Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gone Fishin' Open Thread

I will be on vacation for the next week, so let's open up the floor for comments on anything you want to discuss. I will try jump in between wine coolers and hikes in the woods. See you next Saturday! I wish everyone a very Happy 4th of July!

Oh, did you know that our President will be spending it in France...
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Friday, June 29, 2012

Film Friday: Source Code (2011)

I see why Source Code made a good deal of money. You’ve got the kind of science fiction premise which makes people think something deep is going on, even though there isn’t. That makes people feel smart. You’ve got an up and coming star who is being pushed as a blockbuster hero, a real Ethan Hawk. The film is pretty and has lot of big explosions. But this isn’t a very good film. Here’s why.

Click Here To Read Article/Comments at CommentaramaFilms [+]

It’s A Tax! It’s A Mandate! It’s Supersocialism!

I’m still sorting through Justice Roberts’s opinion trying to find something, anything, logical which would point to why he ruled as he did. So far, the only answer I can come up with is that he had a stroke. It’s too early for me to address this constitutional cataclysm without sputtering, so I thought I’d talk about something tangential.

Using the same kind of crazed logic, but reaching the opposite conclusion, some time back Barack Obama appeared on ABC TV to discuss the mandate with Democratic flack George Stephanopoulos. Thinking that a mandate to purchase an item so the government can regulate it under the interstate commerce clause is perfectly constitutional, Obama doubled down on his contention that he would not raise taxes one penny for 95% of the American people.

Even a Democratic talking head can spot a skunk when he sees one. And Stephanopoulos was bolder than most of his fellow Obama-worshipers. Stephanopoulos started the interview by saying that Americans would be required to buy health insurance, or be fined up to $900. “How is that not a tax?” asked George. Completely dodging the actual question, Obama replied: “A responsibility to get health insurance is not a tax increase.” That, by the way, is what “begging the question” really means.

George then made the mistake of reading the definition of “tax” from a Webster’s dictionary. For Obama, that meant that Stephanopoulos wasn’t on solid ground. “The fact you looked it up, the definition of tax increase, indicates that you’re stretching a little bit right now.” But Georgie Boy didn’t read the definition of “tax increase,” he read the definition of “tax,” no stretch at all.

The interview went on, and Obama continued to deny the obvious. But the thing I see as ironic is that Obama found it worse to suggest that Obamacare is a tax than to suggest it is a landmark unconstitutional mandate. His babbling managed to confuse at least one Supreme Court Justice. The Chief Justice, no less. Instead of simply and obviously finding the mandate clearly unconstitutional, Roberts decided to redefine the mandate as a tax. If that was somehow supposed to be a slapdown to Obama, it failed. As if that will make much difference in the economic morass either would produce.

On the upside, I am pleased that conservatives, along with a few moderates and independents have so strongly expressed their disdain for the majority opinion. I think it’s highly probable that there will be a new President and a new Senate come next January. And along with that will come the dismantling of Obamacare. And that’s a good thing.

But there’s something far more troubling here. Reversing Obamacare is imperative. But given the long train of history, it could rear its ugly head again in the future. Until some future Supreme Court overturns the current decision, we will always be under the threat of a government that reads Roberts’s decision as meaning that the power of the federal government is essentially unlimited.

Obama is fond of using the word “unprecedented” for pretty much anything he disagrees with. A constitutional law professor shouldn’t be throwing that word around so loosely. Thursday’s action by the Supreme Court is truly unprecedented. Whether it’s a tax, or a mandate, or as I believe both, this is an all-new precedent that confirms the Progressive belief that the Constitution is infinitely malleable. Shame on Chief Justice Roberts.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Double-Header in D.C.

My original intention for today was to write an exciting post about the use of dactylic hexameter in Homer's Iliad. But as hot as that topic is, I'm afraid I'm going to have to bend to the popular will on today's twofer. First, we have the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare. Second, the Holder contempt vote in the House. Note: 12:47 Eastern Time--One down, one to go. I'm currently hiding under my bed.

By the time this posts, we should have the results of both the Obamacare case and the Holder contempt vote, though there is the possibility of a further delay in the Holder matter if there is a last-minute agreement (unlikely).

Consider this a combination comment, rant, scream of triumph, open thread to discuss the two events. It is likely many of you will already have commented on the morning post, but feel free to repeat, expand, or revise. The results of these two conflagrations will have no simple, single outcome. Now that the excitement of the morning has passed, I'd like to hear everybody's views on what the decisions mean, where we go from here, and how the politicians, particularly the Republican candidates, will or should react.

Regardless of how either of the two watershed matters comes out, there will be repercussions and a lot of finger-pointing in D.C. Let's hear your predictions (and I promise I'll put my two cents in as well). It will be fun to keep track of the comments to see how they actually play out in the political arena in November.

