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July 31, 2013

Alan Colmes Gets It Right On Limbaugh/Hannity Syndication Flap

There are other stations that these shows will end up on, and the number of listeners are not going to decline, simply because they lose Cumulus stations.

Seeing liberal bloggers declare victory about how a boycott of these shows sponsors led to this makes my hair stand on end for four reasons.

First, thats not at all what happened, as these shows will land elsewhere.

Second, and even more importantly, these two broadcasters, with whom I vehemently, vocally, and publicly disagree politically, have done more to keep the talk radio industry alive than anyone else. Its because of the success of these two shows that many stations have stayed in the talk format in the first place, allowing other shows to be heard. Much as liberals dont have nearly as many outlets as conservatives (According to TALKERS magazine, conservatives own the lions share of the news/talk market), it would be even worse for the left if these shows werent making it, because the industry would be closer to collapse at a time when terrestrial radio is struggling.

Third, a boycott hurts the entire business. Advertisers run scared and are encouraged to avoid controversy, and that affects all programming, including progressive hosts.

Fourth, what kind of liberal wants to clamp down on free speech and celebrate shutting someone up? The best antidote to free speech is free speech. As the German theologian Martin Niemoller famously said, First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist If I, as a liberal, didnt speak out against those who would squelch the free speech of conservatives, I wouldnt deserve to call myself a liberal.

I don't know that I entirely agree with his fourth point, but the first three are spot on. Especially since, as Colmes points out elsewhere, some of these markets now have Clear Channel stations that will cost nothing to put the shows on, since Premiere is owned by Clear Channel. But even where there isn't a Clear Channel station in the market, I have no doubt that there is a competitor who is salivating at the prospect to get to of the top-rated syndicated shows in the country on their station. Why do I say this? Because it has happened in every market where a station has dropped one or the other of these shows in the past, and there has been no significant change in the market.





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July 30, 2013

Proof That Texas Needs Annual Legislative Sessions

If not a full time legislature -- because the "special session follies" show what happens when a state with modern transportation infrastructure and a large urban base tries to operate on a legislative calendar designed for a rural state where travel to the state capital was difficult.

House Speaker Joe Straus said Tuesday that Gov. Rick Perry is planning to call a third special session 30 minutes after the Legislature gavels out of its current special session.

Straus broke the news to the lower chamber just minutes before the House declared Sine Die for the second special session.

Well see you in 30 minutes, Straus told the House.

Now I'll concede that it is nice for the governor to be able to control the agenda in a special session, but this will be the third "special session" since Memorial Day. This is just conducting regular legislative business that should have been handled during the regular session, not a time for dealing with an emergency.

So rather than have a third special session that will adds another 30 days (90 total) to the constitutionally dictated 150 day session, wouldn't it be easier if we knew that the legislature was going to come back into session next January and allowed these not so pressing matters to be dealt with then?

Not to mention the possibility of just adopting what virtually every other state has -- a full-time legislature (which I'd argue is what we have when they are in session 240 days this year).

Anyone willing to propose either of those as a state constitutional amendment?





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Islamist Threat To Bring Terrorism To American Churches

Thank God Islam is such a peaceful religion!

Fort Collins police have asked local religious organizations to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior after a self-proclaimed Islamist jihadist threatened Mormons and Catholics would be destroyed in the next two weeks, a memo sent by authorities said.

The man hadnt been seen in the Fort Collins area as of Sunday, and there is no immediate danger to the public, Fort Collins Police Services Sgt. Mike West told the Coloradoan.

My question is why this is not a national story, given it is an attack on the religious freedom of EVERY American.

H/T Gateway Pundit





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July 28, 2013

American Hero Bud Day Passes Away

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America's most decorated living veteran has gone on to his eternal reward.

Retired Col. George Bud Day, a Medal of Honor recipient who spent 5 1/2 years as a POW in Vietnam and was Arizona Sen. John McCains cellmate, has died at the age of 88, his widow said Sunday.

Day, one of the nations most highly decorated servicemen since Gen. Douglas MacArthur and later a tireless advocate for veterans rights, died Saturday surrounded by family at his home in Shalimar, Fla., after a long illness, Doris Day said.

There are so many things that can be said about Bud Day, but I think that these words, from his Congressional Medal of Honor citation, speak volumes about what sort of man Bud Day was.

On 26 August 1967, Col. Day was forced to eject from his aircraft over North Vietnam when it was hit by ground fire. His right arm was broken in 3 places, and his left knee was badly sprained. He was immediately captured by hostile forces and taken to a prison camp where he was interrogated and severely tortured. After causing the guards to relax their vigilance, Col. Day escaped into the jungle and began the trek toward South Vietnam. Despite injuries inflicted by fragments of a bomb or rocket, he continued southward surviving only on a few berries and uncooked frogs. He successfully evaded enemy patrols and reached the Ben Hai River, where he encountered U.S. artillery barrages. With the aid of a bamboo log float, Col. Day swam across the river and entered the demilitarized zone. Due to delirium, he lost his sense of direction and wandered aimlessly for several days. After several unsuccessful attempts to signal U.S. aircraft, he was ambushed and recaptured by the Viet Cong, sustaining gunshot wounds to his left hand and thigh. He was returned to the prison from which he had escaped and later was moved to Hanoi after giving his captors false information to questions put before him. Physically, Col. Day was totally debilitated and unable to perform even the simplest task for himself. Despite his many injuries, he continued to offer maximum resistance. His personal bravery in the face of deadly enemy pressure was significant in saving the lives of fellow aviators who were still flying against the enemy. Col. Day's conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Armed Forces.

