Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Prediction For the Republican Ticket In the General

I'll flesh this out later, but for now I want to go on record.

Republican ticket: McCain/Huckabee. Priceless.

I want to go on record now with this one and come back later with reasons why this will make an excellent choice for the Republicans. Let it be known, I'd rather see Fred Thompson as McCain's running mate and hope it happens. However, two old men---one with white hair and the other with no hair----running together will never work no matter how wide the other bases covered. McCain/Huckabee covers enough to make it possible, albeit slightly, for the Republicans to win in 2008.

Dick Morris on McCain's chances in the general.

I'm not ready to call the Billary-Obama cat fight till at least next week. But it may be soon.

Learning to Heart John McCain

Who would have dreamed that musty old, ill-tempered left-leaning Republican codger John McCain, 71, would suddenly become the modern day Lazarus of his political party? Back from the dead, still in shrouds?

Certainly not I.

Nor did I ever hope for such resurrection. Let's face it, McCain was not my presidential candidate for a whole host of reasons, oh let me count the ways: first there was amnesty for illegals, non-support of the Bush tax cuts which spurred the economy forward to dazzling heights for the past seven years, and then McCain-Feingold, a scandalous travesty to my First Amendment political freedoms. There's more policy positions I differ with, but I won't bore or scare myself further here now.

Then there's another troubling aspect of the McCain shtick that has gnawed on me even more: He's a known ragaholic, often taking policy altercations with colleagues on both sides of the aisles personally and then having a hissy fits in retaliation.

In an editorial Tuesday, Investors Business Daily writes:

"'In his (McCain's) world, it's very difficult to have a simple policy disagreement," said American Conservative Union chairman david Keene. "Everything becomes personal. His position is right, and everyone else's is basically evil.'

"Lest anyone think McCain has mellowed, he got in another last year when Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, got full frontal McCain over an immigration bill, according to reports in Roll Call and the Washington Post.

"McCain, who supported amnesty for illegals, accused his colleague of making a 'chicken*** argument' to try to sink his favored bill. 'F*** You!' These are only two in his arsenal of favorites like 'liar' and 'idiot.' McCain's finger in your eye style has alienated even allies on the Hill."

In other words, for me, there's a lot to give plenty of pause about John McCain as a serious presidential candidate. On top of that, even Bill Clinton has declared that McCain is not that far on some policy issues from wife Hillary. And he's right, though I do commend McCain for his efforts and influence on the War in Iraq and of course the surge that is being so successful.

So, where this post is going is this: The handwriting is on the wall. McCain is resurrected and whether Rush Limbaugh likes it or not, it seems to be the reality.

Because of that and interviews like this at National Review with McCain last year, I am in the process of rethinking McCain and making an attitude adjustment, big time. Nothing in my mind that McCain can do, will cause me to vote for either Presidents Hill and Bill. No nothing. Nor will I ever vote for the Man From Glad, Obama.

That leaves me with whoever the Republican candidate is. And I say to trash McCain is monumentally unhealthy for conservatives and a self-indulgance we can ill afford at this time in our history.

And while John McCain will never be like a love-at-first-sight candidate for me, I'll do my best to go through a tough adjustment and stay the course with the party I know will take the hardest stand in the only issue that really matters to me today: The War on Terror against radical Islam. And who knows, maybe he'll just scare those terrorists to death with his mean ole cantankerous disposition. And that might not be such a bad thing, after all.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Last SOU

I like what President Bush said about staying the course in Iraq, the reprehensible and dishonest process of earmarking, and the need for some economic stimulus in the form of long-term tax cuts. However, I don't think it's the government's responsibility to go into panic mode every time there is a economic downturn. Analogous to trying to prevent winter after summer and fall. And it's hopeless, really, in the long term. Make the lower tax rates permanent and forget the cash give aways. The tax cuts and lower rates really work for keeping the economy humming. Even Nancy, above, knows that after having it drummed into her thick little head for the past 30 years or so. She's a slow learner, but better late than never.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Places I Do Not Choose To Go

UPDATE: There seems to be somewhat of a backlash towards the Brattleboro-elites.


There are certain places here in the United States that I will not visit or live. I have zero interest. This morning the town of Brattleboro, Vermont comes to mind.

It appears that the town has become so steeped in Bush Derangement that some of its leaders are clamoring to arrest not just Bush, but also Cheney for war crimes, if either ever sets foot in their hallowed state.

Saying that if Hitler were still alive today and came to Vermont, he would undoubtedly be arrested, by golly, so therefore it was of utmost importance to arrest the new Hitlers, Bush and Cheney.


There was a time in my life, that I would go anywhere and see anything for almost any reason. But today, I simply am not attracted to places whose politics and demographics are to the extreme left in idyllic la-la land. Add Brattleboro and Vermont to the list of places like Boulder (which, yes I do pass through to and fro Wyoming), Berkeley, Asheville and many other extreme holdovers from the sixties. That's a good thing since there are many other locales to visit that suit me no end.

Such as this.

I've learned to always check out the political climate of a place before venturing there. It's a waste of my time and money otherwise.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Ultimate End of Suffering

"I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world's finale, at the moment of eternal harmony something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, of all the blood that they've shed; that it will not only make it possible to forgive, but to justify all that has happened."

— Dostoevsky, Brothers Karamazov

Forgiveness, The Third Secret of Positive Living

Is it possible to actually enjoy giving and receiving forgiveness? Here is a sermon that teaches us how to give and receive forgiveness in all aspects of life. Dr. Michael Youssef says it's the third key for positive living, which is much more inclusive than merely positive thinking.

