Friday, September 26, 2008

DC to the Bailout, er, Rescue

Not Washington ... me. Just kidding. Most Americans intuitively know they don't need the feds to bail them out. They just need the feds to move "out the way".

Quick hits on the bailout:

My position: Opposed. Strongly so. We should pursue an an approach along the lines of that advocated by House Republicans (that is, where the government becomes lender, rather than owner, and the taxpayer can be paid back with interest from loans as they perform). This seems to be a sound approach. The Paulson plan is very troubling, and on many levels -- i.e., the rush to passage, the government confiscation of a huge sector of the American economy, and the demand that we minions accept the $700 billion approximation of the problem without question or amendment.

Republicans' and McCain's performance: Excellent, so far. I admit that I thought it was a bad idea for McCain to pull out of tonight's debate and go to Washington. In retrospect, that decision is looking better. Republicans (in particular in the House) pulled the rug out from the Demos yesterday. Demos pretended like they had a deal before McCain got to Washington. Then, all hell broke loose. Frankly, it was good to see. I am also taking some perverse pleasure in watching Congress have to do something substantive right on the eve of the election.

Their shock collars are on, and it's funny to watch them hit us voters at the fence.

Keep in mind, too, that a lot of these Demos -- Dodd, Frank, Obama, et al. -- are hip-deep in Fannie Mae money and mess. Indeed, you can trace a lot of this debacle back to the Demos' refusal to accept tighter controls on the loose money practices of Fannie/Freddie, and the reckless loans that were backed and spawned. As the dust settles, there will be likely be more focus here.

Outlook: Yesterday, before the Republicans turned this thing over, I was thinking we should just replace 90% of Congress every two years, regardless of person and party. Today, I am again reminded that there are indeed differences between the Republicans and Democrats, and these differences matter. This is especially so in the House, where Republican congressmen face the music every two years.

Here is all you need to know about what the country thinks and whether the Republicans are pursuing a wise strategy in demanding changes to the Paulson Plan: Demos have the votes to pass this. But they want Republicans to go along for political cover. I read that one Demo congressman in Pennsylvania reported that calls on the plan were running 50-50 -- 50% of constituents were saying "No!" and 50% were saying "Hell no!"

I hope you have noticed the exquisite irony of Demos begging Republicans to go along with Pres. Bush's Treasury Secretary, who is apparently begging Nancy Pelosi to go along with him.

McCain might have lost some ground in the short-run here, but he is setting himself (and Republicans in Congress) for a surprisingly-good Nov. 4. Demos need Republicans to vote with them on whatever plan is adopted, and Republicans are proposing changes that the public will support. In the meanwhile, Demos are aligned with Pres. Bush and Republicans are opposing him. Some weird Jedi mind trick must be at work. Has any one seen Karl Rove lately?

Barney Frank is apoplectic, so you know something good is happening.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Which beach would the Candidate of Change identify more with ... Malibu or Galveston?

Greetings, all. We continue to emerge from our hovels around here as life begins to slowly return to normal. Make no mistake, it was bad here on the Texas Gulf Coast. It still is.

The power at our house was restored a short while ago, but about 1.25 million as of this writing remain without power.

There is no delicate way to say this: The national media's coverage of this disaster has been breathtakingly ignorant. It's understandable for many outside the Gulf Coast to think the story line here is that the "storm surge was less than expected". The truth is that, while the surge could have been higher, it was wide and deep. The hurricane made a direct hit on the Houston-Galveston area. Hurricane-force winds in this huge storm blanketed the Houston-Area for hours as about 15 inches of rain fell.

The area looks like a war zone in many spots. Trees and power lines are down everywhere. In much of the Houston area, houses that did not lose trees are the exception.

To get a good idea of what really has been happening, go to the Houston Chronicle's web site. Check out the photos on the site. Say a prayer for those who are suffering so mightily and send a donation to a relief organization, if you are so inclined.

