As most of those who have made even a cursory study of modern British history will tell you, Queen Victoria was genuinely in love with her husband, Prince Albert, and was quite lost after his sudden death. Though she reigned for another four decades following this crushing loss, she was never quite the same afterwards. A bit more than a century later, another queen reigns Ė and the love between her and her husband is quite remarkable.
Giving his personal reflections on his grandmother in a rare and candid interview to mark her Diamond Jubilee, Prince Harry raised the sensitive subject of the monarchís advancing years and her ability to cope with her massive workload as she approaches her 86th birthday.
* * *
Prince Harry, he said, reflected on ďher ability to turn up, still smiling, at places she might not want to beĒ.
ďThese are the things that, at her age, she shouldnít be doing, yet sheís carrying on and doing them,Ē said the Prince in an interview just before the 90-year-old Duke of Edinburgh had an operation on a blocked artery at Christmas.
ďRegardless of whether my grandfather seems to be doing his own thing, sort of wandering off like a fish down the river, the fact that heís there Ė personally, I donít think that she could do it without him, especially when theyíre both at this age.Ē
Iíll say it Ė there is a book there. Probably several books, to be honest. And I really think I would love to see someone like Prince Harry write one of them, written with the loving respect of a grandson rather than the reverence of a monarchist or the skepticism of an anti-monarchist. Because while the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip is one that has been in the public eye since almost the beginning, but the wall of privacy they have erected at times has prevented the world from seeing how very human the couple are.
Well, some are insisting that the answer is no. And if you look at the number of delegates available to be won after today, they are right.
After Tuesday, when Kentucky's (and Indiana's petition -- see footnote 17 above) deadlines pass that total will drop below 1144 to 1066.
No matter how you look at it, then, there are or would be enough delegates for a late entrant to possibly get to 1144, or in the more chaotic, yet more likely late entry (if it were to happen), scenario after Tuesday, earn enough support to keep another candidate from getting there, sending the decision to the convention; a brokered, uh, deadlocked convention.
Josh Putnam goes on to suggest that no candidate could get on enough ballots and organize himsef/herself enough to make a real run at winning a brokered/deadlocked convention. I don't know that I agree. Imagine a situation in which such a late entrant comes to Tampa with 600 or more delegates, with Gingrich and Romney splitting the bulk of the rest more or less evenly and a sizable group of uncommitted delegates. A Jeb Bush could grab enough delegates on the second round of voting to reach 1144 delegates. So could Sarah Palin. For that matter, I think that maybe a Bobby Jindal could do so. Who knows -- Tim Pawlenty could yet see the revival of his fortunes.
Of course, who such a candidate would be would likely be contingent upon the outcome of today's vote in Florida and polling results from the next couple of days based upon those results. And I agree with Putnam that this scenario would be a long-shot -- but no longer than my proposed scenario of a deadlock with someone emerging at the convention after having no delegates.
Quite simply, he says what so many of us think in the face of stupid criticism from the Left.
Itís open war in New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie ripped a pro-gay marriage state assemblyman as ďnumb-nutsĒ on Monday in response to the state lawmakerís suggestion that the governor would have supported pro-segregation leaders.
ďYou have numb nuts like Reed Gusciora who put out a statement comparing me to George Wallace and Lester Maddox. Now, come on guys, at some point, youíve got to able to call BS on those kind of press releases,Ē Christie said, according to a video posted on the New Jersey Star-Ledgerís website.
ďI think quite frankly that those who say things like that like Gusciora should be ashamed of themselves, that theyíre that desperate to try to change the topic on this issue that they would actually raise those folks, reprehensible people in Americaís history,Ē the governor said.
Frankly, Christie got it exactly right. There are legitimate reasons to hold a position contrary to the liberal fringe on gay marriage. Heck, even Barack Obama holds such a position (at least he says he does). It is therefore perfectly reasonable to treat folks who would claim that opposition to gay marriage is the same thing as supporting racial segregation or the Holocaust as the sort of moral and intellectual lepers they really are.
The New York Times (among others) have noted the silence of Jeb Bush in the days leading up to the Florida Primary.
An unspoken question hovering over the Republican presidential race here is why Mr. Bush, the stateís popular former governor and heir to the nationís aging political dynasty, has not added his voice to the party establishmentís support for Mr. Romney in his increasingly bitter duel with Newt Gingrich.
From where I sit, the answer is obvious.
The bitterness and division that have increasingly come to characterize the GOP nomination process is likely to result in no clear frontrunner headed into the convention in August. The degree to which the party is split means that we are quite likely to see no candidate get the nomination on the first ballot Ė at which point the delegates are released from their commitments and are free to switch to one of the other candidates Ė or to someone else who has not been in the running up to that point. By staying out of the conflict in Florida, Jeb Bush will have positioned himself to be the choice of the delegates on the second or third round of balloting. He has both conservative and establishment credentials Ė and by not making an endorsement he can serve as a unifier.
And if there is not a brokered convention and one of the current crop of candidates is the nominee, Jeb Bush is well positioned to be the 2016 nominee if that candidate loses.
Seems to me that the better question to ask is why Jeb Bush would even want to make an endorsement at this point.
Hereís the key point.
ďRubio has to decide,Ē said Presente Action co-founder and strategist Roberto Lovato, ďif heís a Latino or a Tea Partino.Ē
Got that? Leave the Democrat hacienda and they will try to strip you of your ancestry and ethnic identity. On the other hand, Republicans welcome independent-minded minorities of every sort.
And lest anyone claim this campaign by Presente Action is not racist, consider what sort of outcry we would have if a conservative group were to declare that people have to choose between being white and voting for Barack Obama.
And not about the fact that Michelle Obama may or may not be spending a bunch of money on frilly undies and lacy nightgowns Ė the focus on how much she is spending on clothing generally.
The White House today issued an angry denial following claims that Michelle Obama indulged in a $50,000 shopping spree at a luxury lingerie boutique in New York.
According to a report in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday, Agent Provocateur's boutique in Madison Avenue, New York, was partially closed off for the U.S. First Lady.
But Kristina Schake, director of communications for First Lady Michelle Obama told MailOnline this morning: 'This story is 100 per cent false.'
Come on, folks Ė unless the woman is spending government dollars on a special flight to New York for her shopping trip or spending government dollars to buy her clothes, is this really relevant? Seriously Ė does the First Ladyís clothing tab matter worth a damn? Iíd argue it doesnít matter Ė it is her husbandís policies that are the problem.
And frankly, those making the clothing argument are getting perilously close to the Occupier arguments that have been thrown at Mitt Romney by Newt Gingrich. I donít care how much Ann Romney Ė or Calista Gingrich or Karen Santorum or Carol Paul Ė spend on their wardrobe or what kind of underwear and nightgowns they wear. Letís deal with substance, not trivial gotcha games Ė otherwise we are legitimizing the class warfare tactics of the Left.
It is time for a BUYCOTT of the companies that the Jew-haters want you to boycott.
Stand with Israel -- Buy Israeli products.
I pledge allegiance to a flag of the imperialistic, capitalistic dictatorship.
And to the plutocracy for which it stands, depravity owned central bank, under the Jews
With an inequality and injustice for the 99.
Yet somehow these folks are painted as heroes by the media,, while the Tea Party is somehow outside the mainstream.
Here are this weekís full results:
See you next week!
I've been following this one over the last couple of days, and want to make an observation or three about it.
The Secret Service said Thursday that it was looking into a photograph posted on the Internet that showed a group of young Arizona men posing in the desert with guns while holding up what appeared to be a bullet-riddled image of President Obamaís face.
The photograph showed seven casually dressed young men, four of whom clutched weapons and one of whom held up a T-shirt covered with small holes and gashes and bearing a likeness of Mr. Obama above the word ďHOPE.Ē The weapons held aloft appeared to be a revolver, a bolt-action rifle and two assault rifles.
ďWeíre aware of it, and weíre conducting the appropriate follow-up steps,Ē said Ed Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman in Washington.
Now let's consider a few things here.
First, I don't have any problem with the Secret Service investigating this one. However, I don't think that it will turn up much other than some folks who are disaffected with the current regime using their Second Amendment rights to exercise their First Amendment rights by doing damage to an inanimate object. And as I've noted from time to time, the exercise of the First Amendment does include tasteless displays that depict the deaths of politicians, up to and including the President of the United States -- and that is according to the Left, which did such things often during the Bush years.
But as I noted several years back regarding the investigation of a teenager who posted a "Kill Bush" picture on MySpace, there is good reason to investigate.
Suppose that, instead of an ill-informed little brat raised by overly-indulgent parents, the site was operated by a nascent Dylan Klebold or Eric Harris? No one took them seriously before they attacked their high school and murdered 13 people. How was the Secret Service to know that your daughter wasnít a mentally and morally disturbed sociopath? What is over the top, sir, is that you think they should NOT have pursued the matter as they did.
Frankly, it is a question of doing their due diligence to ensure that we do not lose a president to an assassin.
For that matter, I don't have a problem with the police department conducting an investigation of Sgt. Pat Shearer, who posted it on his website. Is he a threat? Is he giving kids access to weapons inappropriately?
But I do have one other concern -- and it is based upon this tidbit in the story.
Danielle Airey, a spokeswoman for the Peoria Unified School District, said district officials were conducting an investigation and working to identify any students involved.
Frankly, there is absolutely no place for the school district to involve itself in this investigation. The incident did not occur at school, nor was it directed at the school. This is a law enforcement matter. And should it be found that there was no violation of the law (as is likely the to be the case), any effort by the district to punish the students would be an infringement on their First Amendment rights.
Oh, and while I'm at it, let me edit the picture to make my own editorial comment on it and what it depicts.
Ain't Free Speech wonderful!
After all, Hitler and the Nazis did other things besides run death camps.
Bishop Joseph McFadden of Harrisburg has attracted criticism from the Anti-Defamation League and others for comparing the monolithic nature of the public education system to the education systems of 20th-century totalitarian regimes.
ďIn totalitarian governments, they would love our system,Ē the bishop said last week as he discussed his support for voucher legislation. ďThis is what Hitler and Mussolini and all those tried to establish a monolith so all the children would be educated in one set of beliefs and one way of doing things.Ē
Bishop McFadden defended his remarks after the Anti-Defamation Leagueís regional director said they trivialized the suffering of victims of the Holocaust.
