Since Iím a social studies teacher, I often talk about how much history one life can encompass, and how short, in relative terms, Americaís history really is. Today provided yet another example for me to use with my students.
Frank W. Buckles died early Sunday, sadly yet not unexpectedly at age 110, having achieved a singular feat of longevity that left him proud and a bit bemused.
In 1917 and 1918, close to 5 million Americans served in World War I, and Mr. Buckles, a cordial fellow of gentle humor, was the last known survivor. "I knew there'd be only one someday," he said a few years back. "I didn't think it would be me."
His daughter, Susannah Buckles Flanagan, said Mr. Buckles, a widower, died of natural causes on his West Virginia farm, where she had been caring for him.
Buckles' distant generation was the first to witness the awful toll of modern, mechanized warfare. As time thinned the ranks of those long-ago U.S. veterans, the nation hardly noticed them vanishing, until the roster dwindled to one ex-soldier, embraced in his final years by an appreciative public.
"Frank was a history book in and of himself, the kind you can't get at the library," said his friend, Muriel Sue Kerr. Having lived from the dawn of the 20th century, he seemed to never tire of sharing his and the country's old memories - of the First World War, of roaring prosperity and epic depression, and of a second, far more cataclysmic global conflict, which he barely survived.
Frank Buckles, you see, was our nationís last surviving veteran of the First World War Ė the War to End All Wars. He was a civilian prisoner in the Philippines during the one after that Ė World War II Ė and lived to see several more besides. His life spanned the presidencies of every holder of the Oval Office since William McKinley, and witnessed not just the first airplane flight but also the sight of men walking on the moon and the construction of the international space station. Indeed, his life constituted covered fully half the period since the adoption of the US Constitution. Oh, what wonders he sawÖ
Rest in peace, Corporal Buckles, with the thanks of a grateful nation for your service.
Iíve been ignoring Charlie Sheenís latest antics. I donít watch his shows, and havenít found him to be funny in about a quarter century.
But this latest comment does bear noting.
"I'm tired of pretending like I'm not special," Sheen told NBC. "I'm tired of pretending like I'm not bitching a total freaking rock star from Mars. And people can't figure me out. They can't process me. I don't expect them to. You can't process me with a normal brain."
Yeah, it is true. Charlie Sheen is special. He is the special sort of @$$hole produced by the combination of an over-privileged upbringing by liberals, the undeserved idolization that comes from being an entertainer, and excessive use of chemicals to adjust oneís mood and attitude for purposes of recreational stimulation. As such, he is correct that we cannot process him with a normal brain.
And I for one am not at all interested in understanding Charlie Sheen Ė Iíll settle for pitying him instead.
It used to be a fairly common practice for government employees, especially those who were not protected by civil service laws, to be subject to the ďlugĒ. It was an expectation that, for the employee to keep their job or have any chance of advancement, a portion of their salary would be kicked back to the coffers of the party in power in the political subdivision where they worked. Such a practice is, of course, objectively corrupt Ė not to mention illegal under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 601.
Frankly, I fail to see how anyone can possibly object to the notion that no person should be required, as a condition of being employed by a government supported by their own tax dollars, to pay a financial tariff to any individual or organization Ė especially when any or all of that money extracted as a condition of employment is to be used for political purposes not necessarily of that employeeís own choosing.
And herein lies the problem of compulsory unionism for state employees. It does not merely require the payment of a portion of a government workerís salary to a private organization (the union) as a condition of working for the government. How does mandating the payment of union dues or an agency fee to a union materially differ from requiring that an employee pay a portion of their salary to an elected official's brother-in-law -- or to the elected official directly? It is still a shakedown.
To the degree that such dues also include a portion used for political activity by the union and directed primarily towards advancing the electoral fortunes of a particular political party (the Democrats), it also the functional equivalent of the old Ė and illegal Ė practice of requiring employees to pay the ďlugĒ. As such, might not union dues for public employees violate 18 U.S.C. Sec. 601, especially when they are mandatory?
Some might argue, of course, that union membership is voluntary. But is that really so, given that public employees in many states are required to join unions or pay agency fees as a condition of employment. Is that not the equivalent of arguing that the demand made by a sexual harasser Ė ďHave sex with me or you wonít get that jobĒ Ė is equally non-coercive in light of the victimís ability to decline to participate in the requested sexual activity (though at the cost of the employment opportunity)? And while one might argue that the services provided by the union in exchange for the dues or agency fee constitute a benefit to the employee, doesnít the compulsory nature of the dues fail to respect the right of the employee to make an adult decision on whether such services really are of benefit to him/her and whether or not he/she wishes to contract for them. After all, in Indiana an overwhelming majority of unionized state employees dropped their union membership when offered the chance to do so several years ago. It is enough to make one wonder what these workers know that those backing the public sector unions don't.
Additionally, compulsory unionism for public employees raises another problem from a First Amendment point of view. No one would argue that the government could require an individual to join First Baptist Church, the Rotary Club, or any other organization as a condition of employment. After all, the violation of freedom of association inherent in such a requirement is quite obvious and beyond debate. How, then, can a state Ė especially via contract with a private organization Ė obligate any employee to affiliate in any manner with an organization with which they choose not to be associated? Clearly, such an effort is in conflict with the terms of the First Amendment. As such, can it not be argued that the First Amendment of the US Constitution constitutes a right-to-work law for public employees?
So you see, the problem of public sector unions is not merely one of their ability to fleece the taxpayers or the inappropriateness of the private sector union model for public sector labor (as noted by none other than Franklin Delano Roosevelt). It extends to the violation of the rights of public employees to be free of coercion to associate with an organization which they view as not in their best interest and from the extortion of union dues and fees as a condition of working for a government entity.
I think this one really says it all about our tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood.
And if you are offended by the ad, ask yourself these two questions:
H/T Don Surber
Here are this weekís full results from the Watcher's Council weekly exercise in blogging excellence:
Legislative districts for the Texas House of Representatives will be have a population of about 167,637 when they are redrawn. Those represented by Democrats here in Harris County are all significantly below the mark, while a great many of those represented by Republicans have seen dramatic increases in population. That ought to tell you something right there.
In the House, Democrat Rep. Carol Alvarado's 145th District, with 132,730 people, is down 20.8 percent, as are districts represented by her inner-city cohorts, including state Rep. Scott Hochberg, a Democrat, whose District 137 fell to a population of 137,876, which is 17.8 percent below the mean. District 143, an inner-city district represented by Ana Hernandez, a Democrat, has a population of only 127,381, about 24 percent below the mean.
* * *
Legislative districts west of downtown gained population dramatically. State Rep. William Callegari, a Republican, represents 264,426 people in District 132, nearly 58 percent above the mean. With a population of 212,484, District 150, represented by Debbie Riddle, a Republican, is 26.8 percent above the mean. Incumbents will have "to start pushing and pulling in different directions" ó to use Republican consultant Allen Blakemore's phrase - to equal out the districts.
Now if districts are drawn to represent how people around here vote, we will see a Democrat district eliminated. Unfortunately, that may not be the case because of the racial gerrymandering mandated by the Voting Rights Act. Those who have fled the misrepresentation of minority and Democrat legislators may find themselves forced into conservative ghettos within the majority-minority districts mandated by that federal law, unable to have any significant impact on the outcome in districts that have been created to guarantee that minority Democrats are safe and secure. It's a pity that the district lines cannot be drawn without regard to race and ethnicity, so that voters can get the sort of representation they have been voting for with their ballots -- and their feet -- for the last decade.
I filled up my gas tank last night, here in the Houston area. Even though I was at a station located so close to the refinery that I could have hit an oil storage tank with a well-thrown rock, the gasoline cost over $3.00 a gallon. Iím glad I did, though. The cost of a gallon of gas had increased by 5% -- over 15Ę a gallon Ė in a mere 15 hours, which would have cost me over $2.00 more to fill the tank. Since the first of the year, the rise has been such that I am paying about $10.00 more to fill my tank Ė a pretty sharp increase that is tearing a big hole in my budget.
Now I had been prepared to write a pretty hostile rant about Barack Obama and his failed energy policies. I had even started the project. But then it hit me Ė Obamaís energy policy has not failed. No, seriously. Iíd argue that Obamaís energy policies have succeeded wildly Ė and in doing so are sticking it to the consumers of energy and discouraging the use of fossil fuels.
Think about it. During the 2008 presidential election, Obama talked about cutting consumption rather than expanding supply when it came to gasoline. Heís certainly accomplished that in spades. Rather than permit drilling in ANWR, he has reinstituted the ban in that area. Heís removed much of the coastal waters from consideration as drilling site. Following the Gulf disaster, he has illegally instituted a moratorium on drilling and flouted the law by ignoring multiple court decrees directing his administration to approve the permits necessary to allow for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. He has opposed other efforts that would allow for America to gain energy independence while using our own national resources. The result? Higher prices that cannot help but continue because we have not increased supply so as to meet the demand. And since that is the natural outcome of such policies, and thoroughly predictable at that, I am forced to conclude that Obama (who is, one would presume, a was an intelligent and educated man) wanted these results.
So forget complying with court orders. Forget drilling in ANWR. Forget drilling off-shore in areas that are currently closed Ė even if that means allowing enough oil to make us energy independent to go untapped. Just cough up the cash every time Obamaís policies result in higher gas prices.
And donít you dare oppose that flawed policy that will bring on another economic decline during Obamaís Great Dem-Pression. Because after all, dissent from Obamunism is the rankest form of racism.
A couple days ago, I assumed incompetence and cowardice as the basis for Barry Hussein's refusal to condemn Moammar Gadhafi by name as the Libyan dictator engages in the wholesale slaughter of peaceful protesters. I suggested that his problem might be a Cateresque tendency to be harder on our allies than on our enemies. What i hadn't realized is that there might be another reason -- like an affinity between Barack Hussein Obama and the murderous strongman.
Last year, right around the time Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi called Obama ďour son,Ē Obama earmarked $400,000 for two Libyan charities. The money was divided between two foundations run by Gaddafiís children; Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, run by his son Saif, and Wa Attassimou, run by his daughter Aicha.
That's right -- in the middle of the Barry Hussein induced Great Dem-Pression, Obama worked to send your tax money to organizations controlled by the corrupt offspring of the corrupt dictator. And how was your tax money used? Well, for purposes that I'm sure you didn't consider vital during this period of economic crisis -- and which you would have never voluntarily funded if asked.
After giving your American tax dollars to support these "worthy" policies of the terrorist-supporting anti-American regime in Tripoli, how can the Obama Regime condemn Moammar Gadhafi by name for dong the sort of things that thugs like Moammar Gadhafi always do to their enslaved people when they act upon their natural yearning to be free?
There are going to be a lot of funding cuts under the Texas budget for the upcoming biennium. Some of those will impact schools -- it is inevitable. That's why I'm supporting the efforts of the newly formed group -- Protect the Classroom -- to make sure those cuts are targeted at the areas in school districts that will do the least harm to education and most cut waste and bloat in school district budgets.
I urge you to check the group out and to sign their petition.
At AFSCMEís ďsolidarityĒ rally in Providence, Rhode Island on Tuesday, a cameraman was accosted by a fuming pro-union protester. The cameraman had his back to the goon, who appears to accost him unprovoked. The goon screams:
ďIíll f**k you in the ass, you faggot!Ē
His shouting escalates and other union supporters try to intervene as he threatened the cameraman, but he continues to foam at the mouth.
The ďsolidarityĒ mob finally starts chanting ďHey, hey, ho, ho, union-bustingís got to goĒ to drown out the goonís snit fit. He yells that he will ďfollow you out of here.Ē
So have you got that? If you donít support the Unionist agenda, you may get the Lara Logan treatment from an unappreciative government worker (AFSCME is the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) Ė in other words, not only will they ďf**k you in the assĒ financially by bankrupting you as a taxpayer, but they will try to ďf**k you in the assĒ for behaving as a free American citizen who wants to control your own money and your own government.
Fortunately, charges are pending in this case as Rhode island authorities continue their investigation of multiple additional acts of violence against opponents of the public employee unions who exercised their civil rights by counter-protesting against the anti-taxpayer forces of AFSCME and their fellow-travelers. So with a little luck, this little gang of totalitarian trash will soon find themselves behind bars. If so, Mr. Union Thug himself may have his immortal words -- ďIíll f**k you in the ass, you faggot!Ē -- come back to haunt him in a way that he never imagined.
Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, a citizen of Saudi Arabia and resident of Lubbock, Texas, was arrested late yesterday by FBI agents in Texas on a federal charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction in connection with his alleged purchase of chemicals and equipment necessary to make an improvised explosive device (IED) and his research of potential U.S. targets.
The arrest and the criminal complaint, which was unsealed in the Northern District of Texas, were announced by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; James T. Jacks, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas; and Robert E. Casey Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Dallas Field Division.
And letís consider what this good Muslim boy considered to be acceptable targets Ė US military veterans, civilian infrastructure, nightclubs, and the home of a former president of the United States.
He said on his blog that he wants martyrdom Ė letís give it to him as soon as possible.
Donít you just love it when ďthe most open administration in historyĒ decides to hide its meetings with special interest lobbyists from the public by taking them off-site in an effort to keep the public from finding out?
Caught between their bossís anti-lobbyist rhetoric and the reality of governing, President Barack Obamaís aides often steer meetings with lobbyists to a complex just off the White House grounds Ė and several of the lobbyists involved say they believe the choice of venue is no accident.
It allows the Obama administration to keep these lobbyist meetings shielded from public view ó and out of Secret Service logs collected on visitors to the White House and later released to the public.
And those who are met with at the secret location are under no illusion about why the meetings are scheduled away from the White House. You shouldnít be, either.
There are no records of meetings at the row houses just off Lafayette Square that house the White House Conference Center and the Council on Environmental Quality, home to two of the busiest meeting spaces. The White House canít say who attended meetings there, or how often. The Secret Service doesnít log in visitors or require a background check the way it does at the main gates of the White House.
So much for open government and the public disclosure of the process by which the publicís government conducts the publicís business. Seems to me that Congressman Issa needs to fire up the fax machine and send out the next batch of subpoenas.
That this woman has been fired is understandable. How she could have been seen as appropriate for the spot is the real question.
The U.N. Development Program has dropped Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's daughter as a goodwill ambassador.
U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said Wednesday that UNDP's agreement with Aisha al-Gadhafi had been terminated following recent events in Libya that include a crackdown by Gadhafi on anti-government protestors.
He said Aisha al-Gadhafi was appointed a goodwill ambassador for Libya on July 24, 2009 to focus on U.N. anti-poverty goals especially combatting HIV/AIDS and violence against women, both culturally sensitive topics.
Aisha al-Gadhafi is a law professor who reportedly was part of the defense team for the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein after his downfall.
Seems to me that this would have been the equivalent of appointing Eva Braun as a goodwill ambassador.
Of course, Leftists like those who inhabit the UN love brutal totalitarians Ė it is pro-American leaders that they find unacceptable.
As many of you may be aware, a union thug engaged in a vicious, unprovoked assault upon blogger and political activist Tabitha Hale as she took video of a union protest of her employer yesterday in Washington, DC. As the protest was a public event occurring in a public place, she had every legal right to take the video.
Now I don't usually quote someone else's post in its entirety, but I believe that Tabitha's account over at RedState is of such significance that it needs to be publicized far and wide.
Today, union thugs descended on the FreedomWorks office. It was the middle of the day, and there was some excitement outside as all the buses pulled up and people started to fill the courtyard. We decided to go out and show our support for freedom. Intern Steve was quickly suited up.
