October 21, 2009

where your tax dollars are going

unbelievable but true

free meal

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January 19, 2009

Forget the Cadillac Limo for Obama, get me one of these Suburbans

Cadillac One

Gatling Gun-Equipped Suburban

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December 21, 2008

Craig Newmark on Service

Good column Craig.  Yes I hope this is a time of enlightenment as far as engagement in the community and government goes. Use VolunteerMatch.org, use Kiva.org (i have a large account there), use pledgebank.com.  And join the PTA.  All good.

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October 24, 2008

Fred Thompson makes it clear what is at stake

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October 23, 2008

Look ma, me and Sarah and John


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October 1, 2008

Tax and Spend Democrats still running in Washington

my washington. Washington state. One hour after out D governor was sworn in in 2004 after promising no tax increases, she signed a huge one. She presided over a 35% increase in state spending in 4 years. Don't let her have another 4 years. Change is good.

Posted by Martin at 6:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 10, 2008

getting to know McCain the man

Read this from Worldnet

Why haven't we heard these very personal and very telling stories about McCain. I hope every American gets to know the McCain I know.

There's another factor we need to consider seriously in picking a president, as Karl Rove insightfully noted in a Wall Street Journal column.

Rove tells of a recent dinner date with Col. Bud Day and his wife. A congressional medal of honor recipient and former fighter pilot and Vietnam POW, Day was John McCain's superior officer and roommate at the "Hanoi Hilton" prison.

"When it comes to choosing a president," said Rove, "the American people want to know more about a candidate than policy positions. They want to know about character, the values ingrained in his heart. For Mr. McCain, that means they will want to know more about him personally than he has been willing to reveal."

In pursuit of this goal, Rove related a few of the stories Day told him, including one about what happened to Day after escaping from a North Vietnamese prison during the war:

When he was recaptured, a Vietnamese captor broke his arm and said, "I told you I would make you a cripple."

The break was designed to shatter Mr. Day's will. He had survived in prison on the hope that one day he would return to the United States and be able to fly again. To kill that hope, the Vietnamese left part of a bone sticking out of his arm, and put him in a misshapen cast. This was done so that the arm would heal at "a goofy angle," as Mr. Day explained. Had it done so, he never would have flown again.

But it didn't heal that way because of John McCain. Risking severe punishment, Messrs. McCain and Day collected pieces of bamboo in the prison courtyard to use as a splint.

Mr. McCain put Mr. Day on the floor of their cell and, using his foot, jerked the broken bone into place. Then, using strips from the bandage on his own wounded leg and the bamboo, he put Mr. Day's splint in place. …

Years later, Air Force surgeons examined Mr. Day and complimented the treatment he'd gotten from his captors. Mr. Day corrected them. It was Dr. McCain who deserved the credit. Mr. Day went on to fly again.

Another story the Days told him over dinner, said Rove, involved McCain's role as one of three de facto chaplains for his fellow POWs. Day, the senior officer at the Hanoi prison, appointed McCain to help administer religious services to the other prisoners. As Rove explained it:

Today, Mr. Day, a very active 83, still vividly recalls Mr. McCain's sermons. "He remembered the Episcopal liturgy," Mr. Day says, "and sounded like a bona fide preacher." One of Mr. McCain's first sermons took as its text Luke 20:25 and Matthew 22:21, "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's." Mr. McCain said he and his fellow prisoners shouldn't ask God to free them, but to help them become the best people they could be while serving as POWs. It was Caesar who put them in prison and Caesar who would get them out. Their task was to act with honor.

Already well-known is the fact that McCain refused early release from the Hanoi Hilton, due to his father's position as a U.S. Navy admiral. Comments Rove:

Mr. Day recalls with pride Mr. McCain stubbornly refusing to accept special treatment or curry favor to be released early, even when gravely ill. Mr. McCain knew the Vietnamese wanted the propaganda victory of the son and grandson of Navy admirals accepting special treatment. "He wasn't corruptible then," Mr. Day says, "and he's not corruptible today."

However, the stories the Days told Rove went beyond the Vietnam War era. In 1991, for instance, "Cindy McCain was visiting Mother Teresa's orphanage in Bangladesh when a dying infant was thrust into her hands," Rove writes. When it became clear the orphanage couldn't provide the medical care necessary to save the child's life, Cindy McCain brought the child back to America with her, where she was met at the airport by her husband.

When Mrs. McCain explained that the child desperately needed surgery and years of rehabilitation, and said to John, "I hope she can stay with us," McCain agreed. "Today that child is their teenage daughter, Bridget," writes Rove.

While Rove says he was aware of this story, what he didn't know previously was that Mrs. McCain had brought back a second infant – a little girl that ended up being adopted by young McCain aide Wes Gullet and his wife.

"We were called at midnight by Cindy," Gullett later told Rove, and "five days later we met our new daughter, Nicki, at the L.A. airport wearing the only clothing Cindy could find on the trip back, a 7-Up T-shirt she bought in the Bangkok airport." Today, Nicki is a high school sophomore. And, Gullett told Rove, "I never saw a hospital bill" for her care.

Rove, who calls McCain "one of the most private individuals to run for president in history," described these details of the candidate's private life not only "deeply moving," but "politically troubling" – troubling because, in Rove's words, "if Mr. McCain is to win the election this fall, he has to open up."

To be sure, explains Rove, Americans need to know about McCain's vision for America's future, including "his policy positions and domestic reforms." But, he stresses, "they also need to learn about the moments in his life that shaped him. Mr. McCain cannot make this a biography-only campaign – but he can't afford to make it a biography-free campaign either. Unless he opens up more, many voters will never know the experiences of his life that show his character, integrity and essential decency."

Although John McCain is far from a perfect person or candidate, he has demonstrated both the strong character and the core American values we want and need in a president. Barack Obama, whose entire campaign is based on dazzling as many people as possible with beguiling words while concealing at all costs his breathtakingly destructive, far-left agenda, has not demonstrated the character needed to be president.

Friends, please don't bother e-mailing me about all the wrong things McCain has done over the years. I've been a newsman for most of the past 25-plus years. I've heard it all, and then some. Our nation has never had a perfect chief executive, and we frankly don't require one. What we absolutely do need, as Rove put it, is one with "character, integrity and essential decency."

Posted by Martin at 10:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Democrats on an escalator

This is totally the Democrat's approach to problems. Wait for someone else to help.

Posted by Martin at 11:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 5, 2008

this is all you need to know about the presidential race

observe the spongy tire...

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September 3, 2008

I support McCain's "all the above" energy policy... with one exception

don't drill in Alaska until you have drilled everywhere else. We have huge undrilled fields that are permitted in the gulf. The drilling won't make a difference before 10 years anywhere. Do all the above that can have an effect in the next 2-3 years.

John McCain: "Offshore drilling, we've got to drill now and got to drill here and we've got to be And I know that there's some here in California that disagree -- that disagree with that position. Could I also mention very seriously about this issue. My friends, you know that this is a national security issue. We're sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much, that some of that money is ending up in the hands of terrorist organizations. We cannot allow this greatest transfer of wealth in history and our national security continuing to be threatened.
"And Rick, I know we've got a lot of issues to cover but let me say it. At the town hall meetings that I have every day, that's the issue on people's mind is energy. If I could take one, 30 seconds. One, we've got to do everything. We've got to do wind, tide, solar, natural gas, hydrogen cars, hybrid cars, electric cars. And we have to have nuclear power in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save on our energy costs.
"By the way, in case you hadn't noticed it, the French, 80 percent. We love to imitate the French. 80 percent of their electricity is generated by nuclear power. If they can do it and reprocess, we can, too, my friends. And by the way, if you hadn't noticed, we now have a pro-American president of France, which shows if you live long enough, anything can happen in America."
Watch It Here:

Posted by Martin at 11:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Totally hillarious Nancy Pelosi video

she is such a chicken

Nancy Pelosi Techno Chicken from wreckandsalvage on Vimeo.

Posted by Martin at 10:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 5, 2008

McCain at Sturgis

Yes while Obama played to the Socialist in Berlin, McCain was actually getting support from real live Americans. He is the first candidate to visit Sturgis, an event near and dear to my personal heart. I also like the humor McCain is putting into the campaign with some new videos on UTube. What I see is an underdog surging. McCain was on death's door in fall of 2007. He was not supposed to win the Republican nomination. He was out of money, not conservative enough, etc. But he came back. I hope he does the same here. Can you believe the ego of that guy?

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May 20, 2008

Obama doesn't know what is going on at Hanford

Stumped on what Hanford is. And he wins in Oregon. This man is dangerously nieve.

Posted by Martin at 12:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 13, 2008

Hillary flesh wound

This is Hillarious!

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April 16, 2008

Obama thinks hunting and god are disorders brought about by poverty...

I know it sounds unbelievable, but I am not making this stuff up.

From HE:

One minute Obama was bowling in Pennsylvania with nice, ordinary people wearing "Beer Hunter" T-shirts, and the next thing you know, he was issuing a report on the psychological traits of normal Americans to rich liberals in San Francisco.

Obama informed the San Francisco plutocrats that these crazy working-class people are so bitter, they actually believe in God! And not just the 12-step meeting, higher power, "as you conceive him or her to be" kind of God. The regular, old-fashioned, almighty sort of "God."

As Obama put it: "(T)hey get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

The rich liberals must have nearly fainted at the revelation that the denizens of small towns in Pennsylvania have absolutely no concern for the rich's ability to acquire servants from Mexico at a reasonable price.

It's going to take a lot of "framing" for Democrats to recast Obama's explanation to San Francisco cafe society that gun ownership and a belief in God are the byproducts of a psychological disorder brought on by economic hardship.

