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March 31, 2012

Why Ask This Question?

I think it says just how irresponsible some of our nation's leaders have been in dealing with the Trayvon Martin case.

NetworkSuggestsLynching.jpg

Un-FREAKING-believable! A major media outlet is asking if death threats against George Zimmerman are "going too far". Will these folks not be happy until Zimmerman is lynched, the workings of the criminal justice system be damned?





|| Greg, 04:18 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Exactly What Other Option, Nancy?

Would it be lynching, or merely a bill of attainder?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that while she supports the investigation into the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin that is taking place in the justice system, “other options” should be considered "if that doesn't seem to be working."

“We all supported an investigation that is taking place,” Pelosi said at her Thursday news conference when asked if Congress should hold hearings on the case. “I think that’s an issue in the justice system, and if that doesn’t seem to be working then consider some other options, but I’m pleased that the investigation is going forward.”

What does the woman want done if there is no indictment? What does she want done if George Zimmerman is not convicted should there be an indictment? There really is no other option that conforms with our laws and our Constitution. That's why we have to let the system work -- and accept the outcome, even if it isn't what the public opinion polls demand. Anything else is unAmerican.





|| Greg, 04:06 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (10) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

You Know -- If Obama Had Sons They'd Look Like The Criminals

Will Obama be calling the victim's family? Will the Congressional Black Caucus be holding special hearings on this case? Will there be rallies and marches nationwide? Will the media give us wall-to-wall coverage of this story?

Seven black teens have been arrested on suspicion that they committed a hate crime when they attacked a 15-year-old Hispanic boy while he was walking home from school in Southern California, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The March 14 beating in Palmdale was captured on video and posted on YouTube, but has since been removed from the site. The seven boys, ages 13 to 16, were arrested Wednesday for investigation of assault and committing a hate crime, Lt. Don Ford said.

The attack happened near Cactus Middle School, but Ford didn’t know if any of the teens involved were students there.

The video shows as many as 10 boys surrounding the victim and challenging him to a fight. The suspects then began hitting the teen while others watched.

During the beating, the teens made racially derogatory statements that were captured on the video, Ford said.

After the victim fell to the ground, the assailants kicked him multiple times in the head, knocked out several teeth and left shoe impressions on his skin, Ford said.

The victim was able to get to his feet and escape the onslaught, and will need to undergo dental surgery.

And before anyone accuses me of making light of the death of Trayvon Martin, I'm not. What I'm mocking is the fact that Martin's shooting has somehow become the icon of race relations in our society. The reality, though, is that incidents like that the killing of Trayvon Martin are relatively rare -- but incidents like the one here are much more common. Let's have that frank and courageous discussion of race that Eric Holder called for, and not spare discussion of the reality that violent crime committed by young black men is much too common and is sadly unadressed -- despite the fact that most of the victims of that the overwhelming majority of the victims of that violence are also African-Americans.





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March 30, 2012

The Real Scandal Regarding Prop 8 Donation By Romney’s PAC

No, it isn’t that Romney made a donation to help overturn an activist decision by California courts.

It isn’t even that the donation that was made in an unusual way to keep it under the radar.

No, here is the scandal.

But when Romney eventually made his donation, he did so quietly, and through an unusual channel. Records filed by Romney's Free and Strong America PAC with the Federal Election Commission did not include details of that $10,000 donation. Nor did NOM's public 990 form. In fact, record of the payment was only uncovered Friday when the pro-gay rights Human Rights Campaign was sent a private IRS filing from NOM via a whistleblower. The Human Rights Campaign shared the filing with The Huffington Post.

Excuse me, but what we have here is a crime. And that crime is not the donation or the back-channel way in which it was made. The crime is the illegal disclosure of confidential tax documents.

And the claim that the criminal is a “whistleblower” is utterly specious. Given that there is no wrong-doing being disclosed here, what we have is a government employee leaking tax documents that are confidential by law.

Will the Obama Administration actively investigate and prosecute the criminal who leaked the document – and the criminals who received the document and published its contents?

Or will this be another case of Democrats using confidential government records for opposition research on behalf of Democrat political campaigns and liberal organizations. You know, like we saw back in 2008 when state officials rummaged through confidential records on Joe the Plumber after he got the best of Barack Obama. Or like what happened in 2004 when sealed court records were leaked on the GOP Senate candidate in Illinois, forcing him out of the race and giving it to the little known and under-qualified Democrat in the race – Barack Obama.

Oh, wait – I think I see a pattern here. Maybe I shouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the Obama Administration to investigate and prosecute a crime that politically benefits Barack Obama at the expense of another political opponent.





|| Greg, 04:45 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Yes, Dick Lugar Is An Indiana Resident And Eligible To Be That State’s Senator

Of course, there is the minor issue of the Lugars having voted from the address of a house they sold during the Carter administration rather than from the farm that gives them a toe-hold in the state, but I really don’t find that matter to be worth pursuing.

Here’s what the Lugar camp has to say about the matter.

“There has never been a question that Sen. and Mrs. Lugar are, and have been, residents of Indiana and Marion County,” Lugar campaign spokesman Andy Fisher said in a statement. “Today, the court has obtained from the Marion County Election Board assurances that the Lugars may vote from the Lugar family farm ... With this new legal guidance the issue of the Lugars’ voting registration is resolved. Any further challenge will clearly be nothing more than continued pettiness on the part of a handful of disgruntled political opponents.”

There actually has been a question, though – and evidence sufficient to raise questions as to where the Lugars actually do live. After all, being an inhabitant of the state one represents is a Constitutional requirement to be a Senator, so the question was certainly not petty – it was foundational. But the matter of their having an actual domicile is now settled, and I agree that there is no legitimate reason to pursue the matter any further.





|| Greg, 04:44 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The ObamaCare Decision Is Likely Already Made

Now all that awaits is the writing of decisions and the announcement of what the court has decided.

After months of anticipation, thousands of pages of briefs and more than six hours of arguments, the justices will vote on the fate of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul in under an hour Friday morning. They will meet in a wood-paneled conference room on the court's main floor. No one else will be present.

In the weeks after this meeting, individual votes can change. Even who wins can change, as the justices read each other's draft opinions and dissents.
But Friday's vote, which each justice probably will record and many will keep for posterity, will be followed soon after by the assignment of a single justice to write a majority opinion, or in a case this complex, perhaps two or more justices to tackle different issues. That's where the hard work begins, with the clock ticking toward the end of the court's work in early summer.

Of course, things to consider here.

First, this was a complicated case. We should all know that based upon the tripartite arguments that dealt with different issues. That means that the discussion this morning was likely quite complex and may lead to a decision in which various members of the court join, concur with, and dissent from different sections of the main opinion.

Second, the senior justice in the majority assigns the opinion. That probably means Chief Justice Roberts if the law is to be struck down in whole or in part. If the law is to be upheld, that likely means Kennedy will make the assignment.

Third, the first two points mean that Justice Kennedy will probably be writing the majority decision. He is sure to be the swing vote, and so his views will control.

Of course, one of the dissenters could yet pull away a member of the majority and become the author of the majority opinion. Or someone’s concurrence could morph into the majority opinion if its reasoning is strong enough to entice support the rest of the majority justices. Or there is always the worst case – like Roe v. Wade, there could be a decision on which the justices could not agree on reasoning, leading to there being no actual majority opinion despite a decision on the outcome.

We’ll know in about three months.





|| Greg, 02:42 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Why It Is Best To Think Before You Press The Post Button

One local blogger didn’t.

CLEAR LAKE SHORES — The operator of a popular blog that keeps up with the happenings in Clear Lake Shores was arrested and charged because of a post he made on the site in February.

Allan Batchelor, owner of the Island Drumz blog, said his posting of the email address of the wife of a city council candidate is what got him in trouble.

Interim police Chief Kenneth Cook said Batchelor was charged with online impersonation, a Class A misdemeanor. Batchelor was arrested at his home Wednesday and posted a $2,500 bond.

Online impersonation is the state’s definition of online harassment.

I don’t know either of the folks involved, even though they live within five miles of me. I don’t know the political issues in their community, nor do I knowanything more about the content of the post in question. And I do have some questions about the exact charge.

But that said, this certainly serves as a reminder that there are lines that ought not be crossed in blogging.





|| Greg, 02:39 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Joe Biden Vastly Overestimates Obama's Importance And The Challenges Facing Him

The Vice Presidential Gaffe Machine was turned on yesterday, producing this laugher.

Vice President Joe Biden today assured a group of campaign donors in Wisconsin that Republican criticism of President Obama’s leadership style doesn’t match up with what he’s witnessed firsthand.

“I’ve watched him make decisions that would make another man or woman’s hair curl,” Biden told the crowd of 150 inside the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee, according to a pool reporter on scene.

Biden, who has said he’s the last man in the room with Obama before a tough call, often attests that his boss has a “backbone like a ramrod.”

And today he said that mettle — and the “serious problems” Obama faced upon taking office — put the president in a class of his own.

“I think I can say … no president, and I would argue in the 20th century and including now the 21st century, has had as many serious problems which are cases of first-instance laid on his table,” Biden said. “Franklin Roosevelt faced more dire consequences, but in a bizarre way it was more straightforward.”

The vice president claimed that the complexity of the 2008 financial crisis presented challenges in a way the Great Depression of 80 years ago did not.

I would be stunned, were it not for the fact that we are used to this sort of mindless drivel from the man who Obama strangely believed was the best available Democrat to take his place in the event of his resignation, impeachment, incapacitation or death.

By the way, I will note one similarity between FDR and BHO -- both adopted policies in the face of an economic crisis that expanded government power and increased government spending. Oh, yeah -- and which failed to solve the economic crisis the nation faced. It took WWII for the US to truly come out of the Great Depression -- and economic indicators don't really point to a significant recovery from the Great Dem-Pression that set in following the Democrat congressional victories in the 2008 elections.





|| Greg, 04:41 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 29, 2012

Some Observations On Michael Kinsley’s Column On ObamaCare’s Constitutionality

Now I always liked Michael Kinsley back in the day as he slugged it out with Pat Buchanan on CNN. I even found myself agreeing with him from time to time. His latest column, (H/T RedState) runs off the rails. Let’s take a look at how as we give it a good fisking.

Supreme Court justices, like anyone else, sometimes change their minds.

True, there is stare decisis, the principle that they shouldn’t change their minds too often. Reason: If you expect citizens and the government to obey the law, they need to know what the law is and will be. Also, it’s only fair to treat people in similar situations similarly.

But stare decisis is not a hard-and-fast rule. There have been some famous changes of heart and/or mind, such as Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which reversed Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and declared racial segregation unconstitutional. Then there’s Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which overturned Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) and invalidated laws against homosexual sodomy. It is generally considered that in both of these cases, the court got it right the second time.

Now let’s think about this. As Kinsley points out, stare decisis is not an absolute principle. Courts can and do get it wrong, and it is arguably more important to get it right (bring our nation’s jurisprudence into alignment with the Constitution) than it is to remain consistent (stick with a flawed line of decisions because they were decided). Where Kinsley and I would agree is that overruling a precedent should be rare.

But I would like to point out that Kinsley gets it wrong in his assessment of Brown and Lawrence. In 1954, it was not generally conceded that the Supreme Court got the decision correct – look at the campaign of massive resistance that followed. And as for Lawrence, we are still fighting the battle on issues like gay marriage. With Brown, it took years for the decision to become accepted – and with Lawrence, the full implications of the decision are still being mapped out. Besides, a later argument made by Kinsley undermines his own argument here.

If the court ultimately rules that President Barack Obama’s health-care reform law is unconstitutional, it will be a reversal even bigger than Brown and Lawrence. And there will be no comforting consensus that the court has finally got it right.

Now I find it hard to accept either of those two assertions. First, I don’t think that a ruling against the not-yet-fully-implemented ObamaCare statute would be a bigger deal than the undoing of a century of segregationist policies – and given that it took the remainder of the 1950s and much of the 1960s for the consensus to form around Brown, I don’t see where the lack of consensus on this one will be terribly harmful.

Ever since Wickard v. Filburn (1942), with only a couple of minor exceptions, the courts have upheld the use of federal power under the Commerce Clause, which gives the federal government the authority to “regulate commerce.” Even the 1964 Civil Rights Act is considered constitutional as a regulation of commerce.

Now let’s be honest – there are some real problems with Wickard. Indeed, I recall reading Wickard as a graduate student and thinking the decision was absolutely nuts. But setting aside the argument over the merits of the decision in Wickard, Kinsley runs into the problem that the exceptions have not been minor. And what they have established is that the Commerce Clause is as much a limitation of Congressional power as it is a grant of federal power.

Now, maybe the court has been wrong all this time. Maybe the federal government’s authority under the Commerce Clause is much narrower. Maybe that authority doesn’t extend to requiring individual citizens to have health insurance or pay a fine. But if so, it is not only the future of Obamacare that will suddenly be shaky. Every piece of legislation for about the last 70 years that rested on the Commerce Clause will suddenly be up for grabs. This includes the Civil Rights Act. It includes laws protecting the environment and consumers.

Basically anything the government does that has ever been justified by the Commerce Clause will be open to challenge. For the sake of their own sanity and summer recesses, the justices ought to proceed cautiously.

Now I agree that the justices should proceed cautiously before overtuning an entire seven decades of Commerce Clause jurisprudence. But the reality is that such a decision is not necessary. It is quite clear that the Court could establish a limiting principle – drawn from preexisting precedent – that would indicate that this particular legislation is a step too far. After all, the current legislation does not regulate commerce that is voluntarily engaged in by Americans; it forces Americans to engage in commerce as a condition of being alive. That would seem to be a bridge too far – and would not necessitate the overturning of cases in support of such things like the Civil Rights Act (which could likely stand based upon powers granted by the Fourteenth Amendment to guarantee the states respect the rights of all citizens, which would clearly necessitate undoing the effects of state-mandated).