A grateful nation thanks you for your service, Col. Day -- and may your example inspire others to greatness.





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Watcher's Council Results

Here are this weeks full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!





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Look Who Drowsed Off Reading!

I've been reading a lot of great books this summer -- Ben Coes' Eye for an Eye, Simon R. Greene's Casino Infernale, Orson Scott Card's Earth Unaware and Earth Afire, Mercedes Lackey's Steadfast, John Scalzi's The Human Division, Taylor Anderson's Storm Surge and Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier: Guardian, just to name my favorites.

I'm currently reading Daniel Silva's The English Girl and absolutely loving it. I set it down for a few minutes last night and returned to find that one member of the household had drowsed off looking at it.

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That's OK, Poppi -- you're still a good boy even if you can't read.











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July 27, 2013

Defending The Monster In Court

This is a matter that has long fascinated me -- and I got an answer on the matter during my seminary days. I'll explain later.

I have been a criminal defense lawyer for more than 30 years, first as a public defender and now as a law professor running a criminal defense clinic. My clients have included a young man who gunned down his neighbor in front of her 5-year-old daughter while trying to steal her car, a man who beat a young woman to death for failing to alert drug associates that police were coming and a woman who smothered her baby for no apparent reason. These are the kinds of cases that prompt people to ask: How can you represent those people? All criminal defense lawyers are asked this; its such a part of the criminal defense experience that its simply known as the question.

Most of us have a repertoire of stock replies about how the system cant work without good lawyers on both sides, or the harshness of punishment, or the excessive number of people especially minorities locked up in this country. Capital defenders such as Tsarnaev lawyer Judy Clarke tend to cite their opposition to the death penalty.

But our motivations are usually personal and sometimes difficult to articulate. I often say I was inspired by To Kill a Mockingbird. There is no more compelling figure than Atticus Finch defending a wrongly accused poor black man. Innocence, though, is not a chief driver for me. To the contrary, I often call my lifes work the guilty project. Criminal defense is, for the most part, defending the factually guilty people who have done something wrong, though maybe not exactly what is alleged.

And that is a reality. Lawyers have their niche. Some are into tax law, others are civil litigators. And then there are those drawn to the defense bar who recognize that the system does not work if a defendant cannot get anyone to mount a defense.

When I was a kid, I had the chance to meet F. Lee Bailey. I admired him -- to tell the truth, I wanted to be him and had ever since I had first heard about the Sam Shepherd case. But what I didn't realize at the time was that most defendants -- even those who insist upon going to trial while proclaiming their innocence -- are guilty and that the job of a defense attorney goes beyond keeping them from being found guilty.

Fast forward a dozen years or so to my days in the seminary and I got a better understanding of why defense attorneys do what they do. About an hour from our campus a heinous series of murders had taken place at the hands of Jeffrey Dahmer. One of the victims even lived in the same apartment building and on the same hall as the girl I dated in high school. And as the trial began, we first year theology students discovered that the defense attorney in the case was none other than the brother of our moral theology professor.

As one might imagine, we had questions about the case and the trial and mine was a version of "the question" -- "Father, how can your brother morally defend a man who is so clearly guilty and seek to have him acquitted if he can?" The wily old Jesuit grinned at me and gave me an answer that resonates with me even now, over twenty years later -- "If you asked my brother, he would tell you two things. First he would say that he feels an obligation to make sure that even a client who is so obviously guilty of a crime gets due process and that at every turn their rights are upheld and protected. He would then tell you that in this particular case, where there is a real chance that his client might get the death penalty, that he first and foremost is seeking to preserve the life of a fellow human being. I would suggest to you that these constitute the highly moral desire to see to it that justice is done even for those against whom we would on an emotional level prefer receive vengeance instead."

I thought about that a lot recently, when I went down to one of the local criminal courtrooms to be a character witness for a former student who was charged with and pled guilty to a crime which was, at the time it took place, somewhat notorious in the area. We sat and talked for about an hour before the hearing while waiting for his lawyer to arrive. At one point this young man looked at me and tearfully confessed his deep sense of shame and remorse for the harm he had done to the victims and his own family. He even conceded that nobody would have blinked an eye if he or one of the other young men involved had been shot and killed like Trayvon Martin had only a few days before they committed their crime. Then I watched as his defense attorney simply went through the motions while the ADA sought to make an example out of this young man. Then I watched as the judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison despite a pre-sentencing report that recommended probation and 40 letters seeking mercy written by community members (including one from a law enforcement officer who was subpoenaed as a prosecution witness) -- and I could not help but wish that there had been someone who would have been the sort of vigorous advocate he really needed.

So yes, I have great respect for defense attorneys who take on the cases of monsters like Dahmer, terrorists like Tsarnaev, or unpopular defendants like George Zimmerman, even if I don't always agree with their tactics and their goals. And to be honest, I wish we had more who took their cases as seriously as those lawyers. If we did, maybe I wouldn't be planning a trip down to the county jail for one last visit with my former student -- who will always be close to my heart -- before he is transferred to a state prison.





