This day we should all offer thanks to and for President George W. Bush and the policies and procedures put in place since 9/11 which have prevented this nation from suffering a major terrorist attack on our soil over the last 7 years. For all the snide comments about terror alert color codes, claims that information about threats has been leaked for political purposes, and abuse heaped upon Bush and his subordinates over Gitmo, interrogation techniques, and other issues related to the War on Terror, we have seen nothing like Mumbai or Bali, Madrid or London. We Americans do not find ourselves living like the Israelis live, on a constant state of heightened alert with acts of terrorism committed daily in our midst. And while some -- perhaps many -- might not like to admit it, this has been in large part due to the policies and practices put in place by this administration.
I don't care if you never voted for George W. Bush, nor do I care if you voted for Obama rather than McCain three weeks ago -- have the integrity to acknowledge the judgment that history will ultimately make about the forty-third president of the United States, namely that he kept this nation safe from its enemies at the cost of his own popularity and reputation by making hard and unpopular decisions. That, my friends, is statesmanship.
I don't know that I will ever look at Thanksgiving quite the same way again, given the events of Thanksgiving morning, 2006. As dire as the beginning of that post sounds, the reality was worse -- I didn't disclose at the time that the emergency room doctor told me that a delay of an hour getting her to the emergency room would have likely resulted in her death. As a result, I will always have something to be thankful for at Thanksgiving.
And if I were inclined to forget, this local story with national implications would have brought everything back to me -- because Mrs. Bush appears to have had the same problem, though not as severe, that my Paula did two years ago.
And so may I offer thanks this day that I still have my Paula by my side this day -- and that the Bush family matriarch is on the road to recovery from a serious illness. And as I did two years ago, I would like to offer thanks for the dedicated medical professionals who will be on the job caring for the sick this day,
It is Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. I'll be honest, it has been a difficult year, one that is hard to look back upon without feeling downright depressed. But through the haze of unpleasantness, I find some things to be thankful for.
1) In March we lost my wife's dear mother, at the age of 82. And yet I find something for which I can be thankful -- two weeks before her death we were able to have a last visit with her, during which we celebrated her birthday. It had been several years since my wife's health had permitted such a trip, but everything aligned in such a way that she was able to have that final time with her mother -- and I find that to be something for which I am thankful.
2) In July, my darling wife became very ill, and was hospitalized. In the next five days she had two emergency surgeries related to a systemic infection that was attacking multiple areas of her body. For all we hear about our nation having a "broken health care system," I saw no evidence of the sorts of dysfunctions some folks describe. And most importantly, my wife made a complete recovery from the illness and surgery with no significant complications. For those things I am thankful.
3) On September 11, 2008 we received word that our home was in a mandatory evacuation zone due to the predicted arrival of Hurricane Ike. Predictions included an 18-20 foot storm surge in our town when the storm made landfall 30-50 miles to the south, which would have meant that the water level would have been over the top of the roof of our house. In the final hours before making landfall, Ike turned to the north, bringing the eye in directly over our town and limiting the storm surge to 12 to 13 feet. The result was that our house took "only 2 1/2 feet of water. While we have been out of our house for 2 1/2 months, and expect to be out for another 2 months, we are thankful that our home can be repaired, that insurance money will be sufficient to complete the job, and that (despite the lost possessions) our house will be sufficiently like what we left that morning to still qualify as "home". Construction begins Monday -- another thing for which we are thankful.
And so my friends, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving -- and urge you to find something to be thankful for, even in the midst of whatever dark moments you may have faced over the last 12 months.
UPDATE: One more thing for which to be thankful -- a sign that the area in which I live is recovering. One of the most beloved restaurants in Kemah, T-Bone Tom's, reopened yesterday and will be open today. Those of us who live in the area know that it, not the chain restaurants on the Kemah Boardwalk, is a major part of the heart and soul of the area. Word is that the Hoagie Ranch will be back in operation soon as well, meaning that my other favorite local culinary experience will be back, too.
Could be – if the lame duck incumbent or the president-elect decides that protecting shipping from piracy on the high seas is important.
US Marines have been singing about their exploits on the "shores of Tripoli" ever since President Thomas Jefferson sent them to scour out the world's most dangerous pirates, the Barbary corsairs, from their bases in North Africa in 1801. Now President Barack Obama may have to give the Corps the chance to add a new line - by sending Marines to destroy the newest generation of pirates, this time on the other side of Africa.
* * *
Stopping the pirates at sea is almost impossible. The time that lapses from when the crew of an innocent ship spots the approach of a high-speed pirate boat until it is boarded is less than 15 minutes - not enough time to get a US frigate to come to the rescue.
Even when a warship manages to catch up with a captured vessel, its options are limited: It can't sink the target without endangering the crew and cargo. And boarding ships under hostile fire is a vanished art in modern navies - as is handling hostage situations
The solution? Send in the Marines!
Here's a past piracy related post.
On October 31, 2008, an Egyptian female lawyer by the name of Nagla Al-Imam suggested on the Arab TV channel “Al-Arabiya” that Arab men should sexually harass Israeli women, stating: “Leave the land so we won’t rape you.” She then argued that Israeli young girls and women are fair game for all Arab men and that there is nothing wrong in using this kind of threat as a form of resistance.
Does Ms. Al-Imam know the consequences of her message to sexually repressed young Muslim men? Does she have any human feelings towards the suffering of a woman being raped, even if she is an enemy? Isn’t she worried about the impact of this ‘license to rape’ on the character of young Muslim men and its impact on society as a whole?
Doesn’t her suggestion confirm the existence of Muslim Sharia laws that allow the sexual slavery of captive women in time of war? Doesn’t she know that such statements and action by Muslim men will increase the worldwide fear of Islam?
I’ll take it a step further – doesn’t she know that she is urging an action that constitutes a crime against humanity, perhaps even genocide, under international law? After all, such actions were prosecuted in international courts of law when they were directed against Bosnian Muslim women by Serb combatants after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Decent folks of all faiths applauded such actions against the despicable perpetrators of violence against women.
So let me pose some questions to Nagla Al-Imam:
I believe, however, that we can all surmise the answer to all of these questions – Al-Imam would be horrified that the rapists of Muslim women would be freed, that the IDF would rape Muslim women, and that she would face charges for her words. But given the anti-Semitism rampant in Islam, this is just par for the course.
Now I have no use for the British Nationalist Party – indeed, I agree with the assessment of Sting and The Police regarding its so many of its members.
Billy's joined the National Front He always was (just) a little runt He's got his hand in the air with the other cunts You've got to humanise yourself.
That said, I’m always disturbed when those engaged in legal political activity are fired or blacklisted for that activity, whether by the Left or the Right. That’s why I find this news report from the UK to be somewhat troubling -- and in keeping with the stated goals of too many on the Left in this country.
TalkSport radio said this morning that it will "no longer use" chat show presenter Rod Lucas, who covered late night shifts for the station earlier this year, after he was listed among more than 12,000 BNP supporters on an internet blog posted on Sunday night.
His name and contact details were included alongside his profession: 'media: radio/TV production'.
* * *
Lucas, a Sony Award winner who once worked for Radio One, had eulogised on his website how much he had enjoyed working for his "favourite" radio station, but this morning TalkSport bosses were swift to distance themselves from him.
A spokesman said: 'We won't be using him again. We had no knowledge of his association with the British National Party.'
Now why would I shed any tears over this sort of action against members of a party that verges on fascist in its outlook? How about because you would never see similar actions taken against folks who were members of far-Left groups. Indeed, doing the same to Communists and Socialists would be seen as the creation of a blacklist and would be deplored internationally by the liberal intelegentsia.
And lest you think this couldn’t happen here, consider the blacklist being developed by members of the gay Gestapo following the passage of California’s Proposition 8 earlier this month.
So keep in mind the old piece by Martin Niemöller:
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
And so in the case of Rod Lucas, as well as of those targetted for their support of a ballot initiative approved by a majority of Californians, those of us who love liberty (of every political point of view)need to speak out – not to mention talk radio hosts targetted for censorship under some resurrection of the so-called Fairness Doctrine – because we are potentially next on the list.