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April 10, 2008

Here is another funny Barack site

Barack Obama Stole Your New Bicycle Very much like Your New Nanny.

Posted by Martin at 10:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Loving the updated BarackObamaIsYourNewNanny site

With the MSM in love with Barack Hussein Obama, it is very hard to get through the halo to what life under a Barry Presidency would actually be like. What if you could tap into The REAL Barack Obama Twitter feed that stripped away all the positioning and pandering? Well now you can. Check daily to receive the decoded spin and Hussein's actual wishes, desires and true hopes for this country.

Posted by Martin at 10:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Important Pajamas Media interview exposing Rev. Lee's antisemitic views

and Obama's complacency in the scheme to "get back at white/jewish America" for all the wrongs experienced by the black community over the years.

This is not new politics. This is old school politics of racial devide and hate. Old school politics of "now it is my turn with the spanking stick and revenge is going to be sweet". That is not what America needs nor deserves.

Posted by Martin at 9:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 3, 2008

The Fed just saved our ass w/o taxpayer dollars

It is insulting how the Democrats on Capital Hill and the MSM are distoring the heroic efforts that the Fed has made to save the world wide financial system, especially their skillful engineering of the orderly liquidation of Bear Stearns. I have been surprised to find the most cogent analysis of the situation over at Red State. Basically it comes down to this, the FED using their OWN MONEY (not taxpayer money), engineered the continued co-party liquidation of Bear Stearns, the lack of which would have stalled the entire world economy, caused domino bankruptcies around the world and made the Great Depression look like a playdate. No taxpayer money went to "fatcat" Wall Street types. In fact, those "fat cat" shareholders of Bear Sterns lost billions of shareholder value overnight.

Do not let your Democratic Senator or Congressman tell you that now it "is time to bail out mainstreet" by having the Federal Government pay off bad mortgages. If the Government were to apply what the FED did to Bear Sterns to Main Street, they would seize your sub-prime house and give it to your neighbor for pennies on the dollar. Under no circumstances should you believe that politicians will come up with a thoughtful well crafted economic policy that actually does any good. What they will do is try to buy votes. Do not fall for it. Call your congressman and stop the insanity.

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March 8, 2008

Bill Krystol on Obama

This resonates for me:

"Obama tends too much toward the preening self-regard of Bill Clinton,
the patronizing elitism of Al Gore and the haughty liberalism of John
Kerry. It's fitting that the alternative to Obama will be John McCain.
He makes no grand claim to fix our souls. He doesn't think he's the
one everyone has been waiting for. He's more proud of his country than
of himself. And his patriotism has consisted of deeds more challenging
than "speaking out on issues.""

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February 25, 2008

Hussein has some new wares on sale

Support This Site

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and a Twitter

And the best ones are coming in fast and furious from the twitter feed
follow BOisyourNanny on twitter.

Posted by Martin at 10:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Your new nanny has a blog

Want to submit your own pithy comment for display on barackobamaisyournewnanny.com?

follow the blog

Posted by Martin at 10:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 23, 2008

Barack Obama is your new Nanny

forget barackobamaisyournewbicycle, this new site is brilliant!

Posted by Martin at 5:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 21, 2008

What Obama actually believes

Cut through the "we can do anything" rhetoric and see how he actually voted in this article.
"A solid party loyalist. Obamas roll call votes in 2005, 2006 and 2007 have been analyzed by the non-partisan journal Congressional Quarterly which found him to be a Democratic Party loyalist." Obama is as partisan as they come. And his votes in the Senate are exactly what he will vote for and work for as President: Big government, higher taxes, lax immigration policy, abortion on demand, immediate exit from Iraq, white flag to terrorists, and a host of more hard line liberal causes. Watch out when you see Obama treking to North Carolina to curry favor from the socialist Edwards. Obama is not change, he is 97% traditional partisan Democrat.
"In 2007, Obama voted with his fellow Democrats 97 percent of the time. In 2006, his score was 96, and in 2005, he again netted a 97 percent rating."

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January 30, 2008

My man Rudy bows out... I am undecided

Rudy's dice roll in Florida backfired. Bummer. Well that was $2,300 gamble that didn't pay off. I believe Rudy would have been a great president. I am now undecided between McCain and Romney. Finn thinks I should go for Romney because he is younger.

Here is Rudy's thank you note to supporters:

Over the past year, as I traveled around the country, people from all walks of life welcomed me into their homes and communities with open arms. From house parties to parades to town halls and rallies, I have shared in some wonderful moments with you all and for that I am eternally grateful.
Thank you for sharing your concerns with me. Thank you for working with me to provide our children with a brighter and more prosperous future. Thank you for your support and trust and faith. And thank you for being a part of this wonderful journey.
A New York Republican named Teddy Roosevelt once said “aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords.” Like most Americans, I love competition. I don't back down from a principled fight.
But there must always be a larger purpose.
Elections are about more than just a candidate. Elections are about fighting for a cause larger than ourselves. They are about identifying the great challenges of our time and proposing new solutions. Most of all, they are about handing our nation to the next generation better than it was handed to us.
Although we were unsuccessful in our endeavor, the fight to strengthen America goes on. Our nation's next President must understand and make a commitment to keep us on offense in the Terrorists' War on Us. He must understand that stimulating our economy requires cutting taxes, because you make better decisions with your money than Washington bureaucrats. He must be committed to ending illegal immigration and securing our borders. And he must use free-market principles to make health care more affordable for all Americans.
I believe John McCain is that man. He is the right leader to move us forward, unite our party and transform Washington. I hope that you will join me in supporting him to be the next President of the United States.
As I look forward to the road ahead, I am optimistic because I believe America's best days are still to come. Our country has a bright future, but we must work together to ensure that our shared prosperity creates new and better opportunities for us all.
Best Wishes,

Rudy Giuliani

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January 27, 2008

coulter on McCain

Ok, she doesn't like him because he is not conservative enough. Sort of the same reason I am not today supporting him. McCain does have many liberal ideas and panders to the left when he can. The immigration bill was a mess that I cannot forgive. Ann has a column on her website today that is a good read. Some snippets.

John McCain is Bob Dole minus the charm, conservatism and youth. Like McCain, pollsters assured us that Dole was the most "electable" Republican. Unlike McCain, Dole didn't lie all the time while claiming to engage in Straight Talk.

Of course, I might lie constantly too, if I were seeking the Republican presidential nomination after enthusiastically promoting amnesty for illegal aliens, Social Security credit for illegal aliens, criminal trials for terrorists, stem-cell research on human embryos, crackpot global warming legislation and free speech-crushing campaign-finance laws.

I might lie too, if I had opposed the Bush tax cuts, a marriage amendment to the Constitution, waterboarding terrorists and drilling in Alaska.

And I might lie if I had called the ads of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth "dishonest and dishonorable."

Posted by Martin at 1:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 2, 2007

The White House pushes Pelosi to pass 20/20 legislation

Don't believe the White House wants an energy bill? They proposed one BEFORE the Democrats did. Not the D's are trying to play politics and "win" the issue by putting it off. Read the White House's most recent letter to Pelosi to try to get her going. Write your congressman/senator and tell them to stop playing politics and get an energy bill done that includes an RFS, increased CAFE, extension of the biofuels tax credit and an RPS.

Posted by Martin at 9:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 1, 2007

Structured Investment Vehicles explained...

What the heck are Structured Investment Vehicles?  Leave it to the English to describe what is happening in the current financial markets and what the sub prime loan crisis is all about.  Watch the video here

Posted by Martin at 10:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dino Rossi is running to win (again)

Dino Rossi the Republican who won the Washington Governor election in the first two re-counts last election, announced last week he is running again.  Dino won every county in the state but two.  Somehow King County kept finding more votes for the Democrat with each recount (many people under investigation for those activities now).  He rightly points out that Washington state government has gotten ALOT larger in the last four years just like he warned it would.  It was a nail biter last time and I expect something like that again.  Looking forward to a spirited campaign.

Posted by Martin at 10:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 23, 2007

Scariest Democrat game

Click here to play who is scariest.... Great Halloween fun!

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September 15, 2007

I am supporting Rudi

Ok, the campaign has been in swing for awhile. About a month and a half ago I joined Rudi's campaign and am helping on energy security issues. You will start to see posts here that reflect my opinion and decision. Basically it comes down to the fact that he is the only one who can beat Hillary. And Hillary will get the nomination. And a Hillary presidency is the most disasterous thing that could happen to America at this time.

A few tidbits:

From Moore Insights:

A recent survey of voters in Washington State reveals a presidential ballot match-up between Hillary Clinton and GOP frontrunner Rudy Giuliani is a statistical dead heat today.While 41% would vote for Giuliani in his bid for President, 41% would support Clinton and 18% would not vote for either candidate or are unsure.

More calculus:

- Rudy is competitive in a host of blue states
- He doesnt lose any red states
- He helps Rs in urban/suburban house districts (place of majority of losses in 2006)
- Helps senate Rs more than anyone else
- Is not the big turn off to social conservatives that liberal media wants folks to believe as long as he says he will appoint Alito/Roberts type judges he will get support. Maybe not grass roots help but support.
- Hilary has highest negatives of any candidate ever running for office of Presidency at this point in a race

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June 21, 2007

Quote of the week

Thanks Mark

"The West is accusing Muslims of extremism and terrorism. If someone exploded a bomb on his body, he would be right to do so unless the British government apologizes and withdraws the sir title. "-- Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq, religious-affairs minister in the Pakistani cabinet, speaking in Parliament last week, on Britains knighting of author Salman Rushdie.

