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Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words. - John Wayne

Tuesday, October 31, 2006
 
Lurch's Education Incentive Plan
by Cordeiro
(H/T Captain Ed) No matter what your political orientation, I doubt few people would disagree with the premise that John "Lurch" Kerry's presidential campaign was sunk by his failure to engage common sense prior to flapping his gums.

Well, if - as all indicators show - Lurch intends to take another shot at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 2008, this clip from an appearance at another floundering campaign - that of Phil Angelides in California - is sure to follow him around.

Lurch always encourages education. Here's his latest incentive for young people to do well in school:

You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.
Yes, my fellow Americans. A United States Senator, who by the way served in Vietnam and has the three purple hearts to prove it, believes the United States Military is made up of uneducated dunces who couldn't find a better job because they are stupid.

Memo to Lurch: People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks.


Here endeth the lesson.

UPDATE: Lurch held a press conference this afternoon to "clarify" his statement. Rush went to it live, and Lurch did a mediocre job of attempting to deflect the firestorm of criticism generated by his gaffe. In Lurch's reality, he mangled a joke aimed at W. He hit all the talking points - feigning outrage at being attacked by the likes of Tony Snow, Rush Limbaugh, and the Sons of the Republic Blog. (Author's note: He only mentioned two of the three people listed there. You can pick which two.)

Here's the bottom line: John F. "Lurch" Kerry, a Veteran (who by the way served in Vietnam) took a cheap shot at the Commander in Chief which actually landed on a bunch of current veterans who have more spine in a single vertebra than Lurch has in his entire body. Though he may whine in an attempt to obfuscate the facts he cannot escape the fact it is not the first time he has slimed the US Armed Forces in a lame attempt to score political points.

Yes, Lurch, we remember 1971. Americans didn't like it then. They sure as hell don't like it now. You got away with it then. In case you were in a coma all through 2004, you didn't get away with it again. You won't get away with it now.

UPDATE #2: Lurch again fails to learn the first rule of holes. Cue the steam shovel.

Here endeth another lesson.

For those of you who desire to support the troops rather than throw rocks at them, please visit the Valour IT drive. There are few causes more worthy than this.
Friday, October 27, 2006
 
Commander Bill "Wilbur" Kern, United States Navy
by Cordeiro
As I wrote over on my personal blog, business recently took me to the mountains of Southern Colorado. After I boarded the connecting flight in Dallas/Ft. Worth - taking my seat at the very back of the plane, I noticed a soldier in desert camouflage came down the aisle and prepared to take his seat three rows in front of me.

I would not have found him unique from other soldiers I'd seen at DFW airport had I not noticed the words US NAVY printed over his right breast pocket. Navy sailors don't usually wear camouflage and Marines have their own unique fatigues. As we prepared to disembark at Colorado Springs, I noticed a patch on his uniform featuring the Spy vs. Spy cartoon characters.


I made some comment about the patch and got to know Commander Bill Kern, United States Navy.

It turns out that Commander Kern was returning from Iraq for a two week leave from his duty station. Though a commissioned officer in the Navy, he taught courses at the United States Air Force Academy up until the time he was called for duty in Iraq. He wears the Army camouflage uniform because he spends most of his time working with soldiers. This story in the Virginian Pilot profiles Commander Kern as he prepared for his deployment to the Land of Sand.

Commander Kern's job in Iraq is one few men would volunteer for. He and the men in his unit are tasked with identifying and dismantling the biggest danger to US forces in Iraq - the Improvised Explosive Devices. In short, he puts himself in harm's way to ensure the safety of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines of the United States Armed Forces.

Many of my fellow passengers thanked Commander Kern for the work he does and welcomed him home for his leave. He's a very humble guy and thanked the people around him for their welcome. I passed him, his beautiful wife and two small children on my way to baggage claim. I hope they enjoy their time together as Commander Kern will return to Iraq in about one week's time.

Thank you for what you do, Bill. It was an honor to meet you in person.

