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Showing posts from November, 2007

Oh, Fred, Fred, Fred!

Here is an article pretty much summing up the problem with Fred Thompson on life issues.

I'm fascinated by the last "nail in the coffin" that the article mentioned. Apparently in that same interview in which George Stephanopoulos got him to accept the lie that Terri Schaivo was brain dead at the time when she was euthanized, Thompson said something which - if said to me when I myself asked him about the matter a few weeks ago- would have satisfied me and kept me on board: that the matter of what constitutes "medical treatment" in such cases should not be decided by the Supreme Court, but by the states.

Why would that have satisfied me? For the same reason that Thompson's position on Roe v. Wade- that it should be overturned, and the matter returned to the states- is pragmatically far superior to the more common idea of a constitutional amendment banning abortion outright. Thompson's solution would return the matter to the democratic process, where it belo…

Time to call SG-1!

Asteroid Apophis- which shares a name with the defeated alien nemesis of TV's Stargate SG-1, who was always trying to destroy humanity- won't hit us in 2029, as once feared. And it's too small to cause anything resembling an extinction level event even if it did.

But there remains a chance it could still take out a major city or cause a tsunami on its next pass, in 2036.

Huckabee surges past Romney in Iowa, gains elsewhere

Just after Jeff Fuller of Iowans for Romney commented on a previous post that Mike Huckabee lacks a believable path to the nomination, and that "a vote for Huckabee is a vote for Giuliani," new polls have rocked the Republican race to its core.

First, Romney- who has outspent Huckabee, for one, by a margin of ten-to-one here in Iowa and has had TV ads showing regularly all over the state for many, many months- has lost his once humongous lead among likely caucus goers.

Mike Huckabee now leads in Iowa, according to the latest Rasmussen Poll, with 28%, to Romney's 25%. Giuliani has 12%, and Thompson 11%. And the momentum is all Huckabee's.

Huckabee recently broadcast his first ad here in Iowa. This is a groundswell, people-a response to the candidate, not to the amount of money he's spend. In fact, Romney's spending doesn't look as if it's going to be able to buy Iowa after all.

Huckabee has gained twelve points here in Iowa in the last month. Romney has…

More bad news for the Democrats- and good news for America

The United States and Iraq are on the verge of negotiations contemplating an end to the Allied occupation of Iraq by the end of George W. Bush's presidency.

An end to the fighting in Iraq on terms other than surrender and in accordance with such a timetable seems plausible, says Bush war czar Lt. Gen. David Lute, both due to the success of the recent surge, which- as vastly underreported by the mainstream media- has drastically slashed both American and Iraqi casualties, and because the Iraqi government has vastly improved its own capacity for taking over the brunt of the burden of dealing with internal division and unrest.

Contemplated is a reduction of the American forces in Iraq from the present levels of 164,000 troops to a permanent garrison of some 50,000, operating in a support role.

Gen. Lute foresees an end to hostilities by the end of 2008, effectively eliminating Iraq as an issue in the presidential campaign. The Democrats will be deprived of their most powerful issue- and…

Poll: as of now, any of five Republicans would beat Hillary

Blogs for Victory reports that a new Zogby poll which shows Hillary Clinton losing to Giuliani, Huckabee, Romney, McCain, or Thompson by various margins.

Hillary is the best weapon the Republican Party has. Everybody assumes that George W. Bush will be the issue in 2008, just as he was in 2006.

But George W. Bush won't be running in 2008. Hillary Clinton will be.

Here's the complete Reuters story on the poll, courtesy of Drudge.

John Zogby- himself a pro-life Democrat- runs a poll whose track record in predicting presidential races is the best of all of them.

ADDENDUM: Here are particulars of the poll itself.

It's an interactive poll- one in which participants have volunteered- and that makes it somewhat less reliable than a random sample. But notice an interesting thing: Mike Huckabee beats Hillary by the widest margin!

Did somebody say "electability?"

Various things

John Drury, one of the Chicago news anchors I grew up watching (he replaced, as I recall, the legendary Fahey Flynn at WBBM-TV) has died at 80 of ALS.

Bears featured back Cedric Benson is out for the season after leg surgery. The Bears now have a featured back named Adrian Peterson, and the Vikings don't. While our Peterson isn't anywhere near as good as the Vikings' Peterson, I've always thought he was plenty good enough to start in the NFL. I guess now we'll see.

The Cubs have signed the one-time "Kid K," Kerry Wood, to a one-year, 4.2 million dollar contract for next season. He may end up as the closer.

Somehow- despite their defeat at the hands of the lowly Iowa Hawkeyes- the Fighting Illini seem to be in the mix at this point for a New Year's Day date with probable destruction in the Rose Bowl.

It's time to give up on Fred.

With great sorrow, I'm going to have to jump off the Thompson train.

It's not just that Fred Thompson is in favor of allowing families to starve non-terminal patients like Terri Schaivo to death. George Stephanopolous, it seems, confronted Fred on Nov. 18 with the lie that Terri was brain dead when she was starved to death. Instead of correcting this gross misstatement of fact, Thompson replied, "I didn't know that."

