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August 31, 2011

West To Resign CBC Membership?

He ought to – the racist organization is engaged in constant hate speech directed at principled men and women like Congressman West.

After watching several video clips on Wednesday of fellow black lawmakers attack the tea party, Rep. Allen West, Florida Republican, told Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy, “I think I’m re-considering my membership in the Congressional Black Caucus.”

This remark came from Rep. West, a popular lawmaker among tea party activists, happened after a clip was played of Rep. Andre. Carson, Indiana Democrat, told an audience in Miami that tea-party supporting members of Congress look at African Americans as “second-class citizens” and would like to see them “hanging on a tree.”

Congressman West immediately defended the tea party and called Rep. Carson’s statements “reprehensible.” Rep. West is the only Republican who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

I’ll say it flat out – for the CBC, a racially exclusive organization, to identify any other group as racist is offensive. And given the gang of corrupt, dishonest, and incompetent figures who are members of the CBC, why would West want to sully his name by association?





|| Greg, 05:39 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Maybe That’s Because They Are More Beneficial To The Company’s Bottom Line

After all, the CEO probably adds value, while the federal government is often a net drain on profits – especially under this administration.

At least 25 top United States companies paid more to their chief executives in 2010 than they did to the federal government in taxes, according to a study released on Wednesday.

The companies — which include household names like eBay, Boeing, General Electric and Verizon — averaged $1.9 billion each in profits, according to the study by the Institute for Policy Studies, a liberal-leaning research group. But a variety of shelters, loopholes and tax reduction strategies allowed the companies to average more than $400 million each in tax benefits — which can be taken as a refund or used as write-off against earnings in future years.

In other words, these companies followed the law as written by Congress. And these “shelters, loopholes and tax reduction strategies” include little things like tax credits for creating new jobs, write-offs for equipment depreciation, deductions for research and development, and a host of other standard business deductions that the article here conveniently fails to detail. But in the end, I’m not bothered if these companies do pay their executives more than they pay in taxes – because the government does not have first claim on a company’s profits, nor does government have any place setting a maximum pay scale for the private sector. At most, this simply shows how screwed up our tax code really is.





|| Greg, 05:31 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

August 30, 2011

Cops Steal Legal Guns -- Refuse To Return Them Without Court Order

I chose my words carefully -- and I think you'll understand why.

Francesca Rice no longer serves in her country’s armed forces, but she brought a piece of the action back home with her.

It seems the Lakewood vet had stockpiled her Edgewater Towers condo with a home arsenal including handguns, shotguns, a sniper rifle — plus a Thompson sub-machine gun, just in case the pizza guy got fresh.

Her cache somehow caught the attention of Lakewood Police, who paid a visit last September. When they found Rice wasn’t home, they asked an obliging employee of the complex to open up the apartment without her consent. Once inside, they raided the gun rack, making off with 13 firearms worth around $15,000. The only problem: They had no apparent reason to.

When Rice kindly asked to have her toys returned, the cops acknowledged that the weapons were legally owned. But they refused to return them without a court order. And so Rice has filed suit in Lakewood Municipal Court.

Let's look at this.

Under color of law, the local cops coerced apartment employees to let them into an apartment to which they had no legal right to enter. They lacked a warrant, any indication that a crime was in progress, or exigent circumstances that would allow for entry. Indeed, if they had any of the above they would have entered the apartment by busting the door down. They then seized items without a warrant, and refused to return them.

What you have there is theft -- and a violation of a little statute passed about 140 years ago that is still known as the Ku Klux Klan Act. If the Obama Regime still had a Justice Department that cared about the Constitution and the laws of the United States being faithfully enforced, we would have already seen indictments handed down and cops perp-walked out of the police headquarters.





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Barry Hussein Tells You How To View 9/11

You know -- "guidelines" about what to say and how to view the evil terrorist assault on America ten years ago.

The guidelines list what themes to underscore — and, just as important, what tone to set. Officials are instructed to memorialize those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and thank those in the military, law enforcement, intelligence or homeland security for their contributions since.

“A chief goal of our communications is to present a positive, forward-looking narrative,” the foreign guidelines state.

Oh, yes -- Americans are also supposed to be reminded that 9/11 isn't just about us.

With all due respect, Barack Hussein Obama can blow it out of his Muslim-descended ass.

The events of 9/11 were very much about us -- and the only "forward-looking" agenda that is needed is one which is focused upon wiping out each and every Islamist who believes in the attack upon the freedoms embodied in Western Culture. What we don't need is any more of Obama's "hug-a-Muslim" Kumbayah-ism that is designed to obscure the reality that there exists in Islam a malignancy that will attack and kill liberty -- for non-Muslims and the vast majority of decent, peaceful Muslims -- wherever it is found.





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Shots At Rep. Green's Office Not An Attack On Democrat Lawmaker

Here's the report.

Shots fired at the office of Rep. Gene Green in north Houston today likely came from a pellet or BB gun, police said.

The shots hit the windows of Green's office at 256 North Sam Houston Parkway East, Suite 29, as well as other nearby properties, according to the congressman's staff.

The damage occurred between 8 and 10:45 a.m., after which it was reported to authorities, Houston Police Department spokesman John Cannon said. No one in the office heard the shots, he said.

"It's not gunshots fired from a semiautomatic," Cannon said. "It's a BB gun or a pellet gun most likely."

Let's note some things.

1) This does not appear to be targeted at Green, making it appear that someone with a pellet gun was shooting at windows randomly.

2) This is a pellet gun, which makes it look more like simple vandalism rather than an assault.

3) This location isn't far from some of the Houston areas "less exclusive" neighborhoods.

In other words, there just isn't much meat to this story to make it into anything really serious. I'll be glad to correct that assessment when and if the evidence contradicts that initial judgment, but not until then.

And let me add, parenthetically, that I'm glad that the facts as they are now reported make that the most obvious conclusion to draw and that there are no actual injuries that would warrant giving more weight to the story. I wouldn't wish anything serious on any of our local pols, and certainly not on Gene Green.





|| Greg, 03:06 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

August 29, 2011

How Hot Has It Been In Houston?

Would you believe hot enough to buckle an off-ramp on a major highway?

Intense heat caused pavement on a 610 West Loop off-ramp to buckle on Sunday, a Texas Department of Transportation official said.

TxDOT crews closed the northbound off-ramp at Bellaire Boulevard and hoped to repair the damage by 5 a.m. today.

Temperatures on Sunday reached 106 degrees at Bush Intercontinental Airport, according to the National

We've had only one day this month when the mercury didn't hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only did it reach 106 degrees on Sunday, but on Saturday we were treated to 109 degrees. Pray for rain -- pray for cooling.





|| Greg, 05:13 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

August 28, 2011

Can We Throw This Sack Of Crap Out Of The GOP Yet?

Ron Paul -- apologist for the 9/11 terrorists.

“I don’t see Islam as our enemy,” Paul said. “I see that motivation is occupation and those who hate us and would like to kill us, they are motivated by our invasion of their land, the support of their dictators that they hate.”

Regarding 9/11, Paul said that attacks against the U.S. from Middle Eastern groups at home and abroad can be traced to the foreign presence of U.S. troops, as well as America’s relationships with dictator regimes.

Paul referred to a military base in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, as a key motivator in the Sept. 11th attacks. Osama bin Laden viewed it as an American desecration of holy land.

“After 9/11, (people said) ‘Oh yeah, it’s those very bad people who hate us,’ but 15 of (the hijackers) came from Saudi Arabia,” said Paul. “One of the reasons they attacked us, is we propped up this Sharia government and the fundamentalists hated us for it.”

May I just say that Ron Paul needs to pull his head out of his ass there? What he overlooks is that those 9/11 hijackers weren't out to get rid of sharia law in Saudi Arabia. They objected to the Saudi regime because it wasn't Islamist enough -- and argued that the House of Saud had allowed a society to flourish that was too Westernized and too corrupt.

Of course, Ron paul has long surrounded himself with anti-Semites, apologiest for terrorism, and 9/11 truthers, so I guess we shoudl not be surprised that he yet again belches forth this sort of inanity.

But do we in the GOP have to keep him? Can't the House GOP Caucus expel him and strip him of his committee assignments? And while I'm certain that there is generally no way to keep him off of primary ballots, can't the RNC and various state party heads unite to declare that Ron Paul is not a Republican, and urging that primary voters reject him and his foul, anti-American, pro-terrorist message?

NOTE TO PAULBOTS -- Bite me.





|| Greg, 07:22 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Looks Like Best Buy May Face Legal Trouble

This was the scene at one New Jersey Best Buy as Hurricane Irene approached.

110828-irene-best-buy-price-gouging[1].jpg

Unfortunately, state law in New Jersey makes this illegal.

Attorney General Paula T. Dow and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs today warned gasoline retailers, grocers, and other merchants that price gouging is prohibited during the State of Emergency declared in advance of Hurricane Irene.

* * *

The law makes it illegal to sell merchandise at excessive price increases during a State of Emergency or within 30 days of the termination of the State of Emergency.

* * *

The law deems price increases excessive if they are more than 10 percent higher than the price at which a good or service was sold in the usual course of business prior to the State of Emergency; or, if additional costs are imposed by suppliers or certain logistical concerns during the State of Emergency, the increase is more than 10 percent of the amount of markup from cost, compared with the markup ordinarily applied.

Violations are punishable by civil penalties of up to $10,000 for the first offense and $20,000 for the second and subsequent offenses. Each individual sale of merchandise is considered a separate and distinct event.

I hope anyone who got taken by the folks at Best Buy will report the violation.

H/T Doug Ross





|| Greg, 12:19 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Boston Globe's "False Choice" Editorial On Guns Based Upon False Premise

Three legislatures in New England are considering legislation to require micro-stamping on gun firing pins to help trace the guns used in crimes. There are some good arguments for the idea -- but, as the Boston Globe points out, some pretty good arguments against the requirement, too. In an editorial on the matter, the paper piously intones that "this is a balancing decision that should be left to the legislatures, not gunmakers."

Now this statement is arguably true -- certainly the legislature, rather than an industry to be regulated, should be making decisions on regulations. But that isn't what the editorial board of the Boston Globe really means, as we see in the paragraph that comes next.

While firearms manufacturers have a right to lobby against this legislation and explain their objections to it, it is inappropriate to wield the jobs of hundreds of workers as a weapon. Micro-stamping does not place any significant burden on the sale or manufacture of guns. It is not a ban or an arduous tax. It merely requires the engraving of a serial number in one more place on the weapon. If a state legislature decides micro-stamping is appropriate, it should not be forced to choose between citizens’ lives and citizens’ livelihood.

Excuse me? Is the Boston Globe taking upon itself the right to define what lobbying methods are legitimate? Are the members of the editorial board really claiming the right to determine what business decisions may be made by business owners in response to legislative proposals and enactments that they find find burdensome, even if the legislature and the local media do not? What's more, isn't this effectively a claim that business owners should not be free to relocate to places they believe have a better regulatory and business climate? Sounds to me like the Boston Globe is using its freedom of the press to advocate against the freedom of every other business in the state.

Set aside that the micro-stamping technology in question has been determined to be flawed, that it is encumbered by a patent that would constitute a licensing fee windfall for one company (in effect creating a tax paid to a private entity rather than the government), and it will likely increase the price of the average gun significantly (I've seen the figure $200, but won't stand by it because I don't know how it was determined). Set aside the fact that the technology can be thwarted and the actual value as a law enforcement tool is questionable. It is an undeniably American principle that those unhappy with the laws of one state or one region are free to pick up and move to another where they find the laws more to their liking, free from government interference with that right.

So in the end, the assertion of the Boston Globe that a state legislature "should not be forced to choose between citizens’ lives and citizens’ livelihood" is a false proposition. Every proposed law considered by a legislative body must ultimately face a cost/benefit test. In this case, one of the questions to be considered is whether or not the law provides enough protection to citizens to justify the loss of jobs and tax revenues of the states (Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts) where such legislation is under consideration. Not only should that choice be made, but it must be made. And while I will not take a position in this post regarding which side the legislature should come down on, let me just say that there is no way that government in a free society can operate without making such choices.

And let me add -- we down here in Texas would love to see Colt relocate to our state. We are business-friendly, gun-friendly, and freedom-friendly. Why wouldn't you want your base of operations here?





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August 27, 2011

Another Pol With Naked Pictures

What the heck is it with these guys? Who takes naked pictures of themselves in the mirror? And more to the point, why on earth would anyone in public life (not in public life, for that matter) put such a picture out there into the internet?

Senator Roberto Arango of Puerto Rico has been accused of posting naked pictures of himself on mobile gay hookup site Grindr.

The Puerto Rican TV show Dando Candela presented the conservative lawmaker with a photograph of a man, naked except for a pendant necklace, whose face was obscured by an iPhone as he snapped a photo of his reflection in a mirror.

Arango didn't exactly deny he was the subject in the photograph: “You know I've been losing weight. As I shed that weight, I've been taking pictures. I don't remember taking this particular picture but I'm not gonna say I didn't take it. I'd tell you if I remembered taking the picture but I don't.”

“It would be my pleasure to tell you I'm the person in this photograph, but honestly I don't remember,” he said with a big smile.

Haven't seen an uncensored version of the photo in question, but let's just say that it doesn't appear that the pic is from an angle that you can see that smile -- or the rest of the face.

I'm sorry -- that Senator Roberto Arango takes enough pictures of himself naked that he cannot remember if he took this particular one is indicative of a problem in my book. And that he obviously will not say that he didn't post the picture online (never mind that it is at a gay dating site -- that really doesn't matter in this equation) says everything about his judgment. He needs to resign -- even though, unlike Anthony Weiner's notorious self-portraits, this particular snapshot was only shared with consenting adults.

H/T Colossus of Rhodey





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

Gov. Nikki Haley On NLRB's Pro-Union Signage Mandate

I love this Facebook post from the South Carolina Governor.

Right next to that sign that is being mandated by Barack Obama’s union cheerleaders at the NLRB, I encourage all S.C. employers to put up another sign: in our state, every worker has the freedom to reject the efforts to form unions and keep their paychecks for themselves and their families instead of paying dues to union bosses in Washington.

That's right in line with what I observed the other day, regarding the sort of additional notice that ought to be required in the workplace to provide balance and neutrality to the newly prescribed signage.

Business groups claim that the requirement has the effect of government taking the side of the unions. I agree -- especially since there is not a requirement that employees be told that they have a right to refuse to join a union, a right to request a refund of political assessments, and the right to seek decertification of a union free from reprisal by organized labor thugs. Government neutrality would seem to require that both sides be presented -- but since the Obama Regime is a wholly owned subsidiary of the labor unions, I guess neutrality is too much to expect.

But somehow, I expect that the national media will try to present Gov. Nikki Haley as an extremist for suggesting that employees be told of all their rights regarding unions -- assuming that her on-point suggestion gets covered at all.





|| Greg, 06:07 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Another Houston Chronicle Illegal Alien Sob Story

Here's their headline.

Despite policy, Friendswood teacher deported

Honesty really ought to require it be changed to the following.

Lawbreaker Pays Price For Lawbreaking
Despite Presidential Policy To Support Lawbreakers

Here's the story.

Sha' Vonne Ironche's husband called her Tuesday afternoon from inside the Houston immigration detention center, saying an officer told him to have a bag packed and ready by 5 p.m. for his deportation flight back to Spain.

She blacked out. The other teachers at her Houston-area school had to call her mother to come and pick her up.

Just days earlier, she and her husband, Esterny Ironche, a 55-year-old Spanish teacher, had high hopes he would be spared from deportation. Obama administration officials last week announced a case-by-case review of pending immigration cases, saying they planned to dismiss "low-priority" cases involving non-criminals to better target dangerous criminals.

Esterny Ironche had no criminal history, and he was married to a U.S. citizen. He had overstayed a visa 15 years ago, but had paid his taxes and had legal work authorization from the government. He had a case pending before the Board of Immigration Appeals. And he was in remission for prostate cancer and participating in a clinical trial in Houston.

All of those factors, the lives that had carefully constructed together here, would surely count in his favor, they figured.

But the government did not spare Ironche, who was loaded onto a flight from Houston to Dallas with the suitcase his wife had packed for him. He arrived in Madrid early Thursday.

Fifteen years of lawbreaking -- and on the government payroll at that, doing a job that an American citizen would have been glad to do.

Now is would I have objected to a waiver for this guy? Probably not -- but that is a grant of mercy, not a right. And given that there were thousands of teachers laid off here in Texas in the last few months, it isn't like there aren't Americans available today to fill Ironche's teaching job.





|| Greg, 04:56 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

August 26, 2011

Sanger ISD Administrators Need Firing

In most school districts, convocation is a pep talk for teachers and a waste of several hours that could be better spent preparing for the first day of school. My district did away with it a few years ago, after our former superintendent engaged in such stunts as riding in to a school gym on a Harley and skydiving onto the district football field. That said, convocation is generally a pretty harmless event – but here’s an exception.

They've tried letters, emails, and lobbyists. But this month, a local school superintendent and his administrators found another way of expressing their feelings on funding cuts and standardized testing.

They dressed up like actors from the classic comedy show "Hee Haw," and performed a sharp-witted satirical song aimed straight at Gov. Rick Perry.

It was Sanger ISD's convocation - a kind of comedy skit/pep-rally for staffers. No students are included. The past year had been a beating for educators, according to assistant superintendent Jackie McBroom.

