I lived on Guam as a kid back in the 1970s (greetings to all St. John's alums out there!), and as I recall it was pretty well anchored to the sea bed. Not even rumblings from the fault at the bottom of the Marianas Trench did anything to disrupt that.
For the record, the island of Guam is 30 miles long and 4 mi to 12 mi wide. And while I agree with some of the environmental and economic concerns that have been expressed by some folks with regard to this relocation, it is probably the best place STRATEGICALLY for these Marines.
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will announce this morning that she plans to complete her term rather than resign early as she had planned, sources told us.
Hutchison had wanted to make the announcement in Dallas, but U.S. Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky were planning to be in San Antonio today for a National Republican Senatorial Committee fundraiser so the event was set for this morning at Landmark Aviation.
Hutchison, who was first elected to the Senate in a special election in 1993, won re-election to a third full term in 2006. Her term runs through 2012.
I voted for Kay in the primary this year. I urged her to run for this term in 2006, despite her previous term limit pledge. And I was never a big fan of the resignation gambit -- though I certainly am a big supporter of Michael Williams for Senate.
But I'm not happy about this. I was willing to see her stick it out through the ObamaCare fight, but presumed she would announce her resignation soon afterward so that we could get a replacement into the Senate and start that climb of seniority. And I fully believed (and still believe) that Michael Williams would be the GOP choice in the race. So yes, I am rather sad about this decision.
Hutchison's letter to the people of Texas is below the fold.Continue to be enlightened while reading "Oh, Kay!" Â»
An Open Letter to the People of Texas:
Thank you for the great privilege and responsibility of representing you in the United States Senate. Immediately after the conclusion of the primary election for Texas Governor, I returned to Washington and resumed my obligations to Texas as its Senior Senator. Recent weeks have been dramatic as I have worked tirelessly with the majority of our Texas congressional delegation to try to stop costly and cumbersome health care legislation that I am convinced is the wrong prescription for our state and nation. While President Obama, Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi used strong arm tactics to push their legislation through, this fight is far from over.
Americans will begin experiencing the true costs of this legislation in the months and years ahead. Along with higher taxes, I am convinced we will see higher premiums for health insurance coverage, significant cuts in Medicare, and greater pressure on state budgets like ours in Texas. Republicans are committed to reforms that will improve health care without massive government intrusion in the private market. We will continue to work through the November elections and beyond to repeal and replace this legislation with true reform that will expand access while reducing costs and minimizing government intervention in health care.
For family reasons, I had planned to begin making a transition home to Texas this spring. Yet, it is clear to me that the stakes in our nations capitol have never been higher. President Obamas victory on health care legislation has emboldened those who want an even bigger and more intrusive federal government. The very future of our country is at risk as we face unsustainable levels of national debt. The ongoing debate over health care, along with proposed cap and trade legislation that would devastate our Texas economy, promises to get even more intense in the months ahead.
Since the primary in March, Ive heard from constituents and colleagues urging me to stay in the Senate for my full term, which ends in 2012. They argue that my seniority and experience will be critical for Texas. Ive worked closely with members of Congress from Texas, and seen firsthand how hard they are fighting to represent our state and our conservative principles. I recently received a letter from every Republican member of Congress from Texas, urging: we hope you realize how necessary your continued service in the U.S. Senate is, for Texas and for our country. Quite simply, there is no person more capable, more committed and more caring to stand up with John Cornyn and fight Texass fights in the U.S. Senate. We, as Republican members of the Texas delegation to Congress, pledge to you that, if you will stay and fight, we will fight alongside you.
On a personal level, this has been a most difficult decision, but after much deliberation, I have decided to complete the term to which you elected me. I will work alongside our great Texas congressional delegation to repeal and replace President Obamas health reform, to stop cap and trade legislation and to cut the deficit the President is building that puts our economy in peril. I will continue to use my experience to try to stop this unprecedented expansion of our federal government and its intrusion in our private lives and in the private sector.
Throughout my years of public service, Ive tried to do what is best for Texas. And what is happening in Washington today is not good for Texas.
Kay Bailey Hutchison
Â« All done with "Oh, Kay!"?
Well, liberals, if this was acceptable, "dissent is patriotic" political speech during the Bush years, why do you now claim that similar speech coming from some on the Right is beyond the pale, illegitimate, racist, and needs to be denounced by the GOP?
For that matter, why do you claim that the Left never engaged in this sort of speech?
And while we are at it, if Sarah Palin's "target" map constitutes an incitement to violence and unacceptable political speech, would you care to explain this from the Democratic Leadership Council's website in 2004?
Or these items from the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee's website just last February?
Sometimes, Juan makes sense. And then there are times like this.
On Monday's O'Reilly Factor on Fox News, NPR news analyst Juan Williams furthered the left's talking point about the tea party's supposed connection to militias, and even went so far to claim that the Gadsden or "Don't Tread on Me" flags used by the conservative grassroots movement is "the same imagery that was on Timothy McVeigh" [audio available here].
Would somebody remind Juan about this flag as well and where it flies every day?
That would be the First Navy Jack, and it flies on the USS Enterprise, the oldest ship active commissioned ship in the US Navy. It will pass on to the next most senior ship when she is decommissioned in 2013. It was also flown by all ships in the US Navy to commemorate the 9/11 attacks. To claim that the Dont Tread On Me imagery and motto of the First Navy Jack are somehow unpatriotic is an insult to the men and women who have served aboard American fighting vessels under that carrying that banner and to make that claim about the historic Gadsden flag adopted by many within the Tea Party movement is equally obscene. After all, it is one of the earliest banners used by the United States Marines, having first been authorized even before the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
Shame on you, Juan Williams! Shame!
Police say a motorist fleeing officers in Cleveland abandoned his car and jumped a fence landing in what turned out to be a prison yard.
Garfield Heights police say the chase started in that suburb early Monday over a traffic violation and reached speeds of 90 mph.
Police say that after a race through several communities, the driver and a passenger bolted from the car and headed for a fence.
They apparently did not realize it was on the outside the state women's prison in Cleveland.
Some folks are too stupid to breed.
Thats the message that must be taken from their lack of financial support for this special fund.
When Virginia Delegate Kirkland Cox, R-Colonial Heights, set up the Tax Me More Fund in 2002, he did it to make a point: Those complaining the most loudly about spending cuts in Richmond could put their own money where their mouth was and make a voluntary contribution to the state.
Last year - to supplement a $74 billion 2008-10 biennial state budget they did just that. Total collected: $1,500, according to the Virginia Department of Taxation.
Thats better than pre-recession 2006, when just $19.36 was donated, In fact, since 2002, the fund has collected a grand total of just $12,887.04, which doesnt even pay the salary of one part-time state employee.
I guess that means Virginians think theyre already taxed quite enough.
Indeed, this has been precisely the same sort of situation that has occurred in every state where the legislature has offered folks who object to lower taxes the opportunity to set their own tax rate. I guess the reality is that they think their tax rate is just right it is everyone else who doesnt pay enough.
In the poll, 50% call passage of the bill a bad thing and 47% say it was a good thing. Thats at odds with the findings of a one-day USA TODAY Poll taken a week ago a day after the U.S. House approved the legislation in which a 49%-40% plurality called the bill a good thing. The failure of the new law to get even plurality support is especially sobering for House Democrats from competitive congressional districts who heeded pleas from the White House and congressional leaders to vote yes. The legislation passed 219-212, with just three votes to spare.
Which makes me wonder about November and Obamas ability to pass any other major legislation through Congress if it is going to increase the difficulty of members seeking reelection.
Well, what do you expect. Illegal aliens are part of the Obama base, so it wouldnt do for the Justice Department to risk giving them offense by executing members of the border-jumper community.
Attorney General Eric Holder has directed prosecutors in a federal conspiracy and murder trial not to seek the death penalty for three El Salvadoran men who are in the United States illegally. The three are accused of robbing and shooting Claros Luna on July 29, 2009 in Alexandria, Va., just a few miles from the Justice Department, as Luna transported a prostitute from Maryland to Virginia. The suspects, Eris Arguera, Alcides Umana and Adolfo Amaya Portillo, admitted to being members of the MS-13 gang, court documents show. They were indicted on Nov. 24 on federal racketeering and murder charges.
Heres hoping that the sovereign state of Virginia prosecutes them as well, and demands that these mutts be rendered over for appropriate punishment.
Nobody heard the racial slurs allegedly directed at Democrats during the ObamaCare debate. No one knows who made the death threats allegedly made against Democrats, but the Tea Party and the GOP have been blamed. But when there is an actual indictment against an actual Obama donor for an actual threat against an actual Republican Congressman, two major television networks outlets are conspicuous in their silence -- and the third says very little.
[A]after the networks led last week with less-immediate threats against Democrats, they werent so interested in a real case of a death threat against a Republican as neither CBS nor ABC aired a word about the arrest and NBCs Brian Williams gave it short-shrift after leading last Wednesday with Democrats as the victims. . .
I guess we'll just have to call that another liberal double standard.
The Associated Press calls this a "hospitality tent" for Tea Party attendees set up by supporters of Senate Majority leader Harry Reid.
Tell me, does this look like hospitality to you?
Looks more like a "hostility tent" to me.
Unless "get him out of here or I'm going to jail" (which is legally an assault in Nevada) is Nevadan for "Welcome To Searchlight -- Have A Nice Day!"
And yet it is the Tea party supporters who are supposed to be the hate-filled, violent people who must be contained by the party that inspires them?
A 33-year-old Pennsylvania man has been arrested for threatening to kill Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, the number two Republican in the House of Representatives, according to a Justice Department announcement today.
Today, a two-count complaint and warrant was filed charging Norman Leboon with threatening to kill United States Congressman Eric Cantor and his family.
As set forth in the affidavit to the complaint and warrant, in or about late March, 2010, Leboon created and then transmitted a YouTube video to Google over the internet, in which he threatened to kill Congressman Cantor and his family. No harm came to the Congressman or his family as a result of Leboon's threats.
Over at JammieWearingFool, it is disclosed that Leboon donated money to Barack Øbamas 2008 presidential campaign. Surely this makes it clear that he is not a Tea party supporter, and is instead a typical member of the Democrat base. JWP also notes the religious angle as well heres a hint for you. Starts with M, ends with uslim.
No doubt we will soon be reading columns from liberal columnists talking about the hate they see in the eyes of Øbama supporters in the wake of the passage of ØbamaCare and the demonization of Republicans and Tea Party supporters by assorted Øbamunists and the Øbama-Fellating media. And we will hear apologies from Democrat officials and liberal writers in 5
When one attends a school with a Christian heritage, a connection to a Christian denomination, and an obviously Christian name, should one be surprised or offended by a reference to Jesus Christ on ones diploma? And should ">one expect that the reference be deleted from every students diploma because a minority of students take offense at it?
One would think that the answers to such questions would be obvious. Indeed, one would think that the need to even ask the questions is laughable. But that is not the case at San Antonios Trinity University.
A group of students at Trinity University is lobbying trustees to drop a reference to Our Lord on their diplomas, arguing it does not respect the diversity of religions on campus.
A diploma is a very personal item, and people want to proudly display it in their offices and homes, said Sidra Qureshi, president of Trinity Diversity Connection. By having the phrase In the Year of Our Lord,' it is directly referencing Jesus Christ, and not everyone believes in Jesus Christ.
Qureshi, who is Muslim, has led the charge to tweak the wording, winning support from student government and a campus commencement committee. Trustees are expected to consider the students' request at a May board meeting.
Frankly, it seems to me that the PC ideology has been taken way too far here. Respect for diversity is one thing but respect for the history of the institution and the religious affiliation it still retains is also important.
What next excising the Bible from the school seal, on the theory that not every student is a believer in that divinely inspired book? Or at least the removal of the motto E Tribus Unum (From Three, One)? Indeed, can this sort of PC lunacy even allow for maintaining the name Trinity? After all, there are no doubt all sorts of non-trinitarian folks on the campus who should not find themselves daily confronted with that theological negation of their own beliefs.
So to the trustees of Trinity University, I offer this piece of advice keep In the Year of Our Lord, or accept that you will have no basis upon which to maintain any aspect of your schools Christian heritage. After all, dropping that phrase will constitute nothing less than an abject surrender to the forces of anti-Christian diversity and secularism.
Meanwhile, in Washington,  congressmen three-quarters of the House of Representatives signed a bipartisan letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing solid support for Israel and the expectation that differences between Jerusalem and Washington will be smoothed over quickly and in private.
Barack Obamas policies on Israel are objectively anti-Semitic so Ill join with the 327 members of Congress in being accused of the pseudo-racism that is disagreeing with Øbamunism.
Robert J. Samuelson of the Washington Post notes this development.
When historians recount the momentous events of recent weeks, they will note a curious coincidence. On March 15, Moody's Investors Service -- the bond rating agency -- published a paper warning that the exploding U.S. government debt could cause a downgrade of Treasury bonds. Just six days later, the House of Representatives passed President Obama's health-care legislation costing $900 billion or so over a decade and worsening an already-bleak budget outlook.
His point? When a serious economic crisis not a recession, but a full-blown economic meltdown occurs, it will be impossible not to lay the blame at the feet of Øbama and his minions in Congress.
I guess we can just call this Hopeless Change weve been waiting for.
By breaking with long-standing American policy regarding Security Council resolutions attacking Israel.
The US is considering abstaining from a possible UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, sources suggest to the BBC.
The possibility surfaced at talks in Paris last week between a senior US official and Qatar's foreign minister.
The official said the US would "seriously consider abstaining" if the issue of Israeli settlements was put to the vote, a diplomat told the BBC.
So there you have it. The Øbama Regime is prepared to help the anti-Semitic international body condemn Jews for building housing in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City.
Yes -- you did read that right. The "Israeli settlements" in "East Jerusalem" are actually located in an area that has been Jewish for CENTURIES -- indeed, it is in the area of the city where the Muslim authorities (who controlled the Holy City for centuries) historically segregated the city's Jewish residents. Those areas outside the Old City are adjacent to the Jewish Quarter.
Tell me -- does this presage a new American policy of making the historic capital of Israel, dating back to the days of David and Solomon, Jew-free? During the week that marks the death of Jesus Christ on a cross with a sign over his head declaring him to be King of the Jews, is the Øbama Regime preparing to implement a policy that would make Christ himself an illegal intruder in the city where the events of Holy Week took place? And during a week during which the Jewish people mark Passover, will the city which was (and will be) home to the Jewish Temple be declared a no-go zone for Jews by the United Nations with the acquiescence of the son of an apostate Muslim who sits in the White House?
Shameful! Utterly shameful!
H/T Doug Ross, /2010/03/us-to-allow-anti-israel-resolution-at.html">Legal Insurrection, Riehl World View, WeaselZippers, PrairiePundit
First it was Senator Max Baucus. Now it is Howard "Screamin' Howie" Dean, the head of the Øbamunist Party.
