The Platte County Landmark

Covering Platte County, Missouri Weekly Since 1865

Local News

Between the Lines
by Ivan Foley

Off the Couch
by Greg Hall

Off the Wall
by CK Rairden

Ivan Foley's
"Guaran-Dam-Tees"

Classifieds

Advertising

Community Calendar

 

Subscriptions

TalkBack


Weekly publication dates are Thursdays

***Sign up for ***
The Landmark's E*Newsletter

Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Featured Advertisers
 
       

 

 

 

Off the Wall

by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist

 

The GOP field of candidates right now is a mess
Posted 12/27/07

As I write this, it's the weekend before Christmas and everyone still wants to talk politics.
I'm trying to get in a bit of last minute Christmas shopping and I spin the dial to listen to the Rush Limbaugh program and he let it be known that he is not a fan of Mike Huckabee. Atlantic Magazine is the publication that stirred the pot. Marc Ambinder wrote this on Thursday:

"What's the Huckabee universe's take on why Rush Limbaugh does not like the man from Arkansas? I asked a prominent DC-based Huckabee ally," and here's what the "prominent" Washington-based "Huckabee ally" said:

"'Honestly, because Rush doesn't think for himself. That's not necessarily a slap because he's not paid to be a thinker -- he's an entertainer. I can't remember the last time that he has veered from the talking points from the DC/Manhattan chattering class. If they were praising Huckabee, he would be, too. Also, I have to think that he's dying to have Hillary in the White House. Bill Clinton made Rush a megastar. Having another Clinton back in power would make him the Leading Voice of the Opposition once again.'"

The "Huckabee ally" was not named. The Atlantic is a liberal publication so the story could have been the usual hit piece and normally a very skeptical Limbaugh would have noticed this and scoffed. Instead Rush unloaded.

"Huckabee is using his devout Christianity to mask some other things that are distinctively not conservative. He is against free trade. He really doesn't believe in free market. Well, let me read what George Will wrote today. This is when I go along with ‘the DC-New York axis.’ But I just want to read from George Will's column, a paragraph today. “Huckabee's campaign actually is what Rudy Giuliani's candidacy is misdescribed as being: a comprehensive apostasy against core Republican beliefs.’ That's an easy argument; all you really have to do is look at his record."

The reason Huckabee has risen in the polls so quickly and forcefully is that the GOP field is weak. Huckabee has been willing to criticize George W. Bush and that is enough for some. He's a better speaker than any of the other candidates and has dominated the debates and that has helped with others that vote in the Republican primaries. His Christian principles have helped him tremendously with other potential voters as well. But on issues he is spotty at best with conservatives and for some he will never be able to deliver enough.

So who is Rush backing? He would love to get behind the winner but like the rest of us, he has no clue who will win this thing.

He tried this out on the show, saying: "That's why I haven't endorsed anybody. I'm waiting. I don't know how else I can do it. I realize that there are a lot of you out there: You got a candidate, and you think that if I got behind your candidate it would put 'em over the top, and you might be right…"

One can guess that Rush won't have any problem backing Mitt Romney or Fred Thompson. All of the other GOP candidates are going to be difficult for Rush to sell without selling out.

Mitt and Fred Failing
Mitt Romney put a lot of his efforts into Iowa and unless Huckabee implodes, Romney will lose in Iowa. He's now struggling mightily and his campaign is unraveling. Romney is getting the John Kerry treatment on flip-flopping and he needs a boost somewhere. Maybe he will get it with a New Hampshire win.

It's even worse for Fred Thompson who seems genuinely uninterested in the entire primary process. It's an easy argument to say that Thompson could easily fill any of the three roles in the Wizard of Oz. He needs a brain that can think faster, a heart to get in this race to try to win and the courage to play up his conservative credentials. He may even have all three, but he just doesn't seem like he wants to show it off right now.

The John McCain Surge
And what if it is John McCain? A new poll, by the American Research Group, finds the 71-year-old McCain tied in the lead with 26 percent overall with Romney. That is a remarkable 11-point surge for McCain from the last poll in November.

Other surveys point to a similar comeback by the former Vietnam prisoner of war and Arizona senator. A USA Today/Gallup poll published on Wednesday showed him climbing to 27 percent, with his Massachusetts rival not very far ahead with 34 percent.

McCain can legitimately blast away on fiscal discipline and slam war critics, as the surge in Iraq has been successful so far and the US Congress just passed out more pork. But he has always been pro-Amnesty for illegal immigration and many conservatives will never forgive him for sandbagging the First Amendment with his campaign finance reform bill that was signed into law. This field is a mess.

(Our CK Rairden’s work is never a mess. Let him know what you think email him at ckden@yahoo.com)


With Huckabee owning Iowa, things could get interesting
Posted 12/24/07

Mike Huckabee is soaring and Hillary Clinton is stalling. It's going to be rough around the Clinton home this Christmas once the realization hits that Hillary is more unlikable than once believed. Still before we bury her and America's mayor Rudy Giuliani (his poll numbers are slipping as well) it should be noted that there are no real substantive changes in the national primary according to the latest USA Today/Gallup survey taken over the weekend.

Among Republicans, Rudy Giuliani leads with 27%, followed by Mike Huckabee at 16%, Sen. John McCain at 14%, Fred Thompson at 14%, and Mitt Romney at 14%.
Among Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton leads with 45%, followed by Sen. Barack Obama at 27%, and John Edwards at 15%. Of course, there's no such thing as a national primary, so don't put too much emphasis on these numbers.

***

Ron Paul Breaks Fundraising Record

You've probably never heard of Ron Paul but he's running for president as a Republican and he is taking in a ton of cash. He is anti-war and an isolationist and has support from the far right, and from the far left from such esteemed groups as Move On.Org. He would immediately withdraw troops from Iraq, Afghanistan and everywhere else around the globe and America would basically take a hunker down mentality as far as the military goes. Basically as Reagan believed in "Peace Through Strength" Paul believes in "Peace through Weakness." That's attractive to about seven percent of fringe voters and apparently all of them are willing to give money to Paul, a 72-year old US Congressman from Texas.

The campaign's fourth-quarter fundraising total of $18.2 million includes a one-day haul of $6.2 million, which is a record. Most of the donations were made over the Internet in what the supporters called a "money bomb" timed to coincide with the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. The record take means Paul will likely lead his rivals for money raised during the fourth quarter.

***

Is Barack Obama Experienced Enough to Be President?

Hillary Clinton is pushing her 'experience' in the White House as the reason she should be elected as the next president. She claims Obama is a novice as he's probably never stolen anything from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, let alone backed up a moving truck and made off with some furniture and the silverware.

I'm guessing that is the experience Hillary speaks of, because when she was claiming to be a co-president with Bill, she failed miserably. By the end of Clinton's first term Hillary was back in the kitchen in an apron, baking cookies while Bubba was playing games with the help. The good news for Obama is that is Bill Clinton believes experience is overrated.

Here's a quote from Bubba, "The same old experience is irrelevant. You can have the right kind of experience or the wrong kind of experience. And mine is rooted in the real lives of real people, and it will bring real results if we have the courage to change.”

Of course that was in 1992 when he was trying to sell us all on his youth and energy and DNA and blue dresses. Now he's trying to say that his inexperience was better than Obama's inexperience.

***

Mike Huckabee Bashes Bush
I'm still not very excited about any of the GOP nominees having a very good chance at keeping the White House and defeating a Democrat in November of 2008. The one way that it may be possible is to begin by slamming the Bush White House on the way they have communicated and dealt with the Iraq war and ripping into the Bush Administration for their secrecy and stubbornness. Mike Huckabee is already well on his way.

Over the weekend he slammed the Bush administration's efforts, denouncing a go-it-alone "arrogant bunker mentality" and questioning decisions on Iraq. As an added bonus he got specific. Huckabee said Bush did not send enough troops to invade Iraq, and he accused the president of marginalizing Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, who said at the outset of the war that it might take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to control Iraq after the invasion. "I would have met with Shinseki privately and carefully weighed his advice," Huckabee said.

Tough stuff and the other GOP nominees had better take note. Huckabee also mixed in his now patented humor with this quip, "I may not be the expert as some people on foreign policy, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night."

In October I wrote that I believed Huckabee was a long shot but "If he wins Iowa all bets are off." Right now he owns Iowa. This might get interesting.


(Every week CK Rairden gets as specific as Mike Huckabee, right here in your Landmark. Email him specifically at ckden@yahoo.com)


 

Al Gore is important and he has the utility bills to prove it
12/13/07

On Monday, Al Gore gathered up that Nobel Peace Prize everyone made such a big deal about when it was announced last month.

You may want to hum a little R.E.M. (…It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine) as Gore is convinced the planet will soon turn on us and my best guess is the Tennessee charmer believes that we will soon go the way of the dinosaurs, unless we pay more taxes.

No, I’m not kidding. Start humming, here comes the doom and gloom.

“We, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency - a threat to the survival of our civilization that is gathering ominous and destructive potential even as we gather here,” Gore warned as he took a private jet to Norway to grab the award.

“It is time to make peace with the planet,” Gore said in his acceptance speech that quoted Churchill, Gandhi and the Bible. “We must quickly mobilize our civilization with the urgency and resolve that has previously been seen only when nations mobilized for war.”

It’s the end of the world as we know it…”

Gore urged China and the U.S. to “make the boldest moves, or stand accountable before history for their failure to act.”

Uh-huh, Al Gore won’t be moving out of his mansion or quit heating his swimming pool, though. But you here in fly-over country had better act.

Proving he is still a limousine liberal, Gore thinks taxes are the answer. The mouth-breather actually urged nations to impose a CO2 tax. And in the usual fine form, Gore says if we don’t act the poor and minorities will be hit the hardest. Gore finished his remarks by claiming that the crisis “could prove extremely unsettling” to those at the bottom rung of the ladder.

So - is Al Gore taking the lead and moving the family to live in a hybrid van down by the river? Not just yet. The crisis is bad, but only you need to make sacrifices.
Al is important and he has the utility bills to prove it. Earlier this year it was revealed by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research documented that the former vice president’s 20-room home and pool house in Tennessee devoured nearly 221,000 kilowatt-hours in 2006, more than 20 times the national average of 10,656 kilowatt-hours.

The Gores in 2006 averaged a monthly electricity bill of $1,359 for using 18,414 kilowatt-hours, and $1,461 per month for using 16,200 kilowatt-hours in 2005. During that time, Nashville Gas Company billed the family an average of $536 a month for the main house and $544 for the pool house in 2006, and $640 for the main house and $525 for the pool house in 2005. That averages out to be $29,268 in gas and electric bills for the Gores in 2006, $31,512 in 2005.

It’s hard to believe that with leadership like that, Gore was never elected president.

***

A Vote for Oprah is a vote for Obama is a vote for Martin Luther King?

Oprah pulled her best Hillary Clinton impersonation this weekend while on the stump for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. The Big O pulled out a southern accent while speaking in South Carolina. It was beautiful stuff, she is just so genuine. O said on the stump, “Dr. King dreamed a dream. But we don’t have to just dream the dream anymore,” Winfrey said. “We get to vote that dream into reality.”

“There are those who say it’s not his time, that he should wait his turn,” she added. “Think about where you’d be in your life if you’d waited when people told you to.” Referring to the state’s Democratic primary date, she said, “South Carolina — January 26th is your moment.”

Oh the humanity! I feel like I should go out and buy “A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey. Or at least cast my vote for Barack Obama.

***

Hillary is Freaked Out

Our pal Hillary Clinton is a bit freaked out by the whole thing. The woman that was to be anointed queen just ran into the O-O buzzsaw and she certainly didn’t like what she saw.
She’s losing numbers in the polls almost every week and now one of her staff has been caught digging for dirt, any dirt on Obama. A deputy campaign manager for Mrs. Clinton sent an e-mail out on Sunday, trying to find out about Mr. Obama’s background as a community organizer in Chicago.

According to the NY Times, the deputy campaign manager is Bob Nash, who served as White House personnel director in the Clinton administration. In March, Nash left his position as vice chairman of Chicago ShoreBank to join Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.
He was fishing for dirt and the person he sent the e-mail to redacted his address and then forwarded the e-mail to the media. They in turn printed it to show off Hillary’s latest dirty trick as she tries to take down Obama.

(CK Rairden is important and his Landmark-sized paycheck proves it. Reach our Conservative Crusader at ckden@yahoo.com)


 

Latest polls are making the presidential frontrunners extremely nervous
12/6/07

It is all about the polls and the frontrunners are getting nervous.

“National support for Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Rudy Giuliani significantly eroded over the past month,” the USA Today wrote on Monday. They had a Gallup poll to back it up. Hillary immediately went on the attack, blasting away at Barack Obama’s experience.

“So you decide which makes more sense: Entrust our country to someone who is ready on day one ... or to put America in the hands of someone with little national or international experience, who started running for president the day he arrived in the U.S. Senate,” Clinton said.

That probably sounds a lot better than ‘You decide which one, I’ve hauled the silverware out of the White House before and I will do it again.”

Hillary Clinton Fatigue
It’s a bit stunning Hillary has lasted this long at the top unscathed. She is as annoying as any candidate who has been a frontrunner has ever been and she has zero charm. She’s just not likeable and voters are already getting fatigued.

I still say she takes the nomination but with 11 months to go, if voters have already tired of the cackle and the staged questions, imagine what it will be coming down the stretch.
Her support has fallen 11 percentage points in a month in Iowa alone.

The Mike Huckabee Surge
Mike Huckabee is blowing up in the polls. Just a few months ago, the Republican presidential candidate from Arkansas was hanging around at the bottom of the polls with fellow GOP longshots Ron Paul and the Tom Tancredo. Now the former governor of Arkansas, despite some very shaky conservative credentials, has risen to the top of the polls. In what is a shocking move toward the top, Huckabee leads in Iowa and now has closed to within three points of Rudy Giuliani nationally.

According to a story posted on Rasmussen Reports, a Republican polling firm, in the first full round of national polling completed since last week’s YouTube debate among Republican Presidential hopefuls, Huckabee has pulled to within three points of the frontrunning Rudy Giuliani. Heading into the debate, Giuliani led Huckabee by twelve.

Huckabee vs. Hillary
The report also notes that, “new polling data released today shows that Huckabee has pulled to within a single percentage point of Hillary Clinton in a general election match-up. Huckabee is also a frontrunner in Iowa and essentially tied for second in New Hampshire.”
Some pundits believe Huckabee’s numbers will surely go down as fast as they’ve gone up while others are beginning to consider the possibility that the bass-guitar playing governor may become a serious contender for the Republican nomination, the report noted.
I’m still torn. He was the ‘voice of reason’ at the CNN YouTube debates and he certainly comes across as the most intelligent of all of the candidates on the GOP side. Despite his lack of fundraising and spending, his appearances have resonated with conservatives that seem desperate to get behind a legitimate candidate.

Harry Reid: America’s Military is Still a Failure
Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?

Despite most analysts conceding that the surge is accomplishing its military goals Harry Reid is still betting on a US Military defeat. He’s been hoping for things to go badly in Iraq for a long time, and he still isn’t willing to give up, despite consistent reports from that country that the “surge” has borne fruit in the form of enhanced security, fewer Iraqi civilian deaths, and fewer coalition casualties.

A report from DC-based blog Politico reports: “Democrats are increasingly bailing on their previously held view that the troop surge in Iraq has been a “failure,” but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid isn’t ready to jump on the bandwagon with other Democrats who say the surge has worked. The Senate re-opened for business on Monday after a two-week Thanksgiving break, during which key Democrats traveled to Iraq and declared that the surge is working, at least from a security and military perspective.”

I have criticized Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) for his constant criticism of US troops but even he stunned fellow Democrats late last week with his statement that “the surge is working.”

He later added that political reconciliation has been lagging but even so, Murtha’s view was backed by Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), who also said the surge worked after he returned from Iraq.

But Reid, in a Monday press conference, ceded no ground. “The surge hasn’t accomplished its goals,” Reid said. “... We’re involved, still, in an intractable civil war.”
I don’t think Democrats can continue to sell failure and expect to win big in 2008. It may be time for the Dems to kick Harry to the curb.

(Unlike Hillary, CK Rairden's poll numbers remain strong. Email him at ckden@yahoo.com)


 

Anti-war films bombing at box office; Hillary getting bombed in many polls
11/29/07

The political notebook starts out this week in the Middle East.

Are we really winning in Iraq? It must be true as it is printed in the New York Times. Now what will the Democrats do?

The New York Times regretfully acknowledged last week that “as violence declines in Baghdad, the leading Democratic presidential candidates … are trying to shift the focus to the lack of political progress there, and highlighting more domestic concerns like health care and the economy.”

This won’t be pretty.

Investment is heavy in the defeat of the US Military by many Democrats and they were counting on using that to beat over the heads of Republicans in 2008. It just goes to show why Dems fail so often as there are so many other ways to defeat the GOP candidates right now. No one has ever really appreciated the politicization of the war and it is especially distasteful that so many wanted to drag the American soldier down in the political mud. Of course it is not “Mission Accomplished” and won’t be for some time in Iraq but the success there is a serious set- back for many Democrats.

Anti-American Iraq War Films Bomb at the Box Office

One thing I don’t believe that many of the anti-war types ever understood is that no matter how tired Americans say they are of the war in Iraq, they still want a US victory. Hollywood types that make films certainly never really understood it. Since they can’t spit on soldiers as they once so proudly did in the Vietnam era, they are now reduced to producing really awful films to make political statements.

They are now zero for four. While the public is staying away in droves from “Rendition,” “Lions for Lambs” and “In the Valley of Elah,” audiences are really avoiding “Redacted,” a film by a whiny pacifist named Brian De Palma. (The director of “Scarface” and “Mission Impossible” among several other very watchable movies.) The film is a sick take on the US military.

The picture is about US soldiers who rape a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, then kill her and her family. The “message movie” was produced by NBA Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. “Redacted” - which “could be the worst movie I’ve ever seen,” said critic Michael Medved -took in just $25,628 in its opening weekend in 15 theaters, which means roughly 3,000 people saw it in the entire country, according to a report from the New York Post.

Hillary Clinton Getting Trounced by Leading Republicans

I was almost certain that the GOP couldn’t keep the White House in 2008. And I still believe they will lose seats in the US House and Senate but now I wonder of they won’t retain the control of the presidency thanks to the fact that no one really likes Hillary Clinton.

How bad is it?

She is getting trounced by the top five GOP candidates.

The story splashed in from a Zogby poll on Monday afternoon and it brought some pretty awful news for Camp Hillary. A Zogby Interactive survey shows that Hillary would lose to every one of the top five Republican presidential contenders. The item says that this represents “a reversal of fortune for the national Democratic front–runner who had led against all prospective GOP opponents earlier this year.”

According to the poll, Clinton trails Republican candidates Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Mike Huckabee by three to five percentage points in the direct matches.

Meanwhile, fellow Democrats Barack Obama of Illinois and John Edwards of North Carolina would defeat or tie every one of the Republicans, this latest survey shows.

***

How Big Will Illegal Immigration Be as a Campaign Issue in 2008?

The tide has long turned against amnesty for illegal immigrants. However, even the most ardent supporter of people breaking into the country may take pause with this report. The Washington Times has a blockbuster story that they released on Monday that was based on leaked law enforcement documents.

They reported that a Mexican drug cartel collaborated with Iraqi and Afghan terrorists to plan an attack on Fort Huachuca in Arizona, the nation’s largest intelligence-training center. According to the story, Fort officials “changed security measures after sources warned that possibly 60 Afghan and Iraqi terrorists were to be smuggled into the U.S. through underground tunnels with high-powered weapons to attack the Arizona Army base,” according to multiple confidential law enforcement documents obtained by the DC-based newspaper.