Go ahead, read that one five times. If you can get it to make sense, please apply directly to the State Department. This is the face of Islam that moderates say does not exist.

Posted by Martin at 11:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 19, 2007

Diet Coke with Mayor Guiliani

Friday I had a Diet Coke with presidential hopeful Guiliani. I like him. We yacked for about an hour. His answer to my question on what he will do different about our oil dependency was a bit weak (he said we should encourage all alternatives including Nuclear) and showed that he hasn't parsed the "energy" word into "electricity" and "oil". But he now has that down correct (you are welcome). He has all the right things to say. I am just worried about what we will learn about him under the constant national spotlight which will melt the 911 cover.

Posted by Martin at 1:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2006

An afternoon with Karl Rove

After the week's massive hoopla about my co-sponsoring a Rove/Reichert event, I was almost expecting the event to be anti-climactic. Fortunately Rove the man and the rest of the people involved in the Reichert campaign put on a very high intellectual power event focused on the facts and the hard realities facing our nation. Every time I go see politicians and senior administration officials in person I am struck by the level of candor, intellect, personal passion for our country and high character displayed all in stark difference to how these people are played in the media. This is one reason I attend these events, with people from both sides of the aisle, to see and hear for myself without the polarizing lens of the media distorting my view. You see, it is the job of the professional media to sell headlines. They have learned that the headlines that sell the best are the ones dealing with something dirty, scandalous, bad, or a fight of some kind. When people agree, there is no headline. When there isn't a bad guy to be the boogeyman, there is no headline. There are few media outlets that actually focus on providing high intellectual content reporting so voters can make independent decisions (the Economist comes to mind). So, unfortunately, I have to pay extra money to hear these people directly in order to make up my own mind. America would have a much more effective democracy if more people had direct access to their government and politicians.

So impressions:
1. Karl Rove is a high intellect, very smart guy.
2. He spent over 23 hours in front of the grand jury 5 times for a 5 minute call with Novak and came out 100% clean. He had a Democrat lawyer. He did nothing wrong relative to the Valery Plame leak, and more important he never contradicted his story. Most grand jury indictments are not around any of the facts they are investigating, but rather around catching someone in an inconsistency of their story leading to a "lying to the jury" indictment. Rove is guilty of neither. Let the guy get on with his life. There is no conspiracy here, move on folks.
3. He is a very personable, self deprecating, humorous guy in person. The stories he told about working with President for over 30 years and the level of professionalism in the white house were both endearing and reassuring.
4. Here is the President's day. Get up around 5:30, be in the office (:45 commute) by 6:00 or 6:30. The first thing on the desk, the same desk every president since 1880 has sat behind, is the overnight threat assessment. This document lays out all the things people want to do bad to this country in gory details. "The stuff of nightmares" according to Rove. Next is the CIA briefing (which Clinton never did), then a secure communications link with either the commanders in Afghanistan, Iraq, or other overseas forces or allies. Then into the staff meeting at 8:00. Then meetings all day of 15-30 minutes with people from all over the world. When he goes to dinner around 6:30 (to lobby someone usually), he takes a 75 page briefing book of what is coming the next day and has to have it digested and ready by the morning. That does not sound like a fun job to me. That sounds like work. That sounds like the weight of the world on his shoulders. The fact that this country gets private citizens to leave their private lives and spend their extensive energies trying to make this country and the world a better place is a great testament to the American spirit and the power of American Democracy.
5. Rove has a strategy to keep a Republican majority. It is built on get out the vote efforts, the basic blocking and tackling of politics. It is not based on smear campaigns, underhanded deals, messing with polling places, or any of the vast conspiracies that the left has dreamed up in their dying hours. In a country where less than half the people vote and those who do vote are split fairly evenly, getting out people who agree with your party is key. There is nothing unAmerican about that. If the Democrats could organize themselves behind a cohesive plan and get out their votes, maybe they could win elections too. Instead they defeat their Vice Presidential nominee in his primary election for the Senate. Lack of a Democrat strategy or organization is not proof of a Republican conspiracy. It is simply bad politicking.
6. This country must keep the Terrorist surveillance Program, the Patriot Act and the military tribunals. Over the last 6 years these programs have led to intelligence that has stopped attacks on this country. See the speech below for details on how these programs have saved American lives and brought terrorists to justice. We can tap a drug dealer's phone, why not a terrorist?
7. Rove recognizes and appreciates the leadership on a national level that we have received from Reichert. He has been given a significant amount of responsibility (jumped the seniority line on Homeland Security Committee) in the Administration and Washington benefits from that. I want this state to have the best, most influential representation it can for our citizens. I want Reichert to go back there.
8. I asked Rove about the administration commitment to renewable fuels and how they were going to rebut the attacks against the Administration as "a bunch of oil men from texas". He explained a couple of meetings he has had with the best minds and national labs on different energy sources including solar, wind, fuel cell, ethanol, biodiesel and others. He knows that fuel cells are at the basic R&D phase and not ready any time soon. He also knows that ethanol and biodiesel are ready to go now and assured me that there are a number of things in the works (Energy Bill) to help scale these businesses. Rove is a pragmatist. He, like me, wants alternatives that can make a difference IMMEDIATELY. That includes Biodiesel and he is very supportive.

Summary: Rove is a high intellect pragmatist. He is not an ideologue or demigod. Reichert is a good man well representing this state's interest. He has been target by an out of state smear campaign by the national 527 organizations. Will Washington voters stand for that? What kind of representative do you want in Washington. Lets focus on the politics of uniting, not the politics of polarization.

From the President's Sept. 6 Speech on Military commissions:

After he recovered, Zubaydah was defiant and evasive. He declared his hatred of America. During questioning, he at first disclosed what he thought was nominal information -- and then stopped all cooperation. Well, in fact, the "nominal" information he gave us turned out to be quite important. For example, Zubaydah disclosed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- or KSM -- was the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, and used the alias "Muktar." This was a vital piece of the puzzle that helped our intelligence community pursue KSM. Abu Zubaydah also provided information that helped stop a terrorist attack being planned for inside the United States -- an attack about which we had no previous information. Zubaydah told us that al Qaeda operatives were planning to launch an attack in the U.S., and provided physical descriptions of the operatives and information on their general location. Based on the information he provided, the operatives were detained -- one while traveling to the United States.

We knew that Zubaydah had more information that could save innocent lives, but he stopped talking. As his questioning proceeded, it became clear that he had received training on how to resist interrogation. And so the CIA used an alternative set of procedures. These procedures were designed to be safe, to comply with our laws, our Constitution, and our treaty obligations. The Department of Justice reviewed the authorized methods extensively and determined them to be lawful. I cannot describe the specific methods used -- I think you understand why -- if I did, it would help the terrorists learn how to resist questioning, and to keep information from us that we need to prevent new attacks on our country. But I can say the procedures were tough, and they were safe, and lawful, and necessary.

Zubaydah was questioned using these procedures, and soon he began to provide information on key al Qaeda operatives, including information that helped us find and capture more of those responsible for the attacks on September the 11th. For example, Zubaydah identified one of KSM's accomplices in the 9/11 attacks -- a terrorist named Ramzi bin al Shibh. The information Zubaydah provided helped lead to the capture of bin al Shibh. And together these two terrorists provided information that helped in the planning and execution of the operation that captured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Once in our custody, KSM was questioned by the CIA using these procedures, and he soon provided information that helped us stop another planned attack on the United States. During questioning, KSM told us about another al Qaeda operative he knew was in CIA custody -- a terrorist named Majid Khan. KSM revealed that Khan had been told to deliver $50,000 to individuals working for a suspected terrorist leader named Hambali, the leader of al Qaeda's Southeast Asian affiliate known as "J-I". CIA officers confronted Khan with this information. Khan confirmed that the money had been delivered to an operative named Zubair, and provided both a physical description and contact number for this operative.

Based on that information, Zubair was captured in June of 2003, and he soon provided information that helped lead to the capture of Hambali. After Hambali's arrest, KSM was questioned again. He identified Hambali's brother as the leader of a "J-I" cell, and Hambali's conduit for communications with al Qaeda. Hambali's brother was soon captured in Pakistan, and, in turn, led us to a cell of 17 Southeast Asian "J-I" operatives. When confronted with the news that his terror cell had been broken up, Hambali admitted that the operatives were being groomed at KSM's request for attacks inside the United States -- probably [sic] using airplanes.

During questioning, KSM also provided many details of other plots to kill innocent Americans. For example, he described the design of planned attacks on buildings inside the United States, and how operatives were directed to carry them out. He told us the operatives had been instructed to ensure that the explosives went off at a point that was high enough to prevent the people trapped above from escaping out the windows.

KSM also provided vital information on al Qaeda's efforts to obtain biological weapons. During questioning, KSM admitted that he had met three individuals involved in al Qaeda's efforts to produce anthrax, a deadly biological agent -- and he identified one of the individuals as a terrorist named Yazid. KSM apparently believed we already had this information, because Yazid had been captured and taken into foreign custody before KSM's arrest. In fact, we did not know about Yazid's role in al Qaeda's anthrax program. Information from Yazid then helped lead to the capture of his two principal assistants in the anthrax program. Without the information provided by KSM and Yazid, we might not have uncovered this al Qaeda biological weapons program, or stopped this al Qaeda cell from developing anthrax for attacks against the United States.

Posted by Martin at 6:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 12, 2006

Create a Bush Conspiracy

These days it seems like ever ill of the world is laid on Bush's shoulders. Check out the The George W. Bush Conspiracy Generator to generate your own. Check the co-conspirators and victims or choose random. Hours of fun!

