Friday, November 30, 2007

McCain on Subsidies

Fire of Liberty

In my post Energy Independence, I pointed out that of all the serious candidates running for President, Senator McCain is a candidate who is brave enough to preach against farm subsidies, ethanol subsidies(even in Iowa) and other forms of corporate welfare. While McCain has strayed from Goldwater and Reagan with a lot of issues (like his support of campaign finance reform), the Senator seems to be in tune with such conservative paragons with his opposition to such subsidies. Here's a look at what Senator McCain had to say on subsidies at a November 5th conference on Bio Economy in Ames, Iowa:

Many Iowans have heard that I oppose federal subsidies for ethanol production. Some of you will have heard that I oppose a protective tariff against sugar-based ethanol imports from places like Brazil. Some of my opponents will describe my positions as opposition to American ethanol producers or, for some inexplicable reason, a personal dislike of Iowa. Neither is true, of course, and I appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight. But I have always believed before you can win someone's vote, you have to earn their respect. And I intend to earn your respect by being honest with you.

Yes, I oppose subsidies. Not just ethanol subsidies. Subsidies. And not just in Iowa either. I oppose them in my own state of Arizona. I am a proud of the conservative tradition that the government can sometimes best serve the interests of the American people by knowing when to stay out of their way. And I've always been reluctant to grow the size of government to do the business of the American people for them or to favor one industry over another or because one sector of our economy has better lobbyists than another.
. . .

I trust Americans, I trust markets and I oppose subsidies. . . . Yes, that means no ethanol subsidies. But it also means no rifle-shot tax breaks for big oil. It means no line items for hydrogen, no mandates for other renewable fuels, and no big-government debacles like the Dakotas Synfuels plant. It means ethanol entrepreneurs get a level playing field to make their case — and earn their profits.

I believe this approach allows Iowans their best opportunity to display to the world the ingenuity that has served Iowa through the years.

I just wished Romney, Thompson, and Rudy would also make such points out in corn country.

The Dem's Achilles' Hill

Fire of Liberty

John Fund has a good piece over at OpinionJournal which points out how the US Congress is unable to push through a "patch" on the AMT because the Hispanic caucus is against an amendment in the bill that shields employers from federal lawsuits because they require their workers to speak English. I'd say that this will create a maelstrom that makes this summer's national uprising against "comprehensive immigration reform" look like child's play. Even more, they risk the ire of the folks in America who voted for the moderate Democrats who brought them to power for the first time since 1994. It goes to show how far behind the curb the Democrats have gotten with regards to issues like illegal immigration and the assimilation of legal immigrants. This election year will be fun to watch.

A Sober Historically Minded Look at Iraq

Fire of Liberty

As a fan of history I have to say that I greatly appreciate this column by Michael Barone's which points out that if we stepped back from the day to day(micro-timeframe) look at Iraq and to a more broad based macro-timeframe, the situation in Iraq could be deemed a success much like South Korea following the the Korean war. As always, complex issues like Iraq requires cooler heads than what we see from the "War is lost" caucus in Congress and a large segment in the MSM.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Energy Independence?

Fire of Liberty

Steve Chapman has a good column in the Chicago Tribune which points out that the quest for "energy independence" being offered up by various politicians is a pure fantasy and will have a more negative than positive effect on the environment. Chapman hit the nail on the head of the unlikelihood of achieving such independence when he made the following observation:

If energy independence were truly feasible, it probably would have been achieved back in the 1970s, after President Richard Nixon embraced it. In 1973, we imported about a third of the oil we used, compared with 60 percent today. Domestic production was at its peak. OPEC was in the process of turning the energy world upside down by quadrupling the price of oil.

But the idea withered on the vine -- because of the brutal reality that even at a steep price, imported oil was cheap compared to doing without. That remains true today. And though global warming calls for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the most likely replacements for oil are a poor fit for that role.

The chief attraction of energy independence is that we could fill up our cars and operate our economy without caring what happens in Iran, Venezuela or Russia. As if. So long as we use a significant amount of oil, regardless of where it's produced, we remain aboard the cost roller coaster. When the price of Middle Eastern oil soars, it takes the price of domestic crude along for the ride.