We wandered around talking to people, and saw the buses lined up on the street. NEA, AFT, SEIU, and CWA signs dominated - a veritable ďwhoís whoĒ of union thuggery, to be sure. They all had on matching tee shirts and printed signs, as is to be expected.
I was taking pictures and video with my phone, and I heard my coworker getting into a heated exchange with one of the protesters. I turned on my iPhone camera and headed over to film it. They were going back and forth, the protester called my colleague a ďlittle sh*tĒ just as I walked up, which is where the video starts. Then he noticed I was filming. Hereís what happened:
Basically, itís ridiculous. Iím a 5′1 female in a dress, and he was standing up on a garden wall above me in the courtyard. He hardly felt threatened. I was stunned, because generally protesters are there to, you know, get their message out. They donít normally shy away from the camera.
Iím very much okay, and very appreciative of the support from my fellow bloggers and activists today. I am, however, shaken up by the level of sheer hatred I experienced today. The look of fury on his face in the close up is appalling. I had not exchanged a word with him. He didnít know who I was. He didnít even know my name, what I do. He had probably surmised that I was with FreedomWorks and that was enough.
This just canít be tolerated anymore. Itís one thing to be called a violent teabagger. Itís another to be called a violent teabagger while youíre being assaulted. Theyíve been comparing themselves to the Egyptians ousting Mubarak. Looks like theyíre not too far off, given that they share the tendency to assault women with cameras.
In addition, itís disgusting to me that the first response I received from the Left was rationalization. ďYou were too close, respect personal spaceĒ and ďwell he obviously didnít want to be filmed!Ē - essentially, itís the ďher skirt was too shortĒ defense. No one deserves to be hit. The concern from a bystander was that ďYouíll get on the news, stop it!Ē Unfortunately for him, he did not know who he was dealing with. I will ensure that this happens.
I was not asking for this. There was no confrontation between the thug and myself prior to this. He had not asked me to put the camera away. I was not as close as the video implies (it was cropped from a vertical iPhone video so it would fit on youtube). I was simply filming a protest, as I have done for the past two years. Amazingly enough, none of those crazy right wing extremists ever hit me.
At this point, Iím grateful we moved to a higher security building last month. For a bunch of violent racists, the Left sure seems to be comfortable threatening and attacking us.
We must really suck as bullies.
Given the long history of violence conducted by unions against those who dare differ from them on their goals, this is not an isolated incident. Given the fact that other incidents of violence against opponents, attempts to suppress opposing speech, and racist/anti-Semitic verbal attacks have occurred in the last week in connection with the current union assault on the taxpayer's wallet, this is clearly part of a pattern. Not only that, it is countenanced and encouraged by elected Democrat officials and union leaders. I therefore encourage supporters of freedom who engage in the exercise of their First Amendment rights to speak out in opposition to the agenda of the union goons and their masters to be prepared to vindicate that right through the prudent and restrained exercise of their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for self-defense against unlawful assaults and civil rights violations by thugs affiliated with the SEIU, CWA, and other unions.
His testicles being MIA is the only reason I can think of for his inability to condemn Moammar Gadhafi by name tonight.
President Obama said the bloodshed in Libya was ďoutrageous and unacceptable,Ē but he declined to directly censure Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi who has been blamed for much of the violent crackdown.
ďThe suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and it is unacceptable, so are threats and orders to shoot peaceful protesters,Ē Obama said in his first televised remarks on the situation in Libya. ďThese actions violate international norms and every standard of common decency. This violence must stop.Ē
The president said the Libyan government ďhas a strong responsibility to refrain from violenceĒ and that it must be held accountable, but he stopped short of placing the blame on Gadhafi, Libyaís eccentric dictator who has ruled for 42 years.
Barack Obama's inability to condemn BY NAME a murderous dictator who is on his last legs shows that his vacillating policy towards Hosni Mubarak in Egypt a couple of weeks back was not the result of foreign policy and national security considerations. No, this makes it clear that the most undeserving Nobel Peace Prize winner in history simply lacks the balls to make even the most obvious sort of stand against the most evil of tyrants.
Gee Ė wasnít it only a few weeks ago that Democrats in Congress were calling for ďcivilityĒ from the Right when a fellow left-winger shot a Democrat Congresswoman? So one must wonder if Democrat leaders will step forward and demand the resignation of Congressman Michael Capuano (Demagogue Ė Massachusetts).
ď Iím proud to be here with people who understand that itís more than just sending an email to get you going.. Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessaryĒ
Listen to the terrorism-instigating SOB for yourself.
Really, Congressman? Are you really suggesting that the proper response to the enacting of legislation of which a special interest group disapproves is for its members to take to the streets and commit acts of violence Ė presumably against the legislators who passed the laws and the executive who signed them, as well as their supporters? No doubt you will have no objection when the majority of Americans opposed to ObamaCare begin implementing ďSecond Amendment solutionsĒ to put an end to that legislative monstrosity. Oh, no Ė you would undoubtedly find that to be less than civil, and have probably condemned even the slightest hint that such a course of action might be appropriate. But yet you stand up before a crowd of your union-thug supporters and actively encourage violence.
As has been asked over at RedState,
Just whoís blood do you recommend spilling here, Congressman? What gives you the right to be such a filthy, war-mongering pig against your very own people? Are the people the union strikes against not also your fellow Americans, Congressman? Have these people on strike not shown the propensity to violate the laws of state and common decency?
Congressman, having declared war and directed your soldiers into battle, the blood thatís spilled could be your own. The last guy who did such a thing is reportedly hiding in a cave in Afghanistan. Having encouraged political violence against your fellow Americans, you had better drop to your knees and pray that the target you have pinned on yourself remains merely an electoral one.
After Republicans took aim at his rhetoric, Capuano issued a statement expressing regret for his language, although at the time it drew wild applause and cheers from the throngs of union supporters.
ďI strongly believe in standing up for worker rights and my passion for preserving those rights may have gotten the best of me yesterday in an unscripted speech,Ē he said in a statement. ďI wish I had used different language to express my passion and I regret my choice of words.Ē
Apology NOT ACCEPTED!
And, my friends, to paraphrase the words from this little ditty designed to encourage union thugs to do what they do best, here's the plan for dealing with Mikey Capuano come the 2012 elections.
Let him know
We're gonna take this bastard down!
Let him know
We're gonna smash him to the ground!
Let him know
We're gonna take this bastard down!
Well, I guess this guy had it coming. After all, the tolerant followers of the religion of peace must have been really provoked to do something like this.
Four men launched a horrific attack on a teacher in which they slashed his face and left him with a fractured skull because they did not approve of him teaching religion to Muslim girls.
Akmol Hussein, 26, Sheikh Rashid, 27, Azad Hussain, 25, and Simon Alam, 19, attacked Gary Smith with a Stanley knife, an iron rod and a block of cement.
Mr Smith, who is head of religious education at Central Foundation Girls' School in Bow, east London, also suffered a fractured skull.
* * *
The covert audio probe captured the gang condemning Mr Smith for 'teaching other religions to our sisters', the court heard.
Oh, I see. He committed the offense of doing his job Ė teaching students in his class about the beliefs of various religions in a secular school. After all, we know that the teachings of Islam are simple and clear Ė Islam is true, and Christians and Jews are the offspring of pigs and apes who must be kept subordinate to Muslims, so there is no need to understand their false religions or those of the polytheists of the world. Mr. Smith was therefore deserving of being brutally beaten Ė he treated Islam as just like every other religion.
And as we can see from this incident and the many acts of terrorism committed on a daily basis in the name of Muhammadís Allah, Islam is certainly very different from other religions.
There was an investigation of former Kansas AG Scott Kline, regarding claims that he engaged in improper or unethical behavior in his prosecution of abortionists. The investigation concluded that he engaged in no improper activity. So why were charges filed against Kline anyway, seeking his disbarment? And why were the contents of the report hidden for some 20 months, and not made available to Kline for close to nearly two years?
The state's disciplinary board for lawyers concealed for 20 months an internal investigative report concluding no probable cause existed to justify ethics complaints against former Attorney General Phill Kline tied to his criminal inquiries into abortion clinics.
A three-member panel of the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys convened Tuesday for the second day of testimony in a related case against Kline.
Kline, in an exclusive interview with The Topeka Capital-Journal, said the document would have been valuable during his unsuccessful August 2008 election campaign for Johnson County district attorney and would have contributed over ensuing years to countering claims he overstepped ethical boundaries as a prosecutor.
It should be featured prominently in the current state ethics panel's assessment of misconduct allegations, Kline said. The former attorney general questions why disciplinary administrator Stanton Hazlett is pressing ahead with an ethics case when the investigative report found there was no probable cause to do so.
Existence of the confidential report wasn't known by Kline until January 2010 when attorneys working on a related disciplinary case unearthed the 21-page analysis submitted to the state by two Topeka investigators in May 2008.
Oh, that makes it really clear. The report was suppressed for political purposes, in order to keep Kline from using it to defend himself against accusations of misconduct during another run for political office. And whatís more, the continued suppression of the report was designed to make it difficult Ė if not impossible Ė for Kline to successfully find employment in Kansas or anywhere else.
Seems to me that there is certainly grounds for an ethics case to be taken up Ė against Stanton Hazlett. Indeed, it seems to me that there are grounds for going the extra mile and opening a criminal investigation of Hazlett insisting upon this Kansas Kangaroo Kourt designed to punish an aggressive pro-life public official for exposing the seamy underside of the abortion industry that anti-lifers like Hazlett would like to keep hidden.
The Obama administration says it will no longer defend the constitutionality of a federal law that bans recognition of same-sex marriage.
In a statement Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder says President Barack Obama has concluded that the administration can no longer defend the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman.
The people of the United States have spoken on this issue clearly and repeatedly. That Obama seeks to ignore us is intolerable.
And if Congress will not impeach, What will our options be? Will it be Jefferson time?
Here are the new nominations -- make sure to drop by and read important news about changes in the Watcher's Council and how to get your post selected as an honorable mention -- or even a nominated non-council post.
White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will speak about Libya at 2:30 p.m. He referred questions on Libya to "earlier statements," the pool reports.
Carney added that he didn't anticipate Obama speaking about Libya.
Back during the late 1970s, I believe the latter part of this was known as the Carter Doctrine when Jimmy Carter gave Iran over to the Islamists and flailed helplessly as our embassy was taken over and our diplomats held hostage. So after undercutting Mubarak (quite properly, by the way), the Unicorn Riding Demigod with the Nobel Prize will not say a word to condemn the massive slaughter of Libyans who are out to overthrow a totalitarian dictator. This officially makes barry Hussein the worst president of my lifetime, replacing Carter in that spot.
Then let's have our Senators and Congresscritters take responsibility for them when they are caught.
A measure filed by State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) would allow any law enforcement agency that has custody of an illegal immigrant to take the illegal to 'the office of a U.S. Senator or Representative' and leave them there.
1200 WOAI news reports the measure also allows county sheriff's deputies or city police officers to 'request an agent or employee of the United States Senator or United States Representative to sign a document acknowledging the release or discharge of the illegal immigrant at the senator's or representative's office.
The measure covers individuals who are 'not a citizen or national of the United States' and who is 'unlawfully present in the United States.'
Maybe once the staff back in the district office has had to take custody of 20 or 30 border-jumping immigration criminals, the Democrats who aid and abet their lawbreaking will decide to do something abourtthe border problem.
And besides -- since immigration is a federal issue, our federal elected officials can be responsible for getting the illegals to the proper authorities for deportation -- or be personally liable financially if they and their staffs simply let them go and the criminal aliens commit more crimes against law-abiding American citizens and legal aliens.
If Gov. Scott Walker and Republican legislators pass a union bill that restricts collective bargaining rights, some labor groups in Madison said they would endorse the entire of a general strike of unions around Wisconsin.
The South Central Federation of Labor endorsed the idea of a strike at its meeting on Monday night, but they didn't "call" for a strike, since members said they don't have the power to do so. However, members of the group said they now start needing to educate the public about the possibility, to explain why they feel this may be needed.
And lest there be any confusion over what the union thugs mean, they make it clear that THEY believe they hold the cards in Wisconsin, not the elected government of the state (you know that "government of the people, by the people, for the people" that Mr. Lincoln talked about). And that, my fellow Americans, is intolerable -- and constitutes an insurrection against the lawful authority of the state.
Of course, at one point in time unions were rightly recognized as an unlawful conspiracy in restraint of trade. This view was unwisely abandoned, and the notion that unions have a right to force management (and, more unacceptably, government) to negotiate was regrettably written into law. Should a general strike occur, the time will have come to repeal those provisions that allow unions to coerce unwilling workers into paying dues and/or fees for representation they do not want -- and those that allow them to force employers to negotiate with them.
And let us remind the union thugs of something else -- the unemployment rate in America is officially somewhere between 9 and 10 percent. The real unemployment rate is likely higher, but the Labor Department keeps trying to hide how bad the failed policies of Barack Hussein Obama have destroyed the economy, turning the Great Recession of the final months of the Bush Administration into Barry Hussein's Great Dem-Pression. I'm sure that many of the unemployed men and women of the state of Wisconsin and the border areas of the surrounding states will be glad to step into the gap and take the jobs abandoned by the general strikers -- and I know that a majority of patriotic Americans will support that happening.
When are we going to treat pirates like pirates?
"Pirates are common enemies, and they are attacked with impunity by all, because they are without the pale of the law. They are scorners of the law of nations; hence they find no protection in that law." -- Alberico Gentili, De Jure Belli
Perhaps, if Barack Obama is a man, he will give the order to follow through on Gentili's observation after this event.
Somali pirates on Tuesday killed four American hostages who had been sailing on a yacht through Somaliaís pirate infested seas, one of the deadliest episodes since the modern-day piracy epidemic began several years ago, American officials said.
American naval forces had been shadowing the hijacked yacht, called the Quest, for several days and were in the process of negotiating with the pirates, military officials said. As soon as they saw a burst of gunfire on board, the officials said, Navy Seals rushed to the yacht in assault craft, shooting one of the pirates and stabbing another.
But American officials said the pirates had already shot all four hostages, including a retired couple from California that had been sailing around the world ó New Zealand, Tahiti, GalŠpagos, Hawaii, China, India and beyond ó for more than six years, blogging all the way.
The mistake in this case is that there were ever negotiations with the pirates -- the only question should have been how soon force would have been used and whether or not any surviving pirates would have been allowed time to make peace with their maker before being summarily executed without trial. Perhaps the loss of the lives of these Americans will teach Barry Hussein that moderation is a sign of weakness, and that the only way to put an end to piracy s to put an end to those who go down to the sea in ships with the purpose of preying upon the innocent.
He had a point when he talked about a truce on social issues -- but when he indicates that he is unwilling to grapple fully with the unions that are choking his state financially and stand for freedom for workers who want no part of forced unionism, Mitch Daniels makes it clear that he is urinating upon social conservatives, economic conservatives, and libertarian conservatives.
Gov. Mitch Daniels made it clear in a press conference today that he was not prepared to fight for the passage of right-to-work legislation, which is being pushed by GOP state lawmakers. Today most Indiana Democrat assembly members left the state in order to ensure there would not be a quorum.
ďFor reasons Iíve explained more than once, I thought there was a better time and place to have this very important and legitimate issue raised,Ē said Daniels.
If not now, when?
If not here, where?
Seems to me that Mitch Daniels has staked out the mushy middle of moderatism instead of taking the role of conservative standard-bearer. Too bad -- if he had been a true conservative, the nomination was there fore Mitch Daniels to take.
Thatís my take on the situation involving Rep. David Wu (D-Mented).
Oregon Rep. David Wu broke his silence today with a six-minute interview on Good Morning America.