Conservatives also ought to pause and consider all the lectures they have delivered over the past half-century about the need for judicial restraint. Whether authorized under the Commerce Clause or not, all of these laws -- including Obamacare -- were enacted by the democratically elected institutions of government. For the Supreme Court to call them all into question would be a power grab far beyond anything the court has attempted during the long era of conservative griping on this point.

And the suggestion I offer above is a restrained course of action. But Kinsley does two things in this paragraph that ought to concern us all. First, he argues that there really should not be any limitation whatsoever on the power of the federal government to regulate our lives – even if there is no grant of such power in the Constitution. That is a recipe for authoritarianism.

Beyond that, liberals like Kinsley (indeed, liberals including Kinsley) have never taken such a tack before in demanding that the enactments of “democratically elected institutions of government” be so blindly deferred to by the courts. Indeed, the two decisions cited above – Brown and Lawrence – both involved the overturning of laws enacted by “democratically elected institutions of government”. What’s more, even if the courts had systematically undermined the pro-segregation Plessy v. Ferguson decision with several decades of decisions nibbling at the corners which had rendered it a dead letter by 1954, the decision in Lawrence overturned the sort of laws that had been consistently viewed as within the authority of legislatures to pass since the earliest days of the American Republic (and even before its founding). Indeed, Kinsley would find himself arguing against most of the major decisions of the Warren Court if he truly believed what he argues here.

Whenever liberals argue stare decisis, conservatives understandably get suspicious. In theory, it’s a pretty conservative doctrine. It says, things as they are should stay as they are. In practice, conservatives complain, it works like a ratchet: Liberals, when they’re in control, invent new rights, and then conservatives, under stare decisis, are supposed to do nothing about them when their turn comes. But the fact that courts have been upholding legislation under the Commerce Clause for seven decades with virtually no debate does make it seem unlikely that the whole thing has been a giant constitutional misunderstanding.

Of course, Kinsley invents a strawman here. Nobody (at least virtually nobody) is arguing for the overturn of seven decades of Commerce Clause jurisprudence. Nobody of any stature is arguing that the Court should hold that the Commerce Clause is a dead letter and that Congress has virtually no power to regulate interstate commerce. But when a statute like is at work here stretches the limits of the Elastic Clause to its breaking point, it is appropriate for the judicial side of the system of checks and balances to kick in.

In 1993, the first year of the Clinton administration, Hillary Clinton was assigned by her husband, Bill, to design a health-care reform plan. The centerpiece of the plan she came up with was an employer mandate. That is, there was a requirement that employers provide health insurance to their employees or pay a fine.

The opposition to Hillarycare from Republicans was ferocious, just like their opposition to Obamacare more recently -- and in the Clinton case, the opposition was successful. They threw everything they had at her. They got a judge to rule (later reversed) that her plan was illegal because it had been partly designed in private meetings.

One argument they did not make was that Hillarycare exceeded the government’s powers under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. (Search the New York Times for all of 1993 and 1994. There is just one buried and dismissive reference to the possibility of a Commerce Clause challenge in an article about half a dozen possible legal strategies for challenging Hillarycare.) Is it possible that requiring people to buy their own insurance is unconstitutional but requiring owners of companies to buy other people’s insurance for them would have been perfectly OK?

Here is Kinsley engaging in a little bit of sleight-of-hand. He jumps into his time machine and takes us back to the 1990s, and proceeds to attack conservatives for not dealing with the constitutionality issue then. The thin is, there was no need to deal with constitutional questions at the time. The litigation on the issue had to do with open meetings, public records, and other issues related to a commission that was to design legislation, not over a statute that had been enacted into law. Indeed, HillaryCare was defeated in the Senate in 1994, and the GOP landslide that November guaranteed that the proposal would not even be considered in the future. The constitutional question was not ripe for consideration.

During the decades it took for the court to come to its senses about segregation and sexual privacy, there were always lots of people on both sides of the arguments. By contrast, as Dahlia Lithwick points out in Slate, the notion that health-care reform with an individual mandate might be unconstitutional was virtually never heard of until the bill passed and the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy went to work. Professor Randy Barnett, the intellectual father of the Commerce Clause argument, didn’t really start churning out scholarship on the subject until 2011. During the whole debate over Obamacare, it seems, nobody noticed that it was unconstitutional. Now every conservative politician and pundit finds it not just unconstitutional but obviously so.

Well, that isn’t quite true. But even in 2010, there was not an actual law to challenge. The focus was on keeping the law from being passed. Besides, there really wasn’t a bill to examine during the process – we were told by Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the bill would have to be voted on and passed before anyone would actually know what was really in it. In the end, the bill passed by the slimmest of margins – and over the vocal objections of the American people, who as in 1994 responded to the unpopular legislation by punishing its supporters in the November congressional elections. And once there was an actual statute in place, it was possible for the legal challenges to begin – legal challenges which included, in part, constitutional challenges.

Which leads us to this non-sequitur conclusion.

It was during the Hillarycare debate that Stuart Butler of the conservative Heritage Foundation first proposed a health- care plan based on the individual mandate. Butler says today: “I’ve altered my views on many things. The individual mandate in health care is one of them.” There’s no stare decisis at the Heritage Foundation, apparently.

I'm sympathetic with Butler here -- if you had asked me 25 or 30 years ago what I thought about healthcare, you would have gotten advocacy of something akin to Britain's NHS. After all, I had been raised in a military family and had never known what it was to pay to see a doctor or get a prescription. Only after i got out on my own and discovered what it meant to have medical care not provided on an assembly line did I understand why that model was inferior. And as i saw such care eliminated for even military families because of the high cost to the government, I recognized the problem that providing such care would be in terms of cost containment.

Similarly, the Heritage Foundation is not a court – it is a think-tank. Over the last two decades there has been additional scholarship produced and additional ideas put forward. It is therefore no surprise that some who may at one time have considered some sort of individual mandate a good idea might have, over time, have come to recognize the problems with such a plan from both a policy and constitutional point of views. While Kinsley wants to discredit opponents based upon the anecdote regarding a single man working for a single entity, his effort fails. What he instead shows is that those with active intellects can change their policy prescriptions over time – and that they are not prisoners of a static ideology like Michael Kinsley.





|| Greg, 04:10 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Twitter Allows Pro-Lynching Account To Operate

It isn't merely that the social networking site has allowed folks to suggest/encourage/threaten the murder of a man who has not even been charged with a crime -- they are allowing actual incitement.

As of March 29, 2012, midnight Eastern time, a vile Twitter account named “@killzimmerman” was still active on the social networking site. It has been active for at least four days, despite numerous complaints from Twitter users. Why has it taken so long to address this glaring violation of Twitter’s terms of service?

The picture associate with the account makes it really clear what the goal is.

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A couple of observations.

As I've said -- I want to see justice done for all involved – whether that means George Zimmerman gets the death penalty, is completely exonerated, or something in between. Doesn't this include putting a stop to the true lynch mob mentality that exists in this case?





|| Greg, 04:39 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 28, 2012

The Important Point About Murdered Black Youth

Juan Williams wrote a brilliant column today about what gets overlooked in all the outrage over the Trayvon Martin incident. In particular, he highlights some statistics about the murder of African-Americans.

The most recent comprehensive study on black-on-black crime from the Justice Department should have been a clarion call for the black community to take action. There is no reason to believe that the trends it reported have decreased since 2005, the year for which the data were reported.

Almost one half of the nation's murder victims that year were black and a majority of them were between the ages of 17 and 29. Black people accounted for 13% of the total U.S. population in 2005. Yet they were the victims of 49% of all the nation's murders. And 93% of black murder victims were killed by other black people, according to the same report.

Is there a war on young black men that is leaving a trail of dead bodies? Yes there is – but it is accompanied by a war on young black women, and older African-Americans as well. And the perpetrators of the violence are not KKK sheetheads and neo-Nazi pansies, nor are they Tea Party members or registered Republicans. The killers are other blacks – generally young and male, members of that same 17 to 29 age group that are so often the victim of the violence. The reality of the shooting of Trayvon Martin is that his death by violence at a young age is surprisingly common – the unusual part is that the person who killed him did not look like him. Can’t we as a society – and the African-American community in particular – get all excited about the barrels of black blood spilled by other African-Americans? Or, in the words of Atty. General Holder in a very different context, do we lack the courage to have this frank conversation about race?





|| Greg, 02:59 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Reporter’s Part-Time Job A Subscription Booster For Houston Chronicle?

One does wonder why the paper doesn’t offer its news staff a living wage.

A Houston society reporter and a university professor is also a stripper by night.

Sarah Tressler has written numerous articles about Houston social events for the Houston Chronicle. Tressler also teaches writing and reporting at the University of Houston. Local 2 has learned she also works at a Houston-area strip club.

From Twitter to Facebook and even a blog titled "The Diary of An Angry Stripper," Tressler's name and picture were found in several places online describing her nightlife in great detail.

I wonder – will the Houston Chronicle support the free expression rights of its employee, or will Tressler be fired?





|| Greg, 02:58 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

New York Times Rules ObamaCare Constitutional

I really fail to understand why the Supreme Court didn’t just cancel the oral arguments on the cases before it and issue a one sentence dismissal of the cases along with a reference to this precedent value editorial from the New York Times.

In ruling on the constitutionality of requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance, the Supreme Court faces a central test: whether it will recognize limits on its own authority to overturn well-founded acts of Congress.

Because, of course, the New York Times editorial board is the highest court in the land under Article III of the US Constitution, and its rulings are final.





|| Greg, 02:57 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Does This Detail Make A Difference In Twitter F-Word Expulsion Case?

When I saw this post from Darren over at Right on the Left Coast about the expulsion of a high school senior over an f-bomb laced tweet at 3:30 in the morning, I was in agreement with him.

What the kid does at 2:30 in the morning is his parents' responsibility, not his school's.

After all, the tweet was made at 2:30 AM from home. It didn't involve a threat and its content didn't relate to school at all.

"One of my tweets was, BEEP is one of those BEEP words you can BEEP put anywhere in a BEEP sentence and it still BEEP make sense,” said Austin Carroll, student.

In other words, it was something rather silly.

Well, then -- why the issue with school? It seems that the school is claiming the tweet was done using school equipment.

Or maybe not.

The principal at Garrett High School claims their system tracks all the tweets on Twitter when a student logs in, meaning even if he did tweet it from home their system could have recognized it when he logged in again at school.

Am i correct in reading that statement as a claim that the school gets jurisdiction over anything a student posts on the internet via social media sites if the student ever logs into an account from school? REALLY?

If the kid used school-issued equipment, i can understand the jurisdictional issue. But the any time, any where standard seemingly adopted by the school? That strikes me as a bridge too far.

Have we really reached the point where the Tinker v. Des Moines precedent that students don't lose their civil liberties at the schoolhouse gate is true only because they have no rights outside of school, either? And if so, are our public schools really preparing students to be free citizens exercising their rights in a free and democratic society?





|| Greg, 04:33 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 27, 2012

Filmmakers Insult Nancy Reagan With Casting Decision

I’m not one of those who believes that it is wrong to cast an ideological opposite as a historical character – even a living one. Recent portrayals of Margaret Thatcher and Sarah Palin were artistically excellent despite the contrast between the two conservative women and the liberal actresses who played them. But this casting decision is a bridge too far in my book.

In the midst of recruiting an all-star ensemble for his long-gestating passion project “The Butler,” director Lee Daniels has tapped Jane Fonda to play Nancy Reagan.

Based on a Washington Post report by Wil Haygood, pic follows Eugene Allen, the White House butler whose career started with Harry Truman in 1952 and ended in 1986 with Ronald Reagan.

Forest Whitaker is closing a deal to play Allen, while Oprah Winfrey remains in talks to play his wife. David Oyelowo is in negotiations to play Allen’s son, while Liam Neeson and John Cusack are circling presidential supporting roles as Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, respectively. Fonda will appear in a handful of scenes as the first lady of the United States.

1981_NancyReaganGalanos[1].jpg

Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan? A woman guilty of treason playing the wife of the greatest president of my lifetime? No way.





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March 26, 2012

Has Rick Santorum Heard Of Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich. . . Or Rick Santorum?

That’s my first response to this most recent dumbass comment from the former Pennsylvania Senator.

An agitated Rick Santorum on Sunday called Mitt Romney “the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama” even as it appears the former Massachusetts governor is on pace to clinch the party’s nomination in June.

I’ve called for an open/deadlocked/brokered convention – but I’ll take Romney in a heartbeat over the other three in the race. I believe that most Americans share that view.





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Culture Of No Process On Campus

Not even charged with, much less convicted of, a crime, George Zimmerman has already been punished by one government entity in Florida – his college.

Seminole State College has expelled George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, setting off a debate over whether Florida has been too slow to charge Zimmerman in the shooting, WKMG News reported. College officials released a statement saying: "Due to the highly charged and high-profile controversy involving this student, Seminole State has taken the unusual but necessary step this week to withdraw Mr. Zimmerman from enrollment. This decision is based solely on our responsibility to provide for the safety of our students on campus as well as for Mr. Zimmerman." Zimmerman was enrolled in an associate in arts degree in general studies.

Looks like the folks seeking lynch mob “justice” have already managed to get a degree of vengeance. And since this was an administrative action, Zimmerman was not even given the opportunity to state his case.





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“Space” To Sell Out America?

Since he was apparently talking about giving away America’s missile defense capability, that’s what it sounds like.

President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

In other words, once he doesn’t have to worry about angering an American electorate that is concerned about national security, he can go about his task of undermining America’s national security without having to worry about little things like “the will of the people”.

Or their safety.





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March 25, 2012

Watcher's Council Results

Here are this week’s full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!