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July 26, 2013

Boehner Had It Right - Judge Congress On Laws Repealed

I'm not a John Boehner fan, but I had to agree with him when he said this.

House Speaker John Boehner says Congress "ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal."

The Ohio Republican makes the comments on an interview aired Sunday on CBS "Face the Nation." He was responding to a question about how little Congress is doing these days.

Boehner says Congress "should not be judged by how many new laws we create."

He says the U.S. has "more laws than the administration could ever enforce."

Boehner was, of course, mocked for having said this. But less than a week later we find this news story that shows that we have a lot of laws that need repealing -- which is in the purview of the House Judiciary Committee's Over-Criminalization Task Force.

The task forces mandate is broad: to review the entirety of the estimated 4,500 federal crimes in federal statutes. Changes in federal policy since the early 1980s have contributed to an exploding federal prison population. These include increasing the number of crimes with mandatory minimum sentences; increasing the number of federal crimes; and eliminating parole. There are now more than 170 mandatory minimum sentences in the federal code that sentence too harshly. Not only do these need reform, but federal action could pave the way for the states.

Yet the task forces hearings to date barely scrape the surface of these topics. They have focused on the ever-increasing labyrinth of federal regulations that dont contain a criminal intent requirement. Last weeks hearing focused on the myriad federal crimes that do not require a prosecutor to prove that the defendant knew they were violating the law.

Got that -- there are a whole host of crimes out there that do not even require you have the "mens rea" -- the guilty mind -- that would involve you intending to commit the offense. Many of our drug laws punish folks in an unreasonably harsh manner, crowding our prisons, and mandatory minimums and the elimination of parole have served to keep prisoners in prison longer while there has not been a substantive reduction in penalties to account for the "no parole" policy adopted in recent years. But while a 10 year sentence for a drug crime once meant less than 5 when one considered parole, now it means a minimum of 8 before there is even a chance of leaving prison, contributing to prison overcrowding.

And think about it -- 4500 federal crimes on the books. no wonder it has been said that the average American commits three felonies a day without realizing it. We really do need to start repealing some of these laws -- and judging Congress harshly if they fail to do so.





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City Council Proves Detroit Is Morally Bankrupt, Too

Detroit has had to file for bankruptcy -- but its city council somehow had time to lend its support to the voices crying for the lynching of George Zimmerman.

The Detroit City Council on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution calling for a federal investigation to see whether civil rights charges are warranted against George Zimmerman, who was acquitted July 13 of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

The resolution, sponsored by Councilwoman JoAnn Watson, sparked a discussion over the need for city leaders and others to focus more on violence in Detroit.

Their city is so broke that it cannot even police its own neighborhoods effectively -- response time to police calls approaches one hour -- but its leaders have time to go on record demanding the indictment of a guy who has already been found not guilty by a jury in a run of the mill court case in another state? The rot apparently runs deeper than was already visible. Time to liquidate the city and turn it into a dump for the nation's nuclear waste.





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Benghazi Mom Slaps Down Obama

A couple days back, Obama lamented the GOP focus on what he called "phony scandals".

Theyll talk about government assistance for the poor, despite the fact that theyve already cut early education for vulnerable kids, theyve already cut insurance for people whove lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Or theyll bring up Obamacare this is tried and true despite the fact that our businesses have created nearly twice as many jobs in this recovery as businesses had at the same point in the last recovery, when there was no Obamacare. Thats what weve been fighting for, but with an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball. And I am here to say this needs to stop. This needs to stop.

Well, here's someone who has -- to use a term favored by liberals when Cindy Sheehan criticized George W. Bush -- absolute moral authority because she lost her son. Well, I'm sure that they will grant Pat Smith, mother of Sean Smith who was killed in the Benghazi consulate attack, the same level of authority.

I dont believe him anymore, Smith said. Hes wrong. My son is dead. How could that be phony?

According to Smith, she has been given no answers about what happened that night. She said the administration told her she didnt need to know.

When I was there at the ceremony of the welcoming of the caskets, both Obama and Hillary and Biden and all of the other ones, all promised me they would get back to me to tell me what happened, Smith said. I begged them. Please, I must know what happened with my son. How come this happened? They all promised me they would get back to me. You know, not one of them, not one of them ever got back to me in any way shape or form not by a letter, not by anything other than I got a memo stating that I didnt need to know because I was not part of the immediate family.

Smith made one last plea to the Obama administration explaining her desire for answers.

How can I tell you? Smith added. I mean, it is wrong. It is not phony. It is not fake. My son is dead, and why is he dead? All I am waiting for even to this day is just someone to get back to me and tell me what happened. Why did Hillary do as she did? Why was there no security there when there was supposed to be? Who was the general that called back the troops when they were going to help?

A mother who lost her child due to the decisions of the President of the United States and his aides has been lied to and ignored by Obama and his administration -- and now the president dares to call the outrage over this scandalous affair to be "phony" and "fake"? Shame on you, Barry! Shame! Shame! Shame!





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I'm A Contrarian On Holder VRA Actions Against Texas

By now most people have seen this story.