The story cites an FBI advisory that claims that each Middle Easterner paid Mexican drug lords $20,000 “or the equivalent in weapons” for the cartel’s assistance in smuggling them and their weapons through tunnels along the border into the U.S. The weapons would be sent through tunnels that supposedly ended in Arizona and New Mexico, but the terrorists would be smuggled through Laredo, Texas, and reclaim the weapons later.

A number of the Afghans and Iraqis are already in a safe house in Texas, the FBI advisory said. This report will strengthen the hand of those who argue that an open border with Mexico is a security risk.

(An open dialogue with CK Rairden is never a security risk. Email him at ckden@yahoo.com)


 

It's time to give thanks--and then hand out turkeys--to those who are deserving
11/21/07

While many folks now struggle with the nuances of a politically correct Thanksgiving Day holiday, it is celebrated in a traditional fashion at Casa Del Rairden.

Family members and friends will gather round while a dead bird a dead pig and all the trimmings are prepared and served. Heads will be bowed, eyes closed and a prayer of thanks to God will be said.

It’s been that way for many years, and will continue despite the pressures of some in our society to make “politically correct” changes to a true American holiday that acknowledges God and understands that thanks should be given for the fortunes of our great country, and the marvelous gifts of our freedoms.

There will be a few changes this year. We will move the celebration west to the shores of the Pacific Ocean and spend the Thanksgiving weekend with our Malibu friends. But other than a view of the dolphins playing in the sea from the deck of our rental home everything will remain the same.

And as always we will enjoy the modern American traditions as well. TV monitors will be tuned to the football games that will played on television. At Casa Del Rairden West, the bets will be placed (for entertainment purposes only) and starting early in the morning the modern American tradition of TV football viewing on Thanksgiving Day will be carried out.

Football, turkey and thanks—that’s a slice of Americana in late November.  In that vein, it also affords the opportunity to combine the two cornerstones of the fourth Thursday in November, thanks and turkey, into CK’s annual November Thanksgiving Day awards, turkeys to those who deserve it, and thanks to those who’ve earned it.

***

A special thanks goes to our soldiers, and all of those in the US Military and our allies at home and of course those that will spend yet another Thanksgiving away from their families so that all of us can live very comfortable lives. Remember them when you give thanks.
And keeping with that mode, I’m passing out a turkey to all of the members of the US Congress that are trying to hold up funding for the American military for political purposes. These jokers' toughest gig seems to be navigating their way through the Minnesota airport while these women and men make sacrifices and while some will make the ultimate sacrifice. Congress needs to do their simple job of funding the troops.

Another turkey goes to President George W. Bush. If he would have hit the ground running after winning in 2004 and made more of an effort to communicate exactly what these fine military folks are doing on a day-to-day basis, the support for the troops' mission would never have reached such lows.

***

Now another turkey will be to the entire US Congress for their absolute failure to control the border and not providing the money for law enforcement so they can get illegal immigration under control. How bad is it? Some turkey named Elliott Spitzer is the governor of New York and this dolt actually tried to take advantage of it by handing out the privilege of a driver's license for those people that refuse to obey American law.

Another turkey goes specifically to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama who backed this plan. Hillary has since flipped and flopped and at last count said she didn’t want the illegals to get the driver’s licenses but by the time you read this she may be for it again.

***

Since we will be in California special thanks should go out to all of the firefighters from California and all of the neighboring states that fought the wildfires last month as they worked their way through Southern California.

A big turkey goes to OPEC who for some reason now believes that we need to pay $4 a gallon for gas. As the Christmas season pushes forward with each dollar Americans shove in the their tanks that means that’s fewer dollars for American businesses. Add more turkeys to those politicians that have opposed off shore drilling here in America and have also fought hard to keep American companies from building refineries. We are now 40 years behind thanks to these turkeys and now are at the mercy of foreigners.

***

But remember this when newscasters (and the above type news) unload bad news each and every day. This is still America and we are by far the greatest country in the world. This is still (as Ronald Reagan once most eloquently stated) the shining city on the hill. Since there is an election coming up, for the next year you will hear from turkeys running for office just how bad it is in this country.

Don’t believe it and be thankful for that.

(CK Rairden serves up a delicious column every week of the year, only here in your Landmark. Email him at ckden@yahoo.com)


 

Hillary's campaign guilty of 'planting' questions from audience members
11/16/07

First Lady in Waiting Bubba Flops
Thumbing through the political notebook, it was humorous to watch Hillary Clinton stumble and immediately try to blame others for her evasiveness in the last debate. She was abysmal (see last week’s Off the Wall) and immediately tried to spin her way out of it, just as her husband Bill Clinton did so often. She even dispatched First Lady in Waiting Bubba out to try to stop the bleeding. It was a sad effort.

Bill Clinton tried the defense of his wife against political critics by citing the “swift boat” television ads of the 2004 presidential campaign that questioned John Kerry’s patriotism and the campaign commercials in 2002 that suggested Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia was soft on terrorism. This was what he said happened in the debate when a point blank question was asked if Hillary favored driver's licenses for illegal aliens.

It didn’t fly, and now people are wondering if Bubba has lost his touch.

***

Can a US Senator Win the US Presidency?

I’ve never understood why US Senators believe they would be good presidents. Only one has ever won and that was Jack Kennedy over Richard Nixon in 1960 and that took some help from some Chicago area graveyards.

This year, on the GOP side Senator John McCain is running and on the Democratic side Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are seeking the highest office in the land. History has not been kind to US Senators, can any of these three change history? Let’s look at how tough it will be from those that have tried it recently.

1964 - Senator Barry Goldwater from Arizona: a popular champion of conservatism and seemed a formidable match against Lyndon Johnson. But Goldwater only collected 38.5% of the popular vote, and won only 6 states.

1972 - Senator George McGovern from Minnesota: very popular with the left, who believed Vietnam would be the issue to drive Nixon from office. But McGovern claimed only 37.5% of the popular vote, and won only one state.

1984 - Senator Walter Mondale from Minnesota: the Democrats thought his ‘straight-talk’ style would appeal to Americans. But Mondale was up against the Reagan buzz saw and claimed only 40.6% of the popular vote, and won only one state.

1996 - Senator Bob Dole from Kansas: the GOP believed his war record and impeccable personal integrity would win over voters against the scandal-ridden Bill Clinton. But in a three way race Dole took only 40.7% of the popular vote, though he did win 19 states.
2004 - Senator John Kerry from Massachusetts: Democrats thought his medals from Vietnam would make him credible as a critic of Bush and the war in Iraq. Kerry did the best of the losing Senators, claiming 48.3% of the popular vote, and like Dole he won 19 states.

***

Hillary Pleads Stupidity, Hopes You Will Too

Democratic contender Hillary Clinton’s campaign has admitted to planting questions with audience members in Iowa and pointing out the plants to the candidate. When Clinton stopped at a bio-diesel plant she took questions from the crowd.

She called on a young woman. “As a young person,” said the well-spoken Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff, “I’m worried about the long-term effects of global warming. How does your plan combat climate change?”

“Well, you should be worried,” Clinton replied. “You know, I find as I travel around Iowa that it’s usually young people that ask me about global warming.”

No kidding.

The question was a plant, totally rigged in advance, like a late-night infomercial. Just before the public forum, a Clinton staffer had chosen the young woman, a student at Grinnell College, and asked her to ask that specific question.

One day after that confession Geoff Mitchell, a minister who recently moved to Hamilton, Ill., from Iowa, told ABC News that he was approached this spring by Clinton’s Iowa political director Chris Haylor to ask Clinton a question about war funding.

I see a pattern and no one should be surprised.

The Clinton political machine is designed to avoid unscripted questions from audience members or even media members. That is a good strategy until Hillary gets caught like she did in the debate struggling for real answers to hard questions. For her part, Hillary didn’t play the chick card as she had earlier; she claimed she “didn’t know” her campaign was using this practice to make her look good.

If you are playing along at home, Hillary would like you to know that when her husband is cheating on her, she doesn’t know. And when her campaign is cheating on you, she doesn’t know. Does that mean she is looking for a strategy of landing the votes of voters that are as clueless as she admits to being?

Hmm, maybe she is smarter than I think. What the American public doesn’t know is exactly what makes them the American public.

(CK Rairden is our champion of conservatism. Reach him at ckden@yahoo.com)


Girlie men grow stones and challenge Hillary, who then plays the victim card
11/8/07

This time perhaps some of you should have tuned in for a presidential debate. I know that I have said I will watch all of the presidential debates so you won’t have to - most of the time it is like watching paint dry - but last week a funny thing happened. Hillary Clinton finally was asked some difficult questions during the MSNBC debate that was moderated by Tim Russert of “Meet the Press.”

It was all good clean fun as the fellas took aim at Hillary. She has dominated the Dems so far mostly by proving she has more hair on her chest and more testosterone than the rest of the men combined. Certainly the guys that wish to be president from the left side of the aisle are what California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would call “girlie men.” None of them have had the stones to even challenge Hillary on her ideas and the fact that she may be more secretive than the Bush Administration.

***

It actually seemed like none of them really wanted the nomination and Hillary had a monster lead and a free ride. But during this debate, the boys club of presidential wannabes stepped up attacks that she has waffled on her position on Iraq, Iran and other major issues. They demanded that she clarify her stand on illegal aliens and specifically asked her about a New York plan that will just hand a driver's license to illegals.

Her answers were comical. She tried to explain why she once said that New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s plan to allow illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses “makes a lot of sense.” She must have realized that she just basically said that Clinton Part II would reward illegal behavior with perks and after answering the question once, she raised her hand later to add, “I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Gov. Spitzer is trying to do it.”

That prompted the Breck Girl John Edwards to pounce: “Sen. Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes.” Barack Obama, too, was “confused on Sen. Clinton’s answer” and “can’t tell whether she was for it or against it.”

***

Tim Russert tried to get her to clarify her position. She refused, telling him that was a gotcha question. No, Hillary - a gotcha question would be why didn’t you burn that blue dress?

Many voters are fed up. This is a very big concern and Hillary was caught flatfooted. You could see the frustration as she rolled her eyes. Many believe that she wants illegals to have driver’s licenses as that would lead to voter registration and about 20 million new voters that can be bussed to the poll every election day.

It was Hillary’s worst day and she has never really rebounded. She blamed everyone but herself, including MSNBC. And her supporters were very upset with moderator Tim Russert. In a literal “shoot the messenger” message, one supporter even wanted him dead, or maybe just wounded. Mark Penn presided over a conference call on Wednesday to rally supporters to the idea that they should play the card that Hillary is a woman and was attacked because of her gender. During that call a very devoted female contributor suggested that Tim Russert “should be shot.” The woman quickly repented, not the sentiment, but the fact that she shouldn’t have said it on a conference call.

***

So - Hillary played the victim card. Once she got brushed back by the boys in the debate. Hillary tried the good old “Don’t hit me, I’m a girl” strategy. The problem is it appears the backlash may just be getting started. Even US House leader Nancy Pelosi turned on Clinton. Pelosi said on Monday that Hillary’s campaign appears to have been trying to exploit that perception in the wake of last week’s Democratic debate.

Hillary has released a video entitled the “politics of pile on” that claims that her fellow Dems are just being too mean to her. Pelosi wasn’t too thrilled with that either. In distributing the whiny Web video and splicing together her opponents’ attacks, her campaign appears to be exploiting perceptions of Clinton facing down a field of aggressive male challengers, Pelosi said.

“I think the campaign is trying to take advantage…probably people who didn’t even watch the debate, to say, ‘Oh, they were really rude,’ or something like that, and that has some salience,” said Pelosi. Ouch!

Hillary looked like a fool on the stage in Philadelphia, crying and complaining that the questions were too tough and her opponents were being too hard on her. She desperately wants to be president but now it seems as if she believes she should be anointed instead of having to do the heavy lifting. Hillary has so far acted on a strategy of bob and weave (no, not like Monica, more like Mohamed Ali), answer no questions and avoid the press at all costs.

It had worked until she stood like a deer in the headlights in front of the cameras. She was very fortunate that it was not a one-on-one debate and that hardly anyone watched. I’m really going to enjoy watching how she performs when the questions are coming at her in rapid fire in front of a network audience when there is no break to allow her to try to re-group.

(CK Rairden's Off the Wall column appears each week only in your Landmark. Reach him at ckden@yahoo.com)


 

Liberals doused in their effort to turn California fires into political tool
11/1/07

Last week California was burning.

As the video came flooding in from the Malibu fire on Sunday, it was all too familiar. When the heat gets a bit too much in the summertime at Casa del Rairden in Arizona, we escape to the coastal village of Malibu and the cool breezes that flow in from the Pacific Ocean.
But when the fires started the winds had shifted. They are called the Santa Anna winds in California and they blow in from the deserts and produce heat and send temperatures soaring into the nineties even on the beaches.

So I watched with concern, called and e-mailed my liberal friends to make certain everyone was okay and said a prayer for the people of Southern California. The fires would get a whole lot worse before they got better, and by mid-week a path of fire from the Mexican border to Santa Barbara had cut through the state.

Like me, most people were worried and hopeful, while others saw an opportunity. The first was Harry Reid, the US Senate leader from Nevada. Reid thought his best bet was to blame the fires on global warming.

“One reason that we have the fires burning in Southern California is global warming. One reason the Colorado basin is going dry is because of global warming,” Reid told reporters.
He was challenged by a reporter, “You said that the reason the fires are burning in California is global warming?’’

Reid stumbled through the answer, “No. Here’s — here’s what... I didn’t say the reason the fires were burning in Southern California is global warming.”

CNN was also happy to pile on.

According to notes from CNN’s Monday news meeting that were obtained by The Drudge Report, when the fires were raging, network president Jon Klein told his employees to use the California fire tragedy to “push” their “Planet in Peril” special, but he did take time to warn reporters not to “irresponsibly link” the fires to “Global Warming.”

In other words, CNN wanted to cash in on the fires, but they wanted accomplished in a “responsible manner.”

And the media was cheering for disaster - they definitely wanted to capitalize on the destruction for ratings and they weren’t pleased when there were few complaints from residents that they weren’t getting enough help from the government and the firefighters and other rescue workers.

That was noticed by the Governator. ABC reporter Claire Shipman did her level best to get California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to say the efforts to combat the state’s wild fires were going poorly. Shipman interviewed the governor on last Wednesday’s “Good Morning America” and wondered about “the comparison to Katrina that everybody’s making in the back of their mind...”

At one point, you could tell that Governor Schwarzenegger was completely fed up and finally cut off Shipman’s pleas for negative assessments of the effort by actually grabbing her arm. He bluntly scolded her, “Trust me when I tell you, you’re looking for a mistake and you won’t find it because it’s all good news, as much as you maybe hate it, but it’s good news.”

It was classic television moment. California politicians tried vigorously to make this a partisan issue as well. They wanted to capitalize on their own citizens' loss by slamming the war in Iraq. The first was left wing US Senator Barbara Boxer. As people’s homes were being destroyed Boxer said, “Right now we are down 50 percent in terms of our National Guard equipment because they’re all in Iraq, the equipment, half of the equipment. So we really will need help. I think all of our states are down in terms of equipment.”

Not to be outdone, California Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi said during an interview with Chris Matthews of MSNBC that the California National Guard should be re-deployed from Iraq to help fight the fires. He claimed that thousands of California National Guardsmen were in Iraq and that was the reason the fires could not be contained.
The trouble with this type of hyperbole is that it is just too easy to run the numbers and prove that these mouth breathers are wrong. FEMA Administrator R. David Paulison, appearing on CBS News, rejected the premise of these complaints: “I have not seen that at all, quite frankly,” he told CBS in response to Boxer’s charges. In a round of morning television interviews, Paulison repeatedly said that there were “plenty of Guardspeople” available.

And Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense Paul McHale said “unequivocally” that the war in Iraq has had “no negative effect at all with regard to our ability to provide sufficient forces to assist civilian authorities in fighting the wildfires.” Of more than 17,000 National Guardsmen currently available to fight fires in California, the Pentagon says, only 1,500 been called to active duty.

So that means 15,550 guard members or so were in California ready to go at a moment’s notice and 1,500 were in Iraq. Sadly, all the lieutenant governor cared about was not his constituents and their plight, he only cared about complaining about the war in Iraq while his state was on fire and people were suffering.

But fortunately, the media that were cheering for a Katrina like disaster and the liberal politicians were thwarted in their efforts to turn the fires into a political tool. This wasn’t liberal versus conservative, this was firefighters and citizens versus several wildfires. And thankfully the partisans were dismissed out of hand by some good leadership from Gov. Schwarzenegger, some hard long hours by firefighters and some very strong citizens that refused to allow their will to be crushed by a horrific natural disaster.

I was very proud of my second home state and how it reacted, despite the fact that they were under assault almost immediately by political pariahs and a media that was openly cheering for them to fail. Since the mouth breathers want so desperately to keep score here is the tally: California 1, the media and Barbara Boxer, Harry Reid and John Garamendi 0.

(CK Rairden fights liberal fires weekly here in your Landmark. Email him at ckden@yahoo.com)


 

Can anyone named Huckabee actually win a nomination for president?
10/25/07

Can anyone named Mike Huckabee actually win the Republican nomination for president? Can America take another president from Arkansas?

Huckabee probably asks the better question, “Do we really want potentially 28 years with only two families occupying the White House?” After watching another pointless debate held by Fox News on Sunday night, certainly it appears that two candidates are head and shoulders above the rest. One is Mike Huckabee and the other is Rudy Giuliani.

The rest of the field is so drab and lackluster it is frightening that this is the best that the GOP has to offer its voters for the highest office in the land.

For those that had high hopes for Fred Thompson, you can now check those at the door. At times it is difficult for him to string two sentences together. Sam Brownback has finally exited gracefully, kudos to him. Mitt Romney just strikes me as too insincere and John McCain really has very little left. The rest of the GOP field Tom Tancredo, Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter are just taking up space.

One note on Ron Paul, he has a narrow, but highly-motivated following on the Internet and would not rule out running once he gets dumped by the GOP primary voters. He is a Libertarian at heart, and the best guess is that the party would place him on their ticket meaning he could be the Ralph Nader of 2008. I don’t believe he could get on many state ballots as an Independent.

***

Back to the GOP field and Huckabee. He’s certainly charming and the former Baptist preacher can hand out one liners with the best of them. After a brutal opening to the debate where the frontrunners slammed each other with each sentence, Huckabee stepped in and put the spotlight on Hillary.

He said, “You know, it’s interesting, the most, I guess, wonderful reaction we’ve had in this entire room is when Hillary’s name is mentioned. It gets louder than an Aerosmith concert. But I want to say this — you’ve asked: What’s the difference? No matter which one of us is on this stage — and, look, I like to be funny, let me be real honest with you. There’s nothing funny about Hillary being president.”

Laughter and cheers followed and he is funny. Here are some of my favorites so far.
On his band, Capitol Offence: “We’re playing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, where Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens played their last concert. I will not be flying out that evening.”

On health care: "We’ve got a situation with 10,000 Baby Boomers a day signing up for Social Security, going into the Medicare system. And I just want to remind everybody when all the old hippies find out that they get free drugs, just wait until what that’s going to cost out there.”

On Arkansas: “I heard a man was telling a joke about a politician from Arkansas. I told him: ‘You won’t believe this, but I am a politician from Arkansas.’ He said to me: ‘Don’t worry son, I’ll tell it real slow.’”

On his poor upbringing: “We only had this Lava soap [which contains pumice stone]. I was in college before I realized a shower wasn’t supposed to hurt."