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March 24, 2012

Prayers For Dick Cheney

After years of heart issues, the former Vice President is recovering from heart transplant surgery.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney received a heart transplant on Saturday, his office announced.

A statement from the former vice president's office said Cheney is now recovering in the Intensive Care Unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., outside of Washington.

The statement said Cheney had been on the transplant list for 20 months and did not know the identity of the donor.

"Although the former Vice President and his family do not know the identity of the donor, they will be forever grateful for this lifesaving gift," the statement read.

Cheney is a true American patriot and one of my personal heroes. I wish he was my party's presumptive presidential nominee. May he have a complete and rapid recovery.

And lest the sad angle of this story be forgotten, may the the family of the donor be comforted in their time of loss.





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Best Religious Freedom Sign Regarding ObamaCare Mandate

Remember how the religious bigots of the pro-abortion movement always used to use this sign?

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I'm pleased to see that someone has come back with a sign in opposition to Obama's anti-religion birth control/sterilization/abortion mandates that throws the sentiment right back in the face of those who claim that "a woman's reproductive freedom" trumps the First Amendment to the Constitution.

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After all, if the equation works one way, then by God (the real one, not Obama) it must work the other.





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Liberal Minister OP Candidate Engaging In "Prostitution Of The Church"

Let's consider the charge by Rev. Welton Gaddy on Rachel Maddow's show for just a minute.

MADDOW: The Louisiana campaign is this Saturday. Mr. Santorum is favored. He does not seem to have much of a traditional campaign, like he`d recognize another state. He seems to mostly be counting on working through churches. He`s counting on ministers telling their congregation to vote for him. How do you feel about that?

GADDY: I don't like it. It's a prostitution of the church. It's a manipulation of religion. People have to keep in mind, when you`re running for the president of the United States, whether you`re Rick Santorum or President Obama, you have one goal, and that`s to win the election. And you just know that anything that`s done in that campaign is a subsidiary strategy for getting to the White House...

And I resent anybody trying to make the altar of a church a stump from which they can give a political speech. They want to go church, they ought to go to church just like everybody else does. And worship and then get out and do their politics.

Now I'm curious -- has Rev. Gaddy taken a stand on Barack Obama's campaign seeking "Congregation Captains" to organize churches as a part of his reelection effort?

Or what about the tradition of candidates campaigning in black churches, like this effort documented in this video?

Or this one.

I've not seen any condemnation at all.

I guess it all depends on who is pimping out whose church, and the color of the congregation.





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Will Repsonsible Leaders Condemn The Rhetoric Of Race War And Lynch Mob "Justice"?

You know, the ones condemning this sort of thing.

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Or this sort of thing.

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I'm not talking about responsible black leaders.

I'm not talking about responsible white leaders.

I'm not talking about responsible religious leaders.

I'm talking about responsible leaders of all segments of society.

There are those in this country who are looking to stoke the fires of racial warfare in the wake of this tragedy. There's a lynch mob mentality being created here by certain irresponsible segments of our nation. The guilty parties include racist groups like the Black Panthers, race hucksters like Jesse Jackson, and ratings-driven screaming Mimis like Nancy Grace and Jane Velez Mitchell.

A boy is dead.

His race is irrelevant.

The race of his killer is irrelevant.

What is relevant is that the law be enforced neutrally, without regard to the race of either the shooter or the victim.

As I said in my post yesterday, "I want to see justice done for all involved – whether that means George Zimmerman gets the death penalty, is completely exonerated, or something in between."

Anyone who can't echo that statement is not just a bad American -- they are an evil racist human being as well, perpetrating precisely the sort of hatred they claim to oppose.





|| Greg, 10:47 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 23, 2012

Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, Barack Obama, And Me

Who would have thought that Barack Obama would say something about this damned case in Florida that would both move me and lead me to break my vow not to blog about it? And who would have thought it was because we would both be coming from essentially the same place.

President Barack Obama waded into the growing national controversy of the killing of an unarmed black teenager in Florida, saying the nation should do some "soul-searching to figure out how something like this happens."

"I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together, federal state and local, to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened."

Obama said Trayvon Martin's death particularly resonated with him as an African-American parent.

"If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," Obama said in brief remarks outside the White House.

When you teach high school, you have a lot of boys come through your classroom. Most you like and will remember for years. A few slip under your radar, not making much of an impression. A handful of them earn your dislike. But all of them are your boys – and on some level you love them all, even that last group, because they are your boys. That is especially true when, like me, you have not been blessed with sons of your own. You invest in them your hopes and your dreams, and hope that in some small way you have made a positive impact upon them. Regular readers may have noticed that back during the NFL playoffs, when I shamelessly bragged on a couple of former students playing against each other. Members of my church saw it a couple of years back when I got involved in a fundraising project to build a home for a former student who was seriously wounded by an IED in Iraq. My wife, who hears about my students almost daily, has in recent weeks heard that love expressed as pride in one former student as he signed his Division I Letter of Intent to play football at Colorado, anguish upon learning of the arrest of another who I thought had straightened himself out, and compassion when I found that a third had lost his brother in a senseless incident involving a gun. Even my students know it – they’ve all seen my pride in two of my boys who are now fine young men and gifted teachers on the faculty with me. And lest anyone think I’m slighting the girls, I’m not – I love them and am as proud of them as I am of the boys – it is just that the current mess in Sanford, Florida and the words of President Obama have put me in this male-bonding frame of mind.

You see, I have spent almost all of my teaching career in schools where I am the minority. Trayvon Martin could be one of my boys – because most of them have been and are what our society calls “minorities”. When I hear news stories about teens or young men being injured or killed, I look for what part of town it happened in and then, sometimes, I fearfully look for names. I’ve lost one of my boys, an honor student days away from starting college, to a couple of thugs who shot him because he squealed his tires at the previous stoplight. Another, a young husband and father, was stabbed to death during a fight at a party. Those two deaths lead me, like President Obama, to think “that young man could have been one of mine.” But my reaction has a twist. The first of “my boys” mentioned above looked like Trayvon Martin. The second? Well, he looked an awful lot like George Zimmerman.

And that’s why I haven’t wanted to write about this story. From what I can tell, both of these young men were engaged in legal activity – one going to the store and heading home, the other being a good neighbor who spotted and followed a person he thought was suspicious. I would find it easy to fall into the trap of ranting and raving against George Zimmerman for following Trayvon Martin and ultimately shooting and killing a teenager who we now know was doing nothing wrong. But at the same time, I consider reports that George Zimmerman had a bloody nose and other injuries that could indicate some sort of physical altercation and wonder – did whatever confrontation happened between the two young men turn into a scuffle, leading Zimmerman to pull the trigger in the belief that he was defending himself? I don’t know, and am loath to weigh in on the issue of whether there should be criminal charges as a result. What I see are two young men – either or both of whom could be one of my boys – whose lives have been destroyed by what happened that night. This matter needs a significantly better investigation than it has received thus far, and it needs to go wherever the law – not racial rabble-rousing, political posturing or journalistic jabbering – dictates in terms of criminal charges or lack thereof.

So I’ll stand with President Obama on this one. I’m glad there has been a prosecutor appointed by Governor Scott. I’m even glad that there is a Justice Department investigating the matter, though I’m always uncomfortable when there is a rush to make a federal case out of what is essentially a local crime governed by state statutes. I want to see justice done for all involved – whether that means George Zimmerman gets the death penalty, is completely exonerated, or something in between. I’d want nothing less if this tragic shooting left one of my boys dead – or if one of them had pulled the trigger.





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Rick Santorum -- RINO

The presidential candidate has declared that if he can't have the nomination, we would be better off with Obama as president.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Rick Santorum played off of the Mitt Romney campaign’s Etch A Sketch gaffe today when he told an audience that the country might be better off with President Obama than with a candidate who will shift his positions with ease and who he believes is not very different from the president.

“You win by giving people a choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there. If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future,” Santorum told a crowd at USAA.

Let's see, Rick.

You were a big spending Senator. You support big government to regulate our lives rather than individual liberty. And now you are acting like a petulant child, endorsing Barack Obama. Explain to me why you should be considered anything other than a Republican In Name Only -- exactly like Arlen Specter, the turncoat you endorsed for Senate when there was a chance to elect a real conservative in his place.

It is time for you to go, Rick -- we don't need a fake Republican who has endorsed Barack Obama's reelection.





|| Greg, 04:25 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 22, 2012

The Simple Truth About Mitt Romney As The GOP Nominee

In the end, it doesn't matter if you love Mitt Romney or hate Mitt Romney. It doesn't matter which of the candidates you supported in the primary -- or if you have longed for an open convention to pick someone else. The goal, you see, is to get Obama out of the White House so that we can begin the long-term project of setting America back on the proper course. Romney may not be the ideal conservative many of us might hope for, but he is an improvement, as Brady Cremeens so aptly points out.

Many conservatives have voiced their intentions to stay home on election day if Mitt Romney is their only choice against Obama. This worries me greatly. I would never ask you, if you aren’t doing so already, to vote for Romney in the primaries. I certainly didn’t. I implore you, however, to cast your vote for him in the general election.

Worst case scenario: He’s a middle-centrist squish who governs as a moderate, like he did in Massachusetts. That’s the worst case scenario. We already know Barack Obama to be a radical leftist who will enrage even his own base to force his dangerous agenda.

It is more important for the future of our great nation to defeat Barack Obama than any other incumbent President in our history.

Vote for Mitt Romney because his Vice President won’t be Joe Biden.

Vote for Mitt Romney, because his economic plan and experience is the succulent grapes to Obama’s dried raisins. He has the business experience that our nation needs to undo the problems created by those with largely no business experience.

Vote for Mitt Romney. He won’t alienate America’s friends and cater to her enemies. America will be a safer, more secure place with him in the White House.

Vote for Mitt Romney because, assuming he follows through on his word (and he surely will with a Republican House/potentially Republican Senate, as he has no chance of being reelected if he reneges), he will repeal Obamacare. Even if you are unsure about Mitt’s desire to repeal, it’s still more logical to elect the guy who might over the guy who surely will not.

Vote for Mitt Romney, if for no other reason than his love for America is apparent and his obvious patriotism is refreshing and appropriate for the office of the President of the United States, and is so lacking in our current President.

It would be nice to elect a President that actually likes America and her citizens. Mitt Romney does.

Vote for Mitt Romney in order to help beat Barack Obama. For those paying any attention at all, that’s the only reason needed.

Ronald Reagan would have understood this calculus quite well. He would have recognized in Romney someone who was an improvement on the status quo, and who would more often than not be with us as conservatives. Remember his wisdom.

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And in addition, there is the reality that a conservative House and a newly Republican Senate are useless as long as Barack Obama is in the White House. He'll wield that veto pen and we will not have a veto-proof majority. With a GOP-controlled Congress and Romney in the White House, there is a real chance at a conservative outcome -- maybe not as conservative as some of us might want, but conservative none the less. And that, my friends, would be important for America.





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Headline Of The Day

From Politico.

Joe Biden in 2016? Not so crazy

I can already hear the iconic theme song for the campaign.

And who knows – with a presidential pardon, perhaps Slow Joe could get John Edwards as his running mate.





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Another Teacher Behaving Badly

What on earth could make a teacher think this assignment would be appropriate.

Liberty teacher Michael Denman, who declined to comment, unveiled the assignment in mid-January when he broke the Civics Honor’s class into four groups, one for each Republican candidate. The students were then to collaborate as a group and research the backgrounds of their assigned candidate.

Denman assigned two kids to write a paper revealing the identified “weaknesses,” two to write the attack strategy paper and two others to locate an individual inside the Obama campaign to whom they could send the information.

Now this one hits close to home for me for a couple of reasons. First, I spent part of my school years in the district where this took place. But more to the point, this involves a teacher in my field.

The problem, of course, is not the “identify weaknesses” portion of the assignment – that is teaching kids a critical thinking skill. For that matter, the “attack strategy” portion of the assignment isn’t necessarily a bad thing – after all, that again goes to the critical thinking skill. But the portion of the assignment that involved students finding out who to contact within the teacher’s preferred campaign and to then forward the assignment on to that person is a problem – that turns an appropriate assignment into forced political activity.

And we won’t get into the problem of the teacher leaving out the most obvious candidate from the assignment – President Obama himself. That is the “tell” that this is not a neutral assignment.





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Condolences To Al Sharpton

I'm not a fan of Al Sharpton.

I consider him a symptom of what is wrong with race relations in this country.

But he is also a human being, with feelings and loved ones like all the rest of us.

Al Sharpton's mother has passed away -- and as a fellow human being, my heart aches for him.

May she rest in peace -- and may Al Sharpton and his family be comforted by our loving God in this time of sadness.





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French Jihadi Dead?

Or waiting for France to surrender?

A man suspected of having killed seven people, including three children, in a series of attacks in the French southern cities of Toulouse and Montauban may be dead, French Interior Minister Claude Guéant said Thursday.

Speaking in a live interview with French radio, Mr. Guéant said the suspect, who has been surrounded by police in his house since early Wednesday, hasn't made contact with police negotiators since late last night and didn't react to several explosions launched by the police to rattle the man and force him from the property.

The lack of reaction is "weird," Mr. Guéant said...

Personally, I hope they get the guy and put him on trial. We need to expose the jihadi rot at the heart of Islam at every opportunity.





|| Greg, 04:38 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

An Observation On The Saints Suspensions

First, let me say that I completely agree with the approach taken by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Saints coach Sean Payton has been suspended for one year, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was suspended indefinitely, general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for eight regular-season games, the team was fined $500,000 and lost two second-round draft picks (one in 2012 and ’13) as a result of a bounty program conducted by the team during the 2009-11 seasons.

I'm particularly pleased that the NFL has released its evidence -- some half-million pages of documentation -- because of what it may lead to outside of the realm of sports. What am I talking about? Criminal prosecution.