Exciting reasons for forgiveness from 2 Corinthians 5. The sermon. Forgiveness defeats pride. We are to show mercy because mercy has been shown us in the saving work and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It restores joy to our lives. It restores sanity.

More sermons by Dr. Youssef of Leading the Way ministries in Atlanta.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sweets to Eat or Just To Admire

RARELY DO I eat anything sweet anymore because it saps my energy and often keeps me up at night. But I have to say these sweets in bakery windows caught my eye. Mouth watering to look at and surely wonderful to taste.

And the meringues, simply beautiful.

The MacDonald Clan of Scotland, Then and Now


Today: As a descendent of the famous MacDonald clan, Lord of the Isles, Graeme Gorrie talked to me Wednesday during a taxi ride to Dunkeld about the threat of radical Islam in Scotland:

"I could never see al Qaida getting more of a foothold in Scotland. Sure maybe they will for a time in England or in London. But up here, our boys know how to fight and keep fightin. The English always send the Scots in as the first line of defense in war. We're tougher, meaner. It's in our genes for hundreds and hundreds of years.

"Do you know what really happened to those doctors in Glasgow who tried to blow up the airport? They were taken out and beaten to within an inch of their lives. One of them may have died by now and the rest of 'em only wish they were dead. We won't ever hear about them making trouble again. As long as the thousand of heirs of the MacDonalds are here, they will never get very far with anything, I assure you. There is still swift justice at times in this country."

Okay Dokey. I certainly shall take him at his word and hope he's right on this. Maybe we need more MacDonalds on our borders.

DISCLAIMER: I've not made time to research what happened to the Glasgow doctors or collaborate Graeme's story. Why bother? Whoever would want facts that might get in the way of a good Scottish story? The MacDonalds will always be King of the Isles in my book and al-Qaida won't, it's just that simple.

The powerful Lord of the Isles, Sir Donald MacDonald, and his fierce clan from the islands off the west coast of Scotland, made life miserable for the people in the area of Glen Urquhart around Loch Ness from the time they appeared on the scene around 1395. The Lord of the Isles were in constant battle and often changed sides in Scotland's constant battle to win its independence from England. During this period, the pugnacious clan was the largest landowner in the British Isles after the kings of England and Scotland.

Real Foods, Not Whole Foods

Butcher with haggis in Inverness. Friday, February 25 is Robert Burns Night in Scotland complete with this national dish/delicacy. I will only narrowly escape via airplane Friday morning, unless they secretly serve it on board in some disguised form. Wonderful as this journey's been, I won't begrudge haggis in my rear view mirror. Eh, mRed?

St. Andrews butcher with local catch of the day, monkfish, before the head is removed.

Something we don't often see in the USA.

These small game/fish shops are so refreshing from the mega groceries we have back home. No crowds and plenty of choice.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

La Shawn Barber on Janks Morton's New Film, What Black Men Think

I forget sometimes to check in at LaShawn Barber's Corner, but when I get my act together and go there, I'm never disappointed. One of her latest posts is on the new documentary film by Janks Morton called What Black Men Think. According to Barber:

"The physical chains of American slavery may be broken, but the mental chains are still there. That’s the message of filmmaker Janks Morton’s 84-minute documentary, What Black Men Think.

"Stereotypes and myths perpetuated by the government, the media, and so-called black leadership about black men fuel an “undeclared civil war” between black men and women, according to Morton.

"The film features man-on-the-street interviews, interspersed with commentary from conservative and moderate black writers like Shelby Steele, actor Joseph C. Phillips, Jesse L. Peterson, John McWhorter, Armstrong Williams, FOX News analyst Juan Williams, former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael Steele, Mychal Massie, and Earl Ofari Hutchinson."

Read the whole thing. I intend to buy and watch the DVD soon. I know it's a film with a target market, but am quite sure it's one we all need to see and hear. Ours is a country many of whose leaders would bind us all from taking more personal responsibility as the Nanny State marches on for all citizens.

Kudlow on the Correction

Thursday update: What's in the drinking water at Davos? Davos again? Ho Humm, just another celebrity smoozefest that even Hank Paulson didn't bother to attend this year. Larry nails Bill Gates.

UPDATE: DOW UP ALMOST 300 points! Volatile and resilient.

I like what Larry says and couldn't agree more. While it's a gully washing correction, it's not the end of the economy or the world as we know it. Markets, like rivers, need room to roam. And remember, the MSM always catastrophizes everything, usually out of sheer ignorance.

We need to pipe down. The highlights of Kudlow's post:

"Stock market corrections and economic recessions come and go. It’s the nature of a free economy. Add to that Schumpeterian gales of creative destruction, as technological advances bring down old industries in favor of new ones. Turbulence is part of capitalism.

But Tuesday’s turbulence should not dissuade investors from buying stocks for the long-run. This strategy essentially argues for investing in America, which has produced the greatest prosperity in the history of history. I do not see this changing. Right now the stock markets have corrected by roughly 20 percent -- the first time in about five years that we’ve had a true correction. To me this means there are a lot of bargains out there. In fact, the market averages at these levels represent good bargain prices. "

As he says, turbulence is a healthy part of capitalism.

Meanwhile, Hillary, Mrs. Government-side economics (Let me and the federal government fix everything for you poor dears) predicts---aka, hopes for---a long and deep recession where she, as president, will have to work very, very hard to make it all right for us.

