Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

JIMMY CARTER'S BIG THOUGHTS

In the long list of things Jimmy Carter messed up in his (thankfully) short term of office, from the gas shortages to staglation, from the Middle East to malaise, he stated in a  recent interview that his greatest failure was not getting reelected (via Real Clear Politics):




What a putz.

When asked what lesson he learned in office, he replied with two things:

“[N]ot to ever let American hostages be held for 444 days in a foreign country without extracting them.”
Ya think? (Maybe he should clue President Obama in on that one).  As for reason number two:


"I should have paid more attention to the organization of the Democratic party.  I was not only the leader of a nation, I was also leader of the Democratic party.  And I think I failed, in that respect, to keep the party united.  It was divided, and my reelection campaign between me and people with some loyalty to Senator Ted Kennedy, and that cost me a lot of votes."
So let's recap.  It wasn't the Middle East crisis he set off with his meddling in the affairs of Iran, it wasn't the gas shortage that had people waiting in line for hours for a few gallons of gas; it wasn't even stagflation or a lack of connection and engagement with the American people that caused them to vote in Reagan with a staggering 489 electoral votes to Carter's 49

As far as he's concerned, it was hostages and Kennedy.  For Carter, it's all about him, and yet it's never his fault.  Sound familiar?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

HOLIDAY FUN

Here's a little Thanksgiving week giggle for you, courtesy of the Onion:


Obama Outlines Moral, Philosophical Justifications For Turkey Pardon

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

THANK YOU



It's the Veteran... not the preacher,
who has earned for us freedom of religion.

It's the Veteran... not the reporter,
who has earned for us freedom of the press.

It's the Veteran... not the poet,
who has earned for us freedom of speech.

It's the Veteran... not the campus organizer,
who has earned for us freedom to assemble.

It's the Veteran... not the lawyer,
who has earned for us the right to a fair trial.

It's the Veteran... not the politician,
who has earned for us the right to vote.

It's the Veteran... who salutes the flag,
who has protected and served under the flag

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

DISGRAYSON

Dear Mr. Grayson,

     We the people of the 8th CD voted you out of office not because you only won in '08 by four percent   (you lost by 18 - you didn't even break 40%.  We're conservative, but we're not that conservative).  We voted you out of Congress because you ignored the will of the people and on top of that, every time you open your mouth, we cringe. Your style of hyper-partisan rhetoric drags the whole country down to the level of squabbling dogs.  You are a bomb throwing hack who doesn't deserve a national stage.  You embarassed yourself, you embarassed your constituents, you embarrassed your party and you embarrassed the country.  As soon as you open your mouth, the IQ level in the room drops 30 points.    When I think of a knuckle-dragging neanderthal out to gleefully bash heads, your face comes to mind. 

You may be a good lawyer, but you suck as a congressman.  Nothing that you did for your district or the country is worth having to deal with you on a frequent basis.  Considering you hail from a traditionally conservative district, gerrymandered or not, a thinking man would have thought about the electoral ramifications of vilifying and insulting conservatives on a consistent basis.   Performances like this certainly don't help:



Your righteous indignation at Mr. Bolling's saying that talking to you was like talking to a medicated person came off hollow, as you had repeatedly insulted the man and his audience right out of the gate.  You refused to answer his questions, you refuse to acknowledge that your own rhetoric sank your reelection campaign, and you refuse to act like a normal, civil human being.  One wonders why you even bothered to go on a Fox show in the first place, considering your obvious disdain for the network and it's many millions of viewers. 

You have rage issues, Mr. Grayson.  You see a majority of this country as the enemy.  That right there disqualifies you from politics, period.  No doubt you are a lovely person, provided the people around you agree with you completely.  But your base attacks, your ham-handed attempts at cleverness, and your smug, obnoxious attitude repels people - voters in particular.  You are what is wrong with politics today.  You happily go about demonizing whole groups of people because they disagree with your party.  You refuse to listen to them, you refuse to compromise, you refuse to even be civil. 

So please, Mr. Grayson, for the sake of your own dignity (if you even have any shreds of it left), please just go away.  I'd tell you it's what the voters want, but that doesn't seem to matter to you anyway, so why bother?  Just take the voters of the 8th CD's word for it - you're not cut out for politics.  Go work for MSNBC.  You'll fit right in.  And if you do, please be sure to move to New York.  We'll help you pack.

SEMPER FI

On this day in 1775 in a tavern in Philadelphia, the Marine Corps was born.  Tun Tavern, established in 1685, was the birthplace of the Marines because the tavern owner, Robert Mullan, was commissioned by an act of Congress to raise the first two battalions of Continental Marines.  The first appointed commandant was Samuel Nicholas.  His grandfather was a member of the Tun Tavern Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, as was Mullan.  It is this connection that lead to Tun Tavern being the birthplace of the USMC. 

In 1775 the US Navy was established to intercept British ships sent to resupply British troops in the colonies.  Five companies of Marines were mustered at Tun Tavern to join the Navy in their mission to stop the British ships.  Those first Marines carried drums painted yellow with a coiled rattlesnake with thirteen rattles and the motto "Don't Tread on Me".  A flag of this design was given by Marine Colonel Christopher Gadsden to the first commander-in-chief of the Navy, Commodore Esek Hopkins, to be used as a personal standard, and the South Carolina legislature (Gadsden was the Congressional representative from SC).  This flag became known as the Gadsden flag and was one of the first flags of our young country, eventually being replaced by Old Glory. It is still an acknowledged symbol of the Corps to this day, as well as a symbol of liberty and a wonderful example of American spirit.  A truly fitting symbol for our brave men and women in the USMC.

Our Marines are some of the most respected fighting men in the world.  Their bravery is legendary.  Their motto, Semper Fi - always faithful - is a tribute to their love of country.  Their ranks have included tough guy icons like Steve McQueen, Lee Marvin, George C. Scott, Gene Hackman and R. Lee Ermey.  Joining the Marines is a special call of duty.  When things get tough, the Marines get to work.  First in, last out.  Mention the word 'Marine' and patriot's hearts are filled with pride and our enemies hearts are filled with fear.

So raise a glass today, and join the world-wide celebration of the 235th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.  And for those readers who count themselves among the few and the proud, thank you for your service.  God bless you all.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

MEMORANDUM FOR SLAUGHTER

On October 25, 2010, President Obama signed a memorandum that will exempt four countries from 2008's Child Soldiers Prevention Act - Yemen, Sudan, Chad, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This Act was a bipartisan effort to block countries that recruit child soldiers from getting US military assistance or buying US arms. Two other countries mentioned in the law, Myanmar and Somalia, are still prohibited.


So let me get this straight - if a kid in this country makes a gun shape with her finger and pretend 'shoots', she is suspended for making a "terroristic threat" to a teacher. But if some third world hellhole forcefully 'recruits' a kid, gives him a real gun, trains him and sends him off to war, they get Uncle Sam to supply the weapons and foot the bill.

Isn't this genocide? Why are we now supporting this?

For those not aware of the genocide in Darfur, many of those fleeing the violence are seeking refuge in Chad - another of the four exempted countries. Could there possibly be a spillover of violence?

This has gotten little notice, but it should. How can Obama in good conscience exempt these countries? What in the world is he thinking? The reason given for the exemptions is 'national security', and yet there is no explanation forthcoming on how, exactly, this affects our national security. Is there some crisis he sees down the road where we will need armed children at our disposal? Or does he believe the armed youth will be the voices of reason that will overthrow the government and then create a peaceful utopia?