Of course it takes more than humor to win the White House, it takes gobs of cash and Huckabee has very little. But he does have some momentum. Over the weekend the “Values Voters Summit” was held in Washington and this was supposed to be a slam dunk for Mitt Romney. It wasn’t.

Time Magazine’s Amy Sullivan reported this from the event, “But it was former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who lit up the crowd with a fiery sermon as the last candidate to address the gathering. He took second place, just 30 votes behind Romney. When organizers broke the votes down into those cast online and those of summit attendees, the results revealed a true thrashing. In the tally of those present at the summit, Huckabee swamped his opponents, capturing 50% of the vote. By contrast, Romney was the choice of only 10% of on-site values voters.”

In the most recent Rasmussen poll in Iowa, Huckabee was third with 18 percent, within striking distance of Romney at 25 percent and just behind Thompson at 19 percent. I don’t really believe that is enough but if he wins Iowa all bets are off.

How would he do if he won the nomination against Hillary Clinton? The GOP would have to implement another Southern strategy and it would all come down to Ohio once again.

All of this is the longest of shots but with the Republican Party adrift and leaderless, it is as good as any for conservatives desperately seeking any reason to vote in 2008.

(CK Rairden brings his strong politically-astute observations weekly. Reach him at ckden@yahoo.com)


 

Nobel Prize has become popularity contest for left-wing causes
10/18/07

Finally Al Gore gets a win. The global warming alarmist and world champion of granting a world body authority over your lives grabbed himself a genuine Nobel Peace Prize last weekend.

Al Gore certainly was thrilled. He declared that we should all heed his warnings. He said that global warming was not a political issue but a worldwide crisis. “We face a true planetary emergency. ... It is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity,” he said. “It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.”

Gore won the award along with the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, another controversial body, for “their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”

So - why the Nobel Peace Prize?

When Alfred Nobel died on December 10, 1896, it was discovered that he had left a will, dated November 27, 1895, according to which most of his vast wealth was to be used for five prizes, including one for peace. The prize for peace was to be awarded to the person who “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding of peace congresses.” The prize was to be awarded “by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting.”

Since it would be impossible to give Al Gore the prize on that definition the Norwegian committee said it has broadened its interpretation of peacemaking and disarmament efforts outlined in the will. They claim that “The prize now often also recognizes human rights, democracy, elimination of poverty, sharing resources and the environment.”

What does that mean? Well, nothing. The Nobel Peace Prize pretty much lost its way sometime around the time they handed it to world class terrorist Yasser Arafat. That’s correct, the five mouth breathers that hand this thing out each year actually granted it to a man responsible for terrorist bombings. They also tossed it at Jimmy Carter in 2002 in a political statement aimed at the United States and President George W. Bush.

The award was never handed to Ronald Reagan or the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher, both who kept the USSR at bay during a long Cold War before defeating the former Soviet Union.

That pretty much sums it all up right there, the award is nothing more than a popularity prize for left wing causes.

So why all the buzz? The media loves Al Gore. They love his film “An Inconvenient Truth.” He won an Oscar for the film, and was lauded by Hollywood. Schools everywhere like to show it to kids to and tell them it is true. Unfortunately he couldn’t convince some truck driver in the UK. Even though Al Gore will tell you that the debate is “over” and he is the ultimate truth. Stuart Dimmock took the government to court, alleging that the film portrays “partisan political views,” the promotion of which is illegal in schools under the Education Act 1996.

Uh-oh - surely the court would side with Al Gore - right? Not so much. In order for the film to be shown, the government must first amend their Guidance Notes to Teachers to make clear that 1.) The Film is a political work and promotes only one side of the argument. 2.) If teachers present the film without making this plain they may be in breach of section 406 of the Education Act 1996 and guilty of political indoctrination. 3.) Eleven inaccuracies have to be specifically drawn to the attention of school children.

The inaccuracies are:

*The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming. The government’s expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.

*The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.

* The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that it was “not possible” to attribute such events to global warming.

* The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The government’s expert had to accept that this was not the case.

*The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice. It turned out that Mr Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm.

*The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age: the claimant’s evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.

*The film blames global warming for species' losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.

*The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt causing sea levels to rise dangerously. The evidence is that Greenland will not melt for millennia.

*The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting, the evidence was that it is in fact increasing.

*The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.

*The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The government was unable to substantiate this and the court observed that this appears to be a false claim.

Few minds will be changed with Gore’s prize or his defeat in a court of law. The decision here isn’t if the earth is warming up, or cooling down. It is what partisan hacks like Gore wish to do with the propaganda. Gore wants to hand America’s freedoms and future over to a world body and he sees the environment as the best way to accomplish that.

The next few years will let us know if America can find its own truck driver to stand up and put Gore in his rightful place.

(CK Rairden smokes a Nobel Peace Pipe at his Arizona home. Email him at ckden@yahoo.com)


 

With SCHIP, 'welfare as we know it' might just be back in business
10/11/07

When President Bush vetoed a bill that would get a whole bunch of low and middle income families health care at the expense of taxpayers, the Democrats were certain they had a winning proposition on their hands.

I mean c’mon, if we can’t afford as a country to dole out health care to kids what kind of a country are we?

Democrats desperately want to grow a program called SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program). It’s really cool - if you have kids and don’t want to pay for their health care insurance and make up to about $82,000 per year, you sign up and the kids’ health care is handled by the government.

Oh and by the way, your “kids” can be up to 25 years old. You know how hard it is to get them out of the house these days.

It’s basically socialized medicine and a welfare plan, and as our pal Bill Clinton “ended welfare as we know it” back in the 1990s, that doesn’t sell very well anymore. So the Democrats wanted to put a face with the program.

So what do they do - they trotted out a little 12-year old kid from Baltimore, Maryland to tell the world his story. He would be dead if it weren’t for the free health care his parents signed up for, he claims. He gave the rebuttal to the president’s Saturday radio address explaining his veto of SCHIP.

“I was in a coma for a week and couldn’t eat or stand up or even talk. My sister was even worse,” Graeme wrote. “My parents work really hard and always make sure my sister and I have everything we need, but we can’t afford private health insurance,” he claimed in a rebuttal written for him by Democats.

Graeme was in a severe car accident three years ago, and received care paid for by the government. His sister, Gemma, was also severely injured in the accident, so we definitely have a real life tragedy.

Now let’s see if this kid and his sister needed the help or if their parents failed them.
In a Baltimore Sun article, the family claims to be raising their four children on combined income of about $45,000 a year.

“Bonnie Frost works for a medical publishing firm; her husband, Halsey, is a woodworker. Neither gets health insurance through work,” the article claims.

The trouble is - the kid’s family appears to be fairly well off and has decided they shouldn’t have to pay for his health care. They want you to foot the bill.

Graeme is a middle school student at the exclusive $20,000 per year Park School in Baltimore, MD. His sister also attends a school that is about $20,000 per year as well. So if you are playing along at home - public schools are not good enough for their kids, but public money for health care suits them just fine.

Bloggers have challenged the family and dug up a whole bunch of information on this bunch. Halsey Frost is the kids’ dad and he has owned his own company “Frostworks,” since at least 1992. He chooses to not give himself or his kids insurance as he is the employer. He also employed his wife as “bookkeeper and operations management” prior to her recent 2007 hire at the “medical publishing firm."

As her employer, he apparently denied her health insurance as well.

His company, Frostworks, is located in Baltimore and that building was purchased for $160,000 in 1999. The building owner’s mailing address is listed as the Frost’s home. The commercial property he owns is also listed as the business address for another company called Reillys Designs, which leads to the question of whether rental income is included in the above mentioned salary total, a blogger has discovered through public records.

More information on the couple - the current market value of their improved 3,040 sq. ft. home at 104 S Collington Ave is unknown but a house right down the street sold for $485,000 this past March and it was only 2,060 sq. ft. They say their mortgage is setting them back about $1200 per month.

Now I’m guessing since this family knows how to work the system for free health care, they have likely found a loophole and little Graeme and his sister are likely using taxpayer dollars to attend the private schools they are signed up with.

Make no mistake; the story with these kids is a tragedy. But his mom and dad failed him and decided their house and their business were more important than his health care and his siblings’ health care. Democrats used this 12-year-old kid and his mom and dad will likely be exposed as left wing activists that allowed it. They all should be ashamed.

And let’s face it - if this is the new face of “needy” in our country, “welfare as we know it” is back in business.

(CK Rairden as we know him can be reached via email to ckden@yahoo.com)


 

Democrats seem intent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
10/5/07

I guess Rush Limbaugh and Harry Reid won’t be breaking bread anytime soon.

On Monday, Reid took to the floor of the US Senate to try to get even with Republicans for thrashing Reid’s pals at MoveOn.org and his target was Rush Limbaugh. The old crusty desert rat and the leader of the US Senate ripped into the conservative cigar smoking radio talk show host claiming that Limbaugh hates the US military.

“Rush Limbaugh took it upon himself to attack the courage and character of those fighting and dying for him and for all of us. Rush Limbaugh got himself a deferment from serving when he was a young man. He never served in uniform. He never saw in person the extreme difficulty of maintaining peace in a foreign country engaged in a civil war. He never saw a person in combat. Yet, that he thinks his opinion on the war is worth more than those who have been on the front lines,” Reid said.

“Rush Limbaugh owes the men and women of our armed forces an apology,” he said.

His pal Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa piled on saying: “Maybe he was just high on his drugs. I don’t know.” How dumb is Harkin? He was caught in the 1980’s fudging his combat résumé by claiming that he flew combat missions in Vietnam. Barry Goldwater challenged Harkin on that fact and he had to back away and admit that he didn’t fly any combat mission but “flew sorties over Cuba in the sixties.”

For the record, he was a ferry pilot.

The great military defender Harry Reid said the surge had failed and our troops had lost in Iraq. He said that by the way, before the surge even started. Reid called General Petraeus a liar which was very interesting considering he refused to meet with Petraeus for briefings on Iraq. Reid even tried to cut funding for the troops he now claims he supports.

So what did Limbaugh say to incur the wrath of the troop-hating Harry Reid and the imaginary soldier Tom Harkin?

Here’s the transcript form Rush’s show: A caller named Mike claimed to be a member of the US military and said, “What’s really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.”

Limbaugh finished his sentence, “The phony soldiers.” The caller continued, “The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they’re willing to sacrifice for their country.”

Okay so who was the bombastic host referring to? He says it was a man from Arizona named Jesse Macbeth. If that’s the case Limbaugh has a pretty good defense. Macbeth is a 23-year old mouth breather that sought fame and notoriety by claiming to be a veteran of the Iraq war. Macbeth also made up stories included tales of war crimes and a variety of atrocities that he claimed that US Troops had undertaken while he was in Iraq. But he was never in Iraq.

In fact earlier this year a criminal complaint was unsealed in the United States District Court in Seattle, Washington, charging Macbeth with one count of using or possessing a forged or altered military discharge certificate (he posted that online at a liberal anti-war website and was a hero of those that support Reid for months before the facts emerged) and one count of making false statements in seeking benefits from the Veterans Administration. The complaint alleged that Macbeth posed as an Iraq war veteran and illicitly collected more than $10,400 in benefits.

In June, Macbeth pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation.

So if Limbaugh is talking about this guy, (and just a few minutes later in the call he mentioned him by name according to the transcript) it’s hard to argue as this little creep is the definition of a phony soldier and has the conviction to prove it.

The group that pointed out the “phony soldiers” comment is a liberal website bought and paid for by George Soros, a billionaire anti-American activist. They wrote that it was a full two minutes after the initial “phony soldiers comment that Rush brought up the name Jesse Macbeth. Not two hours, but two minutes in a give and take radio show I think I have to give this one to Limbaugh as well.

But Reid has decided to push the issue even more. He has called on Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays to condemn the remarks by Limbaugh. And he wants an apology. Limbaugh did offer an apology on Monday, for Media Matters.

“I want to apologize to all of the members of the United States Military, both in uniform and out, active duty and retired, for Media Matters for America,’’ Limbaugh said. “They will not apologize to you, and they will not apologize to me. I want to apologize to you on behalf of them. As all of you military personnel know, I, since (the) beginning of time and since the beginning of this program, certainly 19 years ago, have been one of the most ardent, loyal, in-awe supporters of any and all who wear the uniform — including those who disagree with the mission.’’

Reid is in a tough spot. The bulk of the US military loves Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talkers. They loathe people like Harry Reid and the ilk that surrounds him. Reid just called them losers earlier this year. And by going on the floor of the US Senate and complaining as Reid did, he elevated Limbaugh and now he’s boosted him with this little firestorm.

I can’t recall the last time I listened to Rush, but thanks to Reid I logged on today and did. I used to believe that there was no way the Democrats could blow it in 2008. But someone had better tell them to shut up, lest they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

(CK Rairden snatches victory from the jaws of defeat. Snatch him via email to ck.rairden@nationalledger.com)


 

President of Columbia University getting backlash for Iranian speaker
9/28/07

Fear and self loathing were on full display at Columbia University on Monday.

President Lee Bollinger, in an attempt to elevate his stature among the self-hating pointy headed intellectuals of the Northeast, personally invited the Iranian president, a little terrorist named Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to speak and gave him not only stature but a good hour of propaganda tape to slice and dice and use however he sees fit with an American college backdrop for dramatic effect.

In a move that surely shocked the ivory tower Ivy Leaguer, by the time Monday rolled around Bollinger had been called pretty much every name in the book from a variety of Americans on both sides of the political aisle.

I’m quite certain he believed that he would be widely lauded for his decision to grant a forum to a man that most likely was one of the kidnappers that stormed the US Embassy in November 1979 and held Americans and America hostage for 444 days.

But Bollinger didn’t care about the past transgressions or future plans of Ahmadinejad, he wanted a bump on the cocktail circuit and some praise from the elites.

Many call Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a madman, but he’s not. He is, however, a fanatic that is now supplying arms to those fighting and killing American soldiers in the war in Iraq. His government is assisting the Shiites with as many weapons as possible to kill our soldiers fighting in the region.

Ahmadinejad has also called the Holocaust “a myth” and called for Israel to be “wiped off the map.” He is, quite simply, a sworn enemy of the Unites States of America.

He certainly can’t beat us militarily, but he would love to grab some headlines and applause from the self-loathing in America that believe the United States is all too powerful and needs to be brought down a notch or two. He got that on Monday with many Columbia students wildly cheering his every translated word.

Bollinger tried again to defend his decision by saying that “tough questions” would be asked of Ahmadinejad in an open forum. Though questions were asked - Ahmadinejad either lied or turned and asked Bollinger the questions which made the old white guy look very foolish. The last thing America needs is some mouth breather like Bollinger playing diplomat on a college campus.

But he tried and Bollinger landed the first punch when he opened strong, trying to at least sound tough with this: “Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator,” Bollinger told Ahmadinejad, accusing him of brutal crackdowns on the country’s academics and homosexuals. “Why are you so afraid of Iranian citizens expressing their opinions for change?” he asked, challenging the leader of the Islamic republic to explain his comments downplaying the Holocaust.

“Frankly, in all candor Mr. President, I doubt you will have the intellectual courage to answer these questions,” he added. “When you come to a place like this, this makes you quite simply ridiculous. You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated,” he said.

He then welcomed him to speak and the propaganda began. So - who is the real dummy here? Sure the Iranian president took a few tough words from the president of the college, but then he was allowed to ramble on unchecked for nearly an hour. He was given undeserved prestige and a worldwide forum and a hall of useful idiots that cheered for him no matter what he said.

Some examples - “Let me tell a joke here,” Ahmadinejad said at one point. “I think the politicians who are after atomic bombs, or testing them, making them, politically they are backward, retarded.”

He was cheered.

“In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country,” he said. “In Iran we don’t have this phenomenon, I don’t know who told you this.”

The crowd laughed at this one, I guess thinking it was a joke, even though gays are killed in Iraq for the crime of - well, being gay. A few in the audience actually mustered up some boos.

Asked about Iraq, Ahmadinejad again denied Iran was providing advanced weapons to Shiite extremists to use against US troops.

“We think, in fact, the (US) military should seek an answer to its defeat in Iraq elsewhere,” he said, insisting Tehran wanted a stable Iraq on its border.

Again cheers rose from the kids in the hall that our supposedly our future best and brightest.
One student was later questioned on how the press in Iran would cover the visit. The answer, “I think they will be fair.”

Here’s just a slice of how it was reported.

“Despite entire US media objections, negative propagation and hue and cry in recent days over IRI President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s scheduled address at Colombia University, he gave his lecture and answered students' questions here on Monday afternoon.”

He answered no questions. He lied and called America a terrorist nation. His words with the cheers from the American college audience in the background are now being played throughout the Middle East and used as propaganda.

Certainly colleges and institutions of higher learning around the world should challenge their students to explore all points and come to a decision, but it ends there. Columbia’s president is not a diplomat.

The easy exploration here: Columbia University President Lee Bollinger is now Ahmadinejad’s favorite useful idiot.

Congratulations.

(CK Rairden writes from his home in Arizona. Tell him no lies via email to ck.rairden@nationalledger.com)

 


Hillary has another health plan as she runs for co-presidency, Part II
9/21/07

Hillary Clinton is back with a new plan for government health care. Oh, but for the record she says it is not government health care.

She may be right - but certainly it sounds like it will be government-forced health care.
Hillary’s failed efforts between 1992 and 1994 bruised and battered her co-presidency with her intern-loving husband Bill Clinton and damaged their first presidency greatly. That “reform” effort was so cumbersome and so rigid it was not only defeated but led to the Republican Revolution and helped put Newt Gingrich in power in the US Congress and eventually placed George W. Bush in the White House.

Now she’s back and running for the co-presidency, Part II, and she believes that she has learned from her mistakes.

This week she unveiled what sounds like a huge government program that would force Americans to buy health insurance. She compares it to the way states force those that drive to have automobile insurance coverage.

Of course, states can just pull your license plates if you are caught without automobile insurance. I’m not really sure what the government will do to you if you don’t buy the government mandated insurance, maybe they will set up a health care jail down at Guantanamo.

And she was more than a bit vague on the program, but she was clear that what she is proposing is going to cost a ton of taxpayer cash. She has put the number at $120 billion a year which means it will likely be four times that amount.

“We are the richest country in the world and we spend right now more on health care than anyone else in the world,” she bellowed in Iowa. “Two trillion dollars a year. But we’re ranked 31st in life expectancy and 40th in child mortality. Each year, 18,000 people die in America because they don’t have health care. Let me repeat that. Here in America, people are dying because they couldn’t get the care they needed when they were sick. At the same time, over the past six and a half years, the special interests have had a field day at the expense of the middle class and hard-working families.”

Just a side note here - since she was already in the White House and did nothing to solve what she dubbed the “Health Care Crisis” from 1993 to 2001, that would be fourteen and a half years - but hey who’s counting?

She says that large businesses will be forced to pay for their employees’ health care. Just a tip to Hillary: Employers don’t really pay for anything, the employees will pay for it with lower wages and other benefits that will be cut.

If you run a small business, Hillary gives this, “Under my plan, we won’t require small businesses to cover employees. Instead we will provide tax credits to ensure that many of them do. These tax credits will be based on size and average wages, so that small businesses can provide health care without destroying their bottom line. This credit could be as high as 50% of premiums for firms with fewer than 25 employees.”

It is hard to tell but I’m guessing that means those folks will be placed under the government plan Hillary wants to create. Make no mistake, health care is a mess and needs to be fixed. Portable insurance would be a logical step, but that is going to be very difficult. And major cuts will mean research and development will likely be cut, time with your doctors will be cut and very likely the overall quality of care will drop.