You know, I used to think that Ronnie Earle was the most out of control prosecutor in the history of the state of Texas. Clearly, that title actually belongs to Juan Angel Guerra, who has created a bizarre new legal theory to get an indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney in a rather unusual case.
Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have been indicted on state charges involving federal prisons in a South Texas county that has been a source of bizarre legal and political battles under the outgoing prosecutor. The indictment returned Monday has not yet been signed by the presiding judge, and no action can be taken until that happens.
And I’d argue that no reputable judge should sign the thing – which is proof that a DA can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich if he so desires. After all, consider what Cheney’s involvement in the case actually is – as well as the fact that many of those indicted are actually connected to recently resolved legal charges against Guerra himself, leading one to believe this case is more about settling political scores than doing actual justice.
Cheney is charged with engaging in an organized criminal activity related to the vice president's investment in the Vanguard Group, which holds financial interests in the private prison companies running the federal detention centers. It accuses Cheney of a conflict of interest and "at least misdemeanor assaults" on detainees because of his link to the prison companies.
Got that – Cheney’s connection to the alleged assaults is based upon his investment portfolio, not anything he actually did. Are you sure that every company you own stock in as a part of your 401(k) plan is squeaky clean? If it isn’t, Guerra’s theory would allow you to be charged personally for criminal conspiracy as well as any alleged criminal activity. That is a standard that stretches the boundaries of criminal culpability to the breaking point.
The rest of the charges seem equally as bogus – and in any event the charges seem to be outside the jurisdiction of Guerra’s office, since these sort of public corruption charges ordinarily belong to the Travis County DA’s office in Austin, where not even the hand-picked liberal successor of the loony Ronnie Earle would consider bringing charges. Besides, the charges in question relate to activities at a federal facility, raising the question of whether or not a state prosecutor, grand jury, or court has jurisdiction.
Hopefully these charges will be quickly dismissed – and Guerra will be quickly disbarred and/or quickly committed to a psychiatric facility.
Here are the most recent Watcher's Council results.
Congratulations to the winners!
I long ago affirmed that I believe Barack Obama is a natural born citizen of the United States, born in Hawaii in 1961. Simply put, I find it implausible that there would be a conspiracy, dating back nearly five decades, to cover up the details surrounding the birth of a mixed-race child of obscure parentage – or that such a conspiracy could be maintained in the face of his growing celebrity and political success. The question of Barack Obama’s place of birth, however, remains alive in some segments of the body politic. Witness this challenge to the man’s election.
A former opponent of Barack Obama's has come back to haunt him over questions regarding Obama's citizenship.
According to a press release from the American Independent Party, former presidential candidate Alan Keyes and other members of the party have filed suit in California Superior Court in Sacramento to stop the state from giving its electoral votes to President-elect Barack Obama until documentary evidence is provided to prove Obama is indeed a natural born citizen of the United States.
Really, there is only one way to kill off this silly conspiracy theory. It is, obviously, the release of a certified copy of the original certificate of live birth issued/filed in 1961 when Obama was born. We have the word of the Republican governor of Hawaii that the document exists and does prove that Obama was born in the United States – why not allow the American public to see it? After all, there really can be no argument that there is an expectation of privacy on his part – consider the amount of information about him in the public domain, including material released to the media and general public by his campaigns. The release of the birth certificate would serve to eliminate any and all doubt about his birthplace and citizenship – and would clearly affirm his eligibility for the high office to which he has been elected.
So why does Barack Obama, arguably the most public figure in the world, insist upon keeping this scrap of paper under lock and key? Is there something in the record that would prove to be embarrassing to his long-dead parents? Or is it indicative of a fundamental contempt for the American people’s right to be assured that their president does meet the constitutional requirements for the office to which he was elected? Or maybe he just wants to let this conspiracy theory alive in order to distract from something else.
But if he really has the good of the country at heart, Barack Obama ought to authorize and expedite the immediate release of the original document due to the historic nature of the event it documents.
For the fawning of the media regarding Barack Obama, his wife, his daughters, and all things Obama.
But I understand it – especially if one considers that the media has been in the tank for Obama all along.
However, I think that Salon has reached a new low.
After all, do we really need a piece about the new First Lady’s ass?
Closing question – when will we hear feminists complain about the objectification of an accomplished professional woman (and she is) by the mainstream media?
Washington Post reports that Justice John Paul Stevens is giving no indications of an impending retirement. However, I’m intrigued by this little tidbit.
The three most often mentioned [as potential retiring justices] -- Stevens, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75, and Justice David H. Souter, 69 -- are part of the four-member bloc that most consistently votes liberal. Logic would have it that they would want their replacements to be like-minded.
But Ginsburg has made clear lately that she should not be thought of as having one foot out the door, and Souter rarely gives interviews or speeches that would reveal his intentions. They and Stevens have hired clerks for the term that starts in October.
Now that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a vacancy – but hiring clerks this far in advance would be brutally unfair to some brilliant young men and women if their retirement is in the offering. After all, the new justice (or justices) would have no obligation to keep the retired justice’s clerks – and would very likely bring one or more of their current clerks if they are sitting federal judges, or student protégés if they are not. So short of a death or a sudden health crisis, I would bet that the 2009-2010 Supreme Court term will begin with the same lineup of justices we saw when the 2008-2009 term began last month.
And I’ll be honest – I don’t necessarily disagree with the criticism Matthews puts forward of the possible selection of the former First Lady, former presidential candidate and sitting US Senator as Secretary of State.
During the ride to DC, Matthews awoke from his nap. A fellow passenger asked him, "What's the news tomorrow?" - to which Matthews loudly started talking about President-elect Barack Obama possibly picking Hillary as his secretary of state.
"I don't understand it," Matthews bellowed. "Why would he pick her? I thought we were done with the Clintons. She'll just use it to build her power base. It's Machiavellian. And then we'll have Bill Clinton, too. I thought Obama didn't want drama. He's already got [chief of staff Rahm] Emanuel and [transition team leader John] Podesta. He'll have even more drama with her.
"She's just a soap opera. If he doesn't pick her, everyone will say she's been dissed again, we'll have to live through that again."
For more reasons to oppose Hillary as Secretary of State, check out this list from Harper’s:
Hillary Clinton will have her own agenda (as will her husband). She’s not a team player and will bring in a crew of cronies whose chief aim will be to promote the boss, not the administration. Obama may wake up one day and discover that Hillary has decreed a new “Clinton Doctrine” of foreign policy.
It would be impossible, politically, to fire Hillary. No matter what she says or does, or how insubordinate, Obama will be stuck with her as long as she wants to stay.
Her husband is a walking conflict of interest. Bill helps a Canadian businessman land a uranium contract in Kazakhstan, and soon afterwards the businessman contributes to the Clinton Foundation. Bill’s personal and business dealings are embarrassing enough without Hillary heading the State Department.
The Clinton style of management–for example, pitting one faction of staff against another–would be a disaster at the State Department. Just look at how well it worked on the campaign trail.
And the strongest strike of all against Hillary as secretary of state… look at who endorses her.
I am curious, though – how will Matthews’ impromptu dig at Hillary Clinton impact his potential Senate bid in 2010? Will it lead to Clintonista’s seeking revenge? Will Obamatrons rallying to him – or to their opposing Matthews due to his public questioning of The One’s wisdom?
Ayers called Republicans' portrayal of him, particularly by Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a "profoundly dishonest narrative" and called the "creation of me as a fearsome person" as entirely false.
"Somehow I've been violent," he said. "Somehow I've killed people. All of it false."
Ayers has previously admitted he participated in the 1970 bombings of New York Police Department headquarters, of the Capitol in 1971 and the Pentagon in 1972. Ayers, as part of a group called the Weathermen, claimed responsibility for 12 bombings.
