Let me begin by saying that I condemn this murder as both immoral and counterproductive. It cannot be justified -- even if the victim is probably responsible for the killing of more Americans than Osama bin Laden.
Authorities said they had a suspect in custody Sunday afternoon in the shooting death of George Tiller, a Wichita doctor who was one of the few doctors in the nation to perform late-term abortions.
Dr. Tiller, who had long been a lightning rod for controversy over the issue of abortion and had survived a shooting more than a decade ago, was shot inside his church here on Sunday morning, the authorities said. Dr. Tiller, 67, was shot with a handgun inside the lobby of his longtime church, Reformation Lutheran Church on the cityís East Side, just after 10 a.m. (Central Time). The service had started minutes earlier.
At the same time, I cannot feel any sadness over this murder, given that the victim is probably responsible for the killing of more Americans than Osama bin Laden.
And let me condemn the desecration of the church where the murder took place -- even though I find it scandalous that Reformation Lutheran Church has strayed so far its allegedly Christian character as to allow such a notorious killer to serve in a position of public leadership and ministry. Furthermore, I condemn the endangering of the other members of the congregation.
No, there is nothing positive about the murder of anyone -- not even a depraved killer like George Tiller. For really complete coverage, look to The Other McCain -- good commentary from Hot Air, Don Surber, Ed Driscoll, Gateway Pundit.
But this does raise an issue in my mind -- one that I believe every Christian ought to consider.
We believe that there is a just God in Heaven. We also believe that God is merciful. What, then, is the eternal fate of an individual like George Tiller, who professes faith in the Risen Christ even while living a scandalously sinful life? Will the God of Justice and Mercy show more of the latter or the former as such a one approaches the Judgment Seat? And if the answer is the latter, what does that tell us of the extent of God's mercy for each of us?
As for me, while I would gladly see him dealt with as justice demands, I yet hope that the balance swings towards mercy. After all -- if there is eternal hope for a blood-stained wretch like George Tiller, operator of a slaughterhouse for the most vulnerable of our fellow humans, then there is eternal hope for me as well.
Comments are open -- play nice, please.
Simple question Ė if a group of armed Kluxers appeared outside a polling place and made racially-charged threats of violence against black voters, would the charges have been dropped by the Obama/Holder Department of Injustice?
This past Presidential Election, uniformed, baton swinging thugs were caught on video intimidating voters at a polling place in Philadelphia while hurling racial threats and insults at both black and white voters (see here, here). After investigating the incident, and before the change in Administrations, the Civil Rights Division of DOJ filed a complaint against the New Black Panther Party and several of its members for violations of Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act. That Section prohibits any ďattempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerceĒ any voter and those aiding voters.
Neither the New Black Panther Party nor its members responded to the complaint. As a result, the federal district court ordered the Division to file a motion for a default judgment against the Party and its members. When a defendant doesnít respond to a lawsuit, this is what happens. By this time, however, the new Administration had taken charge. Instead of filing for a default judgment against the Party and its members, the Division VOLUNTARILY moved to dismiss the charges against the Black Panther Party and two of its members.
In other words, the Division voluntarily dismissed an uncontentested lawsuit against an individual who, by the terms of its own complaint, had ďmade statements containing racial threats and racial insults at both black and white individualsĒ and who ďmade menacing and intimidating gestures, statements, and movements directed at individuals who were present to aid voters.Ē
Voting Rights Act? A dead letter under Barry Hussein and his minions if the perps are black and the victims white. Equal protection of the law? Forget it, white voters. Thereís your empathy.
Of course, we are talking about the actions of an officially accredited Democrat party poll watcher. View image
Well, the proposal has been brought to the school board in one district by the high school Student Council.
A Connecticut school district is considering a proposal to close schools on two Muslim holidays.
The Region 16 Board of Education is expected to take up the Student Councilís proposal this week.
The board represents the towns of Prospect and Beacon Falls, Conn.
The resolution asks the board not to hold classes on the day that marks the end of the fasting period of Ramadan and on the day that concludes the annual observance of the pilgrimage to Mecca.
As a teacher, I have a really simple view on school calendar issues Ė does the proposal help or hinder school operations. That is especially true after sitting on the district committee that designed the calendar for the upcoming school year.
Is there a significant Muslim population in the district? Does keeping the school open on those Muslim holy days so significantly increase absenteeism that it impacts the operation of the schools due to low attendance? If the answers to these questions is YES, then close the schools on those days. If not, then donít. Ditto holidays for Jews and Hindus and Buddhists. But if such changes fail to improve school efficiency, then donít make the change.
Now I realize that any case taken by the Supreme Court is more likely to see a reversal than affirmation Ė after all, SCOTUS is more likely to fix errors than give attaboys to circuit courts. But for a judge to have a 60% reversal rate does raise some red flags Ė especially when that rate may rise even further right before her confirmation hearings.
With Judge Sonia Sotomayor already facing questions over her 60 percent reversal rate, the Supreme Court could dump another problem into her lap next month if, as many legal analysts predict, the court overturns one of her rulings upholding a race-based employment decision.
Three of the five majority opinions written by Judge Sotomayor for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and reviewed by the Supreme Court were reversed, providing a potent line of attack raised by opponents Tuesday after President Obama announced he will nominate the 54-year-old Hispanic woman to the high court.
Of course, she has written some 380 opinions as a member of the Second Circuit. Only six have gone before the Supreme Court Ė but one has to be struck by the reversal rate, even if (as pointed out at PowerLine) the percentage is not out of the ordinary. Does anyone know what her overall rate of rejection by the Supreme Court is Ė not just cases where she wrote the decision, but also every other case on which she has participated as a judge and whether her position has been rejected or affirmed by the Supreme Court on appeal. I think such a statistic could be even more telling.
Not that the product is being withdrawn, but that what it is said to actually depict is acceptable.
A customer complained that the image on the underwear resembled the Nazi leader saluting as planes passed overhead.
Next said that it had investigated the complaint and found the image, among a series of cartoons, was inspired by a picture of Lenin, the former Soviet leader.
But a spokesman told The Sun it was withdrawing the remaining 5,200 pairs of the underwear anyway. He said: "The complaint came in today and by the end of the day all 5,200 will be withdrawn.
"We have checked with the designer who confirmed the image was inspired by Lenin. Nonetheless, if even one customer is offended or upset we are happy to withdraw the range."
Now please understand, I carry no brief for Hitler (no pun intended). But it seems as if there is an assumption that depicting the leader of another murderous left-wing leader, Lenin, is perfectly acceptable. Why the double standard? Why do we accept the depiction of killer Commies with a simple shrug? When will society reach the point that it will no longer tolerate the glorification of that sort of evil?
Not news. Heck, not even unusual Ė take it from a high school teacher.
So why are we talking about it at all?
Because of the Leftís continued desire to destroy Sarah Palin.
In an yet-to-be released interview with GQ, Levi Johnston, the ex-boyfriend of teen mom Bristol Palin (and father to her son, Tripp) reveals even more details about the dynamics of his relationship with Bristol and her family.
Johnston told GQ that Todd Palin, on multiple occasions, offered to buy his daughter a car if she would break up him.
Now it is fair to argue that this isnít the worldís most effective parenting strategy. But then again, it really isnít relevant to the national debate over anything, and proves nothing that we didnít know Ė that the Palin family has problems like every other family in America. I urge the the Lefties to just let the whole matter drop.
Hereís the clip.
Hereís where she is right.
District courts are bound by the facts of a particular case. They are not bout broader questions of law Ė they are about the application of the law in a particular situation Ė and the interpretation of a particular judge of a particular law has no precedent value beyond that one courtroom.. The Circuit Courts (and the Supreme Court) are courts which hear appeals Ė and in doing so are taking a broader view of how to apply law for more than one particular case, but also for every other case that follows under that courtís jurisdiction (whether a particular circuit or the entire nation depends upon the court. As such, the rulings of an appellate court do make ďpolicyĒ in a way that the decisions of trial courts do not. While her explanation is awkward, it has the virtue of being accurate Ė though the use of the phrase ďwhere policy is madeĒ justifiably sets off alarm bells for those who are concerned about activists courts.
Former Bush administration solicitor general Theodore Olson is part of a team that has filed suit in federal court in California seeking to overturn Proposition 8 and re-establish the right of same-sex couples to marry.
The suit argues that the state's marriage ban, upheld Tuesday by the California Supreme Court, violates the federal constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. The complaint was filed Friday, and Olson and co-counsel David Boies -- who argued against Olson in the Bush v. Gore case -- will hold a news conference in Los Angeles Wednesday to explain the case. The conference will feature the two same-sex couples on whose behalf Olson filed suit.
The suit also asks the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to issue an injunction that would stop enforcement of Proposition 8 and allow same-sex couples to marry while the case is being decided.
"I personally think it is time that we as a nation get past distinguishing people on the basis of sexual orientation, and that a grave injustice is being done to people by making these distinctions," Olson told me Tuesday night. "I thought their cause was just."
I asked Olson about the objections of conservatives who will argue that he is asking a court to overturn the legitimately-expressed will of the people of California. "It is our position in this case that Proposition 8, as upheld by the California Supreme Court, denies federal constitutional rights under the equal protection and due process clauses of the constitution," Olson said. "The constitution protects individuals' basic rights that cannot be taken away by a vote. If the people of California had voted to ban interracial marriage, it would have been the responsibility of the courts to say that they cannot do that under the constitution. We believe that denying individuals in this category the right to lasting, loving relationships through marriage is a denial to them, on an impermissible basis, of the rights that the rest of us enjoyÖI also personally believe that it is wrong for us to continue to deny rights to individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation."
Technically, the suit Olson has filed is against the governor, attorney general, and other officials of the state of California. Ultimately, Olson said, it's a question that will be decided in Washington, by the Supreme Court. "This is an issue that will get to the Supreme Court, and I think it could well be this case," he said.
Now letís make it clear what this is about Ė it is about federalizing gay marriage. That Fourteenth Amendment claim is nothing short of a demand that the federal courts re-write the marriage laws of every state Ė an act of crass judicial activism that would constitute a case of macro-evolution of the ďliving ConstitutionĒ. And let there be no doubt that such a ruling would constitute the overturning of separate decisions by the people of thirty different states, federalizing as a right what has always been a state matter.
Let me deal with one of Olsonís arguments Ė ďIf the people of California had voted to ban interracial marriage, it would have been the responsibility of the courts to say that they cannot do that under the constitution.Ē He is, of course, correct in that observation Ė but when one considers that the purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was to eliminate invidious racial discrimination, it is obvious that the decision in such a case would be compelled by the language and the history of the amendment. However, the redefinition of marriage from the traditional (and biologically based) ďone man, one womanĒ configuration to ďany two adultsĒ does something different by actually altering the essentials of marriage.
Whatís more, a decision in favor of Boies & Olson and their clients will have one additional effect Ė it will delegitimize the federal courts in the eyes of millions of Americans. And once our courts and their decisions are seen as lacking legitimacy, the legitimacy of the other two branches is also endangered. Will the issue of gay marriage ultimately be the one upon which the survival or dissolution of the republic hinges?
Ed Morrissey, however, points out a real possibility of a very different outcome.
However, Olson may have a more limited equal-protection case with the limited class of relief the California Supreme Court created in its decision. In this case, we have 36,000 citizens in single-sex marriages recognized by the state, while refusing to recognize any others. The only delimiter is the date of the decision. A federal court might find that a violation of the equal-protection clause and overturn Proposition 8, or at least the ruling. The danger here for Olson is that a federal court might take action that invalidates those existing marriages rather than forcing California to recognize gay marriage altogether.
Wouldnít that be special. But my fear is that the those members of the court who look for ďevolving standardsĒ and ďtrendsĒ will decide that five states approving gay marriage will trump the thirty that have come down firmly on the other side. And if that happens, it may well mean the end of our republic as we know it.
NOTE: WROTE THIS THE OTHER DAY, BUT IT SOMEHOW DID NOT POST, HENCE ITS BEING POSTED NOW.
The California Supreme Court today upheld Proposition 8's ban on same-sex marriage but also ruled that gay couples who wed before the election will continue to be married under state law.
The decision virtually ensures another fight at the ballot box over marriage rights for gays. Gay rights activists say they may ask voters to repeal the marriage ban as early as next year, and opponents have pledged to fight any such effort. Proposition 8 passed with 52% of the vote.
Which, of course, puts the matter precisely where it should be Ė in the hands of the people of the state of California. Had the California Supreme Court not issued its 4-3 ruling a year ago overturning what had long been established public policy on the issue of marriage, that is where it would have been. Effectively this returns the issue to where it was a year ago.
Except for the case of those 18,000 marriages performed before Prop 8 was adopted. It is hard to argue that the courtís decision that they were valid is anything but correct. After all, the law during the period of time when they were performed allowed for them, and nothing in the amendment spoke to undoing them. Of course, there is the question of how the state of California will deal with this relative handful of marriages Ė if the policy of the state is that marriage is only between one man and one woman, how will these anomalous marriages be treated under the law and policies of the state? And what of out of state marriages performed during the same time period?
Öof several current and former colleagues who would fit the description given in this satirical piece from The Onion.
WASHINGTONóA shocking report released by the U.S. Department of Education this week revealed that a growing number of the nation's educators struggle on a daily basis with some form of teaching disability.
The study, which surveyed 2,500 elementary and high school level instructors across the country, found that nearly one out of every five exhibited behaviors typically associated with a teaching impairment. Among them: trouble paying attention in school, lack of interest or motivation during class, and severe emotional issues.
Seriously, though, Iíve been blessed to work with an overwhelmingly excellent cadre of teachers in the schools where Iíve taught Ė teachers who have challenged me to improve my own skills and knowledge every year. Unfortunately, it is the relatively few bad apples who make the headlines and ruin the image of the profession for the rest of us.
This time of year, though, there is a bigger problem on campus. It is a version of Seasonal Affective Disorder Ė AKA ďHow many more teaching days do we have leftĒ Syndrome. So to all my teaching colleagues, friends, and readers, Iíd like to say ďHang in there, folks Ė summer vacation is almost here!Ē
H/T Phi Beta Cons
The fine folks at GayPatriot have raised an interesting point here.
Imagine if a conservative Supreme Court Justice nominee had said the followingÖ wouldnít that be grounds for automatic dismissal of his appointment in the court of public opinion as well as the United States Senate? In fact, it almost sounds like something Robert Byrd would have said at sometime in his life.
ďI would hope that a wise white man with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Hispanic woman who hasnít lived that life.Ē
Well, The Architect of ďHopeandchangeĒ has picked a SCOTUS nominee who made this doozie of a statement of her belief system:
ďI would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasnít lived that life.Ē
And given that the judge is a part of an organization which calls itself ďThe National Council of The RaceĒ, does that not lead one to question whether or not the judgeís racial attitudes have not strayed over into abject racism? Especially given her willingness to dismiss a claim of racial discrimination against white firefighters in a single paragraph decision that failed to address either the facts or the law Ė a decision which is likely to be overturned on appeal by the US Supreme Court before the end of the current term.
Moreover, there is the question of the oath that she has Ė and, if confirmed, will again Ė take as a judge that would seem to be at odds with her expressed sentiments and jurisprudence.
"I, __________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as (name of position) under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.Ē
ďFaithfullyĒ. ďImpartiallyĒ. ďWithout respect to personsĒ. How, exactly, does someone who is guided by ďempathyĒ and ďthe richness of her experienceĒ rather than the text of the law and the Constitution do that?
After all, they managed to miss what may have been the biggest story of the last third of the twentieth century.
The Watergate break-in eventually forced a presidential resignation and turned two Washington Post reporters into pop-culture heroes. But almost 37 years after the break-in, two former New York Times journalists have stepped forward to say that The Times had the scandal nearly in its grasp before The Post did ó and let it slip.
Robert M. Smith, a former Times reporter, says that two months after the burglary, over lunch at a Washington restaurant, the acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, L. Patrick Gray, disclosed explosive aspects of the case, including the culpability of the former attorney general, John Mitchell, and hinted at White House involvement.
Mr. Smith rushed back to The Timesís bureau in Washington to repeat the story to Robert H. Phelps, an editor there, who took notes and tape-recorded the conversation, according to both men. But then Mr. Smith had to hand off the story ó he had quit The Times and was leaving town the next day to attend Yale Law School.
Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. And one more reason to acknowledge that the New York Times has been on a long decline as a news organization worthy of respect.
Though at least a couple of domestic terrorists want to claim it does.
"Fifty-seven percent of white voters did not vote for Obama," Dohrn said. Referring to hers and Ayers new book, Race Course: Against White Supremacy, she said, "That was the impetus for writing this book. We've got a big job to do to change those numbers."
So, a racial disparity proves racism? I guess, then, that Dohrn and Ayers concerned about the level of racism exhibited by the black community, which did not vote for John McCain somewhere in the 95% range. You know, black supremacy would have to be a bad thing, right Ė even worse than what the alleged white supremacy shown by a mere 57% failing to vote for a black candidate for office, given the severity of the former. Unless, of course, one is such a racist that one is unwilling to hold blacks to the same standard which one holds whites.
Ain't it something when reality mirrors advertising?
We've all seen this commercial (one of my all-time favorites).
Well, they may not be the size of schnauzers, but we do have some mini-cattle out there.
Walking through their lowing herd of several hundred cattle, Ali and Kenny Petersen were like two Gullivers on a Lilliputian roundup.
The half-sized cows barely reached Kenny's waist. The ranch's border collie stared eye-to-eye with wandering calves.
"Aren't they sweet?" asked Ali, 52, shooing Half-Pint, Buttercup and a dozen other cattle across a holding pen. "They're my babies, every little one of them."
The Petersens once raised normal-sized bovines on this stretch of Nebraska's rolling eastern grasslands, but with skyrocketing feed costs, the couple decided to downsize.