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God Loves Criminals, Satan Doesn’t (Quasi-Open Thread, Vent Away Folks)

According to a new study, people who believe in Heaven commit more crimes than people who don’t. But people who believe in Hell commit fewer crimes than nonbelievers. Interestingly, this proves conservatism right. Read on. . .

This study was done by two professors at the University of Oregon and the University of Kansas. They studied data collected by the World and European Values Surveys conducted between 1981 and 2007 from 67 countries. This included 143,197 respondents.

After standardizing the crime rates in each country, the study authors came to the conclusion that people with a professed belief in Heaven and Hell had different crime rates. Specifically, they found that those who believe in Hell committed fewer crimes than average people, but those who believe in “a loving God” committed more crimes than average people.

So what does this tell us? Well, it tells us that liberals misunderstand human nature. Liberals believe that human nature can be changed by education, i.e. encouraging people to be better. But if that were true, then this study would have turned out differently. Think about it. This study isolated true believers from the rest of the population. Those people, presumably, are most susceptible to changing their behavior based on encouragement/ education because they believe that God has told them the way, and they believe he is offering them a reward for acting appropriately. Yet, not only did they not prove to be more law abiding, they actually proved to be more likely to commit crimes. That is the exact opposite of what liberal beliefs would predict. And if God can’t make true believers change their minds, then what chance does the government have changing minds?

Now look at the other group. This was the group which feared punishment. Through their belief in Hell, they were presented with the idea that if they did not behave, they would be punished. This resulted in a decrease in crimes. This is what conservatives have long advocated -- that human nature cannot be changed, but it can be controlled by providing negative consequences for misbehavior.

Putting this together tells us that it is hopeless to try to change human nature, but that human nature can be controlled. However, the only incentive which will result in such control is fear of punishment -- offering a reward will actually have the opposite effect. This flies in the face of liberalism, which claims that punishment is not effective, that only rewards can change behavior, and that human nature can be changed but, contradictorily, people are powerless to control their impulses.

As for why offering a reward would have the opposite effect, I suspect that anyone offering a reward is seen as unlikely to punish you. Indeed, if God will forgive you, then you really don’t need to worry about changing, do you? It’s the same way with the government. When a legal system only wants to reform you, it sends out the message that there is no longer any need to fear punishment and you can live as you wish. Ditto with an over-indulgent parent spoiling a child or a permissive boss losing control of the company. When there is no fear of a negative consequence, people take advantage of that.

So what all of this tells us is that liberalism reads human nature wrong in all areas (soft on crime, consequence free handouts, the elimination of shame, permissive child rearing), and not only will liberal policies fail, but they will make things worse by sending the wrong message.

But then, you knew that already.
OT: We're on ObamaCare and Holder contempt watch today. We highly recommend that everyone get some Tea and Birthday cake (Happy Birthdays T-Rav and tryanmax) and wait for the good news! And if tea isn't your thing, then prepare a Commentarama-tini! Bev will provide the recipes.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Scott's Links June 2012

Scott roams the internet far and wide to ply his trade as a link dealer. Fortunately, Scott provides links free to us. Check these out. . . share your thoughts! And away we go. . .

Click Here To Read Article/Comments at CommentaramaFilms [+]

With Friends Like These. . .

It’s been a slow news summer, with the exception of one or two HUGE items. . . but how many times can we talk about Justin Beiber’s new album? ;) So let’s do a couple small items, then we can all get back to preparing for tryanmax's and T-Rav's birthdays!

Silly Gays: You know that gays think with their genitalia, right? At least, that’s what Joy Behar tells us. She’s upset that a group of gay Republicans have endorsed Romney. More specifically, she questions their motives. She actually suggested that GOProud only endorsed Romney because they’re attracted to his sons:
“Could it be that the GOProud guys are just attracted to Mitt Romney's sons Matt, Mutt, Tag, Tip, Tack, and Bashful? Do you think that's the issue?”
No doubt she'll claim this was a joke, but could you imagine the outrage if a Republican suggested (even as a joke) that gays only voted for Obama because they were attracted to his children? Gays should be insulted because here is a prominent (idiot) liberal suggesting that they think through their sex organs. This woman is a mess.

Brother Can You Spare A Stadium?: The Democrats are running so low on money that they are thinking of cancelling the opening kickoff to their convention in North Carolina. At the least, they apparently plan to move it to a smaller venue. Ha ha. This is despite Obama supposedly being prepared to raise a billion dollars, despite the unions being flush with billions in stimulus money, despite Hollywood emptying their pockets to help out. Where did it all go wrong? Oh, that's right, they proved to be idiots and everyone knows they’re going to lose!