As Bishop McFadden points out, totalitarian regimes -- including that which ran Germany from 1933 through 1945 -- try to take control of education in order to indoctrinate young people with loyalty to their ideology, and seek to guarantee that competing educational institutions are co-opted or destroyed. Recognizing that the Nazis used this technique does not minimize the evil that was the Holocaust -- it paints a fuller picture of the malignant nature of the Hitler regime.
Governor Romney owns share -- has an investment in Goldman Sachs, which is today foreclosing on Floridians. So maybe Governor Romney in the spirit of openness should tell us how much money he's made off of how many households that have been foreclosed by his investments? And let's be clear about that."
Letís stop for a minute. You donít get foreclosed on unless you arenít paying your mortgage. Does Gingrich really believe those who donít pay their mortgages should get to stay in their houses, while those who are owed the money donít get paid? Sounds like heís moved away from the Reaganite view of the ďownership societyĒ and into the Occupier view that property should be redistributed from the 1% to the 99%. Will someone explain to me why so many conservatives are now supporting a man who is clearly a socialist?
The folks at Spirit Airlines decided to tell their customers the unvarnished truth about a new government regulation on advertising airfares Ė and Beastly Babs is spitting mad about it.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is sharply criticizing Spirit Airlines for its response to new price advertising rules from the Department of Transportation.
Spirit, a discount airline based in Florida, has protested DOT's requirement that advertisements for airline tickets include all taxes and fees in the prices that are listed for flights. The airline placed a pop-up ad on its website that says ďnew government regulations require us to HIDE taxes in your fares.Ē
But Boxer, writing to Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza about the new rules, which took effect this week, said that "nothing could be further from the truth."
The problem is that Spirit is exactly right. By requiring that the airlines tell only the total cost of the ticket rather than breaking out the government-imposed taxes and fees, DOT has hidden those taxes and fees from the consumer. That keeps the consumer (You and me) from knowing how big a cut that the government is getting of the ticket price.
This is akin to what is done with gas taxes. We see the price at the pump and blame the oil company or the station operator. But the reality is that if the price were broken down it would look like this:
In other words, government is getting many times more in taxes than the oil company and gas station are in profits. The DOT regulation hides taxes in the same way -- and will allow the government to engage in scuch price gouging without us ever knowing that they were the culprit!
So I would like to praise Spirit Airlines for telling us the truth Ė and urge them to keep doing it.
Because that describes how he has done his job for the last three years.
President Obama spoke with ABCís Diane Sawyer in an interview on Thursday. Sawyer asked him how intense his reelection ambitions were. ďHow much do you want it?Ē ďBadly,Ē Obama replied. ďBecause I think the country needs it.Ē
But the real question is whether or not America can afford another four years of this president who wants this job in the same way he does it -- BADLY.
Actually, this close Obama ally may be right.
Chicago Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) drew fire from Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) on Wednesday when she dismissed the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, suggesting the 20,000 jobs it could create were relatively insignificant in the scheme of the greater economy.
ďTwenty thousand jobs is really not that many jobs, and investing in green technologies will produce that and more,Ē she said on Chicagoís WLS Radio Don Wade and Roma Show on Wednesday morning. ďBut Iíll tell you what, you know it seems to me that the Republicans would rather have an issue than a pipeline.Ē
Really, the 20,000 Keystone XL jobs prevented or destroyed by the Obama Administration are not that many. Not when one considers the total number of jobs prevented or destroyed by the policies of Barack Obama. Not when you consider all the folks driven from the workforce by Barack Obama's failed economic policies. Not when you consider all the money down the rathole of green energy temp jobs created with taxpayer money that is lost when the "sure thing" companies in the "green energy" sector go belly-up without paying back a dime of loans.
So Jan Schakowsky is correct -- the loss/destruction of 20,000 Keystone XL jobs (not to mention the ones THOSE jobs would have created) really aren't that many. They are just a drop in the bucket of economic destruction wrought by Obama and the Democrats.
H/T Michelle Malkin
The Department of Education has acknowledged using flawed data in a study on the impact of race on student loan repayment rates, having omitted black students from its calculation.
Further comment is superfluous.
Newt Gingrichís decision today to bash Mitt Romney for hiring former Charlie Crist loyalists and employees doesnít seem to be sitting well with Sen. Marco Rubio, who drove Crist out of the Republican Party before beating him at the polls in 2010.
Said Rubio: ďMitt Romney is no Charlie Crist. Romney is a conservative, and he was one of the first national Republican leaders to endorse me. He came to Florida, campaigned hard for me, and made a real difference in my race.Ē
So whose word are you going to take on Romneyís conservative credentials? The word of a true conservative like Marco Rubio? The word of folks who have flip-flopped on the issue like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin? Or the word of Newt Gingrich, whose record record includes repeated flip-flops on both issues and his marriage vows.
Neatly encapsulated in a bite-sized nugget by Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.
RATHER A LOT, REALLY: How Many Jobs Did Romney Create At Bain? ďThe companies Bain Capital funded under Romney have created tens of thousands of jobs using any measure.Ē Of course, anything that isnít measured in the negative millions would be an improvement over Obamaís record.
By the way Ė visit the link in the quote Ė it shows that by any measure, Bain was a job creator rather than a job destroyer. And whatís more, even the companies that encountered financial difficulty were, on balance, job creators.
Iíve never played hockey, have rarely watched it, and donít understand the game well enough to appreciate its intricacies Ė in other words, Iím not a Canadian. But I do know what the Stanley Cup is, though, and that the Boston Bruins won that championship this year Ė and that one member of the team, Tim Thomas, created something of a fuss this week when he chose not to go to the White House with the team to meet President Obama for a photo op because of his rejection of what he sees as big government out of control.
Needless to say, some took exception to that. Perhaps the dickweediest of the dickweeds was Boston Globe hockey writer Kevin Paul Dupont, who seems to think that we are all subjects of Obama who must appear on bended knee when summoned. After first snidely dismissing the beliefs of conservatives, libertarians, and Tea Partiers as ďblatherallĒ, Dupont really unloaded on Thomas.
Shabby. Immature. Unprofessional. Self-centered. Bush league. Need I go on? All that and more applies to what Thomas did, on a day when Cup teammates Mark Recchi (now retired), Shane Hnidy (a radio guy these days in Winnipeg), and Tomas Kaberle (a member of some Original Six team in Canada), all gladly joined the red-white-blue-black-and-gold hugfest at the White House. Thomas needed to be there in solidarity, and celebration, with his team. It was the same government yesterday, and will be today, that protected his country, his security, his family, and his right to make $5 million a year, all last season. In his absence, he stole his teammatesí spotlight. Win as a team. Lose as a team. And when asked to stand up and take a bow, then stand up there and suffer if need be, even if you donít like the setting, the host, or any of the political trappings and tenets that come with it.
What bullshit! Indeed, Iíll take it a bit further Ė what UNAMERICAN bullshit. Not only did Thomas have the right to write the Facebook statement he made about not attending the event (something Dupont reluctantly and contemptuously conceded is Thomasí right as an American), but Tim Thomas also has an absolute right under the First Amendment of the Constitution to refuse to associate with any individual or group Ė including government officials Ė who he chooses to no associate with. He also has the right to go about his business even when invited to the White House by the president. After all, this is not a monarchy, where the sovereign can require a command performance by subjects. This is America, and we have the right to tell the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania to take a long walk on a short pier if we choose. Demanding that someone submerge their political values and ďtake one for the teamĒ in such an instance is a demand that someone be less than an American.
And frighteningly enough, Obama apparatchik Dupont then goes on to question Thomasí patriotism.
If Thomas is feeling the way he is today, it could not have happened overnight. He must have felt much the same just shy of 24 months ago when he sounded so proud to wear that Team USA sweater at the 2010 Olympics, and so proudly dipped his head to accept that silver medal. Or was he doing all of that under governmental duress, the pain of knowing our leaders were acting, as he wrote yesterday, ďin direct opposition of the Constitution and the Founding Fathersí vision of the Federal government.íí Someone so disgusted with our government ought to turn in the sweater and the medal. It must be a horrible burden, if not a pox, to have them in his house.
Dupont is wrong, of course, in his assessment. Tim Thomas loves his country. It is the government he has a problem with. Unfortunately, folks like Kevin Paul Dupont canít separate the two, and believes that one cannot love and represent one without embracing the other, flaws and all.
Of course, Dupont isnít the first to hold such a view. The leader of German from 1933-1945 and the leaders of the nations behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War had the same sort of mindset. Athletes were expected to mouth the right political beliefs in support of policies of the Nazi or Communist Party in order to be permitted to compete. Dupont actually hints that the Bruins should impose similar sanctions against their star goalie for his failure to follow the party line.
Now Dupont would argue that my characterization of his position is wrong, and point to this part of his column.
Thomas didnít need to issue a written statement yesterday, not when he could have made one by showing up at the White House and quietly picking his moment to utter a few simple words of disappointment to President Obama. How easy, how far more courageous and honorable, it would have been to say, ďHi, Iím Tim Thomas, and I appreciate the fact my team was invited here today. I donít like whatís going on in this country. Iím not the least bit impressed with your leadership. But I am proud of what we did, Iím proud to be an American, proud to be a Boston Bruin, and Iíd like to see everyone in the government do a better job of adhering to the Constitution. Oh, and Iíve got a question for you about power plays Ö íí
But based upon the totality of his column, Iím pretty sure how Dupont would have responded if Thomas had gone to the White House and made even the muted, emasculated political statement that Dupont claims would have been acceptable. I believe it would have looked something like the column that Dupont wrote Ė except the words ďShabby. Immature. Unprofessional. Self-centered. Bush league.Ē Would have been used to describe the act of daring to make the political statement at the White House and embarrass the president in his home on a day that was supposed to be about the team. After all, it isnít really the medium that Thomas used that Dupont objects to, or even the venue that Thomas chose to express his beliefs. As I noted at the beginning of this post, it is the beliefs expressed by Tim Thomas and millions of other Americans that Kevin Paul Dupont really objects, and so the fact that they are being expressed at all is obviously the thing with which he has a problem.
Personally, I have only one problem with how Tim Thomas handled the situation. I donít think he should have released the statement on Facebook. I think he should have called a press conference and read the statement in public. In front of the White House. But then again, thatís just me.
A day after Newt Gingrich's win/Mitt Romney's loss in the South Carolina primary, I find myself drawn back to where I was on December 13 of last year.
