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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

Friday, February 29, 2008
Michelle Obama’s America
by Cordeiro
In my normal course of political observation, I usually refrain from taking direct shots at the spouses or other family members of political candidates. I generally believe that the candidates are the ones putting themselves in the political sphere and – for the most part – their spouse and family are along for the ride whether they like it or not.

This political cycle has produced two exceptions to that rule. The first and most glaring is Hillary Clinton and her formerly presidential husband Bill. Bill inserts himself into every single political issue and event with the hope that he can somehow rehabilitate the legacy of his (Sorry Excuse For) Administration.

Some things – and people – simply cannot be rehabilitated.

The second exception to my “Hand’s Off The Spouse” rule has now become Michelle Obama. I have yet to comment much on the campaign of her husband – Barack Obama simply for the reason that the rhetoric behind his campaign redefines “empty”. He speaks in vague generalities with buzzwords like “hope”, “change”, and the liberal catch all of “fairness”. How he will accomplish this is not explained, nor will it be. But I’ll return to that at another date.

Michelle Obama has been making headlines of her own lately. Her first widely reported controversial remark was about her newfound feelings of pride in her nation. Bill Kristol, writing in the New York Times, attributed to her this quote:
For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.
Yes, dear reader, Mrs. Obama can now be proud of her country for the first time. Is there really no event over the past two decades (her adult lifetime) which could bring her to be proud of her nation? The fall of the Berlin Wall maybe? The Olympic “Dream Team” drubbing any and all comers for the Gold Medal? Oh, well. Some people are hard to impress.

Michelle’s hits kept on coming though. At a Los Angeles gathering, she let fly these immortal words:
Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Blogosphere, I don’t really care what Barack Obama is going to “demand” of me or what he will “allow” me to do. One of the greatest things about this nation is my God given right to engage, or disengage – to isolate myself, or interact with others – to push myself to be better, or sit on my couch and eat potato chips – and to live my life as I see fit. Indeed this Republic which our forefathers gave us came with an inherent freedom to do as we wish – not necessarily as Barack would have us do.

Mrs. Obama also took aim at free market capitalism today. She encouraged a group of women in Ohio to steer clear of “Corporate America”:
Don’t go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and we’re encouraging our young people to do that. But if you make that choice, as we did, to move out of the money-making industry into the helping industry, then your salaries respond. Many of our bright stars are going into corporate law or hedge-fund management.
I’m not really sure, Michelle, but those bright stars might go to those industries because that’s where the money is. Yes, America needs social workers, teachers, and nurses. In the end, however, those are professions which are cost-centers in society and require that some other sector make the money required to pay for the work performed by said social-workers and nurses. Ask yourself one question as you read the words of Mrs. Obama – “Who is going to pay for the “helping industry” she crows about?”

The answer to that question is simple – the corporate lawyers, hedge-fund managers, small business owners, and other members of “Corporate America” she just got done savaging. In fact, she is one of those “Corporate America” types she attacks so often. She must have skipped the economics class that explained the dangers of killing the golden egg laying geese.

I’m one of those people Michelle Obama spoke about when she complained about having to pay back student loans well into middle age. I pursued a graduate education and have the student loans to prove it. I invested in myself, and if I may be so bold, I’m getting a fairly decent return on my investment. I haven’t managed to make so much money that I don’t know what to do with all of it, but I’m good at what I do and make a fairly decent living at it.

What I am not doing is waiting around for Barack or Michelle Obama to swoop in and “fix” my soul or my bank account. Thanks, but no thanks. I’ve got other people for that.

The greatness of this nation is in her people. This remains one of the few places on earth where a person truly holds the keys to his/her own destiny.

John Wayne is one of SOTR’s patron saints. Some of his immortal words are emblazoned at the top of this blog. They come from a speech he gave as Davy Crockett in his opus work The Alamo.
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.
Freedom is what this Republic was built on. The Declaration of Independence states that government derives its authority from the consent of the governed, not the other way around. Mrs. Obama would do well to read that document once or twice.

Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Reason #2,294 Why Article VI Is A Great Blog
by Cordeiro
Those still paying attention to the Republican Primary race are no doubt familiar with the great work of John Schroeder and Lowell "Hedgehog" Brown over at Article VI Blog.  Their work is based on the constitutional proposition that religion should play no qualifying role for public office.  If you thought there was no religious issues in the 2008 campaign, John and Lowell will set you straight.
SOTR readers are obviously aware there is no love lost between us and the former Arkansas governor Mike "It's All About Me" Huckabee.  The fact of the matter is he's got no chance of winning the Republican nomination and in fact has been mathematically eliminated from every presidential contest until the turn of this century.  Mike is in this race for vanity's sake and little else.
Huck went on Saturday Night Live last Saturday for yet another few seconds of his rapidly diminishing fifteen minutes.  Yes, he was funny.  That's all I really had to say about that until I read Schroeder's latest post.  John very delicately defined Huck in terms I can only profess in one word - magnificent.  Said John:
Obviously, Mike is having fun attracting attention to himself. There seems to be little else at play here. Huckabee has never clearly enunciated a strategy, a desire, or a motivation. In fact, those things seem to be constantly shifting in a direction dictated by what will attract the most attention to him. He is rapidly becoming the political equivalent of Brittany Spears - and as the political press is paying less and less attention (it ought to be even less than it is), the paparazzi seems more than willing to pick up the slack, and I am not at all sure Huckabee can tell the difference. Or perhaps he does not care about it.

The man has claimed divine intervention on his behalf, something he even did humorously in the SNL appearance, and he has mocked other religions. But when it suited the public mood in the locale he was working, he dropped all religious mention and played the class card, or used some other tactic - whatever got him attention.

Now, the world is full of people who want attention. Being one of them does not make Mike Huckabee unique or special. There have even been other presidential candidates with such selfish motivations, but never has a candidate pushed it this far, and on these bases. Not only has Mike Huckabee soiled the political environment, something that happens in every election cycle, but he has soiled the religious environment as well, and that is problematic. (Emphasis Added)

Well said.  I can only hope Huck reads Article VI and takes a long, sober look at himself and his sorry excuse for a campaign.  I doubt he will.  He's probably too busy reading and believing his own press.
Here endeth the lesson.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
The Huck Pool: When Will it End?
by Bonjo
SOTR announces "The Huck Pool". Post a comment stating the date you think he will drop out of the race.

Also, state your best guess for the the reason he will cite for backing out of the campaign.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Huckabee: My Campain Is Not Dead!
by Cordeiro

File this one under, Duh!


For those of you still paying attention to the Republican primary race, former Arkansas Governor Mike "It's All About Me" Huckabee is still running for President.  As I've stated before, he has as much chance of sitting in the Big Chair as Rosie O'Donnell has of becoming the next Miss America.


Never the less, Huck plods on.  Today he freely admitted he might be killing his political career by dragging the primary season on with endless references to a possible "brokered convention" in St. Paul.  Somebody should really inform Huck that his political career ended roughly a week after Mitt Romney graciously pulled out of the primary contest.  Right now he serves little purpose other than to be a punch line to a lame joke.


Huck made the mistake today of comparing himself to this blog's patron saint Ronaldus Magnus and his 1976 run for the Oval.  There's a big difference between Reagan's '76 run and Huck's 2008 plod.  Reagan came within a hair's breath of winning.  Huck will be little more than an annoying side show if he manages to keep his campaign afloat all the way to St. Paul.  As he's paying Ed Rollins $20K a month to run his campaign into the ground, there's no guarantee he'll last that long.  Romney knew when to fold.  Huck never got that memo.  He was too busy playing bass guitar.