Attorney General Eric Holders surprise decision to challenge Texass voting laws triggers a huge new fight between the federal government and Southern states dominated by the Republican Party.

Legal experts said the decision to seek a court order requiring Texas to obtain federal clearance before changing its voting laws lays the groundwork for an aggressive push to restore as much federal oversight as possible over state voting laws.

* * *

In the Texas fight, Holder is relying on a part of the Voting Rights Act known as the bail-in provision, which lets the courts require preclearance in response to intentional racial discrimination.



The Supreme Court did not touch this part of the law in its decision last month, opening the door for the Justice Department.

I think youll see more effort to use bail-in. Bail-in, in the past, has been used in some pockets of the country where preclearance didnt apply, Gans said. I think youll see more efforts by plaintiffs to show that states are engaged in intentional racial discrimination.



Remember, last month's decision on theVoting Rights Act invalidated Section 4 of the VRA, which used an antiquated test to require preclearance of voting changes based upon statistics from the elections of 1964, 1968, and 1972 -- and which would have done so until 2032, when the most recent of the elections would have been 60 years in the past. But Section 3 of the VRA, which allows a federal court to order preclearance for a jurisdiction based upon a showing of contemporary acts of intentional racial discrimination in voting survives -- and that is the provision that Holder is using. In doing so, he is actually going along with the views of CONSERVATIVE experts on the law like J. Christian Adams and Hans von Spakovsky, who argue that Section 3 provides the proper tool to remedy contemporary discrimination.

Now Attorney General Greg Abbott is going to fight Holder tooth and nail on this one -- and I support him in doing so. But if the federal government can prove -- and the burden of proof is now on the federal government -- that there has been contemporary intentional racial discrimination in voting here in Texas, then I believe that Texas should be subject for preclearance for a limited period of time, as the VRA allows (and which is consistent with the Fifteenth Amendment). That may make me a outlier among my fellow Texas Republicans -- and especially among my fellow elected party officials here in Texas -- but as I have long advocated, using the Voting Rights Act to solve today's problems today rather than engaging in an ongoing quest to solve the problems of 1964, 1968 and 1972 meets the definition of "appropriate" under the second clause of the Fifteenth Amendment.





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July 24, 2013

Mann "Hunted The Dildo Into Extinction"

CNN International anchor Jonathon Mann had an amusing slip of the tongue over the weekend.

Uhhhh. . . yeah.

H/T Colossus of Rhodey





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July 22, 2013

It's A Boy!!!!

The Royal Baby watch is over.

It's a boy! Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and husband Prince William on Monday welcomed their first child. The baby boy was born at 4:24 p.m., weighing 8 pounds 6 ounces. A name has not yet been announced for the child, who is now third in line to the throne.

No name yet for the new prince -- we'll have to wait to hear it.

And may I just observe that this is wonderful news -- whether you are a royalist, republican, or anarchist.

After all, the birth of a child always is something to celebrate, for it gives us hope for a brighter future.





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Candidate's Confused Consultant Forgets What State He Is Running In

Poor Dan Patrick -- his consultant doesn't seem to realize that he wants to be Lt. Governor of Texas, not Arizona!

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Yikes! That really is a bad story that Dannie references in his Facebook post. I read it the other day cross border shooting? Not good.


The thing is, the picture that those crack consultants over in Blakemores office on Richmond Ave. in Houston used a picture from Wikimedia.org and cropped it. It was taken in.um, not Texas but Nogales, Arizona! What, no pictures of Texas borders were available for free?

Sorry, Dan, you just aren't ready for prime time -- or statewide office. What next -- your head photoshopped on someone else's body?





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A Reminder Of What Sort Of Man George Zimmerman Is

It would have been easy not to get involved in this situation -- especially only days after he was acquitted, while the lynch mob is still howling.

George Zimmerman, who has been in hiding since he was acquitted of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, emerged to help rescue a family who was trapped in an overturned vehicle, police said today.

Zimmerman was one of two men who came to the aid of a family of four -- two parents and two children -- trapped inside a blue Ford Explorer SUV that had rolled over after traveling off the highway in Sanford, Fla. at approximately 5:45 p.m. Thursday, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

The crash occurred at the intersection of I-4 and route Route 46, police said. The crash site is less than a mile from where Zimmerman shot Martin.

By the time police arrived, two people - including Zimmerman - had already helped the family get out of the overturned car, the sheriff's office said. No one was reported to be injured.

Zimmerman was not a witness to the crash and left after speaking with the deputy, police said.

It fits quite well with his previous record -- a concerned citizen interested int he welfare of members of his community.





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Whose Money Is Corrupting The Political System?

Personally, I don't believe that campaign donations necessarily harm our political system. But many on the Left argue that money is harmful to representative government. So let's take a look at where the big money comes from.

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Notice, please, that only two of the top twenty sources of campaign money significantly favor Republicans -- while fourteen of them are major sources of funding for Democrats. Indeed, only 10 of the top fifty give the bulk of their contributions to Republicans, while more than double that number give the bulk of their money to Democrats. And five of these top fifty contributors -- including three of the top twenty -- give over 90% of their cash to Democrats, while none of them give that percentage to Republicans.

