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February 25, 2010

Dodd Introduces Amendment To Strip Americans Of Right To Donate To/Spend On Behalf Of Political Candidates

If you love liberty, this will seriously disturb you. If you are a liberal who wants government to be able to limit political speech by Americans, it will warm the cockles of your heart.

Senator Chris Dodd has introduced the following Constitutional Amendment.

SECTION 1. Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on—
(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office; and
(2) the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

SECTION 2. A State shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money with respect to State elections, including through setting limits on—
(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, State office; and
(2) the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

SECTION 3. Congress shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Now if you were not paying attention there, you might find it rather innocuous. it isn't. What it does is authorize not just limits on donations by corporations to political campaigns (it's alleged purpose), but it also allows for the banning of ALL contributions to candidates. Even more chilling, it gives Congress the power to limit your ability to spend money to support or oppose a candidate, even if such spending is completely independent of any candidate's campaign.

So let's fast forward to America after this is passed. I've got this blog, and I want to use it to support or oppose the candidates of my choosing. If Congress has set the limit for private expenditures on behalf of or against any candidate at $0, then I am effectively prevented from using my blog to do so. After all, the cost of my computer, the electricity I use to run it, my monthly internet connection, and any registration fees I pay for my domain now constitute "expenditures. . . in support of, or in opposition to" candidates in violation of that $0 limit.

And even more insidious is that the amendment not only limits what others may spend on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate, but it also authorizes Congress (and the states) to limit or ban expenditures by the candidate's own campaign! In other words, the ability of a candidate to get his or her message out is now contingent entirely upon the whim of Congress. So not only do we see this legislation directed towards overturning the Citizens United case of a few weeks back, but also the venerable precedent in Buckley v. Valeo that held that candidates have an unlimited right to spend as much of their own personal money on their own behalf as they choose!

The upshot is that this is a sneaky, back-door way to authorize Congress to impose complete public funding of political campaigns. Political speech will not be a right, it will be a privilege. The First Amendment will have been rendered null and void, for all Dodd's professions of respect for the rights that amendment protects.

Sadly, many Americans have been led to believe that the Citizens United decision is an abomination against the Constitution. The sophists who continue to rail against the decision and seek to overturn it are presented as defenders of liberty -- and Dodd and his co-sponsor are receiving great praise for this amendment, as are those seeking statutory "solutions" to the "problem" of the Citizens United decision's ringing defense of political speech. I therefore cannot help but be put in mind of a movie quote.





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OMG! What Were They Thinking?

Or more to the point, were they thinking at all?

Two teachers' performance of a dirty dance at a Canadian high school rally has led to their suspension without pay, The Globe and Mail reported.

After footage of the graphic lap dance was posted online, the Winnipeg School Division launched an investigation into the incident at Churchill High School.

The video, "Two Teachers, One Chair," features physical education instructor Chrystie Fitchner and an unidentified male teacher in a sexually explicit routine that had students turn from laughter to disbelief.

I’m all for a little bit of zaniness in teacher routines at pep rallies and the like, but this goes well beyond the bounds of professionalism. We would suspend, if not expel, students who put on such a public display at school. Shouldn’t equally harsh discipline come into play here?





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Judges Say To Throw The Book At Stewart

The treasonous misconduct of terrorist lawyer Lynn Stewart was not sufficiently punished by the trial judge in her case. So ruled the appellate court that heard the government’s appeal of the absurdly short 28 month sentence given for crimes that on their face merited similar number of years in prison.

And now even the retired senior judges of the circuit have weighed-in on the matter.

A group of federal appeals judges have gone out of their way to signal that terror-abetting lawyer Lynne Stewart must be imprisoned for far longer than the 28 months to which she was originally sentenced. Thank you very much, Your Honors.

Stewart, a longtime radical activist, was convicted of passing deadly messages for a client who happened to be the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. But, citing Stewart's history of representing unpopular clients, her trial judge, John Koeltl, meted out punishment appropriate for a minor offense.

A divided appeals panel balked at the sentence. The majority said Koeltl also should have factored in whether Stewart had committed perjury, while the minority focused on the traitorous nature of her conduct.

Now, five senior 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judges have used an arcane procedural decision to volunteer their thoughts as to what Stewart really deserves. It's bye-bye, baby, for her.

How unusual is this move by the “senior judges” of the circuit? Unusual enough that I have never heard of it being done. But it’s good to know that sanity still reigns in some courtrooms in this country.





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Inexperienced Lawyer Rated “Well Qualified” For Judgeship By ABA

Gordon Liu isn’t even a dozen years out of law school. He has only two years of appellate practice and no trial experience. As a law professor, he may be a superb academic, but he does not appear to meet the minimum standards to be deemed qualified by the ABA’s own set of standards.

So, of course, they gave this Obama appointee to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals a “well qualified” rating.

I hear Liu is on the short list for the next Nobel Peace prize, too.





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Wouldn’t This Be A National Story If The Party Label Was Republican?

Just wondering – you decide.

Supporters seeking leniency for investment banker Bill Blount and lobbyist Al LaPierre -- two longtime Democratic Par¬ty leaders in the state -- include corporate executives, a one-time member of the Alabama Su¬preme Court and a former feder¬al prosecutor. U.S. District Judge Scott Coogler is scheduled to sentence Blount and LaPierre on Friday in Tuscaloosa for their admitted roles in a conspiracy to bribe Langford while he was presi¬dent of the Jefferson County Commission. Court records show prose¬cutors are seeking a prison term of four years and four months and a total of $6.5 million in for¬feitures and restitution from Blount, a former chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party.
* * *

LaPierre's backers include Ralph Cook, a former Democrat¬ic member of the state Supreme Court; former U.S. Attorney Redding Pitt, who also served as the state party chairman; and John Haley, a former party chairman.

Got that – the Dems are seeking lenient treatment for some of their own who have been proven to have engaged in public corruption of the rankest sort. That the national media is not covering this is a disgrace – after all, it is part and parcel of the culture of corruption that infests the Democrat Party wherever it is found.





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A Birthday Reflection

Am I feeling older?

On the bright side, I've officially exceeded the life expectancy in some countries I've been teaching my students about recently!





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This Week's Watcher's Council Nominations

Here are the nominations from my fellow Watchers and I. Results of our voting will be out tomorrow. In the mean time, enjoy some great reads!

Council Submissions

Non-Council Submissions

|| Greg, 04:26 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 24, 2010

Fire Donnie Douche!

Yesterday, Donnie Deutsch of NBC/CNBC/MSKKK used a racial slur to describe Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American seeking the GOP nomination for US Senate in Florida.

Yesterday he offered an explanation for his use of the term.

DeutschLiesAboutSlur.jpg

Now, he has come back with a different explanation:

In discussing Mr. Rubio, I used a word intended to describe his inexperience on the national stage.

I have two questions arising from this.

  1. So, which is it? Did you mean that he was "simple, goofy, bananas", or did you mean he was "inexperience[d] on the national stage"? After all, the two explanations appear to be mutually exclusive.
  2. Could you provide me of an example, including a citation, where the term "coconut" has been used by you or another commentator to describe any other individual (preferably a Caucasian) as "inexperience[d] on the national stage"?

Absent satisfactory answers to those questions, I reject his explanation and stand by my belief that Danny Douche is just one in a long line of racist liberals who resent and seek to destroy any minority whose independent thought has led them to adopt conservative beliefs.





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An Apology Properly Required

This one isn't even a close call for me.

The mother of a 13-year-old Montgomery County middle school student is demanding an apology from a teacher who had school police escort the youngster from a classroom for refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

The unidentified student was mocked by other children in her class and has been too traumatized to return to Roberto Clemente Middle School in Germantown, according to Ajmel Quereshi, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland who is representing the family.

A school spokesman said Tuesday that the teacher's actions were a clear violation of the school's regulations, which are based on state law. The teacher, who also has not been identified by either side, will have to apologize to the student, spokesman Dana Tofig said.

No person is required to say the Pledge of Allegiance, not even students in a public school. That was settled in the 1940s, at the height of WWII, in the Barnette case. As our men in uniform fought them menaces of German Nazism, Italian Fascism, and Japanese militarism, Justice Frankfurter affirmed an essential truth about the character of our nation.

The case is made difficult not because the principles of its decision are obscure but because the flag involved is our own. Nevertheless, we apply the limitations of the Constitution with no fear that freedom to be intellectually and spiritually diverse or even contrary will disintegrate the social organization. To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and spontaneous instead of a compulsory routine is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds. We can have intellectual individualism and the rich cultural diversities that we owe to exceptional minds only at the price of occasional eccentricity and abnormal attitudes. When they are so harmless to others or to the State as those we deal with here, the price is not too great. But freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order. If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us. (BOLD ADDED)

A quarter-century later, the Supreme Court again dealt with the liberties of even the youngest child in a school setting in the Tinker decision.

First Amendment rights, applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment, are available to teachers and students. It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. (BOLD ADDED)

Thus, it cannot be denied that the student was absolutely within her rights to not participate in the Pledge (and, presumably, to remain seated during the Pledge). It cannot be denied that the teacher in this case violated the student's rights by exercising the authority granted her by the state in such a manner as to attempt to coerce speech from this girl, and to use law enforcement personnel as a part of a scheme to punish her for lawful behavior. An apology is the MINIMUM needed here.

Personally, I'd argue that what is necessary goes far beyond an apology. Most teachers learn about these cases during their college career. Every certified administrator does, as they are required to take coursework in school law as a part of their certification program. What's more, specific district policy informs students (and, presumably, teachers and administrators who should be familiar with those policies) of the student's rights in this regard. What we have here is, minimally, professional incompetence that merits retraining, and possibly professional misconduct that ought to result in termination from current employment and sanctions against professional credentials.

And lest anyone ask what I've got against the Pledge, don't. I'm proud to lead it daily in my classroom. But I revere the Constitution more, and believe that we do greater harm to our nation by teaching our students conformity through coerced patriotic speech than some kid does by sitting silently when the Pledge is recited.





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Is This Sentence Enough?

I don’t know – what do you think?

A young mother who falsely cried rape, sending an innocent man to prison for nearly four years, will experience firsthand what he suffered -- she'll spend one to three years behind bars for perjury.

"I wish her the best of luck," said William McCaffrey last night of Biurny Peguero Gonzalez.

"Jail isn't easy."

McCaffrey, 33, of The Bronx, was locked up after Gonzalez accused him of raping her at knifepoint on a Bronx street back in 2005.

It was a lie she repeated to doctors, cops, prosecutors, a grand jury and the jury that convicted McCaffrey.

Now I think it is great that Gonzalez got religion and came forward to free the man she falsely accused. But is it truly appropriate that she be sentenced to less time than her victim served because of her false accusation? Is it appropriate that she be eligible for parole in only about ¼ the time that her victim was incarcerated because of the lies she repeatedly told? It strikes me that she should first have to serve every day that she took from her victim’s life and THEN the sentence for her own crime. Am I being excessively vengeful, or is my POV on target?

I’m opening comments for this one – play nice.





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February 23, 2010

Fire Donny Deutsch!

When you work for an all-white organization like the NBC/MSNBC/CNBC family of networks, one would do well to avoid calling into question the racial bona fides of a minority candidate for office.

Deutsch employed the derogatory term while hitting politicians with no experience. He noted the success of such candidates and derided, "...You almost need that blank piece of paper. That's the new model. Like, you know, this coconut Rubio down in Florida."

And the particular outrage of this racial slur used by a white employee of MSKKK is that he then dared to describe the very group of folks most likely to support Marco Rubio for US Senate as racists!

[T]hey're angry- they're basically- their argument is- and I think there's a lot of racism underneath it- is- "He, they, are taking your civil liberties away. They're stomping on the Constitution. They're telling us how many bullets we can have in our guns."

So got that – a racial slur slinging employee of a monochrome network has declared the supporters of a minority candidate for office to be a bunch of racists. It would be funny if it were not so outrageous!

Probably more offensive is the apology that followed today.

DeutschLiesAboutSlur.jpg

Really? You just happened upon a racial slur that would just happen to be the sort of thing that liberals just happen to like to use against minorities who dare to think for themselves and reach conservative conclusions? Sorry, douchebag, but I'm not buying that incredible chain of coincidences.

Seems to me that it is time for Deutsch to be fired – and maybe to be replaced with one of those coconuts he was complaining about. That would give MSKKK a needed infusion of diversity, in terms of both ethnicity and, more important, ideology.





|| Greg, 08:21 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Can the Democrats Reconcile Health Care?

I don’t think so, based upon these two stories.

First, the Senate.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) threw a wrench into Democratic efforts to get a public option passed through reconciliation, saying that he thought the maneuver was overly partisan and that he was inclined to oppose it. "I don't think the timing of it is very good," the West Virginia Democrat said on Monday. "I'm probably not going to vote for that, although I'm strongly for the public option, because I think it creates, at a time when we really need as much bipartisan[ship] ... as possible. " Rockefeller added: "I don't think you [pursue] something like the public option, which cannot pass, will not pass. And if we get the Senate bill--both through the medical loss ratio and the national plans, which have in that, every one of them has to have one not-for-profit plan, which is sort of like a public option."

And remember – this was the guy who was pushing for a public option – or something like it – just a couple of months back. If he is saying no, can Øbama really round up 50-plus-Biden to get his plan through the Senate?

And then, of course, there is the Stupak problem in the House of Representatives.

Unfortunately, the President's proposal encompasses the Senate language allowing public funding of abortion. The Senate language is a significant departure from current law and is unacceptable.

Where Stupak leads, how many othres will follow?

Øbama has a problem. He has been losing Democrats in the House, making the vote too close to call. Is he such an abortion ideologue that he will risk it all by leaving the pro-abortion language of the Senate bill intact? Or will he risk it all by inserting Stupak language into the plan, thereby losing the pro-abortion ideologues in the House who will accept nothing less than government funded abortion?