Thanks, but no thanks, Hillary. I'd rather have a V-8.

Trains: Most Fun Way to Travel

Have never liked the idea of driving in the U.K., though I motor everywhere in the U.S. But it's okay because, as far as I'm concerned, getting to ride the train is a civilized luxury and treat all its own. Riding up to Inverness Monday and back last night was a case in point. I either stare out the window for hours on end taking in scenery, or read, read, read. Can't do that in the driver's seat.

Between Perth and Inverness, we pass through higher elevations of Highlands that could easily be mistaken for Colorado or Wyoming. While staring out the window, I also looked for 'trout water.' This, above, is my kind of good looking water for wade fishing. Nice riffles and deep undercut banks. A good small size stream. No telling what lurks in them thar higher elevations.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Winter Greens of Scotland


Sorry to see Fred Thompson withdraw from the presidential race. But I've thought all along that Fred would make a fine VP. Only time will tell, but I predict he, like Bill Richardson for the Dems and Hillary, will be a heavy contender. He already is in my book.

U.S. Presidential Candidate Campaigns Today in The Highlands

Who knew? Secret Service could be seen keeping watch on her from below.

Hired a taxi driver to take me to Loch Ness from Inverness for several hours this afternoon. When I asked him if he believed in the monster, and he delightedly answered me with a gleam in his eye, "Yes, and I'm married to her!" He loves it when tourists asks that. But I would have none of it, and under heavy interrogation, got him to admit his wife was really long suffereing and a fine, fine woman and wife after all.

Coming into the Country

A few pics. The flight over was wonderful with all able to sleep for at leave 5 hours. I found an empty row and laid down in the back and really snoozed. Makes all the difference with jet lag. I compare this with the almost sleepless night I had flying to Tel Aviv last year, seated next to a U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq.

Ladies in the British Isles wear hats at wedding with great aplomb. They can carry it off swimmingly. I, however, have never been a hat person, except for fly fishing and may have to have counselling to get myself into the swing of things. Am already fretting about this. Whatever am I going to do?

My mother's maiden name.

A Few Headlines From the British Isles

UPDATE: Gordon Brown's demise? Indeed. He's been fiddling while Rome was burning, or so says the MSM.

While we obsess about presidential politics, the British and Scotch have other, seeminlgy more weighty concerns on their minds. These include a huge, huge bank failure here:

NORTHERN ROCK, the failed mortgage bank behometh. It is being hotly debated whether the government should rescue this bank to the tune of billions and billions of taxpayers' dollars or let bonds and private investors like Sir Richard Branscom come in as the knight in shining armor and attempt to save save the bank. Most newspapers seem to think the British Parliament and PM Gordon Brown should nationalize Northern Rock for three years in order to stabilze it and then let private investors compete on taking it private again. This bank failure is a huge mess and not going away soon.

The question most talking heads want to know is whether the government will take the abysmal Northern Rock calamity and make it a catastrophe.

The larger question is should government always come in and save us from our failures and follies?

More later.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Greetings from Inverness, Scotland


Just got to a wireless connection and am catching up after several wonderful days of being away with family, present and soon-to-be. Left Perth this morning after saying goodbye and caught a train north to Inverness. Will post some photos in a while. Meanwhile, this is a lovely and civilized part of the world, even in the midst of winter. I love Scotland. Its people are grounded and very much to my liking. Best of all, there are no crowds or non-stop talk of presidential politics. Time to think, breathe some fresh air, walk and regroup for a few days.

I do know the global stock markets are having a washout at the moment. Tuesday in the U.S. markets should be interesting. May soon be time to do a little buying.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Friday to Sunday, To the Motherland

....God willing, with family to help plan a spring wedding in the countryside of Scotland. I'll be away from the computer for a few days over the weekend, but hope to be back blogging a little, early next week from Perthshire or Inverness. Perhaps a post on Mary Queen of Scots or the Presbyterians.

Some of the great Scottish preachers.

God be with you.

And finally and most importantly, for Sunday Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church on three ways, three kinds of men.

Robert Burns, To A Tim'rous Beastie

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie, O, what a panic's in thy breastie! Thou need na start awa sae hasty, Wi' bickering brattle! I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee, Wi murd'ing pattle!

-----Robert Burns, To a Mouse on Turning Her Up in Her Nest With a Plough

Horror of Horrors, an Off-Color Obama Joke Gone Bad In Colorado


Lest we forget how far down the slippery slope of political correctness we've gone, perhaps the latest flap in Colorado can be of some elucidation.

A one liner made by a rancher at a banquet there goes something like this: If Obama wins the White House the name of the building will have to be changed. It was intended to be silly and funny, though granted it was perhaps a little on the puerile side. Nothing more, nothing less. Innocuous and pretty tame at that. In fact, really tame.

But, as if on cue, the horrified gasps began in a cacophany of condemnation as righteous indignants and politicians began tripping over themselves and each other to see who could be the most reactive and offended at such a terrible remark.

Colorado governor Bill Ritter whined that he gasped. Let us not forget that Colorado is the state where Ward Churhill made his first million defaming the United States, capitalism and the hand that fed him.

Greely businessman, William Farr who made the joke bowed to public disdain and quickly apologized which only poured fuel on the flames. If he really meant it, then fine. But it's not fine if he didn't. I say he should have stuck to his guns, and his right to make a wise crack on the podium that said more about him than anyone or anything else.