Hillary does dangle a pretty nice carrot, though. She says the government plan will be just like the one that the US Congress has. She added in her speech:

“[If] you don’t have health insurance or you don’t like the insurance you have, you can choose from the same wide variety of private plans that members of Congress choose from. I’m calling it a Health Choices Menu. So essentially the Congressional health care plan becomes the American health care plan. The idea here is simple. The American people should have access to the same array of health care choices and benefits as the Senators and Representatives they elect.”

While I’ve always wanted Congressional perks, something tells me this one will have me sitting in waiting rooms waiting for care like I am in a Minnesota airport bathroom stall. And I’m thinking I will get more than a bit anxious when the government doctor begins tapping his foot at me while placing on a rubber glove and telling me to relax - this won’t hurt a bit.

(CK Rairden fears rubber gloves from his home in Arizona. Write him at ckden@yahoo.com)


 

Gen. Petraeus simply fighting for success of assigned mission
9/14/07

The liberal activist group MoveOn.org ran a full page ad in Monday’s New York Times under the banner, “General Petraeus or General Betray us? Cooking the books for the White House.”

It had a picture of the General that would give his testimony to the US Congress on the developing situation in Iraq and more specifically, the results of the troop surge.

I’m guessing these mouth breathers believed the “betray us” play on words was clever. Few Democrats in the US Congress believe so after the beating they took on Monday. Republicans basically rolled up the newspaper the ad ran in, and smacked them like puppies with it.

Democrats have generally supported the far left fringe in the run up to the elections in 2008. All of the Democratic presidential candidates have played to the far left as they have tried to win the nomination, including frontrunners Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. John Edwards auctioned off his soul to the fringe radicals.

At some point they will have to run far from these kooks, but this ad Monday just pushed that up. The problem for MoveOn.org is that the ad will strike many Americans as extreme and likely turn a lot of people off. They are attacking the patriotism and loyalty of a man who has spent 37 years in his country’s uniform, and many of those in combat zones. American’s aren’t going to take that.

Add to that as a New York Times/CBS News poll being reported out Monday indicates, most Americans (68%) have more faith in the military to bring the Iraq War to a successful conclusion than they have in civilian leadership in either White House or Congress.

Calling General Petraeus fighting for the success of his assigned mission a “betrayal” is not only an outrageous statement it is absolutely false. The success of the mission is his job, the war was launched by a duly elected president with the backing of an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress. It’s their role, not his, to make the call to withdraw.

It was a stupid move by the left-wing group and what the Democrats believed would be a day for them touting victory politically by claiming the American military was defeated and needed to withdraw was quickly turned on them. Republicans waved the New York Times ad at the Democrats and demanded that the Dems denounce the group that was calling the General a traitor.

The GOP pounced. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said “They’ve got an entire political machine invested in troop withdrawal, precipitous troop withdrawal,” he said about congressional Democrats. “And I hope they do get left behind.” A GOP Senate aide said of the day’s testimony: “It gave our moderates a lot of breathing room.”

Dems were stumped and didn’t seem to be sure of what’s next in their political strategy. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), for example, was unmoved by the prospect for compromise. “No. We need a timetable to get out,” Harkin said. But Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said the partial troop withdrawal was a “positive step.”

Fred Thompson, one of the frontrunners for the GOP nod for president, took the political opening. He called on Democratic presidential candidates Monday to refund all donations received from MoveOn.org after the liberal advocacy group ran the ad.

“I understand there’s a front page ad that’s been taken out by this outfit called MoveOn.org in the New York Times today,” said Thompson at a campaign rally in South Carolina. “And it basically accuses our general who’s leading our troops in Iraq right now of betraying his own country. This outfit basically, in large part, funds the Democratic party. I call upon the Democratic party and all those Democratic contenders for the White House to disavow this libel against this brave American.”

CNN reports that Moveon.org supporters have contributed over $108,000 to Democratic presidential candidates this year through the group’s political action committee, citing Federal Election Commission records. Sen. Barack Obama led his party’s field in contributions received through Moveon.org, with just over $30,000 received since the start of his campaign. Rep. Dennis Kucinich received almost $25,000 compared to just over $23,000 for former Sen. John Edwards and $18,000 for New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden each received between $5,000 and $6000, while Sen. Chris Dodd received just under $1000.

FEC records also show that Moveon.org has collected $176,000 from its supporters and distributed them to four vulnerable House Democrats.

America has tired of this war, but would still like to see an American military victory. And while Democrats were all set to declare a political victory, their pals over at MoveOn.Org basically snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. It was a foolish ad and a cheap shot at a man that has dedicated his life to duty, honor and country.

They deserve the backlash and so do the Democrats that support their thinking and take their money.

(CK Rairden won't auction his soul to the fringe radicals. Email him to ckden@yahoo.com)


Is Fred Thompson lazy or just insistent on going at his own pace?
9/6/07

Fred Thompson is lazy. That is the message being sent out by opponents of the big man from Tennessee.

By the time you read this, Thompson should have made the official announcement that he is running for president.

On May 30, Thompson asked to be released from his duties on the Emmy Award-winning “Law & Order,” where he played New York district attorney Arthur Branch. Immediately the press began questioning whether or not his departure from television was due to prepare for a presidential bid.

On June 1, Thompson formed the “Friends of Fred Thompson” committee and later announced on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” that he was “testing the waters” regarding his possible run for the White House.

Now Fred will go back to Leno on Wednesday night. And get this - while he is with Leno, the other GOP candidates will debate in New Hampshire.

That brought this response from Mitt Romney.

“We all get the chance to go on the talk shows. But it’s not the sort of questions you get in the debates or the town meetings that I’ve had,” Romney said in an Associated Press interview, alluding to Thompson’s planned appearance with Jay. Thompson is to officially enter the race Thursday.

“The talk show circuit is fine, but the town meetings show you’re willing to listen to people and take their questions,” continued Romney.

“I think it will boost the ratings for Jay Leno’s show, but I’d rather be doing well in New Hampshire,” Romney deadpanned.

More people will see Fred Thompson on the NBC show. Dante Scala, New Hampshire primary expert and associate professor of political science at UNH, said the fact that Thompson will likely get more exposure, due to better ratings, on the “Tonight Show” has “more than a little something to do with it.”

“With Jay Leno, he’ll have the stage to himself. I think as long as his campaign can keep him distinct from the other candidates, they will,” Scala said. “As soon as he gets up there, he’s just one of the crowd. And I would guess for his rollout, he would want the stage to himself as much as possible.”

Still the debate planners in New Hampshire are not happy. GOP Chairman Fergus Cullen said, “The timing of the announcement is deliberate and designed to avoid the opportunity to participate in this debate. I am very disappointed by the decision and I hope they change their mind.”

Dream on.

Thompson is actually playing this quite wise, as these debates so far have accomplished absolutely nothing, Thompson won’t be harmed by skipping another eight person snoozer in New Hampshire.

The Thompson announcement tour starts with a two-day trip to Iowa on Sept. 6, then heads to New Hampshire, starting with a stop in Portsmouth at an unknown location on Sept. 8. He will then travel to Manchester and Nashua on Sept. 9, before heading to South Carolina to wrap up the tour.

***

So - is Thompson really lazy?

He certainly likes to do things his own way and at his own speed. In this day and age in politics and running for the chance to represent a severely damaged Republican Party, that might be a plus. He’s not the traditional baby-kissing Washington politician. In fact, he seems to despise DC and all the trappings.

So why does he want to be president? At some point soon he had better have a very good answer to that question.

Right now insiders are saying it’s because his wife, Jeri, whom he’d married in 2002. Many believe she is more interested in the White House than Fred. Some Washington observers are also blaming Jeri for the campaign's slow start and high turnover of top level personnel.
According to a long article in Newsweek titled “Lazy Like a Fox,” Jeri took on the role of chief adviser and de facto campaign manager. She has hired and fired staff, and demanded final approval of things ranging from fund-raising events to travel schedules. That seemed to crash and burn. Thompson went through two campaign managers and lost at least five other top aides. He has now taken over himself and veteran campaigner Bill Lacy is involved.

I think Thompson probably waited too long. Mitt Romney has a very good campaign moving forward and Rudy Giuliani is still the man to beat. But if Thompson is worried, it doesn’t show.

“They’ve been spending hundreds of millions of dollars running flat-out for a year,” he told reporters last week. “That doesn’t bother me. I don’t pay attention to that. I’m going to do things at my own pace, my own rate and my own way.”

That’s actually really refreshing. On the Democratic side of the aisle it is already growing old listening to Hillary Clinton “nag” on the campaign trail. (Can someone please explain the idea of tone to her, the shrieking is getting hard to take). Barack Obama is so far removed from being ready for prime time it is scary.

On the GOP side, the only one that excites at all in Giuliani. Maybe Fred can bring a bit of southern comfort to the race and actually deliver some much-needed optimism.
But slow paced or not, getting in this late, he will have to make every day count or he risks being only a footnote in presidential campaign history.

(Always more than just a footnote, CK Rairden can be reached at ckden@yahoo.com)


 

Brad Pitt concludes Hurricane Katrina was an engineering problem
8/30/07

I’ve got a confession to make. I’m actually pretty green.

I’m not really convinced that the planet is going to run out of resources any time soon, nor am I a fanatic about it. I certainly don’t preach it to others that they should live their lives that way. But I do use those energy saving light bulbs all over the house.

In the High Sonoran Desert where my highly fortified compound is located, I use a simple method of an evaporative cooler (basically water, a pad and a small electric motor) to cool my humble abode when the conditions are right and the humidity is low.

I don’t have an office in town anymore; I’ve moved it into the house. My commute each morning is from one end of the house from my bedroom to the other end of the house where my office is. I don’t even have to shop for my favorite premium cigar. I just call my distributor and they are delivered right to my door.

So you can imagine my shock when I turned on my television last week to see Hollywood liberal and serial kid adopter Brad Pitt lecturing people like me and you on energy use and the dependence on foreign oil. As I know enough people that follow the world of popular culture closely, I know way too much about Brad Pitt and the woman he is currently sleeping with Angelina Jolie.

Their mode of travel is private jets, they never fly commercial. They own a whole bunch of houses in various parts of the United States and Europe. When they travel they have an entourage of people packed in multiple SUV’s. Being a free market conservative that enjoys his freedom I was absolutely fine with that, until the hypocrisy kicked in.

Pitt was making a one-day appearance and claims he wants to help rebuild New Orleans one green house at a time. The actor, who has been involved with the Global Green USA project, decided to grant a photo op to promote his new pet cause, and while that’s all well and good like most Hollywood liberals Pitt really doesn’t live up to anything close to being environmentally friendly.

I’d like to say he talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk but he sounded so sophomoric and dopey I can’t even really grant him that.

Fortunately for him he was speaking to Ann Curry, a Jolie-Pitt groupie who also is a host and reporter for NBC news. She blew off the whole serious journalist bit though and looked like a school girl during the interview and failed to ask any tough questions. Not that it mattered. Here’s just a taste of what Pitt said:

“Katrina was a manmade disaster,” Pitt told Curry. “The misconception is that it was nature. But this is manmade - decades and decades of erroneous engineering moves and really, really bad, bad irresponsible moves that I believe government has a responsibility to make right.”

He added this gem as well: “The idea that we pay utility bills is absolutely unnecessary, There’s the sun. It’s right there to be harnessed. You feel the breeze that’s been created here. And we got water right out there. Any one of these can be harnessed...It’s simple. It’s smart. It’s the way we have to be thinking. There’s a lot of problems in the world right now because of our dependency on oil.”

Oh the humanity!

Pitt sounded as stupid as he looked in an all white outfit that he wore for the interview. In Pitt’s world, that category four hurricane that slammed New Orleans was an engineering problem, utilities will soon be free and clear and oil dependency is really bad.

Well - except for Brad Pitt. I consulted my Brangelina experts and was informed that in just the last month this dolt has logged more miles than George W. Bush. Pitt has flown from Prague to New York on a private jet. From New York he and the family flew to Los Angeles for a birthday party. From there the family took a private jet to Chicago. Pitt then took a one day trip from the Windy City to Los Angeles again, he then returned to Chicago the same day - all on a private jet. Hew then flew to New Orleans on a private jet and then made his way back to New York again on a private jet.

He then held a fundraiser in the Hamptons to promote his cause on Saturday night. Rather than taking the highway like everyone else did from New York City, the Jolie-Pitt clan arrived by helicopter. Is he kidding me?

(A Platte County High School graduate, CK Rairden writes from his evaporatively-cooled home in Arizona. Reach him at ckden@yahoo.com)


 

Fred Thompson frightens the left wing, and why he's waiting to announce
8/26/07

Fred Thompson really frightens the left wing of the Democratic Party. 

The slow-talking southerner has yet to even declare his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president and that is a problem for some liberal blogger named Lane Hudson. 

He is so upset and wants attention so bad that he has filed a lawsuit against Thompson claiming he is skirting election law by running for president “undeclared.”  In his complaint, Hudson lays out a number of examples ranging from Thompson’s extensive fundraising to quotes from the senator and his advisers.

On Monday he wrote on his blog, “Fred Thompson is breaking the law and it’s time somebody did something about it,” Hudson said in a statement. “So, this morning, I filed an FEC Complaint against him. For far too long, he has been ignoring the letter and spirit of Federal Election Law for his own political benefit. It reeks of the same disregard for the law that we have seen from the Bush Administration, Bob Ney, Duke Cunningham, Tom Delay [sic], and Mark Foley.”

Hudson is no political outsider. He is a lifelong liberal Democrat from Charleston, S.C., and has worked for quite a few politicians, including John Kerry in his failed 2004 presidential campaign.  He is the man that outed Mark Foley.  That was his 15 minutes of fame that he thought would launch his career as a political consultant or commentator – it didn’t.  He now seems bitter and is looking to extend his fame just a bit more with this effort.

***

In an e-mail to reporters, Thompson spokesman Jim Mills would only say, “We’re following the law.” The FEC on Monday afternoon could only confirm that it has received the complaint. The complaint will be treated as a “matter under review.”

Within five days of receiving the complaint, the FEC must notify the Thompson exploratory committee and provide it with a copy of the complaint. The committee then has 15 days to respond to the FEC and say in writing “why no action should be taken.”

A number of press reports have raised questions about the extent of Thompson’s early efforts and whether they run afoul of the “testing the waters” clause.  For the record the  law is particularly vague in this area as there are no set dollar amounts a would-be candidate is prevented from raising. Thompson’s $3.4 million June haul as outlined in a report to the IRS does not meet or exceed any specific legal guideline.

***

So what’s the hold up for Thompson?  DC insiders note that Thompson has been clear in interviews to not declare himself a candidate, telling CNN on Aug. 17, “We are going to be getting in if we get in, and of course, we are in the testing the waters phase.”

ABC news reported on Monday that in June Thompson signed a long-term lease on a Nashville location for his national campaign headquarters.

He’s been to Iowa and New Hampshire, and headlined GOP dinners.  Here is the key reason why he is waiting.  If Thompson waits until Sept. 6 to formally declare his candidacy, he wouldn’t have to disclose any of the cash given to his campaign until Jan. 31 — after many major contests are over, including the Iowa and Nevada Caucuses, and the New Hampshire, South Carolina, Michigan and Florida primaries.

It should be noted that Rudy Giuliani began his “testing the waters” “exploratory” phase Nov 2006 and announced his candidacy Feb. 2007. Fred Thompson began his “testing the waters” phase June 2007 and most likely will announce first week in September so it seems Giuliani’s exploratory phase and Fred’s are approximately the same amount of time.

Thompson used the lawsuit to reiterate that he is an outside the beltway candidate.  That’s smart. His campaign says that he’s complying with all rules and regulations, and Thompson has cast all questions about this in terms of him not doing things the way Washington, DC, insiders want them to be done.

Robert Novak noted in a weekend column that key advisers in Thompson’s campaign for the Republican presidential candidacy believe he must begin with a superior performance in his first debate in order to continue to generate funds.  That’s accurate.  Thompson may have some hope but he will have to enter the race with a real bang.  He has lost a lot of the early buzz he once had and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani’s campaign is churning along. 

Thompson will have to run on hope as Ronald Reagan did in 1980 and he must be able to communicate that he is an outsider and present change from a very unpopular president.

I’m not sure what Fred Thompson can bring to the table.  I like his style and the fact that he has been nowhere near Washington, DC during the last few years.  His style and pace of speaking is the type of communication this country needs after George W. Bush’s last three years of non-communication. This lawsuit likely won’t hurt Fred Thompson but if he doesn’t enter this race strong he had better ally with Rudy and seek the veep nod.  He may have waited too long.

(CK Rairden watches the national political scene for The Landmark from his humble abode. Write him at ckden@yahoo.com)


 

Better money management is answer to bridge issues
8/16/07

The tragedy in Minnesota when a bridge collapsed over the Mississippi River sent many rushing to their television screens to look at the horrific sight and pray and hope for those involved and their families.

While certainly the same can likely be said for Democrats, they also believe that we aren’t paying enough money in taxes and are willing to use the shock and emotion of the wall-to-wall coverage to grab some taxpayer dollars.

As I pen this on Monday night, divers are continuing to search for four people still missing after the eight-lane span bridge fell into the Mississippi river nearly two weeks ago.

Emergency teams have been working for 13 days to recover bodies and vehicles from the wrecked Interstate 35W bridge - which was the city’s busiest.

So far, about 44 vehicles of an estimated 100 that were on the bridge at the time of the collapse have been lifted from the ruins.

What did we learn from the tragedy? The cash that we have sent lawmakers to keep our infrastructure in order and working has been misused on pork projects.

Now Democrats want your cash-- well, they want even more of it--and they are willing to use a tragedy to grab for your wallet and/or your purse.

“If you’re not prepared to invest another five cents in bridge reconstruction and road reconstruction, then God help you,” Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., said in trying to justify his cash grab.

Just so we are clear,, that is a nickel on every gallon of gas sold to motorists in the United States and that would amount to a 27 percent increase in the federal fuel tax. This boost, he insists, would last only three years, bringing in $25 billion in new revenue.

Syndicated columnist Steve Chapman ran some numbers and noted that just two short years ago, Congress and the president agreed on a federal highway bill with a six-year price tag of $286 billion. Nationally, all bodies of government spend in the neighborhood of $150 billion a year on roads.

Of course it was full of pet projects for lawmakers and loaded with pork. When the 2005 package passed, it included 6,736 special projects inserted by members for the benefit of their home districts, which had a total price tag of $24 billion — helping to make it what the organization Taxpayers for Common Sense called “by far the most expensive, wasteful highway bill in the nation’s history.”

Keith Ashdown is a member of that group and coined the phrase “Bridge to Nowhere” two years ago to deride the now-infamous $223 million bridge proposal for Alaska’s barren Gravina Island. He wisely remains a skeptic.

“I get really nervous when lawmakers say spend, spend, spend, and we’ll all be OK,” he said.

Everyone should have that attitude. Among the worst federal road projects identified by his group in a 2004 report was $121 million to add new ramps to Interstate Highway 35W in Minneapolis. Yes, the same stretch of road that leads to the bridge that collapsed. They knew the bridge was flawed, but instead wanted to use the cash for onramps and now they want us to trust them with more cash? No thanks.

President Bush actually made the right move here and told Congress to manage the mounds of cash they have right now with a bit more precision. He assailed Oberstar’s idea, saying Congress should reorder its spending priorities first.

“From my perspective, the way it seems to have worked is that each member on that committee gets to set his or her own priority first, and then whatever is left over is spent through a funding formula,” Bush said.

“The president is sticking his head in the sand and hoping things will just work out,” Oberstar said. “We need to move quickly to address these problems. They aren’t going to fix themselves. The money isn’t going to fall from the sky like manna from heaven.”