Now when I first mentioned that concept to a friend of mine who played the game on the college level, he was a bit taken aback. He argued that the injuries that happened were just a part of the game. But then I pointed out where the criminal liability may enter into the matter -- these players were being paid to target players for injury. That moves it from acting within the agreed upon rules of the game of football into the area of criminal assault for hire, every bit as much as if I paid a two-bit hood to knee-cap my neighbor over a dispute.

And let's not get into the question of civil liability. Imagine a suit by Peyton manning, Brett Favre, or Andre Johnson -- NFL stars injured by the New Orleans Saints under this program -- against the players or coaches who participated in this bounty program. Or against the owners of the Saints, who failed to control and supervise their employees appropriately.

No, this one isn't over by a long shot -- if anyone chooses to follow this case to its logical end.





|| Greg, 04:34 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Lost In Translation

Over the years, I've spent a lot of time both reading and writing. One of the problems that arises, though, is that not everything I've needed has been written in English. After all, when you're studying history or politics or theology (not to mention literature), many of your sources are going to be written in some other language. Similarly, as a writer you may find that your audience is not entirely made up of those who know your language.

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Lost In Translation" »




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March 21, 2012

Good Dog!

Dos have a special place in my heart. I love my two sweet dogs (Poppi and Lydia), and still miss Carmie, who died last fall. So I just have to share this story of a little girl and her very special service dog.

Toddler Gets "Four-Legged Lifeline": MyFoxATLANTA.com

Good dog!





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Santorum Crushed In Illinois -- Loses County Where He Graduated High School

Remember -- Santorum forces kept saying that he was going to win Illinois. Turns out that wasn't the case.

Illinois Republicans delivered a decisive victory to Mitt Romney in the state's presidential primary Tuesday, crushing Rick Santorum in what amounted to the first big-state head-to-head contest among the front-runners for the GOP nomination.

With 98 percent of the state's precincts reporting, unofficial results showed the former Massachusetts governor with 47 percent of the vote to Santorum's 35 percent. The other two candidates in the race, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, made only token campaign efforts in Illinois and were trailing badly.

Even more important for Romney, he swamped Santorum by winning 39 of the 54 elected delegates up for grabs in the state. Santorum had only five, though votes were still being counted in several Downstate congressional districts where he ran strongest.

Given Santorum's (false) assertion that Romney can't break 35% of the vote total and the claim that Romney therefore can't seal the deal, I find it amusing that Santorum ended up with 35% of the vote. Care to talk to us about not sealing the deal, Rick? Especially since it appears that Romney won among moderates, conservatives, and Tea Party activists.

By the way -- Santorum could not even carry the county where he lived and went to high school.

LakeCountyResults.jpg

Shades of Santorum's 2006 senatorial defeat?





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March 20, 2012

Racist Sacks Of Crap Come Out Against Possibility Of White First Lady

The racist sack of crap making the comment is political hack-tor Robert DeNiro.

"Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?" De Niro asked a star-studded crowd gathered in the backroom of Locanda Verde, a restaurant he owns on Greenwich Street in TriBeCa.

Someone in the crowd shouted, "No!" as De Niro quickly added, "Too soon, right?"

Among the attendees at the gathering who did not walk out were racist sacks of crap Beyonce, her mother Tina Knowles, Star Jones, Whoopi Goldberg, Gayle King, Angela Bassett and Ben Stiller. And presiding over the event was Michelle Obama, who disgracefully failed to denounce the racist appeal on the spot, indicating that she is a racist sack of crap as well and utterly unfit to be First Lady.

Now I think Ann Romney and Karen Santorum are fine women, and either one would make a wonderful First Lady (though I have a serious problem with one of their husbands). Ron Paul’s wife Carol would make a great First Lady, were it not for the fact that her husband is a loon. I’m a bit less sanguine about the possibility of Callista Gingrich in that role, because of the way in which she and her husband carried on an adulterous affair for years (though I do think his response to these racist comments is magnificent).

But for those who cannot stand the notion of a white First Lady, let me offer some possibilities for you. Any one of them would be a better choice for a non-white First lady -- and all of them have spouses who are an improvement on the current President.

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Mrs. Columba Bush, wife of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

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Mrs. Supriya Jindal, wife of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

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Mrs. Jeanette Rubio, wife of Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

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Dr. Angela Graham West, wife of Florida Congressman Allen West.

And let me add one more to the mix.

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Mr. Chuck Franco, husband of New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

I mean, given that we could have an open/brokered/deadlocked convention in Tampa, the spouse of any one of these individuals could end up as the GOP nominee for President in August.

Or at least the GOP candidate for Vice President.





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Pimp My Dead Mom – Starring Barack Hussein Obama

It is really pathetic when someone lies about their dead mother to get elected. It is even more pathetic when, having been caught, they continue to lie about her.

But then again, Barack Obama is a really pathetic president.

Here’s how the Washington Post summarizes the claims in Barack Obama’s new propaganda film.

Now let’s look at what the movie does with this story. It does not directly repeat the claim that Obama’s mother was denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, fighting for treatment in her hospital room. But look at what it does say:

1. Hanks says the president knew the cost of waiting on reform. (Though disability coverage was not an issue in the health care debate.)

2. The president says cancer “drained all her resources.” (Health insurance paid for most of her bills, so this is not the case of someone being bankrupted by tens of thousands of dollars in bills. Her salary of $82,500 in 1995 was the equivalent of $123,000 today, but Scott says she had little savings.)

3. Michelle Obama says Dunham “never really had good, consistent insurance.” (It is unclear what she means by this, except maybe that Dunham had different jobs, some of which did not provide insurance. But Dunham had good health coverage when the cancer was discovered.)

4. The first lady also suggests the death “could have been prevented.” (Again, it was not an insurance issue. Before going overseas, Dunham was too busy with work and had skipped an important test recommended by her U.S. doctor, dilation and curettage, that might have spotted the cancer earlier. Then an Indonesian doctor diagnosed her problem as appendicitis and removed her appendix. By the time the cancer was finally discovered, it was third-stage.)

5. Hanks says that Obama’s family felt “the pressure of rising costs and the fear of being denied or dropped from coverage.” (Maybe for disability, but not health insurance.)

In the end, the impression left by the film, especially if you watch it (go to the 8:45 mark), is very similar to Obama’s 2008 campaign rhetoric: His mother was denied health-insurance coverage, draining her resources, and with better coverage she might have lived longer. The film suggests this experience helped inspire the president to keep fighting for the health care law, even in the face of advice from aides that he accept a less-than-satisfactory compromise.

The conclusion of the Washington Post? The film’s claims merit “Three Pinnochios” – “Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”

In other words, Barack Obama pimped out his dead mom for personal political gain, and did violence to the truth in the process. What a guy.





|| Greg, 03:14 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

About The Malia Obama Story

Ordinarily, I would agree that the press should keep its hands off the underage children of political figures – and generally off the adult children of political figures as well. And I don’t have a problem with the White House making such a request of the media. But that it did so in this case – and that the media just rolled over and complied – is troubling.

Here’s where the issue begins.

The AFP, the Huffington Post and other websites have scrubbed a report about first daughter Malia Obama's school trip.

On Monday, the AFP reported that Obama's daughter was on a school trip along with a number of friends and 25 Secret Service agents. The story was picked up by Yahoo, the Huffington Post, and the International Business Times, as well as UK publications like the Daily Mail and the Telegraph and other overseas publications like The Australian.

But on Monday night, the story had been removed from those sites .The AFP page for the story now links to a story titled "Senegal music star Youssou Ndour hits campaign trail," as does the Yahoo page. The Huffington Post page now links directly back to the Huffington Post homepage. The Daily Mail, Telegraph, and Australian stories now lead to 404 error pages, reading "page not found."

The International Business Times story also links to the IBT homepage, though a version of the original story still exists online.

It is sort of troubling that, once reported, the media would send news stories “down the memory hole”. But here’s where the real kicker comes in.

Kristina Schake, Communications Director to the First Lady, emails to confirm this was a White House effort:

From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest. We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.

But in this case, the story has real news value – news value that goes beyond prurient interest in the life of an adolescent girl. The American taxpayer is going to be shelling out a serious chunk of change to protect Malia and her classmates in a country that is currently wracked with violence and about which the State Department has issued travel advisories (though admittedly not for the area where these students will be traveling). As taxpayers, we have the right to know how our tax dollars are being spent, and to question whether or not this is a prudent use of those tax dollars. This is especially true given that the Obama family is noted for its frequent luxury vacations and the expenses incurred by the taxpayers as a result of transportation, staff, and security costs. Seems to me that “the most transparent administration in American history” is again indulging in its penchant for opacity.

Notice – I’m not setting up some sort of “wag the dog” scenario under which Obama might put his daughter in harms way in the hope of garnering sympathy votes at the cost of the lives of a few Secret Service personnel and a couple of Malia’s classmates. I’m not that cynical and don’t believe that the President is that evil – I believe he’s a good father who loves his children. I’m just troubled by the reality that the White House is asking the press to censor itself, that the press is complying, and that the American people are being shut out of what might be a reasonable issue for discussion in this time of tight personal budgets and high federal deficits.





|| Greg, 03:07 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Does Rick Santorum Need To Be Reminded He Is Running For President Rather Than Pope?

Quick -- somebody remind him that it isn't pope. His choice of Secret Service code name leads me to think it isn't clear to the former Pennsylvania Senator

GQ can reveal the names chosen by the top two GOPers: according to multiple campaign sources, Mitt Romney elected to call himself "Javelin." And Rick Santorum chose "Petrus."

The use of code words to refer to candidates are a throwback to the era when Secret Service and White House Communications Agency communications were not encrypted. The tradition has stuck around. The only real rule the Service has is that the word chosen be comprehensible over the radio and not be similar to someone's else's. That's why code names tend to have two or three strong syllables.

It's tempting to associate a candidate's code word with some aspect of their personality. Sometimes this is true and sometimes it is not. "Petrus" is a biblical allusion—as in St. Peter, the first pope. (The Latin name is derived from the Greek word for "rock.") Perhaps "Javelin" is a reference to the '60s muscle car made by American Motors Corporation, the company once run by George Romney.

Maybe it is four years of Catholic high school education (at the same high school as Rick Santorum, only a couple of years behind him), but I immediately recognized that reference -- tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam -- "You are Peter and upon this Rock I will build my Church". That passage from scripture is central to the claim of papal supremacy (and, ultimately, infallibility) within the Catholic Church. Does Rick Santorum need to be reminded that he is running for the presidency, not the papacy?

By the way -- I think that Romney's is a neat choice. And I wonder -- is Gingrich's code name "Lecher"?





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March 18, 2012

Educators Acting Badly Force Kids To Write Political Propaganda

As a teacher, I don't know whether I'm more outraged at the teacher who gave this assignment or the superintendent who is defending it.

Freshman Republican lawmaker Mike Stone says his daughter was “used against” him when a public school teacher instructed her and her classmates to contact elected officials in opposition to budget cuts.

The result: a hand-written note imploring Stone to “put the buget (sic) higher dad” so that her school wouldn’t have to forgo field trips, be unprepared for end-of-grade tests, and lay off teachers.

“The truth of the matter is, they baited my daughter on what to write,” said Stone, who represents Lee County in the North Carolina House. “It was totally inappropriate for an 8-year old to be used as a lobbyist in Raleigh.”

The Republican-controlled General Assembly passed a $19.6-billion budget last week that restored some funding to public schools, including preserving teacher assistant jobs, but Democrats have blasted the spending plan for its cuts and implored Gov. Bev Perdue to veto it.

Lee County superintendent Jeffrey Moss said that the writing assignment at Tramway Elementary was appropriate and only directed students to write their state representative, senator, and the governor “in support of public education.”

“It was not budget-specific except to say that they support funding public education. That was the theme,” Moss said.

Moss added that the assignment was given prior to the budget being passed, and that each student sent a separate email or letter.

The exercise “encompasses a lot of skills that today’s graduates should be able to replicate in the workforce, according to the employers I’ve talked with,” Moss said.

Let's look at this.

Eight-year-old students are being told to write a letter about a complex political issue. They include in the letters facts and figures that were fed to them from somewhere -- no child that age knew the details independently. They were expected to regurgitate the political position that was given to them by their teacher. In this teacher's book, that is professional malpractice.

And then the superintendent argues that the students were expected to write "in support of public education". Well, that is, in and of itself, a requirement that the students adopt a given side of a political issue -- and whether the letter in question was in favor of public education would be determined by the teacher.

Imagine what would have happened if a kid had written in support of tuition vouchers so that he or she could escape public schools. Would that kid have received a passing grade? I'm thinking of the kid whose father lost his job and therefore had to leave the Christian school he or she had attended the year before because the family could no longer afford tuition. Would that child have been told that his or her work was unacceptable despite showing mastery of "skills that today’s graduates should be able to replicate in the workforce" because the position was contrary to that the assignment mandated.

Now you might think that no educator would ever engage in such viewpoint discrimination, and that there would never be retaliation by teachers for not being sufficiently supportive of public education. Think again.

Here is a sincere question: Why have the good people of Rochester, N.Y., failed to tar and feather school superintendent Bolgen Vargas as a prelude to running him out of town on a rail?

Mr. Vargas is fortunate enough to have in his charge one Jada Williams, a 13-year-old eighth grader who voluntarily took on some difficult extra work: reading Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life and writing an essay on the subject. Frederick Douglass is dangerous reading, truly radical stuff. Miss Williams, like most of the students in her dysfunctional school, is black. Most of the people being paid to go through the motions of teaching them are white. Coming across the famous passage in which Douglass quotes the slavemaster Auld, Miss Williams was startled by the words: “If you teach that nigger (speaking of myself) how to read, there will be no keeping him. It will forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master.” The situation seemed to her familiar, and her essay was a blistering indictment of the failures of the largely white faculty of her school: “When I find myself sitting in a crowded classroom where no real instruction is taking place I can say history does repeat itself.”