And the historical record is pretty clear on that matter. The Weather Underground was a violent organization, one which engaged in acts of terrorism, and one which killed and injured innocent people to further its goals. Whatever tenuous statements of regret he may have put forward in recent years, it is impossible to conclude anything other than that William Ayers is a terrorist and a liar, whatever other contributions he may have made over the last three decades.
We’ve heard eight years of “Bush is a fascist” and “Chimpy McHitler” comments coming from left-wingers. Heck, the same charges were directed against Bush 41 and Ronald Reagan – all without much evidence to support them.
So why the outrage from the ultra-leftists at Mother Jones over the scheduling of a conservative author on a conservative radio show where he intends to draw parallels between Obama and Hitler?
[Radio talker Michael] Savage is not breaking new ground by scheduling [author Hilmar] von Campe as a guest. But it's a signal the say-anything right is not dumping the Obama-as-Hitler argument. Von Campe, according to his publisher, will contend that the recent election is somehow comparable to Hitler's power grab. Will this stuff play even to the GOP base? (Forget about convincing independents with such rhetoric.) This sort of talk, if it becomes widespread in the months and years ahead, is more likely to separate the brimming-with-resentment conservatives from more responsible Republicans--which certainly won't make the GOP's repair job any easier. But politics aside, the continued use of this hysterical rhetoric raises this question: do these agitators who liken the historic 2008 election to Hitler's putsch hate America?
Oddly enough, Mother Jones magazine and its writers never got around to expressing this sort of concern over the rhetoric of the Left over the last eight years. Now, when someone who actually lived through the Nazi era in Germany talks about what he sees as parallels, they call such comparisons “hysterical rhetoric” and declare that the speakers “hate America”. That’s rich – after eight years of rhetoric that at times violently attacked America’s elected leaders, they now question the patriotism of those who would raise the same sorts of questions about Barack Obama!
I guess that the folks at Mother Jones now believe that dissent is no longer the highest form of patriotism – slavish worship of Obama is. Draw your own conclusions about the level of hypocrisy such a change constitutes, as well as any historical parallels to the cults of personality surrounding national and international socialist dictators of the twentieth century.
UPDATE: RightWingNews takes note of this phenomenon.
UPDATE 2: Looks like Joy Behar is now questioning the patriotism of those of us who would dare to put Barack Obama down. Gee, is she wanting to establish an affirmative action standard for our first black president? Or has she broken out Mo Dowd's presidential kneepads?
If a GOP president-elect selected one of Sirhan Sirhan’s lawyers for an important role on his White House? I think we all know that there would have been a serious shit-storm over such a choice.
So why is President-elect Hopey McChangerson not facing significant criticism for his choice of Gregory Craig to be his White House Counsel? Indeed, why has that aspect of his career, among others, been ignored by the press.
Gregory B. Craig, a well-known Washington lawyer who quarterbacked President Bill Clinton’s impeachment defense, has been chosen White House counsel by President-elect Barack Obama, according to Democratic officials.
Interestingly enough, the story that follows doesn’t note some of his less-proud professional activities (and it is hard to get less proud than successfully defending an admitted perjurer from perjury charges):
- Elian Gonzalez’s father - Craig represented the father who demanded the return of his son after his estranged wife died trying to take Elian to freedom. Most people saw this as a thinly-veiled publicity stunt from Fidel Castro, attempting to embarrass the US. The dispute got resolved when Janet Reno ordered an armed assault on the house where Elian’s family in the US provided him a home.
- John Hinckley, Jr - Craig presented and won the insanity defense that allows Ronald Reagan’s would-be assassin to spend weekends with his family now.
- Kofi Annan - The former Secretary-General of the UN hired Craig to defend his interests in the Volcker Commission probe of the Oil-for-Food scandal, which put billions of dollars into Saddam Hussein’s pockets while providing cash for Annan’s son, his deputies, and some allege Annan himself.
- Pedro Gonzalez Pinzon - A Panamanian legislator wanted for murdering an American soldier in 1992. The Dallas Morning News demanded that Obama force Craig to drop the case during the campaign, but no report of whether he did is easily available.
So not only does Obama have a history of associating with terrorists and racial extremists, he is now giving positions to those who work to send children back to Communist tyranny, free presidential assassins, protect corrupt international bureaucrats who helped fund dictators and keep from justice the murderer of an American soldier. But then again, perhaps those earlier associations should have told us what sort of ethical standards we would see in Bamalot.
It is the notion that someone might be allowed to peacefully engage in protected political and religious speech that contradicts the gay rights agenda without massive retaliation.
We’ve seen that paradigm play out again and again over the last couple of weeks, as churches have been targeted, old ladies have been assaulted, and businesses threatened over the Prop 8 victory in California that overturned a rogue decision by the California Supreme court and reestablished nothing more than a status quo ante which included granting gay couples every single element of marriage without the name. But that is not good enough for the radical homosexualists, who now dare to brag that they are driving from the streets their fellow citizens whose views are with the majority of Californians (and, according to electoral outcome in 30 states, a majority of all Americans).
At first, they just shouted at us, using crude, rude, and foul language and calling us names like "haters" and "bigots". Since it was a long night, I can't even begin to remember all of the things that were shouted and/or chanted at us. Then, they started throwing hot coffee, soda and alcohol on us and spitting (and maybe even peeing) on us. Then, a group of guys surrounded us with whistles, and blasted them inches away from our ears continually. Then, they started getting violent and started shoving us.
At one point a man tried to steal one of our Bibles. Chrisdene noticed, so she walked up to him and said "Hey, that's not yours, can you please give it back?". He responded by hitting her on the head with the Bible, shoving her to the ground, and kicking her. I called the cops, and when they got there, they pulled her out of the circle and asked her if she wanted to press charges. She said "No, tell him I forgive him." Afterwards, she didn't rejoin us in the circle, but she made friends with one of the people in the crowd, and really connected heart to heart.
Roger got death threats. As the leader of our group, people looked him in the eyes and said "I am going to kill you.", and they were serious. A cop heard one of them, and confronted him. (This part is kinda graphic, so you should skip the paragraph if you don't want to be offended.) It wasn't long before the violence turned to perversion. They were touching and grabbing me, and trying to shove things in my butt, and even trying to take off my pants - basically trying to molest me. I used one hand to hold my pants up, while I used the other arm to hold one of the girls. The guys huddled around all the girls, and protected them.
* * *
Eventually, as the crowd was getting more and more uncontrollable, the cops were afraid for our lives, so they escorted us to our van. (The cops were very nice to us from start to finish.) Our van was parked pretty far because it was hard to find parking that day. As the cops escorted us, the mob followed us, until the cops formed a line, and held off the people so we could drive away. We took the long way home, just in case anyone tried to follow us.
Note the pride at the end of the entry that violence and threats of violence were directed against individuals because of their religion – a recurrent theme on the hateful blog from which the excerpt above was taken.
Some responsible gay leaders have taken issue with the radical homosexualists, condemning the violence and extremist rhetoric. Even such irresponsible voices as homosexualist writer Andrew Sullivan (who is still flogging his ludicrous “Trig isn’t Sarah Palin’s baby” meme) are now recognizing that the Gay Gestapo are doing the cause of gay rights no good and much harm. Could it be a sign that the brush fires of homo-terrorism and homo-fascism we have seen over the last two weeks will soon burn itself out?
And jumping the bail that they won’t jump.
Does this make you feel secure in your bed?
The bailiff called the murder suspect's name for the second time, scanning the courtroom. "Juan Sanchez?"
It was June 30, the day Sanchez's trial was scheduled to start in Harris County District Court in the killing of Gregorio Diaz, a 25-year-old paramedic and U.S. Navy veteran.
Even though Sanchez told Harris County jailers he was in the country illegally when he was booked on the murder charge in July 2007, he was released on $35,000 bail, according to Harris County Sheriff's Office records.
Now, he was nowhere to be found.
Judge Joan Campbell called Sanchez's defense attorney and the prosecutor to the bench. "I am revoking bond on Juan Sanchez," she said. "Now."