Great choice of words. This mouth-breather represents a state where a bridge literally just fell and killed at least a dozen people and his thoughts are to use the emotion to line the pockets of the same people who built the bridge in the first place. And with gas prices already an issue this idea is a loser and if Oberstar had any shame he would feel it right now.

But don’t worry - he doesn’t. He is just another creepy politician who feels that he needs more of your money to mismanage and he wants your cash and is happy to use the dead, the missing and injured in Minnesota to get it.

(Our own CK Rairden realizes pork is the other white meat, but opposes pork projects while writing for your Landmark. Reach him at ckden@yahoo.com)

 


 

Even some liberals seeing hope in Iraq
Positive turns on the war front seem to have produced an opportunity

8/09/07

Can America still win in Iraq? Certainly views are shifting and it has some that have invested everything in American defeat concerned.

A few weeks back, I railed against the Bush Administration for allowing the war to be lost here at home in the media. In a time where it was so important to keep the focus of supporters, President George W. Bush fell asleep at the wheel.

It was not a stunner, since his victory in November of 2004, Bush seemed to lose focus. But a funny thing happened on the way to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Just last week, some turns in Iraq have brought hope and some are beginning to see an opportunity for a must win in Iraq.

Now some Americans are feeling better again about supporting the war. In the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday, the proportion of those who said the additional troops are “making the situation better” rose to 31% from 22% a month ago. Those who said it was “not making much difference” dropped to 41% from 51%.

So - how did support for an American victory swing 10 points in such a short time? Let’s timeline the turnaround.

On Friday, July 27 a fascinating thing happened. A US Congresswoman from Kansas that represents Topeka was so shocked by positive testimony about Iraq by retired Gen. Jack Keane that she actually left the meeting in what sounded like a bit if a huff.

“There was only so much that you could take until we in fact had to leave the room for a while,” Nancy Boyda said after she returned, according to a transcript of the hearing.
But when Boyda returned to the hearing, she ridiculed Keane’s description of Iraq “as in some way or another that it’s a place that I might take the family for a vacation — things are going so well — those kinds of comments will in fact show up in the media and further divide this country instead of saying, ‘Here’s the reality of the problem.’”

In plain terms, Boyda was so furious that America might actually achieve victory in Iraq that she walked out on testimony only to return and call the good news of an American victory “divisive.”

***

On Sunday, July 29 a shocking discussion ensued on “The Chris Matthews Show” and five liberal media members actually debated why America shouldn’t withdraw its troops from Iraq.

This panel was comprised of the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, Time’s Michael Duffy, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell, and U.S. News and World Report’s Gloria Borger, along with my favorite liberal e-mail pen pal Chris Matthews. They all agreed that American troops should stay.

That had to be an enigma - right? Hardly. Many on the left were in shock when a high-profile July 30 op-ed piece, by Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, appeared in The New York Times under the headline “A War We Just Might Win.”

For the record O’Hanlon and Pollack supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003, but they have sharply criticized military operations there in the ensuing years. The money line from the long piece, “As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq,” they wrote, “we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily ‘victory,’ but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.”

***

On Tuesday night, July 31, Vice President Dick Cheney went on CNN’s “Larry King Live” and declared that U.S. military strategists “made significant progress now into the course of the summer. ... Don’t take it from me. Look at the piece that appeared yesterday in The New York Times, not exactly a friendly publication — but a piece by Mr. O’Hanlon and Mr. Pollack on the situation in Iraq. They’re just back from visiting over there. They both have been strong critics of the war.”

Hey, look at the administration actually trying to boost the effort.

***

On Wednesday, Aug. 1, the U.S. News & World Report website reported: “The news that the U.S. death toll in Iraq for July, at 73, is the lowest in eight months spurred several news organizations to present a somewhat optimistic view of the situation in Iraq. The consensus in the coverage appears to be that things are improving militarily, even as the political side of the equation remains troubling.

***

So when the weekend poll was taken, some had actually heard something positive coming in for our side (that’s America, to you Boyda supporters) on Iraq, and just that sliver of hope pushed the polling data 10 points.

Syndicated columnist Michael Barone jumped on that in a Monday column writing, “Gen. David Petraeus, the author of the Army’s new counterinsurgency manual and the commander in Iraq, is scheduled to report on the surge in mid-September. The prospect of an even partially positive report has sent chills up the spines of Democratic leaders in Congress. That, says House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, would be “a real big problem for us.””

Democrats like Boyda and her pal Rep. John Murtha D-Pa. smell trouble and are worried. The anti-war liberal dismissed the New York Times piece as “rhetoric.” “I don’t know what they saw, but I know this, that it’s not getting better,” Murtha told CNN.
It’s a sad position to take - cheering for an American military defeat. Americans certainly seem war weary on Iraq, but maybe - just maybe - there is enough American pride left in some that they just don’t want to lose.

Too bad the same can’t be said for Nancy Boyda and the rest of the Democrats who would prefer the US military losing in Iraq for political gain in America.

(A loyal fan of truth, justice and the American Way, CK Rairden always cheers for the United States in times of war. Cheer or jeer him with an email to ck.rairden@nationalledger.com)

 


 

Hillary breaks out the girls on Senate floor
It was in apparent response to being challenged on her femininity

8/02/07

Hillary Clinton broke out the girls last week to prove that she indeed has breasts.
Clinton threw caution to the wind and let the cleavage fly on the floor of the US Senate and it is all DC pundits could talk about. (Hold on, I have to get that little bit of throw-up back down.)

Whoo - okay, Hillary Clinton, yes the one time “hippie chick” turned “hippy presidential candidate in pantsuits” was berated by some Washington Post Fashion columnist named Robin Givhan who, as it turns out, isn’t Mike Tyson’s ex wife.

The fashion chick explains, “She was wearing a rose-colored blazer over a black top. The neckline sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-shape. The cleavage registered after only a quick glance. No scrunch-faced scrutiny was necessary. There wasn’t an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable.”

***

That led senior Clinton adviser Ann Lewis to urge donors to help fight the treatment she termed “insulting.” She sent us all a letter begging for cash to keep people like Givhan from commenting on Clinton’s attempt to prove that she was “not a man.”

The letter said in part, “I didn’t realize the attention and the anger it was setting off nationally ..... Women either read it or heard about it. They were indignant on Hillary’s behalf and also on their own.”

Lewis says she has not discussed the matter with the New York senator.
Lewis’s fundraising letter begins: “Can you believe that The Washington Post wrote a 746-word article on Hillary’s cleavage? ..... I’ve seen some off-topic press coverage—but talking about body parts? That is grossly inappropriate.”

It was gross all right, and inappropriate. Oh - she’s likely talking about the column, not the Hillary display, though I’m referring to the latter.

She added, “Frankly, focusing on women’s bodies instead of their ideas is insulting. It’s insulting to every woman who has ever tried to be taken seriously in a business meeting. It’s insulting to our daughters—and our sons—who are constantly pressured by the media to grow up too fast.”

I was certainly insulted and a tad frightened.

It was noted by the Washington Post that Givhan won a 2006 Pulitzer Prize “for her witty, closely observed essays that transform fashion criticism into cultural criticism.”

She writes for Style, where staffers pride themselves on being edgy (some say snarky) and provocative. Her editors give her wide latitude to comment, and she regularly ticks off readers.”

Ombudsman Deborah Howell noted that Givhan has frequently written about male candidates — when former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani stopped the comb-over to hide his baldness. A 2004 piece about John Kerry and John Edwards started off: “Hair has become a central issue in the race for the presidency.”

She added that while Howell noted that Clinton’s potential provocative clothing is not the top issue on which a presidential vote for her should be decided, she defended it as a fair topic for a fashion writer. “Does this have anything to do with whether Clinton should be president? Not a thing. But do we want to read the column about her cleavage? Yes indeed. It was the most viewed story on the Web site all day.”

So - then the Sunday talk show hosts got into the act. First on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” on which the column drew complaints from NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, but support from John Harwood of The Wall Street Journal, who said, “When you look ... at the calculation that goes into everything that Hillary Clinton does, for her to argue that she was not aware of what she was communicating by her dress is like Barry Bonds saying he though he was rubbing down with flaxseed oil.”

Clever enough.

***

At least one host, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on “This Week,” headed off talk of the column before it could start, saying during a Clinton discussion, “I’m not going to that cleavage story,” adding then, “it had to come up.”

That’s not what Bill Clinton says.

It was laughable to hear camp Clinton whining about Hillary unbuttoning her blouse to try to look feminine (ugh - there’s that throw-up again). She did it because she was challenged on her femininity in that ridiculous YouTube debate. Some mouth-breather asked the question if Hillary was “feminine enough” and asked Barack Obama if he was “black enough.”

Here’s the easy answer of Hillary displaying even the slightest of skin, and I’m certain her husband Bill will back me up. No one wants to see that - the smart thing is to look away before your retinas burn up.

And here’s a tip for Ann Lewis, another middle aged lady in comfortable shoes.

If you are going to send me a fundraising letter that begs for money over the cleavage scandal, you will likely get more cash if donations are accepted in exchange for Hillary promising to never, ever do that again.

I see Ivan Foley has his checkbook out right now.

(CK Rairden, a noted expert on cleavage, can be reached via email to ck.rairden@nationalledger.com)

 


 

Obama makes Hillary look reasonable
His remarks in YouTube 'debate' boost Clinton in the eyes of potential voters

7/27/07

On Monday night a “YouTube” debate was held for the Democratic presidential candidates.

The Democratic presidential hopefuls watched videos made by a bunch of special interests disguised as ordinary citizens. They were mostly fluff questions - “Would you legalize gay marriage?” “Will you end the war?” Will you help poor people and tax the rich?”
It was an absolute mess of questions that since they were played on a screen, left no room for follow-up questions and basically was not really a debate but a chance for candidates to filibuster.

A woman who identified herself as someone who worked for Planned Parenthood asked the candidates about sex education. The lunacy continued with the next two questions, but this time on the “hot topic” of climate change.

A crudely-animated snowman who asked a question about global warming, and talked like the old “Mr. Bill” from Saturday Night Live was followed by a “Bay Area” hippie, specifically in Berkeley, California, who asked the candidates how they would decrease energy consumption.

While a third question clip related to “climate change” followed (the producer agreed with the “scientific consensus” on man-made global warming), the questioner asked the candidates about their stance on nuclear energy, which he supported.

Democrats were asked where they stood on reparations to blacks for slavery. Are there any slaves left in this country?

This was followed by a question on how race and class affected the response to Hurricane Katrina; and how Obama and Clinton address criticisms that they’re not “black enough” or “feminine enough.”

This was an exercise in futility and I should have just watched the “Two and a Half men” re-run that was on CBS.

But since I’ll never get those two hours of my life back, I’ll share with you the one priceless moment and it showed that Barack Obama is not even close to being ready for prime time. He actually said Monday that he would meet with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez if he were elected president.

Obama responded to a hypothetical question: “Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?

The senator from Illinois responded: “I would, and the reason is this: the notion that somehow not talking to countries is somehow punishing them, which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration, is ridiculous.”

Obama then laughably invoked the Gipper.

“Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to the Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire, and the reason is because they understood that we may not trust them, that they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we have the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward.”
He added: “And I think it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them.”

There are so many things wrong with his comparisons it is frightening and one can imagine that Obama would have panicked if he were around when Reagan dubbed the Soviet Union “The Evil Empire.”

Democrats at the time freaked out and claimed President Reagan was unstable and a dunce. And to compare Castro and Chavez to the leaders in the eighties in the former Soviet Union was laughable.

Unfortunately for Hillary haters, he set her up to absolutely knock one out of the park. Hillary Clinton disagreed with Obama and said: “I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year . . .I don’t want to be used for propaganda purposes and don’t want to make a situation even worse.”

Way to go Obama, you made Hillary look reasonable. A Survey USA instant poll of Americans who watched the CNN-YouTube Democratic presidential debate and didn’t kill themselves found that those who thought Sen. Hillary Clinton would make the best president before the debate were even more convinced after it finished.

In addition, 39% of those watching said they thought Clinton won. (She did, easily).
However, it was Sen. Joe Biden who made the biggest impression among viewers according to the poll. One thing is certain, if any of these eight candidates that participated in this debate takes office in January of 2009, America is in dire straights.

If ignorance is bliss then CNN viewers should be delirious.

The Republicans’ YouTube debate isn’t until September, but if it is anything like this I would highly recommend watching paint dry before taking it in.

(CK Rairden watches paint dry in the Arizona heat. . . when he isn't penning his Landmark column. Email him at ckden@yahoo.com)

 


 

On Iraq, Bush needed to lead and he failed
He has been unable to connect, now most Americans believe the war is lost

7/19/07

I’m often asked how we went wrong in Iraq. How did we get to the point where Americans no longer believe that it is necessary to fight and win in Iraq?

There is an easy way to understand why the polls have completely switched. In May of 2003 a USA Today/Gallup Poll indicated that 75% of Americans felt the U.S. was right in sending troops to Iraq in March 2003.

A new poll conducted by USA Today and Gallup just last week finds U.S. public support for the war in Iraq has reached a new low. The survey, conducted last Friday through Sunday concludes that more than 7 in 10 polled said they were ready to quit and in favor of removing nearly all U.S. troops from Iraq by April 2008.

So what happened?

Americans were told this would be a long war, and like none ever fought before but they have short attention spans and needed to be reminded of that every single week; really, they needed reminded every single day.

But President George W. Bush, a man that was so firm and a very good communicator right after the 9/11 attacks, has failed miserably to even get a coherent message that the public can rally around. His communication has been putrid.

What happened to the man that was so determined in September of 2001? Bush gave a needed rallying speech on September 20 of that year to a joint session of Congress and the American people that was cheered and gave Americans goose bumps as we prepared to gird our loins for the long upcoming battle.

Here’s a taste, as most have forgotten: “Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but does not end there ... This war will not be like other wars. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen ... Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime ... But the only way to defeat terrorism as a threat to our way of life is to stop it, eliminate it, and destroy it where it grows ... I ask for your ... patience in what will be a long struggle.”

Cheers followed. People teared up in their living rooms.

He wasn’t finished and he added, “Americans are asking: How will we fight and win this war? We will direct every resource at our command — every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war — to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network. This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.”

Okay Mr. President so what do you need from the American citizen?

“I ask for your patience, with the delays and inconveniences that may accompany tighter security; and for your patience in what will be a long struggle.”

America vowed patience, but wondered where the war would take our soldiers. Bush said it plain and clear, “The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.”

He concluded this speech with gusto, “Fellow citizens, we’ll meet violence with patient justice — assured of the rightness of our cause, and confident of the victories to come. In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom, and may He watch over the United States of America.”

***

America was a different country on that night. Americans were rallied and we were ready for the long haul and a fight that would take decades, even generations and would lead us to places like Iraq. We would attack instead of waiting to be attacked. Not even one decade has passed and now most are ready to quit.

Is it George Bush’s fault? Certainly he hasn’t helped.

After he won re-election in 2004, with Americans fighting in Iraq, he nearly vanished from sight. He spoke of political capital but failed to define the wins and losses in Iraq on a consistent basis. That was a mistake. Politicians on the other side now define our battles in Iraq. They say the war is lost and most Americans believe them.

Those that want us out actually claim they will “end the war.” American troops can surely be pulled from the region, but this war is far from over, the enemy is fighting each day and building each day. President Bush needed to make that point every single day since November 2004. Instead he only emerges to talk after shocking polls come out like the one from last week.

Bush has lost the American people’s support for this war. It was so important to keep it and at times it seemed as if he believed it was owed to him. But it wasn’t. This is America and he needed to earn it. He blew it and at this point, it will be nearly impossible for him to ever regain it.

His communication in the speeches after the attacks on America was eloquent and forceful. As his two terms have unfolded he has morphed into his father, seemingly out of touch and unable to connect. This was far too important to handle the way he did. We will pay a huge price once we quit Iraq, and though it will be the fault of those that lost their will, it will ultimately land at the feet of George W. Bush.

He needed to lead and faltered.

(Unlike President Bush, The Landmark's CK Rairden makes a point every week. Tell him you've noticed with an email to ck.rairden@nationalledger.com)

 


 

Hillary showing signs of being overconfident
And that's just what the Republicans need to have a chance in 2008

7/13/07

The election in November of 2008 is a mere formality. So sayeth Hillary Clinton’s chief strategist Mark Penn.

Barack Obama, you can bow out gracefully. Republican Rudy Giuliani, you have no shot. And who is this Fred Thompson guy?

In what I am guessing is meant to be taken seriously, Hillary Clinton is certainly not concerned about any “comeback kids” as her hubby was dubbed during the primaries in 1992.

Her chief strategist released a memo that seems designed to bludgeon all opposition into senselessness through the sheer power of numbers (with links to 40 polls showing Hillary in the lead among Democrats).

He writes: “With two quarters of 2007 behind us and just 6 months to go until the Iowa caucuses, it is a good time to see where Hillary stands and why.”

The bottom line according to Camp Hillary is that her electoral strength has “grown in the last quarter and she is better positioned today than ever before to become the next President of the United Sates. Recent polls have her at or near 40% with leads of 15-20 points over her nearest competitors. Voters yearn for change and they say that Hillary has the strength and experience to actually bring about that change. Hillary’s message: that her strength and experience will bring real change that America needs, is resonating strongly with voters.”

He adds, “In the general election, Hillary leads top Republican Rudy Giuliani by seven points (51 percent to 44 percent) in the last Newsweek poll, up from just three points a month ago. The next closest Democrat leads Giuliani by only five points (49 percent to 44 percent), down from seven points in May.”

I’m not certain that any Republican can keep the White House in 2008. George W. Bush has passed his dad in one feat and that is being completely out of touch with the American voter. He sealed his legacy with an abysmal defeat when he tried to cram what he dubbed immigration reform down the throats of the electorate.

So now for the GOP to somehow win, there are only two real ways to accomplish this feat. Run far away from George Bush and run on a platform of optimism and the “shining city on a hill” ala Ronald Reagan in 1980.

They also need an overconfident screeching Hillary a full 16 months out. Thanks to her overzealous strategist, it appears the latter is in place.

***

I watched a bit of Al Gore's “Live Earth” over the weekend. Apparently I was one of the few. When they are dubbed environmentalist whackos, this is why.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. screamed on stage, “Get rid of all these rotten politicians that we have in Washington, who are nothing more than corporate toadies…this is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors.”

It should be noted that this mouth-breather takes private jets, no doubt paid for by corporations, so he can lecture all of us before he heads back to one of the many Kennedy mansions. Luckily for him no one was watching. A paltry estimated 2.7 million viewers watched. To put that in perspective, that is slightly less than the 3 million NBC would average on a normal Saturday night in the summer with repeats.

In a country with 300 million people, Al Gore and his boosters in the “mainstream media” couldn’t even get one percent of the population to turn on his concert.

Want more perspective? Despite the hype and free airtime, he lost to a repeat of America’s Funniest Home Videos.

***

I like Fred Thompson even more after this revelation was dug up earlier this week.

Richard Milhouse Nixon, the same dope that believed that wage price controls could curb inflation back in the early 1970's, didn’t take too highly to Fred being brought in as counsel for the Senate Watergate committee and in fact was so disappointed with the selection of Thompson he called him “dumb as hell.”

The president did not think Thompson was skilled enough to interrogate unfriendly witnesses and would be outsmarted by the committee’s Democratic counsel.

This assessment comes from audio tapes of White House conversations recently reviewed by The Associated Press at the National Archives in College Park, Md., and transcripts of those discussions that are published in “Abuse of Power: The New Watergate Tapes,” by historian Stanley Kutler.

