Thursday, February 28, 2008


Yesterday morning at the age of 82, while working in his study, we lost William F. Buckley.

Mr. Buckley captivated many of us for decades with his columns, speeches, debates, appearances on TV talk shows, authoring of 50+ books, harpsichord-playing, creation of National Review and a seminal television program for serious political discourse called, "Firing Line."
WFB, Wikipedia
In my twenties, I'd watch television debates with awe and amusement as Mr. Buckley gracefully routed his opponents. He had no equal then.  I'm not sure he has one today.  Millions of Americans, I'm guessing under the age of 35, have little appreciation of this man's enormous gifts and contributions to contemporary conservative thought.

He advocated for free markets and limited government before it was common to do so.  He warned about secularism before it reached the proportions with which we now contend. He was America's most charming intellectual. His command of language, politics, economics, history and philosophy is practically legendary.

But it's often the subtle things we recall about those we've known (or wish we had known).  I'll never forget that devilish, enlightened sparkle in his eyes flashing at the same moment his expansive smile would emerge. That radiant face revealed something more than the intellectual gifts for which he is often parodied.
WFB with Ronald Reagan, Wikipedia

What I saw in his signature facial expressions, was an abundant joyfulness and love of life beaming straight through the camera lens and into American homes.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Does Mr. Rivera know something pivotal about Candidate McCain?

Geraldo Rivera, Wikipedia
Yesterday, my wife and I watched incredulously as we observed Gerlado Rivera interviewing Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones on FOX.

My first reaction was that I must have missed some bombshell discovery like a photograph of Senator McCain on a boat with an attractive woman in Bimini.

No we didn't miss anything like that because there has been zero evidence to support such a "smoking gun" which made me wonder, why in the world would Geraldo Rivera be interviewing these women about the McCain story in the New York Times?

Unless Mr. Rivera knows something that the rest of us do not, linking the stories of these women and their affairs with Bill Clinton to the current McCain story, is poor journalism.  And if Mr. Rivera does know something, he ought to report it.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's over for Hillary Clinton

It's over for Sen. Hillary Clinton.

It doesn't matter what happens in Texas, Ohio, or elsewhere. Her presidential bid is finished. Forget your delegate counts (pledged or not) and your polling data.

Consider instead the NY Times blog today and posts under the story, "Clinton Sharpens Her Attack on Obama"

Try to find authors supporting Mrs. Clinton. Instead, overwhelmingly, you'll find items from Democrats, that sound like this one...

"I went to an ivy league college with a lot of people who remind me of Mrs. Clinton. Bright, articulate, driven, but with an off-putting sense of entitlement. A know-it-all attitude that brooks no dissent."

It's as if scores of the party faithful are now emboldened to express heretofore repressed criticisms of Ms. Clinton, because they no longer fear retribution. Maybe this is cathartic for them.  In any event, it is over.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ann Coulter looks at the bright side

Ann Coulter, Wikipedia
Ms. Coulter is less than enchanted with John McCain's candidacy.  Nonetheless, I suspect that Ms. Coulter and an overwhelming majority of Republicans would prefer Sen. McCain over Hillary Clinton.

Nonetheless at a recent outing, after contemplating a question from an audience member as to whether there could be any positive aspect associated with both Clintons returning to the White House, Ms. Coulter replied calmly with a smile,

"At least we'd get the silverware back."


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Reflections on a summit for prosperity

Yesterday on a snowy, wet Saturday, the Wisconsin Chapter of Americans For Prosperity (AFP) held its "Defending the American Dream Summit" in Pewaukee and attendees listened to speeches from Dinesh D'Souza, Steve Moore and local county Sheriff David Clark.

Attendees also witnessed a color guard, a stirring video of the late Ray Charles singing "America The Beautiful" and a film that celebrated the life and legacy of President Ronald Reagan. There was much more. If AFP hadn't delivered quality, I wouldn't have stuck around for 8 hours.  Other items from my notepad:

Wisconsin Attorney General, J.B. Van Hollen made a notable observation about Thomas Jefferson's seminal phrase in the Declaration of Independence "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".  Mr. Van Hollen noted that unfortunately, many people in our nation have misconstrued Jefferson's intent to justify an expectation for government entitlements. Van Hollen notes, that Jefferson never envisioned life, liberty and the guarantee of happiness.  Rather, the founding idea was to help people by removing obstacles, by protecting them and by giving them a fair chance, but not through guaranteed taxpayer sponsorship.

Todd Berry of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance gave a sober, tightly-constructed review of Wisconsin's fiscal mess and the accounting chicanery used to screen out our "structural deficit." Republicans are not without blame as significant red ink extends back to the Thompson administration. 

Perhaps because Mr. Berry's group is nonpartisan, he chose not to identify more recent causes of our fiscal morass. Mr. Berry said "we" created off-the-books debt by issuing bonds to fund transportation projects. Yet, the last mega-hit to the transportation account was delivered two budget cycles ago -- compliments of Governor Jim Doyle and his "Frankenstein veto" when he transferred $400 million to public education funding.  That move was not authorized by the legislature and of course it was not a "we" -- it was a "him".