Speaking of Hollywood, it looks like Obama is starting to skip the fundraisers they are doing for him. Apparently, it doesn’t fit with his manufactured image of “caring about normal people.”

Fleeing A Sinking Convention: In a sign of how bad the PR is for the Democrats at the moment, Missouri Democrat (and neighbor of Mr. T. Rav) Sen. Claire McCaskill will apparently skip the convention. She gets added to a growing list of other Democrats who fear that being seen at that toxic venue will cause them problems with the voters. This list includes the Clintons and the West Virginia delegation. This is a bad, bad sign for Obama. When your friends don’t want to be seen with you, you know you’re in trouble.

Patriotism Is The Last Refuge of Short Scoundrels: Clinton Labor Secretary and noted dwarf Robert Reich just said that Republicans aren’t patriots because we don’t want to pay taxes. Specifically, he said this: “True patriotism means paying for America.” This is interesting, since Republicans actually are the ones who are paying. Democrats don’t work, they leech, be they Democratic billionaires who avoid their taxes and demand federal subsidies for their business (cough cough Warren Buffett) or be they the army of Democratic voters who live on welfare and demand subsidies for everything they buy from their homes, to their student loans, to their heating fuel, to their food, to their kids’ school lunches. So using Reich’s formula, it turns out that Republicans are true patriots and Democrats aren’t. But then, we knew that already.

No Habla Liberalismo: So get this, we all KNOW that Hispanics only care about immigration, right? That’s what we’re told by the left. Well, it turns out that’s not true. USA/Gallup just did a poll and it turns out that Hispanics care most about. . . get this. . . healthcare (21%), then unemployment (19%) and then comes immigration at 12%. Imagine that, they’re just like the rest of us.

No One Could Have Known!: As usual, The Economist is slowly discovering what conservatives already knew. When the Arab Spring hit, The Economist went all giddy. They saw visions of westernized-socialist Arab diplomats taking over these countries and turning them into mini-Greeces. They dismissed anyone who suggested that things might not go so well. Arabs didn't really want fundamentalist Islam, we were assured. Well, now that Egypt has had its elections, The Economist has discovered to its horror that the same people who demand the destruction of Israel, who persecute Christians, and who murder their wives for no reason whatsoever, didn’t make the wisest choices as voters after all. Shocking. The selection of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate is not as bad as people fear, but The Economist has gone into full panic mode and is now wondering how nobody could have seen this coming. . . just like all liberals do when their fantasies implode.

Anything you'd like to add?

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Beginning Of The End?

Please note that the header for this article contains a question mark. My guts tell me that it should be a statement rather than a question, but I have to be realistic. On the other hand, I’m older than most of you, and I’m experiencing that sensation of déjà vu all over again. I’m seeing the early cracks in the unified front of Holder and Obama in the Fast and Furious scandal.

President Obama’s recent and highly-questionable executive privilege claim to protect Attorney General Holder’s involvement in Fast and Furious is certainly an indicator of trouble in Obama heaven. News reporters who actually care to report the news have jumped on that as an indication of a coverup.

But having been through Watergate, I see a little-reported and more recent event as much more indicative that the White House of Cards may be coming down. When President Nixon raised executive privilege at the early Watergate stages, it was also a signal of trouble. But it was the burgeoning growth of the extension of that privilege to everyone who knew anything that was truly telling.

That is already beginning to occur with Obama in Fast and Furious. The weak claim of executive privilege (more correctly, communications privilege) has already led the administration into an attempt to block a third-tier former National Security adviser from testifying before Congress. If the privilege is stretched by extending it to Holder’s communications with his deputies and other federal agencies, then attempting to block testimony from a distantly-connected former federal adviser stretches the privilege to the breaking point.

The capsule version is as follows: ATF Special Agent Bill Newell testified before Congress in July of 2011 that he and National Security staff member Kevin O’Reilly had communicated with each other via e-mail and on the telephone. This is not a communication between Holder and his subordinates. It is communication between members of two different federal agencies discussing the ramifications of gun-walking operations and what should or should not be communicated to the Mexican government and Mexican media

Newell had attempted to paint his agency in the best possible light, claiming that any activity in Fast and Furious was solely to bring down the trafficking of guns with the Mexican drug cartels. But under withering examination from several members of the House Oversight Committee, Newell admitted that the agency had “made mistakes.” He also said that he and O’Reilly had attempted to keep their plans between themselves and out of the hands of the White House and the Department of Justice. But he slipped, and admitted that their plan to maintain secrecy had failed and was well-known throughout the Obama administration, including DOJ, as early as 2010.