Under her breath, the judge said, "So much for that murder case."
A Houston Chronicle investigation found dozens of cases in Harris County involving suspected illegal immigrants who posted bail and absconded on criminal charges, including murder, aggravated sexual assault of a child and drug trafficking.
The Chronicle examined arrest and immigration records for 3,500 inmates who told jailers that they were in the country illegally during a span of eight months starting in June 2007, the earliest immigration records available.
The review found at least 178 cases involving suspects who absconded, meaning they had their bails revoked for missing court dates or allegedly committing more crimes. Of those, 30 cases involved felony charges and two-thirds had initial bails set below $35,000 — the minimum recommended in the county's bail schedule for illegal immigrants accused of felonies.
In other words, we are talking about 5% rate of illegal alien criminals going on to commit more crimes or jump bail. That is not good. And to see that 2/3 were given such low bail is distressing to me – and makes me wonder about how safe we were kept by all those GOP judges who were just voted out (not that the newly elected Democrats will be better, given their party’s “soft on illegal immigration” ideology).
In the end, it is very simple – why are we giving bail at all to illegal immigrants? When will we get serious about the issue and round them up, ship them back, and keep them out?
We are now two weeks after the election, but remain two months from the inauguration of our new president-elect. And as it usually does when we see a change of administrations, the wait seems unacceptably long. Ought it change?
No lame-duck president can do anything meaningful after the successor is elected. The time is spent figuring out things like how many presidential pardons to issue, many to convicted political pals. Bill Clinton issued more than 200 pardons from the November 2000 election until his departure on Jan. 20, 2001.
Most presidents-elect know what they want to do about major issues or whom to appoint to major offices by the time they are elected or soon thereafter.
That's why we should move the president's inauguration up to the first Tuesday in December, one month after the election. The new Congress should have its schedule moved from early January to early December. That would allow a few weeks before the holidays to get urgent business done.
Now I think that Neuharth has a point – this length of time seems incredibly long. But this ignores, of course, some of the problems we have seen in just the last couple of elections. For example, the 2000 election ran on for several weeks due to litigation – and as of today, the state of Missouri still has not determined the winner of its electoral votes. And if one looks at the state of Minnesota, where a recount is likely to continue into mid-December in its Senatorial race, one can see where a more extended interregnum might be desirable.
Could you imagine the difficulties caused if we had only four weeks until Inauguration Day but a six week delay in counting and certifying the vote due to a close election? This would make the Bush v. Gore legal issues look like mere speed bumps. In the absence of an electoral vote majority for either candidate, would the race be thrown to the House of Representatives to decide? Would the Speaker of the House become President , either temporarily or permanently? Or would the inauguration be delayed, pending the outcome of the disputed state or states? And regardless, would the shortened period have the effect of hamstringing the new president due to the lack of preparation time he or she would have to prepare after the winner was determined? All of these questions need to be answered before shortening the interregnum, as extended as it may be.
Indeed, even under the best of situations this time is important for a new president. Neuharth himself offers these alternate voices:
"I've been involved in every transition since 1960, and I can attest that Barack Obama will need every one of the 77 days the Constitution gives him to be ready to move into the Oval Office on Jan. 20."
Stephen Hess, author of What Do We Do Now? A Workbook for the President-elect
"If we had a parliamentary system, this proposal would work. Because we don't, it won't. Ten weeks is barely enough to do the minimum needed to get started."
William A. Galston, senior fellow, Brookings Institution, and former adviser to President Clinton
In other words, those who have been actively involved in the process recognize that the current time between election and inauguration is important for facilitating the transition. So unless we seek much more serious alterations to our system (such as Galston’s parliamentary musings), we are left with keeping an extended transition rather than one that is rushed and hurried.
Every year, Soldier's Angel sponsors Project Valour-IT to raise money on behalf of our wounded troops. I participate annually, joining Team Navy in honor of my father's 27 years of service as an officer in the US Navy. There are so many reasons to support this worthy cause, and following our recent election there are so many more. Let our troops know that we, the people still support them.
The need is great -- please contribute.
Pennsylvania was at the epicenter of the fight for the presidency in 2008 and, just one week after the Barack Obama's victory, the Keystone State is once again caught up in the political buzz with a new poll that tests "Hardball" host Chris Matthews' chances against Sen. Arlen Specter (R).
The poll -- conducted by Public Policy Polling -- showed Specter leading Matthews 40 percent to 27 percent in a hypothetical 2010 general election matchup. One-third of the sample said they didn't know which candidate they would vote for and the PPP pollsters clearly did little to push them off of their indecision.
Now hold on here!
Aren’t Matthews and his tingly leg supposedly a team of objective journalists? What is he doing considering a partisan run for office? Was his reporting and commentary this year colored by his need to protect his own political fortunes in advance of a potential Senate run?
And folks wonder why we charge the media (and Matthews in paerticular) with pro-Democrat bias.
After all, he has opposed vouchers as a repudiation of public schools and vowed not to “walk away from them.” Well, now he has a chance to prove that commitment – by following the example of Jimmy Carter by enrolling his two children in public schools in the District of Columbia.
After all, Obama did specifically criticize John McCain for trying to expand a voucher program to allow more children to leave the city’s schools.
[Time] magazine asked: “Should parents be given vouchers to enable them to send their children to any school?” Obama answered: “No: I believe that public education in America should foster innovation and provide students with varied, high-quality learning opportunities.”
Those are his words just a couple of weeks ago – words that indicate his unwillingness to help the children of the District of Columbia escape chronically failing schools. How can he and Michelle Obama then turn around and “walk away from them” by enrolling their daughters in an elite private school? Doesn’t common decency require that he give the people of the District hope for change by enrolling his own daughters in the District’s public schools – thereby making the sort of sacrifice that his policies impose upon the poor and middle class families whose children populate those schools?
And if he is unwilling to do that much, why shouldn’t he support vouchers giving the families of the children in these failing schools the roughly $15,000 in taxpayer funds that are currently squandered on schools that see only 1/8 of the students performing at grade level? While that won’t allow these children to attend the same schools that the Obamas are considering for their children (which charge nearly twice that in tuition), it would let the rest of the district’s children enroll in most of the other private schools in the area.
And why not? Shouldn’t the children of Washington, DC have the same sort of options that the president’s children have? And if they don’t, doesn’t the choice to put the girls in private schools while leaving the rest of the District’s kids trapped in substandard schools speak volumes about what Barack Obama really stands for?
For this program to be sponsored and moderated by the government of Saudi Arabia is so ludicrously offensive as to approch being obscene.
Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich Islamic kingdom that forbids the public practice of other religious faiths, will preside Wednesday over a two-day U.N. conference on religious tolerance that will draw more than a dozen world leaders, including President Bush, Israeli President Shimon Peres and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The event is part of a personal initiative by Saudi King Abdullah to promote an interfaith dialogue among the world's major religions.
I’m sorry, but for the head of a nation with an established religion that not only forbids religious freedom but also prescribes (and imposes) death as a penalty for conversion to host such an event is offensive. There really isn’t anything to talk about with Islam until the adherents of that faith are prepared to come out of the sixth century and allow all believers the rights that they demand for themselves. I’m ashamed of President Bush for having participated in this farce.
A roomful of academics erupted in angry boos Tuesday morning after political analyst Michael Barone said journalists trashed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republicans' vice presidential nominee, because "she did not abort her Down syndrome baby."
* * *
Barone was speaking at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, to the 121st annual meeting of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, which calls itself the nation’s oldest higher-education association.
“The liberal media attacked Sarah Palin because she did not abort her Down syndrome baby," Barone said, according to accounts by attendees. "They wanted her to kill that child. ... I'm talking about my media colleagues with whom I've worked for 35 years.”
Barone, a popular speaker on the paid lecture circuit, is a senior writer for U.S. News & World Report and principal coauthor of “The Almanac of American Politics."