My thought? We can still win the health care battle if we continue to exploit the divisions – and this will make Republican victory in the fall even more likely.





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An Update On SpyCam-Gate

If this can be documented, the school district is going to be in some deep serious trouble. Apparently the "misconduct at home" involves an accusation of drug use -- and the "drug of choice" appears to be "Mike & Ike" candy!


Watch CBS News Videos Online

The school is going to pay dearly for this one if this is, in fact, the accusation. The kid's computer was not reported lost or stolen, so there was no basis for activating the camera under the district's own policy. The school had no authority to police the kid's home for misconduct -- and as an arm of the state, a warrant would have been necessary for such a search in any event.

When will school administrators come to understand that they have only the most limited authority over the lives of students at home?





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February 22, 2010

When Public Officials Get It Ass-Backwards

You get them doing indefensible things like this.

Tracy residents will now have to pay every time they call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency.

But there are a couple of options. Residents can pay a $48 voluntary fee for the year which allows them to call 9-1-1 as many times as necessary.

Or, there's the option of not signing up for the annual fee. Instead, they will be charged $300 if they make a call for help.

I'm not even going to get into the fundamental immorality of the proposal. I'm not going to get into the question of how this plan serves to endanger the people of Tracy and any other locale that adopts such a plan. I'm instead going to comment on how this stands the very notion of public and private goods on its head, and how it constitutes a city abandoning one of the fundamental purposes for which governments are formed -- to ensure the safety and the protection of the rights of the people.

By any reasonable definition, the 911 emergency line is a public good -- something that benefits society as a whole. As such, the generally prevailing notion is that this should be paid for via the general taxation of the political entity providing the service. This is especially true since the average person making a 911 call is not in need of the service himself -- such calls are very often placed on behalf of some other party. In the last year I have probably placed four -- one to report an accident on the highway, two regarding suspected DUIs and the last (this morning) regarding debris dropped from the back of a truck causing a traffic hazard. If my choice is a bill for $300, I might just let someone else do the calling. The result? Less public safety because the city has discouraged such public-minded calls on behalf of random strangers or the public at large.

And that does not even get into the question of a real emergency. How many 911 calls won't be made when someone needs an ambulance because the caller can't afford the call? How many people will die because the city was penny-wise and pound-foolish? And what about the increased crime as incidents are not reported -- is it really worth $300 to me to call the cops when I hear the drunk guy in the apartment upstairs beating his wife?

And where does the next budget measure kick in? Will there be a bill for every police dispatch? For every fire call?

I'm not a fan of taxation, but I'm among the first to admit that there are some purposes for which taxation is always appropriate. Emergency service, like national defense, certainly qualify as appropriate things for which to raise taxes. Which leads to a different question -- what less essential services did the leaders of Tracy choose to leave untouched when they decided to charge extra fees for fundamental services which are the entire rationale for city government?






|| Greg, 08:35 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Global Warming? 75 Reasons To Doubt Man Is Responsible

An excellent post, with a host of reasons to stop and question what we are being fed by the "settled science" crowd. By itself, none of this proves anything. Taken together, it ought to make you wonder.

H/T Colossus of Rhodey

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Global Warming? 75 Reasons To Doubt Man Is Responsible" »




|| Greg, 05:15 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Just A Reminder About Ronald Reagan Opposing The Anti-Gay Wing Of Conservatism

Remember -- one can advocate for traditional values without giving support to discrimination for the sake of discrimination. Consider this example given by Craig Shirley, author of Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America
, regarding Ronald Reagan's forthrightly opposed an effort to ban homosexuals from teaching or working in public schools.

He gave the example of the 1978 initiative in California, Proposition 6 (better known as the "Briggs Amendment," named for its principal sponsor, state Senator John Briggs, which aimed to prohibit gay people from serving as teachers or staff members in government schools. Reagan opposed the measure, and Briggs gave Reagan full credit or, from Briggs' point of view, blame for the proposition's defeat at the polls. (Shirley says the defeat was overwhelming, 57 percent to 43 percent.) Reagan was an ally of iconic gay politician Harvey Milk in opposing the Briggs Amendment. Reagan's role in defeating the Briggs Amendment is mentioned in the award-winning biopic, Milk.

When folks ask how I can oppose Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I like to point to Reagan's stand here. The Briggs Amendment served no useful purpose and presented the probability of doing serious harm to the schools of California. Ronald Reagan saw that and stood against it. Given the attitudinal changes in our society and the much more accepting attitude of our society towards those with a homosexual orientation, the current policy does little to facilitate our military's mission and objectively harms it. That's why I find myself in the odd position of agreeing with many of my political opponents on this issue and opposing many of my fellow conservatives. I'm following Reagan's model of doing what is right, not what is ideologically pure.

UPDATE: And it looks like a healthy majority of Republicans agree with my stance.

H/T Gay Patriot





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Medina Becomes The Latter-Day Icarus

The girl flew to close to the sun with her birther nonsense, and has fallen from grace among GOP voters. Want some evidence? Try this Medina Rally!

Medina_stockyard-465x301.jpg
Standng Room Only?

Medina_stockyard_2-465x295.jpg
Guess not!

H/T Urban Grounds





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Watcher's Council Results

One of our members had a "live like you wee dying" moment recently when he was stopped in his tracks by a heart attack. His reflection on the experience became this week's winner in our weekly vote, along with a commnetary on the Pentagon's Fort Hood report. I urge you to enjoy these two masterful works and all the others that received votes from the Council this week.

Winning Council Submissions



Winning Non-Council Submissions







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February 19, 2010

A Disgusting Capitulation To Sharia

Not only that, this decision spits in the face of any notion of Equal Protection of the Laws.

A Glendale man accused of killing his daughter in an "honor killing" will not face the death penalty.

After sparring with the suspect's defense attorney over its death-penalty-review process, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office has said it will not seek death for Faleh Almaleki, 49.

The Iraqi immigrant is accused of killing his daughter, 20-year-old Noor Almaleki, for being "too Westernized."

Police say he used his Jeep Cherokee to run down his daughter and another woman in a Peoria parking lot Oct. 20. Noor later died of her injuries.

Almaleki is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault and two counts of leaving the scene of a serious accident. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Why the decision? Because despite the various aggravating factors that exist related to this murder, Almaleki's attorney sought to undermine the prosecution with assertions that any effort to seek the death penalty would be based upon Amaleki's religion rather than his crime. The prosecutors therefore caved.

But let's look at this one for a minute. I spot at least three of the fourteen aggravating factors that allow for the death penalty under Arizona law.

2. The defendant has been or was previously convicted of a serious offense, whether preparatory or completed. Convictions for serious offenses committed on the same occasion as the homicide, or not committed on the same occasion but consolidated for trial with the homicide, shall be treated as a serious offense under this paragraph.

3. In the commission of the offense the defendant knowingly created a grave risk of death to another person or persons in addition to the person murdered during the commission of the offense.

* * *

6. The defendant committed the offense in an especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner.

Consider the facts

2) Aggravated assault is a serious offense.

3) Almaleki hit a second woman, her daughter's companion, when he ran her down in that parking lot, and he knew full well that he was putting that companion at risk of death when he did so.

6) Running one's victim down with a vehicle and then leaving her to die is heinous, cruel and depraved.

There is also an argument to be made that there s an additional aggravating factor at work here.

13. The offense was committed in a cold, calculated manner without pretense of moral or legal justification.

While Almaleki's lawyer might argue that this does not apply, I would hope that no judge, jury, or prosecutor would accept the argument that a father can in any way argue that he should be shown mercy by a court because he claimed the moral right to murder his daughter for exercising her First Amendment right to reject the moral code of her family's religion? What next? A member of the Aryan Nations receiving leniency because he claimed a moral justification for murdering a black man who kissed a white woman?

What we have here, then is the dhimmification of the legal system in the United States, and the implicit acceptance of the notion that Islam-inspired honor killings do not merit the death penalty because of the murderer's faith. Shameful. Utterly shameful.

H/T Atlas Shrugs





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A Question About The Prop 8 Trial Judge’s Approach To The Case

Over at NRO’s Bench Memos, Ed Whelan raises an issue that I have wondered about as well.

I see no principled reason why Walker’s inquiry into subjective voter intent on initiatives wouldn’t also warrant an inquiry into subjective voter intent on election of candidates for political office. Assume, for example, a lawsuit contending that voters in a state acted on illegitimate racial grounds in voting for (or against) Barack Obama as president. Why wouldn’t Walker’s approach justify sweeping discovery into the internal communications of the pro-Obama (or anti-Obama) campaign on the formulation of campaign strategy and messaging?

After all, if we can argue that the results of election are invalidated by some impermissible motive, then why not allow, for example, John McCain to seek to overturn the results of the 2008 election because African-Americans exhibited racist behavior in casting their ballots overwhelmingly for Barack Obama because of his race? After all, there was not a single objective reason to vote for the man, and on every objective criteria McCain beat Obama in terms of his qualifications for office.

Of course, the American public would never stand for such an attack on the right of the voters to speak at the ballot box. Why, then, must we stand idly by and permit a federal judge to engage in an inquisition into the “real intent of the voters” in constitutionalizing the traditional definition of marriage? The people of California have every right to change their state constitution to reflect their beliefs, just as the voters of Illinois have every right to vote for the presidential candidate of their choice.





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A Profile In Media Bias

My question is whether this was due to sexism, anti-Republican bias, or both.

Nonetheless, there is little question that Palin has been treated unfairly by the press, at least in comparison to other politicians. And no comparison best illustrates the double standard the media has with Palin than how they treated another former vice-presidential nominee, Sen. John Edwards. When in 2004 John Kerry picked Edwards, whose entire resume in public life at that point consisted of six years in the U.S. Senate, to be his vice-presidential nominee, few questioned whether Edwards was qualified for the post. Search "Edwards is unqualified" in Lexis-Nexis from the time Edwards was tapped by Kerry through Election Day 2004, and you get 11 results. Do the same for Palin and you get 174 results - and the search period is nearly two months shorter for Palin, because she was picked by McCain much later in the 2008 election cycle.

After all, Edwards was a pretty-boy with no significant accomplishments – all image and no substance. Yet somehow he was presumed qualified because of his rhetorical skills. One could point to another Democrat four years later whose resume and skill set is similarly empty and was similarly unexamined. Yet Sarah Palin was subjected to much more scrutiny – both personally and in regard to her family life. I’m convinced, as the author seems to be, that politics was a major factor in this difference. But I’d also like to suggest that there remains a glass ceiling – maintained by the liberal media – that exists as well and is reinforced by the sort of coverage Palin got. After all, some of the same sort of bias can be found in the coverage of Hillary Clinton as well.





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February 18, 2010

My Endorsement -- Harris County District Clerk -- An Endorsement I Didn't Expect To Make

Last week, like many precinct chairs here in Harris County, I submitted my endorsements for inclusion on the Harris County GOP website. In the race for Harris County Circuit Clerk, I found two strong candidates with very different personal histories and sets of qualifications. After giving serious consideration to both of them, I made my endorsement.

In all my years in politics, I have never felt it necessary to withdraw an endorsement of a candidate. Until today, that is.

I HEREBY WITHDRAW AND RESCIND MY ENDORSEMENT OF PAUL DWIGHT FOR HARRIS COUNTY DISTRICT CLERK AND INSTEAD ENDORSE HIS OPPONENT, CHRIS DANIEL.

Why do I take this step? Because of Paul Dwight's explicit appeal to religious bigotry in his campaign material, such as the mailer I received this afternoon. Such appeals have no place in the GOP. They are not merely against our party principles, but they are not in keeping with the spirit of the US Constitution.

The reality is that Chris Daniel has an unusual religious background because of his upbringing by his mother following his father's death. Paul Dwight's position appears to be that the religion in which one was raised as a child ought to disqualify someone to be selected as a Republican candidate for office. What's more, Paul Dwight has set himself up as Inquisitor General for the Republican party, questioning the validity of Chris Daniel's professed Christianity based upon a single unauthenticated (and unauthenticatable) letter included in a blog post. That letter contradicts verifiable information about Chris Daniel's membership in two different Baptist churches in the Houston area for the last several years.

But ultimately, Chris Daniel's religion is not and should not be an issue. We live in a nation and a state where we forbid religious tests for office. And while any voter may choose to make a candidate's religion a factor in his/her decision to vote for or against that candidate, it is unseemly for any candidate to explicitly appeal to such prejudice. I'd like to remind Paul Dwight that in his own lifetime a presidential candidate of his own faith came to Houston and offered a forthright vision of America that stands in sharp contrast to the sort of religious bigotry and division that Mr. Dwight is peddling -- "I believe in an America where. . . no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from. . . the people who might elect him."

Sadly, Paul Dwight does not appear to believe in that America. I therefore can no longer believe that Paul Dwight is fit for the public office he seeks, or for any other. I urge every Republican primary voter to take a stand for religious liberty and against religious bigotry by casting their ballot for Chris Daniel to be the Republican candidate for Harris County Circuit Clerk.

PaulDwightMailer03.jpg
Click for full-size image





|| Greg, 10:24 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Good First Amendment Ruling – If The Chaplinsky Doctrine Still Lives

Courts have been pretty reticent about applying the fighting words doctrine first applied by the Supreme Court in the Chaplinsky case. Indeed, there are regular questions in law journals about the viability of the Chaplinsky Doctrine still exists in light of later rulings on the First Amendment. But if it does, this case seems to apply it just right.

North Dakota's Supreme Court has ruled that a white girl who used racial slurs to taunt a black classmate isn't protected by the U.S. Constitution's free-speech guarantees.

A juvenile court judge ruled that the 14-year-old, who is white, had committed disorderly conduct when she used a slur against the 17-year-old African-American girl.