At that point, no hard evidence of complicity with DOJ or the White House had yet been produced, but Newell was ordered by his direct superiors not to continue testifying. The matters contained in the e-mails and phone calls between old friends Newell and O’Reilly became known, but standing alone would not “prove” anything more than earlier knowledge of the operation than Holder had admitted to. Damning, but not deadly.

Now, the names of Newell and O’Reilly have shown up on potential Congressional witness lists, including the pending contempt of Congress vote that Holder faces. Newell’s testimony is rather narrow, and probably wouldn’t do much additional damage in further Congressional hearings. But O’Reilly was closer to the White House than Newell who was just a Phoenix area ATF agency director. O’Reilly would logically be assumed to be in communication with DOJ and the White House as Fast and Furious began to unravel.

In order to preempt any discovery of O’Reilly’s (and possibly Holder’s and Obama's) involvement in attempting to squelch the impact of the reports of scores of guns disappearing and civilian deaths in the failed sting operation that appeared early on, O’Reilly has been told by the White House that he cannot testify before Congress again. O’Reilly is no longer the National Security adviser to the White House, but in such a matter, the administration feels that any of his words or deeds whether past or present should be covered by the expansion of the dubious executive privilege.

This may seem both minor and technical, but it is not. More significantly, this is no longer insider-politics, nor even simply conservative investigative success. The curious relationship of Newell and O’Reilly, combined with O’Reilly’s previous insider position at the White House, raises some pretty big flags. Flags too big to be entirely ignored. The question “what are they hiding?” is becoming amplified. And it is, of all possible sources, being examined by CBS News.

White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler told a CBS reporter that O’Reilly “will not be made available for Congressional inquiry.” Last fall, O’Reilly was allegedly unavailable because he was on assignment for the State Department in Iraq. At that time, O’Reilly and his lawyers had said that he could not come back for the investigation, but was willing to be interviewed by the Oversight Committee by phone. That offer was quickly squelched by the White House. I can’t help but suspect that both Newell and O’Reilly are viewed by the administration as potential loose cannons.

How important is this? Hard to say, but I go back to Watergate for indicators. Almost everyone, including the press, considered Watergate to be a matter of little importance, with no serious ramifications for the Nixon White House. But then, Nixon started “disappearing” the Plumbers and administration officials who might tie the burglary to the highest levels of government.. Undaunted by being told how insignificant this whole thing was, Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein got hold of the story like a pair of bulldogs. They started interviewing administration officials who seemingly had no connection to the Watergate break-in. In other words, they did their job as reporters.

To start with, Woodward and Bernstein latched onto early indications. They asked “why were a bunch of common burglars being represented at their criminal hearings by high-priced lawyers with strong connections to the White House?" Similarly, CBS is now asking why the administration is quashing the appearance of O’Reilly before Congress if he doesn’t know anything of value and could conceivably give exculpatory testimony for Eric Holder.

This is one of the early indicators that a coverup is being perpetrated, and that it goes all the way to the top. Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley have sent a letter to the White House stating: “O’Reilly’s testimony is necessary to allow us to begin to determine the extent of involvement—if any—of White House staff in Operation Fast and Furious. As such, we strongly urge you to reverse your position and facilitate an interview with O’Reilly without further delay.” This is an early indication that the investigators may believe that the coverup doesn’t stop at Holder’s office, but rather goes all the way to where the buck stops.

I'm beginning to wonder at what point we will stop referring to "The Fast and Furious Debacle" and start referring to it as "The Fast and Furious Conspiracy." Maybe we should hire a medium and attempt to communicate with the spirit of Richard Nixon. For now, I simply pray that the reporters' egos and need to be there first with the next "scandal scoop" will overcome their ingrained need to protect Obama and his minions.

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Not All Speech Should Be Protected

I love the internet. It’s provided me with hours of entertainment, it’s let me sell a book, and it’s let me meet all of you. That’s pretty darn cool. But the internet does have a downside. Specifically, it lets the most hateful turds do their best to intimidate those they don’t like. We need a law, dammit!! Actually, we don’t.

It really is undeniable that the internet can be a problem, particularly when it comes to “hate speech.” Indeed, some corners of the internet are a seething cauldron of hate and idiocy. But here’s the thing, we don’t need laws to stop hate or idiocy. For one thing, hate and idiocy don’t actually harm us. Sticks and stones, my friends. So why do we need more laws to stop things that don’t really harm us? Isn’t that just using the power of government to force your pet peeves on people?

Not to mention, letting people speak their minds and expose their twisted views is an incredibly useful tool for discovering who you shouldn’t trust. Would you rather know that the normal looking guy in the bowtie thinks Jews are evil creatures, or would you rather only know that he smiles a lot?