Posted by Martin at 3:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 17, 2006

Had lunch with Rick Santorum today

For all the lightening rod comments made by the left about Rick, I found him to be a very serious and sane individual. He laid out the threat the US is facing from Islamic Fascism in stark terms that will keep me up at night for some time. And it is not alarmist. In fact he was very critical of the Bush administration for not being straight with the American people on exactly what we are facing. I have commented on this myself before. Calling it a war on Terrorism is incorrect. Terrorism is simply a tactic used by a desparate, determined foe. That foe is more accurately described as Islamic Fascism. When the term started being used recently, it drew howls from the left as somehow discrimatory or defamatory. It is not. It is accurate and describes the leaders of Al Queada, Iran, Hezbolah, Hamas, and many others. If you put current events in the historical context of the very real Islam/Christian conflict that has been going on for over a thousand years, you can start to see some light. Since Western civilazation led by King Jan Sobieski and the Polish Hussars sent the "Islamic hordes" fleeing Vienna in 1683, the Islamic fundamentalists have been trying to get their side back on top of the cultural pyramid. Remember, back then a series of Islamic military rulers had had varying success in subjugating Europe under their swords. The fundamentalist on the other side of us know their history and put current fights in that context. Americans by and large can't remember what they had for lunch yesterday and want easy solutions to everything. There is no easy solution to people who are willing to die to redress a hundreds year old grievance. Those same people growing wealthy today off our own addiction to their one value add in this world: Oil. Before today I had never met Rick Santorum and had never thought much about who the enemy really is. I will start now trying to understand them a bit more. I hope Rick is wrong, but I fear he is closer to the truth. Hopefully Americans will think deeper about the dangers we face and not slip into mediocracy again leaving us open to real threats. Am I the only one who remembers the FIRST attack on the World Trade Center? The second was not the last.

Posted by Martin at 4:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 15, 2006

Iran most likely behind Hezbollah drone

The Belmont Club: Hezbollah Debuts Its Armed UAV Capability. After reading Robert Baer's books where he lays out the role of Iranian secret service in training terrorist all across the middle east, it is no surprise to see their hand in the drone training and deployment. I hope Iran sits this one out with their troops, but their operatives are obviously in the background.

Posted by Martin at 12:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 13, 2006

The US response to the sham UN resolution to restrain Israel

Don't believe the media filter, read John Bolton's statement yourself. The Belmont Club: Something Old, Something New. Israel is defending itself against an attack from a state sponsored terror organization. The best way to resolve this is for Hamas to give back the Israeli prisioners. While this may be the right solution, I doubt it will happen. Hello $100 oil.

Posted by Martin at 11:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 28, 2006

Getting into local politics

Site is down right now, but check this out: Following the Dollars: Map Political Campaign Contributions in Your Area. You enter your zip code and it generates a map of political contributions and connections from your zip. Very cool for finding out what your neighbors are for/against. I am in zip code 98119 in case you care.

Posted by Martin at 9:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 12, 2006

Here is a good one...

Bill - Interested in doing a little quail hunting next weekend? Bring the wife!

Posted by Martin at 5:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 8, 2006

You gotta love the balls on Ann Coulter

She has a wit about her. In here exaggeration she shakes America by the shoulders and says "WAKE UP". I tend to agree that the Oscars this year was one huge display of how far out of touch with America Hollyweird is. This is not a value judgement by me on the films at all. In fact I tend to like art house films and am a HUGE fan of Syriana. Other than Syriana, I thought the crop of racist, sexist movies were not addressing the most important issues of the day. They are shocking, but not really important. I want to see more movies like Syriana.

From Ann's latest column:

In case you missed the Oscars last Sunday night, here are the highlights:

-- Best song went to a musical tribute to the overseers of human sex slaves, an occupation known as "pimping";

-- best picture went to a movie about racism in Los Angeles;

-- best supporting actor went to the movie about how oil companies murder people; and

-- best supporting actress went to the movie about how pharmaceutical companies murder people.

Curiously missing from Oscar night's festivities was any reference, even in passing, to the 150,000 brave Americans currently risking their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On behalf of red state America, let me be the first to say: "Screw you, Hollywood."

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February 21, 2006

Offensive cartoons?

I don't understand riots over cartoons. I am a Catholic. My first reaction to images that go against my belief system is not to riot in the streets, burn buildings and kill people. There is a deep seeded intollerance in the people who are doing these things. A level of intollerance that I am affraid most people in the liberal western democracies will never understand and will always try to passify with negotiation and treaties. I am especially disturbed by some in the media who are giving the administration and Israel grief for pulling funding from the PA after Hamas was elected. So there is a moral code somewhere that says I have to continue financial support to an organization that does not recognize my right to exist, sends suicide bombers into my coffee shops and is recognized as an international terrorist organization? I don't understand this at all.

While we have all been hearing of these offensive cartoons, I hadn't seen any of them until recently. Here are the ones causing the riots and some others I find entertaining. Are any of these worth fighting over? Are the people who do fight worth defending?

Posted by Martin at 12:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 20, 2006

The money sentence

I love election years. Lots of extra mail asking for money. In every letter is the "money sentence" that summarizes the issues the candidate things are most important to their base (read MONEY). I recently received a letter from both the incumbent US Sanator, Maria Cantwell and the challenger, Mike McGavick. See if you can tell which is from who.

"To be sure, I intend to wage a vigorous debate on the most important issues of our time - taxes and spending, securing our borders and protecting our homeland, creating jobs, promoting an economic climate that's stronger for families, and making sure the nation we leave for our children is stronger and more secure than the nation our parents left for us."


" Your support will enable me to keep fighting for you in the U.S. Senate on issues of shared concern, including creating financial stability throughout the nation, protecting our personal choices and ensureing a healthy environment for generations to come. Together we will continue to make a difference."

well I guess that isn't too hard. Interesting where each puts the emphasis huh?

Posted by Martin at 6:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 22, 2005

Tis the season to ask for money

As the end of the year approaches, most of of us are thinking about Christmas and maybe our New Years Resolutions. But the politicians are thinking about money. Aren't they always? As the year end approaches all they see is the end of another tax reporting season. So along with the holiday (no never Christmas) cards come not so subtle reminders that all is not right with the world and you need to donate before the end of the year to prevent another apocalypse. The appeals are comical in their extremes. This year I have the dubious honor to be on the list for candidates from both major parties so I thought it would be fun to share parts of their appeal... (and oh, neither of these holiday wishes were successful in separating me from my money)

From the Republican National Committee...

I know that you are a strong grassroots leader in Seattle.

Which means you understand that the future of our country and President Bush's bold second term agenda is at stake in the 2006 elections.

You have a crucial choice to make - and the time to act is now!

Will President Bush continue to have a Republican-led Congress to support him as he works to move America towards a more secure and prosperous future or....Will the liberal Democrats regain total control of Congress and roll back the gains our country has made over the last five years?

The liberal Democrats are working to obstruct action on the President's positive policies in a cynical attempt to recapture Congress in 2006. Their left-wing allies are raising hundreds of millions of dollars and willing to pay any price to aid the Democrats' power grab.

We MUST expand our majorities in Congress to push through lasting change and defeat the liberal Democrats who stand in the way of President Bush's agenda of reform and renewal.

Then this from a leading Democratic Senator

(the entire letter is in ALL CAPITALS)








Hummm, what to do? Support the positive policies of the President against the liberal left-wing, or defend the (incumbent) unfairly maligned democrat against the unpopular smearing Republican political machine? Well something to sleep on anyway...

Posted by Martin at 5:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 7, 2005

Send your own reporter to Iraq

Tired of reading whitewashed reports from the front? Send this guy: The Fourth Rail there for you. I just gave him some $$ and have been enjoying the good reporting he has done so far. Looking forward to dispatches directly.

Posted by Martin at 5:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Being a Republican in Seattle

Matt Rosenberg called me today and pointed me to a story he wrote on being Republican in Seattle. Seattle Weekly: News: Blue City Conservatives by Matt Rosenberg. This last election cycle I couldn't keep the Bush signs in my Queen Anne yard. My car with a Bush sticker on it had the window broken, the rear view mirror torn off and was keyed many times. All for a sticker. One day a guy pulled up behind me at a stop sign and jumped out of his car and ran up to my window. Fearing the worst, I didn't want to put the window down, but he was smiling so I did. He said "Hey I just wanted to meet the other Republican on Queen Anne." I am constantly amazed at the lack of tolerance from the so-called party of tolerance.

A return to respect for individual opinions and conversations rather than yelling matches would do us alot of good.

Posted by Martin at 10:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 19, 2005

Against Harriet Meiers for Supreme Court

I liked John Roberts. He was a very careful man with a very long judicial history. He was also probably the most carefully vetted and prepared nominee in the history of the court. The Bush administration thought it was their one shot. Then the other shoe drops and I believe the Bush administration was really caught off gaurd. They didn't think they would have to come up with two. So GW has completely fallen back on what he knows best, his long time friends, regardless of what other people thing.

I don't know Harriet Meiers. Never met her. But I have met GW and like him. Usually I even agree with him. But this time he is bungling things so badly I have to speak up. Ms. Meiers is totally unqualified to be a judge. Bush leaned with Roberts that having a sparse judicial history was good to keep the questions down (less records you know). But the idea that more of a good thing, as in ZERO history is totally wrong. She has NEVER been a judge. She has hardly ever been in court, most of her cases settled out of it. The Senate questionaire today is embarassingly slim. She couldn't even remember the exact dates she held certain key jobs. She has never been married and is a workaholic adminstrative functionary. That is supposed to be good training for the Supreme Court? Totally unacceptable.