Mr. Huckabee, I'm a student of Ronald Reagan.  I've read what he wrote, I've listened to his speeches.  I can quote you chapter and verse about what he managed to accomplish during his presidency and other aspects of his life.  In short, I know Ronald Reagan, sir.  Ronald Reagan is a hero of mine.  You, sir, are no Ronald Reagan.


Here endeth the lesson.

Supremes Smackdown On ACLU
by Cordeiro

You know, for all the high powered legal talent alleged to be inhabiting the nooks and crannies of the ACLU, there doesn't seem to be a lot of common sense to go with it.


It's no secret the ACLU – and most of the Kos Kool-Aid Caucus of the Democratic Party – has been ceaselessly shrieking at the whirlwind about W's efforts to monitor the comings, goings, and conversations of those who would do harm to America and her citizens.  This virulent strain of Bush Derangement Syndrome is known to cause those with left-leaning sympathies to believe that "Big Time" Cheney sits up late at night listening in to their conversations about the latest impeachment efforts.  Don't bother to tell them there are Islamofascist Murdering Thugs out there who would just love to behead them with a rusty dull butcher knife.  Their collective mind is made up.  W is out to get them.


Well, today, the Supremes rejected an ACLU appeal of a lawsuit over the "warrantless" wiretapping program.  Most times, the Supremes give a reason when they deny an appeal.  This time, however, they did not even afford the ACLU any reason what-so-ever as to why they won't be allowed to present their case.  The case was rejected "without comment".


Bottom line on this legal issue – nobody could prove their conversations had been monitored; therefore nobody had standing to sue.  Calls to several terrorists went unreturned.


And yes, The Pelosi continues in her efforts to blind the US in the face of those same Islamofacist Murdering Thugs.  Go figure.


Here endeth the lesson.

Saturday, February 16, 2008
Al Qaeda's New Recruitment Strategy
by Cordeiro
I understand Al Qaeda's numbers are dwindling due to the accuracy of precision guided Hellfire missiles, US Military snipers, and the fact most of Al Qaeda's missions are one way trips. Like any organization needing to replenish their numbers, Al Qaeda has adopted a new recruitment strategy.


Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Even A "Miracle" Could Not Deliver Virginia To Huckabee
by Cordeiro
As was noted in a previous post by my esteemed co-blogger Bonjo, I was unable to comment on the primary election held yesterday in the Commonwealth of Virginia. There were many MSM reports about Mike Huckabee’s quick closing on McCain in the days leading up to the Potomac Primary. McCain won by about 9 points, leading some to claim Huckabee was “showing strength on the right” and that McCain’s win was “shallow”.

I submit to you that the reporters who wrote the aforementioned articles have little understanding of Virginia – specifically Northern Virginia – politics and the various external factors that may influence voters.

Mike Huckabee’s only hope of winning the Virginia primary was to have a heavy turnout in the south and western portions of the Commonwealth while having a very low turnout in the Northern counties. That’s the way Virginia’s demographics work – South and West are Red, North is Purple at best. Yesterday’s events could not have worked more perfectly for Mike Huckabee if he had planned them himself.

Tuesday was cold – bitterly so. The temperature never got above freezing and around 3:15 pm the rain/sleet started to fall. At about 3:20 the famous Springfield “Mixing Bowl” was shut down due to numerous accidents. This effectively severed the I-95 corridor and stranded thousands of motorists – and Northern Virginia voters – miles from their homes and polling places for about six hours. I-95 is the main north-south artery connecting the Northern Virginia suburbs to Washington DC. The main east-west artery – I-66 – wasn’t much better.

How do I know this? I was there. Bonjo has the photographic proof in the post right below this one. Yes, I am waving at the traffic camera – with all five fingers thank you very much. I-95 was closed at the Springfield interchange from roughly 3:30-8:00. Southbound traffic was backed up to someplace in Baltimore.

By the time I reached my residence the polls had closed. All the talking heads were pontificating on how close the Virginia primary was and how surprising it would be if Huck could upset McCain. It was a very real possibility considering the fact that a good chunk of Northern Virginia voters spent most of the afternoon and evening trapped on I-95.