Equally problematic is the idea of how we define hate. One person’s hate is another person’s truth. So whose opinion is right, and where will the government draw the line? Moreover, how do you keep the hypersensitive from getting their views imposed through the government? They are the most likely to make such an attempt after all. Do we really trust that the government won’t start declaring things like Christianity “hate speech” merely because it argues that certain acts are immoral? Many liberals already make that argument.

Let’s face it, there are very strong reasons to allow hate speech and there really aren’t any valid ones which justify banning it except that some people don't like it.

But there is another angle to this. Sometimes people hide behind the First Amendment to do more than just spew hate and stupidity. Indeed, they cross over that line and advocate violence. Now that, is a real problem.

And that brings me to Jesse Morton, the founder of a militant Muslim website “Revolution Muslim.” Jesse just got sentenced to 11.5 years for making threats against the creators of South Park because of their episode featuring Mohammed in a bear suit. He also admitted to conspiring to solicit the murder of Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris, who drew Mohammed as part of a protest against the intimidation of Danish cartoonists.

Jesse’s conviction is exactly how “hate” speech needs to be curtailed. Rather than trying to ban people from spewing idiotic opinions, we should only punish those cross the line into advocating illegality. Jesse made threats and conspired to make threats involving the injury or murder of other individuals. That is not some nebulous hateful opinion, it is in fact a crime, and has always has been recognized as such since the foundations of our justice system were laid. When he crossed the line from giving opinion to soliciting crimes, he needed to be punished.

In fact, the same thing needs to be done to the army of idiots who are taking to Twitter to issue their own death threats. If you tweet that you will kill someone or rape them or their children, that is a threat and you should be locked up, whether your target is a public figure or not. If you ask someone to kill someone else, then you have solicited murder. If you suggest that it would please you if someone died or was raped, or you simply hope they are killed or raped, that is solicitation. Those are crimes.

The internet is indeed out of control, but it’s not the handful of lunatics whining about racial purity or how everyone else is evil that are the problem. The problem is this group of supposedly normal people who now think it’s acceptable to make threats or solicit crimes against political opponents they don’t like. It’s time these people got rounded up and sent to jail, just like Jesse Morton, so that people stop doing this. If something isn’t done soon, this will spin out of control, if it hasn’t already.


P.S. Don't forget, it's Star Trek Tuesday at the film site.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Obama’s “Week From Hell” Coming Up

Everybody’s had one of those weeks, where everything goes wrong. Obama is about to experience a big one! Indeed, this week will likely be the week which will define his Presidency as a total failure in the history book. And it starts with ObamaCare.

Obama bet his entire Presidency on ObamaCare, and that’s going down in flames this week. Yep. Sometime this week, the Supreme Court will finally issue its decision. We’ve discussed that a lot, including the likely outcomes (LINK), but any way you slice it, this will end poorly for Obama. At the very least, the individual mandate will be struck down. But more likely, the Supreme Court will strike down the entire law. Either result, however, will be seen by the public as a complete reversal of ObamaCare, and with it, a complete undoing of his entire term in office.

My biggest concern here is if only the mandate gets struck down. That could kill the momentum for a repeal of the entire bill, which is what is truly needed. Indeed, the individual mandate is the least harmful of the provisions. The rest of the bill raises taxes, hands out favors, reshapes how hospitals function, limits the way doctors can arrange their businesses, slashes Medicare, subsidizes some people’s healthcare, imposes requirements on insurers, and forces states to create these massive insurance exchanges which will never go away. That is the real heart of ObamaCare and that’s what needs to be eliminated. On the plus side, once people think ObamaCare is gone, it will be hard to stop the Republicans from repealing the rest. On the downside, once the pressure is released, Washington tends to return to rest and let things stay as they are. Let’s hope the Supreme Court does the right thing and kills the whole bill.

But ObamaCare is just the beginning. This week the Supreme Court will also uphold Arizona’s law to let its police enforce the nation’s immigration laws. If immigration truly is THE issue for Hispanics, and this bill is as bad as the left claims, then Hispanic won’t be too happy that Obama proved impotent on this issue.

More importantly, as more and more states pass these laws, the ability of the Democrats to ignore the illegal immigration problem by sabotaging ICE efforts in Washington will vanish. Instead, the states will start taking care of these issues, with a likely first round resulting in a demographic shift as illegals flee to welcoming states like California. . . which can’t afford them.

On Thursday, Obama’s lawyer, Attorney General Eric Holder, will find himself held in contempt of Congress for lying and withholding documents from Congress related to his “Fast and Furious” program which resulted in thousands of weapons being given to drug cartels in Mexico. Interestingly, even the left is mocking Obama’s claim that Holder has the right to withhold the requested documents under Executive Privilege. Apparently, young Barack Obama once said Bush’s identical claims were illegal.