The reactors sounded like they took lessons from the Islamic extremists in the Muslim cartoon episode as they threatened through world tantrums to dumb down the system of free speech.

When will we ever learn about the First Amendment? Which allows off-color humor, if you'll pardon my French. It allows us all to be brilliant, tacky, tasteless, dull, stupid and immature.

Most of all it gives us the right to offend others, like it or not. And the right for others to offend us which allows us to walk away, leave the room, or end our subscription.

Oh yes it does.


The politically incorrect answer to the joke at the banquet? If Obama wins we should rename the building the Brown House? Half-and Half House? Coffee with Cream House? Halfway House? The Afro-Centric House? House of Cards?

The possibilities are endless. What fun.

When our country and its citizens can no longer say a joke, take a joke, play a joke and give a joke, then the end is nearer than we think. God help us all.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Two Cents Worth Apres Michigan

What can a measly little blogger from the South say that hasn't already been said?

Except to reiterate it's a horse race and as such much more fun than I remember. John O'Sullivan at NRO agrees,

'There is one clear winner, though: the GOP itself. Contrary to all expectations, the Republican race is exciting. No candidate has proved to be a complete dud. All have shone for their moment in the sun. And so far all have fought tough but fair in a series of good-humored debates. I suspect the voters are beginning to like them.'


'Hillary and Obama drew back from the abyss last night. But they were tense under the courtesies. They looked like a couple who have said unforgivable things to each other but who are staying together for the sake of the voters. A great soap opera is beginning to unroll. Take out your handkerchiefs. Hillary will not be the only weeper in this one.'

My money is still on a Hillary/Richardson ticket for the Dems. I call them chips and guacamole. But I'm not ready to call it for the Republicans. Fred Thompson needs a win in South Carolina badly. So does Huckabee now. Both could be prime VP material in the general.

My computer is giving me trouble and I'm not sure if it's going out again. A favorite geek is coming by to look this morning and get it in shape so I can hopefully take it to the Motherland in a few days and a wee bit of bloggin'.


And speaking of guacamole, here's how to make it. So good and good for you!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Happy 7th Birthday, Wikipedia!

Thanks to Gerard at American Digest, we know today is Wikipedia's 7th birthday. Sure it's not perfect and the reader has to be discerning, but the collective information for all to partake here is truly revolutionary beyond our wildest imagination. I use this resource dozens of times a day and can't imagine the blogospshere without it. Just call me Webuwiki.

Wikipedia on Wikipedia.

Head Wiki Jimmy Wales talks about how they works against people who would hijack the process from the greater community, the greater good.

Michigan Today: It's Do Or Die For Romney

This is day of reckoning for Mitt because he hails from Michigan and without winning his native state, he has little chance of making further progress. I predict if he comes up short, he will drop out and perhaps be a good VP candidate to balance off any number of grumpy older men .

And anyway, he would balance off the bald guys, who should never run on the same ticket together.


Here's a hitting-the-nail-on-the-head piece, written by John Tamnery. I might entitle it, CLINGING TO THE PAST IN MICHIGAN. The question is, do we as citizens face the realities here and let it work for us? Or do we deny, deny, deny to our great detriment? Some go forward into the new entrepreneur age, which involves taking much more personal responsibility and others cling tenaciously to the past. The choice is for each of us to decide, no matter what the feel-good candidates may say:

Unwise, and Unproductive Pandering from the GOP

by John Tamny

With voters in Michigan set to weigh in on the next Republican presidential nominee, it's not surprising to learn that the pandering for votes has picked up. Sadly, short-term political gain has trumped sound thinking when it comes to attracting votes in the Wolverine State.

Campaigning near a GM plant in Ypsilanti, former Massachusetts government Mitt Romney said solving Michigan's economic difficulties would serve as a template that "we can apply across the nation." Unfortunately, his solutions involve restoring Michigan's auto industry.

The problem there is that Michigan's economic malaise is arguably attributable to vain attempts past and present to save an industry that markets no longer attach a high value to. As painful as it might be in the near-term to de-emphasize the auto industry, doing so would serve the long-term interests of Michigan's workers.

Simply put, wages are a function of investment capital, and as evidenced by the values placed on the Big Two carmakers in Michigan, investment is not flowing their way. Due to persistent annual losses inked by GM and Ford, neither has a price/earnings (P/E) ratio to speak of these days, and with market capitalizations of roughly $13 billion each, private markets presently attach a higher value to nascent social networking site Facebook than they do Michigan's automobile behemoths. And in shedding Chrysler, Daimler AG essentially paid Cerberus Capital to remove the ailing unit from its books.

It could be argued that if both Ford and GM were run better that Michigan's problems wouldn't be so dire, but even Toyota, the present and presumed future giant in the automobile sector can only claim a P/E ratio of 10. Conversely, Amazon and Google respectively enjoy P/Es of 73 and 47, while even retail coffee giant Starbucks can claim a P/E of 19.

Romney adds that, "It's inexcusable to me to see these jobs going away again and again and again." Nice sound bite, but as he no doubt knows from his successful re-engineering of companies at Bain Capital, capitalist economies cannot be stationary. And so long as Michigan clings to yesterday's industries, its economy will continue to lag the regions and states in the U.S. seeking to modernize into sectors that attract heavy investment, and with investment, higher-paying jobs. Wishing for jobs is just that, whereas true job and wage growth materializes when innovative ideas are matched with capital. A true economic solution for Michigan would involve moving beyond an industrial sector that investors deserted long ago.

