Monday, June 25, 2012

Criminals’ Lack of Morals, Not Budgets or Bush, Cause Violent Crime

I remember watching an ABC World News Tonight Closer Look segment that featured a series called “Mean Streets,” which examined the reasons behind a 6.7 percent increase in the murder rate in the country in 2006. The murder of three promising black college students in Newark, N.J. was cited as just one of many examples of the rise in senseless killings occurring in the country. Mayor Cory Booker declared that “enough is enough,” when it came to violent crime in the city known ostensibly for violent crime. ABC conveniently forgot to mention that the oldest of the men and teenagers allegedly responsible for the murders was an illegal alien, and that he was on bail for repeatedly raping a five-year-old girl. Out on bail? Isn’t it reasonable that a violent criminal illegal alien not be eligible for bail because there is no reasonable expectation that the person will return voluntarily for trial? Apparently the violence committed by this alleged murderer-rapist wasn’t quite enough for the Newark mayor. Only two weeks after the victims were buried, he announced he would not direct his police department to turn over illegal aliens it came across to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation. I guess he didn’t want to offend his criminal alien constituents. In speculating why the murder rate went up, ABC rounded up the usual suspects for why violent crime was up – gangs, guns and a lack of social programs. Of course, they managed to find an unnamed criminologist who blamed the Bush Administration for “focusing too much on terrorism, and cutting funds for law enforcement on the streets.” The reporter also cited Orange County, Florida where a record 121 murders occurred in 2006. Sheriff Kevin Beary said that two of his deputies had been shot by three suspects who had a total of 88 arrests between them. Hands down, the sheriff gave the best analysis for the murder rate going up when he revealed that the three suspects had scores of prior arrests. In police work, that’s called a clue. Sheriff Beary placed the blame squarely on the prosecutors and courts where it justifiably belongs. His point is that if prosecutors weren’t afraid to litigate instead of conducting plea bargains, and if judges had incarcerated these three individuals for significant lengths of time, maybe his deputies would not have been shot. Are people more likely to become murderers and commit other violent crimes because they have easy access to firearms, do not participate in social programs or have George W. Bush as president? Or are they more likely to commit violent crimes because they lack morals? I submit there is no correlation between criminal activity and someone’s income level or being deprived of some federally funded after-school recreation program. Having morals is like having the winning lottery numbers. Either you have them, or you don’t. No matter what excuse you offer for not having the winning ticket, the lottery officials are not going to give you the payoff because you didn’t get to play midnight basketball. Excuses should not be accepted from those who commit violent crime either. The sooner the public realizes that there is a strong correlation between assured, longer prison sentences and an overall reduction of violent crime, including murder, the better off we all will be.

What I Don’t Want for Christmas: Everything but the Elusive ‘Middle Class Tax Cut’

With the holidays rapidly approaching, my wife and kids have asked me several times what I would like for Christmas. Like most men, it’s easier for me to identify what I don’t want, because most things I would like are out of range for my family’s budget, like a Bentley or a secluded vacation beach house in Maui. What I definitely don’t want is anything pitched by Billy Mays on television. I don’t need a liquid that mends rips in my jeans, or putty that can be used to replace the broken handle on my coffee cup. I would sooner go to an alterations shop and throw away the broken cup. I don’t need a worthless deed to property on the moon, nor do I need a star named after me, thank you. I also don’t want anything that comes with a certificate of authenticity. Please don’t give me a Chia Pet, or anything that remotely resembles one. Dittos for a device that allegedly sharpens my old razor blades to make them like new. The same goes for a computer gadget I saw that is a bikini-clad Barbie look-alike doll that pole dances on a small platform when you play MP3 music files. Please spare me. That falls in the category of the singing mounted fish I once received that I “accidentally” dropped and broke several days later. The money clip I received for Christmas several years ago still works fine, and now that I’m semi-retired, neckties aren’t as necessary as they once were. In fact, the last thing I need is anything that can be worn, so save your money there too. I can’t wear out the clothes I have, and don’t need to add more clutter in my closet. I’ve got shoes older than my married children, and I don’t hesitate to go to a shoe repair shop when needed. I don’t need any tools either. When a man gets in his 50s, he usually owns every known tool ever made and now spends more time searching for a tool then it takes to use it. So thanks anyway. Now my sons call me and ask what the difference is between an Allen wrench and an adjustable wrench because they weren’t interested in learning when I was trying to teach them when they were growing up. Any tools I get for Christmas will probably be duplicates, and I will promptly pass the old tools to my tool-challenged sons. What I would like for Christmas is the promised Obama tax cut for the middle class, but being a seasoned adult, I’m not holding my breath. If he lowers my income taxes by say, 3%, and then allows the Bush tax cuts to expire, I’ll have a net increase of about 3%. I don’t see Congress rushing to push legislation for middle class tax cuts so Obama can sign it on Inauguration Day. They’re too busy bailing out the auto industry and Wall Street. I’m afraid by January the Democrat Congress will tell us that it can’t afford middle class tax cuts because of all the bailouts. I waited eight years for Bill Clinton’s promised middle class tax cuts but they never materialized. Instead, he asked for and received the largest tax increase in history. Fool me once, shame on you . . . The Democrat-led California legislation could give me a state income tax cut as well for Christmas. But all I read in the papers is that it wants tax increases to make up for a projected $14 billion deficit. Why not demand proof of citizenship and legal residency before someone receives a free education, medical treatment and social services? That would balance the budget immediately. As it stands now, I’m in the 9.3% state income tax bracket. I could buy a home in an income tax-free state and comfortably make the mortgage payments with the money I pay the state of California every year. I might even be able to afford that Bentley.

For Blago and Illinois Friends, It’s Never Too Early to Say ‘Pardon Me’

The arrests of Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, made for an unusual event in federal law enforcement. Not that they were arrested for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and solicit bribes from those interested in being named as President-elect Barack Obama’s replacement in the U.S. Senate, but rather they were arrested prior to being indicted by a federal grand jury. Having worked many long-term federal criminal investigations as a Supervisory Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, I know from experience that a U.S. Attorney’s preferred method of operation is to indict someone first, then make an arrest as a result of his or her indictment. When someone is indicted, the assistant U.S. attorney will then go to a federal judge for the issuance of arrest warrants. Indictments essentially automatically generate arrest warrants without having to go through a complaint process, as was the case with Gov. Blagojevich. This tells me that the years-long investigation the FBI was conducting suddenly accelerated after the November 4th election when it became apparent that Gov. Blagojevich would be naming someone for Obama’s upcoming vacant Senate seat. That’s when it must have become very interesting to the agents listening to the court-authorized wiretaps and listening devices located in the governor’s office. It’s apparent to me that Patrick Fitzgerald, the same prosecutor who handled the Scooter Libby case, felt compelled to act now, rather than wait until after Gov. Blagojevich had named a successor. If he had, the successor would most likely also be indicted for bribing the governor, and the whole situation would have made an interesting discussion in a middle school civics class. The Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. Fitzgerald said at a news conference that he felt compelled to act because of a lot of “things going on that were imminent,” including legislation awaiting the governor’s signature that was allegedly being held, pending a potentially illegal payment to the governor. I’d like to read that piece of legislation. Unfortunately, Gov. Blagojevich can still appoint the next junior senator from Illinois and sign that legislation even through he’s been arrested. The Illinois legislature has made it known it will look into impeaching the governor, and that can’t come soon enough. In the federal complaint, Gov. Blagojevich is alleged to have solicited bribes from a Chicago-based children’s hospital in return for not cutting off state funding. I can only imagine how anyone who voted for this guy must feel now. When someone is indicted, this takes the place of a preliminary hearing. From a strategic standpoint, it allows the government to limit its exposure to exactly what evidence is on hand. That all comes out during the discovery process prior to trial. Knowing how assistant U.S. attorney’s think, there should be no doubt that the FBI has accumulated enough evidence to bring Gov. Blagojevich and his chief of staff to trial now. It’s a sure bet that Gov. Blagojevich and his chief of staff will be indicted before then, rather than go through a lengthy preliminary hearing, now scheduled for January. One question that remains is how many others will be indicted along with them. Mr. Fitzgerald has publicly said that there is no connection between President-elect Obama and the investigation. That may be true today, but it’s almost inevitable that someone involved in this scheme will be anxious to roll over on the other conspirators and cooperate with the government. The forthcoming trial and the people named could have a dramatic affect on the upcoming Obama Administration. Let’s hope that the arrest of Gov. Blagojevich is not a prelude to what we can expect from the upcoming Obama Administration. I say this because those you chose to associate with are usually a reflection of your own values. So far, Obama’s friend Tony Rezko has been convicted and now Gov. Blagojevich, Mr. Harris and most probably five or six others will go down that same path. The waiting list for pardons for Illinois politicians from President Obama will be lengthy by the end of his administration. But never fear. Attorney General-designate Eric Holder has plenty of experience from the Clinton Administration in securing presidential pardons for people like Marc Rich, whose ex-wife, Denise, made a substantial contribution to the Clinton Library. It’s never too early to ask for a pardon.