Howard Dean: "I think when it gets out of wack as it did in the '20s and it has now, you need to do some redistribution, this is a form of redistribution. If you redistribute too much then the system doesn't work because you take the incentive out of it, it's like a machine, you always got to tune it right...The question is, what is the right balance"
Will someone please point me to the spot in the Constitution where the states and the people delegated the power to redistribute wealth to the federal government.
For the last week, we have heard claims of Tea Party racism. Indeed, we have had columnists in major national publications make expansive accusations, based upon the alleged hurling of racial slurs in Washington, that the entire Tea party Movement is based upon racism.
Oddly enough, though, no proof has emerged from any source to verify the alleged slurs.
Even though we know that at least one member of Congress was filming the entire event.
Yeah, that's Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. -- son of that old fraud Rev. Jesse Jackson -- with two video cameras. Other photos confirm he was mere steps away from Rep. John Lewis, who was allegedly the target of a racial slur. So since he has a video record of the events of that afternoon, why has it not been released to the public. You know, especially since he did release a video of his father trying to take signs from Tea Party patriots who were peacefully exercising their rights under the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Andrew Breitbart offered a $10,000 donation to the United Negro College Fund for video proof of the slurs. He has now upped the offer to $100,000. Unless Jackson fils is holding out for that money to go to his campaign account (or perhaps his legal defense fund), I'd think this would be an excellent time for him to step forward with the evidence in order to support a worthy cause.
This just in from Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft.
Supporters of Democratic Senator Harry Reid attacked the Tea Party Express bus today in Nevada.
This statement was just released:
Supporters of Senator Harry Reid have just thrown eggs at the Tea Party Express bus caravan striking at least one of the three buses (the red Tea Party Express bus) with multiple eggs.
About 35 Reid supporters had lined Highway 95 in front of the Nugget Casino in Searchlight where they were attempting a counter-demonstration the tens of thousands of tea party supporters who are gathering for the Showdown in Searchlight.
More details to follow
Will someone please tell me a little bit more about how the violence and hate is coming from the Tea Party movement against poor peaceful Democrats? Where is Harry Reid's condemnation of this assault on Americans exercising their First Amendment rights in his own hometown? Or is all the outrage over threats and violence really only about such things (most of it imaginary) by the Right against the left, while threats and violence by the Left against the Right remains perfectly acceptable?
UPDATE: How civil? They attacked online journalist Andrew Breitbart and then made a false police report!
Supporters of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid staged a counter-protest today in Searchlight, Nevada, the Senators hometown. Reid supporters gathered just down the road from the launching point of the Tea Party Express tour, and when Breitbart happened upon them, he was met with threats of violence. At least one protester threw an egg at Brietbart, missing him.
When will Harry Reid denounce this lawlessness and violence by his supporters? (The question is rhetorical -- the answer is that he never will, and the Øbama-Fellating media will not report on any of this as they seek to minimize today's rally.
Senator Max Baucus makes it clear that the Democrats are going about the business of deciding who has too much in America -- and taking it from them.
"Too often, much of late, the last couple three years, the mal-distribution of income in American is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy and the middle income class is left behind," he said. "Wages have not kept up with increased income of the highest income in America. This legislation will have the effect of addressing that mal-distribution of income in America."
So it is "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need," right, sMax? That is many things, but it is not a part of the American political system. So why don't you see if Cuba, North Korea, or Venezuela will take you. We Americans will opt for freedom and the right to keep what we earn.
Yeah, there was an up-tick in support -- but it appears to have been ephemeral.
No wonder the Øbamunists feel the need to delegitimize the opposition -- more than half the country opposes their health care scheme. So much for the consent of the governed.
How's that for Øbamunist "civility", my fellow patriotic dissenters? Now they tell us that they have to "get rid of Republicans entirely." And we know what that means, right -- the murder of Republicans. Those are the words of an elected Øbamunist.
We've heard the Left decry "eliminationist" rhetoric -- where is the outrage over this example of it from one of their heroes?
Probably the same place the Left's outrage was regarding Stalin's purges and show trials -- non-existent.
I applaud Michael Steele and the Republican National Committee for rejecting this Democrat ploy.
The Republican National Committee has rejected a proposal from its Democratic counterpart to sign a joint civility statement, POLITICO has learned.
Various members of the DNC including Chairman Tim Kaine, Executive Director Jen OMalley Dillon and Communications Director Brad Woodhouse contacted their respective RNC counterparts this week in hopes of getting RNC Chairman Michael Steele to co-sign a document with Kaine that, in part, called for elected officials of both parties to set an example of the civility we want to see in our citizenry.
We also call on all Americans to respect differences of opinion, to refrain from inappropriate forms of intimidation, to reject violence and vandalism, and to scale back rhetoric that might reasonably be misinterpreted by those prone to such behavior, read the proposed joint statement, which came at the end of a week which saw acts of vandalism and threats of violence directed at members of Congress from both parties, but mostly aimed at Democrats who voted yes on the health care bill.
For the first time in its history, the Democrats have called for political civility. They didn't do so during the Bush years, and their elected officials and supporters engaged in much worse speech than we have seen this week. They didn't during the Reagan years. During the 1960s and 1970s, Democrats never called for civility from the radicals who took over their party -- including folks like Bill Ayers, Barack Obama's political patron in Chicago. The Democrats never demanded civility of the segregationist horde that sought to enforce Jim Crow, nor did it try to stop the KKK, the party's paramilitary terrorist wing -- nor would they even support so fundamental a federal law to criminalize lynchings. And let's not forget the little bit of incivility that was the Democrat-sponsored Civil War.
So I'm sorry, there is no value in joining the Democrats in any statement regarding "civility", because they are not a party that values civility. Besides, weren't they the folks who spent eight years telling us that "dissent is the highest form of patriotism"? Who do they think they are trying to stifle dissent today?
Just so you know how such things work in "more advanced" countries with the sort of health care that the Øbamunists have proclaimed they want to impose eventually.
The sick would be urged to stay at home and email doctors rather than visit surgeries, while procedures such as hip replacements could be scrapped.
The plans have emerged as health chiefs draw up emergency budgets that cast doubt on pledges by Gordon Brown to protect front line services in the NHS.
Documents show that health chiefs are considering plans to begin sacking workers, cutting treatments and shutting wards across the country.
The proposals could lead to:
* 10 per cent of NHS staff being sacked in some areas.
* The loss of thousands of hospital beds.
* A reduction in the number of ambulance call-outs.
* Medical professionals being replaced by less qualified assistants.
The ruling Labour Party has done its damnedest to keep this information from the public, and had been planning to wait until after parliamentary elections to announce the cuts.
So, my fellow Americans, are you SURE you want universal health care on a European socialist model? Or would you rather repeal the mess pushed through last week and replace it with the more modest plan put forward by the GOP?
Oh, dear -- I got that backwards, didn't I?
It was liberal Bill Maher calling for violence against conservatives during his show.
It reminded me of Tiger Woods' text messages to his mistress that were made public last week, where he said, and I quote: I want to treat you rough, throw you around, spank and slap you and make you sore. I want to hold you down and choke you while I fuck that ass that I own. Then I'm going to tell you to shut the fuck up while I slap your face and pull your hair for making noise. Unquote. [laughter]
And this, I believe, perfectly represents the attitude the Democrats should now have in their dealings with the Republican Party. [applause]
Yes, it does. That's what they should be saying to the Republicans: Shut the fuck up while I slap your face for making noise! Now pass the cap-and-trade law, you stupid bitch, and repeat after me, global warming is real. [applause]
In other words, the elected representatives of the people -- indeed, a majority of the American people -- should be subject to violent assault for daring to disagree with the Øbamunists and opposing their agenda. So much for "dissent is the highest form of patriotism" -- now it is "beat the dissenters into submission".
And we won't get into the disturbing glee shown by Maher when discussing sexual violence against women. And the way his audience gets off on violence against women, too. No doubt he, and they, think those women deserve it, too.
MALLOY (36:25): Well, keep it up boys, just keep it up, um except for one thing: you rat bastards are going to cause another Murrah federal building explosion, you are. And then - what is Beck - maybe at that point Beck will do the honorable thing and blow his brains out.
Maybe at that point, Limbaugh will do the honorable thing and just gobble up enough - enough Viagra that he becomes absolutely rigid and keels over dead.
Maybe then O'Reilly will just drink a vat of the poison he spews out on America every night and choke to death! Because that's what's gonna to happen, that's what they are pushing these right-wing, nut case, fringe, militia jerk-wads to doing!
Could you imagine the national outrage from the Øbama-Fellating media if Limbaugh, Beck, or O'Reilly ever engaged in that sort of rhetoric regarding liberal politicians or political commentators during one of their shows. There would be FCC complaints and demands that the government take action to "get hate of the radio". My guess, though, is that the Øbama-Fellating media will remain silent because they
In the mean time, we will see the Øbama-Fellating media continue to give a pass to the Øbamunist leadership for continuing to stoke the fires of hate against conservatives and to the Øbamunist Party for using the unsubstantiated slurs and threats to raise money.
ACLU head calls for terrorism against military commissions.
The ACLU has a goal to "blow up" military commissions? That certainly constitutes violent, terroristic rhetoric every bit as much as Sarah Palin's map of Congressional districts to "target" in the November 2010 -- a map which has been denounced by every brain-dead Øbamunist in the country by now.
H/T Weasel Zippers
We've already seen reports of the frighteningly huge national debt that Comandante Zero's new Øbamunist scheme will burden the nation with in coming years. And that doesn't take into account the financial burden that we will see put upon states already struggling with budget difficulties.
Because of the new health care law, Arizona lawmakers must now find a way to maintain insurance coverage for 350,000 children and adults that they slashed just last week to help close a $2.6 billion budget deficit.
Louisiana officials say a reduction in federal money to hospitals that treat the uninsured under the bill could be a death knell for their state-run charity hospital system.
In California, policymakers estimate they will have to come up with an additional $500 million a year to make necessary increases in payments to Medicaid providers.
Across the country, state officials are wading through the minutiae of the health care overhaul to understand just how their governments will be affected. Even with much still to be digested, it is clear the law may be as much of a burden to some state budgets as it is a boon to uninsured consumers.
California, for example, is going to face an extra half-a-billion dollar hit in the first year of ØbamaCare, and that figure will increase every year. Where will that state, which is facing a financial crisis of the sort not seen in by any state in this country since Reconstruction, find the extra money to pay for these unfunded mandates? For that matter, even states like Texas, with a relatively robust rainy day fund, will be facing new budget difficulties -- the Lone Star State will be expected to shoulder at least $370 million dollars when the Øbamunist health care scheme is launched. Such financial burdens will hit most every state under the newly adopted law.
Moreover, the ØbamaCare legislation forbids any retrenchment of state Medicaid and SCHIP programs between now and 2014, and will require that states ramp-up to the new standards applicable in 2014. This means that the states are no longer permitted to engage in the sort of innovation that made some states models of efficiency which were eventually followed on a national level -- and that states are now merely agents of the federal government which are required to follow directives from central planners in Washington. This overturns the entire constitutional notion of federalism that was established by the Framers and explained in the Federalist Papers. The states are, in effect, negated by this law.
So, unless the federal courts overturn this Øbamunist scheme, Republicans manage to score electoral victories that enable them to repeal and replace ØbamaCare with a more rational health care reform package, or the states call for a Constitutional Convention and ratify an amendment to reassert their proper role, you can expect higher state and local taxes to go along with the increased federal taxes (implemented in violation of Comandante Zero's own campaign promises) and higher health insurance premiums mandated under ØbamaCare.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid mistakenly called out "no" Thursday when asked for his vote on the health care reconciliation bill, setting the chamber howling with laughter.
Reid voted the wrong way when the clerk called for his vote, realized his error and quickly changed his vote to "yes."
"He did it again," someone said amid laughter.
Given that this is the second time recently that Reid has been incapable of correctly casting his vote, it sure seems like we need to question his competency. Seems to this observer that the surest way for Nevadans to have a competent representation in the US Senate is to vote Republican in the fall.
Given this reality, we ought to be cutting programs rather than creating giant new entitlements.
President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next 10 years, $1.2 trillion more than the administration projected, and raise the federal debt to 90 percent of the nation's economic output by 2020, the Congressional Budget Office reported Thursday.
In its 2011 budget, which the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released Feb. 1, the administration projected a 10-year deficit total of $8.53 trillion. After looking it over, CBO said in its final analysis, released Thursday, that the president's budget would generate a combined $9.75 trillion in deficits over the next decade.
For the record, the highest debt-to-GDP ratio was at the end of WWII, at 109%. Financially-stricken Greece has a 115% debt-to-GDP ration. Is this massive addition of new debt while the economy is already struggling the Hope We Can Believe In?
The day after Democrats deny exploiting the alleged threats and slurs for political purposes, we find out that Comandante Zero's political organization is doing precisely that.
President Obama's campaign operation is raising money off the threats made to Democratic lawmakers, appealing to supporters for $25 donations to help "defend health reform."
* * *
The message mentioned emerging Republican campaigns to repeal the health care law and challenges from several state attorneys general, before citing the threats as part of its pitch.
"A conservative blogger posted the home address of Congressman Tom Perriello, urging Tea Partiers to 'drop by.' Other members have had death threats. Democratic offices have been vandalized," the message from Organizing for America Director Mitch Stewart said. "Can you chip in $25 or more to defend health reform -- and those in Congress who fought to make it possible?"
Apparently, a similar appeal is being made by at least one state Democrat Party.
Want to talk about fanning the flames and encouraging violence and conduct unbecoming a president?
Nearly 2,000 House of Representative staffers pulled down six-figure salaries in 2009, including 43 staffers who earned the maximum $172,500 or more than three times the median U.S. household income.
Starting salaries on Capitol Hill are still low many entry-level congressional jobs pay less than $30,000 a year. And many of the most highly paid staffers could make several times the maximum by jumping to lobbying and consulting jobs in the private sector.
Now there are 535 members of the House and Senate. That works out to roughly 4 staffers per member making in the six-figure range. They include member staff, committee staff, and employees of Congress itself. But the 4-to-1 ratio still seems rather high to me, even if one grants that these individuals can earn more in the private sector indeed, let them go do so if they believe themselves to be underpaid.
Under Barack Øbama, Americas enemies get treated better than Americas allies. I guess it is no wonder, then, that American citizens opposed to Øbamunist policies get less consideration than consideration than Islamofascists and their co-religionists.
Every time some Muslim blows up a plane, or a train, or kills innocent people, we hear from the Left how we should not judge all Muslims because of a few extremists. Our current President tells us, not to "jump to conclusions."
Talking heads on TV try to calm us down and reassure us that Islam is the "Religion of Peace." Yet these same politicians and liberal media hacks are going on a rampage attacking their fellow Americans because allegedly a few used racial slurs at a Tea Party protest (with no corroboration from numerous video recordings). I am not defending the racial slurs if they were used. The language is disgusting and there is no place for it. However, what happened to the tolerance that we're supposed to show to Muslims? Shouldn't our fellow Americans get the same treatment?
