Monday, June 28, 2010


Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) passed away in the early hours of the morning.  Condolences to his family.  The senator was 92.

The son of a coal miner, he came of age during the Great Depression.  He was first elected to public office in 1952 as a congressman.  In 1958, he won the Senate seat that he would then hold for the rest of his life.  His impact on West Virginians is deep - many have never lived in a world without him in federal office, and his generosity with taxpayer dollars is legendary.  The numerous buildings, roads and other federally funded projects bearing his name are a permanent testament to his abilities as a pork wrangler, and are no doubt deeply appreciated by the citizens of his state. 

His death brings up some interesting questions, however.  According to West Virginia law, if a seat becomes vacant less than 2 years and six months before the next election, the governor has the ability to appoint a successor that will hold the seat until the next regular election.  If the vacancy occurs more than two years and six months before the next regular election, the governor appoints an interim senator to hold the seat until the next regular election cycle, where it will be won in a special election for the remaining two years of the term.  Byrd was up for reelection in 2012 so the two and a half year threshold is July 3, 2010 - next week.  Which technically means the governor should be appointing someone for the next few months until the people can elect a new senator in the special election in November. 

Here's where it gets interesting, though.  According to state law, the governor decides when to declare the seat vacant.  It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Gov. Manchin might delay this declaration until after July 3rd. Why would Manchin do this?  There are those who say that Manchin would like to appoint himself to the seat, which is perfectly legal and above board according to W. Va. law.  What is NOT above board is the possibility that he may refuse to declare the seat vacant for a full week in order for him to fulfill his ambitions.  But that's politics these days. 

It will be interesting to see how the media paints Robert Byrd in the coming days.  Let the revisionism begin. 

They are already calling him a "respected voice of the Senate".  They are also attempting to whitewash his KKK membership and civil rights opposition, with some going so far as to say that he was a champion of civil rights.  Okay, sure, if by "champion" you mean someone who personally logged 14 hours filibustering the 1964 Civil Rights Act. 

President Obama remembered him thus:
President Barack Obama said the Senate "has lost a venerable institution, and America has lost a voice of principle and reason."

Principle and reason?  That is an interesting choice of words.  Here's a quote from Senator Byrd that will surely enshrine him forever in the Civil Rights movement and enforce Obama's view that he was a voice of principle and reason:

“I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side… Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”

Senator Byrd was the last living link between the democrat party and their racist, segregationist past.  Now that he is gone, the full rehabilitation of the party can begin.  And no doubt it will, starting with the Senator himself.  His time in the KKK will be painted as youthful indiscretion, but that isn't a passable excuse for his filibustering, which he engaged in at the tender age of 46.  To his credit, he did eventually vote for Civil Rights legislation, but one can't help but wonder, in light of the above quote - was it the extra four whole years of wisdom he accrued from one vote to the other, or the increasing political popularity of civil rights that changed his mind?  He was, after all, a politician and, if his length of tenure is any indication, one who was quite savvy about reading public opinion.

There is a good possibility that Governor Manchin will wait until next week to declare the seat vacant, and will then appoint himself.  The democrat leadership will table the votes until this is done.  They can't afford to have another seat up for grabs in November.  The voters of West Virginia are going to be hard-hit by Cap and Trade, which would drastically affect the coal mines that are the lifeblood of the state ("fix it or nix it" - my money's on them nixing it), so there is a possibility that they might elect someone who will oppose the legislation, be they democrat or republican.  Better to leave the unenlightened masses out of the decision making.

Senator Byrd should receive all of the respect due to an elder statesman.  Whether one agrees with him or not, he served his country for more than 50 years, and helped his state in many ways during his tenure in office.  He was who he was, and there is no age limit on changes of heart.  Whether he was sincere in his is a matter between him and God, but the earthly record should show all of his public opinions, not just the ones that suit the democrat party and their media lapdogs.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Yesterday, federal judge Martin L.C. Feldman struck down the moratorium on offshore drilling that was imposed on Louisiana by the Obama administration.   The 22 page ruling commented on the lack of proof that a blanket ban was required, as well as the burden it would place on the citizens of the state.   The people of Louisiana are really hurting.  The ban would send the oil rigs, and thus even more local jobs, to places like Brazil and Africa. 

At the inquisition Congressional hearings last week, oil company executives testified that a six-month blanket ban on drilling would force them to move their drills to other countries, as an idle drill can cost upwards of $1 million per day.  That seems to be the sum total of the information we managed to get out of them at the hearings - how much did that congressional circus cost the taxpayers again? Considering the damage to the other major industries of the state - fishing, shrimping and tourism - they cannot afford to have another industry shut down for no reason (via the New York Times): 

“The blanket moratorium, with no parameters, seems to assume that because one rig failed and although no one yet fully knows why, all companies and rigs drilling new wells over 500 feet also universally present an imminent danger,” wrote Judge Feldman

The most interesting remarks in the injunction were on the report presented to the judge by the Interior Department.  This report included the much touted peer review by experts assembled by the National Academy of Engineering - a review the administration had insisted backed the ban.  The judge noted that the findings of the experts were "misstated".  In reality, the findings by the experts that a moratorium was the way to go were complete fabrications.  This act of deception on the part of Salazar and the administration to manipulate the situation is shameful in the extreme, not to mention flat-out fraudulent.  Where are the calls for Salazar's resignation?