Let 18-Year-Olds Be Kids

The recent debate about lowering the drinking age to 18 should be over by now. So long as 18-year-olds are allowed to vote, marry, enter into contracts and join the military, they certainly should be mature enough to handle a beer. Or are they? The debate has me thinking that someone who’s 18, still in high school, and barely shaves, probably shouldn’t be able to do adult things because they simply haven’t matured enough to make important decisions. Should an 18-year-old be charged as an adult for a crime and go to state prison because his brain hasn’t caught up to his rapidly maturing body? If young people were not allowed to marry until they were 21, maybe there would be fewer divorces among people married between 18 and 21 years old. Maybe if someone had to be more mature at 21 before receiving his first credit card, he wouldn’t be hopelessly in debt because the credit card company gave him a $20,000 credit limit, despite being unemployed. Federal law does not allow someone under 21 to purchase a handgun, but he can own a shotgun or rifle at 18. Apparently, lawmakers think young people are mature enough to handle some weapons, but not others. Maybe if you had to be 21 before you could vote, better candidates would be elected. Ever see the Jay Leno segments where he asks people on the street to identify a photograph of the vice president or Speaker of the House, and they didn’t have a clue who they are? But they can identify Brad Pitt, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton every time. That’s enough evidence for me to not let anyone vote until they are at least 21, expect for military members, of course. If they can go into battle, they should at least have a say in who their commander-in-chief is. If you’re old enough to carry a gun into battle, then I think you’ve earned the right to sit at the bar at the local VFW and tell war stories. My point is that if 18-year-olds cannot be trusted with alcohol, then they shouldn’t be trusted with credit, marriage or voting, nor should they be ask to give their lives while serving in the military. Or, looking at it another way, if 18-year-olds are trusted to vote, enter into contracts and serve in the military, they should be trusted to handle alcohol. Which way is society going to go with this issue? Obviously placing a prohibition on young people drinking before they reach 21 has been a dismal failure. Changing the drinking age back to 18 would probably be insignificant in terms of increased drunk driving arrests or death by binge drinking. But some studies suggest just the opposite. Drinking at a young age does not have the stigma in most countries around the world that it does in the United States. Youngsters around the world don’t sneak booze because it not stigmatized like it is here. They grow up with wine at the table with dinner, and mostly learn to drink responsibly. If it’s taboo, then young people want to experience firsthand what all the fuss is about. The mystery goes away once you have your first legal drink. Hundreds of presidents of prestigious universities around the country started this debate because they know it’s impossible to stop their students from drinking. Lowering the drinking age would probably shift some liability from the schools to the individual students who drink – but young adults shouldn’t have some of their rights restricted just because of their age. My whole point is that if someone is old enough to do some adult things at 18, then he or she should be allowed to do all things other adults do. I personally would like to see voting, drinking, marriage and other legal contracts restricted to persons over 21 years old, except for those in the military. Young people should be allowed to join the military at 18 and immediately emancipated and considered adults upon swearing in, because they’ve earned it. What’s wrong with expanding juvenile status to persons until they reach the magic age of 21? It was that way in the past, and it wasn’t such a bad thing. I think those between 18 and 21 would benefit from waiting a few more years and gain a little more maturity before they are thrust into full-fledged adulthood. Because life’s too short as it is, they should enjoy their youth while they can.

Liberals Win: Crack Dealer Sentences Slashed, So the Good Old Days Are Back

Earlier this year, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Commission finally succumbed to years of immense political pressure from the NAACP, Left-wing judges, the ACLU and other liberal groups to decriminalize the federal penalties for trafficking in crack cocaine. Now upwards of 20,000 crack dealers will be released back on inner-city streets within the next 12 months. They’ve all had years of a steady diet of “gangsta” rap music and made new drug contacts in prison, and now will not be intimidated by the new, puny prison sentences for selling gram amounts of crack cocaine. Many argued that the mandated five-to-10-year sentence for selling five-grams of crack should not be the same as another defendant selling 500 grams (one-half kilogram) of powdered cocaine. For you metrically challenged, a gram is the amount contained in a single packet of Splenda®. Liberals long ago drew the race card when they first cited the fact that 80% of persons convicted for crack sales are black, insinuating the government only targeted blacks. If that were true, only blacks would be in prison for crack sales. As far as I am concerned, the sentence for selling five grams of powdered cocaine should be the same as the old crack penalties, and hardly any blacks are convicted for that. Remember the mid-1980s “crack epidemic?” Remember all the violence and drug-related homicides that were occurring in inner city communities across the nation as organized traffickers fought for control of the new, emerging market? Remember “crack babies,” who were born mimicking the same symptoms of their drug-induced mothers? Liberals would like you to believe the crack epidemic never happened. And if it did happen, it wasn’t as bad as the government predicted it would be. Tell that to the mother whose son was killed by a stray bullet from warring crack gangs, or to the grandmother whose grandchild she is raising suffers from a myriad of learning disabilities because her daughter, the child’s mother, used crack while she was pregnant. The epidemic was not as bad as predicted because DEA task forces, which included state and local police agencies, aggressively attacked the problem. And those convicted were given substantial prison terms depriving them of their ability to continue the havoc. The “let ‘em out” crowd would also like you to believe there is no difference between crack and powdered cocaine. That’s just not so. There was a good reason why crack cocaine penalties were much higher than selling an equal amount of powdered cocaine. Crack requires 100 times less weight than powdered cocaine to achieve an even greater high. When additive-free crack cocaine is smoked, the fumes from the pure drug create an intense euphoria superior to that of powdered cocaine, although for a shorter duration. The intense euphoria is what makes it so much more psychologically addicting. It’s also much cheaper. Users only pay $10 to $20 for a pea size amount. Crack cocaine suddenly provided a cheap, intense high that attracted poor drug users and rich ones alike. By the way, if it makes liberals feel any better, most crack users are white and they come from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Well, now that the liberals have finally prevailed, get ready for a repeat of those dark days, which is what prompted Congress to enact longer sentences in the first place. Haven’t we learned anything about what works, and more importantly, what doesn’t work to lower the crime rate? Sentencing guidelines coupled with mandatory minimum sentences worked well, perhaps too well, sending liberals in a tizzy. Sentencing drug dealers to lengthy prison sentences prevents them from further selling poison to our children and committing other crimes. Having fewer drug dealers means a significant decline in the overall crime rate, especially homicides and other crimes of violence. Putting bad guys in jail and leaving them there for substantial periods of time lowers the crime rate every time it’s tried. Why is that so hard for liberals to understand?

Why the Republicans Lost

Contrary to popular belief, Barack Obama didn’t win an historic presidential election – the Republicans lost one. What do you expect when the Republican candidate was the most liberal of the pack to run during the presidential primaries? The choice the voters had during the general election was to vote for a liberal or vote for a far-Left-wing liberal. There wasn’t a conservative Republican on the ballot for president. Several years ago, John McCain seriously considered switching parties. Isn’t that a clue about his political leanings? He seriously considered being John Kerry’s running mate in 2004, and his first choice for his vice-presidential running mate was Joe Lieberman, a former Democrat who turned Independent when he got screwed over by the Democrat National Committee. And on top of all that, during the primaries, where allowed, Democrats in droves switched party affiliation to vote for McCain for two good reasons. First, they knew McCain was the most liberal candidate who would bring divisiveness within his party and help their man, Obama, or whoever their candidate turned out to be. Second, with McCain’s nomination, they could live with a Republican in name only, if by some miracle he was elected. Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” attempted the same thing in reverse in an attempt to deplete Obama’s campaign war chest. I think it’s time to end the practice. Either you’re a Democrat or a Republican, but you can’t be both during the primaries. Republicans are more than capable of selecting the wrong candidate at the wrong time, thank you very much. To make matters worse, the New York Times endorsed McCain over the other Republican contenders during the primaries. That’s another clue he’s a liberal. But the minute he was nominated, the newspaper wouldn’t accept an editorial column he wrote, despite having just published one by Obama – that’s fair and balanced, NYT-style. Not surprisingly, the newspaper later endorsed Obama for president. How could McCain run as a tax cutter when he voted against the Bush tax cuts twice, saying they helped the rich out too much? How do you convince someone you really are in favor of expanded domestic oil drilling when you still oppose it in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? How do you convince people you are a conservative when every successful piece of legislation you’ve co-authored has the names of Kennedy, Lieberman or Feingold attached to it? How do you convince your party members you’re a conservative when you wanted to essentially grant amnesty to illegal aliens under the guise of immigration reform? The correct answer is you can’t. What McCain learned, and the Republican National Committee must realize, is that if the electorate wants to elect a liberal for high office, they’ll vote for a Democrat, and not someone posing as one. In its quest to be all things to all people, the Republican Party lost its compass and instead of turning right at the next intersection, it turned Left. In order to appease the Republican base and make himself look more conservative, McCain made a brilliant selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. She energized the base because she was a stunning contrast to him. She said and did everything the conservative Republican masses wanted to hear and see. Republicans win when there is a conservative on the ballot. Take my home state of California for example. Out of all of the ballot propositions, Californians voted against gay marriage, additional state spending on “green” issues and reduced prison terms for drug dealers. I wonder which way McCain would have voted for these issues. There is no question how Palin would have voted, and that’s what made her so attractive to the Republican base. Throughout her short political career, she has always been guided by rock-solid conservatism, and she is the most popular governor of any state. The Republican Party must have a strategic plan to win in 2012 and quit trying to be something it’s not. Sticking to Reagan conservative principles will win every time it’s tried.

Will the Real Barack Obama Please Stand Up?