Well, of course Americans SHOULD get equal, if not more, consideration than the community from which our enemies are drawn. But we forget that the Left, like al-Qaeda, is out to destroy America as we have known it and replace it with an America made over according to their own utopian vision and is equally tolerant of dissenting views.
Over the years, Ive posted on a lot of acts of political violence and threats of violence. Most of them have been by liberals against conservatives (like this one), but not exclusively. And Ive condemned political violence more than once on this site, and have done so on regardless of who it comes from.
- It was not the fear of conservative violence that caused Ann Coulter's speech to be cancelled this week.
- It was a liberal who bit the finger off a man who disagreed with him on healthcare.
- It was Obama-loving Amy Bishop who took a gun to work and murdered co-workers.
- Joseph Stack flew his plane into the IRS building after writing an anti-conservative manifesto.
- It was liberals who destroyed AM radio towers outside of Seattle.
- It's liberals who burn down Hummer dealerships.
- It was progressive SEIU union thugs who beat a black conservative man who spoke his mind.
- It's doubtful that a conservative fired shots into a GOP campaign headquarters.
- In fact, Democrats have no monopoly on having their offices vandalized.
- Don't forget it was Obama's friend Bill Ayers who used terrorism as a tool for political change. SDS is still radical, with arrests in 2007 and the storming of the CATO Institute in July 2008.
- It was a liberal who was sentenced to two years for bringing bombs and riot shields to the Republican National Convention in 2008.
- It was a liberal who threatened to kill a government informant who infiltrated her Austin-based group that planned to bomb the RNC.
- It was liberals who assaulted police in Berkeley.
- It was liberals who intimidated and threw rocks through the windows of researchers.
- The two Black Panthers who stood outside polls intimidating people with nightsticks were probably not right-wingers.
- Every time the G20 gets together, it's not conservatives who destroy property and cause chaos.
Does any of the above justify the incidents hyped by the media over the last few days some of them flatly contradicted by the evidence? No, it does not it merely contextualizes what we are seeing, and ought to serve to remind people that the inappropriate words or actions of a few ought not be viewed as indicative of an entire side of the debate or used to delegitimize it.
But beyond that, I will remind folks of the fact that such things are a part of American history and celebrated. How many of those condemning the Tea Party movement as violent want to condemn the guy behind the original Tea Party and the organization he led? How many of those seeking to delegitimize todays dissenters think we need to revise our textbooks to paint the patriots of the 1760s and 1770s as violent fanatics and promoters of hate? Seems to me that the Left has turned into latter-day loyalists clinging to their modern-day king.
Probably not after all, it is from one of their reliably liberal buddies, director James Cameron.
The "Avatar" director was equally unsparing in his comments about those who don't accept global warming as fact. "That's right," Cameron said. "I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads."
Im curious what would the reaction be if it were Rush Limbaugh making this comment?
"I want to call those reform supporting Democrats out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads."
Actually, I dont have to imagine Ive seen the faux outrage that has been expressed over significantly milder comments.
And I wonder how long it will be before the above hypothetical quote ends up on a list somewhere of Limbaughs inflammatory rhetoric?
One of my favorite websites is GayPatriot, where there is lots of insightful commentary on political and social issues from a conservative and, yes, gay perspective. One of the authors there raised this interesting observation.
In response to a supposed wave of vigilantism (in reality, a handful of isolated attacks) against Democrats who voted for increased government control over our health care system, Mark Potok of the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center has become quite incensed.
He is right to decry violent acts against any individual for speaking his mind or voting his partys will. It is wrong to attack an individual physically or to vandalize his property because of his vote. That sad, I do wonder where Mr. Potok was when liberal activists trashed Republican campaign offices in 2004. Or when gay marriage advocates published the names of those who contributed to Yes on 8, hounding one man out of his job and steering business away from one restaurant because one employee supported the campaign.
Still, he must criticizing those gay marriage activists for publishing the names of those who oppose gay marriage:
This is what neo Nazi leaders in America do today, Potok said. They post personal information about their enemies and sit back and wait for somebody else to act.
Or is he?
He only compared the online posting of a public officials address to tactics used by hate groups. Maybe its okay then to post the address of a private citizen online?
And Dan is dead on in his observation. Why is it so outrageous to place a post on a website containing the address of a Congressman who is, after all, an elected official but hunky-dory to put the addresses of private citizens who sign petitions for ballot initiatives or who give dollars to support them? If, as it is claimed by supporters of such openness, the private citizens have injected themselves into the legislative process and in doing so have surrendered the right to veil their personal information, does that argument not apply in spades to ACTUAL LEGISLATORS? Or does the concern of liberal shills like Mark Potok of the SPLC only extend to the privacy of liberal politicians and not to conservative and moderate private citizens? Put differently, are pro-gay marriage groups hate groups and terrorists, or are Potok and his ilk hypocrites?
Gotta love this video.
Ive got no sympathy for this out of control student. She is a grown woman, and ought to know how to behave in an adult manner.
And speaking as someone who does teach classes on the college level from time to time, I will tell you that I have been in a situation that paralleled this one, in which a student seemed to be of the opinion that she ran the classroom, not me.
Heres my story.
A few years ago, I was teaching a night class. The first evening, I arrived to discover that my usually small class had no less than 28 students in it, including three young ladies named Desiree and four named Diana! By the time class was over, I decided that the only way to keep track of who was who would be to assign seats the following evening. So the next evening I created a seating chart based upon who sat where that evening and assigned the one absent student to the remaining seat in class.
Jump to Thursday night (the third night of the class). Students arrive and take their seats, but one young woman, visibly pregnant, came to me because another student had occupied her seat right in front of me near the door and she wanted to know what to do. I rather politely asked the second student the one who had missed the previous class to move back one row and over a couple of seats to the spot she was assigned.
The result was an explosion. The student rather firmly informed me that she was in her seat, and that the other student could go sit somewhere else. I informed her that I had created a seating chart on the evening she had missed, and that I had assigned her to the other seat. Her response? Well, then, I guess you will just have to change your seating chart because I am NOT moving! This is where I sat on Monday, and this is where Im going to sit.
I tried to be calm, telling her that I was sorry she missed the previous class, but that the decision had been made then. I was then informed that she didnt care what I had decided, and that she was not moving. A couple more efforts at directing her to her proper seat were equally fruitless, with the student becoming increasingly more hostile.
I realized that the situation wasnt going to improve if I continued down this path, and so I decided to take a different approach if I was to preserve my authority. I decided to inform her that her options at this point were to move or leave the class for the evening, because I was not going to waste any more time on the issue. When she informed me again that she was not going to leave, I was a bit more firm telling her that her only choice now was to leave class immediately and that I hoped she would return in a more reasonable frame of mind the following Monday. She stood and headed towards the door and dropped about three F-bombs and threatened to meet with the dean in the morning and have me fired in the process. I just smiled, and said Well, I can assure you that after that meeting that either you will be out of this class or the school will be looking for a new instructor you will not be my class, and Im the only one who teaches it.
As the door shut, the rest of the students let out a cheer.
The outcome? Five years later, I still teach for the school.
And FYI this problem student was a 30ish white woman. After all, problem students come in all shapes, sizes, races, and genders.
You know those generous pensions that unions always tout? Well, it turns out that most of them are under-funded and on the point of collapse but the Øbama Regime is preparing to implement new rules that will save the plans by sticking non-union companies and workers with the tab.
Nonunion workers and private companies could be forced into absorbing the financial liabilities of underfunded union pension plans, thanks to pending health care mandates and an executive order that could be finalized this year, policy analysts and trade group representatives have concluded. Even as unions continue to market themselves to new members on the basis of generous pension programs, government figures show these plans are performing poorly in comparison with retirement packages that operate beyond the orbit of organized labor.
In addition, unions are pushing the Obama administration on project labor agreements (PLAs), which, among other things, will give their pension plans new sources of outside funding - nonunion workers on government contracts worth more than $25 million.
With many large unions in particular the SEIU having pension plans that the government deems critically under-funded, the plan is to force non-union employers and employees to contribute to plans that benefit neither as a condition of receiving many federal contracts.
One of the things that ØbamaCare opponents have argued is that the mandate to purchase insurance from private companies is a violation of the Constitution because it exceeds the scope of the powers delegated to Congress. Ive heard various attempts to shoot this argument down, but none is so creative or silly -- as the argument I found here.
Yesterday, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced that he would join a growing list of right-wing attorneys general who are suing to have health reform declared unconstitutional. According to Cuccinelli, the new laws provisions that require individuals to carry health insurance violate the Constitution because at no time in our history has the government mandated its citizens buy a good or service. The truth, however, is that the Second Militia Act of 1792, required a significant percentage of the U.S. civilian population to purchase a long list of military equipment. . .
The ThinkProgress piece then goes on to quote the Second Militia Act of 1792 in order to make its point.
But here is the problem. The act in question does not impose such a burden on everyone, and is clearly done under the authority granted by the power delegated to Congress
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces -- Article I Section 8 Clause 14
The Second Militia Act of 1792 is therefore a clear exercise the power to make rules and regulations for the land forces (i.e. the militia), requiring its members (defined in the First Militia Act of 1792) to acquire and maintain necessary equipment in a state of readiness for activation.
ØbamaCare is not so clearly tied to or justified by any power delegated to the federal government under the US Constitution, and certainly not to the authority granted by Article I Section 8 Clause 14.
Unless, of course, they want to argue that every American has been drafted into some sort of super-secret military reserve unit from cradle to grave.
I like John Cornyn, but he really put his foot in it yesterday, along with a couple of other senators.
Less than three days after the passage of Obamacare, many Republicans are already losing their stomach for the fight. As Ezra Klein gleefully but aptly observes over at the Washington Post, In about 12 hours, the GOP's position has gone from repeal this socialist monstrosity that will destroy our final freedoms to there are some things we don't like about this legislation and would like to repeal, and there are some things we support and would like to keep. . . . At this rate, they'll be running on expanding the bill come November. Sen. John Kylsaid, I would guess probably more realistically would be a potential repeal of pieces of the bill. It lights the fire in the belly, doesnt it? Sens. Mike Enzi and John Cornyn followed suit.
Frankly, Im horrified. Not because I disagree with the point they were trying to make, but rather by how they are trying to sell that point.
The reality is that not everything in ØbamaCare is awful just most of it. There are some elements of the legislation that are in sync with the GOP plan announced months ago, and which might legitimately be left in place after the GOP wrests control from the Democrats. But by trying to communicate a nuanced message, these guys appear to be waffling on promises to get rid of ØbamaCare when they are instead dealing with wonkish issues of how doing so will be accomplished. For now it is most important to stay on message and after the GOP victory, the legislation passed should simply repeal ØbamaCare in its entirety and then include the acceptable provisions in the replacement legislation that is offered at the same time.
Stories like this make my blood boil.
SEATTLE -- The mother of a Ballard High School student is fuming after the health center on campus helped facilitate her daughter's abortion during school hours.
The mother, whom KOMO News has chosen to identify only as "Jill," says the clinic kept the information "confidential."
When she signed a consent form, Jill figured it meant her 15 year old could go to the Ballard Teen Health Center located inside the high school for an earache, a sports physical, even birth control, but not for help terminating a pregnancy.
"She took a pregnancy test at school at the teen health center," she said. "Nowhere in this paperwork does it mention abortion or facilitating abortion."
Now the school says that they know nothing because the clinic is operated by a local hospital. The hospital isnt commenting except to say that girls can consent at any age to an abortion.
Heres where my problems lie:
And, of course, there is the age of consent absurdity regarding abortion. This girl could not even use the clinic in question without a signed consent form from her parents indeed, could not even be given an aspirin at school without such permission but she is allowed to consent to this one surgery without any parental consent? Why does her body her choice not apply to her other medical choices? I believe our courts need seriously reexamine this logical inconsistency and recognize that the law is an ass if it allows for such a result.
Well, these crooks are not Democrat elected officials though they may well be Democrats.
Police arrested 27-year-old Albert Bailey and an unidentified 16-year-old boy on robbery and threatening charges Tuesday afternoon at a People's United Bank branch in Fairfield.
Sgt. James Perez says the two Bridgeport residents showed up about 10 minutes after making the call and were met by police in the parking lot. Perez told the Connecticut Post the suspects were "not too bright."
I have to laugh, because a little over 20 years ago one of the former clients at the homeless shelter where I worked tried something similar, taping a note to the drive-thru window of a local bank before it opened. When the money drop was made at the food court of the local mall, he was grabbed by a horde of law enforcement personnel. I hear he got out of prison last year.
Will this be sufficient to get rid of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan?
While many Chicago parents took formal routes to land their children in the best schools, the well-connected also sought help through a shadowy appeals system created in recent years under former schools chief Arne Duncan.
Whispers have long swirled that some children get spots in the citys premier schools based on whom their parents know. But a list maintained over several years in Duncans office and obtained by the Tribune lends further evidence to those charges. Duncan is now secretary of education under President Barack Obama.
The log is a compilation of politicians and influential business people who interceded on behalf of children during Duncans tenure. It includes 25 aldermen, Mayor Richard Daleys office, House Speaker Michael Madigan, his daughter Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.
Apparently Duncan, his wife, and his mother were involved in seeking such special admits for the politically connected in violation of district placement rules. Shameful!
No wonder the Obama Regime is opposed to vouchers for the poor kids in failed DC public schools -- they might be able to go to school beside the spawn of wealthy and well-connected Democrats -- and then they would find out the sort of contempt that such folks really have for the poor and minorities.
You would have thought that the defenders of the peoples right to know would have made sure that the people were informed of such things BEFORE ØbamaCare was imposed upon an unwilling nation.
For most Americans insured through work, health care coverage is expected to stay the same -- or improve. No lifetime caps. No denial of benefits if people get sick. And continued coverage if you lose or change jobs.
But premiums will continue to rise. How much? No one's certain. To pay for this sweeping reform, here's what will change: Those tax-free flexible spending accounts will be cut in half. They reimburse some medical bills not covered by insurance. The new cap: $2,500.
Sadly, what this means is that we will pay more for what we have and have less flexibility in structuring our income to cover medical expenses. For me, that means that Ill have my medical flexible spending account cut in half despite the fact that I currently spend every dollar of it to cover prescription expenses for my chronically ill wife and I. It is unlikely that we will qualify for any of the health insurance subsidies, despite not being anywhere near rich. So like I said last year when discussing this very issue, my family will be hurt by the ØbamaCare and so will tens of millions of other hard-working Americans..
The first political ads bought by a corporation in Texas appeared in East Texas newspapers just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively ended the state's ban on that kind of spending.
The ads appear to mark the first instance of a corporation directly playing in a Texas election since the nation's highest court lifted a century-old ban on political spending by corporations and labor unions. That January ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission doesn't affect contributions to candidates, which remain restricted. But it does mean corporations and unions can spend money as they wish on politics and run all the ads they want, so long as they don't coordinate their efforts, messages and plans with the campaigns they're promoting or with other third-party groups that have similar political interests.