It's enchanting to imagine swearing off foreign oil in favor of ethanol made from wholesome Illinois corn, or fuels derived from West Virginia coal. But even if all the corn grown in this country went toward ethanol, it would cut our gasoline consumption by no more than 12 percent. In cost terms, ethanol can thrive only with lavish federal subsidies. In climate terms, the switch offers small benefits at best.

So why does ethanol get treated like the prettiest girl at the prom? Because our leaders' motive is pandering to American farmers and corporations, not making sound energy policy. If you want to know the main reason the federal government subsidizes ethanol, I've got two words for you: Iowa caucuses.

It's be nice if a lot of the politicians would take the sage advice of Steven Chapman and refuse to endorse policies that give government subsidies to multi-million dollars corporation and farmers who should be able to make ethanol based on market demand. From my observations of this political season, I'd have to say that Senator McCain is the only one brave enough to take on the corn lobby of Iowa and call for the elimination of government subsidies. (I guess McCain remembers the sage advice on farm subsidies that Barry Goldwater gave in his 1960 classic book Conscience of A Conservative.) I say let the market not the government decide the fate of ethanol.

Monday, November 26, 2007

We'll Miss Australia's John Howard

Fire of Liberty

I'd say that Rich Galen, columnist and Republican political strategist, sums up the loss of Australia's John Howard to Kevin Rudd in his most recent piece. I for one think that America has lost a good friend with the fall of Howard and hope that Rudd can be half as devoted to the Anglosphere as his predecessor.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Good for Mexico but not for US

Fire of Liberty
After watching the whole debate and political fallout from Governor Spitzer's silly plan to issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, I find this article pretty interesting. According to Chris Hawley of the Arizona Republic, the Mexican government is very strict with regards to immigrants and will only issue a driver's license to legal residents of Mexico. Here's a look:
Yet, licensing offices in all of Mexico's 31 states, along with the Federal District, where Mexico City is located, said they require applicants to prove their citizenship, preferably by showing a federal voter-registration card issued by the Federal Elections Institute.

Of those, 28 states and the Federal District said they would issue licenses to foreigners only if they present valid FM-2 or FM-3 residency visas.

The central Mexican states of Morelos, Puebla and Guerrero are more lenient. Foreigners there can get a driver's license with a valid tourist visa, or FMT.

Tourist visas are issued by federal immigration agents at airports and border crossing points.

Foreign tourists who are in Mexico temporarily can also drive using their foreign licenses, states said. Most U.S. states, including Arizona, have a similar exemption for temporary visitors.

Mexican officials said the application rules are strictly enforced, especially in southern states that have a problem with illegal immigrants from Central America.

"Last week a man came here (with a tourist visa) and said he was working as a deliveryman," said Denia Gurgua, manager of the driver's license office in Tuxtla GutiƩrrez, the capital of the southern state of Chiapas.

She said she denied him a license because he did not have a visa to work in Mexico.

"Our constitution has certain restrictions for foreigners," she said.
I just hope more Americans become aware of this fact and remind their Congressman, Senators, and the folks running for President that we should have the ability to restrict the entry and regulate such individuals who are visiting or are here illegally. From the looks of CNN's recent debate, the Democrats still seem to be stuck on Spitzer's talking points. The issue over illegal immigrants won't be the deciding factor in 2008 but it'll be an important issue.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Federal Government Should Stay Out of the Car Business

Fire of Liberty

Now while Democrats are ranting and raving about pushing forward greater government regulations on the US auto manufacturers by proposing an increase on the CAFE standards, I believe that it's far better for the folks in D.C. to let the auto industry figure their own problems and make decisions based based on the market and demand of consumers. One only has to look at the various cars purchased by the American public and you discover that a lot of people are buying light trucks and cars by manufacturers like Hondas, Toyotas, Nissans, Mazdas rather than domestic brands due to the fact that these companies are building the fuel efficient vehicles that the folks demand rather than what the government forced them to do. With this phenomenon, you discover that the domestic auto companies are following the lead of Honda and Toyota as well as the demands of the American public and are putting their nose to the grindstone to produce various hybrids and other fuel efficient vehicles. In fact, the folks over at General Motors debuted a Silverado hybrid at the L.A. Show. Now while the Silverado won't be available for purchase until late 2008/early 2009 it shows you that a domestic auto company can achieve a lot through technological innovation rather than government regulation. I think that the federal government would be best served by securing our borders, providing funds to our troops in Iraq, and securing us from terrorists rather than getting into involved with the private sector and a business that they know nothing about.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