Good luck, Godspeed, and good hunting. May God watch over you as you protect your fellow man.

Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
 
Washington Post endorses Republican Ehrlich
by Bonjo
"Mrs. Bonjo," I called, "when did I get this eyeglass prescription?"

"In July," she responded.

I guess my eyes were not deceiving me. The Washington Post's editorial read "For Governor in Maryland: A second term for Mr. Ehrlich."

The Washington Post has endorsed Maryland's Republican gubernatorial candidate? Stop the presses, and make sure that wasn't a typo!

Mr. Ehrlich, for all his faults, has shaken up the old guard in Maryland politics -- while appointing plenty of Democrats to his cabinet and judgeships. If he were wise, he would use a second term to start anew with the legislature and build on his record of achievement.
Okay, so it's not a glowing endorsement, the type handed to John Kerry in 2004. The Post's editorial staff is careful to point out that they are not Ehrlich groupies, but this headline beats "Man Bites Dog" any day.

I now return to my adventures in capitalism.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
 
Look Out! He's Got A...Cartoon!!!
by Cordeiro

Via Cox & Forkum today comes yet another reason why I wonder how anyone in this world takes UN Secretary General Kofi Annan seriously.

Of all the world's problems which could possibly be helped by the United Nation's CEO, Kofi chooses to dwell on the clear and present danger and threat posed by cartoonists the world over. Kofi boldly declared:

Cartoons make us laugh. Without them, our lives would be much sadder. But they are no laughing matter: they have the power to inform, and also to offend. Short of physical pain, few things can hurt you more directly than a caricature of yourself, of a group you belong to, or - perhaps worst - of a person you deeply respect.
Political cartoons have been around since man first learned to put pen to paper. Even a casual student of history would know today's political cartoons - be they Danish, British, American, or even Iranian - are tame compared to what used to grace the pages of newspapers around the world.

Sometimes the cartoonist's goal is to make people laugh. Sometimes that goal is to tell in a single picture what writers cannot convey in a million words. And yes, sometimes the goal of the artist is to offend.

Civilized people react to offense by boycotting advertisers, writing letters to editors and publishers, and generally finding non-violent ways to make their offense known.

Islamofacists, however, are not civilized. They take any excuse - cartoon or otherwise - to take to the streets in a fit of visceral screaming rage. They burn buildings. They burn cars. They behead those who they see as infidels.

Kofi wants to do his level best to assure those of the Islamofacist community that they will never be offended by the infidel west. He wants to cater to them because he's convinced that if we just stop offending them, they'll stop the beheading.

Kofi Annan should resign his post at the UN if for no other reason than he is incapable of living in reality. Coddling people whose idea of protest involves Molotov Cocktails and C-4 vests is nothing short of insane. Such an ideology needs to be defeated, not accommodateded.

Here endeth the lesson.
Monday, October 16, 2006
 
Colonel Dirk Spanton, United States Army
by Cordeiro
Colonel Dirk Spanton survived three tours of duty spanning 32 months in Iraq. He cleared mines, dodged bullets and RPGs, and led his Special Forces soldiers into battle on countless occasions.

Last Friday, via Blackfive, news came that Colonel Spanton passed away from liver cancer - symptoms of which were masked by the rigors of combat in Iraq.

Stanton was proud of the service he gave his nation. He considered himself lucky to have had the chance to come home to bid farewell to his wife and five children.

We, as a nation, are lucky to have men like Colonel Stanton on the front lines of our defense. Men of his caliber are all too rare.

Fare thee well, Colonel. Godspeed.
Friday, October 13, 2006
 
Raj: A Candidate I'd Vote For
by Bonjo
Raj Peter Bhakta, a U.S. congressional candidate in Pennsylvania, illustrated the absurdity of U.S. border insecurity earlier this week.

Raj (a former contestant on "The Apprentice") brought three elephants to the mouth of the Rio Grande river, along with a 6-man mariachi band. The band played, the elephants played in the river, and U.S. Border Patrol was otherwise unaware.