Darfur is already in chaos. Tacit approval of child soldiers by the US government is like throwing gasoline on a brushfire. Please remember that this isn't economic aid, aid for reugees or food and other supplies for the poor. This is a block on military aid. Places like Darfur most definitely do NOT need more weapons. What they need is a functioning, accountable government and a return to sanity. This memorandum all but ensures they will not get it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SO LONG, TEACUPS!

Today was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping. Truly a picture perfect day. But honestly, it would have been a beautiful day even if it was pouring. Because last night, everything changed.  Last night a storm swept through and washed everything clean.


Today is a beautiful day because Alan Grayson is no longer my congressman.

I'm happy that Queen Nan has been kicked to the curb, that so many states will now be governed by conservatives, and that Marco Rubio has won. But my dearest heart's desire, to see Alan "Teacups" Grayson sent home after one term. has come to pass and I'm fairly giddy with it!

We had to have line work done to our cable/internet connection (a tree grew through the line) today, so I was unable to watch the post election wrap-ups. What I have seen has given me the impression that there are others who are just as happy as me that DisGrayson will no longer be darkening the halls of Congress and it's just so nice to know that it was a shared dream and a successful effort.

Last night was a resounding repudiation of the Pelosi/Obama agenda.  It wasn't the messaging, it wasn't the weather, it wasn't anything  but their policies and the offensive, patronizing, arrogant way in which it was implemented against the will of a majority if Americans.  We still have a long two months of lame duck session to go, but there is now a light at the end of the tunnel. A rebuke was delivered and a mandate presented. The people have demanded a course change. Now it is up to the republicans to deliver and the White House to triangulate.

The big question is this: Will Barack Obama move to the center and compromise or will he remain firmly entrenched on the left - damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead? Compromise will get him reelected, entrenchment will get him primaried. 

There is plenty of time to ponder that question. Tomorrow.  For now, it's time to bask in the glory -

Alan Grayson is NOT my congressman! 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

DANIEL WEBSTER 1, DEVIL 0 Updated

Ding, dong, the psycho's gone!!!!

No more shall I hang my head in shame that Alan Grayson is my representative.  Praise God, haleluia!!  Congratulations, Daniel Webster.  It was a dirty fight, but you handled it with dignity. 

It looks like Nancy Pelosi will no longer be Speaker of the House.  Fox News is projecting a 60 seat gain for republicans, far more than the 39 needed to take the majority.

I just want to know when they will be airing footage of Pelosi handing over the gavel to Boehner on CSPAN.  I want to DVR it so I can watch that sweet, sweet moment over and over and over again.  January 3rd just can't come soon enough....

With all of the heady projections of 70+ seats going red and a possible Senate takeover, all I really wanted was three things:

1. Alan Grayson loses reelection.  Badly loses.  I'm talking double digits.
2. Nancy Pelosi loses the majority and thus her Speakership.
3. Harry Reid loses reelection.

Well, I've gotten two out of three so far, but I'm really hoping for a hat trick.  I'm waiting anxiously for the returns from Nevada and will post an update when there is some news.

UPDATE:  With 30% of precincts reporting, Harry Reid is in the lead, 51-44.  Well, two out of three ain't bad....

ELECTION DAY DRINKING GAME

The Washington Examiner has the key phrases for the Election Day Drinking Game.  Every time you hear one of these phrases from a pundit or talking head, take a drink of your favorite beverage (The Examiner has offered helpful suggestions for drink options):

1. "Anti-incumbent"
2. "Temper tantrum"
3. "Blind rage"
4. Blame Obama for "not getting the message out"
5. Voter racism
6. Mention McDonalds owner who told employees to vote Republican
7. "Secret money"
8. Drink for every block in which Christine O'Donnell is most mentioned candidate

Here's one I'd like to add - If a liberal pundit mentions the Harry Reid/Harrah's situation, you get a splash of cold water. 

Enjoy the coverage and don't drink and drive!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CALVIN-ISM FOR THE MODERN AGE

There has been a lot of talk over the past year that what the country really needs is another Ronald Reagan.  I was still a kid when the Gipper was president, but my memories of that time, particularly when put in the persepective of the deprivations of the Carter years, was of a prosperous time where it was still a great thing to be American.  There are many people, particularly in the Tea Party, who would like to see a return to those times.  But I have another role model that we might want to keep an eye out for.  This man has been relatively overlooked by history, which is a shame. 

Particularly after the excesses of the past two years under Obama and the past four years with the purse strings controlled by Pelosi, we are in need of a modern-day Calvin Coolidge.  Yes, that's right.  Coolidge.  "Silent Cal" is a Tea Partier's dream candidate, and he would be willing to take the sometimes unpopular steps to bring us back from the brink that we are teetering on.  Much like the religious reforms of calvinism were a revolutionary movement back in the 1600's, we need our own fiscally conservative, small business Calvin-istic revolution today. 

Coolidge is really the anti-Obama.  Everything that Obama is and stands for, Coolidge is the polar opposite.  Obama has rockstar status, relying heavily on his personal charm and preaching from the pulpit style to woo the electorate.  He is professorial, arrogant and cool in demeanor.  He passes the buck and is quick to point the finger of blame, and his opinion of taxation is that it is the American people's patriotic duty to pay up, and that he and his cronies can spend our money better than we can. 

Coolidge, on the other hand, was a humble, quiet, retiring everyman who was not prone to being wordy - the closest to cool he ever came was the 'cool' in his name.  His speeches were effective, skillfully delivered, and numerous, but not very memorable.  The buck stopped with him, and instead of wasting time placing blame, he spent his time trying to fix the problem.  His opinions on taxation were as revolutionary in that era of progressivism as they would be in this age of progressivism.  He felt that it was the duty of the government to keep spending to a minimum so that the American taxpayer could see more of their money in their own pockets.  His view of government was to keep it as minimally invasive as possible, whereas Obama thinks government is the answer for everything.  How successful were his policies?  Well, the Roaring Twenties were under his watch, if that is any indication.

We are in desperate need of austerity, but more importantly, we are in desperate need of politiicans who are willing to risk broad popularity in order to do what is necessary to save this country from the fiscal disaster that is looming just over the horizon.  The days of kicking the can down the road are gone.  The time for action is now, and Silent Cal might just hold the solution, if our politicians are willing.  For those who question the wisdom of looking for another Calvin Coolidge, I will leave you with this clip, via the Cato Institute:



In closing, here is a gem of a quote from Silent Cal that our current president should really take to heart:

"The words of a President have an enormous weight," he would later write, "and ought not to be used indiscriminately."

HEADLINE OF THE YEAR

This headline is just too perfect.

I seem to recall the Devil losing last time, too.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

DIS-GRAYSON STRIKES AGAIN

Wow.  Just....wow.  My jerktacular congressman is up to his usual shenanigans again.  He made an appearance on MSNBC today.  This piece of...work is actually trying to indignantly deride his opponent, Daniel Webster, for "These blistering, evil negative ads". 

That's right, the guy who has called his opponents terrorists, klansmen and neanderthals, the man who so thoroughly, viciously twisted words out of context that even lefties said 'whoa', the self-same fellow who accused republicans of wanting people to die, is lecturing on constructive dialogue. 

Wow.

And, of course, being a good lefty, he throws down his victim card for good measure.  The guy who has ads calling his opponent an extreme, unpatriotic, draft-dodging terrorist is concerned about being called a loud-mouthed, national embarrassment of a liar on tv because of his own boorish behavior.  After all, Grayson's kids are being harmed by this reckless pointing out of obvious character flaws.   I'm sure Webster's six kids weren't bothered at all by hearing their father being called a draft-dodging member of the Taliban.  It's quite obvious Grayson is the injured party - nay, the helpless victim - in all of this.  Big Poor baby.