Oh, and the NRA? They don't even show up on the list until you reach #52. The Koch Industries (of the Koch brothers fame) is even further down the list at 62. So want to talk about whose money has a disproportionate and distorting effect upon our nation's politics? It would appear to be unions, not businesses, that are the problem -- and it would appear that the Democrats are the beneficiaries of the alleged corruption.

H/T Zero Hedge & Gay Patriot





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July 16, 2013

Treasury & IRS Employees Illegally Accessing Candidate Records? No Prosecution By DOJ

Just another Obama scandal.

The Treasury Department has admitted for the first time that confidential tax records of several political candidates and campaign donors were improperly scrutinized by government officials, but the Justice Department has declined to prosecute any of the cases.

Its investigators also are probing two allegations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted for audit candidates for public office, the Treasurys inspector general for tax administration, J. Russell George, has privately told Sen. Chuck Grassley.

Let's stop calling it the "Department of Justice" and start calling it what it is -- the Department of No Justice. After all, it appears that Eric Holder and company will only prosecute where it is to their political advantage to do so, not when there are crimes against their political enemies.






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July 11, 2013

Fisking Robert Reich's Column Suggesting That There Are Traitors Among Us

Fortunately, this one is short. However, it is the liberal idiocy equivalent of those new highly concentrated laundry detergents that use only a quarter of the normal amount of detergent.

Permit me an impertinent question (or three).

It's your column at HuffPo, so I guess you get to ask as many questions as you want (or at least as many as she'll let you ask)? By the way -- do you get paid for writing these things, or are you one of the contributors to the "write for free so the rich bitch gets richer" model of journalism she has perfected?

Suppose a small group of extremely wealthy people sought to systematically destroy the U.S. government by

There are folks systematically trying to DESTROY the government? Really? Why don't you grow a pair and name them, Bobby-boy? Maybe you even have some evidence to support this plan of theirs to "destroy" the government -- if it really exists.

(1) finding and bankrolling new candidates pledged to shrinking and dismembering it;

Which is it? Are they shrinking it? Or are they "dismembering it? Frankly, a large segment of the American people support shrinking government, because we've got too damn much of it. After all, you do know that the average American commits felonies daily because government has grown so expansive and implemented contradictory laws and regulations. You might want to read a book by Professor and Silverglate, Three Felonies a Day -- or maybe one of these other fine books.

And what do you mean by "dismembering" government? Implementing the model of federalism found in the Constitution where the states have as much (if not more) power than the federal government? That sounds like a matter of policy preference, not the horrible thing you are presenting it as.

(2) intimidating or bribing many current senators and representatives to block all proposed legislation, prevent the appointment of presidential nominees, eliminate funds to implement and enforce laws, and threaten to default on the nation's debt;

Bribery? Really? Who? How much? What's your proof? Or is this you way of describing campaign contributions and engaging in political activity? After all, the "intimidation" is apparently a threat to campaign against them, based upon your earlier comment condemning the finding and supporting of new candidates to challenge entrenched incumbents.

And by the way, there is no effort to block ALL legislation -- just bad legislation that many Americans disagree with. Which means you are really condemning legitimate participation in the political process by American citizens whose views you oppose. And here I thought that dissent was patriotic.

(3) taking over state governments in order to redistrict, gerrymander, require voter IDs, purge voter rolls, and otherwise suppress the votes of the majority in federal elections;

These takeovers of state government -- that would be accomplished by persuading people to vote for certain politicians who support certain popular policies, right? Do you really now object to allowing voters to select candidates who promise to implement policies you consider wrong? Perhaps we need to send the National Guard to prevent winning candidates from taking office in the event you don't approve of them. After all, you could probably justify that under the Article IV guarantee that states have a republican form of government? Doesn't that violate principles of self-government that underlie our entire constitutional order?

(4) running a vast PR campaign designed to convince the American public of certain big lies, such as climate change is a hoax,

Let's see -- "running a vast PR campaign". Wouldn't that be engaging in activities guaranteed under the First Amendment like "freedom of speech", "freedom of the press" and "petitioning the government for a redress of grievances"? Sure sounds that way to me. Are you truly out to limit the First Amendment rights of Americans if you deem them to be propagating "big lies" -- what others may call "dissent"? And as far as climate change goes -- I seem to recall some guy named Galileo getting in trouble for propagating the "big lie" (contrary to the settled scientific consensus of the day) that the earth revolves around the sun rather than the other way around. Can we use his trial as the model for the trial of climate change deniers?

and (5) buying up the media so the public cannot know the truth.

Maybe we need the government to determine who is actually allowed to exercise that freedom of the press thingy, despite the "Congress shall make no law. . .. abridging" stuff that is in the First Amendment regarding it. Maybe we can even set up a Ministry of Truth to make sure that only government-approved truths are disseminated to the people and non-approved notions are not permitted to make it into print.

Would you call this treason?

No, I would not -- because Article III Section 3 of the United States Constitution (a document you have shown contempt for in the first paragraph, and which you continue to disregard with this question) provides us with the only definition of treason applicable in the United States -- "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort" Unless you wish to define the exercise of constitutional rights by American citizens to be "treason" when you disagree with the policies they support -- you know, as has been seen in one-party dictatorships throughout history.