The confrontations occurred last February in a bathroom during a Valley City school dance, and later at a local pizza parlor.

An attorney for the 14-year-old girl argued her client was within her free-speech rights by using the slur.

But the state Supreme Court ruled 5-0 that her statements were "fighting words" intended to provoke a violent reaction, and they weren't protected by the First Amendment.

In this case, the words were intended to provoke a violent reaction from the persona to whom the words were directed. I think that the same slur would have to be considered protected speech in the context of a rap video or a KKK rally on the steps of a courthouse. The same logic would apply to the use of any number of words that most of us would consider less than savory – denigrating terms for women, for example, or profanity. Still, I remain concerned about the question of where the line is drawn, and how a reasonable individual can know what that line is and conform to it.





|| Greg, 05:25 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

More School Overreaching Involving Computers

This sounds like it is potentially some serious overreaching by the school here – and possibly grounds for criminal penalties as well as the civil remedy sought.

According to the filings in Blake J Robbins v Lower Merion School District (PA) et al, the laptops issued to high-school students in the well-heeled Philly suburb have webcams that can be covertly activated by the schools' administrators, who have used this facility to spy on students and even their families. The issue came to light when the Robbins's child was disciplined for "improper behavior in his home" and the Vice Principal used a photo taken by the webcam as evidence. The suit is a class action, brought on behalf of all students issued with these machines.

I’m curious what the “improper behavior in his home” means? Was it misconduct involving a violation of the terms of usage of the computer? If not, I’ve got a major problem with the school imposing any discipline whatsoever.

And that doesn’t even get into the Big Brother aspects of this story. School officials can turn on the camera and just sort of have a peek around the room after school hours? That is, in the words of one commenter, creepy – and potentially pretty dangerous. What if the kid is changing, or even doing homework in the buff? Or what if a couple of kids are making out – or more? That constitutes a pretty serious intrusion into the private life of students.

Sorry, but the time has come for the courts to slap down the recent trend of public schools to claim authority over students not just on school grounds or during the school day, but also online and in their own homes.

H/T Delaware Liberal





|| Greg, 05:20 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Place Names I Won’t Be Teaching My Geography Students

All real places in the UK.

Warning: NOT SAFE FOR WORK! Here are a few of the safer ones.

5. Sandy Balls, a long-established holiday centre in New Forest, Hampshire, England with a name dating back to Henry VIII

6. Fingringhoe, Essex, England

7. Back Passage, City of London, an alleyway in the EC1 postal district

21. Spanker Lane, Nether Heage, Derbyshire

24. Butt Hole Road, Conisbrough, South Yorkshire

28. Hornyold Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, England

Enjoy!





|| Greg, 04:59 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 17, 2010

And Some Of His Best Friends Are Black, Too

Given the frightening level of ethnic non-diversity over at oh-so-liberal MSNBC, that is the only appropriate response to Keith OlberDouche’s recent attempt to defend himself and his network from criticism that it is as white as a Klan rally in a bleach factory.

msnbc.jpg

Lester Holt was our primary anchor at MSNBC until ‘04 or so, and he got promoted to NBC. And Alison Stewart had her own show and was my primary back-up (we got somebody named Rachel something to replace her), and then she went to raise a family (and do NPR for awhile) and now she’s back part-time as Rachel’s back-up, and Tamron is one of my back-ups and co-anchored her own two-hour political show in the afternoon, and you mentioned Christina Brown (call her “Christine” at your peril), and Carlos Watson had his own show (and that didn’t work out very well for anybody, as will occasionally happen), and Gene Robinson is with me whenever he can spare the time (and is in the studio for all our long-form political coverage, and I try to glue him to the seat next to mine), and we get Clarence Page on whenever we can, and really we do as much astronomy as we do only because Derrick Pitts is so damn good, and somebody upthread mentioned Melissa Harris-Lacewell, and Paul Mooney used to come on for political comment. I’m not satisfied with this as the status quo, but I did want to balance the picture as much as it can be. And suddenly this got me thinking, I wonder if Derrick has ever thought about politics and tv…

Interestingly enough, you get much more ethnic diversity – and diversity of opinion – at FoxNews.

UPDATE: This video shows NBC/MSNBC is mighty white -- significantly whiter than anything you would find at a Tea Party.

H/T WeaselZippers





|| Greg, 06:23 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

This Ought To Be An Easy One

Imagine if a bunch of students sat around at a party at one of their homes on a Saturday night, bitching about their English teacher. Would anyone in their right mind argue that the school could punish one or more of the students several months later for their speech about the teacher, even if it were deemed disrespectful? Would anyone accept the right of the principal to alter schedules and remove students from advanced classes as punishment – not to mention impose suspensions – over the criticism? I think the answer would be obvious – anyone in their right mind would call it a case of extreme over-reach by the school officials, and a violation of the rights of both the students and the parents. That is why I think this was the only way the judge could rule in this case out of Florida.

A student who set up a Facebook page to complain about her teacher -- and was later suspended -- had every right to do so under the First Amendment, a federal magistrate has ruled.

The ruling not only allows Katherine ``Katie'' Evans' suit against the principal to move forward, it could set a precedent in cases involving speech and social networking on the Internet, experts say.

The courts are in the early stages of exploring the limits of free speech within social networking, said Howard Simon, the executive director of the Florida ACLU, which filed the suit on Evans' behalf.

``It's one of the main things that we wanted to establish in this case, that the First Amendment has a life in the social networking technology as it applies to the Internet and other forms of communication,'' Simon said.

In 2007, Evans, then a senior at Pembroke Pines Charter High School, created a Facebook page where she vented about ``the worst teacher I've ever met.''

But instead of other students expressing their dislike of the teacher, most defended the teacher and attacked Evans.

This is, in my eyes, an open-and-shut issue. The right of public school officials to reach into cyberspace and punish speech that students engage in outside of the school day and off school premises is an extension of power that we as citizens cannot countenance. And as this case works its way through the courts, it is going to run headlong into other cases – in particular the Avery Doninger case that is in the appellate court – that have reached the opposite, wrong-headed conclusion that schools have authority of students sitting in their bedroom blogging about school issues. And in the end, the Supreme Court is going to have to rule if the Tinker precedent – that students do not shed their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse gate – is simply a meaningless truism because the students have no First Amendment rights whatsoever as relates to school. If we are educating our young people to be free citizens in a free society, the answer must be to affirm Tinker and declare that the schools lack the authority to police cyberspace for anything other than direct threats to the physical safety of its students.





|| Greg, 06:12 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 16, 2010

Racemongers Argue Treating Everybody Equally Violates Equal Protection Clause

This is one of the dumbest arguments out there in favor of affirmative action policies.

The suit contends that Proposition 209, which was passed by California voters in 1996, violates equal protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and says it has limited the numbers of non-Asian minority students at UC's most selective campuses. The suit also criticizes the university system for relying too heavily on high school grades and test scores in admissions, saying that the practice discriminates against students from schools without strong honors classes and counseling.

"Proposition 209 has created a racial caste system in which the state's most prestigious schools train mostly white students and students from some Asian backgrounds," said the suit, which names Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and UC President Mark G. Yudof as defendants. It is expected to be filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco and is being brought on behalf of California students by the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary, known as BAMN.

But wait. These standards apply across the board to all students, regardless of race. What those filing this suit complain about is the inability of their preferred minority groups to measure up in terms of their preparation for college and their achievement during their pre-college career. Instead of merit, they want students to be admitted based upon the color of their skin or ethnic ancestry. Indeed, their suit is implicitly seeking a cap on members of certain “over-represented” groups – whites and Asians – who are better prepared and meet the race-neutral standards.

And beyond that, they are fundamentally misapplying a Supreme Court precedent in a manner which turns its meaning on its head.

George Washington, a Detroit-based attorney for the group, said the legal environment has changed enough in recent years that his case can succeed. He cited the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 decision in a case involving the University of Michigan's law school, which allowed colleges to consider race as a factor in admissions as long as they do not use quotas.

But anyone with an ounce of sense (which apparently excludes Washington and his clients) recognizes the flaw in that argument – while the 2003 decision ALLOWS schools to use race as a criteria in admissions, it does not REQUIRE that they do so. And since the people of California made an explicit policy decision to forbid the use of race for such purposes (indeed, they adopted the language of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in doing so), it is impossible to make a reasonable argument to force the University of California system to use race instead of merit as the basis for admission.

H/T Discriminations





|| Greg, 06:36 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

I’d Love To See This Happen

Because if such an indictment were ever handed down, the people of this country would rise up and remove the corrupt regime that had criminalized policy differences.

After he was indicted for the murder of Alexander Hamilton, vice president Aaron Burr fled to South Carolina, to hide out with his daughter. Another vice president, Spiro Agnew, kept completely silent before pleading nolo contendere on corruption charges. Former vice president Dick Cheney, on the other hand, seems proud of his criminal misadventures. On Sunday, he took to the airwaves to brag about them.

“I was a big supporter of waterboarding,” Cheney said in an appearance on ABC’s This Week on Sunday. He went on to explain that Justice Department lawyers had been instructed to write legal opinions to cover the use of this and other torture techniques after the White House had settled on them.

Of course, that is not QUITE what Dick Cheney said, at least not according to the transcript that appeared on the ABC website.

KARL: Did you more often win or lose those battles, especially as you got to the second term?

CHENEY: Well, I suppose it depends on which battle you're talking about. I won some; I lost some. I can't...

(CROSSTALK)

KARL: ... waterboarding, clearly, what was your...

CHENEY: I was a big supporter of waterboarding. I was a big supporter of the enhanced interrogation techniques that...

KARL: And you opposed the administration's actions of doing away with waterboarding?

CHENEY: Yes.

And then the discussion turned to the trial of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad with no further discussion of interrogation techniques.

But let’s, for the sake of argument, grant Scott Horton’s argument. Does the Øbama Regime REALLY want to turn Dick Cheney into a martyr – especially given that a great many Americans supported waterboarding the Crotch Bomber after his failed attempt to bring down a plane over a residential area? After all, such a trial would necessarily revolve around whether or not waterboarding is, in fact, torture under American law. It would appear that most Americans think it is not. What’s more, this would be a case ripe for jury nullification by an American public that vehemently disagrees with an administration that it does not see as serious about defending the country.

Does the Left really want to go there? Are they really certain that they want to risk the consequences of such a move. The indictment would likely result in massive electoral defeat for the Democrats – if not revolution in the streets with massive defection of troops. After all, the Øbama Regime would have made it clear that even reliance on legal opinions from the US Department of Justice would be insufficient to immunize someone from criminal prosecution after the political winds changed and no one – certainly not our military personnel – would be safe from the ex post facto decisions of the Øbama/Holder (In)Justice Department.

obamalini.jpg






|| Greg, 06:31 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Environmental Terrorist To Be Tried By Japanese

This strikes me as a positive development.

An anti-whaling activist from New Zealand is in custody on a Japanese vessel and will be taken to Japan to face charges after secretly boarding the ship as part of a protest, officials said Tuesday.

Peter Bethune, a member of the U.S.-based Sea Shepherd activist group, jumped aboard the Shonan Maru 2 from a Jet Ski on Monday with the stated goal of making a citizen's arrest of the ship's captain and presenting him with a $3 million bill for the destruction of a protest ship last month.

The Japanese government has decided to bring Bethune to Japan for questioning, Fisheries Agency official Osamu Ishikawa said. He will be charged with trespassing and assault and tried under Japanese law, Ishikawa said.

Personally, I’m of the belief that the Japanese are not going far enough. The proper charge is piracy on the high seas. The traditional punishment for that offense is death. Too bad the Japanese won’t act accordingly.





|| Greg, 06:08 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Mmmmmmm. . . Yummy!

This just might solve the hunger problem in Africa – guinea pigs!

An army of humanitarian organizations has been unable to end years of recurring hunger in conflict-torn Congo. Now a South American research group says it may have found another way to fill hungry bellies: with guinea pigs.

Better known as cute pets in Western nations, the small rodents could provide war-battered villages with “a much-needed source of protein and micro-nutrients in a country with some of the highest incidences of malnutrition the world,” according to the Colombia-based agricultural research institute, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, or CIAT.

Apparently soldiers are stealing cattle and other food, but raising these “micro-livestock” has kept some folks alive. Seems like it is worth a shot to me.

I can’t help but think of an old song.





|| Greg, 05:51 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 15, 2010

Watcher's Council Results

Winning Council Submissions

Winning Non-Council Submissions

|| Greg, 06:59 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Another Dem Retirement Coming?

That is the latest rumor coming from this source.

I've just heard from an impeccable source that Barbara Mikulski, the Democratic Senator who is up for reelection this November, will choose to retire. Mrs. Mikulski is expected to make her formal announcement in the next few days.

Mrs. Mikulski seriously fractured her right ankle last fall just prior to Edward M. Kennedy's death. Due to the severity of the fracture, she had to have open reduction surgery, that included the insertion of pins, as well as the use of special surgical boots, during recovery. She had tried to arrive in time for Mr. Kennedy's funeral but was turned away.

Her recovery has been exceptionally slow and she is evidently still in a great deal of pain. Reportedly, she has told her physician that she does not desire to seek reelection. Additionally, friends and family have been saying in the near future she will announce her retirement. Because of the very slow recovery, she has been forced to use a wheelchair, a walker or a cane in order to get around.

Now this is not yet official, or even certain. But it is out there on a day that we have already seen one big Democrat name announce plans to leave the Senate, so it at least deserves mention.





|| Greg, 02:19 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Happy Ending To A Sick Story

What sort of woman could do this to a man?

Candles and stained glass windows cast a dim light as nuns placed a wide-eyed baby boy with dark tufts of hair on a white cloth covering an ornate altar in Florence, Italy.