The country deserves someone who has spent quite a bit more time with the constitutional issues that the court will face. Even if they have opinions. You can't just one day pick up a copy of the constituion and start interpreting it. Why, maybe Bush should nomimate me?

Posted by Martin at 8:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 21, 2005

Good News From the Front launches

Thanks to a frequent reader who heard my cries for more good news from Afghanistand an Iraq as a break from the constant diatribe of blood and gore dished out by the major media outlets (of all stripes). Here is a new site that is aggregating the good news: Good News from the Front. Now this is not whitewashing. This is the hard work that soldiers and contractors do every day to rebuild these war ravaged countries. The stuff that takes TIME and SWEAT. Unlike a suicide bomb.

Posted by Martin at 10:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 5, 2005

A (potential) politician that gets it

My friend Andrew Rasiej is running for a little known office in NYC on the platform of free wireless connectivity and cell phones that work for all. Interesting huh? So much so that the New York Times picked it up: Calling All Luddites - New York Times. He is using the next generation political tools from what Dean used.

While I don't agree with everything Andrew says (he is a die-hard D), I do agree with his idea that basic connectivity should be very cheap or free. And in fact in places like NYC it it is a national security issue. I contributed to his campaign. If you agree, so should you.

Posted by Martin at 11:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 12, 2005

I am embarassed to live in King County

The Wall Street Journal had a column recently calling Washington "Florida with Rain". Ouch. After three recounts, the Governor race was decided in favor of the Democrat after "finding" enough ballots to push her over the top. It is really agreegous when the entire state votes in favor of one candidate and one county pushes the election to their candidate through fraud and outright incompetence. Ouch.

Florida With Rain

More funny business in the Washington governor's race. Will there be a new election this year?


By John Fund

Washington state has supplanted Florida as the leading example of the need for election reform. The Evergreen State's voting system is so sloppy that you can't tell where incompetence ends and actual fraud might begin. Three Washington counties just discovered 110 uncounted absentee ballots--including 94 from Seattle's King County--in a governor's race that occurred more than five months ago and was decided by only 129 votes. Officials in Seattle's King County admit they may find yet more ballots before a court hearing next month on whether a new election should be called. Last Friday, they reported finding a 111th ballot.

The infamous 2004 governor's race was finally decided seven weeks after the election, after King County officials found new unsecured ballots on nine separate occasions during two statewide recounts. After the new ballots were counted, Democrat Christine Gregoire won a 129-vote victory out of some three million ballots cast. Even as she was sworn in last January, King County election supervisor Dean Logan admitted it had been "a messy process."

He wasn't kidding. During the two recounts, Mr. Logan's office discovered 566 "erroneously rejected" absentee ballots, plus another 150 uncounted ones that turned up in a warehouse. Evidence surfaced that dead people had "exercised their right to vote"; documentation was presented that 900 felons in King County alone had illegally voted and that military ballots were sent out too late to be counted. A total of 700 provisional ballots had been fed into voting machines before officials had determined their validity. In the four previous November elections, King County workers had never mishandled more than nine provisional ballots in a single election.

Slade Gorton, a Republican former state attorney general and U.S. senator, has joined with six Republican members of the King County Council in calling for a Justice Department investigation of the county's handling of ballots. Records indicate that some election officials in King County knew that the absentee ballot report they filed in November was inaccurate because there was evidence at least 86 ballots had been misplaced. Ignoring the requirement that they count the number of ballots received, instead they simply added together the number counted and rejected.

"That's appalling," says Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican who has frequently drawn praise from Democrats for being evenhanded. "You just don't do those things." Even the office of Democratic County Executive Ron Sims admits that "an outside review is probably a good idea" if for no other reason than to address Republican suspicions about the 94 new King County ballots. GOP lawyers point out that two-thirds of the new votes were cast in King County precincts that Republican Dino Rossi won. Ms. Gregoire won seven in 10 King County precincts.

All of this means that the May 23 date set for a trial on a GOP lawsuit seeking to declare the election invalid and to hold a new one this November takes on added significance. Mr. Gorton points out that "a court [can] void any election where the number of illegal or mistaken votes exceeds the margin of victory." In the case of last year's race for governor the number of uncounted ballots unearthed just this April is fast approaching Ms. Gregoire's margin of victory.

You'd think the Democratic Legislature would be appalled at the rampant mistakes and move to fix them. Indeed, separate election reform packages passed by both the House and Senate contain such good ideas as changing the appearance of provisional ballots so they aren't as easily mixed in with regular ballots. But both chambers also want to expand the state's already generous use of mail-in ballots, the system that directly led to so many mishaps last November. The state House passed a bill that would mandate that every election be conducted with only mail-in ballots, as Oregon does now.

What's more, the state's current widespread use of mail-in ballots provided an excuse for Kathy Haigh, chairman of the House committee overseeing election laws, to strip the election reform bill of a requirement that voters show photo ID at the polls. "Sixty-eight percent of the people are voting by mail," she explained. "When do they have to show ID? They don't, they have to sign." Precisely, which is a reason that expanding mail-in elections would only increase the potential for fraud.

It's no wonder that election reformers have developed a kind of gallows humor over how Washington, once renowned for its clean government, now finds its election system compared to those in Louisiana or Philadelphia.

Stefan Sharkansky, a computer engineer who runs SoundPolitics.com, a comprehensive blog on the election debacle, uncovered the errors in King County's absentee voter report through a state Public Disclosure Act request. He has filed additional requests for the audit trail created by King County election officials to handle all the ballots. He was told he would have the records delivered by March 31, but that date has slipped to April 15. Mr. Sharkansky reports that date may now move again because "county officials are scrambling to explain their latest mistakes and say they may not have time to answer my request." Let's hope they do before next month's trial.

Posted by Martin at 12:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 3, 2005

Factcheck.org tells the truth about Wallstreet "windfall" on SS private accounts

The democrats have it wrong again. I wish both sides would quit using the all too easy and available stereotype whipping boys to jazz up the base. The Liberals like to whip "fat cat wall street". They have been merciless with their whip lately against any change in Social Security, specifically that Wall Street will have a "windfall" from privitazation. Wrongo. The accounts Bush has modeld are very light weight and "hundreds of times smaller than some critics had assumed."

Hey world, what SS reform is all about is that the current plan is bad for beneficiaries. The math doesn't work. You have no control over your money contributions. The investment return rates are pathetic. You could do better with bank CDs. What this is really about is giving choices to young people so they can have ownership of thier retirement. Expect to see Bush using the ownership arguement more and having more success.

False Attacks Over "Windfalls" to Wall Street


New information turned up by FactCheck.org shows that the type of private Social Security accounts being proposed by President Bush would yield very little profit to the securities industry, contrary to persistent claims of a potentially huge "windfall" to Wall Street.

What we have discovered is that the model for Bush's accounts -- the Federal Thrift Savings Plan for federal workers -- actually paid securities firms a net total of only 16 cents for every $10,000 in workers accounts. The TSP had refused to make that information public -- until now. It shows that fees actually being paid to Wall Street are hundreds of times smaller than some critics had assumed.

For that reason and others we find that ads run in Louisiana by the liberal Democratic group Campaign for America's Future are grossly misleading. The group is accusing Republican Rep. James McCrery, who is chairman of the Social Security subcommittee and a supporter of Bush's private accounts, of "corruption" for accepting campaign donations from Wall Street, which it falsely claims will "profit most" from private accounts.

Click the link below for the full article:


Posted by Martin at 9:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 23, 2005

Stop the Genocide in Darfur starter kit

My friend Chris sent me the below. I sent letters to both my senators and my representative. I am rooting for Don as Best Actor in Hotel Rawanda. Finally a role worthy of his powers. A very powerful story. Senator Simon said that if each member of congress had received 100 letters on the Rawanda situation, something might have been done. This is a worldwide tragedy and we should be spending some resources on it. What if we spent 5% of our Iraq budget in Darfur?


The stop-the-genocide-in-Darfur kit. (Activism made easy.)

Step one: read this article (It is one page long, you have the time.):

Step two: go to the following link to find your senator:

Step three: send a letter to your Senator. It's easy. In fact I've already written the letter for you. Just cut and paste:

Dear Senator,

I would like to direct your attention to the op ed piece in the New York Times about the Secret Genocide Archive in Darfur. Estimates say that 10,000 people are dying every day. The article quotes Sen. Paul Simon as saying if each State Representative had recieved 100 letters about the genocide in Rwanda, things might have been different.

Will Darfur be different?

Will it be different in a positive way?

I do not require a direct response. Darfur does.

Thank you.


Step four (optional): Contact your congressperson and repeat steps 1-3.


Step five (optional): Pass this on - not to your entire address book, not to the first ten people that come to mind. Send it to the most influential person you know. (Those more technically inclined can make this the default signature on your outgoing mail for even more passive resistance.)

Please remember to BLIND CC when you forward anything. It helps to reduce junk mail.

And no, your wishes will not come true if you pass this on. But someone else's might.

Posted by Martin at 3:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 10, 2004

Dino Rossi pulls ahead in the recount

In the latest numbers from Washington Secretary of State Dino Rossi (R) has pulled ahead in the governor race here. This is truly amazing in a state that went hard for Kerry and now has two women Democrat Senators. Rossi holds about a 3,400 vote lead with more votes to count in pro-Rossi counties than pro-Gregoire counties. After 25 years of Democrat rule in Olympia, it will be good to have a Governor with some business experience in there for once. The simple fact that it is even close should be very telling.

Posted by Martin at 7:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 1, 2004

The magic of Botox....

This one is great.... Click here to find whence Kerry comes from...