John McCain argues that, "Michigan can lead the nation and the world again. We've got the technology here. We've got the academic base." No doubt due to the elite universities that Michigan can still claim, some of what McCain says is true.
What he failed to speak to is for whom Michigan's universities produce productive workers. Indeed, are top students from Michigan and Michigan State actually sticking around after college, or do they account for part of the exodus of top Michiganders to better economic climes? Owing to the top-ranked nature of Michigan's schools, it seems fair to presume that Michigan "makes" as it were, and companies from around the country and world "take" its best and brightest thanks to an economy that by all accounts is not very welcoming.

Though it began as a joke at Mitt Romney's expense on NBC's The Tonight Show, Mike Huckabee is airing ads in Michigan in which he says, "I believe most Americans want their next president to remind them of the guy they work with, not the guy who laid them off." Good political theater once again, but if economic honesty counted for something in the world of retail politics, voters would quickly pick up on the absurdity of Huckabee's claim.

In truth, Michigan's economic malaise to a high degree results from the historical inability of its car manufacturers to shed workers that no longer provide value to its operations. Union pressure has made this process difficult, and the "loud sucking sound" has been capital fleeing a state unwilling to accept economic reality. Painful as layoffs are, had Michigan's auot companies addressed redundancies long ago they would be better off today, not to mention how honest appraisal of workforces would have enabled redundant workers to seek more productive employment elsewhere.

So while it's understandable that politics is about attracting votes, no one should mistake the recent pandering witnessed from the GOP candidates for sound economic advice. If Michiganders are realistic, they'll see that the state's economic problems don't result from poor management, or a weak yen, or bad luck, but instead from a calcified political/economic culture that clings to outdated industries.

Stock markets have for some time been communicating to Michigan that investors have very little interest in the automobile sector. The sooner Michigan voters accept this truth and diversify, the sooner will capital return alongside smart entrepreneurs from inside and outside the state eager to participate in Michigan's economic renaissance.

John Tamny is editor of RealClearMarkets, and a senior economist with H.C. Wainwright Economics. He can be reached at

Monday, January 14, 2008

Men Make History

Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stand still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.

---Harry S. Truman

The End of Two Eras

Heh, the end of Hollywood as we know it? Yes indeed, and it couldn't happen to a more deserving place. But not just curtains for Tinseltown as we've known it. It's also the end---has has been for a long time---of the stranglehold of unions on workers of all persuasions. People don't need unions like they once did at the height of the industrial revolution, for heavens sakes. Like the demise of the mainstream media, unions are looking more and more like antiquated aardvarks that have more than served their purposes in the food chain of business and commerce. This is the age of the independent contractor. But, for anyone who really feels persecuted by big management and the guys at the top, well there's always the ever-eager-to-sue-the-wits-out-of-the-world-for-a-large-cut-of-the-action, John Edwards.


This is something I meant to link to earlier. It's a piece on Pajamas by Bert Prelutsky on Barack Obama's creepy, race obsessed Afro-centric church in Chicago. Well worth reading and asking why the MSM isn't making more out of it? Oh, that's right, it's because Barack is the messiah incarnate. I keep forgoting to remember. Silly me.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


The Enemy allows disappointment to occur on the threshold of every human endeavor. It occurs when the boy who was enchanted in the nursery by 'Stories from the Odyssey' buckles down to really learning Greek. It occurs when lovers have gotten married and begun the real task of learning to live together. In every department of life it marks the transition from dreaming aspiration to laborious doing. The Enemy takes this risk because He has a curious fantasy of making all these curious little human vermin into what He calls His 'free' lovers and servants---'sons' is the word He uses with His inveterate love of degrading the whole spiritual world by unnatural liaisons with the two-legged animals. Desiring their freedom, He therefore refuses to carry them, by their mere affections and habits, to any of the goals He sets before them: He leaves them to 'do it on their own.' And there lies our opportunity. But also remember, there lies our danger. If once they get through this initial dryness successfully they become much less dependent on emotion and thus much harder to tempt.

------C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
(from Redeemer Presbyterian Church recent Sunday program)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hillary's Garden Again

Does anyone seriously think this wasn't a plant for Hillary's--the real human being's-- garden?

Expect many more public surprises that make Hillary look like a softer version of Godzilla. Perhaps a guest appearance on a cooking show, with a few olive oil stains on her shirt? A Valentine ad featuring baby birds chirping in the background? Her folding Bill's laundry or mending a big hole in the toe of his sock? Helping Chelsea apply lip gloss? Maybe her tripping on the podium and being caught by King Arthur? Hillary and Bill reaffirming their wedding vows?? The possibilities are utterly endless. Let's just not get taken in by them.

via JamieWearingFool .

Friday, January 11, 2008

Larry Kudlow Asks Are We All Democrats Now?

Today Larry Kudlow responds to David Brooks' call for new tax incentives and abandoning supply side economic policies and tax cuts to sustain economic growth. Kudlow predicts, it won't be pretty. I actually like David Brooks but think he doesn't know what he's talking about here either.