It seems to me that Fred Thompson is simply to ill-informed to be our nominee for president. His position on this issue has been vague and badly thought through for long enough that he should have thought it through and developed a position more in keeping with what he believes concerning other life issues by now. Why, if it's wrong (as Thompson rightly says it is) for the Supreme Court to usurp the authority of the states by legislating concerning abortion in Roe v. Wade, is it OK for that same Supreme Court to usurp the authority of the states by…

Thompson gets energized, and Huckabee continues to surge

Fred Thompson- long criticized for lacking "fire in his belly-" seems to have swallowed some habeneros. The newly-energized Thompson - now trailing even Ron Paul in New Hampshire, and in a battle for third in Iowa- has his work cut out for him.

Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee's Iowa surge- apparently due to huge strides among Iowa's influential "evangelicals-" continues to threaten Mitt Romney's once seemingly insurmountable lead here.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Yes, Bill Richardson- the surge is working!

Bill Richardson, who was once my favorite Democratic presidential candidate, has been peddling the fib that our alleged need to cut and run in Iraq is "the one thing the Iraqis agree about" in his TV ads here in Iowa for months. The other night he made himself ridiculous by arguing that "the surge isn't working."

When even Newsweek and the New York Times know you're blowing hot air, Bill, you gotta realize that you ain't foolin' nobody.

Yes, the surge is working. And despite the clear partisan advantage the Democrats get from continuing to promote the view that our cause in Iraq is hopeless, all it may take to succeed is a little intestinal fortitude from the American people.

The troops are doing quite nicely, thank you.

HT: Real Clear Politics

John Derbyshire doesn't know what he's writing about where ID is concerned

John Derbyshire- like most critics of Intelligent Design- doesn't know what Intelligent Design is.

No, it's not the notion that the world, or life, or anything else "came into existence as the result of a series of supernatural events." It's simply the idea that evidence can be found in the structure of creation of an intelligence at work. And yes, in practice that does mean an Intelligence, upper case "i."

But it speaks volumes that so few- if any- critics of ID can accurately describe it. It's not Creationism, whether in disguise or otherwise. It's completely compatible with evolution- though admittedly not with classical Darwinian evolution, which insists dogmatically- upon the basis of exactly the kind of argument ID makes in support of the opposite point- that evolution is totally random, and that the universe is the result of a series of accidents and coincidences.

It behooves at least conservative colunmnists to become a bit more accurately …

A closer look at the Paul candidacy

Ron Paul's naive, extremist views make him don't generate much of a fear response in more rational Americans, because he has no chance of winning the Republican nomination. Even if he did, somehow, the weakest of the Democratic candidates would bury him in November.

But Paul's campaign nevertheless needs to be recognized for what it is. And what it is is pretty ugly.

FDT and Cruzan

My conversation with another Thompson supporter last night generally yielded this conclusion: the question of legalized euthanasia (i.e., the status of food and water as medical treatment, which may be interrupted in a non-dying patient on the same basis that life support or other treatment may be interrupted in a dying one, should be settled on the state rather than the Federal level.

With which premise I have no problem. Trouble is, though, that Cruzan v. Director- the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court which legally defined food and water as medical treatment (thus eliminating the distinction between letting nature take its course and actively killing the patient) usurped the right of the states to decide that for themselves.

The only remedy is at the Federal level. The case is "on all fours," as the lawyers say, with Roe v. Wade.

I'm not ready yet to give up on Fred Thompson. But I do think that his thinking on Roe, if he is consistent, also ought to apply to Cruzan. A…

BREAKING NEWS: Iowa is up for grabs for both parties!

According to a new CBS/New York Times poll of likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers, Mike Huckabee is actually within striking distance of Mitt Romney!

The numbers:

Mitt Romney 27%
Mike Huckabee 21
Rudy Giuliani 15
Fred Thompson 9
Ron Paul 4
John McCain 4
Tom Tancredo 3
Duncan Hunter 2
Undecided: 15

Romney continues to lead by a comfortable margin in New Hampshire. The impact elsewhere of his losing Iowa (especially if Huckabee wins it) could, however, be dramatic.

On the Democratic side here in Iowa, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barak Obama are in a statistical tie, respectively with 25, 23, and 22%.

A reply to Ms. Daley

A. Renee Daley has this to say about the post immediately previous to this one:

Mr Waters;

Thompson did answer your question. You just didn't care for his answer. It wasn't what you wanted to hear, so it is easier for you to blame Fred Thompson instead of looking at the bigger picture.

When you have to tell the Senator that you're not questioning his commitment to life, then you are questioning his commitment.

It's no different than a White person pointing out the fact they have Black friends to prove they're not racist.

Pandering to the Religious Right is not part of Thompson's platform. Nor should it be part of the GOP platform, regardless of what James Dobson, and others like him think. Hyper-focus on one issue does a great disservice to the Conservative movement in this country.