Now Barone has come back and claimed that his statement was a joke -- but I don't see where one could find anything even remotely funny in what said. Indeed, his words seem to confirm what we saw in the days following the Alaska governor's selection as John McCain's vice presidential running mate. After all, there were repeated sexist attacks against Palin questioning her fitness as a mother for accepting McCain's invitation, including questions about her decision to have her special needs child (when they weren't questioning if she is actually the baby's mother) and whether Trig was being used as a prop. Such coverage is very consistent with Barone's claim -- so discerning folks must conclude that Barone was revealing an inconvenient truth about the lack of objectivity in our "objective media", not making a joke that fell flat.
I know there is a term for what is being tried here by the folks who opposed Prop 8 -- let's see if we can come up with it.
Gay and lesbian artists called Monday for an artistic and audience boycott of California Musical Theatre after learning that its artistic director donated $1,000 to a campaign that backed banning gay marriage in California.
Scott Eckern was not available for comment Monday as the revelation has gained stunning momentum on the blogosphere. The California Musical Theatre produces the Music Circus, presents Broadway Sacramento, and recently opened "Forever Plaid" at the capital's newest performing venue, the Cosmopolitan Cabaret.
Richard Lewis, the organization's executive producer, said the board of directors will conduct an emergency meeting on the matter this afternoon. He said it was too early to tell how this would affect Eckern's 25-year employment with California Musical Theatre.
Let's see -- setting up a boycott of individuals because of their legal political activity, with a goal of making them unemployable. Don't liberals call such tactics "McCarthyism" when it is used against those on the Left? Aren't the victims of such blacklisting treated as heroes when they are Communists, socialists, and other sorts of liberals? Indeed, wouldn't these same forces of "tolerance" be up in arms if it were the pro-Prop 8 forces boycotting and seeking the firing of opponents of traditional marriage? I guess they only object to hypocrisy in their opponents -- hypocrisy in the name of pro-gay tolerance is OK in their book.
Now I am not one of those who goes around arguing that Barack Obama is the anti-Christ. For one, that argument doesn’t really fit with my eschatology. But beyond that, I don’t find it to be spiritually fruitful to sit around trying to identify candidates for “The Beast” or “The False Prophet” from Revelation.
But if I see many more articles like this one, I might have to reconsider that view.
Some princes are born in palaces. Some are born in mangers. But a few are born in the imagination, out of scraps of history and hope. Barack Obama never talks about how people see him: I'm not the one making history, he said every chance he got. You are. Yet as he looked out Tuesday night through the bulletproof glass, in a park named for a Civil War general, he had to see the truth on people's faces. We are the ones we've been waiting for, he liked to say, but people were waiting for him, waiting for someone to finish what a King began.
Oh good grief. It is more of the Obamolatry that we have seen throughout the campaign, now metastasized into worshipful prose.
Keep trying to deify the man, and you’ll simply encourage religious believers to flip to the final book of the Bible. And that will be too bad, because this machine politician from one of the most politically corrupt places in America might be able to rise to the challenge of being an above average President if you don’t load him down with expectations he can’t meet and speculations he doesn’t deserve.
Two leading contenders are out there, looking to be the next chairman of the GOP. One, Newt Gingrich, was the brains of the 1994 GOP takeover of congress. The other, Michael Steele, is one of the “young Turks” of the party, a member of a new generation of leaders who many see as the future of the GOP.
A behind-the-scenes battle to take the reins of the Republican National Committee is taking off between former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele.
Neither man will acknowledge his interest in the post, but Republicans close to each are burning up the phone lines and firing off e-mails to fellow party members in an effort to oust RNC Chairman Mike Duncan in the wake of the second consecutive drubbing of Republican candidates at the polls.
A bevy of backers for each man, neither of whom is an RNC member, say the committee needs a leader who can formulate a counter-agenda to President-elect Barack Obama's administration and articulate it on the national stage.
Personally, I back Steele for the post. Not because of his race, though I won’t deny that it is a plus in the age of Obama when the GOP desperately needs to reach out to minorities. Rather, we are a party that does need to look forward rather than backwards – and while the GOP owes Gingrich a debt of gratitude and would gain much by tapping into his intellect, selecting Steele would be a move into a new era rather than an attempt to return to an earler one.
Oh, and whatever happens, we need to reject this choice. As I stated repeatedly during the primaries, Huckabee is not a direction that I want to see the party take.
H/T Hot Air
UPDATE: Looks like Newt will endorse Steele and work with him in charting a course for the GOP -- precisely what I suggested above.
I’ve long been on record condemning Fred Phelps and his malignant klan for their disgusting activities. Their protests of funerals of homosexuals and servicemembers are a disgrace, though I am thankful that our nation’s laws and constitution protect the right of the folks from Westboro Baptist Church to spew their warped religious faith.
That said, there have been three assaults on the religious beliefs of some Americans by homosexual activists over the last week or so that are equally deserving of condemnation.
Let’s consider the first – the assaults endured by the Mormon faith in the wake of the Proposition 8 victory. Not content to accept the voice of the people on the issue, gay rights groups have targeted the LDS Church for attack and special punishment – with one writer for Huffington Post going so far as to demand that the Mormons be stripped of their recognition as a religious group despite the fact that they have remained fully within the (arguably unconstitutional) restrictions imposed upon political activities by religious organizations. Indeed, one prominent celebrity opined in a television interview that Mormons are not good Americans because they had acted to write their values into law – not noting the implicitly hypocritical nature of his argument that only those who agreed with him should be permitted to have their values so established. I guess they feel that appealing to religious bigotry in an effort to promote their own cause (not to mention racial bigotry, like that of Roseanne Barr) is a small price to pay for overturning the will of the people as has now been expressed by religiously and racially diverse voters in 30 of the 50 states.
But that is not all we have seen in recent weeks. Not content to allow religious believers to freely practice their religion unmolested, a church in Dallas was picketed this past weekend because the pastor’s sermon was to deal with the negative treatment of homosexuality in the Scriptures.
About 100 people stood in front of First Baptist Church of Dallas on Sunday morning to protest Dr. Robert Jeffress' sermon, "Why Gay Is Not O.K."
When one boils down the argument of the protesters, it is essentially that not only may Christians not seek to have their moral values on the issue written into law, but they also may not preach them from the pulpit, teach them in a Sunday School class, or in any way disseminate them. I’d have to argue that theirs is a pretty crabbed view of religious tolerance, given that they were doing nothing less than protesting a religious service. I’m curious – how did their picketing in any way, shape, or form differ from the sort of thing done by Fred Phelps and his followers? Where, pray tell, is the condemnation of this event?
But that is not the worst of it – in Michigan a church was invaded by homosexual activists who disrupted their service.
A gay anarchist group infiltrated the Mt. Hope Church in Eaton County Sunday morning, disrupting a service by pulling a fire alarm, dropping leaflets and yelling at parishioners, a pastor said.
The group, Bash Back, was simultaneously picketing outside the church, beating on buckets and using a megaphone to shout “Jesus was a homo” and other slogans as confused churchgoers continued to enter the building.
Members of Bash Back issued a press release Tuesday saying that it targeted Mt. Hope, a church that claims a flock of around 5,000, because it is, "complicit in the repression of queers in Michigan and beyond."
Now imagine, if you will, that Phelps’ followers were to invade a meeting being conducted by a gay rights group – or the services of a congregation of the Metropolitan Community Church. Wouldn’t there have been arrests? Charges filed regarding hate crimes and civil rights violations? National media coverage of the outrageous evil they had committed? Interestingly enough, not one major media outlet in the Lansing area even bothered to report the matter. So much for objective journalism.
And yet when Christians and other believers argue that the efforts of the gay rights movement are a threat to their religious freedom, they are told that they have nothing to worry about. Who are we to believe – the liberal gay rights activists or our own eyes?
First, let me put forward the recent results of council votes.