The nuns had gathered to pray over the newborn. The infant amazed his audience by not squirming or uttering a peep.

Since his first day of life on July 28, when the Carmelite sisters of St. Teresa discovered the newborn laying on an alcove floor of their church, they have prayed that the abandoned child would not grow up alone. The nuns named him Pietro, or Peter, after the apostle Peter, whose name came from the Greek word for rock. They knew he would need strength to deal with the many unanswered questions about his identity.

Across an ocean, 28-year-old Brandon Henry was on a quest for answers of his own. He no longer believed his girlfriend's story that their baby died at birth last summer at a Sugar Land hospital.

So Henry embarked on a quest for the truth, an odyssey that took him to that cloistered monastery in Florence and completely changed his life.

I'll say it flat out -- Stephanie Chavarria, as well as her parents, Carmen and Lazaro Chavarria, sound like a really evil group of people. Here's hoping that the courts will make sure that they never have any involvement in young Peter's life. And let's hope that the dental practices of Carmen and Lazaro Chavarria are feeling the full impact of their low moral character.





|| Greg, 01:04 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Texas Conservative Review Endorses Kay Bailey Hutchison For Governor

Gary Polland, former Harris County GOP Chair and a respected political voice on the right, offers this explanation for endorsing Senator Hutchison as the GOP candidate for Governor.

Let's be clear, the next Governor of Texas must be a Republican for a myriad of reasons. In Vol. IX, No. 1 of TCR's e-mail newsletter we outline the five qualities we need for our candidates: ideology, electability, qualifications, a team player and vision. In the Governor's race, your Editor knows all three candidates well and respects all three. Reviewing the choices, TCR believes Kay Bailey Hutchison is the right choice. She is conservative; witness her strong conservative ratings: American Conservative Union 90%, NRA A+ Rating, Americans for Tax Reform 95%, National Right to Life 94%. She is the most electable candidate, which is critical this year, especially in the competitive Harris and Dallas Counties. This fact is confirmed by polls, going back as far as a year ago, KBH is a stronger November candidate than her opponents. KBH is also highly qualified with vast experience, from the state legislature, to her position as State Treasurer and then on to the U.S. Senate. KBH will also help draw independents into the Republican Party, where they will be voting for her and other Republicans in critical down ballot races. Finally, KBH shows vision with a platform that leads the way to lowering taxes, getting our economy going, fixing our broken executive branch, fixing our transportation system, improving education, securing our border, and on and on.

TCR Note: Kay is the strong conservative leader we need in Texas in 2010. And did TCR remind you Kay beats Bill White in November, not just in Texas, but also in Harris County, the key county for Texas Republicans.

That there are those wanting to paint Kay Bailey Hutchison as a liberal is inexplicable to me. The numbers above speak for themselves. Not only is she rated high by conservative groups, but she also does better against likely democrat nominee Bill White, which will pull independent voters into the Republican column for many down-ballot races.

Oh, yeah, and there is one other reason that conservatives should be pleased to vote for Hutchison.





|| Greg, 12:42 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

My Condolences To The Hendee Family

If you are a conservative in Houston, listen to talk radio, or just like a good steak, you know Edd Hendee. And sadly, a tragedy has struck the Hendee family.

Edd K. Hendee, son of Houston conservative radio talk show host and Taste of Texas restaurant owner Edd Hendee, was killed Saturday in a skiing accident in Connecticut.

Hendee, 33, was a resident of Riverside, Conn., and the father of three young children.

A Bennington, Conn., newspaper reports that Hendee, regarded by friends as an expert skier, veered off an expert ski trail on Stratton Mountain and struck a tree.

Hendee was the son of Nina and Edd Hendee, owners of the popular Taste of Texas restaurant on the Katy Freeway. Edd Hendee hosts a talk show on KSEV-AM and advocates for smaller government, vibrant military, limited property taxes and other conservative issues.

To Edd and Nina and the rest of the Hendee family, I offer my most sincere condolences on the loss of your son. May God watch over you all and comfort you with his love in this time of sudden and unexpected loss. You will be in my prayers, and those of so many others. in the days and weeks to come.





|| Greg, 11:01 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Bye Bayh!

Expect a GOP pickup in the Senate now that Indiana Senator Evan Bayh has announced he is not seeking reelection.

Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh will not seek re-election this year, a decision that hands Republicans a prime pickup opportunity in the middle of the country.

"After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so by serving in Congress has waned," Bayh will say.

That tells you what the polling was showing about the Indiana race. And while DC insiders want former Senator Dan Coats to be the nominee of the GOP, the people of Indiana may have something else to say about that -- as indicated by Coats' weak poll numbers against the unpopular Bayh.





|| Greg, 10:22 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 13, 2010

Terrorist-Lovers Outraged!

After all, who else (besides the terrorists themselves) would consider this to be a bad thing?

Israel is conducting a “secret war,” assassinating top officials in Hamas and Hizbullah in order to hamper the terror groups’ communications with their backer Iran, the London-based Times reported Saturday.

“There has been growing co-operation between Gaza and Iran. Israel can read the writing on the wall and they know that with the help of Iran, the Hamas government in Gaza will become stronger and will fight better. But Israel is overstepping their boundaries. Other countries don’t want to become a killing field for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the paper quotes an unnamed Palestinian official in Ramallah as saying.

The official was referring to the assassination of Mahmoud el Mabhouh, a senior Hamas official who was liquidated in a Dubai hotel last month. Hamas has accused Israel of killing him.

The paper also cites an incident where a bus carrying Iranian officials and Hamas members exploded near Damascus, an attack on a meeting between Hizbullah and Hamas officials in the Hizbullah-controlled Dahiya district of Beirut and the killing of Hizbullah mastermind Imad Mughniyeh in February 2008.

Hey -- this is a good thing. Kill the terrorists any time, any place, and by any means possible.

Sic semper jihadis!





|| Greg, 04:47 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Speaking Of Shami

Looks like we've got another Truther on our hands!

Here's how Farouk Shami responded to the Deb Medina question.

“I'm not sure. I am not going to really judge or answer about something I'm not really sure about. But the rumors are there that there was a conspiracy. True or not? It's hard to believe, you know, what happened. It's really hard to comprehend what happened. Maybe. I'm not sure.”

And the answer gets worse from there, if you watch the video.

Given Farouk Shami's family connection to Palestinian terrorism, the obvious question that needs to be asked is whether or not he thinks it was a Zionist plot carried out by the Mossad to get the US to attack Muslims. After all, he keeps talking about what "people overseas" have to say about the 9/11 attacks. Which people, Farouk?





|| Greg, 07:27 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Will The Justice Department Investigate?

Looks to me like we have an admission of civil rights violation by a racist businessman. Will federal and state officials begin an investigation and fight to make the victims of his racism whole?

Farouk Shami, the millionaire hair care products maker who's running, said he doesn't find many white people willing to work, so he says he hires Hispanics and blacks instead.

* * *

Asked to explain what he meant about not hiring many whites, he said they want special treatment. “A majority of the people are going to be Hispanic and African-American. You don't find white people who are willing to work in factories. And our history proves, you know, lots of time when they, you know, the white people come to work in a factory they either want to be supervisors or they want to be, you know, paid more than the average person. And unfortunately they exit.”

Well, I think we can rule out a federal investigation. After all, Shami is a Democrat, a minority, and a Muslim, three groups that the Øbama Regime and its (In)Justice Department under Eric Holder don't want to risk offending.

But could you imagine if a white businessman -- one with Republican connections -- had made such a comment? There would already be lawsuits against anyone who the guy had ever had any relationship, up to and including his college roommate.

Still, this may not hurt Farouk Shami in the Democrat primary. Indeed, it will likely get him the ACORN vote. After all, he can just call his program affirmative action!





|| Greg, 06:55 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Worth A Thousand Words

corps[1].jpg

Isn't Øbama supposed to be an intellectual? Then how come he doesn't know what every Marine Recruit knows on the first day of boot camp? And yet somehow this clown became commander-in-chief? God help us all!





|| Greg, 06:39 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

It Doesn't Matter How Deb Medina Has Tried To Rationalize Her Answer

It isn't a question of "overthinking" an answer. For anyone with a brain and/or a sense of moral decency, there was only one appropriate answer to the question.

One of our local bloggers came up with precisely the right analogy.

Q: In your opinion, did the Holocaust happen?

A: I don't have all the evidence. Good questions have been asked and I haven't seen answers. I'm not going to take a position...the Holocaust isn't even an issue in this race!

I can think of answers to a number of other "beyond the pale" questions that might immediately rule out a candidate -- "Did the CIA kill the Kennedys?", "Did FDR know about Pearl Harbor?", "Was the moon landing faked?", "Is Obama constitutionally ineligible to be president?" -- because they indicate a certain intellectual instability.

But the answer to the 9/11 question given by Medina, like the answer to the hypothetical Holocaust question above, is indicative of something more -- an affinity for evil that should be rejected by the voters. Either Deb Medina is unprepared to accept the overwhelming evidence based upon a weak-minded willingness to exonerate the admitted perpetrators of evil, or she has knowingly built her candidacy upon a coalition that relies so heavily on such folks that she is unwilling to speak what she knows to be the truth. In either event, Medina has shown herself to be unfit for any public office -- indeed unfit for inclusion in among civilized people with an ounce of moral decency.





|| Greg, 06:29 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 12, 2010

A Question For The Theologians

In his retirement video, Patrick Kennedy made the following statement.

“It’s pretty simple in this respect: I went through something that caused me a great deal of soul searching and self-reflection,” Kennedy said.

A Kennedy?

With a soul?

REALLY?

Who knew?





|| Greg, 06:34 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Autobot Or Decepticon?

Who knew that the movies are documentaries?

Transformer Explodes, Blasting Fire Into the Air

A transformer beneath a sidewalk exploded in a roar of flames and smoke on Thursday, charring the light stone face of an office building and showering debris over a half-block stretch of Avenue of the Americas. The authorities said that no one was injured.

Optimus Prime and Megatron were unavailable for comment.





|| Greg, 06:16 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Why Did Patrick Kennedy Quit?

I hadn’t thought of this one. From NRO’s Corner blog:

The Most Frequent Patrick Kennedy E-mail I Am Getting Today [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

Unfortunately is from readers predicting he runs for the seat Senator Brown currently holds.

Will Patches make a run in Massachusetts, seeking to reclaim the family throne?





|| Greg, 06:02 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Terror Policy Avoids The “I” Words

You know which ones.

Islam.

Islamic.

Islamist.

The ones that best explain the ideology that motivates the enemies of America.

Two new documents laying out the Obama administration's defense and homeland security strategy over the next four years describe the nation's terrorist enemies in a number of ways but fail to mention the words Islam, Islamic or Islamist.

The 108-page Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, made public last week by the Department of Homeland Security, uses the term "terrorist" a total of 66 times, "al Qaeda" five times and "violent extremism" or "extremist" 14 times. It calls on the U.S. government to "actively engage communities across the United States" to "stop the spread of violent extremism."

Yet in describing terrorist threats against the United States and the ideology that motivates terrorists, the review - like its sister document from the Pentagon, the Quadrennial Defense Review - does not use the words "Islam," "Islamic" or "Islamist" a single time.

Now there is room for healthy debate about whether Islam itself is fatally flawed, or whether those who engage in terrorism use it to rationalize their acts of evil. But the reality is that any discussion of terrorism in a contemporary context needs to take Islam into account – and right now, the US government is avoiding doing so at all costs.

Doesn’t that make you feel safe?





|| Greg, 05:47 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 11, 2010

Revising Nancy's Mail

Any chance that Pelosi will send a letter like this to Øbama?

Pelosiunemploymentletter.jpg

After all, if the complaints in this letter had any validity when it was first written, surely they are even more valid now that Øbama has ushered in the Error of Hopeychange.





|| Greg, 09:54 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Legislative Branch To Become Kennedy-Free Zone

Patrick Kennedy is about to tuck tail and run.

Rhode Island Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy will retire after eight terms in office, bringing an end to his House career just months after his father, legendary Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, passed away.

An informed Capitol Hill source confirmed Kennedy's retirement to the Fix after it was first reported by the Associated Press.

The only down side to this is that this may make it a bit harder for the GOP to pick up the seat, given that the people of Rhode Island had been prepared to do to him what the people of Massachusetts did with his father's old seat -- without giving Patrick the luxury of being dead and buried first.

I know there will be much rejoicing among my relatives in Cranston and the surrounding area.





|| Greg, 09:45 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Time To Keep Muslims Off All Flights

Their leaders have declared that following the same security procedures as everyone else is against their faith.

group of Muslim scholars says it supports airline safety, but it is "deeply concerned" about the use of airport scanners that show nude images of the human body.

“The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) emphasizes that a general and public use of such scanners is against the teachings of Islam, natural law and all religions and cultures that stand for decency and modesty,” the group said in a Feb. 10 statement posted at Islam Online.

"It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women," FCNA explained. The group noted that Islam emphasizes modesty, considering it part of the faith. "The Qur'an has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their private parts" and to be modest in their dress.

The leaders of the Religion of Blow the Infidels to Pieces want special treatment for its followers. I agree. Ground them all – every last one of them. They can walk where they are going.





|| Greg, 07:42 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Little Something I Have Known Since Grad School

Back in the 1980s, my Political Statistics class did an opinion poll of students at my university. Another student and I put questions on the survey regarding student opinions on abortion. The result? Nearly three-quarters expressed pro-choice positions on the issue, while over two-thirds were clearly pro-life. Now as you can see, that means that we somehow ended up with a total percentage over 140 percent? How was that possible? It depended on how the students answered tow different sets of questions about the issue, each set worded differently. Presented as an issue of medical privacy and women’s rights, the participants were pro-choice. Asked about aborting a baby, the students were clearly pro-life.

And we find that today as a part of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell issue.