The real story is that the report was signed off on by the experts, but the paragraphs recommending a moratorium were added after the fact.  The experts have been vocal in their opposition to the shenanigans regarding the report - opposition that the administration attempted to shrug off, but the judge's findings leave little room for doubt about their authenticity.  In response to his ruling, the left is in full attack mode, of course.  Secretary of the Interior Salazar is going to attempt a new moratorium, this time more specific and targeted, insisting a deepwater ban in necessary.  Maybe this time they will get a more sympathetic judge to see things their way.  For the sake of Louisianans, let's hope not. 

On another front in the 'war' on the oil spill, the feds have halted dredging for sand berms.  They feel the area that is being dredged is environmentally detrimental and want to move the operation two miles further out into the gulf.  All dredging is to be halted until the move is complete - seven precious days.  In a letter to Obama, Plaquemines Parish President Billly Nungesser pleads for compromise: 

"Once again, our government resource agencies, which are intended to protect us, are now leaving us vulnerable to the destruction of our coastline and marshes by the impending oil," Nungesser wrote to Obama.

Nungesser requested that the dredging be allowed to continue for the next seven days as they move dredging equipment in an effort to placate the U.S. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.  No doubt dredging is damaging to the environment, but could it really be worse than what the oil spill will do?  It's high time  federal agencies like Fish and Wildlife and the Department of the Interior look at the bigger picture here. 

It's beginning to seem like this is no longer a question of incompetence - it is now moving into the realm of active interference.  But for what reason?  Considering how adamant (and blatant) the administration is about passing Cap and Trade legislation on the back of this tragedy, it's not too hard to figure out.  It's hard to believe our government is willing to allow such damage to the country in order to pass their agenda.  It seems far-fetched, because our government should have our best interests at heart, but it is getting harder and harder to believe they do these days.  Their continued insistence on passing wildly unpopular legislation raises questions about their motives.  The recent revelations that Obama has stated there will be no securing the borders until amnesty comprehensive immigration reform is passed illustrates how willing this administration is to hold the American public hostage in order to obtain the desired results.  Let's not forget that, according to the patron saint of Progressives, Saul Alinsky, the ends justify the means (numbers 1, 3 and 10 in particular).

At best, this is a perfect illustration of Ronald Reagan's nine scariest words in the english language - "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".  At worst, our government is allowing a major catastrophe to become even worse so that they can pass their dream agenda.  An agenda that will further cripple us with massive taxes and skyrocketing energy prices

Talk about orchestrating chaos....

Monday, June 21, 2010


How bad has the opinon of the White House's response to the oil spill become?  Bad enough that their media schills are blatantly admitting coordination with the administration on talking points in a desperate move to deflect blame and repair public opinion:

The only thing surprising about this is the willingness of a journalist to admit the collusion between herself and the White House.  If Mika has such an issue with Rudy Giuliani "spewing out a whole bunch of nothing", she should have had the show book a democrat to refute the allegations, not taken it upon herself to coordinate a response with the White House.  Mika must have missed journalism 101 in college.  Not to mention if we have learned anything from the past 63 days, it's that coordinating with the White House won't get you very far.  Just ask Governor Jindal.

Ever the eternal optimist, I always try to find the silver lining, and this is no exception.  What is the silver lining on this?  Finally a kernel of truth from the neo-pravda media.  It's a freakin' miracle!


The democrat party seems to be hitting the skids.  They are in deep denial over their prospects in November.  They have plans to run on the passage of Obamacare - a program that is becoming more and more unpopular as time goes by.  Their other option is to have their candidates run against George W. Bush.  Again.  But, then, what else have they got?  StimulusOil spillForeign relations?  Yeah... better stick with Bush. 

There has been a great deal of turmoil on the campaign trail, too.  They have been unsuccessful in the primaries in more ways than one. The biggest puzzle is Senate candidate Alvin Greene.  The question shouldn't be how did Alvin Greene get the nomination, the question should be how bad was his primary opponent that Greene managed to win without running any campaign whatsoever?  His opponent spent lots of money on a high profile campaign complete with web site and the full backing of the DNC.  Even with all of that, Greene won with 59% of the vote.  And I thought Republican candidates were bad.