Like the decades-old television game show, To Tell the Truth, it’s time for Barack Obama to stand up and tell us exactly who he is and what he intends to do as president now the election is over. Is he a centrist who can reach across the aisle to Republicans, a pseudo-conservative tax cutter or a socialist who wants to redistribute wealth? The last few weeks of the campaign have been revealing. Obama professes that he will cut taxes for “95%” of all Americans, yet only about 60% of Americans pay federal income taxes. He says anyone making under $250,000 will definitely receive a tax cut; or is it $200,000 like he said in his infomercial? That figure may even deteriorate down to $150,000 as Joe Biden has said. Which is it? Either way, the math doesn’t add up. When Obama lets the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010, your taxes will go up for sure, assuming you pay income taxes. And, when confronted with an innocent question by “Joe the Plumber,” Obama was most candid. With his off-the-cuff remark about “spreading the wealth around,” Joe successfully unmasked the covert socialistic candidate for what he really is. In Obama’s mind, when you pay no federal income taxes but receive a check from the IRS, that’s somehow a “tax cut.” In my mind, it’s welfare under the guise of spreading the wealth. If you voted for Obama, then I’m sure you’ll like his picks to replace the two most liberal Supreme Court Justices who are expected to retire soon. Why not expand the number of Justices on the Court and fill them with his cronies? The Constitution doesn’t mandate a certain number. Because liberal Democrats control both houses of Congress, what will stop them? Obama also said that he wants to create a “Civilian National Security Force.” At a campaign rally he said, “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded.” Can anyone explain to me what that is? He wants this new bureaucracy to have the same funding as the Pentagon. That’s another $400-plus billion right there. But wait! He wants to cut the Pentagon’s budget, so maybe it will only be $300 billion more after he cuts the Department of Defense 25% as Rep. Barney Frank says will happen with a Democrat majority in both houses of Congress. Either way, the concept is scary and reminds me of a secret police force that will take conservatives to a re-education camp for compulsory lessons on sharing, tolerance and why abortion is a good thing. On the energy independence front, Obama said that the coal industry will be bankrupted because of his policy of capping greenhouse emissions, and this would “necessarily” raise energy costs. So you can count on higher electricity costs as well as higher taxes, because he will not expand domestic oil drilling. The American system allows the opportunity for an extreme liberal, closet socialist, who has American haters and domestic terrorists as friends, and advocates higher taxes, a weaker national defense, direct talks with dictators, and has the middle name of “Hussein” to be president. What a country. At least I will have four years of material to write about.

Why Liberals Cannot Be Trusted With National Security

In the October 25, 2008 edition of the Standard-Times, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) provided some insights as to what we can expect if he and his fellow liberals win both houses of Congress and Sen. Barack Obama becomes president. According to the article, he called for a 25% cut in military spending, saying the Pentagon has to start choosing from its many weapons programs. “The military cuts also mean getting out of Iraq sooner,” he said. Then he added, “We don’t need all these fancy weapons.” Does cutting defense 25% while engaged in two wars make any sense? It does to liberals. Despite the fact that most of the 9/11 terrorist hijackers were in this country illegally, and many possessed multiple genuine driver licenses, liberals continue to push legislation to grant licenses to illegal aliens. Sen. Obama is in favor of illegals obtaining drivers licenses. Sen. Obama proudly reminds voters at every opportunity that he was against the war in Iraq from the beginning. John Edwards said his vote was a mistake. If the overwhelming intelligence available at the time couldn’t convince Sen. Obama that Saddam Hussein was a threat that had to be stopped, I’m afraid nothing would have convinced him to go to war to protect this country. If someone showed Obama a photograph of Bill Clinton or John Edwards passionately kissing his wife, would he say there wasn’t enough evidence to question her about it? Stanfield Turner almost single-handedly dismantled the CIA when he was Jimmy Carter’s liberal director, but he did succeed in destroying the morale among the ranks of intelligence case officers with loony ideas like only using persons with clean records as informants to gather intelligence. Please show me an informant for the CIA who doesn’t have baggage like drug dealing or human rights violations. These people possess valuable information only insiders like them have and they are willing to trade it for something valuable. The idea of only using priests and rabbis as intelligence gatherers is a very bad idea. Yet it was hailed by liberals as a necessary reform at the CIA. Liberals are also the ones who built the “wall” within the FBI’s criminal and foreign intelligence divisions and between the FBI and the CIA so they could not share information about terrorists operating in the U.S. Then liberal members of Congress had the gall to appoint Jaime S. Gorelick to the 9/11 Commission. Gorelick, as an underling to former Attorney General Janet Reno, actually wrote the Department of Justice policy that erected the wall! The commissioners didn’t have to go far to find out who was partially to blame for the tragedy. All they had to do was turn their chairs to the far Left and there she was. Despite liberals’ dismal track record on national defense policy, they claim to be every bit as patriotic and concerned about national security as conservatives. Even if you gave them the benefit of the doubt about their patriotism, they cannot point to a single policy or achievement since the dropping of the bomb on Nagasaki that has enhanced national security. Advocating a nuclear freeze during the Cold War when it was needed most, defunding anti-Communist guerrillas in Central America, voting against a missile defense shield, leaving town for a recess instead of voting on an important terrorism wiretap bill that was about to expire, and not allowing off-shore drilling for oil, readily come to mind as other examples of the weakening, not strengthening, of national security. Democrat vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden said to mark his words that a President Obama would be tested with a foreign policy crisis within the first six months of his presidency. I think he may be right, given Sen. Obama’s liberalism and lack of any meaningful experience. Putting liberals in charge of this nation’s security is a fool’s bet. In this dangerous era of Islamofacism and Russian reemergence, a liberal in charge of our national security is a nightmare that might come true this election. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict the American people will come to their senses and elect Sen. John McCain by a two-to-five point margin. We don’t have long to find out if I’m right.

Obama’s Needs His ACORN Cracked

The “Community Organization” that Sen. Barack Obama worked for and defended as its legal counsel, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, is finally having light shined on its corrupt practices. By the way, ACORN has endorsed Sen. Obama, as if that is a surprise to anyone. The FBI and state prosecutors are currently investigating ACORN for fraudulent voter registration in at least 14 states. We’re not talking about a few wayward voter registration cards being filed, but a systematic pattern of thousands of them being obviously fraudulent. Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy, Jive Turkey and the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys have all been registered to vote by ACORN employees. Wouldn’t you think that if you’re goal is to fraudulently register unqualified or non-existent voters, you would at least be smart enough to select legitimate sounding names? This illustrates the character and mores of many of Sen. Obama’s most adamant supporters. I’m guessing ACORN’s voter registration thug’s imaginations ran dry for names, so they began to harass and bribe real living people to register themselves multiple times. The New York Post reported that one young man in Cincinnati alone admitted to filing voter registration cards 72 times. "Sometimes, they come up and bribe me with a cigarette, or they'll give me a dollar to sign up," said the 19-year-old black man who wore a backwards baseball cap. The man told ACORN representatives that he had already registered, but this didn’t stop them from continuing to solicit him to register again. Wouldn’t you think that if your goal was to boost the numbers of Democrats in a particular voting district, you might get caught if you register the same person 72 times? This illustrates the brainpower of many Sen. Obama supporters. According to the same article, there was a case in Connecticut where a seven year old girl was registered to vote. Wouldn’t you think that an election official at a polling place might question the legitimacy of someone, obviously under the age of 18, if she showed up to vote? This tells me that ACORN has succeeded in registering every adult Sen. Obama supporter and cartoon character there is as Democrats. There’s no one left to bribe or intimidate. Last April, eight ACORN workers in St. Louis city and county plead guilty to federal election fraud for submitting false registration cards for the 2006 election. Jess Ordower, ACORN’s Midwest director said “It's par for the course. When you're doing more registrations than anyone else in the country, some don't want low-income people being empowered to vote. There are pretty targeted attacks on us, but we're proud to be out there doing the patriotic thing getting people registered to vote." I hate to be the one to break it to Mr. Ordower, but committing voter fraud and stealing elections are not things patriots do. Mr. Ordower said that ACORN registered about 53,500 people in Missouri this year. That’s a pretty scary thought, considering the organization’s well deserved reputation for engaging in voter fraud. If you divide 53,500 by 72, the amount of times the guy in New York registered, you would only need 743 people willing to do the same thing. It would probably take 15 minutes and 38 cartons of cigarettes to find those many people willing to complete multiple Missouri voter registration cards. All of this exemplifies the need for a federal uniform standard for voter registration; one that can be crosschecked among states. Besides being at least 18 years old, a person needs to personally appear at a voter registration office, present valid government identification, prove citizenship, and have his photo taken so it can appear in a voter registration data base for later comparison. No more same day, motor-voter or registering by mail or by special interest groups. No more paid ACORN employees standing in front of liquor stores, signing up thousands of people, and then dumping all of the registration cards on the registrar of voters office at 4 PM the last day they are accepted for an upcoming election. For the convenience of our “low-income” community, mobile registration vans could visit these areas of their jurisdiction to facilitate the process. No one would be left out or disenfranchised except the frauds. ACORN has been around 30 years and claims to be non-partisan. Democratic politicians have funneled tax money to it all this time to help fund its Left wing agenda. ACORN’s involvement in the subprime mortgage lending mess has not yet been fully uncovered. ACORN is a nut that needs to be cracked and fed to the birds.

Ask the Troops: Left to Them, It Would Be McCain in a Landslide

It’s no wonder that, in 2000, the lawyers for Vice President Al Gore attempted to have the courts throw out the absentee ballots of Floridian military members when they challenged George W. Bush’s win of the state, which gave him the presidency. Does the military attract patriotic, conservative men and women from all socio-economic backgrounds? Or do military members become politically conservative once they are charged with the nation’s defense? In its October 13, 2008 edition, the Army Times published the results of a poll of 4,300 readers of Military Times publications, which includes weekly newspapers geared for members of the Navy, Marines and Air Force. The poll asked: “If the presidential election were held today, for whom would you vote?” The results were consistent among all the services. Respondents from all ranks overwhelmingly supported Sen. John McCain over Sen. Barack Obama. Enlisted people supported him 67% to 23%, and officers did the same by a 70% to 22% margin. It was no surprise to me to see that Marines favored McCain over Obama 75% to 18%. Does that surprise anyone? Guard and Reserve members favored McCain over Obama 71% to 21%. Military retirees also supported McCain over Obama 72% to 20%. Overall, men supported McCain over Obama 70% to 22%; women 53% to 36%. White service members favored McCain 76% versus 17% for Obama. Conversely, black service members supported Obama over McCain 79% to 12%. Sound familiar? Obama enjoys about 95% support among black civilians. Hispanic service members from all branches of the military supported McCain 63% compared to 27% for Obama. The military is a reflection of American society as a whole. It is not a social experiment. It is the product of a diverse make-up of Americans and offers more consistent equal opportunities for jobs and promotions than any other employer in the nation. The military respondents were also asked specific questions about which candidate would do a better job as president handling domestic issues, such as education and the economy. McCain wins again, 53% versus 33% for Obama. Obviously some McCain supporters thought Obama would do a better job on domestic issues, but felt that overall McCain would make a better president. As with civilians, the war in Iraq ranked third behind the candidates’ character and the economy as the top issues among respondents. In the equivalent 2004 survey, Iraq was the most important issue. Did the respondents in this survey pick McCain over Obama as a result of Obama’s stated defense policies? Did they know that, although Obama is not in favor of returning the draft, he does favor requiring women to register with the Selective Service? He also wants to revisit the restriction on women serving in combat roles. Obama has long supported drawing down in Iraq, possibly without regard to the current situation on the ground or the advice of his commanders. He is on record of wanting to halt missile defense research. Did these Obama policies influence the respondents of the survey? Obama wants more troops in Afghanistan. If he becomes president, the first Pentagon briefing will inform him that there aren’t any more troops to send to Afghanistan. Will that prompt him to immediately and completely abandon Iraq and send those soldiers to Afghanistan? Such a move to withdraw troops prematurely, and so close to victory, could dismantle all that has been accomplished, and the respondents of the survey know it. Although Obama has criticized McCain for not doing enough for wounded soldiers, 73% of the survey’s respondents said that McCain would do a better job as president handling military personnel issues such as pay and benefits. Obama only received 18%. Go figure. Maybe soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen realize that Obama’s economic policies will leave little for their families and nation’s defense. American voters should not be surprised by the survey’s results. The troops have the greatest stake in the outcome of the election.