“Oh (expletive) that kid,” Nixon said when told by his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, of Thompson’s appointment on Feb. 22, 1973.

The question that became the embodiment of the Watergate scandal: “What did the president know and when did he know it?” was fed to Tennessee Sen. Howard Baker by Thompson.

(CK Rairden fights illegal immigration as best he can from his compound in Arizona. Send Border Patrol tips to ck.rairden@nationalledger.com)

 


 

Today's politicians not like our forefathers
With these folks around, we would still be under British rule

7/3/07

The Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776. It was signed on July 4, 1776 by 56 signers.

Eighteen were under 40; three were in their 20s. Of the 56, almost half—24—were judges and lawyers. Eleven were merchants, 9 were land-owners and farmers, and the remaining 12 were doctors, ministers, and politicians.

Each of the signers had much more to lose from going against the English Crown and King George and declaring their independence and the revolution than he had to gain by it.

John Hancock, one of the richest men in America, already had a price of 500 pounds on his head. That is where the famous Ben Franklin quote emerged: “Indeed we must all hang together, otherwise we shall most assuredly hang separately.”

The Revolutionary War was already underway, George Washington had taken command of the Continental Army on July 3, 1775 but with the Declaration the stage was set for a long and difficult war against a very strong foe. An estimated 25,000 American Revolutionaries died during active military service in the war that lasted eight years.

We could never fight a war with so much at stake and ask for so many sacrifices today. Men gave up everything, life property and riches. After he was caught spying on British troops on Long Island, Nathan Hale is executed without a trial, his last words, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

Our military remains unchanged. They fight for our freedoms each day, they endure and sacrifice and die so that our country can remain free. Our politicians and those inside Washington, DC don’t have the gravitas of our forefathers.

Can you imagine them in colonial times? They would whine and complain that the war is taking too long, and the Continental Congress was not moving fast enough to establish a formal government.

Today’s politicians would argue for a “pull out” and America as we know it would have never been born. We would without question still be under British rule.

Take a moment away from the fireworks that celebrate this nation’s 231st birthday and be thankful for those men that sacrificed life, limb and fortune for the sake of the birth of a free nation.

So here we are in modern day America. We are in searching for new leadership and I have yet to hear optimism from any candidate.

In a frightening pre-failure attack, Hillary Clinton is already signaling that if she gets elected, don’t expect much.

“After eight years of the Bush administration, we are going to be shocked by what we find,” the New York senator and former first lady said. “Somebody said to me the other day if there was ever a time for a woman president it’s now because we’re going to have to do a lot of cleaning.”

"Grab your buckets, grab your brooms,” Clinton said. “We’re going to have to do a clean sweep because there has been a culture of cronyism, corruption and incompetence.”

Not exactly “Indeed we must all hang together, otherwise we shall most assuredly hang separately.”

Or “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

Worse, she ripped off her lines from her pal Nancy Pelosi.

“Maybe it takes a woman to clean house,” Pelosi said. She called President Bush incompetent and said she was going to “drain the swamp” of the culture of corruption. Now she’s the leader of that corruption and the heat is on as she fails day after day.

The overall approval ranking of the US Congress is at 14%. Pelosi acknowledged the rock-bottom poll numbers but argued that Congress has “never been popular.”

Just six months into her speakership, she was postponing many of her hopes to 2009, saying a new president could change things — presumably assuming it wouldn’t be a Republican.

"Congress is a big institution to turn around,” she said. “A new president comes in, and he or she is given every opportunity, because we — everybody wants the new president to succeed. A Congress comes in, and it’s Congress. It’s an institution that has not been popular.”

Partisanship rules the day. Hillary has been in the US Congress and is a huge part of the problem but believes because she is a woman, she is better suited to clean up the mess in the White House.

The last time Hillary was doing any sort of cleaning she was cleaning out the White House of everything including the silverware when she left with her hubby Bill in January of 2001.

Two hundred and thirty one years later, it appears we are indeed on our way to hanging separately.

(CK Rairden might steal a bite of your Fourth of July barbecue but he would never steal silverware from the White House. Email him at ck.rairden@nationalledger.com)


 

McCain and Obama have hit a flat line
And they won't trn it around by attacking free speech and church-goers

6/29/07

Let’s beat up on the number two presidential candidates this week.

Barack Obama went on the attack against Evangelicals on Saturday. The Democratic presidential candidate told a church convention Saturday that some right-wing evangelical leaders have exploited and politicized religious beliefs in an effort to entice division.

“Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart.”

“It got hijacked,” Obama said in remarks prepared for delivery before the national meeting of the United Church of Christ.

“Part of it’s because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who’ve been all too eager to exploit what divides us,” the Illinois senator said.

That was a very poor choice of words, but it is exactly the words Barack wanted to choose. It appears that he wishes to compare evangelicals with the radical extremists that so many times are accused of “hijacking” Islam.

He kept going.

“At every opportunity, they’ve told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage, school prayer and intelligent design.”

Wait, don’t Democrats push for abortion on demand and partial birth abortion? They support gay marriage and oh yea, they really don’t want kids praying in school.
He continued.

“There was even a time when the Christian Coalition determined that its number one legislative priority was tax cuts for the rich,” Obama said. “I don’t know what Bible they’re reading, but it doesn’t jibe with my version.”

Just to keep Obama up to speed. Americans gave nearly $300 billion to charitable causes last year, setting a record and besting the 2005 total that had been boosted by a surge in aid to victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma and the Asian tsunami. Donors contributed an estimated $295.02 billion in 2006, a 1% increase when adjusted for inflation, up from $283.05 billion in 2005.

Excluding donations for disaster relief, the total rose 3.2%, inflation-adjusted, according to an annual report released Monday by the Giving USA Foundation at Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy.

Americans are givers, rich and poor alike.

Barack Obama has been falling behind Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in recent polls after two abysmal debate performances. He now trails the New York Senator by 33 percent to 21 percent in the most recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll. He may be getting desperate.

It will be interesting to see how far left he is willing to go to try and get his poll numbers to rebound. Trashing Christians may only be a start.

***

John McCain suffered a good beat down and it doesn’t have to even come from your humble columnist. It comes from the black robes at the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court loosened restrictions Monday on corporate-and union-funded television ads that air close to elections, weakening a key provision of the McCain-led campaign finance law dubbed McCain-Feingold.

The court, split 5-4, but upheld an appeals court ruling that an anti-abortion group should have been allowed to air ads during the final two months before the 2004 elections. The law unreasonably limits speech and violates the group’s First Amendment rights, the court said.

No kidding?

Isn’t free speech at its most important during political campaigns? Incumbents passed this tripe as they wanted a free and clear ride in the last 60 days.

We can’t have the people criticizing our leaders right before an election, McCain and his cronies theorized. They might get beat and have to get a real job.

Here’s how the soon to be out of the race Republican responded.

“It is regrettable that a split Supreme Court has carved out a narrow exception by which some corporate and labor expenditures can be used to target a federal candidate in the days and weeks before an election,” McCain said.

Money is speech in politics as McCain is leaning the hard way.

He is hurting bad for cash as his presidential campaign is faltering. It is so bad that Robert Novak noted on his weekend “Inside Report” that JMac sent a desperate plea for funds to previous contributors who have not reached their campaign limit.

“I took a risk by sending you first class postage stamps with this air gram letter,” McCain began his in his appeal. “But I had no other choice because I urgently need your help before June 30th.” He said “the media and our opponents are eagerly awaiting” the quarterly campaign finance report “so they can take the measure of our campaign.”

He needs to raise $700,000 in the last week of June and McCain asked to “please rush a contribution for $400, $300 or $200 to my campaign today to help keep building unstoppable momentum. . . . The liberal Democrats are hoping for one thing and one thing only. That you will set aside this air gram and help pave their way to the White House.”

Unfortunately for McCain, he has no momentum and its not liberals that are cheering his demise, its conservative Republicans.

John McCain and Barack Obama have hit a flat line that candidates sometimes hit. It's way too early for that. And attacking free speech and churchgoers is not the way to turn it around.

The American voter is looking for a Washington outsider with some optimism. Sadly, these two can only complain.

(If CK Rairden ever hits a flat line, The Landmark will be there to pound his chest. Email him at ck.rairden@nationalledger.com)

 


 

Angelina Jolie ends up looking hypocritical
She tries to control media while promoting a film aiding reporters' rights to access

6/21/07

I’m not absolutely certain but last weekend in Gotham I think I heard Angelina Jolie mutter the Mayor Dave phrase “that damn Sunshine Law.”

The pillow-lipped actress usually gets very good press on the red carpet. She has been quite the buzz in the entertainment world and media since she snatched Brad Pitt from former ‘Friends’ sweetie Jennifer Aniston.

So when it came time to promote her latest film called ‘A Mighty Heart’ Jolie pulled a “Mayor Dave” and tried to tell the press how to do its job. It was likely a fascinating lesson for Miss Jolie.

Here’s the skinny on how she tried to manhandle the press in New York.

Her lawyer required all journalists to sign a contract before talking to her at the red carpet premiere in Manhattan, and Jolie even instructed publicists to ban Fox News from the red carpet, reporter Roger Friedman unveiled. That document was then given to the popular website ‘The Smoking Gun’ and it appeared that Jolie was trying to control the media.

Here are the details. Reporters were asked to agree to “not ask Ms. Jolie any questions regarding her personal relationships. In the event Interviewer does ask Ms. Jolie any questions regarding her personal relationships, Ms. Jolie will have the right to immediately terminate the interview and leave.”

The agreement also required that “the interview may only be used to promote the Picture. In no event may Interviewer or Media Outlet be entitled to run all or any portion of the interview in connection with any other story. ... The interview will not be used in a manner that is disparaging, demeaning, or derogatory to Ms. Jolie.”

If that wasn’t enough, Jolie also requires that if any of these things happen, “the tape of the interview will not be released to Interviewer.” Such a violation, the signatory thus agrees, would “cause Jolie irreparable harm” and make it possible for her to sue the interviewer and seek a restraining order.

Well, it didn’t quite go the way Jolie planned.

“I wouldn’t sign it,” a reporter for a major outlet said. “Who does she think she is?”

The USA Today and the Associated Press were among those that canceled interviews immediately letting her know that they don’t really need her, she needs them.

Now get this - the film was meant to support an organization called “Reporters Without Borders.” That organization states that it draws its inspiration from Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has “the right to freedom of opinion and expression” and also the right to “seek, receive and impart” information and ideas “regardless of frontiers.”

Oh the humanity!

Jolie was quickly dubbed ‘A Mighty Hypocrite.’ She was slammed all over the media (with the exception of CNN and People Magazine, as they have exclusives with Jolie for interviews) and by the time the sun rose over Gotham the next day, Angelina had sent out her attorney to fall on his sword and take the blame.

The actress told Jon Stewart on Comedy Central that her lawyer had drafted the contract and distributed it without her knowledge.

“There was a memo that went out to ask people in a very direct way, if they would sign it, that said focus — basically don’t get into personal questions — focus on the movie and things like that,” she said. “But it was not mandatory.”

“But again, I never — I didn’t put it out there,” she continued. “It was from my representatives trying to be protective of me but it was excessive and I wouldn’t have put it out there. But it’s all right and nobody was forced to do it.”

Jolie’s lawyer, Robert Offer, ran to The New York Times and claimed that he had indeed put out the statement without consulting Jolie. He apologized for being a “bone-headed, overzealous lawyer.”

“This was my creating something to protect her from the press’s talking about personal matters, a document that would limit discussion to the film,” he told the Times. “But it was drafted overly broadly. It was well intended, but I understand how it was received.”

This would all be useless tripe about a woman that considers herself important as she stocks her home with third world orphans and nannies to take care of them. But the movie she stars in is about a reporter that was murdered pursuing a story. Hypocrite times two for Jolie.

The film (it opens Friday) is about Wall Street Journal Daniel Pearl. While researching a story on shoe bomber Richard Reid, the reporter wound up in Karachi, Pakistan where a go-between had promised access to an elusive source. He hopped in a cab to meet the source and was kidnapped by an extremist group that called itself “The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty.”

They made demands to the United States for prisoners to be released and those demands were, of course, ignored. Daniel Pearl was then beheaded on video and that video was released on the Internet.

It was titled “The Slaughter of the Spy-Journalist, the Jew Daniel Pearl.”

Jolie is not your classic bimbo; she tries to play in the big leagues politically and travels the world as an ambassador to the United Nations. She ought to know better and out of respect to the reporter that was murdered for her shot at an Oscar she needs to understand exactly why it is important that reporters have access. Even if it is only access to the silliness that is Angelina Jolie.

(CK Rairden is a reporter without a border, pontificating from his home in Arizona. Reach him at ck.rairden@nationalledger.com)

 


 

Where's another Gipper when you need one?
Twenty years ago this week, Reagan gave his "Tear down this wall" speech

6/14/07

President Ronald Reagan was an out-of-control cowboy, his critics often claimed.

The Gipper was known as a staunch anti-communist long before he became president and Reagan had predicted in a 1982 speech to the British Parliament that Marxism was destined for “the ash heap of history.”

In 1983 he denounced the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.” Critics went nuts again, as they wanted him to play nice with the Communists and cower in fear. Their strategy: just try to get along and hope they didn’t send a few dozen nuclear warheads attached to ICBM’s at the United States of America when the time felt right.

Reagan’s strategy was peace through strength.

Twenty years ago in a speech at the Brandenburg Gate by the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987, Reagan challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who then was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, to tear it down as a symbol of his desire for increasing freedom in the Soviet bloc.

Although the wall was technically the responsibility of the East German government, the United States considered East Germany to be a Soviet puppet state.

Top administration officials said the speech was all wrong. It’s too provocative, said the National Security Council. Too tough, said the State Department. But the president overruled his advisers and, as he rode through the streets of West Berlin 20 years ago Tuesday, he told an aide that his speech at the Brandenburg Gate was simply “the right thing to do.”

Addressing a crowd of thousands as he stood before the Berlin Wall, President Reagan declared: “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate.”

“Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Liberals in America quivered in fear again, they trusted their strategy of peace through appeasement. But history shows now that Ronald Reagan was right.

The Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher has often said that “Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a single shot.”

Now we are faced with new challenges, and right away America needs leadership. Many believe that a leadership vacuum exists right now in Washington, DC and polls show that America has soured on President George W. Bush and his political enemies in the US Congress. So it makes sense that America will need a strong leader to emerge that runs for president in 2008. Is there anyone out there?

On the Republican side, perhaps Rudy Giuliani. And, if he decides to run, Fred Thompson.
On the Democratic side, the New Hampshire debates showed that all are lacking. CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer made that point clear when he wanted to know if any of the candidates believed English should be the official language of the United States. He posed that question after a series of others on immigration and framed it as “related” to that issue.

Here’s how the top two contenders answered for the Democrats. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York gave a dispassionate, lawyerly answer defining the difference between declaring English the national language (which she supports) and the official language (which she doesn’t).

Senator Barack Obama of Illinois refused to answer. Obama said, “This is the kind of question that is designed precisely to divide us,” and urged his colleagues instead to refocus their attention on coming up with a legal and sensible immigration policy.

“When the immigration debate gets sidetracked by such questions,” Obama said, “we do a disservice to the American people.” Not exactly a “tear down this wall moment” for either.

On national security, the man in third place, ‘Breck Girl’ John Edwards proved that he’s not ready for prime time and said that the administration’s so-called war on terror was little more than a slogan.

Here’s there answer when the candidates were asked what their top priority would be for their first 100 days in office:

— Edwards: “travel the world” and “re-establish America’s moral authority.”
— Clinton: bring home U.S. troops from Iraq.
— Obama: bring home U.S. troops and push for national health care.

Democrats are heavily favored to win the White House in 2008 at this point in time. None of them would pursue peace through strength, and Obama and Edwards would basically run up the white flag and surrender.

It’s impossible to tell what Hillary would do, but it won’t be pretty.

Twenty years ago, Ronald Reagan was tough and stood strong against the Russian Bear and challenged them with tough talk and tougher action. Twenty years later, we have presidential contenders trying to figure out who can surrender fastest to a rag tag band of fighters from three different factions in Iraq.

Where’s another Gipper when you need one?

(CK Rairden can be reached via email to ck.rairden@nationalledger.com)

 


 

George W. has morphed into his father
Meanwhile, boobs talk--and are talked about--in presidential race

6/8/07

The political notebook is so crammed this week; it’s hard to know where to begin.

The best spot is at the top with President George W. Bush. The commander-in-chief decided to slam what is left of his base and toss conservatives under a rickety old bus heading up from Mexico chocked full of illegals.

“I’m deeply concerned about America losing its soul. Immigration has been the lifeblood of a lot of our country’s history,” President Bush said last week. “I am worried that a backlash to newcomers would cause our country to lose its great capacity to assimilate newcomers.”
Bush also argued that “a lot of this immigration debate is driven as a result of Latinos being in our country.”

He suggested that opponents of his immigration bill are unpatriotic—they “don’t want to do what’s right for America” he said in another speech. Peggy Noonan points out that his ally Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has said, “We’re gonna tell the bigots to shut up.” On Fox last weekend he vowed to “push back.”

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff suggested opponents would prefer illegal immigrants be killed; Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said those who oppose the bill want “mass deportation.”

Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson said those who oppose the bill are “anti-immigrant” and suggested they suffer from “rage” and “national chauvinism.”

Bush just went from lame duck to nil. Slapping conservatives across the face is a really bad idea right now. Granted, there are a ton of absolute bigots and racists that oppose this immigration compromise for those reasons, but the bulk want law and order and understand what a disgrace the amnesty bill that was passed and signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 was.

It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. Bush reached for legacy, and wound up dumping a huge bulk of what was left of his support in the process. He has now completely morphed into his father.

***

Boobs and More Boobs
MSNBC talks show host Joe Scarborough has actually dubbed Fred Thompson’s wife Jeri Kehn a stripper. Jeri is attractive and buxom, and in Joe’s world that must mean he dragged her out of a strip club and forced her to marry him.

Thing is, Jeri was a political media consultant at Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard and McPherson in DC when they married in 2002. She also previously worked for the Senate Republican Conference and the Republican National Committee. Not exactly a girl working her way through art school with tip money.

While Ivan Foley Googles Jeri’s name, let me explain.

Fred married in her a nice church wedding five years ago. She’s being dubbed a trophy wife by Democrats that are stunned that a working Hollywood actor and part time politician could land a gorgeous woman as his wife. Scarborough went one better and made a statement on his Friday “Morning Joe” program that perhaps she used to strip for a living. He asked his guest on the cable news network Friday about whether Fred’s wife “works the pole.”

Outrage followed from the right and the left.

A spokesman for the news network said that the comment has been taken out of context and that it is “irresponsible” to suggest Scarborough was employing sexual innuendo. Really, what is she working, a fireman’s pole?

Scarborough is the boob here.

***

Culture of Corruption
Bites Democrats

Corruption in Louisiana politics reared its ugly head again this week.

Representative William Jefferson, D-Louisiana, was indicted Monday on federal charges of racketeering, money-laundering and soliciting more than $400,000 in bribes in connection with years of trying to broker business deals in Africa. The charges came almost two years after investigators raided William Jefferson’s home in Washington and found $90,000 in cash stuffed in a box in his freezer. He is the first sitting congressman to face charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits corporate bribery overseas.

Wait, is that a “D” after his name? I thought Nancy Pelosi was going to drain the swamp and crush that culture of corruption? Nancy’s ridiculous trips abroad and nutty statements here at home and the fact that she has delivered zilch from the US House has cost her dearly.

She and her counterpart in the US Senate, Nevada Democrat Harry Reid, have already spent every cent of political capital they once had. ABC News reports that six weeks ago the Democrats held a 24-point lead over Bush as the stronger leadership force in Washington; today that has collapsed to a dead heat.