NBC's Inconvenient Truth

Fire of Liberty

I'd say Glenn Beck pretty much sums up NBC's "Green Week" below:

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Commerce and Everyday activity of Iraqi People is a Good Guide-Post for Determing Security

Fire of Liberty

While bloggers like Bill Roggio, Michael Yon, Michael J. Totten and many others provide exceptional reporting on the improvements that are occurring in Iraq due to the implementation of General Petraeus's counterinsurgency policy(Along with the help of Iraqi security personnel and everyday citizens), it's interesting to see that members of the MSM are finally noticing and reporting on these changes as well. Now while the media and government officials are right to focus on the decline in soldier/civilian death rates and IED incidents as a gauge of success, I believe it's far better to find articles that focus on the everyday Iraqis and their return to normalcy. So here are three articles that caught my eye and gives me a greater insight on the sea change that is emerging in Baghdad.

The first article that I came across was "How Persistance Pays for a Baghdad Baker" by Sam Dagher in the Christian Science Monitor, which notes that Hussein Faleh, a baker who works at The Vanilla Pastry Shop, endured the heated insurgency and is finally seeing his patrons returning for his high quality sweets and cakes with the current improvements in security. Now while Faleh has problems procuring basic but high quality ingredients(Which he has to order every two months from Jordan), a dependable source of electricity(he uses a generator when the power goes down), as well as reliable source of safe water(he uses bottled water- even fine cooks in America do this), Faleh continues to churn out these delectable treats for his steady flow of customers who visit more often due to the improved security. I guess when you're not having to worry as much for your safety, you have time for sweets.
The second article I came across was "Liquor stores return to Baghdad" by Christian Berthelsen and Said Rifai in the Los Angeles Times, which points out that liquor stores are returning to Baghdad due to the new Iraqi security policy that has placed the Islamic extremists at bay. Without having to worry about firebombs or armed terrorists shooting up these stores or killing patrons, the liquor store are now importing various beers, wines, liquors, and spirits, and selling them to an alcohol hungry populous. It's great to see the Iraqi people being able to buy and drink what they want, even more when you read what extents the Iraqi people are willing to go in order to partake is such libations. I particularly found these paragraphs in the article pretty interesting:
But even as Iraqis begin returning to liquor stores they still take care to remain inconspicuous. On a recent day outside a liquor store on Saadoun Street, two men with a case of Johnnie Walker in their car were removing the bottles from the brightly labeled box and stashing them under the seats and in other hiding places throughout the vehicle.

Store owners are careful too. None of the new stores has a sign identifying it as a liquor retailer and most of the older ones have removed banners and advertisements. Universally, the stores keep all the merchandise behind the counter. In many areas, the curbs are blocked off with concertina wire to guard against car bombings, and security convoys pass frequently.

Nawar Sabah, 33, a government employee, stopped into Hindi's store on a recent day for a couple of Heinekens. Then, apparently calculating how much he could reduce his visits to the store, he asked for five. Then 10.

"Ever since the invasion, things haven't been the same," he said.

"People have to travel all the way across town in order to get drinks, and we all know the more you're out on the road, the more you're likely to become a casualty of some incident, if not actually a target." Some tipplers are particularly happy that the dry spell might be over.

A 47-year-old construction worker and Sadr City resident, who agreed to be interviewed on the condition he not be named, told of how he was beaten last year by the Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to

Shi a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, after his brother complained to the militia about his drinking. Now that the Iraqi army has supplanted the Mahdi fighters, he said, he no longer has to hide his liquor under his car seat when driving into his neighborhood.

"The situation is now better than before -- I carry the alcohol in a black plastic bag and no one cares what I have in the plastic bag," he said. "I always drink, even at my work, at home at night, and even in the morning. I will never stop until the Judgment Day."

Now this might not mean much to an everyday American but it says something about how much the security has improved in Baghdad.