I think any of the current crop of GOP candidates will be a disaster in November of 2012 if they manage to get the nomination through the existing primary process. All will bring a disaster of intra-party division and civil war, with a some bloc or other of voters staying home.
* * *
I therefore support an outcome that has not been seen in decades Ė the brokered convention wherein NO CANDIDATE has sufficient delegates to take the nomination on the first ballot, and convention delegates are then free to choose the best available nominee Ė whether or not that individual is among the crop of candidates that ran in the primaries.
Think about it. Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race early -- could he become a compromise candidate we could all accept? Might Jeb Bush emerge as the GOP standard-bearer, since he is acceptable to all factions? Bobby Jindal? Mitch Daniels? Eric Cantor? Paul Ryan? Or maybe, just maybe, a pair might emerge from among the current crop who could unite the various factions of the GOP together and heal the rifts so that the party can move forward and accomplish that which ought to be the singular goal of all the various interest groups within the GOP Ė for the good of the nation, guaranteeing that Barack Obama is a one-term president.
Having had a day to try to digest the outcome of yesterday's race, I still find myself with some of the same issues.
Mitt Romney, for all I believe he is the most electable candidate in the general election, just isn't getting traction with the most conservative wing of the base.
Newt Gingrich, despite his victory, still suffers from high negatives among independent voters that the eventual GOP ticket needs to attract in November AND among disaffected Democrats who might sit home if someone else is the nominee.
Rick Santorum may be coming across as more attractive to everyone, but does he have the organizational and fundraising wherewithal to win.
And then there is Ron Paul, whose followers are America's equivalent of the UK's Monster Raving Loony Party.
Add to that the reality that there are states where either Gingrich, Santorum, or both are not on the ballot for the GOP primary, and you can see the distinct reality that we might have no one enter the convention with sufficient delegates to win on the first ballot.
And I for one see that as a good thing.
Face it -- we need a process which leads us to coalesce around one of the remaining candidates, or we need to get someone who is not currently in the race to emerge as such a unifying figure. I don't see the former happening in the primaries, and it is just to late for the latter to happen.
Which leads us to the city of Tampa and the final week of August.
This primary process will select delegates to the 2012 Republican National Convention who are committed to the candidates currently running, as well as some committed to candidates who withdraw (Texas could, for example, still go heavily for Rick Perry) and some who are officially uncommitted. In the very likely event that no candidate commands the convention majority needed to win on the first ballot, what better group of Republicans -- activists of all stripes -- to weigh all options and choose the best ticket possible for the GOP?
Think about the candidates who did not enter the race for one reason or another, but for whom we of the grass roots have said we long. Figures of national prominence like Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, or Allen West -- and, of course, Sarah Palin. Respected GOP leaders like Jeb Bush, Eric Cantor, or Paul Ryan. Or maybe, just maybe, one of the current candidates might be able to persuade the delegates that he is, in fact, the best hope the 2012 presidential election..
But regardless of who the nominee would be, I believe that such a process would produce greater unity -- and a greater chance at victory -- than the process currently at work is likely to produce. What's more, such a brokered convention would likely produce greater consensus than currently exists among the disparate factions of the base -- and would energize us for a momentous, historic election of the likes this country has not seen in decades.
Steven Tyler before today's playoff game between the New England patriots and Baltimore Ravens.
Personally, I call it as being among the worst I've ever heard.
The Aerosmith frontman, who also twilights as a judge on the hit show American Idol, has certainly seen better days. You have to believe that if ďjudgeĒ Steven Tyler saw ďsingerĒ Steven Tyler perform this poorly he probably wouldnít put him through to ďHollywood week.Ē I mean, how is this guy supposed to pass as a judge on a singing competition when he doesÖ this?
Because despicable people with despicable beliefs are prone to do despicable things.
Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum were shoved and a baby stroller was left knocked over after a group of ďOccupy protestersĒ disrupted his election night gathering and threw glitter on him Saturday night.
I'm curious -- what sort of security does Santorum have? Has he yet qualified for Secret Service protection? And regardless, why are they letting these scum get close enough to engage in such assaults upon him?
I can't help but notice that these scumbags never tried this sort of thing with Rick Perry -- maybe because they were aware of how he deals with threatening vermin. Maybe that is how candidates and supporters need to deal with glitter bombers -- after all, how do we know they aren't throwing acid or a biological weapon?
Without further ado, here are this weekís full results:
See you next week!
Occupy San Franciscoís ďDay of ActionĒ turned violent Friday night when protesters occupied an abandoned hotel and began throwing objects at police officers from the roof, police said.
ďOnce they gained access [to the hotel], some of them made it to the top of the roof and they then began to throw bibles down at the officers,Ē San Francisco Police Department spokesman Carlos Manfredi said.
Of course, we know the answer to my provocative question -- not one hair on the stinking, unwashed heads of the #Occupy terrorists will be harmed despite the desecration of Christian sacred texts.
After all, Christianity is truly a religion of peace, unlike this one.
Well, it seems like the least they can do, given the results.
Let me be absolutely clear, I should pay more taxes. . .
Then lead by example.
Thereís nothing stopping you.
Except for a lack of integrity and leadership skills on your part.
Turbotax Timmy even has this handy-dandy website for you to use.
The Supreme Court on Friday instructed a lower court in Texas to take a fresh look at election maps it had drawn in place of a competing set of maps from the Texas Legislature. The justices said the lower court had not paid enough deference to the Legislatureís choices and seemed to have improperly substituted its own values for those of elected officials.
The courtís unanimous decision, interpreted as a victory for Texas Republicans, extended the uncertainty surrounding this major voting-rights case, one that could play a role in determining control of the House of Representatives.
ďA district court should take guidance from the stateís recently enacted plan in drafting an interim plan,Ē the Supreme Courtís unsigned decision said. ďThat plan reflects the stateís policy judgments on where to place new districts and how to shift existing ones in response to massive population growth.Ē
Of course, this means that we are a week-and-a-half from the date of the re-opened filing period and have no legislative maps to work with. Unless decisions are made in a matter of days, it may be that even the delayed primary in April may not be an option. Are we looking at a later April date? May? June? And what does that do to state conventions? Could we find ourselves with a ďbedsheet ballotĒ, with all 36 Congressional seats filled via a statewide vote? At this point, who knows.
This certainly does give me incentive to go to the ďmeet and greetĒ for one of the CD 36 candidates tonight. I imagine the discussion will be interesting.
UPDATE: Which brings us to this release from the Texas GOP:
AUSTIN - Friday afternoon, the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) was informed that the three-judge federal panel in San Antonio has issued an order for a status conference on February 1st. As the ordered status conference is the same date on which the recently extended filing deadlines are supposed to end, the RPT is concerned that delaying a status conference until this date will place the April 3rd unified Primary Election in jeopardy. This may also put in jeopardy the Democratic and Republican State Conventions which are scheduled in June. Therefore, the Republican Party of Texas has instructed its lawyers to file a motion with the panel to reconsider a status conference at such a late date and to request that the status conference be moved up so that the possibility of an April 3rd primary can be maintained.
As a note to our candidates, county chairs, precinct chairs and Republican activists - until we receive a ruling on our anticipated motion to reconsider, we suggest everybody continue with plans toward an April 3rd primary. However, everyone should now be on notice that there is a possibility that this date could be moved. We will continue to try and keep you advised as soon as developments occur.
Seems like the San Antonio panel is bound and determined to further disrupt the political process in the state of Texas.
Thereís a great piece over at PoliPundit about why Newt would be a disaster as a candidate and a president.
[T]hereís a more insidious problem with Newt: if he wins the nomination, and especially if he becomes president, he could prove devastating to conservatism and the Republican party.
Newt is like crack cocaine. Crack gives you an immediate and extraordinary high. It can be surprising and effective, just like Newt was in 1994, and in flashes of brilliance during the presidential primary campaign.
But crack also brings stupefying lows. It can lay waste to your life. Newt is just one scandal or stupid statement away from imploding during the election.
And, if he were elected, Newtís atrocious management skills would make a mess of everything, and alienate everyone around him. Itís no coincidence that so many people who served in the House with Newt are so vehemently against him.
President Newt would so rapidly alienate the electorate that Democrats might take back Congress in the mother of all mid-terms in 2014.
I think the observation is a good one, even if the analogy is jarring. But Iíd argue that we would not have to wait until 2012 Ė Iíve already heard from many disaffected Democrats and independents who voted for Obama in 2008 that they would find themselves motivated to cast a ballot for Obama just to keep Gingrich out of the White House.
But it goes beyond that. Newt as the candidate undermines the GOP platform. He will likely give us amnesty for illegals. His anti-Bain rhetoric raises troubling issues regarding his commitment to free markets and free enterprise. And like it or not, Gingrich as our candidate permanently undermines the GOP as a pro-marriage, pro-family values party because of his sordid personal history. If he were to adopt Ron Paulís foreign and defense platform, Newt Gingrich would be indistinguishable for Barack Obama in every way except the incidentals of age and skin color. We can and must do better.
Obama at Disney: "America is open for business'
Well, except for the energy sector -- what with taxpayer-funded "green energy" companies failing and oil pipelines Americans support being rejected by Obama's minions.
But I'm sure those two policies secured him the Dopey and Goofy vote.
Given the fact that the national Enquirer does a good job of tracking the marital infidelities of Democrats (which the MSM doesn't like to do), I'll post this.
The mother of JESSE JACKSONís love child is blasting him as a deadbeat dad for falling behind on child support payments!
In official documents filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by The ENQUIRER, Karin Stanford claims the 70-year-old famed civil rights leader owes $11,694.50 for their daughter Ashley, now 12.
Stanford was a top aide with Jacksonís Rainbow PUSHCoalition, and The ENQUIRER ex posed their long-term extramarital affair in a bombshell world exclu sive in January 2001.
After admitting paternity, the former Democratic presidential hopeful paid court-ordered support and regularly visited Ashley at Stanfordís Cali fornia home for the past decade.
But according to the court documents, Jackson Ė whoís remained married to wife Jackie Ė failed to pay support from De≠cember 2010 until August 2011, including minimal monthly fees of $400.
Maybe he'll get treated like other deadbeats, and we'll get a brilliant civil rights classic -- "Letter From LA Jail".