“Teachers are tired, principals are tired,” McBroom said.

United Educators Association executive director Larry Shaw agreed.
“Our schools just got cut by $4 billion, and the governor just left town,” Shaw said.

With that in mind, McBroom along with superintendent Kent Crutsinger, IT director Chris Miller and deputy superintendent Eric Beam took to the stage to perform a song McBroom wrote.

“I did not intend for it to be a political statement,” said McBroom.

This was the chorus of the song:

"Where, Rick Perry, are you tonight? Why did you leave us here all alone? You promised us funding for all Texas children; but then you heard 'White House' and -- pfft -- you were gone."

Now mind you, this was a mandatory event for school employees. Non-attendance was not an option, nor was walking out before it is complete. That leads me to make the following observations.

When the top officials of a school district corral all the employees into a room and require them to view what is nothing less than a political commercial against a statewide elected official and presidential candidate, something is wrong.

When these same top administrators then coerce the employees to engage in political speech against that statewide elected official and presidential candidate, there is something even more rotten.

When they are unrepentant and seek to justify their actions, they are clearly unprofessional and need to be given their walking papers by the school board – or else the school board needs to be voted out at the next election.

Now please understand – I’m taking this position not because I am a Republican or a Perry supporter. I’ve made it clear around here that I’ve got problems with the governor and his candidacy for president – and I’ve also made clear that I didn’t agree with every education related proposal that made it through the legislature. What’s more, I would not object to a frank and fact-based presentation of those changes to teachers and a clear projection of what they will mean for them and the district – that is professional conduct. Unfortunately, professional conduct is apparently far beyond these four district supervisors.





|| Greg, 06:12 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Arizona Makes The Right Move On Preclearance

I wholeheartedly endorse the decision of the state of Arizona to challenge this provision of the Voting Rights Act.

The state of Arizona filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the federal government’s authority to enforce part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, becoming the first state to challenge the constitutionality of sections of the federal law that bars states from denying or limiting a person’s right to vote based on their race or color.

A provision in the law that requires several states including Arizona to get approval from the Justice Department for changes in voting procedures is unconstitutional, state Attorney General Tom Horne argues in the suit, which was filed in District of Columbia District Court.

“The portions of the Voting Rights Act requiring preclearance of all voting changes are either archaic, not based in fact, or subject to completely subjective enforcement based on the whim of federal authorities,” Horne said in a statement as the suit was filed.

You really do need to read Horne’s statement – it rather masterfully explains the absurdity of the provisions for determining coverage under the preclearance provisions for language minorities.

Of course, I dealt with the silliness of this extension of the entire preclearance scheme back in 2006, when I pointed out that the statute continues to use minority voting totals from the 1964 presidential election as the baseline for determining if preclearance is required. Such a standard is arbitrary, capricious, and illogical in the extreme. It is my profound hope that Arizona wins this suit, and that such a result leads to the imposition of preclearance in all 50 states or, alternatively, the use of the statistical data on more recent elections to move states on and off the list of states required to receive federal approval if there is to be preclearance at all. After all, why must we solve the problems of the 1964 election until 2032.





|| Greg, 05:41 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Where’s The IRS On This One?

Personally, I have no problem with churches speaking on political and governmental matters – I believe that to be a gospel requirement. However, the federal government does, given the gag rule imposed by the IRS. Which leads me to ask how this situation can continue without one or both of the churches involved having their tax exemptions lifted.

Harlemites have had enough of a local pastor posting signs at his prominently located church spewing hateful messages about President Obama.

Pastor James David Manning has put up “Obama Is Evil” and “He Used Black Vote to Uncle Tom For Wall St.” on the towering sign outside the ATLAH World Missionary Church on the bustling corner of Lenox Ave. and W. 123rd St.
A church next to Manning’s was so put off by the signs, officials posted their own — to make sure nobody thought their church had anything to do with ATLAH.

“This church is not affiliated with the church on the corner. We Support President Barack Obama,” reads a sign above the front door of Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church.

If a white church put up obviously political signs for or against a president, it would be deemed a violation of tax exempt status.

However, black churches have long been given significantly more leeway on political involvement than white churches are.

Is this just another case of protected group being protected from the tax code?





|| Greg, 04:39 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

August 25, 2011

More Pro-Union Bias From The NLRB

It isn't that I object to a requirement that employees be informed of that they can form a union and participate in union activities free from interference by the employer. I think it is a great thing. I'm just troubled by the lack of equal time.

The National Labor Relations Board has approved a new rule that requires private employers to display posters that tell workers about their right to form a union.

The rule requires businesses to prominently display the new posters that explain the right to bargain collectively, distribute union literature and engage in other union activities without reprisal.

Business groups claim that the requirement has the effect of government taking the side of the unions. I agree -- especially since there is not a requirement that employees be told that they have a right to refuse to join a union, a right to request a refund of political assessments, and the right to seek decertification of a union free from reprisal by organized labor thugs. Government neutrality would seem to require that both sides be presented -- but since the Obama Regime is a wholly owned subsidiary of the labor unions, I guess neutrality is too much to expect.





|| Greg, 06:26 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

First Amendment Prevails In Florida Teacher Case!

Agree or disagree with what Jerry Buell wrote on Facebook regarding the legalization of gay marriage in New York (my position here), the specter of schools policing and punishing outside-of-school teacher speech on issues of public importance and debate is both offensive and frightening to this teacher. I made my position on the matter crystal clear in my post on his suspension last week.

Well, it looks like Mr. Buell has prevailed, with the school district acknowledging that there is no legitimate basis for taking action against him for the expression of his opinion online on his own time (and in this case, during the summer when school was not even in session).

The Lake County School Board has completed their investigation of Jerry Buell, last year's "Teacher of the Year" at Mount Dora High School, who was recently suspended from the classroom for a comment he made on his personal Facebook page expressing his disapproval of legalized same-sex marriage in New York.

Buell is now back in the classroom. "I'm not going on Facebook again," Buell told FOX 35 on Wedneday.

Buell has been reinstated by the school district after he posted statements on Facebook. He wrote, "I was watching the news, eating dinner when the story about New York okaying same-sex unions came on and I almost threw up."

He continued, "If they want to call it a union, go ahead. But don't insult a man and woman's marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool of whatever."

Like I said -- I certainly wouldn't have said things the way he did, but I certainly respect his right to say them free of government retaliation. Unfortunately, it looks like the would-be censors have won a victory of sorts, given Mr. Buell's announced intention to cease exercising his Constitutional rights on Facebook (and, I would guess, other online media).

Furthermore, the more I read about the case the more offended I am that the district even felt that an investigation was in order, much less a suspension and the resulting publicity. Why? Because of the source of the complaint.

A 2002 Mount Dora High School graduate who never had Buell as a teacher, complained to the Board about Buell’s Facebook comments.

Someone who had never set foot in Mr. Buell's classroom and whose connection to the school itself was attenuated by the passage of time was permitted to threaten Buell's career and destroy his reputation based upon nothing more than being offended by what a teacher at his alma mater had said outside of school. That is shocking, and raises questions about the professionalism and ethics of those school officials who chose to handle the case in this manner.

Why am I so outraged? Easy -- this case is not merely an attack upon Mr. Buell. It is also an attack upon me. It is an attack upon gay teachers who choose to speak out upon gay issues in their private time. It is an attack upon my fellow teachers who write letters to the editor of local newspapers around the country. If Jerry Buell's teaching career had been ended, we all would have found our First Amendment rights sharply curtailed.





|| Greg, 06:20 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

More Birther Absurdity

This crap wasn't legitimate when directed against Barack Obama, and it certainly isn't legitimate when directed against Marco Rubio.

[T]here is already a movement afoot (led by some on the fringe) to disqualify him from serving as president (which would presumably disqualify him from serving as vice president). That’s right — some are arguing that Rubio is not eligible because he is not a “natural born citizen.”

Here’s how the logic works (according to World Net Daily’s Joe Kovacs): “While the Constitution does not define ‘natural-born citizen,’ there is strong evidence that the Founding Fathers understood it to mean someone born of two American citizens.”

Kovacs (and he is not alone) goes on to reason that Rubio’s “eligibility is in doubt” because — though his parents were legal U.S. residents when he was born — they were not yet naturalized citizens.

Our courts, our laws, and our Constitution recognize no definition of "natural born citizen" beyond one who was a citizen from birth. Rubio qualifies. End of argument.

I'll stand with Moe Lane on this one.

[I]f your definition of ‘natural-born citizen’ means that you have to question the eligibility of this guy then let me be the first to inform you: YOU ARE CURRENTLY FROLICKING IN THE ENDLESS, SUN-LIT PLAINS OF STUPIDITY.

'Nuff said.





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Terrorist Support Group Seeks probe Of Efforts To Stop Terrorism

CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism fundraisng case, has demanded an investigation of NYC Police efforts to proactively investigate terrorist plots in the city where more Americans have been murdered by Islamic terrorists than anywhere else in America.

Following a months-long investigation, The Associated Press (AP) revealed that the NYPD is using covert surveillance techniques "that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government" and "does so with unprecedented help from the CIA in a partnership that has blurred the bright line between foreign and domestic spying."

According to the AP investigative report:

"The [NYPD] has dispatched teams of undercover officers, known as 'rakers,' into minority neighborhoods as part of a human mapping program, according to officials directly involved in the program. They've monitored daily life in bookstores, bars, cafes and nightclubs. Police have also used informants, known as 'mosque crawlers,' to monitor sermons, even when there's no evidence of wrongdoing. NYPD officials have scrutinized imams and gathered intelligence on cab drivers and food cart vendors, jobs often done by Muslims. Many of these operations were built with help from the CIA, which is prohibited from spying on Americans but was instrumental in transforming the NYPD's intelligence unit."

SEE: With CIA Help, NYPD Built Secret Effort to Monitor Mosques, Daily Life of Muslim Neighborhoods (AP)

"These revelations send the message to American Muslims that they are being viewed as a suspect community and that their constitutional rights may be violated with impunity," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "The Justice Department must initiate an immediate investigation of the civil rights implications of this spy program and the legality of its links to the CIA."

On the other hand, there have been no investigations as to why this terrorist front group is allowed to operate freely despite its terrorist ties -- and why our media treats it as a credible source and ignores that history.

And as for CAIR's complaints -- while not every is a terrorist (indeed, the overwhelming majority are not), it is sadly indisputable that the Muslim community and its organizations (including mosques) have produced more terrorists on a per capita basis than any other segment of our population. Why wouldn't law enforcement concentrate its resources there?





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Barack Obama Is Unpatriotic

Well, at least according to this guy.

“The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars for the first 42 presidents — number 43 added $4 trillion dollars by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic.”
Senator Barack Obama, July 3, 2008
Campaign Speech, Fargo, ND

And in the first 2 1/2 years of his presidency, President Barack Obama has driven our national debt from that point to over $14 trillion. So surely the candidate of Hope & Change would agree that there is a patriotism deficit in the Oval Office.

H/T Memeorandum





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August 24, 2011

Government Bureaucracy Run Amok

This bit of news from Chicago -- noted by the über-liberal Matthew Yglesias over at Think Progress -- shows just how far that city has gone down the road of government oversight of everything, with the resulting elimination of human freedom.

An interesting story about municipal regulations piled upon municipal regulations in Chicago comes to me from IB. In Chicago, as in other large American cities, recent immigrants are disproportionately involved in entrepreneurial small businesses. And in order to conduct business in Chicago, you need various kinds of permits. To get the permits, you need to fill out forms. The forms, meanwhile, are in English and Spanish. The Office of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection also has one Cantonese-speaking, one Mandarin-speaking, one French-speaking, and one-Polish speaking employee who can help you translate.

So what if you’re from Vietnam? Well, there used to be an answer. Guys like Tam Van Nguyen would get paid money by Vietnamese entrepreneurs to go down to the BACP office and do the forms, “but in 2008 things got complicated. The city started requiring people like Nguyen to have a something called an expediters license.”

Yeah, that's right -- if you don't speak the language, having someone who does speak the language do them for requires finding someone who has official city permission. What utter absurdity.

Of course, this is equally absurd:

Meanwhile, Rahm Emanuel wants to make it easier for immigrant entrepreneurs to help launch new businesses in part by launching an “Office of New Americans” to identify and clear barriers to immigrant entrepreneurs.

Better plan -- establish a government office that helps all Americans who want to open a business, not just the newcomers. Or even better, forget establishing a new office and instead start eliminating some of the offices and employees and forms that by their very existence get in the way of those seeking to business. Now that would be a revolutionary, pro-business, pro-freedom move.





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I Just Don’t Understand This Candidacy

Congressman McCaul has a relatively safe Congressional seat, and the field is crowded with candidates for the GOP Senatorial nomination. I don’t get why he is considering this.

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, is quietly exploring a run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican sources told The Texas Tribune on Tuesday. McCaul is telling potential supporters that he's prepared to spend $4 million to $6 million of his own money.

In a statement emailed to the Tribune, McCaul didn’t say he was getting in the race but also didn’t deny that he was. "My goal remains to ensure that the most qualified person represents Texas in the United States Senate," the statement said.

He'd be entering a crowded Republican primary field that already includes Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones, former Solicitor General Ted Cruz and undertaker Glenn Addison. Retired Lt. Gen. Ric Sanchez is the only Democrat in the race so far.

We’ve already seen two highly qualified candidates get out of the race to seek the new 33rd Congressional District seat. We already have one rich guy preparing to self-finance his campaign in the form of David Dewhurst. And we already have at least one grassroots favorite in Ted Cruz, though rumor has it we might see state Senator Dan Patrick jump in as well. Where is the room for McCaul in all this? As a Republican activist, I just can’t see a place for him.





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Article Presents Candidate Exclusion In False Light

Most Americans don’t know who Fred Karger is. I’ve been involved in GOP politics for three decades and had never heard of him before he declared his candidacy for president, and I don’t know much about him beyond that. But the San Francisco Chronicle has decided to cast a false light on his exclusion from the list of speakers at the California GOP convention.

Fred Karger, the only Californian - and the only gay candidate - in the 2012 Republican presidential field, says he knows plenty about closed doors. But shut out by his own party - and in his own state?

Even as Republican leaders say they're eagerly wooing all candidates to the state GOP convention Sept. 16-18 in Los Angeles, Karger says his request to attend and address the party activists has apparently been refused.

"I have been waiting for my invitation, and it never came," Karger, 61, a 38-year resident of Laguna Beach (Orange County), told The Chronicle last week. "And I called up a couple of weeks ago and explained my position."
That's when a party official, Karger said, left a "terse" message: "The schedule is completely filled."

In other words, nobody has told Karger he can’t speak because he is gay. And as he well knows from his years in politics, “the schedule is filled” is a polite way of telling a candidate or officeholder that you aren’t interested in him as a speaker. And why should they be – this unknown draws perhaps two percent in the polls. While there are candidates who perform equally abysmally, they at least have the virtue of being established political figures. Newt Gingrich, for example, will draw listeners for reasons other than his doomed candidacy – Fred Karger will draw virtually none. That has nothing to do with his sexuality – and everything to do with the fact that he is “Fred who?” So shame on the San Francisco Chronicle for trying to make it appear otherwise.





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No Snitching Culture Gets You This

Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.

About 500 spectators were packed around the Kingsessing Recreation Center's outdoor basketball court Monday night, cheering on an adult league playoff game.

Then, at halftime, a thug in a red and black baseball hat loped across the court and fired a .40-caliber handgun 11 times into the bleachers, wounding six people.

As of Tuesday afternoon, none of those 500 witnesses were saying much to police.

Bu then again, what do you expect when a culture sends the message that it is better to protect the thugs than it is to aid in their apprehension?





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Obama's Jobs Record

When the Washington Post start's highlighting Obama's shortcomings as President, you know he's in trouble.

“Unless the economy turns around in the next 18 months, Obama is on track to have the worst jobs record of any president in the modern era. That would be an accurate statement.”

This judgment comes not from Sarah Palin but from Glenn Kessler, fact checker for the Washington Post. Which makes the judgment triply damaging to the president, since the Post is not known as an anti-Obama newspaper.

As if to prove the point, Kessler adds a caveat to his statement: “But [Obama] also became president in the midst of the worst recession of our lifetimes–and it seems a real stretch to make him personally responsible for every one of those lost jobs, without bothering to offer a shred of evidence for the claim.”

As is noted at Commentary's Contentions blog, no president is ever 100% responsible for every negative thing that happens during his presidency, and so Kessler is battling against a strawman argument. But the reality is that Obama's policies have not significantly ameliorated the impact of that "worst recession of our lifetimes", and have in fact seems to deepen it. And whether Glenn Kessler and the Washington post like to admit it, Barack Obama is personally responsible for that reality.

presidentsthenpresidentsnow.jpg





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Is Marco Rubio The Second Coming Of Ronald Reagan?

Read these words and tell me that you couldn't imagine them coming from the Gipper's mouth.

“Americans here in the 20th century built the richest, most prosperous nation in the history of the world,” Rubio told an enthusiastic crowd of 1,000. “And yet today we have built for ourselves a government that not even the richest and most prosperous nation in the face of the earth can fund or afford to pay for — an extraordinarily tragic accomplishment.”

There are those, both on the Right and the Left, who argue that the GOP has lost the spirit of Ronald Reagan. I don't know that I agree with that assessment, but i do know that we have had a dearth of leaders who combined his vision, his eloquence, and his commitment to getting government out of the way of ordinary Americans. Watch this video -- you will see someone who has all three of those things, and who is young enough to be a leader of conservatism in America for the next generation.