They bought minicows -- compact cattle with stocky bodies, smaller frames and relatively tiny appetites.
Their miniature Herefords consume about half that of a full-sized cow yet produce 50% to 75% of the rib-eyes and fillets, according to researchers and budget-conscious farmers.
"We get more sirloin and less soup bone," Ali said. "People used to look at them and laugh. Now, they want to own them."
Yipiyaiyay Mini Sirloin Burgers, Yipiyaiyo Mini Sirloin Burgers, Yipiyaiyay Mini Sirloin Burgerrrrrs, Yeah!
1. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.
If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.
Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from hishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.
2. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.
3. Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.
By order of
JOHN A. LOGAN,
WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.
After all, who could possibly object to making sure that voters actually are who they say they are? Only those who benefit from not doing so.
Talkative House Democrats used stalling tactics Friday to prevent passage of a voter identification bill they oppose that's scheduled for debate this weekend.
Democrats ó who'd warned they would put up a fight to stop the voter ID measure ó began talking at length on non-controversial legislation to use up the clock as soon as the day's schedule began. The Legislature adjourns June 1, and a number of bill passage deadlines are arriving in the next few days.
Democrats later pushed to bring up bills out of order so that major legislation would not be jeopardized. Republicans refused and the House continued into the long night of stalling.
The Senate already passed a Republican-pushed bill requiring voters to show a photo ID or two non-photo ID alternatives when they cast a ballot. Democrats say that would prevent people without those forms of identification from voting and suppress turnout. If Democrats are going to stop the legislation, it will have to be in the House, where the chamber is almost evenly divided by party.
Veteran Rep. Delwin Jones, R-Lubbock, said Democratic opponents of the voter ID bill were trying to pressure fellow lawmakers to negotiate the legislation, in turn threatening scores of unrelated bills. The delay tactic, using the rules to eat up time, is known as "chubbing."
Democrats, you see, would rather allow fraudulent voters to vote than allow votes on legislation important to the people of Texas. And if they have to block other significant legislation to guarantee that they are able to continue to benefit from the votes of illegal aliens, dead people, and cartoon characters registered by ACORN and other left-wing groups, then so be it.
Fair elections with nothing but eligible voters are anathema to the Democrat party.
And remember -- the same party that fought like hell to keep black American citizens from voting legally (a right guaranteed by the US Constitution) for over a century now fights to ensure that non-citizens, dead people, and cartoon characters can vote illegally without challenge.
So tell me -- how can any decent American citizen vote for a Democrat?
Commenting on a recent NYTimes article, Merv from PrairiePundit neatly encapsulates the definition of an oft-used political term.
That certainly beats the definition -- quite convoluted -- at Wikipedia. And it does neatly summarize how the term is used in political analysis today -- an issue which is illegitimate to raise in a campaign due to the fact that it favors the GOP because the people support it and the Democrat leadership opposes it.
Since everyone wants to make his American Idol loss a gay/straight thing, I suppose it is time to comment on why my wife and I both voted against him (repeatedly).
It wasn't his sexuality. After all, we are both pretty gay-friendly -- indeed, I've spoken with only two non-family members on the phone this weekend, and neither of the two is straight. Indeed, one of them certainly qualifies as my best friend. So personal feelings about sexuality didn't do it.
Neither did religion. Both of us are seminary trained, and my wife was, for a time, pastor of a church in a liberal, gay-friendly denomination.
And we both voted for Clay Aiken, assuming he was gay long before he came out of the closet, because we liked his style and were put off by the constant shilling of the judges for other contestants during that season.
So why not vote for Adam, and instead pick Kris Allen?
Easy. We didn't like the "hard sell" tactics of certain of the judges on the show. They were declaring Adam to be the winner weeks ago, even though it was not at all clear to us that he deserved the crown. I was fond of Danny & Allison -- indeed, I thought the final three should have been Adam, Allison, and Danny, with Kris disappearing when they reduced the crew to three. And of the final three, my pick would have been Danny because I liked his voice and his style. I thought Kris had the same sort of stuff going for him.
Which brings me back to Adam. Aside from the shameless shilling by the judges, there was one other problem -- Adam was too theatrical in his style. No, that isn't a code for "gay" -- it is a recognition that Adam has a long history as a stage performer, and that he sings and presents himself like a stage performer.. Indeed, his phrasing often reminded me of this.
Well, maybe not quite that bad, but Adam Lambert was just a little bit too precise in his delivery -- great for Broadway, not so much for pop or rock music. Even when he rocked out (and I'll concede, Adam gave some great rock performances) it all seemed a bit . . . artificial, sort of like the example above.
That doesn't mean that I wouldn't pay to see Adam Lambert -- I would, but probably not as a concert performer. If, however, he were to be the lead in just about any musical, I'd buy a ticket and go -- and be thoroughly pleased by his performance.
But who knows -- Adam may yet have a fantastic career as a solo artist. And I may yet become a serious fan. But my faith and his sexuality won't be factors in that change, either.
So when I see an analysis like this one, I simply have to laugh at how misguided those who put forth this thesis really are.
UPDATE: Lots of traffic on this one -- I'll open the comments for you. Play nice.
How low can he go?
Obama recalled U.S. military history from the Revolutionary War through the Allied landing at Normandy, where he will travel next month to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day.
"It's about remembering each and every one of those moments when our survival as a nation came down not simply to the wisdom of our leaders or the resilience of our people, but to the courage and valor of our fighting men and women," Obama said. "For it is only by remembering these moments that we can truly appreciate a simple lesson of American life -- that what makes all we are and all we aspire to be possible are the sacrifices of an unbroken line of Americans that stretches back to our nation's founding."
So let's make it clear -- he is willing to praise our heroic veterans today -- but will sell them out on foreign soil during his visit to Europe in June.
Just call it one more bit of proof that talk is cheap for Barry Hussein -- and that he is willing to say anything at any time if he thinks it is what his audience wants to hear.
It is great to see the Democrat Party advance out of the nineteenth century Ė and move past the scourge of racism that overshadowed it for most of the twentieth century.
The city of Philadelphia, Miss., where members of the Ku Klux Klan killed three civil rights workers in 1964 in one of the eraís most infamous acts, on Tuesday elected its first black mayor.
James A. Young, a Pentecostal minister and former county supervisor, narrowly beat the incumbent, Rayburn Waddell, in the Democratic primary. There is no Republican challenger.
* * *
The city is 56 percent white, 40 percent black and 2 percent American Indian, according to the Census Bureau.
Once again, we see that a qualified black candidate who runs based upon qualifications rather than race can be elected in a majority white area -- even where Democrats are the prevailing political force and have been the main agents of racism (murderously so) for over a century and a half. So, let's move past the sort of focus on race that extends racism rather than eliminates it, and instead focus on love of country -- something which should unite all of us as Americans.
Gallery Furniture is a legend here in Houston. They had a serious fire the other night.
As flames ripped through one of Houstonís most notable retail icons Thursday night, Gallery Furniture founder Jim McIngvale vowed to rebuild.
But McIngvale, who earned fame with his colorful commercials and self-imposed moniker of Mattress Mack, acknowledged ďmillions and millionsĒ in dollars of merchandise had been damaged in his flagship storeís warehouse.
* * *
The store was still open to customers when the fire started at 8:40 p.m., but no one was injured.
McIngvale was at the store when the blaze ignited. After an employee alerted him of a possible fire, McIngvale looked at surveillance cameras monitoring the property. ďI saw 10-foot flames and realized how serious it was,Ē he said.
One way or another, this business will survive. The company has become a Houston institution, and they are already working to bring their main location back into service in the next few days.
And Mack, you know that all of Houston is pulling for you now.
When you are in a war zone, being in uniform is not always an option for combat.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday praised an Army soldier in eastern Afghanistan who drew media attention this month after rushing to defend his post from attack while wearing pink boxer shorts and flip-flops, Reuters reported.
Gates said in prepared remarks that he wants to meet the soldier and shake his hand the next time he visits Afghanistan.
"Any soldier who goes into battle against the Taliban in pink boxers and flip-flops has a special kind of courage," Gates said in a speech to be delivered in New York.
"I can only wonder about the impact on the Taliban. Just imagine seeing that: a guy in pink boxers and flip-flops has you in his cross-hairs. What an incredible innovation in psychological warfare," he said.
Army Specialist Zachary Boyd, 19, of Fort Worth, Texas, rushed from his sleeping quarters on May 11 to join fellow platoon members at a base in Afghanistan's Kunar Province after the unit came under fire from Taliban positions.
A news photographer was on hand to record the image of Boyd standing at a makeshift rampart in helmet, body armor, red T-shirt and boxers emblazoned with the message: "I love NY."
This time there happened to be a photographer around when the need to fight came. Iíve heard that at Pearl Harbor there were sailors who rolled out their bunks and helped defend their ships against the Japanese Ė wearing boxers or less. After all, the enemy doesnít give you a chance to dress when they attack Ė they want to kill you, and in or out of uniform you must stop them.
Well, now that I've taken care of those two weeks that I missed, here come the current results from the Watcher's Council. I'm especially fond of this week's winning council submission, as it hits really close to home.
Lots of good stuff here -- be sure to check it all out.
Here is that second belated Watcher's Council results post, from May 15. Again, the quality of the posts receiving votes is quite high. You would do well to read them all.
If youíre like me, your computer is one more important tool during your work day. I know I depend upon my computer for a variety of tasks all day long in my classroom, everything from attendance and grading to communication to making tests and assignments. Heck, it is always great to be able to find the answer to a question when the kids leave you stumped.
But one of the nice things about my computer is that it can be checked out remotely when I have problems. The district has set up remote control software allowing the tech folks in the building and the district to troubleshoot without even coming to my room. By giving access to these folks, IT tech support people can troubleshoot computer issues in a fraction of the time.
Another benefit of accessing a computer remotely is access to files with remote desktop software. With a little bit of help, i can access files on my computer from other parts of the school. That is convenient as well, since if we are in a computer lab I can still do the work that I had been seeking to complete earlier in my classroom.
Looking for some good software to allow that sort of remote access? Consider trying Proxy Pro 6 -- its 256-bit encryption is the highest in its class, and it will allow you to both access your files remotely and have remote tech support. Isn't that just what your workplace needs?
I've again missed a couple of Watcher's Council results posts -- here is the first of these, from May 13. Congratulations to all those receiving votes.
Winning Council Submissions
Be sure to take the time to read them all.
My younger brother is a police officer, and participates in many of the SWAT activities that his department is involved in. When I've been out West for visits, I've been fascinated by the tactical equipment that he has as a part of his job. The reality is that civilians can purchase much of that sort of gear, like tactical pants, tactical polo, 5 in 1 field jackets and many other sorts of tactical gear. Where, you might ask? Well, through outlets like LA Police gear, found at lapolicegear.com. You'll be amazed at what is available You'll also find they have some great deals at close-out prices.
Some of you may have gotten a version of this site that dates back over four years if you came to visit yesterday.
Migration to a new server caused some temporary problems -- but they are all fixed now.
Thank you for your patience.
The silence is deafening, as John Hawkins points out at RWN.
(moonbat on) If Barack Obama had ever served in the military, maybe he wouldn't be so callous about sending American troops to their deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq. How many funerals of the men he has sent to their deaths has Barack Obama attended? Guess he's too busy stealing the Iraqis oil and trying to start a war with Pakistan. Oh, and why hasn't he caught Osama Bin Laden yet? Maybe he's too busy giving speeches to his adoring fans in the media, who never challenge him on anything he does in foreign policy.
And it just gets better and better. That's why John is one of the best and brightest we have in the blogosphere today.
A Navajo Code Talker who was part of the original group recruited to develop what became an unbreakable code that confounded the Japanese during World War II has died.
John Brown Jr. died early Wednesday morning at his home in Crystal, N.M., according to his son, Frank Brown. He was 88.
Several hundred Navajos served as Code Talkers during the war, but a group of 29 that included Brown developed the code based on their native language. Their role in the war wasn't declassified until 1968.
Brown received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2001 along with other members of the original Code Talkers. Less than a handful are still alive.
In an acceptance speech on behalf of the Code Talkers, Brown said he was proud that the Navajo language bestowed on them as a Holy People was used to save American lives and help defeat U.S. enemies.
As Code Talkers and Marines, he said they did their part to protect freedom and Democracy for the American people.
"It is my hope that our young people will carry on this honorable tradition as long as the grass shall grow and the rivers flow," Brown said, according to a CNN transcript.
On December 7, 1941 Brown was playing basketball when he heard word of Pearl harbor. He quickly signed up after being approached by a Marine recruiter. What happened next is nothing less than amazing.
Brown signed up and was sent to Camp Pendleton, intent on defending the United States against the Japanese. After he arrived for training, his all-Navajo platoon was told they were there for a special mission ó to devise a secret code in their native language.
Navajo Code Talkers used their language to transmit military messages on enemy tactics, Japanese troop movements and other battlefield information in a code the Japanese never broke. Code Talkers took part in every assault the Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945, according to the Naval Historical Center in Washington.
After the war, the Code Talkers were told to keep their work a secret.
And they did Ė so secret that it was the late 1960s before their story was told to the public.
The Navajo nation has ordered its flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of John Brown, Jr. It is a fitting tribute. He was a man who showed that great things can be accomplished by ordinary men doing what is needed when confronted by extraordinary challenges. May he rest now, after what was a lifetime of service to this country and to his people, gone from among us but honored still.
And let us never forget what he and his fellow Code Talkers did.
In a move aimed at healing the rifts of American foreign policy decisions, President Obama will make a trip to Europe next month, including a trip to Dresden, Germany. The trip will consist of several stops and the President will meet with the President of France and the Chancellor of Germany. Also slated are several policy speeches.
Perhaps the most controversial is a planned speech in which President Obama will formally apologize for American 'war crimes' during the Second World War. This would be particularly comforting to Europeans, who have long condemned American foreign policy actions, especially regarding civilians.
This speech will also be welcome in Germany, who had over 12,000,000 of its citizens killed during the war. Mayor Johann Krupp of Augensburg in Saxony stated to DW that the speech will "help my great-uncle's soul rest. He burned to death during the Dresden bombings."
Not only were the policies pursued in winning WWII correct, the entire subsequent development of the notion of a kinder, gentler form of warfare has been a moral cul-de-sac that requires the US to endanger its own troops while encouraging the enemy to hide behind and among civilians Ė while doing nothing to materially increase the security of the United States. And whatís more, those who think that the US somehow owes an apology to Ė of all nations Ė GERMANY over our actions during the Second World War neglects to consider that the United States spent incredible amounts of money to rebuild our vanquished foe AND provided American troops as the bulk of Germanyís defense for the next few decades as the Russian Bear stood ready to gobble up the western half of that nation during the Cold War.
And as for you, Mayor Krupp, Iíd lay odds that your great-uncle was a fervent supporter of the Nazi regime and its policies Ė in which case Iím sure his soul is suffering the same sort of fiery torment that his body did as we liberated your nation from itself.
Speaking as an American, I can only label this latest course of action by the Ob-amateurs in the White House to be a disgrace of historical proportions. Indeed, it makes me wish we had a parliamentary system so that We the People could vote him out of office immediately for his attempt to draw a moral equivalence between the Allies and the Axis powers.
After all, a man with good judgment would never have picked this inept imbecile to stand a heartbeat away from the presidency.
President Obama is so "distracted by his vice president's indiscipline" that he has been forced to rebuke privately Vice President Joe Biden, according to a new book by Newsweek journalist Richard Wolffe, who interviewed Obama a dozen times.
"He can't keep his mouth shut," Wolffe quotes a "senior Obama aide" as saying of the gaffe-prone Biden in "Renegade: The Making of a President," set for release June 2.
As evidence, Wolffe reports that during the presidential transition period, Biden insulted Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama's closest friends and confidantes. Jarrett had been considered Obama's top choice to fill his vacated Senate seat in Illinois, but took herself out of the running just hours after Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich allegedly told a wiretapped conference call he would not heed any Obama recommendation without a payoff.
"Soon after Jarrett pulled out of consideration for the Senate seat, the senior transition team met to discuss Cabinet picks," Wolffe writes.
"Biden tried to compliment Jarrett after one contribution. 'You should be in the Senate,' he quipped. After the meeting, as everyone returned to their offices, Obama stopped Biden to warn him not to say anything like that again. 'It's not funny,' he told him."
And God only knows that Joe Biden has made Dan Quayle look like a rocket scientist. What possessed Obama to pick the moron for the Vice Presidency s beyond ..
I just wonder Ė has the jockeying for the number 2 slot in 2012 already begun?
Good grief Ė closing Gitmo was one of the manís campaign planks going all the way back to the beginning of his run for president. How can the Obama Administration, through the White House press secretary, now claim that closing Gitmo was a ďhasty decisionĒ?
"I don't doubt that the President--and I think he'll say this tomorrow--that we've made some hasty decisions that are now going to take some time to unwind. And closing Guantanamo Bay obviously is one of those decisions," he added.
Oh, wait Ė now Robert Gibbs claims that he was referring to Bush Administration decisions being hasty. But clearly that his words referred to President Obamaís decision to set a deadline for closing the detention facility for Americaís terrorist foes without any plan for replacing it or dealing with the jihadi swine detained there. The only possible conclusion? It is Ob-amateur hour in the White House.
Four men arrested for an alleged plot to bomb a New York synagogue and Jewish community center are expected to appear in federal court Thursday, the U.S. attorney's office said.
The men also wanted to use surface-to-air missiles to fire at U.S. military planes, said a criminal complaint filed this week in White Plains, New York.
"Four individuals were arrested for planting bombs in front of two [Jewish facilities] in the area," said Raymond Kelly, New York City police commissioner.