But I do have to ask -- Jesse is only paying a little more than a grand a month, including fees? That seems sort of low, given his net worth and speaking fees, and the fact that this is his only minor child. Or is it?
The Obama administration will announce this afternoon it is rejecting a Canadian firmís application for a permit to build and operate a massive oil pipeline across the U.S.-Canada border, according to sources who have been briefed on the matter.
However the administration will allow TransCanada to reapply after it develops an alternate route through the sensitive habitat of Nebraskaís Sandhills. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns will make the announcement, which comes in response to a congressionally-mandated deadline of Feb. 21 for action on the proposed Keystone pipeline.
Oddly enough, his own jobs council just recommended that we develop more energy sector jobs. I guess that the Kenyanís son knows better than his own experts.
And as for that Canadian oil, expect it to end up in China instead. Guess Obama really did mean it when he said he supported higher gas prices for Americans.
Probably not Ė after all, Eric Holder and the Obama Department of Justice go out of their way to protect Obamaís black cronies and only disenfranchise white voters.
Because of strong demographic changes, Chicago is undergoing its decennial redistricting with a vengeance. The biggest demographic change is the drop in the percent of African Americans, an incredible 19%. Other ethnic groups have been stable with the exception of a rise in the cityís Hispanic population. So, one would expect that under the standard redistricting principle of wards being carved up into equal population units, African Americans would be a lower percentage in some wards than they have been and Hispanics would be higher. The total population of any ward, however, would remain roughly equivalent.
In an effort to keep African-American aldermen in power, Emanuel and his cronies have cut up the wards into different sizes, with white wards on the north and lakefront each having 56,000 inhabitants and black wards having closer to 51,000. Making the white wards larger and thinning out the black wards preserves the wards of African-American alderman, while disenfranchising whites. This is racial discrimination.
Oddly enough, the same folks who are screeching about Hispanics not getting the representation they deserve because of population growth are quite silent about the Chicago situation. Is it because they know that the Obama Justice Department doesnít really have an equal protection agenda?
Demonstrators felt an injustice was committed by the police departmentís response to the removal of up to 40 signs from the encampment at Lincoln Park over the weekend.
Jen Rose, one of the demonstrators, said the signs, including some made by a university art professor and another depicting the Stars and Stripes, were removed either on the bitter-cold Saturday night while 15 to 20 demonstrators snoozed or on Sunday afternoon when demonstrators left to attend some events.
Adding to the indignity was the police response.
* * *
The officers told Rose and other demonstrators that no crime was committed because the signs had no monetary value and protesters were in the park illegally. Anything left in the park, Rose said she was told, becomes part of the ďpublic domain.Ē
Clegg said the discussion centered upon the value of the signs and who owned them. She said police will file a report if an official OccupyMaine representative goes to the Portland Police Department and establishes that the signs belonged to the group.
I thought one of the tenets of Occupyism was contempt for the cops and refusal to cooperate with them when crimes were committed. Seems mighty hypocritical that they would now go to the police when they believe they have been victimized Ė especially when their entire movement has been built on illegal activity designed to use government authority to take the property of some Americans to give it to others. It is obvious that someone just took it upon themselves to ďredistributeĒ the signs among the 99%.
I guess I just donít see where this story merits coverage, much less the breathless tone of some bodice-ripping romance novel.
Underscoring the prominent, if little discussed role that Mitt Romney played as a Mormon leader, the private equity giant once run by the GOP presidential frontrunner carved his church a slice of several of its most lucrative business deals, securities records show, providing it with millions of dollars worth of stock in some of Bain Capital's most well-known holdings. Romney has always been a major donor to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which requires that members "tithe," or give 10 percent of their income to the church. His family charity, called the Tyler Foundation, has given more than $4 million to the church in the past five years, including $1.8 million in 2008 and $600,000 in 2009. But because Romney, whose fortune has been estimated at $250 million, has never released his personal tax returns, the full extent of his giving has never been public.
Newly uncovered stock contributions made during Romney's Bain days suggest there is another dimension to Romney's support for the church -- one that could involve millions more than has been previously disclosed.
Why should it be disclosed at all? Is it really the business of the American people how much money a church member gives to his church Ė or how donations of stocks or bonds to the church may have benefitted that church? Iíd say not at all Ė even if the church member is running for president of the United States.
Of course, this isnít really an article about how much Romney gives it to his church. What the article is really intended to do is stir up more concern about Romney being a Mormon, since his religion has not been much of an issue at all in his run for the Republican nomination Ė no matter how much the mainstream media and other liberals want it to be. After all, the elitist media doesnít want to see anyone who actually takes faith seriously Ė especially members of conservative religious groups Ė elected to office.
A probate judgeís order to abort a mentally ill womanís unborn baby and sterilize her ó if it meant she had to be ďcoaxed, bribed, or even enticed ... by ruseĒ into the procedure ó has prompted a legal tongue-lashing from an appeals court, and outrage from even abortion rights supporters. ďNo party requested this measure ... and the judge appears to have simply produced the requirement out of thin air,Ē state Appellate Court Associate Justice Andrew R. Grainger wrote, reversing newly retired Norfolk Probate and Family Court Judge Christina Harmsí Jan. 6 ruling in the case, handing the abortion decision to another judge.
Remember the name ďChristina HarmsĒ. Look up any record on her that you can find. Iíll bet that she is a big donor to and activist in ďpro-choiceĒ causes.
And remember Ė this all occurred at the same time that this matter is being discussed in North Carolina. Looks like Massachusetts Democrats are ready to set up just the sort of program that North Carolina Democrats ran for decades.
Oddly enough, I've missed the media outrage and all the stories linking the rhetoric of the so-called 99% and their supporters with terrorism and calling them racists for trying to bomb out Obama like the KKK did to MLK.
The White House was locked down Tuesday night because of ďsmoking objectsĒ found near the North Portico as hundreds of protesters rallied outside the executive mansion, Secret Service officials said.
ďWe had approximately 1,000 to 1,500 protesters from Occupy D.C. on the fence line. There were no arrests but what we believe Ö was a smoke bomb was thrown over the fence,Ē said Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie.
Witnesses said the Secret Service moved people from the area as they investigated what was thrown.
If the media does not use this incident to delegitimize the entire Occupy movement, then it is evidence of their left-wing bias. After all, one undocumented spitting charge was enough to label the entire Tea party movement as racist -- why shouldn't an attack on the White House be sufficient to define a movement that has been rife with violence and criminality as a criminal movement that uses terroristic methods against their opponent -- and that engages in acts of violence against elected officials?
If a smoke bomb had been thrown at the White House by Tea party activists, you would have seen mass arrests and folks whisked off to Gitmo. I'm betting that we see this one swept under the rug.
Given the number of candidates to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison in the US Senate, I wouldn't be surprised to see a runoff, though at one point it looked like David Dewhurst was going to run away with the race. But the run for the nomination seems to be tightening up just a bit.
The BattleSwarm Blog is reporting that Dewhurstís fundraising has dropped dramatically this quarter. Coupled with that is a new poll being released showing Cruz narrowing the margin considerably. Four months ago, Dewhurst lead Cruz 41%-12%. The margin is now 36%-18%.
For a reference point, this is exactly what we saw happen in the Marco Rubio v. Charlie Crist race in 2010. Keep an eye on this one. This is a perfect opportunity for the conservative movement to fill a United States Senate seat with a rockstar like Ted Cruz.
Frankly, I would love to see Ted Cruz get into a runoff with Dewhurst. I believe him to be a superior candidate to the Lieutenant Governor, and also the sort of candidate who represents the future of the GOP and the state of Texas. But for that to happen, he needs the help of conservatives -- because even if David Dewhurst's money from others dries up, he's got more than enough in his own checking account to self-fund his campaign to whatever extent it is necessary.
H/T Urban Grounds
A few years back, I took a pretty strong stance for student online speech in the Avery Doninger case where it occurred off campus and was related to a matter of public concern Ė in particular urging people to contact the district about a decision to cancel a school event. I believe I was right then, and that eventually the courts will catch up with the development of the internet.
I have to be honest Ė Iím finding myself concerned about this vague report coming out of Cranston, Rhode Island, where a dispute (and court case) over a prayer banner at Cranston West High School has now led to a student from another school in the district facing discipline for online comments made regarding the plaintiff in the case.
A Cranston high school student has been disciplined for online comments against a fellow student who sued the School Department to remove a prayer banner at the school, said Ray L. Votto Jr., the district's chief operating officer.
The student faced internal discipline, Votto said, typically a form of detention.
Now letís be honest Ė it really isnít clear about what this kid wrote online or where he wrote it. Iíve seen a reference to particularly vile comments made by someone online, but I am unsure whether or not any of these comments are related back to the student disciplined by the district. The discipline seems to be related to the districtís bullying policy.
Now here is where my concern kicks in. Given that the student in question has become a party to litigation and revealed her identity publicly, it is hard to argue that she is not a public figure as it relates to the issue of the disputed banner. Posts and comments related to the matter, as well as statements made to the litigious student away from school, are related to a matter of public concern. What business does the school have taking any action on this matter? It appears to me that we are looking at speech that is clearly protected by the First Amendment.
Now some may object that we are dealing with threats and harassment. To the extent that there are true threats being made and /or actual harassment as defined by relevant criminal statutes, those are still not a matter for the school to deal with when it occurs off campus. At such a point, it becomes a matter for law enforcement to deal with, and proper criminal charges should filed and adjudicated in the courts. And if there isnít a criminal violation, it is fundamentally inappropriate to shunt such off-campus speech about a matter of public concern to the schools, which operate with a much lower burden of proof and significantly less due process. The Supreme Court noted over 40 years ago that students do not shed their speech rights at the schoolhouse gate Ė it is therefore axiomatic that the schools cannot be used to suppress and punish student speech away from the campus, either.
Now some might think that Iím saying this because the student in question is presumably some sort of Christian and the target of the ugly speech is an atheist. Iím not. Indeed, I actually agree with the atheist student, Jessica Ahlquist, that the banner was not appropriate for a public school, and I think that the words of many of her critics are immoral and antithetical to the spirit of Christianity. But just as I think that Jessicaís right to challenge the banner is fully protected under the First Amendment, I also believe that the students who disagree with her are generally within their rights to express their opposition to her lawsuit and the outcome of it, to criticize (even revile) her religious beliefs, and to express their own beliefs as to what the afterlife holds for those who they see as the enemies of God while they are away from school.