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August 23, 2011

An Interesting Naming Dispute

I remember a couple decades back when Michael and Lowell Milken went down for their crimes on Wall Street. But a funny thing happened after that experience – the Milken brothers became great philanthropists and have become pillars of the community. As a teacher, I’m particularly impressed with their work related to education. But there are those who question whether this educational gift by Lowell should be accepted for this purpose with his name attached.

When the U.C.L.A. School of Law announced a $10 million gift from Lowell Milken to establish a business law institute in his name earlier this month, the university described him as a “pioneer in education reform” and a “leading philanthropist.”

Behind the scenes, Mr. Milken’s big donation has set off an internal debate at the school. While many faculty members welcomed the money, one of the University of California, Los Angeles’s top business law professors has said the gift poses deep ethical problems and reputational risks, given Mr. Milken’s run-in with securities regulators two decades ago.

One current and one retired professor have strongly objected to the establishment of the program with Milken’s cash, especially since the new program will be named for him. But let’s flip this around – at what point does someone show rehabilitation and (to use a term loaded with religious significance) redemption? Both of the brothers have served their time, shown remorse and repentance, and worked to improve their society? Is it enough? And if it is, is it enough to justify accepting a gift from one of them for this particular purpose, given that their offenses involved violating the nations laws that regulate business and the economy?





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Best Line About Texas Ever

Courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s “Texas on the Potomac” blog.

5. If you spend any time on our highways, you will see a vehicle with a bumper sticker that says “Secede.” Shocking, I know. But some Texans think of secession the way you think of a three-way: Interesting idea, but it probably won’t happen in this lifetime.

And I’ll take the matter a step further – most of those with the “Secede” bumper stickers would argue against the proposition if there were any chance of it happening. However, they put them on the car for two reasons:

  1. It is fun to imagine (just like that three-way).
  2. It really pisses off the liberals and the Yankees.

Just sayin’.

H/T Kathleen McKinney





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WaPo Tries To Paint Perry As Bloodthirsty Executioner

Let’s consider how they begin this article on Perry’s record for number of executions presided over by a governor.

Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry brings to the presidential race a law-and-order credential that none of his competitors can match — even if they wanted to.

In his nearly 11 years as chief executive, Perry, now running for the GOP presidential nomination, has overseen more executions than any governor in modern history: 234 and counting. That’s more than the combined total in next two states — Oklahoma and Virginia — since the death penalty was restored 35 years ago.

But even then, they are forced to concede that the reason is “partly explained” by the fact that Perry has been governor for 11 years – nearly 1/3 of the period since the Supreme Court again allowed executions to proceed in this country.But then again, they go for the bloodthirsty thing again.

He vetoed a bill that would have spared the mentally retarded and sharply criticized a Supreme Court ruling that juveniles were not eligible for death. He has found during his tenure only one inmate on Texas’s crowded death row he thought should receive the lesser sentence of life in prison.

And Perry’s role in the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham — who supporters said should have been at least temporarily spared when experts warned that faulty forensic science led to his conviction — is still the subject of investigation in Texas.

The bill Perry vetoed, though, was flawed – not really clear on how the determination of retardation would be made and how it could be rebutted, nor did it place any time limit on when it could be raised by a convict. Furthermore, there was good reason to object to the Supreme Court decision that set an arbitrary standard without constitutional or historical foundation to prevent the execution of a juvenile, no matter how heinous the offense.

And here in Texas, the governor lacks the independent power to pardon a convict and must first get approval from the Board of Pardons and Paroles. The Willingham case, therefore, was beyond Perry’s control – except insofar as he could have given him a one-time 30 day reprieve that would have delayed but not stopped the execution. Indeed, the same article even points this out.

Texans and their representatives give governors little room to slow down the process.

Decisions to seek the death penalty are made by local prosecutors. Unlike in some states, the governor does not sign death warrants or set execution dates. The state constitution forbids the governor from calling a moratorium on executions and allows clemency only when the Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends it. Which is rarely.

So once again we see that the thing objected to is not within the power of Rick Perry to grant. And yet, they still include the following quote in the article.

Despite the limits on power, law professor Steiker said that “it is fair to say a Texas governor is responsible for every execution.”

Gee, how do you figure that? He can’t stop the executions, but he is responsible for them all.

Oh, and one last thing – the article gives a one-sided presentation on the Willingham case. What it does not point out is that there was plenty of evidence besides the forensic evidence that has been called into question. Indeed, the Willingham team turned to Perry only after the courts rejected their claims, and to this day Willingham’s defenders have not made a plausible case that there was insufficient evidence to convict Willingham in the absence of the disputed forensic evidence. That being the case, Willingham would have almost certainly gotten he death penalty, because we here in Texas don’t like parents who murder their children

But who cares about facts – the WaPo has a conservative pol to smear!





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Obama Facing Serious Reelection Trouble

How serious? He is behind to the three most serious GOP contenders -- and to Ron Paul.

nerwnz--wkyd8ljnpd6v8a[1].gif

>Bottom Line

President Obama is at the moment in a rough parity position when registered voters are asked whether they would vote for him in election matchups against four potential Republican candidates. Romney fares slightly better than the other GOP candidates, and Bachmann slightly worse, but these are not large differences. Gallup research shows that these types of election measures at this stage in the campaign are not highly stable, and one can expect changes in the relative positioning of Obama and various GOP candidates in the months ahead.

The thing is, this is a point where most Americans aren't really paying attention to the race yet -- so this signifies the President's profound unpopularity. Imagine how much worse his prospects will be once Americans begin comparing his record and rhetoric to his opponents.

This also shows that there is room for additional GOP candidates in the race as we search for the best candidate for America, not just "Anybody But Barack".





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August 22, 2011

Let Me Spell It Out On Libya

I'm struck by this piece from the Washington Post.

With the regime of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi seemingly toppled by the rebels, the Obama administration is feeling vindicated in its decision to intervene. But the right can’t decide whether to be happy Gaddafi is gone or miserable that Obama had something to do with it.

I'm pleased that the Libyan dictator is out of power -- I have hated him passionately for a quarter century or more. At the same time, success (if Obama legitimately deserves credit for the removal -- a debatable proposition) does not miraculously convert a war that clearly violates both the Constitution and the statutory laws of this nation into a legal and constitutional one. As such, I'd argue that Obama still merits impeachment and removal for his unilateral involvement of American forces in his Libyan adventure -- not that it is likely to happen.

By the way, let's see how the rest of this unfolds. The rebels were no better vetted by this administration than Obama was by the press in 2008. We may yet see this to have been a Pyrrhic victory which empowers the very sort of Islamists against whom we battle around the world, thereby making the region even less stable than it was with Gaddafi in control of Libya. Time will tell -- and surely the left will admit Obama's responsibility, come what may.





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Terroristic Threat, MSM Coverup

waters01[1].jpg

I wrote yesterday about California Democrat Maxine Waters telling the Tea party to go to hell for daring to dissent from the policies favored by Obamunists and those further to the Left like her. Unfortunately, the media didn't do its job of informing the American people by providing the whole story -- it was up to Andrew Breitbart to do it for them

While the media plays up the Los Angeles congresswoman’s “the Tea Party can go straight to hell’ comments from this weekend, they are ignoring what she said right after that. When the wild cheers of the audience calmed down, Rep. Waters then said: “And I intend to help them get there.”

Excuse me? You intend to send them there? Really? What a "progressive" sentiment -- the murder of political opponents. I guess that puts you right up there with other left-wing heroes like Comrade Che, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, and Stalin.

The Breitbart piece also makes the following observation.

Is there any doubt that if a Tea Party representative had said that “the Congressional Black Caucus can go straight to hell and we intend to help them get there”, we would be hearing loud condemnations about the hateful rhetoric from the extremists in the Republican Party?

But instead we have the coverup of a terroristic threat against peaceful participants in the political process. Given this threat was made on the eve of the dedication of the new memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr., one has to wonder what that apostle of non-violence and peaceful participation of all Americans in the political process (irregardless of race or ethnicity) would have to say on her words if he were alive today.

And if you question the source, here is the video. It is clearly unedited.

NOTE: Paul Krugman was unavailable for comment.





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August 21, 2011

Dowd Dumps on Obama

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd notices stuff that we Republicans have been saying for some time about the callow fool in the White House.

Cruising white Midwestern hamlets in his black bus, Obama tried to justify not calling lawmakers back to D.C. by saying they’d just continue to bicker. But what does he think they’ll do in September? The truth is, he doesn’t want them back in the capital any more than they want to be back. It would have screwed up his vacation and upset Michelle, who already feels trapped in the Washington bubble.

Remember, this is the girl with the Presidential knee pads left over from the Clinton years. Why not the same attraction for Barry Hussein? Could it be racism?

H/T NewsBusters





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Now I Know It Is Only Preseason

But I've got to love seeing the following words in print regarding my Houston Texans.

The Texans are 2-0, and their offense is in the NFL’s Top 10 in scoring, total yards and rushing yards. Meanwhile, the defense is tied for the NFL lead in sacks.

And remember -- those two wins have been over the New York Jets and the New Orleans Saints, teams that have shown their quality over the last couple of seasons.





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Government Motors Tells Owners That Warranties Are Void

GM_1[1].jpg

Change you can believe in. Warranties you can't.

The current company, called "New GM," said it did not assume responsibility under the reorganization to fix the Impala problem, but only to make repairs "subject to conditions and limitations" in express written warranties. In essence, the automaker said, Trusky sued the wrong entity.

"New GM's warranty obligations for vehicles sold by Old GM are limited to the express terms and conditions in the Old GM written warranties on a going-forward basis," wrote Benjamin Jeffers, a lawyer for GM. "New GM did not assume responsibility for Old GM's design choices, conduct, or alleged breaches of liability under the warranty."

Just one more reason to oppose ObamaCare -- will you have any rights when our "free" government healthcare system does you harm?





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Somebody Explain The Economic Facts of Life To This Woman

MaxineWaters.jpg


Congresswoman Maxine Waters
doesn't need to look to Washington, or to the Tea Party, to explain the failure of the California economy.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) came out swinging against Republicans in Congress on Saturday as she addressed the unemployed during a forum in Inglewood.

The event occurred a day after new statistics were released showing that California's jobless rate last month went up to 12%, from 11.8%. California now has the second-highest rate of unemployment in the nation, trailing only Nevada at 12.9%, and its jobless rate is well above the U.S. average of 9.1%.

Waters vowed to push Congress to focus on creating more jobs. "I'm not afraid of anybody," said Waters. "This is a tough game. You can't be intimidated. You can't be frightened. And as far as I'm concerned, the 'tea party' can go straight to hell."

The problem in California isn't anything the federal government is doing, and the Tea party doesn't control any of the levers of government in California. Democrats have controlled the state legislature for years, and the state couldn't pass a budget because Dems were interested in living beyond the means of the taxpayers. That's why taxes keep going up, spending keeps going up, and therefore the business and employment picture keeps deteriorating in the California. But I'm really not surprised by Waters' comments, as she is noted for being among the most ignorant -- and most corrupt -- members of Congress. Maybe instead of trashing one small portion of the GOP caucus in Washington, she should take a good hard look at the failed leadership of her own party in Sacramento -- and tell them to go to Hell instead.





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Watcher's Council Results

Here are the full results of our excursion into blogging exellence:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

Bunches of good stuff there for you to catch up on, so get reading!!





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August 20, 2011

Arne Duncan's False Compassion

I wasn't sure if I wanted to laugh mockingly or scream in outrage when I saw the Obama Regime's Commisar for Education had made these comments.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan appears to be the first member of President Obama's cabinet to take a swipe at Rick Perry, the Texas governor and newly announced Republican presidential candidate. Duncan told Bloomberg Television that Texas schools have struggled under Perry, saying he feels "very badly" for children who attend them.

"Far too few of their high school graduates are actually prepared to go on to college," Duncan said. "I feel very, very badly for the children there."

Remember -- Arne Duncan was the superintendent of a school district that would love to see its students as college ready as the average Texas high school graduate. Indeed, under Duncan's "leadership" (if you can call it that), Chicago Public Schools failed by every imaginable measure!

And besides not feeling badly for the way that Chicago Public Schools failed its students academically, Duncan apparently did not feel badly for these children during his days as Superintendent of Schools in Chicago -- you know, since only 24 of the 568 teachers verified to have illegally used corporal punishment on students were terminated during his tenure. One teacher who battered a student repeatedly over several years received only a warning.

Yeah, that's your compassionate Obamunist Secretary of Education -- he has great compassion for students in the state of his bosses leading GOP opponent who outperform the students he was responsible for educating in Chicago, but not for the students in the district he ran who were "beaten with broomsticks, whipped with belts, yard sticks, struck with staplers, choked, stomped on and pushed down stairs" by the teacher who worked for him

As far as this Texas teacher is concerned, Mr. Duncan may therefore take his politically-motivated bad feelings for my students and shove them up his administratively incompetent, academically-unacceptable, child abuse enabling Obamunist ass.

H/T Right on the Left Coast





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Does Obama's Diversity Executive Order Mean Denying Blacks Federal Jobs?

The Vacationer-in-Chief made sure that one of his last official acts before taking a taxpayer-funded jet from Washington DC to Martha's Vineyard four hours after his wife and kids flew the same route on a different taxpayer-funded jet was to sign an executive order to get the federal civilian workforce even more diversified than it currently is.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order Thursday directing federal officials to design a government-wide strategy for making the federal workforce more diverse.

The three-page order directs the head of the Office of Personnel Management, a deputy director at the Office of Management and Budget, the President’s Management Council and the chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to develop the strategy within 90 days. Agencies then have 120 days to work the plan into their hiring and recruiting.

Now I've got no problem with recruiting underrepresented groups to find highly qualified individuals to fill jobs -- but I do think that the job should go to the best qualified applicant, with no diversity criteria considered in making the employment decision. You know, the whole notion advanced by Dr. King about judging people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

But wait just a moment -- these statistics also appear in the article, and they ought to give one pause.

An Office of Personnel Management report says that in fiscal year 2010, the federal workforce was 66.2 percent white, 17.7 percent black, 8 percent Hispanic, 5.6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 1.8 percent Native American. It was 56.1 percent male.

Now when one looks at those numbers, something should jump out at you (other than the high number of men -- after all, that can be explained by the disparity caused by women opting out of the work force to raise families). Those employment numbers already seem mighty diverse. Indeed, the percentage of whites in the population is within about a percentage point of their representation in the federal workforce. That statement can also be made regarding the relative representation of Asian/Pacific Islanders in the federal workforce and the population as a whole, although the discrepancy constitutes roughly a 25% over-representation in the federal workforce relative to their percentage in the population as a whole. Similarly, there is only about a percentage point difference between the number of Native Americans/Alaska Natives in the federal workforce -- but that disparity constitutes an over-representation of some 125%, I suspect largely accounted for by the number of such individuals working with federal programs designed to serve those particular populations exclusively.

You'll notice that I haven's commented on the two largest minority racial/ethnic groups in America. That is because this is where it gets really ugly. You see, Hispanics account for roughly 13% of America's population, but only 8% of the federal workforce. African-Americans. on the other hand, constitute around 12.5% of the population of the United States, but hold 17.7% of the federal jobs. In other words, the 5% under-representation of Hispanics can be accounted for by a nearly identical percentage over-representation of African-Americans. Apparently our federal affirmative action programs have put the thumb on the scale on behalf of blacks to the disadvantage of Latinos.

What this means, of course, is that any program adopted under this executive order issued by the nation's first black president must focus on job opportunities for the vastly under-represented Hispanics, and do so by withholding preferences from the vastly over-represented African-American population. At least it does if the federal government is going to hold itself to the same standards it holds the private sector.

Can you smell the irony?

Personally, I believe that this is a proposal that we Republicans can fully embrace -- by getting rid of the over-represented minority in the Oval Office. Can i get anyone to second me in supporting ticket featuring Marco Rubio and Susana Martinez in 2012?





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August 19, 2011

Anderson Cooper Shows The Danger Of Live Television

Some things just don't go as planned.

And the sad thing is that the joke just isn't that funny.

But I have to understand, I've gone off on a laughing jag when students do or say something that strikes me as particularly funny in class.





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A Great Case For Bringing Back Dungeons

I'm stunned beyond words.

Suspected terrorists are complaining about a fence around the exercise yard in their high-security prison which restricts their view of the horizon.

The alleged extremists are locked up while the Government tries to remove them from the country.

But the inmates have complained the limited view is damaging their eyesight, a prison inspection report revealed.

* * *

‘The fence surrounding the exercise yard was clad, therefore preventing detainees from seeing into the distance. All detainee unit cells overlooked the inner courtyard and detainees therefore had no opportunities to see into the distance, and some complained of deteriorating eyesight.’

No doubt they are particularly worried that the deterioration will impact their ability to accurately aim a weapon at anti-jihadi troops or assemble the many small parts that make up a bomb. I guess they want a suite at the Ritz and full access to the spa facilities. Personally, I think that housing them in the dungeon of one of the old castles might serve the interests of the world at large much better





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August 18, 2011

A Little Fun Captioning A Picture

The folks at Weasel Zippers put this picture up for a little captioning fun, and I couldn't resist this one.

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District Declares Teacher Has No First Amendment Rights Outside Of School

That’s my read on this move by a Florida school.