A new CBS News/ New York Times poll finds that the wording of the question is key when it comes to determining whether Americans support allowing gays to serve in the military.

In the poll, 59 percent say they now support allowing "homosexuals" to serve in the U.S. military, including 34 percent who say they strongly favor that. Ten percent say they somewhat oppose it and 19 percent say they strongly oppose it.

But the numbers differ when the question is changed to whether Americans support "gay men and lesbians" serving in the military. When the question is asked that way, 70 percent of Americans say they support gay men and lesbians serving in the military, including 19 percent who say they somewhat favor it. Seven percent somewhat oppose it, and 12 percent strongly oppose it.

When it comes to whether Americans support allowing gays to serve openly, there is also a difference based on the term used. When referred to as "homosexuals," 44 percent favor allowing them to serve openly. When referred to as "gay men and lesbians," the percentage rises to 58 percent.

You see, the answer you get can be influenced by the question you ask. Words elicit a response. Indeed, the wording of the questions may even be perceived as leading the participants to respond one way or another – “homosexuals” being the wording of DADT supporters and “gays and lesbians” being the wording of opponents of the policy.

My personal guess? Americans probably come down in the middle between the two sets of numbers. That means we are probably looking at about 65% supporting gays in the military, and a near even split on allowing them to serve “openly”.





|| Greg, 06:33 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Deb Medina Goes Down In Flames

If the media in the state of Texas cover this, it should be the end of Medina’s surge in the polls.

TV and radio commentator Glenn Beck dismissed the candidacy of Debra Medina when she left open the door to a conspiracy fringe group that believe the U.S. government might have been behind the 9-11 destruction of the World Trade Center.

Beck, a leading personality for conservatives, asked her point blank if she believed such a theory.

“I don’t have all the evidence there, Glenn,” Medina replied. “So I’m not in a place – I have not been out publicly questioning that. I think some very good questions have been raised in that regard. There’s some very good arguments and I think the American people have not seen all the evidence there so I’ve not taken a position there.”

He then asked if she would disavow people on her campaign team that held such a theory.

“I’m certainly not into mind control or thought policing people,” Medina said. “I don’t see us having a team of radical individuals, if you will.”

When Beck declares someone to be politically loony, you know they are way out there.

The woman won’t disavow Trutherism and she won’t disavow the Truthers who support her -- and cannot even be honest about what she said. That should slam the door on reasonable, responsible Texans casting their vote for her in the GOP primary.





|| Greg, 06:27 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

About These AP Numbers

Some might think that this looks bad.

According to a College Board report, about 800,000 public high school seniors in last May’s graduating class, or 26.5 percent of the class, took an A.P. exam at some point in their high school career, almost twice as many as took A.P. exams in the class of 2001.

While the majority of students who take A.P. exams still earn a passing score of 3, 4 or 5, which is enough to earn college credit at many institutions, the share of failing scores has risen with the program’s rapid expansion. In 2009, about 43 percent of the 2.3 million A.P. exams taken earned a failing grade of 1 or 2, compared with 39 percent of the one million exams taken by the class of 2001.

Now speaking as a teacher in an AP program (as well as a former AP student), I have to say that this does not surprise me. When you increase the number of kids taking the tests, you will quantitatively get more failures. But you will also get a higher failure rate because of who is taking the class and when they are taking it. This happens for two reasons.

  1. If you increase the number of kids taking the test, some of them will be “marginal” AP students rather than the cream of the crop who traditionally have taken the class. I consider the course I teach at my school – last year we had 4 AP sections of the class, each full. This year we have 6 AP sections, also full. That is a 50% increase in students – not all of whom would have been deemed “AP material” in earlier years. Of those kids, we will see a greater percentage fail. That does not mean that they are “failures” at AP – it means that they are not yet working at a sufficiently advanced level to get college credit for their work. They have almost certainly learned a great deal, and are likely more prepared for college than they might otherwise have been.

  2. We are offering more AP classes at earlier times. My school has 10th graders taking AP World History. At 16, two full years prior to graduation, they might not be “college credit” material according to the test, but my conversation with some of these students who I’ve taught in the past makes it clear that they are learning more and understanding more deeply. Some of them, though, will just not be able to meet the college credit threshold given their own cognitive and expressive abilities at their age.

As you can see, I’m not bothered by that failure rate. If our kids are exposed to more knowledge and more rigorous standards, they will learn more and be better prepared later on when they get to college. And that is, after all, what really matters.





|| Greg, 06:17 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Øbama Prepping To Break Another Campaign Promise

Remember when Øbama said that those making below $250K a year would not see their taxes raised? Guess again!

President Obama says he is now "agnostic" about raising taxes on households making under $250,000 a year to help cut budget deficits, signaling a possible retreat from a campaign pledge.

In an interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek on newsstands Friday, Obama said a presidential budget commission needs to look at all options for deficit reduction - including tax increases and cuts in spending on such programs as Social Security and Medicare.

"The whole point of it is to make sure that all ideas are on the table," Obama said. "So what I want to do is to be completely agnostic, in terms of solutions."

Translation – Hey you suckers! Don’t you know that every Øbama promise comes with an expiration date?”





|| Greg, 06:10 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Lawsuit in Edwards Affair Saga

And the sordid Democrat soap opera continues.

Elizabeth Edwards may be preparing to sue her husband's longtime aide for allegedly contributing to the demise of her marriage.

In such a lawsuit, Edwards would argue an "alienation of affection," alleging that Andrew Young's role in covering up his former boss's affair with campaign videographer Rielle Hunter was partly responsible for the failure of the Edwardses' marriage, ABC News has learned.


Now would this be the same Elizabeth Edwards who along with her husband made her storybook marriage to John Edwards a part of his campaign propaganda? Who knew about John's infidelity and still stood by his side as part of his 2008 campaign for President? Who helped John lie on national television about his relationship with the bimbo he knocked up? Who has issued regular health bulletins to an American public that just wishes she and John would get back under the rock they crawled out from under? Seems to me that there is no claim for invasion of privacy to be made -- and as a public figure there can be no claim that the information was wrongfully disclosed causing that alienation of affection.

Face it -- Elizabeth is as dirty as John in this one.





|| Greg, 06:05 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 10, 2010

Prayers And Best Wishes For Joshuapundit

If any of you have happened upon Joshuapundit, you will undoubtedly have found Rob Miller to be one of the bright spots of the blogosphere. Rob is unfailingly insightful, witty, and scholarly in his approach to blogging -- and, as I have had the opportunity to learn over the last couple years, a fine man and a damn good friend.

Thise evening, my fellow members of the Watcher's Council got word from Rob's wife that he is currently hospitalized after a heart attack on Monday, and subsequent surgery. She also posted this at Joshuapundit.

To all friends and followers of Joshuapundit - This is Mrs. Joshuapundit letting you know that my husband had a mild heart attack on Monday afternoon. He is currently doing well and we expect him to be coming home within the next couple of days. Knowing my husband, I'm sure he will be anxious to return to the blogosphere as soon as possible. Please keep him in your prayers.

Rob has lifted my darling Paula and I up in prayer many times in the time I have known him. Please join us in doing the same for Rob and his family now, that he will have a complete recovery and return home to the loving arms of his family -- and, when he is ready, to those of us who have come to treasure him through the miracle that is the Internet.

Be well my friend!





|| Greg, 11:57 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Question That Must Be Asked

From my dear friend Mrs. Bookworm.

I. . . finally realized what the appropriate question is with regard to this Democrat-created appellation (and pardon my unusually crude language): “If we’re the party of tea bags, are they the party of douche bags?” It strikes me that any group that so consistently demeans the political process and political aspirations of ordinary Americans falls comfortably within that derogatory characterization.

Bravo, my dear! Bravo!





|| Greg, 10:13 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Everything's RAAAAACIST! Now

Exactly what can one say about Barack Øbama that his sycophantic supporters and race-mongering mouthpieces won't label as racist? I'd have to say that thee isn't a damn thing left -- meaning that the charge of racism has been officially stripped of all meaning, especially when it is applied to anything said against Barack Øbama.

Watching the “professor Obama” label bandied about again, one of the president’s longtime mentors says he doubts it will gain traction outside of Tea Party rallies. Taken to its logical conclusion, the message just doesn’t make sense, says Charles J. Ogletree, a Harvard professor who has known Obama since he was a law student there.

* * *

“The idea is that he’s not one of us,” Ogletree says of the professor label. “He has these ideas that are left wing, that are socialist, that he’s palling around with terrorists -- those were buzzwords, but the reality was they were looking at this president as an African American who was out of place.”

No, Chuckles, that isn't it at all. What is being responded to is the frequent characterization of Øbama as some sort of intellectual giant whose background uniquely qualifies him to be president and puts him had and shoulders above recent GOP presidents whose intellects were regularly denigrated. Time and again, though, we see Øbama make political missteps and miscalculations, as well as errors in both judgment and fact that undermine that credibility. Recently, for example, Øbama mischaracterized a Supreme Court ruling in his State of The Union address and used a Jim Crow law sponsored by one of the most notorious racists to ever serve in the Senate to do so. His expertise has therefore been mocked by those of us who were not fooled by his sophistry, and we have satirized the very credential that is supposed to be indicative of his alleged intellectual superiority.

In other words, we aren't suggesting that he is somehow being "uppity" by stepping out of some supposed proper place as a black man.

Which means, no doubt, that we will soon see someone else -- or maybe even by Ogletree himself -- arguing that directing "professor" at the former professor is really just a racist effort to call Øbama a dumb n!gg*r. But the reality is that we just think he's dumb.





|| Greg, 09:59 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

More Reasons To Oppose Medina

My buddy Robbie over at Urban Grounds points to this great piece at TXConservative about Deb Medina that indicates just where the base of her support comes from -- and her connection to the fringe. A lot of this background information was stuff I was unfamiliar when I wrote about her last night in my gubernatorial endorsement of Kay Bailey Hutchison.

After documenting the connection between the Medina campaign and Ron Paul, radio crazy Alex Jones, and the 9/11 Truther crowd, the Texas Conservative post makes this observation which I feel needs to be given greater play:

With the recent release of a PPP poll showing she is pulling very close to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, the media has even more reason to talk about Medina now. However, they seeem to be going the same route with her as they did with Obama – not vetting her by discovering more about her background. Her associations with the Ron Paul brigade and their use of guerilla tactics are something the media needs to wake up to and investigate. There are clear signs that the movement is not based on rational thought but instead a lunatic fringe group backing Medina. Medina herself was at the forefront of this when she filed a frivolous lawsuit against the Republican Party of Texas after they Paul supporters guerilla tactics didn’t work at the convention. The lawsuit has been since thrown out and Medina ordered to pay court fees.

The media itself actually recognized it is not properly vetting Medina during the second debate. Monitoring the chat of the Austin and Dallas newspaper’s on-line blogs showed where she was getting “softball” questions and her past record of managing the Wharton County GOP (which has been roundly criticized by her officials in the county) has not been properly examined.

When you consider that Ms. Medina has significant ties to the 9/11 truther movement, has a more libertarian than conservative viewpoint, and has a legion of followers who use “guerilla” tactics;” one has to wonder if this not a movement but a coup d’état by a fringe group? It’s the media’s job to investigate, the question is will they?

America got snookered with an unvetted candidate who had unsavory associates in his mist-shrouded past. Will the Texas (and national) media make the same errors in 2010 that they did in 2008? This is a big deal given the latest poll results.





|| Greg, 06:51 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

What A Difference Øbama Has Made

Republicans are now tied with Democrats on the generic ballot for Congress.

Republicans and Democrats are now tied at 45% in registered voters' preferences for which party's congressional candidate they would support "if the elections for Congress were being held today." Since last fall, the two major parties have been closely matched on this important gauge of the 2010 midterm elections, with neither achieving more than a four percentage-point lead. In mid-2009, the Democrats led by six points.

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And not only is this a big change over six months ago, it is also based upon independents shifting strongly towards the GOP. Those independents were the reason that Øbama was elected in 2008, and were the deciding factor in the Democrat takeover of Congress in the 2006 elections. If this trend continues, the GOP could grab both houses of Congress in November, and turn Øbama into a lame duck.





|| Greg, 05:49 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 09, 2010

My Endorsement: TX Governor -- Kay Bailey Hutchison

I have to express my regrets for a piece that I wrote on this website five years ago, in which I urged Kay Bailey Hutchison to forego a primary fight with Rick Perry and instead run for another term in the Senate. I believed that said action would be best for the GOP and best for Texas. I was wrong, because of what followed.

It did not take long for Rick Perry to show his true stripes following that election, backing off his promises of border enforcement, offering Texans significantly smaller property tax cuts than were promised, ignoring sexual abuse in the TYC system by system employees, and declaring himself dictator with the authority to play doctor with every little girl in Texas for the benefit of a political associate and the company for which he was employed. Perry has not improved over time -- indeed, his hints at secession (while not quite as represented by liberals) were an embarrassment to this state. The time has come for Gov. Goodhair to go.

I therefore offer my support for a candidate who has the respect of Texans across the political spectrum and a history of principled (though not doctrinaire) conservatism on most issues, as well as a record of effective administration as an executive branch official here in Texas and an effective legislator in Washington -- our Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison. Hutchison has supported legislation to strengthen border enforcement, fought against Perry's plans to toll existing highways, and stood strong for Texas in the US Senate. What's more, she is backed by patriots like Dick Cheney and George H.W. Bush -- individuals of unquestioned integrity and love for this country who know quality leadership when they see it.

The third entrant in the race, Debra Medina, is to be commended for giving voice to some interesting ideas and important viewpoints. Unfortunately, Medina lacks the experience to be governor, having never held significant elected office or run any organization of any size or complexity. In short, she is less qualified to be governor than Barack Øbama was to be president. While I'd likely endorse her for any number of offices, I don't believe any candidate should begin his/her career as the chief executive of her state. If we've learned anything since January 20, 2009, it is that interesting ideas and a bit of charisma can't substitute for experience. We simply cannot wait for her to get on-the-job training.

