Saturday, April 29, 2006

Californian Democrats hold a job interview.

Have you ever been through a tough interview process? Or have you ever been on the other side of the desk and given a tough interview to prospective candidates?
This process is what came to mind when I read this article on the Democratic convention being held this weekend.
Angelides has won nearly every significant party endorsement but has yet to capture the imagination of primary voters.

"He needs good news right now the way you and I need oxygen," said Jason Kinney, a Democratic consultant who is not working for either candidate. "He has to win it (the pre-primary endorsement)."

Having been on both sides of the job interview, it seems to me that Mr. Angelides has a great Democratic resume. Years of service and experience, party loyalty, basically everything that a candidate should have. On paper that is. Angelides scores well on his resume, but is underwhelming in the face to face interview. He doesn't seems to have that personal connection so essential in politics.

Steve Westly seems to do very well in the face to face interview process. I have been faced with this situation before. A well qualified individual with an impressive resume versus a candidate that knocked it out of the park during the interview, but lacks some of the qualifications that the other person has.

What to do?

Politics, as I am finding out, is more like the Miss America pageant than a interview for CEO of a large corporation. If you look good in the swimsuit competition, you can more than make up for a less than stellar performance in the platform statement.

I do believe that the Governors race on the Democratic side will become a beauty contest rather than a ideas contest. Much like the Republican split during the recall. McClintock's substance versus Schwarzenegger's style. Electability seems to be the only qualification one needs today.

The base may want to reward Angelides for his solid liberal democratic views and service, but they also want to win in November. Westly may be their best chance to win in an era of sound bites and an eleven second attention span of apathetic voters.

It will be fun to watch.

By the way, my buddy Mark is going down today to the Democratic convention dressed as one of the Tax'm Twins. There will be a public gathering in support of Mark between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm in front of the Sheritan Hotel at 13th and J Streets in Sacramento.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Ugly American - Doggie style

Maybe Calvin didn't get the message about not smashing up the airport lounges and causing a riot.

A mini-riot erupted at Heathrow airport after rapper Snoop Dogg and a 30-strong entourage clashed with police in a departure lounge.

The men - mostly minders - apparently turned violent after being refused entry to a first-class lounge, smashing up a duty free shop, throwing bottles and attacking officers.

It took riot police over an hour to arrest the "20-stone men", who were then led out in handcuffs, with one shouting: "This is how it goes down in LA."

Very nice Snoop.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Technorati Profile

Tony Snow takes one for the team.

I need money, lots of it, if you have any extra or old money that kinda smells funny and you want to part with it let me know. That being said, the President of the United States would have to back up several armored cars loaded with new twenty dollar bills into my barn and fill it to the rafters to get me to take the position of press secretary. I'm not sure how much money that would be, but it may not be enough.

To have to listen to David Gregory and his pink power tie lecture me for two minutes about a story before asking loaded questions is too much to ask of anyone. Then to have Helen Thomas ask about the governments role in bringing down the World Trade Center or something equally mind numbing would loose its charm after the first week. I am afraid President bush would send those armored cars back to my barn to empty it after a fortnight.

White House Press Secretary, the Yolo Cowboy tendered his resignation today after this exchange with the white house press corp.

"What are you talking about David?"

'Why does the President ride in a limousine at taxpayer expense while the rest of America is paying over three buck a gallon to his super rich, oil company buddies, is he that out of touch with the voters?'

"David, do you really want me to answer that question?"

'Yes I do, the American people are hurting and Bush flies all over and drives around all day without paying a cent.'

"Well David, because he is the President, he travels just like President Clinton did."

'You can't sit behind that podium and tell me that the President is too good to pump his own gas and pay for it.'

"Next question"

'You didn't answer my last question!'

"Settle down David, I have other people who would like to ask a question."

'Don't tell me to settle down you hillbilly, I don't even know how you got this job.'

"Ok, why don't you shut your mouth before I come down there and feed you your tie"

At that point the press briefing ended and the White House spokesman was led off the stage by the Secret Service before he reached Mr. Gregory.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

And now some fresh pickings from the Yolo County Grapevine

Welcome back, this is when we would usually get to our panel of Fox News all-stars but Fred and Mort are off today and I couldn't take another minute of Bill Kristol or Maura Liason's whining little voices, so that leaves Fox News contributor and correspondent for Nation Public Radio, Juan Williams.

Thanks Britt.

Hey Britt, I'm here.

Please be quiet Bill.

But Britt, I wan..


So Juan, I have always wanted to ask you, what exactly do you do over at NPR?