The ads in the Jacksonville Daily Progress, the Tyler Morning Telegram and the Panola Watchman took issue with the Republican bona fides of state Rep. Chuck Hopson of Jacksonville, a Democratic incumbent who jumped to the GOP in November and ran in a three-way race in the Republican primary this month. He got 61 percent of the vote, easily besting Michael Banks and Allan Cain.
Amazingly enough, the sky did not fall and the world did not end. Oh, yeah and the expenditure of corporate funds on this independent ad had no significant impact on the result of the election. So much for the feared evils of allowing such free speech.
Lets be honest Joe Biden is a joke and has been for at least the past quarter century. His malapropisms and inane comments are legendary, as are his slurs against minorities. But this is a bit much, even for a decidedly unserious individual like the Vice President.
Biden appears, in this video, to have called the health care bill a "big f***ing deal" as he turned the podium over to President Obama.
As usual with his endless string of gaffes, if that is what he said, he's not wrong.
UPDATE: It's easy to be convinced in advance of what you hear on an audio recording, and I'd stress the "appears" above, as it's not utterly clear. I've asked Biden's spokesman the moment as well.
UPDATE: White House press secretary Robert Gibbs embraces the comment, tweeting, "And yes Mr. Vice President, you're right ...." Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander referred me to Gibbs's tweet."
Yeah, thats right Biden marks this important moment in American history by dropping the F-bomb. And the equally low-class White House press secretary approvingly joins in with the profanity.
Now Im not one who is necessarily offended by the word in question, but am amazed by the lack of decorum shown by members of the Øbama Regime. And Im also amused by the hypocrisy of liberals who got the vapors and expressed faux outrage towards Vice President Dick Cheney for a comment directed towards a senator using the same word here. Apparently it is a scandal when a Republican uses the word as an insult in a non-public setting, but it is a source of distraction when the media covers the use of such language by the Vice President at a televised bill signing ceremony.
Forty-nine percent (49%) of U.S. voters favor their state suing the federal government to fight the requirement in the new national health care plan that every American must obtain health insurance.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely voters finds that 37% disagree and oppose their state suing to challenge that requirement. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.
* * *
Seventy-two percent (72%) of Republicans and 58% of voters not affiliated with either major party favor such lawsuits. Sixty-five percent (65%) of Democrats are opposed. This suggests that filing a suit would be popular in Republican leaning and toss-up states but not in strong Democratic states. Of course, as with all things in the world of politics, these realities could shift over time as both parties try to spin the recently-passed legislation.
The gap over suing the federal government is even wider between Mainstream Americans and the Political Class. Sixty-two percent (62%) of Mainstream voters think state lawsuits challenging the federal requirement are a good idea. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of the Political Class disagree.
So will someone explain to me again how this legislation constitutes a victory for Americans?
This low. Which is mighty low, wouldn't you agree.
Leave it to our Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott, to finally get off his ass and take a stand.
Now I'd like to remind folks of why this is so offensive. Here's the picture of Greg Abbott that I used Sunday night when I blogged about the coming lawsuit.
And, proving it isn't an accident or a thoughtless oversight, blogger John Cobarruvias (a NASA employee and Democrat activist) makes it clear that he is intentionally mocking Greg Abbott's disability.
For those who know Abbott, it might seem a bit cold for me to say he has finally gotten off his ass and done something. Abbott was paralyzed after jogging under a tree that was being cut down. The tree fell. And like a good liberal trial lawyer, he filed a lawsuit and received $10 million in an undisclosed settlement (that was eventually disclosed). Abbott has since been a champion of tort reform limiting access to the courts and lawsuits. After Abbott got his, he doesn't want anyone else to have theirs. Rotten bastard.
Sorry, John, the only rotten bastard here is you, you scumbag. I'd suggest you ought to be ashamed of yourself, but the fact that you would dare to brag about how clever you were being mocking the physical disability of a man who is intellectually, morally and (yes) physically your superior is indicative of the fact that you have no sense of shame whatsoever.
"First of all, then we have to say the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama," Sharpton said.
So there you have it. Øbama ran on a platform of socialism, and later reservations about that by a majority of the American public are irrelevant. The next time some hopey-changey drone tells us that Øbamunism isn't socialism, we will just have to refer them back to Sharpton.
What does this mean, then, for patriotic Americans who believe in the Constitution? We will just have to kick the Democrats to the curb this November, and fumigate the White House in 2013 after we evict the vermin that took up residence there on January 20, 2009.
Who does this bastard think he is trying to take a protester's sign at on Capital Hill during this past weekend's Kill the Bill rally?
Will somebody please remind the old charlatan that America is still the land of the free.
Damn, I love my state's AG! I wish I could vote for him for Governor -- or President.
I thought this was still America, not a police state. Or is Øbamas America a poliice state?
Michelle Obama - with Sasha, 8, and Malia, 11, and about a dozen other people in tow - took in the matinee performance of "Memphis" Sunday.
Security blocked off 44th Street outside the Shubert Theatre when their motorcade arrived. Obama, the girls and their friends were hussled in through a side door to seats reserved in the first four rows of the theater.
"They didn't make an announcement but when they came in, everybody noticed and started taking pictures. Then people started clapping too and there was a standing ovation for them," said Terri Mertz, one surprised audience member.
* * *
Secret Service members, alarmed by the rash of audience members who reached for cellphones and digital cameras to photograph the First Gals, warned at intermission that they would confiscate anyone who tried to take anymore pictures.
Excuse me? Since when is it a matter for law enforcement when citizens take pictures of public figures in a public place? And how do such pictures constitute any sort of security threat that would necessitate intervention by Secret Service? Under what authority would the Secret Service claim the right to confiscate cameras and cellphones of citizens legally taking pictures of the First Family in public?
Somebody needs to remind the Øbamas that they are not royalty, and that the Secret Service is not their personal Praetorian Guard that can violate the rights of Americans for their personal convenience. Too bad we cant count on the Øbama-fellating media to express the same sort of outrage they would had the Secret Service ever taken such actions regarding the Bush family. And having been at several theatrical performances here in Houston attended by George H.W. and Barbara Bush with the twin daughters of George W. & Laura Bush during Dubyas presidency, I can assure you that no such orders were issued even as theater-goers snapped photos, shook hands, and sought autographs from them. It would be nice to see the no-class occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue learn something about how real public servants conduct themselves in the presence of their employers from their predecessors.
The LA Times makes the following observation about a possible resignation by Justice Stevens.
Stevens' departure, while not official, is to some a foregone conclusion. He has hired only one clerk for the term that begins in the fall, rather than the usual four, and he has said it is not exactly news that he is long past the normal age for retirement.
If Stevens retires this year, he will probably make an announcement in late April after the justices have heard arguments in the last of their cases for the term.
This would give the White House time to announce a nominee before the summer, and set the stage for confirmation hearings before August.
But you know, the Barack Øbama and the Democrats have so trashed the Constitution in their recent partisan power-grab on health care that I do not believe the American people have sufficient confidence in them to permit them to fill any Supreme Court vacancy prior to the November elections. I therefore suggest that it is vital for the Republicans to filibuster any Øbama nominee to the Supreme Court until such time as the American people have had the opportunity to pass judgment on Øbama and the Democrats at the ballot box in November. The results of the 2010 election should indicate whether or not the Democrats retain the political legitimacy to be permitted to unilaterally fill any vacancy on the Supreme Court.
I really dont think John McCain goes far enough here.
Democrats shouldn't expect much cooperation from Republicans the rest of this year, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) warned Monday. McCain and another Republican senator decried the effect health reform legislation has had on the Senate, a day after the House passed the upper chamber's bill.
GOP senators emerged Monday to caution that the health debate had taken a toll on the institution, warning of little work between parties the rest of this year.
"There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year," McCain said during an interview Monday on an Arizona radio affiliate. "They have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it."
Barack Øbama and his Democrat henchpersons have broken faith with the America, passing wildly unpopular legislation over the objection of the American people using unsavory methods and corrupt bargains. These folks have made it clear that they will do whatever they want to accomplish their partisan goals despite bipartisan opposition. Let them continue to do so with party-line votes. It will remind Americans who the true evil-doers are in Congress today and what must be done to cleanse the Legislative branch of those who defy the will of the American people.
I dont like Barack Øbama. I worked against him in 2008, have criticized him throughout 2009 and 20010, and will work diligently to see that he and his supporters are driven from office in 2010, 2012, and 2014. That isnt about race it is about opposition to the mans policies.
But crap like this is inappropriate and merits condemnation.
The Secret Service is investigating a conservative critic of President Barack Obama who called for his assassination Sunday on Twitter.
Self-described conservative blogger and writer Solomon Forell called for Obama's assassination on the eve of House Democrats' passage of health care reform. "We'll surely get over a bullet 2 Barack Obama's head!" Forell Tweeted.
He added: "The Next American with a Clear Shot should drop Obama like a bad habit. 4get Blacks or his claim to be Black. Turn on Barack Obama."
Let me offer a hearty WTF! on this one. Such calls rhetoric is utterly beyond the pale. And I say that as someone who does not have any problem with harsh rhetoric directed towards my political opponents, including comparisons to historys less savory dictators and their fates at the hands of those they oppressed.
However, calls for the assassination of Barack Obama or any other American political leader are out of bounds. It will take a whole lot more than the passage of this particular piece of legislation to justify measures so extreme indeed, I cannot readily bring to mind any plausible scenario which would justify such a radical course of action. It may be that there will come a day when We the People need to rise up in an effort to alter or abolish our form of government (as per Thomas Jefferson), but it would always be my hope that we would be able to accomplish such a radical change in a manner akin to that used by the people of the Philippines in 1986.
So if this little-known blogger (and I have certainly never heard of Solomon Forell or his blog before today) has engaged in such rhetoric, I support this investigation. Whats more, I urge that he be treated appropriately under the laws of the United States. For while I agree with his one statement that America has survived the assassination of Presidents in the past and would surely survive the assassination of this (or any other) President in the future, I find urging such violence to be contemptible.
Just got off the AG conference call. We agreed that a multi-state lawsuit would send the strongest signal. We plan to file the moment Obama signs the bill. I anticipate him signing it tomorrow. Check back for an update at that time. I will post a link to the lawsuit when it is filed. It will lay out why the bill is unconstitutional and tramples individual and states rights.
As I noted in an earlier post, this lawsuit is step one. Step two must be an effort by the legislatures of the several States to call a Constitutional Amendment under Article V of the US Constitution, so as to ram a stake into the heart of this monstrosity. And, of course, we must take the third step at the ballot box in November, voting out every single Democrat possible, at every level of government.
UPDATE: Malkin has more on state lawsuits.
The House of Representatives narrowly passed landmark legislation Sunday night to overhaul the nation's health-care system, approving a Senate bill after President Obama allayed the concerns of anti-abortion Democrats and secured their support.
By a vote of 219 to 212, the House approved the $940 billion Senate bill, then turned its attention to a separate package of fixes, known as a reconciliation bill, that is to be taken up in the Senate this coming week. The amendments were aimed at making the final bill more palatable to House members.
As I noted earlier, you are no longer in charge of your health care or health insurance decisions -- the federal government is.
This observation by Andrew McCarthy on the agreement made by formerly pro-life Congressman Bart Stupak to vote for ØbamaCare.
EOs can be rescinded at the president's whim is of course true. This particular EO is also a nullity presidents cannot enact laws, the Supreme Court has said they cannot impound funds that Congress allocates, and (as a friend points out) the line-item veto has been held unconstitutional, so they can't use executive orders to strike provisions in a bill. So this anti-abortion EO is blatant chicanery: if the pro-lifers purport to be satisfied by it, they are participating in a transparent fraud and selling out the pro-life cause.
McCarthy also asks how Democrats, including Barack Øbama can accept an Executive Order that explicitly overturns provisions of the ØbamaCare and imposes elements specifically voted down by one or both Houses of Congress when they spent the entire 2008 campaign complaining about Bush signing statements that merely explained that president's understanding of the newly signed law and how he intended to see it enforced. Doesn't this go infinitely beyond those signing statements in "shredding the Constitution"?
As for Stupak and the other formerly pro-life Democrats who agreed to this deal, it is a pity that they didn't at least hold out for Judas' deal -- they would have at least gotten something more tangible.
Perhaps Stupak and the rest of these latter-day Iscariots may profit from Judas' example in another way.
UPDATE II: Looks like Stupak didn't just get 30 pieces of silver -- he got nearly three-quarters of a million of them in airport pork!
UPDATE III: Interesting analysis from Volokh Conspiracy.
Thus spake Democratic Congressman Dennis Cardoza:
There was a tea-bag training in my home district. It talked about being a tea-bag terrorist. Theyre training these people to get in our faces.
So getting into the faces of one's opponents makes someone a terrorist.
Oh, dear -- didn't someone else tell his supporters to "get in their face"?
Oh, yeah -- this guy did.
Well, there we have it -- Barack Øbama is officially a terrorist!
H/T Don Surber
Just so you know what HR 3590 will do to you, your freedom, and your wallet.
1. You are young and dont want health insurance? You are starting up a small business and need to minimize expenses, and one way to do that is to forego health insurance? Tough. You have to pay $750 annually for the privilege. (Section 1501)
2. You are young and healthy and want to pay for insurance that reflects that status? Tough. Youll have to pay for premiums that cover not only you, but also the guy who smokes three packs a day, drink a gallon of whiskey and eats chicken fat off the floor. Thats because insurance companies will no longer be able to underwrite on the basis of a persons health status. (Section 2701).
3. You would like to pay less in premiums by buying insurance with lifetime or annual limits on coverage? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer such policies, even if that is what customers prefer. (Section 2711).
4. Think youd like a policy that is cheaper because it doesnt cover preventive care or requires cost-sharing for such care? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer policies that do not cover preventive services or offer them with cost-sharing, even if thats what the customer wants. (Section 2712).
5. You are an employer and you would like to offer coverage that doesnt allow your employers slacker children to stay on the policy until age 26? Tough. (Section 2714).
6. You must buy a policy that covers ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services; chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
Youre a single guy without children? Tough, your policy must cover pediatric services. Youre a woman who cant have children? Tough, your policy must cover maternity services. Youre a teetotaler? Tough, your policy must cover substance abuse treatment. (Add your own violation of personal freedom here.) (Section 1302).
7. Do you want a plan with lots of cost-sharing and low premiums? Well, the best you can do is a Bronze plan, which has benefits that provide benefits that are actuarially equivalent to 60% of the full actuarial value of the benefits provided under the plan. Anything lower than that, tough. (Section 1302 (d) (1) (A))
8. You are an employer in the small-group insurance market and youd like to offer policies with deductibles higher than $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families? Tough. (Section 1302 (c) (2) (A).
9. If you are a large employer (defined as at least 101 employees) and you do not want to provide health insurance to your employee, then you will pay a $750 fine per employee (It could be $2,000 to $3,000 under the reconciliation changes). Think you know how to better spend that money? Tough. (Section 1513).