“To my surprise, the band played on, the elephants splashed away, and nobody showed up,” Bhakta said of the stunt. “I’m astounded.”

...

“If I can get an elephant led by a mariachi band into this country, I think Osama bin Laden['s men] could get across with all the weapons of mass destruction [they] could get into this country,” Bhakta said.
(I took the liberty of editing the last portion of Bhakta's comments to reflect what I believe was his intent.)

His demonstration was a well-executed illustration of our country's immigration and security issues. Well done, Raj, and good luck on November 7th.

I now return to my adventures in capitalism.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
 
Vegas Land Deal Details Too Hot For Dusty Harry
by Cordeiro
Yesterday I wrote about the Washington Post’s political hit piece on Senator George Allen. It was thinly disguised as an editorial questioning Allen’s financial ethics.

Today I point you to an Associated Press story regarding some Nevada land deals involving none other than Senate Minority Leader Dusty Harry (D-Circus Circus). This story, unlike the Postie wanna be editiorial, involves actual senators making actual transactions involving actual money. No hypothetical leaps required here.

Bottom line: Dusty Harry failed to report a land sale and the purchase of interest in a company called Patrick Lane LLC. Read the story for the details. I’ll just share this one important tidbit with you. Dusty Harry made out like a bandit to the tune of $1.1 million. Problem is, he neglected to disclose the various transactions to the required federal oversight agencies.

When asked about these transactions by the AP, Dusty Harry took the road often traveled by people who fear answering a question might have bigger consequences than running away – he hung up on the reporter.

Why, pray tell would he have such a reaction? Well, here’s one guess.

Said a former Federal Election Commission official:

This is very, very clear. Whether you make a profit or a loss you've got to put that transaction down so the public, voters, can see exactly what kind of money is moving to or from a member of Congress. It is especially disconcerting when you have a member of the leadership, of either party, not putting in the effort to make sure this is a complete and accurate report. That says something to other members. It says something to the Ethics Committee.
It appears, at least according to the story, that Dusty Harry went to great lengths to hide this series of transactions from the public eye. Now what remains to be seen is whether or not an investigation will be called for to find out the reason or reasons why he did this.

Memo to Dusty Harry: Crimes of omission are usually seen by the public to be as bad or worse than crimes of commission.

Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
 
Wash Po’s Editorial Hit Piece on George Allen
by Cordeiro
There is a trick to using an Op-Ed forum to take a shot at a political adversary. It should be done with information that does not contain too many hypothetical leaps by the author in order to understand the point – if, in fact, such a point exists.

Today’s Washington Post Op-Ed pages takes aim at Virginia Senator George Allen. Having failed to keep the Macaca and N-word controversy from being killed off the front page by irrelevance, the Posties dug up a fresh “new” controversy about the amorphous issue of stock options.

The thinly veiled political hit piece is entitled “Mr. Allen's Ethics”. Memo #1 to the Posties: George Allen is a United State Senator despite your desires to the contrary. Tradition, tact, and respect dictate that you refer to him as Senator Allen. You are quite obviously lacking in all three of those categories.

The first area in which the Posties deride Senator Allen is his professional exploits between the time he left Virginia’s Governor’s Mansion and the time he took his seat as her junior senator. What was Allen’s offense during these intervening months? He made money. Yes, dear reader, he committed the unpardonable sin (among leftists anyway) of turning a profit. Says the Posties:

It is not illegal for a governor to help out companies while in office and then join with them once he leaves -- though one can certainly question the ethics of doing so. (Emphasis added)
Thus far, the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia have not seen fit to make such conduct illegal, nor do they consider it unethical. The Op-Ed hit piece only deteriorates from here.

Now we enter into two hypothetical situations where Senator Allen may have possibly benefited from companies who requested aid from him once he took office as a US Senator. He owned 110,000 shares of Xybernaut stock. Xybernaut wanted an Army contract, Allen tried and failed to persuade the Army to contract with Xybernaut. Allen’s stock in that company is virtually worthless, never the less, the Posties declare:

Had the Army heeded Mr. Allen's request and come down in Xybernaut's favor, the firm's stock price might well have gone up.
To quote the USS Enterprise’s Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott – “And if my sister had wheels, she’d be a wagon”. If I’d bought Yahoo at $10 a share, I’d be dirty rotten stinking filthy rich. But I didn’t, and I’m not. Someone needs to inform the Posties you can’t indict someone for something that didn’t happen.
Their last shot at Senator Allen delves into the always popular realm of financial disclosure. Senators are required to disclose their personal worth and investments for public scrutiny. This is all fine and good except for the fact the ranges are so large its difficult to tell the princes from the paupers. But I digress.

Senator Allen holds stock options in a company called Commonwealth Biotechnologies Inc. He did not declare them on his financial disclosure form because the option price is currently higher than the value of the stock – a financial situation the industry refers to as “underwater”. This means the stock options have no worth – hence no need to declare them. Not good enough for the Posties:

That is beside the point. What is relevant is that Mr. Allen has a financial stake in Commonwealth, which as a government contractor may have business before Congress.
This hypothetical conflict of interest is so thin it makes a Brazilian Dental Floss Bikini look modest.

The Posties call this “ethical sloppiness”. I call their thinly veiled political hit piece masquerading as an editorial a sorry excuse for journalism. Tomorrow’s fish catch will be complaining about the quality of their wrappings.

Here endeth the lesson.
Monday, October 09, 2006
 
Kim Jong "Mentally" il Joins The Nuke Club
by Cordeiro
North Korean news agencies have reported a successful nuclear test this morning. Successful in that no radiation has thus far leaked from the hole they dug. Personally, I don't know anyone who believes enough in North Korean technology to take much hope from their Geiger counters. The hyperventilating North Koreans stated:

The nuclear test was conducted by 100% of our wisdom and technology.
Yep. And Zero Percent of your common sense.

I guess there are some people who can get excited about this event. Here are two of them

They must be drinking to another example of the successful Clinton (sorry excuse for) Administration Foreign Policy PUNT team.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
 
Paging ABC News Blotter's Brian Ross
by Cordeiro
Please call your office.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
 
David Corn Gives A Peek In The Closet
by Cordeiro
David Corn wants the world to know about The List. The List contains the names of alleged homosexual GOP congressional staffers. According to Corn, he has a copy of the list but he is so far above the slime filled cesspool he won’t stoop to naming names.

How big of him.

He won’t name names, but he will name job titles and names of Members of Congress and Senators for whom the alleged homosexuals work. Corn, in his low brow wannabe elite prose, asks the derogatory question:

What about those GOPers who are gay and who serve a party that is anti-gay? Are they hypocrites, opportunists, or just confused individuals?
You know, for a pseudo-intellectual journalist who claims to represent the kind and gentle side of the political spectrum, Corn sure knows how to throw a cheap shot on a very sensitive issue. Thanks, Dave. Though you may think yourself above the cesspool level, you might want to check your shoes. Something stinks here, and it’s you.

Here endeth the lesson.
 
Throw Foley (Not Hastert) Under The Train
by Cordeiro
Let me get one thing out clearly for the record. former Congressman Mark Foley (R-Fl) is a sick, depraved, scum sucking pedophile who richly deserves to be hung from the highest tree until he’s way past dead. It is clear to me, and I would hope everybody else, that he clearly abused his office and used it to stalk minors for his own sexual gratification.

Not content with the hole he’s dug for himself with the Instant Message shovel, he’s now called for the steam shovel to increase his rate of descent. He brought out the well used and thus far very effective “I’m A Lousy Drunk” shield almost immediately after his resignation. Since then he’s raised additional shields, among them being “I’m Gay” and, oh by the way, “I Was Abused By Clergy”. I’m not sure what other excuses Foley or his lawyers can come up with. So far all of them are patently absurd. None of them will shield him from the consequences of his all too public fall.