I host a radio show called political insider.

Does anyone listen?

Sure they do, I mean its heard in all the coffee houses and faculty lounges across America Britt.

You know Juan, I was wondering, why is it that the lefties on the panel both work for NPR.

C'mon Britt, we are not all that left of center, sure we are more progressive than you, Bill or Fred, but I don't think that has anything to do with being on NPR.

Hi Juan.

Zip it Kristol.

What about Mort, he is a Democrat, he doesn't work for NPR.

I know, but we put Mort on because he is what the Democratic party used to stand for. He is still wrong most of the time, but at least he is not part of the hate American first crowd in the fever swamp of the left.

Are you saying that I am part of this fever swamp Britt?

Oh please Juan, you should be fitted with a tin-foil hat so the Republican brain control waves don't effect you.

That is not fair Britt, I didn't slam you when your buddy 'Shotgun Dick' came on your show because he knows you like him.

Did you see that interview Juan? It was very direct and thorough, I didn't just lob softballs at him.

Maybe you should have thrown a dove at him.

That funny Juan, very funny. Lets get back to you radio show. How do you compare to Rush or Laura Ingram as far as ratings.?

At NPR we don't think about ratings, we try to put out a good product and we hope the people like it for what it is.

What if its a piece of crap?

Well it might seem like crap to you, but we are trying to reach a broad audience, so we try to have shows that reflect the diversity of America. We don't try to compete with Rush.

Its a good thing. All you swampers would be standing in an unemployment line if you had to compete for an audience, just ask Al Franken.

We are trying to reach all of America Britt, not just the right wingers, Klan members and hate mongers in the Republican party.

I know Juan, but how many lesbian, alpaca wool growers are there in America?

I don't know, but they will find a show on NPR that speaks to them.

I'm sure they will Juan. That's all the time we have today. For Juan Williams, I'm Britt Hume, so long.

What about me?

Shut up Bill!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A day without children is like...

Is like, a freaking vacation!

Please don't take this the wrong way, or take it however you wish, but I love our children. Really. I know at times they seem to have been placed into my life by the Lord to teach me patience and sacrifice, other times to test my sanity and humility. Taken as a whole, I think I will keep them, they are almost fully housebroken.

This morning while our daughter had spent the night with a friend and our son headed out the door to work with his Grandmother, I finished my coffee and looked at my wife. What are we going to do today?

Like most Saturday mornings we did not have any plans, but this is not like most Saturdays. We get to make the decision as to what we do, when we do it and how late to stay out. Unencumbered by the two miniature dictators who run our household with a somewhat less that benevolent reign, we have decided to visit our friends who are having a picnic gathering up the valley and then we are going on a date to see a movie. Lucky Number Slevin is our pick and the review will be up soon.

Tomorrow the children will be back jumping on our bed on Sunday morning and we will be back to normal. Normal is perfectly fine with me, I love those morning too.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Angewestly, heads we raise taxes, tails we raise taxes.

Dear California, you are a Blue state. You may have a Governor that tends to puff out his red plumage every once in a while, but he is far from a Red state stalwart. You may want to take a look at the two democrats running for Arnold's job.

Steve Westly and Phil Angelides are both liberal democrats. If you want them, you will get them. If you get them, your taxes be increased and the public debt will balloon out of control. Don't be fooled at the 'close the loopholes and make government work more efficiently' line when asked how they will raise the billions in extra spending their amigos in the democratically controlled legislature send to them every year. They are close to sending a 34 billion dollar bill to our children right now. That money will have to be paid back. But have no fear, the democrats know how to close the gaps in the budget. Phil?
Angelides sees no problem in putting his own $2 billion-plus tax increase on top of the Prop. 82 increase.

"The wealthiest Californians have received $17 billion in tax breaks in recent years,'' Angelides said. "Even with the passage of Prop. 82 there's plenty of room to find rollbacks ... it's a pittance.''

The preschool initiative is the one exception to Westly's "taxes as a last resort" pledge, his spokesman said.
Last resort? Sure Steve.

The way to raise the money the State needs is to make the rich 'pay their fair share'. Ok, then what?

What will they do when the legislature spends even more money the next year, since we are now soaking, I mean making the rich pay their fair share? In two years, the tax revenue paid by the rich will start to trend downward. They rich will move, or at least move their official residence to a place without state tax, like Florida. They may live hear most of the time, but as far as the Franchise Tax Board is concerned, they just have a rental property in the Golden State.