By the way, Iíd like to acknowledge that Iím tempering this post a little bit for family reasons Ė indeed, the whole reason I didnít write on the court case at an earlier was because of those connections. My mom grew up in Cranston. I have lots of family living there to this day. Many of the younger generation attend the Cranston public schools. At least one cousin teaches for the district. Another, now deceased, was a long-time teacher and coach at the school in question and a beloved figure in the community. I donít know where various family members stand on the issue of the prayer banner, nor do I know if any of them have spoken publicly or online about the matter. But I think the broader speech issue, as opposed to the more narrow issue of the prayer banner, is one that I can write on without causing too much strife.
Hereís what one Muslim writer has to say.
I assume most Muslim-Americans will support Paul because of his foreign policy views on Iran, Afghanistan and war. But more crucially, I am attracted to his paleo-conservative tendencies, even if his radical libertarianism might give me some pause. Not guilty of Islamophobia, a non-interventionist, defending civil liberties, consistently pro-life, not willing to subsidize abortion, and uninterested in regulating sexual behavior without abandoning a traditional view of marriage, I think Paulís nuanced message on the relation between law and morality should resonate with many Muslim-Americans.
Of course, Omar Shaukat leaves a few things out that may also be attractive.
Of course, those are just some of the things that make decent folks reject Ron Paul, so I can understand leaving them out of the original article.
MR. RUSSERT: I was intrigued by your comments about Abe Lincoln. ďAccording to Paul, Abe Lincoln should never have gone to war; there were better ways of getting rid of slavery.Ē
REP. PAUL: Absolutely. Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war. No, he shouldnít have gone, gone to war. He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic. I mean, it was theĖthat iron, iron fist..
MR. RUSSERT: Weíd still have slavery.
REP. PAUL: Oh, come on, Tim. Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world. And the way Iím advising that it should have been done is do like the British empire did. You, you buy the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans and where it lingered for 100 years? I mean, the hatred and all that existed. So every other major country in the world got rid of slavery without a civil war. I mean, that doesnít sound too radical to me. That sounds like a pretty reasonable approach.
Now Ron Paul claims to be the leading -- indeed only -- exponent of liberty in the presidential race. Yet somehow he believes that actually fighting for liberty, even within the United States itself, is not something that is acceptable. How many more decades of liberty denied to how many millions of black people does Ron Paul believe should have been accepted before fighting for their freedom -- and the preservation of the Union -- would have been acceptable?
And on a related note -- does Ron Paul believe the American Revolution was acceptable? Or should Americans have simply kept asking until the liberty which Jefferson declares to be an inalienable right was given to them? Would Uncle Crackpot have stood and boldly declared "No, Mr. Henry -- you have it all wrong! Give me liberty, or I will continue to ask for it in a passive fashion"?
Itís official: Congress ended its least-productive year in modern history after passing 80 bills ó fewer than during any other session since year-end records began being kept in 1947.
Someone needs to remind these folks that "success" isn't measured by the number of new laws passed -- success really should be measured by the amount of liberty retained by and/or restored to the people after a session is over.
Of course, the problem is that the GOP-controlled House tried to make the American people more free, while the Democrats controlling the Senate wanted to ensure that we had less of our cash and less of our liberty. As a result, I consider this to be a moderately successful session, since our freedom was not substantially eroded in the way it was when Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate.
Gee -- what was the first clue?
There's a bit of gallows humor for me on this terrible tragedy that has killed at least six people -- my wife and I have been considering a cruise for some time now, and were looking at some by this cruise line -- including one on this ship. This really could have been me.
Let's make this the year that we begin judging our fellow Americans based upon the content of their character rather than the color of their skin -- and when we cease parceling out benefits and burdens based upon skin color and instead do so on the basis of merit. That was Dr. King's dream in 1963, and should be the reality in 2012.
I love the Houston Texans.
For a decade I have lived and died with their football fortunes.
Last week i was among the more than 70,000 screaming fans who watched them beat the Bengals at Reliant Stadium.
Today I'll be in front of a television, watching them play the Ravens in Baltimore.
I'll be cheering my Texans on all the way.
They can win -- continuing the remarkable season that they have had.
I believe they can win -- and that they will win.
Here are this weekís full results:
See you next week!
SUMTER, S.C. Ė Presidential candidates hear tales of woe all the time on the campaign trail. But rarely does one respond by pulling cash out of his back pocket to help a struggling voter pay her bills.
Mitt Romney did just that here Saturday night, according to ABC News. When a 55-year-old woman, Ruth Williams, who said she lost her job last October, approached the Republican presidential front-runner on the rope line following a campaign rally in Sumter, he gave her what an aide later said was about $50 or $60.
Mitt Romney may come across a bit stiff on the campaign trail, but here's where we see what kind of man he really is. He didn't wait for a government program to help, nor did he offer to contribute matching funds for doing what he knew was right.
An "enforceable agreement" to stop others from engaging in political speech? Really? Don't they know that is impossible?
The incumbent and leading challenger in the nation's most closely-watched Senate race have agreed to a meeting between their campaign managers to see what can be done to keep outside groups from airing millions of dollars in ads attacking both candidates.
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) sent Democrat Elizabeth Warren a letter on Friday challenging her to join him in denouncing outside groups, who have already spent millions on attack ads in the race. Rather than ignore the challenge, Warren called Brown on his cell phone ó and sent him a letter proposing a meeting between the two campaigns to reach an "enforceable agreement" to rein in the outside groups.
Really, what are their options? To refuse to buy campaign ads on stations or in newspapers that dare to accept political advertising from "outside groups"? That could quickly lead to a media blackout of the Senate campaign.
To make "outside groups" quit engaging in political speech? They can't -- and if they can, then it is a tacit admission that the candidates are engaged in illegal coordination with these groups, making their ads illegal campaign donations in excess of limits set by law.
So to sum it up -- A & B cannot make an agreement that prevents C from independently exercising rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. All the rest is mere commentary.
After the talk, out of earshot from the soldiers and diplomats, he starts to complain. He starts to act very un-Obamalike, according to a U.S. embassy official who helped organize the trip in Baghdad.
Heís asked to go out to take a few more pictures with soldiers and embassy staffers. Heís asked to sign copies of his book. ďHe didnít want to take pictures with any more soldiers; he was complaining about it,Ē a State Department official tells me.
ďLook, I was excited to meet him. I wanted to like him. Letís just say the scales fell from my eyes after I did. These are people over here whoíve been fighting the war, or working every day for the war effort, and he didnít want to take fu*king pictures with them?Ē
This is the Commander-in-Chief? If you love a soldier, you need to vote to get this man out of office.
If one chooses to commit suicide, you might as well pick this as the way to do it.
A man has killed himself by leaping into a vat of whisky at the Glenfiddich Distillery.
Brian Ettles, 46, drowned after he threw himself inside the 50,000-litre tank.
Paramedics and firefighters were called to the scene but the father-of-two died inside the wooden vat on Saturday.
On the other hand, that is 50,000 litres of single malt Scotch wasted.
H/T Bob Owens
One does have to have priorities.
Pornographic toys, magazines and videos were stolen from a Linda sex shop, but the storeís owner is surprised by what wasnít taken.
Kevin Couch owns Fantasy Factory across the street from a strip club, and Monday night someone broke into his adult store. But the culprits never touched the cash register.
ďThey just took the toys and left,Ē he said. ďThey didnít take the money or anything so I was lost. The sheriffís department was lost. When he saw all the stuff in here and he goes Ďthatís all they took?í and I was like Ďyeah.íĒ
As i see it, the culprits are likely members of one of three groups -- teenage boys, computer nerds, or Ron Paul supporters -- that are notorious for being high-sexed but unable to attract women.
I wrote about the problem of corruption among Democrat constables in Harris County a couple of weeks back. Well, now we have indictments.
Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Jack Abercia has been arrested following the return of a 13-count federal indictment, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson said Thursday.
Abercia's Chief Lt. Weldon Kenneth Wiener, 72, and Office Chief Michael Butler, 56, were also indicted.
The indictment charges all three with conspiracy to violate various federal laws, and charges Abercia, 78, and Wiener with unlawfully accessing the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database on multiple occasions for private financial gain.
Abercia and Butler are also charged with bribery in connection with the hiring of an otherwise unqualified applicant for a deputy constable position in return for a cash bribe of $5,000.
Thatís one precinct down, two more to go. I suggest that the constables in precincts 6 & 7 get those lawyers on retainer quick.
And I wonder Ė will noted the local blogger and Democrat Party official who has set himself up as the foe of corrupt public officials see fit to comment on this matter in the same bombastic way he has about issues involving Republicans? Or will he be as silent about this matter as he has since the story began breaking weeks ago Ė like he has been about political corruption issues a little closer to home?
After all, he has been among the ďpatrioticĒ wealthy who says he does not pay enough in taxes. But rather than prove his patriotism by cutting a check to the government for the amount he feels he is under-taxed, he has come out with this responsibility-avoiding dodge of calls that he do so.
Warren Buffett is ready to call Republicansí tax bluff. Last fall, Senator Mitch McConnell said that if Buffett were feeling ďguiltyĒ about paying too little in taxes, he should ďsend in a check.Ē The jab was in response to Buffettís August 2011 New York Times op-ed, which made hay of the fact that our tax system is so unbalanced, Buffett (worth about $45 billion) pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. Senator John Thune promptly introduced the ďBuffett Rule Act,Ē an option on tax forms that would allow the rich to donate more in taxes to help pay down the national debt. It was, as Buffett told me for this weekís TIME cover story, ďa tax policy only a Republican could come up with.Ē
Still, heís willing to take them up on it. ďIt restores my faith in human nature to think that there are people who have been around Washington all this time and are not yet so cynical as to think that [the deficit] canít be solved by voluntary contributions,Ē he says with a chuckle. So Buffett has pledged to match 1 for 1 all such voluntary contributions made by Republican members of Congress. ďAnd Iíll even go 3 for 1 for McConnell,Ē he says. That could be quite a bill if McConnell takes the challenge; after all, the Senator is worth at least $10 million. As Buffett put it to me, ďIím not worried.Ē
The problem with this gimmick is that none of the GOP members of Congress have said they are under-taxed. Buffett has Ė but now indicates he wonít do what he claims is his obligation as a citizen because others are not joining him. I guess this shows us what he really meant was that he is only willing to do his patriotic duty if compelled to do so by law Ė and if others who disagree on the matter are also compelled to do it.