The Democratic congressman admitted to sending inappropriate e-mails to staff, said he is receiving both counseling and medication, and assured viewers that he is fit to stay in office. He emphasized the enormous personal and professional pressure he was under last fall.
"Last October was not a good month. It was very stressful. I did some things, I said some things, which I sincerely regret now," said Wu, a Democrat in his seventh term in Congress.
How far over the edge was the Congressman? Far enough that his staffers tried to stage an intervention to force him to get psychiatric treatment. But not one of them thought that his constituents had a right to know that their Congressman had become so mentally unstable as to be potentially unfit for office. And that disturbs me even more than the fact that the Congressman was nucking futz.
Al Sharpton, hypocrite extraordianaire.
The Rev. Al Sharpton delivered one of his patented pulpit stemwinders Sunday, demanding that Gov. Cuomo extend the so-called "millionaire's tax."
* * *
"You cannot [make budget cuts affecting] working-class people and the poor and talk about [how] you love them. You cannot spare the super rich and penalize those that are helpless and vulnerable, and act like you did what you had to do."
Of course, this is coming from a man with a rather notorious history regarding taxes.
He and his National Action Network have a public policy of simply not paying them.
In the latest instance, Sharpton has a tax lien of $359,973 owed to the IRS on his 2009 returns.
Going back eight years, he's been cited as owing some $3.7 million in city, state and federal taxes -- including penalties.
Maybe if Al Sharpton and his ilk would actually pay what they owe rather than trying to cheat the government, there would not be a need to raise other peopleís taxes.
One more bit of proof that true democracy is anathema to leaders (and the rank-and-file) of the Jackass Party.
Pelosi told reporters Friday that the protests are ďan extraordinary show of democracy in action.Ē
Someone needs to tell the Pelosi (D-Babylon-by-the-Bay) that the exercise in anarchy (threats against the lives of legislators and a sitting governor, illegal strikes) has as much to do with the triumph of democracy as the actions of Tim McVeigh and Jared Loughner.
Here are this weekís full results from our excursion into blogging exellence:
Al Cardenas, the new chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU), announced on CSPAN Wednesday that the his organization, which hosts the annual CPAC event, will now vet organizations before allowing them to participate.
The statement hints that gay conservative organization GOProud, a group whose participation infuriated social conservatives, and other groups determined insufficiently conservative by the ACU may not be welcome at next yearís 2012 CPAC.
Cardenas said that groups advocating for the repeal of ďdonít ask, donít tellĒ or supporting gay marriage would not be welcome.
ďIf you are a group, and this has got nothing to do with your orientation,Ē said Cardenes, ďof straight couples, and you advocate gay marriage, thatís not within the scope of what we believe the three legs of the stool of the movement are.Ē
Among others, this means that Dick Cheney is no longer welcome at CPAC. Neither is Don Rumsfeld, who just came out in opposition to DADT.
And in taking this position, Al Cardenas and CPAC have rejected the principles of Ronald Reagan.
On the other hand, Cardenas has adopted a position that ought to be easily recognized by those who are familiar with certain twentieth century political leaders who objected to deviationists.
Iím a teacher.
I love being a teacher.
For most of my adult life, teaching has been my goal and my vocation.
Teachers are engaging in illegal strikes Ė and forcing the shutdown of entire school districts Ė in order to disrupt the function of the state government and overturn the will of the people as expressed last November at the ballot box. Whatís more, they have propagandized students and paraded them as pawns for political purposes as a part and parcel of their protests. They have also engaged in the sort of rhetoric so recently condemned as ďcaustic,Ē ďvitriolicĒ and ďtending to promote violenceĒ in an effort to force more money out of the taxpayers of the state Ė not to mention the explicit threats of violence and death they have directed against the governor of the state. No, their actions are shameful Ė as are the words and actions of President Obama and the DNC in aiding and abetting this political circus.
Especially because of the alleged ďevilsĒ that they are protesting.
You see, Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP-controlled legislature want them to start contributing to their pension fund at the rate of 5.8%. Whatís more, he wants them to start paying 12% of the cost of their insurance, for which they currently pay nothing or next to nothing. And he wants to guarantee that no one is forced to pay a kickback to a private entity Ė in the guise of union dues Ė to a private organization for the privilege of working as an employee of their own government.
And why does he want to do this? To close a budget gap that exists in the state. To provide tax relief to all taxpayers. And to avoid having to layoff some teachers in order to pay for the cushy benefits for those who stay employed.
The teachers of Wisconsin call Walkerís plan slavery. I call it fiscal responsibility Ė and a wake-up call for those in education (all public employees, really) that the pot of money cannot expand infinitely and wages and benefits cannot increase at a rate far above inflation and the rate of increase in the private sector. And since workers in every other sector of the economy have seen a retrenchment of benefits, it is only reasonable that public sector employees Ė those who are the employees of those taxpayers who have already experienced just such cuts in their benefits packages Ė to experience the same sort of sacrifice.
I understand that there are some teachers who donít want to work under the conditions that the state of Wisconsin is prepared to impose. That is, of course, their choice Ė and, by the way, proof that they are not the slaves that they claim this proposal makes them. They can find work in a state where the pay and benefits are better Ė or leave public education entirely and work for one of the many fine private schools in the state of Wisconsin. They can even find work outside of education if they so choose. But if they take any of those options, they are likely to find that the pay and benefits are not as good as what they will be making under the Walker plan Ė and that they will be expected to pay at least as great a percentage of their salary towards insurance, retirement, and other benefits as the new system will require.
Speaking for myself, a teacher in Texas that in a district that is generally employee friendly, I canít see what they are complaining about. After 15 years in education, I still make below the average salary in Wisconsin. My contribution to my pension program is approximately a full percentage point higher than that which will be required of Wisconsin teachers. And as for my insurance, let me just say that being expected to cover only 12% of the cost sounds mighty generous to me in comparison to what I pay. Indeed, my gross pay would increase by about $4000 if I were to move to Wisconsin Ė and my net pay would increase by over $5000. Even with the state income tax, Iíd still see an increase in take-home pay in that state Ė which ranks in the top half of the nation for teacher salaries Ė than I do down here where we rank in the bottom third in terms of teacher pay. So if someone with the school district in Kenosha (a mere 30 minutes from my teenage stomping grounds) wants to send me a firm offer to come to work for the district under the terms of the new Wisconsin plan, Iíd be inclined to consider it favorably. I suspect that you would find a lot of teachers around the country who would say the same thing.
We really SHOULDNíT call it ObamaCare.
House Republicans and Democrats started Friday morning's debate over whether to defund last year's healthcare law, and as part of this debate sparred over whether members should be allowed to call that law "ObamaCare."
After two House Republicans called it "ObamaCare," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) asked the chairman whether these "disparaging" remarks should be allowed on the House floor.
Investigators said enhanced surveillance video taken the night an arson fire gutted the Texas governor's mansion in 2008 allowed them to release a sketch Thursday of the person they believe started the blaze.
* * *
Along with the sketch, investigators released video of the suspect. The person can be seen throwing a lit item, which investigators believe was a Molotov cocktail, at the front of the once-stately mansion. The building then ignited.
Department of Public Safety investigators also identified three people who took pictures of the mansion and surveillance cameras while driving by the property four days before the fire. Officials said those people have ties to an Austin-based anarchist group linked to an attack on the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis in 2008.
The person in the sketch was not in the vehicle.
"We're quite confident that someone knows who this person is, that's why we're enlisting your help and the public's help," said Steve McCraw, DPS director when he released the sketch and video.
McCraw said one of people in the vehicle "happened to be in downtown Austin when the incident occurred."
"We don't believe in coincidences," he said, "we call that a clue."
And since we are talking clues, not coincidences, I'd like to point out that attack took place on the final night of the Texas Democrat state convention. Here's hoping that someone with DPS got a list of all attendees at that event and have run a comparison of photos of attendees with the perp and the picture-snapping anarchists who were part of the terrorist campaign against the GOP convention later that summer. I think that would be a useful avenue of investigation.
Gotta love this idea.
President Barack Obama is floating the idea of charging a fee for every Canadian entering the U.S. by air or sea.
The proposal is outlined in the 2012 federal draft budget he submitted to Congress on Monday.
The (Canadian) $5.50 fee would not apply to visitors arriving in private vehicles.
Visitors from Canada, Mexico and a number of Caribbean countries are currently exempt from "passenger inspection fees."
The proposal apparently wonít eliminate the exemption for those entering the US from Mexico. Not that it matters, given the number of Mexicans entering the country without detection by representatives of the American government.
A new Gallup poll found registered voters are split over whether they would vote for President Obama in 2012.
Asked if they would vote for Obama or a generic Republican next year, 45 percent said they would support Obama and 45 percent said they would vote for the GOP candidate in the survey released Wednesday.
The poll shows opportunity for the large field of potential Republican candidates looking to defeat Obama on the heels of the Democratsí ďshellackingĒ in the 2010 midterm elections, when they lost control of the House and six Senate seats.
Unfortunately, we cannot run ďgeneric RepublicanĒ in 2012. We have to run a real individual, warts and all, against the real Barack Obama (unlike in 2008, when John McCain was forced to run against the fantasy version of the same candidate). Hopefully we will see a real candidate emerge soon with the ability to win. And i still want it to be John Bolton.
If you do, you shouldnít.
While they've made strides in arresting illegals and building a fence along the U.S.-Mexico line, the Border Patrol only has "operational control" of 44 percent of the southern border, and of that only 15 percent is air tight, according to new General Accountability Office report.
The GAO said that the Mexican border with Texas has the most holes, especially between Fort Hancock and Brownsville, where 70 percent to 90 percent of the state line is at the two lowest levels of protection, "monitored" and "low-level monitored." The GAO said that efforts to detect or stop illegal immigrants from crossing there were poor. "Border Patrol reported that these two levels of control were not acceptable for border security," said the GAO.
Yeah, thatís right Ė the United States has a border so insecure that folks can just walk/swim on in to the country along most of its length. Yeah, many of them are ďgood peopleĒ (if by ďgood peopleĒ you mean ďpeople who donít give a damn that they are breaking American law and violating American sovereigntyĒ), but many others come in search of opportunities to engage in criminal activity of one sort or another. What the US government has done, effectively, is left the door to the country open so that Americans can be more easily available prey to the predator aliens. And who knows Ė given recent patters in alien apprehension, perhaps the next bunch of terrorists are crossing the border RIGHT NOW.
The ObamaCare legislation sets penalties (AKA punishment) for those who fail to comply with the government mandate that you buy a product you donít want to buy. Whatís more, the law in question specifically calls the penalty a penalty. So what does Sheila Jackson Lee have to say about the matter?
At a House Judiciary Committee hearing about the individual mandate to buy insurance, Jackson-Lee said, ďI would make the argument, one, that it [the individual mandate] is an incentive to do right Ė that it is not penalizing you because a penalty is punishment, and youíre not punished if you have health insurance, in fact.
Of course, maybe she didnít read the bill before she voted in favor of it. Indeed, maybe she still hasnít read the law, even as she defends it. After all, there are funerals to crash, ignorance to spew, cameras to hog, and commoners to bully Ė things which are all a part of an average day for the worst member of the Texas congressional delegation.
Looks like UNLV is going to take a big hit in the budget as Nevada faces a budget crisis Ė due, in large part to the fact that taxpayers are facing their own individual budget crises.
But at least one academic wonít take these cuts lying down.
John Filler, a special-education professor and former chairman of the Faculty Senate, said, ďThere is nothing that weíve done to deserve this.Ē His voice broke, people applauded.
ďI canít believe the taxpayers will let this happen but if they do,Ē Filler said, ďletís make sure this doesnít happen without a fight.Ē More applauded.
Excuse me, Professor Filler. Do I understand that you plan on fighting the taxpayers Ė AKA your employers Ė if they dare to make the funding of your bloated budget and salary a lower priority than you believe they should? That strikes me as a serious case of insubordination on your part, which in most workplaces would be considered grounds for termination. Know your place, sir, and stay in it.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS is exposing what appears to be a Mexican military incursion into the United States. It was all caught on camera. We froze surveillance video taken at the Anzalduas International Bridge.
What you see is the international boundary that separates the United States from Mexico and what authorities on this side of the border seem to think is a truck packed with armed men crossing into the United States. The video clearly shows a large military-transport vehicle drive north on the Anzalduas bridge over the international boundary.
We counted at least a dozen armed men in the back of the truck. The vehicle travels down the bridge toward the U.S. Customs checkpoint. Its driver makes a U-turn just before reaching the lines of cars there. It then starts back south toward Mexico. The men pull over and search a vehicle for a few minutes then resume their trek south. The presumed soldiers then cross back over the boundary toward Mexico.
They are in U.S. territory for about 10 minutes. We're taking a closer look at the vehicle they stopped on the bridge and what U.S. authorities have to say about this apparent incursion
Given that the Mexican government supplies illegals with maps showing where the border is and how best to enter the USA, it isn't like they can claim that their soldiers were simply lost. After all, they've been sending an invasion force into this country for years. Now they are simply doing so openly, having seen that there are no consequences for doing so.
John Tyler was the first American Vice president to succeed to the presidency upon the death of a president -- upon the death of William Henry Harrison in 1841. That is certainly a historically notable fact. But I came across this tidbit this morning in the New York Times in a piece on his activities as the US descended into civil war nearly 20 years after he had become president.
John Tyler, the former president, had, in any event, lately shown a surprising burst of energy. ďWho would have thought the old man had so much blood in him?Ē asked the editor of the Richmond Examiner, quoting ďMacbethĒ to good effect. Perhaps Tylerís vitality should never have been in question: he had fathered no fewer than 15 children, the latest one at age 70, no small achievement in the pre-Viagra era. (That child, a daughter, lived until 1947; two of Tylerís grandsons, Lyon and Harrison, are still alive today, remarkably enough, 221 years after his birth.)
Wow Ė three generations spanning the presidencies of every US president from Washingtonís first term to the administration of Barack Obama. If that does not help put into perspective the relative youth of our nation in broader historical terms, nothing will.
Indeed, I couldnít have put it better myself.
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday that the individual insurance mandate in the Democratsí health care law has nothing to do with individual liberty.
Your right Ė one is about freedom, and the other is about government compulsion.
The corrupt Michigan Democrat then goes on to claim that the issue of what level of government Ė state or federal -- imposes a health insurance requirement is irrelevant. Heís wrong there, too Ė that is an issue of federalism and what powers reside with which level of government. But even then, a state-imposed health insurance requirement also creates a question of individual liberty Ė after all, ought government be permitted to require the purchase of a product simply because one is alive (as opposed to such optional insurance like auto liability insurance, which one can avoid by not owning a car or through a financial responsibility bond)?
No, Rep. Conyers is correct Ė ObamaCare has nothing to do with individual liberty. It is, in fact, nothing less than the enslavement of a formerly free people.
The tyrants in Beijing have long objected to American broadcasts to their people Ė even as they ramp-up their broadcasts aimed at America. Barack Obama is caving in to the demands of the Red Chinese government in his new budget.
The Obama administration will cancel shortwave radio broadcasts by Voice of America into China this year, as Beijing is expanding its propaganda operations in the United States and around the world.
Critics of the broadcasting cuts, announced Monday, said major reductions in staff and shortwave broadcasts will sharply curtail an important outlet for unfiltered news and information for large numbers of people in China, especially areas such as Tibet and western Xinjiang province, where pro-democracy forces are opposing Chinese rule.
But not to worry Ė even as he eliminates those freedom-promoting broadcasts to the oppressed people in Red China, heís diverted the money to ensure that the followers of evil political ideologies will be properly propagandized. Heís therefore taken much of the VOA decrease and funneled it into NPR, ensuring that the communist broadcasts of Radio Beijing aimed at Americans will be properly reinforced by the left-leaning folks at member stations around the US, courtesy of the American taxpayer.
Tuesdayís Dallas County Commissionerís Court meeting erupted into an argument between Commissioner John Wiley Price and a citizen, ending with Price repeatedly telling several citizens to ďgo to hell.Ē
* * *
As Price stood to leave, he looked at Turner and the five other citizens who addressed the court. Price said to them, ďAll of you are white. Go to hell!Ē
Price repeated ďgo to hellĒ three more times. An unknown member of the audience said, ďYou should be ashamed!Ē
ďIím not ashamed!Ē Price answered. ďIím not ashamed! Go to hell!Ē
Now I donít care that Price told a group of citizens to go to hell. It might not have been the best thing for him to do and is worthy of a bit of ridicule, but such language has a colorful history from political leaders with a connection to Texas Ė Davy Crockett, defeated for reelection to Congress from Tennessee, told a group of former constituents that ďyou may all go to hell and I will go to Texas.Ē
No, the problem is the flat-out racist nature of the attack Ė ďYou all are white. Go to hell!Ē If you donít see the problem, just imagine if the races had been different and such a politician had verbally attacked a group of black or Hispanic constituents Ė or gay or Muslim -- in such a manner. Such an imprudent official would have been immediately tarred as a bigot and driven from office by the weight of public opinion from all segments of the community. In a time when we have a black president who has claimed to be about post-racial politics, there is no place for a racist racial dinosaur like John Wiley Price in public office. Where are the community leaders Ė especially leaders within the various minority communities in Dallas County Ė calling for Priceís resignation from office? Or are they telling us that they apply a racist double standard to the conduct of minority politicians?
A story from Boston about kids expressing their concern about their education Ė sort of.
Hundreds of teenagers packed Bostonís City Council chambers yesterday with a simple message: ďSex Education Now.Ē
Students held black-and-white signs with that declaration during a 2 1/2-hour hearing as they pressed the city to bolster sex education programs in public high schools, including making condoms more widely available.
Now Iím all for ensuring that students know about sex, personal responsibility, and how to avoid pregnancies and STDs. But Iím bothered by that last demand.
After all, condoms are already widely available Ė at least down here in Texas.
In the last couple of weeks Iíve seen them in Walgreenís, CVS, Walmart, Kroger, and a number of other stores. Indeed, they appeared to be available in great quantity.
Oh. Wait. I get it.
They donít want condoms to be more widely available. They want taxpayers to pay for their condoms, instead of cutting into the dollars they spend for iPods, designer clothes, and other necessities. They want the taxpayer to subsidize their recreational sex acts so that they donít turn into procreational sex acts.
I draw the line there.
Spend a few bucks and buy your own rubbers, kids. Call it ďpay to playĒ.
Sure looks that way -- and raises some serious issues regarding this most ethical, most transparent administration in history.
Not long after President Barack Obamaís historic 2008 victory, Jay Carney left his perch as TIME magazineís Washington bureau chief to work for the incoming administration. But Carney, who started a new job as press secretary this week, continued reaping payments from the struggling magazine, collecting $270,000 in 2009, according to a newly released disclosure form.
Carneyís personal financial disclosure statement, released by the White House Monday evening, shows that in 2009 TIME paid him a $58,000 bonus ó for work he did in 2008, when he helped direct the magazineís coverage of the presidential campaign ó as well as a $212,000 severance payment.
Now maybe this is nothing -- but a senior aide to one of the top two members of the executive branch drawing a six-figure check from a major multi-national company while working for the federal government sure does give off the appearance (not to mention the stench) of impropriety. But then again, so do a lot of Obama Administration senior appointments -- heck, we've got top economic advisors who are tax cheats, so why not a press secretary who continued to take cash from a press publication?
Sounds to me like the people of Arizona would, too.
Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Monday he is open to the possibility of running for the seat of retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) in 2012.
Arpaio, the conservative sheriff famous for his hard-line anti-immigration stances, made the remarks in light of a poll released Monday by Summit Consulting Group Inc., which is fundraising for Arpaio's reelection campaign for sheriff. The company's Chad Willems is Arpaio's campaign manager.
It would be quite a primary race Ė and a somewhat close one. Iíd love to see what the ďhead-to-headĒ numbers would be for races against prominent Democrats.
They want to trademark ďfootlongĒ? Oh, please Ė you must be kidding!
An Iowa-based convenience store has asked a federal judge to rule that the word "footlong" is part of the general English language and not the special property of the Subway restaurant chain.
Ankeny-based Casey's General Stores Inc. filed a lawsuit against Subway in U.S. District Court in Des Moines on Feb. 11 seeking a declaration that Casey's use of the word "footlong" to describe its 12-inch sandwiches doesn't violate any right owned by Subway.
Casey's lawsuit also seeks a declaration that "footlong" is a generic description of a sandwich that measures one foot, and that Subway's attempt to assert trademark rights is "frivolous litigation."
Come on, folks Ė the description of a sandwich that is approximately 12 inches in length as a ďfootlongĒ is simply a descriptive use of the English language. It is like insisting that a company could trademark the ďblueĒ or ďhamĒ or some other common term.
And remember Ė these have been around at least since I was in grade school. It is unthinkable that the folks at Subway might be able to forbid the use of this accurate description of the product in question under terms of this Johnny-come-lately trademark application.
The premise -- the presence of merchandise in Walmart causes shoplifting.
Brenda Speaks, a Ward 4 ANC commissioner, actually urged blocking construction of the planned store in her ward at Georgia and Missouri avenues NW partly because of that risk. Addressing a small, anti-Wal-Mart rally at City Hall on Monday, Speaks said young people would get criminal records when they couldn't resist the temptation to steal.
By the same token, the presence of vaginas on women causes rape. After all, if they weren't there for the taking. . .
Oh, wait -- isn't that a premise accepted by a certain religious tradition?
The Left is in an uproar. Well, what else is new? But this uproar is rather absurd.
Though Boehner was immediately willing to say he ďbelievesĒ Obama is an American-born Christian, and that he takes the president ďat his word,Ē Boehner would not repudiate those who think otherwise. Three separate times, Boehner told Gregory that ďitís not my job to tell the American people what to thinkĒ
WTF? What more do you want? He stated that he does not buy into the birther craziness or the crypto-Muslim conspiracy theories. What eh wonít do is order others to change their views or somehow excommunicate those who donít conform to his views. Damn it, the entire notion that the party leader has the obligation to enforce conformity of belief sounds rather Stalinist to me.
You know, especially since Iím not able to recall a similar demand that Democrat leaders renounce and denounce the 9/11 Truthers, ďlied us into warĒ conspiracists, ďstolen electionĒ partisans and other proponents of even more far-fetched ideas among the Democrat base Ė or Democrat office holders. Heck, some of the leadership of the Democrat Party even bought into and promoted some of those false theories.
One of the more bizarre complaints, though, comes from WaPoís Jonathan Capehart.
When it comes to Obama's citizenship, Boehner was consistent with what he told NBC last month: "The state of Hawaii has said that he was born there. That's good enough for me."
Well, what's not good enough for me were his next two sentences. . . .
"The president says he's a Christian," Boehner said. "I accept him at his word."
The obvious implication is that there's a possibility the president might be lying. This is offensive and an insult.
Actually, it isnít an insult nor does it imply that Obama has lied about being a Christian. The reality is that THE ONLY THING WE CAN DO is accept someoneís word about their religious faith. I have friends of a variety of different faiths Ė setting aside the question of whether they practice their faiths (which is something that can be more or less objectively measured), I am left to accept their word about the sincerity of their religious beliefs.
Now letís bring this back to Barack Obama and his claim to be a Christian. We know he was baptized by Jeremiah Wright and, like many politically-connected members of Chicagoís African-American community, attended the church where Wright was pastor for around 20 years. But as for Obamaís actual faith life? I can only take his word for it Ė just like I can only take the word of Sarah Palin about her evangelical faith. After all, Iím incapable of peering into someoneís soul and determining the depth and sincerity of their stated religious beliefs.
"If you want to live under sharia law, go back to the hellhole country you came from, or go to another hellhole country that lives under sharia law." --Mahfooz Kanwar, a member of the Muslim Canadian Congress and a professor emeritus of sociology at Mount Royal University in Calgary.
Excellent point. When you immigrate somewhere, you have to adapt to the customs and law of that place Ė those already there are under no obligation to change to conform to you.
A week of tensions and chaos came to a frenzied close Thursday night when Republican leaders relented and pushed out a $100 billion cut in the continuing resolution that will fund the government through Sept. 30.
President Obama will roll out a $3.7 trillion budget blueprint Monday that would trim or terminate more than 200 federal programs next year and make key investments in education, transportation and research in a bid to boost the nation's economy and reduce record budget deficits.
Hold it Ė didnít Barry propose a $3.6 billion budget last year? SO far from cutting, isnít he really proposing the growth of government from the level he believed to be appropriate a year ago? And if so, how can he really be said to be ďreigning in government spendingĒ? Especially since his long-term budget projections work only by INCREASING TAXES rather than cutting spending.
So tell me again about who is cutting the budget.
Well, it is that time again. Here are this weekís full results from the Watcher's Council excursion into blogging excellence:
Taxpayers in the District of Columbia are bracing for a new assault by House Republicans eager to turn the capital city into a test lab for the conservativesí social agenda.
The districtís hard-won home rule came under assault from day one with a House rule scrapping the already pathetic power of its elected representative to cast only a few limited committee votes (while never taking part in the final lawmaking on the House floor).
Then came the Republicansí broad assault on federal financing of abortions in the states, tailored to include a particularly insidious clause, barring the Washington district government from using even local taxes for legal abortions.
This overreach was rationalized by cynically redefining the city as just another part of the federal government. These hobbles smack of the very evil denounced by the Tea Party newcomers ó wholesale federal intrusion into the precincts of local government.
Well, the Paper of Wreckage would have a point Ė except, of course for the fact that the ďnew assault by House RepublicansĒ isnít all that new, isnít an assault, and actually, in the spirit of the ďTea Party newcomersĒ, is based upon following the clear words of the US Constitution.
Article I Section. 8 Clause17
The Congress shall have Power. . . To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States. . . .
So letís be clear on this point Ė what the House Republicans are doing is ďcynicallyĒ following the US Constitution by exercising their constitutional prerogative to ďexercise exclusive LegislationĒ over the District of Columbia. If the New York Times doesnít like the powers delegated to Congress by the states since 1787, it should urge that the Constitution be amended to eliminate that jurisdiction. Of course, such an amendment would never get out of Congress, nor would it be ratified by the requisite number of states. So instead, the New York Times cynically misrepresents the powers of Congress under the Constitution in a cynical abuse of the First Amendment right to freedom of the press.
It was sort of odd. At the start of 4th period today, one of my boys stuck his hand up and asked about Egypt. Several other kids joined in with questions. World affairs being a part of the brief for my class, I decided to give it a couple of minutes, and ran through a quick history of Egypt since the fall of King Farouk, and an overview of the last couple of weeks in Egypt. I then said that I saw one of three things happening.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down and handed control of the country to the military, Vice President Omar Suleiman said Friday in an address on state television.
The announcement touched off a wave of jubilation throughout Cairo's Tehrir Square, where tens of thousands of anti-government protesters had gathered demanding Mubarak's ouster hours after he failed to announce his resignation in an address on Thursday.
"In these difficult circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave the position of the presidency," Suleiman said. He has commissioned the armed forces council to direct the issues of the state."
I stand by my statement that we need to see what the mutual reactions turn out to be.
Best case scenario from my point of view? Free and fair elections in Egypt for the first time in my lifetime, with the Muslim Brotherhood not winning.
Worst case? Junior officers sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood overthrow the newly installed military regime, resulting in an Islamist Egypt.
And in between there are a host of possibilities -- including an extension of the authoritarian rule under which the Egyptian people have lived for decades. From a strategic point of view, that might be in America's best interests in the short to medium term, but in the long run it will likely produce a situation like Iran in 1979.
The situation remains fluid right now. We can only wait. Here's hoping, though, that Obama (and future presidents) adopt something akin to what was suggested by Charles Krauthammer today.
One of the Democrats' fieriest voices on Capitol Hill accused the Republicans of turning Congress into a "clogged toilet."
Flush twice Ė itís a long way to TX-18.
Hereís a proposal from a member of the minority party in the Texas Legislature.
State Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon (D-San Antonio) has introduced a bill that would require any Texan who owns a male dog which weighs 20 pounds or more and is not neutered to have an insurance policy covering injuries or damage caused by that dog when it is off the leash or out of the dog's yard, 1200 WOAI's Michael Board reports.
"Unrestrained un-neutered male dogs over 20 pounds have a higher tendency toward aggression," McClendon said.
My alternative proposal Ė require any Texan who votes in the Democrat primary to have insurance that covers injuries or damages caused by legislation sponsored by Democrat legislators who weigh more than 20 pounds. After all, Democrat legislators have a higher tendency toward aggressively attacking the wallets and personal liberties of citizens, causing Texans and others incalculable damage to their freedom and economic well-being.
Let's face it. Mubarak's speech yesterday was an EPIC FAIL on the part of the Obama foreign policy machine. With a second crisis, this one involving State Department personnel and claims of diplomatic immunity, brewing in Pakistan (but off the radar of most of the American media and people), one has to wonder if there will be a second failure in the Muslim world following hard on the heels of the Egyptian debacle.
Pakistani officials said President Obama's national security advisor summoned Pakistan's ambassador to the White House Monday evening to deliver a threat from the president: Release Raymond Davis, an American being held in Lahore for killing two Pakistanis, or face the consequences.
National Security Advisor Tom Donilon told Ambassador Husain Haqqani, according to two Pakistani officials involved in negotiations about Davis, that the U.S. will kick Haqqani out of the U.S., close U.S. consulates in Pakistan, and cancel an upcoming visit by Pakistan's president to Washington, if Davis, a U.S. embassy employee, is not released from custody by Friday.
The outlines of the threat were confirmed to ABC News by a senior U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak on the record. A White House spokesperson, Tommy Vietor, declined comment.
We have to ask three questions in response to these threats.
Sadly, I think that the answer to the first question will be "no" -- and I'm unsure about the answer to question number two. The real test will be how Obama responds if it comes down to question number three. I've made it clear how I think he ought to respond -- but I've not seen a firm resolve on Obama's stand up for our interests abroad, so I'm not optimistic.
I'm not enamored of the notion of her as a presidential candidate in 2012, but I certainly think she has sounded the right note on healing the divisions among conservatives.
In a high-test speech to the conservative coalition's largest annual gathering, Tea Party icon Michele Bachmann on Thursday called for social and fiscal conservatives to come together to defeat President Obama in 2012.
The Minnesota Republican, trying out her message for a potential White House bid, brought the crowd of 11,000 to its feet with an appeal to "win the Triple Crown of 2012, which is holding on to the House of Representatives, winning a conservative Senate and, oh yeah baby, winning the White House."
Elections are about choosing who will set the policies of the nation. Political parties are about electing those who do so. And by definition, a major political party is a coalition of factions that sometimes disagree on various points but are united on a central vision -- even if that means that those various factions don't get (indeed, can't get) everything they want because of those disagreements. Bachmann implicitly recognized that with her unity call, by reminding the three branches of conservatism -- fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, national defense conservatives -- of what the ultimate goal must be in order to achieve 80% of their goals under conservative leadership rather than 20% (or less) of their goals under liberal leadership. Which brings me back, of course, to a theme I've sounded in various ways in various forums recently.
As Americans reject his signature accomplishment at home and reject his party at the polls, it is good to know that leaders abroad also consider Barry Hussein to be a joke of the first order, and are prepared to mock and reject him.
During the meeting with the Military Council Mubarak made the following statement:
ďWe are brothers, soldiers, we have bled together for Egypt, we have shed blood together. Today, we are faced by an enemy who demands we hand Egypt over to our enemies. The people of Egypt have been silenced by these insurgents and we have been more than patient. Will we all sit here and obey the Obama regime? Will we not once again, with honor stand up to our enemies? Will we not continue to stand for Egypt with honor?
Brothers, would you have me crawl away at the command of Obama? Would any of you crawl away like a dog that has been kicked? Would any of you bow down to the fools he has chosen to take our nation from us?
And here I thought that Obama was going to restore America to a place of strength, honor, and respect in the world. (I guess the Hopey-Changey thing isn't working out in the international realm, either. Here's a suggestion for the 2012 campaign.
Just kidnapping the children that Americans wonít kidnap, I guess.
Thugs working for Mexican drug cartels kidnapped the 12-year-old daughter of a ranch foreman in New Mexico, holding the girl for ransom until her family and neighbors came up with $80,000 for her release. They didnít dare call law enforcement for help because of very real fears their calls would be monitored by the kidnappers using sophisticated communications relay stations erected on U.S. public lands.
Things like this have been common in Mexico for years. I've been horrified when I've read such stories, and concerned that they would eventually play out in this country. To find out that they are happening NOW on our side of the border, perpetrated by the same thugs, is not merely distressing Ė it is enraging. And to think that there are those who donít want to close our border!
Hereís why I stick to things like politics and current events, not the sort of stuff this teacher wrote about.
The Central Bucks School District has suspended a high school English teacher after parents complained to administrators about her blog in which she railed on her students for more than a year.
Phrases on the blog include; ďFrightfully dim,Ē ďRat-like,Ē ďAm concerned your kid is going to open fire on the school,Ē ďI hate your kid,Ē and ďSeems smarter than she actually is.Ē
Those are the words of teacher Natalie Munroe, according to the Central Bucks School District.
School district spokeswoman Carol Counihan says Munroe admitted to writing the blog.
You know, I have plenty of observations I could make about the kids I teach Ė some loving and kind, others less flattering. I have some Iíd love to take home and adopt, and some Iíd love to send on NASAís first manned mission to explore the inside of a black hole. In fact, depending on the day, those two comments might even be about same kids. But to go online and actually put those feelings about an individual child into cyberspace? No way Ė because that kid that I might be enraged at today might be the same one who does me some great kindness tomorrow.
Some years back, 8th period was the class that I considered my curse. They had all failed before with other teachers, and were not doing any better the second time around. They tended to be behavior problems, and I could not trust them any further than I could throw them. And then came the day that I got a call from the doctor, telling me that I had to get my wife to the hospital immediately because of the results of some tests done earlier that week. When they heard my call to the office desperately seeking a substitute, the worst of the bunch jumped up and volunteered to lead the class to the library if there was room for them there. I called, there was, he did Ė and the next day, I had a beautiful email from the librarian telling me that they were the best-behaved class in the library that week. Not only that, but every single one of those kids dropped by my room early the next day to find out how my wife was doing. They may not be remembered as my most academically gifted students, but they will always be remembered as among my most decent when it really mattered. Ditto the boy I have now Ė a serious discipline case Ė who walked up to me between classes last week to give me a hug and ask about my father (who had some serious post-surgical complications). Rare is the child without a decent streak at his or her core -- and I won't negatively memorialize even those few in cyberspace, lest my appraisal be wrong.
Does Munroe deserve to be fired? I donít know Ė Iíve got too many questions about her behavior in class and about the exact contents of the blog in question to really be sure what the proper course of action is. But I do know that she made a horrendous decision -- and one that could reasonably lead to the loss of her job.
Yeah, Iíve chewed on Sheriff Adrian Garcia about his hiring of political insiders during the county hiring freeze Ė so how about I give a little bit of an equal-opportunity butt chewing to one on my own side of the aisle.
When Commissioner Jerry Eversole complained last month about Sheriff Adrian Garcia's getting new administrators despite a county government hiring freeze, frequent sheriff's critic Commissioner Steve Radack uncharacteristically held his fire.
In fact, Radack acknowledged from the dais at the Commissioners Court meeting that he had recently hired an administrator of his own -- with approval from the county's Office of Management Services, which also signed off on the sheriff's hires.
Radack's new executive assistant is Court Koenning, former executive director of the Harris County Republican Party and former chief of staff for state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston. He'll get an annual salary of $100,006.
Radack does not have the largest payroll of the five members of Commissioners Court, but he does have the most six-figure employees -- seven, including himself, according to a Chronicle analysis of fiscal year 2010's county payroll data.
Sorry, folks, but we either have a hiring freeze or we donít. We either expect folks in all departments Ė including the offices of elected officials Ė to hold the line, or we donít. And while I know and like Court Kenning, and consider him well-qualified for his new job, Iím disturbed that heís being brought on board at a time when other positions are going unfilled as a part of the hiring freeze.
Of course, none of this makes me approve of Garciaís hiring spree to find employment to displaced political insiders Ė especially given the shortage of deputies and jail personnel Too bad the sheriff wasnít more interested in filling some of those slots instead of those staff jobs. I'm willing to say that Radack and Garcia have both made personnel moves that I find to be outside the spirit and the letter of the hiring freeze and the "election results" exception -- something that a certain Dem activist/blogger is unwilling to do as he complains about Radack's single new employee but not Garcia's four new insider hires.
Yes, I know that colleges and universities have their own disciplinary systems -- but that does not mean that students cannot receive criminal punishment for illegal activity they engage in on campus, even after the school has acted. These academics seem to have forgotten that.
A group of 100 faculty members at UC Irvine signed a letter asking the Orange County district attorney to drop criminal charges against 11 Muslim students who disrupted a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the United States.
The group, including five deans, said the Muslim Student Union was wrong to disrupt the speech last year by Ambassador Michael Oren but that the students and the group had already been disciplined by the university.
Orange County prosecutors announced last week they were charging the students with two misdemeanor counts, including conspiracy to disrupt the speech.
If convicted, each faces up to six months in jail.
This is the flip-side of the thinking that leads institutions of higher education to set up speech codes and declare that rights guaranteed under the Constitution are inoperative on campus. Here, the assumption is that if the school acts then nobody else should be able to. But this has, in the past, led to the covering up of violent felonies -- up to and including sexual assault -- by school disciplinary panels.
In this case, you had a criminal conspiracy to violate the civil rights of not just the speaker, but of every other attendee in the auditorium. Should there be a prosecution? You bet there should -- the rule of law needs to apply here. Too bad that the charges are only misdemeanors.
There's a great post over at the Volokh Conspiracy that explains why this prosecution is justified.
Isn't it great to know that the US retains its place of leadership in the world? NOT!
Saudi Arabia threatened to prop up President Hosni Mubarak if the White House tries to force a swift change of regime in Egypt, The Times of London reported Thursday.
In a testy personal telephone call on Jan. 29, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah reportedly told President Obama not to humiliate Mubarak and warned that he would step in to bankroll Egypt if the U.S. withdrew its aid program, worth $1.5 billion annually.
America's closest ally in the Gulf made clear that the Egyptian president must be allowed to stay on to oversee the transition towards peaceful democracy and then leave with dignity.
"Mubarak and King Abdullah are not just allies, they are close friends, and the King is not about to see his friend cast aside and humiliated," a senior source in the Saudi capital told The Times.
Two sources confirmed details of the King's call, made four days after the people of Egypt took to the streets.
The revelation of Saudi concerns sheds new light on America's apparent diplomatic paralysis and lays bare the biggest rift between the nations since the oil price shock of 1973.
And I think we all know what Barry Hussein's response will be to this demand.
Too bad we don't have a real President -- and that this one clearly learned nothing from the Reagan biography he read over his Christmas vacation.
I guess now that they are done branding George Bush a war criminal, the Left is finally going to look at the real perpetrator of atrocities in Afghanistan -- the Taliban.
International and local human rights groups working in Afghanistan have shifted their focus toward condemning abuses committed by the Taliban insurgents, rather than those attributed to the American military and its allies.
Outraged by growing civilian casualties, many activists are now calling for the insurgents to be investigated for war crimes and viewed as war criminals. The insurgents are now blamed for more than three-fourths of all civilian casualties, according to United Nations statistics, and those casualties increased by 20 percent last year.
Several groups have approached the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which has been conducting a preliminary inquiry into war crimes charges in Afghanistan.
The problem, of course, is that the Taliban has ALWAYS been the major source of human rights violations in Afghanistan. These groups, however, would rather take on the US than the Taliban, but have finally been forced to act because of the situation has gotten even worse. Its about damn time.
Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee tweeted, and several of us have retweeted, a message about the President. Upon checking, I discovered it implies something that is incorrect.
CONGRATULATIONS MR OBAMA: After all, isn't this the longest you've ever held a job?
Actually, that is not the case -- but as I noted a couple years back, the presidency will, in fact, be the longest that Obama has ever held a job in his life. Here's the original post.
Over at Patterico's Pontifications, WLS notes that eight years as president would be the longest time that Barack Obama has held the same full-time job.
After Columbia he spent a year in a New York business, a year in a NY non-profit, and then headed to Chicago where he spent 3 years as a ďcommunity organizer.Ē
Then he went to law school, returning to Chicago in 1991. He did some community organizing, then was an associate for a Chicago law firm for three years. After that he was to the State Senate - a part time legislature ó and served as a lecturer at the Univ. of Chicago law school ó another part-time gig. He was involved in a variety of community organizations during this period.
His Senate seat is the first full-time job he has had since his law firm days ó but heís only been in that job for 4 years.
So, serving 8 years at POTUS would be his longest stint in any position of full-time employment in his life.
And notice, please, that little of his work experience really prepares him to be a competent president -- no executive experience, and no significant involvement with foreign policy or defense matters.
ďIf you donít have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.Ē
Record, Senator? What record? You have accomplished nothing of significance in your life except for a couple of good speeches, a pair of over-rated books, and getting yourself nominated for a job that is well above your pay grade.
Now just a quick update, since that original post dates from August, 2008 -- since Barack Obama quit his Senate seat on November 16, 2008, the final six weeks of his first term will constitutes the single longest full-time job he's ever held. So as of right now, this is not the longest stretch of full-time employment ever held by Barack Hussein Obama -- but he's getting there. Only if we count his part-time gig as a lecturer on constitutional law (NOT a professor) will he have held any job longer than he will have served as President if he serves out two full terms as president.
Pro-lifers have been trying to get limits -- indeed, the complete elimination -- on the spending of taxpayer funds on abortion. Once can certainly agree or disagree with that position -- but this particular line of reasoning used by Senator Frank Lautenberg is astoundingly hypocritical.
"Iím the proud father of three daughters, two more that my wife brought to our marriage, six granddaughters. My wife brought two more to the marriage. So we got a full house of healthy and well-being young women. I donít want politicians making decisions for them when it comes to their health and well being.Ē
Excuse me, Senator -- didn't you vote for ObamaCare when that monstrosity was adopted last year? Didn't you just vote against its repeal? Then how can you claim that you "donít want politicians making decisions for [your daughters] when it comes to their health and well being"? after all, ObamaCare puts politicians in charge of EVERYONE'S health and well-being.
But if you really do want to get politicians out of the business of making decisions about the health and well-being of citizens, why don't you talk to this woman.
After all, she is involving herself in dictating the "health and well-being" of Americans through a coercive program of dictating what we are allowed to have on our plates.
This is clearly not the sort of regime that American troops should be fighting and dying to create and protect -- it is the type we should be destroying as being no different than the terrorists of 9/11
An Afghan physiotherapist will be executed within three days for converting to Christianity.
Said Musa, 45, has been held for eight months in a Kabul prison were he claims he has been tortured and sexually abused by inmates and guards.
Mr Musa, who lost his left leg in a landmine explosion in the 1990s, has worked for the Red Cross for 15 years and helps to treat fellow amputees.
What percentage of our troops fighting in Afghanistan are Christians? What percentage of those who have died have been followers of Christ? Why do we defend a regime that will engage in judicial murder of a man for exercising an internationally recognized human right?
And most importantly, what is the Obama Regime doing to prevent this execution?
If this execution does happen, Congress should immediately act to force the end of American aid -- military and non-military -- to the Afghan regime. They can "Allahu Akbar" over the body of a martyr if they choose -- but at that point American policy toward Afghanistan must become "Allah Who? Eff You!"
As a resident of the Houston metropolitan area, news like this does nothing to reassure me.
A man wanted on rape charges in Fairfax County - who had been released from custody in Loudoun County a month before the assault because of a gap in immigration databases - was captured Sunday in Houston, Fairfax police said Monday.
Yeah, that's right -- a pedophile rapist member of the MS-13 gang was allowed to go free by the so-called" Secure Communities" program, and ended up right in our backyard half a continent away from the scene of his crimes. How many others have escaped detection? And how many others have ended up here in Houston -- and other communities in border states -- because of the failures of this program and the failure of the government to secure our nation's borders effectively?
It is a sad story of a marriage coming to an end -- but it also points to the hypocrisy of the Left when it comes to political activity by judicial spouses.
Gov. Rendell and his wife, U.S. Appellate Judge Marjorie ďMidgeĒ Rendell, announced in an e-mail to friends today that they will be ďliving separatelyĒ now that they have left the Governorís Mansion in Harrisburg.
Judge Rendell has been a judge since 1994. During that time her husband, Ed Rendell, has served as mayor of a major city, governor of a state, head of one of the two major political parties, and a political commentator. No one suggested that these roles constituted a conflict of interest for Judge Rendell. No one suggested that Ed Rendell should keep to his proper role outside of the political sphere, that he should be silent on political matters, or that he needed to be "barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen". No one suggested that the couple needed to be lynched.
Contrast that with the furor over the activities of Ginny Thomas and her activity as a lobbyist, speaker,and activist. The Left argues that Clarence Thomas is somehow tainted by those activities, and that Mrs. Thomas needs to be silenced or Justice Thomas needs to be removed from the bench.
Now I suppose that there are three different possibilities to explain this odd dichotomy.
Of course, there is always the possibility that more than one of these unacceptable biases and bigotries is at work here. Indeed, I'd suggest that it is probably a combination of all three. But if we are going to allow for extensive and partisan political activity by some judicial spouses, we must do so for all. And given the way that our society has evolved over the last few decades, it seems clear that we will have more such power couples and that we must accept them all equally -- and that accusations of improprieties against them on account of the political involvement of the non-judge spouse ought not be made unless there is an indisputable conflict of interest or case of misconduct.
When you engage in espionage against a great power, you should expect retribution.
Julian Assange fears he could be taken against his will to the United States and executed if he is extradited to Sweden, his legal team said.
Here's hoping that is exactly what happened -- after all, he has been responsible for a number of deaths by virtue of his disclosing information about those who have assisted the US in fighting the Taliban.
And if we can't get him back to the US for trail and execution, there are always other means that are appropriate. After all, he has clearly put himself on the "with the terrorists" side of the war on terrorism.
As far as this lifelong Reagan conservative is concerned, this should settle the matter of whether or not GOProud is welcome at CPAC and whether or not a boycott of CPAC by social conservatives is the proper course of action.
Ronald Reagan recognized the men and women of good will can differ on issues yet still remain friends and allies. Such differences are the basis for discussion, not excommunication from the greater conservative movement. And as I look at GOProud's platform, i find them to fall within the mainstream of conservatism. Let's look at what they have to say.
The so-called ďgay agendaĒ is defined by the left through a narrow prism of legislative goals. In contrast to the approach of the left, GOProudís agenda emphasizes conservative and libertarian principles that will improve the daily lives of all Americans, but especially gay and lesbian Americans.
1 Ė TAX REFORM - We support replacing the current tax code with the Fair Tax. Until then, we support death tax repeal; domestic partner tax equity; cuts in the capital gains and corporate tax rates to jump start our economy and create jobs; a fairer, flatter and substantially simpler tax code.
2 Ė HEALTHCARE REFORM Ė Free market healthcare reform. Allow for the purchase of insurance across state lines Ė expanding access to domestic partner benefits; emphasizing individual ownership of healthcare insurance Ė such a shift would prevent discriminatory practices by an employer or the government.
3 Ė SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM - The only way to permanent solvency in the Social Security system is through the creation of inheritable personal savings accounts. Personal savings accounts would give gay and lesbian couples the same opportunity to leave their accounts to their spouses as their straight counterparts.
4 - RESPECTING THE PROPER ROLE OF THE JUDICIARY - We believe our Constitution should be respected and that judges appointed to the federal bench should recognize the proper and appropriate role of the judiciary as laid out by our Founding Fathers.
5 Ė HOLDING THE LINE ON SPENDING Ė Standing up for all tax payers against wasteful and unnecessary spending to protect future generations from the mounting federal debt.
6 Ė FIGHTING GLOBAL EXTREMISTS Ė Standing strong against radical regimes that refuse to recognize the basic human rights of gays and lesbians, women and religious minorities.
7 Ė DEFENDING OUR CONSTITUTION Ė Opposing any anti-gay federal marriage amendment. Marriage should be a question for the states. A federal constitutional amendment on marriage would be an unprecedented federal power grab from the states.
8 Ė ENCOURAGING COMMUNITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP Ė Package of free market reforms to encourage and support small businesses and entrepreneurship. Such reforms would create jobs for all Americans Ė including gay Americans.
9 Ė REVITALIZING OUR COMMUNITIES Ė A package of urban related reforms; expanding historic tax preservation credits; support for school choice.
10 Ė DEFENDING OUR COMMUNITY Ė Protecting 2nd amendment rights.
As I look at this platform, I see an organization that I am in significantly more than 80% agreement -- and about which most conservatives would be able to say the same thing. Indeed, I'd even be prepared to put a label on GOProud -- I'd call them "Dick Cheney conservatives". Anyone want to argue that Dick Cheney is not a conservative and should not be welcome at CPAC? (I didn't think so -- because if you did he'd likely disembowel you with his bare hands.) And were he still with us today, I suspect that this would be the position taken by Barry Goldwater, given his libertarian streak. Are you sure that you want to set forth a definition of conservatism that excludes Goldwater? I'd argue that if you do, you are violating one of the principles of Ronald Reagan himself -- and if you do that, do you really have any place arguing that you are "conservative", "Republican", or "Reaganite" in your politics?
Does this mean I (and many other pro-GOProud/anti-boycott conservatives) am coming out in favor of gay marriage? No, it doesn't. I disagree with plank #7 of the GOProud statement of principles. But unlike the boycotters, I refuse to make gay marriage the litmus test for conservatives, any more than I would make school choice, support for Israel, or even opposition to legal abortion a litmus test upon which one's inclusion as a conservative will stand or fall, even though those are all positions of importance to me. To do so is to create a conservative political correctness that will be every bit as destructive as the liberal variety, and will ultimately drive away those "80% friends and allies" who Ronald Reagan embraced.
The rest of the menu for the 100 or so guests at the White House bash is tailgate-friendly even if served inside the Executive Mansion: bratwurst, kielbasa, cheeseburgers, deep-dish pizza and Buffalo wings with sides of German potato salad, twice-baked potatoes and assorted chips and dips.
Yeah -- I can hear those arteries clogging all the way down here in Texas.
Too bad the Obamas and the guests couldn't have set an example of the sort of diet that Queen Michelle Antoinette wants everyone else eating. But then again, such mandates are for the little people, not the elite.
Well, now they are definitely corporate shills for the Left. So much for HuffPo's much-vaunted "independence".
On the whole the first wave of reactions have been positive. AOL, as an internet company trying to make a comeback, is to buy one of the most popular news sites in the US, is, on the face of it, a good news story for both the technology and media worlds. And the fact that, for the moment, Arianna Huffington, the colourful co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post, is staying with her creation and taking over the rest of AOLís content site, bodes well for the ailing AOL.
My guess is that Arianna, whose basis for being considered an expert on. . . well, anything other than cheesy accents, political opportunism, and turning men gay absolutely mystifies me, will mess up the revived AOL sufficiently to put that once proud internet pioneer back in the red by tacking the content left while the country tacks Right.
I'll put myself in the same camp as Steve Case, one of AOL's founders, who tweeted.
ďAOL to Buy Huffington Post; Tim Armstrong says "1 + 1 will equal 11" Really? That wasn't my experience."
I think this is less likely to return AOL to relevance than it is to take HuffPo into irrelevance.
But everyone seems to be talking about this flub before the first kickoff.
I love the confused looks that the players were giving each other -- even as they mentally prepped for the big game, THEY caught the screw-up. Maybe if Christine Aguilera had put her focus on singing all the words instead of multiplying syllables in every word like some high school kid who wants to pretend to be a pop star.
But even with that disaster, my favorite comment on the performance came from one of the folks my wife follows on Twitter, who noted that the usually talented, usually attractive Aguilera looked like she had borrowed a wig from Atlanta Housewife Kim Zolciak.
I agree -- but she also sounded like she took singing lessons from the same vocal coach.
Frankly, America deserved better. Think the NFL can find someone to perform the anthem with some dignity next year -- or whenever the next Super Bowl takes place?
Two headlines regarding the same small Islamic group.
Yes, indeed, we have a Muslim group coming out explicitly for peace and against terrorism. What's more, they are making a patriotic appeal for loyalty to the American government.
Waseem Sayed, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA spokesman, told The Daily Caller that the group feels as though it is their responsibility to educate Americans, both Muslim and non-Muslim, about the true face of their religion.
ďOur hope is to emphasize to our fellow Americans,Ē Sayed said, ďthat it is the religious duty of a Muslim to be loyal to the country where he residesÖNumber two that there are negative influences being exerted ó upon especially the Muslim youth in the United States ó by people like al Awlaki on the Internet and third the press pays attention to violent acts that people commit in the name of IslamÖ.If we just sit by, more and more these extremists will take hold the banner of Islam and say this is what Islam is.Ē
As I've said many times, I respect and admire the Ahmadiyya Muslims and wish that their influence were felt more widely within Islam. If it were, civilized people would not find it necessary to fear the attack of the jihadis in the name of Islam.
Which is why this headline saddens, but does not surprise, me.
Why the attack? Because these peaceful Muslims, whose views do differ somewhat from those of the Islamic mainstream, dared to gather with their leader and refused to leave when 1500 "good Muslims" showed up to enforce the decision of the local sharia court that Ahmadis have no right to gather or exercise their human right to religious freedom. And the local authorities blame the Ahmadis, who numbered less than two dozen, for "provoking" the mob of 1500 by coming to the leader's home and refusing to leave like the mob demanded.
The silence you are hearing is the utter lack of condemnation from the greater Islamic community worldwide. But then again, why would there be condemnation? After all, the Ahmadiyya sect is banned or restricted in most Muslim countries. So remember -- there are good Muslims out there who condemn terrorism and seek to live out Islam as a religion of peace. Unfortunately, the rest of Islam calls them heretics.
Here are the weekís full results of this week's excursion into blogging excellence:
Over at the Houston Chronicle, Gabriella Ferrari offers her assessment of Ronald Reagan's 10 greatest speech and debate moments. I find the picks to be good ones, but I cannot help but feel that she left one of them out. I therefore give you Ronald Reagan's last address to the American people from the Oval Office -- his farewell address.
This speech is a wonderful summation of the state of the nation as Ronald Reagan handed over the reins of power to his successor -- and puts me in mind of that moment in the parables when the servants are required to report to their master what they have done with that which has been entrusted to them. And as I listened to this speech again, I could not help but hear the words of Scripture -- "Well done, good and faithful servant."
This speech has long been special to me. In fact, the "sig line" on my email account at school comes from this speech.
An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world?
...We've got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom -- freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It's fragile, it needs protection.
President Ronald Wilson Reagan
January 11, 1989
As a social studies teacher, I hold those words close to my heart -- and consider them to be my vocation and my professional obligation. Ronald Reagan inspired me in my youth, and continues to inspire me today in my professional life.
And so today, a century after his birth, over two decades after he left office and almost seven years since he left us, I honor Ronald Reagan with this series of posts. My words can do nothing to add to what he accomplished, and are smaller than a grain of sand among the many accolades he has received as we mark his centennial. But I shall count them worthwhile if they in some way inspire even one person to even a tenth the extent that the words and deeds of Ronald Reagan inspired -- and continue to inspire -- me.
The full text of the speech is below the fold.Continue to be enlightened while reading "Ronald Reagan's Farewell Address" ¬Ľ
My fellow Americans:
This is the 34th time I'll speak to you from the Oval Office and the last. We've been together 8 years now, and soon it'll be time for me to go. But before I do, I wanted to share some thoughts, some of which I've been saving for a long time.
It's been the honor of my life to be your President. So many of you have written the past few weeks to say thanks, but I could say as much to you. Nancy and I are grateful for the opportunity you gave us to serve.
One of the things about the Presidency is that you're always somewhat apart. You spend a lot of time going by too fast in a car someone else is driving, and seeing the people through tinted glass -- the parents holding up a child, and the wave you saw too late and couldn't return. And so many times I wanted to stop and reach out from behind the glass, and connect. Well, maybe I can do a little of that tonight.
People ask how I feel about leaving. And the fact is, ``parting is such sweet sorrow.'' The sweet part is California and the ranch and freedom. The sorrow -- the goodbyes, of course, and leaving this beautiful place.
You know, down the hall and up the stairs from this office is the part of the White House where the President and his family live. There are a few favorite windows I have up there that I like to stand and look out of early in the morning. The view is over the grounds here to the Washington Monument, and then the Mall and the Jefferson Memorial. But on mornings when the humidity is low, you can see past the Jefferson to the river, the Potomac, and the Virginia shore. Someone said that's the view Lincoln had when he saw the smoke rising from the Battle of Bull Run. I see more prosaic things: the grass on the banks, the morning traffic as people make their way to work, now and then a sailboat on the river.
I've been thinking a bit at that window. I've been reflecting on what the past 8 years have meant and mean. And the image that comes to mind like a refrain is a nautical one -- a small story about a big ship, and a refugee, and a sailor. It was back in the early eighties, at the height of the boat people. And the sailor was hard at work on the carrier Midway, which was patrolling the South China Sea. The sailor, like most American servicemen, was young, smart, and fiercely observant. The crew spied on the horizon a leaky little boat. And crammed inside were refugees from Indochina hoping to get to America. The Midway sent a small launch to bring them to the ship and safety. As the refugees made their way through the choppy seas, one spied the sailor on deck, and stood up, and called out to him. He yelled, ``Hello, American sailor. Hello, freedom man.''
A small moment with a big meaning, a moment the sailor, who wrote it in a letter, couldn't get out of his mind. And, when I saw it, neither could I. Because that's what it was to be an American in the 1980's. We stood, again, for freedom. I know we always have, but in the past few years the world again -- and in a way, we ourselves -- rediscovered it.
It's been quite a journey this decade, and we held together through some stormy seas. And at the end, together, we are reaching our destination.
The fact is, from Grenada to the Washington and Moscow summits, from the recession of '81 to '82, to the expansion that began in late '82 and continues to this day, we've made a difference. The way I see it, there were two great triumphs, two things that I'm proudest of. One is the economic recovery, in which the people of America created -- and filled -- 19 million new jobs. The other is the recovery of our morale. America is respected again in the world and looked to for leadership.
Something that happened to me a few years ago reflects some of this. It was back in 1981, and I was attending my first big economic summit, which was held that year in Canada. The meeting place rotates among the member countries. The opening meeting was a formal dinner for the heads of government of the seven industrialized nations. Now, I sat there like the new kid in school and listened, and it was all Francois this and Helmut that. They dropped titles and spoke to one another on a first-name basis. Well, at one point I sort of leaned in and said, ``My name's Ron.'' Well, in that same year, we began the actions we felt would ignite an economic comeback -- cut taxes and regulation, started to cut spending. And soon the recovery began.
Two years later, another economic summit with pretty much the same cast. At the big opening meeting we all got together, and all of a sudden, just for a moment, I saw that everyone was just sitting there looking at me. And then one of them broke the silence. ``Tell us about the American miracle,'' he said.
Well, back in 1980, when I was running for President, it was all so different. Some pundits said our programs would result in catastrophe. Our views on foreign affairs would cause war. Our plans for the economy would cause inflation to soar and bring about economic collapse. I even remember one highly respected economist saying, back in 1982, that ``The engines of economic growth have shut down here, and they're likely to stay that way for years to come.'' Well, he and the other opinion leaders were wrong. The fact is, what they called ``radical'' was really ``right.'' What they called ``dangerous'' was just ``desperately needed.''
And in all of that time I won a nickname, ``The Great Communicator.'' But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: it was the content. I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation -- from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I'll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense.
Common sense told us that when you put a big tax on something, the people will produce less of it. So, we cut the people's tax rates, and the people produced more than ever before. The economy bloomed like a plant that had been cut back and could now grow quicker and stronger. Our economic program brought about the longest peacetime expansion in our history: real family income up, the poverty rate down, entrepreneurship booming, and an explosion in research and new technology. We're exporting more than ever because American industry became more competitive and at the same time, we summoned the national will to knock down protectionist walls abroad instead of erecting them at home.
Common sense also told us that to preserve the peace, we'd have to become strong again after years of weakness and confusion. So, we rebuilt our defenses, and this New Year we toasted the new peacefulness around the globe. Not only have the superpowers actually begun to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons -- and hope for even more progress is bright -- but the regional conflicts that rack the globe are also beginning to cease. The Persian Gulf is no longer a war zone. The Soviets are leaving Afghanistan. The Vietnamese are preparing to pull out of Cambodia, and an American-mediated accord will soon send 50,000 Cuban troops home from Angola.
The lesson of all this was, of course, that because we're a great nation, our challenges seem complex. It will always be this way. But as long as we remember our first principles and believe in ourselves, the future will always be ours. And something else we learned: Once you begin a great movement, there's no telling where it will end. We meant to change a nation, and instead, we changed a world.
Countries across the globe are turning to free markets and free speech and turning away from the ideologies of the past. For them, the great rediscovery of the 1980's has been that, lo and behold, the moral way of government is the practical way of government: Democracy, the profoundly good, is also the profoundly productive.
When you've got to the point when you can celebrate the anniversaries of your 39th birthday you can sit back sometimes, review your life, and see it flowing before you. For me there was a fork in the river, and it was right in the middle of my life. I never meant to go into politics. It wasn't my intention when I was young. But I was raised to believe you had to pay your way for the blessings bestowed on you. I was happy with my career in the entertainment world, but I ultimately went into politics because I wanted to protect something precious.
Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: ``We the People.'' ``We the People'' tell the government what to do; it doesn't tell us. ``We the People'' are the driver; the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which ``We the People'' tell the government what it is allowed to do. ``We the People'' are free. This belief has been the underlying basis for everything I've tried to do these past 8 years.
But back in the 1960's, when I began, it seemed to me that we'd begun reversing the order of things -- that through more and more rules and regulations and confiscatory taxes, the government was taking more of our money, more of our options, and more of our freedom. I went into politics in part to put up my hand and say, ``Stop.'' I was a citizen politician, and it seemed the right thing for a citizen to do.
I think we have stopped a lot of what needed stopping. And I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.
Nothing is less free than pure communism -- and yet we have, the past few years, forged a satisfying new closeness with the Soviet Union. I've been asked if this isn't a gamble, and my answer is no because we're basing our actions not on words but deeds. The detente of the 1970's was based not on actions but promises. They'd promise to treat their own people and the people of the world better. But the gulag was still the gulag, and the state was still expansionist, and they still waged proxy wars in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Well, this time, so far, it's different. President Gorbachev has brought about some internal democratic reforms and begun the withdrawal from Afghanistan. He has also freed prisoners whose names I've given him every time we've met.
But life has a way of reminding you of big things through small incidents. Once, during the heady days of the Moscow summit, Nancy and I decided to break off from the entourage one afternoon to visit the shops on Arbat Street -- that's a little street just off Moscow's main shopping area. Even though our visit was a surprise, every Russian there immediately recognized us and called out our names and reached for our hands. We were just about swept away by the warmth. You could almost feel the possibilities in all that joy. But within seconds, a KGB detail pushed their way toward us and began pushing and shoving the people in the crowd. It was an interesting moment. It reminded me that while the man on the street in the Soviet Union yearns for peace, the government is Communist. And those who run it are Communists, and that means we and they view such issues as freedom and human rights very differently.
We must keep up our guard, but we must also continue to work together to lessen and eliminate tension and mistrust. My view is that President Gorbachev is different from previous Soviet leaders. I think he knows some of the things wrong with his society and is trying to fix them. We wish him well. And we'll continue to work to make sure that the Soviet Union that eventually emerges from this process is a less threatening one. What it all boils down to is this: I want the new closeness to continue. And it will, as long as we make it clear that we will continue to act in a certain way as long as they continue to act in a helpful manner. If and when they don't, at first pull your punches. If they persist, pull the plug. It's still trust but verify. It's still play, but cut the cards. It's still watch closely. And don't be afraid to see what you see.
I've been asked if I have any regrets. Well, I do. The deficit is one. I've been talking a great deal about that lately, but tonight isn't for arguments, and I'm going to hold my tongue. But an observation: I've had my share of victories in the Congress, but what few people noticed is that I never won anything you didn't win for me. They never saw my troops, they never saw Reagan's regiments, the American people. You won every battle with every call you made and letter you wrote demanding action. Well, action is still needed. If we're to finish the job, Reagan's regiments will have to become the Bush brigades. Soon he'll be the chief, and he'll need you every bit as much as I did.
Finally, there is a great tradition of warnings in Presidential farewells, and I've got one that's been on my mind for some time. But oddly enough it starts with one of the things I'm proudest of in the past 8 years: the resurgence of national pride that I called the new patriotism. This national feeling is good, but it won't count for much, and it won't last unless it's grounded in thoughtfulness and knowledge.
An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn't get these things from your family you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties.
But now, we're about to enter the nineties, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren't sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style. Our spirit is back, but we haven't reinstitutionalized it. We've got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom -- freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It's fragile; it needs protection.
So, we've got to teach history based not on what's in fashion but what's important -- why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, 4 years ago on the 40th anniversary of D - day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who'd fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, ``we will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did.'' Well, let's help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won't know who we are. I'm warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let's start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual.
And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven't been teaching you what it means to be an American, let 'em know and nail 'em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.
And that's about all I have to say tonight, except for one thing. The past few days when I've been at that window upstairs, I've thought a bit of the ``shining city upon a hill.'' The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we'd call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.
I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.
And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was 8 years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.
We've done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for 8 years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren't just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.
And so, goodbye, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.
¬ę All done with "Ronald Reagan's Farewell Address"?
With the game being played on the centennial of his birth, I can't imagine how they could have avoided mentioning Ronald Reagan at the Super Bowl. After all, he lettered in football while in college, and Ronald Reagan's best-remembered film role is as Notre Dame football great George Gipp. So here is how the NFL plans to honor Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, one hundred years after his birth.
Ronald Reagan came into American living rooms via television for many years as the host of GE Theater. The folks at GE have put together this little documentary about the connection between the company and the man who went from their spokesman to President of the United States.
There are a lot of things in here that made me stop and think. Reagan was loved by so many because he seemed to be one of us. At the same time, he was a man of substance, with a well thought out philosophy to guide him. Will we ever have his like grace the American political stage again? Is there anyone today of whom we can make both observations?
When I started blogging in June of 2004, my first substantive post was a tribute to one of my greatest heroes as he lay in state, having at last gone on to meet his Maker. I can think of no better way to mark the centennial of his birth than to repost the tribute to the man I regard as the greatest president of my lifetime.
and tell sad stories of the deaths of presidents.
Sorry, Will, but the paraphrase seems fitting. I think that your plays are all in the public domain, in any event.
Ronald Reagan lies in the Capitol Rotunda this night, honored by the citizens of a nation which owes him much. I have spent much time thinking of what to say this night, and still can find no words better than those I placed in the remembrance book at the Reagan Library site on Saturday night.
My prayers and deepest sympathy are with you and the family at this time.
I first heard the name Ronald Reagan as a child living in California. I was only three years old when he was elected governor, but my parents taught me early that he was a good man, and one to be admired. I followed his career from then on.
As an adolescent I listened to Ronald Reagan on the radio. What he said made sense, and he was a major influence in the formation of my world-view. As he challenged for the presidential nomination in 1976, I hoped that he would be the one to make us proud of America again. My heart broke when he conceded.
Four years later I sat late into the night, waiting for him to appear and announce his vice- presidential candidate. I was 17, and excited by his words and vision. I had never worked on a campaign before, but I did then. I am one of that generation he inspired with his conservative vision and principles.
In 1984 I cast my first presidential vote for Ronald Reagan. He remains the standard by which I judge any candidate for office.
Tonight I weep. I weep because of the loss of a man who holds a unique place in my heart and life. I weep from gladness, that the suffering is over. And I weep for joy that Ronald Reagan is today with his God in Heaven.
Rest well, good and faithful servant.
I'd suggest to you that Obama has screwed the pooch -- but the reality is that he's screwed the Brits, our closest ally.
The United States is stabbing Britain in the back with a nuclear missile.
In order to get Russia to agree to the New START nuclear-weapons treaty, the United States reportedly agreed to tell the Russians secrets about Britain's nuclear arsenal, according to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
The United States told Russia that it would hand over the serial numbers of the Trident missiles it supplies Britain, one of America's closest allies.
The serial numbers would give Russia a good handle on just how many missiles are in the hands of Britain, which has long refused to give any details of its nuclear-weapons program, according to The Telegraph newspaper.
Well, my friends, one has to wonder what other allies Obama is willing to sell out in the interest of currying favor with regimes that are traditional enemies of the US -- and make no mistake, Russia is not much more trustworthy today than it was thirty years ago.
Or maybe this has something to do with the UK. After all, Obama has been steadily working to trash the special relationship with the Brits from Day One of his administration -- from the return of the Churchill bust to the inappropriate cheesy gifts to British leaders to protocol violations with the Queen and now, at long last, this betrayal of the national security of an ally. Could it be the revenge of a bitter descendant of a rebel imprisoned by British colonial authorities in Kenya?
Can we survive the 1 year, 11 months, 15 days until the Obamateur leaves office under the cloud of disgrace that he so richly deserves? Or, God forbid, until he completes a second term in 2017? And more importantly, will America have any allies left when the man leaves office?
Look, if Godzilla appeared on the Mall this afternoon, Al Gore would say itís global warmingÖ
And now for a little bit of bumper music.
This doesn't look good.
Gov. Bev Perdue has hired two of the state's most prominent criminal defense lawyers as scrutiny of her 2008 campaign activity continues.
Raleigh lawyers Joseph B. Cheshire V and Wade Smith are both assisting Perdue, whose office declined to comment.
In a statement to The News & Observer, Cheshire said that Perdue, a Democrat who was elected in 2008, asked both of them to be available to her "to answer any questions she might have" after reports surfaced last year that her campaign was under a criminal investigation.
And there are apparently dueling state AND federal investigations of the NC Democrat, so she really does need high-powered defense attorneys.
Interestingly enough, Wade Smith is the former head of the state Democrats. Somehow it seems appropriate that a criminal defense attorney would be at the head of the Democrat Party -- it would save on legal fees.
S.281, the Save our States Act, was introduced by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and is cosponsored by Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Ensign (R-Nev.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
ďMany states are responding differently to this weekís ruling that the Obama health law is unconstitutional, and this could result in even more wasted taxpayer dollars. States should not be forced to shoulder costly federal burdens that may eventually be ruled null and void, especially in the face of an estimated $124.7 billion budget shortfall this fiscal year alone. For clarity and to prevent additional wasted time and money, Congress should impose a moratorium on further implementation of the health-care reform law until the courts render a final judicial decision,Ē said Sen. Hutchison.
Will it pass? Maybe not -- but it will put the Democrats on record as supporting defiance against federal courts and repudiating the US Constitution. But whay are we surprised -- they've tried the same tactic in the past.
The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 9.0 percent in January, while nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+36,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in manufacturing and in retail trade but was down in construction and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in most other major industries changed little over the month.
The unemployment rate (9.0 percent) declined by 0.4 percentage point for the second month in a row. (See table A-1.) The number of unemployed persons decreased by about 600,000 in January to 13.9 million, while the labor force was unchanged. (Based on data adjusted for updated population controls. See table C.)
But as one drills down into the numbers, we find some 500,000 workers disappearing while a paltry 36,000 found work. There is some great analysis over at Hot Air.
Update II: Zero Hedge notes that the U-6 number went from 16.6% to 17.3%. He also catches something I missed ó the civilian labor force dropped from 153,690,000 in December to 153,186,000 in January after a recent November peak of 153,950,000. That was a drop of 504,000 in January from December, and 764,000 in two months. The participation rate dropped from 64.5% in November to 64.3% in December and 64.2% in January.
Update III: Suitably Flip e-mails:
1) On the 504,000 decline Ė as you may have seen, thatís due to a Census adjustment:
ďThe adjustment decreased the estimated size of the civilian noninstitutional population in December by 347,000, the civilian labor force by 504,000, and employment by 472,000; the new population estimates had a negligible impact on unemployment rates and most other percentage estimates.Ē
The same adjustment decreased payrolls by 472,000 (i.e. the ďdisappearedĒ people had an unemployment rate of just 6.3%, so the remaining population shouldíve ticked up). Excluding the Census data, the labor force was unchanged, so Iím still trying to crunch these numbers and get them to agree with the decline in the headline unemployment rate.
The only thing that seems to reconcile the numbers is to (improperly) fail to back out the 472,000, which doesnít have a ďneligibleĒ impact. It lowers the rate from 9.3% to 9.0%. With the seasonal and population adjustments, Iím having a hard time making complete sense of it. If thatís what they did, it was a huge mistake. Seems quite unlikely, but I donít see how they get 9.0% otherwise.
And notably, the same estimates that were looking for 148,000 new jobs also expected an increase in the unemployment rate to 9.5%. That wild disparity (huge underperformance with a significant improvement in the rate) doesnít make sense, absent a methodology adjustment thatís not accounted for by the Census tweak.
The ďadjustmentĒ excuse doesnít make a lot of sense, either, except that the BLS ďadjustedĒ nearly a half-million people out of the civilian workforce. Did the US suffer a population decline in 2010? Flip also decimates the ďweatherĒ excuse in this post.
I'm sorry, but the last time a government "disappeared" people at a rate like this was during Argentina's "Dirty War". Scratch that -- the Argentinians only did away with 10% of the number that Obama has "disappeared" in an effort to save his regime.
So what is the real unemployment rate? Probably somewhere between 9.3% and 10%. This would be an excellent place for Congressman Issa and the rest of the GOP in the House to begin investigating as it looks at Obamunist wrong-doing.
A congressional investigation of the causes and response to the Fort Hood shootings faults the FBI and the Army for not doing enough to prevent the November 2009 massacre that left 13 people dead.
In a report set for release Thursday by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the FBI is criticized for failing to notify the Army about alleged gunman Maj. Nidal Malik Hasanís extremist views, while the Army lapsed in identifying and responding to his changing beliefs.
What isnít blamed? Islam.
Because after all, there is no link whatsoever between Islam and violence, hatred, terrorism, and anti-Americanism.
But of particular interest is this little detail.
Collins observed that the government had full ability to deal with Hasan: ďYou may recall that at first administration officials pointed to restrictions that they said made it difficult to conduct the investigation. What we have found is that there were no legal restrictions that hindered that investigation.Ē
Instead, the governmentís half-hearted effort to investigate Hasan, which it ended ďprematurely,Ē was ďa tragedy of errors,Ē Lieberman said.
You mean the Obama Regime lied to us about why it failed to take action to stop a violent Islamist from murdering American troops? Color me unsurprised Ė these folks would rather put Islamists in power than protect Americans from them.
If only we could do something about the cruel conditions under which these poor babies are being imprisoned!
A 48-year-old suspected Taliban base commander dropped dead of an apparent heart attack after exercising on an elliptical machine inside GuantŠnamoís most populous prison camp, the military said Thursday. The dead man, Awal Gul, had been held at the prison camps in southeast Cuba since October 2002.
Gul was working out Tuesday night in a collective cellblock at the cement penitentiary-style building called Camp 6, said Navy Cmdr. Tamsen Reese, a prison camps spokeswoman. ďHe went to go take a shower and apparently collapsed in the shower,Ē Reese said. ďDetainees on the cellblock then assisted him in getting to the guard station.Ē From there he was taken to a prison camp clinic, then to the Navy base hospital, some miles away, but could not save him despite what the commander called ďextensive life saving measures.Ē
Got that Ė a heart attack after working out in the health club at Club Gitmo. And he was surrounded by buddies who could assist in getting him the medical attention he needed. This terrorist certainly wasnít living a deprived lifestyle.
Of course, there are those of us who believe that elliptical machines ought to be banned as instruments of torture under the Geneva ConventionÖ
Perhaps the most amusing Ė and most offensive Ė civil left-winger calling for the murder of a federal judge of the African-American persuasion and his Caucasian spouse (see, they arenít racist Ė they are for killing political opponents regardless of race!) is the one who spews her violent, vitriolic, inciteful hate speech and then apologizes for calling other opponents ďassh*lesĒ. Well, it is good to know while she is willing to murder one of the highest-ranking African-Americans in government for political crimes, she at least draws the line at uttering profanity.
Iím curious Ė where is the Secret Service on this one? Where is the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security? When will we see these people rounded up and imprisoned for their invocation of murder against a member of the Supreme Court and his wife BY NAME?
But at least they didnít raise questions about Obamaís birth certificate Ė because that would have been significantly more racist than calling for the lynching of Clarence and Ginny Thomas.
But at least weíve got this little proto-terrorist away from the rest of the kids.
A 7-year-old child allegedly shot a Nerf-style toy gun in his Hammonton, N.J., school Jan. 18. No one was hurt, but the pint-size softshooter now faces misdemeanor criminal charges.
Hammonton Police began an investigation into the ďsuspicious activityĒ at the Hammonton Early Childhood Education Center Jan. 18 after school officials alerted them to the incident.
The "gun" the child brought to school was a $5 toy gun, similar to a Nerf gun, that shoots soft ping pong type balls, according to the school's superintendent.
And just how does the superintendent justify this course of action.