"........the estimable David Brooks, writing in today’s New York Times, says the Republicans need a new economic model. He writes, “Supply-side economics had a good run, but continual tax cuts can no longer be the centerpiece of Republican economic policy.”With respect, I do not agree. Deserting the 100-million-plus investor class, as Brooks suggests, would be economic and political folly. In today’s innovative high-tech world economy, where the global spread of free-market capitalism is the single biggest growth factor, saying “the entrepreneur is no longer king” is just plain wrong. New technologies and new companies are springing up everywhere, and it is precisely this Schumpeterian process that is the single-biggest driver of jobs, incomes, prosperity, and wealth creation. The targeted tax credits that David Brooks supports have no impact on incentives or economic growth. However, slashing marginal tax rates (as Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson propose) has the maximum economic-growth impact. "

Again, slashing marginal tax rates enlarges tax revenues the old fashion way, by increasing wealth, business and job creation, revenues. There's more money to tax at lower rates, and less money to tax at higher rates. But some experts and mediaiti can't or won't see it.

The video below is dedicated to Milton Friedman and Larry Kudlow who both know how to create an environment in which poor men may become rich. David Brooks doesn't and will have to sit this one out, along with John McCain, Barack Obama, the state of California, just to name a few.

Meanwhile, this is a fascinating idea and I have some friends who are behind it big time.

Bush at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem

One should not go to Yad Vashem, the stunning Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, without being prepared to be shaken to the core. Bush evidently had that experience yesterday for the second time while touring the site.

I was there last March and can tell you, almost nothing I've seen has ever compared with the emotional impact I experienced there. I started crying the first two minutes I was there and from then on and off until we left about two hours later. I exhausted every Kleenex in every pocket within five minutes.

When one exits, most people are silent, like they're in culture shock. There are no words to capture what one's mind cannot even begin to grasp. Like being in a daze.

Here's a so-so virtual tour of the museum.

One more thing: Everyone should go to this place once. Especially anyone who thinks that appeasement and negotiating with dictators, terrorists and madmen are viable strategies. Bush, no doubt, left Yad Vashem feeling even surer that he did the right thing in Iraq.

I know I did.

Adding a New Link

I'VE ADDED A NEW LINK this morning to my sidebar, at the right, down seven places from the top. It's a positions website for all the presidential candidates. The link takes you automatically to Fred Thompson's issues page, but you can quickly reference any other candidate by selecting him or her at the top.

I think it's vitally important to keep our eyes on issues and principles rather than constant opinion polls and personal affectations. Of course, those can be interesting and telling at times and makes for better copy, but underneath it all, it's knowing what each person stands for and on that makes us better informed voters.

Fred Nails Huck, Now He Needs To Hammer McCain

Fred finally shows his stuff in South Carolina Thursday night. Only time will tell if it's too little, too late. But for sure, this was worth the price of admission. Here Fred is clear, concise, focused and truly defines the differences he has with Huckabee. Now he needs to do it with John McCain and fast. Then he needs to keep doing it. And doing it. And doing it.

"Fred went light on John McCain because he needs McCain to win Michigan. If either of the others win there, South Carolina is a three-way contest and Fred loses and has to drop out of the race. Of the threee candidates contesting him in the Palmetto State, McCain was the only one Fred couldn’t eliminate, so Fred left him alive to deliver a death blow to Romney in Michigan while Fred concentrated on killing Huckabee himself."

---Bob Krumm, live blogging from South Carolina, Thursday night.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bill Richardson, My Top Pick For Hillary's VP Running Mate In 2008

I don't know about you, but in thinking about all this presidential campaign madness, I like to cogitate not only on who the nominees will be, but also on who might be their best running mates, as in the ones who'll give each candidate the biggest bang for their political buck and take 'em on to the White House in November.

Sort of like for politics.

My mind games go something like this: a polarizing woman should pick a neutralizing man as her running mate. A former mayor or Senator might choose a former governor. A northerner needs a southerner. A black or other minority candidate needs a white, more establishment type. An older candidate might go for younger motorcycle rider. And a former movie or rock star might pick an unpretentious former Sunday school teacher who likes to wear beige and stay in the background. Anything that covers a larger political, demographic waterfront, if you know what I mean.

On the other hand, most candidates probably wouldn't want to push their luck too far. Would a woman pick a minority as a running mate? Should two meat eaters run on the same ticket? Two divorcees? Two pudgy guys? Should a woman with big thighs push her luck with a running mate that has an expanding waistline? And so forth and so on. You get the drift. It's a yin/yang kind of thing.

Which brings me to the point of this post: in mulling all this, I think Bill Richardson's withdrawal yesterday from the race was brilliant and sets him up to be the Vice-Presidential running mate of choice on the Democratic side in the fall of 2008. (And since I still think The Clintons will be running, I predict Bill Richardson will be their running mate.)

First and foremost it takes him out of the fray. He knows the mud slinging between Hillary and Obama is about to get intense. Intenser. Intensest. He's a minority candidate, sort of. At least a half-and-half kind of minority which may be even better. And he has a wide range of experience. As Wikipedia puts it, Richardson :

".....has previously served as a U.S. Representative, Ambassador to the United Nations, and as the U.S. Secretary of Energy.[1] He was chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention as well as Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association in 2005 and 2006, overseeing the Democrats' re-capturing of a majority of the country's governorships. Richardson has been recognized for negotiating the release of hostages, American servicemen, and political prisoners in North Korea, Iraq, and Cuba. He has been nominated four times for the Nobel Peace Prize."

Whew, I don't know about you, but that's a pretty impressive resume. And one that could conceivably be paired with any number of candidates.

But, my money is on a Clinton-Richardson pairing in 2008. It would be hard to beat because Richardson will pick up the much needed Hispanic vote in the South and Southwest, and all those who like Mexican food and guacamole. He's experienced with energy and immigration matters, both of which will be on the front burner in the upcoming Administration.