Posted by Martin at 9:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 29, 2004

Bush wins student election in Washington

Washington State - Student Mock Elections Bush wins 48.61% to Kerry's 46.26%. Now if parents would only listen to their children. I do.

Posted by Martin at 7:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More Kerry distortions exposed by Factcheck.org

It's not Bush's plan, and it wouldn't cut benefits.


A Kerry ad claims "Bush has a plan to cut Social Security benefits by 30 to 45 percent." That's false. Bush has proposed no such plan, and the proposal Kerry refers to would only slow down the growth of benefits, and only for future retirees. It was one of three possible "reform models" detailed by a bipartisan commission in 2001.

The ad also says nothing about what Kerry would do to address the troubled state of Social Security finances. Unless taxes are increased, the system's trustees say currently scheduled benefits would have to be cut 32%

Click the link below for the full article:

Posted by Martin at 12:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 27, 2004

NYT puts it's foot in it again about "lost" 380 tons of explosives

The Belmont Club continues to do some of the best analysis in the world about the Iraq situation. Today he goes through an exhaustive analysis showing how the RDX problem resolved itself. Basically the NYT interviewed the wrong commander and ignored other commanders and the UN itself. They make the sweeping assumption that the 380 tons were at one time (in fact "as recently as Sunday") under US control. The facts don't bear that out and the very next day the NYT started backtracking.

And Kerry today was still trying to use this as an issue against Bush. Do you really want a commander and chief who gets his "facts" from the NYT alone?

Posted by Martin at 1:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 20, 2004

Fun new game for your phone!


Posted by Martin at 3:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 8, 2004

Mr. Kerry's Diplomacy

The WSJ had an interesting piece on the Editorial page yesterday:

"One of John Kerry's claims to the White House is that his diplomacy would better control nuclear proliferation in Iran adn North Korea than President Buse's alleged truculence. So it is newsworthy tht a spokesman for Tehran's Foreign Ministry has just dismissed out of hand the centerpiece of Mr. Kerry's arms-control offer to the mullahs.

Senator Kerry has promised to provide a steady supply of nuclear fuel to Iran if it will dismantle its own atomic-fuel-making capability. But the New York Sun reports that Tehran spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi sniffed at the idea on the weekend, callint it "irrational" because "We have the technology and there is no need for us to beg from others." On Iran's present course, he's right.

The problem with the Kerry approach is that it is an arms-control illusion. Arms treaties can succeed between well-intentioned democracies, such as the U.S. and Canada. But they will never work to constrain the nuclear ambitions of an adversary determined to line. We learned that the hard way with North Koreans in 2002, when they unilaterally reneged on the Agreed Framework that the Clinton Administration had signed in 1994. For the rest of the 1990s we fooled ourselves that Pyongyang had abandoned its nuclear goals, only to discover later that it had two nuclear porgrams not just one.

Mr. Kerry is now promissing to negotiate directly with North Korea in hopes of signing another such deal. As it happens, within 48 hours of Mr. Kerry's one-on-one negotiating pledge last Thursday, the North Korean government called off all nuclear discussions with South Korea. It's pretty clear whom Kim Jong-il is waiting to sit down with."

Still believe Mr. Kerry will be better defending this country and stopping nuclear proliferation? Without the stick, the carrot doesn't work. Without completing the work with the stick, the carrot won't work either.

Posted by Martin at 9:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 5, 2004

Major Cheney goof!

Cheney in the debate tonight said that www.factcheck.com has the "truth" about some of the Haliburton issues. Unfortunately he is unwitingly sending people to: GeorgeSoros.com
George has factcheck.com. The site Cheney meant to send people to is Factcheck.ORG!!

Posted by Martin at 8:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cheney/Edwards debate

This is one reason I truly detest politics as a necessary evil. Today the process is so well scripted and so contrived that you never see anything REAL. Cheney's job tonight was to stay on message about Kerry/Edwards flip flopping, poor leadership and inexperience. He did that. Edwards job was to clarify Kerry's cake and eat it too language around Iraq/terrorism and try to score some points on domestic issues. He did his best. Edwards was the more personable, although Cheney didn't come across as stern and elderly as he has at times. Edwards showed he is the more engaging speaker (great close, good eye contact, surpurb pandering to the pocketbook self interest of the voter), Cheney showed his greater command for the larger picture and the history behind issues. Cheney talked with his hands folded under his chin alot (which covered his mic - bad) and Edwards borrowed Kerry's fist with pointing thumb alot (I hear they were seated to keep Edwards from wandering around alot). The first part of the questions were around foreign policy (Iraq) and then they were supposed to move on to domestic. But Domestic was all about terrorism and kept leaking back to Iraq. Come on guys, talk about something else!

There I was in a conference room of the Hotel Niko in San Francisco (Web 2.0 conference). I am sure the only Bush voter in the room. I was totally amazed how the captains of the tech industry around me were falling all over themselves in praise of Edwards. The people in the room were entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Edwards is a trial lawyer who makes his living suing the guys in the room, raising the cost of doing business in America. When Edwards advocated restrictions on outsourcing I thought I would get a couple of negative reactions, but not a one. Can you imagine a tech company today without an overseas (India/China) strategy for some development or test? The net has enabled much of this outsourcing. What is the #1 downard pressure on international telephone rates? VOIP. Anyway, after the "debate" a guy asked for a show of hands on who Won, Edwards, Cheney, or draw. It was about 50/50 for a draw or an Edwards win. I was on the Draw side. This won't make any difference. No "knock-out" punch was thrown.

Wait for the next Kerry/Bush meeting. I think you will see a different Bush.

Posted by Martin at 8:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 17, 2004

The Worst President in History

Most of you have probably already seen this letter to the editor defending Bush's war record against the democrats of history who actually got many more people killed. For my vote, Carter was the worst by far...

Posted by Martin at 1:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 15, 2004

General optimism about the election...

Been running the poll on what you all think the effects of the election will be. Seems like there is an even divide between Bush wins and economy goes up and Kerry wins economy goes up. The split reflects the general split in america and doesn't come as a surprise. What is surprising to me is that most people think whoever wins the economy will go up (76%).

What will be the economic effects of the President Election?

Bush wins, economy up 31 %
(22 votes)
Bush wins, economy down 5 %
(4 votes)
Kerry wins, economy up 28 %
(20 votes)
Kerry wins, economy down 4 %
(3 votes)
Whoever wins economy up 17 %
(12 votes)
Whoever wins economy down 11 %
(8 votes)
Total votes 69

I hope you are all right, unfortunately I don't know if I agree.

Optimism is always good and possibly warranted with current indicators all pointing in the right direction, but there are significant clouds on the horizon. Since the beginning of the year the government has been largely at a stand-still on any significant domestic programs. The agenda is dominated by international affairs. Now these particular events do have a significant bearing on our domestic economy (read price of oil and the terrorism "premium" everybody pays in extra security expenses) the prevailing policy on both sides is to put off dealing with any of the economic effects until after the election. After the election, whoever wins, they will be faced with a large number of hard facts.

- The deficit will be north of $450M for some time, even with a growing economy.
- The heroin stimulus of massive military spending, short term tax cuts, and low home interest rates will begin to wear off next year. The hangover is going to hurt.
- The Medicare prescription drug benefit, the largest increase in government entitlements in 40 years, will cost 3-5x what originally was projected and add to government debt while not solving the core problem (drug prices too high and no ability to collectively buy).
- The Telcoms sector, while off life-support, still won't be a driver of the economy again as government regulation, monopolistic practices, and the extortion of the 3G license process keeps a cap on companies ability to roll out broadband.
- Due to lack of real broadband in America, we will continue to fall behind in the technology sector and will probably loose our leadership in the next four years (certainly in some sectors) to the likes of Korea, India and most importantly China.
- The pension liabilities of America's largest industries (Airlines, Auto, etc.) will come home to roost and many bankruptcies will follow. The government will be faced with propping up these industries (the wrong decision) or letting the weak fail (the right decision).
- In the next four years I expect a change in the Palestinian leadership. Regardless of how this happens (peacefully or not), there will be a large number of people who hate it leading to more extremism there and in neighboring countries.
- Neither candidate has a real program to address America's core dependence on foreign oil and all the ramifications to out political and economic system. Without a real plan, we will be at the whim of extremist around the world for an indefinite period of time.

These are only a few of the issues that cause me pause. As a VC, optimism is baked in over the long term. I fundamentally believe that America has what it takes to innovate ourselves out of almost any problem. It just isn't going to be easy any time soon.

Posted by Martin at 10:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 9, 2004

Finally some humor from Iraq

Got this movie in the mail today.
news report from Iraq.wmv

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September 8, 2004

RNC puts their money where their mouth is with renewable energy

The Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Conventionsannounced last week that the host committee for the RNC last week would buy enough clean energy credits to cover the expected energy usage at the convention AND all the 50,000 delegates during their stay in NYC. A step in the right direction...

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September 1, 2004

The Republican Party Platform

Don't take it filtered through the news media. Read the platform for yourself. I don't agree with all of it, but much more than the Democratic platform. Read the sections on "defeating terrorism." The differences are striking. The Democrats say we can't do anything without the UN or our allies going along (meaning they are abdicating soverignty) and the Republicans are saying we have the right to lead the way and defend ourselves.

The one section in the Democratic platform that I liked was "Achieving Energy Independence". Unfortunately there was only lip service to old ideas. No program. Things like "we should help develop better cars" and "the government should be a leader". This is probably the weakest plank in their plan as far as commitment. I have never heard a Democrat politician talk about it. If they talked about that more and had more specifics, I believe they could go along way.

Another stark contrast you get in reading the two side by side is the underlying energy. The Republicans appear optimistic and confident. The Democrats appear angry and bitter.