You won't hear a lot nationally from the residents of the Texas Gulf Coast, the same people who shouldered much of the burden of sheltering Katrina refugees. Most will just go on about their business of trying to pick up the pieces of their lives.

Life goes on. Here, we get hit about every 20 years or so with a major hurricane. Since the last one was 25 years ago, I blame global cooling for the 5 year respite.

Lots of politicians have been on the radio the past few days. There's been a little finger-pointing, and certainly some pandering from time to time, as you might imagine. Mostly, the comments and the efforts have been constructive, though. The best line I heard came from Pres. Bush, who doesn't need to campaign in Texas (or anywhere) any more. The President said, "By helping your neighbor, you are helping your nation."

Lots of my neighbors are helping their nation around here. That's how many of them live. On Saturday, one neighbor who I didn't even know showed up with a chainsaw to remove a fallen tree from my driveway. Another showed me how to pump my septic. Others gathered and distributed intel about where to get gas. There were thousands of acts of kindness and generosity that you will never hear about.

There were some isolated pockets of exceptions, but the rule was amazingly-civilized and neighborly conduct around here. Nearly all the stop lights have been out (I mean no lights at all), but people respect each other and the law and treat them like 4-way stops. It's a small thing, but it gives you insight into the deep decency of the people of the Texas Gulf Coast.

Meanwhile, on Galveston Island, the situation is dire. Incidentally, Galveston is a heavily-Democrat area of the state. It seems, though, that the national Democrats don't seems to have much time to spend on Galveston Beach. Surely, this doesn't have anything to do with Texas' shiny red status, does it?

Maybe the many black residents who lost everything on Galveston Island can ask the Candidate of Change at the next opportunity.

But alas, it appears they won't get the opportunity. Obama found a beach in Malibu more to his liking than Galveston. The Barack and Babs gathering of last night speaks volumes, and on many levels.

Trembling markets and the self-anointed change agent of our time simultaneously and ominously announce the weakness of much of our sick, self-absorbed politics and culture.

And the cure won't be found in the government.

The cure is among us ... out in the neighborhoods and in our homes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

On 9/11, thinking of planes, change, and hurricanes

Greetings. Earlier this week, I watched "United 93" again, and I was taken back. It's part of the human condition to forget. We need to be reminded of important things. Funny how the unimportant don't need calendars and clocks to dominate our thinking.

As I was heading off to work today after some pre-Ike preparations, I remembered something. I had forgotten to put my flag out. So, I circled back to the neighborhood and put her up.

I won't forget this day the rest of my life. It took me a few months, yes, even a year or so, to realize that our lives here in America had been transformed. Ultimately, 9/11 led me to this space in cyberspace. The name on the masthead was chosen because it is a symbol of America's daring, steely, and slightly-smiling resolve in the face of the enemies of civilization.

My own conservative political views were changed as a result of 9/11. I came to understand and appreciate the preeminence of national security in national politics.

As I have said before, if we are all dead, then what are we going to be arguing about?

We must never turn back, and we must never allow our countrymen to forget ... even when the hurricanes of life hit.

Speaking of hurricanes, I was talking to a friend this morning and we remembered how when we were kids, moms would fill up the tub with bath water and break out the candles. Then, we would ride it out.

Now, with the 24/7 news cycle and the experience of Katrina, those days are long-gone. Prepping for hurricanes is some kinda deal. So, we are going about it here.

If you watch the news over the weekend, I'll be the bedraggled fellow in downtown Houston shouting: "Nancy Pelosi, where is my global-warming legislation and where is my airboat?"

Or maybe not.

Funny, but you just know how certain things will shake out and how certain people will pull through. Texas will be fine. The rest of y'all need not worry about us becoming wards of the nation.

I am going to go out on a limb and make a prediction: You won't find a bunch of Texans on a bridge whining to Washington after this thing hits.

Speaking of which, we Texans can relate to Alaskans. Last night, Sarah Palin described Alaska as a place where "men are men and women win the Iditarod!"