Three of the four were jail converts to Islam, while the fourth is highly sympathetic to the faith. And, of course, the goal was more dead Americans, and more dead Jews in particular. What other religion in this country sees its adherents plot such attacks with such frequency Ė especially when viewed in terms of the relative frequency to their numbers in society at large? None Ė just the so-called Religion of Peace. At what point do we as a nation acknowledge that this so-called faith cannot co-exist
And, of course, the Left has already begun to speak out loudly Ė on behalf of the terrorists and against the American government. What next? A liberal chorus of ďItís the Jewsí fault?
This time my hero so neatly encapsulates the reason that the John Edwards scandal was not nearly so hot in press as the Mark Foley and Larry Craig scandals were.
After Obama had been nominated and Edwards was history, a few press grandees conceded that yes, maybe there was a legitimate story there, but such a sordid tale was never going to tickle the fancy of their refined sensibilities. Oddly enough, this consideration never seems to come into play with, say, Mark Foley, the Florida Republican hounded from public life after some overly tender emails to one of the more fetching Congressional pages, or Larry Craig, the Republican senator caught playing some ill-advised footsie with an undercover cop in the Minneapolis airport menís room. Admittedly, these sex scandals are less ďsordidĒ than Senator Edwardsí: for one thing, thereís no sex in themójust some unrequited cyber-billets- doux in Foleyís case, and a bit of club-footed George Michael stall-divider semaphore in Larry Craigís. British Tories at least have the consolation of the career-detonating sex scandal; Republicans have to make do with the career-detonating no-sex scandal.
Remember. Mark Foley wrote some weird emails to a teenager. Larry Craig may or may not have sought companionship in an airport bathroom. John Edwards trotted out his dying wife as a campaign prop at the same time he was boffing a pretty skuzzy campaign contractor and funneling campaign cash into her bank account to pay for their child.
Put differently, Foley acted creepy and Craig stupid as they inched across some moral boundaries. Edwards, on the other hand, blew across any number of moral, ethical, and legal lines like a turbocharged rocket sled. Somehow, though, the media was only interested in getting the Republicans while giving the Democrat a free pass. But maybe it wasnít the politics, as Steyn suggests, but instead the fact that the Foley and Craig scandals were PG-12 and the Edwards scandal was NC-17 Ė and the latter certainly wasnít fit for a family newspaper.
Barack Obama speaks the truth Ė but somehow I donít think he means this statement in the sense that it is actually true.
President Barack Obama plans to say in his speech Thursday that the U.S. lost its way in fighting terrorism over the last eight years by failing to trust its institutions and values, according to an administration official.
How do I think this statement is true? Simply put, too many people abandoned trust in government and the values of patriotism during a time when we were at war yet kept safe by our leaders and our military. Because the president and his senior aides concentrated on keeping America safe, those who donít really believe in American values and institutions were able to use those values and institutions to undermine the war effort by claiming that success constituted proof there was no real threat to America Ė and that world opinion should matter more than American safety. The result? America became so lost and confused that we elected the most anti-American Congress in my lifetime and the most under-qualified president in our nationís history on a platform that consisted mainly of a call to undo the policies that have kept our nation safe since 9/11.
That is, of course, what Iíd like Dick Cheney to have said in his reply to Barack Obama Ė along with announcing his candidacy for president in 2012. But Iíll settle for accepting that Obama is right -- America is truly lost since he was elected.
I won't say anything about who I want to win or who I think will win. I've written nothing about the show, and had planned to keep it that way.
However, the performance by Rod Stewart has broken my resolve.
Don't -- please don't -- for the love of God don't -- sing Maggie May again.
Collect your books and get on back to school? How about collect your walker and get on back to the nursing home? That is a young man's song -- and you aren't any more.
But here's the song -- a favorite from my childhood some three-and-a-half decades ago -- when you were in your prime.
I cannot help but be struck by the case of Daniel Hauser. It is, dare I say, a heart-wrenching case.
But I'm struck by the arguments used by the courts to justify the move to force treatment.
He's not old enough to decide. This is a life and death decision beyond the years of a 13-year-old. Either his parents or the government must decide what is in his best interests, because he lacks the maturity to know.
However, if this were a pregnant 13-year-old girl (or even younger) named Danielle Hauser, and the medical decision on a matter of life and death were about abortion, we'd here about matters of "right to choose", "bodily integrity" and "not imposing anyone's morality" on her.
Why the difference?
At least in this case, the kid is deciding merely to risk his own life, not take the life of another human being.
The Mosquito magnet trap is an easy-to-install device for your yard. This handy device provides you with mosquito-free coverage for an area of around an acre. Best of all, it is a product that can be operated any time, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It uses octenol as an attractant to draw the insects to it, increasing its ability to catch all the insects that come and swarm around your yard. Here in Houston, that is something that is really needed
Mosquito magnet has something else important going for it -- it has a fully-staffed customer service and support department that is always ready to help you. They are more than willing to work with you, and even provide online troubleshooting to help with mosquito magnet repair if you have any sort of difficulty operating the device. They can also help you replace parts and will even do little things like provide replacement manuals -- and if you are like me you will lose the manual. Their site will even help you figure out where to place your mosquito magnet! It is customer service like that which can make or break a company -- and in this case certainly makes the product one that you might give serious consideration to purchaing if you are in need of insect control in your yard.
After all, if non-traditional, cross-racial casting is such a good thing for the bio-pic of Frank Sinatra, why not have a white guy play the slain civil rights icon? As such, I may have to join Debbie Schlussel in her call DreamWorks to give serious consideration to casting the very white, very blond Wilson as the lead.
Are you offended by the suggestion? If so, Iím sure you must be equally outraged by the suggestion of Jamie Foxx as Olí Blue Eyes. After all, there is something quite silly about such casting decisions in historical or biographical features.
This puts me in mind of a discussion I had over 20 years ago when I was doing a graduate fellowship with the Coro Foundation in St. Louis. When a couple of my colleagues argued that race shouldnít matter in casting decisions, I caused quite a stir when I made the following observation.
ďSometimes race really does matter. After all, no one is going to cast me as Chaka Zulu, and there would be an uproar if someone did. When you are dealing with historical facts, such things as race and gender can and do make a difference. And since the original historical person was a white peasant girl, no matter how talented a black actress is she just cannot play Joan of Arc.Ē
Friends, that isnít racism. It is common sense. Otherwise we will see such absurd things as Ben Stiller playing Barack Obama, or Morgan Freeman as Ronald Reagan. And while a bit of gender bending by John Travolta in Hairspray might be good clean fun, do we really believe that audiences will suspend their disbelief sufficiently to allow Nathan Lane to play Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in a movie Ė and should they even be asked to do so?
Do you want a job in New York? After all, it is the Big Apple, and there are a lot of industries that are headquartered tehre. And like they say, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. But how do you get that job? New York jobs are easy to get if you know where to look -- or can get the right guidance. That is where realmatch.com can help you out, because they have access to jobs in any number of fields -- and you certainly need a leg up in this time of economic difficulty. So check them out to find your job.
My darling wife, as some of you know, makes use of a wheelchair whenever she is out in public due to a medical condition that limits her physical stamina and stability. That said, she is a very clear minded and lucid thinker whose brain is not limited even as her body is. That is why I have spend the day absolutely livid over the disgusting insult directed at talented conservative columnist and pundit Charles Krauthammer by Timeís infinitely less talented Joe Klein.
ďThereís something tragic about him too,Ē Klein said, referring to Krauthammerís confinement to a wheelchair, the result of a diving accident during his first year of medical school. ďHis work would have a lot more nuance if he were able to see the situations heís writing about.Ē
While Krauthammer may not be able to walk, he can see perfectly well, thank you very much. His disability in no way limits his ability to see what he is writing about.
On the other hand, Joe Klein clearly suffers from some sort of mental or social defect that limits his ability to think clearly or give respect to the disabled. Bravo to the many conservatives, like John Podhoretz, who have rushed to Krauthammerís defense.
Closing question Ė what does Joe Klein think about the music of Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and Ronnie Milsap?
UPDATE: Klein apologizes -- by slamming his critics and his victim instead of expressing honest contrition. What a scumbag! I heartily endorse the sentiment expressed by Tom Maguire at JustOneMinute -- Stand Up, Joe Klein, So We Can Kick Your A**.
Potentially, according to this analysis.
Eric Fedewa, vice president of global powertrain forecasting for the auto consulting firm CSM Worldwide in Northville, Mich., said the changes will make pickups so much more expensive that they will be used almost exclusively for work.
In other words, Barack Obama may be incredibly pro-choice when it comes to abortion, but not when it comes to the vehicles you are able to drive. The increased CAF… standard will constitute a hidden federal tax on every vehicle, and price you right out of the market for what you really want.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked the following questions after reports surfaced about the US military burning Bibles sent to Afghanistan.
Iím curious Ė will there be riots in the streets over this? Will there be an investigation of who gave the order, and apologies to offended Christians like happened when it was falsely reported that a Koran may have been desecrated at Gitmo? Or since Christians don't riot or issue fatwas, will the US government simply ignore the offense given? And will the liberals who expressed outrage that soldiers might share the Gospel with Muslims express their revulsion at this act of official desecration of Christian religious texts by the US government?
ABCNews reporter Jake Tapper is covering the story now, and offers this question.
On May 5, Army spokeswoman Major Jennifer Willis told Reuters that at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan "the Bibles shown on Al Jazeera's clip were, in fact, collected by the chaplains and later destroyed. They were never distributed."
Today, Christian Broadcasting's David Brody says "the Bibles were burned because the rules on the base say that all garbage is burned at the end of the day. But just asking here; if the U.S. Military seized a stack full of Korans, would they be burned? You think that might cause a little outrage in the Muslim world?"
Indeed, how quickly would a court martial ensue for those involved in burning a stack of Korans?
Seems to me that the time has come for us to move from the notion of turning the other cheek and instead consider that it may be time to look to the words of Christ found in Luke 22:36.
ďBut now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.Ē
After all, our own government has seen fit to burn the book accepted as Scripture by the overwhelming majority of Americans in order to curry favor with the enemies of America.
And I'm opening comments on this one, so folks can respond here if they wish.
Are you looking for a new web hos tfor your site? There are lots of reasons for doing so, of course, but they all add up to one thing on some level -- you are not happy with your current host and want to make a change. This is especially true with folks using free blog hosting services, since there are limitations to such sites and sites hosted on them may not be taken seriously by some folks. Well. there are a lot of things you might want to consider as you look -- and there is a great web hosting rating website full of web hosting articles that you might want to consider before making your choice. After all, they are a clearinghouse for a lot of information about web hosting. I know that I never considered a point made by one article I saw that the presence of certain "bad sites" on a hosts servers might lead to the blacklisting of my site as well. That would be a disaster for building my traffic at my site -- and would be worse for an ecommerce site. So if you are looking to make a change, drop by and do some research first. You won't be sorry.
But then again, some folks are simply pathetic losers. Russ Feingold proves he is one of them.
Republicans are trying to pass legislation in the next few weeks to kick off the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reaganís birth, and the only hurdle appears to be Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), who is refusing to let the Senate vote on the bill.
Seems that Feingold has a somewhat more controversial resolution creating panels to study the treatment of German and Italian Americans and Jewish refugees during World War II. That he wants passed. Knowing his proposal canít stand alone, heíd prefer to insult the memory of an American president by delaying the proper commemoration of his birth.
Why, I wonder, doesnít Feingold seek to attach his resolution to the appropriation for maintaining some historical site connected to FDR, who implemented the policies that the Senator wants studied? Seems like that would be more appropriate.
As a child he was a hero to me.
As an adult he has become an object of scorn.
But regardless, Teddy Kennedy is a human being, and I join with his friends and family in rejoicing at this news.
Sen. Edward Kennedyís brain cancer is in remission, and the Massachusetts Democrat is expected back in the Senate after the Memorial Day recess, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
As much as I would love to see him out of the Senate, Iíd rather that neither death nor ill health were the vehicles by which that happened. May the remission be complete and extended.
And have no doubt Ė that is precisely what he is seeking. After all, if you are going to make the decision to prosecute for the reasons given by Lanny Davis, then there is no other way to view the matter than as a political show trial.
I have changed my mind about the need to indict former Vice President Dick Cheney for complicity in illegal torture.
His insistence on putting himself on multiple TV programs and conservative radio talk shows, not only defending torture but offering the defense that it worked, has changed my mind. Not only that - he went on to attack Mr. Obama as weakening the United States in the war on terrorism because Mr. Obama immediately announced that torture would no longer be allowed.
Dem's fighting words. They are also, in my view, reckless and irresponsible. They seem to be laying down a marker that in case, God forbid, there is a terrorist attack, Mr. Cheney can be the first to blame it on Mr. Obama's policies and say, "I told you so."
For all the words that follow attempting to somehow justify trying Cheney Ė and only Cheney Ė it still comes back to Cheneyís daring to dissent from the Obama orthodoxy on enhanced interrogation and how to deal with detained jihadis. Such temerity cannot be allowed to stand in the eyes of Lanny Davis, and merits the use of the full weight of the federal government to destroy one of those whose experience renders him among the best qualified to judge the policies of the new administration.
Even if the president and his subordinates do not take most of Americaís immigration laws seriously, at least they do seem interested in ridding the country of those illegal immigrants who break other laws.
The Obama administration is expanding a program initiated by President George W. Bush aimed at checking the immigration status of virtually every person booked into local jails. In four years, the measure could result in a tenfold increase in illegal immigrants who have been convicted of crimes and identified for deportation, current and former U.S. officials said.
By matching inmates' fingerprints to federal immigration databases, authorities hope to pinpoint deportable illegal immigrants before they are released from custody. Inmates in federal and state prisons already are screened. But authorities generally lack the time and staff to do the same at local jails, which house up to twice as many illegal immigrants at any time and where inmates come and go more quickly.
The effort is likely to significantly reshape immigration enforcement, current and former executive branch officials said. It comes as the Obama administration and Democratic leaders in Congress vow to crack down on illegal immigrants who commit crimes, rather than those who otherwise abide by the law.
Of course, every single illegal immigrant violates our nationís laws by virtue of their presence on our soil. That said, I can accept the notion that it is best to get rid of the more serious lawbreakers among them. Still, it is too bad that there is a reluctance to work to remove every illegal from our soil Ė especially at a time that we are seeing so many leave voluntarily for economic reasons.
Nearly half of Nevadans have had enough of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as the powerful Democrat heads into his re-election campaign, a new Las Vegas Review-Journal poll finds.
About a third of the state's voters would re-elect Reid if the 2010 election were held today, according to the poll, but 45 percent say they would definitely vote to replace him. Seventeen percent would consider another candidate.
The findings are echoed by another poll question about Reid's popularity that finds the four-term incumbent to be a polarizing figure in his home state.
Half of Nevada voters had an unfavorable view of Reid, while 38 percent had a favorable view and 11 percent a neutral opinion.
Imagine that Ė the top Democrat in the Senate is being repudiated by a plurality of voters in his home state, even without knowing for sure who his opponent(s) will be. That, my friends, betrays a serious weakness of both the man and his party.
And no doubt it will again be rejected by the Palestinians, who are unwilling to accept Israelís perfectly reasonable precondition for making it happen.
Netanyahu did say Palestinians should govern themselves and he is ready to start talks right away as long as Palestinians immediately recognize the Jewish state.
"We don't want to govern the Palestinians, we want to live peacefully, we want them to govern themselves absent a handful of powers that could endanger the state of Israel. And to this end there is a clear goal, the goal has to be an end to conflict," Netanyahu said.
But interestingly enough, Obama tried to make it sound like Israel, and not the two terrorist organizations that serve as the voices of the Palestinians, is the problem. In this he is merely parroting the opinion of an international community that has never really rejected anti-Semitism and therefore fails to note that Israel has been in a 60 year battle for its existence against Arab aggression. To insist that both sides begin with a recognition of the otherís fundamental right to exist and govern itself is not a burden Ė it is a minimum precondition for good-faith discussion of every other point.
Remember the Clinton Administration? You know, when there was a spike in the number of audits of conservative groups and administration opponents Ė often at the apparent instigation of Democrat public officials both inside and outside of the executive branch. Well, President Obama has raised the specter of such shenanigans again in a thoroughly inappropriate way, as noted by olí Insty himself, Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds.
At his Arizona State University commencement speech last Wednesday, Mr. Obama noted that ASU had refused to grant him an honorary degree, citing his lack of experience, and the controversy this had caused. He then demonstrated ASU's point by remarking, "I really thought this was much ado about nothing, but I do think we all learned an important lesson. I learned never again to pick another team over the Sun Devils in my NCAA brackets. . . . President [Michael] Crowe and the Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS."
Iíd like to believe that Barack Obama was only joking when he made this unfortunate quip. But weíve already seen the administration turn the dogs on those who have dared to oppose Obamaís plans and policies, to the point of officially questioning the patriotism who have other views on the stimulus package or the Chrysler bailout. Is it too hard to imagine a series of tax audits of White House ďenemiesĒ Ė especially after the favorable treatment given to the tax scofflaws nominated to office by Obama?
Many of us questioned Obamaís readiness to be Americaís Chief Executive during last yearís campaign. This is just the sort of move that serves to reinforce those questions.
The last time I checked, the primary process was all about selecting the best candidate for office. It only works if those involved are free to support the candidate of their choice Ė provided they do, in fact, get behind the eventual nominee of the party. Thatís why the tactic adopted by Brian Moran in the Democrat primary for governor in Virginia is a potentially damaging one to the entire process.
Virginia gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran is hammering his Democratic primary rival Terry McAuliffe for backing Hillary Clinton instead of Barack Obama throughout much of the presidential race.
The Moran campaign is hoping a new 60-second radio ad running on black radio stations in Virginia will remind African-American voters ó likely to be a crucial voting block in the June 9 Democratic primary ó of McAuliffe's full-throated support for Clinton.