A Mount Dora High School Teacher of the Year has been suspended from the classroom for questionable comments he made about same-sex unions on Facebook, a social networking website.

Jerry Buell allegedly stated during a July 25 Facebook exchange that he "almost threw up" in response to a news story about legalized same-sex marriage in New York.

In a posting, he identified same-sex marriages as being part of a "cesspool."
Buell, who also uses the Facebook site to promote an upcoming event of Mount Dora High's first Fellowship of Christian Athletes Huddle, went on to call same-sex unions a sin.

Christopher Patton, a Lake County schools spokesman, said Wednesday that the comments were published on Buell's personal Facebook page, which are only visible to people and friends in which the teacher has given access.
But Patton added printouts of the comments were forwarded to the school system.

So, having posted something on his personal Facebook page regarding a topic of contemporary political, social, and religious importance, the district has decided to investigate a teacher for ethics violations? I guess I don’t see it.

Perhaps somebody needs to remind the district of the holding of the Supreme Court in Tinker v. Des Moines back in 1969.

First Amendment rights, applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment, are available to teachers and students. It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. This has been the unmistakable holding of this Court for almost 50 years. [EMPHASIS ADDED]

And if they do not lose their First Amendment rights at school, it can hardly be argued that a teacher’s right to speak on matters such as this off school grounds (indeed, during summer break) may be curtailed by school authorities based upon speech that is undeniably protected for all Americans . That is a position that the liberal ACLU, the conservative Rutherford Institute, and the American Bar Association can all agree upon.





|| Greg, 02:43 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Will Ron Paul Denounce Scumbag Supporter?

That question is purely rhetorical – real Republicans can’t get Ron Paul to denounce the Kluxers and neo-Nazis who support his candidacy or do the decent thing by divesting himself of campaign contributions made by known leaders of those foul movements, so surely he won’t make any effort to distance himself from this clown in Austin.

An Austin Ron Paul supporter has taken out a full-page ad in the local alt weekly newspaper seeking any "stripper ... escort ... or 'young hottie'" who has slept with Rick Perry, part of his single-minded jihad against the presidential candidate.

Robert Morrow describes himself as a "self-employed investor and political activist" as well as a three-time delegate to the Texas state GOP convention.
"Have you ever had sex with Rick Perry?" blares the ad, placed by Morrow in this week's Austin Chronicle. "Are you a stripper, an escort, or just a 'young hottie' impressed by an arrogant, entitled governor of Texas? Contact CASH, and we will help you publicize your direct dealings with a Christian-buzzwords-spouting, 'family values' hypocrite and fraud."

* * *

To be clear, there is absolutely no evidence that Perry has had extramarital affairs. But Morrow has written a screed, currently circulating online, that denounces Perry both for his policies (it labels him a "crony capitalist" and a "Neocon") as well as his alleged dalliances.

Morrow claims that he knows strippers in Austin who have stories about Perry, but none of them are willing to come forward to the press; hence, the need for an ad in the Chronicle. "I think it's only a matter of time until somebody credible comes forward," he told me.

At the bottom of the ad is a nod to the longtime (and equally unsubstantiated) rumors that Perry, who has pursued sundry anti-gay policies, is himself gay. "Note to gay people: If you know the truth about Rick, please QUIT covering for him," it reads.

I guess this is what passes for “principled libertarianism” among Ron Paul supporters – latch on to vague and unsubstantiated rumors circulated by liberal Democrats and make the accusation the story, rather than supplying any proof of the allegations. What’s more, isn’t the notion of sexual activity being a private matter at the very heart of modern-day libertarianism? If so, what legitimacy is there in even raising the issue of what Morrow would concede, if he had so much as an ounce of real principle, is essentially a private matter?

But here’s the main thing here – if there were any actual evidence to support these rumors, it would have surfaced long before now. You know, back in 2002, when Perry’s Democrat opponent was a self-financed multi-millionaire who was more than willing to spend any amount of money to dig dirt on Perry. Or in 2006, when Perry was in a 4-way death match while seeking reelection. Not to mention in 2010, as Perry faced opposition from both the establishment and Tea Paulist opponents in the primary. And in the run-up to Perry’s announcement, nobody has presented any credible evidence of these charges.

So here’s the deal – if Robert Morrow has evidence to back either of these accusations, he has an obligation to lay it out on the table. Having said that he has been told by these unidentified strippers, as well as an unidentified reporter who admits that he couldn’t verify the charge, Robert Morrow has an obligation to identify them by name so that their (and his) charges can be verified. To say it plainly, Robert Morrow needs to put up or shut up. Not that he’s likely to do so, given his history of unsubstantiated accusations against candidates he dislikes, as witnessed by these anti-Hillary Clinton robocalls during the 2008 South Carolina Democrat primary. He offered no credible proof then, and I’m willing to bet that he won’t be doing so now.





|| Greg, 02:33 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

On Presidenial "Vacations"

This whole controversy is just dumb.

Following his three-day bus tour to promote his economic agenda -- and not to mention the debt limit rancor in Washington before that -- President Obama is finally getting some rest and relaxation.

On Thursday, he and his family are heading off to Martha's Vineyard, the island off of Massachusetts. They'll be staying at a 28-acre retreat called Blue Heron Farm for about 10 days.

Raw Video: Obama's Martha's Vinyard retreat

There has been criticism of the president's vacation at this time. But how does the number of vacation days the president has spent compare to his predecessors? CBS Radio's Mark Knoller has kept track of presidential vacations for years and supplied the data.

So far, President Obama has taken 61 vacation days after 31 months in office. At this point in their presidencies, George W. Bush had spent 180 days at his ranch where his staff often joined him for meetings. And Ronald Reagan had taken 112 vacation days at his ranch.

I'll criticize Obama for many things, but I refuse to join in the criticism of his trip to Martha's Vineyard. Why not? The briefings continue. Bills get signed and decisions get made even while the President is outside of Washington DC. Indeed, given the communications technology available to the President, one could almost ask if there is any need for him to be present at the White House as much as he is there?

And let's look at those "vacations" by Bush 43 and Reagan. When Dubya went to the ranch, he not only had the meetings and briefings, he actually hosted foreign dignitaries on official business. Reagan did similar things -- as I recall one of those "vacations" included a couple of days meeting with British PM Margaret Thatcher. As far as I'm concerned, Obama would be welcome to stay a month in Massachusetts -- or Hawaii or Chicago -- if he did the same.

Indeed, the only criticism I have of Obama on this one is based upon this story.

As he wraps up that trip, The Associated Press reports that following his upcoming vacation on Martha's Vineyard, the president "will give a major speech in early September to unveil new ideas for speeding up job growth and helping the struggling poor and middle class."

According to the AP, it's been told by a "senior administration official" that:

"The president's plan is likely to contain tax cuts, jobs-boosting infrastructure ideas and steps that would specifically help the long-term unemployed. The official emphasized that all of Obama's proposals would be fresh ones, not a rehash of plans he has pitched for many weeks and still supports, including his 'infrastructure bank" idea to finance construction jobs."

Face it, we are in an economic crisis now -- We should not need to wait three weeks for the unveiling of the President's plan to get Americans working again. That we are is a sign of irresponsibility -- but that isn't based upon his being in Martha's Vineyard. And that he is deferring action until after his return to Washington is every bit as irresponsible as if his predecessor had delayed responding to 9/11 until after taking a couple of weeks off to relax in the midst of that crisis.





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A Home For Rocky

Rocky[1].png

Surely there is a home for this disabled military vet -- and surely our nation's military can do better by their working dogs when they are no longer fit for active duty.





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A Fundamentally Racist Proposition On Representation

Indeed, I'd call the position taken by Joaquin Castro's supporters here to be un-American -- a phrase I don't take lightly.

A newly drawn Central Texas congressional district is creating tensions about who best can serve its mostly Hispanic residents—one of their own, or a long-time congressman who happens to be white.

As a result of redistricting led by the state's Republican-dominated legislature, the boundaries of the district currently represented by Democratic U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett have been reshaped to connect a portion of his Austin electorate with Democratic state Rep. Joaquin Castro's native San Antonio to create a new district.

The notion that you can't be properly represented by someone of a different race or ethnicity is offensive in the extreme. And that Democrats would take that position with Barack Obama in the White House is particularly obscene, given that Obama is clearly a racial minority at the head of an overwhelmingly white nation -- what would the response be if people began arguing that he shouldn't be President because he can't represent the majority or understand their experience or aspirations? The answer to the question is obvious -- and I'd be among the most vociferous in making it, my contempt for Obama based upon his lack of competence not withstanding.

But this controversy does point to the manner in which the Voting Rights Act has been subverted from its original intent to ensure equal access to the ballot box and converted into a mechanism for creating ethnic bantustans that perpetuate racism. Why, oh why, don't We the People demand compact districts based upon natural and political geography, drawn without regards to the race and ethnicity of the residents. Let the political battles be about the ideas and the principles of their candidates, not their ancestry or the color of their skin.





|| Greg, 05:17 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Another Anti-Perry Meme Demolished

But will those who use it allow facts to get in the way of their attempt to undermine Perry's candidacy? Here's the president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank on the jobs created here in Texas -- and how most of them are not "low-paying minimum-wage jobs" as the latest talking point goes.

Fisher meanwhile devoted roughly half his speech to the employment record of Texas, which is of national interest now that Gov. Rick Perry has entered the race to be the Republican nominee for president. The Dallas Fed will now provide monthly updates on the Texas jobs picture.

“We hope it will be a useful tool for everyone ranging from columnists who write for the New York Times to the pundits who provide commentary for Fox News, as well as serious economists,” said Fisher in a nod to the political implications of the data.

While not analyzing Perry’s policies or even mentioning the Republican by name, Fisher made the case against the notion that all of the rapid jobs growth in Texas (it’s responsible for either a half of a third of all new jobs creation since the recession ended, depending on the metric) are in low-paying fields.

Texas does have an above-average percentage of workers that earn at or below the federal minimum wage, at 9.5% vs. 6% nationally and 2% in California in 2010, Fisher said, citing Labor Department data.

But two-thirds of the new jobs in Texas have been created in the educational and health services sector, followed by professional and business services and then the mining sector (which includes oil and gas), Fisher said, citing Labor Department data.

None of those are below the national average for weekly wages and the mining sector sees remuneration nearly triple the national average, according to Labor Department data.

So the next time you encounter someone claiming that only low-paying jobs were created in Texas while US employment has been contracting, cite the facts and ask the speaker if they are ignorant, lying, or both.

H/T Houston Chronicle





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August 17, 2011

The Unthinkable Happens -- I Agree With Meghan McCain

I suppose it is only fair to give this devil her due when I think she gets it right.

Meghan McCain, daughter of former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), wants her father’s former running mate, Sarah Palin, to “stop flirting” with possible presidential candidacy.

“Fish or cut bait, Sarah,” McCain wrote in a column posted by the Daily Beast on Tuesday night. “Either put your hat in the ring and show America what you want to do with our country, or step back and let other politicians whose time has come have their moment.”

I've got to agree.

Face it -- if Sarah Palin had indicated that she was, in fact, a presidential candidate any time in the last six months, a number of candidates in the race would have never gotten in. Indeed, we would most likely have only three candidates of any significance in the race today -- Palin, Romney, and Paul. Had she taken herself out of the race six months ago, I suspect we would be looking at a field in which there were a few more significant candidates declared because they would be sure that the 800-pound elephant was not in the race. As it is, we have one serious candidate (Rick Perry) who has held off to a relatively late date to declare his candidacy, and others (Paul Ryan comes to mind) who are still waiting to see what she does.

And personally, I hope she decides to get out. I have a history of expressing positive sentiments about the former Alaska Governor governor going back to at least early 2008, but I also believe that a number of things (her resignation, her failure to seek the Alaska Senate seat in 2010, her reality show) have harmed her viability as a candidate who can defeat Barack Obama. I don;t take pleasure in saying that, but it is my gut feeling on the matter and has been for some time.

We in the GOP need our field of potential presidential candidates set -- and I believe that it needs to be set sooner than later. But that can't happen until we know what Sarah Palin is going to do, so she needs to do it ASAP.





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Rick Perry Gets It Mostly Right On Bernanke

I've got a quibble over one word he chose -- but his point was spot on.

Perry was responding to a question about “quantitative easing,” a monetary policy by which the government purchases Treasury bonds to inject more money into the economy, which he said would amount to a political attempt to help President Obama win reelection in 2012.

“If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don’t know what you all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas,” Perry said of the possibility of another round of so-called quantitative easing in the money supply.

* * *

“Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion,” he added. “We already tried this. All it’s going to be doing is devaluing the dollar in your pocket, and we cannot afford that. We have to learn the lessons of the past three years. They’ve been devastating.”

Let's break this down. Perry rightly notes that resorting to a third round of quantitative easing (often called QE3) would have negative ramifications for the economy. After all, when the printing presses go into high gear to print more money backed by nothing, that simply debases the currency and makes it worth less, harming our purchasing power. I don't know about you, but I would be quite ugly towards someone responsible for such a policy -- and that doesn't imply violence against anyone, as some Perry critics have argued.

But that isn't the part of Perry's comments that raised the ire of many. It was the latter part of the statement, I want to break down into its constituent components for analysis. So let the parsing begin.

Printing more money

So let's be clear -- he's talking about how having a problem with the Federal Reserve once again engaging in the failed quantitative easing policy by initiating QE3.

to play politics at this particular time in American history

In other words, under the current conditions, to wit:

As you can see, Perry very precisely limited the situation in which he would find the use of more quantitative easing to be problematic.

is almost treasonous in my opinion.

Here's where most everyone has put their focus -- on the word "treasonous", without taking the note that the use of the word "almost" clearly stops short of accusing anyone of treason.

But unfortunately, Perry made a poor word choice there. In the situation as delineated above, there is no possibility that the actions of Bernanke and the Fed could do anything treasonous under the definition established by the Constitution.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Abusing the pubic trust by using (or attempting to use) the power of one's office to influence the outcome of a presidential election does not constitute making war on the United States or giving any form of material support to the nation's enemies. It doesn't come close, and Perry blew it with that word choice.

But it would, arguably, be criminal, or at least skirt the boundaries of criminality.

And I wish that Rick Perry had thought through the wording of his off-the-cuff answer to a question from the audience at this event.

So I'll ding him on the word he chose -- but agree with the sentiment he expressed and support his refusal to back away from his criticism of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve generally, and the failed policy of quantitative easing.





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August 16, 2011

Note To Houston Area Burger Lovers

The second community institution closed by Hurricane Ike in 2008 has returned.

Tookies.jpg

As of 5:00 pm local time on Tuesday, August 16, Tookie's is open for business!

For those of you who don't know about Tookie's, here is their website -- and here is my post on the impending reopening from a few weeks back.

I couldn't make it in tonight (had a meeting to go to), but I will be dropping by for a Squealer very soon.





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They Act Like This Is A Bad Thing

Imagine that -- lawbreakers being harmed by government efforts to enforce the law!

The journey from prosperity to the economic margins followed by Alba and Eugenio is an increasingly common path for thousands of undocumented workers pushed out of their jobs by the federal government's audits of U.S. businesses, according to immigration experts, business owners and unions.

The audits, started by the Obama administration in 2009, put the onus on business to police workers, requiring companies to turn over employee records to federal agents. If the papers aren't in order, the workers are quietly let go without penalty while the companies are punished.

I think this is a great policy -- except for the fact that it fails to also arrest and deport the illegal aliens taking American jobs. After all, they are lawbreakers, too. And a drive down the street in any major city or medium sized town in America will tell you that self-deportation isn't happening fast enough.

Now if these good, hard-working folks want to go back home and get in line to come to America -- behind those who have already gotten in line and waited instead of breaking American law -- I'll be glad to welcome them with open arms when they get a green card.





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More On Rick Perry And Gardasil

Well, Gov. Rick Perry finally admits he was wrong on the 2007 effort to force Gardasil on every little girl in Texas.

His third question from the crowd was about an issue that his critics have touched on — his 2007 mandate for girls to get vaccinated against the cervical cancer-causing HPV virus.

“I signed an executive order that allowed for an opt-out, but the fact of the matter is I didn’t do my research well enough to understand that we needed to have a substantial conversation with our citizenry,” he said. “I hate cancer. Let me tell you, as a son who has a mother and father who are both cancer survivors.”

Perry said he’d invested government resources in cancer cures, adding, “I hate cancer. And this HPV, we were seeing young ladies die at the early age. What we should have done was a program that frankly should have allowed them to opt in, or some type of program like that, but here’s what I learned — when you get too far out in front of the parade they will let you know. And that’s exactly what our legislature did.”

I'm glad he's recognized he was wrong, and even admits he should have set up an opt-in program than mandating its use with parents permitted to petition -- subject to state approval -- to exempt their children from "Doctor" Rick Perry's prescription. The reality was that he backed down in 2007 rather than get his butt kicked by the GOP-controlled legislature -- but apparently time has caused his views to mature.

But let's look at the reality of that 2007 effort.

Here are the problems with Perry’s actions in this situation.

1) He acted unilaterally, with no consultation with members of the legislative branch.

2) It is questionable whether or not Perry had the authority under the Texas Constitution or statutory law to impose the requirement.

3) Perry and his aides argued that not only did he have the right to issue the executive order, but that the Texas Legislature lacked the authority to overturn his actions or prohibit the use of state money to fund the vaccination program.