Are you willing to sacrifice the war, just to win the battle?

I think that comment deserves an entry of its own in response, not just a reply in the comments section of my last one.

Let me …

A disturbing conversation with Fred Thompson

Saturday afternoon as I was driving to church, my cell phone rang. It was the Fred Thompson campaign, letting me know that the senator would be doing a meet-and-greet at a cafe in Indianola, a Des Moines suburb not far from where I live, this morning about eleven. Could I make it?

I made it a point to be there. After all, I've been a Thompson supporter since... well, long before the beginning. I wanted to show the colors, as it were, and help out at least by being a friendly face at a public event. Besides, its frustrating seeing all of those Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney bumper stickers without being able to respond in kind. Maybe, I thought, they'll bring a few.

But I also had another motive. As regular readers of this blog will recall, I was quite disturbed by Sen. Thompson's statement a while back that the Federal government should not have gotten involved in the Schaivo affair. The statement contained enough ambiguity, in retrospect, that it wa…

Willow Creek repents- but do they really see the sin?

They haven't quite gotten the distinction between entertainment and Gottesdienst clear yet, or the reason why the Word rather than human salesmanship is to be preferred as a means of "growing" the Church. But it seems as if the Vatican of the Church Growth Movement, Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago, may be waking up to the point that there's a difference between putting butts in the seats and making people disciples.

There may be hope yet that they'll figure out Christ's program, which He Himself gave us: make disciples by baptizing and teaching.

Or will one man-made, unbiblical paradigm merely be replaced by another?

HT: Cyberstones

The ADL needs to get a clue: a holocaust is a holocaust is a holocaust

The Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith has issued a silly and presumptuous appeal for presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to stop referring to the massacre of the American unborn begun by Roe v. Wade as a "holocaust."

The Holocaust, ADL National Director Abraham Foxman complains, was a unique tragedy in human history- an attempt by the Nazis to exterminate the Jewish people that led to the deliberate murder of six million people.

We find the use of analogies to the Holocaust to other contexts deeply painful, disturbing and offensive. Such analogies can only trivialize and diminish the horror, and cause further pain to Holocaust survivors and those who are alive today who lost friends and loved ones.

With all respect to Mr. Foxman, the ADL, survivors of the Holocaust, and the families and friends of those victimized by the Hitler regime, this is utter nonsense. To begin with- tragically- there is nothing unique about the Holocaust. As horrific as the crimes of th…

Poor Laika!

In browsing through a book on the history of the space race yesterday, I came across a sad fact the Soviet Union not only concealed but elaborately lied about from 1958 right up until its collapse.

Post-Soviet access to official records tell us that Laika- the dog allegedly carried into orbit in the world's second Earth satellite, Sputnik II- never made it. The poor animal died during the boost phrase when heat sheilds malfunctioned.

I'd always been comforted by the Soviet version, according to which Laika calmed down after reaching orbit, enjoyed several treats while circling the globe, and then was painlessly euthanized. As a space-obsessed eight year old, this was easier to accept than the notion that the poor thing was allowed to die of asphixiation or starvation or thirst while endlessly orbiting the globe. Sadly, it seems that in fact while her death was somewhat quicker, it was at least as horrific as the one I took comfort in her having been spared.

Is McCain back from the dead?

While the polls here in Iowa predict an easy Romney victory in our caucuses Jan. 3, with Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani all scrambling for second, the guy who's running fifth here has apparently climbed into second place nationally.

Just when everybody was leaving him for dead, John McCain has staged a dramatic comeback in the polls.

Major question: can he catch up specifically in Iowa, New Hampshire, and other states with primaries and caucuses early enough to keep even candidate nationally popular in the polls viable for the long haul?

HT: Real Clear Politics

ADDENDUM: For whatever it's worth, uber-social conservative Sen. Sam Brownback, who abandoned his own candidacy a week or so ago, has hopped on the McCain bandwagon:

Man bites dog- and I agree with Michael Kinsley

I've been saying it for years. Mike Huckabee memorably- and pointedly- said it to Rudy Giuliani in a recent debate among GOP presidential candidates. But I was both astounded and even gratified to see this insight repeated in the Sept. 17 edition of TIME by no less a liberal than Michael Kinsley:

...(T)he Roman Catholic Church holds that abortion is the deliberate killing of a human being. Catholic liberal politicians since Mario Cuomo have said they personally accept the doctrine of their church but nevertheless believe in a woman's right to choose. This is silly. There is no right to choose murder. Either these politicians are lying to their church, or they are lying to us.
They are certainly lying to themselves.

Kinsley even gives signs of a nascent realization that, despite the naive attempts of liberals and secularists to suggest that religion in a pluralistic democracy has no place in the public square (a view which would, by its very nature, make that democracy something l…

The Reformation Polka

I may be a day late, but here's a little something in celebration of Reformation Day.

(I must say, though.... I remember when you could almost get burned at the stake in the Missouri Synod for suggesting that teenages should be allowed to dance!)