This clown's attempt at righteous indignation simply adds a new level to his obnoxiousness.  At the end of September, the polls showed Webster up by seven.  Let's hope that holds.  I just don't think I could go another two years with this national joke representing me. 

Hey Grayson - the reason people are "out to get you" is because you are an obnoxious embarrassment that lowers the level of every debate you participate in.  You have diminished the standing of your office with your words and deeds on a near-daily basis. You are the nasty little bully on the schoolyard, Mr. Grayson.  Nothing is too low for you.  And when someone stands up to you and gives you just a taste of your own medicine, you run home crying to mommy.  There is no place for you in the grown-up world of national politics.  Take your ball and go home, no one wants to put up with you anymore.

I got my absentee ballot this week and can't wait to not vote for Grayson.  I've put it off so that I can savor the anticipation first.  I'm planning on filling in the ballot in reverse, saving the best for last.  Who says politics can't be fun?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

TEN YEARS, ZERO JUSTICE

Today is the tenth anniversary of the bombing of the USS Cole.  Seventeen brave sailors died that day, and thirty-nine more were wounded.  Less than a year later, September 11th would overshadow all previous attacks, making them seem insignificant by comparison.  Many people see that as the beginning of the war on terror - a carefully planned act of war on innocent civilians.  Many people became aware for the first time that there were factions who hated us and wanted to kill as many of us as possible. 

In reality, the 1990's were full of terrorist attacks, many of which were shrugged off by the Clinton administration.  Because they occurred in foreign lands, and the primary victims were military personnel, the American people shrugged them off, too.  But it was a planned campaign, an incessant poking of the bear that would escalate with each lack of response.

Which brings us to the USS Cole bombing.  It's hard to forget the images of the crippled ship coming home; the  huge 60' by 40' hole torn into her side was a disturbing reminder that even we, the strongest country in the world, could be brought low.   The response to this deadly attack on our brave men and women in uniform?  Nothing so far. Ten years, and nothing has been done to bring the mastermind of the bombing, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, to justice. 

Clinton vowed retribution:

“You will not find a safe harbor,” he proclaimed. “We will find you and justice will prevail.”

Eh, not so much. But what else was he supposed to say less than a month out from a major election cycle?  The words and actions of politicians seldome sync. Nashiri is the only person we are holding for the Cole bombing (some planners eventually gave their sick and twisted all for Allah on 9/11), but the attack was credited to Osama Bin Laden (who actually read poetry about the bombing) and al Qaeda a mere two weeks after the event.

The Cole bombing was central to the intel about potential future strikes by al Qaeda - intel that was shrugged off by the incoming Bush administration.  Less than a year later, that intel would prove true and everyone's attention would be focused on al Qaeda as they tried to come to grips with the events of 9/11.  At least the Bush administration managed to capture Nashiri and place him in Gitmo in 2006, but nothing has been done since.

In early February of 2009, President Obama actually withdrew charges against Nashiri.  The reason for the withdrawal was so the DoJ could reveiw handling of high value prosecutions of Guantanamo detainees.  The DoJ recently filed a motion saying there were no immediate plans to file new charges - a motion that was met with dismay and disbelief by the victims and families.

And so another year has passed without justice for the Cole victims and survivors.  That makes three presidents now who have dropped the ball. 

This unwillingness to prosecute war criminals made the enemy think we were weak.  Each incident was an escalation.  When even the Cole didn't register, the plans for 9/11, which was already deep in the planning and preparation stages, went into high gear.  They thought they could attack with impunity and expect little response - and why would they not?

Would retaliation for the Cole attack have averted 9/11?  Who knows?  On the one hand, al Qaeda might have been disrupted and funding siezed, which could have stopped the attacks.  On the other, strikes on al Qaeda might have been a catalyst in and of itself, triggering the attacks anyway.  Either way, the perpetrators of the attack on the USS Cole remain unpunished, and wondering what might have been takes time away from dealing with what really has occurred.  Which leaves unanswered the burning question of the day -

When will there be justice for the Cole?

Friday, October 8, 2010

SURPRISE, SURPRISE

Lets see...

Federal spending has increased 9% just this year - after a record of 16% in 2009

We are throwing away money that we don't have to dead people and criminals.  And lets not forget the chinese 'sex workers', co-eds and turtles.

Meanwhile, the dollar is sliding into irrelevance.

What's a desperate Fed to do?  Inflation!

The Pelosi-led Congress cut and ran a week early without passing a budget  or even taking a vote on the Bush tax cuts

A record breaking 41 million people are now on food stamps.  Ironically, some Obama supporters will have to stop drinking the kool-aid, at least if they live in NYC.

The United States has ceded sovereignty over a large piece of Arizona, Pakistan is taking billions of our taxpayer dollars with one hand and stabbing us in the back with the other, and Iran is eagerly exploring the trafficking possibilities in Afghanistan. 

The woman leading Congress thinks that food stamps and unemployment checks are the "biggest bang" for our stimulus buck. 

A congressman running for reelection claims there is no national debt.  

Is it any wonder republicans are leading in the polls?

Monday, September 27, 2010

GRAYSON MANAGES TO SINK EVEN LOWER Updated

In the past week or so, I have been flooded with emails from my embarrassment of a congressman, Alan Grayson.  The latest campaign ad, which I received on Saturday night, is yet another hit piece on Daniel Webster.  What a surprise.  I posted about Grayson's last attack ad, accusing Webster of dodging the draft, when actually Webster received routine deferments while he was in college and was rated 1-Y status (which was later reclassified as 4-F) and wasn't allowed to serve.  I also mentioned his ad on how he allegedly "saved our schools" here in the 8th district. Yet again, lies.    

I refuse to post the ad from his website, because I don't want him getting the viewership hits, so here it is via youtube:



The ad is titled "Taliban Dan Webster".  Because, you know, those republicans are like terrorists, according to Grayson.  In it, Webster appears to be giving a speech of some kind, and he is saying "she should submit to me".  "Submit to me" is used three more times in the ad.  Grayson has also accused Webster of not allowing women to divorce abusive husbands because of his "radical extremist" views.

As usual for Grayson, this ad is chock full of lies and manipulations.  The Orlando Sentinel is the one to call him out this time.

As far as not 'allowing' women to divorce abusive husbands goes, apparently Webster is a proponent of "covenant marriage", which is a "legal union of husband and wife that requires premarital counselling, marital counselling if problems occur, and limited grounds for divorce".  However, those "limited grounds" include abuse, either physical or sexual, of either wife or children as grounds for divorce, among other things.  It is an attempt to make divorce more less of an option, instead relying on counselling to work through problems, but abuse is still grounds for divorce.  Radical, I know.

Webster's comment that "she should submit to me - that's in the bible" is taken completely out of context.  He was speaking at a couples retreat.  Here is what he really said (emphasis mine for context):

"Find a verse. I have a verse for my wife; I have verses for my wife. Don't pick the ones that say, um, she should submit to me. That's in the Bible, but pick the ones that you're supposed to do. So instead, love your wife, even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it, as opposed to wives submit yourself to your own husband. She can pray that if she wants to, but don't you pray it."

As you can see when you hear the entire quote in context, he is advising against using those verses.   Grayson's ad is a gross distortion.  Period.  The blatant manipulation is disgusting. 