4) HPV is different from every other disease for which the state of Texas requires vaccination as a condition of enrollment in school. The others can be easily passed in a normal classroom setting in the course of the ordinary activity of going to school. HPV, on the other hand, is not ordinarily passed under such conditions — therefore the nexus between school enrollment and the vaccine is lacking.

5) If Perry’s reasoning is accepted as legitimate, then there is no legitimate barrier to a future governor issuing an executive order mandating that girls receive Norplant as a condition of enrolling in school beginning in sixth grade. After all, given the multitude of societal problems caused by teen pregnancy and the negative impact on the future of girls who do become pregnant, there is a compelling argument that such a mandate is beneficial to society and the girls — religious, moral, legal, and constitutional questions notwithstanding — and that argument is every bit as compelling as the argument for Gardasil (actually more so, given the number of teen pregnancies every year).

Besides, I think that the commercial that the manufacturer put out at the time really offers the best critique of Perry’s misdeeds in this case. It said “ask your doctor if Gardasil is right for you” — but nowhere suggested consultation with your governor or other elected officials. It is therefore clear that Rick Perry’s decision to play doctor with the little girls of Texas was the wrong one.

And before you ask, this statement still does not convert me into a Perry supporter. I still have the same reservations about him I did when I wrote this piece during the gubernatorial primary in 2010, and it will take more effort on his part to bring me around to support him for the nomination.

For my writings on the subject back in 2007, look here, here, here, here, here, and here.

ADDENDUM: Welcome Michelle Malkin readers!





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A Sci-Fi Staple Coming To Life?

Or maybe not.

Over the years, science fiction authors have proposed a space elevator to replace rockets for reaching earth orbit. One of my favorite authors, John Scalzi (who is also a fellow blogger), talks about the science and economics of such a project in his novel Old Man's War -- with one of his characters concluding that such a project is likely beyond the scientific, engineering, and economic capacity of Earth for the foreseeable future without access to the knowledge of more advanced spacefaring races.

However, that doesn't keep folks from continuing to examine the possibility for real.

Might solar energy provide the power needed to send cars up a space elevator? Could you build one fat elevator and split it into two? Can as many as six cars travel up and down a space elevator?

Those are just some of the questions that attendees at the annual Space Elevator Conference on Friday in Seattle wondered about.

"These are ideas we want to hear and we want people to follow up on," said Bryan Laubscher, one of the leading space elevator enthusiasts and principle at Odysseus Technologies, a company working on high-strength materials.

The conclusion? We still have a lot of obstacles to overcome before the project is feasible from a scientific and engineering standpoint -- and they've not even found anyone to do an economic analysis.





|| Greg, 05:03 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Does Libya Qualify As A War Yet, Barry?

You know, now that the Libyan dictator is lobbing SCUD missiles.

Libyan government forces tapped into their stores of Scud missiles during the weekend, firing one for the first time in this year's conflict with rebels, but hurting no one, U.S. defense officials said Monday.

The missile launch was detected by U.S. forces shortly after midnight Sunday, and the Scud landed in the desert about 50 miles outside Brega, said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations.

How much longer are you going to pretend that this isn't a war? When will you seek congressional approval? When will you quit violating the US Constitution?





|| Greg, 04:52 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Rep. Allen West Echoes A WWII Hero

426px-Anthony_McAuliffe[1].jpg

During the Battle of the Bulge, American troops at Bastogne were surrounded by German forces. The German commander sent a note to General Anthony McAulife, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, seeking the surrender of his troops. McAuliffe's one word reply has gone down in American military history as a classic example of defiance.

To the German Commander, NUTS! The American Commander

The 101st then proceeded to hold out four more days until the Fourth Armored Division arrived to reinforce them.

So when the Council on American Islamic Relations, a terrorist front organization which was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case regarding fundraising for HAMAS, demanded that the Congressman cut ties with certain opponents of Islamism and sharia law, the Congressman echoed that historic reply.

allen-west-nuts[1].jpg

Sadly, the head of the local chapter has no more respect for American heroes than he does for American principles like freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of religion -- characterizing the reply as a "schoolboy insult". I'd be interested in how such a characterization would be received at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

H/T Atlas Shrugs





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August 15, 2011

Quoted By Politico, Misquoted By CBS

It is nice to get your posts linked by anyone -- a compliment for your hard work. It is even cooler when you get linked by the big name bloggers -- or by major media outlets.

That's why I find it great that Politico quoted my Warren Buffett piece today. They take a good chunk from the piece, noting that Buffett chooses to avail himself of the tax-lowering options in the tax code, and therefore chooses the low amount of taxes he pays.

I also got linked by CBS. Unfortunately, they weren't as kind -- not only did they not directly quote me, but they actually said that I accused Buffett of illegal behavior, which I did not do. I shouldn't be surprised, I guess -- it isn't like we can always trust CBS to represent conservative views accurately.

Still, Welcome to all readers from the two articles -- and from Memeorandum.

UPDATE: I'd like to tip my hat to Michelle Castillo of CBS. When I alerted her to the problem with her paraphrase of my argument, she quickly went back and corrected it -- and sent back a rather gracious tweet in response to mine.





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Note To Warren Buffett -- Cut The Check

Once again, we have a self-righteous rich guy demanding that government force him to give more money to the government.

In a New York Times op-ed on Monday, titled “Stop Coddling the Rich,” Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway’s chair and CEO, said he and his “mega-rich” friends have been spared the “shared sacrifice” the country’s leaders have asked for as the country veers toward a double-dip recession.

“While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks,” he wrote.

“These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.”

He observes that investment managers earn billions, but only pay a 15 percent tax rate.

Buffett said his 2010 tax bill, including income and payroll taxes, totaled $6,938,744 — or 17.4 percent of his taxable income. Most people in his office pay 33 to 41 percent, he said.

Let me remind Mr. Buffett of a couple of things.

First, if he is truly paying taxes at that rate, it probably is because he is availing himself of a lot of tax breaks and shelters that are legal under the laws of the United States. He doesn't have to use them -- nor does he have to take every deduction that he is legally entitled to. That he does indicates he is paying less by choice.

But more to the point, if Warren Buffett thinks he is under-paying, he does have an option -- cut a check to the US Government and mail it to the following address.

Gifts to the United States
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Credit Accounting Branch
3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
Hyattsville, MD 20782

Heck -- there is even a handy online form that will let you surrender that ill-gotten wealth to Uncle Sam without the time and expense of using a paper check.

Seriously, Warren, put your money where your mouth is. make the sacrifice voluntarily, rather than demanding that government force you to. In other words, live by your stated principles and show that you are the sort of patriot that you claim to be -- or admit that you lack the testicular fortitude to do what you believe is the right thing without the threat jackboot of government on your throat and a gun to your head to make you do it.

ADDENDUM: I can't help but note that Warren Buffett didn't have the manhood to rise to this same challenge when I put it to him last November when he whined about the same issue. But then I'm not surprised -- he didn't do it back in October of 2007 when he complained about being under-taxed and i offered the same suggestion. Nor did he do so the other two times when I posted this address for allegedly "patriotic millionaires" who believe government isn't confiscating enough of their wealth -- but aren't patriotic enough to make the payment voluntarily.





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Will The Separationists Sue Over This Establishment Of Religion?

Remember -- it hasn't been that long since the "no public expression of religion by government or government officials" folks went to court to try to shut down a privately funded religious event at which Texas Governor Rick Perry was going to be speaking and (*gasp!*) praying. Now they failed to act against (or even speak against) Obama's taxpayer-funded Islamic celebration at the White House, but I suppose they could have missed it when it showed up on the White House website and in all the papers (as well as the fact that this was the third straight year that Obama mixed mosque and state in this way), so maybe I'll show them a little Christian charity (even if that means I'm imposing my religion on them) and give them a pass on overlooking that much larger offense against their stated principles.

But Professor Mike Adams of the University of North Carolina-Wilmington notes that there is a much bigger entanglement of religion and government at his university -- in the form of a list of officially approved churches with officially endorsed religious beliefs that is being circulated by one of the departments of the university.

In the case of our LGBTQIA Office, the answer is simple: they investigate and then endorse churches based on their stance on homosexuality. And they print lists of approved gay-friendly churches using official university letter-head. Then they circulate their approved church list on state-owned computers to other state employees who then recommend the approved churches to their students.

On August 8, 2011, our LGBTQIA Office circulated its own list of gay-friendly churches.

Surely the fine folks from the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, as well as the ACLU, will get right on this one with the same alacrity they showed for trying to put an end to The Response here in Houston. I look forward to hearing about the lawsuits and the protests any minute now.

UPDATE: Here's a news report on the matter. I've yet to receive substantive replies from the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State regarding the reports I made to them on this issue. I guess they are too busy trying to keep conservative officeholders from praying publicly to concern themselves with actual government endorsement of religious beliefs.





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Is Harry Reid Senile, Insane Or Just Stupid?

Forgive the bluntness, but his statement in an interview with his hometown paper can't be explained without resorting to one of those three options.

“The Tea Party was the result of a terrible economy … I’ve said that many times, and I believe that,” Reid told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in an interview published Sunday.

“That [the Tea Party] will pass. They will lose a number of seats next year,” he said.

Let's see. Unemployment remains high. Consumer confidence is low. Deficit spending is at record levels. The nation;s credit rating has been downgraded. Evidence points to a second dip in the Great Dem-Pression. And Barack Obama's approval rating is at 39% because of these things.

Yet somehow Harry Reid thinks all of this adds up a movement powered by a bad economy LOSING influence and congressional seats? You would have to be stupid to believe that. Or senile. Or crazy.

Well, unless one concludes that Harry Reid is lying through his teeth.





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There's "Democrat Reality" And "Reality Reality"

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the DNC, informs the American people that all is well with the president's prospects for reelection.

“The president is in actually remarkably good shape, given that he is still struggling to help pull our economy out of the Republican — the Republican recession that he inherited. His numbers are still strong. He still has widespread support. If anyone is in trouble, it’s the Republican Party,” she said.

How well is Barry doing? Let's just call him President 39%.





|| Greg, 03:42 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Department Of Redundancey Department

This news from the geniuses in the Obama Administration.

The administration may also merge the Department of Commerce, the Office of the United States Trade Representative and some economic divisions at the State Department into a new agency, administration officials said. Possible names include the Department of Jobs or the Department of Competitiveness.

Sounds like an absolutely brilliant idea to me -- an agency with a focus on work and workers. maybe we could call it "The Department Of Labor".

Oh wait -- WE'VE ALREADY GOT ONE OF THOSE!





|| Greg, 03:08 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

August 14, 2011

Can We Just Admit That Pakistan Is An Enemy?

This ought to be the last straw.

Pakistan allowed Chinese military engineers to photograph and take samples from the top-secret stealth helicopter that US special forces left behind when they killed Osama bin Laden, the Financial Times has learnt.

The action is the latest incident to underscore the increasingly complicated relationship and lack of trust between Islamabad and Washington following the raid.

Personally, I wonder if the Obama Regime will take any negative action against Pakistan at all. After all, they are too busy helping Sony create a feature-length propaganda film on the operation against Osama, scheduled for release less than a month before election day, to muddy up the story with information about Obama's failures with Pakistan and the blunder that allowed these secrets to fall into the hands of the Red Chinese.





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

A Reflection On The Straw Poll And Pawlenty's Withdrawal

Yesterday's straw poll in Iowas had some interesting results.

Bachmann took 4,823 votes, narrowly escaping a major upset at the hand of Texas Rep. Ron Paul who won 4,671 votes. Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty placed third with 2,293, a showing that is likely to raise questions about his ability to continue in the contest.

The order of finish beyond the top three: former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (1,567), businessman Herman Cain (1,456), Texas Gov. Rick Perry (718), former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (567), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (385), former Utah governor Jon Huntsman (69) and Rep. Thad McCotter (Mich.) (35).

Perry, Romney, Gingrich and Huntsman did not actively campaign in Ames. Nearly 17,000 vote were cast, the second-largest turnout in the history of the Straw Poll.

Now here's where I struggle with these results -- I don't think they reflect the real views of real people. After all, consider the fact that Bachmann's campaign apparently bought and distributed some 6000 tickets that carried with them the right to vote, while Ron Paul's campaign supposedly bought somewhere in the realm of 4000. I've even heard of supporters being bused in for the event. It makes me question the depth of support for the two candidates -- especially Bachmann, given that it appears that at least 20% of those she gave tickets to either voted for another candidate or did not vote at all. Ron Paul's backers may be the most rabidly supportive, but experience has proven that when the opportunity to buy votes doesn't exist, the PaulBots comprise only a small segment of the total electorate.

I was therefore looking at the third-place finish by Tim Pawlenty as something of a moral victory for the former Minnesota governor, while any finish below that spot would have been fatal. But apparently he viewed it differently, choosing to bow out of the race this morning.

Pawlenty told supporters on a conference call Sunday morning that he would announce on ABC’s “This Week” that he was ending his campaign after a disappointing finish in the Iowa straw poll on Saturday.

The poll was a test of organizational strength and popularity in the state whose caucuses lead off the GOP nomination fight.

Pawlenty had struggled to gain traction in Iowa, a state he had said he must win, after laying the groundwork for a campaign for nearly two years.

I look upon this decision with some sadness, since Pawlenty was my second-choice for the nomination, behind former UN Ambassador John Bolton. But then again, that does sort of illustrate Pawlenty's problem -- he was the second choice for a lot of Republicans, rather than the first choice.

Not that means we have heard the last of Tim Pawlenty -- Hot Air reports that he is being urged to run for the Senate seat in Minnesota that is currently held by Amy Klobuchar. If he takes up that task and is successful, he may yet be a potential GOP nominee if he performs well on the national stage.





|| Greg, 01:12 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

Congratulations to the winners and all participants. Now get reading, folks! There's a lot of good stuff there.





|| Greg, 07:49 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

August 13, 2011

A Queer Controversy Over Star Trek

Looks like some folks have their knickers in a twist over how J.J. Abrams answered a question in a recent interview.

In a deeply odd interview (HT: The Mary Sue) with AfterElton, J.J. Abrams sets new standards in equivocating when he discusses whether he’d have an openly gay character in a subsequent Star Trek movie:

I would say that it is, you know, something that I would love to do, but just the way I would be careful doing a story that would involve any of the characters and their personal lives. The balance is always, what how does that story relate to sort of the bad guy, which by the way is always going to be that critical thing, what are they up against? The question how do you get into literally these are personal sexual lives of these characters?

I just wouldn’t want the agenda to be … whether it’s a heterosexual relationship or a homosexual relationship, to tell a story that was, that felt distracting from part of the purpose of the story is. So I’m in complete open-minded, you know, I’m interested in finding a way to do that but it’s almost like, it’s a tricky thing, because it’s the right thing to do and sometimes so is a story about something that also has some kind of meaning but do it and if it in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re doing it in order to make that point because then it’s almost a disservice. Because then it feels like “oh that stupid distracting subplot about you know, you know, that minority. Or those people… ” The thing that really matters to you as a writer. So the question is how do you do it where it doesn’t feel like why am I getting into that kind of detail about the character’s life if not just to make a point of it? So the answer is, I think it should be done and I’ve love to be able to do it. And the question is once we get through the bigger issues of certain structural things that are really the key to the show or the movie being done well.

I guess I must have missed something where Uhura and Spock’s relationship is integral to embodying the fight against Nero because dude came through a black hole to ban interracial relationships in the Federation. And Abrams, who says here that “I don’t know who’s assuming characters aren’t gay or are gay” in expressing concern about how fans picture the characters, doesn’t seem to have been so vastly concerned about the original conception of Spock and Uhura — in which Uhura hits on Spock and he blows her off — that he resisted pairing them up in his alternate continuity.

What worked about that pairing, in fact, was that Abrams and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci did something that movies rarely do, but that is, in fact, totally natural: showed two characters in a relationship using sexual contact as a means of expressing tenderness rather than desire. The fact that Spock needed comfort in the wake of extreme trauma was specific to the plot, but there was no reason the person he got comfort from also needed to illuminate the Romulan threat. The same could easily, and comfortably, be true of a gay character. Someone should tell Abrams that it’s not a victory over tokenism to keep gay people invisible, especially when that invisibility is increasingly obviously at odds with the Star Trek vision of a progressive future.

This is the sort of absurdity that we saw in the 1970s with Star Wars. Why was Lando black? Because civil rights folks complained that the only black character was Darth Vader, and there needed to be a positive black role model to balance him. Race was then ignored, because it didn't matter to the story.

Unfortunately, that can't work for a gay character. After all (stereotyping aside), there is no such thing as "looking gay". It therefore becomes necessary to make a point that the character is gay -- either by having a gay subplot or by a totally gratuitous disclosure of sexuality. Unless one wants to do a J.K. Rowling and, make an after-the-fact announcement that one of the characters is gay -- even though it provides us with no additional understanding or insight into the character or the story.

So, with Star Trek, what is to be done? Given the now established heterosexuality of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Uhura in the reboot universe, does somebody want J.J. Abrams to make Scotty, Chekov or Sulu gay (despite their established heterosexuality in the original universe)? Maybe alter the timeline a bit by making Nurse Chapel a man -- thereby creating one heck of a twist to the unrequited love storyline? Or does there need to be some new character introduced just for the purpose of having the token homosexual? Frankly, I think Abrams gets it right when he indicates that he'll include a gay character when and if that inclusion actually advances the storyline in a way that makes sense -- which actually strikes me as the most respectful way of doing it.