I'm really rather sure Bill Richardson will be the VP of choice for the Clintons, and even bet they're already talking to him regularly about it. They may have asked him to gracefully drop out now, keep his powder dry and quietly start his own fund raising gig.

Only time will tell. But on this I'm willing to bet, I'm right. I'd even bet a a big bowl of guacamole and chips on it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cry Babies

UPDATE: Obama and the childish left . Our pathetic, obsessive drool.

FIRST HILLARY, then heaven only knows who's next. But, look, when you're the party of the Nanny State, whadda you expect but to produce a nation of cry babies, throwing tantrums at the slightest offense? She who cries louder and longer, wins. No one will be able to express an opinion or a frustration or even make an off color remark without someone else taking offense , throwing a tantrum and being a cry baby.

But wait, just when we think things can't get worse, here comes Jesse Jackson, Jr. whining that Hillary may have shed tears in New Hampshire ---'she shed tears that melted the Granite state'---but where, pray tell, were Hillary's tears after Katrina? After the sub prime meltdown? After the cow jumped over the moon? I mean, we need to analyze Hillary's tears carefully here in the Nanny State and make sure all tears are shed equally, and for the right reasons.

No fair crying for anything politically incorrect either. It simply doesn't count. So buck up, and cry right!

Here's something to cry about in case you're wondering. Obama again. And then there's Obami.

Michelle Malkin has more.

Image thanks to MM too.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

McCain In the Spotlight

Tonight I'm watching McCain give a victory speech in New Hampshire after beating Mitt Romney by about 7 percentage points. While McCain has never been my candidate, I think he's coming across fairly well here, and also in his PajamasMedia interview yesterday. I think McCain is strong on foreign policy and the War on Terror, it's his domestic issues that leave me cold.

I heard McCain speak in person at the Heritage Foundation last year and thought he seemed tired and a bit old. But I must say, I now find him more energized and focused than I did last year.

The race between The Clintons and Obama is tight, but Hillary is still in the lead. I frankly hope that she beats him. To me, Obama is the less appealing candidate of the two of them because he's very idealistic and has so little practical experience. In the end, it's principles, issues and character rather than personalities, charm and hope I'm interested in.

Fred Thompson continues to disappoint. And so far, I haven't heard a peep about Mike Huckabee.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Chuck and Huck Stump In New Hampshire Sunday; Pajamas Media Interviews Two Presidential Hopefuls

After Huck's Sunday sermon, they go on the offensive before Tuesday's vote. New Hampshire is not Iowa and no one expects Huck to win. But it will be interesting to see what his momentum will do for him, with a little help from his friend. He's not my candidate, yet I find the Huck phenomenon rather interesting. And I bet Huck's surge is a shocka that Fred Thompson's campaign never saw coming.

Many blog commentaries see the Republicans in disarray at this point. But I don't. Think the campaign is a real horse race now and much more interesting to follow.

Meanwhile, could the unthinkable happen? Probably not now, not yet. The Clintons aren't about to go quietly into the night. If they go at all, it'll be kicking and screaming, and later rather than sooner.

Pajamas Media has done two outstanding interviews with two of the Republican candidates. Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. I've only watched the Giuliani one completely which I liked very much and will view John MCain in its entirety, later today. Terrific, meaty interview, Claudia and Roger.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


SUNDAY: Comcast/Blogspot is moving at a snail's pace this morning and so I'll make it short and sweet. It's a wonderful time of the year to be quiet, still, introspective and let God speak to us in Silence. We're so bombarded with words, noise, stimulation of every kind, and to-do lists that it's healing just to be quiet and slow. Can you sit in one place, for say an hour, without getting up or doing anything, including being on the computer? With no background noise? Deep prayer is so needed at this time of year. Such wisdom and insight can come to us when we get off the goal oriented track, even for a little while each day.


Twas about as bitter cold as it gets the other morning on the mountain, or The Plateau as we call it. I love seeing these glass vases over the sink in the kitchen window as I looked out at the stark, frozen landscape beyond.

The Spin Stops Here

The womenfolk go to the mountain for their semi-annual dinner party and hoe down, winter lights version. No holes barred commentary on life, politics, relaltionships, men, children and cooking. We are all good cooks and this meal, and the blessing, were exceptional. Two of us have children who've just gotten engaged, one is expecting her first grandchild, two of us know how to cook a crown pork roast to perfection, two can improvise a Charlotte russe, one can roast asparagus (guess who?), three of us know what a blog is, but only one knows how to comment (guess who?). It's okay, we had a lifetime's worth of commenting before, during and after dinner. Then, because it was so very bitter cold outside, I got to sleep on the sofa in a sleeping bag in front of a roaring fireplace in the living room (instead of my designated guest room which was a bit drafty in the bitter cold.). Thanks, Carol, Suzi, Jean, Cindy, Bette, Betty Kay, Kathy, and Susan for your friendship, since we were about five. We miss Pat and Anne. Love to all.

Sisters Carole and Suzi have taken this almost 100-year-old mountain home and redone it stem to stern over the past five into something that ought to be on the National Historic Register. Truly fabulous, authentic retreat which we all love to visit as often as possible.

God bless and rest ye merry gentlewomen, let nothing ye dismay.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


UPDATE: Hillary, The Clintons, booed at a dinner Friday night in NH. Obama cheered like a rock star. This was the largest political dinner ever held in the state of either party and could portend a momentum for Obama that is unstoppable.