10. You are an employer who offers health flexible spending arrangements and your employees want to deduct more than $2,500 from their salaries for it? Sorry, cant do that. (Section 9005 (i)).
11. If you are a physician and you dont want the government looking over your shoulder? Tough. The Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to use your claims data to issue you reports that measure the resources you use, provide information on the quality of care you provide, and compare the resources you use to those used by other physicians. Of course, this will all be just for informational purposes. Its not like the government will ever use it to intervene in your practice and patients care. Of course not. (Section 3003 (i))
12. If you are a physician and you want to own your own hospital, you must be an owner and have a Medicare provider agreement by Feb. 1, 2010. (Dec. 31, 2010 in the reconciliation changes.) If you didnt have those by then, you are out of luck. (Section 6001 (i) (1) (A))
13. If you are a physician owner and you want to expand your hospital? Well, you cant (Section 6001 (i) (1) (B). Unless, it is located in a country where, over the last five years, population growth has been 150% of what it has been in the state (Section 6601 (i) (3) ( E)). And then you cannot increase your capacity by more than 200% (Section 6001 (i) (3) (C)).
14. You are a health insurer and you want to raise premiums to meet costs? Well, if that increase is deemed unreasonable by the Secretary of Health and Human Services it will be subject to review and can be denied. (Section 1003)
15. The government will extract a fee of $2.3 billion annually from the pharmaceutical industry. If you are a pharmaceutical company what you will pay depends on the ratio of the number of brand-name drugs you sell to the total number of brand-name drugs sold in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the brand-name drugs in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2.3 billion, or $230,000,000. (Under reconciliation, it starts at $2.55 billion, jumps to $3 billion in 2012, then to $3.5 billion in 2017 and $4.2 billion in 2018, before settling at $2.8 billion in 2019 (Section 1404)). Think you, as a pharmaceutical executive, know how to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough. (Section 9008 (b)).
16. The government will extract a fee of $2 billion annually from medical device makers. If you are a medical device maker what you will pay depends on your share of medical device sales in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the medical devices in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2 billion, or $200,000,000. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how to better use that money, say for R&D? Tough. (Section 9009 (b)).
The reconciliation package turns that into a 2.9% excise tax for medical device makers. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough. (Section 1405).
17. The government will extract a fee of $6.7 billion annually from insurance companies. If you are an insurer, what you will pay depends on your share of net premiums plus 200% of your administrative costs. So, if your net premiums and administrative costs are equal to 10% of the total, you will pay 10% of $6.7 billion, or $670,000,000. In the reconciliation bill, the fee will start at $8 billion in 2014, $11.3 billion in 2015, $1.9 billion in 2017, and $14.3 billion in 2018 (Section 1406).Think you, as an insurance executive, know how to better spend that money? Tough.(Section 9010 (b) (1) (A and B).)
18. If an insurance company board or its stockholders think the CEO is worth more than $500,000 in deferred compensation? Tough.(Section 9014).
19. You will have to pay an additional 0.5% payroll tax on any dollar you make over $250,000 if you file a joint return and $200,000 if you file an individual return. What? You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9015).
That amount will rise to a 3.8% tax if reconciliation passes. It will also apply to investment income, estates, and trusts. You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Like you need to ask. (Section 1402).
20. If you go for cosmetic surgery, you will pay an additional 5% tax on the cost of the procedure. Think you know how to spend that money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9017).
To paraphrase an old Lee Greenwood song:
I was proud to be an American,
Back when we were free.
But now Øbama and the Democrats
Stole my liberty from me.
But be sure I'll stand up --
Cast my vote --
In November 2010,
And we'll kick the Dems
Right to the curb --
Bring freedom back again!
What we want certainly appears to be irrelevant to House Democrats as they vote on ØbamaCare today.
Consider what every poll taken in the last month says about the Senate bill that the House of Representatives appears poised to pass.
|RCP Average||3/3 - 3/20||--||40.1||49.3||Against/Oppose +9.2|
|Rasmussen Reports||3/19 - 3/20||1000 LV||41||54||Against/Oppose +13|
|FOX News||3/16 - 3/17||900 RV||35||55||Against/Oppose +20|
|Rasmussen Reports||3/13 - 3/14||1000 LV||43||53||Against/Oppose +10|
|PPP (D)||3/12 - 3/14||1403 RV||45||49||Against/Oppose +4|
|NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl||3/11 - 3/14||1000 A||36||48||Against/Oppose +12|
|Pew Research||3/10 - 3/14||1500 A||38||48||Against/Oppose +10|
|Associated Press/GfK||3/3 - 3/8||1002 A||41||43||Against/Oppose +2|
|Gallup||3/4 - 3/7||1014 A||45||48||Against/Oppose +3|
|Rasmussen Reports||3/5 - 3/6||1000 LV||42||53||Against/Oppose +11|
|Rasmussen Reports||2/27 - 2/28||1000 LV||44||52||Against/Oppose +8|
|Ipsos/McClatchy||2/26 - 2/28||1076 A||41||47||Against/Oppose +6|
|USA Today/Gallup||2/23 - 2/23||1009 A||42||49||Against/Oppose +7|
|Rasmussen Reports||2/21 - 2/22||1000 LV||41||56||Against/Oppose +15|
And consider that top number -- the RCP average of the most recent 10 polls. There is a gap of more than 9% between supporters of the Senate bill and its opponents -- with the opponents constituting not just a majority of respondents, but just shy of an absolute majority of Americans. And many of those polls show an absolute majority of Americans opposed to this legislation and the massive tax increase/loss of freedom that will come with it.
So if (or, as appears to be the case, when) the Democrats do enact this legislation without regard to what We the People want, all while claiming that it is some sort of victory for the American people, will you please join me in asking the question "Ain't I an American?"
As the guy in this video points out, this is not being done "FOR" the American people, it is being done "TO" the American people against our will.
Just a reminder -- the Senate bill that the House is about to pass does not have the protections for military personnel and retirees that was found in the original House bill.
Democrats' Plan Will NOT Protect Military Health Plans
From House Republican Policy:
*9.2 million military personnel, families and retirees don't deserve a back room deal?
"Although the health care legislation passed by the House explicitly exempted TRICARE from being affected, the Senate bill did not. Unfortunately, the parliamentary rules of tof the reconciliation process did not allow for the inclusion of language that specficially protects these programs." -- Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO)
Background: On March 18, 2010, just days before the House votes on the Democrats government takeover of health care, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) announced he would introduce legislation to preemptively state that TRICARE and the Department of Defense non-appropriated fund (NAF) health plans meet all of the health care requirements currently under consideration by Congress for individual health insurance. TRICARE and the NAF health plans programs provide health coverage to members of the military and their families, military retirees and their families, and employees of U.S. military post/base exchanges. Chairman Skelton even stated he would also insert this legislative language into the national defense authorization bill, reiterating the threat the health care bill currently poses to military health plans. This is an explicit admission that the final Democrat health care bill does not protect these plans.
Military Protections Scrapped: The Senate-passed health care bill, which the House is expected to deem passed on March 21, 2010, omitted protections for military health plans that were included in the House bill. Specifically, the Senate language does not appear to give the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system specific protection from interference by other government agencies administering the various authorities contained in the massive bill, as it pertains to minimum essential coverage. The minimum essential coverage language in the Senate bill does cover the veterans health care program under chapter 17 of title 38, United States Code, but it is unclear whether that covers veterans survivors and dependents.
The final bill would leave it up to a bureaucrat at the Department of the Treasury to determine whether TRICARE meets the minimum standards under the Democrats individual health insurance mandate. If that bureaucrat decides against TRICARE, service members and their families would have to buy some other health coverage or pay a penalty.
In an effort to bolster support for the House health care takeover back in August 2009, the White House advertised that bills exemption for 9.2 million military personnel, families, and retirees covered under TRICARE and the military health plan. In August, the White House website stated that:
Health reform legislation that is being considered would enable those who are covered by TRICARE to meet the shared responsibility requirement for individuals to have insurance, thereby exempting such members of the uniformed services and dependants from being assessed penalties. If enacted, the President will ensure that this exemption is implemented aggressively.
Of course, the final health care bill does not include this promised exemption for military plans.
According to Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Buck McKeon (R-CA), We need to fix this problem immediatelybefore Congress passes and the President signs the legislation. By forgoing the traditional legislative process, Democrat leaders in Congressand the President who is pushing for immediate passage of the billhave reneged on assurances that the Senate legislation would be fixed in a conference committee. Our military personnel deserve to know they will continue to receive the same level of care they so rightly deserve.
Veterans groups would seem to agree. Thomas Tradewell Sr., the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars stated that, I remain worried because a free press and an even freer Internet continue to fuel speculation that both systems could be lost and/or absorbed into a larger national healthcare plan.
Perverse Priorities: The Democrats government takeover of health care is chock-full of backroom deals for favored constituencies such as Louisiana, Connecticut, Nebraska and insurance companies. In their desperate headlong rush to pass a bill, however, Democrats have neglected to protect the integrity and independence of the DoD and VA health care systems and protect all of their health care beneficiaries. U.S. service members and veterans deserve better.
Yesterday, some 30,000 opponents of ØbamaCare turned out in Washington for a "Kill the Bill" Rally. The media initially seemed intent upon ignoring the event -- until it got an interesting angle from the Left-o-sphere.
Abusive, derogatory and even racist behavior directed at House Democrats by Tea Party protesters on Saturday left several lawmakers in shock.
Preceding the president's speech to a gathering of House Democrats, thousands of protesters descended around the Capitol to protest the passage of health care reform. The gathering quickly turned into abusive heckling, as members of Congress passing through Longworth House office building were subjected to epithets and even mild physical abuse.
A staffer for Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told reporters that Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) had been spat on by a protestor. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a hero of the civil rights movement, was called a 'ni--er.' And Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was called a "faggot," as protestors shouted at him with deliberately lisp-y screams. Frank, approached in the halls after the president's speech, shrugged off the incident.
But as has been pointed out across the Right side of the Internet, there is just one thing lacking in these charges -- evidence. Not a single video or audio clip of these alleged slurs exists, and the source for these claims are the Democrat Congresscritters themselves. What's more, the existing video doesn't show such slurs.
As Moe Lane points out over at RedState, "if it wasnt recorded, it didnt happen."
But let's assume that, somehow, these alleged incidents did happen without a single video or audio recording being made of them in this age of ubiquitous video recording devices. What that would imply is that whatever slurs were used were isolated and involved far less than 1% of those in attendance at the 30,000 people in attendance. While the words/actions of that microscopic portion of a larger crowd would undeniably be reprehensible and worthy of condemnation, they would also be irrelevant. Those words did not come from the podium, nor did they come from any member of the leadership of the groups involved. These few outliers, if they actually existed, were hardly representative of the event as a whole -- and I therefore can only respond to the whole brouhaha with a hearty "Who Cares?"
Given the heavy opposition by state governments to ØbamaCare, it could be that there is an entirely different way to go to eliminate this noxious program if it is not struck down by the courts.
Not amused is Idaho, the latest state to jump into the fray last Wednesday, with Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signing into law a measure requiring the state attorney general to sue the federal government if residents are forced to buy health insurance.
"The ivory tower folks will tell you, 'No, they're not going anywhere,'" Otter told reporters. "But I'll tell you what, you got 36 states; that's a critical mass. That's a constitutional mass." Otter shares the belief that nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is a mandate to buy health insurance or anything else. Otter warned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in December that Idaho was considering such litigation. They yawned.
"What the Idaho Health Freedom Act says is that the citizens of our state won't be subject to another federal mandate or turn over another part of their life to government control," Otter proclaimed.
If the states cannot protect their citizens through the use of the 10th Amendment and the courts won't put a stop to the power grab -- especially if deem & pass is used to implement ØbamaCare -- then the time will be ripe for the use of Article V of the US Constitution:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress. . .
Two thirds of the several States is 34. Three fourths of the several States is 38. Amend the Constitution to be rid of ØbamaCare and explicitly prohibit deem & pass? Seems like it would be doable.
If the Democrats use "Deem & Pass" to get around that pesky requirement that both houses of Congress vote on and pass identical bills imposed by the Constitution, and if the courts refuse to intervene by declaring this to be a political question, what is there to keep a GOP from using the same technique to "Deem & Impeach" Barack Hussein Øbama & Joe Biden with a simple majority vote in both the House and Senate next January? After all, such an end run around the explicit requirement of the Constitution would be no less a political question.
Could he be dirty? That would seem to be the only reasonable conclusion for Texans to draw here.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White released his 2009 federal income tax return Friday, answering pressure from the media and his opponent, but continuing in his refusal to release returns from the previous five years.
The 43-page return for the former Houston mayor and his wife, Andrea, lists a total income of $712,684, including $232,862 in wages, $281,467 in business income from White's board service and investment management and a tax liability of $178,986.
Gov. Rick Perry's campaign immediately seized on the release, questioning why White has not released the returns from his entire time as mayor. White and Perry will face off in November.
First, Bill White said he wouldn't release his tax returns because he wanted to protect his business partners, said Perry spokesman Mark Miner. Today he released only his 2009 tax returns. What will Bill White's excuse be now for not releasing all of his tax returns for his time in public service? The people of Texas need to know how much money Bill White made while in Washington serving in the Clinton administration and during his time as mayor of Houston.
Not only must we conclude that Bill White is personally dirty, thee is also the little detail that he served on the board of a company that has polluted groundwater around the country -- and that he would be in a position to aid financially if elected governor. Do we really want Bill White in a position to do more harm to Texas on behalf of the company that bought and paid for him while he was Houston mayor?
Not only can't Barack Øbama get his own party in Congress to back put all his promises in the ØbamaCare legislation before the House, Barack Øbama can't even get his own Chicago political hacks on board.
Two Chicago Democrats, Rep. Dan Lipinski and Rep. Mike Quigley, are a microcosm of the dilemma for the Obama White House and Democratic House leaders as they head to a Sunday showdown vote.
The anti-abortion Lipinski won't vote for the measure as it stands. He told me stricter bans are needed to ensure no federal money is channeled to clinics providing abortions or to insurance plans offering abortions. While some Catholic groups have signed on to the Obama plan, the nation's bishops have not.
And in a surprise to Democratic vote-counters, Quigley, an abortion-rights supporter, said Friday night Obama can't count on his support if a deal is made with the anti-abortion bloc to get to 216. Moreover, Quigley wants to strip out anti-abortion language already in the legislation.
One more example of how Barack Øbama is Kenyan for "failed president".
WASHINGTON - It was a bold response to skyrocketing health insurance premiums. President Barack Obama would give federal authorities the power to block unreasonable rate hikes.
Yet when Democrats unveiled the final, incarnation of their health care bill this week, the proposal was nowhere to be found.
Ditto with several Republican ideas that Obama had said he wanted to include after a televised bipartisan summit last month, including a plan by Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to send investigators disguised as patients to hospitals in search of waste, fraud and abuse.
