Right Pundits

December 30th, 2007

Will the GOP Commit Huckacide?

To the regret of my colleague, Tina, her nickname for Governor Mike Huckabee, huckahillbillee has not taken hold. Instead, the term “Huckacide” has been added to the vernacular, at least on Wall Street. If one is to believe the most recent polls, (and I do not) Huckabee is going to win the Iowa caucus. The only question is – by how much?

While there are obvious differences, the “Huckasurge” reminds me of the democrat’s early fascination with Dr. Howard Dean in 2003/04. In the end, the democrats, even in Iowa, went with the establishment candidate, John Kerry. I suspect the same thing could happen this time as well. The difference is that Iowa, at least on the GOP side, will not determine a true front runner this time around.

I suspect that the msm is trying to give Huckabee a free pass because they sense he would be easy to destroy in the general election. Huckabee has picked up support from the social conservatives because he is religious and the evangelicals are desperate to find someone (anyone!) who is not Mitt Romney. Imagine how the msm will portray Huckabee’s religious beliefs if he becomes the GOP nominee. This guy is an actual minister. Bush has been roasted for being a “Jesus freak” while mentioning Jesus maybe a dozen times in 8 years. Huckabee mentions Jesus a dozen times in a paragraph.

That may please the social conservatives who make up the bulk of the audience for talk radio and Fox News, but one has to wonder how the “middle” will react to a candidate who is so open about his religion. In the ideal world, it would not matter. It is too bad that we do not live in that world. The middle is essentially a band of moderate republicans to conservative democrats that every general election candidate must have to win a presidential election. That is why every candidate “moves to the middle” during the general election campaign. These are the Reagan democrats and Clinton republicans. In today’s world would Huckabee have a shot at winning a significant portion of the votes of the Reagan democrats? For that matter, would moderate Republicans vote for him? Huckabee is soft on crime, has a history of raising taxes and is frighteningly ignorant on foreign affairs. His comments on Pakistani illegal aliens would have been funny if it was not so sad. Combine that with numerous recent ill advised comments on various subjects and one is left wondering how this guy ran a state much less an entire country.

While I do not know the answer for certain, it is clear that there would be a significant chance of a “Huckacide” should the GOP send him forth as the nominee. I initially thought that Fred Thompson would make the weakest candidate for the GOP. I take that back. A Mike Huckabee nomination will end with 400 electoral votes for the team of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. That would truly be a “Huckacide”.



December 28th, 2007

Benazir Bhutto – Not a Simple Story

It was all so predictable. I am not referring to the assasination of Benazir Bhutto, which is regrettable, but to the reaction of her death in the United States. Let us count the ways.

1. The presidential candidates engage in an unseemly contest of who knew Bhutto the best. Almost every candidate began his or her response to the Bhutto assasination with some variation of “I was just talking to Ms. Bhutto” last week or last month. Then they nominate Bhutto for sainthood.

A notable exception to this was John McCain. He was the only one to mention the fact that Ms. Bhutto returned to Pakistan on her own volition understanding the risk to her life. He also was the only one to defend Musharraf, correctly pointing out that Musharraf took over a failed state that was a result of corruption at the top. Bhutto’s husband and brother were at the head of the list of corrupt politicians. He also stated that while Musharraf takes a lot of heat for not routing Al Qaeda from Pakistan’s northwest territory, this has been a lawless land for the past one thousand years and not even Alexander the Great could conquer the region. McCain made it sound like a suicide mission. He also detailed the risk of nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands and how important it is to the region to have a stable Pakistan. My hat is off to John McCain for having the guts to tell the truth while others stick to a tightly structured script.

2. The main stream media would immediately try to blame Musharraf. They even have Ms. Bhutto’s own words to support the claim. She sent an email to a friend of hers in the U.S. stating that Musharraf was to blame if anything happened to her since he did not ensure her safety. This sounds, at least to me, like someone playing politics. Certainly Ms. Bhutto understood that there were multiple assassination attempts against Musharraf’s life and that he is lucky to be alive today. If he could not ensure his own safety, how could he guarantee her safe passage in a de-stabilized country of 165 million where elements of the Taliban and Al Qaeda have infiltrated the infrastructure of the intelligence and military communities? Simply put, she had to know the danger she was facing in Pakistan. To her credit, she went back anyway. Predictably, the main stream press has not seen fit to have this discussion.

3. The left wing loonies will blame the Bush administration for the assassination. Naturally, this has to be President Bush’s fault especially if your name is Keith Olbermann. Clearly, George W. Bush through his minion, Condi Rice forced Ms. Bhutto to run for office in Pakistan. The next part of the left wing story will be that the Bush team somehow blackmailed her and then contracted with Al Qaeda to have her killed. Some noted figure on the left will state that theory. Sadly, it will be believed by many.