T* - Denotes Tie
T* - Denotes Tie
Now there is an attempt – a dishonest one, in my opinion – to blame Sarah Palin for death threats against Barack Obama. Some are resurrecting discredited claims of “a near lynch mob atmosphere at her rallies, with supporters yelling ‘terrorist’ and ‘kill him’” as examples of her misdeeds – despite the fact that the original source about the connection between Palin and the threats seems to go nowhere near that conclusion and makes a connection that seems rather tenuous.
Lest you think this sort of report and connection is mere coincidence, let me offer a parallel – the Oklahoma City Bombing of 1995. That terrible act of violence was used and abused by liberals in the media and in public office in an attempt to quash conservative rhetoric that they claimed – quite incorrectly – was somehow responsible for that reprehensible act of terrorism. No less than Bill Clinton attempted to tag radio talkers like Rush Limbaugh and the newly elected GOP majority in Congress with responsibility. And I’d argue that we are seeing the same sort of effort today, in an attempt to delegitimize and suppress conservative criticism and dissent in the wake of Obama’s electoral victory and in advance of his assuming office. Criticism, we will likely hear, endangers the life of the nation’s first black President and must be delegitimized and eliminated. Indeed, the new refrain of the Left will be not that “dissent is the highest form of patriotism,” but that “dissent is incitement to murder.”
So let me speak clearly today, before this effort is in full swing. While I did not vote Barack Obama, I hope he has a successful presidency that leaves this country a better place than when his term begins. I wish him long life, and pray that he will see his two beautiful daughters marry and give him many grandchildren – and that he sees great-grandchildren and perhaps even the generation or two beyond. I hope that he gets to grow old with his wife Michelle, who he obviously loves. No person who loves this country should wish for anything less.
However, none of those wishes ought to supersede a fervent commitment to the First Amendment. The life of Barack Obama, or any president, is not more important than the right of Americans to engage in political speech free from government restraint. And if I as an individual am given a choice between that inalienable right and the life of any chief executive, I regret to say that the elected official loses every single time. Men and women have died for over two centuries to protect the liberties contained in the Constitution at the direction of many different presidents – as commander-in-chief, the holder of the presidency must accept that there is some element of risk to be taken in order to uphold his (or, one day, her) solemn oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” – risk that comes from some individual drawing an illegitimate conclusion from the constitutionally protected political speech of Americans who disagree with his policy.
Should Americans speak in a manner that is responsible and temperate? Yes, they should. Should due consideration be given to the reasonably foreseeable results of one’s words? Again, the answer is yes. But to assign culpability to the speakers of legitimate political criticism (even if their rhetoric might be judged to be over-heated by some) for the actions of violent extremists is not merely an attack upon one’s opponents with illegitimate charges, it is no less than an assault upon the First Amendment itself and the bedrock principle it contains that every citizen has the right to speak out on matters of public concern. And as our nation has seen more than once, our system of government can survive the death of a president – what it cannot survive is the actual negation of an essential liberty of the citizenry in order to protect a president from the hypothetical violence of the extreme and the unstable.
And the key, of course, is that threats are never acceptable. I’ve stated that frequently here, even as I’ve defended the right of some truly awful human beings to engage in contemptible speech. But our founders intended that political speech be robust, boisterous and loud – one need only consider the elections of 1796 and 1800 (between such revered men as Jefferson and Adams) to recognize that attempts to silence even the most extreme political speech is not just dangerous – it is un-American and contrary to the intent of those who gave life and breath to the American experiment of liberty.
But apparently because his words in private matched his words in public – he didn’t want to be the VP nominee.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has emerged as one of the hottest names in national Republican circles since John McCain's defeat last week, was never vetted as a vice presidential pick, according to sources close to the Pelican State chief executive.
Jindal was approached by McCain forces to gauge his interest in the vice presidency and told them he was not interested in being vetted due to his desire to continue on with his current job, to which he was elected just one year ago.
Now were folks concerned about other issues? Sure, as they should have been. After all, the McCain campaign was a mess from pretty early on in the process, and Jindal would have been nuts to jump into the fray, as much as some of us wanted him. And being a decade younger than Obama wouldn’t have helped in the experience department – despite his much more impressive resume.
Probably the best thing about his decision to remove himself from contention in the veepstakes is that it kept him from being subjected to the sort of obscene process engaged in by the media this year in an attempt to destroy any individual who might stand in the way of Barack Obama, as well as the back-biting that has followed in the days since the McCain defeat. In my view, this may serve to put him in a better place than Sarah Paling for 2012 – like it or not, she has become something of a latter-day Dan Quayle in the wake of this campaign.
And for my fellow junkies already waiting for our first fix of the 2012 campaign, here is some interesting information.
Gee – one would hope that the United States would have a commitment to tracking down and eliminating our terrorist enemies any time and any place. Indeed, one would think that any person who loved this country and wished to see her secure would be ecstatic about such a policy.
And yet the New York Times reports on this like it is a bad thing – breaking the story in a manner that once again discloses classified national security information to our enemies.
The U.S. military has conducted nearly a dozen secret operations against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Syria, Pakistan and other countries since 2004, The New York Times reported Sunday night.
Citing anonymous U.S. officials, the Times story said the operations were authorized by a broad classified order that then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed and President George W. Bush approved in spring 2004. The order gave the military authority to attack Al Qaeda anywhere in the world and to conduct operations in countries that were not at war with the U.S.
One such operation was an Oct. 26 raid inside Syria, the Times reported.
Washington has not formally acknowledged the raid, but U.S. officials have said the target was a top Al Qaeda in Iraq figure. Syria has asked for proof and said eight civilians were killed in the attack.
In another mission, in 2006, Navy SEALs raided a suspected terrorist compound in Pakistan's tribal areas.
The raids have typically been conducted by U.S. Special Forces, often in conjunction with the Central Intelligence Agency, the newspaper said. Even though the process has been streamlined, specific missions have to be approved by the defense secretary or, in the cases of Syria and Pakistan, by the president.
Let’s face it – our enemy is not a traditional nation-state as in times past. Instead they are members of an autonomous group that extends across international boundaries, at times without the knowledge and/or cooperation of the nations within which they operate. Indeed, as I pointed out some time back, the best historical analogy for terrorists is the pirate – considered the enemy of all mankind under international law and subject to the authority and jurisdiction of all nations wherever they may be found. As such, the order in question is appropriate – if one wishes to see the United States prevail in the war on terrorism…
When one reads this announcement coming out of his official website as President-Elect, that is the only conclusion to be drawn.
Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.
In other words, the right to a free public education that is guaranteed to our children in most state constitutions will be out the window, replaced with a program of involuntary servitude that must be complied with in order to receive the privilege of a public education. Membership in the Obama Youth program will be compulsory, and the sorts of “community service” mandated will no doupt be of the politically correct variety.
My guess is that the next step will be to require those retirees to “volunteer” as a condition of receiving their Social Security benefits – especially once the Obama Administration has nationalized their 401(k) accounts.
And so the slide towards tyrranny begins.
When it comes right down to it, that is exactly what this video shows.
Now wait one minute here. The camera crew and reporter were in a public place, seeking information about the abuse of government resources by this public officiam for purposes of partisan politics – a matter of public concern directly related to her performance of her job. Now she has every right to offer a “no comment” or refuse to answer the questions (probably a good idea while she is under investigation), but for her to attempt to use the police in the manner she did is inconsistent with the First Amendment – something she is sworn to uphold (though her actions in regars to Joe the Plumber show her to already be foresworn). And for the police to attempt to get journalists engaged in lawful activity in a public place to cease their news-gathering activities at the behest of a public official is reminiscent of your run-of-the-mill police state or banana republic, not the worlds greatest democracy and the beacon of liberty for people around the world.
H/T Hot Air
As I mentioned yesterday, I go to great lengths to be non-partisan in my discussion of elections. Indeed, my students didn’t know who I voted for until Wednesday, so concerned was I with there being even an inference of politicizing my classroom – and fully 1/3 of them believed I was voting for Obama while another 1/3 weren’t sure where my loyalties lay. So when I see something like this video of the class of Fayetteville, NC teacher Diantha Harris, I become absolutely livid.