"Terry McAuliffe may have a lot of big money for his campaign, but don't let that hide the truth," the ad's narrator says. "The truth is, Terry McAuliffe led the campaign that ran the '3 a.m.' attack ad against Barack Obama. McAuliffe worked to put up the ads that questioned Obama's ability to be president."
Frankly, I know of no one who questioned Obamaís ABILITY to be president. On the other hand, a lot of folks on the Democrat side had serious questions about his READINESS to be president based upon his relative lack of experience. It is interesting to note that McAuliffe became a strong supporter of Obama after Hillary Clinton got out of the race for the nomination. In that, he proved to be a loyal Democrat.
Of course, if Moran wants to argue that those who didnít support Obama from the beginning are not good Democrats, thatís fine. It will serve the GOP well in the general election, when the Republicans seek to woo those who are more moderate and inclined to hear the GOP message Ė and those who are already becoming disaffected with Obamaís policies.
I wonder, though, precisely what sort of Islam will be taught at this university.
A group of American Muslims, led by two prominent scholars, is moving closer to fulfilling a vision of founding the first four-year accredited Islamic college in the United States, what some are calling a "Muslim Georgetown."
Advisers to the project have scheduled a June vote to decide whether the proposed Zaytuna College can open in the fall of next year, a major step toward developing the faith in America.
Imam Zaid Shakir and Sheik Hamza Yusuf of California have spent years planning the school, which will offer a liberal arts education and training in Islamic scholarship. Shakir, a California native, sees the school in the tradition of other religious groups that formed universities to educate leaders and carve a space in the mainstream of American life.
And may I say that this last point could be the most important. Will we begin seeing the development of a Muslim leadership born, raised, and educated in an environment of American religious pluralism who are therefore open to that way of life? Or are we going to see the development of a radical elite educated in this country, who are trying to mainstream the worst that Islam has to offer (as exemplified by American Muslims convicted of jihadi terrorist activities)? I am hoping for the former, which I believe would benefit both America and Islam.
Were it not for Alec Baldwinís threats of violence against political opponents. Instead, Iím actually much more amused by this threat of violence against Baldwin by a politician.
Alec Baldwin's joke about getting a Filipino mail-order bride provoked a sharp response in the Philippines, with one senator saying Monday that the "30 Rock" star faces violence if he ever visits.
Baldwin, 51, who is divorced with a teenage daughter, said in a May 12 interview on "The Late Show" with David Letterman that he would love to have more children.
The Emmy-winning actor quipped that he was "thinking about getting a Filipino mail-order bride at this point ... or a Russian one."
Baldwin has been involved in a bitter dispute with his ex-wife, Oscar-winning actress Kim Basinger, over custody of their 13-year-old daughter, Ireland.
Philippine Sen. Ramon Revilla said Monday that Baldwin's comment was "insensitive and uncalled for" and an insult to millions of Filipinos.
He called the actor "arrogant" and said he is apparently unaware that the Philippines has a law against mail-order brides.
"Let him try to come here in the Philippines and he'll see mayhem," Revilla said, using a local idiom that implies the speaker will personally administer a beating.
What I particularly love is that Baldwin has pissed of the Filipino version of Chuck Norris. Hereís hoping that Senator Revilla administers a good ass-kicking when he gets the chance.
Most of us hear stories of Airmen saving lives in combat, but an Airman who saves the lives of more than 300 passengers is definitely a story worth hearing.
A fuel leak on a civilian aircraft caught the attention of Staff Sgt. Bartek Bachleda, 909th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, during a flight from Chicago to Narita airport, Japan. After alerting the pilots and aircrew, the ranking pilot made the decision to divert the flight to San Francisco.
"I noticed the leak on the left side of the aircraft right behind the wing earlier during take-off," said Sergeant Bachleda.
Sergeant Bachleda continued analyzing the outflow of fuel to be 100 percent sure it was a leak while the plane was reaching cruising altitude. Almost an hour into the flight, he told a stewardess of the possible leak, but was given an unconcerned response.
Sergeant Bachleda then began to capture the possible leak on video. He then got the stewardess' attention by saying, "Ma'am it's an emergency." He identified himself to her and showed her the leak on video.
"She was completely serious and was no longer handing out drinks," he said. "I told her you need to inform your captain before we go oceanic."
The captain came from the cockpit to where Sergeant Bachleda was sitting to see the leak and view the video footage. Sergeant Bachleda said the captain and the crew were trying to figure out how the aircraft was losing 6,000 pounds of fuel an hour and then they knew exactly what was going on.
The captain made a mid-air announcement the flight would be diverted back to Chicago, but then changed it to San Francisco so passengers could catch the only existing flight to Narita airport.
Once the flight arrived in San Francisco, Sergeant Bachleda and a coworker were asked to stay back while the aircraft was deplaned. They waited for the arrival of investigators, the fire chief, and the owner of the airport to explain what went wrong.
"When we got off the airplane everyone was thanking us," said the sergeant.
While conversing with the captain, the sergeant said he was hesitant at first to inform them about the leak, but he knew it was abnormal. The captain said they would have never made it to Japan if it wasn't for him.
The two Airmen were placed in a hotel overnight and flew back to Japan the next morning. The airline company showed their appreciation by seating them first-class.
We came very close to having a major airline disaster here Ė but for the presence of a couple members of our all-volunteer military. For those who have heard that todayís armed forces are made up of anything less than Americaís best and brightest, here is one more example of how that stereotype perpetrated by those who would devalue our military is utterly false. Men and women like Sergeant Bachleda are clearly the cream of the crop, not those with no options.
I know I see one.
On Sunday mornings, when many of their contemporaries are taking their seats in church pews, a group of young parents mingle in the living room of a suburban home while their children run around playing games.
This congregation of Triangle residents has no creed or ceremony, just a desire to get together and offer each other support for rearing children without religion. Taking their cue from a primer of the same name, they call themselves Parenting Beyond Belief, and they meet nearly every Sunday, in a city park, an indoor playground or in people's homes.
But to what end are they gathering?
[T]hey share a disdain for organized religion and a desire to rear their children with the tools to think for themselves.
Now wait Ė they are gathering with the goal of raising their children to believe a certain way. And yet they then claim that they want the children to ďthink for themselves.Ē Odd Ė when one of the children asks a question that indicates they are thinking in a manner at variance with what their parents believe, how do they respond?
For example, when 6-year-old Evan Spiering announced one day that "God created the world," his father, Todd Spiering, answered, "Grandpa believes that. Some people believe other things."
But wait Ė why are they undermining what young Evan apparently thinks? Donít they want him to ďthink for himselfĒ? Seems to me that they really want Evan to hold to their own beliefs, rather than formulate his own.
But then again, since when have atheists been particularly consistent. As another article points out, inconsistency is inherent in how they approach the entire issue of God.
And then there's the question of why atheists are so intent on trying to prove that God not only doesn't exist but is evil to boot. Dawkins, writing in "The God Delusion," accuses the deity of being a "petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak" as well as a "misogynistic, homophobic, racist ... bully." If there is no God -- and you'd be way beyond stupid to think differently -- why does it matter whether he's good or evil?
Not only that Ė if they actually believe there is no God, then arguing over the nature of God is the equivalent of debating the color of a leprechaunís blood. What it really comes down to, then, is that most such folks actually believe in God, but want a reason to refuse to follow.
This all reminds me of one of my friends in college who claimed to be an atheist because her aunt discontinued cancer treatment after prayerfully deciding that ending a painful and fruitless treatment was ďaccepting Godís willĒ. Iíll never forget the logically inconsistent argument Ė ďIf Godís will was for my aunt to die, then I refuse to believe in God any longer!Ē So maybe I shouldnít be surprised by the development of what can only be described as ďatheist Sunday schoolĒ for small children.
Spam is a sad reality. Unfortunately, we Munuvians have been hit hard by it, especially here at Rhymes With Right. Until I'm ready to move to my new platform, I am closing comments on all entries. I'll then be able to get after the spam, especially the pornographic crap that I've been unable to deal with effectively.
Hopefully we will have comments back in the near future. And feel free to email me any comments you do want to make -- who knows, I may just create a post about them as a regular feature.
Everybody has a hobby of some sort. it is a natural human outlet -- indeed, I'd argue that people couldn't stay sane without one. And over the years I've known a fair number of friends who have been into motorcycling. For them, their motorcycle is a prize possession, and they will go to great lengths to get it just the way they want. Indeed, I've seen that there is a lucrative market for supplies for such folks -- things like motorcycle saddlebags. Similarly, there is also a serious need for the right clothing and equipment for one's body.
One requirement is the Motorcycle Helmets. Want to keep your skull intact in case f a wreck? A quality helmet is a must for you. Indeed, several years ago I lost a friend to a completely survivable accident because he chose to ride without one. I therefore implore you to make sure that you always ride with one, not only for your sake, but also for the sake of those you love.You might consider visiting leatherup.com for such a helmet. They have great products, including some fine German motorcycle helmets.
But you also need to protect your body. That is why I encourage folks to wear study clothing like jackets, motorcycle vests, boots, and gloves. At leatherup.com, you will also find these products at a good price. So love your hobby, but make sure to protect yourself with the right gear.
Accidents happen. We've all seen it -- heck, we have all experienced them. Maybe it is just that little bump from behind as someone comes a little bit to close, or perhaps it is when someone just barely brushes by us without quite making contact at a high rate of speed. But we all know that vehicular accidents are a reality of modern life. If you are lucky, you are not hurt. But the reality is that you or someone you love could be facing such a danger, so you need to make sure that you have personal safety products to prevent accidents.
But where do you get these devices? Well, if you live in Arizona, consider patronizing the folks at warningpower.com, which provides the safety products in your area. What sort of products do they have? All sorts, including many that are useful for a Construction Company, a government agency, or even a private individual. For example, they offer Traffic Control Devices and cones, sign posts, flags, banners and a host of other traffic safety equipment. You can even get things like hard hats, gloves, safety glasses, and flash lights for personal safety.
Vehicular warning lights are also a necessity, as these will help to give a clear view to travelers when there are other vehicles ahead And while they may not prevent all accidents, they certainly can help reduce their frequency.
There may or may not be good reasons to drop the AP Latin literature exam Ė but this particular reason isnít one of them.
As Jaded as I Am . . . [Roger Clegg]
. . . this really bothered me. The Washington Post had an op-ed today regarding the decision of the College Board to discontinue the AP exam for Latin literature, "which covers Cicero and four lyric poets." Buried in the penultimate paragraph, and stated not at all uncritically, is this sentence: "The College Board said this decision was related to the number of minority students taking the exam."
Now, I don't know if the exam should have been continued or not, but it is very sad if the reason it was discontinued was because the racial mix of students taking it was politically incorrect, and it is equally sad if this is considered an acceptable reason even by a teacher who is otherwise outraged at the College Board's action. O tempora, o mores!
What? The value of learning a particular field and the ability to earn credit in it is to be predicated upon the number of minority students? That is outrageous. After all, we would never accept the argument that there are too few white students taking an exam to justify continuing to give it Ė why accept the argument that the failure of a sufficient number of member of other racial/ethnic groups to take it renders it worthy of being discontinued?
Too bad he isnít going down for a significantly longer period of time.
A protester from Texas has been sentenced to two years in prison for possessing Molotov cocktails during the Republican National Convention last September.
U.S. District Judge Michael Davis on Thursday also sentenced Bradley Neal Crowder to three years of supervised release.
The 23-year-old Austin, Texas, man was part of a group from Austin that allegedly planned to disrupt the convention in St. Paul last September. He pleaded guilty in January.
Prosecutors say Crowder and a co-defendant made eight firebombs and planned to use them to retaliate against police for seizing their homemade riot shields. The co-defendant, David Guy McKay, 22, pleaded guilty in March and is due to be sentenced by Davis next Thursday.
Not nearly enough time Ė he and his cohorts ought to be in Gitmo getting waterboarded so that they would disclose the names of the rest of their little gang of terrorists.
And given the fact that these terrorists are prone to arson and come from Austin, I have to ask if the Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating them in relationship to the arson attack on the historic Governorís Mansion during the state Democrat convention in Austin Ė an act which resulted in serious damage to the building.
After all, some lyrics really are offensive enough to merit a ban at prom Ė and all too often it is because of the level of misogyny inherent in todayís popular music.
wenty songs that refer to women as "hos" and other derogatory names won't be played at the Arcadia High prom Saturday night.
That's because senior Madeline Conrique and fellow members of the Women's Health and Issues Club brokered a deal with school administrators limiting songs with misogynistic themes and lyrics.
"Some of the songs call women `bitches' and `hos,' or refer to them as objects and treat them like animals," Conrique said. "We find that offensive."
A petition circulated on campus since last week asked students to support banning misogynistic songs from the prom; it garnered 130 signatures. About 1,000 students are expected to attend this weekend's event.
Of course, the group had wanted to ban 300 songs Ė something that the administration noted would have been virtually impossible to monitor. But they did get a compromise with the administration that would eliminate the 20 worst offenders.
Sadly, many students (including a lot of girls) objected to the ban despite the degrading lyrics. Iíd call that a coarsening of the culture. And Iíd argue that students claiming they like dancing to such music is not sufficient to keep the songs on the playlist Ė after all, I cannot imagine anyone arguing that a song which was chock-full of racist or anti-Semitic lyrics would ever be deemed acceptable, no matter how great the beat. It is a matter of standards and what message the school deems acceptable and is willing to sponsor.
Looks like my preferred candidate is going to get the job. He has a history of exemplary service in the field of space exploration, and he is superbly qualified for the job. Best of all, he isnít the hack politician who was formerly my congressman.
Former astronaut Charles F. Bolden Jr. will meet with President Obama in the Oval Office on Monday morning and likely will be appointed the new NASA administrator, a senior administration official told NBC News on Thursday.
If he is chosen as expected, Bolden, a veteran of four spaceflights with more than 680 hours in Earth orbit, would be the first African-American appointed to NASA's top post. Bolden retired from the Marine Corps in 2003 as a major general.
My major criticism of the article is the focus on Boldenís race. While that aspect of Boldenís biography is interesting, it is merely a footnote to those of us who find the accomplishments of this man during his career with NASA to be the more compelling argument for making him head of NASA. Call it a ďcontent of his characterĒ thing. I certainly wish Bolden and the space agency well.
An interesting take on this move can be found at Bay Area Houston.
Must we now offer every child and Beanie baby collector the opportunity to own a replica of Obamaís pooch?
CHICAGO ó The presidential popularity of the Obamas' new puppy Bo is complete. The company that makes Beanie Babies has released a shaggy black and white version of the dog named "Bo" ó and he's selling fast.
The company has previously run into trouble taking inspiration from the Obama family. The company released two dolls resembling the Obama children as part of its Ty Girlz collection but retired the names "Marvelous Malia" and "Sweet Sasha" after Michelle Obama said using her daughters' names was inappropriate.
The dolls were renamed "Marvelous Mariah" and "Sweet Sydney."
Less than a dozen "Bo" Beanie Babies were sent to the educational toy shop Learning Express in the Chicago suburb of St. Charles, and he sold out quickly, owner Aalap Shah said Wednesday.
"We were fortunate enough to receive a small shipment of 'Bo'," Shah said. "He sold out within a few hours. He was very popular. We can't wait to get some more in."
Oh come on!
Gag me with a squeaky toy!
Enough with the Obama overload.
Barack Obama is president.
He isnít king, and he isnít a god.
Do we really need to create little Obama idols at every opportunity? After all, I thought Barney was cute, but I didnít feel the need for paraphernalia related to him Ė and my only reaction to Millieís Book was that I was pleased the money went to charity. But this is simply one more aspect of Obama over-exposure.
It is black letter law, dating back to the Clinton Administration -- states that give in-state tuition to illegal aliens must also give it to all American citizens, regardless of the state in which they reside.
California does the former, but has refused to do the latter.
Hence this suit.
Students from 19 states yesterday filed a class-action lawsuit seeking hundreds of millions of dollars from California officials for charging them significantly more than illegal aliens pay to attend state-run colleges.
The 42 plaintiffs say California state lawmakers and the University of California board of regents knowingly violated a federal law enacted in 1996 that says any state that offers discounted in-state tuition to its illegal aliens must provide the same lower rates to all U.S. citizens.
California has a "unique" statute barring discrimination on the basis of geographic origin, said lead attorney Michael J. Brady.
Some students in the University of California system could be eligible for as much as $300,000 in total damages, he said.
Damages of $300K? I'm intrigued. What is the difference in tuition?
Mr. Brady said out-of-state students are paying $20,000 more than illegal aliens per year to attend schools in the University of California system. In the California state university system, the difference is $11,000 per year.
"And in the community college system in California, which has a total of 1.5 million students, the tuition differential is $6,000 a year," he said.
I don't see how we get to that figure for damages, unless the statute allows for punitive damages significanty beyond actual damages. But the really interesting issue is that the state of California really has no defense to offer due to the history of the statute in question.
Mr. Brady said California officials knew their tuition law that took effect in 2002 was unfair and illegal.
"Former Governor Gray Davis initially vetoed it, saying it violated federal law and that it would cost California $65 million [in damages]," Mr. Brady said. "He sent it back to the state Legislature with that warning, but they re-enacted the same law," which Mr. Davis eventually signed.
Mr. Brady said administrators of the University of California system also recognized that the state law was invalid, and they refused to implement it unless they were "given immunity." As a result, he said, California lawmakers enacted an "immunity statute," which says that if the state tuition law is declared illegal or unconstitutional, schools in the University of California system would not be held liable for retroactive tuition differences.
Even after it was vetoed on the grounds it was illegal, the legislature passed the bill again. And after the schools pointed out that the law put them at risk, the legislature attempted to immunize them from liability -- something that I don't see as possible given that state law is trumped by federal law in this instance. Any court would be bound to strike down the immunity statute as well, for the state cannot ban damages from federal lawsuits.