The Business owners without that option will do what they always do when taxes cut into the bottom line, write a few pink slips. Labor, that means people with jobs, are the most costly item on the books, so the a few hundred thousand Californians will head to the unemployment line. Back to Westelides or Angewestly, which ever you prefer.

If they are elected, wait until the second year of their term. The first year they will cook the books by moving money around to make you think they have the budget under control, but the bill will come do in that second year. That is when they will call for an across the board tax increase, but just back to where the were a few years ago, that fair right? Everyone needs to help out the schools and the teachers right? Right.

With democrats in control of the legislature and the Governors office, the spending and union contracts will keep rising at a double digit rate. The third year will bring a collection call from all those spending programs. Tax, spend, tax, spend,,,, CRASH. Woops.

Californians will ask how did we get 30 billion dollars in the hole again?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Afghanistan's version of the Hell's Angels

When you live in a rocky mountainous complex of camps and caves, riding donkeys to and from ambushes is too slow, a Toyota truck is too hard to conceal and running back to your cave is exhausting. Enter the Honda 125cc dirt bike. Ridden by thousands of fun seeking kids, the Honda 125 is fast becoming the Humvee of the Taliban.
Motorcycles have become an emblem of swift and effective attacks that the Taliban have mounted since their regime was ousted in 2001. In 2002 the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, was reported to have fled from coalition forces on a motorcycle. A former Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Salam Rocketi, was given his sobriquet for his ability to shoot down helicopters with shoulder-fired rockets while riding pillion on motorcycles. It was reported in 2003 that a Taliban army was mobilising in Pakistan after buying 1,150 motorcycles.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A week of sunshine?

This morning I woke up round 5:30 and contemplated getting up to hide the colored Easter eggs for my daughter, but it was cold, so I stayed in bed and waited for my wife to get up to hide the eggs. Its not that I am lazy, well that may have played a part in it, but the main reason is I did not want to get caught by my daughter and ruin the idea of the Easter Bunny for her. I can only imagine the years of therapy my daughter would need if she caught me in my sweat pants and fuzzy slippers hiding eggs.

I put on the coffee and watched the news for a while. The man on the TV said that we were in for a week of sunshine. After six weeks of almost steady rain, a week of sunshine and 70 degrees is almost too good to be true. I may even get the Jeep out this week and blow the cobwebs off it. It may be a little cold in the morning for open air driving, but nothing beats the warmth of the sun on your face and the wind blowing through your hair. My wife would add that I won't have that problem much longer. I usually take her little digs about my thinning hair with a chuckle, it makes her feel better about having to get up and hide eggs while I sleep.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Broken Strings and toe nails.

Teenage sons. Why is it that guitarists around the planet can play for months and even years with the same strings and my son breaks one a month?

He seems to have the teenage wisdom that louder is always better. I wonder if I made him clean my toenails or wash the cats every time he broke a string, if that would cure the problem. I have to pay for replacing them, they are sold in sets so if you know anyone who would like three sets of new strings for an electric guitar, minus the #9 E string, let me know.

Tonight he has just announced he broke the string on my acoustic guitar. I think the toenail thing is now in play.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Veterans For Freedom.

For those of you who did not get the chance hear Hugh Hewitt's interview with Wade Zirkle from Veterans for Freedom, please take a look at the VFF website. Here is a guy who had enough of politicians and news media spinning and looking for defeat at every corner and decided to tell the truth. The real story from the pointy end of the stick, or 'the trigger pullers' as he Wade says. He is not pro-republican or anti-democrat, he is telling the story of the thousands of foot soldiers who know the real tangible progress we have made and continue to make in Iraq.

Hugh made the point loud and clear today on his show, everyone who says they support the troops, should support the Veterans for Freedom, financially or by linking them when ever possible.

This group is why the new media exists, if you want to write about the troops in the GWOT and pick a few examples to show how demoralized our soldiers are, there is a group out there who can say, what about us? Why don’t you interview our guys, we just got back, we have been injured for our Nation and seen our friends killed, we still think we are doing great things in Iraq and Afghanistan, what about us?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

You cannot trust the Democrats with our security.

It seems that the left, especially the fever-swamp left, suffer from such myopia they cannot see the double standard they set because of their hatred for the President. To be a member of the progressive swampers, you must pass a simple test. You must believe the following.

George W Bush, because he is a conservative Christian, doesn't care if he brings about Armageddon, he wants to meet Jesus anyway.

The left does not however, believe Iran's President Ahmadinejad when he says he wants to actively bring about chaos to hasten the return of the Mahdi or 12th Imam to usher in the global Islamic republic. Chaos equals Armageddon folks.

