Saturday, October 29, 2005

Montage Natural Aliso Creek Resort

The Montage should realize that golf is so passé. There could be better ways to maximize earnings with their business endeavor at the Aliso Creek Inn and Golf Course.

How about really using the Aliso Creek as the centerpiece of a lodging and meeting center where guests can enjoy the beauty and tranquility of a restored natural creek? Imagine the hiking trails, the viewing of migratory birds, the relaxation…..

The project could differentiate itself from competitors and command premium pricing. Hopefully, there would be meeting rooms and areas that the Laguna Beach community could use to hold various events. Although, I have always enjoyed golfing when at Aliso Creek, this vision could be civilly, environmentally, and financially superior.

Is golf the highest and best use? See Los Angeles Times October 29, 2005 “After Boom, Golf Isn't Out of Woods” at
- “The 'Tiger effect' seems to be winding down, with fewer courses being built and the number of serious players shrinking”
- “avoid the fate awaiting other troubled courses in an industry roiled by soaring real estate prices, lean corporate entertainment budgets and the sport's failure to attract and retain participants”
- “ To survive, some courses are taking Palm Desert's approach: plowing under acreage to build homes that will finance improvements”
- “the number of rounds played increased by just 0.7% in 2004 after three years of decline. The ranks of serious golfers — the roughly half of all players who account for the vast majority of rounds — fell by nearly 5% last year”
- "We've gotten to the point where we could probably stand to close a course a day for the next 10 years," said Walt Lankow, the owner of a family-run golf business outside Boston.

Forget me-too thinking. Let’s get a project that will be win-win.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Phillips Curve and the Economy in the 1970s

Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal Political Diary (subscription required) October 25, 2005

Stephen Moore commenting on President Bush’s nomination of Ben Bernanke to replace Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

“He rejects the bankrupt Phillips Curve notion of a trade off between prosperity and price stability. In the 1970s, the Fed slavishly followed the Keynesian model of the Phillips Curve, which held that an unemployment rate below 6% was automatically inflationary. As growth stalled and unemployment rates soared in the mid and late 1970s, the Fed foolishly stoked the fires of inflation in order to spur more growth. We got less and less growth until the model utterly collapsed in 1980 when the economy sank into stagflation, with negative economic growth and double-digit inflation rates that led at one point to the infamous 20% mortgage interest rates.”

Monday, October 24, 2005

Will Fitzgerald Indict Karl Rove?

Will Fitzgerald Indict Karl Rove?
See October 24, 2005 The Belmont Club. Wretchard’s observations are right on and include:
“And although the Fitzgerald inquiry is ostensibly about stopping leaks, no one actually wants them to stop. An amicus curae brief filed by 36 media organizations including ABC News, AP, CNN, CBS News, WSJ, Fox News, USA Today, NBC News, Newsweek, and Reuters, argued that it would be a bad idea to force journalists to identify the purveyors of confidential information.

Leaks are used to source stories, to start investigations; leaks are even used to track the progress of investigations into leaks. The only thing in the universe more useful than duct tape or WD-40 is the leak. Therefore even those who hope Karl Rove or Scooter Libby are indicted are praying it will be on grounds of perjury or obstruction of justice, lest the whole show grind to a screeching halt.”

See Prior Posts:
Democrat NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Misuses Prosecutorial Power
Lawsuit That Sank New Orleans

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Democratic Senate Leader Recommended Harriet Miers to Bush

Senator Harry Reid Recommended Harriet Miers to Bush

I was chatting with a Democrat who was very critical of President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to the United States Supreme Court. In the course of the conversation it became apparent that the Democrat was unaware that President had nominate the person suggested to him by the Democratic Senate leader.

Democrats complained that the Senate’s advice and consent should involve consultation prior to President Bush nominating a Supreme Court Justice. Bush met with Senate Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada who suggested that the President nominate his Counsel Harriet Miers.

The idea is to work together cooperatively and avoid distracting political battles. See Monday, October 3, 2005 Statement Of Senator Harry Reid On The Nomination Of Harriet Miers To The U.S. Supreme Court on his website. “In my view, the Supreme Court would benefit from the addition of a justice who has real experience as a practicing lawyer. The current justices have all been chosen from the lower federal courts. A nominee with relevant non-judicial experience would bring a different and useful perspective to the Court.”