I therefore endorse Kay Bailey Hutchison for governor, and will cast my vote for her in the GOP primary. I urge other Republicans to do likewise.





|| Greg, 09:49 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Mexico Demands Americans Have Border Papers In Order

Given that the Mexican government actively assists with the ongoing violation of American sovereignty that is illegal immigration, who the hell do they think they are imposing this requirement?

Starting March 1, Mexico will require U.S. citizens traveling south of the border to have valid passports.

The new rule applies also to U.S. legal residents, who will have to show their green cards or other documents demonstrating their legal status in the U.S.

In other words, all us gringos had better follow Mexico's border rules or we will be turned away -- or maybe end up in one of Mexico's jails under the watchful eye of its narco-terrorist corrupted law enforcement agencies.

Which leads me to ask why they are not setting up water stations and providing "sneak across the border" websites for undocumented American tourists to come south while evading Mexican law -- especially because they will be spending so much of that gringo dinero that keeps the Mexican economy afloat.





|| Greg, 06:48 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Remember When Dissent Was Patriotic?

You know, prior to twelve noon on January 20, 2009?

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Now dissent – and criticism of the president and his policiesis treason.

In an oped in USA Today, John Brennan -- Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism -- responds to critics of the Obama administration's counterterrorism policies by saying "Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda."

Brennan then goes on to argue that those of us who disagree with the policies are giving into the terrorists by being afraid of them.

Excuse me – have you not considered that we might believe that we are at war with al-Qaeda and other terrorists and believe that we should defeat them? You know – treating our nation’s enemy like they are the enemy and not misguided hooligans picked up for public urination.

Not to mention engaging in public debate about the policies of the American government – sort of like free citizens in a democratic republic are not only allowed to do – is something Americans are required to do as a part of their responsibility to play an active role in setting the direction of our nation.

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Unfortunately, Brennan seems to have more interest in taking on loyal Americans who disagree with Øbama than he does in taking on our nation’s real foes, the jihadis. And as any observer of the American political system knows, Brennan’s impugning of the patriotism of those who disagree with Øbama didn’t happen by accident – it was a strategic decision made at the highest level of the Øbama Regime, quite probably by President Øbama himself.

And interestingly enough, in defining dissent as treason, Brennan made it clear that jihadis who try to murder Americans here or abroad get better treatment than domestic dissidents in Øbama’s America. As was pointed out by Jim Geraghty at National Review, Brennan makes it clear that Øbama Regime policy is that Abdulmutallab the Crotch Bomber is merely a suspected terrorist, but we political dissidents in Øbama’s America are presumed guilty, not even labeled as being “alleged traitors” or being merely “suspected of sedition” by Øbama and his minions. Such is the shameful state of affairs in America today during this Error of Hopeychange.





|| Greg, 05:36 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Muslims Show Lack Of Respect For American Values At UC-Irvine

Anti-Semitism and repeated efforts to censor speech seem to be the hallmark of organized Islam in this country. Take this effort to silence an invited speaker on a California campus.

California police reportedly made 12 arrests on Monday after a speech by Israel's U.S. Ambassador Michael Oren descended into chaos.

Hecklers interrupted Oren's lecture at University of California, Irvine, over 10 times, shouting "killers" and "how many Palestinians did you kill?"

Oren took a 20 minute break after the fourth protest, only to be interrupted again by young men yelling at him every few minutes, local press reported.

Hopefully any students among the arrestees will be expelled for their blatant attempt to limit academic freedom on campus.

And by the way – there is only one proper answer to “how many Palestinians did you kill? It is “clearly not enough, because the Palestinians continue engage in acts of terrorism against Israeli civilians.”





|| Greg, 05:26 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Øbama NASA Plan Leads To Russia Rocket Rip-off

Heck of a job you’re doing there, Barry! Now that you have announced your intent to gut the US manned spaceflight program, the Russians are going to do the only thing anyone with a capitalist mindset would do – start price-gouging.

When NASA retires its long-serving shuttle fleet as planned later this year, the United States and other countries will be wholly dependent on Russia to fly the station's six-man crew to and from orbit.

NASA has signed a deal worth 306 million dollars (224 million euros) with Roskomos for six rides to the ISS in 2012 and 2013, or a charge of 51 million dollars per US astronaut..

Russia has been charging space tourists $35 million for the trip.

Just call it one more example of the errors of Øbamunism!





|| Greg, 05:08 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Mayor Parker Considers Making One Ride Free – And Another More Expensive

Yesterday we got this little bit of information about Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s priorities.

Parker has signaled that she is not wedded to conventional wisdom about Metro, even suggesting eliminating fares to increase lagging ridership.

That means a plan to soak the taxpayers even more than they are already soaked, given that she also wants to increase routes and restore scheduled service that was eliminated as not being cost effective. Nobody is riding at the heavily subsidized fare that Metro charges so Houston's mass transit system is losing money -- so let's see if making it free will increase ridership and cause an even bigger budget deficit!

On the other hand, Parker also wants to raise the price tag for another sort of ride.

Mayor Annise Parker's administration is weighing a plan to more than double the cost of ambulance transport in the city, a move that already has met with a chilly reception from City Council members.

City officials contend that Houston's ambulance fees are far lower than those of other major U.S. cities, but critics questioned whether such emergency medical care should be considered part of the “core services” citizens fund with their taxes.

Go to the movies? Ride for free. Have a heart attack? That will be $800 plus $16 a mile, please.

Personally, I’m of the opinion that emergency ambulance service, like police and fire service, is something that ought to be free or provided at low cost. Apparently Parker, a Democrat, is all in favor of making this element of health care more expensive for those who need it.

Am I alone in thinking that Annise Parker’s priorities are a mess?





|| Greg, 04:56 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 08, 2010

Watcher's Council Results

The results of the latest vote is out, and here they are!

Winning Council Submissions



Winning Non-Council Submissions


|| Greg, 07:43 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

My Endorsement: TX House District 129 -- John Davis

Folks who have followed this blog for a while know that I have not been an ardent supporter of Rep. John Davis. Indeed, I urged Davis to withdraw from the race for the 2008 nomination because of various issues that were raised by various folks whose opinions I respected, and I actively campaigned for his primary opponent. The primary voters of District 129 saw matters differently from me and gave him the nomination.

We are now in 2010, with a different set of circumstances before us. John Davis is again seeking the nomination, and is again facing a challenger, political newcomer Mary Huls. I therefore find myself faced with three options in this race -- endorsing one of the two candidates, or of offering no endorsement. Given the past history I noted above, I gave serious consideration to not making an endorsement in this race. However, I cannot in good conscience pick that route because of the clear differences between the two candidates and the reality that the winner of this primary will not have a Democrat challenger in November, making this the de facto general election.

John Davis, for all his faults, is a known quantity with a history of being able to carry this district in the general election. He has an 82% career rating from the Young Conservatives of Texas, which puts him well-within the bounds of the conservative fold (though he did slip below my gold standard of 80% in 2009, garnering only a 77% rating). My personal experience with John Davis since I wrote that 2007 letter linked above is also important -- his response was to reach out to me and express his respect for my views, and I have been shown nothing but respect in the time since. I also know that his office was helpful to many area residents following Hurricane Ike -- I've heard it from their own mouths. And in one-on-one conversations between the two of us, Davis has taken responsibility for the issues that caused me concern, and has offered a detailed explanation to me of steps he has taken to ensure that the the common errors he made are not repeated. In short, I believe he has taken the criticisms and concerns to heart and taken solid steps to rectify them. These factors have raised Davis in my esteem.

Which leads me to his opponent, Mary Huls. I first became aware of Mrs. Huls this past summer when I received a vague, typo-filled email from her husband announcing her candidacy. Subsequent investigation made it clear that Mary Huls has no record of involvement with the Republican Party -- and that she was an Øbama voter in the 2008 Democrat primary! I might take the claim that she was participating in Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos" a bit more seriously if she she actually had a record of voting in the Republican primary, but she does not. Now I'm all for welcoming former Democrats who have seen the error of their ways into the GOP (Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat), but I look askance at Mary Huls' insistence that her professed conversion to conservative principles is the basis for immediately electing her to a major public office. I believe that Mary Huls has expressed a number of sound principles, but cannot at this point be sure of their sincerity without some sort of track record to back up the words on her campaign site. The development of such a record would, I believe, make Mary Huls a formidable candidate, and one I to whom I might be able to offer strong support.

And that is ultimately what it comes down to for me. The 2011 legislative session will be responsible for so many important tasks, not the least being the redrawing of Texas' legislative and congressional district lines. This redistricting will be critical to the future of the state and the nation, especially given that Texas may acquire as many as 4 additional seats in Congress. Given the history of Democrat gerrymanders over the course of over 13 decades of post-Civil War Democrat control of the state legislature, it is crucial that the 129th District be represented by a conservative Republican who will work to draw lines that ensure fair and accurate representation of the voters of Texas so that we can stop the Øbama agenda on the national level. I know we can count on John Davis in that regard -- I do not have that sort of confidence with regard to Mary Huls.

Ultimately, the factors that I have considered lead me inexorably to one conclusion -- this race is too important, and the difference between the two candidates is too stark, for me not to make an endorsement. I therefore suggest to my fellow Republicans that in the 2010 Republican primary, the only acceptable choice for those who wish to be certain that conservative principles and Republican values are enacted is to vote for John Davis as our Republican nominee for state representative in the 129th District.





|| Greg, 07:15 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

On Endorsements For 2010

In recent years, I've struggled with the issue of endorsements during the GOP primary. I've generally waited until primary day, and just put up a list. What I have not done is offer a rationale for those endorsements. I plan on changing that this year, at least for some races that I think merit special attention. It is therefore my plan to offer some more detailed explanations as to why I have chosen to endorse in a given race, or perhaps to withhold my endorsement.

For the record, my default position in most contested races (except judicial races) will be to make an endorsement of a candidate. I will only choose to not make a recommendation in the event that I believe that there is not a dime's worth of difference between the candidates.





|| Greg, 05:48 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

It Might Have Been The Honorable Choice

I have no sympathy for this climate-change grafter who has been exposed as a fraud.

THE scientist at the centre of the “climategate” email scandal has revealed that he was so traumatised by the global backlash against him that he contemplated suicide.

Professor Phil Jones is a liar and a fraud. It would be nice if he would act to undo the damage his actions have caused. Instead, he wails "poor me!" and blames those who have exposed his fraud.





|| Greg, 04:34 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

GOP Should Tell Øbama The Time Is Past For This

After all, the GOP presented substantive proposals on health care reform months ago, and the Democrats belittled them, ignored them, and claimed they did not exist. Why help Øbama pull his chestnuts out of the fire now that he is on the ropes?

President Barack Obama invited Republican and Democratic lawmakers from the House and Senate to a Feb. 25 meeting to discuss ways to get an overhaul of the U.S. health-care system through Congress.

Obama said he wants lawmakers “to put their ideas on the table.” The president spoke during a live televised interview with “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric during the network’s Super Bowl pregame show yesterday.

We put up with months of Øbama and his minions negotiating in secret, offering recalcitrant Democrats deals that were akin to bribes, and telling the GOP to take it or leave it – all while claiming that the only reason the GOP opposed the resulting abortion of a bill was that they were playing partisan games. In the mean time, the American people rejected what Barack what wrought. Do we really need to give him an opportunity to win a battle that he has already lost – especially since the American people were behind that defeat?





|| Greg, 04:27 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Øbama Economy Leads To Stealth Taxation

Last spring, I got a traffic ticket. Like most Texans, I took the driver’s education route to get the thing dismissed – but still got stuck with a $200 “administrative fee” (the same as the fine for the ticket) as a result. And I was not alone – at least six other cars were stopped at that speed trap while I was there, and it operated from about 9:00 in the morning until about 4:00 in the afternoon weekdays for about 3 months – until the return diminished and they switched their location to another intersection a couple of miles away. I later saw that the city in question had managed to avoid budget cuts because of the increase in “enforcement activity” by the local cops that made up for the revenue shortfall from other sources of income.

I therefore read this story with interest.

Reluctant to raise taxes publicly, the Bloomberg administration is pursuing a "stealth tax" - launching an unprecedented squeeze on Big Apple residents and businesses, cracking down on parking, health, safety and quality-of-life infractions with a vengeance, the data shows.

The ongoing blitz has worked so well that City Hall bean counters expect to rake in a record $884 million in fines by the end of this fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010.

That's a 10% jump over last year's $802 million.

And there's no letting up. Fines are projected to increase to $896 million in 2011.
"We need to get the revenue from somewhere," said a City Hall source. "We could just tax people and take it out of your wallet or we can be aggressive in enforcement."

Belt-tightening by government seems not to be a consideration.

H/T American Thinker





|| Greg, 04:19 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 07, 2010

What, Exactly, Do You Propose?"

Next time a politician starts to talk about securing our nation's borders, ask them this question put forward by the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Vin Suprynowicz.

I haven't talked with Mr. Obama about this personally -- he hasn't dropped by. But I have talked with my own liberal Democratic Nevada congresswoman, Shelley Berkley, on the topic.

Last year, at a meeting here in the offices of the Review-Journal, I heard her use virtually the same formulation, saying, "Everyone agrees we need to secure our borders."

I asked: "Are we going to use land mines and machine guns?"

The first, spontaneous expression on Rep. Berkley's face -- a mixture of horror and disbelief -- was priceless. Then, laughing a bit nervously and glancing from side to side, as though checking to see whether men in white coats were about to remove me, she replied, "Oh, no one is considering that."