Frankly, there are two words that leap to mind to describe such a person.
The nice one is ďhypocriteĒ.
The more accurate word, as well as the more damning one, is ďfascistĒ.
Iím sure that Barry Hussein was just reading off the teleprompter, with no comprehension of what was coming out of his mouth Ė after all, that is usually the case for the least competent president of my lifetime.
ďThe first bill I signed ó a bill that said that weíre going to have equal pay for equal work because I want my daughters treated the same way as my sons.Ē
Then again, weíre used to this sort of incompetence regarding Obama family matters. Setting aside issues of paternal bigamy and illegal aliens on the family tree, there is the little matter of Michelle Obama declaring that her husband's parents were not married at the time of his birth.
I made it really clear as early as December of 2010 what candidate I backed in the GOP race and offered explanations along the way. I officially declared my self uncommitted after my candidate took himself out of consideration.
My candidate has now made his endorsement -- and I have to admit that I've been headed this direction for some time and am glad to have it confirmed by such a distinguished and respected source.
I agree with the first part of the statement, and his analysis of the current crop of candidates. I still think we might do well to have a brokered convention, but have to say that Romney is the only candidate currently running who meets the ambassador's two criteria.
And John Bolton will be joining the Romney team as a foreign policy adviser. My guess is that he is the next Secretary of State.
Love the convergence of polling data.
First, is this data about Mitt Romneyís acceptability to conservatives.
PRINCETON, NJ -- Mitt Romney is the now the only candidate that a majority of conservative and moderate/liberal Republicans nationwide see as an "acceptable" GOP nominee for president. Conservative Republicans are more likely to say Romney would be an acceptable nominee than either Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum.
So much for the argument put forward by some of my blogging peers that conservatives will not back Romney.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a two-point lead against President Obama in a potential general election matchup, according to a new CBS News poll.
The survey found that Romney is the only GOP candidate to hold a lead over the president in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, though Texas Rep. Ron Paul trails by just one point.
Both Romney's lead over Mr. Obama - 47 percent to 45 percent - and Mr. Obama's lead over Paul - 46 percent to 45 percent - are within the survey's three percentage point margin of error.
The poll found Mr. Obama with leads of at least four points over the other major Republican presidential candidates. The president leads former Sen. Rick Santorum 47 percent to 43 percent; he leads Texas Gov. Rick Perry 49 percent to 42 percent; he leads former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman 48 percent to 41 percent; and he leads former Newt Gingrich 49 percent to 41 percent.
So much for the argument, put forward by the same conservative bloggers, that Romney cannot win while the more conservative candidates can. I think the data shows the contrary to be the case.
But most shocking is the thing Americans fear the most -- the reelection of Obama. ĎNuff said.
After all, it is a function of freedom.
"I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. If someone doesn't give me the good service I need, I'm going to go get somebody else to provide that service to me."
I like the fact that my wife and I could fire the doctor who failed to do certain medical tests that would have caught her health problems earlier.
I like that we could fire our last family dentist.
And in hindsight, I should have fired Chad Tinney, the contractor who worked on my house after Hurricane Ike, when I started getting uncomfortable with missed deadlines and things that didn't seem quite right.
It is why I donít buy food at the local Arbyís, where every sandwich tastes like the meat is burned Ė or at the nearby Wendyís, where they cannot even get the toppings for a plain hamburger correct.
Of course, if you cannot stand freedom of choice, you have a problem with Romneyís position. Sadly, that appears to include most of the remaining GOP candidates, who have bought into the arguments of the Occupiers. And here I thought that I was part of a conservative, pro-capitalist party.
It isnít that the Obamaís had a secret soiree in the White House.
Itís that normal security procedures apparently went out the window Ė or that public records were manipulated to hide it.
The White House is under fire for reportedly trying to downplay the role that two Hollywood stars played at a 2009 Halloween party, with press secretary Jay Carney today calling the media's reporting on the incident "irresponsible" and denying reports of an attempted cover-up. But no record of the two stars, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, appears in the official White House visitors logs.
An administration source said that entertainers are generally not recorded in the visitors logs. "Entertainers and production crews who are working events are generally not WAVED in since they are not guests visiting the White House, they are working," the official said.
Well, except when they are logged in Ė as seems to be the usual practice for visiting entertainers.
Other stars ó even when they are the entertainment ó have appeared in the logs. A May 11th poetry reading by the rapper Common, for example, was logged. So were musicians Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder when they played at President Obama's 50th birthday.
Of course, Beyonce was not logged in when she performed at Obamaís birthday party in 2010.
Which leads me to ask a question Ė why is there such inconsistency in the record keeping? Or are the records being intentionally fudged to avoid giving the appearance that the Obamas are ďliving largeĒ while Obamaís economic policies are driving us deeper into debt and destroying jobs?
Matthe E. Miller over at Race 4 2012 has it exactly right. Those doing the attacking have abandoned conservatism in the interest of supporting the anti-capitalist ideology of the #Occupy movement.
I confess, despite being outraged by the Occupy Republicans, I feel a secret delight today: I am once again one of the conservatives in the Republican Party. For more than a year now, Iíve been on the outs. A big RINO supporter. First Tim Pawlenty, then Mitt Romney. I couldnít seem to help myself. Perryís wit and brilliance was too abrasive; Newtís baggage too light and whimsical; Cainís experience too vast and unplummable. I wandered off into the far corridors of the Republican Party, where lay Nelson Rockefellerís and William Scrantonís graves.
Today, I was given a new lease on conservatism. Because if capitalism is not sacrosanct, then the very raison díetre of the anti-Romney critique- that there are principles which should not be abandoned or hedged for the sake of winning an election- is exposed as rank hypocrisy and fizzling incoherence. So it is with great pleasure that I abandon my RINO tendencies, and embrace the True Conservative in the race: Mitt Romney. Itís truly good to be a conservative again.
The truth is simple here. Mitt Romney saved or created more jobs at Bain than Barack Obama has done during his years in the White House. And what's more, he did so using private funds, not our tax money. Anyone who wants to criticize his record because some people lost their jobs when companies Bain purchased went under needs to remember a couple of things:
I realize those are inconvenient truths for those cynical pseudo-conservatives who are willing to do or say anything to stop Mitt Romney -- but they are the truth. Arguing that Romney did something wrong or unethical during his time at Bain is not a conservative position -- and is in fact an attack on the pro-capitalist foundation of conservatism by crypto-socialists.
The rules to get on the ballot in Virginia were clear.
Rick Perry, among others, didn't meet the requirements.
So rather than respect the law -- and the right of Virginia to set its ballot access standards -- this alleged supporter of the Tenth Amendment went to federal court to get an unelected federal judge to force him on to the ballot despite running such an incompetent campaign.
Now it appears that his latest move may lead to the disenfranchisement of military voters registered in Virginia who are deployed outside of Virginia.
A federal judge is preventing Virginia from printing ballots until he issues a ruling on Texas Gov. Rick Perry's ballot challenge.
U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. has ordered the Virginia State Board of Elections to send directives to each of the state's local boards, telling them not to print any absentee ballots until after the emergency motion is heard on Friday.
Virginia's primary is on March 6th. In order to get absentee ballots mailed overseas in time, Virginia needed to start printing ballots this weekend, and mailing them out by Jan 21.
Rick Perry again proves that he is not a conservative -- and that he is unfit for the GOP nomination. And the tragic irony of his effort is that he will likely disenfranchise military voters despite the fact that he is unlikely to even be in the race any longer by the time the Virginia primary rolls around in March.
Here are this weekís full results.New Zeal was unable to vote this week, and was affected by the 2/3 vote penalty:
See you next week!
Can you believe it? In the first weekend of the NFL playoffs, the winning teams have been led by quarterbacks with unusual stories. One is a phenomenon, a first-rounder loved and hated in equal measure by the American public. The other is a quirk of fate, a fifth-round pick who no one ever expected to see a snap this season. And yet, each survived their first playoff game and will take the field next week.
T.J. Yates -- Houston Texans
For most teams, the loss of the starting quarterback may mean the demise of their hopes of making the playoffs. But the loss of both the first and second string quarterbacks in the space of two games? That sort of stuff just doesn't happen -- but this year it did happen to the Houston Texans, as Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart went down to season-ending injuries in back-to-back games. My hometown team found itself with a third string rookie quarterback that most fans didn't know about -- though a few of us had been favorably impressed during the preseason. With T.J. Yates at the helm, many folks figured that a once-promising season would turn into another exercise in futility.
But the Texans squeaked out a win behind Yates in Jacksonville that day. The next week, he led the team to victory against the Atlanta Falcons. And in Cincinnati, T.J. Yates threw a pass for a touchdown that fulfilled a decade of dreams for Houston Texans fans as the team won the AFC South and earned its first-ever playoff berth. Three straight losses -- including a season finale which saw Yates pulled after the first drive due to a separated shoulder -- left many wondering if it was too good to be true.
Until yesterday, January 7, 2012, when Yates threw for 159 yards and showed incredible poise and self-confidence in the team's 21-10 victory over the same Cincinnati Bengals they had clinched their playoff berth against less than a month before. Next week they play the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round of the playoffs -- and many observers see it as very possible that this improbable starter will get to play in the AFC Championship game, with a chance to earn his way into the Super Bowl.
Not bad for a kid whose first love is basketball!
Tim Tebow -- Denver Broncos
Tim Tebow should have never been born -- at least that is what the doctors said. Drugs used to treat his mother when she became seriously ill during her pregnancy were supposed to have killed him in the womb. And yet this miracle baby thrived -- and led teams to a state high school football championship and a national college football championship. Along the way he also picked up a Heisman Trophy. Yet despite this, he wasn't seen as a serious NFL prospect by many observers because of his style of play -- even when the Denver Broncos picked him in the first round.
But to a large segment of America, the problem with Tim Tebow is not his ability. Rather, this son of missionaries who is not shy about acknowledging his faith is reviled by rabid secularists and nominal Christians with lukewarm faith for daring to be so public about his beliefs. And as the devout Christian began chalking up improbable wins in miraculous ways, the hate and abuse only grew louder.