Dr. Dan Blachford, the Hammonton Board of Education superintendent, said the school has a zero tolerance policy.
"We are just very vigilant and we feel that if we draw a very strict line then we have much less worry about someone bringing in something dangerous," said Blachford.
And even more frightening is the fact that there are parents who support this sort of asinine reasoning.
Deseire Gherard, a parent of one of the students at the school, agrees with the policy.
"I'd rather it be dealt with more severely than not," said Gherard. "I would rather them go a little bit too far for the safety of all the children then to say 'okay, it was probably nothing.'"
Yeah, because even though it actually was nothing, treating it as nothing is significantly less safe than treating it as a criminal offense. I mean, Iím sure that Klebold and Harris would never have considered their assault on Columbine High School had the schools in Littleton, Colorado had a policy like this one Ė it would have scared the bejeebers out of them and they never would have even considered bringing guns and a bomb to school and murdering their classmates.
After all, when Nerf guns are outlawed only outlaws will have Nerf guns.
You know, since those laws were declared unconstitutional and therefore null and void in their entirety, too.
But to refresh your memory, here is what the judge had to say about ObamaCare.
In his Jan. 31 Final Summary Declaratory Judgment, Judge Vinson, in the district court for the Northern District of Florida, said ďit is hereby DECLARED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010) Ö is unconstitutional.Ē
And in the complete ruling, Vinson wrote that ďthere is a long-standing presumption Ďthat officials of the Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the court. As a result, this declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction.íĒ
But Durbin doesnít care Ė he wants ObamaCare enforced.
Judge Vinson, Monday had a chance to not only decide whether it was constitutional but to issue an injunction,Ē said Durbin. ďHe didnít do that.Ē
CNSNews.com then asked Durbin to clarify whether the Obama administration should continue to implement the law.
ďOh, absolutely,Ē said Durbin.
Time for Judge Vinson to issue the injunction Ė and slap Dick Durbin with a contempt citation for his efforts to ignore the ruling of the court.
And fortunately Congressman Allen West was ready to slap him down when he did it.
Freshman Republican Congressman Allen West clashed with an advocate for Muslim-American civil rights at a sometimes-rowdy town hall meeting Monday night.
The tense exchange drew boos from a standing room only, largely Republican crowd.
The confrontation came as West, an Iraq War veteran who was backed by the Tea Party in last November's election, took questions from constituents. Nezar Hamze, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Miami, stepped to the microphone and accused West of making anti-Muslim comments in the past.
"Me and my children choose to follow the faith of Islam. You consistently insult it. How can we expect you to defend our right and practice Islam as far as the Constitution is concerned?" Hamze asked.
"I will always defend your right to practice a free religion under the First Amendment," West said. "But what you must understand, if I am speaking the truth, I am not going to stop speaking the truth. The truth is not subjective," he continued to loud applause.
Speaking of stories that leave me embarrassed of my fellow educators, there is this one out of Canada.
Isabel Theoret was preparing a sandwich for her 6-year-old son's Kindergarten class one day last week, when he screamed out, "No Mommy! Not a Ziploc!"
The child, who lives with his family in the town of Laval in Quebec, explained that his teacher would exclude him from a contest to win a stuffed teddy bear if he brought an environmentally unfriendly plastic baggie to school.
"Felix explained with lots of emotion and tears in his eyes that there was a simple condition to entering the drawing: Don't use a Ziploc bag in their lunch," his father, Marc-Andre Lanciault wrote on his French-language blog, "Notre Vie" [Our Life].
"Felix reacted as if someone had slaughtered a pig for his ham sandwich," said his father, who is CEO and founder of the technology company INBOX International.
When the father questioned Felix's teacher, she responded, "You know, Mr. Lanciault, it's not very good for the environment," according to a report in Canada's National Post. "We have to take care of our planet and the bags do not decompose well."
Quite bluntly, if this teacher cannot stop her indoctrination and emotional abuse of children in the pursuit of her own political agenda, maybe it is time to see if SHE ďdecomposes wellĒ. After all, like her ideological confreres who ruled behind the Iron Curtain, she belongs on the garbage heap of history with the rest of the trash. At bare minimum, she should be out of the classroom Ė and out of the profession.
When I read about crap like this, Iím ashamed to be a teacher.
Andrew Mikel II admits it was a stupid thing to do. In December, bored and craving attention, the 14-year-old used a plastic tube to blow small plastic pellets at fellow students in Spotsylvania High School. In one lunch period, he scored three hits.
"They flinched. They looked annoyed," Mikel said.
The school district saw it as more than a childish prank. School officials expelled him for possession and use of a weapon, and they called a deputy sheriff to the scene, said Mikel and his father, Andrew Mikel Sr.
The younger Mikel, a freshman, said he was charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault. The case was first reported by the Web site WorldNetDaily.
Spotsylvania school officials declined to comment on the incident, citing student confidentiality rules. But documents that the school produced when Mikel's father filed a Freedom of Information Act request show internal division over the matter.
The federal Gun-Free Schools Act mandates that schools expel students who take weapons, including hand guns, explosive devices and projectile weapons, to school. E-mail traffic among school officials showed they ruled that Mikel's plastic tube, which was fashioned from a pen casing, met the definition of a projectile weapon because it was "used to intimidate, threaten or harm others."
Gee -- isn't this the sort of silly mischief that 30 years ago would have gotten your parents a phone call and you a single detention after school? This is the moral equivalent of expulsion for spitballs.
But i can point to one aspect of this that is telling. The district finds itself compelled to act due to requirements of a FEDERAL law related to education. That just goes to show one more reason that federal officials, far removed from the reality "in the trenches" of public education, have no business passing laws that relate to issues of discipline and campus conduct (actually, they've got no business passing any laws on education at all -- but that's a different matter). Rather than creating a scheme under which educators can make well-reasoned decisions based upon individualized circumstances, the one-size-fits-all statutory model contributes to travesties like this.
The company that owns Carlís Jr. and Hardeeís restaurants is considering moving its headquarters from California to Texas, and Austin is one of the possible locations.
Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants Inc., and President Michael Murphy will be in Austin today to meet with Gov. Rick Perry, the company told the Austin American-Statesman.
CKE has identified Texas as its top growth state over the next several years, and plans to add dozens of restaurants in the Austin area, among 350 statewide, over the next 10 years. A Carlís Jr. on Bee Cave Road had its opening Monday.
The Dallas Morning News reported this morning that CKE would consider moving 500 employees from California to Texas, depending on how talks go with Perry. Austin, Dallas and San Antonio are possible locations, the newspaper said.
One of my major complaints about life down here in Texas has being not having a Hardee's within a couple hundred miles of my home. maybe this means we will be getting a few down here in this area -- or Carl's Jr., which also has some great burgers on the menu. And, of course, as those restaurants open it won't just be 500 office jobs coming here -- after all, there will be the jobs at the restaurants, with the supplier, and building the buildings.
During an exclusive dinner hosted Monday by the Alfalfa Club, Obama adviser Valerie Jarret had just such a moment. And were it not for an irritated tipster, Jarret might have walked away from the dinner unblemished.
According to our tipster, Jarrett was seated at the head table along with several other big-name politicians and a handful of high-ranking military officials. As an officer sporting several stars walked past Jarrett, she signaled for his attention and said, ďIíd like another glass of wine.Ē
White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, who was seated next to Jarret, began ďcracking up nervously,Ē our tipster said, but no one pointed out to Jarrett that the man sporting a chestful of medals was not her waiter.
Got that -- Obama has people in his administration who can't tell the difference between waitstaff at a fancy restaurant and senior military officers. Or perhaps it just is that they didn't care, given Austan Goolsbee's reaction. Wouldn't you love to know who all these "big-name politicians" were? You know, the ones who didn't bitch-slap Ms. Jarrett and tell her that she should have more respect for the uniform of the REAL public servants in the room and that she should get her sorry ass up and go get her own wine.
When they spin words to deceive.
When you read this column -- and the liberal commentaries on it, you get just the impression that the authors want to give you. Unfortunately, it is a deceptive one.
Today, Republican Members of Congress who ran on a platform of repealing health care and patients' rights for millions of Americans officially began receiving their own Congressional health insurance. Just two weeks after their party voted unanimously to strip patient protections and affordable coverage for all Americans, all but 15 new Republican members of the 112th Congress are enrolled in a comprehensive insurance plan. Their plan is paid for with generous subsidies courtesy of the American taxpayer, and has no waiting period for pre-existing illness or disability.
Yeah, it sounds awfully hypocritical.
Well, until you realize what the more accurate term for this comprehensive insurance plan with generous government subsidies. It is called EMPLOYER PROVIDED HEALTH INSURANCE. You know, like most Americans get with their jobs, including that healthy subsidy by the employer. These members of Congress, who ran on a platform of keeping the existing system under which most Americans get insurance through their employers, with a part of the premium usually paid by the employer, have taken health insurance paid for by their employer, with a part of the premium paid by the employer.
Indeed, I have scorn for only 15 of the new members of Congress -- those who were weak-minded, weak-minded, and spineless enough to fall for the liberal propaganda and refuse the very sort of employee benefit that they believe should remain in place. They need to be primaried, defeated, and replaced, because if they are dumb enough to fall for this liberal scheme, they will fall in line with them every single time they have to stand up to a little bit of negative liberal press.
Oh, by the way, the real hypocrite is liberal Democrat Congressman Joe Courtney -- he's taking that subsidized insurance that he believes every American should get despite the fact that all Americans don't -- and won't even if the unconstitutional ObamaCare scheme goes into effect. he should be refusing it until every American gets what he is entitled to. But doing that would require him to live by his principles -- so instead he proclaims himself a saint while hypocritically following the principles of the GOP.
A Pakistani court refused today to release an American official to US authorities, igniting a diplomatic rift between the two countries as well as speculation about the officialís role within the American government.
Embassy employee Raymond Davis is accused of murdering two Pakistan citizens in Lahore last Thursday as The Christian Science Monitor reported then. However, he has claimed that he was acting in self-defense after two men on a motorcycle attempted to rob him at gunpoint, according to a BBC report.
The State Department released a statement saying that Pakistani authorities are obliged to hand over Mr. Davis because he has diplomatic immunity.
ďHe is a member of the embassyís technical administrative staff and therefore entitled to full criminal immunity. He cannot be lawfully arrested or detained in accordance with the Vienna Convention,Ē said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley on Monday, according to an AFP report.
Given that Pakistan received over $2.5 billion in military and economic aid from the United States last year, and is slated to receive more. It needs to be made very clear that this yearís projected larger dole of cash will be contingent upon the immediate release of Mr. Davis, an official apology to him and the American people by the government of Pakistan, and the immediate arrest and extradition to the US of the judge and prosecutors involved in this international law for trial before a competent American court for their crimes against the United States. Failure to comply ought to be met with the immediate redeployment of US forces from Afghanistan into Pakistan for both the extraction of all US diplomatic personnel (including Mr. Davis) and the removal of the current corrupt Pakistani regime.
Obama administration officials are vowing to continue implementation of the presidentís health care law ďapaceĒ despite a second ruling that the law is unconstitutional, calling the decision by Judge Robert Vinson ďa plain case of judicial overreachingĒ well outside mainstream legal thought.
ďWe donít believe this kind of judicial activism will be upheld,Ē said Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter in a blog post published at WhiteHouse.gov.
Senior administration officials vowed implementation of the law would ďproceed apace.Ē The Justice Department is appealing the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
You are going to ďproceed apaceĒ in implementing elements of a law that has been found unconstitutional in toto. That means that Barack Obama is going to knowingly intentionally, and explicitly violate his oath of office to ďfaithfully execute the Office of President of the United StatesĒ and ďpreserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.Ē The proper response to this, beyond any judicial sanction imposed, would be for the House to impeach and the Senate to remove Barack Obama from office if he and his minions do carry out such a violation of the Constitution.
Remember how, when Tea Party endorsed candidates talked about the role of legislators and presidents in determining the constitutionality of laws, we were told that by Democrats that it was the courts alone that were charged with doing so? If that is the case, why is Dick Durbin holding this hearing?
Not long after a federal judge struck down Democratsí healthcare reform law Monday for exceeding congressional power, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he would chair a hearing this week about the lawís constitutionality.
"Durbin, one of the lawís biggest proponents, will argue that the bill is constitutional and that legal challenges to the legislation are driven by partisan opposition to its reforms," his office said in a statement.
Interesting, isnít it, that we now have a Senator trying to directly challenge the findings of a federal court on the constitutionality of legislation? After all, the time to deal with the constitutionality of the legislation was back before its passage, not now that it has been struck down by a federal court in its entirety. After all, it isnít like there is any legislative way to overturn a federal court decision.
A plea bargain that gives the perp deferred adjudication, no jail time and, ultimately, no conviction, is simply outrageous.
A former assistant principal at Porter High School will not spend time in jail for sending improper text messages to students asking for sex.
On Monday morning, James Camden McKinney, 49, went before state District Judge Migdalia Lopez who sentenced him to five years of deferred adjudication on the charge of having an improper relation between an educator and a student, as part of a plea bargain.
What this means is that if he stays out of trouble for the next five years, the charge is wiped away without a conviction. That means he will not be a convicted felon, and presumably will not be registered as a sex offender. What possible justification can there be for this plea bargain?
Iím curious Ė would he have gotten this sweetheart deal if he were a priest and not a principal?
Do you really need to know some things?
Police in East Ridge, Tenn., on Monday are investigating the death of a 26-year-old man who was bitten while attempting to determine the sex of a poisonous copperhead snake.
Apparently the snake collector found the thing in the yard, and just had to check.
I think we've found a nominee for the Darwin Award.
Now I agree with their point -- that any cuts in education need to be carefully tuned so as not to endanger student learning. But I just want to scream when I see folks like John Folks, Northside ISD superintendent, pull out statistics like this one.
Folks said his school district could not survive the proposed budget cuts.
"At $50,000 a pop, that's 2,000 teachers," he said of the nearly $100 million a year in cuts. "We have 7,500 teachers at Northside. We can't operate."
John, we all know you are not going to lay off 2000 teachers -- at least not if you are competent. You know there is support staff that can be eliminated, not to mention streamlining the administration building by cutting some of the folks in administration building sinecures who your district can run without. Yeah, it means getting rid of long-time friends who with whom you work on a daily basis -- but most of them haven't been on the inside of a classroom for years and are not particularly essential to student achievement. Do you really need three deputy superintendents and seven assistant superintendents? And lets not forget that you have another ten administrators designated as "senior staff" on your organizational chart, and somewhere around thirty others with titles like "executive director" and the like. I'd imagine that you've probably got the salaries of 100-200 teachers tied up in that bunch right there -- and when you throw in the secretaries and assistants to these folks, I'm certain that you could probably take care of 10% or more of your budget cuts right there. Probably more, if you folks in the senior staff were to take a reduction in salary so that you would share the pain that you expect to be inflicting on the rest of district personnel.
I encountered this statement from Brian Beutler over at TPM regarding Judge Vinson't ObamaCare decision.
Simply ruling against the mandate puts any judge on the opposite side of the vast majority of expert legal opinion.
Of course, that is utterly meaningless. "The vast majority of expert legal opinion" has been wrong in the past. After all, "the vast majority of expert legal opinion" believed that separate but equal was Constitutionally acceptable, And it has not been long since "the vast majority of expert legal opinion" held that the Second Amendment was a constitutional nullity that did not confer an actual right to individuals. What Buetler really means is "the vast majority of legal scholars who are registered Democrats" hold the position that he advocates -- and that any conservative who holds a different opinion is either "outside the mainstream" (as defined by Democrat-leaning "experts") or simply wrong.