If not, what would you call it?

As you describe it? A psychotic fever dream by a proto-fascist professor.

As it actually is? Good citizenship by patriotic Americans seeking to improve their country.

And what would you do about it?

Not a damn thing -- because I believe that every American has the right to speak and publish freely, to back the candidates and policies of their choice, and to participate in our national civic life free from fear of imprisonment or worse if government officials decide their dissent is "beyond the pale". That includes even allowing totalitarian twits like yourself to publish inane columns like the one I've been responding to -- because I fully believe that rational people will see through your unAmerican ideas and reject them accordingly.





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And So It Begins

We've got a state attorney general following the lead of the Obama Administration and the California governor and attorney general in refusing to defend state laws she opposes.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane is expected to announce Thursday that her office won't defend the state in a federal lawsuit that challenges Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage, the Daily News has learned.

Multiple sources confirmed that Kane, who is named along with Gov. Corbett as a defendant in the suit, plans to make the announcement at the National Constitution Center.

It really does not matter whether you support or oppose gay marriage -- failure to perform the duties of the office because you don't like what a law says is intolerable. If she will not resign, she ought to be immediately impeached and removed from office.





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I'm With CAIR & Libs On This One

Stop force feeding the hunger strikers at Gitmo.

Two veteran Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein of California and Dick Durbin of Illinois, are urging President Barack Obama to rein in force feeding of hunger-striking inmates at the U.S. militarys Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects.

We write to urge you to use your Presidential authority to end the unnecessary force-feedings of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, the senators wrote Wednesday in a letter to Obama.

Of course they assume that force-feeding will resume after Ramadan. I advocate not resuming feeding at all -- if the terrorists want to die, let them. Then we can shut down the Gitmo prison (and quit giving terrorists better treatment than our own people get in prison).





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July 08, 2013

My Endorsement -- Greg Abbott For Governor

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I can imagine no other candidate who would even come close to Attorney General Greg Abbott as the Republican candidate for Governor of Texas in 2014. I became a big fan of his when I interviewed him seven years ago, and he has only risen in my esteem since then.

Be sure to RSVP for one of these events around the state with our next governor!





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Good News From And For Texas -- Perry To Retire!

I opposed Gov. Rick Perry in the GOP primary in 2010 because I believed that 10 years was more than enough time for one man to serve as governor -- and because of his effort to use an Obama-style executive order to play doctor with the little girls of Texas. I reluctantly backed him in the general election because I believed him to be the lesser of two evils. While he has done a better job than I expected over the last four years, I'm very glad to see that he is not going to seek reelection in 2014 -- Texas does not need a Governor-For-Life.

Gov. Rick Perry will not seek reelection, he announced to about 200 supporters and the media in a humid warehouse at the country's largest Caterpillar dealership Monday afternoon.

I will spend the next 18 months working to create more jobs, he said. I make this announcement with a deep sense of humility and deep appreciation, and knowing I will truly miss serving in this capacity, because it is the greatest job in modern politics.

Perry said he'll enjoy serving the remainder of his term through 2014, adding, Until I leave this office, I will continue working hard to do what's best for Texas. He did not say whether he'd make another presidential bid after his 2012 attempt failed.

If I may make a little bit of input on that last point -- NO RICK NO!

By the way, let me note that I have no personal animosity towards Gov. Perry -- We have met several times and I have no problem affirming that he is a nice guy. It is just that his time has passed and we need a new man in the Governor's mansion (and lest anyone take offense on the "man" part -- my next post will explain that comment).

So thank you, Gov. Perry, for you years of service. Thank you for, on balance, being a conservative governor who has done well by the state of Texas -- even when I have disagreed with you. May God bless you and your family.





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July 07, 2013

Watcher's Council Results

Here are this weeks full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!





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July 06, 2013

An Interesting Study On Racism

With results that surprise.

Americans consider blacks more likely to be racist than whites and Hispanics in this country.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of American Adults think most black Americans are racist, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 15% consider most white Americans racist, while 18% say the same of most Hispanic Americans. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

There is a huge ideological difference on this topic. Among conservative Americans, 49% consider most blacks racist, and only 12% see most whites that way. Among liberal voters, 27% see most white Americans as racist, and 21% say the same about black Americans.

From a partisan perspective, 49% of Republicans see most black Americans as racist, along with 36% of unaffiliated adults and 29% of Democrats.

Among black Americans, 31% think most blacks are racist, while 24% consider most whites racist and 15% view most Hispanics that way.

Among white adults, 10% think most white Americans are racist; 38% believe most blacks are racist, and 17% say most Hispanics are racist.

Got that? Despite the constant left-wing mantra that blacks cannot be racist, blacks see their fellow blacks as being more likely to be racist than whites.

Now I would not have written on this poll were it not for this observation by WSJ writer James Taranto.

But the results for blacks are a big surprise. Blacks are more likely (by 7 percentage points) to think most blacks are racist than to think most whites are. Moreover, they are 11 points likelier than liberals (regardless of race) to think most blacks are racist, and 9 points likelier than Democrats. And blacks are 3 points less likely than liberals to think most whites are racist.

All of which suggests that the people likeliest to believe most whites are racist and most blacks are not are those who are both liberal and white. Which reinforces a point we've made often in this column: that a lot of what drives the futile debate over race in America is white liberals' psychological need to feel morally superior to other whites.