And still, with every possible demographic advantage in his favor, Huck still lost Virginia by 9 points. I submit to you that had it been a normal Tuesday in February – meaning minus the ice and sleet – Huck would have gotten clobbered by a far wider margin.

Huck claims to have “majored in miracles”. Well folks, yesterday he got one, and even with a miracle, it wasn’t enough.

Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Cordeiro Won't Be Posting Today
by Bonjo

My esteemed co-blogger, Cordeiro, has been detained and will not be joining us today.

If you look closely at this photo, you will see a man standing on the shoulder. That is our beloved Cordeiro, who found himself stuck in a traffic jam of epic proportions beginning at 3:30 PM.

Photo courtesy of VDOT Traffic Cam Network, coordinated by T-Mobile and Verizon wireless networks, traffic updates provided by WMAL and WTOP radio networks.
Gratuitous cursing courtesy of Cordeiro.
Update: 6:45pm, he was still stuck in traffic, having not moved in over 3 hours.

Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln
by Cordeiro

Today is Abraham Lincoln's birthday. 


Few life stories in American history are more compelling than that of the man who would come to be known as "Honest Abe".  This self taught country lawyer came to power during this nation's darkest hour – when her very survival as a nation was in serious doubt.  His tenure as Commander-In-Chief was one punctuated by some of the most terrible fighting ever to be seen upon this continent.


Some – dare I say most – men would have crumbled under the load he bore.  That wasn't Lincoln's way.  He believed that this nation would either prosper while united or fall as two divided states.  He was loved by most, ridiculed by some, and loathed by a few.  The monument honoring his legacy sits at the furthest end of the National Mall opposite the Washington Monument.  The symbolism is accurate.  Washington founded this nation.  Lincoln preserved it.


Lincoln also anchors another unique symbol of America.  Just as you enter Disneyland in Anaheim, California you pass the Opera House where one single attraction has headlined that venue since July 18, 1965.  The main (and only) event at Disney's Opera House is "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln".


Here an animatronic Abraham Lincoln rises from his chair, and with great fanfare recites the Gettysburg Address – 271 words which, despite Lincoln's prognostication, were remembered.  If you've never stopped long enough to see this short show, I highly recommend it.


Prior to the Gettysburg Address show, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln was a slightly different attraction.  Lincoln's speech was a synergy of several speeches he'd given over his lifetime about the basic underpinnings of America.


So, today take a moment and enjoy some truly Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.


The world has never had a good definition of the word "liberty". The American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty. But in using the same word, we do not all mean the same thing.

What constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and independence? It is not our frowning embattlements, our bristling sea coasts. These are not our reliance against tyranny. Our reliance is in the love of liberty, which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.

At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some trans-Atlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us in a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined could not, by force, take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected?

I answer that if it ever reach us, it must spring from amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be the authors and finishers. As a nation of free men, we must live through all times, or die by suicide.

Let reverence for the law be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap. Let it be taught in the schools, in the seminaries, and in the colleges. Let it be written in primers, in spelling books and almanacs. Let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And in short, let it become the political religion of the nation. And let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes, and tongues, and colors, and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly at its altar.

And let us strive to deserve, as far as mortals may, the continued care of Divine Providence, trusting that, in future national emergencies, He will not fail to provide us the instruments of safety and security.

Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, or frightened from it by menaces of the destruction to the government, nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might. And in that faith, let us to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.


Here endeth the lesson.

Monday, February 11, 2008
Huckabee's Garbage Time
by Cordeiro

The late great LA Lakers announcer Chuck Hearns is thought to have coined the phrase Garbage Time to describe


the period of time at the end of a timed sporting event when the outcome of the game has already been decided.