More corruption from the camp of Jack Murtha, whose corruption has been a national scandal for decades even as he has been embraced by leading Democrats.
Rep. John Murtha's opponent in the 2008 election claims the Pennsylvania congressman's chief of staff has threatened to have him recalled to active duty and court-martialed for campaigning while in the military, which is in violation of military code.
Bill Russell, an Iraq war veteran who served with the Army, told FOXNews.com that Murtha's chief of staff, John Hugya, made the threat on two occasions -- first to his former commanding officer and then to his face in March.
"It's a terrible, terrible threat to make," said Russell, a Republican who lost to the Democratic powerhouse in November but plans to challenge him again in 2010. Asked if Murtha is trying to bully him out of a rematch, Russell said: "It was a direct intent to intimidate."
Russell was on active duty for a three-month period -- from April to July -- of his campaign for Congress last year. But he said he did not campaign during that period, as Hugya was suggesting, and so did not violate military code that prohibits doing so.
Abscam. Earmarks. Steering contracts to donors and family members. Threatening to subvert the military justice system to punish political opponents. What would Democrats do if a Republican were to engage in such a long record of misconduct? Why wonít they respond similarly to such actions by one of their own? And when will the people of his district send such a corrupt figure into a disgraced retirement?
Dr. Conard reported that the discovery was made beneath three feet of red-brown sediment in the floor of the Hohle Fels Cave. Six fragments of the carved ivory, including all but the left arm and shoulder, were recovered. When he brushed dirt off the torso, he said, ďthe importance of the discovery became apparent.Ē The short, squat torso is dominated by oversize breasts and broad buttocks. The split between the two halves of the buttocks is deep and continuous without interruption to the front of the figurine. A greatly enlarged vulva emphasizes the ďdeliberate exaggerationĒ of the figurineís sexual characteristics, Dr. Conard said.
No word yet if Keith Olbermann and other liberal commentators will call for Thomas to be removed from her role as a senior journalist with the White House press corps Ė or whether her politically correct liberalism renders her immune from the sort of criticism that accompanied the leaking of much less explicit photos of a topless Carrie Prejean.
Iím all for making sure that a potential justice is in sufficiently good health to do the job. Acute medical conditions may well be a disqualifying factor for a candidate for the Supreme Court Ė but what about chronic conditions? Take this piece on Judge Sotomayor Ė and what I see as an overblown concern about a medical condition that does not seem to have hindered her career up to this point.
As President Obama approaches his first Supreme Court appointment, the question of how much scrutiny he should give to a candidate's health could rise to the surface once more.
A frontrunner for the post, Judge Sonia Sotomayor of U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, is a Type One diabetic. It is one of the more compelling aspects to an already compelling biography. And while hardly a debilitating disease -- indeed, recent medical advancements have made it quite manageable to live with -- there remain enough late-in-life health implications to have sparked debate in legal, political and medical circles. Just how relevant are medical issues to Sotomayor's or any other potential Supreme Court nomination?
"It is obligatory [to look at this]" said Jeffrey Toobin, a legal analyst for CNN and author of "The Nine: Inside The Secret World of the Supreme Court." "The issue of duration of service for a Supreme Court nominee is critical to any president, and thus health and medical issues are very much at the forefront of their considerations... It would be irresponsible for any president not to make the health of the nominee a major subject of concern, because presidents want decades of service from their nominees."
Added another political operative who has worked on judicial nominations in the past: "I don't even think it is very sensitive. I think it is just obvious.... It is part of who we are. And so I think you find that there is almost in this day and age, there is almost no area of inquiry that is out of bounds."
Now do I think that there is a place to ask questions about Sotomayorís diabetes? Perhaps, but only to the degree that there is any evidence that she is suffering from some seriously debilitating effects of the disease. As a Type Two diabetic, I know that there are possible complications to both forms of our disease, and that these potential future complications can be serious or even life threatening. But for most of us, they are not likely to be Ė yesterday I sat with an 85 year old woman who has been coping quite nicely with her Type Two diabetes for a couple of decades. My Type One cousin is a successful hospital administrator in a major Midwestern city who has progressed from insulin shots as a child to a pump as an adult to a pancreas transplant several years ago Ė she has been told that she can expect to live a normal lifespan with no real diminution of her ability to work or otherwise lead an active life.
Am I a fan of Sonia Sotomayor as a potential nominee to the High Court? No, but do think she may be better than some of the other options on Obamaís radar. But regardless of my lack of enthusiasm for the prospect of her becoming a justice, I donít see her diabetes as something that should disqualify her in the eyes of the President Ė or during any confirmation fight. Given medical advances over the last few decades, diabetes is simply not a serious enough medical condition to keep her off the bench Ė as her service on both the district and circuit court levels has amply proved.
According to one institution of higher education, the answer is no Ė even if that white man was born and raised in Africa.
Born and raised in Mozambique and now a naturalized U.S. citizen, Serodio, 45, has filed a lawsuit against a New Jersey medical school, claiming he was harassed and ultimately suspended for identifying himself during a class cultural exercise as a "white African-American."
"I wouldn't wish this to my worst enemy," he said. "I'm not exaggerating. This has destroyed my life, my career."
The lawsuit, which asks for Serodio's reinstatement at the school and monetary damages, named the Newark-based University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and several doctors and university employees as defendants.
Filed Monday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, the lawsuit traces a series of events that Serodio maintains led to his 2007 suspension, starting with a March 2006 cultural exercise in a clinical skills course taught by Dr. Kathy Ann Duncan, where each student was asked to define themselves for a discussion on culture and medicine.
After Serodio labeled himself as a white African-American, another student said she was offended by his comments and that, because of his white skin, was not an African-American.
According to the lawsuit, Serodio was summoned to Duncan's office where he was instructed "never to define himself as an African-American & because it was offensive to others and to people of color for him to do so."
"It's crazy," Serodio's attorney Gregg Zeff told ABCNews.com. "Because that's what he is."
Serodio, who lives in Newark, said he never meant to offend anyone and calling himself African-American doesn't detract from another person's heritage.
Now letís consider this for a minute. If I argued that it was somehow offensive for a black person to define him or herself as ďAmericanĒ because Iím an American and not black, Iíd justifiably be called a racist. It is equally as racist for some blacks to seek to reserve the continent of Africa to themselves, given the multi-ethnic makeup of that continent. After all, while most people of sub-Saharan Africa are black, not all of them are. And in northern Africa, the vast majority are of an entirely different ethnic stock, a mixture of Arab and Semitic peoples among others. Are those individuals to be excluded from their African heritage in order to protect the hyper-sensitive feelings of racist blacks who want to lay claim to the continent as exclusively their own?
Whatís more, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey is a public institution. Is it the place of a public institution to define the race of its students and limit how some students view their heritage based upon those determinations? I would argue that the answer is self-evidently ďNO!Ē To expel an individual from a professional school based upon their ethnic self-identification is simply intolerable. And equally unacceptable was the attempt by school officials to gag the student by forbidding him to speak or write in any public forum about the issue of race, ethnicity and culture Ė last time I checked, the First Amendment still applied to public institutions.
Why do I defend this gentleman? Perhaps it is because for several years I taught with a young woman who was born and raised in South Africa Ė a woman who proudly identified herself as an African. Perhaps it is because I do not know how else to identify an individual like Teresa Heinz Kerry, also born and raised in Mozambique, other than as an individual of unambiguously African heritage. And yes, perhaps because I frequently remind my students that the entire human race has its origin on the continent of Africa, and therefore we all have some claim to the continent on which our species emerged Ė and in that sense we are all African Americans.
This sounds like it could be from the Onion, but it isn't.
Naked S.E. Houston man held in fatal shooting
Perhaps it would be a tragedy for the Houston Chronicle to fold -- if only because of the loss of headlines like that one.
My students laughed at me last fall when, after Hurricane Ike and the extended power outages that followed, I predicted an increased birth rate in the area come June and July. Today they laughed with me when I read them the following article.
Doctors who work in Houstonís busiest maternity ward say theyíre expecting an especially bustling June, leading some to conclude that Hurricane Ike was the perfect storm for making babies. Itís been eight months since Ike knocked out the regionís electricity, leaving many with no television, Internet access or other distractions for days, if not weeks. Now thereís a curious bump in the number of women who are rounding out their third trimesters of pregnancy. Several obstetrical practices associated with The Womanís Hospital of Texas are extra-busy these days with prenatal care. ďI looked, somewhat in shock, at my little book of deliveries for June, and itís 26,Ē said Dr. John Irwin, president of Obstetrical and Gynecological Associates. He routinely delivers 15 to 20 babies a month and called the Ike boomlet ďa real phenomenon.Ē His colleagues in the 35-physician practice have seen a similar increase in patients who probably conceived during the powerless days after Ike. ďThereís about a 25 percent increase in the number of deliveries coming up in mid-June to mid-July,Ē said Irwin, also chief of surgery service at Womanís Hospital.
I donít know why anyone would be surprised. Weather-related disasters like this one often produce such statistical anomalies, and I would not have expected Hurricane Ike to be any different. Indeed, one local OB/GYN is certain that is precisely the reason for the strange increase in babies due this summer.
Dr. Rakhi Dimino, an obstetrician/gynecologist with Houston Womenís Care Associates, is sure thereís something to this Ike baby boom. Sheís due June 10. She was on call at Womanís as the hurricane passed over, and and left around noon that Saturday. She was with her husband at home until her office reopened the following Tuesday. So what was happening at the Dimino home those two and a half days? ďWhat everybody else in Houston was doing,Ē said Dimino, 33, whose baby will be her first. ďYou can only do so much when thereís no television, nothing open and thereís nowhere to go.Ē
I donít like it Ė but not for the reason that everyone else seems to object.
NRSC chairman John Cornyn made the endorsement official this morning, casting Crist as the most electable candidate to hold the seat for the GOP.
"While I believe Marco Rubio has a very bright future within the Republican Party, Charlie Crist is the best candidate in 2010 to ensure that we maintain the checks and balances that Floridians deserve in the United States Senate," Cornyn said in a statement.
"Governor Crist is a dedicated public servant and a dynamic leader, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee will provide our full support to ensure that he is elected the next United States Senator from Florida.Ē
The committeeís decision will make it tougher for former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio to raise money against Crist, given that the party has given the governor its stamp of approval. Rubio has won support from Florida conservatives and has a base in the Cuban-American community, but will need to raise a significant amount of money to credibly compete against Crist in the primary.
Now Iíll be honest Ė I like Rubio more than I like Crist. Rubio is popular and has the Cuban-American demographic going for him, not to mention more conservative. Crist, despite his unquestioned popularity with Florida voters, will be dogged by a certain rumor about him (irrelevant to his qualification for office, in my opinion) that has been given more public play in a current documentary. The real problem for me, though, is the fact that I believe that the GOP base should be picking the candidate, not the inside the Beltway crowd.
There really is only one appropriate response from normal males to the kerfluffle over the Carrie Prejean photos:
Personally, I think the more topless photos, the better. But as a straight male, what do I know about beauty pageants?
I love Star Trek. Always have, always will. But having grown up in a military family, Iíve always had the same sort of question as Kurt Schlichter at NewsBusters.
I just cannot get behind this Star Trek rebirth. The whole thing is just so unrealistic. Not the warp speed or phasers or beaming about the universe - those are at least remotely plausible. I am talking about the fact that the starship Enterprise is composed entirely of officers and yet it still seems to function. Where are the non-commissioned officers (NCO), the petty officers and sergeants who actually make any military organization run? No, I can suspend disbelief over Klingons and tribbles, and I actively support the notion of green alien hotties. But the idea of a functioning military unit without sergeants is just a wormhole too far.
And may I take it a step further Ė where the heck are all the Master Chiefs and Senior Chiefs, if we are operating on a distinctly naval model? Even as an officerís son, I learned early that the real work of the Navy could not have been accomplished without those senior enlisted men. How do they manage it on the Starship Enterprise.
Well, most of what they do violates one tenet or another of international law. Why would this come as any surprise?
Taleban fighters have been using deadly white phosphorus munitions, some of them manufactured in Britain, to attack Western forces in Afghanistan, according to previously classified United States documents released yesterday. White phosphorus, which can burn its victims down to the bone, has been found in improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in regions across Afghanistan including in the south, where British troops are based. It has also been used in mortar and rocket attacks on American forces. Last night the US military in Kabul condemned the use of white phosphorus by the insurgents as ďreprehensibleĒ. White phosphorus is banned as an offensive weapon under international rules of armed conflict.
And sadly, some of these weapons have been turned against civilians, another war crime. And yet somehow the opinion leaders in this country appear more concerned over terrorists getting their faces wet at Gitmo than over enemy activities that actually merit condemnation by civilized people.
But then again, such folks canít seem to muster sufficient outrage to condemn gas attacks on schoolgirls, either.
I like Gary Sinise. Like his style, and I like his politics. However, I donít know that I am ready to support him for this particular office in 2012.
Nicolle Wallace, a top adviser to George W. Bush and John McCainís presidential campaign, is adding a few names to the list of Republicans who might lead the GOP out of the wilderness. Top among them? Actor Gary Sinise. Wallace, writing on The Daily Beast, said she first heard the idea from a fellow Republican. ďThe natural strengths that an actor brings to politics would come in handy to anyone going up against Obama in 2012,Ē she wrote. ďWe will need an effective communicator who can stand toe to toe with Obamaís eloquence.Ē Sinise, also a musician, performs for U.S. troops and often champions veterans' causes.
The only thing he would be lacking would be the sort of experience that would actually qualify him to be president. Good grief Ė his resume is even thinner than Obamaís in 2008.
On the other hand, he might make a great candidate for Governor or Senator somewhere.
I prefer one of Wallaceís other names Ė General David Petraeus.
You had two tickets. You arrived as a part of a party of three at the White House Correspondentís Dinner, and threw a tantrum over the matter. My favorite line of the night? This one, uttered regarding the security guard dispatched to deal with her attempted crashing of the party.
ĎDoes he even know who the fó I am?í
Maybe he did, Megan, and maybe he didnít. But I think I speak for an awful lot of Americans when I say that he probably didnít care. I know that I sure donít.
Ever since I started working in politics, I have had a simple rule Ė if I donít believe in a candidate, I donít work for him/her. If I lose faith in a candidate, I quit working for the campaign. Most folks Iíve dealt with in the GOP operate on the same sort of principle.
ABC contributor George Will suggested former Sen. John Edwards was irresponsible to campaign for the Democratic Party nomination. "Think about what a tragedy it would have been if he had won?" Will said. I've talked to a lot of former Edwards staffers about this. Up until December of 2007, most on Edwards' staff didn't believe rumors about the affair. But by late December, early January of last year, several people in his inner circle began to think the rumors were true. Several of them had gotten together and devised a "doomsday" strategy of sorts. Basically, if it looked like Edwards was going to win the Democratic Party nomination, they were going to sabotage his campaign, several former Edwards' staffers have told me. They said they were Democrats first, and if it looked like Edwards was going to become the nominee, they were going to bring down the campaign.
Think about that one for a minute Ė they were willing to take the money paid by a candidate but not show him any loyalty. They decided he should not be president, but continued to draw a check anyway, while planning to sabotage the campaign if it appeared he would win.
Disgusting Ė absolutely disgusting.
George Stephanopoulos has reported on this ďdoomsday planĒ. That is all well and good Ė but what he really needs to do is report the names of the staffers who were willing to co-opt the political process for their own personal gain, and to commit a fraud on the electorate for a paycheck.
And let me say that as deeply as I feel contempt for John Edwards, it does not approach the level of contempt I have for these staffers. Better that they be good Americans and not participate in the cover-up -- and allow the voters in the Democrat primary to have full information on all the candidates, which might have influenced the eventual outcome of the Democrat nomination. After all, would those Edwards voters have broken for Obama, giving him an earlier victory in the delegate hunt? Or would the displaced Edwards voters have broken for Hillary Clinton, turning the entire race on its head? And wouldnít either of those outcomes have been better for America?
Iím just curious, since we are supposed to take the decisions of courts around the world as supplying precedents for interpreting our laws and Constitution.
Husbands are allowed to slap their wives if they spend lavishly, a Saudi judge said recently during a seminar on domestic violence, Saudi media reported Sunday. Arab News, a Saudi English-language daily newspaper based in Riyadh, reported that Judge Hamad Al-Razine said that "if a person gives SR 1,200 [$320] to his wife and she spends 900 riyals [$240] to purchase an abaya [the black cover that women in Saudi Arabia must wear] from a brand shop and if her husband slaps her on the face as a reaction to her action, she deserves that punishment."
Remember Ė Muslims make up a huge percentage of the worldís population. And there are, of course, many Muslim countries that include sharia law as a part of their legal framework. Shouldnít we give due consideration to the wisdom that law supplies? Or should we instead recognize that the laws and court rulings of foreign countries should have no bearing upon how our courts interpret our statutes and fundamental law.
FoxNews says it all in this story.
While racy photos of Miss California Carrie Prejean could cost the outspoken first runner up in the Miss USA pageant her crown, pageant officials don't seem to care about even steamier photos of Miss Rhode Island that appeared in a menís magazine.
So is Prejean being targeted simply for her beliefs?
Alysha Castonguay posed for photos much more explicit and erotic than those that were leaked of Carrie Prejean. And while there is the disclosure issue, the bigger factor appears to be the desire of the pageant organizers to get rid of a young woman who had the audacity to take a conservative stance on a controversial social issue, a position that offended a loud and vocal segment of the liberal coalition (but which was in keeping with the beliefs of a majority of Californians). Even Alysha Castonguay sees the matter that way.
Castonguay even told gossip site TMZ that she felt Prejean was being targeted simply because she answered her pageant question by saying she favored limiting marriage to a man and a woman. ďI personally believe this situation is stemming from the controversy over her opinion and not a photo,Ē Castonguay said.