The left believes George W Bush's lack of pre war planning and preparation has caused a quagmire in Iraq that we will never extract ourselves from. Just read anything by Paul Krugman.

They also react with shock when plans that may include a tactical nuclear bunker busters are considered to stop Iran from attaining a working nuclear weapon.

The left does believe Ahmadinejad when he says that the uranium they are enriching will be used for a domestic energy program. Iran sits on one of the worlds richest oil fields on the planet.

finally, to get your lapel pin and secret Charlie Sheen ground zero decoder ring, you still must believe the war in Iraq is still about taking their oil.

So lets look forward to the winter of 2007 with Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House of representatives. (sounds of fast forwarding to the future)

Articles of Impeachment have been filed and they await action from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

On a strict party line vote, a resolution for the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq is passed and sent to the President. (with a little backdoor deal, sign it and we will waive impeachment)

Iran tests its first nuclear bomb. Arab crowds throughout the middle East celebrate, screaming nuke Israel, nuke the Jews!

Iran's President claims to have an EMP warhead mated to a mobile Shahab 4 missile bought from North Korea. He states that any interference from the West when Iran wipes the Jews from the face of earth will be met with an EMP exploded over the US causing a total failure of the electrical, transportation and communications infrastructure.

Pelosi and Reid hold a news conference to strongly denounce the Iranian President and ask that the issue be referred to the UN's Security Council for resolution.

(sound of flashback ending)

What a nightmare.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Chicks just don't get surround sound.

At the risk of sounding like a sexist pig (oink, oink) I would like to point out that my wife, like most women, don't appreciate the subtle advantages of 7.1 surround sound home theater. As guys, we know there is no better feeling than the sub-woofer blowing your hair back while watching a NASCAR race, or feeling the cannons thunder watching Gettysburg.

My wife looks at me hooking these components together like a research scientist looks at a caged primate trying to put a round peg in a square hole. She shakes her head and goes about her business confident in the fact that men are idiots and she married their king.

She may be right.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Dear Senator Frist; Stop running for President.

I would like to follow around Senator Bill Frist for a week to hang around his staffers and advisors. I want to know what parallel universe they live in. In that universe the American public must want an open border and blanket amnesty for anyone who can walk, crawl, fly or swim to our soil. I can only conclude that the problem lies with Mr. Frist's egotistical delusion that he can become our next President. The thought of putting up his wingtips on the desk in the oval office must be driving the Senate majority leader into the mistaken belief that a compromise deal with Teddy Kennedy is what red state voters want.

Frist is without a doubt a hard working, cordial man . While these traits may be admirable in a politician, he lacks one critical component to be effective leader. Courage.

Many would say that Mr. Frists needs to 'grow a pair', but I think that may be off the mark. Anyone can be an aggressive, outspoken ideologue, see Howard Dean and Dick Durbin. Political courage is not siding with your opponent against your base. It is much easier to go back your base and ask for forgiveness, they like you. The courage I speak of is the kind that enables you to look into someone's eyes and ask "are you out of your cotton pickin mind? The American people did not send me here to do this".

There may be another explanation. I wonder if there are still lead pipes in the plumbing in the Senate? That would explain a lot. There is evidence of lead poisoning in Roman emperors, it lead to insanity. There could be a correlation, the longer you serve in the Senate the further removed from reality you become.

So I guess I have three possible souces for the Senate's compromise deal on immigration. One being the parallel universe theory, the second is Presidential ambitions and the third is lead in the drinking water.

I'll take door number two Bob. What did I win?
Amnesty and an imaginary fence. Lets try again folks.

Friday, April 07, 2006

An open letter to Hezbollah

Michael Totten tells Hussein Naboulsi how the cow ate the cabbage.
What do you people expect? It's one thing when you trot out your impotent Death to America slogans. It's another thing altogether when you threaten and bully us personally. I'm not a wire agency reporter. When you talk to me you're on the record. When you say

'We know who you are, we read everything you write, and we know where you live," you're on the record. Of course I'm going to quote you. If you don't want to look like an a**hole in print, don't act like an a**hole in life.

Some journalists may cave under that kind of pressure. I almost did myself until my Lebanese friends - who know you much better than I ever will - reminded me that you guys like to puff up your chests to make yourselves look bigger and scarier than you actually are.
I wonder if he gets nervous when he starts his car in the morning?
I doubt it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

NBCs Dateline, trolling for bigots.