Politicians and pundits are creatures of habit and opportunity, so it wasn’t long before they began to see what they thought was a chance to paint all Republicans with a broad brush of corruption and pedophile facilitation. The same people who gave a winks and nods to Barney Franks (who’s boyfriend ran a prostitution ring from their shared domicile) have begun to shrilly scream for the Speaker of the House’s head on a charger.

We know what Speaker Hastert knew, and when he knew it. Denny Hastert is an honorable man. More than that, he’s a former High School coach who no doubt knows the impact a sexual predator can have on adolescent children. I have no doubt that had he known the full scope of Foley’s descent, he would have thrown Foley from the Capitol Building after having pinned him to the marble floor in a full Nelson.

Republicans have a bad habit of circling the wagons when faced with scandal, pointing their weapons and firing into the circle. Those who have done so now have seriously over played their hand. Tony Blankley and the Washington Times Editorial Board, along with Maggie Gallagher find themselves on the wrong side of this issue. Jettisoning the entire GOP House Leadership will not accomplish anything but the goals of a rabid left wing agenda. Foley is at fault here. Foley will be dealt with.

For those of you longing to throw Denny Hastert under the train, I’d remind you that the same information he had was given to the St. Petersburg Times, The Miami Herald, ABC News and the FBI. Nobody in any of those organizations found anything substantial enough to follow up on.

If it turns out there was a conspiracy to cover Foley’s actions, I’ll be the first to heave the bodies out the boxcar door. Until then, I want to know who had these IM transcripts and more importantly why they waited until 40 days prior to an election to leak them to Brian Ross’s ABC Blotter. Something about this stinks worse than fermenting clay-pot Kimchi on a hot Seoul summer afternoon.

Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
 
Bill Ritter Is No Jack McCoy
by Cordeiro
Colorado holds a special place in my heart in that its one of the many places I can call home. It is also on my top three places I would like to call home again. The air (outside of Denver) is clear and the mountains are spectacular. What can I say, I like elevation.

This year, like every other state, Colorado is having an election. Two men are pitted in a really tight race for the Governor’s Mansion. Bill Ritter, a democrat and former Denver district attorney is running against GOP Congressman Bob Beauprez.

I’ve stated here before that I am no lawyer. I do, however, know the job of a district attorney – that being to prosecute criminals and put them in jail. It really is that simple. Everything I know about District Attorneys I’ve learned from the NBC long running drama Law & Order. There the Assistant District Attorney is the unflappable Jack McCoy played by Sam Watterson.

McCoy is the consummate legal pit bull. He doesn’t pull any punches. He enforces the law and does his best – and sometimes too much – to see justice done. Sometimes he offers the criminals a plea bargain to spare both parties the time and expense of a trial. Sometimes the deals are taken. Often they are not. Usually Jack McCoy is the one smiling at the end of the day.

Well, dear reader, Denver’s own Bill Ritter is no Jack McCoy. It seems that he, or more likely someone in his office, has a soft squishy spot for illegal immigrants. These illegals came to Ritter’s DA office the same way everybody else does. They committed a crime. In at least 152 cases, these crimes were felonies the likes of which usually gets the illegal alien deported – after they’ve served jail time.

Side note: If Americans commits a felony in a foreign country, deportation is the least of their concerns. Third world jails make Sing Sing look like Club-Med.

Bill Ritter’s District Attorney’s office did not prosecute these 152 (and growing) felony cases. Instead, these criminals were plea-bargained down to the lesser charge of “agricultural land trespassing”. This offense is also a felony, however its not one that requires jail time or subsequent deportation.

If you’re scratching your head wondering just how much agricultural land there is to trespass upon in the Denver city limits, you’re not alone.

Keep in mind these criminals were not only guilty of immigration violations, they were car thieves, drug dealers, and violent thugs. At least one person who skated thanks to Ritter’s Plea Bargain Express has subsequently been convicted on an armed robbery and assault charge.

That’s one too many.

Jack McCoy wouldn’t make these kinds of deals. Neither should the people of Colorado.

Here endeth the lesson.


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