Now they have another headache in Texas with their new 22nd congressional district primary winner, Kesha Rogers.  She is a LaRouchie - a follower of Lyndon LaRouche.  These are the decidedly left-wing nutballs that are on the fringes of the Tea Parties, carrying those Obama as Hitler posters.  In fact (and this is my favorite part of the story),  there is photographic evidence that Ms. Rogers supports that meme.  Why is this my favorite part?  Because this will finally debunk the left's narrative that it is right-wing Tea Partyers that are carrying those darned Obama as Hitler posters.  Unless, of course, they manage to sell the theory that she, too, is a GOP plant

So how bizarre is this win?  Well, if it's any indication, Ms. Rogers is looking to impeach Mr. Obama if she wins in November.  That's right, the democrat nominee for Texas' 22nd CD wants to impeach Obama.  Although, considering it is Texas, she might just win on that platform....Crazy?  Or crazy like a fox?

It seems that the moderate faction is beginning to rebel against the liberal/progressive leadership who have taken over the party in recent years.  In the meantime, the radical far-left faction is rebelling against the administration for not getting radical enough

It's amazing that this was a group that, just two short years ago, managed to unite not just the entire democrat spectrum but many independents and even a good amount of conservatives under their banner.  Not even two years later, everyone is at everyone else's throats, and it seems that the only thing they all have in common anymore is how quickly they are trying to distance themselves from each other.

Considering their gleeful pronouncements that the 2008 election signified the demise of the conservative movement in this country, the irony is rich and deep.  Or perhaps the term 'karma' would be more apt.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Who are these people, and why do they think they can restrict access to a public beach?

I understand that BP want's to make the disaster seem less....disastrous, but this is not the way to go about it.  People are becoming more and more angry about this situation because they are not being leveled with.  We want answers.  When will these people in power learn that when you build a wall to keep information in and people out, the people become even more determined to scale the wall.  Or. as Nancy Pelosi says, parachute over it. 

That reporter had every right to be on that beach and interview the workers on how things are progressing.  BP has hired beach bouncers to keep the press at bay, but in this country, the only people that can keep citizens off a public beach are local or federal authorities.  It's interesting to note that once the police got involved, the bouncers were forced to allow the press to talk to the workers.

Please note, however, that the bouncers shadowed the press and spoke for the workers whenever possible.  Is there intimidation at play in the worker's reticence to talk to the press?  Maybe threats of losing their jobs?  Considering the fact that security details have been hired at all to keep the press away, the odds are good that yes, the workers are keep quiet. 

These are our shores and our ecology, and we have every right to know what is going on. With a little luck, our watchdog press will sniff this story out and hound BP's beach bouncers until they get free access.  There has already been a worker who has talked - the odds are good that there will be more.  These people cleaning up the mess are locals; this affects them directly.  Someone will speak up. 

Maybe Giles and O'Keefe could head down there and do their thing....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


A new survey has come out today and boy, is it interesting.   The Wall Street Journal is running a story by Daniel Klein about a Zogby International survey on economics and politics.  For all those people who say liberal/progressives are clueless about the economy, guess what?

You're absolutely right.

Mr. Klein describes the survey:

Zogby researcher Zeljka Buturovic and I considered the 4,835 respondents' (all American adults) answers to eight survey questions about basic economics. We also asked the respondents about their political leanings: progressive/very liberal; liberal; moderate; conservative; very conservative; and libertarian.

Rather than focusing on whether respondents answered a question correctly, we instead looked at whether they answered incorrectly. A response was counted as incorrect only if it was flatly unenlightened.
By flatly unenlightened, he means a definitive wrong answer.  If the respondent answered 'not sure', it was not considered a wrong answer.  The five answer choices are:  Strongly Agree, Somewhat Agree, Somewhat Disagree, Strongly Disagree, and Not Sure.

The respondents were asked 8 questions:

"Restrictions on housing development make housing less affordable." People were asked if they: 1) strongly agree; 2) somewhat agree; 3) somewhat disagree; 4) strongly disagree; 5) are not sure.

The other questions were: 1) Mandatory licensing of professional services increases the prices of those services (unenlightened answer: disagree). 2) Overall, the standard of living is higher today than it was 30 years ago (unenlightened answer: disagree). 3) Rent control leads to housing shortages (unenlightened answer: disagree). 4) A company with the largest market share is a monopoly (unenlightened answer: agree). 5) Third World workers working for American companies overseas are being exploited (unenlightened answer: agree). 6) Free trade leads to unemployment (unenlightened answer: agree). 7) Minimum wage laws raise unemployment (unenlightened answer: disagree).
The political/ideological breakdown was as follows: Very Conservative, Conservative, Moderate, Liberal, Liberal/Progressive, and Libertarian. 
Eight questions, five possible answers for each.  The results are compelling (emphasis mine):
How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26.
Of eight questions, progressives got, on average, five and a half wrong.  The big question is, on the remaining two and a half possibly right answers, how many of them were counted as correct but were actually answered "Not Sure"?   Mr. Klein does not say, but considering how poorly the liberal/progressives are doing steering our economy right now, it's tempting to think the other two and a half answers were not so much answered correctly as answered "Not Sure".
Kinda puts our current economic crisis and the failure of our liberal/progressive government's attempts to fix it into perspective, doesn't it?