And it is here that I depart from Taranto. The issue is not that white liberals see themselves as morally superior to other whites. Quite the contrary -- white liberals are, as a group, racists who view themselves as superior to blacks and who project that racism onto their fellow whites because they presume that their fellow whites must be as morally debased as themselves. Of course, this projection is a subconscious thing -- so Taranto is correct insofar as he describes a liberal belief that they are superior to other whites who dare to disagree with them on racial matters. But the underlying reality is that there is a paternalistic racism that lurks in the heart of progressivism that dates back to Wilson, Sanger, and other leading lights of the early days of the movement. While that notion of racial superiority is so often cloaked in rhetoric that sounds benign and designed to help uplift an oppressed people, in the end it is based upon a belief that the progressive-minded liberal is better in terms of breeding, intellect and morals than minorities -- hence their propensity to attack those minorities who do not follow the lead of white liberals as not merely wrong, but intellectually and morally corrupt.

H/T Instapundit





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July 04, 2013

Independence Day 2013

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Two hundred thirty seven years ago today, a document was adopted in Philadelphia that changed the world. We mark that historic event today. Let us remember what that document said.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.






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July 03, 2013

Texas Satanists Fight For Continued Sacrifices To Moloch

I said I was only writing one post on the current abortion controversy here in Texas.

Then the "pro-woman" folks started sending e(vil)-mail to female legislators wishing that they and their daughters would be sexually assaulted, and I felt it necessary to offer my condemnation of the threats.

Well, now we have another example of what sort of folks back infanticide in utero through the moment the umbilical cord is cut.

Yeah, you heard that -- "Hail Satan!" in response to the singing of Amazing Grace. Living down here in Texas, i can assure you that appeals to Satanism -- along with threats of rape and mob actions disrupting the legislature -- are not the sort of things that will garner support for the liberal agenda of the Democrats.

But there are precedents for the sort of things that the pro-abortion forces are doing -- and they are found in Scripture.

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Seems appropriate that those who declare a right to a dead baby would appeal to one demon, just like those of the past killed babies in the name of another demon. What more needs be said?

But then again, we see what passes for "family values" among this sort.

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No wonder Wendy Davis has no political future in this state.





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July 02, 2013

A Real War On Women Here In Texas

I really was not going to write any more on the abortion battle here in Texas -- but the supporters of the abortion industry here in Texas have gone on the attack on women who don't toe the line.

State senator Donna Campbell, who issued the third point of order against Daviss filibuster (which ended it), has also been the target of extensive verbal abuse from pro-choice protesters, according to her spokesman Jon Oliver. Theyve received Facebook messages and e-mails saying, I hope youre raped and I hope your daughters raped, Oliver tells me. Lots of language Youre an effin blank, You are a traitor to women those kind of things, Oliver says. I wouldnt say anythings necessarily a direct threat, but theyre the kind of e-mails that make you a little nervous, especially when you start talking about family members: I hope your family members are raped.

By the way, that is DOCTOR Donna Campbell. You know, someone who knows a bit about the issue of human life, fetal development, and the proper practice of medicine. But to the anti-life extremists who insist upon legal abortion until the cutting of the umbilical cord (and even after), she is not allowed an opinion -- and since she dares tohave one, she and her daughter merit sexual assault.

So the next time you hear "War on Women" because someone objects to being forced to violate their religious beliefs in order to provide birth control to others, remember doctor Donna Campbell -- and suggest that those perpetuating that meme start condemning the real war on women that is being waged by their own side.

H/T Hot Air





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When "Customer Service" Isn't

Don't you hate it when customer service makes matters worse, not better? Dropped my old modem off at the Comcast/Xfinity store in League City yesterday. Out of curiosity, asked about upgrading to their new cable boxes and DVR. I was told it would cost me more money each month to do so -- about $20-25.

I contacted the company through Facebook, and got a seriously concerned young lady trying to help me out (one of their reps on Twitter contacted me, too). She passed my info on to regional customer service -- "executive customer care" -- and I talked to them today. Maybe not the best move; I was informed that the upgrade would be $40 a month!

Well, my contract expires in a couple of months -- I'll be looking to see what Dish Network, DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse have to offer as we get a bit closer to then and will almost certainly be making the switch.





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Canonization Of Pope John Paul II Likely Soon

The late pontiff has apparently made it through the process and awaits only the approval of Pope Francis before canonization.

Pope John Paul II has cleared the final obstacle before being made a saint, awaiting just the final approval from Pope Francis and a date for the ceremony that could come as soon as Dec. 8, a Vatican official and news reports said Tuesday.

The ANSA news agency reported that a commission of cardinals and bishops met Tuesday to consider John Paul's case and signed off on it. A Vatican official confirmed that the decision had been taken some time back and that Tuesday's meeting was essentially a formality.

One possible canonization date is Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a major feast day for the Catholic Church. This year the feast coincidentally falls on a Sunday, which is when canonizations usually occur.

And apparently PJPII will not be canonized alone -- Pope John XXIII will also be declared to be a saint in the same ceremony.