I received another email from Grayson's campaign crowing that Webster refused to comment on the ad.  They are attempting to make it seem that his silence is confirmation, when the reality is that this attack is so low, so egregiously wrong that it doesn't deserve to be addressed.  Webster is merely refusing to lower himself to Grayson's level. 

One can only hope that, as the real truth about this ad comes out, it hurts Grayson and shows him for the lying, conniving, ethics-free, Pelosi-owned albatross around the neck of the 8th district that he is.  If he tries to worm out of the controversy by blaming his staff, there is this politico article that points to Grayson as the main author of his campaign ads.  He owns this.

Grayson is a disgrace to District 8, the state of Florida, the House of Representatives and the country in general.  He is the poster boy for all that is wrong with partisan politics today.  The term 'political hack' is too complimentary for this nasty piece of work.  Whereas I was merely embarrassed to be a constituent, now I am disgusted.

Come on, District 8, let's retire this jerk in November!

UPDATE:  The GOP is questioning Grayson's stability.

UPDATE II:  The Sunshine State poll has Webster up by seven (43-36).  This poll was taken before the Taliban Dan ad was exposed as a complete fraud, so hopefully the gap will widen:

Digging deeper, the numbers look even worse for Grayson as 51 percent of respondents said they had an unfavorable view of the Orlando-area congressman.


"Grayson has real problems here," said Jim Lee, president of Voter Survey Service, which conducted the poll for Sunshine State News.

"He’s even more unpopular than the president, which is not surprising given how controversial he has been with his rhetoric, overall style and TV ads."

Webster has had a financial boon from the ads of about $70,000.  Unfortunately, Teacups has a war chest of well over a million, and he is personally very wealthy.  If you can contribute to Webster's war chest, please do.

MONDAY MORNING FUNNY

Here is the cartoon of the week, brought to you by Michael Ramirez:



The man is brilliant.  For more of his stuff, check him out at Townhall.com.

Friday, September 24, 2010

FUNNY BUSINESS

Today our federal government officially jumped the shark.  It couldn't have been more apparent if they had called Ted McGinley to testify instead of Stephen Colbert.  Don't get me wrong, Colbert is great.  He's a funny guy.  But how in the world is he qualified to testify on immigration - in character, no less?

The reality show that is Washington politics of late has gone too far.  By inviting Colbert, Immigration Subcommittee chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) turned the entire immigration debate, as well as congressional hearings, into a joke.  And not even a good one, with all due respect to Mr. Colbert, who was doing his satirical best:



Okay, so he was kind of funny.  In an awkward, trainwreck-y kind of way.  You really can't fault him for doing it - what entertainer in their right mind would give up a chance to play the Hill?  Even the famous Onion, the University of Wisconsin's hilariously satirical newspaper/website, couldn't have dreamed this up.  This will boost his ratings phenominally, and he will come out of this just fine.  The people who invited him to speak, however, may not fare so well.  Unless, of course, Rep. Lofgren is angling for her own show in case she loses on Nov. 2nd - in this job climate, it's every congressperson for themselves, and sometimes you have to think outside of the box!

Some democrats seem to be slaves to the cult of personality, and Colbert's appearance plays more like a desperate attempt for the party to be seen as hip and cool than a legitimate attempt to investigate policy issues.  The fact that this opens them up to ridicule and lowers the profile of the US governement as a whole seems to matter little to Lofgren.  At least Rep. John Conyers )D-MI) tried to stop the circus and preserve the dignity of our legislative branch.  He most likely saw what many other people saw - the serious issue of immigration reform, the U.S. Congress and the democrat party in general being made a mockery of in one fell swoop.

In a country where Comedy Central's Daily Show host Jon Stewart is seen as the most trusted name in news, this irresponsible dog and pony show will only further blur the line between real world politics and political satire.

At least we got a laugh out of it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

GRAYSON SINKS TO NEW LOW

Regular readers of my blog know that I am no fan of my Congressional "representative", Alan Grayson.  As far as I'm concerned, the man is an embarassment, not just to me, but to the district and, frankly, the country as a whole.  He rode in on Obama's coattails, and hopefully he will be riding right back out again in November.  He is a political bomb thrower who has never been hampered by the inconvenient ethics of honesty and professionalism.

He has sunk to many, many lows over the past year and a half that he has been in Washington.  He's smug, he's smarmy, and he's willing to sink to any level to further his our interests.  The latest example of this is a new ad that he is airing about his opponent, republican Daniel Webster.  This ad is nothing short of an outright lie.  He, being a lawyer, will argue that there is a grain of truth in it.  I, as a voter, argue that it is low, deceiving and, well, par for the course from this piece of work. 

Here is the ad (via the Orlando Sentinel):



Kudos to the Sentinel for reporting the fallacies in this ad.  I have to admit that was surprising - the paper is known to local conservatives as the "Slantinel".

So the grain of truth in the ad is that Webster had six deferments.  He was in college at the time of the Vietnem war, and it was routine to defer college students from the draft.  Neither the Johnson nor Nixon administrations wanted a "brain drain" in the country.  If you were in college when your number came up, you were deferred.  So five times Webster was deferred.  The sixth time, he reported for duty and was found to be 1Y status and was not asked to serve.

There were thousands of deferments issued during the Vietnam war.  Some recipients include former President Bill Clinton, Sen. Al Franken, former VP Al Gore, Sen. Henry Waxman, NM Gov. Bill Richardson and former DNC chief Howard Dean. 

I would love to see an intrepid reporter ask the above mentioned "draft dodgers" how they feel about that label, as well as the fact that, according to Grayson, they should not have been allowed to serve their country because they supposedly refused to back then. Wouldn't it be interesting to see their responses on YouTube?  Giles?  O'Keefe?  Any takers?

That Grayson is willing to lie in a campaign ad is nothing new.  The man has to look up to see the gutter.  As a constituent, I have received pamphlets in the mail touting the millions in pork he has brought home.  In the anti-earmark political climate that exists today, running on the amount of pork he has pillaged from the wallets of taxpayers isn't a winner.  Then, of course, there is the infamous "Alan Grayson saved our schools" ad - a creepy bit of work that is one lie after another (be sure to check out this WESH news report on just how false this ad really is).  If Alan Grayson saved the schools, why did my daughter's high school just have to let staff go and juggle the students' schedules to accommodate the $380,000 budget cut they just got hit with at a time when they are trying to comply with class size regulations in overcrowed schools?

Alan Grayson cannot run on his record in Congress because he was in lockstep with Pelosi.  He cannot run on what he wants to do in his next term, because it will be more of the Pelosi, Reid, Obama progressive agenda.  So all he has left is smearing his opponent.  It's not just a cheap shot, it's an outright fabrication - and this isn't his first time peddling lies.  They say that everyone eventually finds their own level.  The question is, do we, as a district, really want to sink to Grayson's?

Remember in November.

Monday, September 20, 2010

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT: BRITISH EDITION

Reason #1,576,984 on why I'm happy to be an American:  The UK is proposing that all gross paychecks now go directly to the government first, so that they can take out whatever taxes are necessary before direct depositing the money in the bank account of the worker who earned it. 

The interesting thing about the CNBC article reporting on this latest intervention by the state is not the reaction of the populace to such a proposal, nor the invasion of privacy by the state that is involved, because neither are mentioned.  The real issue seems to be the logistics of the proposal, and whether or not it is fiscally and logistically attainable.  This is stunning.  Heaven knows we americans wouldn't stand for such a suggestion.  Will the english people really allow this unprecidented grab of power?