On Friday, Obama’s latest effort at a stimulus bill, a $109 billion highway bill, will probably fail in the House. So much for spreading around a little bribe money before the election.

Finally, student loan rates will double unless action is taken by June 30, and the House Republicans don’t seem all that interested in stopping this. This will upset yet another key Obama demographic, students. This one might pass, but we’ll see. But it won’t help the mood on college campuses that Obama let this happen.

That’s a big week for Obama and from the looks of it, it’s all going to go wrong. :)

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Gay Activists Show How To Woo Non-Gays

The White House decided to celebrate Gay Pride Month and the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by inviting a large group of gay activists to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It made the affair into a formal reception, complete with the Marine Corps band providing the musical interludes (looking rather bilious, I might add). The gathering demonstrated its civility and inclusiveness by flipping off the official portrait of Ronald Reagan.

Each of the actvists, first individually then collectively gathered in front of the portrait of one of America’s most popular presidents to have their pictures taken insulting his memory. I’m not sure whether this proves their complete disregard for dignity and decorum or their complete ignorance of Reagan’s attitude toward gays. They did a smaller repeat performance in front of the portrait of George W. Bush, but not in front of the portrait of Bill Clinton, the architect of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Aside from the unfortunate Marine Corps band, the guests were also entertained by readings from poet CA Conrad, author of such great works as Deviant Propulsion. Photographer Zoe Strauss was having so much fun that she posted her finger gestures on her Facebook page, eliciting fan responses ranging from “f—k Reagan” to “you forgot to add ‘with a chainsaw’.” It’s not quite clear what her protest had to do with Reagan’s view on gays, since her comments related to the Iran-Contra scandal and the invasion of Grenada.

She did, however, quote Reagan from 1980 on her Facebook site. Accurately, I might add. “My criticism is that the gay movement isn’t just asking for civil rights; it’s asking for recognition and acceptance of an alternative lifestyle which I do not believe society can condone, nor can I.” That is still the opinion of the majority of Americans. But tolerance isn’t enough for the gay activists. Reagan wasn’t denying any gay rights, he was simply protesting being expected to encourage a particular lifestyle (and by inference, the diminution of the lifestyle of most Americans).

As governor of California, Reagan vetoed several anti-gay bills presented to him by a largely Democratic legislature. He personally had many gay friends. As President, he increased funding for HIV/AIDS research. But none of that matters to Strauss. Nor was it enough for Matthew Hart, a fellow attendee who also posted on his Facebook page: “Yeah, f—k Reagan. Ronald Reagan has blood on his hands. The man was in the White House as AIDS exploded, and he was happy to see plenty of gay men and queer people die. He was a murderous fool, and I have no problem saying so. Don’t invite me back, I don’t care.” I think his wish will probably be fulfilled.

There were voices of reason at the event, though largely ignored. Mark Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News posed doing a [sarcastic?] thumbs-up in front of W’s portrait, but considered that more than sufficiently snarky. Speaking of his attendance at the event, Segal said: “I have friends who work in that building. I’m not going to do something that could embarrass them or that could somehow damage a campaign that is so important. ‘Be on your best behavior’ my staff told me. I think they know me too well.” But his restraint was not contagious in the least.

Segal even made a couple of catty remarks about the choice of music, somewhat sympathizing with the poor Marine Corps band. “We come up to the main foyer, and what do they play? Barbra Streisand The Way We Were. And I thought, “are they going to play nothing but Barbra, Bette and Lady Gaga?” I was waiting for Over the Rainbow. I mean, this is the Marine Corps band!” That’s the kind of humor I’m used to from my gay friends in San Francisco. Hilarious, sardonic, but not bitter and angry.

These angry activists have forgotten (or don’t care) that there are such things as Reagan Democrats and Log Cabin Republicans. If they wanted to disrespect the memory and portrait of a past president, they would have been better off waving the middle finger in front of the most notorious presidential bigot in the Twentieth Century, progressive Woodrow Wilson. At least Segal recognized that his kind of hatred is both counterproductive and not a help in reelecting gay-pandering Barack Obama.

And doing their duty, the Marine Corps band played on. That allowed Segal to dance with his male partner, in the presidential palace. I don’t have a problem with that. I’m not thrilled with it, but I don’t have a problem with it. Maybe I’m just a little more tolerant than those finger-wagging activists.

Whether out of political expediency or genuine belief, the White House did issue a press release after word of these hi-jinx got out to the public (though not through the mainstream press). “While the White House does not control the conduct of guests at receptions, we certainly expect that all attendees conduct themselves in a respectful manner. Most all do. These individuals clearly did not. Behavior like this doesn’t belong anywhere, least of all in the White House.”