Joe the Plumber vs. the Media Goliath

Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, a.k.a “Joe the Plumber,” was in his Holland, Ohio home, minding his own business, when he looked out the window and saw Sen. Barack Obama doing neighborhood canvassing. Joe seized the opportunity to ask the Democrat presidential candidate a tax policy question that has resonated with the American people. Joe walked up to Sen. Obama and asked him if he believed in the American dream. He tells the candidate that he intended to purchase a plumbing business that made more than $250,000 per year, and then asked him, “You’re tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?” Sen. Obama gave a politician’s explanation why he would raise Joe’s taxes, and then made an off-the-cuff remark: “. . . I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” Joe had singlehandedly managed to get him to admit that his tax policy was designed to raise taxes on people earning over $250,000 for the purpose of redistributing it to those who didn’t – the classic definition of socialism. That’s when all hell broke loose for poor Joe. The mainstream media unleashed its full force against him. They set out to destroy the credibility of a man who asked an innocent question, as if the questioner was a plant for Sen. McCain. How dare this man question the socialistic intentions of the media’s messiah? The media’s instant background investigation of Joe revealed that he was an employee of a licensed plumber, not a licensed plumber himself. They revealed that he had tax problems, and had been slapped with a couple of tax liens on his home. They got a statement from the local plumbers union stating that he was “impersonating a plumber,” implying he was a criminal. What they uncovered was that Joe was overregulated and overtaxed. What does Joe’s background have to do with the question he asked? Absolutely nothing, but it served as a way to divert attention from the question that revealed Sen. Obama’s naked Left-wing leanings, and that he wants to take away from the haves and give to the have-nots. John McCain invoked Joe the Plumber’s name almost a dozen times in the last presidential debate that night to illustrate Sen. Obama’s redistribution scheme. Joe became an instant celebrity and hero of conservatives. Sen. Obama never called the dogs off. He watched as his media attackers continued to malign him. Is Sen. Obama a socialist? There is a Sen. Obama Internet ad urging you to “Calculate your Obama tax cut.” I filled in the boxes indicating that I hypothetically earned $20,000, was married filing jointly with my wife, had two children, child care expenses and college expenses, and was paying a mortgage. The Obama calculator revealed that I would receive a $2,365 tax cut, plus a $4,000 tax credit on college expenses and a 50 percent tax credit on my savings. Considering that someone earning only $20,000 does not pay any federal income taxes, the “tax cut” this fictitious person would receive is actually a welfare check financed through Sen. Obama’s redistribution of wealth scheme. So there’s no question what Sen. Obama told Joe about spreading the wealth around was exactly what he intends to do. Joe’s crime was that he got Sen. Obama to admit it. And Sen. Obama’s supporters continued to lie about another incident that occurred at a recent Sen. McCain rally. The media widely reported that people in the crowd at a McCain rally was whipped to frenzy by Gov. Sarah Palin by mentioning Sen. Obama’s association with another socialist, former Weatherman founder Bill Ayers. The media alleged that some Sen. McCain supporters in the crowd yelled, “Kill him! Kill him!” referring to Sen. Obama. The Secret Service launched an investigation into the threats to one of its protectees. Its investigation revealed that there were undercover Secret Service agents spread among the crowd, and none of them heard anyone yelling “Kill him!” What they did hear was people saying, “Tell him, tell him!” when a particularly good point was made by Gov. Sarah Palin about Sen. Obama – quite a difference. But was that ever reported by the mainstream media? Since the last presidential debate and the emergence of Joe, Sen. Obama has lost three points in the polls. Conservatives have made Joe the poster boy of the McCain campaign. Voters are beginning to wake up to Sen. Obama’s wealth redistribution scheme. Joe slayed Goliath by exposing Sen. Obama for what he is. Nice job, Joe.

Why Obama Cannot Be Trusted with National Security

It was revealing what Sen. Barack Obama didn't say during the first presidential candidate debate with Sen. John McCain, when they finally got around to foreign policy. Obama has said that he will "end misguided defense policies" - the same policies that have kept America at arm's length from attacks by Russia, North Korea and Iran, to name only a few countries that would welcome America's demise. These policies have also kept us from additional attacks on the homeland by transnational terrorist organizations. But to listen to Obama, he would change all that. This is precisely the "change" he says this country "needs." Sen. Obama consistently said he would end the war in Iraq and that he planned to "immediately begin to remove combat troops not in six months or one year, but now." He has since modified that with a timetable for withdrawal depending on the situation on the ground. That's what he says now, but as Commander-in-Chief, he could revert to his original statement without regard to the consequences. What is more disturbing is his statement that he would "cut investments in our wasteful missile defense systems." These systems are designed to deter and defeat missile launches from Russia, North Korea and soon from Iran, which despite world condemnation, seems hell-bent on developing nuclear weapons. A few months ago, in a muscle-flexing exercise, Iran test-fired mobile missiles capable of carrying nukes. Investing in missile defense systems could save us from a catastrophe. Obama said he will not weaponize space and will slow development of future combat systems. Why? The Chinese launched a missile that destroyed one of its aging satellites as proof it has this capability. Russia just announced plans to upgrade its nuclear deterrence system by 2020, which include new nuclear submarines and a space-based defense system. So why would we abandon such combat systems? Sen. Obama's naïveté is obvious. He wants to set a goal of "a world without nuclear weapons." Why would you abandon the very weapon that has deterred the old Soviet Union, present-day Russia and China from attacking us? Mutually assured destruction worked for over 40 years, and deterred rogue nations from using one of their nukes for fear of being destroyed by hundreds of ours. But Obama wants to eliminate this time-tested deterrent. Like a handgun in a woman's purse, nuclear weapons are the great American equalizer. When faced with an overwhelming number of conventional forces on the battlefield, nuclear weapons can drastically reduce the enemy's numbers. Does Obama propose expanding the armed forces to make up for the lack of nuclear weapons? The simple answer is no. He also does not want to develop new nuclear weapons, and seeks a global ban on fissile material. Would that include material necessary for the development of nuclear power plants? While the U.S. further reduces its number of nuclear weapons, the Russians are developing more powerful, multiple-warhead weapons. Nuclear weapons aren't something you build and put in a glass box to break in case of an emergency. They must be maintained, and research needs to continue to make them more effective. Obama has also said he would "negotiate with Russia to take Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles off hair trigger alert and achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenal." He doesn't seem to understand that negotiating to reduce your own defenses not only is perceived by the Russians as foolhardy, but also portrays weakness. They already have over twice as many nuclear weapons as we do, so what's the justification to further reduce? Obama showed his complete misunderstanding of America's threats when he called Iran, Cuba and Venezuela "tiny countries" that did not pose a threat like Russia. Even he realized what a knuckleheaded, naïve statement that was, and later clarified that he thought they did pose a significant threat to us after all. If this had been the only misstatement Obama made concerning national defense, then you might give him a pass. But when you take his statements in totality, his vision of securing America becomes clear. He has chosen a path to weaken and not strengthen America's national security. That's definitely change we do not need. The Clinton Administration cut intelligence and defense spending by 35%, and we are suffering for it now. How deep will a President Obama further cut America's ability to defend herself?