Public sentiment aside, the bigger question right now seems to be if the central government can impliment a plan like this.  According to the reportage I've seen on the subject, the accumulation of data will be problematic, as well as security issues and timeliness.  They attempted an overhaul of the national health system that would have brought all of the county rolls into a centralized system, and ended up having to scrap the plan:

And the chance of widespread mistakes could be high, according to Bull. HMRC does not have a good track record of handling large computer systems and has suffered high-profile errors with data, he said.

The system would be massive in terms of data management, larger than a recent attempt to centralize the National Health Service's data, which was later scrapped, Bull said.

Nothing like high profile errors that directly affect not just your weekly paycheck, but also your bank account in general.  I don't know about you, but the thought of the IRS with weekly access to my accounts is the stuff of nightmares. 

The CNBC article also mentions issues of security -  a program like that would be like catnip to thieves and hackers.   It also states that the current computer system and infrastructure would have to be completely overhauled, at an exorbitant cost to taxpayers.  There is a potential savings of hundreds of millions for businesses down the road, but that number is by far overshadowed by the cost of implimentation and upkeep. 

I still keep going back to what the english people think of all of this.  Are they so used to the central government intruding in their lives that this program, while an utter outrage to americans, is just par for the course over there?  Or will they rise up in protest to something like this? 

Perhaps another chapter of the International Tea Party movement is about to be born.  Welcome aboard, mates!

Friday, September 17, 2010

CONSTITUTION DAY

Two hundred and twenty three years ago, the framers of the Constitution created a document unlike anything that had come before.  This people's republic was created so well that not only has it persevered, but has shone the light of freedom on the whole world, and ushered in a new era of achievement. 

Was it a perfect document?  No...and yes.  It had it's flaws, true..  And yet, therein lies the perfection.  Those thirty-nine men were fully aware that, as mere men, they were subject to failings of judgement, and so they managed to create a document that was amendable.  It is not an easy process, something that is not undertaken lightly - but it can be done.  This does not mean it was meant to be a "living document" that is supposed to change with the times.  The inherent philosophy, that our rights are inalienable and derived from our maker, is something that simply cannot  be changed.  That is our fundamental creed. 

The results of our Revolution were truly revolutionary.  We opened our arms wide and offered our freedom to the world.  We have singlehandedly improved humankind's lot in life a thousandfold the world over.  Throwing off the yoke of tyranny and giving the people a voice in their future and their very lives brought out the best in us.  We innovated.  We thrived.  We prospered.  The world watched our living experiment, and many were inspired by us.  Some tried to adopt our way of life; some simply fled the tyranny of their homelands and began anew under the rising sun of our Constitution. 

We are truly a blessed country.  What other nation can trace it's roots to a document created by a group of men intent not on their own self interest, but in the interest of an entire people?  The selflessness, deliberation, honor and integrity that went into that document makes it a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

And it was created by ordinary men.  Men who, plainly speaking, really weren't sure of what they were doing.  And yet the result was....magnificent. 

The Constitutional awakening we have been experiencing in this country is a welcome thing.  We had grown lax, too busy enjoying the fruits of liberty to tend to the tree.  But now, where our founders had watered the tree with the blood of patriots, for us, the tree will thrive on tea.

God bless America and the Constitution that makes her great.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

NO GO LOGO

So, is it me, or does the new Democrat logo that Tim Kaine was all excited about the other day look remarkably like a target?  Not to mention it's a little boring.  At least Obama's logo had flair, not to mention there was a bit of a Pepsi-inspired pleasant subliminal connection to it.  The DNC logo (and the website, really) is very...industrial looking.  They should have stuck with the jackass.  At least then they would be a moving target.

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ARE WE GETTING THROUGH YET?

The national Republican party just doesn't get it.  Even after all these months, they still don't understand what conservatives want - I'm talking to you, Messrs. Rove and Cornyn.  When Tea Partiers say they are tired of both parties, they mean it.  They are tired of the reckless, untargeted spending, the pork, the expansion of government and the wholesale repudiation of the Constitution, and that was not just under the guidance of the democrats.  Bush was hated for his spending and expansion, too - was vilified for it, actually, and the democrats came into power in 2006 because of it.  The Tea Partiers aren't just looking at the past two years and dems were not the only ones in their sights, and the Delaware senate primary was proof of that.

Yesterday, Christine O'Donnell won the republican primary against incumbent Mike Castle.  This was a come from behind victory, in a hotly contested race.  She was heavily endorsed by the Tea Party Express and Sarah Palin, but had a much smaller war chest and some personal baggage, and yet still she won.  Establishment republicans are bemoaning her win, saying the seat is all but gone.  Democrats are cheering for their good fortune.  The National Republican Senate Committe, chaired by Sen. Cornyn, came out last night after the race was called for O'Donnell and flatly stated that they would not be funding her race in the general election.

Talk about sour grapes.  They feel O'Donnell doesn't have a snowball's chance, so they want to cut their losses and reroute the money to a race with better prospects.  Mike Castle refused to throw his support in with O'Donnell - a petty bit of churlishness - and the Delaware GOP still haven't taken down their attack website

Fortunately for Ms. O'Donnell, the NRSC was shamed into are seeing the error of their ways and made a max contribution today of $42,000.  Cornyn, in a deft move, then turned the potentially damaging funding and support issue back on the democrats, calling on them to fund their own longshot races.  Quite the politician.

As wonderfully unifying as it is that the NRSC is making nice-nice with O'Donnell and ponying up some cash, she doesn't seem to really need them right now.  Her website has been so inundated that it has been crashing all day.  There are reports that her money bomb bagged a whopping $750,000 today. 

It will be an interesting race to follow.   It is understandable that the RNC would support their own incumbent during the primary, but their petulant reaction to the loss is not.  They should take their cues from Bill Clinton.  Never thought I'd say that.  Speaking of Mr. Clinton, he had a moment of insight that the republicans should also take to heart.  He was referring to Bush when he said:


"A lot of their candidates today, they make him look like a liberal,"

Actually, a progressive, but why split hairs?

It is true that O'Donnell's chances are slim, but the desire for fiscal restraint is a powerful force these days, and should not be discounted.  As Ms. O'Donnell herself said, the experts said she didn't have a chance of winning the primary against the oh-so-popular and much loved Mike Castle, either.  And perhaps, if he hadn't voted for cap and trade, she might not have won.  But the cap and trade vote was what did him in.  It branded him a RINO and, with a few exceptions like John McCain (amazing how his pre-primary "no amnesty whatsoever" has phased into post-primary "resolving their issues..."), RINO's are becoming an endangered species politically speaking.

The republicans should take note and learn from this.  Are they being "held hostage" by the "right-wing radicals" that allegedly are the tea parties?  Well, if demanding a return to their fiscally conservative roots is being held hostage, then yes, they are.  Does it mean a return to ultra-conservative policies across the board, as democrats keep warning?  Not so much.  Most tea partiers are only concerned with fiscal policies.  Since the the early 1990's, the republican party has tacked to the center-left, buying into the theory that bringing home pork and expanding government was the way to keep getting elected.  The needs of the country were secondary to the party and the individual politician, and the Constitution was an inconvenient piece of paper that restricted their plans.  Establishment pols are being tossed because they are the problem, and the problem is on both sides of the aisle. 