Her teacher was so offended by the essay that she circulated copies of it to the rest of the faculty and to the principal. Miss Williams, an A student, suddenly began to receive Ds. According to accounts, her mother received harassing telephone calls from teachers who suggested that she was in some way disturbed rather than merely observant. She was forced eventually to withdraw from the school and enroll in an even worse one. (The Blaze has more.)

Best practices in education -- which I strive to follow -- require that students be able to take any side of an issue if they are expected to express support or opposition to an idea. Unfortunately, viewpoint discrimination is alive and well in our public schools. I've seen it -- several years back a student of mine failed a biology test because he refused to affirm a personal belief in evolution in an essay which required students to explain why they believed evolution was correct. Parents and students can and do win such battles (this kid's family did - administrators noted that the kid explained why evolution supporters make that claim in addition to supplying reasons why he did not accept evolution, thereby demonstrating mastery of the information), but it does take time and effort. And sadly, too many "educational professionals" believe that their job is to teach kids what to think, not how to think.





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Watcher's Council Results

Here are this week’s full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!





|| Greg, 09:42 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Will Dems Differentiate Themselves From Alec Baldwin; Will Obama Call Inhofe?

After all, Baldwin called Senator Inhofe a whore, and directed a homophobic insult at him as well.

Alecbaldwintweet-550x411[1].jpg

If Obama doesn't make denounce Baldwin (and Matthew Modine as well) and call Senator Inhofe to commiserate over the insult, it is indicative of one (or more) of a couple of things.

But let's make one thing clear -- Obama and the Democrats are about many things, but civility isn't one of them.





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March 16, 2012

Is Richard Lugar Legally US Senator From Indiana?

Not an abstract question.

Sen. Dick Lugar has been ruled ineligible to vote in Indiana by a county election board.

The partisan vote by the Marion County Election Board was 2-1.

The Indianapolis Star has the alert.

The commission ruled that the six-term senator was guilty of a non-criminal election violation and that he has abandoned his residency in Indianapolis.

In order to register to vote in the primary, Lugar will need to establish a new residency by April 9, according to a Republican operative tracking the case.

Now if Richard Lugar abandoned his residency in Indianapolis, of what location in Indiana is he a resident? And if he does not have an Indiana residence, doesn't this create a problem under the US Constitution?

Article I, Section 3, Clause 3 -- No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

Now if Lugar is no longer an Indiana resident, does he qualify as an inhabitant of the state? Clearly not. And if he ceases to be a resident of the state during his term of office, does the requirement that he be an inhabitant at the time of election implicitly mandate that he be removed from office if he ceases to be an inhabitant of the state? That isn't clear -- but it is a question that merits examination by the courts immediately.





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Looks Like Osama And I Agreed On Something

No, not that Obama should be assassinated -- I am unambiguously against that.

Rather, the terrorist leader believed, as I do now, that the best way to screw America up even more would be to make Joe Biden President.

Before his death, Osama bin Laden boldly commanded his network to organize special cells in Afghanistan and Pakistan to attack the aircraft of President Obama and Gen. David H. Petraeus.

“The reason for concentrating on them,” the al-Qaeda leader explained to his top lieutenant, “is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make [Vice President] Biden take over the presidency. . . . Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis. As for Petraeus, he is the man of the hour . . . and killing him would alter the war’s path” in Afghanistan.

The major difference between bin Laden and I is that I pray for Obama's health and safety nightly and have encouraged every American who loves this country to do so. After all, the words "President Biden" should send a chill through the heart of everyone who loves America.





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March 15, 2012

Who Cares If Player "Taunted" President?

This is the United States of America. We have an elected president, not a hereditary divine-right king. We have a First Amendment that protects our right to speak freely -- including to speak disrespectfully about or to the president. Regardless of the views of third-rate sports writers.

The dictionary.com definitions of "taunt" including the following: as a verb, "to reproach in a sarcastic, insulting, or jeering manner; mock" and "to provoke by taunts; twit"; as a noun, "an insulting gibe or sarcasm; scornful reproach or challenge."

Note that the definition does not include: "to make eye contact." Unfortunately, Yahoo sportswriter Graham Watson's dictionary apparently does. Even though all Mississippi Valley State guard Kevin Burwell did after making a three-point shot was look over at President Obama and (according to the broadcasters, not Watson) make eye contact for what could hardly have been more than a half-second, Watson turned it into a "taunt," and even seemed to pin the blame for MVSU's loss on Burwell:

Mississippi Valley State guard Kevin Burwell learned a hard lesson Tuesday night that taunting the leader of the free world brings nothing but trouble.

Early in the second half of the Devils' "first four" game against Western Kentucky, Burwell dribbled to the corner where President Barack Obama and his guest, British Prime Minister David Cameron, were taking in the game and jacked up a 3-pointer. When the shot found the bottom of the net, Burwell turned to the president and taunted him.

Not a smart move with Secret Service hovering, but Burwell was responding to Obama's halftime comment that both teams were "shooting terribly." To Obama's credit, the two teams had combined to shoot 24 percent for the first half.

Now please understand -- none of the other sports reporters and commentators present saw the "taunting" that Watson alleges, so I could probably write a whole piece on the concept of "projection", or perhaps "fantasy". But there is something even more troubling in Watson's words.

As Americans, we have the right to speak disrespectfully to or about the President of the United States. We certainly have the right to look at the man in a disrespectful, disdainful, or insulting manner. Heck, by any reasonable definition that would be a part of "dissent", which the supposedly loyal Left insisted was the "highest form of patriotism" when they disparaged President George W. Bush during the last administration. Giving Obama the "evil eye" doesn't even come close to that which was directed at his predecessor.

And more to the point, the notion advanced by Watson that somehow the Secret Service could or should have intervened because Burwell dared to glare at Obama? Is this America? Are we not free? Is Obama entitled to greater deference than all his predecessors because of the color of his skin and his affirmative action Nobel Peace Prize? Seems to me that Graham Watson needs a remedial course on the First Amendment -- and Americanism.





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March 14, 2012

Remember -- When Liberals Call For Diversity, They Mean "Don't You Dare Express Views Different From Us!"

Demonstrated yet again.

NORTHFIELD, Mass. — As historic school campuses go, the one in this rural New England town is just about perfect, with pretty buildings of brick and stone scattered along a gentle hill.

So when word went out this winter that the owners were looking to give the campus away, the response was swift and deep. But there is a catch: the owners, a wealthy evangelical family from Oklahoma, will donate it only to a Christian institution.

In a part of the country where organized religion is on the wane, that makes some residents of the town and alumni of Northfield Mount Hermon, the prep school that owned the campus until 2009, nervous about just what kind of institution will move in. One candidate, in particular, has stirred an outcry: Liberty University, the evangelical institution in Virginia founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

More than 1,000 alumni of Northfield Mount Hermon have signed a petition calling Liberty “an extremist, homophobic and intellectually narrow institution” that clashes with the values of D. L. Moody, an evangelist who opened a school for girls on the property, his birthplace, in 1879.

“Whoever comes in there should have views consistent with the legacy of the place,” said John Howley, a Northfield Mount Hermon alumnus and former trustee who signed the petition, which is addressed to the chairman of the school’s board of trustees. He described Moody as a promoter of “big-tent” Christianity. “We don’t want it to go to a place that is not open-minded, not willing to listen to the views of others,” he said.

Git that? They don't want the property going to anyone who has different views than they do. So much for diversity of thought and tolerance of different points of view. Seems pretty close-minded to me, and demonstrative of an unwillingness to listen to the views of others. In other words, the opponents of Liberty University are themselves the very things that they claim makes Liberty University unworthy of the property. But they no doubt think themselves quite tolerant.





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Has Egypt Abrogated The Camp David Accords?

Not an unreasonable question, given this vote in Egypt's legislature.

The Islamist dominated Egyptian parliament voted unanimously on March 12 to expel Israel's ambassador, recall Egypt's ambassador to Israel and to halt gas exports to Israel.

To vote took the form of an overwhelming endorsement of a report by the Egyptian Parliament's Arab affairs committee that declared “Revolutionary Egypt will never be a friend, partner or ally of the Zionist entity (Israel), which we consider to be the number one enemy of Egypt and the Arab nation. It will deal with that entity as an enemy, and the Egyptian government is hereby called upon to review all its relations and accords with that enemy.” The report also endorsed what it called Palestinian resistance “in all its kinds and forms”....in other words, terrorism against Israeli civilians.

Given that the Camp David Accords established peace and diplomatic relations between Israel and Egypt, it would seem that this was the intent of the vote. And if this is the case, does this not mean that the US aid that is contained within the treaty is no longer warranted? Will President Obama act to cut that money off immediately due to the change in circumstances? or will he continue to side with islamists against Israel





|| Greg, 08:28 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Will Democrats "Differentiate" Themselves From Chris Matthews? Will NBC Punish Him?

This is pure bigotry -- easily more offensive than anything that was said by Rush about Sandra Fluke.

"They've got three RCs, or two RCs- two Roman Catholics- running and a Mormon, so three cultists running, and they gotta pick one of the three cultists, as they see them."

First, this is not 1960. Surely a Boston Catholic like Matthews knows that evangelicals and other Protestants -- even in the South -- have been quite willing to vote for Catholics for president since at least that date. And given the number of Catholics who have been elected to high office in the South -- Governor, Senator, etc -- that whole "cultist" jab towards Catholics is absurd. And if 1960 didn't do it, consider that the Moral Majority and other social conservative groups have been bringing Catholics and evangelicals together to advance issues since before Ronald Reagan was elected and you see that the accusation that evangelicals have a problem with Catholics is just plain silly -- regardless of the theological divide that separates believers on both sides.

Second, we've got plenty of evidence of where the anti-Mormon bigotry lies in our political system.

mormonvote.jpg

Yeah, that's right -- it is among Democrats! Republicans don't have nearly the bias against voting for a Mormon that Democrats do. And if we consider that Democrats are least likely to vote for a Mormon, and that Protestants and Southerners somewhat less likely to vote for a Mormon, we can draw a conclusion that the Southerners who have a problem casting such a vote are Protestant Democrats from the South -- a group that is not predominantly white and evangelical, but that is instead African-American. But Chris Matthews wants to put the onus of bigotry on white evangelical southern Republicans -- members of groups that Matthews has long showed a bias against.

So we need to be outraged -- at Chris Matthews and the liberals who enable him to continue to spew bigotry. We need to make such hate mongering unacceptable in our society -- and we need to start with Chris Matthews, who is a life-long Democrat, a long-time staffer for Democrat politicians, and an apologist for Barack Obama and his administration since day one.





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

March 13, 2012

CNN Runs False Propaganda Piece By Contraceptive Sponge

Sandra Fluke, who believes she has a human right to sponge off the American people rather than spend $9 a month for her contraceptives, was given another challenge-free opportunity to make her fact-free case for overriding the First Amendment rights of Americans of faith over at CNN.com.

Last month, students from several Catholic universities gathered to send a message to the nation that contraception is basic health care. I was among them, and I was proud to share the stories of my friends at Georgetown Law who have suffered dire medical consequences because our student insurance does not cover contraception for the purpose of preventing pregnancy.

So let's make this clear -- this is not about access to birth control. By Fluke's own admission, this is about forcing those with religious and moral objections to paying for birth control to do so despite their desire to exercise their First Amendment rights to freely practice their religion. Rather than pay $9 a month at Target or Walmart (or go a few blocks to that Planned Parenthood clinic which might even provide it to them for even less), Sandra Fluke and her fellow contraceptive sponges want to get their birth control for free. So much for keeping the government out of the sex lives of Americans.

But later on in the piece, after lamenting that some Americans might use other parts of their First Amendment rights to oppose her crusade to limit the rights of Americans of faith, this long-time left-wing activist who is represented by a former Obama Administration official and who dates the son of a million-dollar Democrat donor puts forth the following lie.

In fact, more than 60% of Americans support this regulation and affordable access to contraception, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

Actually, that is two lies in one.

First, the Kaiser Family Foundation leans Left, and is a long-time supporter of expanded government involvement in health care. It was a major supporter of ObamaCare. That is no surprise, given that the organization originated from a major managed care company.

Second, while the self-serving KFF poll may indeed show support for the president's birth control mandate, consider that later polls show something quite different --namely that most Americans believe that the government should not be forcing religious organizations to violate their beliefs by paying for birth control, and even that non-religious employers should be permitted to opt out of such coverage.

Clearly the American people have greater respect for the First Amendment than Ms. Fluke. But then again, that is no surprise, given that Ms. Fluke chose to enroll at Georgetown law in the first place so that she could work to force her religious beliefs on an institution founded upon and operated according to religious beliefs that she opposes.

Which makes Fluke's concluding sentence a farce.

I am proud to stand with the millions of women and men who recognize that our government should legislate according to the reality of our lives -- not for ideology.

That a woman whose entire claim to fame is her effort to impose her ideology on others to demand that ideology not be the basis for policymaking is not merely a joke -- it is the height of hypocrisy. After all, Sandra Fluke is an ideologue seeking to have her ideology legislated upon the rest of us.

And by the way -- it won't just be contraception that Americans of faith will be forced to pay for under the new health care mandate. The Obama Regime has now determined that you will be paying for abortion as well- despite promises by Democrat leaders from the president on down that abortion would not be covered under the president's legislation. It won't be long until your church is required to pay for abortions for all church employees in the church insurance plan.

So let's be clear on this -- there is no "war on women". As my blogger buddy over at Urban Grounds notes (in language a bit more pointed than I would use) in response to someone claiming such a war exists over on Twitter:

Dear Ms. Bambi (or any of her fellow War on Womyn comrades): What choices have you had taken away?