See MSNBC’s Senate presses for quick Miers confirmation
Reid had personally recommended that Bush consider Miers for nomination, according to several sources familiar with the president’s consultations with individual senators. Of equal importance as the White House maps its confirmation campaign is that the Nevada Democrat had warned Bush that the selection of any of several other contenders could trigger a bruising partisan struggle.”

If the cooperation that the President has shown to the Democrats can be remembered, it will be reciprocated. Won’t it?

See Prior Posts:
Bush Brilliant Strategic Choice of Harriet Miers
Prisoners Up, Crime Down
Should Presidents Transform US Supreme Court?
Should Presidents Transform US Supreme Court? – Part II

Specter Does Not Think Miers Is Going to Be Withdrawn

See Wall Street Journal October 22, 2005 The Weekend Interview 'I Don't Think She's Going to Be Withdrawn' by MELANIE KIRKPATRICK

“As for the nominee herself, Mr. Specter says he's examined her legal record and is impressed. ‘During the recess, I took home a large compendium of cases that she'd been involved in and I studied them, and I found out they were very complex,’ he says. ‘She had an underground easement case which was very complicated, she represented Disney in a jurisdiction issue in Texas, she represented Microsoft in a patent case. She represented a woman, pro bono, on Social Security [and] a criminal defendant in a habeas corpus case. And I could see as I went through her legal record that she's a good lawyer. She deals with complex, conceptual issues and, I think, demonstrates the capacity to handle a wide variety of issues, including constitutional issues’.”

“The senator also tries to quell mounting speculation that Ms. Miers's nomination will die before it can make it to the hearing-room. He says he's ‘confident’ there will be a hearing. ‘I don't think she's going to be withdrawn’."

" ‘Whether she's going to be confirmed is totally in her hands,’ he says. His fellow Senators don't know much about her now – ‘she doesn't say very much in the meetings’ -- but soon Ms. Miers ‘will have center stage... and the opportunity to prove her mettle’."

Friday, October 21, 2005

Bush haters don’t know much about who pays Federal income taxes

Bush haters don’t know much about who pays Federal income taxes.

“Then another man, eavesdropping, decided to join in. Within five seconds, he called the president "an idiot." I let it go. Moments later, however, he changed it to "moron."

“60-something woman sitting next to me, with whom, up until this point, I had exchanged pleasantries, suddenly blurted, "Well, I'm from Seattle, and we hate Bush up there — "

" — and the thing that we hate the most about Bush is that he claims people shouldn't pay taxes."

"Let me clarify. Bush says, 'Rich people should not pay taxes.'"

Larry Elder asks "Of the top 1 percent of taxpayers, what percentage do they pay of federal income tax revenues?"

"Maybe 1 percent, maybe 2 percent."

“For the record, since my table companion doesn't know or doesn't care, the top 1 percent — the taxpayers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) over $295,495 — paid, for 2003, 34.27 percent of federal income tax revenues. The top 10 percent (with an AGI over $94,891) paid 65.84 percent, the top half (AGI over $29,019) paid 96.54 percent. The bottom half? They paid 3.46 percent.”

US discovers larger nobler causes in the midst of battle

See October 21,2005 article “It may be news to certain Senators, but the U.S. always discovers larger, nobler causes in the midst of battle” by David Gelernter

“This week should have been a time of rejoicing in America. On Wednesday, Saddam Hussein went on trial — the ex-master butcher of Iraq, reeking of blood. And last Saturday, the newly freed Iraqi people pulled off a referendum right under the noses of terrorists whose hearts' desire is to blow democracy to bits.

Yet up on Capitol Hill, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had been called before a Senate committee. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was one of those who questioned her.”
Rice answered that this is the way the world works. For example, we did not go into World War II to build a democratic Germany.

But Rice's analogy was exactly right. And by the way, using the Holocaust as a bat to beat political enemies over the head is demeaning to Jews and to human dignity. Having lost relatives in the Holocaust does not, in any case, confer expertise in U.S. history.