Seems to me that Donald Trump, the owner of the Miss USA organization, needs to intervene in order to save his brand.
H/T Don Surber
Sykes was at her most vicious on the subject of Rush Limbaugh. "Rush Limbaugh said he hopes this administration fails. That's like saying, 'I hope America fails.' Or that 'I dont care if people are losing their homes, their jobs, our soldiers in Iraq.' He just wants the country to fail. To me, that's treason. He's not saying anything differently than what Osama Bin Laden is saying." Then, turning to the president, Sykes added, "You might want to look into this, sir. Because I think maybe he was the 20th hijacker. But he was just so strung out on Oxycontin that he missed his flight." Realizing she shocked the crowd with that remark, she said, "Too much? But you're laughing on the inside..." But she wasn't done. "Rush Limbaugh [says] 'I hope the country fails." I hope his kidneys fail. How about that? He needs some waterboarding, that's what he needs."
And werenít we told for the last eight years that questioning the patriotism of Americans who dissented from the policies of the president was beyond the pale Ė and that such Americans were engaged in the highest form of patriotism? And to accuse such Americans of treason Ė or suggest that they were the equivalent of terrorists (or, worse yet, to call them terrorists even if they had, in fact, engaged in acts of terrorism like those committed by Bill Ayers) Ė was utterly unacceptable and un-American.
Somehow, though, all those rules went out the window on Saturday night at the White House Correspondentsí Dinner. And rather than express his disapproval, President Obama sat and laughed out loud as the semi-talented Ms. Sykes wished death on a political opponent and accused him of treason and terrorism.
Now the American press hates Limbaugh, whose audience is growing even as theirs is shrinking, so they are not particularly taken aback by such naked hatred in the name of politics. But I am particularly struck by the clear-headed response of Toby Harnden of the Telegraph.
"Obama seemed to think this bit was pretty hilarious, grinning and chuckling and turning to share the 'joke' with the person sitting on his right. There's not much room for differing interpretations of what Sykes said. She called Limbaugh a terrorist and a traitor, suggested that he be tortured and wished him dead. What was his crime? Hoping that Obama's policies - which he views as socialist - will fail. That's way, way beyond reasoned debate or comedy and Obama's reaction to it was astonishing...Obama laughing when someone wishes Limbaugh dead? Hard to take from the man who promised a new era of civility and elevated debate in Washington."
Now, though, we know exactly what constitutes civility and elevated debate in the age of Obama Ė and it sure isnít elevated or civil by any reasonable personís definition of those words. And it is fair to say that since Obama put his imprimatur upon that sort of ďhumorĒ, he has managed to disgraces himself and his office even further than he did during the first 100 days.
And as for Sykes Ė Iíd suggest she has jumped the shark, but for the fact that she began her career on the far side of said aquatic predator.
I'm really taken aback by this comment by CBS golf announcer David Feherty.
"From my own experience visiting the troops in the Middle East, I can tell you this, though: despite how the conflict has been portrayed by our glorious media, if you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it, and he found himself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Osama bin Laden, there's a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death," Feherty wrote in an a D Magazine piece welcoming former President George W. Bush back to Dallas.
Now my initial reaction to this comment was shock. It was followed by the desire to mock Feherty's comment with an equally inappropriate response that I won't include here in the interest of good taste and common decency. But in the end, I have to agree with the fifth columnists at Media Matters for (sic) America.
"Mr. Feherty's violent comments about Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid are disgusting," said Media Matters President Eric Burns. "Suggesting that our troops would attack the leaders of the very democracy they've sworn to sacrifice their lives for is an insult to their integrity, honor, and professionalism. CBS Sports should demand its golf analyst apologize to our soldiers."
Well said -- and spot on.
UPDATE: NewsBusters has a very different take on the matter, pointing out that the piece was satirical in nature, and taking both MMA and Keith Olbermann to task over their failure to note what was said in the rest of the satirical article -- and noting that the piece was some seven-weeks old and that it came to national attention only after negative words from Rush Limbaugh's guest host on Friday.
This time on how to deal with terrorists -- he's going to go with military commissions rather than civilian courts to try the jihadi swine.
In one of its first acts, the Obama administration obtained a 120-day suspension of the military commissions; that will expire May 20. Human rights groups had interpreted the suspension as the death knell for military commissions and expected the transfer of cases to military courts martial or federal courts.
Officials said yesterday that the Obama administration will seek a 90-day extension of the suspension as early as next week. It would subsequently restart the commissions on American soil, probably at military bases, according to a lawyer briefed on the plan.
While the rules are going to be modified, the fact is that these jihadi swine will be kept out of civilian courts and tried in a forum more akin to those used to try our military personnel. Seems reasonable to me -- after all, America's enemies should not get greater consideration than American soldiers -- and, indeed, do not merit even that much.
Personally, though, I believe that both administrations are wrong on this. What needs to happen is extensive enhanced interrogation, followed by summary execution with a bullet coated in bacon grease. No process is due to these enemies of civilization.
Much to the consternation of his Bush Derangement Syndrome afflicted followers, I'm sure.
The Obama administration will retain a Bush-era rule for polar bears, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Friday, in a move that angered activists who noted the rule limits what can be done to protect the species from global warming.
The administration had faced a weekend deadline to decide whether it should allow government agencies to cite the federal Endangered Species Act, which protects the bear, to impose limits on greenhouse gases from power plants, factories and automobiles even if the emissions occur thousands of miles from where the polar bear lives.
"We must do all we can to help the polar bear recover, recognizing that the greatest threat to the polar bear is the melting of Arctic sea ice caused by climate change," Salazar said in a statement. "However, the Endangered Species Act is not the proper mechanism for controlling our nationís carbon emissions.
Especially since anthropomorphic global warming is a hoax that is well on its way to being discredited by good science on our climate. Besides, didn't i read recently that the polar bear population is up?
Now one of our major concerns in the last few months has been the possibility of losing her. After all, for over seven months we were out of our home, first evacuated to Austin, then living in the church hall, and finally the apartment several miles from our house. We wondered what would happen if she got away, and how we would ever recover her.
That is where the idea of microchipping pets enters the picture. Microchips can't be lost and don't fade or become defaced. And at the Home Again Web Site, you get a great service to help you recover your pet should it become lost. For an annual subscription fee, HomeAgain members have telephone access to pet-recovery specialists and 24/7 emergency medical assistance at 1-888-HomeAgain. The program also includes up to $3,000 (less a $50 deductible) in medical pet insurance for lost pets and up to $500 in reimbursable travel expenses for pets found more than 500 miles from home.
And if you subscibe to their service, HomeAgain will make a donation to help shelter animals through a fundraising Web site specifically created to help shelter animals
One more sign that shifting Left may not help Arlan Specter after all. First the Democrat Caucus in the Senate rejects him, now MoveOn.org.
One of the nationís largest liberal advocacy organizations, MoveOn.org , is resisting efforts to clear the Democratic primary field for Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter.
The political arm of MoveOn flexed its muscle Friday by releasing the results of an online poll that showed the vast majority of the groupís roughly 170,000 members in Pennsylvania ó 85 percent ó would consider supporting a Democratic challenger against Specter.
The group expressed concern over Specterís vote against President Obamaís $3.4 billion budget just one day after defecting to the Democratic Party. MoveOn also cited comments Specter made in an appearance on ďMeet the PressĒ last weekend suggesting he would oppose a public health insurance option that some Democrats would like to see included in any health care reform proposal.
of course, a full 90% of MoveOn supporters would support Specter in the general election -- but he does need to get that Democrat nomination first, and it appears that the Democrat base -- as well as elected Democrats -- are balking at the prospect of welcoming him into the party.
That is the current snapshot from Rasmussen.
Texas Governor Rick Perry and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison find themselves essentially tied in an early look at their 2010 Primary battle. The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey shows Perry attracting 42% of the vote while Hutchison earns 38%. Seven percent (7%) say theyíd like to vote for somebody else and 13% are undecided. Perry leads by 15 percentage points among conservative voters but Hutchison leads by 35 points among the moderates. Favorability ratings for the two candidates are virtually even among Likely Republican Primary Voters. Perry is viewed Very Favorably by 26% and Very Unfavorably by 9%. The comparable numbers for Hutchison are 27% and 10%.
My concern is that this means a really divisive primary. However, given Rick Perryís weakness in the last election, I donít see him as a strong candidate for governor. Hutchison, on the other hand, would be able to defeat practically any candidate that the Dems put up against her next fall. That is why, in the end, I am backing her in this race.
The Obama administration wants to cut almost in half a benefits program for the families of slain police and safety officers. The president's proposed budget calls for cutting the Public Safety Officers' Death Benefits Program from $110 million to $60 million. Justice Department budget documents say the reduction is being made because "claims are anticipated to decrease" because the number of officers killed in the line of duty has been decreasing.
One problem Ė that rationale is a lie. The rate of officers killed in the line of duty has been increasing, and is up some 20%. So tell me again why you want to cut the money set aside for dead cops and their families. Iím cure my brother the police officer would like to know as well, as would his wife and kids.
I hate to say it, but I am not feeling a whole lot of sympathy for folks in this situation.
Though more than 4,000 Louisiana homeowners have received rebuilding money only in the last six months, or are struggling with inadequate grants or no money at all, FEMA is intent on taking away their trailers by the end of May. The deadline, which ends temporary housing before permanent housing has replaced it, has become a stark example of recovery programs that seem almost to be working against one another. Thousands of rental units have yet to be restored, and not a single one of 500 planned ďKatrina cottagesĒ has been completed and occupied. The Road Home program for single-family homeowners, which has cost federal taxpayers $7.9 billion, has a new contractor who is struggling to review a host of appeals, and workers who assist the homeless are finding more elderly people squatting in abandoned buildings. Nonetheless, FEMA wants its trailers back, even though it plans to scrap or sell them for a fraction of what it paid for them. ďAll I can say is that this is a temporary program, it was always intended as a temporary program, and at a certain point all temporary programs must end,Ē said Brent Colburn, the agencyís director of external affairs. He said there would be no extensions.
It has been 3 Ĺ years since Hurricane Katrina. Huge amounts of government assistance has been poured into the region impacted. Survivors of other disasters, like those of us who went through Hurricane Ike last fall, have received nothing near the level of assistance that was given to folks in New Orleans. Indeed, except for a few elderly and seriouslydisabled folks in my town, there is not a FEMA trailer to be seen despite a 12 foot storm surge. I was told flat-out that my wife and I didnít qualify for a trailer or rental assistance because we had insurance to repair our house, even though it did not cover temporary housing for the seven months we were out of our home. We were expected to make due with our own resources, even in the immediate aftermath of the storm. I therefore cannot feel outraged that ďtemporary assistanceĒ is ending for people who were impacted by a storm well over three years ago Ė and wonder why the New York Times doesnít wander down here to Texas and investigate the relative lack of assistance that those of us in the Houston/Galveston area have received.
Now tell me Ė why was it necessary to plow taxpayer money into a company that is going to to move jobs from America to other countries to be profitable?
According to an outline the company has been sharing privately with Washington legislators, the number of cars that GM sells in the United States and builds in Mexico, China and South Korea will roughly double. The proportion of GM cars sold domestically and manufactured in those low-wage countries will rise from 15 percent to 23 percent over the next five years, according to the figures contained in a 12-page presentation offered to lawmakers in response to their questions about overseas production. As a result, the long-simmering argument over U.S. manufacturers expanding production overseas -- normally arising between unions and private companies -- is about to engage the Obama administration.
Remember Ė GM is now Obama Motors after the bailout. Will Barry Hussein allow those good jobs with good wages and benefits go to foreigners in foreign countries? Or will he insist that the company that he has poured taxpayer money into keep employing American taxpayers?
ABC Newsí Rick Klein reports: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was briefed on the use of ďenhanced interrogation techniquesĒ on terrorist suspect Abu Zubaydah in September 2002, according to a report prepared by the Director of National Intelligenceís office and obtained by ABC News.
The report, submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee and other Capitol Hill officials Wednesday, appears to contradict Pelosiís statement last month that she was never told about the use of waterboarding or other special interrogation tactics. Instead, she has said, she was told only that the Bush administration had legal opinions that would have supported the use of such techniques.
The report details a Sept. 4, 2002 meeting between intelligence officials and Pelosi, then-House intelligence committee chairman Porter Goss, and two aides. At the time, Pelosi was the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee.
The meeting is described as a ďBriefing on EITs including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of particular EITs that had been employed.Ē
EITs stand for ďenhanced interrogation techniques,Ē a classification of special interrogation tactics that includes waterboarding.
What does this all mean? It means that Pelosi and other leading Democrats knew about waterboarding and other means used to extract usable intelligence from jihadis. It means that they either approved those techniques or that they lacked the courage to speak out about them at the time. And it means that we have seen a sustained campaign of falsehood from the Democrats about the issue.
Time to cue the Donkey Party theme song!
Let's come out and say it -- hacking is a bad thing in too many cases. Aside from being illegal, hackers tend to do damage to the systems they hack. But if you are interested in the challenge of breaking into systems, is there a way to do it legally and with an acceptable moral framework? Believe it or not, there is.
What you can do is get into a field with expanding job opportunities and rising salaries -- IT Security. Think of it as "ethical hacking", as you try to crash through the doors and windows of your employers system. Your job is not to do damage -- it is to find the holes in the system that would make it possible for the bad guys to do damage to the system. You aren't a vandal -- you are the first line of defense against those people.
Now how do you get trained for this? Well, one option is the online iClass option from the EC-Council. They offer coursework in Security Fundamentals, Ethical Hacking, Penetration Testing, Computer Forensics, Disaster Recovery, and Secure Programming to teach you how and what to do in an honest, above-board and legal manner so that you get paid for your work, not jailed for it.
He has released a statement on the matter.
"After careful consideration and many conversations with friends and family and the leadership of my party, I have decided not to seek the Republican nomination for Senate," Ridge said in a statement, adding later, "The 2010 race has significant implications for my party, and that required thoughtful reflection. All of the above made my decision a difficult and deeply personal conclusion to reach. ... To those who believe that the Republican Party is facing challenges; they are right. To those who believe the Democratic Party is without its own difficulties, they are wrong. No one party has a monopoly on all of the answers. ... And so my desire and intention is to help my party craft solutions that both sides of the aisle can embrace."
Not surprising, given that Ridge currently claims Maryland as his home state. Despite his strong Pennsylvania roots, that could have been used against him in both the primary and the general election.
I see this as an unhappy outcome for the GOP. I donít see Pat Toomey as being able to beat Specter in the general election. Is there another strong Republican who can both win the nomination and the general election?
Now that Elizabeth Edwards has gone public on Johnís affair and said plenty of nasty things about ďthe other womanĒ. Probable baby-mama Rielle Hunter is going to demand a paternity test and presumably seek child support.
The ex-senator's former lover - furious at being portrayed as a stalker in his wife's media tour - reportedly is taking revenge and will allow a paternity test for her baby after all. Rielle Hunter previously refused to allow DNA testing on baby Frances, born in February 2008. Edwards, even after the admitted affair, insisted he wasn't the father. Her friends said then she hoped they still had a future together and hoped to protect the philandering pol from further ruin. But on the eve of Elizabeth Edwards' appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" today to plug her new book, the National Enquirer reports that Hunter has changed her mind. "Now she can see there's never going to be a future with John, and she feels he's lied about his promise to keep Elizabeth from trashing her in the book," an "insider" told the mag.
Well, Elizabeth did say that she didnít know if John was the baby-daddy Ė this should settle the matter definitively. Perhaps it all has something to do with the fact that Rielle Hunter now realizes that Elizabeth isnít going to die any time soon Ė and John Edwards isnít coming back to her when she eventually does.
Pirates have fired small arms weapons at a U.S. Navy supply ship off the coast of Eastern Somalia, the first attack of this kind since last year's surge in pirate attacks, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday. The USNS Lewis and Clark was chased for about an hour on Wednesday morning by two pirates skiffs, but neither came closer than about one nautical mile to the U.S. vessel, the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet said in a statement. The small arms fire fell well short of the U.S. ship which speeded up to evade the skiffs.
If these pirates really want to screw with the US Navy, why not let the US Navy screw back? After all, what needs to happen is for the pirates to fear the consequences of piracy more than they desire the profits Ė and death at the hands of their would-be prey would be a good start towards deterring piracy.
ďMy hope is that our Democratic colleagues ó if you start listening to the bloggers ó if weíre going to let the bloggers run the country, then the countryís best days are behind us.Ē
Excuse me, Senator? Is it really your position that government officials should not listen to the voices of the people as expressed in public forums? Do you really believe that such voices are irrelevant, and that listening to citizens like me is a danger to our nationís greatness? Could it be that the time has come for you to go, so that we can have leaders who actually give a damn what the people have to say?
Hawaiiís state Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill Wednesday to celebrate ďIslam DayĒ _ over the objections of a few lawmakers who said they didnít want to honor a religion connected to Sept. 11, 2001. ÖThe resolution to proclaim Sept. 24, 2009, as Islam Day passed the Senate on a 22-3 vote. It had previously passed the House. The bill seeks to recognize ďthe rich religious, scientific, cultural and artistic contributionsĒ that Islam and the Islamic world have made.
Now hold on Ė will there be a Judaism Day? How about a Christianity Day? Buddhism Day? Scientology Day? Jedi Knight Day (hey Ė the British recognize Jedi Knights as a religion for census purposes)? And where are the usual crew of secularists raising a red flag over this state recognition of religion?
We have many laws regulating the ownership and use of firearms. Why not enforce them rather than make new ones?