To me, this article just shows us that the Iraqi people are working Joe's(Ali's in Iraq's case) who just want to live safe and secure and have some drinks to unwind from the day. This may be an oddity in the Arab world but I believe that it's one more guidepost to point to in how security is getting better in Baghdad.
Finally, the third article I came across is "Rising trade and safer streets - now Baghdad needs a decent electricity supply" by Deborah Haynes in The Times, which provide some accounts of how the people of Iraq are able to go about their shopping, dining, and everyday activities without having to worry about constant bombings and gunfights sparking up in the neighborhoods around Baghdad. You know that things are getting back to normal when restaurants start seeing their patronage increase some three percent and real estate agents discover that their is a new found demand for homes in the area. Though it's true that the people of Baghdad lack a dependable 24 hour stream of electricity but such is due to a lack of infrastructure that accumulated during the twenty-plus year reign of Saddam. One can be rest assured such will become a chief priority with sustainable security. The thing I found so interesting about the piece is the final paragraphs in which The Times points out that the Iraqi public is crediting the Iraqi security forces for creating a secure environment. Here's a look:

People overwhelmingly credited the Iraqi Army and police, rather than the US military. Maha Yousef, a 36-year-old mother of two, said: “We thank the brave leaders of the Iraqi forces, especially the Iraqi Army.”

The atmosphere of calm has encouraged parents to allow their children to walk to and from school. “I can also go outside the house to study with my friends or play until 9pm,” said 14-year-old Raed Saleem, who was previously under strict orders to be home by 4pm. “I pray for Iraqi people to keep living in peace.”

I know that the US military deserves a good bit of credit for bringing about such a change in atmosphere but it doesn't bother me because it shows the growing trust in the security forces amongst the Iraqi people. No matter how we cut it, the success in Iraq will only occur when the Iraqi people have confidence in security forces of Iraq. This is just another example of why our forces must continue to have time to continue to implement the counterinsurgency of General Petraeus and his companions in the Iraqi military.

All in all, this is just a sampling of how things are improving in Iraq. I just wish that the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, CBS, and NBC would promote more of these stories rather than looking for the negative. Until then, I recommend you just dig for such news.

One Hot Pepper

Fire of Liberty

I'd say that this guy bit off more than he could chew.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Troubles in Pakistan

Fire of Liberty

While this piece predates the recent events in Pakistan by some three weeks, I think that this NY Post column by Ralph Peters pretty much sums up the situation. I find these paragraphs particularly interesting and pertinent to the current state of affairs:

Most coup-makers then botch the job of governing, just as the civilians they overthrew failed before them. From Argentina to Burma, junta leaders, accustomed to being obeyed, have tried to punish the population into succeeding (an approach the Left readily approved when Stalin and Mao took it).

The generals and colonels learn that patriotism, no matter how heartfelt, is no substitute for sound economic principles, the rule of law and a merit-based society. The absence of healthy governmental institutions is as fateful for the coup-makers as for the demagogues they overthrow.

Nonetheless, we blind ourselves to the forces in play when we caricature all coup-makers. For all his faults, Musharraf views himself as a Pakistani patriot - not as a political party boss in the fashion of Bhutto, nor as a Punjabi or Pashtun, Baluch or Sindhi first. Indeed, only the military holds the fractured state of Pakistan together.

Now Benazir Bhutto - one of the figures who did so much to destroy the fabric of society and the economy - is back in Pakistan. It appears that she and Musharraf have worked out a power-sharing arrangement. We may hope for the best, but we also need to be prepared for the worst: a new era of hyper-corruption, as Bhutto's grab-all gang replaces the relative moral rigor of the military in the public sphere.

And let's not forget those nukes.

The answer to the desperate needs of the people of countries such as Pakistan doesn't lie with demagogues. And it would be better if it didn't lie with military regimes, either. But the old rotation between the charlatans and the generals is likely to continue throughout our lifetimes.

Given the inability of non-Western societies to build effective government institutions, it may be time to rethink our faith in the state itself as the answer to their needs.

I for one hope that the White House will convince General Musharraf to restore the democratic process and the rule of law in Pakistan but they should be mindful of Peters' sage advice on being lulled by democratic charmers like Bhutto. This might be against the philosophy of Fire of Liberty but I'm very wary of Benazir Bhutto and believe she's preaching democracy for the sake of being in the West's good graces. I hope I'm wrong.