Democracies rarely declare war to improve the world, as Rice could have explained had she had the chance. They fight to protect themselves, sometimes to fulfill treaty obligations. But once a war is underway, free peoples tend to think things over deeply. Casualties concentrate the mind. We refuse to let our soldiers die for too little. America at war has lifted its sights again and again from danger, self-interest and self-defense to a larger, nobler goal.

…World War II. And, of course, Rice is dead right: Once the war was over, we spent years cultivating democracy in Japan and Germany. But we entered the war because Japan attacked us and, four days later, Adolf Hitler declared war on us.”

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Negotiate?? Jihadists Duty to Kill the Infidels

Not much to negotiate about.

Per Osama bin Laden Fatwa August 1996
- A holy war against all non-believers, infidels
- To be govern only by Shari'ah law
- Not man made civil law
[We] “have no intention except to enter paradise by killing you. An infidel, and enemy of God like you, cannot be in the same hell with his righteous executioner.”

Monday, October 03, 2005

Bush Brilliant Strategic Choice of Harriet Miers

Far Left Expect Democratic Senators to Bork Bush’s Court Nominees. If the Democratic Senators won’t fight Bush, the far left predictably will attack the Democratic Senators.

President George W. Bush, once again, has demonstrated that he is a strategic genius. He has nominated his White House counsel Harriet Miers to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. This choice could cause considerable disarray in the Democratic Party driving a wedge between office holders and the party’s very liberal wing which includes its largest financial supporters.

Although Harriet Miers is a Sunday School teaching fundamentalist Christian, President Bush is catching flack from Republican conservative supporters since she may not be another Justice Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas. However, the damage done to the Republican Party will be slight compared to what is likely to happen in Democratic ranks. They won’t be able to help themselves.

Conservatives fear that Miers is another Justice David Souter, a Republican appointee who reliably votes with the liberal wing of the Supreme Court. Clearly the biggest difference is that while David Souter was an unknown New Hampshire Supreme Court Jurist to most, he was also a big unknown President George Hubert Walker Bush. How much of an unknown is Harriet Miers to George W. Bush? Their relationship goes way back: including being Bush’s personal attorney. She served in Bush’s administrations as:
1995-2000: Texas Lottery Commission chairwoman
2001-2003: White House staff secretary
2003-2004: White House deputy chief of staff for policy
February 2005-present: White House counsel

The lunatic Bush-hating portion of the Democratic Party will begin hating their inept Senators and withhold donations and, perhaps, initiate primary election challenges. President Bush’s strategic choice will be a gift that keeps on giving. Every Supreme Court decision with Chief Justice Roberts and/or Harriet Miers in the majority and the left will be reminded and seek their revenge again and again.

They will particularly going to go for the scalp of “Democratic Leader Harry Reid …
Mr. Reid had personally recommended that Mr. Bush consider Ms. Miers for nomination.” See Bush Nominates Harriet Miers in the Wall Street Journal October 3, 2005.

See Prior Posts:
Should Presidents Transform US Supreme Court?
Should Presidents Transform US Supreme Court? – Part II
Remember the 2000 Florida Recount and Supreme Court Cases – What Happened?
Blue States to Secede from the Union

Sunday, October 02, 2005

New Orleans Feasibility Study to Take Six Years

Ross Perot says “Fix it” like things can be easily and quickly fixed.

I saw this today from June 2003 article in Civil Engineering Magazine on whether or how to protect New Orleans from floods:

"During the past 40 years the US Army Corps of Engineers has spent hundreds of millions of dollars constructing a barrier around the low-lying city of New Orleans to protect it from hurricanes. But is the system of levees high enough? And can any defense ultimately protect a city that is perpetually sinking -- in some areas at the rate of half an inch per year?"

"any concerted effort to protect the city [New Orleans] from a storm of category 4 or 5 will probably take 30 years to complete. And the feasibility study alone for such an effort will cost as much as $8 million. Even though Congress has authorized the feasibility study, funding has not yet been appropriated. When funds are made available, the study will take about six years to complete.

“That’s a lot of time to get the study before Congress,” Naomi admits. “Hopefully we won’t have a major storm before then”.