And those "special deals" that Obama railed against and said he wanted to eliminate? With the exception of two of the most notorious -- extra Medicaid money for Nebraska and a carve-out for Florida seniors faced with losing certain extra Medicare benefits -- they are all still there.
For the White House, these were the latest unfulfilled commitments related to Obama's health care proposal, starting with his campaign promise to let C-SPAN cameras film negotiations over the bill. Obama also backed down with little apparent regret on his support for a new government-run insurance plan as part of the legislation, a liberal priority.
So which is it, Democrats? Did Barack Øbama mislead the America people on health care? Or is Barack Øbama incapable of leading his own party in the direction he wants it to go? Either one makes him a failed president in my book.
And this one I'm much more in agreement with.
We are stuck with Carter redux -- who will be the next Reagan to bring America back from the precipice?
Of course it was -- but today the press is virtually silent and the Left declares those lawyers for jihadis to be the modern-day equivalent of John Adams.
In August 2009, senior Al Qaeda enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay were shown photographs taken of CIA officials leaving their homes, by their defense attorneys. In addition, Bill Gertz recently reported in the Washington Times that more photographs were shown to the detainees.
It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that Holder formerly aided in the defense of some of these very jihadi scum, would it? Or the fact that he brought a bunch of other lawyers for these same jihadis into the Justice Department with him -- and that he has labeled those same lawyers as "patriots"?
So where are the prosecutions? The Congressional hearings?
Oh, that's right -- this travesty happened on Øbama's watch, so everything is hunky-dory. After all, the CIA is evil and the jihadis are just poor misunderstood Muslims who had their rights cruelly violated by the George W. Bush, so anything goes!
It was an interesting week at the Watcher's Council!
Congratulations to all the Winners!
As an aside -- my non-council submission caused a lot of discussion amongst the council members this week. I submitted it because I considered it to be among the more notable and controversial items to have been floating around the blogosphere. Frankly, I didn't agree with it and did not vote for it -- its satire came at the wrong time and on a subject that I think was inappropriate. To my fellow members of the Watcher's Council (and anyone else) who took offense at its submission, I offer no apology for having submitted it, and note that it placed third in the voting even without either of my votes. Obviously there were members of the Watcher's Council who saw it as having greater merit among the submissions than I did.
CAIR is now into book-banning -- going after a 10-part series of books designed for middle and high school students, called "World of Islam," which is published by Mason Crest Publishers in partnership with the well-respected Foreign Policy Research Institute.
"The overall theme of the books is that Muslims are inherently violent, that Islam is a second-rate religion and that one should be wary of Muslims in any society," said CAIR-PA Civil Rights Director Moein Khawaja. "Any young person reading these books would inevitably develop hostility toward Islam and suspicion of Muslims.
And I fail to see the problem with such a characterization. After all, there are arguments to be made for all three points.
Is this to say that all Muslims are bad people? No, it is not. Indeed, most Muslims are good and decent people. I have said that in the past, affirm it now, and will say it again in the future.
Unfortunately, it is the minority that sets the tone of the relations between Islam and the rest of the world -- and too many other Muslims then react with solidarity for the evil-doers when the rest of the world responds to the deeds of that evil minority.
Indeed, CAIR is one of the most obvious examples of my third point. CAIR has time and again gone after critics of Islam in this country for exercising their rights as Americans. They have time and again decreed opposition to Islamist terrorism -- and criticism of the tenets of Islam -- as hate speech, to the point of filing frivolous litigation against such critics and interfering with efforts by such critics to peacefully meet and express their point of view.
The FPRI responds extensively here -- refuting the claims of the book-burners from CAIR.
In the words of one Mr. Thomas Jefferson, as adopted by the Continental Congress.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it. . .
The ACLU has now explicitly come down on the side of America's enemies during time of war. Isn't it time to shut them down and start trying their leaders for treason?
The American Civil Liberties Union sued the federal government Tuesday to learn the use of unmanned drones for targeted killings by the military and CIA.
In particular, the lawsuit asks for information on when, where and against whom drone strikes can be authorized, the number and rate of civilian casualties and other basic information essential for assessing the wisdom and legality of using armed drones to conduct targeted killings, the ACLU said in a statement, announcing its action.
The nonprofit civil liberties group filed initial Freedom of Information Act requests with the Defense, Justice and State departments and with the Central Intelligence Agency on Jan. 13. Only the CIA responded, and the ACLU is pursuing that request with an appeal to the agency.
The government's use of drones to conduct targeted killings raises complicated questions not only legal questions, but policy and moral questions as well, said Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU National Security Project. These kinds of questions ought to be discussed and debated publicly, not resolved secretly behind closed doors. While the Obama administration may legitimately withhold intelligence information as well as sensitive information about military strategy, it should disclose basic information about the scope of the drone program, the legal basis for the program and the civilian casualties that have resulted from the program.
There are any number of political questions not subject to review by the courts. Certainly the planning and conduct of military operations qualifies as one of these. What's more, by filing suit to make public operational information that is of direct value to our nation's enem9ies, this clearly constitutes giving those enemies aid and comfort under Article III of the US Constitution. Will the Øbama Justice Department do its duty and prosecute? Or is it so infested with former lawyers for terrorists -- the same enemy that the ACLU is intent upon helping with its lawsuit -- that it will fail in that duty?
UPDATE: It took less than an hour from the moment I posted it for the ACLU's national headquarters to start checking out this post.
And the answer is "Lower than Jimmy Carter!"
So is it any wonder that Øbama is not being welcomed by moderate Democrats in close races this fall?
Moderate House Democrats facing potentially difficult reelections this fall have a message for President Barack Obama: Dont call us; well call you.
Even when Øbama shows up in a candidates state/district for other reasons, you find some national Democrats avoiding him like the plague. That happened in Missouri last week, when Robin and Russ Carnahan skipped an Øbama health care rally so as to avoid the unpopular president.
But why should we be surprised -- with the American people shouting NØbama, why would any politician with a prayer of electoral success choose to tie the millstone that is Barack Øbama around his or her neck?
As usual, my fellow members of the Watcher's Council and I offered up some fine fare for you consideration. Here are the results of the voting.
Congratulations to all the winners!
For a complete list of this weeks submissions see here.
For the last few days, the State Board of Education has been debating the latest revision of Texas social studies standards. The battle has been loaded with polemics on both sides. Well, the board has given its preliminary approval to the new standards this afternoon.
The State Board of Education tentatively approved new standards for social studies today with members largely divided along party lines some blasting the standards as a fraud on the students of this state and others praising them as a tribute to the Founding Fathers and a portrayal of an exceptional country.
The new standards face a public hearing and a final board vote in May. They will influence new history and government public school textbooks starting in the 2011-12 school year.
What does this Texas Social Studies teacher have to say about the standards? Nothing yet. I want to see what the actual document adopted by the SBOE says first, and am anxiously awaiting the posting of the newly adopted document on the Texas Education Agency website. Once it is there, I will have lots to say. Not only that, but I will be encouraging all of you especially my fellow Texas Social Studies teachers and fellow education professionals to do the same.
Not only that, I will be sending my comments to the State Board of Education as a part of their public comment period before final adoption of the standards. Changes can and will be made especially if professionals in the field make serious and substantive recommendations for changes.
Now let me begin by saying that I think the guy who did this is a moron who merits condemnation from anyone with an ounce of moral decency. However, does this really constitute a crime?
A man who posted a video of himself on the Internet holding a sign that said "Elton John must die" has been arrested on suspicion of making terroristic threats.
Neal Horsley, 65, was arrested on March 10 in Carrollton, Ga., about 50 miles west of Atlanta, said Atlanta Police Sgt. Curtis Davenport. He would not say whom Horsley is accused of threatening, but Horsley's son, Nathan, said he thought the arrest was connected to the video about the musician.
In the video posted Feb. 28 on YouTube, Horsley held the sign in front of a building where he said John has a condo. John's publicist, Fran Curtis, confirmed that John has an Atlanta apartment but declined further comment.
Horsley was upset that John, who is gay, told Parade magazine in an interview last month that he thought Jesus was a "compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems."
"What Elton John has done is desecrated the image of the Lord Jesus Christ, blasphemed the Lord Jesus Christ," Horsley said in the video.
Now just hold on here. Weve had all sorts of folks including folks right here in the USA urge the murder of those who have in some way defamed Muhammad via disrespectful words or images. I guess Ive missed the roundups and prosecutions of such individuals by the authorities.
Yet when this guy, clearly a crank, holds a sign expressing a similar sentiment over someone's comments about Jesus Christ and makes a video of it, hes charged with multiple felonies?
Do we not have a double standard here?
Personally, I dont find this to be an unreasonable move at all and certainly nothing for anyone to get outraged about.
Burlington students will get two new days off starting in the 2010-2011 school year for religious holidays.
The School Board voted 8-1 Tuesday to give students time off for Muslim and Jewish holy days. The Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr is a feast ending the holy month of Ramadan. Yom Kippur, which typically comes in early fall, is the Jewish day of atonement and considered one of the faith's holiest days.
Some folks will claim that this is political correctness, and that giving the Muslim holiday is some sort of move towards Islamization of America. I disagree. After all, the board has articulated a perfectly reasonable rationale for making those two days holidays there is a large Jewish population in the community, and a rising Muslim population. Since school funding from state and federal sources is often contingent upon attendance, it makes perfect sense to make days when there will be significant absences from school into holidays. If you can reasonably predict a significantly higher than normal absentee rate on a particular day (even if that increase is only 10-15%), then it makes perfect sense to make such days into non-class days. I even know of school districts that close on the first day of deer season for just that reason.
But some things matter more than politics.
Officials say the wife of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is in serious condition after a truck slammed into the back of the vehicle she and her daughter were riding on Interstate 95.
A spokesman for the senator says 69-year-old Landra Reid broke her back, neck and nose in the accident. She is being treated at Inova Fairfax Hospital in suburban Virginia.
The spokesman says the couple's adult daughter, Lana, was also hurt in the four-vehicle accident but that she is expected to be released from the hospital Thursday evening.
Sen. Reid visited the hospital and then returned to Capitol Hill for a meeting with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. His spokesman says Reid is now back at the hospital.
I've made it pretty clear that I do not like Harry Reid's politics, and that I think that he has done much that is harmful to this country. But that really does not matter at this time, because the human element intervenes.
And so I offer up this prayer.
May God be with Landra Reid and fill her with his healing grace. May she know the comfort that comes from her faith in God. May she make a full recovery, so that she may resume the life that has been so unexpectedly interrupted through no fault of her own.
May Lana Reid-Barringer be equally blessed. Praise to God that her injuries are much less serious than her mother's.
And may Harry Reid and the rest of the Reid family be comforted in this stressful time, secure in the knowledge that their loved ones are alive and under the care of skilled physicians and the Great Physician.
And may all men and women of good will say "Amen!"
Several Oregon government and law enforcement agencies are patting themselves on the back for preventing a possible mass shooting incident by sending a SWAT team to arrest a recently laid-off employee of the state's Department of Transportation. A news release from the Medford, Oregon, police department (yes, they put out a news release announcing their good work) says the man purchased three guns after his dismissal, and that former colleagues described him as "very disgruntled." He was taken to a mental hospital for evaluation.
The problem is that the man doesn't appear to have committed any actual crimes. Authorities have filed no charges against him. He did recently buy three guns, but he purchased all three of them legally. A spokesman for the Oregon State Police told South Oregon's Mail Tribune newspaper, "Instead of being reactive, we took a proactive approach."
Im curious what other legal activities will get your house surrounded by the SWAT team and you "persuaded" to accept commitment for psychiatric examination if you lose your job? Where was the probable cause for a raid and a possible arrest? And will this hospitalization itself be used as a basis to prohibit future purchase or possession of firearms by the victim of this gross overreach by law enforcement?
Imagine that a major Republican elected official say John Boehner or Mitch McConnell had a spouse sentenced to federal prison for accepting bribes in exchange for favorable treatment in relationship to that spouses position as an elected official. Would the news be confined only to local media outlets especially when the convicted spouse begged for leniency based upon the needs of that GOP elected official?
After months of silence, the combative and unpredictable Monica Conyers erupted during her sentencing in federal court Wednesday: first, repeatedly asking to withdraw her guilty plea, then exclaiming she wasn't going to jail for something she didn't do.
"I'm not going to be made a scapegoat for other people," the ex-Detroit councilwoman said in a raised voice. But U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn was unmoved. He sentenced her to 37 months in prison and two years of probation.
Left out of Monica Conyers rant was the minor detail that she had agreed to plead guilty to the charges, and that she had waived her right to appeal the sentence if it was less than 5 years.
But there was also this little detail.
She then invoked her husband and her two sons.
"My husband is an older man, and my son is 14, and I have done everything this court asked me to do," she said. "You asked me to quit my job. I did. You asked me to stay off television. I did. ... You asked me to see a psychologist. I did."
Excuse me? John Conyers is an old man who cant get by without his wife? Are we sure that he is of sound enough mind and body to continue in the House of Representatives? Ought that be made a campaign issue this fall by his opponent?
So what we have here is the corrupt spouse of an elected official going to jail for taking bribes, and the national media remains silent. Is it just that corruption is expected out of one party and, in particular, out of members of a particular ethnic caucus in that particular party?
By the way did John Conyers properly disclose his wifes bribe income on his Congressional disclosure forms?
I guess this means that they are not going to reconsider denying her tenure. . .
HUNTSVILLE, AL -- University of Alabama in Huntsville officials have fired professor Amy Bishop, who's accused of shooting and killing three colleagues last month.
A one-paragraph letter dated Feb. 26 was mailed to Bishop informing her the university had terminated her employment effective Feb. 12, said UAH spokesman Ray Garner.
Bishop was suspended without pay retroactively on the day of the attack, Garner said.
Bishop has been charged with capital murder in a shooting that also injured three others in a faculty meeting on Feb. 12. She has been also charged with three counts of attempted murder.
One would have thought that this had already happened assuming, of course, that murdering ones colleagues while shooting up a faculty meeting might be considered the moral equivalent of submitting ones resignation.
That is the question I have about this proposal to vary traffic fines based upon socio-economic status.
Low-income drivers caught driving drunk or without a license may get a break in paying their fines.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is now taking public comment on a proposal that would reduce the fines for people living near or below the federal poverty line if they're convicted of a Class C misdemeanor.
That type of offense includes driving without insurance, driving without a valid license and driving while intoxicated.
So got that poor drunks get better treatment than middle class and wealthy drunks. Sorry, if you can afford the car and the liquor, you can afford that fine. And if you can't afford the fine, maybe we will all be just a bit safer with you not driving.
They are looking to take on more debt than the voters have authorized.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority intends to issue an estimated $2.6 billion in bonds in the next four years to help pay for five new light rail lines, about four times the debt capacity voters authorized in a 2003 referendum, Metro officials confirmed Tuesday.
Metro leaders insist the borrowing will not exceed the $640 million debt ceiling set by voters because the agency is allowed other borrowing capacity by state law, and much of the bonds will be paid with money from ridership fares.