Hank Thompson, RIP

Fire of Liberty

As a fan of honky-tonk and Western Swing, I was deeply saddened to find out that Hank Thompson passed away at the age of 82 this past Tuesday after a short battle with lung cancer. While you can read tons of obituaries on this country legend, see here, here, here, and here , I thought you'd be best served by seeing this talented man at work. Here's a sampling:

Monday, November 05, 2007

Solving African Poverty without Massive Aid

Fire of Liberty

Aside from a smattering of Bush top appointees at the State Department, World Bank, USAID, and some members of Congress, D.C. is full of individuals and bureaucrats are admirers of Jeffrey Sachs and thus believe that the best way to get the peoples of Africa our of poverty is to load them down with tons and tons of financial aid to the governments of these countries. Now while it's a great thing to believe in such idealistic actions, the sad reality is that the sending of such massive sums to such countries, with little or no controls or monitoring(This is more of the general populations of such organizations), only perpetuates them further down the proverbial "highway to hell" because the money never makes it to the people because their leaders take the money, spend it on wasteful programs. Even more, the sending of such money creates a international welfare system that generates greater dependency amongst the leadership of these nations and induces more bad behavior that continues to mire them in greater policy. Now as a conservative, I fall into the "less government is better" column and believe that the best way to end this poverty train is for this country to get out of the aid business by phasing out these ineffective programs and transition to micro-loans, private charities, and other programs that promotes the individual to learn a trade, start up a business thus helping people help themselves and kick dependency to the the curb.

One shinning example of how a private charity can go to Africa and teach the people how to pull themselves out of the mire of poverty is a charity called BeadForLife. According to this article by Jessica Scranton in the Christian Science Monitor, BeadForLife is charity in which the poor women of Uganda are given jobs in which they take recycled magazines, posters and cut, roll, and apply a waterproof coating thus transforming one's trash into nice looking necklaces, bracelets, and jewelry that is sold in the West. Not only does BeadForLife provide these poverty stricken mothers with skills but it also allows them to eke out a good income that allows them to make a down-payment on the purchase a home in a village built by BeadForLife and Habitat for Humanity. All in all, BeadForLife does a far better job in helping the poor mothers of Uganda than the massive amounts of aid that has been shipped to all these countries in the past. I just hope others follow suit.

Iraqi Reconciliation Starts At the Tribal and Local Level

Fire of Liberty

Nathan Ritzo, a U.S. Army reservist attached to the 478th Civilian Affairs Battalion in Iraq, has a good column in the New Hampshire Union Leader which notes that Iraq's security and political solutions will be solved more effectively at the local and tribal area. Here's hoping that Gen. Petraeus and his our soldiers continue to receive support for this effective counterinsurgency policy by the folks in D.C. We've come to far too snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Anothe Reason to Vote "No" on Hillary

Fire of Liberty

John Fund's most recent "One the Trail" column provides some great insight into how New York Governor Spitzer's current plan to issue driver's licenses to illegal aliens is an open door to voter fraud. Aside from the fact that all states are required by the "motor voter" law to allow all license applicants to register to vote, the state of New York is also removing various obstacles like a citizenship check-box from the registration form, removing of a stamp that says "temporary visitor" and presents a visa expiration date, as well as removing a ban that prevents people from receiving a license without a social security number. One can see why members of the New York General Assembly are suing the Governor for such an audacious law. What's even more interesting is what the column has to say about Senator Clinton's foray into the field of photo identification. Here's a look:

Despite her muddled comments this week, there's no doubt where Mrs. Clinton stands on ballot integrity. She opposes photo ID laws, even though they enjoy over 80% support in the polls. She has also introduced a bill to force every state to offer no-excuse absentee voting as well as Election Day registration -- easy avenues for election chicanery. The bill requires that every state restore voting rights to all criminals who have completed their prison terms, parole or probation.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen notes that Mrs. Clinton is such a polarizing figure that she attracts between 46% and 49% support no matter which Republican candidate she's pitted against -- even libertarian Ron Paul. She knows she may have trouble winning next year. Maybe that's why she's thrown herself in with those who will look the other way as a new electoral majority is formed -- even if that includes non-citizens, felons and those who suddenly cross a state line on Election Day and decide they want to vote someplace new.