Partial transcript: Harris:We want to talk about the presidential election. I want to ask you, who are you pulling for? Raise your hand.
Harris: You pullin for Obama. Who you pullin for?
Harris:Any of you pullin for John McCain? That’s fine, say him as well.
[Cathy, the daughter of an American soldier answers McCain.]
Harris:John, oh lord, John McCain.
Oh Jesus, John McCain.
Ok, now I wanna axe you somethin.
Why are you pullin for John McCain? It’s ok, but why are you pullin for John McCain?
Cathy: I thinks it’s because my parents are going for him too.
Harris: Ok, your parents are going for him. Why are you pullin for Ba-RACK. Barack.
Student: I just want a black president sometimes.
Harris: Ok, you want a black president.
Student: The reason why I want Barack Obama is because he’s making good changes in the good country and stuff like that.
Harris: So, he’s making good changes for our country. Now can you tell me just a little bit more, like what type of changes?
Like not having big fights between Iraq and having soldiers killed.
So in other words, Barack is going to end that war in Iraq. What do you all know about that war in Iraq?
[Harris addresses Cathy] Talk, cause yo daddy in the military. Talk. It’s a senseless war! And by the way, Cathy, the person that you’re picking for president said that our troops could stay in Iraq for another hundred years if they need to!
[Camera pans to Cathy, in near tears.]
Harris: So that means that your daddy could stay in the military for another hundred years!
My heart absolutely ached watching that video. First, it is positively immoral to do such a thing to a child. Secondly, I was a victim of such abuse more than once as the child of a naval officer during and after the Vietnam War (in particular, I’ll never forget my psychology teacher telling me during class that my father was a war criminal for having fought in Vietnam) and I know just how deep such wounds go. That this unprofessional scoundrel was willing do this to a child on camera is evidence of just how evil she is in the classroom when the cameras are not there.
Now there are those who want to see this despicable bitch fired from her job and her certification revoked. I suppose I would have to agree, though I do not think the punishment fits the crime. Diantha Harris really deserves something much more severe, given that she is morally no different than teachers who sexually abuse their students.
Express your opinion to the members of the school board where Diantha Harris teaches.
Here’s what the superintendent has to say. It will be interesting to see what is deemed “appropriate action”. We want more than “just words, just speeches.”
Well, for years we on the conservative side of the aisle have noted that liberals seem to believe that “change” – especially constitutional change – is only permitted in a single direction, namely to the left. Never before, however, have I seen a liberal politician or writer explicitly state that position, as Glen Greenwald does in Slate.
It's one thing for a state to decide in advance not to allow same-sex marriages. It's another thing entirely to watch a state strip a targeted group of citizens of the already vested right to marry.
Put differently, Greenwald’s position is that conservatives must win every time in order to prevail on an issue, while liberals only need to succeed once to make their preferred policy irrevocable. In effect, he has taken the position that liberalism always prevails, the people be damned.
Want more proof? Take a look at his proposed solution to the “problem” of the people of 30 states having voted to enshrine the traditional definition of marriage in their state constitutions.
With their newly minted control over the White House and Congress, Democrats can easily provide a vital (if not complete) antidote to Proposition 8: repeal of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" (.pdf). Enacted in 1996, DOMA's principal effects are two-fold: (1) it explicitly prohibits the Federal Government and all federal agencies from extending any federal marriage-based benefits, privileges and rights to same-sex couples [Section 3]; and (2) it authorizes states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages from other states [Section 2].
In other words, screw the overwhelming majority of Americans – the Democrats should use their raw political power to impose the legal recognition of gay marriage upon all 50 states, even though the overwhelming majority of states have rejected it. A single state, or any foreign nation, will be able to override the will of the people of any state on the issue of gay marriage. Sounds like tyrrany to me.
There is a great piece over at RedState from Dan McLaughlin. While I find most of his points to be correct, I believe the most important one is the one he lists as number 7.
(7) Prioritize: More on this later, but Obama and the Congressional Democrats are going to have a long list of issues they want to press, and we can't stop all of them. The GOP needs to divide issues into four buckets:
• a. Things we are prepared to go to the mat to stop
• b. Things we want to force the Democrats to commit themselves to so we can take the dispute to the voters
• c. Things, however modest, we actually think we can accomplish even with the Democrats in power
• d. Things we want to propose as positive agenda items even knowing they'll go nowhere, to lay out our own roadmap for the future.
What goes in each of these categories? Let’s consider that for a bit. I’ll make a few suggestions, and you feel free to chime in with your own.
I’d argue that the first category should include illegal immigration amnesty and cuts in national defense that endanger our national security. I’d like to include “drill here, drill now” here as well, but we simply lack the votes to stop the reimposition of the offshore drilling ban by executive order once Obama becomes president in January.
That means we have to put the development of our domestic petroleum resources in the second category, as a part of a comprehensive T. Boone Pickens style energy program. After all, the GOP isn’t the party of “drill only” – it is the party of “drill and”. Social issues belong here as well, such as abortion and gay marriage. We cannot do anything about them – and perhaps may not be able to do so in the future – but we should present them as a contrast with the Democrats.
That leads to the third category. Here I would put preserving at least a portion of the Bush tax cuts. Obama promised no tax increases for those making below $250K. Let’s hold him and his party to that by proposing and introducing legislation that at least preserves the lower end of the Bush tax cuts that lowered the taxes of those of us in the middle class. Maybe also try to preserve the reduction in the death tax. Those ought to be popular measures on which we can pick off enough Democrats to get them passed.
As for the fourth category, I’d suggest something akin to the Contract with America. It would, of course, need to differ due to the times in which we find ourselves, but let’s get that statement of principles out there and begin to present those ideas to the people. That should help in 2010, provided we field a strong candidate in every House district and for every open Senate seat, one who supports this statement of principles. Let’s build one and begin again the task of becoming an American majority again.
Looks like some poor working stiffs are getting stiffed by The Man. What will President-elect Barack Obama do to punish such plutocratic malefactors?
Probably nothing – after all, it is Obama's campaign that has failed to pay workers as promised.
Lines were long and tempers flared Wednesday not to vote but to get paid for canvassing for Barack Obama. Several hundred people are still waiting to get their pay for last-minute campaigning. Police were called to the Obama campaign office on North Meridian Street downtown to control the crowd.
The line was long and the crowd was angry at times.
"I want my money today! It's my money. I want it right now!" yelled one former campaign worker.
A former spokesman for the Obama campaign said 375 people were hired as part of the Vote Corps program and said people signed up to work three-hour shifts at a time. Three hours of canvassing got workers a $30 pre-paid Visa card.
The workers showed up to get their cards Wednesday morning at 10:00 am.
"There was a note on the door saying 1:00 pm and then at 1:20 pm everybody was like why is nobody here. They just got here and they're trying to get it organized," said Heather Richards, a former campaign worker.
* * *
"Still that's not right. I'm disappointed. I'm glad for the president, but I'm disappointed in this system," said Diane Jefferson, temporary campaign worker.
"It should have been $480. It's $230," said Imani Sankofa.
"They gave us $10 an hour. So we added it. I added up all the hours so it was supposed to be at least $120. All I get is $90," said Charles Martin.
"I worked nine hours a day for 4 days and got paid half of what I should have earned," said Randall Waldon.
Well, my dear Democrat friends, get used to it – you are about to find out that all the goodies promised you by Barack Obama are going to be a long time coming – if they ever come. You are just the first Americans to experience the sort of hope and change his administration will bring.
So big, in fact, that the calendar will have to be dated from Obama’s inauguration.
You talk about historians, there's going to be BB and AB. BB is everything that happened before Barack. AB is everything that's going to happen in this country and the world after Barack. It's a defining moment. BB and AB.
So got that, folks? We’ll be doing away with that whole BC/AD system – and with the Muslim calendar of dating things from the time of the Hajj (can I get a fatwa?). For that matter, the traditional calendars of the Jews and the Hindus will be gone to. So prepare for the beginning of a new era. Spike Lee has spoken!