Garbage Time is a good definition of what's happening now in the Republican Presidential Primary contest – actually it can't even be described as a contest anymore.  A contest would require one candidate to have a realistic shot of defeating the frontrunner.


Mike Huckabee has about as realistic a chance of defeating John McCain as Rosie O'Donnell has of becoming Miss America.  So – what could possibly be Huck's motivation for continuing a contest that has already been decided?  That's an interesting question with a very simple answer.


On Planet Huckabee, this contest is all about Huckabee.  He started out his post-CPAC Howard Fineman interview by claiming that Mitt Romney siphoned votes from his campaign effort.  Sure, Mike.  Somehow Romney managed to gain over 4 million votes that would have otherwise gone to you.  What's in the water down there in Arkanasa?


Huck's campaign is all about keeping his name in lights long enough so that either McCain taps him as his VP – a move which would further irritate an already alienated GOP base – or searing Huck's visage in the collective American memory so people remember him in 2012.  Either way, you'll note that neither of those motivators has anything to do with what's best for the Republican Party or for the United States.  Again, Huck is doing what's best for Huck.  Period.


Over the weekend, Huck won primary caucuses in Kansas and Louisiana.  He lost narrowly to McCain in Washington State and – true to form – he didn't take nicely to losing.  He immediately found the nearest microphone bank and decried the Washington results as Stalin-esque.  In a calculated move hearkening back to the 2000 Election, Huck has taken a page from the "Algore Post-Election Playbook" and has called in the lawyers for a "complete investigation".


Have I mentioned the very obvious fact that – regardless of the outcome in Washington – Huck has no shot at winning?  Even after his good weekend, Mitt Romney still has more delegates than Huck.  In my ever so humble opinion, Mitt Romney exited the race at the highest possible point.  His willingness to sacrifice his personal ambition for the sake of party unity and possible November victory will go down in electoral history as gracious and magnanimous.  Huckabee will have claim to neither of those two titles.  Every day he stays in this race for his own personal vanity is just one more day the dead fish has to rot in the sun.  If the adage that "it's all over but the shouting" is true, Huck is screaming at the whirlwind.


Huckabee would like you to believe he scored a victory over Mitt Romney last week by virtue of the fact that he [Huckabee] is now the last man standing against McCain.  In fact, the exact opposite is true.  This isn't a "Survivor" type contest where the last man standing wins the prize.  Like him or not – and believe you me I have serious differences with him – John McCain is going to be the Republican nominee for President this November.  He will face off against either Hillary or Obama.


Mike Huckabee is an also ran – for some reason which escapes me (and the rest of the country) he's unable or unwilling to accept that fact.


Mitt Romney left this race with a huge amount of good-will and respect.  The only thing that will greet Huckabee's exit is a collective sigh of relief along with whispers of "It's about damn time!"


Here endeth the lesson.

Monday, February 04, 2008
The Single Best Super Bowl Ad Ever Produced
by Cordeiro
There are few things more inherently American than the Super Bowl. Regardless of who plays, wins, or loses, the Super Bowl transcends all demographic boundaries. The game itself is almost secondary to the pomp, circumstance, and excess that precedes it.

One of the Super Bowl’s great traditions is the commercials which run between plays, during timeouts, and other interruptions of the game flow. These commercials don’t come cheap and to tell the truth sometimes they are more entertaining than the game itself.

This was not true of yesterday’s game. All I can say about Super Bowl XLII is – on any given Sunday, even the lowest of teams can knock of the premadonnas. It was a fantastic game – one for the books. But I digress.

Just before kickoff, the FOX and the NFL ran a 6 minute 26 second spot which featured NFL stars – past and present – along with everyday Americans reciting the key paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence. Check it out:

If you can watch Marie Tillman (Pat Tillman’s widow) stand next to her husband’s statue and not get the least bit emotional -You. Are. Not. Human.

So, just in case you missed it, here’s the Single Best Super Bowl Ad Ever Produced.

We Are Americans.

Here endeth the lesson.

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