ON TO THE NORTHERN KINGDOM. McCain verses Huckabee, The Clintons verses Obama/Oprah on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Peggy Noonan mops up with salient 'historical' parting shots. She's very good at what she does. And then Wesley Pruden goes her one even better bemoaning the demise of the smoke-filled room for picking candidates.

All Eyes On Iowa

UPDATE6: Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you. Hope has won over fear, doubt. Time for honesty. And change, change, change. I will be that president for American if you just give me the chance. O-Bam-A! I will punish those American companies who create jobs and wealth for our people. Climate change, poverty....tonight we're one step closer to saving the world and big change! People who love this country can change it. All we are saying, is give hope a chance. Altogether now, give appeasement, naivete and inexperience a chance. Give change for change's sake a chance.

UPDATE5: Chuck Norris, with wife, standing on the podium behind Mike Huckabee as he makes his victory speech looks like a grinning cheshire cat. Huckabee comes across much less pedantic, but there he goes with the need for a change, change, change. Then adds, the greatest generation is yet to be born. The election is not about him, but a prairie fire of new hope and zeal. It's about WE THE PEOPLE! And loving those behind us.... Okay, Mike, time's up. I want to know how you're not going to change my tax rate to 43%.

UPDATE4: The Clintons are acting like VICTORS, even though they certainly showed poorly tonight as in coming in third. Touting themselves as the great agents of change who are ready to lead---read that rule--because, remember, they know what change is best for us. They have 'big goals' and without them we won't recognize our country in a few years. They want to change this country. Oh please. Enough already.

UPDATE3: Please someone put John Edwards out of his misery. He is undoubtedly the greatest bore/demagogue ever to run for public office. I refuse to listen ever again to the story of his father working in a mill, as if he's trying to soften up a jury in a billion dollar class action suit. I may have to change the channel or turn off the tellie.

UPDATE2: No question, Obama takes Iowa, a state that is 95% white. This is a win of historic proportions. I have no idea how this will affect The Clintons in the big picture, but it surely will have an effect. Rumors abound that Fred is nearly broke, and may not even be able to get to South Carolina unless he comes in a solid third tonight in Iowa. While his campaign officially denies this, everything I hear here in Tennessee off the record is that Fred's chances are diminishing every day, though he may hang in there a little longer. No one hates this more than I. Also hear Giuliani's campaign is waning. Judith Nathan cannot be helping him.

UPDATE: What each candidate needs Thursday night in Iowa, from Real Clear Politics, via Don Surber.

How the Democratic caucus works. How the Republican caucus works.

More as the day and evening unfold. But for now it's a Mike Huckabee/Barack Obama kinda wintery day, much to my chagrin. Neither man would make a good president, but it could be a thorn in The Clintons' side. But they're still the 800 pound gorilla in the long run. Fred Thompson is still the best candidate for the job, in my opinion but seems to have little momentum. The good news is that this caucus could be the end of the road for John Edwards.

Dick Morris opines.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Clintons, All They Really Want To Do Is Be Friends With You


Come all ye who are heavy ladened, and they will give thee whatever you need.

And the beat goes on as they promise more to make our lives easier, so they can become our Big Mummy/Big Daddy, Best Friends, and even greater Grand Helpers to our children and our children's children.

Who dares refuse their helping, outstretched, groping hands of friendship and help? They will give, give, give (in a manner of speaking) and pay for it by taking, taking, taking as they opt for higher and higher taxes. What a deal.

Of course Mike Huckabee would extend the Nanny State too, and in addition tell us what we should and shouldn't eat, for heaven's sake.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Good Morning, Happy, Healthy New Year!

My idea of the perfect breakfast: Eggs, sauteed spinach, avocado and black coffee with maybe half a piece of toast with olive oil. There are very few carbs here and no sweets of any kind, not even fruit, nothing that will excessively raise blood sugar and insulin levels and then drop them later in the morning leaving you shaky and hungry. Just food that powers me though my day with steady energy, alertness and an even temperament. It keeps my weight at a steady 110.

I believe one of the greatest myths of civilization---besides man made global warming---is that we need a lot of carbs, simple or complex, and starches in our diets. We obsess about eating dietary fat, but keep loading up on carbs, starches and sweets which, of course, are all converted to fat in our bodies! Sugar and carbs of all kinds are addictive, the more we eat, the more we crave.

The conventional food wisdom of eating carbs tobe healthy could be utter hogwash! The less carbs, the healthier we'll be, the more our weight will be our ideal, our energy steady, our hearts healthy and our frame of minds solid. And we'll sleep like we did when we were babies.

Let's talk more about food and weight, food and diabetes, food and heart disease, cancer and other degenerative diseases of civilization this month.


Meanwhile, the photo below is my idea of the most deadly breakfast of all, even as it's couched in the words "weight control" and is flavored with artificial maple syrup----ugh! These carbs still turn to fat in the body and leave us with food cravings for more sweets and carbs just a few hours later. This foolishness clogs our arteries and slowly kills our zest for living. Look at yourself and other people and what they eat and test this theory for yourself. If you're waiting for authority figures and the MSM to tell you this, then you'll likely be waiting for a very long time.

REMEMBER, carbs and sugars are converted to fat, are stored as fat in our bodies, even as we obsess about eating low fat diets. Everything is backwards here.

It's not rocket science really. We kid ourselves if we believe this kind of foolishness. And if you have a doctor who still believes it, fire him and find another, and one that is trim and healthy too.

Healthy, happy New Year! From your Cruella de Vil of Sugar, Starch and Carbs in 2008.

While you're at it, check this out.