Of course, this controversy forces us to ask where the Mexican character is. And the Orthodox Jew. And the Muslim. And where does the game of character bean-counting end, exactly?

ADDENDUM: Alyssa Rosenberg opines further on the matter in response to this critique over at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen. There is additional commentary at The Mary Sue, Blastr, and Airlock Alpha.





|| Greg, 09:18 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

They Say This Like It Is A Bad Thing

Every Republican congressional incumbent ought to put up graphics comparing the national economy to the Texas economy under Rick Perry to the Obama economy -- and to the Obama economy with Texas excluded.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) record is a “carbon copy” of Washington Republicans, President Obama’s reelection campaign said of the newest candidate for the GOP presidential nomination.

The Obama campaign sought to lump Perry together with the Tea Party, and charged that his economic record as governor, about which he often brags, is not being what it seems.

“Governor Perry’s economic policies are a carbon copy of the economic policies of Washington Republicans,” said Ben LaBolt, the Obama campaign’s press secretary.

LaBolt pointed to Perry’s endorsement of the “Cut, Cap and Balance” approach to addressing the debt-ceiling that many of the other presidential candidates had backed. That plan passed the House, but failed to make its way through the Senate.

What would the graphics show? Something like this.

texas-jobs[1].png

Folks who read this site know that I'm not a big Rick Perry fan, -- that I even endorsed his opponent in the 2010 gubernatorial primary. But if Obama and the Democrats aren't careful, they may yet get me to endorse him for President of the United States.





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

A Voice Of Resistance, A Voice Of Remembrance

One of the great acts of heroism during the Holocaust was the uprising of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. Few of those who participated in that effort to fight the malignant forces of Nazi genocide -- but one of these, Leon Weinstein, is still alive here in America, living in Los Angeles at the age of 101.

63785863[1].jpg

His is a story of heroism -- and a story of giving a child up to that she might live through the kindness of strangers, and the unlikely path that led him to find her again after the war.

I'd love to excerpt Mr. Weinstein's story, but there is simply too much that is too good for me to even begin to decide where to start. So instead I provide you a link to this story of an ordinary man who did extraordinary things in order to survive the evil that was Nazism. Read it and remember.





|| Greg, 04:30 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

August 11, 2011

Obama Regime Disses Kin Of Slain Border Patrol Agent

Unbeliveably shocking!

In a surprise move in a controversial case, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona is opposing a routine motion by the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry to qualify as crime victims in the eyes of the court.

The family asked to intervene as victims in the case against Jamie Avila, the 23-year-old Phoenix man who purchased the guns allegedly used to kill Terry. Such motions are routinely approved by prosecutors, but may be opposed by defense attorneys.

However in this case, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke argues because the family was not "directly or proximately harmed" by the illegal purchase of the murder weapon, it does not meet the definition of "crime victim" in the Avila case. Burke claims the victim of the Avila's gun purchases, "is not any particular person, but society in general."

Who was Brian Terry? How about if I let the staffs of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate Judiciary Committee answer that question.

Brian Terry U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was an agent with the U.S. Border Patrol’s Search, Trauma, and Rescue team, known as BORSTAR. He served in the military and was a Border Patrol agent for three years. On December 14, 2010, during a routine patrol, Terry was confronted by armed bandits. He was shot once and killed. Two weapons found at the scene traced back to Operation Fast and Furious.

Now for those of you unfamiliar with Operation Fast and Furious/Operation Gunrunner, it involved BATF allowing straw purchases by folks like Jamie Avila and then letting the guns cross the border into Mexico -- an operation conducted with knowledge of Attorney General Eric Holder (and possibly President Barack Obama as well).

So it is easy to see why U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, an Obama appointee who is under the direct supervision of Holder, would oppose granting victim status to the Terry family -- it would make it very likely that the court would have to take official judicial notice of Operation Fast and Furious/Operation Gunrunner and to make rulings regarding it during the trial. And the last thing the Obama Regime needs right now is more bad publicity -- especially when it involves our broken border with Mexico and a dead law enforcement officer. That's why the order in question was not drafted by Burke or his office -- it was drafted by the Assistant Attorney General Emory Hurley, the Washington-based official who was directly responsible for overseeing Operation Fast and Furious/Operation Gunrunner. Definitely some ass-covering going on here -- and reasonable people would call it a cover-up in which a dead Border Patrol Agent and his family are being thrown under the bus.

Here's hoping that the judge will slap down this despicable move and give the Terry family the status which they are guaranteed by federal law -- and keep the Justice Department from cutting a deal which lets Avila off easy and lets the Justice Department cover up its malfeasance.





|| Greg, 11:23 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Union Thuggery In Action

Want a great example of why unions need to lose some of the legal privileges they currently have? Here's the "poster child" for the right-to-work cause.

yeah, you saw that right -- the scum-sucking union bastard put HIS CHILD in front of a vehicle in order to engage in intimidation of the occupants -- whose only offense is being willing to do a job that he clearly does not want for a compensation package he feels is below his dignity.

As I've often said -- when intransigent unions decide that they won't supply their product (their members" to a business at a price the business is willing to pay, the business ought to have the right to do exactly what it can do with any other supplier of goods and services after a contract expires -- seek another source.

Now let's look at some of the claims made by the unfit and abusive parent in this video.

That's who you're hurting, scumbag. That's who you're f*cking hurting. . . . You're taking it from our families.

We'll set aside the issue of the child abuse engaged in by a father who uses his own child as a road block. After all, no decent person can deny that is beyond the pale, and ought to result in a visit from child protective services, the removal of all children from the home of union thug sperm donor who endangered her, and a jail term.

But who is hurting the child here? If his argument that someone else doing the work of the striking workers is hurting his daughter, then it is really clear who is doing it -- the union bosses who won't agree to a contract in the midst of the second dip of Obama's Great Dem-Pression. Oh, yeah -- and "daddy", who is willing to walk off the job during the second dip of Obama's Great Dem-Pression when unemployment rates over 9% guarantee that there are plenty of qualified workers who will gladly take what the company is offering.

In short, you had a job and were drawing a paycheck until you decided to forgo it in an effort to coerce more than your labor is worth from Verizon,. YOU TOOK IT AWAY FROM YOUR FAMILY BY YOUR OWN CHOICE.

You're taking our jobs.

And therein lies the major misconception -- the major flaw -- in the current system. No worker owns their job. You may have a legal right to that job for the duration of a contract, but once you let that contract lapse -- and especially once you decide to withhold your labor from the employer -- do you really have a legal or moral claim to that job? More to the point, OUGHT you have any such claim to it? My answer is that you should not -- just as the company that supplies parts to your employer really lacks any justifiable claim to have a right to supply those materials if it won't agree to a new contract at an acceptable price.

What we have here is threats and intimidation of workers by the union thugs as well as child abuse. The time has come to make such intimidation illegal by stripping from unions their privilege under the law to force or coerce financial support and/or membership in an unwanted organization that is counter-productive to workers rights and needs.

By the way -- there exists legislation that prevents tactics like this at abortion facilities. Isn't it time to pas a Freedom of Access to Workplace Entrances Act to prevent the obstruction of Americans who just want to work?





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August 10, 2011

Obama Greets Returning Casualties At Dover

When I first heard that President Obama was going to Dover Air Force base yesterday to honor the troops killed in this weekend's horrific helicopter shoot-down, I was actually quite pleased. It appeared that Obama was doing the right thing for the right reason.

then I heard that the press -- in particular photographers and videographers -- was banned from the event. That set my teeth on edge, since Obama had made quite a show of reversing a two-decade-old policy in order to permit photographs and video of the returning coffins containing the remains of our honored war dead. indeed, I tweeted the following in one of my more cynical moments while discussing the matter with a couple of other commentators.

obamadover.jpg

I let the matter drop when Mark Knoller assured me that the Pentagon had stated that this was not a White House call, but rather done because not all of the remains had been identified and therefore the families could not consent. The excuse seemed terribly. . . convenient, but at least plausible. And besides -- I still found it quite appropriate that the Commander-in-Chief would make the trip for this particular group of war dead. There would be no pictures.

So imagine my shock when I saw this picture.

white-house-soldier-photo-e1313022213839[1].jpg

Apparently photos were permitted -- only the White House had arranged to have only an official White House photographer present, with his activities directed and circumscribed by aides to President Obama. So much for respecting the desires of the families because the dead had not yet been identified!.

What's more, it is now known that 19 of the 30 families of the dead requested that there be no press coverage -- including no photographs -- of the return of these heroes.

Put bluntly, what this means is that the Obama Administration made a show of having no photography out of respect for the dead and their family, only to disregard those wishes and have their own photo show up on the White House website.

I'm torn between describing this betrayal of the troops and their families by the Commander-in-Chief as shameful and shameless. Frankly, I don't know which more clearly describes the contemptible deed that was perpetrated here. But regardless of your preference, do not forget this opportunistic betrayal of our dead troops -- and do not allow those you know to forget it between now and November 6, 2012.

H/T JoshuaPundit, Gateway Pundit





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John Wiley Price -- Elected Thug

I've commented on Dallas' John Wiley Price before. He's that area's version of CongressWOMAN Sheila Jackson Lee, only without the charm or national platform that Queen Sheila has. He's the guy who announced that using the term "black hole" is racist and told a group of citizens speaking to a public meeting to "go to hell" because they were white.

Well, now this master race-baiter has taken things to the next level -- assaulting a reporter for trying to enter a public building in the company of another elected official.


Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price physically accosted WFAA reporter Brett Shipp while Shipp was trying to gain access to Price's county office Wednesday morning.

Price struck Shipp with an open palm to the throat during a News 8 investigation of county equipment and purchases.

The incident occurred when Shipp was asked by Commissioner Maurine Dickey to accompany her to Price's Langdon Road office to gain access to storage sheds located on the county complex.

* * *

Following the physical confrontation, Shipp and Commissioner Price had a second discussion. The News 8 video audibly captures an exchange in which Price tells Shipp, "I'm going to split your neck."

Brett Shipp was not injured.

This is assault and battery, as well as making a terroristic threat. Beyond that, there appear to be likely civil rights violations by John Wiley Price as well.

My questions are very straight-forward, in light of the video evidence.

When will Price be charged?

When will Price be arrested?

Is there any way for the County Commissioner's Court to immediately remove Price from his seat for official misconduct?

I'll also make this observation -- too bad Brett Shipp was not exercising his Second Amendment rights in addition to his First Amendment rights when this incident happened.

H/T Urban Grounds





|| Greg, 05:38 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Res Judicata & ACORN

Next time you discuss voter fraud in American elections with someone, you can point to ACORN as a prime example. When that person starts saying that you are using "right -wing talking points", calmly and politely point out that you are not -- you are using the decision of an American court on the matter.

A judge on Wednesday fined the defunct grass-roots community organizing group ACORN $5,000 for its illegal voter-registration program in Nevada — but said he wishes he could have put someone in prison, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

At the sentencing, Clark County District Judge Donald Mosley said if a person had been before him instead of a corporation, he would have slapped the individual with a 10-year prison term.

“And I wouldn’t have thought twice about it,” Mosley said.

Instead, Mosley fined the group the maximum of $5,000. He said the corporation made a “mockery” of the country’s electoral process.

There you have it -- ACORN has been found guilty of illegal conduct with regard to elections -- not just ACORN employees, but the organization itself. What's more, the organization acknowledged that guilt in court. The legal term is "res judicata" -- the matter has been judged, and that decision is settled law.

A pity that there is no way to jail the responsible parties -- especially since ACORN and its allies have repeatedly argued that corporate officers ought to be jailed for criminal activities committed by the corporation. And since ACORN is a corporation. . . .





|| Greg, 05:13 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

On Wisconsin (Recall Elections)

PoliPundit makes the following Obama carried. Wisconsin became a red state in 2010, and it’s staying that way.">important observation.

Yep, the GOP won a comfortable majority of votes, in districts that Obama carried. Wisconsin became a red state in 2010, and it’s staying that way.

I'm not prepared to say that Wisconsin switched to a red state in 2010 -- I'd prefer another election cycle or two to confirm that -- but the vote patterns in these districts which were chosen for recall partially based upon their support for Obama in 2008 does show just how battered the incumbent has become as we prepare for the 2012 presidential race.





|| Greg, 04:50 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Remember When Atheists And Liberals Tried To Shut Down Rick Perry's Prayer Meeting?

Somehow they missed this event, and so have made no effort to prevent this event from taking place in the White House using government funds.

President Barack Obama will host an Iftar dinner Wednesday evening to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The Iftar is the dinner that breaks the holiday’s daily fast. The dinner became an annual White House tradition under President Bill Clinton, and President George W. Bush continued it.

The White House says invited guests include religious and grass-roots leaders in the Muslim-American community as well as leaders of other faiths and elected officials.

Remember -- your tax dollars did not pay for The Response. It was not government sponsored, and the venue was rented by private organizations using private funds. In this case, the President is holding a religious celebration in his official capacity as President, in the White House, using government employees and government resources without reimbursement to the Federal government. I know which of the two events looks much more like an entanglement of religion and state -- actually a government establishment of religion -- to me.

So why are the atheists and separationists silent and not litigious? Why are we not hearing those who objected to last Saturday's event loudly decrying this one and fulminating that "America needs a President, not an Imam"?

We know the reasons.

Obama is a liberal Democrat.

Obama is a racial minority.

And the religion in question is not Christianity.

I wish I could say I'm surprised by the hypocrisy at work here.





|| Greg, 04:31 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Last Living Witness

to the Lincoln assassination.

Lincoln was murdered in 1865. This television clip is from the mid 1950s.

It should serve as a reminder of just how much history one person can live through -- and how ordinary people might find themselves witnesses to events of great historical significance.

H/T Proud to be an American via Right on the Left Coast





|| Greg, 04:00 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

What I Want For Christmas

I love my wife.

I really do.

But I wouldn't mind finding this under the tree at Christmas time.

article-2024172-0D5D433800000578-277_634x536[1].jpg

After all, what red-blooded man can resist Cat Deeley?





|| Greg, 07:33 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

HISD Announces New "Go Ahead And Cheat On State Tests" Policy

No other way to interpret this.

A split Houston school board has overruled Superintendent Terry Grier's recommendation to fire a Lockhart Elementary teacher accused of helping students cheat on state exams in April.

Trustees voted 3-3 after closed-door discussions last week about the teacher, Erica Carmouche, who has denied wrongdoing. The tie vote — possible because three trustees were absent — means Carmouche keeps her job.

An external investigation had concluded "on balance" that Carmouche helped students on the high-stakes Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills exams. Several fifth-graders reported that she pointed out wrong answers to them.

Grier pledged in July that teachers who cheated would "not be in Houston classrooms this fall." The school board, however, has the power to accept or reject his proposed terminations.

Here's hoping the state steps in and quickly revokes her certification so she is not in the classroom -- or in education at all. After all, we have thousands of recently laid off teachers in this state -- surely there is an honest one who can take the place of this cheater.





|| Greg, 07:29 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A New Low In The "New Civility"

I commented on the strategy yesterday. But after a good night's sleep and some time for reflection, I'd like to comment on the language used.

Now I understand that there will be efforts to take down opponents by painting an unflattering picture and questioning their character and competence -- but I thought since last January we were supposed to be practicing the "new civility" where we watched our language lest the least stable in society be provoked.

Here's the quote from the article in Politico.

"Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney," said a “prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House.”

WHOA!

Now just imagine if a senior strategist aligned with Romney or one of the other GOP candidates made a similar comment about Obama. There would be Hell to pay as charges of racism were lobbed and liberal commentators railed against "eliminationist rhetoric". It wouldn't be long before Politico disclosed the identity of the anonymous speaker, and the Secret Service would soon be investigating.

Talk about killing a Republican candidate for president? No big deal -- after all, top leaders of the Democrats have already declared Republicans to be "hostage-takers" and "terrorists" (like "Hezbollah" and the "Taliban"wearing "suicide vests" and "holding guns to the heads" of the American people while trying to establish a "dictatorship". Talk of killing a potential GOP nominee is therefore not that big a deal -- indeed, some might decide it is the patriotic duty of a good American to actually pull the trigger in order to protect America from the possibility of such an "extremist" defeating Barack Obama, if one accepts the statements of top leaders and political commentators as to the nature of the Republicans.

I'll say it right now -- regardless of what promises of confidentiality Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin made to this anonymous Obama-aligned Democrat strategist, the two Politico journalists have a moral obligation to disclose his (or her) identity to the American public.

H/T NewsBusters





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What Word Will The Media Strenuously Avoid?

See if you can figure it out.

PHOENIX - Sky Harbor Airport had a scare when screeners found a bomb-like device in traveler’s carry-on bag.

Sitting down with his hands in cuffs and his feet in chains, Ethiopian immigrant Shullu Gorado told ABC15 in a jailhouse interview the item that set off the panic at Sky Harbor airport was just Ethiopian food with a cell phone strapped to it.

Gorado says he gave it to a friend to take with her to another friend of theirs in Iowa, but investigators are suspicious of a possible terrorist plot.

Baggage screeners caught Gorado’s friend, Luwiza Daman, trying to bring it as a carry-on in her luggage. She is Ethiopian as well.