After reading this piece by John Fund, I'm not surprised that Senator Clinton went into triangulation mode when Tim Russert tried to pin her down with a serious question about issuing licenses to illegal immigrants.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Charlie Rangel: Mother of All Tax Men

Fire of Liberty

Out of the many pieces that I've read on Congressman Charlie Rangel's "Mother of All Tax Reforms", I have to say that columnist Kevin Hassett knocks it out of the park in his most recent column when he notes that this bill is a blinking, bright red warning of what is ahead if Hillary Clinton assumes the White House in 2009. Here's a look at Hassett's informative column:

In terms of revenue, Rangel's reform would be the biggest tax increase in history. Compared to a baseline where President George W. Bush's tax cuts are extended and the dreaded alternative minimum tax isn't allowed to swallow millions of taxpayers whole, the bill raises taxes by a whopping $3.5 trillion over the next 10 years, according to the office of Representative Jim McCrery of Louisiana, the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee.

To put that in perspective, that's about $2 trillion more than the 10-year cost of the Bush tax cuts enacted back in 2001.

But the revenue grab isn't the scariest part. That honor belongs to the increase in marginal tax rates, which is almost unfathomable in its scale. Rangel's main objective is to repeal the alternative minimum tax, which was originally designed to capture taxes from wealthy individuals but over the years has taken in more and more middle-income families.

48% Tax Rate

To accomplish that, and still collect the AMT revenue, he would enact a surtax on the adjusted gross incomes of wealthy taxpayers. If your family's income is above $200,000, then your surtax is 4 percent. If it's above $500,000, it's 4.6 percent.

But the tax increase on the wealthy doesn't stop there. When the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010, the top marginal rate goes back to 39.6 percent. In addition, Rangel would restore the phase-out of itemized deductions and personal exemptions that was repealed in Bush's 2001 bill.

Adding it all up, and adjusting for the tax rate on Medicare, the Rangel bill would raise the federal marginal tax rate on incomes above $500,000 to close to 48 percent.

To put that tax rate in perspective, after adjusting for state and local income taxes, it would be about 13 percentage points higher than the average of U.S. trading partners in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. And it would give the U.S. the fourth-highest combined top marginal tax rate in the OECD, behind only Denmark, Sweden and France.

I for one know that this nation will become a sclerotic entity like the German, Spanish, Italians and others if we continue to soak the "rich" by placing greater and greater taxes on them. If folks like Rep. Rangel think that the AMT is bad and the economy is bad, then he should see how many small businesses shutter their windows, folks lose their jobs, and others venture out of America to more tax friendly environments once this massive tax is imposed. When nations like France start saying that their taxes are too high and push for lower taxes, one scratches their head at why Congressmen Rangel and others would propose such crippling taxes.

Death Via The Internet?

Fire of Liberty

Max Boot has a good post over at Commentary's blog contentions that notes that a large amount of our infrastructure, financial institutions, and the military within the US and our many allies are becoming very vulnerable to cyber-attacks from our many enemies. With Al Qaeda and the People's Liberation Army of China familiarity to the Internet and their love for asymmetrical warfare, one shouldn't be surprised that such nefarious forces would use our technological dependency against this nation thus taking us into the nineteenth century with the use of a modem and a few keystrokes. I for one hope the US military and the civilian sector are doing their darnedest to harden our systems from such attacks and if not the should get on the ball pretty soon before it's too late.

Say No to LOST

Fire of Liberty

Here's a good piece by John Fonte over at National Review Online on why members of the Senate should reject the horrid Law of the Sea Treaty.

Mukasey's Battle Royale

Fire of Liberty

I have to say that the New York Sun has a good editorial on how the Democrats are holding Judge Mukasey hostage in his confirmation process for Attorney General because he refuses to comment on the legality of "water-boarding" because he hasn't been fully briefed on the whole aspects of the policy. I know politics is the name of the game for the Democrat controlled Judiciary Committee(The same guys who sunk Judge Bork 20 years ago) with regards to this case but I just shake my head that they would reject an individual that is an experienced jurist who places greater emphasis on a thorough examination of laws and policies with regards to foreign policy rather than impromptu answer. This approach just runs circles around the B-team behavior of Alberto Gonzalez.(I'm more a Ashcroft or Ed Meese man when it comes to Attorney General). I just hope the Judiciary Committee would get beyond their petty problems and let Judge Mukasey have an up or down vote so we can have an experienced fellow at the helm of the Justice Department at such a dangerous time.