Amid a wave of publicity about drug-related gun violence along the Mexican border and police killings in U.S. cities, more Americans than ever oppose new government efforts to regulate guns. Recent polls show shrinking support for new gun control measures and strong public sentiment for enforcing existing laws instead. So strong is the shift in public opinion that a proposed assault-weapons ban ó once backed by three in four Americans ó now rates barely one in two. Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll, told reporters Tuesday that ďevery bit of data is showing us that Americans are getting more conservative about gun control.Ē
But is it really a question of being more conservative? Or is it simply a question of recognizing that more laws are not the solution to the illegal sale and use of guns when we already have many that go unenforced?
Hate crime protection will be guaranteed for pedophiles Ė but attacks on current and former members of the armed forces because of their military service has been denied by Democrats.
During a House Judiciary Committee meeting, Congressman Steve King (R-IA) offered up an amendment to the hate crimes bill to exclude pedophiles from being a protected category under the hate crimes legislation. Every single Democrat voted it down.
In the same meeting, Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL) offered an amendment to include veterans as a class protected under the hate crimes bill. Not only did the Democrats vote it down, but Cogresswoman Debbie Waasserman Schultz attacked the Republicans for even thinking veterans might need protection under hate crimes legislation.
Why vote down an amendment excluding pedophiles from protection? Even if one accepts the argument that they were not intended to be covered by the statute, why not make the exclusion explicit?
And as for our veterans, weíve seen hate-inspired assaults on them for at least four decades, dating back to the Vietnam War. If veteran status is a basis for protection under other civil rights statutes, why not this one? Could it be that we have seen the majority in Congress demonstrate that, like Bill Clinton in the 1960s, it loathes the military?
Of course, I oppose hate crime laws -- and I therefore oppose the entire bill currently under consideration. But if we are to have such laws, why would we protect those who prey on vulnerable children, but not the patriots who defend our nation from its enemies?
Arlen Specter goes from first to last in seniority on the Judiciary Committee.
The Senate dealt a blow tonight to Sen. Arlen Specter's hold on seniority in several key committees, a week after the Pennsylvanian's party switch placed Democrats on the precipice of a 60-seat majority.
In a unanimous voice vote, the Senate approved a resolution that added Specter to the Democratic side of the dais on the five committees on which he serves, an expected move that gives Democrats larger margins on key panels such as Judiciary and Appropriations.
But Democrats placed Specter in one of the two most junior slots on each of the five committees for the remainder of this Congress, which goes through December 2010. Democrats have suggested that they will consider revisiting Specter's seniority claim at the committee level only after the midterm elections next year.
Looks like Specter has hurt his home state of Pennsylvania by surrendering seniority for personal political advantage. We already know that he wasnít interested in principle Ė now we see that he also doesnít care about the best interests of his constituents. You see, it is really all about the best interests of Arlen!
Some folks need their games to be very much like real life for them to be thrilling and enjoyable. This leads many of them to choose World of Warcraft as their gaming option. But to play, you need to buy wow game time, usually from an online source of some sort. One such account retailer for WoW accounts, products and services, is found at www.buyMMOaccounts.com. You can buy world of warcraft game time there.
Why get your stuff through www.buymmoaccounts.com? Easy Ė with them you know that you will get your World of Warcraft game cards and Keys in a timely manner, not like some of the resellers who take forever to get you their wares. And given that they provide support 7 days a week, you know that you will always be able to get in touch with them at 866-519-1188.
I never thought I would be as ashamed of my country as I am at this moment. This is positively disgraceful.
Bibles in Afghan languages sent to a U.S. soldier at a base in Afghanistan were confiscated and destroyed to ensure that troops did not breach regulations which forbid proselytizing, a military spokeswoman said.
* * *
Military officials have said the bibles were sent through private mail to an evangelical Christian soldier by his church back home. The soldier brought them to the bible study class where they were filmed.
Confiscated and destroyed? Why not simply returned to the sender? Why resort to book burning in order to suppress the free exercise of religion on the part of both American soldiers and the citizens of Afghanistan?
Thereís another country that destroys contraband Bibles in order to protect Islam by guaranteeing that Muslims do not hear the Gospel and are therefore not tempted to exercise their human right to freely change their religion. That country is Saudi Arabia Ė I wrote about that a couple of years ago.
Iím curious Ė will there be riots in the streets over this? Will there be an investigation of who gave the order, and apologies to offended Christians like happened when it was falsely reported that a Koran may have been desecrated at Gitmo? Or since Christians don't riot or issue fatwas, willthe US government simply ignore the offense given? And will the liberals who expressed outrage that soldiers might share the Gospel with Muslims express their revulsion at this act of official desecration of Christian religious texts by the US government?
I wonder -- in the next report of countries that suppress the religious liberty of their people, will the US State Department now include the United States as an offender rather than a champion of religious liberty?
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Iíve noted, in recent years, a certain tendency among left-wingers. When confronted with a woman offering a conservative view, the tendency is to refuse to address the argument. Instead, there is a concerted effort to denigrate that conservative woman as a woman Ė by sexually degrading her.
Such is the case with the current Miss California.
Miss California Carrie Prejean says a website has posted racy photos of her in an attempt to belittle her Christianity. "Recently, photos taken of me as a teenager have been released surreptitiously to a tabloid website that openly mocks me for my Christian faith," Prejean said yesterday in a statement. A photo of Prejean wearing only pink panties with her back turned to the camera appeared Monday on a gossip blog. In explaining the photos, Prejean said, "I am a Christian, and I am a model. Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos."
Add to that the issue that was made over her breast implants and it is pretty clear what the lefties who support gay marriage want us to believe Ė Carrie Prejean is a whore, and therefore her words should be disregarded and her position is discredited. In other words, rather than engage in a well-reasoned attack on her position on gay marriage, they choose to instead engage in an ad hominem attack on her person. And in this case with photos that I donít see as particularly scandalous.
Now I might let this go without comment, were it not that this is a part of the pattern of attacks on conservative women that has to do with their gender and sexuality.
Consider, for example, the sort of crap unleashed against Michelle Malkin Ė fake photos and comments about her alleged sexual antics
Then there were the disgusting sex-based attacks on Senator Fred Thompsonís wife, Jeri.
And donít forget the fake Sarah Palin photos that were somehow supposed to discredit her candidacy for vice president last fall.
So I guess the question that has to be asked is this Ė why do leftists hate women so much that they attack them on the crudest of sexual levels rather than engage them on the battle of ideas? Could it be that, despite their constant claims to worship at the altar of female empowerment and liberated sexuality, that too many folks on the Left are simply misogynistic patriarchs who insist that women keep to their proper place -- which is silent and in the background unless they are mouthing liberal political philosophy.
UPDATE: By interesting coincidence, Joshuapundit just posted a wonderful quote from one of the twentieth century's greatest conservative women.
"I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left."
- Margaret Thatcher
Indeed -- hence this move to sexually belittle conservative women by the intellectually bankrupt American Left.
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I've been remiss in posting these, due in large part to the process of returning to the house. So with sincerest apologies, here are some belated announcements of Watcher's Council results honoring some fine blog posts from around the internet
APRIL 17, 2009
APRIL 24, 2009
MAY 1, 2009
Congratulations all around to the many fine bloggers honored here.
Over the summer, my wife and I went on a little vacation to visit my folks. In advance of the trip, we made a decision as to how much money we wanted to have available to us for purchases during the trip. But I'll be honest -- we didn't want to carry cash, and were not particularly interested in purchasing traveler's checks. How, then were we going to access the funds we had set aside for the trip? Easy -- we got ourselves a couple of Prepaid Visa cards! It turned out to be one of those decisions that was exactly right for us.
That got me thinking -- wouldn't that be a great way to approach the entire issue of credit cards? Simply fill up a card and spend it as needed -- while keeping track of the current balance. The Vision Premier Prepaid Visaģ Card is one of the available options out there for doing this. Simply load -- or reload -- the card with the appropriate amount of cash for the purpose at hand and operate on that budget. It would be a great way of dealing with lunch budgets at work, grocery shopping, and many othe rpurposes. Heck, you could even use it to give your children their allowance, sinc eyou cannot overspend! It is an option worth considering.
Joe the Plumber should have disappeared by now Ė fifteen minutes of fame and all that. After all, the attack upon him after he engaged in some pretty reasonable speech when he was approached by Barack Obama made him, one would have hoped temporarily, a political figure. But why is he still around Ė and why do we care what he thinks on social issues?
In the last month, same-sex marriage has become legal in Iowa and Vermont. What do you think about same-sex marriage at a state level? At a state level, itís up to them. I donít want it to be a federal thing. I personally still think itís wrong. People donít understand the dictionaryóitís called queer. Queer means strange and unusual. Itís not like a slur, like you would call a white person a honky or something like that. You know, God is pretty explicit in what weíre supposed to doówhat man and woman are for. Now, at the same time, weíre supposed to love everybody and accept people, and preach against the sins. Iíve had some friends that are actually homosexual. And, I mean, they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldnít have them anywhere near my children. But at the same time, theyíre people, and theyíre going to do their thing.
I wonít even begin to get into the level of ignorance displayed in that answer. There are good arguments to be made against gay marriage, but he puts out none of them. And to then resort to the slur Ė and to justify it as not being a slur Ė is offensive to me and to most Christians I know.
But what especially hurts is to see the argument that he has gay friends, and that he will not allow them near his children. First, it is completely wrong-headed to say that he is loving towards gay people while asserting that this is the correct path. But even more significant, I have seen how destructive that approach is in my own family, where one relative has rejected her own sister over her sexual orientation and attempted to ensure that her children have no relationship with their aunt and her partner Ė all in the name of Christianity. I have a number of terms I could use for that, and none of them is ďloveĒ or one of its synonyms.
But beyond that, there is even another issue. Is this guy someone we want to have as a face of the GOP? Do we want him defining our ďbrandĒ? And I ask that as a conservative who is a Christian Ė but who definitely is not a ďChristian conservativeĒ in the sense that term is so often used to discredit the Christians, conservatives, and the GOP.
The headquarters of Murtech, in a low-slung, bland building in a Glen Burnie business park, has its blinds drawn tight and few signs of life. On several days of visits, a handful of cars sit in the parking lot, and no trucks arrive at the 10 loading bays at the back of the building. Yet last year, Murtech received $4 million in Pentagon work, all of it without competition, for a variety of warehousing and engineering services. With its long corridor of sparsely occupied offices and an unmanned reception area, Murtech's most striking feature is its owner -- Robert C. Murtha Jr., 49. He is the nephew of Rep. John P. Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who has significant sway over the Defense Department's spending as chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.
That John Murtha is corrupt is a given. Weíve known it since Abscam. And evidence of his steering defense funds to his own benefit and not that of the country. That Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats continue to protect him is a disgrace Ė and business as usual for the Donkey Party.
Could be Ė if this theory is true.
n Van Gogh's Ear: Paul Gauguin and the Pact of Silence, Hans Kaufmann and Rita Wildegans claim it was the sword attack, not Van Gogh's madness, that led him to commit suicide two years later. The prevailing theory is that the Dutchman, who painted Sunflowers and the Potato Eaters, almost bled to death after slashing his own ear with a razor in a fit of lunacy on the night of December 23, 1888. He is said to have wrapped it in cloth and handed it to a prostitute in a nearby brothel. However, the new work from experts in Hamburg offers a very different version. Gauguin, an excellent fencer, was planning to leave Van Gogh's "Yellow House" in Arles, southwestern France, after an unhappy stay. He had walked out of the house with his baggage and his trusty ťpťe in hand, but was followed by the troubled Van Gogh, who had earlier thrown a glass at him. As the pair approached a bordello, their row intensified, and Gauguin cut off Van Gogh's left earlobe with his sword Ė either in anger or self-defence. He then threw the weapon in the RhŰne. Van Gogh delivered the ear to the prostitute and staggered home, where police discovered him the following day, the new account claims.
Of course, the only thing lacking with this theory is something called ďevidenceĒ Ė aside from a couple of obscure references to silence and the timing of the ear being cut off, there is nothing there. But it does go to show how some academics can make a career out of the most absurd of claims Ė and get published, too!
One of the problems with my local paper, the Houston Chronicle, is that it often provides only sketchy details on stories. This one, involving a call for the awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor to a WWI veteran, is one of this sort of frustrating stories that leaves as many questions as it answers.
AUSTIN ó Texas legislators want Congress to right a wrong that they say was caused by bigotry ó denial of the Medal of Honor to an American war hero with roots in Mexico. Marcelino Serna served valiantly in World War I and returned to Texas a military legend, but his advocates say he was bypassed for Americaís highest military decoration because of his heritage and the fact that he spoke little English. State Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, last week presented a resolution on Sernaís case to the Texas House Committee on Defense and Veteransí Affairs. The resolution would ask Congress to reconsider a Medal of Honor for Serna, who died in 1992 at age 95. The resolution has already cleared the state Senate and the House committee. It needs final approval from the full House to be presented to Congress. Serna spoke almost no English when he enlisted in the Army. After three weeks of training, the Army shipped him across the Atlantic. ďCan you imagine that? A native of Chihuahua, Mexico, then Colorado, sent to England,Ē Pickett said. When Army officers realized that Serna was a Mexican national, they offered him the chance to return home. A friend translated his answer ó a firm ďno.Ē Serna decided he would stay and fight for the United States. He carried out his duties with uncommon valor. Army records stated that Serna killed three dozen enemy soldiers and captured nearly the same number. Serna received a medal for bravery from the French government, the Croix de Guerre, the British Medal of Honor, the Italian Cross of Merit and two Purple Hearts, among other awards. But the U.S. Medal of Honor, the rarest and most prestigious military decoration, eluded him. After being discharged in 1919, Serna settled in El Paso and became a U.S. citizen five years later.
Now letís get this on the table Ė Marcelino Serna appears to have been one hell of a man. He appears to have been an exemplary soldier, and to have performed acts that are justifiably called heroic. However, the criteria for receiving this award requires that the recipient engage in an act of
"[conspicuous] gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against any enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party."
And it is the phrase ďabove and beyond the call of dutyĒ that leaves me stuck on this one. Did Serna rise above the call of duty in his actions? Iím not sure. Iíd love to know more about the man and his deeds. Could someone direct me to more information?
Finally, Richard Cohen sees that there is a problem with affirmative action as it is sometimes practiced. This is particularly true in the case currently before the Supreme Court, involving the city of New Havenís decision to not promote qualified firefighters of their race.
Blatant affirmative action always entailed a disturbing and ex post facto changing of the rules -- oops, you're white. Sorry, not what we wanted. As a consequence, it was not racists who were punished but all whites. There is no need to cling to such a remedy anymore. There is, though, every need to retain and strengthen anti-discrimination laws, especially in areas such as fire departments, where racial discrimination was once endemic. Sufficient progress has been made to revert to treating individuals as individuals. After all, it is not some amorphous entity called "whites" who will suffer: It is un-lieutenant Ricci.
Now Cohen takes this position in the context of discussing Obamaís upcoming nominee to the Supreme Court. Oddly enough, the position he takes is quite akin to that taken by a current member of the Supreme Court Ė Chief Justice John Roberts. Has Cohen come to recognize that it is, indeed, a sordid business for the government (any government, whether federal or city) to divide and classify its citizens by race and to award benefits and burdens based upon that classification? Will Obama Ė who arguably achieved his current position based upon merit, not an affirmative action quota Ė recognize the same truth that conservatives have long embraced, and make an appointment based upon that truth?
And I, for one, donít see a problem with a Christian minister telling Christian soldiers to obey the Great Commission given by Jesus Christ.
In a video obtained by Al Jazeera and broadcast Monday, Lieutenant-Colonel Gary Hensley, the chief of the US military chaplains in Afghanistan, is seen telling soldiers that as followers of Jesus Christ, they all have a responsibility "to be witnesses for him."
"The special forces guys - they hunt men basically. We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down," he says.
"Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the kingdom. That's what we do, that's our business."
The translated Bibles appear to be the New Testament. According to Al Jazeera, US soldiers "had them specially printed and shipped to Afghanistan." On the tape, one soldier describes how his church in the US helped raise money for the bibles. Al Jazeera reports that "What these soldiers have been doing may well be in direct violation of the US Constitution, their professional codes and the regulations in place for all forces in Afghanistan." The US military officially forbids "proselytising of any religion, faith or practice.
As I see it, the terrorist supporters at A-Jazeera may have it exactly backwards. Chaplains are not forbidden to preach the Gospel, and soldiers retain the right to practice their faith. Indeed, any attempt to restrict either would constitute a serious violation of the US Constitution Ė and for the US government to seek to restrict sharing the Gospel with locals in Afghanistan or any other country constitutes a material cooperation with the violation of human rights.
If these poll numbers are accurate, almost certainly.
Newly-minted Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter would whip old Republican rival Pat Toomey 53 - 33 percent if the 2010 Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race were held today, but if popular former Gov. Tom Ridge becomes the Republican candidate, he trails Specter by just 46 - 43 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Independent voters, who back Sen. Specter over Toomey 45 - 36 percent, switch to Ridge 47 - 37 percent if he becomes a candidate. The former Republican Governor also gets 14 percent of the Democratic vote, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.
In the Specter-Toomey matchup, Republicans back Toomey 74 - 18 percent while Democrats go with their new convert 85 - 4 percent. Men back Specter 47 - 41 percent, as do women 59 - 26 percent. Union households go Democratic 62 - 27 percent.
In a Specter-Ridge face-off, Republicans go with Ridge 82 - 10 percent, while Specter takes Democrats 78 - 14 percent. Men shift to Ridge 50 - 41 percent, while women remain Democratic 51 - 37 percent. Union households back Specter 57 - 34 percent.
Does the GOP want to keep that senate seat in Pennsylvania? If it does, then it needs to find a candidate who can beat Arlen Specter among more than the GOP faithful. Such a candidate exists in Tom Ridge Ė and Pat Toomey clearly does not have what it takes to get rid of the defective defector.