The obvious follow-up question, then, is "What, exactly, do you propose we do to secure our borders?" Not vague platitudes about enforcing our nation's immigration laws, but serious proposals that the candidate or officeholder is prepared to work to get enacted and implemented.

Are landmines and machine guns the solution? Probably not. But if the current benign neglect on immigration issues that has been de facto policy during my entire adult life is going to continue, it is time for our politicians to admit that they need to budget for signs that read "Bienvenidos, Amigos!" at our southern border, as well as shuttle bus service to the nearest immigration office for instant green card service.

Having done that, the American people can either ratify said policy at the next election, or vote in others who with a serious plan to deal with our nation's immigration and border problems and the will to enact the policies to implement it.





|| Greg, 04:48 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 06, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

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Today would be Ronald Reagan's 99th birthday.

My first foray into blogging was my tribute to Ronald Reagan during the events surrounding the great man's funeral. I can think of no better words to say of him now than I did that evening in 2004.

I first heard the name Ronald Reagan as a child living in California. I was only three years old when he was elected governor, but my parents taught me early that he was a good man, and one to be admired. I followed his career from then on.

As an adolescent I listened to Ronald Reagan on the radio. What he said made sense, and he was a major influence in the formation of my world-view. As he challenged for the presidential nomination in 1976, I hoped that he would be the one to make us proud of America again. My heart broke when he conceded.

Four years later I sat late into the night, waiting for him to appear and announce his vice- presidential candidate. I was 17, and excited by his words and vision. I had never worked on a campaign before, but I did then. I am one of that generation he inspired with his conservative vision and principles.

In 1984 I cast my first presidential vote for Ronald Reagan. He remains the standard by which I judge any candidate for office.

I cannot help but be struck by the difference between this great American and the unworthy successor that sits in the Oval Office today. Unlike the self-referential tone of the incumbent, Ronald Reagan's words to this nation and this world can be said to have revolved around two themes that were inextricably bound in his heart, mind, and soul -- "America" and "freedom".

Today we mark the 99th anniversary of Reagan's birth in a nation with a Democrat in the Oval Office, a Democrat majority in the House of Representatives and a Democrat majority (a supermajority until just days ago) in the Senate. We can do nothing about the first, but let us vow to work together to guarantee that a year from today -- the Reagan Centennial -- we have undone the other two.

Others Remembering Reagan include GayPatriot. STACLU, JammieWearingFool, Virginia Right, American Conservative Values, Tab Right, WeaselZippers, Patriots & Liberty, Jefferson's Rebels, Grover Norquist, Texarkana GOP, PC Free Zone, American Thinker, NewsBusters, Moonbattery. RWN, PowerLine, Big Government, Shot in the Dark, Greenroom





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February 05, 2010

The Four Chaplains

Growing up as a Navy brat, this story was one I heard often. In honor of Four Chaplains Day, I present this telling of the story on the floor of the House of Representatives.

There is no greater love. . .

H/T WeaselZippers





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Another Kennedy Gone?

When I was a kid, the only Democrats I knew were my mother’s family back in Rhode Island. Among the best and most beloved of the bunch were my mom’s cousin and her husband, who one night took my brother and I out putting up yard signs for a Democrat politician in Providence (I was 10, my brother was 8, and the laws against contributing to the delinquency of a minor were so much less stringent back then. . . ). They were good people, honest Democrats who believed in the New Deal/Fair Deal/Camelot/Great Society Democrat ideals that held sway during the middle third of the 20th Century and which still had great influence into the 1970s.

A couple of weeks ago, I got this email (which I have edited to remove family stories and details) from my mom’s cousin, and was floored by its contents.

Subject: Dancing in the streets!

* * *

We are dancing in the streets in Massachusetts AND RI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. We are so thrilled about Scott Brown gunning down Martha in the streets of Boston. Good for him. We are thrilled. God is good. How far away can the dumping of the "Kennedy kid" be? Patrick, take the hint. . . . So many, many of Rhode Islanders feel this way. . . . Just wait till the next election. We want to see the Kennedy dynasty die. Massachusetts got rid of Teddy’s ass tonight; we in RI will get rid of Patrick’s fat, drug-riddled, alcohol-infested ass SOON! Love it!

I was floored. I wasn’t at all sure how deep that sort of sentiment runs in a state like Rhode Island. But now I see that the polling data indicates that it does.

The Kennedy political dynasty is shaking in the aftershock of U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s earth-shattering election, with a new poll showing U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy losing ground as he faces a well-financed GOP foe backed by Brown’s top strategists.

The WPRI-12 poll showed the Rhode Island Democrat with a 56 percent unfavorability rating in his district - a negative that grows to 62 percent statewide.

Only 35 percent of voters in Kennedy’s district said they would vote to re-elect him. Another 31 percent said they’d consider a different candidate and 28 percent said they would vote to replace him, according to the poll.

Will we soon see a Kennedy-free Congress for the first time in my lifetime? Could be if Rhode Islanders are as serious about real change as my formerly Democrat family members! And that may drive home the point to the degenerate son of a degenerate father that the voice of the people as expressed by their votes is no joke.





|| Greg, 06:30 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Another Attempt To Manufacture A Scandal

Oh dear.

This looks bad at first glance.

Records show that Sarah Palin hasn't paid any property taxes on cabins that have been built on two backcountry plots partially owned by the former Alaska governor.

There are no tax assessments for the two-story, house-sized cabins, a workshop and a sauna spotted Thursday in an aerial survey. Property taxes totaling $156.13 were paid on the land in 2009 — but that bill did not include anything for the structures because the local assessor didn't know about the new construction nearly 100 miles north of Anchorage.

The issue has attracted the attention of local tax officials who conducted the scheduled aerial survey of properties in the area on Thursday. The area is accessible only by floatplane, snowmobile or four-wheeler.

Owners are expected to report errors and omissions on property assessments and taxes, so it does look bad.

But wait – there is some information that is not reported until later in the article.

The properties are located along Safari Lake — an undeveloped area located near Denali State Park — and owned by Palin, her husband Todd and a family friend, Scott Richter. According to borough records, the tax assessments are sent to Richter's post office box in Big Lake.

In other words, the Palins likely never see these assessments. They go to their family friend/partner who, unless I miss my guess, just tells them to cut him a check for their $78.07 of the taxes, which he no doubt pays from his personal account like so many other property owners. So while that does not make the situation “all better”, it does make the issue significantly less than an criminal or unethical.

In fact, this story reminds me of something that came up with John McCain during the 2008 campaign, when the “gotcha” tax story turned out to be based upon the failure of the county tax office to mail the tax bills to the correct address of the bank that managed the trust set up by her father. I suspect that there will be a similar resolution – and that liberals will make more of this non-scandal about Sarah Palin than they did over the willful tax offenses of numerous top Democrats.





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February 04, 2010

Name Causes Career Problem For Diplomat

This story is just too good to pass up!

A high-ranking Pakistani diplomat reportedly cannot be appointed ambassador to Saudi Arabia because in Arabic his name translates into a phrase more appropriate for a porn star, referring to the size of male genitals, Foreign Policy reported.

The Arabic translation of Akbar Zeb to "biggest d**k" has overwhelmed Saudi officials who have refused to allow his post there.

Zeb has run into this problem before when Pakistan tried to appoint him as ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, where he was rejected for the same reason, according to Foreign Policy.

Sucks to be him -- though it could be advantageous in picking up the ladies.

Which leads, of course, to the obligatory clip from Monty Python's "The Life Of Brian".





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Racism At NBC?

Well, the liberals would be declaring it was if this happened at Fox, so I assume they will be all over this incident and condemning NBC and its various on-air personalities.

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So who at NBC thought it would be a good idea for the special today to be, among other things, fried chicken, “in honor of Black History Month”?

Because, spoiler alert – it wasn’t a good idea at all. And now NBCU employee Questlove is bringing it to the attention of his 1 million plus Twitter followers.

Questlove, the band leader and drummer for The Roots (the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) tweeted this picture from the NBC Commissary at 30 Rock, with the comment: “Hmm HR?”

But the argument from NBC seems to be that since the black cook set the menu, this is just hunky-dory.

I like the take from JammieWearingFool:

You have to figure this will earn NBC a special "Worst People in the World" from Keith Uberdork.

Don't bet on it -- intellectual honesty is not among Olberdouche's many personality traits.

H/T WeaselZippers





|| Greg, 05:37 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Going Viral -- Too Late To Apologize: A Declaration

Now this is clever -- I can imagine a few of the middle school teachers i know using this with their kids as they teach the 8th grade US History course.

Great info on the video and those behind it at SISU. And the video has gone viral.

And let me be among the voices encouraging my fellow educators to check out Soomo Publishing for more resources -- some ready to use, some still in development.

H/T Dan Riehl





|| Greg, 05:05 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 03, 2010

Obama Supports Jim Crow Law To Oppose Free Speech Ruling

Justice Clarence Thomas is regularly attacked and denigrated by left-wingers who struggle with the notion that there can be an intelligent, educated black man who is capable of thinking for himself. Actually, I take that isn't quite right. I really ought to have put the period after "man". But so expansive is his knowledge of the law, the Constitution, and the history of both that he can pull this obscure point out of his judicial robes to point out just how pernicious the impulse to allow government to censor speech really is.

He added that the history of Congressional regulation of corporate involvement in politics had a dark side, pointing to the Tillman Act, which banned corporate contributions to federal candidates in 1907.

“Go back and read why Tillman introduced that legislation,” Justice Thomas said, referring to Senator Benjamin Tillman. “Tillman was from South Carolina, and as I hear the story he was concerned that the corporations, Republican corporations, were favorable toward blacks and he felt that there was a need to regulate them.”

It is thus a mistake, the justice said, to applaud the regulation of corporate speech as “some sort of beatific action.”

Yeah, that is right. Barack Obama stood before the people of the United States and praised legislation introduced by a fellow Democrat who preceded him in the US Senate, one of the most vile enemies of African-Americans to ever serve in the United States Senate, a despicable man who owed his election to public office to his participation in an armed assault upon a body of black soldiers during Reconstruction and the lynching of several of these soldiers, and a dangerous demagogue who was censured for his physical assault of another Senator on the floor of the US Senate and barred from the White House over the incident. Indeed, an honest observer could rightly refer to the Tillman Act, lauded today by Obama and his fellow enemies of free speech, as the "Shut Up The N*gger-Lovers Act of 1907". If I were to construct a case to demonstrate the fundamental evil of allowing government to censor and silence disfavored speech, this piece of legislation that successfully silenced the voices of those who supported constitutional rights for all Americans would stand as Exhibit A in that effort.

So today we stand at a crossroads, faced with the choice between listening to a respected jurist as he defends the First Amendment and an adjunct law school faculty member (speaking far beyond his pay grade) to defend a Jim Crow law he finds politically advantageous to support.

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“It can hardly be expected
that any Negro would
regret the death of
Benjamin Tillman.
"
-- W.E.B. DuBois

What a pity that the first black man to sit in the Oval Office would use the occasion of his first State of the Union address to validate the life and work of a vile racist like "Pitchfork Ben" Tillman in an effort to undermine the Supreme Court and constrict the guarantee of free speech inserted into the Constitution at the very beginning of the Republic.

UPDATE: Here is the audio of Justice Thomas speaking on the Citizens United decision. His comments on the Tillman Act are at the very beginning. (H/T Lonely Conservative)





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Note To Dems: Bill White Sucks

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is leading him. Governor Gardasil Goodhair is ahead by almost as much. Good grief, even Deb Medina is leading the former mayor of Houston in the polls!

The two top hopefuls for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Texas remain out in front of their likeliest Democratic opponent, but now the Tea Party activist who is the third GOP contender is edging ahead as well.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Texas voters finds incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry leading former Houston Mayor Bill White 48% to 39%. Five percent (5%) like some other candidate, and eight percent are undecided.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison still runs best against the Democrat, leading White by 13 points, 49% to 36%. Seven percent (7%) prefer another candidate, while another seven percent (7%) are not sure.
The findings for both these match-ups are little changed from mid-January.

The surprise, as in the new Rasmussen Reports survey of the GOP gubernatorial primary, is the growing strength of Debra Medina, a businesswoman active in the state's Tea Party movement. Medina now edges White 41% to 38%. Last month, White had a 44% to 38% lead on her. In this contest, six percent (6%) favor some other candidate, but a more sizable 16% are undecided.

Voters not affiliated with either major party prefer the Republicans in all three match-ups by double-digits.

Now I will grant you that Bill White looked like a highly competent mayor of Sanctuary City after six years of Lee (Period) P (Period) Brown, but the people of Texas know a loser when they see one -- and White certainly qualifies.

Bill White polling behind Medina? Incredible!





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Just When It Seemed John Edwards Could Sink No Lower

It turns out he has!

Cancer-stricken Elizabeth Edwards is telling pals that John beat her during a horrific marriage-ending fight, The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively.

"John lost his temper big-time," revealed a close friend of Elizabeth.

"She has the divorce papers drawn up, but she can amend them to charge John with domestic violence.

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Ain't it sad that we have to turn to such a source because our nation's news media appears unable or unwilling to report on the whole sordid story first?

When will there be charges filed, and why was Edwards not arrested when the cops were called?

Enquiring minds want to know!





|| Greg, 08:04 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

I Think The Time Has Come

For Todd Palin to hunt down Andrew Sullivan and beat him to within an inch of his worthless life. Jury nullification will be a certainty if he does -- Sullivan has crossed every last line of decency with his latest attack on the Palin family.

NOTE TO THE ATLANTIC SUBSCRIPTION DEPARTMENT: You've sent me three letters in the past two weeks pleading with me to subscribe to your rag. Please be informed that I won't even consider doing so as long as the publication continues to employ that demented drug-addled foreign troll. On the other hand, i have joined this Facebook Group.





|| Greg, 07:44 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Hysteria Over Cross At Air Force Academy

I'll be the first to say that whoever placed the cross where they did was disrespectful -- but at the same time, all too much is being made of this incident by those with a particular bias against Christianity.