Ultimately, Tebow and the Broncos backed into the playoffs this year, taking an AFC West title than no team seemed to want -- and the latter-day descendants of those who cheered for Christian blood in the Colosseum looked forward to seeing Tebow bloodied by the Pittsburgh Steelers. And yet he pulled off another miracle, throwing a touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage in overtime to earn the right to face the New England Patriots net week.
It will take only a couple more miracles for Tim Tebow to play in the AFC Championship game for the right to play in this year's Super Bowl.
As you can probably tell, I'm pulling for these two guys. One happens to be the "next man up" at his position for the team that I have lived and died with for a decade. The other is a young man whose faith I find inspiring. And I'll be honest -- I would love to see the pair meet up in two weeks at Reliant Stadium in the AFC Championship game. That be the sort of story that Hollywood used to give us on the silver screen -- only brought to us by real life.
We have waited for a decade for this game to come. At 3:30 today, the moment will be here for the first Houston Texans playoff game.
No, not for the next GOP president to recess appoint Robert Bork to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I mean for a governor to do by executive order what obstructionist legislators refuse to pass when he asks for it/
Letís take this situation in Indiana.
INDIANAPOLIS Ė A legislative stalemate over right-to-work legislation hit a second day Thursday when House Democrats refused to come to the floor and provide a quorum to conduct business.
The caucus continues to say statewide hearings are needed on the union measure and that Republicans are pushing it through too fast.
ďThe Speaker is really bent on getting this thing out as quickly as possible,Ē House Democratic Leader Patrick Bauer said.
So letís get this straight Ė Gov. Mitch Daniels wants the bill to pass. So do a majority of the legislators. However, members of the minority party are using legislative rules to prevent a vote on the measure. Sure sounds like what Obama used to justify his recess appointments and executive orders. Perhaps the governor just needs to implement right-to-work all on his own. After all, if it is good enough for Obama, it is good enough for Indiana.
Think Iím being hyperbolic? Really, Iím not.
Yes, the unemployment rate has officially dropped to 8.5% -- which still puts it above where it was when Obama took office. But the reality is that the numbers are hard to compare given the decline in participation in the labor force.
Yet the unemployment rate trickery still continues, with labor force participation (prior revised), now at a 27 year low of 64%, and the labor force itself declined by 50K from 153,937 to 153,887. In fact, persons not in the labor force have increased by 7.5 million since January 2007!
Indeed, Jim Pethokoukis points out that if the labor force were the same size as it was in 2009, the unemployment rate would be 10.9%, nearly 2.5% higher than the official number. That should tell us something about Obamanomics.
But donít worryóthere will be a bunch more folks added to the ranks of the unemployed by Obamaís plan to cut the military.
If reductions in defense spending include the $500 billion mandated by the failure of the debt-reduction supercommittee, GOP candidates will be able to campaign on expected job losses. Panetta and industry leaders, citing recent studies, have said a $1 trillion cut in defense spending would add 1 percentage point to the unemployment rate. A study in October by George Mason University predicted key swing states such as Virginia and Florida would be among the biggest losers.
In other words, Obamaís out of control social spending will not only result in weakening our national defense, also wreak havoc on the economy as more Americans are thrown out of work.
But not to worry Ė Obama issued an executive order to create a jobs program that Congress declined to pass. But donít expect to make any money for the work you do Ė because a majority of those jobs wonít include a paycheck to go with it.
President Obama on Thursday will unveil a summer-jobs initiative that the White House says is already on track to create 180,000 ďwork opportunitiesĒ in the private sector in 2012.
That is the number of opportunities, which includes mentoring and unpaid internships, that companies have told the administration they are willing to create. Some 70,000 jobs are paid, the White House says.
Got that, folks Ė Chicago Jesus wants you to go to work for Big Business for free! That will certainly show teach the 1% not to take the 99% for granted. You had better start learning to strum a banjo, sing Camptown Races, and say ďYawsuh, Massa BarackĒ if you want one of these positions at what truly are less than slave wages. After all, slaves at least get food and housing, but the Obama
jobs slavery program wonít provide you with even that!
A decade back, Glenn Reynolds made this observation regarding the burden imposed upon criminal defendants acquitted after trial.
I think that in a criminal case it should be mandatory. As the criminal justice system works now, itís really a species of ďtaking.Ē Consider: if the government chooses to prosecute me, I can (1) spend a lot of money to prove myself innocent; or (2) go to jail. (They wonít provide me a lawyer unless Iím poor, which Iím not). My paying for my lawyer is an integral part of the process of justice, which benefits society as a whole, and Iím essentially forced to do it. (When the alternative is going to jail, ďforcedĒ isnít too strong a word.)
Perhaps, if Iím guilty, then the legal fees should be considered part of the punishment. But if Iím innocent? The government has just forced me to spend a lot of money to ensure the efficient function of the justice system. (Prosecutors, remember, arenít supposed to want to see the innocent convicted, so theyíre as much beneficiaries of my defense as I am.) The efficient functioning of the justice system is a public good. Weíre not supposed to take private property for the public good unless we provide ďjust compensationĒ to the owner.
But if Iím an innocent defendant, whereís my ďjust compensation?Ē Oh, the McDade Amendment (which the Justice Department absolutely hates) lets me recover my legal fees if I can show that the prosecution was harassing, malicious, etc. But thatís only part of the problem (and recoveries here are hard to come by anyway). What if Iím just a poor schlub? I can be ó probably will be, unless Iím loaded ó financially ruined, only to get a ďsorry, sucker, but at least you donít have to go to jailĒ at the end.
When you add to this the enormous financial resources of the government, and the absence of any market discipline ó or, usually, any political discipline except in high profile cases ó then a ďloser paysĒ rule in criminal prosecutions seems fair to me. Any thoughts?
Given the explosion of criminal statutes at the state and federal level, the tendency of prosecutors to over-charge, and the creative interpretation of statutes to criminalize activities not clearly intended by the Legislative Branches of the federal government and the several states, this seems like a healthy way of preventing rogue prosecutors from bankrupting the innocent.
It breaks my heart to ask that question. Unfortunately, the events of the last two days have put this into the forefront of my mind. Barack Obama, after being urged to bypass the US Senate and appoint officials in violation of the Constitution and repeatedly threatening to ďget things doneĒ by executive order has now begun the process of establishing a dictatorship.
All those folks ó friend and foe, alike ó who whined about President Obama neither showing leadership nor exercising his considerable executive power to help the American people in a time of economic crisis got a heaping dose of his leadership and power yesterday. The recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a direct challenge to obstructionist Senate Republicans.
Got that Ė the GOP has refused to consent to an Obama nominee, so it is therefore ďobstructionistĒ and may be bypassed via Obamaís abuse of a constitutional power Ė despite the fact that Obamaís Justice Department argued recently that such an appointment would not be appropriate and the fact that Obama was a part of the group of Senate Democrats who devised and implemented the same process being used by Senate Republicans to prevent a recess appointment.
President Barack Obama on Wednesday said he will use a recess appointment to put two Democrats and one Republican on the National Labor Relations Board.
The move sidesteps Senate approvals to prevent the board from all but ceasing to function this year.
In other words, Obamaís appointments are designed to prevent the Senate from exercising its Constitutional prerogative to withhold consent from nominees as a means of limiting the Executive Branch.
President Obama will continue his campaign to bypass Congressional opposition to his jobs agenda Thursday by announcing a new partnership aimed at helping a quarter of a million young people find summer jobs.
The initiative, part of Obamaís ďWe Canít WaitĒ campaign, is intended to replace a youth jobs fund that would have been enacted had Congress passed the presidentís $447 billion jobs bill.
ďAmericaís young people face record unemployment, and we need to do everything we can to make sure theyíve got the opportunity to earn the skills and a work ethic that come with a job. Itís important for their future, and for Americaís. Thatís why I proposed a summer jobs program for youth in the American Jobs Act ó a plan that Congress failed to pass. Americaís youth canít wait for Congress to act. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment,Ē Obama said in a written statement.
What have we here? Nothing less than Barack Obama using an executive order to appropriate funds and implement programs that Congress has explicitly refused to adopt. Whatever happened to notions like ďseparation of powersĒ, under which the Legislative Branch makes the laws and the Executive Branch carries them out?
President Obama challenged congressional Republicans to embrace the "shared responsibility" of governance even as the White House appears ready to use unilateral executive powers to battle Capitol Hill. With Republicans taking over the House and increasing their number in the Senate, Obama faces the possibility of having his agenda stalled with limited room to maneuver -- making for tough sledding in the two years leading up to his 2012 re-election bid.
In response, Obama is expected to make more frequent use of executive orders, vetoes, signing statements and policy initiatives that originate within the federal agencies to maneuver around congressional Republicans who are threatening to derail initiatives he has already put in place, including health care reforms, and to launch serial investigations into his administration's spending.
What this means is that it is now Obama policy to govern by decree, over the explicit objection and rejection of policies by Congress.
In other words, Barack Obama has stamped the constitution ďVoidĒ.
Indeed, he has effectively overthrown the government of the United States, and replaced it with a dictatorship of the sort found in the less free, more backwards nations of the world like Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, and Zimbabwe.
But having done so, Barack Obama has undermined his own legitimacy, for from what other source can he be viewed as deriving his powers and authority? And as such, do We the People owe him any respect, support, or obedience?
Or do we instead owe it to our forefathers and our posterity to recognize that Barack Obama is a tyrant, and to treat him in the fashion that our founding documents suggest to be appropriate?
During a campaign stop in Iowa last week, Romney pledged to veto legislation that would allow illegal immigrant children to become U.S. citizens.
He defended his stance on Wednesday.
ďI like legal immigration, I want more legal immigration. But illegal immigration has to be stopped to make legal immigration possible,Ē Romney said on CNNís ďStarting Point with Soledad OíBrien.Ē
It really isnít unreasonable. After all, we do not allow children to benefit from the crimes of their parents. We confiscate homes and bank accounts from drug-runners all the time Ė even if there are kids living in the house and the money is ostensibly to pay for their college education. Ditto other criminals. Why should we make an exception for the children of illegals who are themselves illegal?
But that does not sit well with the apologists for the border-jumpers, who trotted out their latest poster-child for lawlessness, Benita Veliz, to slander Romney.
Veliz, a Jefferson High School and St. Maryís University graduate, was spared deportation in November. ďI was appalled when I heard Mitt Romney say he would veto the DREAM Act,Ē Veliz, 26, told reporters during a conference call Monday that was arranged by the Democratic National Committee. She added, ďRomneyís notion is not only insensitive ó itís irresponsible.Ē
No, Ms. Veliz, what is irresponsible is allowing you Ė who voluntarily chose to continue to violate American law after your eighteenth birthday by staying in this country illegally Ė to remain in the United States. Even more irresponsible would be rewarding you for your lawlessness by providing you with the precious gift of American citizenship. After all, in your entire adult life you have demonstrated nothing but contempt for America, its laws, its borders, and its sovereignty. Why on earth should we want you? And more to the point, why should we put liars and cheats like you and your family ahead of the honest folks who wait in line and come to America the right way?
Frankly, this proposed law should not even be needed. Of course students should be permitted to give voice to their religiously-based (or even non-religiously based) objections to homosexual conduct.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A proposal by some state lawmakers is already under fire, even before the legislative session begins.
They're considering making a change in the law to allow students to speak out against homosexuality, if that's what their religious beliefs call for.
Supporters have said this is about protecting the free-speech rights of students who want to express their views on homosexuality.
But gay rights groups are calling the idea a "license to bully."
Kelly Fussman is the founder of the No Hate Club at Hendersonville High School. She says she sees examples of bullying every single day.
"I've had a lot of friends bullied for just being who they are, whether it's for their sexuality, their gender identity, their religion," she said.
Fussman says she is worried about the bill in the legislature that she believes could make the verbal abuse worse.
Why is this bill even needed? Because some of my misguided colleagues in the field of education seem to believe that allowing students to express their deeply held religious and moral beliefs is the equivalent of sanctioning bullying. However, the actual bullying comes when students are told that their beliefs are officially condemned, may not be expressed on an equal footing with contrary views, and are grounds for punishment by government authority figures.
Hereís the objection voiced by one gay-rights advocate.
"What if one student calls another one a sinner, or a sodomite or says you're perverted or you're unnatural or you are going to hell. That's where it gets really dicey," [Chris] Sanders [of the Tennessee Equality Project] said.
I see the argument Ė but are you willing to see the same sorts of punishments inflicted upon a student who tells a student with a religious objection to homosexuality that he or she is "evil", a ďhate-mongerĒ, a ďbigotĒ or a ďfascistĒ? You know, the sorts of things are staples of the gay rights movement when speaking about their opponents? Or do you not find such language to be ďdiceyĒ, but instead appropriate, warranted, and acceptable in a school setting?
UPDATE: Just was directed to this article that shows that the Tennessee Equality Project apparently has no problem with using language against kids that constitutes bullying -- as long as those kids are Christians, not homosexuals.
But leaders of the Tennessee Equality Project, a gay-rights group, charge the legislation ďwould give students a Ďlicense to bullyí that allows them to hide their irrational biases behind an extreme religious belief.Ē
Git that -- religious students are "bullies", "extremists", and "irrational". Sounds to me like the group needs to change its name to the Tennessee Superiority Project.
Releasing enemy prisoners while hostilities continue is an unusual move -- after all, customary international law allows enemy prisoners to be held until AFTER the cessation of hostilities and the conclusion of a peace treaty. Barack Obama, on the other hand, is giving aid and comfort to the Taliban -- which sheltered Osama bin Laden before and after 9/11 and decreed its support for that attack upon America -- even as the Taliban continues attacks upon US forces in the field.
The US has agreed in principle to release high-ranking Taliban officials from GuantŠnamo Bay in return for the Afghan insurgents' agreement to open a political office for peace negotiations in Qatar, the Guardian has learned.
According to sources familiar with the talks in the US and in Afghanistan, the handful of Taliban figures will include Mullah Khair Khowa, a former interior minister, and Noorullah Noori, a former governor in northern Afghanistan.
More controversially, the Taliban are demanding the release of the former army commander Mullah Fazl Akhund. Washington is reported to be considering formally handing him over to the custody of another country, possibly Qatar.
Like I said -- Barack Obama is giving aid and comfort to the enemy during time of war -- and we all know what Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution says about that. Hopefully the next administration will prosecute this as such after it takes office a year from now.
The New York Times sums it up here Ė and in doing so unwittingly shows the flaw in the argument of those who believe workers should be forced to join unions against their will.
Many right-to-work supporters say it is morally wrong to force unwilling workers to contribute to unions, while opponents argue that it is wrong to allow ďfree ridersĒ not to support the unions that represent them in negotiations and arbitrations.
The flaw is the notion that employees who donít want to join the union are truly being ďrepresentedĒ by the union. Such workers do not want what the union offers, and reject the notion that they should be required to pay for that which they do not want. The compulsory dues are used to negotiate contracts that continue to require those workers to pay dues to an organization that does not represent them or their interests Ė in effect requiring them to pay money so the union can make sure that they continue to be required to pay money to the union.
Iíd argue that any union that negotiates compulsory membership and compulsory dues into a contract has already admitted that it works against the interests of the workers and offers nothing that a worker ought to find of value. After all, if the union is really good for workers, why do those same workers have to be forced to join?
Over the years, Iíve heard announcements like one I heard today a thousand times over the public address system. But today, for some reason, it was particularly jarring Ė especially given that it is sponsored by an organization composed of elected officials.
The Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members is offering a scholarship to all African American seniors who have a 3.0 average or above. Scholarship applications are available now in the Counseling Center.
Now this raises some difficult questions for me.
Lest you think these are abstract questions, consider what the response would be if a school were announcing and promoting a scholarship exclusively for white students. There would be a great outcry of outrage Ė and justifiably so. Why, then, do we still consider it acceptable to do promote such scholarships for students who are members of racial or ethnic minorities? Are we still so far of the day envisioned by Dr. King -- when we judge and reward worthy students based upon their character and achievement rather than the same invidious criteria that were used to exclude some of them only a generation or two ago?
But on the other hand, with regards to the latter two questions, would a school moratorium on publicizing scholarships with racial restrictions or a faculty boycott of recommendations for scholarships that exclude students based upon race have the effect of placing our qualifying students at a disadvantage in terms of paying for their post-secondary educations?
Seems to me there are no easy answers to those questions. I'd love to hear the thoughts of other educators, as well as non-educators, on the matter. I would even welcome the views of those who sponsor such scholarships.
And please understand that I do not mean to attack the TCBSBM, which is certainly worthy of respect given the work the organization and its members have done over the years to improve the education of all Texas students. I could have picked any one of a number of scholarships offered by any number of organizations that include a racial or ethnic criterion for eligibility. This just happened to be the announcement I heard this morning that sparked my day-long reflection on the issue.
Here are this weekís full results:
Congrats to all for the excellent work -- which has been rewarded with this accolade for Best Blog Ring of 2011!
Even confiscatory taxes won't fix the problem of government debt.
The total combined wealth of the Forbes 400 richest Americans is $1.5 trillion. So, if you confiscated the lot, it would barely cover one Obama debt-ceiling increase.
You see, it isn't the so-called 1% that is the problem -- it is the profligate spending by government giving more money to more people and more businesses.
H/T Q & O
Unfortunately, the new sharia-compliant government off Egypt -- thanks Barack! -- views the matter differently.
Egyptian authorities have detained a Coptic Christian student accused of posting a drawing of Islam's prophet on Facebook that triggered two days of violence in southern Egypt.
Gamal Massoud has been accused by fellow students of ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad.
So let's make matters really clear -- I've got no use for the notion that Muhammad is not to be depicted and not to be mocked. And more to the point, I reject the concept that anyone should be jailed or otherwise punished for offending someone else's religious sensibilities. So here goes!
And let anyone make the argument that the above is uniquely offensive to Islam, a faith that is allegedly sorely put upon by followers of the Judeo-Christian tradition, please remember that Islam itself is built upon the teachings of the false prophet Muhammad, who insulted the Bible, appropriated the Hebrew prophets, and blasphemed against Jesus Christ himself -- and whose followers do the same on a regular basis. Take this sign put up across from the Christian shrine marking the place where Gabriel the Archangel appeared to the Virgin Mary to tell her of her unique role in God's plan for the salvation of mankind.
In case you don't understand, the blasphemy is the claim that Jesus was not the only begotten Son of the Father. That sign was hung during the Christmas season three years ago -- and sparked no riots by Christians and no legal action against the blaspheming Muslims. Both those situations ought to be the norm when one encounters blasphemous or otherwise insulting speech or images.
Of course, not everyone agrees with me on this matter. Take our president, Barack Obama, who recently sold our free speech rights down the river at the United Nations -- at least insofar as regards the ability of Americans to speak against Islam -- and implicitly legitimized anti-blasphemy laws in Muslim countries that mandate death for those who would write words like those I wrote above or publish pictures like I included above. But I'll keep on writing and publishing what I like, until Obama issues an executive order directing Eric Holder to round up all of us speech criminals and lock us away ant Gitmo once he's freed the terrorists who make war on America -- and instead converts it to a concentration camp for those who criticize Islam.
As a fan I wasn't happy with the outcome of the Houston Texans game yesterday, even though I understand why Coach Kubiak followed the game plan he did (including the decision to try a 2-point conversion with seconds to go, which cost the team the game). However, I did see what may be among the most memorable football plays in Texans history, courtesy of linebacker Bryan Braman. Watch this one.
It is what you didn't see in that play that makes it significant. No, not the absence of Bryan Braman's helmet -- no, what you don't see it is that he ran halfway across the field without a helmet to get to that play. He was not in a scrum and incidentally lost the helmet -- it popped off and he kept on staying a part of the play. Now THAT is a football player.
To all my readers and friends -- and yes, even to my rivals and enemies.
And I have a few predictions for you.
1) The world will not end in 2012 00 contrary to the fevered protestations to the contrary made by my students over the last few weeks. This is the fifth or sixth time the world was supposed to end since I graduated from high school, so my confidence level is high.
2) Mitt Romney wins the GOP nomination for president -- and in a bold move picks New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez as his running mate. They will beat Barack Obama in November -- narrowly.
3) Three deaths of note this year -- Fidel Castro, Pope Benedict XVI, and Prince Charles.
4) Related to that last prediction, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, become parents to a daughter, who they name Charlotte in honor of his father. She will become the first female to be the first in line of succession in her own right rather than because of the lack of a male heir.
5) The Houston Texans make it to the AFC Championship game, led by QB T. J. Yates. Do they win? Even I'm not ready to make that prediction...