The two-time Democratic presidential candidate acknowledged Sunday that investigators are assessing how he spent his campaign funds ó a subject that could carry his extramarital affair from the tabloids to the courtroom. Edwards' political action committee paid more than $100,000 for video production to the firm of the woman with whom Edwards had an affair. The former North Carolina senator said in a carefully worded statement that he is cooperating. "I am confident that no funds from my campaign were used improperly," Edwards said in the statement. "However, I know that it is the role of government to ensure that this is true. We have made available to the United States both the people and the information necessary to help them get the issue resolved efficiently and in a timely matter." While Edwards focused his comment on campaign funds, he also had a range of other fundraising organizations ó including two nonprofits and a poverty center at his alma mater ó that have come under scrutiny. Chief among them was the PAC that paid Rielle Hunter's company for several months in 2006 for Web videos that documented Edwards' travels and advocacy in the months leading up to his 2008 presidential campaign. The committee also paid her firm an additional $14,086.50 on April 1, 2007. Edwards acknowledged the affair with Hunter last year, months after dropping his presidential bid. At the time of the 2007 payment, the PAC only had $7,932.95 in cash on hand, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission. That day, according to the records, Edwards' presidential campaign paid the PAC $14,034.61 for what is listed as a "furniture purchase."
Well, Johnny, I hope you look good in orange. You ought to go away for a very long time.
Jack Kemp died a matter of days after Arlen Specter defected from the GOP. Frankly, I donít know what the hero of my youth would have had to say about that move and the reasons for it. But I suspect he would be outraged over the defective defectorís outrageous claims over the weekend.
"If we had pursued what President Nixon declared in 1970 as the war on cancer, we would have cured many strains. I think Jack Kemp would be alive today. And that research has saved or prolonged many lives, including mine."
Frankly, that is reckless, ghoulish speculation. That he was not slapped down Ė and slapped down hard Ė by Bob Schieffer is but one more sign that in todayís America there is little decency left on the Left or in the media. And for all of Arlen Specterís professed respect for Jack Kemp, his abuse of the memory of a man not yet dead a whole 24 hours speaks volumes about his lack of character Ė especially since the GOP increased spending for cancer research a full 46% beyond the rate of inflation while the GOP controlled Congress, almost the same rate at which defense spending was increased.
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If, at age 20, you had asked me what I thought the future of the GOP would be, I would have offered you a name Ė Jack Kemp. Kemp was a truly compassionate, big tent conservative whose vision encompassed all races and classes of Americans. Indeed, I have often felt that it was a great tragedy that the first President Bush did not pick him as his running mate in 1988 Ė such a choice would have invigorated the youth of the party while adding an intellectual heft to the GOP ticket that Dan Quayle lacked. Indeed, it would have likely led to Kemp seeking and winning the presidency in either 1996 or 2000, rather than being the vice presidential candidate on a doomed ticket with Bob Dole.
The hero of my youth passed this weekend.
Jack Kemp, the former tax-cutting Republican politician and American footballer, who ran for the White House in 1996 as Bob Doleís running mate, died of cancer on Saturday at the age of 73. As a Republican congressman, Kemp latched on to supply-side economics and advocated sweeping tax cuts as a means to stimulate production and growth. Initially stymied in Congress, his legislation found a sympathetic supporter in Ronald Reagan, who put forward a fiscal revolution as a campaign pledge in 1980 before his victory in the presidential election. Kempís influence on Republican politics reached its zenith with ďReaganomicsĒ but his voice as a conservative libertarian, who aimed to broaden the partyís appeal among black voters, continued to be heard after Reaganís presidency.
Kempís vision was and is mine, though I at times took issue with his stance on illegal immigration. I admired him greatly, and regret that it was Newt Gingrich, not Kemp, who became the face and the voice of the GOP in the 1990s.
I have a particular memory of Jack Kemp, one which has stayed with me for over two decades. One of my college buddies was an intern in Kempís congressional office, and arranged to get a group of our fellow College Republicans a private meeting with the presidential candidate before he addressed a gathering of Republican activists at a presidential forum in the Chicago area. Being a rather arrogant college student, I confronted Kemp on his unwillingness to support right-to-work laws Ė and questioned how, as a conservative, he could fail to do so. His response is what has stayed with me for years Ė that it is unrealistic for conservatives to expect every candidate and every officeholder to check every box on what it means to be a conservative. In his own case, he noted that he represented a blue-collar district in the northeastern US with a high percentage of union members. While it might be more pure for him to take the right-to-work position, it would also doom his electability in that district Ė and the electability of any similar candidate in any similar district. It was therefore better to prioritize what was truly important and to elect candidates that would pursue those goals, and leave other, less important, principles and platform planks for another day. Failure to do that, he noted, would likely lead to the ultimate failure to accomplish even the goals that were important.
I love watches. I always have, especially since I was a kid. I still remember when my father came home from a WestPac cruise in the late 1960s with a beautiful pair of Seiko watches for him and my mother. I was impressed, especially when I found out that they were not even available in the United States. Iíve always wanted to get such a watch for myself, one that shows high quality and which reflects my own personality and sense of style. Thatís why I like this wonderful Seiko Chronograph. It looks beautiful and is finely crafted by the watchmakers at Seiko. And the alarm function, while not something I would use every day, is certainly a convenience worth having. Maybe I should start dropping Christmas hints!
Well, never mind -- it looks like military commissions for jihadis may be back on, despite Obama promises to the contrary.
The Obama administration is moving toward reviving the military commission system for prosecuting GuantŠnamo detainees, which was a target of critics during the Bush administration, including Mr. Obama himself.
Officials said the first public moves could come as soon as next week, perhaps in filings to military judges at the United States naval base at GuantŠnamo Bay, Cuba, outlining an administration plan to amend the Bush administrationís system to provide more legal protections for terrorism suspects.
Personally, I oppose anything other than drumhead courts martial for jihadis, followed by immediate execution. But if these swine are to be afforded treatment as POWs like the Left wants, they should be treated as POWs -- held for the duration of the conflict between the civilized world and Islamist barbarism, just as POWs during WWII were held for the duration of that conflict. Following the conclusion of hostilities, those believed guilty of war crimes may then be subjected to war crimes tribunals in which they have access to surviving documents from both sides, as well (and all are guilty, as irregular combatants).
Ain't the fecklessness of Barry Hussein and the rest of the Obama Regime absolutely stunning?
ďOne of my clients was directly threatened by the White HouseÖ.that the full force of the White House press corps would destroy its reputationĒ
Excuse me. I thought that dissent -- and opposition to White House policy -- was the highest form of patriotism. And I thought that the press was supposed to be an independent watchdog, not the lapdog of the regime in power. I could observe which twentieth century regimes were known for controlling the press and using it to vilify and destroy their opponents, but I wouldn't want to offend liberals by dumping on left-wing leaders from Russia, Germany, China and Cuba as I attack their spiritual heir.
H/T Hot Air
Now let's be honest -- the recently dumped video game Faith Fighter, featuring religious figures (including Muhammad and Jesus) in death matches is tasteless and offensive. Still, I can't help but find this comment from Canadian Blogger Kathy Shaidle to be rather amusing, given its basis in the tradition of the two religions in question.
Well, I know one thing: When Jesus brought a little girl on her deathbed back to life, He said, "Wake up," not "Move over..."
Remember Muhammad's policy on little girls -- married at six, mated at nine. And you wonder why some of us lack respect for the false prophet of Islam. In today's world he'd be in prison for a good long stretch, and live out his life as a registered sex offender.
Over the years I've had a cordial relationship with Dan at Gone Mild, a liberal blog from Kansas City. We often disagree, but I respect the guy. One of his current posts includes a reasonably concise guide to influencing legislators that every person interested in public policy should print and keep. He makes a lot of references here to Missouri politics, but his points are dead on no matter where you live. Here are his points.
1. Make Sure You Stand a Chance: If you want to accomplish anything with a legislator (as opposed to simply voicing your opinion), make sure you're not far afield from the core constituencies and principles of the legislator you are hoping to influence. In other words, you don't stand a chance of convincing Jason Kander to abandon the Missouri Plan, and you're not going to get Jolie Justus to eliminate support for childcare. Go ahead and vent if you disagree, but don't think you're influencing change.
2. Visit Your Legislator: If there's an important issue pending, get in your car and visit Jefferson City, or find out where you can meet with the legislator during a break, and do it. Nothing is as influential as a face-to-face meeting. If you have written materials, bring a couple copies so the legislator can review them and give a copy to a staff person. Legislators listen to visitors, so, if you can find the time and the gas money, go visit our Capitol City, and treat yourself to some ice cream at Central Dairy on your way home.
3. Write a Real, Personalized Letter: If you can't visit Jefferson City, let the postal service do the work for you. Send a real, personalized letter expressing your thoughts and enclosing any supporting information. I'm not talking about signing your name to a pre-printed post card or a cut-and-paste from an action alert. Those are a waste of time, trees and postage. But a persuasive letter on real stationery signed by a constituent will make a legislator take notice.
4. Pick up the Phone and Call: At this point in the session, where action on bills is happening at a fast and furious pace, calling is probably more effective than writing. Even if you only get to talk to a legislative aide, your voice will be heard. A lot of legislators are pretty generous about sharing their cell phone numbers, and don't hesitate to use them. If you wind up in voice mail, be prepared to leave a clear and short message, including the fact (if true) that you reside in his/her district. Leave your number, and you may get a call back.
5. Send an Email: Email's easy, and that is the problem with it. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can contact every legislator in Jefferson City, and hundreds of others can do the same thing. The result is a deluge that simply drowns out even your well-crafted, reasonable missive. If you care enough to write, care enough to put it on real paper with a stamp, pick up the phone, or drive to Jefferson City. Email is a decent way to communicate with a legislator once a dialog is started through one of those means, but, especially at this time of the session, don't expect to accomplish anything by writing an email.
Well done, Dan! Here's hoping lots of folks use your suggestions -- and more importantly, that they use them to get conservative policies enacted.
You may have noticed ďradio silenceĒ around here for the past week. Well, the reason is simple Ė we got back into the house last Friday, and Iíve been quite busy moving things from our temporary refuge in the Clear Lake area of Houston back into our home in Seabrook. Our recovery from Hurricane Ike is still far from over Ė but this is the biggest step on the road to recovery, some 7 Ĺ months after the storm wiped us out.
And donít just show it to them, give it back if he is intent upon seeking office as a Democrat.
Sen. Arlen Specter's switch to the Democratic Party is prompting his campaign donors large and small to demand their money back, including several Republican senators whose political action committees gave tens of thousands of dollars to the Pennsylvania lawmaker. Sen. Johnny Isakson didn't waste any time putting himself at the front of the refund line. The Georgia Republican asked Mr. Specter for a return of his leadership political action committee's $5,000 contribution Tuesday on the Senate floor - just hours after Mr. Specter announced he was changing his political stripes. "Senator Specter readily agreed to return the contribution," said Isakson spokeswoman Sheridan Watson, adding that the exchange was cordial. While not legally bound to refund any legitimate campaign donation, Mr. Specter has pledged to honor requests for refunds - and the requests are pouring in.
It seems to me that this is the right thing for Republicans to do Ė they gave money in an effort to keep the seat Republican (a misguided idea, given that Specter was hardly a reliable Republican vote). And while Pat Toomey may or may not be the best candidate who can beat Specter, that money needs to go to a Republican who can.
On one level, this makes little difference Ė we will simply trade one liberal justice for another. On another level, this makes it likely that we will have one reliably liberal justice on the high court for decades longer.
Supreme Court Justice David Souter is planning to retire at the end of the current court term. The vacancy will give President Obama his first chance to name a member of the high court and begin to shape its future direction. At 69, Souter is nowhere near the oldest member of the court. In fact, he is in the younger half of the court's age range, with five justices older and just three younger. So far as anyone knows, he is in good health. But he has made clear to friends for some time that he wanted to leave Washington, a city he has never liked, and return to his native New Hampshire. Now, according to reliable sources, he has decided to take the plunge and has informed the White House of his decision.
Of all the justices of my lifetime, it is Souter for whom I hold the least respect. A non-entity whose contributions to our nationís jurisprudence have been negligible, he seems to have been singularly unqualified. Indeed, his appointment ranks up there with George W. Bushís abortive nomination of Harriet Miers in terms of its weakness Ė and Justice Souter exemplifies the sort of judge referred to by one senator regarding a failed Nixon Nominee Ė "[T]here are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance? We can't have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos."
But what will we get from Barack Obama? I tend to agree with the assessment that it wonít be a white man Ė even if that white man has the qualifications and character of a Brandeis, Frankfurter, or Cardozo. It would appear that the top candidates are Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Diane Wood, Harold Koh, and Seth Waxman. To my thinking, Waxman is likely out of the running as simply another white guy Ė and given that Kagan and Koh are recent Obama nominees to top executive branch positions, I doubt that they are serious candidates fro the position. While Wood has Chicago connections, my money is on Sotomayor Ė and as a Bush 41 appointee, she would have the advantage of somewhat soothing some elements of the GOP while checking both the female and Hispanic boxes on the quota checklist. Wood, Kagan, and Sotomayor are already targeted for attack by some on the Right, so expect this to be a contentious battle for confirmation.
After all, as the largest single owner of the company, that would appear to present a serious conflict of interest Ė and would probably require the breach of the unionís fiduciary duty to its employees and retirees AND/OR the management teams breach of its fiduciary duty to all stockholders.
The United Automobile Workers union has agreed to accept company stock for 50 percent of what Chrysler owes its retiree health care fund.
Now the union has an obligation to look out for the best interests of the employees. But management has an obligation to look out for the profitability of the company and maximizing shareholder return. Since the UAW will be in the driverís seat with regard to management, it there fore has two mutually exclusive obligations. If it chooses higher wages for workers, it harms the pension fund and the interest of the owners of the other shareholders. If it honors those obligations, then it must adopt a less aggressive stance in negotiating wages and benefits for the workers. Indeed, this sets up the situation that would have existed if Henry Ford had insisted that he would be the exclusive bargaining representative of workers at Ford Motor Company in their negotiations with management Ė AKA Henry Ford.
And while union leadership tries to downplay the conflict of interest, it is impossible to ignore the very real problem that exists in having an arm of the union control over half of the company.
One would think that people were dying in the streets of swine flu. Now it turns out that the numbers are somewhat less dire.
The number of confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus stands at 331 people, the World Health Organization said Friday.
Confirmed cases of swine flu worldwide were 257 Thursday.
The virus, commonly known as swine flu, has spread to 11 countries, but the hardest hit areas were in the western hemisphere, the organization said.
"We have not seen sustained human-to-human transmission anywhere outside the Americas region," said WHO spokesman Thomas Abraham.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had confirmed 109 cases of the flu with one death.
The largest outbreak was in Mexico, which had 156 confirmed cases, according to the WHO. It added that Mexico had nine deaths attributed to the virus.
However, Mexican officials said the death toll had risen to 12 and they suspect more than 150 deaths in the country are linked to the virus.
And friends, letís remember that over 36,000 people die in the United States of regular influenza Ė which breaks down to about 700 a week. There are not even that many confirmed cases worldwide. So would someone explain the hysteria to me?
It isnít a cut Ė and you may yet end up having to pay some or all of it back.
Millions of Americans enjoying their small windfall from President Barack Obama's "Making Work Pay" tax credit are in for an unpleasant surprise next spring.
The government is going to want some of that money back.
The tax credit is supposed to provide up to $400 to individuals and $800 to married couples as part of the massive economic recovery package enacted in February. Most workers started receiving the credit through small increases in their paychecks in the past month.
But new tax withholding tables issued by the IRS could cause millions of taxpayers to get hundreds of dollars more than they are entitled to under the credit, money that will have to be repaid at tax time.
At-risk taxpayers include a broad swath of the public: married couples in which both spouses work; workers with more than one job; retirees who have federal income taxes withheld from their pension payments and Social Security recipients with jobs that provide taxable income.
The Internal Revenue Service acknowledges problems with the withholding tables but has done little to warn average taxpayers.
So that claim that 95% of us are getting a tax cut from Barry Hussein is nothing but a lie Ė and you should be expecting a hefty tax bill next year if you are one of those Americans who is legitimately classified as ďproductiveĒ.
A rather interesting dichotomy Ė perhaps based upon the notion that malefactors should suffer the consequences of their misdeeds,
The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new survey.
More than half of people who attend services at least once a week -- 54 percent -- said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is "often" or "sometimes" justified. Only 42 percent of people who "seldom or never" go to services agreed, according to the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified -- more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.
Gee, I wonder what they would make of my position Ė that the jihadis should be subject to any and all interrogation methods until we wring the last shred of information from their brains and then summarily executed with a single shot to the back of the head, using a bullet that has been dipped in bacon grease.
I remember, a couple of decades back, when William F. Buckley effectively expelled Joseph Sobran from the Conservative mainstream for his flirtations with anti-Semitism. It was a courageous move, and one that to this day should be applauded. When will we see leading conservatives step forward and do the same with Pat Buchanan Ė especially after this explicit appeal to the notion of Jews as ďChrist-killersĒ in his current column on concentration camp guard and illegal immigrant John Demjanuk
The spirit behind this un-American persecution has never been that of justice tempered by mercy. It is the same satanic brew of hate and revenge that drove another innocent Man up Calvary that first Good Friday 2,000 years ago.
Excuse me? Trying this participant in one of the greatest crimes of world history with the Son of God? Not only is this anti-Semitic, it is explicitly anti-Christian. There is, dare I say it, no longer any legitimate place for this bigot on the right today, and has not been for a long time. He has had no serious constituency in the mainstream of conservatism for at least a decade.
Indeed, as pointed out by the guys at GayPatriot, it is the liberals at MSNBC that give him his largest media outlet Ė sort of fitting, given the type of hate we have seen regularly spewed by hosts like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow and others on that network. So maybe his presence is part of a policy of ďall hate, all the timeĒ.