This certainly looks like a test to any reasonable person -- and if we start letting such things pass by, we can be sure that one day there will be a big "BOOM!" and a plane falling out of the sky.





|| Greg, 06:33 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

August 09, 2011

Right Decision, Wrong Decision

I've long opposed gay marriage, and supported the federal Defense of Marriage Act. I've even supported the adoption of some version of a Federal Marriage Amendment. At the same time, I've supported the legislative adoption of some sort of legal status that will protect the rights of gay couples -- and have argued that, by and large, there are mechanisms out there to do so.

So while I'm pleased that the Obama Administration is following the Defense of Marriage Act here, I'm disturbed at the fact that there seems to be no interest in working with this couple to find a proper humanitarian solution to this situation.

Citing the Defense of Marriage Act, the Obama administration denied immigration benefits to a married gay couple from San Francisco and ordered the expulsion of a man who is the primary caregiver to his AIDS-afflicted spouse.

Bradford Wells, a U.S. citizen, and Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia, were married seven years ago in Massachusetts. They have lived together 19 years, mostly in an apartment in the Castro district. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied Makk's application to be considered for permanent residency as a spouse of an American citizen, citing the 1996 law that denies all federal benefits to same-sex couples.

The decision was issued July 26. Immigration Equality, a gay-rights group that is working with the couple, received the notice Friday and made it public Monday. Makk was ordered to depart the United States by Aug. 25. Makk is the sole caregiver for Wells, who has severe health problems.

The key here is that Makk is Wells' primary caregiver. There is surely some provision in immigration law that would cover this situation -- a provision that allows for the granting of an extended visa (if not permanent residency) on the basis of extreme hardship or compassionate grounds -- especially given that Makk has consistently followed our nation's immigration laws. If we can find grounds for letting every Juan, Jose, and maria who illegally crosses the border to work her illegally and scam the system for public benefits, surely the Obama Administration can fond a way to protect the best interests of this legal immigrant and his American citizen life-partner.

Nancy Pelosi has indicated that she might seek to sponsor special legislation to address this particular case. I support that effort, and urge bipartisan support for that bill. But beyond that, there needs to be consideration of legislation that addresses such situations in a more global fashion, so that there are no more such cases in the future.





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Obama Campaign's Asymmetrical Warfare

Obama's campaign minions are ready to go negative on Mitt Romney, who they presume will be the GOP nominee.

Barack Obama’s aides and advisers are preparing to center the president’s re-election campaign on a ferocious personal assault on Mitt Romney’s character and business background, a strategy grounded in the early stage expectation that the former Massachusetts governor is the likely GOP nominee.

Now you may wonder why I call this move into the politics of personal destruction "asymmetrical warfare". That's easy -- the Romney camp cannot respond in kind to this negative campaign tactic because Barack Obama has neither business experience nor good character to attack. And given that Obama lacks any significant accomplishments to trumpet and that half of all American believe Obama does not deserve a second term, all he has left to use are the terroristic tactics of character assassination against a good and decent man.





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Charlie Rangel Is A Tool

And we have that statement straight from the horse's @$$ mouth.

“We are the actors, the tools. . .

You know what, Chuckles -- I've always considered you to be a tool -- but not one that has any use whatsoever.





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I Want Obama Gone, But I Don't Support This

I believe Barack Obama is bad for America. I believe he has been bad for America since the moment he took office, and will continue to be bad for America until the moment he leaves office -- and that his legacy will continue to harm America for years beyond his tenure in office. So if I may clarify, I believe that Barack Obama has been a net negative for my country.

That said, I utterly reject this notion put forward by a fellow Texas Republican, Congressman Michael Burgess.

A brief exchange between US Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville and a local Tea Party member is drawing attention this morning as Burgess advocated pursuing impeachment proceedings against President Obama.

As we first reported last night, the impeachment talk came up while Burgess was speaking to the NE Tarrant Tea Party Monday night. Burgess spent much of the evening defending his decision to vote for a debt ceiling deal earlier this month that many Tea Party conservatives hated.

When one attendee suggested that the House push for impeachment proceedings against Obama to distract the president and keep him from getting things done, Burgess was immediately receptive. He said Obama backed away from using the 14th amendment to raise the debt ceiling without Congressional approval because of concerns about getting impeached. He added that there’s also some people who believe Obama violated the War Powers Act when he pursued military action in Libya.

“It needs to happen, and I agree with you it would tie things up,” Burgess said. “No question about that.”

I asked Burgess about the exchange afterward.

“We need to tie things up,” he repeated. “The gentleman was right. The longer we just allow damage to continue unchecked, the worse things are going to be for us…People will talk about it.”

Here's my problem with Congressman Burgess' proposal -- as articulated here, it would appear to fly in the face of the US Constitution, which speaks to the grounds for such a removal from office as follows in Article II.

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Burgess doesn't articulate one of those as a reason for impeachment, but instead appears to buy into the notion of engaging in it as an exercise in political obstructionism. The closest he comes -- Obama's undeclared unilateral war in Libya -- doesn't work as grounds because Congress has failed to act to invoke the War Powers Act to force the termination of US involvement in Obama's failed Libyan adventure. Therefore my earlier argument in favor of impeachment -- made in the early days of the Libyan conflict -- have become moot due to what effectively constitutes ratification of the president's actions through silence. In short, what is lacking here is a constitutional basis to act in such a fashion.

Besides -- thee is another consideration in the event of the impeachment and removal of Barack Obama

joe-biden-BFD.jpg





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August 08, 2011

Stock Market Crashes For Third Straight Day; Obama Fundraises

Priorities, my friends. Priorities.

President Barack Obama turns his attention to campaign politics Monday night, as he headlines two events for the Democratic National Committee and his re-election campaign.

According to the White House schedule, the president first attends a gathering of approximately 140 guests at a private residence in the nation's capital. A DNC official says proceeds from the $15,000 per family gathering will go to the Obama Victory Fund, with the money raised shared by the president's re-election campaign and DNC.

A source with knowledge of the event says it's being held at the home of Don and Katrina Peebles. Don Peebles is a real estate entrepreneur and sits on the Obama campaign's national finance committee.

The president then heads to the St. Regis Hotel to meet with approximately 60 guests. While not a fundraiser, a source says the gathering is a donor outreach event.

It's a good thing that there is nothing important going on that might require him to do some Presidenting.

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I wonder where he is getting his advice on setting priorities as our economy melts down.

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UPDATE -- It isn't just America; it is every stock market around the world. But not to worry -- the fundraising continues unabated.

Obama-Economy[1].jpg





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Brutal Honesty From The Houston Chronicle -- UPDATED & BUMPED

This headline says it all:

Market Liveblog: President speaks, stocks fall further

But the money quote is in the body of the piece.

Obama also took a shot at S&P, saying the country will weather today’s market turmoil. “No matter what some rating agency may say, we have always been and will always be a triple-A country.”

It’s a nice sound bite, but the speech offered little new or gave investors any sense of confidence. As he spoke, the market declines deepened.

Apparently we've found another thing that the application of unicorn guano won't fix.

obama_pile_of_crap1.jpg

UPDATE: Let's clarify where the day ended.

The markets, mercifully, are now closed. The Dow fell 634.75, or 5.6 percent, to 10.809.85 and the S&P 500 tumbled 79.92, or 6.7 percent, to 1,119.46, its worst slump since 2008. It’s rather eerie, but the more detailed closing percentage on the S&P was 6.66 percent. Every stock in the S&P wound up falling today, including Newmont Mining, which had been boldly bucking the trend earlier.

And the Obama economy's slide into the second dip of the Great Dem-Pression continues unabated.

OBAMADOUBLEDIP.jpg





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Heroes Come Home

Let us never forget those who have died fighting for our country -- whether last weekend or decades in the past.

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and are being buried with full military honors.

Army Pfc. William F. Stehlin of Dayton, Ky., will be buried on Aug. 11 in Arlington National Cemetery. On Nov. 20, 1944, Stehlin, as part of the 333rd Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division, went missing near Süggerath while his unit conducted a largely successful offensive to capture towns in Western Germany. In 1951, after an extensive search, his remains were determined unrecoverable by U.S. Army Graves Registration personnel.

In 2009, a German citizen digging in a wooded area near Süggerath, discovered a grave with the remains of two individuals, military-related equipment and identification tags.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command laboratory also used dental comparisons in the identification of the remains. The other individual, Pfc. Edward L. O’Toole, was identified and buried on July 15 in San Bruno, Calif.

In a post in the wee hours of this morning, I noted the sacrifice of members of our Armed Forces today. But each of us must also remember our debt of gratitude to Pfc. William F. Stehlin and Pfc. Edward L. O’Toole for their sacrifice nearly seven decades ago.





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Why I Back Bolton

Ambassador John Bolton concisely articulates the reason for my support in a piece at Human Events.

To date, in my view, no Republican candidate has persuasively argued that our economic recovery and long-term prosperity are completely intertwined with a strong national security posture. If no one else is prepared to make that case, I will.

America would be best served if John Bolton were to take the Oath of Office as President on January 20, 2013. Barring that, America will be ill-served if he does not take up the duties of the Vice President or Secretary of State on that date.





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No Distractions From What's Important

I just love IowaHawk's trenchant observations.

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If we are to save the country, we need to rid ourselves of Obama at the ballot box in 2012. If that fails, there is no hope of change for the better.





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Rhymes With Right Welcomes Bill Clinton

You never know who will be dropping by the blog.

ClintonVisit.jpg

Please know you are always welcome -- as are any comments you care to make. I may not agree with you, Mr. President, but I would be honored.

NOTE TO THE CURIOUS -- Here's the post in question.





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A Serviceman's Sacrifice, A Child's Love

I believe I've mentioned a time or two that my father is a retired Navy officer, and that I grew up as a part of the fraternity of military brats. I knew the fear of that official car appearing in front of the house, and the awful news that would come with that visit. My family was, thankfully, spared that.

This boy's family was not spared -- and so I will honor the request he made to CNN here on my blog as well. I hope the crew over at Jawa Report will forgive my quoting their entire post, because I cannot do a better job than they did.

screencapture_bryan nichols.jpg

Tissues needed....

Bryan Nichols

iReport —

My father was one of the 30 US Soldiers killed in Afghanistan yesterday with the Seals rescue mission. My father was the pilot of the chinook. I have seen other pictures of victims from this deadly mission and wish you would include a picture of my father. He is the farthest to the left.

Sincerely,

Braydon Nichols, 10 yrs old
Kansas City, MO

CNN hasn't "vetted him yet", but I found this:

Via Kansas City Star

Friends remember three area soldiers killed in Afghan crash

Army Reserve Spc. Spencer Duncan was a 2008 Olathe South graduate who at 21 left his Kansas family, his best buddies and his girlfriend because he wanted to serve his country.

He wrote how much he loved his job as a door gunner on a Chinook helicopter. But he also told his friends that in the quiet amid the stark landscape of Afghanistan he missed the Kansas sunsets, lying in a truck bed listening to the radio and cuddling with his sweetie.

Army Spc. Alexander Bennett, 23, had earned a reputation for his pranks on Marines and soldiers, drawing eye rolls from older officers. After a 2009 deployment in Iraq, he moved from the Tacoma, Wash., area to Overland Park to be a flight mechanic in the Army Reserve’s Chinook unit at New Century AirCenter.

Piloting was Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan Nichols’ dream, something the 31-year-old Kansas City man wanted from the first day he saw a Chinook hoist itself gracefully into the sky.

screencapture2_Bryan Nichols.jpg

He studied and became one of his unit’s best, a rising star in its stable of skilled pilots[More..]
May this child feel comfort in the love his father gave to him and know his father was a hero in all our eyes. I only wish I could give him a comforting hug, but I can't. May God comfort him in this time of sorrow.

RIP Braydon's father Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan Nichols, also Army Reserve Spc. Spencer Duncan and Army Spc. Alexander Bennett.

RIP to all who perished, your families are in our thoughts and prayers..

Braydon, I don't know if you will ever see this, but in the hope that you do, I'd like to share a story from my childhood with you -- one that I hope someday may mean something to you. It involves the day, nearly 40 years ago, when I met Admiral Arleigh Burke, one of the great fighting sailors of World War II -- when I was about your age and my father was deployed a world away.

It was my great privilege to meet the admiral when I was a boy, when he walked over to talk to a young Navy wife and her two sons while they were all waiting to be seen at Bethesda Naval Hospital the during the Vietnam War. As I look back, I remain struck by the man's kindness and gentleness -- and the strength of personality in a man already into his 70s. He told my brother and I to be proud of our father who was, like him, a destroyer officer, because our father was doing some of the most important work there was -- defending our country.

I'd like to pass those words on to you, though with a heavy heart because your situation is so different than mine was. But I urge you to always remember your father with pride, because he died doing some of the most important work that there is -- defending our country.

I also pray that you will continue to grow into the sort of man your father would be proud of -- knowing that you have already shown that he was a remarkable father in addition to being a true patriot and an exemplary member of our armed forces.





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August 07, 2011

Osama Film Highlights Hypocrisy, Possible Illegality On The Part Of Barack Obama

Remember Barack Obama's 2010 State of the Union Address, when he broke with every historical precedent to verbally assault the justices of the Supreme Court over the Citizens United decision?

"Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections," Obama said. "Well I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and that’s why I’m urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong."

You remember the Citizens United case, of course -- it was the one in which the Obama Administration actually argued before the Supreme Court that campaign finance laws trumped the First Amendment to the degree that the government could ban books, movies, and other communications that mentioned a candidate in the period shortly before an election. After all,, Obama and his minions argued -- corporate speech (other than that by reliably liberal news media for which an exception existed in the law) corrupts the electoral process.

So of course, the Obama Administration is now engaged in what is, by the standard set by the Administration's arguments before the Supreme Court and President Obama's own words, a thoroughly corrupt practice in its effort to help Sony Pictures rush a film version of the take-down of Osama bin Laden to the big screen only 3 1/2 weeks before the 2012 presidential election.

The White House is also counting on the Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal big-screen version of the killing of Bin Laden to counter Obama’s growing reputation as ineffectual. The Sony film by the Oscar-winning pair who made “The Hurt Locker” will no doubt reflect the president’s cool, gutsy decision against shaky odds. Just as Obamaland was hoping, the movie is scheduled to open on Oct. 12, 2012 — perfectly timed to give a home-stretch boost to a campaign that has grown tougher.

The moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history from an administration that has tried to throw more people in jail for leaking classified information than the Bush administration.

It was clear that the White House had outsourced the job of manning up the president’s image to Hollywood when Boal got welcomed to the upper echelons of the White House and the Pentagon and showed up recently — to the surprise of some military officers — at a C.I.A. ceremony celebrating the hero Seals.

Yep, that's right -- Obama's minions in the regime are working hard to aid the very sort of effort that Obama decried as corrupting of the political system even after it was found to be constitutional by the courts. That is truly hypocritical -- after all, even if it is permitted by law, shouldn't a man who claims to have higher moral standards eschew such corporate assistance and make every effort to get the release of the movie delayed a few weeks -- perhaps into the Thanksgiving weekend or over the Christmas holiday, when it would not have the sort of impact on the election that the unusual October release date would have.

And then there are two other issues at work here. The first is that, unlike the movie at issue in the Citizens United case, there is definite cooperation between those making the film and its intended beneficiary, Barack Obama. That gets into the question of illegal coordination with a supposedly independent actor, which is a crime. What's more, those doing the coordination on Obama's behalf are not on the campaign payroll, but are instead drawing their salaries from the federal government -- a big no-no under campaign finance laws. So even if we set the Citizens United issue aside, the odor of corruption in this situation is overpowering.





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Second Dip Of Great Dem-Pression Will Be Devastating

Because there is no fat left to cut.

If the economy falls back into recession, as many economists are now warning, the bloodletting could be a lot more painful than the last time around.

Given the tumult of the Great Recession, this may be hard to believe. But the economy is much weaker than it was at the outset of the last recession in December 2007, with most major measures of economic health — including jobs, incomes, output and industrial production — worse today than they were back then. And growth has been so weak that almost no ground has been recouped, even though a recovery technically started in June 2009.

“It would be disastrous if we entered into a recession at this stage, given that we haven’t yet made up for the last recession,” said Conrad DeQuadros, senior economist at RDQ Economics.

Consider this -- the working age population has increased by 3% -- but the number of jobs has decreased by 5%. Those with jobs are working less, as overtime opportunities have virtually disappeared and the availability of second jobs has dropped due to the employment contraction. In real terms, wages are down 4%, and raises are few and far between. Overall, that means that the economy has seen a 7% contraction since the beginning of the downturn in late 2007. And as I noted earlier this week, the free-spending policies of Barack Obama and the Democrats who have controlled Congress since 2007 have resulted in a national debt equal to 100% of the US economy -- compared to "only" about 64% back in 2007.

No, things are not looking good. But on the bright side, Barack Obama does have the sort of unique experience that may help America as we enter the second dip of the Great Dem-Pression -- his last job in the private sector, back during his high school days, was at Baskin-Robbins.

OBAMADOUBLEDIP.jpg





|| Greg, 07:58 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Deals With America's Economic Crisis

ForeMoreYears.jpg

After all, we must keep our priorities in order.

President Barack Obama, a Democrat, enjoys spending time on the golf course on Andrews Air Force Base, which is nearby Camp David. Regardless of circumstances, Obama loves to play golf. The U.S. stock exchanges are plunging and the S&P has just downgraded the credit rating of United States federal government debt. So, how does the President respond to recent developments of the Obama Depression? He plays golf.