  • Are you still able to get your abortions? Yes, you are. And, if you go to Planned Parenthood’s baby-killing factory, you can even get them tax-payer subsidized.

  • Are you still able to get the contraception of your choice, whether that be rubbers or birth control pills? Are you still able to walk into a CVS and buy a pack of rubbers without anybody stopping you?

  • Are you still able to go home and then have sex with whomever you choose (assuming they are of a legally consenting age and also happen to consent)? And then also choose to use (or not use) which ever contraceptive device you chose?

  • As far as I know, we still let you womyn folks drive cars and vote, too, right?

  • Womyn college graduates now outnumber male graduates 3 to 2, so it looks like you have ample educational choices at your disposal.

  • Other than NFL football player and President of the United States, there are no jobs that you are barred from. So the choice of jobs is still yours…even if it is in a traditionally female role of ”teacher.”

The truth is, sweetie, that there is no War on Womyn. Except for in your perpetually-outraged and eternal-victimhood mindset.

However, there is certainly a war on religious freedom being directed out of the White House itself. It is time for all Americans of good will to demand that the Obama respect the First Amendment -- and that he begin by putting an end to this to force religious Americans to burn incense before the altar of birth control and abortion despite their religious beliefs to the contrary.

H/T Gateway Pundit





|| Greg, 11:51 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Justice Department Violates Civil Rights Of Americans

Let's accept, for the moment, that Eric Holder is correct when he asserts that voter ID laws violate the civil rights of minorities (never mind that the Supreme Court has ruled to the contrary in 2008) because of a disparate impact on minorities and the potential for limiting their right to vote because minorities are less likely to have a photo ID.

If the Attorney General is correct, how on earth can he justify this practice of the Department of Justice?

The tyranny of the photo ID is so all-encompassing that people can’t enter Holder’s own Justice Department without showing one.

Now last time I checked. the First Amendment of the US Constitution reads as follows.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Now consider what that requirement to present a photo ID in order to enter a government building to conduct business with a major department of the Executive Branch does. It limits the ability to petition the government -- because you are not able to personally enter the building to speak with government officials and conduct lawful business if you do not present a photo ID. It limits your ability as an individual to personally petition that branch for a redress of grievances, and to assemble as apart of a group seeking to do so. What's more, as Mr. Holder has indicated, it imposes a more significant burden upon minorities than it does upon white people.

I'm therefore compelled to ask -- when will Eric Holder act to strike down this racist limit on the rights of all Americans -- but especially racial minorities -- to exercise their civil rights by entering the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in Washington, D.C.? Or is Eric Holder an Uncle Tom who only cares about the civil rights of minorities when they serve the interests of his white masters (or, in the case of President Obama, half-white) in the Democrat Party, but not when his own Department of Justice imposes Jim Crow photo ID requirements?

H/T Betsy's Page





|| Greg, 09:47 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 12, 2012

Words Of Wisdom From The Thirtieth President Of The United States

“About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction cannot lay any claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.”

Calvin Coolidge – July 5, 1926

President Coolidge was absolutely right -- and these words show why those who label themselves partisans of "progress" beyond the founding principles of the Declaration of Independence and who would therefore insist upon a "living Constitution" that has moved beyond those founding principles are not seeking progress at all. Rather, they seek regression to a society in which some are "more equal" than others who are "less equal", in which some have more rights than others, and in which those who govern do so without the consent of the citizenry. However noble they may believe their motives to be, the reality of the program of these would-be philosopher-kings is the rejection of the Enlightenment principles upon which our nation established itself as free and independent, and a return to the Dark Ages in which a self-propagating handful lorded over those they considered to be their inferiors.

H/T Noisy Room





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NFL Must Denounce Bear's Coach Lovie Smith

Here's what the racist SOB had to say.

Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith wants African-Americans to “be patient and look into the future,” setting aside any disappointment in President Obama to actively support his campaign for a second term.

“Our future’s looking bright, because I trust the man who’s leading us. And that man is Barack Obama,” Smith, 53, says in a new Obama campaign Web video to promote the group African-Americans for Obama.

“I have the president’s back, and it’s up to us as African-Americans to show that we have his back also.”

Imagine what would happen if a white player or coach stepped forward and announced that "it's up to us as white people" to have the back of Obama's white challenger and should work to defeat Obama of his race. there would be demands that the candidate in question denounce that individual. and that the league permanently ban him.

And forget the league -- since Lovie Smith was speaking as an official surrogate for an arm of the Obama campaign, when will the Kenyan's son be formally and officially be "differentiating himself" from this latest racist associate?





|| Greg, 08:32 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Another Good Reason For A Brokered/Open/Deadlocked Convention -- Peyton Manning For President

We could always get this exciting new candidate into the race.

Townhall reader Mark Hallyburton had the ingenious idea to try to preemptively recruit supporters for a Peyton Manning 2012 presidential campaign — so, when Peyton declares, he’ll already have a potential donor list at his disposal. To that end, Hallyburton created a website, “Peyton for President,” and started the Twitter hashtag #peyton4pres.

“This is not a joke,” the website declares. “This is a plea: America, stand up and do something historic.”

He's got lots of leadership experience, has had great success in everything he's tried his hand at, has high positives, low negatives, and is every bit as clean-cut as Romney and Santorum -- certainly more so than serial polygamist Newt Gingrich and neo-Nazi hero Ron Paul.

What's more, he might be the only Republican presidential candidate I could ever persuade my wife to vote for.





|| Greg, 08:11 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Does DOJ Objection To Texas Voter ID Law Justify Racial Profiling Of Hispanic Drivers?

I'm not advocating for such profiling, but I do have to ask the question based upon this report.

The Justice Department's civil rights division on Monday objected to a new photo ID requirement for voters in Texas because many Hispanic voters lack state-issued identification.

* * *

In a letter to Texas officials that was also filed in the court case in Washington, the Justice Department said Hispanic voters in Texas are more than twice as likely than non-Hispanic voters to lack a driver's license or personal state-issued photo ID. The department said that even the lowest estimates showed about half of Hispanic registered voters lack such identification.

Implicit in this is that Hispanic drivers are more likely than non-Hispanics to lack a driver's license. Indeed, it would appear that over half of Hispanic drivers are driving illegally in this state. Would it therefore be proper for law enforcement to presume that a given Hispanic behind the wheel does not have a driver's license and is therefore operating that motor vehicle in violation of the law, because of the statistics confirmed by the federal government? After all, it appears the Obama Administration has just indicated that most Hispanic drivers are law-breakers when it comes to motor vehicle operation. Where are the Hispanic groups on this matter?





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March 11, 2012

Watcher's Council Results

Here are this week’s full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

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

March 10, 2012

A Blast From The Past On Gas Prices

I love how this 2008 Republican video fits just right with today's gasoline price reality.

Of course, I remember being a kid in the back seat of our baby blue Rambler station wagon and watching dad give the attendant a $5.00 bill and getting change back -- after the guy checked our oil, wiper fluid, tire pressure and pumped our gas.





|| Greg, 10:58 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

NetJets Sued Because 1%-er Warren Buffett Refuses To Pay His Fair Share Of Taxes

I don't know if this is hypocritically shameless or shamelessly hypocritical.

NetJets Inc., the private-plane company owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), was countersued by the U.S. over $366 million in taxes and penalties.

* * *

NetJets Aviation Inc. owes more than $302.1 million, and another unit, NetJets International, is liable for $52.9 million, the U.S. said. Executive Jet Management Inc. owes $10 million while NetJets Large Aircraft owes $1.19 million, the U.S. claimed.

Warren Buffett needs to be the patriot he claims to be, get out his checkbook and pay this in full immediately. Or is it only patriotic to say you pay too little and call for increases on someone else -- all while attempting to dodge paying what the government says you do owe?





|| Greg, 10:34 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Where Are The Protests From Atheists, Church-State Separationists On White House Organizing Prayer Vigil For ObamaCare?

After all, this is the White House organizing religious activities.

On Wednesday, White House officials summoned dozens of leaders of nonprofit organizations that strongly back the health law to help them coordinate plans for a prayer vigil, press conferences and other events outside the court when justices hear arguments for three days beginning March 26.

Of course, the atheist and separationist groups are all on the Obama side of the political divide, so they will remain silent and feign ignorance of the use of public money to coordinate religious activities in an attempt to subvert the impartial operation of the judicial process for political purposes.

But add to this bit of information the reality that the Kenyan's Son himself has come out in favor of suppressing the religious liberties of communities of faith that dissent from any portion of ObamaCare and we have to call this what it really is -- a de facto attempt to establish a government endorsed and controlled religion and to marginalize people of faith who refuse to knuckle under to the dictates of the Red Chinese model of state-dictated faith.





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

March 09, 2012

How Barack Obama Messed Up My Date Night

It is the most wonderful time of the year down here in Houston -- rodeo season. It was with great anticipation that I slogged through the final day of teaching before Spring Break, knowing that in only a few hours my Darling Democrat and I would be securing the Apolitical Pooches in their kennels so we could have a date night at RodeoHouston, where after the epic battle of man vs. farm animal we would be treated to a concert by Reba McEntire. Little did I know what was coming.

I knew, of course, about the planned fundraising visit by the Kenyan's Son -- but I took the news reports at face value.

President Barack Obama will be in Houston Friday afternoon and evening for fundraising events downtown and in River Oaks, and drivers may experience some delays due to road closures as the he travels through the city.

The president expected to arrive at Ellington Airport at 4:40 p.m. and depart at 9:10. His motorcade could tie up the Gulf Freeway inbound during rush hour, then outbound later in the evening. Rainy weather may worsen the delays.

* * *

“I can’t really go into specifics regarding the road closures,” said Cynthia Marble, special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service Houston field office. “I can just tell you that the Secret Service along with our HPD counterparts are going to do whatever we can to minimize the impact on Houston citizens.”

The problem is, King Hussein of Chicago's travel plans blocked virtually every arterial highway and many major roads in SE Harris County and Houston. So despite leaving my home with three alternative routes and nearly three hours before the start of an event just over 45 minutes away from the house, I still found myself sitting in traffic for Obama two hours later. Apparently Air Force One couldn't land because of a heavy band of rain, and the Secret Service chose to keep the roads closed during that time (and during a meet and greet with VIPs at Ellington Field) rather than let the peasants get on along their way.

By this time, my Darling Democrat's arthritis had flared up so bitterly from the cold and damp that her medication was no longer touching the aches caused by the long time trapped in the car in the chilly damp weather. The result was s decision as upsetting as it was necessary -- we found a route home that allowed her to be bundled up warm and snug in her bed less than 30 minutes later. So much for our date and those seats in Section 340 at Reliant Stadium.

Thanks a lot, Mr. President -- I can forgive you for incompetently screwing up our country for the last three years, but I won't forgive you for screwing up a fun night with my wife. I can honestly say that I despise you in a way I never thought was possible. After all, politics is only politics - my wife is more precious to me than anything else and it cut deep to see her disappointed and hurting because of you. It is my hope that you -- as a man and as a husband -- understand exactly what I mean.





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Will The World Condemn This As Genocide?

Or will this be viewed as just another peculiarity of "the Religion of Peace"?

A Nigeria spokesman for the Islamist militant group Boko Haram told Bikyamasr.com on Tuesday afternoon that the group has plans to begin kidnapping Christian women in a push to “liquidate” the religious group from the country.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the spokesman said that “we are going to put into action new efforts to strike fear into the Christians of the power of Islam by kidnapping their women.”

He added that they would not sexually assault or harm the women, “but we will demand as ransom that the families leave our Islamic areas.”

Of course, the disclaimer that they won't "sexually assault or harm the women" is a farce. It is likely that instead they will be subjected to the treatment of women from the Coptic community in Egypt -- held against their will, forced into a "marriage" and coerced to convert to Islam.





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Gloria Allred Seeks To Criminalize Speech

UPDATE: I apparently made a particularly heinous typo in the original version of this post. It was not my intention to use the offensive term, and I offer my apologies to any offended readers and to the members of the Women’s Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund at whom I unintentionally directed the slur.

* * *

Proving, in fact, that Gloria is truly "all Red" in her politics.

Gloria Allred has sent a letter to Denise Nieman, the County Prosecutor in West Palm Beach, Florida, on behalf of the Women’s Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund, asking for an investigation into whether Rush Limbaugh violated Florida defamation law when he called Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.” Allred cites Section 836.04 of Florida Statute, which says that “whoever speaks of and concerning any woman, married or unmarried, falsely and maliciously imputing to her a want of chastity, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.”

“Mr. Limbaugh has publicly acknowledged that his reference to Ms. Fluke as a ‘slut’ and ‘prostitute’ were baseless and false,” Allred writes. “In view of the fact that Mr. Limbaugh resides in your county and allegedly made the false statements concerning Ms. Fluke in your county as well, this letter is directed to your office.”

I can't help but be struck by a number of things.

First, isn't it odd that a group calling itself the Women’s Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund would be appealing to an archaic statute that gives women special privileges based upon their being the weaker sex?

Why is it that the twits with the Women’s Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund have never gone after a liberal who has used such degrading language towards a conservative woman?

And the biggest question -- why do Gloria All-Red and the Women’s Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund hate the First Amendment?

OTHERS COMMENTING -- Hot Air, Fire Andrea Mitchell, Pink Flamingo, Volokh Conspiracy, Gateway Pundit





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March 08, 2012

Joe The Plumber Gets One Right

It is a dumb question -- and Samuel Wurzelbacher nails the questioner with his response.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN -- CNN ANCHOR: And what do you think, or how do you think that qualifies you to run for Congress?

WURZELBACHER: (Laughs) What qualifies me – one, I'm an American citizen. Two, you know, I'm very much involved in the process of what's going on. I guess my question would be, what qualifies the current politicians who are killing our country, Republicans and Democrats alike. I'm sorry, it just seems like a silly question.