We are often asked about exemplars of holiness in the modern world -- that there are two such men in my lifetime tells me that they do exist and are all around us if we look. Now if only one more miracle could be attributed to the intercession of Mother Teresa...





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Religious Discrimination By Liberal Universty Administration

This one appears to be an open and shut case of bias by a public university.

A Sonoma State University student has filed a religious accommodation request after she said she was ordered to remove her cross necklace because it might offend other students.

Its amazing in this day of diversity and tolerance on university campuses that a university official would engage in this type of obvious religious discrimination, said Liberty Institute attorney Hiram Sasser.

Liberty Institute is representing Audrey Jarvis, 19, a liberal arts major at the northern California university.

On June 27 Jarvis was working for the universitys Associated Students Productions at a student orientation fair for incoming freshmen. During the event, her supervisor directed her to remove the cross necklace.

Sasser said the supervisor told her that the chancellor had a policy against wearing religious items and further explained that she could not wear her cross necklace because it might offend others, it might make incoming students feel unwelcome, or it might cause incoming students to feel that ASP was not an organization they should join.

My initial reaction was one of complete shock, Jarvis told Fox News. I was thrown for a loop.

Jarvis said she is a devout Catholic and she wears the cross as a symbol of her faith in Christ.

I was offended because I believe as a Christian woman it is my prerogative to display my faith any way I like so long as it is not harming anyone else, she said. I was very hurt and felt as if the universitys mission statement which includes tolerance and inclusivity to all was violated.

Would they have told a Jewish student to remove a yarmulke? Would a Muslim girl have been expected to remove her head scarf? Would that gay kid have been told to remove a rainbow pin on his shirt collar? No, no, and no. That makes the matter crystal clear. And there is no legitimate basis for believing that the school's policy was not a violation of civil rights, so sue them all in their personal capacities, so as not to stick the taxpayers with the entire bill when this gets to court.





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Chief Justice Roberts Acknowledges That Justice Thomas Is Correct

On the barrage of questions faced by lawyers at the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice John Roberts says he and his colleagues have become too aggressive in questioning lawyers who argue before the Supreme Court.

Roberts says the justices "overdo it a bit" in posing questions to lawyers who are arguing their cases without giving the attorneys the chance to respond.

This is the position of Justice Thomas, who almost never asks a question during oral arguments, preferring instead to let the advocates present their argument.





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My One And Only Comment On The Abortion Law Debate In Texas

I'm pro-life. I have been for many years.

I've not commented on the current abortion debate here in Texas and the whole Wendy Davis issue because I cannot guarantee I would be civil in how I spoke about the mob scene in Austin last week or the disingenuous way that Davis claims no politician should be trying to score political points on the issue of abortion while going out of her way to score political points on the abortion issue.

No, I'll just point to two truths about the legislation in question, legislation that would protect viable babies from late term abortions and require that what is undeniably a surgical procedure take place in a proper surgical setting.

Truth #1: This legislation reflects the views of most Americans.

Screen-Shot-2013-06-30-at-3.39.54-PM[1].png

Got that -- only four groups (Over 50, Non-whites, African-Americans and Democrats) oppose such legislation. Women are more supportive of it than men are. In short, this legislation is MAINSTREAM legislation. No, Americans don't support overturning Roe v. Wade, but they also don't support unrestricted abortion on demand until birth -- a position that is so outside the mainstream as to reasonably be called EXTREMIST. And extremists like Wendy Davis ought to remember that when they bring a rent-a-mob to disrupt the legislature and then claim that those scenes are the model of democracy. After all, history is replete with groups supporting an extremist agenda who were great at ginning up mobs to intimidate their opponents -- Russia, Italy, and Germany in the first third of the twentieth century all provide examples of where such tactics lead.

Truth #2: This legislation is not unusual.

Twelve states already have laws banning abortion at 20 weeks -- that's one out of four states (yes, I'm rounding). Sixteen have laws that ban abortion after 22 weeks -- including such conservative strongholds as New York and Rhode Island. And bans "after viability" (an amorphous standard, I know) are the norm in this country, with Texas being one of only 15 states that do not have such a ban. In short, Texas is moving into, not out of, the mainstream by passing such a law.

And with that, I'm done commenting on this matter -- unless something of truly earthshaking significance develops on the matter.





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

There Is A Way To Avoid Such Errors

Don't take pictures of your genitalia.

A JFK Airport security supervisor has been fired for mistakenly sending out a mass e-mail blast of his genitals to nearly two dozen shocked underlings, supervisors and Port Authority executives.

The embarrassing incident occurred around 7:15 a.m. June 21 after Gerard Robson, a project manager for private contractor FJC Security, responded to an airport parking-lot fender bender involving a security guards car.

Robson had hoped to alert his bosses and PA execs to what happened by taking photos of the cars and e-mailing the images with his company-issued BlackBerry, sources said.

But Robson somehow attached another snapshot stored on the cellphone showing him inside a car, waist down, naked penis out, belly and all, according to one source.

It went out to about 20 individuals, including subordinates, at least two FJC veeps and two PA supervisors, the sources said.

Of course, maybe Robson was planning on making a run for mayor of New York -- after all, such photos seem to be the major qualification of former Congressman Anthony Weiner for that office.





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Watcher's Council Results

Here are this weeks full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!





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