And Bush is at the bottom of the barrel. The president’s approval rating remains a weak 35 percent, unchanged from mid-April at two points from his career low in ABC News/Washington Post polls. The Republicans in Congress do about as badly, with just 36 percent approval.

In other words, the American public is pretty fed up with just about everyone. Who would this help?

If he gets into the presidential race, it would help Fred Thompson. He’s a complete outsider; his last gig was playing Arthur Branch, the district attorney on NBC’s “Law and Order” And it appears that for now at least, all critics can do is criticize his wife’s cleavage.

Can Thompson pull it off?

(CK Rairden analyzes political boobs from a dark and secluded home office. Email him at ckden@yahoo.com)

 


 

Loudmouth shock jock Rosie gone from View
O'Donnell says the U.S. military troops are the terrorists

6/1/07

Loudmouth shock jock Rosie O’Donnell is finished with her stint at ABC’s morning talk show ‘The View.’

She began to unravel last Monday when she tried to talk over Barbara Walters and Babs finally had enough and shot down O’Donnell’s assessment that the United States military troops are terrorists.

It was clear that Walters was finished with Rosie accusing the United States of ‘state sponsored terrorism’ and trashing Babs’ reputation as a serious journalist. Walters said on the show, “Can I just say something? Because I listened the other day. And I think that sometimes you’re confusing the word “terrorists,” because you said “who are terrorists” implying they could be us. What you really mean, I think, is jihadists. We are talking about a particular group of people.”

Rosie tried to bully her way through saying “I think that you’re treating it like the boogeyman. I think they’ve used it to polarize people. They’ve used it—.”

Babs shut her down, interrupting, “We can go back to the mistakes we made in the beginning of the war, and we have to learn from that, and we have to learn from them. But that does not mean that there is a whole body of jihadists not, not necessarily Muslim, you cannot say that, of jihadists whose, whose life and death is wiping out the West.”

Rosie earlier tried to claim that the terrorists were made out to be evil when they were noting more than ‘mother and fathers,’ and implied that America over-reacted from the numerous attacks aimed at us by radicals.

But the real serious fire came when she referred to the US troops as terrorists on ‘The View.’  She tried to get around saying it directly but it was clear what she meant.  She said: “I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?” 

She was asked by co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, “Who are the terrorists? Wait, who are you calling terrorists now? Americans?”

O’Donnell added, “I’m saying if you were in Iraq, and the other country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed 655,000 of your citizens, what would you call us…We’re invading a sovereign nation, occupying a country against the U.N…” 

She concluded, “I believe in state sponsored terrorism. I believe there is government sponsored terrorism by every nation in the world, including ours.”

O’Donnell is not articulate in the least, and she tried to be clever. That was her first mistake. It didn’t work, even with the anti-war crowd over at MSNBC.

Even liberals Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman (from the Washington Post) thought she called the American Military terrorists.  Matthews asked on his program after playing the clip, “Howard, I don’t know about you, but we watched the tapes and it seemed she clearly said the American troops are the terrorists..”

Fineman added tongue-in-cheek,”  She supports the troops, who are terrorists.  Matthews asked, “Did she call American troops terrorists?”  Fineman, “Yes, there’s no question.”

The war of words really went nuclear on Wednesday’s show and frankly, Rosie couldn’t handle it. She desperately wanted to get a pass from quasi-conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the aforementioned token non-liberal on the program. She begged her to tell the audience that she doesn’t hate the US troops and even though her rhetorical questions earlier called them terrorists.

It was brilliant TV. The producers went to a split screen when Elisabeth went hard at O’Donnell during the show refusing to back down while a stunned Rosie stuttered and stammered before dubbing Elisabeth a coward. Elisabeth wasn’t about to roll over on that comment. She fired back, “Don’t call me a coward. I sit here every day and open my heart and tell people exactly what I believe…It was not cowardly. It was honest…asking a rhetorical question? That is cowardly.”

Elisabeth was right on the money, it was a cowardly effort and Rosie was in the crosshairs of every pundit from the right and the left. Once Matthews tossed her under the bus, the writing was on the wall.

That sent Rosie running for the Internet. Rosie whined again on her blog about the split screen used by ABC, and she finally announced that she was taking her ball and going home. Rosie clearly wasn’t happy with producers of the show, who saw fit to split-screen the shouting match, which made for riveting television, but unquestionably ratcheted up the rancor.

“It was sickening,” wrote Rosie on her blog.

Funny, Rosie never complained when they zoomed in on her when she was pushing her 9/11 conspiracy theories that the Bush Administration knew about 9/11 and attacking people ad nauseam.

But I can see why she is upset, no one ever pushed back. Rosie was free to call people homophobes, racists, sexists, terrorists, etc. She slammed anyone she saw fit, the facts be damned. Last Wednesday, Elisabeth Hasselbeck pushed back, and just like at the school yard, the bully ran home crying.

I miss her already.

(CK Rairden misses Rosie while penning Off the Wall for The Landmark from his Arizona home. Reach him via email to ckden@yahoo.com)

 


 

Carter, an awful president, lashes out at Bush
Carter gave us gas line, double digit inflaion, unemployment and embarrassment

5/23/07

Jimmy Carter was an awful American president, the absolute worst of the second half of the 20th century.

His legacy was and remains that his Administration could not run economic policy in America and he had reduced America to a laughingstock on the world stage.

He entered the presidency saying he was a peanut farmer from Georgia that was going to enter the White House and clean up the corruption left by Richard M. Nixon. He left in shame, or at least should have, with 52 American citizens still being held in Iran and the misery index at an all time high. He was a disgrace to the office and nearly single handedly brought American power to its knees.

Many like to say that the world now hates America, in 1980, the world laughed and joked at America. We were perceived as a weak country.

‘America held hostage’ was the theme of the last two years of Carter’s presidency. For those that don’t know or have forgotten, those were the words Ted Koppel used to start a show that began during Carter’s disastrous four years. It was called Nightline.

In January of 1980, America would no longer be held hostage. The Iran hostage crisis lasted from November 4, 1979 until January 20, 1981, the day President Ronald Reagan was sworn into office.

Iran held no respect for Carter, they knew he was a powerless dolt, and he had reduced America to a paper tiger in four short years. A bunch of third rate radical Muslims believed they could treat American hostages any way they wished for 444 days and we as a country would do nothing as the commander-in-chief was a weak and useless head of state.

They changed their tune on the day Ronald Regan took office, as America would soon be restored to a super power.

Now Jimmy Carter, the man that brought us gas lines, double digit inflation, and unemployment, embarrassment abroad and an a man so weak he could not even rescue hostages from Iran, is ready to lecture president George W. Bush on foreign policy. To do that - Carter has to set precedent. Former presidents have, as a rule, not directly criticized other presidents. It cheapens the office of the presidency.

But Jimmy Carter has made poor choices his entire life. He is a cheap shot artist that has accused Israel of apartheid against the Palestinians. By his own admission he has been a liar, an anti-Semite, a plagiarist, a coward and a bigot. He isn’t about to stop now.

Sounding like a liberal radio bomb-throwing talk show host, the peanut farmer lit into President George W. Bush with a scathing personal attack. The former president ripped into President Bush with a tantrum-like rant while promoting his new audio book series, “Sunday Mornings in Plains,” a collection of weekly Bible lessons from his hometown of Plains, Georgia calling the Bush administration “the worst in history” when it comes to America’s role in international relations.

He said, “I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history,” Carter told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in a story that appeared in the newspaper’s Saturday editions.
“The overt reversal of America’s basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including those of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me.”

On Monday carter tried to backtrack. Carter realized how much he had lowered his own reputation and stature as an ex-President.  A subdued Carter stumbled through an interview on NBC’s ‘Today’ show and on Monday said his comments over the weekend about the Bush administration were “careless.”

While being interviewed on the morning news show about the comments, Carter said, “They were maybe careless or misinterpreted.” He said he “certainly was not talking personally about any president.” 

Is he kidding? Carter looked baffled as he spoke and one can imagine how many phone calls he received from fellow Democrats that understand the office of the presidency criticizing him for his foolish rant.

I’m certain Carter meant every word and was clueless what he had done until he had it explained to him.

This is the same Jimmy Carter who once challenged the president Ronald Reagan on his handling of the Cold War, and believed that negotiation and capitulation was the way to handle the former Soviet Union.

And now Jimmy Carter wants to stand in the largest glass house in American presidential history throwing stones.

While President Bush deserves and should receive criticism, it surely shouldn’t be hurled at him by a bitter little man who as a president was an utter failure.

(CK Rairden can be reached at ckden@yahoo.com)


Pelosi has blown chance to clean up D.C.
Now that they're in charge, Dems balk at the reforms they touted to voters

5/18/07

Nancy Pelosi is a true woman of privilege.

She grew up taking a chauffeur- driven limousine to grade school in Baltimore and has really never worked a day in her entire life. After she was elected US House Speaker and bragged that she was “the most powerful woman in America,” Mrs. Pelosi then flexed her right muscle like a weight lifter to much applause at an event titled a “women’s tea” right after she took office.

“Alright, let’s hear it for the power,” she screamed as the jubilant applause continued.
She was drunk with power and she planned to use that to clean up the US Congress.
You go girl. Let’s stop those earmarks and clean up the corruption. Jean Carnahan wrote on something called ‘Fire Up Missouri’ of the Pelosi power trip, “Draining the swamp, sweeping the Congress clean of corruption, getting a hold on spending, sorting out the mess in Iraq, and cooking up a new domestic agenda are formidable tasks for anyone. But, it might be just the right job for a feisty grandmother swinging a big gavel.”

Few would have argued, if Pelosi had she been legitimate. She boasted that she would “drain the swamp” after more than a decade of Republican rule. All of it sounded so good. It almost sounded as good as Pelosi being able to travel to our enemies and make them play nice. And she tried that as well.

Nancy traveled to Syria to make nice with the thug that runs that violently murderous country, President Bashar Assad, and bring what she called a ‘peace message from Israel.’ Pelosi the Powerful had stopped in Israel on the way and claimed that she brought a message to Assad from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that Israel was ready for peace talks with Syria.

Trouble is - that message was never given. Pelosi looked like an absolute fool and was slammed by critics as far left as the Washington Post.

Okay, so Nancy blew it trying to play the role of president. Can she at least deliver on her promises? So far she is a huge zero.

This week, it is apparent that the Speaker has spread herself way too thin. She campaigned against a “culture of corruption” in 2006, when voters ended a long run of Republican control of Congress. Trouble is - now the corrupt are Democrats and they want their shot. The Associated Press reported that House Democrats are suddenly balking at the tough lobbying reforms they touted to voters last fall as a reason for putting them in charge of Congress.

Now that they are running things, many Democrats want to keep the big campaign donations and lavish parties that lobbyists put together for them. (Nancy loves parties, remember that’s where she gets to flex her muscle and scream "power").
They’re also having second thoughts about having to wait an extra year before they can become high-paid lobbyists themselves should they retire or be defeated at the polls.
The growing resistance by the Democrats to several proposed reforms now threatens passage of a bill that once seemed on track to fulfill Democrats’ campaign promise of cleaner fundraising and lobbying practices.

“Members of Congress ignore this issue at their peril,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who chairs his party’s 2008 House campaign committee. “The public wants a Congress that is open and accountable.”

Yes we do. And Nancy boasted as she took office, “I’m very proud of my leadership of the Democrats in the House of Representatives and proud of them to make history, choosing a woman as their leader. I’m proud of the fact that we have had unity in our party... We have clarity in our message. We know who we are as Democrats.”
Now we all do.

Pelosi promised they would approve rules to “break the link between lobbyists and legislation.” That will fail this week in the US Senate, and in fairness to Nancy Pelosi, it’s not entirely her fault. It will fail in the Senate, but Pelosi knew that it would. She so desperately wanted to be patted on the back by the media for her ‘one hundred hour’ plan that would make us all believe that corruption was out, and government for the people was back.

Somewhere in between trips to Syria and her braggadocios claims she blew any chance to ‘clean up' Washington DC.

She bragged in 2006 that “It takes a woman to clean House.” I guess it’s time for Pelosi to call the maid (she’s never cleaned anything in her life, either) as the Congress under Democratic rule looks exactly like the Congress under GOP rule, except with a little more botox.

(CK Rairden profusely pontificates from his humble abode. Contact him at ckden@yahoo.com)


Having three kids is environmental crime
At least according to the global warming crowd

5/10/07

Save the Planet - Kill Yourself.

That bumper sticker slogan has always been a favorite of mine for the radicals that would seek to tell you how to live your life while hopping on private jets, living in 10,000 square foot homes and as Al Gores does, dropping about $500 per month to heat his pool at his Tennessee mansion.

It looks like this whole global warming will indeed be the final revenge of the weathermen and they are stepping up the rhetoric on a daily basis as they tell us how to live. Some of the epiphanies from the mouth-breathers that now believe they have public opinion squarely behind them is humorous, though a bit frightening.

I know, I know you want to make sure your grandchildren have an earth left to inhabit, as the computer models claim our earth is set to spontaneously combust unless we radically change our way of life. But before you surrender to the same computer models that miss the five-day forecast each and every week, you might want to see what the elites have in store for you - and your grandchildren.

Let’s review just what has emerged in the last few days from the radicals. First is my newest favorite bimbo, Sheryl Crow. She does a follow-up from her "we don’t have a square to spare" column (oh-yes she now predictably says she was joking) with this gem:
“We are so blessed to live in a country where we enjoy so many rights that other countries cannot even begin to imagine. However, what terrifies me is not what we are ignoring about the state of our planet but the fact that we seem to have lost touch with our connection to the earth. We have risen to great heights of arrogance in our refusal to acknowledge that the earth is changing. We hold steadfast to our belief that nothing can happen to us as a people. We get into our oversized, war-machine-like vehicles, get on our cell phones and blackberries, and avoid having human contact all day long.”

Yes, thanks sweetie. Crow was exposed as having three tractor trailers, four buses and six cars for her entourage for one of her tours by ‘The Smoking Gun.’ But as a tribute to Sheryl, I will blare ‘Every day is a winding road’ the next time I’m in my SUV with a cigar between my teeth chatting on my cell phone to Ivan Foley.

***

Oh and all of you people shucking out kids - yes, you are a problem as well. A report that splashed on Monday says that having large families should be frowned upon as an “environmental misdemeanor” in the same way as frequent long-haul flights, driving a big car and failing to reuse plastic bags, says a report to be published today by a green think tank.

The paper by the ‘Optimum Population Trust’ will say that if couples’ had two children instead of three they could cut their family’s carbon dioxide output by the equivalent of 620 return flights a year between London and New York. John Guillebaud, co-chairman of OPT and emeritus professor of family planning at University College London, said: “The effect on the planet of having one child less is an order of magnitude greater than all these other things we might do, such as switching off lights. The greatest thing anyone in Britain could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child.”

***

Oh there’s more. Mark Ellingham, founder of the Rough Guides and the man who encouraged a generation of travelers to pack a rucksack and explore the world, has compared the damage done by tourism to the im-pact of the tobacco industry. Ellingham now says traveling is so environmentally destructive that there is no such thing as a genuinely ethical holiday.

“Climate change is an issue that dwarfs all others and the impact of flying is key to this,” said Ellingham. “All of us involved have a responsibility to inform travelers as clearly and honestly as possible about the environmental cost of their journeys. We must encourage travelers to travel less and neutralize their carbon footprint through offsetting.”

For all of those that are set to support the changes set forth by the Al Gores of the world this is the kind of madness they will spring on you. No more Christmas holidays with your family, unless they live right next door.

***

Speaking of Tennessee’s largest power consumer, Al Gore has morphed into full earth worship and now claims he sees ‘spiritual crisis’ in global warming.

After what must have been a phone call to Mayor ‘That Damn Sunshine Law’ Dave, the failed presidential candidate closed off his latest alarmist speech on climate change to that pesky media. Unfortunately a few snuck in and reported Al Gore’s latest religion.
“It’s in part a spiritual crisis,” Gore told the crowd in the Convention Center at the American Institute of Architects national convention. “It’s a crisis of our own self-definition — who we are. Are we creatures destined to destroy our own species? Clearly not.”

Unless of course, the elites take that whole ‘Save the planet - kill yourself’ slogan seriously.

(When he isn't doing his part to save the planet, CK Rairden can be reached at ckden@yahoo.com)

 


 

Rosie has trouble grasping
impeachment deal

You can't use impeachment simply to strong-arm a president

5/2/07

Somewhere along the way Rosie O’Donnell, the loudmouthed host of the ABC morning talk show ‘The View,’ began spouting her radical views on ABC on politics and beyond. Eventually it would cost ABC credibility, and O’Donnell will soon leave the show.

Her favorite line is “let’s impeach George Bush to show the world we don’t like him.”

Yes, she actually says a version of this nearly each and every day. Apparently, Rosie is not a fan of the US Constitution or elections.

On the show, she once asked liberal New York Senator Chuck Schumer why articles of impeachment had not been introduced against Bush. He explained to her there are rules under which articles of impeachment can be drawn against a president. It didn’t really slow her down.

And now she now has company. Another loudmouth that spouts off the same type of nonsense is US Congressman John Murtha.

Like Rosie, Murtha loves the attention. Murtha really seems to ratchet up the rhetoric once he falls out of the limelight and is relegated to low-rated cable TV news shows. On Sunday, the congressman from Pennsylvania made it over to the CBS Sunday Morning talk show ‘Face the Nation.’ Since it was network news, the anti-war congressman did his best O’Donnell impersonation.

***
Murtha (D-Pa.) said Sunday that Democrats in Congress could consider impeachment as a way to pressure President Bush on his handling of the war in Iraq.
“What I’m saying, there’s four ways to influence a president. And one of them (is) impeachment,” Murtha, chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“We need to make this president understand,” he told CBS’s Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” Sunday.

“Mr. President, the public has spoken. There’s three ways or four ways to influence a president. One is popular opinion, the election, third is impeachment and fourth is, and fourth is the purse.”

Schieffer asked him if he was serious and if impeachment was really “an option on the table.”

“I’m just saying that’s one way to influence a president,” Murtha said.
***

Who knew?

I’ll have to re-read that US Constitution where it claims that “impeachment” is there to threaten a president that doesn’t obey some of the members of Congress. I’m sure it is right after the clause that says it is okay to impeach a president to “send a message to other countries that Rosie O’Donnell doesn’t like the president.”

Actually, the US Constitution says the House of Representatives can impeach the president, vice president and other civil officers for “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

It doesn’t say anything about using impeachment to strong-arm a president to bend to your will. If Murtha thinks George Bush is running a hopeless war in an incompetent manner, he will have plenty of outlets to voice his frustration. Obviously CBS will allow him airtime as will MSNBC and many of the other lower-rated television news programs. But Murtha is going to need proof to impeach. And if John Murtha actually thinks George Bush is a criminal — and thinks he can prove it — then he should go ahead and try to impeach him. It takes a simple majority vote in the House of Representatives to impeach and a two-thirds vote in the Senate to convict. Remember Bill Clinton?
***

Impeaching a president is serious business. The radical left spouts this nonsense every hour of every day somewhere in the media. The frightening thing is that this comes from a sitting congressman that is a good pal of the leader of the US House of representatives Nancy Pelosi. Can you imagine the chaos of government if every time someone like Murtha didn’t get their way that they introduced articles of impeachment.

A Republican president wants to cut taxes and a Democrat controlled congress wants to raise taxes, impeach! A Democrat president wants to introduce socialized medicine and a Republican congress wants to allow the free market to decide, impeach!