The Framers envisioned the House of Representatives as "the people's house" It was intended to be a body composed of ordinary Americans whose concerns would be reflected there. Seems to me that Joe the Plumber is certainly more in keeping with the sort of person they would have expected there than the sort of elites that Zoraida Sambolin thinks ought to be elected.





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Democrats Vote Against Lower Gas Prices, Independence From Middle Eastern Oil

Remember in November.

The Senate rejected controversial Republican measures Thursday that would approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, expand offshore drilling into new waters and delay environmental regulations for industrial and commercial boilers.

On party-line votes, the Senate turned down the measures, which came in the form of amendments to a bill that would reauthorize surface-transportation programs for two fiscal years. The rejection of the amendments, though expected, served to starve Republicans of energy-policy victories, especially on a pipeline they have used as an election-year rallying cry.

Got that -- the vote was based upon electoral considerations, not the needs of the American people. Barack Obama has been fighting for this outcome -- so we will keep paying the Obama Reelection Tax until these enemies of the American consumer are voted out of office.





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March 07, 2012

Will May 29 Be The Real Super Tuesday?

While yesterday’s Super Tuesday results were good for Mitt Romney and not catastrophic for either Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, they were not decisive. Why not? Because the festivities did not involve e Texas, as would have ordinarily been the case.

The reality is that the judicial intervention in what ought to be the strictly legislative process of redistricting resulted in the postponement of the Texas primary – originally to April and no until the last Tuesday in May. That meant that the biggest Super Tuesday prize was off the table – and will not be parceled out for another twelve weeks – when 153 delegates will be proportionally awarded by the Lone Star State.

Which leads us to the precarious nature of Romney’s march to the nomination.

Consider this: if Mitt wins every remaining all-or-nothing state but one, and half of the remaining proportional delegates, he would likely still fall short of the magic nomination number of 1,144—which would force him to rely on unpledged delegates, the Republican version of the infamous Democratic super-delegates in 2008, to claim his party’s mantle.

Even if Mitt somehow won every delegate in every coming contest, he still wouldn’t clinch the nomination until Oregon’s primary on May 15.

And if Romney musters only 40 percent of the proportional delegates going forward—equivalent to his share of the popular vote total to date—it would mean the first Republican race undecided when the convention opened in a generation.

In other words, one or more of Romney’s opponents may be able to slice off enough delegates down here in Texas to keep the front-runner from securing the nomination on the first ballot in Tampa. On the other hand, a sufficiently robust performance among Lone Star Republicans could secure him the nomination by powering him on to victory in California, New Jersey, and the handful of remaining states after Texas votes. It will all come down to how Romney and his opponents perform in a state which has sent Ron Paul to Congress for years AND where Rick Perry still has considerable popularity.

And consider as well the reality of Romney failing to close the deal in Texas – on the second ballot, delegates are free to vote as they see fit. That would leave an opening for Santorum or Gingrich – or a new candidate to emerge in August – to wheel and deal their way into the nomination by means of strategic deals to secure the necessary delegates.

But it all depends on what happens on a day in May in Texas.





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Enough Of Stupid Comments About "The Establishment" Trying To "Anoint" A Candidate

I'm serious -- anyone who tries to make the argument that thee is some effort by "the GOP Establishment" to "anoint" a nominee over the objections of the party's base is so unserious as to be worthy of dismissal by all listeners.

Take, for example, my state's governor, whose candidacy failed because of his own inadequacies rather than any conspiracy by "elites" to keep him from getting the nomination.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry thinks that the Republican presidential race is still wide open and warned Republican elites Tuesday not to try to “anoint” a nominee.

“That’s not the way America works,” the former GOP presidential candidate said in an interview on Fox News.

Perry, who endorsed former rival Newt Gingrich after dropping out of the 2012 race, said that Super Tuesday “wasn’t a super night for anyone.”

Perry said there were “nice wins for each” of the leading candidates, but said it was clear that frontrunner Mitt Romney is having trouble “being able to close the sale,” particularly in the South.

“There is no any candidates who brings everything,” he conceded.

My I point out that "the elite" is not in charge of the process -- the voters are. And if we look at the numbers, the voters -- not "the GOP Establishment" -- have thus far given Gov. Romney more than twice the votes of any of his rivals for the nomination. As a result he has more than double the number of delegates than Sen. Santorum, more than triple those won by Speaker Gingrich, and seven or eight times the number garnered by Congressman Ron Paul. The "elite" of the "GOP Establishment" apparently don't need to do a thing -- Romney seems to be doing a damn fine job of winning the nomination all by himself.

What's more, to the degree that there are going to be calls for candidates to drop out of the race, it won't be "the Establishment" making them -- it will be Santorum and the Tea Party trying to prevail upon Newt Gingrich to make way so that the Not-Romney vote can unite behind a single candidate.

Oh -- let me offer this little aside to Gov. Perry. Rick, you have been on the state payroll for over a quarter century as an elected official. You have spent the last dozen years as governor of our state. You are drawing a paycheck and a retirement check while serving as governor. You, sir, are the consummate elite insider in the GOP Establishment. And let it be noted that you were roundly rejected by voters. That ought to tell you what your opinion is worth to us.





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Barack Obama Declares That Only Liberal Women Are Good Citizens Who Don't Deserve To Be Attacked Or Called Foul Names

That's the only possible conclusion here based upon Obama's answer to a question at yesterday's press conference.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. Do you think Rush Limbaugh’s apology to the Georgetown Law student was sufficient and heartfelt? Do you agree with the decision of the growing number of sponsors that have decided to drop his show and stop supporting his show? And has there been a double standard on this issue? Liberal commentators have made similarly provocative or distasteful statements and there hasn’t been such an outrage.

OBAMA: You know I’m not going to comment on what sponsors decide to do. I’m not going to comment on either the economics or the politics of it. I don’t know what’s in Rush Limbaugh’s heart, so I’m not going to comment on the sincerity of his apology. What I can comment on is the fact that all decent folks can agree that the remarks that were made don’t have any place in the public discourse. And the reason I called Ms. Flute is because I thought about Malia and Sasha and one of the things I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about. Even ones I may not agree with them on. I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way. And I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names because they’re being good citizens.

So he called left-wing extremist Sandra Fluke because she's just a good citizen who was engaged in issues she cared about and who didn't deserve to be attacked or called horrible names for speaking her mind.

But Barack Obama didn't take on any of these instances of good citizens who are engaged in issues they cared about who were attacked and called horrible names -- and certainly didn't call the victims to commiserate.

If you are a liberal, you can call a woman a "mashed up bag of meat" and remain on the air without condemnation from the Left. You can call a woman a "twat" and remain on the air without condemnation from the Left. You can suggest a woman show her "cunt" without condemnation from the Left. And yes, you can even direct the same word Rush Limbaugh used -- "slut" -- at a woman without condemnation from the Left. Provided, of course, that the target is a woman out of favor with the Left -- and especially if she is a conservative woman.

So as far as I'm concerned, those among the professional Left who are still up in arms about Rush Limbaugh's comments about a left-wing political activist who enrolled at Georgetown Law School with the explicit goal of attacking the school's adherence to Catholic teachings can go Fluke themselves.

And let's notice something else about this kerfluffle, too. it began with a direct attack on the First Amendment by the Obama Administration with its attempts to force religious organizations to violate sincerely held religious teachings. Now that their president has urinated on the Bill of Rights, is it any surprise that his followers are continuing to seek the evisceration of the First Amendment with this move?

Furious Democrat activists are working to silence Rush Limbaugh for good, calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to pull his radio show off the air.

An activist on signon.org is collecting signatures in support of a petition to FCC to, “remove Mr. Limbaugh from the radio as he has violated FCC rules and regulations countless times. The most recent incident being his assault on women and his degradation of Sandra Fluke.” The petition is circulating on Facebook and Twitter and on Democrat message boards.

Signon.org is an online service provided by MoveOn.org and has already gathered over 6,000 supporters. The petition organizer, “T. Turner,” has promised to print off and send the petition to the FCC on March 7th, and is looking to get over 10,000 signatures.

The petition currently hosts thousands of angry comments – riddled with spelling errors – including people who insist that Limbaugh no longer has the right to free speech.

Apparently the new platform of the Democrat Party is that the rights protected to the First Amendment are available only to those who support the liberal agenda -- those who don't can be silenced and punished by government for daring to engage in what used to be called dissent aka "the highest form of patriotism".

So I'll say it again -- Rush Limbaugh was wrong. But I'll also affirm that Rush Limbaugh was no more wrong than Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann, and million-dollar Obama donor Bill Maher, who remain beloved figures among the members of the political Left. So until I hear the Left direct the same sort of outrage at these favorites of the Left, I'll consider this simply the latest effort to silence a figure that the Left has tried to force off the air repeatedly for over twenty years.





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March 05, 2012

Words From A Judge Who “Gets It”

And because US District Court Judge Benson Everett Legg “gets it”, he struck down a Maryland gun law as unconstitutional.

“A citizen may not be required to offer a `good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights,” he wrote. “The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.”

These words should be tattooed across the forehead of every judge, legislator, and member of law enforcement in the country. We are a nation of people who have rights – we do not need to justify the exercise of those rights to any government official, no matter how high or petty they may be. The mere fact that we have the right is all that we need to exercise it.





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None Dare Call It A Hate Crime

Just imagine the national outrage if the races were reversed.

A 13-year-old Kansas City boy is back home after two teenagers poured gasoline on him and lit him on fire.

It happened Tuesday at the teen's home on Quincy Avenue, just down the street from Kansas City's East High School. The boy lives less than two blocks away from the school and was walking home when the attack happened.

Melissa Coon said her son turned from the school's stadium onto Quincy Avenue and noticed two teenagers following him. She said the teens followed her son home and attacked him outside his front door.

"And they rushed him on the porch as he tried to get the door open," she said. "(One of them) poured the gasoline, then flicked the Bic, and said, 'This is what you deserve. You get what you deserve, white boy'."

It has been nearly a week, and yet Barack Obama has not indicated that he believes that the assailants “acted stupidly”. Obama also has not called the boy to commiserate with him over the attack. But then again, Obama isn’t too interested in getting the white vote, so there is no political gain to be had from doing either.

UPDATE: If the information in this piece about the treatment of white students at the school attended by the victim is even partially correct, then there are teachers in need of firing, professional credentials in need of revocation, and civil rights charges in need of filing. Unfortunately, we have an administration in Washington that does not believe that white people have any civil rights that are worthy of defending, so you know that the appropriate actions will not be taken.





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The Best Argument Against ObamaCare From An ObamaCare Supporter

Thanks, Donna!

brazile-tweet.jpg

The irony is that this is what we opposed to the program have been saying all along. Medical decisions – not just reproductive ones – should be between the patient, the physician, and the patient’s family. But now that government is taking over health care, that is no longer possible – you will be told what care you are permitted to receive and what care is forbidden by government bureaucrats.

H/T Hot Air





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Red China Seeks To Impose Government Control On Religious Groups, Just Like Obama

I bet the president read about this and shouted out “Why didn’t I think of this?”

In one of history’s more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation."

Frankly, I’m surprised that Barry Hussein hasn’t tried something like this in the United States. I could see him promulgating an executive order directing that no appointment to the episcopate of the Catholic Church is valid without government approval – after all, he’s already violated the First Amendment with the birth control, sterilization and abortifacient mandate, so he may as well go all the way down that path of oppressing the Catholic Church.

H/T QandO





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Obama Regime Disses the Military Again

Let’s set aside the question of whether college is the appropriate choice for every student – why shouldn’t a high school receive credit for sending a student on to the military, where he or she will get advanced training in marketable skills AND accumulate college benefits for use under the GI Bill

New York City principals are up in arms over a new plan that gives bonus points this year to high schools based on graduates going to college — but doesn’t count those who join the military.

Department of Education officials met with a group of principals last week to explain changes in Progress Reports coming out this fall. Schools that send more kids to community or baccalaureate colleges within six to 18 months will get extra credit.

When a principal asked about points for grads who choose to enlist in the armed forces, he was shot down.

“The military isn’t college. It doesn’t count,” the group was told.

I think that tells us everything we need to know about the opinion of the president and his appointees towards the men and women who put their lives on the line for this country – they don’t count. That’s why they – alone among all those who work for the federal government – will see increases in their insurance costs under the new budget. Add to that the new accounting methods used to award combat pay that will deny that benefit to many of those deployed in combat zones and you can see that the Department of Education official was merely expressing the overall policy of the Obama Administration towards military service – “It doesn’t count.”





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March 04, 2012

Watcher's Council Results

Here are this week’s full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!





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March 03, 2012

Kennewick School District Applies Wonderland Legal Principles, Not US Constitution, In Student Video Case

Darren at Right on the Left Coast brings this example of totalitarianism in education to our attention.

A 10 year-old elementary school student in Kennewick is expelled this week, after school administrators find a YouTube video he made where he displays several guns.

The video shows the Ridge View Elementary School student by himself in a room.

He picks up three guns, one at a time, and holds them in front of the camera for several seconds.

The student holds up one gun as if he is going to shoot.

It is not clear if the guns are real or fake.

The student did not make any threats to his school or any students in the 3 minute video, but the Kennewick School District expelled the boy as a safety precaution.

"Any time that something of this nature is brought to our attention, our first step is to expel a student, so that we can start an investigation. We're always going to err on the side of caution, and assume a worst case scenario. So we do bring the police in and start an investigation" said Lorraine Cooper, Kennewick School District.

Darren goes on to note that there was no threat made nor was there any nexus to the school other than the student being enrolled there, but the school decided it had jurisdiction to act and that the FIRST STEP was an expulsion.

This leads me back to a theme that I used to write about much more often in an earlier phase of my blogging. I remember the days when we taught students to be free citizens in a free society and the Supreme Court forthrightly declared that students do not surrender their rights at the school house gate. That standard has now been twisted and warped to say that this is only true in the sense that even away from school students have no rights that school officials are bound to respect.