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A DVD every American should see

If you saw Michael's 911 film, you owe it to yourself to see the other lense on the Iraq war. Kerry On Iraq. I received the DVD and you can even watch it on-line. Kerry is now positioning himself as an anti-war candidate to appease the "base" of the Democrats, but here in his own words (all clips of actual Kerry interviews) he sounds as hawkish as anyone. This guy can't be trusted to tell you the color of his tie!

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August 11, 2004

It's official, Rob Glaser is Washington's foremost leftist

Calling the Seattle Times article a "puff piece" may be a bit of an understatement. His "left of Che" politics are presented as somehow laudable. I half expected to see Rob behind Ted Kennedy at the DNC when he was advocating armed rebellion in the US to overthrow a "king with a father named George". It is not the terrorist we need to worry about in Seattle, it is people like Rob who get so far out in left field that their desparation causes them to justify radical acts. Listen to the Democrats. Talk about politics of fear. They invented it.

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July 26, 2004

I am confused by Kerry

Most of my readers know that I am voting for George Bush in the fall. But I keep listening to John Kerry and others hoping to hear some words of encouragement or to understand what he stands for. The Bush campaign sent out this recent exchange between Peter Jennings and John Kerry. Now I am not making any judgement on the issue of abortion. But Kerry is saying two things which are totally contridictory, is seems to try to play to two different political audiences (Catholics like himself and Pro-choice Democrats). He says life begins at conception, but wants women to be able to terminate a pregnancy anytime they want to. My problem with Kerry is that those two are irreconcilable. He wants it both ways. Meaning he stands for nothing solid. It sounds like the worst kind of political pandering for votes. Is that what we want in our leadership? For me, it is better to know that my leaders have convictions (even if I don't agree with them all). You don't have to agree with all your leader's convictions, just more of one than the other.

In John Kerry's Own Words:

On Thursday, Senator John Kerry sat down for an interview with ABC News reporter Peter Jennings. Below is a portion of that interview.

Peter Jennings: "You told an Iowa newspaper recently that life begins at conception. What makes you think that?"

Sen. Kerry: "My personal belief about what happens in the fertilization process is a human being is first formed and created, and that's when life begins. Something begins to happen. There's a transformation. There's an evolution. Within weeks, you look and see the development of it, but that's not a person yet, and it's certainly not what somebody, in my judgment, ought to have the government of the United States intervening in. Roe v. Wade has made it very clear what our standard is with respect to viability, what our standard is with respect to rights. I believe in the right to choose, not the government choosing, but an individual, and I defend that."

Jennings: "Could you explain again to me what do you mean when you say 'life begins at conception'?"

Kerry: "Well, that's what the Supreme Court has established is a test of viability as to whether or not you're permitted to terminate a pregnancy, and I support that. That is my test. And I, you know, you have all kinds of different evolutions of life, as we know, and very different beliefs about birth, the process of the development of a fetus. That's the standard that's been established in Roe v. Wade. And I adhere to that standard."

Jennings: "If you believe that life begins at conception, is even a first-trimester abortion not murder?"

Kerry: "No, because it's not the form of life that takes personhood in the terms that we have judged it to be in the past. It's the beginning of life. Does life begin? Yes, it begins. Is it at the point where I would say that you apply those penalties? The answer is, no, and I believe in choice. I believe in the right to choose, and the government should not involve itself in that choice, beyond where it has in the context of Roe v. Wade."

John Kerry's Own Actions:

Kerry Has Voted At Least Six Times Against Banning Partial-Birth Abortion.

Kerry Has Voted At Least 25 Times In Favor Of Using Taxpayer Dollars To Pay For Abortions In United States.

Kerry Voted Against Unborn Victims of Violence Act - "Laci and Connor Peterson's Law"

Nonpartisan National Journal Scored Kerry's Votes Most Liberal In Senate For 2003. Kerry scored a Senate-high 97% liberal rating for 2003, beating out Sens. Barbara Boxer (91), Hillary Clinton (89), Ted Kennedy (88), and Tom Daschle (80). (National Journal Website, "How They Measured Up," http://nationaljournal.com, 2/27/04)

John Kerry says he believes that life begins at conception, yet does not have the conviction to protect life, and instead promotes abortion -- even up until the moment a child takes their first breath!

Posted by Martin at 4:29 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 2, 2004

The improving economy that can't get any respect

This WSJ article is about a month old, but I am astounded by the number of people who are still ignorant of the facts around the economy. And the way the press keeps spinning the outsourcing story and Iraq war as reasons for fear. There are reasons for fear up ahead, but the facts of the economy are not them. The economy in the last 12 months has grown faster than anytime since the early 80s, even faster than during the "bubble" of 1999. In outsourcing, the US is actually a net gainer in those jobs. The "misery index" is actually at a very low level. I hope this message gets through to more people. But I understand that bad news sells more papers than good. That is why I don't subscribe to the local paper or watch the local TV news.

The Dangerfield Economy
April 5, 2004; Page A18

Friday's report of roaring job numbers for March, along with the sharp upward revisions for the previous two months, was good news that even the chattering classes couldn't deny. Then again, give them a day or two and they'll have us back in Hooverville. Like Rodney Dangerfield, this is the recovery that can't get no respect.

By nearly every objective measure, the U.S. economy is strong and getting stronger. Just look at the Misery Index, the measure created by the late economist Arthur Okun adding the rates of unemployment and inflation. This may not be the most sophisticated of metrics, but it does capture the two greatest threats to household wealth and security. And it's indicating that, comparisons to the 1990s' bubble years excepted, the U.S. economy is doing very well.

Today's unemployment rate of 5.7% is close to the level Bill Clinton boasted about as he sought re-election in 1996. Meanwhile, inflation has fallen by a full percentage point over the past eight years. As the nearby table shows, the economy compares favorably by re-election standards and President Bush's policies should be enjoying at least a modicum of respect.

Instead, the media have done a terrific job of convincing everybody that these are the worst of times. A poll conducted by the American Research Group in mid-March found that 44% of Americans believed that the country was still in a recession. That's passing strange when you consider that the last recession ended way back in November of 2001, and for the last two quarters of 2003 the U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 6.1%, the fastest in 20 years. Even more remarkable, the percentage of gloomsters was higher in March, when we now know 308,000 new jobs were being created, than over the previous three months.


The "misery index" in Presidential re-election years

1976 Ford 5.8% 7.7% 13.5%
1980 Carter 13.5% 7.1% 20.6%
1984 Reagan 4.3% 7.5% 11.8%
1992 Bush I 3.0% 7.5% 10.5%
1996 Clinton 3.0% 5.4% 8.4%
2004 Bush II 2.0% 5.7%* 7.7%

*Unemployment rate in March 2004

Source: Club for Growth

The angst is also hard to fathom given that Americans are richer than they've ever been before. Household wealth recently hit $44.4 trillion, an all-time high. A big part of that is due to the stock market's 35% recovery last year, as well as rising property prices. OK, not everyone is convinced that the real estate market will hold up, and we're also concerned that price signals are warning that Federal Reserve policy has been too accommodating. Nevertheless, when a record 68.6% of households own their own homes, that should at least create a feeling of security.

And it's not just asset prices that are rising. Household income is up 4.1% year on year, driving even bigger gains in disposable income and consumption. Corporate profits also hit a record level in the fourth quarter of last year, and are expected to rise at a more than 15% clip in the first quarter of this year.

So why are Americans feeling so peevish? One possible explanation is that globalization has brought on increased job turnover, and the experience of losing a job, even if another one is found, can be profoundly unsettling. The only problem with this theory is that the "churn rate," the process of creative destruction by which declining industries shed workers and rising ones snap them up, has been falling since the middle of 2001.

That leaves the inescapable conclusion that the problem is perception. This pessimism is understandably fed by Democrats who want to retake the White House. But it's also flogged by a media that can't seem to admit that the real news of the past three years is how well the U.S. economy has weathered the shocks of a huge stock-market blowoff, September 11, business scandals and the long prelude to war in Iraq.

Contrast this to 2000, when nearly all economic coverage portrayed only sunshine even though the stock market plunge had begun in April of that year. The National Bureau of Economic Research now fixes the onset of recession at March 2001, meaning that the economy was heading down long before the Bush Administration took office.

This year's favorite bad news story has been the job market, especially outsourcing. Yet few bother to report that government data show that the U.S. is actually a net recipient of outsourcing jobs, and this surplus is widening. The growing trade in services helps the economy because American companies are market leaders in many high value-added niches.

For those who fear that the U.S. will somehow be stripped of high-paying jobs, consider how manufacturing, which was also supposedly in terminal decline in the 1980s, is again coming back. Last week, an important factory index showed a high level of hiring, and output is at 20-year highs. High productivity growth has kept American manufacturers competitive, even in the face of low-wage competition.

Speaking of productivity growth, it's worth noting how little positive coverage this is attracting. Throughout the Reagan years when job creation was strong, the critics complained that productivity was lagging. Now that productivity is surging but employment has taken longer to bounce back than in other recoveries, the good news is again lost in the noise of lamentations.

Still and all, by November the American people will have had ample time to figure out the good news behind this smokescreen of negativity. Sooner or later, the Dangerfield economy is going to command some respect.

Posted by Martin at 10:00 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Good summary of the current Saudi/US oil dependency facts

Also from The fall of the House of Saud.