Which at least partially explains why I will never be invited to the Obama White House.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Great (film) Debates vol. 43

There are the famous, the infamous, and the other guys. And many of the other guys deserve a little more fame (or infamy).

What actor do you wish would be better known (or “given more prominent films”)?

Click Here To Read Article/Comments at CommentaramaFilms [+]

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What Would Miss Manners Say?

I know that the last thing you want to think about on a beautiful Summer day is Barack Obama, but I've been following the Obama/Biden campaign trail via Twitter. I must say, it is quite entertaining. The panic is growing if the constant stream of donation pleas from @BarackObama and @JoeBiden are any indication. It was reported this week that the Obama campaign isn’t bringing in the multi-millions like they did in 2008 and in May they spent more than they took in. Why does that sound so familiar – spending more than you take in? I can’t put my finger on it right now, but will come to me.

Well, anyway, apparently things have gotten so bad that Obama/Biden 2012 fundraisers are resorting to begging potential donors for birthday money from Grandma. Or better yet, they have a place to sign up so wedding guests can donate to the Obama campaign in lieu of sending those selfish personal gifts like gift cards, china place settings, or sterling silver gravy boats. I guess because this is really, really important that Obama win, and that selfish personal stuff will just gather dust, or worse, be forgotten.

The Obama event registry
By Laura Wilson on June 22, 2012

Got a birthday, anniversary, or wedding coming up?

Let your friends know how important this election is to you—register with Obama 2012, and ask for a donation in lieu of a gift. It’s a great way to support the President on your big day. Plus, it’s a gift that we can all appreciate—and goes a lot further than a gravy bowl.

Setting up and sharing your registry page is easy—so get started today.

Frankly I wonder what Emily Post or Miss Manners would think. They both have been pretty adamant over the years that there should be no expectation of a gift with an invitation, and coercion shows a definite breach of etiquette and class. But these are desperate times that call for desperate measures and, as we've seen, etiquette and class have not been this Administration's forte. I mean, these are the same folks who thought giving an Ipod full of Obama's speeches was an appropriate official state gift for the Queen of England.

However, turnabout is fair play. Texan Jim Harrison felt so strongly about Barack Obama, that before he succumbed to cancer in February, he used his own obituary to request that, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to either the American Cancer Society or "ANYONE running against Barack Obama". Neither Emily Post nor Miss Manners have ever said that there was anything ill-mannered about a deathbed donation requests.

On a side note: It was reported in the Hollywood Reporter that the Hollywood stars that the Obama campaign has been using to front fundraising events are beginning worry about the fall out. Well, you have to admit that it probably does not look good to be crowing about $40,000 a plate dinners with Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker when the big campaign talking point is about the poor, overburdened, overstretched middle class. But then these are same middle class voters who don’t need their gravy boats…
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EPA’s Dream World

The folly of the EPA is beyond parody. So I thought for this weekend I’d do something we haven’t done in awhile, and have a “name the most egregious example of EPA excess day." Allow me to start off with an example that is making the rounds of [conservative] reporting right now.

Living in the dream world of green miracles, the EPA requires that oil refiners produce millions of gallons of gasoline containing cellulosic ethanol.

Not ethanol per se mind you, but gasoline containing the miracle ingredient cellulosic ethanol. This requirement has been in place since 2005, and each year the number of gallons required of the miracle ingredient increases automatically. If the refiners don’t produce the required number of gallons of gasoline containing cellulosic ethanol, they are surtaxed on production—essentially a penalty. Before anyone says it, this is one boondoggle that Obama can at least partially blame on Bush.

Seven years after the addition of this EPA regulation, the fines are becoming extremely heavy. Well, that’s fair if the refiners don’t do what the government requires of them, right? I say “beat those global-warming producers over the head with their failure to comply with EPA regulations.” Or at least I would say that except for one small detail. Cellulosic ethanol doesn’t exist except in the fevered minds of green weenies who think that wishing will make it so.

Here’s how the inimitable Wikepedia describes the product: “It is a type of biofuel produced from lignocellulose, a structural material that comprises much of the mass of plants. Lignocellulose is composed mainly of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Corn stover, panicum virgatum (switchgrass), miscanthus grass species, wood chips and the byproducts of lawn and tree maintenance are some of the more popular cellulosic materials for ethanol production. Production of ethanol from lignocellulose has the advantage of abundant and diverse raw material compared to sources such as corn and cane sugars, but requires a greater amount of processing to make the sugar monomers available to the microorganisms typically used to produce cellulosic ethanol by fermentation.” Wow!

Which is to say, don’t rely on Wikipedia to give you meaningful and accurate information about anything that has a political component. It all depends on the meaning of the word “is.” Small quantities of this product have been produced in experimental laboratories. Beyond that, the production of the product in any significant quantities is more pie-in-the-sky. One refiner, largely using federal grants and subsidies, is building a plant which will allegedly produce enough of the product to start the grass waving. Think “Solyndra,” only with plant material. Such as pond scum.