Man, oh man ... We Texans know a little about guts and the frontier spirit, and we recognize it when we see it (in Sarah Palin) and we know when some one will break and run at the first sign of trouble (like B.O.).

And incidently, we've been electing women governors around these parts for over 80 years. Google "Ma Ferguson" for some fun reading.

And let us remember this weekend what Ma said: "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, then it's good enough for the children of Texas."

Actually and seriously, Ma did not say that.

What she actually said was: "If English was good enough for Jesus, the greatest Community Organizer of all time, then it's good enough for me, in the spirit of Pontius Pilate the Governor, to order that we seek the truth in the English language only."

With that, I am off.

See you on the other side.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Demos are ... Palin Comparison

All these storms out there and Hurricane Sarah continues to make waves. The storm surge could put Washington and New York newsrooms under water, before it's over.

I got a hoot out of how she stiffed the big news shows over the weekend. It appears that ol' Charlie Gibson will get the first MSM crack at her this week. Should be fun.

Looking at the polls taking shape over the weekend, it appears that Gov. Sarah Palin is indeed a game-changer. At a minimum, her nomination has put McCain in the game, and likely to stay. Meanwhile, I get a kick out of watching the Demos trying to figure out a plan of attack. It's tough for them. I mean, what do you do? Keep digging in that hole? My suggestion? Focus on McCain, but ... they won't listen to me.

In the middle of Palin-Mania, I thought I would take a moment to acknowledge the obvious -- that we will surely see chinks in the Palin armor going forward. There's quite a legend around Sarah Palin in Alaska and now the country. Fret not when you find that she is not Paul Bunyan.

For instance, a number of media are now breathlessly reporting that the famed Murkowski jet was "put" on Ebay, and not "sold". But this is exactly what Palin said in her speech last Wednesday, although McCain was making merry claiming it was "sold on Ebay ... and for a profit" in Wisconsin on Friday. Man, Johnny Mac was juiced at that rally. But note: The jet was actually sold via a traditional sale. The point of Palin's efforts in this regard, and her creative manner of trying to accomplish the mission, seems to me to be the main point.

Come to find out, Palin also tried to fire the city librarian (a supporter of the incumbent she unseated) when she took over as Mayor of Wasilla. She inquired re: "censoring" books, it appears, although a more proper question would seem to me to be: Would you suggest we limit at all which types of books we buy for our residents here in Wasilla?" But it seems the Obama campaign got loose and published a "banned book list" from Palin's Wasilla. Turns out that the list is entirely bogus, though, and the Obama Campaign took down the bogus list. Worse yet, no books were banned or censored. Here again we see a recurring theme: In there haste to destroy Palin, Leftists are overreaching and losing credibility.

Others are whining about the fact that Wasilla benefitted from federal spending when Palin was mayor. Again, what's the point? What's she supposed to do, put it in an envelope and send it back to Washington after it was appropriated? Then she apparently was for the Bridge to Nowhere before changing her mind. Again, what's the big point? She did change her mind and helped stop the bridge. Critics charge that "she kept the money". I thought that Congress had something to do with what federal money was appropriated.

Isn't Ted Stevens from Alaska? Again, what was she supposed to do, bend his "pork fork" with her frugal, Alaskan mind powers?

The libs are beside themselves. As we speak, MSM types are combing Alaska, and apparently the New York Times is planning a story about Trig Palin. Wow, who knew they were capable of such investigative work?

Surely not John Edwards and B.O..

Meanwhile, B.O. whines about her picking on him, proving again he is unworthy to be our commander-in-chief. B.O. is the incredible, shrinking messiah.

Here are the main points to all this: Don't be surprised when we learn that Gov. Palin doesn't walk on water, even frozen Alaskan water; and 2) The in-depth digging and clear double-standard applied to the Republican VP nominee won't escape the public's notice.

There might be hell to pay in November. Palin is the most popular politican in the country right now. Incredible. And on this score, consider: If she is such an inexperienced, extreme conservative lightweight, just how has she bamboozled more than 80% of Alaskans?