The Road to Hell, and Financial Meltdown, Is Paved with Liberal Good Intentions

In a recent appearance on the Today Show, former President Bill Clinton so much as admitted that during his administration he and his fellow Democrats pressured lending institutions to make sub-prime loans to the poor and minorities in an effort to increase the percentage of American home ownership. Matt Lauer referred to a September 1999 New York Times article that pointed out the Clinton Administration "pressured Fannie Mae to increase the number of lower and middle income families and individuals who could get a mortgage and thus own a home." To accomplish that, Lauer read from the article, "Fannie Mae lowered its standards for credit, (creating) the sub-prime mortgages." Lauer pointed out that the article said that although it was "well intentioned, it was also dangerous." President Clinton told Matt Lauer that ". . . it looks like that was true," but that he had to take in consideration what was happening at the time this was done. He cited a balanced budget, a budget surplus, a rapidly growing economy and too much money going back to Fannie Mae shareholders and executives as reasons to justify this affirmative action policy. Just because there are fewer cars on the road at 3 a.m. doesn't justify driving a car blindfolded. You have to consider the probable ramifications if you drive blindfolded. And, you have to consider the probable ramifications to the economy if you give loans to people who cannot or will not pay them back. The pressure by the Clinton White House and Democratic-controlled Congress on banks to grant "sub-prime" loans to the poor and middle-class minorities set off alarm bells with economists who warned of a financial disaster looming if the housing bubble burst. They knew that these mortgage borrowers wouldn't have enough equity to pay off their loans by selling their homes. Couple that with "creative financing" from lending institutions that allowed no down payment, no employment verification, super low teaser starter rates that adjusted upwards in a few years, and allowing consideration of welfare payments as credible sources of income for credit worthiness, created the recipe for the disaster that we have now. The Democrats' definition of "affordable housing" is lending money to people who have no chance of paying it back. Lenders made money with each loan origination, and then they would repackage loans to larger institutions to keep the loans afloat. Credit has tightened up considerably from the days when merely having a pulse qualified you for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan. Now the pendulum has swung the other way. A realtor friend of mine said she was having a hard time qualifying a buyer for a high-end home because he had only been at his new job for 11 months. The fact he had impeccable credit and held a long-time job prior to changing employers less than a year ago didn't matter to the lender. The Democrats are desperately looking for a Republican scapegoat. Fingers are being pointed at John McCain, SEC Chairman Chris Cox, President Bush and even Ronald Reagan for promoting deregulation when he said, and correctly so, that government isn't the solution to a problem, it is the problem. There is no better example of the government being the problem than this current crisis. This is what happens when you elect "well-intentioned" liberals to the presidency and Congress instead of leaders who are practical problem solvers. Barack Obama epitomizes a liberal with good intentions. Who doesn't want affordable housing, alternative forms of energy, great schools, better infrastructure, affordable health care for all and a clean environment? But achieving these things requires sensible plans that will not destroy the economy and place our national security at risk. If Americans ever needed to wake up to which political party offers the adult leadership required to get us out of this mess, achieve energy independence and secure victory over terrorism, this is the time. Feel-good, well-intended, politically correct liberal politicians must not be allowed to do further damage. They need to be rounded up and held in captivity until they breed themselves out of existence.

‘New York Times’ Editors Are No Crime-Solvers

A recent New York Times editorial criticizing the Federal Bureau of Investigation about its seven-year probe into the mailing of anthrax-laden letters to members of Congress, prominent media figures and others is a direct attempt to plant doubt in the minds of its diminishing readership. The editorial read, “None of the investigators’ major assertions, however, have been tested in cross-examination . . .” Sorry, that test is moot when the suspect kills himself. Dr. Bruce Ivins, a mentally unbalanced scientist at the U.S. Army’s laboratories at Fort Detrick, Maryland, killed himself once he was informed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office that he was the subject of a federal grand jury inquiry. The Times editorial also stated that “. . . there is no direct evidence of his guilt. No witnesses saw him pouring powdered anthrax into envelopes. No Anthrax spores in his house or cars. No confession to a colleague or in a suicide note. No physical evidence tying him to the site in Princeton, New Jersey from which the letters are believed to have been mailed.” I guess if CNN wasn’t there to film the event, then it didn’t happen. Why would a criminal allow someone to witness his criminal act? Would you bring dangerous anthrax spores inside your house or car if you had safe access to them at work? How much physical evidence can there be if you wore gloves to drop an envelope into a mail box within a day’s driving distance of your home? I think the paper’s editorial staff has been watching too many episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Watching such TV shows gives you just enough knowledge to be dangerous. “Hey, FBI, where’s his DNA, huh?” One of the first things you learn as a criminal investigator is to not make a mystery out of something that isn’t. The evidence speaks for itself, and one piece of evidence is rarely enough to convince anyone, especially investigators, that a particular person committed a crime. It’s always the totality of the evidence that will prove guilt. FBI agents looked for a suspect who had the three main ingredients necessary to commit the crime – opportunity, knowledge and motive. Without the first two, it is impossible to have committed the crime. Motive can enhance the evidence, but it is not necessary to prove in a court of law. A businessman who has a great motive to murder his business partner for ruining the business cannot be a suspect if he was in jail for drunk driving when his partner was killed. Another factor the Times discounts is that, unlike a conspiracy, in which two or more people act in concert to reach their goal, no one but the culprit knows who committed the crime. When co-conspirators or accomplices do not exist, the investigation becomes all the more difficult to crack because one suspect cannot be played against the other, and there are fewer people to make a mistake. The FBI solved this case by utilizing good old (and new) fashioned police work. Agents looked for someone who had the opportunity to commit the crime, and the knowledge to pull it off. When a killer uses a highly toxic biological agent as a weapon, he must know what he is doing to avoid accidentally killing himself in the process – thus the focus on the Fort Detrick laboratory. The FBI showed that Dr. Ivins had acquired the equipment necessary to turn wet anthrax into dry spores for mailing. That’s what we call in the business a “clue.” And the FBI laboratory scientifically proved that a telltale genetic mutation in the anthrax that was mailed had the same mutations present in a flask maintained by him at his workplace. That’s called direct physical evidence, which connects Dr. Ivins to the murder weapon that the Times said didn’t exist. Sounds like pretty good police work to me. I guess without a videotape of the late Dr. Ivins pouring the anthrax spores into an envelope, and a written confession using an FBI agent’s blood as ink, the Times will never be satisfied that he committed the crime. But you must consider the source of the criticism. The Times wouldn’t support his death penalty either if he was convicted. The FBI did a phenomenally thorough job. The individual agents and criminalists involved should be commended by Congress, not probed by it for the adequacy of the investigation, as the Times editorial has called for.

House Democrats Embrace Drilling! Kind Of. Sort Of. Not Really . . .

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi led the charge and rallied her troops to stop any notion the Republicans have of expanding oil drilling in an effort to make the country less dependent on foreign crude. She and her cohorts abandoned Washington, turned off the lights and shut the microphones off at the Capitol building, leaving Republican lawmakers literally standing in the dark talking to each other about the importance of expanding domestic oil drilling. What a difference a few weeks makes. Poll after poll reveals the American people want expanded domestic oil drilling, and they want it now. Democrat representatives apparently read the polls too, and they were running scared that their core values were being challenged by the voters. The higher the poll numbers in favor of drilling, the lower the approval ratings of Congress dropped. The American people rightfully viewed Congress as blocking the path to the obvious solution to the problem – drill baby, drill! Americans saw through the ridiculous excuses the Democrats were offering not to drill. Even Sen. Barack Obama warmed up to the idea of increased domestic drilling. He said that as president he would sign a bill increasing domestic drilling if it included providing for alternative means of energy research and production. Guess he also got the Democrat talking points memo about faking that you are for increased drilling. To hear the Democrats talk now, you would think they came up with the idea instead of opposing it. President Bush pushed the Democrat-led Congress to the edge of the cliff by indicating that he might not support additional spending bills unless it allowed a longstanding moratorium on offshore drilling to expire at the end of this month. This Congress has a well-deserved reputation for doing nothing, so please continue doing nothing and let the moratorium expire. Democrat voters must wonder what is going on with their Democrat representatives, especially with the leadership displayed by House Speaker Pelosi. It appeared that they were going to stick by their warped core values and fight for what they perceived as right. But as usual, being politicians, they rolled over after moistening their forefingers to feel which way the wind was blowing. Their method of governing by polls is the only thing prompting them to finally get on board with drilling. Getting re-elected and retaining power are obviously more important to them than sticking by what they believe to be right, even when it’s wrong. The hue and cry for more and cheaper energy trumped their goal of reducing gasoline consumption by allowing prices to go through the roof. I’m not complaining that the Democrats are on board with offshore drilling. I’m merely pointing out that they will say and do whatever is necessary to remain in office. Their flip-flop and loud chants of “drill, drill” will last until the election is over, then it will be back to gridlock as usual. I find it hard to believe that this sudden conversion is genuine. Democrat representatives will now have re-election-campaign bragging rights that they too supported the concept of additional drilling, although they secretly hope that the moratorium will be extended. The compromise bill in the House authorizes drilling along the entire U.S. coastline, if the individual states affected approve drilling in their own back yard. And the drilling would only be permitted between 50 and 100 miles offshore. This seems like weak-kneed leadership to me. Why not let drilling take place where oil is most likely to be found, as opposed to over the horizon where derricks can’t be seen? Democrats won’t allow that because the oil companies might find crude there. They want it both ways – increase oil drilling, but not where you might find it. More crude means lower gas prices, and that’s a sin according to their religion of ecology. They would be perfectly satisfied to turn the clock back 100 years and wait for undeveloped or non-existent technologies to take the place of gasoline, power generation and heating. All of this illustrates the tremendous lack of leadership in Congress. Instead of being in favor of reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, reducing the trade deficit and keeping dollars here, Democrats want the opposite. Democrats would like you to believe they’re for more drilling, when in reality, they will drop that proposal like a red hot solar panel if Barack Obama gets the keys to the White House.