So let me gat this straight borrowing more than the authorized amount is not borrowing more than the authorized amount? And how can we premise repayment of these bonds on fares from riders? After all, Mayor Parker is talking about making Metro into a free ride.
That is my reaction to this study on reducing obesity by taxing bad foods.
U.S. researchers estimate that an 18 percent tax on pizza and soda can push down U.S. adults' calorie intake enough to lower their average weight by 5 pounds (2 kg) per year.
Yeah, government CAN probably coerce a change in eating habits by imposing a sin tax on soda and pizza. However, SHOULD government do so? Is it really the place of government to dictate either through outright bans on certain foods or coercive tax policies what Americans eat and drink? Where does this regulatory scheme fit in a society which is supposedly based upon the self-evident truth that we are all endowed with the rights to live, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
It isnt like the Libyan leader merits so much as an ounce of respect of consideration.
The US state department has apologised for comments made about Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's call for jihad against Switzerland.
Department spokesman PJ Crowley, who made the dismissive comments, said they did not reflect US policy and were not intended to offend.
Col Gaddafi had criticised a Swiss vote against the building of minarets and urged Muslims to boycott the country.
Mr Crowley described it as "lots of words, not necessarily a lot of sense."
But I guess that in the age of Obama it is necessary to apologize to even the biggest zeroes in the international community (other than the current resident of the Oval Office, of course) . After all, Gadoofus might just go all jihadi on the US if we arent appropriately respectful.
Because every day, this elected leader is called a dictator here, and we just accept it! And accept it. And this is mainstream media, who should truly, there should be a bar by which one goes to prison for these kinds of lies.
Excuse me? You want the government imprisoning those who express the wrong point of view in their reporting of the news? You want to throw journalists into jail because they dont agree with what some government bureaucrat defines to be the truth?
Tell you what, Sean why dont you head down to Venezuela or Cuba and stay there. After all, they already have the sort of press-responsibility statutes you speak of journalists regularly go to jail for offending the government in Cuba, and the Venezuelan DICTATOR has shut down opposition media.
My guess is that the justices will uphold the 4th Circuits decision that such protests, while disgusting, constitute activity protected by the First Amendment.
The U.S. Supreme Court is getting involved in the legal fight over the anti-gay protesters who show up at military funerals with inflammatory messages like "Thank God for dead soldiers."
The Court agreed today to consider whether the protesters' message, no matter how provocative and upsetting, is protected by the Constitution's First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech. Members of a Kansas-based church have picketed military funerals to spread their belief that deaths of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.
The justices will hear an appeal from the father of a Marine killed in Iraq. Albert Snyder is seeking the reinstatement of a $5 million verdict against the protesters who picketed outside his son's funeral.
A jury in Baltimore awarded Snyder damages for emotional distress and invasion of privacy, but a federal appeals court threw out the verdict. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in Snyder v. Phelps that the protesters signs contained "imaginative and hyperbolic rhetoric" protected by the First Amendment.
Lets be clear here the folks from Westboro Baptist Church are the sort of stuff that pond scum wipes off its shoes when it arrives home for the evening. But even the lowest of the low, with the most despicable message, have a right to speak and be heard in public places.
A bucking bull broke free and made its way to the parking lot at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday. Two employees were injured and transported to a nearby hospital.
Rodeo officials say the animal got away after a gate malfunctioned during the closing process.
Officers herded the bull away from people. A wrangler then contained it.
This could have been a dangerous situation all around for both people and for the animal.
Looks like they are embracing the culture of corruption in Rhode Island.
Mayor David Cicilline claims he has cleaned up Providence after the corruption of his predecessor, but his family relationships and connection to a former staffer could raise new questions about his reformer credentials.
His father is a mafia lawyer. His brother just got out of federal prison after serving time for a courthouse corruption scheme. Now, his former police driver, the husband of his longtime executive assistant, has been arrested as part of a state police bust of a cocaine dealing ring that also netted two other Providence police officers.
The bust comes as the Democratic mayor - the ultimate successor to Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, whose 2002 federal corruption conviction forced him to resign - is running to replace Rep. Patrick Kennedy in Congress. Cicilline says he believes voters will understand the criminal behavior of his brother and the allegations surrounding the police department are not connected to him.
Excuse me? The son of a mob lawyer? His brother just out of federal prison? And the drug scandal right under his nose? This constitutes the sort of candidate that the Dems find rising to the top of their primary?
A fine selection of blog posts were nominated for consideration by the Watcher's Council this week. After voting, the results were as follows.
A college atheist group is offering students pornography in exchange for Bibles.
Atheist Agenda calls the exchange "Smut for Smut," prompting prayers and protests from Christian students at the University of Texas San Antonio campus.
Student Monica Cornado says it's offensive to compare pornography to "the Word of God."
University officials say the atheist group has the right to conduct the swap.
UTSA spokesman David Gabler says, "As long as students are not violating laws or violating the Constitution, they have the freedom of speech and assembly."
Of course, I wonder if the same would be said by university officials if this was a case of students trying to do something as innocuous as wearing empty holsters on campus to protest a ban on licensed gun owners with concealed carry permits from exercising their Second Amendment rights? After all, one public institution of higher learning in Texas banned just such protests.
And as for the atheist group, I have to ask if they would consider holding a similar event offering to exchange porn for copies of the Quran? Would they be willing to take their lives in their hand by doing so? And would the University take such a strikingly libertarian position on their speech -- or would there instead be a "hate speech" exception made to those principles?
I wonder when Dave Neiwart will start criticizing the "eliminationist" rhetoric of his ideological confreres Sean Penn and Bill Maher -- you know, like he did over the Psalm 109:8 quote used by a number of folks who didn't bother to read the rest of the psalm?.
Oh, that's right -- he won't.
Always-controversial actor Sean Penn is blasting critics who have questioned the motivation behind his relief efforts in Haiti, the New York Post reported Friday.
In an interview taped for this weekends CBS Sunday Morning, Penn said, You know, do I hope that those people die screaming of rectal cancer? Yeah.
Got that? Disagree with a self-promoting liberal and you merit a slow, agonizing death. And while I don't have any problem with Penn's relief work (other than the fact he does seem to be in it as much for purposes of self-promotion as for actually helping the people of Haiti), I don't think that his critics deserve death over it.
Imagine the outrage on the Left if the statement had been "Why couldn't it have been Rosie O'Donnell/Joy Behar/Keith Olbermann?" -- and we won't even get into the question of the horrendous outrage that would be coming from the Left if the statement had been "Why couldn't it have been Barack Øbama?" -- though they would still be chuckling if Maher had used George W. Bush or Dick Cheney in the punchline.
My point? The Left says that it is the Right that is full of hate -- but it seems pretty clear that such assertions are instead based upon their projection of their own mental shortcomings on their political opponents. So when they claim to hear murderous intent in conservative rhetoric about crushing their political operates at the ballot box and in the realm of ideas, they can only interpret those words as holding the same murderous intent that lurks in their own warped psyches.
A couple of weeks ago, a Bush-hating, Communist manifesto quoting mental case flew a plane into an IRS office in Texas. Despite those obviously left-wing views, many in the media immediately labeled Joe Stack a Right-wing extremist and tried to connect him to the Tea Party movement, despite an utter lack of evidence that he had ever been involved with any Tea Party group.
The same sort of stuff is happening again this week, after a mentally unstable individual with a history of extreme Bush-hatred (both 41 & 43), drug use, 9/11 Trutherism, and a record as a registered Democrat voter attacked the Pentagon. The media verdict? Right-wing extremism strikes again!
Take this headline from the Christian Science Monitor.
John Patrick Bedell: Did right-wing extremism lead to shooting?
Authorities have identified John Patrick Bedell as the gunman in the Pentagon shooting. He appears to have been a right-wing extremist with virulent antigovernment feelings.
Now I expect such irresponsibility from left-wing blog sites, but from a supposedly responsible publication like the CSM, it is positiovely irresponsible. After all, the article itself cites noting to connect Bedell with any group whatsoever, much less any "right-wing" group -- but that doesn't stop the reporter from writing about the SPLC's recent report on right-wing extremist groups.
Now I'd call this sort of conduct on the Left and among the MSM (but I repeat myself) "McCarthyism" but for the fact that Joe McCarthy did at least have a grain of truth in his charges about Communist efforts to infiltrate and undermine the US government. Today's perps have nothing to support their claims other than their own biases -- but since their position is conventional wisdom among their side of the spectrum, it doesn't matter to them if they have evidence. After all, why look for evidence for what you already know to be true?
As I pointed out earlier in the week, Democrats here in Texas Congressional District 22 have nominated an acolyte of left-wing political cultist Lyndon LaRouche to challenge Republican incumbent Pete Olson this fall. Kesha Rogers is, to say the least, a really strange character -- but given the obscurity of all three candidates in the race, I continue to argue that we have seen the same thing happen here that happened in Illinois in 1986 when Democrat voters nominated a pair of LaRouchies for Lt. Governor and Attorney General with generic names (Hart and Fairchild) over a pair of mainline Dems with ethnic surnames (Sangmeister and Pucinski) because nobody except political insiders really knew anything about the candidates.
But that points to a problem here in Houston -- the local media failed to devote any substantive time to a whole host of races in the run-up to the primary. I believe that had a lot to do with some regrettable results in the GOP primary, and it certainly did in the case of this Democrat primary race. After all, I just ran a search on the website of the Houston Chronicle -- and found precisely ONE article discussing Kesha Rogers in the last year. When did it run? Today, four days after the primary.
Kesha Rogers called for the impeachment of President Barack Obama as the centerpiece of her campaign for Congress, and on Tuesday she won the nomination of her party.
The Democratic Party.
It was no stealth campaign. Rogers shouted it from a sound truck that cruised the four-county 22nd Congressional District. She posted an 18-foot banner emblazoned with the message Save NASA. Impeach Obama on street corners. Her Web site is filled with videos and periodic policy statements documenting her stand.
During the campaign, Rogers denounced warnings of global warming as imperialist genocide, proclaimed that London banking interests are bent on ruining America's economy and accused Obama of pissing on the legacy of President John F. Kennedy in proposing to end NASA's Constellation program.
I can't believe that most people who voted for her knew that she wants to impeach Obama, losing candidate Doug Blatt states on his Web site. I do believe that most of them didn't do any research about the candidates before voting.
Interestingly enough, reporter Chris Moran (with whom I spoke this primary season regarding the Chris Daniel/Paul Dwight race for the Harris County Circuit Clerk nomination) fails to note that his own newspaper, along with the rest of the Houston media, ignored the CD22 race. Pete Olson was unchallenged on the GOP side, and the three Democrat non-entities seeking the nomination appeared as unlikely to win in November as the Dalai Lama is to be elected pope at the next conclave. So the local media simply ignored the race, even though one of the candidates on the Democrat side was a certified extremist loon who follows a man who can best be described as a political cult leader and convicted felon. But didn't the people have a right to know?
Too their credit, some local Democrat bloggers did try to get the word out -- but as one of them admits today, he and other Democrat leaders were incompetent in their approach to the CD22 race.
Keisha won on ignorance. The clubs and party in the area did little if anything to warn voters of her insane positions. She was also at the top of the ballot, the very first person you could vote for. So statistically she had an advantage. She had no campaign. No money. No plan. No field work. She was lucky. We were not.
John is exactly right -- ignorance was what led to the Rogers victory. But that ignorance was aided and abetted by the failure of the media to do its job of informing the people about the choices on the ballots. That led to a great many unfortunate results on election night, and this result constitutes Exhibit A in the case against the Houston media's political coverage of the 2010 primaries.
When last we met up with Judge Kevin Fine, the drugged-out Democrat was getting his rocks off on the bench by forcing a rape victim to recount the details of the crime AFTER HER RAPIST WAS CONVICTED, and casting doubt on the guilt of the convicted rapist because at some point the rapist positioned the victim on top of himself.
Now His Dishonor has ruled the death penalty unconstitutional by accepting arguments that against the death penalty that have been rejected by every appellate court in the state including the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state's top criminal court.
A Houston judge on Thursday granted a pretrial motion declaring the death penalty unconstitutional, saying he believes innocent people have been executed.
Based on the moratorium (on the death penalty) in Illinois, the Innocence Project and more than 200 people being exonerated nationwide, it can only be concluded that innocent people have been executed, state District Judge Kevin Fine said. It's safe to assume we execute innocent people.
Fine said trial level judges are gatekeepers of society's standard for decency and fairness.
Are you willing to have your brother, your father, your mother be the sacrificial lamb, to be the innocent person executed so that we can have a death penalty so that we can execute those who are deserving of the death penalty? he said. I don't think society's mindset is that way now.
The motion was one of many submitted by defense attorneys Bob Loper and Casey Keirnan arguing Texas' death penalty was unconstitutional for their client, John Edward Green Jr.
Loper said he and Keirnan were pleased by Fine's ruling, which will be appealed and almost certainly reversed.
Of course, Judge Fine cant point to any law or precedent supporting his position, so he backs it up instead with opinions, feelings, and a few newspaper clipping. And unless we are going to allow trial judges to overrule the higher appellate courts, there is no possibility of this ruling being permitted to stand.
Of course, this does point to the importance of judicial races in the November elections. Two years ago, many folks voted straight Democrat out of frustration with George W. Bush and the GOP. The result was under-qualified judges like Fine who lack the temperament to serve on the bench. Even thought we are stuck with this clown until 2012, Harris County voters (and voters in the rest of Texas, for that matter) can make sure we dont get any more judicial errors like this one by voting only for Republican judges.
Kay Bailey Hutchison said she would resign from the Senate in advance of her run for Governor. She didnt, though Id argue that decision was good for Texas and the nation during the health care fight. She then said she would be leaving after the primary, win or lose a loss of seniority for Texas, but the right move whether she won or lost. But now she is getting pressure to stay in office until her term ends in 2012.
Republican U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is getting some GOP pressure to change her mind about resigning her seat, but a close friend predicted Wednesday that her decision will hinge on whether she can balance her service with what is best for her young children.
Hutchison was not talking Wednesday, the day after losing her GOP primary challenge of Gov. Rick Perry. A spokeswoman, who turned down a request to interview her, said she was in Dallas.
Hutchison's future was a hot topic in political circles: Her decision will affect the fate of ambitious politicians and come into play as the GOP maps its strategy for gaining more U.S. Senate seats this year. It also could hand a juicy plum to Perry, who would appoint her successor pending a special election.
My pitch to her would be that it's in the best interest of the state and the best interest of the Republican Party and in her best interest to stay in the Senate for a while, said John Cornyn, Texas' junior senator and chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. My hope would be (that) she would consider staying through the duration of her term, which is through 2012.
Cornyn said he tried, but had been unable to connect with her by mid-afternoon.
Frankly, I think the time has come for her to go if not now, then certainly after the Senate votes on whatever healthcare plan the Democrats seek to ram through Congress. She was pretty decisively rejected by her own party in a primary that hinged on how in touch she is with her state and her party. While I still love and respect her, it seems that this is not the case with too many others back here in Texas. Indeed, I have to believe that only Deb Medinas Truther meltdown on Glen Becks show saved her from a third place finish in Tuesdays primary.