On Larry King Friday night, Michael Moore's first-blush reaction to Sarah Palin was: "She's an extremist." I thought: Wow, the extremist's extremist is ... what? It would appear mainstream.
One wonders how/if the Leftist brain works. Consider: If Palin is an extremist and governs as such, then how do you explain more than 80% of Alaskans approving of her performance? When every one is crazy but you, it's time to look in the mirror.

This entire saga is sure to have some twists and turns going forward, I am sure. So, fasten your belts. But it's fun to have some one to really pull for here.

Here's betting she'll be just fine. Her character has been built over a lifetime. She hasn't been simply prepping for interviews and to be VP.

When there are bumps ahead, I suspect we'll be reminded again that she is a real person like us. The MSM can unearth every rock in Alaska and they won't change this equation. Here's hoping they stay at it.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Dear Mr. Obama

Our old friend Mark sends this along: Dear Mr. Obama

BTW, though the execution of the Iraq War was in deep trouble pre-surge, as the aforementioned video points out, it would be incredibly wrong to concede that going into Iraq itself was wrong. People need to be reminded of the context of the decision-making process and the near-universal belief that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction -- along with a history of using them -- with 9/11 clearly visible at that time in the rearview mirror.

The trouble is ... A lot of people now evaluate the Iraq War as if 9/11 never happened and/or it was ancient history at the time we invaded Iraq. With the information we had at the time, it was the right move to go into Iraq. The real debate was how to prevail and then come home. McCain, to his credit, was the nation's best leader on this issue. I don't believe it's political hyperbole to say that Iraq would have been lost without him pressing the surge.

Meanwhile, Obama now admits the surge worked (though he voted against it), but still ... can't bring himself to say he was wrong. Messiahs don't tend to err, you know.

Posting update: Inspired by the Sarah Palin candidacy, as I know many of you are, I will resume posting from now through Election Day. Due to real life considerations, don't expect much more than a weekly column. As always you can reach me on the other line of the internets (email) at dcutter-at-gmail-dot-com.

By the way, some of the accomplishments, etc., we have heard re: Sarah Palin have turned out/will turn out to contain some hyperbole. I mean, I don't think she adjusted the Northern Lights, although with an 86% approval rating, there are apparently some who think she could. I jest somewhat, but the point is ... when we confirm that Sarah Palin is not a perfect person/politician, it won't and doesn't change the game.

Rather, she is the real deal, and that's why she has changed the game. We'll discuss Monday.

Friday, September 05, 2008

I hate to gloat, but ...

The post below this one was written about three hours before Sarah Palin's historic, electric, Reaganesque speech. Yes, John McCain did his thing tonight and did fine, but ... yes, his speech was anti-climactic.

Okay, so after the Palin speech, any one's gloating, speeches, or whatever, seem small. But wait ... what's the big deal about words? What's so important about a speech? After all, haven't we been saying that Barack Obama's only real skill is his soaring oratory?

As Palin demonstrated Wednesday night, ideas -- and the ability to express them powerfully and persuasively -- matter in political candidates. Words are important. Sure, empty words are just that. Change is a verb, and not simply a noun, after all. But national officeholders need to be able to explain ideas and inspire people.

Reagan did this. And ... speaking of the Reagan in heels analogy, which we were talking about last night, apparently this has caught on with people who ought to know.

So, as the Republicans sky from St. Paul with a spring in their step and a real shot to win in November, you can thank Sarah Palin ... and the man with the guts to give her a shot.

One more thing ... listen close. I had a pretty good idea that Sarah Palin would be fine and would be beloved by not only the delegates, but also the nation, if only she were given the chance. I am not gloating now. I am just telling you what I knew. But how did I know this without knowing her?

It's the person behind the words that really provides the power of those words. And the bricks and mortar of personal power is one's belief system.

Palin's confidence, good humor, and genuineness stem from her beliefs. The inspiring words of Wednesday night were brush strokes of this belief system.