Sort of gets one singing a little tune.
This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind's true liberation
I’m not ready to sign on to the Sarah Palin in 2012 bandwagon (I’m leaning towards Bobby Jindal at this early date), but I am more than willing to lend my support to this effort. After all, undercutting your ticket before the campaign is over is dishonorable – especially when you are getting paid to support and promote it.
RedState is pleased to announce it is engaging in a special project: Operation Leper.
We're tracking down all the people from the McCain campaign now whispering smears against Governor Palin to Carl Cameron and others. Michelle Malkin has the details.
We intend to constantly remind the base about these people, monitor who they are working for, and, when 2012 rolls around, see which candidates hire them. Naturally then, you'll see us go to war against those candidates.
It is our expressed intention to make these few people political lepers.
They'll just have to be stuck at CBS with Katie's failed ratings.
1. Nichole Wallace
2. Steve Schmidt
3. Mark McKinnon
When the insiders are more concerned about protecting their own reputations with the press than they are about winning the election, it is the duty of loyal Republicans to see that they are unemployable on the GOP side of the aisle.
Well, NewsBusters has it from Chris Matthews. I don’t think this statement could be any more clear.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Yeah, well, you know what? I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work, and I think that –
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Is that your job? You just talked about being a journalist!
MATTHEWS: Yeah, it is my job. My job is to help this country.
* * *
SCARBOROUGH: Your job is the make this presidency work?
MATTHEWS: To make this work successfully. This country needs a successful presidency.
Now let me see if I’ve got this correct – the job of a reporter/commentator for the MSM is to make sure that the Obama Administration is successful? Really?
I’d love for Chris Matthews (he of the tingly leg) to tell me to whether it was his job to see to it that the Bush Administration was successful? Wouldn’t that have helped the country? Didn’t his biased coverage – and the strenuous effort of certain MSM outlets to undercut George W. Bush even before he was inaugurated – constituted a failure of Matthews and the rest of the MSM to do its job?
Or does Matthews personally (or his employers) get to decide what presidents are permitted to be successful and which should be targeted for failure, and therefore slant the coverage accordingly?
Does such a position not undermine the notion of an independent, objective media that we are regularly told is supposed to exist in this nation? Indeed, doesn’t Matthews’ position actually demonstrate that those of us who have claimed that the MSM has a bias were correct in our assessment?
H/T Hot Air
I have been promising folks for some time that I would be posting something like this if the election turned out as it did last night.
While I congratulate Barack Obama on his election, this means that I will work against Not-My-President Obama and his policies, because I can only presume that they are illegitimate, unconstitutional and not in the best interests of this country or the world as a whole. Anticipate my first call for his impeachment and/or the appointment of a special prosecutor at approximately 3:00 PM Central time on January 20, 2009 – after all, I have been told for eight years that dissent is the highest form of patriotism (not paying ever more and higher taxes, as claimed by Not-My-Vice-President-elect Joe Biden), and I am nothing if not a patriot. Prepare to reap what you have sown for eight years, Democrats.
That does not, of course, reflect what i truly feel about this election and its outcome -- rather it parodies my liberal foes.
So instead let me begin with some observations about yesterday’s election.
There are some things I am very proud about.
I am proud that my country showed that it can, as usual, carry off an election that produces credible results without any of the shenanigans that happen in so many other parts of the world. Even our most unusual elections have been quite clean by any reasonable standard.
I am proud that so many Americans did, in fact, turn out to vote. Participation is important, as I have told my students again and again. Interestingly enough, when I polled my students today they told me that about 1/3 thought I supported McCain, 1/3 thought I supported obama, and 1/3 weren't sure, so I'm also proud that I didn't allow my political views to color my teaching.
I am proud that we have shown again that any American can rise from humble beginnings to the heights of American politics – something that has, in my lifetime, been shown by the election of Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and, now, Barack Obama. It is particularly noteworthy that we have demonstrated that it is possible to move in a single generation from immigrant to the top office in American government.
Oh, yeah, and I’m proud that we have demonstrated that race is not an obstacle to success in this country. But then again, as a Republican I have never doubted that – I just wish that the first black president was named Rice, Watts, Steele, or Blackwell, not Obama.
On the other hand, let me note that I am also ashamed of so many of my fellow citizens – that they would reject a man with what is perhaps the most distinguished record of service to this nation of an living American in favor of an individual whose major qualifications appear to be his good looks, rhetorical skills and an almost chameleon-like ability to disguise his background, associations, and position on the issues is quite disheartening.
Add to that the failure of our nation’s media to even make a pretence of playing the role of an honest broker in this election and I am left with grave misgivings over the next four years.
And so I look ahead, making the following commitments.
First, I commit to working to bring to the forefront grassroots candidate for office here in Harris County and the state of Texas – candidates who will not merely reclaim positions taken by the Democrats in yesterday’s elections, but also those who will stop the hemorrhage that yesterday’s results created. That will mean, among other things, supporting someone other than Rick Perry for Governor, David Dewhurst for Lt. Governor, and John Davis for State Representative in my district during the next primary.
Second, I commit to continuing to be a voice for conservative principles on the internet and in my daily life. I will get back to blogging more regularly once we have recovered from Hurricane Ike and returned to our home sometime after the first of the new year.
And finally, I commit to offering to Barack Obama my support and respect after his inauguration -- and not the same level of support and respect that the Left showed George W. Bush. I will support Obama when he is right, but fiercely oppose him when he is wrong -- something I suspect will be more often than not. But as i said in 1993 when Bill Clinton was inaugurated, my prayer is that barack obama leaves this country better than it was at the begining of his term, and am fully prepared to be pleasantly surprised if he does. After all, my country is more important to me than my party -- as it should be.
So hold on tight, my fellow Americans -- its going to be a bumpy ride.
Well, Wall Street sees economic disaster under the new president.
One day after rallying as Americans went to the polls, stocks dropped amid more evidence that the economy is stumbling badly.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had surged 305 points on Election Day, fell 486.01 points, or 5.1%, to 9139.27. The loss marked the biggest one-day loss for blue chips since Oct. 22 and lowest close since Oct. 29 after a week of relative optimism. The industrials are down 31% for the year.
He’s not even been sworn in yet, and he’s already caused serious economic disruption. Just imagine what his policies will do to the economy once he has a chance to implement them.
I guess that after four years of being in the pocket of Freddie and Fannie, I can be sure that the next four years will lead to Barack Obama being remembered as the worst economic president since Hoover.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's grandmother died of cancer, he said in a statement on Monday, a little more than a week after he interrupted the White House campaign to say goodbye to her in Hawaii.
"It is with great sadness that we announce that our grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died peacefully after a battle with cancer," Obama said in a joint statement with his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng. "She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength and humility."
Dunham, 86, helped raise Obama from the age of 10 while his mother was working in Indonesia, and Obama took an emotional 22-hour trip to Hawaii to visit her on October 23 and 24.
I lost my dear grandmother four years ago, shortly after starting my blog. I still grieve. We lost my mother-in-law this spring, and that loss remains very fresh with both my wife and I. I can therefore feel nothing but compassion for a candidate who I unashamedly reject as unfit for office, but in whom I recognize our common humanity. May he and his family know God's comfort at this time.
But let me make a small observation about this story, and what we will not see in its wake.
We will not see any conservative or Republican website of any import suggest that Madelyn Dunham died of anything other than natural causes. In particular, we will not find any bloggers for national publications suggesting that Mrs. Dunham's death was staged by or assisted by the Obama campaign for her grandson's political advantage. Indeed, his loss will be treated with the respect it deserves.
Contrast that with the continued conspiracy theories of the Left regarding Sarah palin's most recent pregnancy and whether or not she is the mother of her youngest child, Trig. Nor will any comedy show suggest that Michelle Obama secretly did the old woman in, as SNL suggested that Todd Palin was the actual father of Bristol Palin's unborn child.
But then again, decency is a staple of the Right -- it is notoriously lacking on the Left.