Never underestimate an electorate scorned and taxed to within an inch of their lives.  Establishment  politicians have forgotten that they are public servants.  The tea party is simply reminding them.  They would be wise to take heed.  Even Chris Matthews has gotten the memo:


Saturday, September 11, 2010

PAIN, COMPASSION AND POLITICS

September 11th is particularly pognant this year.  It is a difficult day for many americans anyway; a day to remember and, even nine years later, to grieve.  It is a day that we, the citizens of the most powerful country on earth, are confronted by our vulnerability.  Nine years and one day ago, the US was on top of the world.  We were the gentle giant, leading the world with our innovation and thriving economy.  It seemed inconceivable that just 24 hours later, we would be brought to our knees in shared grief, anger and disbelief.  The horror of it all is still a raw, gaping wound on the psyche of the country as a whole. 

This year, 9/11 will be more emotional for many because of the proposed mosque scheduled to be built two blocks away in a building that was partially destroyed on 9/11 when it was hit with the landing gear of one of the planes.  This project is an affront to all who lost loved ones that horrific day.  For those who say "It's not the "Ground Zero Mosque" - it's two whole blocks away!"  the response is simple - it was destroyed by the same forces that destroyed the Twin Towers.  It is Ground Zero.  Adding insult to injury, the mosque has been fast tracked, even though a Greek Orthodox church, which was destroyed on September 11, 2001 when one of the towers fell on it, has yet to receive approval to rebuild.

This past week has been a three-ring circus of outrages, from the unyielding determination of the mosque builders to the lunatic in Florida who has threatened to burn a Qu'ran today to the burning of american flags in protest of the qu'ran burning.  The nearly 70% of americans who oppose the mosque have been called "islamophobes", racists, zionists, and a plethora of other insults in an attempt to shut them up.  They have even been threatened, if you consider a warning of a potential explosion of rage in the muslim world if the mosque isn't built exactly where Imam Rauf wants it built as a threat.  His assertion that "the story will be that the radicals have taken over the discourse" is laughable, at best.  The "warning" he issued is quite indicative of exactly which radicals will take over the discourse, and from where the violence will come.   Michelle Malkin has an interesting rundown of some other incidents that have caused "explosions of anger" in the muslim world.  This threat is nothing new.  It is endlessly fascinating that, with all the rhetoric over the years that attempts to paint "radical christians" and right wing extremist opposition as somehow worse than jihadis, there has been no talk of the potential risk of a terrorist attack on the mosque.

Quite frankly, the constant threats have become tiresome, as is the perpetual kowtowing to these extremists. No, they don't represent a majority of muslims, but they certainly seem to be the only voice we hear on the subject.  There should be no support whatsoever for the burning of the qu'ran, and the pastor who threatened it dropped the level of the debate to somewhere in the septic tank range.  However, his attempt to equate the atrocity of burning the qu'ran with the atrocity of building an islamic center and mosque on the site of a devastating, deadly attack made in the name of islam has some merit.  Both acts are an affront to all that is civil and respectful.  The fact is, both acts are legal under our constitution, and both acts are morally objectionable.  In the case of the pastor, he stepped back from the edge.  In the case of the imam, he is refusing to budge from his position.

If the aim of this "cultural center" was really to build bridges between the muslim world and americans, Rauf is definitely going about this the wrong way.  Part of building a bridge is to meet halfway.  Demanding the submission of the american people to his will is most certainly not what most people would consider compromise.  That President Obama is backing Rauf and his demands is not surprising either.  After all, this is the man whose idea of compromise is for his opposition to shut up and support his agenda or be demonized. 

Staking out a position on the legality of the situation but refusing to comment on the morality of it speaks volumes about Obama's inability to properly unite and lead this country.  He may be charismatic, but he lacks empathy and he seems to lack the understanding that he is not just the commander in chief, but our moral leader as well.  That he does not understand the pain the mosque is inflicting on his people is indicative of his problems in the polls of late.  Because the wound is still raw, we need a leader who understands our pain.  Sometimes, a president is like a mother - required to reassure, comfort and defend her children even when she doesn't understand the full extent of their pain.  The fact that they are in pain is enough for her to act on their behalf.  Instead, Obama comes off as some sort of frustrated step-father, who cannot understand why the child can't move on and has no interest in building a bond by attempting to empathize.  It seems that all he sees are petulant children making his life difficult with their ridiculous demands for solace, understanding and protection from that which hurts them.  For all of George W. Bush's faults (and there were many) he got this concept, and his approval ratings in the aftermath of 9/11 illustrate that quite clearly.

It is ironic in the extreme that the so-called party of compassion is so very uncompassionate when it comes to this grievous wound to our country.  This year, when the hallowed ground of Ground Zero has become a political football for islamic radicals and the progressives who cater to them, our national loss is all the more poignant. 



 Cross Posted at Sisterhood of the Mommy Patriots

Monday, August 30, 2010

BECK AND THE LIBERAL NARRATIVE

Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally at the Lincoln Memorial attracted huge crowds, with estimates up to 300,000+. The pictures are quite impressive. The rally was to benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a great organization that helps the families of fallen special forces with scholarships and counselling, as well as financial assistance to severely wounded special operations personnel.


The weeks running up to the event were filled with hysteria on the part of the neo-pravda media and particularly race-baiting huckster Al Sharpton, who had his own rally, "Reclaim the Dream" on the same day. He seems to feel that Beck was attempting to usurp MLK and the "I have a Dream" speech. This was not Beck's intent, as the actual event proves quite clearly. They acknowledged the importance of the day, and some spoke about MLK's speech and it's importance to the country, but ultimately the day was about loving and honoring our country and the troops who fight and die for us. According to some, Beck seemed to be stepping into Billy Graham's shoes, not Martin Luther King, Jr's.

The day seems to have utterly flummoxed the press. They simply don't know what to make of it. For weeks they have been lambasting Beck for his presumptions, his nerve in stepping all over MLK's dream and, of course, highlighting Sarah Palin's participation in an attempt to illustrate how ultra political and fringe-y the whole thing is. Apparently her mere presence made it a political event (what office is she running for, again?).

Because they could not attack the politics of the event (mainly because there wasn't any), they had to resort to their trusty favorite fall back position and point out the "predominantly/overwhelmingly white" audience. Interesting how none of them mention Sharpton's predominantly black audience for his rally. But that point isn't relevant or important. To hear the MSM report it, there wasn't a single minority face in Beck's entire rally, and besides, the few that were there were obviously confused/misled.

Today, the New York Times' Ross Douthat wrote an op-ed piece on Beck's rally titled "Mr. Beck Goes to Washington". This article is about as close to a grudging, backhanded compliment as a thing can be:
For a weekend, at least, Beck proved that he can conjure the thrill of a culture war without the costs of combat, and the solidarity of identity politics without any actual politics. If his influence outlasts the current election cycle, this will be the secret of his success.

The article was as fair a representation as one could hope for from the Times. No snarky comments (even though Sarah Palin was mentioned - a minor miracle in and of itself), and no mention of the overwhelming whiteness of the crowd that others are so fixated on. There was, however one paragraph that was a bit objectionable:
Similarly, one could call the rally a gross affront to the memory of King, who presumably wouldn’t have cared much for Beck’s right-wing politics. But one could also call the day a strange, unlooked-for fulfillment of King’s prophecies: 47 years after the “I Have a Dream” speech, here were tens of thousands of white conservatives roaring their approval of its author.