Pakistan Under Zardari: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

One year ago, I went to a conference attended by government and industrial leaders in Aspen, Colorado. To my surprise, a featured speaker was former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. She was within weeks of returning to Pakistan from exile to seek an unprecedented third term as that nation’s leader. Benazir said exactly what she needed to say to appease the audience and assure them that her intentions were to cooperate with the United States in the war on terror, and that Pakistan would remain a staunch ally. When asked by moderator Charlie Rose if the United States was assisting her in regaining power, she jokingly said that she had hoped that Donald Rumsfeld, who was in the audience, would whisper in President Bush’s ear and suggest he make a phone call to Pervez Musharraf and ask him to step down. She charmed the audience and left everyone with a good feeling about her return to Pakistan in an effort to bring civilian rule to her fledging homeland. Three weeks later, Benazir Bhutto received a resounding welcome in Karachi, Pakistan, and moments later a massive explosion killed over a hundred well-wishers in an assassination attempt. Six weeks later, near Islamabad, shrapnel from a suicide bombing pierced her skull and killed her instantly as she waved to the crowd of supporters through the opened sunroof of her armored SUV. One step forward, two steps backward in Pakistan’s progress. I was assigned as a DEA agent to the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, and later the consulate in Karachi, when Benazir Bhutto was prime minister. She, like her father, who was hanged when he held the same office, was loved by the people, but not the established political hacks. The fact that she was a woman didn’t seem to make a difference, even in this Muslim nation. Her biggest baggage while in office was her husband through an arranged marriage, Asif Ali Zardari. Zardari exhibited little interest in politics. He left that to his wife. He was more interested in raising polo horses, foreign travel, women – and earning the reputation of being “Mr. 10 Percent.” He spent 11 years in prison on corruption and murder charges, but was never convicted. Zardari took full advantage of his wife’s position, and demanded 10% of any new building project in Pakistan’s largest city and only seaport, Karachi. He intimidated builders, bankers and businessmen into paying. The nickname did not come out of thin air. But consider where he is. Pakistan has had endemic corruption since its beginnings. Anyone in a position above someone else asks for a bribe – that’s just the way it is there, and in many parts of the world. But Pakistan seems especially corrupt. The old joke is that Pakistan bribed Nigeria to drop out so it could win the contest for “World’s Most Corrupt Nation” still holds true. Uniformed police officers would approach and hit up my teenaged sons for “tea money.” It didn’t matter to them that they were diplomatic passport holders and held diplomatic immunity. They wanted their 50 rupees ($1.10 at the time). Benazir was eventually forced out by the opposition party led by Nawaz Sharif, who proved to be the biggest oaf the country ever experienced. Her administration was accused of corruption, but no one could prove she was corrupt. Pakistan has never had a civilian ruler who has served out their entire consecutive terms in office before being ousted. Benazir knew corruption when she saw it. She replaced the totally corrupt and completely inept Pakistan Narcotics Control Board (PNCB) with a branch of the most respected institution in the country, the army. Her intentions were good, but the newly established Anti-Narcotic Force (ANF) took about six months to realize how lucrative the job was. Before you knew it, the corruption in the ANF rivaled the old PNCB. With Benazir’s widower being installed as the new president, I can predict a wave of increased militant anti-government activity in the Northwest Frontier Provence near the Afghan border, and a unilateral invasion by American troops to seek and destroy militants, Taliban and al Qaeda elements. The Pakistani government won’t, and the civilian government would be placed in jeopardy of being overtaken by Muslim extremists due to the lack of any action or commitment by the new leadership. When challenged, Zardari will imprison opposition leaders and do all the other things tin-horn dictators do to remain in power. Zardari is no friend of the United States, and his focus will be on what’s in it for him instead of what’s good for Pakistan.

Sarah Palin: The Antidote for Obama and Biden (Oh, and McCain, Too)

John McCain’s announcement that his vice-presidential choice was Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was a surprise. As usual, whenever the networks and pundits come up with their own short list of candidates, they fall short. No one saw this one coming. The networks and pundits seem offended that they were wrong once again. They immediately launched attacks on Gov. Palin for her “inexperience,” and proclaimed that Sen. McCain had now disarmed himself by no longer being able to criticize Sen. Barack Obama for not having the experience necessary to be commander-in-chief. At least, that’s how biased media pundits and anchors see things. Sen. Obama’s campaign staff was quoted as saying something to the effect that being a small town mayor hardly qualifies someone to be president. They conveniently forgot to mention she’s now a governor. For openers, Gov. Palin’s executive government experience only amplifies Sen. Obama’s lack of it, and focuses undecided voters’ attention on it. She’s a popular sitting governor who won her position despite tremendous odds. She took on the “old boy network,” tackled corruption in her own party and provided the charisma and leadership Alaskans desperately wanted. Although she has only two years in office, that’s two more years of executive experience than Senators McCain, Obama and Biden have. Prior to being governor, she was the mayor of her hometown, a suburb of Anchorage, which gives her even more executive experience in issues like public safety and education. Being a woman doesn’t hurt a bit, especially if you are a former beauty queen. Many argue that this was her biggest asset – a move to woo Hillary Clinton supporters and independents to Sen. McCain’s camp. But she’s not just a woman. She’s a woman’s woman many real men can relate to. How many women do you know with five children who are avid hunters, members of the NRA and were star players on their high school state championship basketball team, not to mention being expert in energy policy and production? She’s the mother of a soldier who deploys to Iraq next month. How many men in office do you know have these qualities? Gov. Palin’s conservative credentials are the needed antidote for Sen. Joe Biden and Sen. McCain. Sen. Biden is the third-most liberal member of the Senate. His voting record is only behind that of Sen. Ted Kennedy and, you guessed it, Sen. Barack Obama. Palin is unapologetic about being pro-Second Amendment and pro-life. She recently gave birth to her son knowing beforehand he had Down Syndrome. So what makes Gov. Palin qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? Plenty. Above all, she’s a true conservative the Republican base can embrace. Republicans, who yearned for a conservative nominee, got what they wanted with Gov. Palin. She may lack experience in foreign affairs, but so did Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, and the latter defeated the Soviet Union and won the Cold War. Not bad for a rookie. President Reagan had a conservative vision and followed through on it, and we’ve all benefited from that vision ever since. Jimmy Carter, on the other hand, being guided by extreme liberal principles, like Sen. Obama, managed singlehandedly to make America weak, turned Iran into what it is today, created the first oil crisis, drove interest rates to all-time highs and ruined the economy in four short years. The direct and circumstantial evidence is that a Gov. Palin Administration, should there ever be one, would also follow core conservative principles and beliefs. When you have core conservative beliefs and principles to guide you, there is little mystery how you would govern, and how successful you will be. When someone is wishy-washy, and tries to be all things to all people, nothing gets done. All they manage to do is irritate everyone. Gov. Palin has no record of being anything but a principled conservative whose goal is to do what’s right instead of what’s popular. The dirty little secret is that the Democrats are terrified of Gov. Palin. Her principled governance of Alaska, coupled with her personal values, makes her bulletproof, and they know it. The howling hasn’t stopped yet, so you know her selection was a stroke of genius on Sen. McCain’s part.

Joe Biden: Obama’s ‘Evil Twin’

Despite Sen. Joe Biden’s denial on Meet the Press and other media outlets that he was not interested, it seems as though his insider supporters lobbied heavily for him to be Sen. Barack Obama’s pick for vice president. I hardly think these supporters did this without the knowledge and consent of Sen. Biden. According to the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Biden’s “team” sold Sen. Obama on Joe’s “humble roots” by pitching his poverty compared to other senators, and his strong foreign policy experience. His team would like you to believe that commuting by train to and from Delaware to the nation’s capital means he’s not a Washington insider despite being a U.S. senator since he was 30 years old. His alleged modest lifestyle also was a major attraction to Sen. Obama’s VP vetting team because he listed his net worth between $59,000 and $366,000. Shortly after the announcement that Sen. Biden was Sen. Obama’s pick as his running mate, the media flocked to Joe’s “humble” home. From what I saw on cable news channels, Humble Joe’s home looked more like a compound. I wonder how many kitchen tables he has to choose from to discuss family matters. News anchors said the mansion in the camera’s view actually belonged to his mother, the wife of the equally humble car dealer who helped raise Joe. Somebody must have sold a lot of cars during his career. I find it hard to believe that after receiving a senator’s salary for over 30 years, plus his PhD-wife’s income, that they haven’t amassed over $366,000 in net assets. The landscaping at his compound probably cost more than that. Sen. Biden’s camp torpedoed the chances of front-runner Indiana Sen. Even Bayh, when they discovered that his wife made nearly $1 million annually from sitting on various corporate boards. What does her salary have to do with Sen. Bayh’s ability to be vice president? It’s all about perception. It’s hard to be humble when you earn $1 million a year. But Sen. Biden’s biggest attraction was his potential to capture scarce working-class white peoples’ votes, something Sen. Obama was not able to do during the primaries in states like Pennsylvania, which is where Joe grew up. How does one promote changing Washington when you have the consummate Washington insider as your VP? If Sen. Biden has so much experience in foreign relations, wouldn’t he make a better Secretary of State, who can actually do something as opposed to a vice president whose only official job is to vote in the Senate as a tiebreaker? Does Sen. Biden remaining a senator prevent him from consulting with the president on crucial foreign relations issues? One reason Sen. Biden was picked was to fill the void of experience voters recognize Sen. Obama does not have. But picking Sen. Biden still won’t make Sen. Obama more experienced. Sen. Biden is Sen. Obama’s evil twin. It’s hard to turn a family member down when he asks for a job. Humble Joe seems to feel about blacks and other minorities the same way Sen. Obama feels about typical white people who cling to their Bibles and guns during hard times. Humble Joe was recorded by the Washington Post editorial board as saying that the reason Washington D.C. schools are failing is that they are inundated by blacks whose mothers don’t read to their children before they enter school, unlike white women. The real reason couldn’t have something to do with the school’s educational philosophy and liberal curriculum, could it? At another event, he was recorded saying that you couldn’t go to a 7-Eleven or Dunkin’ Donuts store in Delaware unless you have a slight Indian accent. But Sen. Biden’s supporters dismiss his biases by saying, “That’s just Joe.” Sen. Biden forgot to mention in his acceptance speech at the Democrat National Convention that he has the U.S. Senate’s third most liberal voting record, just slightly behind the most liberal record, that of Sen. Obama. He favored immigration reform that essentially provided immunity for illegals, he’s against the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and voted against renewing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He also wanted to divide Iraq into three nations: Kurd, Shiite and Sunni. Like his twin, Sen. Biden also fully supports abortion on demand, said the surge wouldn’t work and never met a strict constructionist jurist he liked for the Supreme Court. Sen. Biden’s higher “pay grade” as vice president won’t change his liberal Beltway mentality, but it will finally get him out of the Senate.