Some argue that her senior position in the Senate is an advantage that Texas can ill-afford to lose. I disagree. After all, we are going to lose that seniority in January of 2013 since she has declared herself a lame duck. It seems to me that it is better for Texas if she moves on sooner rather than later, and allows her successor to begin accumulating that precious seniority a couple of years early.
Does this strategy have risks for the GOP, including the possibility of a Democrat sneaking in and winning in a special election? Yeah, it does but in this political environment in this state, I dont find it that likely that a Democrat will win (especially given that their strongest candidate, Bill White, is facing Rick Perry in the gubernatorial race). The most likely scenario would have Michael Williams going to Washington as our new Senator, resulting in a strong conservative voice being added to that body a voice who truly represents the best Texas has to offer.
So yes, I do think it is time for Kay to say goodbye because in this case what is best for Texas is also best for the nation.
There's a plan in front of the U.S. Senate to save the space shuttle program and possibly thousands of jobs in the Houston area, 11 News Reporter Jeremy Desel reported Wednesday.
Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison introduced a bill intended to save the shuttle program and NASA's push to develop its own new spacecraft.
President Barack Obama's budget plan released last month would allow the shuttle program to end this year and kill NASA's new spacecraft.
Retiring the shuttle before there is a new launch vehicle is a bad idea for the space program, as it leaves us at the mercy of the Russians and allows us to fall behind the Chinese and Indians. The economic impact of this decision on areas with major NASA installations is tremendous as well, with the plan putting people out of work as the Øbama economy continues to sag as his policies fail. This is legislation that could and should have been introduced and passed a year ago or even during the Bush years when the retirement plan was initially announced.
Kesha Rogers won the Democratic nomination for Texas 22nd congressional district on Tuesday, meaning shell face freshman incumbent Pete Olson in the fall.
What makes this noteworthy is that Rogers campaign platform is unusually ambitious. In addition to opposing Wall Street and bailouts, it includes impeaching President Obama as well as colonizing outer space. Seriously.
Rogers is a follower of the perennial presidential Lyndon LaRouche. He is, to put it mildly, a barking mad kook known for bizarre conspiracy theories such as that the Queen of England is behind the worldwide drug trade. His political organization is widely viewed as a simple cult.
Now Ill be the first to concede that I am disappointed with some of the results in my partys primary, but we had nothing happen that comes even remotely close to this sort of insanity. And while it would be fun to play games and mess with the sort of what this means analysis that local Dems are playing with the results of the GOP primary races of some prominent Hispanic candidates, I wont..
What do I think happened? You had three unknown candidates seek the nomination in a firmly GOP district. One was named Weider (hes a former Libertarian candidate). One was named Blatt (hes a regular Democrat). And then there was Rogers. What happened? The same thing that got a pair of LaRouchies the nominations for statewide office in Illinois back in the 1986 (when Hart and Fairchild beat Puchinski and Sangmeister) people voted for the average American sounding name over the ethnic name when they didnt know the candidates. The result was disaster then, and disaster this time (not that there was any chance of a Democrat victory in CD22).
A sick irony, but an irony none the less.
A 45-year-old woman, charged with ending a domestic dispute by killing her 26-year-old husband of five days, is a registered lobbyist for a group fighting domestic violence.
Insert your punch line here.
The Chinese leased an American radio station to try to broadcast to Houston. The only problem is that the station they bought located in Galveston generally cant be picked up in the city.
China Radio International bought a pig in a poke when it leased a Galveston radio station in January that network officials mistakenly believed broadcast to the Houston market, according to a former China Radio International employee.
It was the dumbest thing they could have ever done, said Mark Shorey, a consultant at CRI headquarters in Beijing before his resignation last month . CRI believes that they are broadcasting in Houston and continue to announce this fact on the air and on their Web site.
Yeah, Galveston is near Houston. And yes, Galveston is part of the Houston media market. But the station in question, KGBC-AM 1540 is so low power that its signal cant reach downtown Houston, much less the northern suburbs of the city. Heck, Im 25 miles from its studios and I cant pick the station up most of the time forget it if you live another 50 miles northwest!
To meet the Obama administrations targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, some researchers say, Americans may have to experience a sobering reality: gas at $7 a gallon. To reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the transportation sector 14 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, the cost of driving must simply increase, according to a forthcoming report by researchers at Harvards Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. The 14 percent target was set in the Environmental Protection Agencys budget for fiscal 2010.
So let me ask -- if hurricanes, refinery shutdowns, and market conditions that caused high gasoline prices were all the fault of George W. Bush, then how should we respond to price increases that are directly tied to the policies of the Øbama Regime! No wonder folks believe that America is headed in the wrong direction!
Seems to me that Barry has found his professional role model in this guy.
What can I say --three out of every four Americans agree that Barack Øbama has failed in directing America in the right direction.
>Just 25% of U.S. voters now say the country is heading in the right direction, the lowest level of voter confidence since early January 2009.
Correspondingly, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 69% believe the nation is heading down the wrong track, the highest level measured in 14 months.
The vast majority (92%) of Republicans and 74% of voters not affiliated with either major party believe the nation is heading down the wrong track.Only seven percent (7%) of Republicans are confident in the nations current course. The latest findings echo the pessimism Republican and unaffiliateds felt for most of 2009, but Republican angst spiked six points from last weeks finding.
That number on independents is particularly telling. Two years ago, they put Øbama into office. Today they seem prepared to take away Øbama Congressional majorities -- and kick him out of office after one term.
So how's that HopeyChange thing working for you, Barry?
H/T Weasel Zippers
OTP -- One Term President!
We are, in fact, AT WAR with them. So says the US District Court for the District of Columbia -- and a number of other courts as well.
[T]he precise question here is whether the United States was in a state of war in 2004 or 2008 when Kaufman made his renunciation requests. There can be no genuine debate about that. The term state of war in § 1481(a)(6) is sufficiently unambiguous and plain in its meaning to describe the circumstances attendant to the United States when Kaufman made his initial renunciation request in July 2004, and when he renewed it in September 2008. Indeed, several courts have recognized that the United States was in a state of war at those times. Most notably, in 2004 the Supreme Court, referring to the circumstances prevailing at the time, stated that [w]e have long since made clear that a state of war is not a blank check for the President when it comes to the rights of the Nations citizens. Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507, 536 (2004). In 2005, a judge of this court rejected a litigants contention that the United States was not at war, concluding that [t]he United States Congress, by its authorization statutes, has initiated war in the same way it has initiated war since World War II.... [T]he facts suggest that the United States is at war at the behest of Congress. Qualls v. Rumsfeld, 357 F. Supp. 2d 274, 284 (D.D.C. 2005)....
[Footnote 3:] Even if the term were ambiguous and required interpretation, the Directors construction suffers from serious infirmities. First, the construction does not enjoy the force of logic. The defendants conclusion that the term state of war means congressionally declared state of war is not compelled by the premise that the drafters were in the midst of a war that involved congressional declarations of war. The opposite conclusion that the drafters intentionally and purposefully omitted the modifier congressionally declared is equally, if not more, compelled by the premise. There is no basis for concluding that the drafters were unaware of wars that did not involve formal congressional declarations. See The Amy Warwick, 67 U.S. 635, 668 (1862) (If a war be made by invasion of a foreign nation, the President is not only authorized but bound to resist force by force. He does not initiate the war, but is bound to accept the challenge without waiting for any special legislative authority. And whether the hostile party be a foreign invader, or States organized in rebellion, it is none the less a war, although the declaration of it be unilateral. ... It is not the less a war on that account, for war may exist without a declaration on either side.); Curtis A. Bradley & Jack J. Goldsmith, Congressional Authorization and the War on Terrorism, 118 Harv. L. Rev. 2047, 205960 (2005) (Starting with early conflicts against Indian tribes and the Quasi-War with France at the end of the 1700s, the United States has been involved in hundreds of military conflicts that have not involved declarations of war.); Grimmett, Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 17982006 (listing numerous undeclared armed conflicts prior to World War II).
Second, even if the defendants could make the case that the disputed term in § 1481(a)(6) really means congressionally declared state of war, it is far from clear that the United States was not in such a state of war in either 2004 or 2008. See Qualls v. Rumsfeld, 357 F. Supp.2d 274, 284 (D.D.C. 2005) (The United States Congress, by its authorization statutes, has initiated war in the same way it has initiated war since World War II. [The] argument that Congress has not declared war is made without legal argument or factual basis; the facts suggest that the United States is at war at the behest of Congress.). See also Bradley & Goldsmith, 118 Harv. L. Rev. at 206566 (With respect to this issue, we believe that the pattern of congressional action in declared wars provides additional support for the modern consensus that force authorizations can confer full congressional authorization for the President to prosecute a war. This pattern shows that it is misleading, and probably wrong, to compare the authority conferred by war declarations in declared wars with the authority conferred by authorizations to use force in authorized but undeclared wars, much less to view a war declaration as a more extensive form of congressional approval than a force authorization.). Kaufman v. Holder (D.D.C. Feb. 24, 2010)
Since we are at war, those captured in the course of that war are not permitted to be subject to the criminal courts -- they are to be held until exchanged, paroled, or released at the conclusion of hostilities.
H/T Volokh Conspiracy.
This Election Day was a long one.
While I backed a number of winning candidates, I also backed a fair number who did not win. A couple of them particularly trouble me, but I wont go into an analysis of those here maybe Ill do it at a later date. Others simply sadden me, as candidates who I know personally and for whom I have high regard were defeated.
For me, however, the most important race for me personally went the right way I had a challenger for precinct chair, and I had to really scramble to hold on to the position because I had drawn the second spot on the ballot, which is always a distinct disadvantage in a down-ballot race (and in this case, I was literally the last name on the ballot in my precinct). In the end, I won about 58% of the vote after making a serious Election Day push for votes.
I offer the following endorsement in the 2010 GOP primary.
Supreme Court Place 3
Supreme Court Place 9
House District 129
John E. Davis
1st Court of Appeals Place 4
1st Court of Appeals Place 8
Michael C. Massengale
14th Court of Appeals Place 2
Leslie Brock Yates
180th Criminal District Court
280th Civil District Court
308th Family District Court
309th Family District Court
Sheri Y. Dean
310th Family District Court
311th Family District Court
313th Family District Court
Criminal Court #1
Criminal Court #3
Criminal Court #4
Criminal Court #13
Rachel Ann Palmer
Probate Court #1
Tax Assessor Collector
County Commissioner Precinct 2
Harris County GOP Chair
The doctors also recommended "moderation of alcohol intake".
Of course, that leads to only one possible conclusion -- that Barack Øbama is not currently drinking in an acceptable manner, and that he is in need of cutting back from his current intake.
So tell us, most open administration in the history of the United States, how much alcohol is the drunkard-in-chief pounding back on a daily basis? Is Øbama's judgment clouded by excessive alcohol consumption? Who has been aware of this dangerous medical condition that is potentially harmful o national security, and why have they been covering it up?
In light of the apparent problem with Øbama's potential alcoholism, has the time come for the invocation of the Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, given that Barack Øbama's judgment is apparently in such an alcohol induced stupor as to render him unable to see the need for him to act under Section 3 of that same amendment?
Or is there less to this whole issue than meets the eye?
Ive not been active in the Tea Party Movement. That isnt to say that I reject it Ive simply placed my energies somewhere else in working to get this country headed the right direction. But I dont hold that movement in disdain, having been impressed by many of those involved with the Tea Party.
The Left, on the other hand, has not been so respectful, and presumes that those involved are knuckle-dragging rednecks.
Which one is right? Well, this might shed some light on the issue.
A CNN poll tells us those involved are middle class, mostly middle aged or beyond and that 75 percent are college-educated. These are not uninformed citizens in pursuit of dingbat policies, but people mostly worried about a killer debt, President Obama's spendathon tactics to resolve the recession and a health plan that would be unaffordable while giving us a society ever more run by Big Brother in D.C.
Who is the Tea Party? They are educated and prosperous Americans who want to ensure that future generations have the same sort of opportunities and freedoms that they have had.
One can disagree with Israel and not be an anti-Semite. That said, one cannot oppose giving recognition to sites of importance to Jewish history without being one.
And guess what President Øbama and his minions have done.
The Obama administration sharply criticized Israel on Wednesday for designating the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb, both in West Bank cities, to the list of Jewish heritage sites marked for renovation and preservation.
The government's decision, announced Sunday, sparked Palestinian protests and has drawn criticism from other quarters, including the United Nations. The Palestinians claim all the West Bank as part of a future state and also protested the Israeli move as a provocation, a largely symbolic gesture. The move heightened long-standing tensions, particularly in Hebron, where Palestinians planned to march Thursday to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the Baruch Goldstein massacre.
Of course, administration spokesdrones have claimed that the reason is concern for the so-called peace process. That process, however, has been one ongoing process in which Israel makes concessions and the Terrorstinians demand more while continuing to target innocent Israeli civilians and proclaiming that their ultimate goal is the elimination of the Jewish-majority nation. Whats more, how can preserving, maintaining ad restoring historical sites be a provocation unless, of course, one believes that the mere existence of those sites is an affront?
I guess that Ron Paul has forgotten that he serves at the pleasure of his constituents, and that the primary election belongs to the people of his district (more to the point, to the self-identified Republicans of his district), not to him.
In a January email alert titled Theyve Turned Their Attack Dogs Loose On Me!, Paul warns that both parties are doing everything they can to make sure I am defeated.
These candidates include three Republicans in my own primary on March 2, he wrote, and they will stop at nothing to tear down and destroy all we have worked for.
No, Ron, it is not your primary. You are not entitled to a coronation when you deign to grace the people with another two years of your life as a member of Congress. You actually have to run for the position of congressman, and the people are welcome to throw you out on your conspiracy-mongering ass.
Heres hoping they do so tomorrow.
Why on earth would any SANE person feel a need to include this disclaimer in THE most significant work available for understanding the Constitution?
This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today. Parents might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work.
Yeah, I guess we can't expose the kiddies to the views of the men who wrote the Constitution without making sure that we know that they were all racist, sexist, homophobic, straight white guys who leaned towards Christianity -- and that what they wrote should be dismissed for those reasons, along with the limits on government power they put in the Constitution itself.
Rest assured that my next purchase of the Federalist Papers will not be an edition put out by Wilder Publications.
H/T Joanne Jacobs
We covered plate tectonics and earthquakes last semester in my World Geography classes. However, the Haiti quake brought the matter back to the forefront earlier this semester and Saturdays Chilean temblor caused students to raise it again. Chief among the questions was why the damage and death toll in Haiti was so much higher even though the Chile had an earthquake 500 times the size of the Haitian event.
Fortunately, I had seen this article before I left for school. I really do wish that American media provided such good coverage of technical questions.
There were some great entries in the competition this week, making it really tough for me to make my selections. Here are the results of this wee's votes.