A "gross affront"? According to his niece, Alveda King, who spoke at the rally, Dr. King was a republican. Beyond that, as a reverend, he was a christian - a conservative christian - and as such, one would think that he might just embrace Beck's right-wing politics. One would also think that the good reverend would be happy that a huge crowd of "predominantly/overwhelmingly white" Americans who had gathered to celebrate this great country and restore the judeo-christian ethics at her heart would hail him as a hero and great American, whose teachings should be a guiding light for all Americans. What is so "strange" and "unlooked-for" about that? Isn't that what the dream was really about - the content of character, not the color of skin? One might wonder, however, at his thoughts on Sharpton's rally and march. Ms. King believes her uncle would have enjoyed Beck's rally (which is prompting critics to say she is "besmirching" his legacy), viewing it as an extension of his vision because it (via the Daily Caller):

“demonstrates the spirit of love and unity and peace.”

According to singer Lloyd Marcus:


“If Dr. King were alive today, he’d feel as if he stepped into the twilight zone,” Marcus said. “He’d feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, what happened to my dream? And, are you telling me that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and the likes of those guys now are running the civil rights movement? Oh, good Lord! What happened?’ He would be totally appalled.”

Sharpton has been at his race-baiting best. In his speech Saturday he said:


"They may have the Mall, but we have the message. They may have the platform, but we have the dream....
They want to disgrace this day, and we not giving them this day. This is OUR day and we ain't giving it away."

Which is more disgraceful - Sharpton's pitting the black community against the white in a shameless attempt to relive his glory days marching arm in arm through Washington while laying claim to a man simply based on his race - a man whose whole message was about surpassing identity politics - or a peaceful rally to honor not just Dr. King, but also the country he loved? Dr. King looked to the future - a future where race didn't matter. Rev. Sharpton's entire purpose in life seems to be a quest to highlight racial division and keep the country believing we have not moved past 1963. Unfortunately for him, race has nothing to do with it and his hystrionics merely illustrate how obsolete and out of touch he is.

This event was a defining moment in our history. There were many people who felt a vague discontent under the milder progressivism of Bush and Clinton, which became more pronounced when Barack Obama took office and embarked upon his quest to "fundamentally transform" America. It is this transformation that has people up in arms, and no matter who is driving the car, it is the inevitable transformative crash that is feared. This is not about race. This is a choice between wanting to restore this country to the judeo-christian ethics and values and dynamic free market system our founders put in place or fundamentally transforming it into an offshoot of the European Union, to freeze in time and slowly disintegrate into obscurity.

Sharpton and the media do not want to have that conversation and bring that choice to the fore, because they know they will lose. And so they bring the debate down to a level that they can get the upper hand on. Relevancy seems optional, at this point.

One final thought - isn't it amazing how those who have been squawking about tolerance for weeks now when it comes to the ground zero mosque are suddenly showing just how intolerant they really are? When it comes to Beck having a rally to stoke the fires of patriotism and love of God and country, suddenly the left is all about shutting him down and stifling his first amendment right to free speech. The intolerance over Beck's event has been overwhelming, from blatantly, transparently fraudulent and yet completely expected accusations of racism to outrage at his "usurping" MLK and his messsage of unity.

No hypocrisy here, move along, move along.

                                 Cross Posted at Sisterhood of the Mommy Patriots

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

PRIMARY DAY! Updated

 Today is primary day here in Florida.  There are two races that are particularly interesting, at least from where I sit in Central Florida, and one that I simply can't wait to be over.  The first is the Senate democrat primary pitting Rep. Kendrick Meek v. Jeff Greene.   The second is to determine which republican will be running against Rep. Alan Grayson in CD 8.   It's a pretty wide field (here's a rundown on where they stand on the issues), but the two front-runners seem to be Daniel Webster and Todd Long - at least, if the number of yard signs is any indicator. 

As an unaffiliated voter, I am not eligible to vote in the primaries so I'm playing the waiting game, hoping the primary voters make good choices.  The district 8 primary is more important to me than the senate primary right now, simply because we need someone strong to go against Grayson because Grayson most definitely must go.  Of the seven challengers, two seem to be leading the pack.  Todd Long came close to defeating Ric Keller in the '08 primary, so he has recent name recognition, and Daniel Webster has been in local and state politics for decades.  Both seem pretty strong,  Strong enough to beat Grayson?  God, I hope so. 

Which brings us to the Senate primary.  The democrat primary outcome is of the utmost importance to both Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio.  If Meek wins, Rubio will, at least accoording to polling so far, win the general election.  Crist has been peeling off democrats from Meek in preliminary polling, making Meek a weak candidate, but he's not attracting enough democrats to put himself over the top, thus splitting the democrat vote and handing Rubio the win in the three-way race. 

Jeff Greene seems to be damaged goods at this point, because of the stories that have been making the rounds about the wild parties on his yacht.  While there are plenty of allegations but no proof of drug use or any other illegal activities, the stories are rather unsenatorial (as are the racy pictures), and the references to the 145ft yacht and the ultra-rich celebrity lifestyle of billionaire Greene strikes a discordant tone in these tough times.  If Greene wins the primary, Crist will attract many democrats who are underwhelmed by Greene, which would push Crist over the finish line ahead of Rubio.

There is scuttlebutt that even if Meek wins, democrat groups, including the DSCC, will support Crist, as he seems to have a better shot of winning than Meek and has indicated that, as an independent, he would caucus with the democrats.  Personally, I think it is highly unlikely that the DNC would back Crist over Meek (at least out in the open).  First, Crist is unreliable, as his jump from republican to independent solely to save his political hide illustrates, and second (and more importantly), Meek is an african-american democrat congressman running for a seat in the Senate - a Senate that will be seeing it's only black member, Roland Burris, leaving office in January.  If the DNC were to throw their support behind Crist instead of Meek, they run the risk of bad blood with the Congressional Black Caucus and potentially alienate the black community in the vital swing state that is Florida. 

If, however, Jeff Greene should happen to win the primary (a slim chance, as he's down 10 points in the polls), definitely expect the DNC to back Crist.  There has already been a national democrat-run fundraiser for him - perhaps a little bet-hedging?  It will be interesting to see what happens if Meek wins.  Dilemma, dilemma!

Finally, there is the McCollum/Scott faceoff.  This has been a hotly contested primary, with attack ads airing ad nauseum.  The winner will face democrat Alex Sink for the governor's mansion.  This race in particular has been attack-oriented and there has been so much mud slung that many Floridians are feeling a little dirty from it all.  McCollum is the front-runner, but Scott is fighting to the finish.  With a little luck, the general election will be more civil.  There has been so much finger-pointing and lesser-of-two-evils style campaigning that it would be nice to actually hear what the various candidates would like to accomplish if they win, instead of merely demonizing their opponents.  The McCollum/Scott matchup was particularly virulent.  Frankly, with all of the attacks, neither one of them are very appealing right now.  Hopefully, once the winner is announced, we will learn what he stands for - that would be a refreshing change.

Remember the days when attack ads were the last ditch effort at the end of the campaign?  Ah, the good old days.  Where once that tactic was called "going negative" it is now simply called "campaigning".  Instead of lists of pros and cons for each candidate, we are inundated with lists of cons only.  Which is actually rather fitting, considering how ethically challenged recent politicians have been.  A list of "cons" indeed - it's known as a ballot.

Happy Voting!

UPDATE:  The results are in - Kendrick Meek and Daniel Webster are moving on to the next round.  As of this writing, Rick Scott is ahead with 47% of  the vote, with 54% of precincts reporting.  The race should be called in his favor soon.  The players are now set, so let the games begin!

