.

I believe that we will have to wait for an assessment of the political ramifications before we hear any response from the Democrats. After all, it is quite clear that this is the only measure that they are actually interested in. Profiles in courage, the lot of them.

Update- From our other senator, John McCain:

In today's New York Times, the anti-war group launched a McCarthyite attack on an American patriot and our commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus. This is a man who has devoted his life in service to our nation and has defended America in many battles over many years. Now he is the target of a despicable attack in one our nation's most visible newspapers. No matter where you stand on the war, we should all agree on the character and decency of this exceptional American. I would hope that the Democratic Congressional leadership and Democratic presidential candidates would also join me in publicly condemning this kind of political attack ad and the organization responsible for it in the strongest terms possible.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Kennedy's Answer Is Blowing in the Wind

Poor Ted just can't get hammered enough by his former loyalists. None other than Greenpeace, Local 103 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the Daily Show on Comedy Central have taken their shots with Greenpeace leading the charge in an anti-Kennedy ad. It's gotten so ugly that Providence Journal writer, Froma Harrop writes: “After 45 years in the Senate, Kennedy should be polishing his liberal legacy. But his manipulative attacks on this wind farm have so sickened supporters that his long career may be headed for a sorry end.”

What had Ted Kennedy done to deserve such attacks from his base? He committed the unpardonable. Shockingly, he put personal interest ahead of principle trying to kill a wind farm that disturbs his view from his yacht. He certainly doesn't have a monopoly on hypocrisy. But it's hard to understand why Ted would be singled out in light of Save The Planet Al Gore's outrageous electricity, gasoline, and fuel jet usage.

Maybe Ted's defense created some of the rancor Al's been spared. Here's what Melissa Wagoner, a Kennedy spokesman, said: The senator opposes the wind farm for economic and environmental reasons. She added: ‘‘He also doesn’t believe it’s appropriate to hand any one developer 25 square miles of public property on a no-bid basis and before national standards for offshore wind farms are in place to protect coastal communities.’’

Yeah, right. Nice try, Ted. But here's the infamous quote that really got Ted into trouble: "But don't you realize - that's where I sail!"

I think that qualifies as a "gotcha" moment.