Little Green Footballs has a post on NBC recruiting Muslim men to wear hidden cameras while attending a NASCAR race.
I have been talking with a producer of the NBC Dateline show and he is in the process of filming a piece on anti-Muslim and anti-Arab discrimination in the USA. They are looking for some Muslim male candidates for their show who would be willing to go to non-Muslim gatherings and see if they attract any discriminatory comments or actions while being filmed.

They recently taped two turbaned Sikh men attending a football game in Arizona to see how people would treat them. They set them up with hidden microphones and cameras, etc.

They want to do the same thing 2 or 3 other times (in various parts of the USA) with one or two Muslim men in each setting. They are looking for men who actually “look Muslim”. They want a guy with no foreign accent whatsoever, a good thick beard, an outgoing personality, and someone willing to wear a kufi/skullcap during the filming.

They also want someone who is fairly well accomplished and has contributed to American society at large in some meaningful way.

I would love to recruit some Manhattan elites to wear hidden cameras and attend a few dinner parties to record the bigotry and hatred of Republicans from members of the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and the big three networks. That would be eye opening.

Yes, I have been to a NASCAR race. The group I went with were mostly professional people with more disposable income than I will ever have, but NASCAR draws all types. Finding a drunken redneck at a NASCAR race isn't to hard, but so what? That redneck is not writing or producing the news most of American watches. The real danger to our nation is not Bubba, its Katie Couric becoming the next evening news anchor at CBS.

I'll see your drunk redneck and raise you a liberal dimwit.

Seattle on Cache Creek?

Is it Spring yet? I know the calendar claims that it is, in fact Springtime, but calendars are mischievous things not to be trusted. We are more that 5 inches above the average rainfall with yet another week of storms lining up in the Pacific like cars in the drive-thru at Sonic. This kind of weather can effect us in strange ways. Most people seem to be overcome with a gloom that surrounds them and follows them through their day. It can make the most outgoing of us withdraw just a little, our once easy smile seems a bit forced.

I drove down to San Francisco today and went through a downpour that must have dropped 2 inches of rain in an hour. At my house, the front lawn has taken on the form of a giant green sponge. The back yard is littered in palm frawns and small branches from the eucalyptus tree. My wife's border collie seems to get great joy in dragging them around and making more of a mess, but hey, its the back yard and you can't see it from the road. I will wait for a long break in the weather before I gather the courage to venture out there.

The farmers are in a quandary. The rain means more water in Clear Lake and Indian Valley reservoir so irrigation water will be plentiful this year. The late spring also means a farmer with an early tomato contract in heap big trouble. Seed that should have been planted long ago is sitting in the shop and planting with seedlings could be the only (and much more expensive) option.

For those of us with horses, it is getting very expensive to buy hay right now. Most hay growers cut their first crop in April, in a dry year as early as March, this year it looks like the first cutting will be hitting the barns in May. Most horse people don't buy the first cutting because of the possibility if noxious weeds, so we could wait until late May before we start seeing lower prices . However, if you are a hay grower with a barn full of alfalfa right now, you can name your price, and we have to pay it. Supply and demand at work.

I have 6,000 feet of fence to put in this spring and while I am not exactly eager to start, I would like to have the fences done so I can bring home more horses. But what are you going to do? Protest?

Maybe I should take a day off and head down to the National Weather Service office and protest the excessive amount of rain. They are the government agency in charge of these things right? What about FEMA or NOAA, certainly someone is to blame and I have my rights.
Maybe I can litigate this...

Naw, I'll just get back to reading my book and getting the kids ready for bed. I told you this rain makes people grumpy.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Suffering from a moral imbecility.

A great piecee by Ian Robinson on the peace activists in Iraq. Read the whole story.
"As peacemakers who hold firm to our commitment to non-violence, we are also deeply grateful that they fired no shots to free our colleagues," their press release said.

What would the hostages have done if shots had been fired? Voluntarily returned to captivity?

If ever a group wasn't worth the effort and risk to free them, it's these guys.

NOTE TO CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKER TEAMS: For the love of the God you claim to follow, hire a public relations consultant.

Otherwise, the next freed hostage of yours might turn up and say what James Loney did, that: "After this, I'm going to disappear for a little while into a different kind of abyss -- an abyss of love."

An abyss of love. Loney, you silver-tongued devil, you
I wonder if the murdered American in that group would have supported the use of force to keep himself from being tortured, shot and dumped in the street?

I'll bet if you gave him an option he would have traded all the kidnappers lives for his. Self preservation is a very powerful instinct.