Let's set aside the question of the First and Second Amendments and look at what may be the most frightening this said by the spokesdrone for the school district -- "our first step is to expel a student, so that we can start an investigation." Got that? They punish the student first -- and make no mistake, expulsion is a punishment under the laws of every state -- before they even start an investigation. The district does not know if there is so much as a violation of the district code of conduct -- much less a crime -- but their default action is to impose the harshest punishment at their disposal before they even try to find out if there is any violation at all. It sort of reminds me of the writings of Lewis Carroll.

'No, no!' said the Queen. 'Sentence first - verdict afterwards.'

'Stuff and nonsense!' said Alice loudly. 'The idea of having the sentence first!'

'Hold your tongue!' said the Queen, turning purple.

'I won't!' said Alice.

'Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at the top of her voice.

Seems to me that the Kennewick School District is a great place to send your children if you want them to learn to be submissive subjects in the deranged world of Wonderland, but not if you want them to be free citizens of the United States who know and freely exercise their rights.





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March 02, 2012

Grandstanding Democrats Propose Wasteful Legislation To Duplicate Provision Of State Voter ID Laws

In order to pass muster with the US Supreme Court, the various Voter ID laws passed by states in recent years must include a provision to give a state voter ID card free to those who cannot otherwise afford to pay for one of the other permitted forms of government issued identification. Any law that failed to include such a provision would immediately be struck down by any court.

But that isn’t enough for Congressional Democrats – they want to create a federal requirement that they issue the already free identification cards free of charge – despite the fact that it is an unnecessary expense that duplicates a provision already in the state laws.

House Democrats on Thursday proposed a way to mitigate state-level voter ID laws by introducing a bill that would require states with these requirements to offer free photo IDs for residents.

The Voter ID Accessibility act, H.R. 4126, is a Democratic response to identification laws that they say make it harder for seniors, students, minorities and others to vote.

"Voting is a fundamental right and we must eliminate whatever barriers exist," said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.). "As long as states continue to pass unfair photo ID laws, the Voter ID Accessibility Act would help ensure that voters in those states will have access to any identification that may be required."

Why are they making this proposal? Easy – they have been lying about these laws every time a state has passed one, and having falsely created a problem where none exists they are now pretending to be heroes riding to the rescue of those who they falsely claim would otherwise be disenfranchised by laws that already do exactly what their proposed law is supposed to do.

But then again, that is the Democrats for you – spending your money to solve problems that don’t really exist in order to score political points with members of their core constituencies who they have spent the last couple of years scaring with their lies.





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Democrats Seek Limbaugh Denunciation Over “Direct Attack On A Private Citizen”

I can accept people finding Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Sandra Fluke to be distasteful and inappropriate – I do, and I went out of my way to avoid casting any aspersions on Ms. Fluke’s sexual morality when commenting on her testimony before Congress demanding the evisceration of the First Amendment so that she and others can have free birth control. I wish that Limbaugh had done the same, but I recognize that much of his political commentary includes a hearty dose of satire – and the bawdy is certainly a legitimate part of that technique.

That said, I cannot help but be struck by the gobsmackingly hypocritical reaction by Congressional Democrats over this one, demanding that the GOP leadership denounce Rush for his “direct attack on a private citizen”

Excuse me, but what about the “direct attacks” on this pair of private citizens.

Charles_David_Koch[1].jpg

Charles and David Koch have been the targets of all sorts of vile and outrageous attacks by liberal media figures, left-wing activist groups, Democrat members of Congress and even the President himself for daring to exercise their First Amendment rights to speak out on political issues and donate to political groups. Why are such direct attacks on private citizens acceptable and not condemned by the same Democrats who are so offended by Limbaugh’s words? Does the fact that they are white, male, conservative and wealthy make those attacks acceptable, even though they are private citizens?

Well, then, what about this guy?

04-joe-plumber_1014771c[1].jpg


Yeah, that’s right -- Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, who one day had the audacity to ask a pointed question of presidential candidate Barack Obama instead of falling to his knees in worship when Obama showed up on his street while he was in the yard playing football with his son.. Joe the Plumber was ridiculed, insulted, put through the full media rectal exam AND the subject to illegal spying by Democrat operatives who delved into confidential government records in order to smear his good name. The denunciations of these “direct attacks on a private citizen” still have not come from the Democrats who demand that Republicans denounce the words of a satirical political commentator.

But we all know the reason – these Democrats don’t give a damn about Sandra Fluke, her reputation, or her dignity. She’s just a tool for them to use to bludgeon the opposition – because they’ve been trying to delegitimize and silence Rush Limbaugh for nearly a quarter century because they don’t like the fact that his conservative message is popular, effective, and RIGHT.





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Birth Control Mandate Lies Worse Than I Imagined

Good grief! I just posted this a few minutes ago.

So why is it that the media gives those who attack these religious leaders a pass when they blatantly lie about what the dispute is about?

* * *

Is it because they are the bought-and-paid-for stooges of the Obama Regime and dare not challenge this president and his allies -- even when their claims run completely contrary to all facts?

>

Well, I've now discovered that it isn't just Obama supporters who are spreading the lie that religious leaders are trying to ban birth control for their employees -- it is now an article of faith put forward by the Obama-Biden campaign itself.

obama-lie-tumblr[1].png

Fortunately, Michael Brendan Daugherty of Business Insider had the integrity to point out the lies.

The image above is hypothetical mockup of a permission form. It's short, but contains an embarrassing number of lies.

Let's count them.

Lie #1 The idea employers have creepy discussions with individual employees about their sex lives when discussing their health insurance compensation. This does not happen. New hires usually get a packet with their insurance information just like everywhere else.

Lie #2 That employers currently (or under any law) would be granting or revoking permission to even use birth control. This is just not true. Currently many schools and hospitals just refuse to pay for it because they believe it directly implicates them in a sinful act. But employees are absolutely free to follow their own conscience and do what they want with their wages.

Lie #3 That there will be more ongoing creepy discussions and that a person's health insurance will be constantly changed and reviewed according to changeable moral standards. This is not the experience of anyone working at a religious hospital or school, nor would it be.

Lie #4 That these decisions even get this personal. These institutions typically write up an agreement with a health insurer–or they self-insure. It's an impersonal contract, not an inquisition.

Lie #5 Implicitly this makes it seem like it is also about women and their most common birth-control choices. It doesn't mention sterilization or "morning-after" drugs that are part of the mandate. And it doesn't mention most health-policies that don't cover birth control also don't cover elective-vasectomies for men.

That's a lot for one tiny slip of paper.

The big lie behind all this is that somehow allowing some employers not to pay for this kind of coverage amounts to a "contraception ban."

When will the media call out the President on the lies his campaign is telling the American people? Will ANYONE in the MSM do so? Or will the anti Catholic, anti-evangelical, anti-Mormon bigotry of the Left be treated as Gospel truth when it comes from the representatives of the unicorn-riding demigod in the White House?





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When Will The Media Call Out The Birth Control Mandate Liars?

When one reads or hears statements by Catholic bishops and evangelical leaders, they make it very clear -- they are opposed to being forced to provide employees insurance coverage that violates church teaching. So why is it that the media gives those who attack these religious leaders a pass when they blatantly lie about what the dispute is about?

Roman Catholic bishops and other religious leaders have failed to keep women from using birth control and now want the “police power of the state” to stop women from doing so, National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill said Thursday at a gathering of feminist activists.

“The bishops have not been able to convince Catholic women to not take birth control,” O’Neill said. “We know this because 98 percent of sexually active [Catholic] women take birth control at some point in their lives — just like 98 percent of sexually active non-Catholic women take birth control at some point in their lives.

“So the bishops have failed,” she said. “And the evangelical preachers that don’t want their women to take birth control — they have failed.”

As a result, O’Neill argued, these religious leaders are now “demanding that the government step in and use the force and power and police power of the state to prevent women from taking birth control because the bishops have failed.”

Really? No -- I mean REALLY????? Why didn't one of those reporters in attendance DEMAND that Terry O'Neill provide evidence to back up her claim. You know, a quote from one of the bishops saying that they wanted the government to stop women from using birth control -- or a statement from a major, mainstream evangelical leader that said so? Why did they allow the big lie to stand unchallenged?

Is it because they are ignorant?

Is it because they are cowards?

Is it because they are the bought-and-paid-for stooges of the Obama Regime and dare not challenge this president and his allies -- even when their claims run completely contrary to all facts?

Enquiring minds want to know.





|| Greg, 05:37 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 01, 2012

Texas Has Primary Dates At Last

Well, the San Antonio court has made its decision on when we Texans will be allowed to vote.

Now that we have court-ordered interim redistricting maps in Texas, the 2012 elections can move forward — finally.

Here is a handy, dandy “at a glance” list of key dates on the 2012 Texas election calendar:

March 2, 2012: Filing period re-opens

March 9, 2012: Filing period closes at 6PM

April 9, 2012: For the elections for the Texas House and the Texas Senate, a person must be a continuous resident of the district from April 9, 2012 until the date of the General Election.

April 14, 2012: General primary ballots should be mailed to voters subject to the Move Act on or before this date

April 25, 2012: Voter registration certificates should be issued to voters whose registration will be effective as of the date issued and whose name does not appear on the suspense list on or before this date

May 29, 2012: General Primary Election

June 1, 2012: First day a voter can submit an application for an early mail ballot for the runoff

June 10, 2012: Deadline for runoff primary candidates to withdraw from the ballot; 9a.m.

June 16, 2012: Runoff ballots must have been mailed to voters on or before this date

July 31, 2012: General Primary Runoff Election

Now back to the important task of keeping control of the Texas Legislature, the Texas Congressional delegation, and BEATING BARACK OBAMA.





|| Greg, 03:50 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Right To Unionize?

The New York Times runs a propaganda piece by Richard D. Kahlenberg and Moshe Z. Marvit, a couple of pro-union activists trying to sell a book, arguing that joining a labor union ought to be included in the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes that “everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.” The First Amendment has been read to protect freedom of association, and the 1935 National Labor Relations Act recognized the “right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations,” but in reality, the opportunity to organize is a right without a remedy.

Firing someone for trying to organize a union is technically illegal under the 1935 act, but there are powerful incentives for corporations to violate this right, in part because the penalties — mitigated back pay after extended hearings — are so weak.

It is noteworthy that American workers in the airline and railway industries, which are governed not by the 1935 law but by a stronger statute, the Railway Labor Act, have much higher rates of unionization.

The problem, of course, is that employees already have a right to unionize. Indeed, the First Amendment of the US Constitution already protects that right – what the authors are advocating is that laws be changed to make it easier to prosecute employers who fire union members. What this ignores is that employers can and should have the right to control who they hire and fire – and that government should rarely intervene in those decisions. If employees are joining an organization that has vowed to do harm to a company, why should the employer be required to keep those employees on the payroll? And if a union becomes intransigent in its negotiations, an employer should be permitted to fire the entire staff and start over. After all, freedom of association and freedom to contract cuts both ways.

Moreover, it is telling what the authors don’t include in their piece on the rights and freedoms of workers regarding unionization. They don’t include the right of workers to be free from forced union membership, forced agency shop fees for non-union members, and harassment, intimidation, and thuggery by union organizers and activists against those who refuse to sign a union card, join a union, or honor a strike or picket line. It says nothing about the right of employers and employees to be free of union sponsored violence. Rights, it seems, accrue only to those who join the union collective – those outside of the union apparently have no rights that the union or the government has any obligation to respect.





|| Greg, 03:34 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Odd How Democrats Believe Dissent Isn’t Patriotic Anymore

I don’t know that I would have gone as far as this ad campaign does.

That said, I recognize it as protected speech.

So does the DC Metro rail authority.

One Democrat congressman does not – and is demanding censorship.

Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.) is none too pleased with a new poster mounted at the Clarendon stop along Metrorail's Orange Line. The advertisement is for Sick and Sicker: When the Government Becomes Your Doctor, a straight-to-DVD documentary bemoaning the 2010 health care law that detractors call "Obamacare."

The poster begins with one of the most timeworn objections to the health care law: "Barack Obama wants politicians and bureaucrats to control America’s entire medical system." But rather than stop there and just plug the DVD, it goes a few steps further:

"Go to hell Barack."

In a letter to Metro's General Manager Richard Sarles, Moran is calling for the poster to come down, saying it is "deeply disrespectful" toward President Obama. We won't argue with that. Like the health care bill or not, there's something about impugning the office of the president that just doesn't sit right.

Odd – such “deeply disrespectful” dissent was considered the highest form of patriotism during the Bush years. Only now, in the age of the unicorn-riding demigod Obama, is the right to speak freely on matters of politics and policy somehow supposed to be limited to that which is respectful of the president and his policies.

The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.





|| Greg, 03:32 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Erick Erickson And I Have Had Our Differences

But I have to compliment him on the title for this post about the death of Andrew Breitbart.

A Supernova Now Dark

The tribute is equally strong and touching – make sure you read it.





|| Greg, 03:28 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Giant Of The Conservative Blogosphere Passes

Breitbart-righteous-indignation[1].jpg

There really isn’t any way I can do justice to Andrew Breitbart on the occasion of his passing in such a sudden and untimely manner.

I admired much of what he did, and feel that he has been, beyond question, an asset to the conservative cause. Even when I’ve disagreed with his actions, I’ve respected what he has said and done. He was a good man and a patriot – and may his family know comfort because of the prayers of the millions who lift up a word of prayer as he passes from this life to the next.

And now, my friends, it is time for each and every one of us to do our part to be the next Andrew Breitbart, continuing his legacy by making sure that we don’t let the other side turn America into something other than what it has always been – the land of the free and the home of the brave.





|| Greg, 03:27 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||
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