The Air Force Academy, stung several years ago by accusations of Christian bias, has built a new outdoor worship area for pagans and other practitioners of Earth-based religions.

But its opening, heralded as a sign of a more tolerant religious climate at the academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., was marred by the discovery two weeks ago of a large wooden cross placed there.

"We've been making great progress at the Air Force Academy. This is clearly a setback," said Mikey Weinstein, a 1977 graduate of the academy. He is founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and has often tangled with the academy over such issues.

On the other hand, a Quran left in a Christian chapel would have been swept under the rug, and any objecting Christian would have been cited for hate speech had he/she objected. That despite the fact that the Quran is nothing less than a book of blasphemy against the teachings of Christianity, and Christians are daily persecuted and murdered by Muslims in Muslim countries for the crime of not accepting the false teachings of Islam. Tolerance, it seems, runs only one direction.

Also, am I the only one offended that the self-promoting scumbag from the Military Religious Freedom (For Everyone But Christians) Foundation cited in the article compared a Christian cross to a Nazi swastika? Doesn't that qualify as intolerance of the highest order?

Hopefully those involved will be caught and appropriately punished. But hopefully the anti-Christian bigots like Weinstein and military officials who kow-tow to him will one day soon be slapped down for their bigotry -- a move that is being sought by the Catholic League.





|| Greg, 07:10 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

GOP Convention Finalists Announced

No word on a favorite, but there are four finalists.

The RNC has narrowed its search for a '12 convention location to 4 cities, several party sources tell Hotline OnCall.

In a vote at the Winter meetings in Honolulu late last week, the party narrowed its search to Salt Lake City, Tampa, Phoenix and Houston.

The RNC's site selection committee, headed by MI committeewoman Holly Hughes, will visit each of the 4 cities later this year to go over logistics, examine hotel and conference capacity and the facility for the convention itself.

I know which city I want to see host the convention -- it would be neat to be a delegate to a convention where I could go home and sleep in my own bed each night. And I do plan on seeking a delegate slot in 2012, wherever the convention is held.

And while the article mentions Houston's growing Hispanic population as an attraction for the GOP, I cannot help but think that the presence of our nation's oldest living former President and First Lady -- the parents of the GOP's most recent President -- might also be an attraction as well.





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No Comment On Miranda Warning For Bin Laden?

Any federal official who can’t respond with a loud and unhesitating “Hell No!” has no business being involved in setting policy for dealing with the Crusade Against Jihadism.

At the end of a Senate hearing yesterday, Dennis Blair -- Obama’s Director of National Intelligence -- refused to answer a very simple question.

Now, the DNI -- like most people who live behind the walls that protect our nation’s secrets -- is not going to answer a lot of questions. But this question was simple, and didn’t require complex decisions on divulging secrets.

Blair was asked whether, if we now caught Usama bin Laden, should the terrorist boss be read his “Miranda” rights. And Blair declined to answer.

Will someone explain to me what that was not the lead story on every newscast yesterday, and the top story in every newspaper today. Instead it has been ignored and buried. Why? Is bin Laden an enemy leading a war against us, or is he a criminal? The answer to that question is the clearest indication of this administration’s seriousness about the biggest threat to American security today.





|| Greg, 05:03 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Ninth Circuit Throws Out Terrorist Sentence As Too Lenient

And you know that the original sentence was outrageously light when even the Ninth Circuit argues that the terrorist was not dealt with in a sufficiently harsh manner.

A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out the 22-year prison sentence imposed in 2005 on Ahmed Ressam, known as the Millennium Bomber, who plotted to set off explosives at Los Angeles International Airport on New Year’s Eve in 1999. The court said the sentence was too light.

A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, said Mr. Ressam did not deserve the “substantial reduction” in his sentence from the minimum of 65 years in federal sentencing guidelines because he backed out of his agreement to cooperate with investigators.

The court also took the unusual step of calling for a new trial judge to consider the next sentence, because the federal judge who issued the original decision had already once declined to increase Mr. Ressam’s prison term.

Incredible – and a sign of why civilian courts are inappropriate for terrorism cases. After all, there are too many liberal judges out there who would prefer to slap the terrorist on the wrist and indict the US as the real bad actor in the Crusade Against Jihadism.





|| Greg, 04:55 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Another Dirty Dem

Pleads guilty to tax evasion to avoid other felony charges related to taxes and bribery.

State Rep. Terri Hodge, D-Dallas, pleaded guilty early this morning to lying on her tax returns in connection with the FBI's Dallas City Hall public corruption investigation, an act that ends her 14-year political career.

Hodge, 69, now a convicted felon, is dropping her re-election plans, and will resign her position as District 100 representative in the Texas House when she is sentenced. At Wednesday's hearing, U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn said she wanted sentencing to occur as soon as possible.

"Ms. Hodge will have pleaded guilty today to a felony and will still be representing her district," Lynn said. "I'm not real keen on that notion.

Two thoughts stand out in my mind.

  1. Given that she was allowed to plead only to the tax charge, does this mean that she will be eligible for an appointed position in the Obama Administration?
  2. Will the local Democrat who has appointed himself as watchdog over the ethics of the Texas Legislature have any comment on this guilty plea – or will he continue to have a laser-like focus only on Republicans, and therefore say noting about the guilty plea (just like he said nothing about the indictment)?




|| Greg, 04:49 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 02, 2010

Chavez's Venezuela Today -- Obama's America Tomorrow?

chavez-apologists[1].jpg

The left loves dictator hugo Chavez -- and Barack obama.

The Left hasn't a word to say about the efforts of the Chavez regime to shut down opposition speech -- and encourages the silencing of conservative voices in America.

Let's shut down Barack before he shuts us down -- and then support the people of Venezuela as they struggle to liberate themselves.





|| Greg, 06:55 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Barack Obama – Deadbeat

Leaving the taxpayers of one Illinois city with the tab for a 2008 election appearance.

The city of Springfield still hasn’t been fully repaid for costs associated with hosting then- U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign stop in the fall of 2008.

Obama’s presidential campaign was sent a bill for $68,139, and still owes the city $55,457, according to Ernie Slottag, the city’s spokesman.

The city has been trying — unsuccessfully — to collect payment, Ken Crutcher, the city’s director of office of budget and management told aldermen recently.

“We’ve spoken to a lot of people and have found a lot of circles,” Crutcher said. … “We’ve been kind of bounced from place to place with respect to that particular event.”

Seems to me that the time has come for the city to file suit and force payment for the services rendered – and any city approached by the Obama campaign regarding such events in 2012 should demand the cash up front.

Or better yet, tell him he isn't welcome in their town.





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Obama Not Serious About Border Security

He’s cutting the Border Patrol.

President Barack Obama's proposed 2011 budget would cut the border patrol by 180 agents and trim spending on a "virtual fence" along the nation's Southwest border.

Homeland security officials confirmed the proposed cuts Monday during a budget briefing for reporters. They said no border patrol agents would lose their jobs. Instead, the positions would be cut through attrition as agents retire or leave.

No word yet on whether or not there is money in the bill to allow ACORN to register the increased number of illegal aliens to vote and provide them with ballots pre-marked to vote straight Democrat prior to the 2012 election.

And Lord knows we need all the extra cheap labor we can get given the wonderful things that Obama has accomplished with unemployment.





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Bad Dog!

Wouldn’t you hate to be the guy who had to explain this hunting accident at the hospital?

A hunter trying to retrieve duck decoys got a surprise when he was accidentally shot by his own dog.

The accident occurred Saturday when the female Labrador retriever stepped on her owner's loaded shotgun, causing the safety to disengage and the weapon to fire, according to the Merced County Sheriff's Department.

The 53-year-old victim was hit in the upper left back with No. 2 shot.

Sounds like something out of a comedy, doesn’t it.

Especially when you come to this line near the end of the story.

The name and age of the dog were not available.

Could the dog be named Dick Cheney?.





|| Greg, 06:25 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 01, 2010

Oh, And Another Reason Canada Sucks

No Second Amendment.

I am and have been a supporter of the gun registry but now I'm not so sure, not when ownership of a two-bit little bird gun – legally acquired, lawfully used and stored in pieces in a trunk for the past 30 years – is sufficient reason for three cops to come to my door and snatch it, after threatening me with a search warrant.

Look, I registered the damn thing. I simply neglected to renew. A sin of omission?

Send in the troops.

Just like those of us "clingers" who insist that registration of guns provides the means for ultimate confiscation of guns, that is exactly what happened to this columnist.

As for me, I'll stay with "shall not be infringed."





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About That Superior Canadian Health Care System

I guess it isn't so superior that Canadian political leaders want to subject themselves to it.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams is set to undergo heart surgery this week in the United States.

CBC News confirmed Monday that Williams, 59, left the province earlier in the day and will have surgery later in the week.

The premier's office provided few details, beyond confirming that he would have heart surgery and saying that it was not necessarily a routine procedure.

Deputy Premier Kathy Dunderdale is scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday morning.

To put this in perspective, Danny Williams is the equivalent of a governor here in the US. What does it say about the Canadian system that one of the nation's top leaders finds it necessary to leave the country for non-routine surgery for what is presumably a serious heart condition? It ought to tell you that the Canadian health care system is inferior to the health care system in the US, and that the wait time in Canada for care that can be had immediately in the US is long enough to be potentially fatal.

In other words, this is the equivalent of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rick Perry, Deval Patrick, or David Paterson traveling to Mexico for surgery that they could not get quickly enough here. But, of course, stuff like that does not happen here -- because America is a world leader in medicine, the claims of the Democrats notwithstanding.

H/T RedState





|| Greg, 09:47 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

This Week's Watcher's Council Results

More good stuff for your intellectual consumption!

Winning Council Submissions


Winning Non-Council Submissions






|| Greg, 09:31 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Lefty Pseudo-Journalist Who Complained About “Obama Is A Nazi” Talk Compares GOP To Murderous Communist Regime!

Which is rather funny, given the fact that the folks on the Left were such big fans of the Khmer Rouge and supported them over the US military during the conflict in Southeast Asia. So why does a pseudo-journalist from a pseudo-news organization like MSNBC label Republicans the equivalent of genocidal Stalinists?

What's going on out there in the Republican Party is kind of a frightening, almost Cambodia re-education camp going on in that party, where they're going around to people, sort of switching their minds around saying, if you're not far right, you're not right enough.

Got that, friends? Republicans who want Republicans to support the principles of the Republican Party are just like the murderous leftists who killed 20% of their own nation’s population. And we know this because a “respected journalist” from an “unbiased cable network” tells us so!

But I do have to ask – didn’t left-wing hack pseudo-journalists like Chris Matthews spend years telling us that comparing our political opponents to Communists was “McCarthysim” and “Red-baiting”?





|| Greg, 06:12 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Common Sense Decision On Teacher Political Speech

As a teacher, I try so very hard to be non-partisan in my classroom. I talked about that in this post just yesterday. And while I would never argue that teachers should not be active in campaigns and support the candidates of their choice, I’m adamant that professionalism requires that we not support or oppose parties, candidate, or propositions while on our teaching time. And as public employees, we should not be promoting such things on the taxpayer’s dime.

So as far as the NYC public schools’ regulation banning teachers from wearing campaign buttons during the school day, I say “Right on!” And a court has now agreed as well.

School-board authorities asserted a rational reason for the regulation: to prevent students from thinking that the school endorsed the political views advocated by teachers. They also argued that allowing such political expression might interfere with the school’s educational mission.

The district court accepted these reasons in its opinion, relying on Hazelwood: “Hazelwood and its progeny establish that a school board’s determination that opinions conveyed by teacher-worn political buttons might reasonably be perceived to bear the school’s imprimatur or otherwise interfere with the defendants’ public mission is entitled to a degree of deference because it is expert in these matters.”

The district court also recognized another “legitimate pedagogical concern” offered by the school board — the school board’s “wish to maintain neutrality on controversial issues.”

Now please notice – this is a decision about reasonable regulation of employee speech during the work day, not a ban on speech outside of work. Our job as teachers is to teach our subject material, not spend the day communicating our politics to our students.





|| Greg, 06:00 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Don’t Plan On That Athletic Scholarship, Kid

Every year I get some kid in one of my classes who tells me that he doesn’t need to do well in my class or any other because he’s an athlete – “I’ve got skills!”

He tells me that he will be playing for a Division I school in a few years before going high in the draft and getting paid lots of money by some NFL/NBA/MLB franchise to do something with a ball.

So far, only a handful of my students – and none of those kids – have gotten that Division I scholarship, and only one has made it into the professional ranks.

That’s why today I greeted the young man I like to call “Soccer Stud” (a ninth grader on the varsity team) with this article.

A study of numbers provided by the National High School Federation and the NCAA shows that the participants in boys wrestling have the longest odds of earning an athletic scholarship. Boys soccer is a close second.

In those two sports, the number of Division I scholarships offered in a given year accounts for less than half a percent of high school participants.

The sport with the highest percentage of high school participants earning at least a partial athletic scholarship is girls golf at 1.6 percent.

Football ranks second, with 1.4 percent of its high school participants in a given year earning a scholarship at a Division I university.

“We stress to parents and students everywhere that you should participate in athletics for the values and benefits that sports can give, not because you want a scholarship,” said Kevin Lennon, the NCAA’s vice president of membership services.

I love my students. I love to watch them play at their games when I can. But I also know that their athletic careers are likely to end as they walk across the stage at their high school graduation – and that if it doesn’t, it will almost certainly be done once they finish college.

Might it not be useful for those of us in education – and the parents of our students – to remember these numbers before we make sports the end-all and be-all of our schools?





|| Greg, 05:53 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||
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NAME: Greg
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