Joe Lieberman? Say It Ain’t So, John

The wild rumor last week was that Republican Sen. John McCain has decided on tapping Independent-Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman as his vice-presidential nominee. If so, that would mean that 3.5 out of four persons running for the top two political positions in our country are full-fledged Democrats. Most Republicans think McCain is half-Democrat, thus the .5 percentage point was added. Just when McCain was beginning to lead in the polls against Barack Obama, the rumor mill started that Lieberman was his favorite pick for the presidential ticket. Hasn’t Lieberman been there and done that? Isn’t the fact he was the vice-presidential nominee for Al Gore disqualifying in and of itself? Granted, Lieberman is a Democrat who has stood by McCain throughout the campaign, and I have to give him credit for his support, but not at the cost of him being McCain’s running mate. If Lieberman wasn’t inclined to leave the Democrat Party after it did all it could to sabotage his re-election to the Senate, what makes us believe he would leave it now? I’m assuming, of course, that he would declare himself a Republican at its national convention. Why didn’t Lieberman switch parties so the Republicans would have a slim majority in the Senate and be rid of the likes of Majority Leader Harry “The War is Lost” Reid? Personally, I like my Republican presidential and vice-presidential candidates to both be Republicans. Sen. McCain has nothing to gain by adding Sen. Lieberman to the ticket. In fact, he has everything to lose. He may be strong on national defense, but Lieberman is a northeastern liberal at heart with a liberal social ideology. The fact that he was Al Gore’s running mate speaks for itself. When you consider all the outstanding vice-presidential candidates out there to choose from, it’s all the more absurd that McCain would even consider a pure-bred Democrat like Lieberman. How could McCain consider him to be more qualified than Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal or even Lindsey Graham? What’s wrong with Fred Thompson or Tim Pawlenty? Heck, I’ll take the job if nobody else wants it. Sen. McCain has to take on a conservative vice-presidential nominee to appease his base. There are still strongholds of Republicans who don’t care for McCain, although the more they know about Barack Obama, the better McCain looks, even for the most diehard Republican. But picking a Democrat for his running mate will unravel any inroads he has made within the conservative Republican base. Hopefully Sen. Lieberman will realize he will do more harm than good for his friend John McCain, and decline the offer for the number two spot on the Republican ticket. Lieberman would do the country a better service by abandoning his party, which tried to unseat him, and go to the opposite side of the aisle. That would earn him the admiration and respect of all Republicans, and teach the Democrats that it doesn’t pay to screw over members of its own party. Sen. McCain has a well-deserved reputation for reaching across the aisle and making compromises with his political opponents, as evidenced by his being a member of the so-called Gang of 14, which broke the Senate stalemate on judicial nominations. But he doesn’t need to further prove he is a “maverick” and go against the Republican grain. He’s done that many times already by opposing tax cuts and only recently calling for additional domestic drilling so this country can achieve energy independence. I’m going out on a limb and predicting that Sen. McCain will recover from his brain freeze and pick Tom Ridge as his running mate. Gov. Ridge may not be pro-life, but he has executive, managerial and national security experience few others do. Picking a pro-choice candidate like Ridge will once again show that McCain is willing to buck some Republicans for the sake of finding someone he believes is truly qualified to be vice president and would appeal to independents and moderate Democrats. As is usually the case, the more the media is sure that a particular person is going to be the vice-presidential nominee, the least likely it is to happen. I hope that is the case with Sen. Joe Lieberman.

The VP Choice: Obama’s First Executive Decision

For someone who strives to become the 44th president of the United States, it’s hard to imagine that Sen. Barack Obama has never made an executive decision in his entire professional career. His first executive decision will be his pick for vice president. At least Sen. John McCain was a Navy Captain who ran the service’s largest air-squadron. Naval officers take on management responsibilities from the day they report to their first duty station. He approved expenditures, formulated budgets, assigned and managed key personnel and was responsible for the overall management and safety of the squadron. Sen. Obama, on the other hand, has only managed to get himself to work in the morning. Sen. Obama’s selection for VP will be telling. Will he select someone who is best qualified, or most politically expedient? The chances of him selecting a highly qualified woman is virtually nil, thanks to his narrow defeat of Sen. Hillary Clinton. To choose a woman other than her would be an act of political suicide with his base because her many hard-core female supporters would simply abandon him. He also won’t select Hillary as his running mate because he doesn’t want to be upstaged by her, and he doesn’t want former President Bill Clinton as the first second gentleman of the country. Would you want someone like him lurking around your mansion and harassing the staff? I can’t blame Sen. Obama if he doesn’t select Hillary. Can you imagine the customary phone call the vice president makes to the president every day to inquire about his health? It would be like a death watch. “You’re still around?” She might even “accidentally” push him off the stairway of Air Force One if she had the opportunity. Many presidents were former governors where they acquired executive experience before jumping into what is arguably the biggest, most responsible job in the world. Sen. Obama’s supporters overlook his inexperience for the sake of change. Hopefully, if Sen. Obama is elected, he will have the good sense to surround himself with highly qualified advisors with expertise in everything from personnel management to national security, since he has none. So where does he go to find people with such credentials? He’s been tapping into the leftovers of the Clinton and Carter administrations. This is like hiring the captain of the Titanic to skipper your yacht. Sen. Obama has been vetting potential VPs for months. Those who weren’t vetted seem to make it a point to announce on cable news channels and Sunday news programs that they wouldn’t be interested in the position if it was offered. I’ll also put myself on record that I will not accept Sen. Obama’s kind offer to become his vice-presidential nominee. Now I don’t have to explain to my friends why I wasn’t even considered. He knew I wouldn’t accept! People who cannot control their egos like that shouldn’t be considered in the first place. Will Sen. Obama pick a VP that can help him in the Electoral College, like the eager governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine? Or will he pick someone who has foreign affairs experience like documented plagiarizer Sen. Biden, who doesn’t have an executive’s background, either? Is he looking for a clone to take his place, or someone who can advise him about the whole spectrum of management decisions that must be made as president? We should know soon. The timing of his selection will be telling as well. Will he beat Sen. McCain to the punch and make an announcement before he does, or will he wait and see who he picks before making his choice? During his rambling Press Club news conference, Rev. Jeremiah Wright volunteered to be Sen. Obama’s VP. Paris Hilton is available, and the hybrid energy policy she outlined in her tongue-in-cheek commercial for president makes more sense than Sen. Obama’s, so I guess that eliminates her. John Edwards was in the running, but his philandering pretty much sealed his fate. Still, a messiah like President Obama might resurrect Edwards to assume a cabinet position that gives him plenty of travel and a staff he can tap when he has uncontrollable urges. Whoever Sen. Obama picks for his running mate, it will reveal his executive decision-making process. Will his pick reflect who is best for him, or for his country?

Obama’s Naïve Energy Meanderings

Last Monday, presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama gave a speech in Michigan in which he said he would eliminate the nation’s dependence on foreign oil within 10 years – without drilling for any additional domestic oil. In his clouded mind, he believes we can free ourselves from our oil addiction by means of renewable forms of energy such as wind generation, solar energy and bio-fuels. And it’s only going to cost taxpayers $150 billion in “investments.” How is he going to do this, considering these energy alternatives comprise only about 3% of total energy production? He’ll simply wave his magic tire pressure gauge and command it to happen. In his speech, Sen. Obama dumbed-down his plan for energy dependence when he said, “I will set big goals for this country as president – some so large that the technology to reach them does not yet exist (emphasis added). But that has not stopped us before. When President Roosevelt's advisors informed him that his goals for wartime production were impossible to meet, he waved them off and said ‘believe me, the production people can do it if they really try.’ And they did. When the scientists and engineers told John F. Kennedy that they had no idea how to put a man on the moon, he told them they would find a way. And we found one. I believe we will again.” The difference between wartime production during World War II and now is that the country was a manufacturing giant. Factories that produced Singer sewing machines were retooled to make .45 caliber pistols. Everything was in place at the time – it was just a matter of factories changing their product to meet the country’s need. As far as NASA scientists having “no idea” how to put a man on the moon, I beg to differ. Rockets and satellites already existed. The Soviets had already orbited the Earth. I hardly think NASA was mystified about how to put a man on the moon and return him safely. Sen. Obama also said in his speech: “I stood in front of a group of automakers, and I told them that when I am president, there will be no more excuses – we will help them retool their factories, but they will have to make cars that use less oil. Now I have to admit – the room was pretty quiet after that.” I’ll bet it was. Their jaws must have dropped when they heard such an appalling statement. They must have thought, “This guy really thinks he’s a messiah.” Detroit is very good at supplying automobiles that the public demands, as evidenced by producing SUVs when gasoline prices were reasonable. I don’t think Sen. Obama needs to tell auto execs how to run their businesses, and that the demand for larger, gas-guzzling vehicles has waned. Detroit doesn’t need an excuse to produce something that is in demand. It’s basic supply-and-demand economics. But finding alternate forms of energy to replace oil, gasoline and other petroleum products is a different matter altogether when you’re anti-nuclear power, like Sen. Obama. Oil and coal burning generators produce 80% of our electricity. Only about 20% comes from nuclear power plants. The most obvious question is: How are you going to recharge all those electric cars Sen. Obama is also calling for if reliable electrical generation is not expanded? Sen. Obama would like you to believe that as president he would simply snap his fingers and command private industry to make it happen. He must really believe he is the messiah. His understanding of the situation is so atrocious that it creates serious questions about his ability to lead anything other than a horse to water. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for alternative means of energy. But the best estimates on coming up with viable, reliable new forms of alternative energy are at least 40 to 50 years away. The only way to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil without economic disaster is to produce more of what is here while simultaneously developing alternatives. Then, and only then, can you reduce your percentage of dependency on oil. Oil reduction must correlate directly with the development of new alternative forms of energy until oil becomes a thing of the past. Sen. Obama’s vision of a “clean energy future” is short-sighted, naïve and ignorant. Like other liberals, he thinks he deserves credit for having good intentions. I don’t think he should get credit for showing leadership when he doesn’t offer any specifics on how to solve the problem at hand.