Politico reports that, “President Obama has left the White House for Camp David. The pool reports Obama left the West Wing around 3:40 p.m., waving to a crowd as he boarded his helicopter. Valerie Jarret, Reggie Love and Pete Souza are tagging along.”

Of course, it is possible that Obama is carrying out his pledge to focus on jobs -- one caddy at a time.

H/T Gateway Pundit





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Watcher's Council Results

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

Great job, everyone! Congratulations to the winners, and to all nominees. Now you folks need to get reading, because there is some great stuff there you may have missed.





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August 06, 2011

Here's The Prayer That So Scared The Leftists

What sort of man could possibly give voice to such things?

perryprayer.jpg

Lord, you are the source of every good thing. You are our only hope and we stand before you today in awe of your power and in gratitude for your blessings and humility for our sins. Father our heart breaks for America. We see discord at home. We see fear in the marketplace. We see anger in the halls of government, and as a nation, we have forgotten who made us, who protects us, blesses us and for that we cry out for your forgiveness.

We pray for our nation and its leaders lord, for parents, for pastors, for generals, for governors, that you would inspire them in difficult times We pray for our president that you would impart your wisdom upon him that you would guard his family. We pray for our military… especially for those special operators who lost their life yesterday defending our freedoms.

You call us to repent Lord, and this day is our response. We give it all to you for thine is the kingdom and power and glory forever, amen and amen.

I guess I can understand their concern. Humility. Love of country. And not a word of condemnation, even of political opponents (like the president) for whom he prayed. In other words, values that are shared on a core level by the bulk of the American people -- and which are anathema to so-called "progressives". No wonder they tried to stop this event, vocally condemned it, visibly protested it, and even offered suggestions of assassinating Rick Perry -- all in the name of what they (incorrectly) call "Love".





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Political Images For Your Amusement

Since we always hear the talking points about what Obama inherited from Bush, let's offer a little reminder in return.

AAArating.jpg

And, for those who make false claims of "hostage taking" and "terrorism" against their conservative opponents about the deal that increased spending and borrowing.

McKee_C20110805-550x350[1].jpg
H/T Don Surber

And interestingly enough, Obama and the Democrats still haven't eaten their peas by agreeing to real, immediate spending cuts.





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A Response To A Response To "The Response"

The sublimely hypocritical Rev. Ellen Cooper-Davis of Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church wrote the following on her blog at the Houston Chronicle's website, after taking a couple of contemptuous whacks at those who dare to gather today at Reliant Stadium for "The Response".

Because I am a Unitarian Universalist, I stand on the side of a Love that embraces all people everywhere-people of every faith and creed, and people of no creed at all-and demands their full equality. I stand on the side of a Love that illuminates the essential worth and dignity of every person, and demands that we recognize that in one another. I stand on the side of a Love that doesn’t care one whit for showy politics or agendas or our own prideful notions of what the world ought to look like. It demands that we do justice, that we love mercy, that we walk humbly.

My response to her was follows:

This is rather amusing, given that the only hate speech I’ve heard surrounding this event comes from people on your side, Ellen. But then again, the one sort of diversity you absolutely cannot abide is diversity of thought and belief if it dares to go against your political agenda.

No, Ellen, you don’t stand on the side of Love. You stand on the side of the sort of hatred, divisiveness and fear-mongering that you project onto those you consider to be not your fellow-believers, but your enemies.

The reality, folks, is that only one side in the controversy has any respect for freedom. One side has tried to peacefully gather together voluntarily for prayer, while the other has tried to shut down the event. One side has said it will pray for the other, while the other has gathered in protest. One side respects the right of the other to believe differently, the other has called those who believe differently hatemongers. And only one side has suggested assassinating a public official because he dares to take a different theological stance.

perrypost.jpg

Well, I guess it is all in how you define "Love".





|| Greg, 11:40 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

These Are The Serious People?

As America faces the latest failure of Obama's economic policy, here's how one of the architects of that policy responded.

Transcript via NewsBusters:

BILL MAHER, HOST: So, excuse my language, but we used to do a segment on this show called “How F—ked Are We?”

MAHER: …This, just before we went on the air they said our rating got downgraded.

CHRISTINA ROMER, FORMER CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS, OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: So, pretty darned f—ked.

[Laughter and applause]

MAHER: Ooh.

ROMER: I’ve been hanging around Tim Geithner too long.

Of course, the Obama Regime has known this downgrade was coming since April -- but has spent the last three months assuring America it wouldn't happen rather than taking action to ensure it didn't happen.

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Just one more example of why we need to drive Obama and his sycophants from office in 2012.





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It's The New Tone, Baby

Remember -- Democrats called for a "new tone" to create civil political dialogue in this country after the Tucson Horror.

NewToneGraphic[1].png

I finally understand what they meant -- "You conservatives shut up, and if you don't we'll use inflammatory rhetoric much more extreme than that which we condemned after an apolitical loon shot Gabby Giffords."

Courtesy RealMReynolds.

H/T Hube





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August 05, 2011

Left Complains Right Didn't Genuflect To Dear Leader Obama On His Birthday

In the press you get this when conservative honor the military but not the president.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.) and Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) took a little time out of their day to tweet birthday greetings to the U.S. Coast Guard, which turns 221 today, but, rather pointedly, did not mention President Barack Obama’s special day.

Which is akin to the response that Michelle Malkin got on Twitter.

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One more bit of proof that Obamunism is nothing but a cult of personality akin to what is generally found in left-wing dictatorships.





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Proof There Are Too Many Police Agencies

The story itself is serious -- but this makes me wonder if we've become a police state.

Police from three jurisdictions - West Allis, Milwaukee and Wisconsin State Fair police - spent Friday morning piecing together a series of incidents late Thursday night at the Wisconsin State Fair in which large groups of youths rampaged through the Midway and outside the grounds after closing.

Wisconsin State Fair police?

They've got their own law enforcement agency?

Why? Checking for unregistered corndogs and ensuring no one under 21 buys the fried beer?





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Honesty From The Obama Regime

It is sort of refreshing.

As President Barack Obama once again pivots to focus on economic growth, Press Secretary Jay Carney declared Thursday that "the White House doesn't create jobs."

This is true on two levels.

Obviously, of course, job creation is generally a function of robust private sector growth unimpeded by failed government policies that inhibit such business expansion.

But more to the point, THIS White House and THIS Administration under THIS President have been all about JOB DESTRUCTION as they have taken every opportunity to stifle the private sector.





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Irony Alert!

The local dead-tree-legacy-media outlet, the Houston Chronicle, offers an editorial homage to the independent bookstore today, concluding as follows:

The independents would like to see online booksellers pay the same sales tax as do brick-and-mortar merchants, but that's a tale for another time. As is one on the long-term effects of digital books on the book business in general. In the meantime, let's go buy a book - locally.

To which my long-time online friend Matt offers the following observation in the comments on the article.

"In the meantime, let's go buy a book - locally."

This message on the importance of sales-taxable local media consumption is brought to you by the sales tax-exempt Houston Chronicle, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hearst Corporation, 300 W. 57th Street, New York, New York.

'Nuff said.





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August 04, 2011

Strange Headline, Outrageous Story

This is one of those things that sounds like it belongs in a tabloid at the end of the grocery check-out.

Family of albino Muslims terrorised
after one of them marries a Christian man

But it is a real story from the UK -- showing just how incompatible many Muslim immigrants are with life in the free world.

A family of albino Muslims are being terrorised by bigots because their daughter married a man from another religion.

The so-called 'honour' retribution has included smashed windows at their Coventry home, vandalised cars and death threats.

Now, head of the family Aslam Parvez has made a plea to the culprits to end the hatred.

* * *

Aslam Parvez, 53, blames members of the Muslim community who believe the family have been dishonoured by his daughter's marriage.

The hate campaign started five months ago when a national magazine published an article on albinos which featured Naseem, who no longer lives in Coventry and has little contact with her family.

It revealed how she has married a Christian, goes to church and is expecting her second child with her husband.

Interestingly enough, the father can't bring himself to condemn the intolerance that that has caused his fellow Muslims to lash out violently -- all he'll say is it isn't his fault that his daughter decided to take advantage of what freedom still exists in the UK as the Muslim community attempts to impose sharia law there.





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Obama's "No Shit" Moment

What else can one say to this truism?

“The future is going to be determined by this election,” Obama said.

Uh, Barry. That is true about every election. For you to say it like it is some revealed truth from a unicorn-riding demigod shows us one of two things -- either that you really don't understand how the American system works, or you think your supporters are stupid. Though I suppose it could be both.





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Former Veep Calls For Overthrow Of US Government

As Americans continue to reject Barack Obama and the Democrat Party, former Vice President Al Gore (himself a former Democrat presidential nominee) has called for the overthrow of the United States government and the Constitution which he swore to support and defend.

“[I] want to focus on one particular suggestion you had about using the wonderful digital tools that are newly available for the reinvigoration of democracy,” Gore said. “Now, they have been around for a while, but they are spreading far and wide and more people are getting involved. We need to have an American spring — you know, the Arab spring. The non-violent part of it isn’t finished yet, but we need to have an American spring, a kind of an American non-violent change where people on the grassroots get involved again. Not the, you know, not in the Tea Party-style.”

Now let's look at what has happened with that Arab Spring. Journalists have been assaulted and sexually abused by the "peaceful" protesters. Islamists have taken a leading role in the governments with demands for sharia law. Actual believers in freedom and democracy have been marginalized and persecuted.

By the way -- two of Gore's targets for elimination are freedom of speech and freedom of the press, based upon his attacks on the Koch brothers and FoxNews in the same interview. After all, you can't silence them without eliminating rights for the rest of America.





|| Greg, 11:22 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Another Obama Distinction -- President Who Brought National Debt Over 100% Of GDP

Happy birthday, Mr. President!

The U.S. debt surpassed 100 percent of gross domestic product after the government's debt ceiling was lifted, Treasury figures showed Wednesday, according to AFP.

The debt, which had been in somewhat of a holding pattern over the last several weeks, rose $238 billion after President Obama signed the debt-ceiling deal into law Tuesday to avoid the country's first-ever default.

The package is designed to carve $2.4 trillion from the deficit over the next decade. But in the near term, it granted Washington an increase in its borrowing authority worth the same amount.

With that authority, the public debt has climbed to $14.58 trillion, putting it just over the $14.53 trillion size of the country's economy in 2010.

Not only is he the first Black president, he's the first Red president.





|| Greg, 07:26 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

August 03, 2011

Debt Crisis Wasn't Just Obama's Fault, It Was Obama's Choice

After all, there was a bipartisan deal on July 23, agreed to by the majority and minority leadership of both Houses of Congress -- but Obama nixed it.

On July 23, they claim, the White House called Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), telling her not to participate on a call with Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Pelosi informed Reid, who declined to participate, and the call was canceled, the Republican sources said. (A Pelosi spokesman could not be reached for comment.)

Later that day, the four leaders met with Obama at the White House. At one point, GOP officials said, the Democratic and Republican leaders asked Obama and his aides to leave the room to let them negotiate.

A tentative deal was subsequently struck, but Obama privately threatened to veto it, the sources said.

In other words, bipartisan compromise had worked as both sides reached an acceptable solution -- only to have the petulant child in the Oval Office refuse to go along with it. He thought he could get a better deal if he took America to the brink of a serious economic crisis.

H/T Gateway Pundit





|| Greg, 12:05 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

August 02, 2011

Bin Laden Family To Be Key Partner In Building World's Tallest Skyscraper

Some things are so wrong that no one should even consider them.

Just as the financial markets were beginning to crash in October 2008, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced he would build the world’s tallest tower, but then failed to move forward on the project. Today at a press conference in Riyadh, Alwaleed restarted activity on the skyscraper. He signed a $1.2 billion contract to begin building what will be called Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia — a building that will be taller than 3,280 feet (1,000 meters). The contractor for the project is Saudi Binladen Group, which is contributing $400 million toward completion of the tower.

And lest you have any question -- Saudi Binladen Group was founded by the father of terrorist leader (now fishbait) Osama bin Laden and is now run by his brothers. The business activities of this company were the source of much of the personal wealth used by Osama to fund an-Qaeda's activities.

And now these people are going to build the world's tallest building -- after a member of their family was responsible for the destruction via terrorism of a former holder of that title, the World Trade Center.

Shameful -- utterly shameful.





|| Greg, 07:47 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Name That Party -- Texas Edition

A new chapter in a major Texas corruption case was opened today when new corruption charges were revealed against former Hidalgo County Precinct 1 Commissioner Sylvia Handy and her gang of thieves.

EDINBURG — When authorities arrested Sylvia Handy on a six-count federal indictment in 2009, they said the charges would be the “tip of the iceberg” for the then-Hidalgo County Precinct 1 commissioner.

The rest of the broken glacier surfaced Monday, when Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño came forward with new charges against the convicted former commissioner and nine others tangled in a scheme that allegedly took at least $70,000 from the county’s coffers.

The most serious of the new felony charges against Handy and three others — engaging in organized criminal activity — carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Handy is serving a 30-month prison sentence after she pleaded guilty to harboring illegal immigrants and tax fraud in U.S. District Court in March 2010.

The article on this case runs a full 48 paragraphs --but somehow one word never makes it into the story. What's the word? It is "Democrat", of course.





|| Greg, 07:38 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Harry Reid Declares American People Electing Conservatives Is "Unfair To The American People"

One more reason for calling that group of individuals the "Democrat Party" rather than the "Democratic Party" -- it is the sheer contempt that they have for abiding by the outcome of the democratic process.

Either he wants a one-party state, a two party state with no difference between the parties, or the elimination of elections completely.

H/T Gateway Pundit





|| Greg, 07:22 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Ignorance, Thy Name Is Associated Press

When I was a kid, I learned that the boiling point of water is 212° Fahenheit. Later, I learned that on the Celsius scale, the boiling point is 100° C. Apparently the folks who report for the Associated Press didn't get the sort of advanced education I did.

NEW YORK (AP) — The extreme heat that’s been roasting the eastern U.S. is only expected to get worse, and residents are bracing themselves for temperatures near and above boiling point.

Weather service heat warnings and advisories have been issued Friday from Ohio to Maine.

The high temperatures and smothering humidity will force up the heat indexes. Boston’s 99 degrees on Friday could feel like 105 degrees; Philadelphia’s 102 degrees like 114 degrees and Washington, D.C.’s 103 degrees may seem the same as a melting 116 degrees.

Screen Cap Here

Now as any moderately informed person knows, temperatures in the United States are always measured on the Fahrenheit scale. So unless the Associated Press has outsourced their reporting and editing to foreigners who have taken no time to familiarize themselves with the United States, it means that ignorance reigns at the AP -- or that they are just out to sell scare stories.

H/T Malkin





|| Greg, 01:00 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

On Gabby Giffords' Return To Congress

We've all waited to see this moment.

6079a12228afa711f40e6a706700ac0a[1].jpg

The House of Representatives decisively passed a bill tonight to raise the nation's debt ceiling, capping months of negotiation between House Republicans and President Obama.

And Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, made her first appearance on Capitol Hill since being shot in her district in January. She voted in support of the deal that would raise the debt ceiling.

"Gabrielle has returned to Washington to support a bipartisan bill to prevent economic crisis," read a tweet from her office account as the vote was starting.

Lots of very positive words can describe her appearance to cast this vote.

I don't think I need to explain any of those word choices.

However, I can think of a few more that I will have to explain.

Let me offer a proviso here. I don't direct these words against Giffords. I direct them against the Democrat leadership that no doubt prevailed upon her to make her return at this moment for this particular vote.

After all, there was no indication that Rep. Giffords, who has spent most of the last six months recovering from her grievous wounds, is ready to return to Congress to resume her duties. Democrat leaders wanted to be able to emotionally blackmail the recalcitrant to vote for a bill they opposed by pointing to how important Giffords felt the bill was to cause her to return to Washington at this moment to cast a vote in support of this bill. They did so despite clear evidence that the bill would pass in both Houses of Congress. And, having used Giffords as a bludgeon to silence conservative political speakers of allegedly inciting rhetoric, they brought her back after spending the last couple of weeks calling those same conservatives "hostage-takers", "assassins", "traitors", and "terrorists" for standing up for their principles on the debt ceiling.

In other words, the Democrat leadership used Gabrielle Giffords in a shameful, indecent manner. It was wrong on a fundamental level. And it breaks my heart, because this dear woman deserved better of those who claimed to be her friends and more concerned about her welfare than politics in the wake of her wounding by a madman.





|| Greg, 08:38 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Putting $2 Trillion In Perspective

Because of the debt deal, Barack Obama has been handed the authority to drive the united states another $2 trillion dollars into debt. Want to get a handle on that number? Let's consider what that means in terms of the GDP of other countries.

Canada ($1.57 T)
India ($1.54 T)
Russia ($1.46 T)

Think about that.

In the next 17 months, Barack Obama will be permitted to borrow more than the entire annual GDP of the other developed country on the North American continents. He will be permitted to borrow more than the GDP of the country that used to be the world's other superpower before we forced it to spend itself into oblivion keeping up with the growth of the military during the Reagan years. He will be permitted to borrow more than the GDP of the world's second most populous country, which has one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

It would require that we suck every penny of economic productivity out of one of those three countries over then next 17 months just to balance off what is being borrowed.

And you wonder why some of us think America has a borrowing problem.

It is stuff like this that made me suggest letting the Democrats pass this all on their own, and running against the wasteful borrowing and spending policies they stand for.





|| Greg, 07:40 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||
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