Monday, August 16, 2010

THE NEW TRANSPARENCY

I was on vacation when the financial regulation legislation was passed.  They were still debating it before I left, and I thought it was rather chiilling that Senator Dodd (D-CT) came out and said:

“No one will know until this is actually in place how it works. But we believe we’ve done something that has been needed for a long time. It took a crisis to bring us to the point where we could actually get this job done.”

That's right, Senator Dodd - never let a good crisis go to waste!  His rhetoric about not knowing how it works is chilling on two levels.  First, if Dodd -one of the alleged co-authors of the bill - doesn't even know how it works, we're really screwed.  Second, we've heard that "we'll know when it's passed" line before:




For those not up on the latest ObamaCare outrage, the rationing has begun.

As for FinReg (aka the Frank-n-Dodd law), the first victim to be revealed is a key one - transparency.  The FinReg allows the SEC to ignore FOIA requests from the public.  This is hardly surprising in a bill whose details would not be released until after it's passage, from an administration that touts transparency but doesn't seem to know what the term really means.  Remember the five day rule?  How about posting bills for 72 hours online before a vote?  Remember how that turned out?  How about the transparency of Obama's appointed officials - oh, wait, czars don't need vetting or congressional approval

None of these things bode well for the country, but many of them can be fobbed off with some lame excuse or another from Media Matters.  The neo-pravda media certainly won't pursue them, and in the progressive world, if the press doen't think it is important, it must not be. 

However, Obama's recent transfer of "ethics czar" Norm Eisen to an ambassadorship in the Czech Republic and scrapping the position altogether seems to be the final nail in the transparency coffin.  Most of the duties Eisen performed are being shunted off on White House Counsel Bob Bauer, a hyperpartisan lawyer who, in 2006 blogged (via the Washington Examiner):

"disclosure is a mostly unquestioned virtue deserving to be questioned." This is the man the White House has put in charge of making this the most open White House ever.

Most telling might have been Bauer's statements about proposed regulations of 527 organizations: "If it's not done with 527 activity as we have seen, it will be done in other ways," he told the Senate rules committee.

"There are other directions, to be sure, that people are actively considering as we speak. Without tipping my hand or those of others who are professionally creative, the money will find an outlet."
Ah, transparency - why bother regulating something and keeping an eye on things to keep people honest - they're just going to eventually find a way around it anyway!

After all, this is the White House that is circumventing White House visitor logs by simply meeting with lobbyists and other special interests at the coffee shop across the street.  When you add in the neo-pravda media's tendencies to pander and obfuscate for their chosen party, there is most certainly a serious problem brewing.

There has been a disturbing trend developing with Pelosi, Obama and Reid - it seems that whatever they claim, the exact opposite is generally true.  So far, Obama's eliminating the position of transparency czar, and thus the pretense of transparency, is the truest thing this administration has done so far. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

ON THE MOSQUE

The situation imvolving the proposed mosque at Ground Zero is untenable.  That it has managed to get as far as it has is hard to comprehend.  Ground Zero is sacred ground, hallowed by the deaths of thousands of people of all nationalities, who were killed in the name of radical islam.  There is no other way to spin that fact - 9/11 was perpetrated by islamic extremists.  Now members of that same religion are insisting on building a 'cultural center' within the blast radius of the cataclysm perpetrated by followers of their faith.

The proposed mosque is nothing less than an affront to American sensibilities.  At one of the meetings held over Cordoba House, one gentleman equated the proposition to building a tribute to the Japanese over Pearl Harbor.  Well put, sir.  Both sites are sacred without being religious, and this seems to be something people like Mayor Bloomberg and Mark Levine just don't understand.  

Therein lies the problem in the American supporters of the mosque.  They buy the line about how harmless the mosque is - do they think those in opposition expect them to build gun turrets and missile launchers instead of a pool?  For those of a more religious bent - of which the people building the mosque are - there is a far deeper meaning to the chosen site.  This building was damaged by landing gear from one of the planes on 9/11.  It was in the circle of destruction.  Ground Zero isn't just where the footprints of the twin towers sat, it's the radius showered by debris.  There should be no mosque, temple or church built in those parameters.  The religion of the site is the site.

The perpetrators of 9/11 were religious, the same religion as the proposed mosque. Throughout history, religious wars were capped off with the building of the conqueror's place of worship over the ruins of the defeated, such as the Hindu temple of Ayodhya.  This tactic is to signal supremacy and subjugation, much as the romans chopped down the sacred oak groves in their attempt to conquer the celts. 

The supporters are trying to take the religion out of this story, emphasizing the "cultural center" and downplaying the mosque as just a small part of a larger, benign thing.  But for people waging a religious war - and make no mistake, this is all about religion - this sends a very clear signal.  It wouldn't be surprising if the proposed memorial to 9/11 is planned to be a plaque set into the floor -  the shoe throwing incident of 2008 illustrated their fixation with disrespecting people using footwear.  It would be par for the course, really.  After all, the dedication ceremony for the center is slated for September 11, 2011.  Just a coincidence, surely.

Supporters cannot understand why so many people are so vehement about this mosque. It's not that they want to build a mosque - it's that they want to build it there.  With all of the liberal talk about consideration for the feelings of others, there is little concern for the families of the victims, nor for the nation as a whole.  9/11 is a scar on the psyche of the country and this mosque not only rips that scar open, it pours salt in the wound.   The web site for the Cordoba Initiative states that their mission is to "Improve Muslim-West Relations".  Really?  How, exactly, is forcing the construction of this center, in the face of overwhelming opposition from the american people improving relations?  Calling the opposition bigots isn't exactly a way to win them over, either.  They have a right to express their pain and opposition, and considering they are in the majority, if improving relations was really the goal, their wishes would be heeded.  Ever since 9/11, we americans have been lectured on tolerance and understanding towards those of the muslim faith  And yet, when we demand a little of the same involving a project the imams in charge must have known would have been met with opposition, we are called bigots and intolerant.

This is an affront to our nation.  It is wildly unpopular, deeply painful, and, unsurprisingly, our president just gave the okay on it, stating the government cannot infringe on their right to practice religion.  We do not want to take away their ability to practice their religion, we just want them to do it a respectful distance from the site of an act of war perpetrated in the name of their religion.  That's not too much to ask, and if the imam was so interested in outreach, moving the mosque would be a no-brainer. 

It's time for the concerned citizens of New York to file an eminent domain suit.  Gov. Paterson offered state lands as compensation to persuade them to move a few blocks further away from Ground Zero in order to strike a compromise - a compromise many in the opposition would have been content with.  The offer was refused out of hand.  Eminent domain strips property owners of their rights in favor of the common good, after reasonable compensation has been offered and rejected.  In the case of this mosque, invoking eminent domain is for the good not just of the community, but the country at large. Frankly, there should be a ban on building any and all new religious sites within at least a five block radius of Ground Zero, no matter the denomination.  For any religion, it would be an attempt to lay claim to the site, and it cannot be claimed by one because it belongs to us all.

Are there legal grounds to block the building?  Unfortunately, no, not really - Obama is technically correct.  But there are moral grounds, and isn't that what social justice is all about?  The morality of the law and it's application?  Compassion for the suffering?  What is eminent domain but taking something from someone to give to another based on the good of the community?  As the CNN poll shows so plainly, a vast majority of people are against this building.  Large swathes of the public will suffer emotional harm with it's creation.  If taking private homes and making them into shopping centers is considered in the interests of the public, certainly stopping the construction of such an emotionally devastating structure as a muslim mosque within spitting distance of Ground Zero is, too.

Besides, there's a certain poetry about using social justice to attempt to block the building of the mosque, isn't there?