I know this belief system because it is mine.

As such, she has made this ticket mine, as well.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Impalin' on Palin

I poke my head from my hole for a few brief points as we await the big Palin speech. Here are my random, yet purposeful, thoughts:

I am genuinely and pleasantly surprised that McCain pulled this off. He shocked me. Truly, he did. As a result, I have gone from "supporting Obama's opponent" to enthusiastically supporting the McCain-Palin ticket.

The only thing that can/would change my support for McCain is if McCain and Co. would inexplicably dump Palin from the ticket. I doubt very seriously this will happen, but the Lefties are sure pushing the idea. That should tell you something of the merits of going that direction.

Only the Obamas of the world counsel with enemies.

The Media/Demo/Leftist/Same Things are vicious miscreants capable of all manner of dastardly and unspeakable tactics, provided that they are either anonymous or traveling in a pack.

Left alone, however, Barack Obama would likely get his butt kicked by Sarah Palin in a fist fight.

However, she is also a beauty queen, mother of five, slayer of moose, and a former point guard of a state championship basketball team. Where do we find such women? America, that's where.

And how can such a woman be a conservative Christian, pray tell?

Questions such as the foregoing are asked by the Media/Demos/Leftists/Same Things because of their breathtaking ignorance and bigotry toward Evangelical Christians.

Sarah Palin is much more qualified to be president than Barack Obama is.

Given the foregoing, shouldn't the top of the Demo ticket be comparing his experience to the top of the Republican ticket? It would seem so, but Obama doesn't compare favorably there, as well.

Sarah Palin's real sin to the Left is not in having a teenage daughter who is pregnant, but in the fact that here family has gone through two difficult pregnancies where many would have had (or at least understood) abortions.

Palin and her family have lived their convictions and thus heaped burning coals on the opposition's head.

In my church, I have seen a lot more eyebrow-raising things than we have learned about Sarah Palin.

"Amazing Grace" is still a popular hymn in evangelical circles.

In Sarah Palin's church (and mine) we don't tolerate racists and pastors generally don't say "God damn, America."

The so-called "feminist movement" in America, given the treatment of Sarah Palin that has been allowed to persist, is officially dead.

The real question that the Palin candidacy raises is this: Can a person who takes her faith and convictions seriously and does not cowtow to the Media/Washington establishment seek high office?

Put another way, can some one who believes like I do be allowed to run for elected office and have the American people judge him or her on the merits?

I am so proud -- and genuinely excited -- that the Republican Party ... Yes, I can say it, I am so excited that my party nominated Sarah Palin and she has the chance to be the first woman elected to be VP.

By the way, she got rid of the state chef in Alaska so she could cook for her family.

Who does she think she is? A woman?

And oh, the 5 kids Sarah Palin is supposed to be "looking out for" and thus will keep her from doing her job ... One is getting married and another is heading to Iraq.

Knowing what we have learned about her abilities, I think she can handle her responsibilities at home just fine.

Barack Obama thinks he is a celebrity, and to some extent he is. I think Sarah Palin is going to become, as some one said, "Reagan in heels". If she is this ... we will have a rock star in American politics.

Bono with an Updo? How about that?

Indeed, she is the first candidate since Reagan to remind me of him.

That said, you should understand my and many conservatives' defense of Sarah Palin.

Take a look at the title of the post real quick. Remember the scene in Braveheart, when the Scots looked about to be overrun and they pulled out the long sticks, er, the very sharp big sticks.

Those charging, apparently to a glorious victory, were suddenly impaled.

Meanwhile, those who had the courage to stand their ground and then fight back survived. The Demos have been riding in pretty hard the past couple of days. Tonight, the long sticks start to come up.

Courage pays. If the Republicans stick together and fight with the heart of Sarah Palin, they'll be fine.

Whatever the outcome of this election, rest assured that Sarah Palin and her family will be fine, too.

And ... as long as the country keeps producing Sarah Palins, we'll all be fine.