Benazir Bhutto was a politician. Was she better than most? Maybe, maybe not. Was she a saint? Definitely not. She was a politician and people in her line of work are opportunists by nature. I suspect that she was no different. On the whole, Bhutto would most likely have been a positive presence in Pakistan especially if she could have found a way to really work with Musharraf. Democracy is a worthy goal in any country. However, the transition to a democracy for a country in that region is fraught with risks and unanticipated danger. I am certain that Ms. Bhutto understood the risks involved in her quest. Sadly, we will never know what would have happened had she lived. I suspect, like all other politicians, she would have experienced both highs and lows that are a normal part of a politician’s career.

***Update***

Bhutto’s 19 year old son has been named the head of his mother’s party because Bhutto’s husband has some issues with corruption. The kid starts his career in politics by announcing that he will continue his studies at Oxford for the forseeable future. Smart move, kid. You might have a future.



December 23rd, 2007

General David Petraeus – Man of The Year

I don’t care what Time magazine publishes. Does anyone even read Time anymore? In General Patraeus, we have the perfect blend of warrior, diplomat and statesman. I suspect that he works on military strategies during the day and reads Socrates during the night. Iraq would most likely be in good shape now if he was listened to back in 2004. Instead, the neo-con, idealistic dreams of Vice-President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld held sway for a length of time that only served to sacrifice many more of our brave young men and women than what was necessary.

The Patraeus strategy is working. This is from a huge critic of the administration’s handling of the Iraq war which was awful at best. In the end, an internal Iraqi political solution amongst their various factions is the only way that true stability will return to Iraq. His strategy has given the Iraqi’s the time (perhaps too much) to address the political issues. Even more, the grass roots efforts with the Sunni sheiks may, from a bottoms-up perspective, help Iraq achieve a political solution.

After watching Patraeus during multiple interviews in September present an assessment that was rooted in reality, sober in regards to the current situation in Iraq and completely factual, how could anyone question his character?

I do not know which party, if any, Patraeus is affiliated with officially. Frankly, it does not matter to me. He would have my vote for President. Based on what I have seen, he is head and shoulders above all of the other candidates.



October 10th, 2007

Gov. George Bush’s Executions and Mexican Nationals

It seems odd to me that President Bush has now decided that perhaps not all executions in Texas should take place, given that as Governor, he denied clemency to 152 persons. Since he now feels that international law should interfere with the execution of a Mexican national under Texas law, I thought I would look up his own record and see how many people with hispanic surnames were executed while Mr. Bush was governor.

Admittedly, assessing surnames is not very accurate and since I am not an archivist, I have to rely on what I can find in the few snippets of info I can glean for the internet. I have gleaned the following somewhat morbid list (19 total):

Gonzales, Joe Fedelfido, # 999177, September 18, 1996
Losada, Davis, June 4, 1997
Montoya, Irineo Tristan, #847, June 18, 1997
Cruz, Pedro, May 19, 1998
Navariz, Leopoldo, Jr., June 26, 1998
Camacho, Genaro Ruiz, August 26, 1998 (1998-1999)
Cruz, Javier, # 999061, October 1, 1998
Vega, Martin Sauceda, January 26, 1999
Cordova, George, # 706, February 10, 1999
Rector, Charles, # 721, March 25, 1999
De la Cruz, Jose Eliju, May 4, 1999
Trevino, Joe Mario, August 18, 1999
Cantu, Domingo, October 28, 1999
Gutierrez, Jose Angel, # 970, November 18, 1999 (1999-2000)
Nuncio, Paul Selso, # 999158, June 15, 2000
San Miguel, Jessy Carlos, # 999008, June 29, 2000
Soria, Juan Salvez, # 000837, July 26, 2000
Cruz, Oliver David, # 954, August 9, 2000
Flores, Miguel Angel, # 983, November 9, 2000

Admittedly, some of these folks are probably not Mexican nationals, and some may not even be hispanic, but isn’t it ironic that Mr. Bush never brought this issue up while he was Governor? Were there no Mexican nationals that were given the ultimate punishment in Texas while Bush was Governor, or were Mexican nationals preferentially spared by him?

I am still very conflicted about the death penalty and no matter how you look at it, a life is being taken by the state, and with such a serious punishment should come some serious discussion.

I did check out just one from the list above and found the following information:

Miguel Angel Flores

Executed November 9, 2000 by Lethal Injection in Texas

75th murderer executed in U.S. in 2000
673rd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
35th murderer executed in Texas in 2000
234th murderer executed in Texas since 1976

Flores was convicted and sentenced to death for the June 1989 murder of Eastern New Mexico University student, Angela Tyson, who was working for the summer at a local video rental store. Flores kidnapped Tyson as she was closing and leaving the store. Flores forced Tyson into her car and then drove to a remote location away from the city. There, he raped her and stabbed her repeatedly, leaving her in the car, then fled the scene. Flores turned himself in to the police the day her body was found, confessing to the crime. Flores was a mexican foreign national with no prior criminal record.

Defense attorney Richard Ellis, who witnessed the execution, said the governor’s lack of action in this case sends a “very dangerous signal” to the rest of the world regarding the U.S. approach to violations of the Vienna Convention. Flores’ attorneys have argued that, at least in part because Borger authorities didn’t notify the Mexican consulate of his arrest in 1989, his trial was unfair. Protesters lined a block along with Huntsville Unit, chanting “justice” and “George Bush is a serial killer.” Representatives of the Mexican and Argentine consulates were present. Marco Dosal, a spokesman for the Mexican consulate, said those leaders would continue to protest the executions of Mexican nationals in Texas. With the execution of Flores, 16 other nationals are on death row.

This guy was a bad hombre and probably got what he deserved and the family of his victim at least knows he will never strike again.

So, my question is this, if Gov. George Bush of Texas can execute a Mexican national for brutally raping and stabbing a young woman, why can’t the current Govenrnor of Texas execute a Mexican national for brutally raping and killing 2 girls, one of whom was 14 years old and the other 16 years old:

The father of a 14-year-old Texas girl who was raped, sodomized and then strangled with a belt and shoe laces, wants to know why President Bush supports halting the execution of the Mexican national who confessed to killing his daughter and her friend.

“Our daughters are just pawns in a game that we have no control over,” Randy Ertman, father of Jennifer Ertman, told FOX News. “What can I say to the president of the United States or the Supreme Court that would make any difference?”

Jennifer Ertman, 14, and her classmate, Elizabeth Pena, 16, were brutally raped and killed in 1993 after stumbling upon a gang. Jose “Joe” Ernesto Medellin, who was born in Mexico but spent much of his childhood in Texas, confessed to the killings and was sentenced to death. But 14 years later, Medellin still sits in a Texas prison cell as the White House argues that his conviction was flawed because Houston police failed to tell him of his right to seek help from the Mexican consulate.

President Bush has not answered this question and he owes these girls’ families and the american people an answer.

As a side note, Medellin was on death row while Gov. Bush was in office, so had his case came up to the Governor’s desk in Austin earlier, we would have met the same fate as Flores.

And this final quote from Jennifer Ertman’s father:

Ertman said he feels betrayed by Bush’s decision. Ertman shook Bush’s hand when he was running for president, asking him if he remembered the girls and if he would keep their killers on death row. Bush said he would keep them on death row, Ertman said.

“He shook my hand and lied,” Ertman said.

Fox News Story here.
University of Texas Archives site here.
Full story about Flores here.

***update****
Thanks to Mdefl the following link to and interview with Mr. Ertman with Glenn Beck is here.



September 22nd, 2007

Election 2008 – Early Prediction – Thompson Versus Hillary

I know, I know, it is early and too much can happen between now and November of 2008. In order to satisfy my sadistic streak, I just thought that I would give everyone a chance to beat up on me. Also, I posted this prediction over at Dave Wissing’s Hedgehog Report on one of his threads and loyalty demands that I do so here. Next week, I will follow up with Romney v Hillary then the week after with Rudy v Hill. This began as a response to MikeKS who is a frequent poster on Wissing’s site. Anyone who has read his posts knows how strongly partisan he is, yet even MikeKs concedes Hillary 247 electoral votes. All Republicans should be cringing in their collective boots.

Without further ado, and even though you did not ask for it, here is my official (albeit early) prediction should a Hillary/Thompson race occur:

Hillary – 341
Thompson – 197

My analysis is inline. I am prepared for some hatriolic (ht – Michael Smerconish) venom from within my own party.

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July 8th, 2007

Live Earth Was a Sham!

I will confess that the only part of Live Earth that I actually viewed live was Melissa Etheridge’s strange athem for Al Gore. That alone was enough to make me go back to the beach. I did watch the “highlights” on one of my High Definition, large energy emittin (ha) channels late last night. Here are my questions and observations:

1. How much energy did these nimwits use worldwide in order to save us earthlings? After wasting time watching this, I have to honestly ask, do we deserve saving?

2. Was everyone aware that a Nazi like oath was required to attend the festivities? Playing the role of Joseph Goebbels will be our own Al Gore!

3. It was humorous watching the musicians give all of us lowly non-celebrities tips on how to save energy. John Mayer made a joke out of it, then it seemed as if he realized that his interviewer was going to pistol whip him. Mayer then gave us the scripted “I used bio diesel fuel in my bus” blah, blah, blah.

4. I was dying for one person, just one person to say, “I save gas by farting in a jar”. Alas, it was not to be.

5. Madonna lecturing us once again. That brings me to my next point.

6. Why don’t we completely outlaw private jets and first class? That way Al Gore and all of his celebrity buddys can really help save the environment. It will be fun seeing these guys fly coach with me. Even though I am not a scientist, I will bet that banning private jets will make a much greater impact than using only 1 square per number 2 use. BTW – my relatives, friends and business associates are telling me that the 1 square thing is not really working for me – or them. I love Cheryl Crow though and will do anything to please her.

7. I am glad that Leo Dicaprio (who was great in The Departed) has ended the global warming debate. Gee, all those scientist who don’t agree with the conclusion that humans are the cause must be a figment of my imagination.

8. The number to call in order to give your hard earned $ to Live Earth is 1-800-bull-crap.

9. It is ironic though that in the past 6 months, I have bought new energy efficient doors and windows and have had trees planted on my property. Perhaps that will be prevent me from being convicted as a denier, taken away to a concentration camp and having my mind reset.

10. Why aren’t they worried about Darfur? Hundreds of thousands dying and the only one who has done a damn thing is George W. Bush. What has Al Gore, Madonna, Bon Jovi, Cheryl Crow or any of these idiots done for those people who are being systematically eliminated from our planet? Which issue should hold more importance?



April 12th, 2007

The Don Imus Episode – The End of Free Speech?

Let me start by stating that I am not a Don Imus fan. I don’t think he is funny, informed or entertaining. I went through an Imus phase about 3 years ago because of his guest list. He was then replaced by the infinitely more talented Michael Smerconish on WPHT in Philadelphia and I simply forgot about him.

Having said that, this is a dangerous precedent with a slope that can only be described as slippery. Imus’ joke concerning the Rutger’s woman’s basketball team was stupid and reprehensible. He apologized immediately (OK the next working day) and simply wanted to move on. Instead, those twin charlatans, Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton took this as an opportunity to increase their own power through a publicity effort that was nothing short of disgusting. Where are Sharpton and Jackson concerning all of the young African American males who are being murdered on an almost daily basis in the city of Philadelphia? Why are they not protesting the lack of effort from the mayor and police chief of Philadelphia in combating this scourge? Because it won’t line their pockets with money and increase Jackson’s and Sharpton’s power base to take on issues that truly impact the African American community.

We have reached the point in society where you are not even allowed to apologize for a mistake. This, my friends is only the beginning. We are at an extremely important inflection point in society. The powers that be will use this episode to enact the “Fairness Doctrine” which will be used to silence the conservatives first on talk radio and TV (Fox News) where the opinions expressed may be different from the new center of power. Then they will go after the bloggers (including me) who disagree with their version of the world. You believe that a woman who has an abortion is a murderer? In the future, that will be considered hate speech and at best will be censored. At worst, the purveyor of the “hate” speech could be subject to fines and imprisonment. Should your type an opposing view to gay marriage, you will now be officially a hater. This coming from someone who believes that gay people, as a matter of individual liberty, should have the right to marry. It would be a reduction in our rights to censor viewpoints that differ from mine, and would be the opposite of our founding father’s vision for this country.

The left will initially celebrate the reductions in our freedom of speech until they realize that the definition of free speech will be held in the hands of a small cabal whose leftist version of society may be quite different than their own version. Only then it will be too late to do anything about it. We are entering truly dangerous times in this country. Am I being overly dramatic? Maybe. Then again, maybe not. Do we really want to find out if I am right or wrong?



March 22nd, 2007

The Rudy Giuliani Watch

The latest poll results as conducted by Strategic Vision on March 16 -18 and reported today for the state of Pennsylvania.

Rudy – 45%
McCain – 20%
Brownback – 3% – a veritable surge!

I think PA may be one of the 43 states or so that is moving up it’s primary so they can feel important. All kidding aside, this result is phenomenal for Rudy. All of the heat he has been taking for his personal life has had zero effect. I honestly feel that Clinton pretty much took all of those issues off the table.

A new leader for a new time. It is Rudy time. Maybe John McCain can get a cabinet position if and only if he behaves himself.

Now that I have upset pretty much all of the readers of this wonderful blog, I will now make you happy. A “true” conservative as defined by social conservatives will win the Iowa Caucus. The euphoria will be short lived however as Rudy makes a comeback in the primaries that immediately follow.

I apologize for my flipness. My day began 20 hours ago and I am little punch drunk. I am sure that it is noticeable, although most of you probably think that is my normal state.



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