***

Rosie O’Donnell is nothing more than a windbag that spouts hatred and vitriol on the air. She’s likely never even bothered to read the US Constitution so she can be excused as ignorant. John Murtha took an oath to uphold the US Constitution. He should know better.

(CK Rairden writes from his Arizona abode. Fire your missive to ckden@yahoo.com)


Global warming bimbos are on patrol

Sheryl Crow says the answer is to use just one toilet paper square per sitting

4/26/07

Bill Clinton had his bimbo eruptions. Now global warming has its own. Singer Sheryl Crow and “Inconvenient Truth” producer and Seinfeld co-creator Larry David’s wife Laurie David are busy on what has now turned into a comedy tour by traveling the planet to help us all understand that the earth is heating, and it is all our fault and if we don’t act now we are all doomed.

Let’s call them the global warming bimbo eruption.

Laurie and Sheryl heated up the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner over the weekend, sporting lots of jewelry and plenty of cleavage. And for those who believe that bubble-headed Hollywood types don’t have ideas - these gals have plenty of ways that you can change your lifestyle to save their planet. And it is comedy gold.

***

These women have obviously been fairly sheltered as they have made their global warming case to the choir. When challenged they fail. Earlier this month while on their ‘Stop Global Warming College Tour,’ Joe Kernen, a morning anchor for the financial network CNBC, challenged David.

According to a report from Newsbusters - when Kernen referenced the British documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” and presented evidence from it refuting anthropogenic global warming theories, David astoundingly responded, “Well, I haven’t seen it, but I do believe in fact and science. I mean, this is, again, isn’t my opinion. And the world has complete consensus on this. And I would just question who funded the documentary, and what their agenda is. I mean, I would ask that question, really. Because we, the debate, the debate is over.”

***

It’s a shame that the global warming bimbos aren’t up for debate. It would likely be wise to keep a dialogue moving. She added, “Let me just say this, okay. There’s now more CO2 than in the last 650,000 years. Now, just basic common sense says that cannot be a good thing. And, you know, it's extreme weather in both directions. Every single day on the news, you guys are talking about extreme weather. So, there you go. 2006 was the warmest, wait a second, 2006 was the warmest on record, and they’re saying 2007 is going to be worse. Something is happening, and we really need to start acting, we really need to put the debate behind us.”

Kernen then pointed out that in the past, there have been CO2 levels “fifteen and sixteen times” as high as today “without any warming.” It appears David wasn’t aware of this. Are we sure it has nothing to do with cosmic rays or sun spot activity or volcanoes? The footprint of humans for CO2 is apparently fairly small compared to volcanoes.
What was David’s response? Incredibly: Go see ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’

***

Her partner in saving the world has an even better idea: give up personal hygiene.
“I have spent the better part of this tour trying to come up with easy ways for us all to become a part of the solution to global warming. Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating.”

“One of my favorites is in the area of forest conservation which we heavily rely on for oxygen. I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don’t want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required.”

While it certainly reads like a joke, it wasn’t. However, I can’t imagine that not being Sheryl’s excuse soon as she is being humiliated everywhere.

***

Laurie and Sheryl also made a splash as they demanded an audience with White House advisor Karl Rove over the weekend. They walked over to Table 92 at the Hilton Washington to chat with Karl Rove — and the resulting exchange was suitably heated (adding to global warming no doubt) with David attacking Rove.

“I am floored by what I just experienced with Karl Rove,” David reports. “I went over to him and said, ‘I urge you to take a new look at global warming.’ He went zero to 100 with me...I’ve never had anyone be so rude.”

Rove’s version: “She came over to insult me and she succeeded.”

***

According to a report from the Washington Post, things got so hot that Crow stepped in to defuse the situation and then got into it with Rove herself.

“You work for me,” she told the presidential adviser, according to singed bystanders. “No,” was his response. “I work for the American people.”

Crow then pushed her finger into Rove’s chest and began harping on how the Administration was “doing nothing” to combat global warming. After her one-square-rule, let’s hope she washed that finger pretty well.

News of the dust-up filtered quickly through the room. Some witnesses said David was very aggressive with Rove; a shaken Crow later said that Rove was “combative and unresponsive.”

***

The problem when you grab a pretty face like Sheryl’s and stick her at the front of some cause with a person like Laurie David is that when they are given a forum to spout their version of what they believe is truth people are going to listen and then they are going to be challenged. And they can’t handle that well.

(CK Rairden writes for The Landmark from his Arizona home and can be reached at ckden@yahoo.com)


 

The gun grabbers will be out in full force

But an armed student or professor could have stopped the gunman

4/19/07

So here I sit in the coastal village of Malibu. No – I’m not hanging out with Britney Spears at a rehabilitation center, it's just some old fashioned R&R and some visiting with my Hollywood friends to again be reminded that my views are way off on politics.

I remind them that Nancy Pelosi is from California, and it appears to be a fairly good defense considering her continued failures. Still – I like my left wing pals and I’ve enjoyed some very fine company, some very fine cigars and some very big lunch bills that have reminded me that I miss expense accounts.

Fortunately, my Tuesday meals will be on Warner Brothers.

And I did get to visit with my old pal Ellen and her husband Jeffery. It was a great visit, and she even reminded me how I had indeed pegged the disastrous situation that is still unfolding in the Middle East. As it goes – I certainly wish that I had missed on that one.

But alas, all the whining and complaining and the undermining of the war effort came to a screeching halt. It’s late Monday night and amazingly I just remembered that I should likely pen a column at some point. So I log onto the Internet and it’s a major downer as it appears that some nut has opened fire in Blacksburg, on the Virginia Tech campus.

For now it appears it that the gunman was said to be of Asian appearance and dressed in maroon hat, leather jacket and black-military style shooting vest. He had ammunition strapped across his chest as he calmly walked from room-to-room refilling his two 9mm handguns as he shot students. I’m going through my e-mails and one of them is a copy of an IM posted from a student that was there at the time of the killings.

A man posting by the name of sugad had a brother who lived through the incident. The brother, now identified as Trey Perkins, is being regarded as a hero for barricading the door in Norris Hall with another student as the gunman attempted re-entry to the classroom where many lay dead and wounded, including his German professor.

Here’s the IM as I received it:

ME (sugad) (1:08:03 PM): so he came into your class?
Trey P(1:08:08 PM): yeah
Trey P(1:08:17 PM): i didnt think there was any way id live
Trey P(1:08:52 PM): he finally left and me and the one other guy that wasn’t shot ran to the door and held it shut
Trey P(1:09:04 PM): and he tried to come back in and was shooting through the door
me(1:09:27 PM): holy(expletive)
me(1:09:48 PM): what kind of gun was it
Trey P(1:09:55 PM): pistol
Me(1:09:52 PM): and did he line people up
Trey P(1:10:08 PM): no just shooting at people on the ground
me(1:11:34 PM): do you think it was random
Trey P(1:12:57 PM): i dont know
Me(1:14:03 PM): so what did you do then
Trey P(1:14:21 PM): i just started helping people that were bleeding
Me(1:14:39 PM): my god
Me(1:17:17 PM): and then what
Me(1:17:25 PM): sorry if you dont want to talk about it
Me(1:17:33 PM): everyone wants to know what happened
Trey P(1:18:15 PM): its fine
Me(1:18:40 PM): so did the cops arrive quickly or did you call them or what
Trey P(1:19:08 PM): yeah
Trey P(1:19:38 PM): we called

***

It’s a very eerie use of our modern technology. But there it is. The guy was shooting everyone in sight and this student was spared and then was smart enough to barricade the doors. This massacre dwarfs Columbine, and that anniversary will be noted this week. And now once again the gun grabbers will be in full force reminding us all that no one should own guns.

It will be debated and haggled over for weeks to come as the event is examined and re-examined but folks that consider themselves ‘experts.’ The answer is as simple as the Second Amendment.

But to make it easier for those that believe the Second Amendment is similar to ‘that damn Sunshine law’ can just re-read the instant message from Trey P. If that student or one of the professors had been armed the gunman could have been eliminated before he was able to murder 32 people.

(CK Rairden can be reached via email at ckden@yahoo.com)



 

Pelosi fooled by Syrian dictator

Speaker has no business meddling in foreign policy

4/12/07

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to be considered as a serious leader.

The California Democrat was hoping her trip to the Middle East would boost her image on the world stage as she ignored a White House request not to make the a planned and much heralded visit to Syria.

Still, the bumbling US Speaker kept her hot date with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. Assad is a ruthless thug that supports terror but Pelosi had stars in her eyes like a socialite headed to a grand ball in the Middle East.

Then, almost right on cue, the speaker made a serious diplomatic snafu as she tried to encourage peace talks between Syria and Israel.

“We were very pleased with the reassurances we received from the president (Assad) that he was ready to resume the peace process. He was ready to engage in negotiations (for) peace with Israel,” Pelosi said.

“(Our) meeting with the president enabled us to communicate a message from Prime Minister Olmert that Israel was ready to engage in peace talks as well,” Pelosi told reporters after talks with Assad.

That infuriated Israel, as they hadn’t said that. An Israeli government official had to do damage control and quickly said that was not the message Olmert had asked Pelosi earlier this week to convey to Assad.

Just a sidenote, he seeks the return of the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

“The Prime Minister said Israel is interested in peace with Syria, but Syria would first have to abandon the path of terror and providing support for terrorist groups,” the official said, in reference to Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. “Comments (Olmert) made to the speaker of the House did not represent any change in a policy Israel has expressed to all international figures dealing with the (Syrian) issue,” a statement from Olmert’s office said.

She of course was criticized by conservatives and moreover Constitutionalists that understand that the Speaker of the House has no business meddling in foreign policy. For those that have never bothered to read the US Constitution, that responsibility lies with the Executive Branch. But a funny thing happened on the road to Damascus. Liberals were a tad miffed as well.

USA Today scoffed in an editorial.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi crossed a line this week by visiting Syria, where she met with President Bashar Assad. She violated a long-held understanding that the United States should speak with one official voice abroad - even if the country is deeply divided on foreign policy back home.”

They added, “Like it or not (and we do not), President Bush’s policy has been to refuse to negotiate with Syria until it changes its behavior. That behavior is malignant. Syria has long meddled destructively in neighboring Lebanon and is widely seen as the bloody hand behind the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.”

The liberal Washington Post added, “Pelosi offered an excellent demonstration of why members of Congress should not attempt to supplant the secretary of state when traveling abroad…As any diplomat with knowledge of the region could have told Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Assad is a corrupt thug whose overriding priority at the moment is not peace with Israel but heading off U.N. charges that he orchestrated the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri.”

Pelosi’s defenders have tried to say that she was speaking for the White House, but as the Administration asked her not to travel to Syria that is ludicrous on its face. Add to that, the fact that she climbed right into bed with the Syrian dictator and tried to speak for Israel shows just how clueless and sophomoric the woman that is second in line to the president (yes - she is right behind Vice President Dick Cheney) really is when it comes to foreign policy.

She was fooled by one of the absolute worst dictators in the region and was an absolute embarrassment.

Her trip was doomed from the start, but the arrogant Nancy pants decided that she knew better and would show off her diplomatic ‘skills.’ She now comes home with her tail between her legs, even weaker than before. While that would be fine, she managed to make America appear even weaker as well.

(CK Rairden writes from his home in Arizona. Reach him at ckden@yahoo.com)

 


 

Rosie O'Donnell has become a nut job

ABC needs to hire someone for 'The View' to balance her idiocy

4/6/07


When Barbara Walters hired Rosie O’Donnell to sit in and host a morning show on ABC called ‘The View,’ few people cared other than those that actually watch the show.

The loudmouth O’Donnell was already considered a complainer and a media hound constantly looking for her opportunity to jump in front of the cameras and complain that she is not being treated well enough because of her sexual or political orientation. Mostly she was ignored.

But as she has a forum on a network show, now she gets to spread her wacky theories each day. She had reserved her nutty opinions to issues of popular culture. She would blast American Idol as racist, call fellow talk show host Kelly Ripa a homophobe and trash Donald Trump.

It was mostly harmless drivel. Lately though, the woman dubbed "the round mound of putdown" has decided to dive into the world issues of the day. O’Donnell is not particularly bright, and apparently has never really studied on civics, but nonetheless she has decided that folks that tune in to watch ‘The View’ should get her version of the facts on everything from 9/11 to the British soldiers taken hostage by Iran.

She first dove into September 11th. She joined Charlie Sheen leading Hollywood’s idiot brigade and has again pushed a theory that the terrorist attacks on that day was an inside job. Her proof, she believes that building seven was detonated and brought down with a controlled demolition. That building collapsed at about 5:30 p.m. on that fateful day. She latched onto a bunch of absolute kooks that have pressed this issue since the beginning. She first mentioned it on air and later wrote this on her blog.

“[WTC 7] contained offices of the FBI, Department of Defense, IRS (which contained prodigious amounts of corporate tax fraud, including Enron’s), US Secret Service, Securities & Exchange Commission (with more stock fraud records), and Citibank’s Salomon Smith Barney, the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management and many other financial institutions.”

She then copy and pasted this from the conspiracy website.

• The fires in WTC 7 were not evenly distributed, so a perfect collapse was impossible.

• (Larry) Silverstein said to the fire department commander “the smartest thing to do is pull it.”

• Firefighters withdrawing from the area stated the building was going to “blow up."

• The roof of WTC 7 visibly crumbled and the building collapsed perfectly into its footprint.

• Molten steel and partially evaporated steel members were found in the debris.

***

Popular Mechanics and several others have debunked the nut jobs. Just a bit of the report notes why the building fell after seven hours. Tower 7 housed the city’s emergency command center, so there were a number of fuel tanks located throughout the building—including two 6000-gal. tanks in the basement that fed some generators in the building by pressurized lines.

“Our working hypothesis is that this pressurized line was supplying fuel [to the fire] for a long period of time,” according to Sunder.

Steel melts at about 2,750 degrees Fahrenheit—but it loses strength at temperatures as low as 400 F. When temperatures break 1000 degrees F, steel loses nearly 50 percent of its strength. It is unknown what temperatures were reached inside WTC7, but fires in the building raged for seven hours before the collapse.

***

But Rosie wasn’t finished, as apparently she has been given the green light to spew her anti-American and British rhetoric unchecked. She first claimed that the entire capture of the British Marines and sailors that are currently being held captive was a ‘hoax’ designed to spark a war between Iran and Britain and the United States. She then claimed that the Brits got themselves captured on purpose. She actually compared it to the “Gulf of Tonkin.’ I’m guessing she must have read that on another conspiracy website online.

She said on air on a network show: “But interesting with the British sailors, there were 15 British sailors and Marines who apparently went into Iranian waters and they were seized by the Iranians. And I have one thing to say: Gulf of Tonkin, Google it.”

Rosie also believes that deep down, the terrorists are good. She also said this on ABC:

“They’re terrorists. They have two choices, faith or fear. Faith or fear. That’s your choice. You can walk through life believing in the goodness of the world or walk through life afraid of anyone who thinks differently than you and try to convert them to your way of thinking…Don’t fear the terrorists. They’re mothers and fathers.”

Rosie gets paid to bring in ratings and they are up slightly at ‘The View." The New York Post reports that have spiked by 15,000 per day which in the overall scheme of things isn’t much. Bill O’Reilly has now taken up the cause and reportedly slammed Rosie on his show as a kook and a nut.

He asked if she should be fired. It would be more interesting if ABC just hired Ann Coulter to sit across from O’Donnell and let the two go at it each day. Right now Rosie spews her idiocy unchecked. At least then it could come from both sides.

(CK Rairden can be reached at ckden@yahoo.com)


 

Katie Couric's career continues to spiral

Her badgering of Edwards on 60 Minutes was a sad moment

3/30/07

Katie Couric must have wanted to prove her mettle as a ‘tough guy’ on Sunday night. Her ratings have tanked on her nightly news show and the now third place Katie was able to procure an interview for the CBS News Show ’60 Minutes’ with John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth.

It was broadcast over the weekend and the Edwardses had announced last Thursday that she was once again facing cancer, only this time it was incurable and had spread to her bone. Despite the prognosis, John Edwards said he would forge ahead with his second bid for the presidency.

Both defended his decision to remain in the race. She said she couldn’t live with denying him the chance to be president, he said he wanted to go on with his wife’s blessing. That wasn’t good enough for Couric who ripped into the couple in a cowardly way with repetitive questions, all the time reminding Elizabeth Edwards that she is going to die.

It was a sad display by Katie, who seemingly has gone from the perky morning talk show host to a bitter evening newscaster that no one cares to watch. She knew she would get her biggest audience in some time with the 60 Minutes audience and decided that she would slam both John Edwards and his wife for him remaining in the race.

“That would be my legacy, wouldn’t it, Katie?” Elizabeth asked. “That I’d taken out this fine man from — from the possibility of — of giving a great service. I mean, I don’t want that to be my legacy,” Edwards said.

Anticipating the demands of the campaign trail, Elizabeth said her options were clear.

Either you push forward with the things that you were doing yesterday or you start dying. That seems to be your only two choices,” she said. “If I had given up everything that my life was about — first of all, I’d let cancer win before it needed to.”

Basically it then turned into ‘When Katie Attacks’ This is just a taste of her line of questioning.

Katie Couric: “Your decision to stay in this race has been analyzed, and quite frankly judged by a lot of people. And some say, what you’re doing is courageous, others say it’s callous. Some say, “Isn’t it wonderful they care for something greater than themselves?” And others say, “It’s a case of insatiable ambition.” You say?”

John Edwards: “I say all of those judgments and questions are entirely legitimate. I mean, you offer yourself up for service to the country as the President of the United States, you deserve to be evaluated. I am perfectly open to that evaluation. I think that I know, when I’m running for president, I’m running for president because I want to serve this country, and because I want all people in America to have the same kind of chances that I’ve had...We know the truth. We know the truth, but I think it’s a fair judgment for Americans to make.”

That should have been the end of the questions on his wife’s health, but Katie was obsessed and she wasn’t finished by a long shot. Katie then rapid-fired these questions at the Edwardses.

“Here you’re staring at possible death... And you’re thinking, I don’t want to deprive the country of having my husband lead us.”

Next: “Some people watching this would say, I would put my family first always, and my job second.” And you’re doing the exact opposite. You’re putting your work first, and your family second.”

More Katie: “I guess some people would say that there’s some middle ground. You don’t have to necessarily stay at home and feel sorry for yourself, and do nothing. But, if given a finite – a possibly finite period of time on the planet – being on the campaign trail, away from my children, a lot of time, and sort of pursuing this goal, is not, necessarily, what I’d do.”

She still wasn’t finished with the grilling.

“Even those who may be very empathetic to what you all are facing might question your ability to run the country at the same time you’re dealing with a major health crisis in your family.” “… Can you understand their concern, though, Senator Edwards, that gosh, at a time when we’re living in a world that is so complicated and so dangerous that the president cannot be distracted by, rightly so, caring about his wife’s situation?”

Oh the humanity.

Katie, again: “You said, this weekend, “I am definitely in the race for the duration.” If you want to give the honest answer, how can you say that, Senator Edwards, with such certainty? If, God forbid, Elizabeth doesn’t respond to whatever treatment is recommended, if her health deteriorates, would you really say that?”

In other words, when your wife dies, won’t you feel bad?

I am no fan of John Edwards, but as awful as this reads here, it was even more difficult to watch. Every reporter has to ask tough questions. Katie was right to quiz Edwards on pulling out asking why they don’t stay at home and rest with his wife as she fights to live.

But the way she badgered the couple was slimy and a sad moment in the ever spiraling career of Katie Couric.


(CK Rairden writes from his Arizona home. He can be reached at ckden@yahoo.com)


 
       
 
Shee