Not all the wishing in the world will change the basic reality of the situation.
* Saudi Arabia controls the largest share of the world's oil and serves as the market regulator for the global petroleum industry.
* No country consumes more oil, and is more dependent on Saudi oil, than the United States.
* The United States and the rest of the industrialized world are therefore absolutely dependent on Saudi Arabia's oil reserves, and will be for decades to come.
* If the Saudi oil spigot is shut off, by terrorism or by political revolution, the effect on the global economy, and particularly on the economy of the United States, will be devastating.
* Saudi oil is controlled by an increasingly bankrupt, criminal, dysfunctional, and out-of-touch royal family that is hated by the people it rules and by the nations that surround its kingdom.

Posted by Martin at 9:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It is not just about oil

Check out this excerpt from The fall of the House of Saud.

"Just to make sure that no one upsets the workings of this system, perhaps by meddling in internal Saudi affairs, Saudi Arabia now keeps possibly as much as a trillion dollars on deposit in U.S. banks--an agreement worked out in the early eighties by the Reagan Administration, in an effort to get the Saudis to offset U.S. government budget deficits. The Saudis hold another trillion dollars or so in the U.S. stock market. This gives them a remarkable degree of leverage in Washington. If they were suddenly to withdraw all their holdings in this country, the effect, though perhaps not as catastrophic as having a major source of oil shut down, would still be devastating. "

So, no it is not just about oil and the price of it. We are dependent on those rich oil economies to prop up our stock markets and financial reserves as well (send the money back). Think 2000 was a bad year after the tech speculation bubble? Think about Oil nations not investing and in fact pulling out their money. In the 80's Saudi Arabia had about $120B in cash reserves. Today they have less than $21B. And personal expenses of the Royal family (their burn rate in VC terms) are more than doubling each year. This is unsustainable. They will need to keep prices high and start taking back assets to maintain their life style.

Posted by Martin at 9:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The truth about the Mid-East

I am not an alarmist. I tend to be a pragmitist. And to have faith in complex systems ability to fix themselves and be fairly resilient to attacks. The post-WWII world economy has been such a fairly resilient system. Until the OPEC oil embargo showed a major weekness. Then the cartel and the consumers reached a sort of compromise that allowed the wheels to keep on churning and the mid-east to get fantastically rich. But along the way, the governments that own those resources and control the cartel got very corrupt and got pushed to extremes to hold onto power and control their restless populations (especially the less fortunate ones). A recent article in The Atlantic The fall of the House of Saud. excerpts Robert Baer's 2003 book, Sleeping With the Devil. The short version is required reading if you are to understand how fragile the world economic system is. And why we had to go into Iraq. Remember what the Taliban did in Afgahanistan. They took away all modern conveniences and put the country back 1,000 years. Many of the extremist want to do that to the entire Mid East. To take away all forms of modern temptations and intergration with their neighbors. This includes the next guy in line to rule Saudi Arabia. It may be time to start getting a little paranoid.

Don't let anyone spin Iraq in the simple enlightened liberal western terms around human rights and the like. It is not as simple as "bring our boys home" and "I am against violence". I am starting to believe that these things have a material impact on the overall world economy. And that the adversary's objective is to blast as much of the world as they can back to the stone age. A truly frightening thought.

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June 1, 2004

Looks like Kerry is the winner...

After a month, here are the results of the Presidential poll on my site. Thanks for your participation, please take the new one about what will be your next computer?

Who are you voting for?

George Bush 24 % (12 votes)
John Kerry 59 % (29 votes)
Ralph Nader 4 % (2 votes)
None of the Above 12 % (6 votes)
Total votes 49

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May 21, 2004

WMD found in Iraq, why isn't the media telling us?

Yesterday, an artillery shell filled with Sarin was found. Yet it was buried on page 13 of the NYT and page 11 of the Post. The lead story in major media still seem to be the search for some sort of conspiracy in the prison scandal. I guess the media doesn't want the facts of WMD being found to disturb their world view that there aren't any. Do you really think that one shell is the only one? The way it was fired suggests the people who used it didn't know it was Sarin. Expect more.

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May 12, 2004

Looks like Kerry is ahead in my President poll

looks like java script isn't working, so here is the raw numbers today. I will run thru May.

Who are you voting for?

George Bush 21 % (5 votes)
John Kerry 56 % (13 votes)
Ralph Nader 4 % (1 votes)
None of the Above 17 % (4 votes)
Total votes 23

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May 10, 2004

Trouble in liberal land

Soon after Rob Glaser invested in Air America, the Chairman and his deputy resign. Chairman and his deputy resign. Humm I wonder if the two are related. CEO left recently too. Looks like a trainwreck in the making. Funny how in the real world the lights are brighter huh boys?

Posted by Martin at 9:22 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The recovery is in full bloom...

While the hard core Dems are blustering on about a "jobless" recovery, the facts tell a completely different story. I don't usually excerpt whole articles, but today's WSJ editorial about how deep and strong the jobs recovery is says it all. Couldn't have said it better myself. In my own business of Venture Capital I have also seen the job market tightening. Talent is getting harder to find. Way to go Bush.

WSJ, May 10, 2004; Page A16

With all the attention on Iraq, the blowout April jobs report barely made the front pages on the weekend. So allow us to mark the news as the official death of the "jobless recovery."

The allegedly "sluggish" economy has now created 867,000 new jobs since the beginning of 2004, 1.1 million since August. Jobs are coming back even in manufacturing, to the tune of 30,000 in the last two months. The civilian unemployment rate fell again to 5.6%, down from the June 2003 peak of 6.3% -- which is below the peak of 7.5% during the recession in the early 1990s, and below the 9.7% peak of the recession in the early 1980s.

These numbers are especially notable given the continuing increase in productivity. For months productivity gains were seen as a business substitute for new hiring, but not anymore. Overall business productivity climbed 4.5% in the first quarter, and by a whopping 5.9% in durable goods manufacturing.

If they follow their usual pattern, pessimists and partisans will now drop the "jobless recovery" line in favor of the "hamburger flipper" assertion. That is, they'll claim these new service" jobs aren't nearly as good as the old jobs in manufacturing that have gone to Mexico or China. Ergo, the middle-class is "vanishing."

Sorry, that's also phony spin. Economist David Malpass at Bear Stearns calculates that average hourly earnings in manufacturing in April were $15.24, or $16.08 with overtime. Average hourly earnings in all service jobs were a comparable $15.17. If you exclude the retail and leisure sectors, service jobs paid $17.25 on average. The better-paying categories -- in finance, information, professional services, education and health care -- have produced most of the new service jobs (574,000) in the past six months. To put it another way, those productivity gains are gradually making their way as pay increases into worker pocketbooks.

They are also beginning to replenish the federal Treasury. The Congressional Budget Office reported last Thursday that revenues "are running $30 billion to $40 billion higher than anticipated" this fiscal year. The bulk of the increase is coming from corporate income taxes, which are up about 45% from a year earlier, largely due to rapidly rising corporate profits. Payroll tax revenue is also up some.

What this means is that if Congress can provide even a modicum of spending restraint, the federal deficit will begin to decline again, just as it always does during a healthy economic expansion. One bit of bad budget news is that spending on Medicaid, the health-care entitlement for the poor, is growing this year by more than 12% -- or about five times the inflation rate. We'd suggest that Congress tackle that problem . . . yeah, right.

Alan Greenspan also made headlines last week with his fretting about the budget deficit as a long-term economic threat. We'd have thought the Fed Chairman would be preoccupied just now with wondering if he's had the money-supply too loose for too long. The robust recovery and recent signs of renewed inflation seem to have caught some Fed Governors by surprise. Rather than kibbitz about fiscal policy, perhaps they should focus on their real job, which is maintaining a stable price level. The economy seems to be taking care of itself.

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May 7, 2004

April jobs numbers best in 4 years

Reuters.com reports the 288,000 jobs number for April is best in 4 years. This should quell some of the president's critics. And remember this is the "employer reported" number which is actually very inaccurate as it is only from employers who report. These tend to be large ones. There has been significant growth in the small and home business sector. When you do a jobs number from the bottom up by doing an EMPLOYEE survey, the numbers are even better!

Posted by Martin at 11:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 13, 2004

Bush promotes universal broadband by 2007

The skeptic would say Bush's recent speech promoting broadband for all americans by 2007 is an election year ploy for votes. While I have not tracked his administration's progress to promote this in detail, I do believe his commitment.

Back in 1999, I attended a small group meeting with candidate GW Bush, Michael Dell and some other tech guys. In person he is very conversant on the details of innovation and the importance of the tech economy to the US. He believes that the entrepreneur is a unique American asset. It is apparent that he is getting the message that America's leadership in technology is being threatened by our laggard status in broadband access. I believe this is more than election year promises.

Posted by Martin at 10:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 17, 2004

Dave Weiner points out the real threat behind Dean

As my readers know, I am a Republican. But I am also a tech geek. To see a Democrat use technology better than a Republican has galled (corrected from gaul - a Frenchman - as pointed out by a fine comment!) me. They are calling Dean the "Internet" Candidate. Now what does that mean? Dave Weiner lays it out in: DaveNet : Howard Dean is not a soap bar. His premise is that most candidates today are marketed like products. Packaged and delivered by TV media moguls. Then along comes Dean. A real person. Warts and all. Goes direct. Direct to the people. Doesn't pay the big media tax to TV stations. Now that is scary to the news media. What would they do if the politicians could just go directly to the people with their message? So Weiner supposes the media ganged up on Dean and that is in part why he lost. Intriguing idea. Not totally accurate, but intriguing. They certainly helped spread the "I have a Scream" thing. I think that when people saw that, it re-inforced their ultimate fears: That Dean was a loose canon. I knew he was, but was hoping he would get the nomination before he blew himself up. That would have made it much easier for Bush. Who will win.

Posted by Martin at 11:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack