The Party of Fiscal Responsibility

This graph demonstrates which party has really been the party of fiscal responsibility in recent years. Despite the Republican claims of “tax and spend” Democrats, if your goal is lower taxes long term, as well as to prevent erosion of your savings due to inflation, stay away from those Republicans. Their irresponsible spending can only lead to either higher taxes down the road or worse disasters.

Update: I’m not sure why someone would link to this post in 2009, especially since the graph is no longer available. As there is suddenly some traffic to this old post in March, 2009 I’ll point out two more recent posts on the topic:

A Historian Looks At Republican Support For BigGovernment
The Party of Big Government

Saddam Verdict Moved Closer to Midterm Elections

Iraq has moved back the planned date to announce the verdict in Saddam’s case, conviently moving it even closer to the midterm elections:

The U.S.-backed court was due to announce on Monday a final date for verdicts on Saddam and seven of his former top lieutenants for crimes against humanity, a charge which carries a maximum penalty of death by hanging.

But the court said it needed more time to review testimony. Chief prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi said the Iraqi High Tribunal could announce a verdict when it reconvenes on November 5.

“Right now they are checking some testimonies and details. If they finish by then, then they will definitely announce the verdict on November 5,” he told Reuters.

Posted in Iraq, Politics. Tags: . No Comments »

Downing Steet Paper: Military Action in Iraq and Afghanistan Served as Recruiting Sergeant For Terrorist Groups

George Bush claims that we must fight the terrorists in Iraq so that we don’t have to fight them here, but in reality it is the fighting in Iraq which is fueling the threat of terrorism. In public Tony Blair might repeat Bush’s lines, but in private they know better. The Telegraph reports on a classified paper from Downing Street (emphasis mine):

Tony Blair’s claim that there is no link between Britain’s foreign policy and terrorist attacks in this country is blown apart by a secret cabinet memo revealed today.

A classified paper written by senior Downing Street officials says that everything Britain does overseas for the next decade must have the ultimate aim of reducing “terror activity, especially that in or directed against the UK”.

The memo, circulated in recent weeks to ministers and security chiefs and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, outlines an extraordinary “wish list” of how the Government would like world troublespots to look in 10 years’ time. It also signals a drive to reduce Britain’s military commitments around the globe.

It admits that, in an ideal world, “the Muslim would not perceive the UK and its foreign policies as hostile” – effectively accepting the argument that Britain’s military action in Iraq and Afghanistan has served as a recruiting sergeant for Islamist terrorist groups. Publicly, Mr Blair has resisted this line fiercely. During his final speech as leader to Labour’s annual conference last month, he described such claims as “enemy propaganda”.

Hugo Chávez and American Voting Machines

I’ve long been concerned that efforts to develop an accurate and secure voting system has turned into a partisan issue, with each side concentrating on accusations that the other is stealing elections as opposed to a bipartisan search for a real solution. Diebold CEO Walden O’Dell’s statement that he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year” justifiably concerned Democrats. We now have an unexpected party mixed into this–Hugo Chávez.

The New York Times reports on this story (first reported by the Miami Herald):

The federal government is investigating the takeover last year of a leading American manufacturer of electronic voting systems by a small software company that has been linked to the leftist Venezuelan government of President Hugo Chávez.

The inquiry is focusing on the Venezuelan owners of the software company, the Smartmatic Corporation, and is trying to determine whether the government in Caracas has any control or influence over the firm’s operations, government officials and others familiar with the investigation said.

The inquiry on the eve of the midterm elections is being conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or Cfius, the same panel of 12 government agencies that reviewed the abortive attempt by a company in Dubai to take over operations at six American ports earlier this year.

So far there is no evidence that Chávez has been attempting to influence elections, but the political ramifications of this are interesting. While I see the potential for manipulation of election results by Hugo Chávez to be as alarming as manipulation by Diebold, will those on the far right who claim that Chávez is an ally of Democrats inflame the issue by raising charges of election fraud by the left? While the chances are small, maybe this will help create a consensus by reasonable people on the left and right, as well as in the middle, to concentrate on the real issue of maintaining the integrity of election results as opposed to the current partisan bickering.

More Analysis From Rush Limbaugh

Did Clinton Save America From God’s Wrath?

Bible Belt Blogger presents a convincing case for how Bill Clinton saved America from God’s wrath.

Bush and Cheney Keep Clean

Before 2001 I would have never believed that we’d have a situation where I’d side with one political party over the other on every issue but Bush and Cheney have been remarkable for their ability to be wrong on, to put it briefly, everything. Until now. The New York Times reports on an issue where I must side with Bush and Cheney over Bill Richardson and Howard Dean–the use of Purell to clean hands after shaking hands with crowds of people.

For once George Bush’s simple explanation is actually true: “Good stuff, keeps you from getting colds.” Physician and Senator Tom Coburn explains in more detail that, “Every time you’re with big groups of people, you’re going to be exposed to rhinoviruses, adenoviruses and the viruses that cause gastroenteritis.”

It’s safe to assume that if George Bush says something, Howard Dean can be counted upon to say the opposite, which makes Dean correct virtually every time, except on this issue. According to Dean, “If you’ve had children, you’re immune to everything.” Bill Richardson holds the Guinness Book of World Records for shaking the most hands over an eight-hour period–13,392, at the New Mexico State Fair in 2002. He refuses to use Purell, saying “It’s condescending to the voters.”

Despite the positions of Dean and Richardson, Purell is increasingly popular among politicians. Bill Clinton started using Purell after being chastised by doctors for eating a pie with his hands when their was no fork available after shaking dozens of hands. Purell wasn’t an issue in the 2000 election as both Gore and Lieberman promoted its use. Donald Trump was also a supporter when he considered entering politics:

“One of the curses of American society is the simple act of shaking hands,” Mr. Trump wrote in his book “Comeback.” “I happen to be a clean-hands freak.”

Other cited as supporting the use of Purell include John McCain, Bob Dole, Harry Reid, and Barack O’Bama.

Letterman vs. O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly came back for a second session of David Letterman trying to teach him a bit about reality, but O’Reilly still seems too dense to learn. During O’Reilly’s first visit in January (transcript here), Letterman told O’Reilly, “I’m not smart enough to debate you point to point on this, but I have the feeling, I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap.” Friday’s visit had smilar moments with Letterman accusing O’Reilly of using “artificial facts.” The interview ended with Letterman showing his appreciation to O’Reilly for visiting:

You know I appreciate you coming over her and indulging me because you know once again I’ll just end up saying I have no idea what I’m talking about but I don’t think you do either.”

Full transcript is below the fold, and video available here. (more…)

Big Ten Leaders Alone At Top of College Football Rankings

Congratulations to Oregon State for upsetting USC! This guarantees that, barring a highly unlikely upset, Ohio State and Michigan will go into the game as the number one and two teams in the country. They are already ranked one and two in most polls, but USC had the potential of jumping back ahead of Michigan to retake the number two spot if they could finish the regular season without a loss. No other teams have the potential to move ahead of Michigan and Ohio State as long as they remain undefeated, and both face teams with losing records prior to their meeting in three weeks.

Al Qaeda Threatens Canada

It’s been common for Americans traveling abroad to wear Canadian flags to divert anti-American sentiment. It looks like the days when everybody loved Canadians might be over according to this report in The National Post:

An al-Qaeda strategist has warned Canada to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan or face terrorist attacks similar to 9/11, Madrid and the London transit bombings.

The threat, attributed to a member of the al-Qaeda information and strategy committee, condemns Prime Minister Stephen Harper for refusing to pull out of Afghanistan.

It also refers to Canada’s “fanatic adherence to Christianity” as well as its purported attempts to “damage the Muslims” and its support for the “Christian Crusade” against al-Qaeda.

I suspect that conservatives will be all over this story, claiming that we must fight the terrorists in Iraq so that they don’t attack Canada as well as fight us at home. Perhaps if the United States had finished the job in Afghanistan, as opposed to diverting resources to Iraq and strengthening al Qaeda, there wouldn’t be enough of al Qaeda left by now for this to be a credible threat.

There has probably never been a time before when the folly and ignorance of one man has placed so many people in danger. Every death from al Qaeda, as well as from a nuclear North Korea or Iran, will partially be a consequence of the incompetence of George Bush.