Supreme Defiance: D.C. City Council Still Trying to Shred Second Amendment

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the District of Columbia's ban on firearms was unconstitutional, the City Council approved new firearms legislation that allows residents to apply for handgun permits. This is the normal course of business a governmental body takes when the Supreme Court determines whatever it was doing was unconstitutional. That is unless it's the D.C. City Council that's acting unconstitutional. The Associated Press headline was "D.C. will accept gun-permit applications." But the real headline should have been, "D.C. defies Supreme Court ruling on handguns." That's because the City Council refuses to follow the ruling of the court concerning the lawful possession and use of handguns within its city limits. The Court made it clear that the possession of a handgun for lawful purposes is constitutional - and a citizen's right is violated if the government requires him to dismantle the weapon. The new gun possession legislation the childish D.C. City Council unanimously passed does allow the possession of a handgun or other lawful weapon like a rifle or shotgun. But a condition of the permit to possess a weapon is that the firearm be kept unloaded, disassembled or equipped with a trigger lock unless there is a "reasonably perceived threat of immediate harm" in the home. One man's "reasonably perceived threat of immediate harm" is another man's capitulation. By virtue of FBI murder statistics showing D.C. is a literal shooting gallery, a reasonable man would perceive he is in constant threat of immediate harm while living there. But I digress. The City Council is hell bent on defying the Supreme Court and doing whatever it can to deny its residents the constitutional right to own and possess a firearm in their abodes for self-protection. D.C. City Council member Phil Mendleson, who helped write the bill said, "This is not perfect legislation. The first step is what we have before us today so that we maintain important provisions in our gun registration law while we continue (to) look at how we can further refine our gun registration law." Translation: We're going to stall, postpone and tweak this bill for as long as possible, and hopefully nobody will notice that we are defying the U.S. Supreme Court. In the majority opinion of the Court, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote: "The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment . . . Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional." What part of "unconstitutional" doesn't the D.C. City Council understand? Did anyone read the Court's opinion, or are they being openly defiant? Either way, it's about time the Congress spanked the City Council and took away its self-governance because it has once again proven itself incapable of self-rule. While they were at it, the City Council prohibited the possession of a "machine gun." That sounds reasonable, but in typical D.C. fashion, the Council incorrectly defined what a machine gun is. The council defined a machine gun as a weapon that shoots at least 12 rounds without reloading. That's not a machine gun, that's a semi-automatic weapon with a high-capacity magazine. All they had to do was call the national headquarters of the NRA, which is in their city, and someone there would have been glad to tell them exactly what a machine gun is. They might even show them one. But, like most liberals, they just make this stuff up as they go along. If I lived in the District of Columbia and was inclined to possess a firearm for home protection, I wouldn't be too concerned about abiding by the provisions of the city's permit mandating that I unload and dismantle my firearm. The U.S. Supreme Court has already decided those provisions of the permit are unconstitutional. So, it's a no brainer my conviction would be reversed on appeal. The City Council has actually written an ordinance that it knew beforehand was clearly unconstitutional. Only corrupt or dishonest politicians knowingly violate the U.S. Constitution, and then pat themselves on the back for making more trouble for the citizens whose rights they have violated. I'd love to see U.S. marshals arrest the D.C. City Council members and bring them to the Supreme Court before Justice Scalia, who would remand them into custody and hold them in contempt until they authored a city ordinance that complied with the Constitution. Well, I can dream, can't I?

Why $48 Billion for AIDS Funding Can't Buy You Love

The House of Representatives recently passed a bill to triple the money we give to foreign countries in their fight against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. That legislation calls for a total of $48 billion dollars over a five-year period. The Senate is expected to pass the bill, and the president has said he will sign it. After all, he broached the idea during his 2003 State of the Union speech when it came to increased funding in the fight against AIDS. Rep. Ileana Rose-Lehtinen, R-FL, said that the giveaway program has enhanced the U.S. image abroad. Enhanced our image abroad? Would $96 billion double our favorable image abroad? How stupid have we become to think that people will like us if we just give them more money? For starters, we have to accept the fact that we will always be the Great Satan to many parts of the world, regardless of how much money we throw at them. Many countries resent our culture, business sense, hard work ethics and standard of living. It seems with these countries that no matter what we say or do, their opinion of us will not change, so get over it. If sacrificing our young men and women during combat operations in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention saving thousands of people from exposure and starvation during the great tsunami, the 8.2 earthquake in Pakistan in 2005 and countless other disasters around the world, doesn't demonstrate our commitment to helping others, no amount of money will. But the biggest problem I have with such programs is that we simply cannot afford them. In light of the economy being on the verge of a recession and our being involved in two costly wars, the country cannot afford to just give money away to other nations, regardless of how worthwhile the cause. Think about this: Every dollar of foreign aid we give is borrowed money. That's like you going to your local bank and receiving an increase on your credit card limit since you’re maxed out. You take a cash advance and immediately give it away to a stranger in the hope that person will come to love and admire you. Anyone who did that in real life would be committed to a mental hospital. You know that you can't afford to borrow the money, but because you have a rich uncle named Sam who covers your wasteful and frivolous expenses – no problem! Well, in reality, the U.S. taxpayer is Uncle Sam, and he can't afford the government’s extravagance. If the country had no debt, and a surplus beyond the fiscal year’s budget expenditures, then I could understand being generous. But since we don't, forget about it. But if Congress still feels compelled to spend money like drunken sailors (my apologies to drunken sailors), then why not spend it on something that will benefit Americans for a change? According to the Black AIDS Institute, in some parts of the country, the U.S. black community rivals some African nations in its severity of AIDS cases. Why aren’t we helping these AIDS victims? I can think of a whole host of worthwhile projects the money could fund, but I would much rather it not be spent at all. That $48 billion comes to $160 for every one of this country’s 300 million citizens. Am I a Grinch because I won’t share my good fortune with others? No. I’m just being practical. The government shouldn’t borrow money that will obligate my grandchildren to pay for its generosity – that’s irresponsible. Sort of like members of Congress who have never seen a spending program they didn’t like. Many countries would take necessary steps to fund their own AIDS, malaria and TB medications if the U.S. and other donor nations didn’t provide it for them. They may not have much to spend, but preventing fatal diseases among their populations seems like a priority to me. They shouldn’t rely on a debtor nation like the U.S. to provide that preventive medicine for them.

All Hail Obama, the Novice Messiah!

Like a conquering hero, Sen. Barack Obama swept through war-torn Afghanistan and Iraq with legions of media throwing rose petals at his feet. His recent “fact finding” mission to Afghanistan and Iraq was more like a foreign affairs summer camp for the freshman senator from Illinois – a senator who has spent only 143 working days as a member of this august legislative body. In a much media-hailed foreign policy speech, Sen. Obama laid out a strategy for exiting Iraq and building forces in Afghanistan – all before he had visited the region, or consulted with any military leadership on the ground. Talk about audacity! He obviously formulates his strategy on military and foreign affairs exclusively by reading the New York Times. He hasn’t been in the Senate long enough to hear the complete analysis of the State Department and intelligence community on what’s happening in Southwest Asia and the Middle East. The much-anticipated foreign trip by the presumed Democrat presidential nominee was covered extensively by all three broadcast media news anchors, something usually done only when a president travels on an extraordinary mission to consult with world leaders. But when you consider how the mainstream media views Sen. Obama as a messiah, Katie Couric, Brian Williams and Charles Gibson didn’t want to miss witnessing him restoring a blind man’s sight, changing water into wine during a formal state dinner in Kabul or parting the Euphrates River. I’m convinced the 38 hours he spent on the ground in Afghanistan solidified his short-sighted war policy. Has anyone told Sen. Obama that the surge has worked in reducing violence in Iraq? His opinion that the surge would create more violence against American troops was dead wrong, and he ought to be man enough to admit it, and learn from it. He should realize that blunt, sustained military force works every time it’s tried. Once the enemy is defeated, then, and only then, do you consider reducing troop strength in the theater of operations. Granted, there is a resurgence of Taliban attacks in Afghanistan, and it would be great to have more troops there, as Sen. Obama has called for, but you have to have troops to send. They just don’t materialize because you wish it, even if you’re the messiah. Did someone there tell him that the war in Afghanistan is not just a U.S. effort but part of a larger NATO mission? Victory in Iraq will free up much needed manpower for redeployment to Afghanistan – defeat or retreat, as Sen. Obama has advocated, won’t. While you enjoyed the news coverage of Sen. Obama consulting with the presidents of Afghanistan and Iraq, Sen. John McCain, the presumed Republican presidential nominee (remember him?) couldn’t even get an op-ed piece published in the newspaper of record, The New York Times. Following an op-ed piece written by Sen. Obama titled, “My plan for Iraq,” published in the paper a week prior, the rejection slip Sen. McCain received from the former Clinton speechwriter who is now the Times’ op-ed editor read, “It would be terrific to have an article from Sen. McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece.” The Times obviously publishes opinion pieces so long as they are the same as the newspaper’s editorial staff. I wish Sen. Obama’s opinions mirrored Sen. McCain’s – that way I’d sleep better at night. This was an opinion piece, not two college students on the same debate team. The Times’rejection of Sen. McCain’s op-ed column further illustrates the media bias against him. It’s tough to get equal time when you’re running against the messiah. Sen. Obama doesn’t have five minutes of military experience, unlike his rival, Sen. John McCain, who by any measure would make a superb commander-in-chief. The stakes are too high to trust national security to a liberal novice like Sen. Obama who flip-flops on vital issues. Fortunately for Sen. McCain, the voters haven’t focused yet on the November election. They’re more concerned about how to pay for the gas to drive to their favorite summer vacation spots. When they take the time to weigh one candidate’s experience in military and foreign affairs against the other, Sen. McCain is the clear choice. Without national security, nothing else matters.