Now rather than the “is” that Wikipedia uses, let’s take a look at what the proponents of the product are actually saying. Here’s something from Brooke Coleman, executive director of the Advanced Ethanol Council of the Renewable Fuels Association: “We are going to reduce your blending obligation by 98% because we think it’s the right thing to do. We are going to maintain your blending obligation on the gallons that we think are going to emerge" (emphasis added). ‘Nuff said?

Well, that’s my example for the day. I now throw the floor open for discussion of your favorite EPA excess. Have some fun! To tweak your Pavlovian responses, I suggest the words “wetlands” and “endangered species.”

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Film Friday: Phone Booth (2002)

If I told you that a movie takes place entirely within a phone booth, you’d probably wonder how interesting that could be. Well, with only minor exceptions, the movie Phone Booth takes place entirely within a phone booth and the street surrounding the booth. And as unlikely as it sounds, this movie is gripping! It’s also a rather conservative film.

Click Here To Read Article/Comments at CommentaramaFilms [+]

"I’m No Crook!"

No, that’s not the right President. I’m trying to find the quote that goes with Barack Obama. Hmmmm. “I am not weak on foreign policy or national security.” No, that’s not right either. Now the fact is that our current President is a crook, and he is weak on foreign policy and national security. But he didn’t say those things.

Well, let me give it another try. “I am not irrelevant, and I did not have sex with that woman.” Aw, strike three. C’mon, friends, give me one more shot, please. I think I’ve got it: “I am not a failure--I am a helpless victim of circumstance.” That’s the ticket! I finally matched the face to the saying. It’s the guy who doesn’t look like the other Presidents. And OK, I admit it, he hasn’t personally said that, yet. But his friends in the mainstream media have said that, and I call particular attention to Peter Baker’s Monday editorializing news article on the front page of the New York Times.

The article was entitled “Obama’s Focus on Re-Election Faces World of Complications.” Parker laments: “For Barack Obama, a president who set out to restore good relations with the world in his first term, the world does not seem to be cooperating all that much with his bid to win a second.” Aw, poor Barack. And it ain’t just those furriners who are giving him fits. Events are overwhelming him right in his own country. Andrew Price covered part of this excuse-making Wednesday in his article on the alleged “impossibility” of any president doing a good job in such a complicated setting.

Obama says the European monetary crises are about to overwhelm America. Of course, the Europeans are saying the diametric opposite. See what I mean? How’s a poor kid from Chicago supposed to handle all this disharmony? In the Middle East, the Arab Spring is turning out to be the Arab Little Ice Age despite all of Obama’s good faith speechifying about the proper course for those governments to take. Now, his plans for Egypt have gone awry since the Jihadist candidate and the Islamofascist candidate for Egypt’s presidency have both claimed victory while the Egyptian military have said they both lose and have dissolved the Islamist legislature.

Obama perfectly nicely asks Russian President Vladimir Putin to help him out in bringing peace in Syria, and what does he get? Contempt. How can any President be expected to deal with such bad manners? He knows he can’t do a “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” speech because that speech is already taken and he also knows that a speech even approaching that kind of defiance would get loud horselaughs in the Kremlin.

Baker tries a small preemptive strike on Obama’s behalf by saying “some Romney advisers said Mr. Obama was too willing to avoid accountability by presenting himself as a powerless bystander.” But Baker thinks such an idea is unfair and untrue. Obama isn’t a willing victim of circumstance, he’s an unwilling victim of circumstance. Until his own leftist base pushed him to extremes, Obama correctly said that he was a president and not a king, and he couldn't act on his own to create and enforce immigration reform. But circumstances overwhelmed him and forced him to issue an executive order against his will which does exactly what he said he didn't have the power to do. It's not easy being helpless.

Domestically, it has taken over a year and a near constitutional crisis to get Obama to act on one of those unmanageable circumstances. It isn’t his fault that Eric Holder is about to be cited for contempt of Congress for failing to respond properly to House requests for information regarding the deadly Operation Fast and Furious. We all know that Obama had nothing to do with that. Holder was off on a lark of his own, and how could such a busy and besieged President find the time to involve himself in something as trivial as a few hundred deaths, a dead Border Patrol agent, and a whole lot of “missing guns” floating around Mexico?

Once again, circumstances have overtaken the helpless President. Through no fault of his own, the Fates have thrown another unforeseen and unmanageable problem at him. Since he was too busy ducking flying circumstances, Obama didn’t know about the gun-running scandal until this past Wednesday. Circumstances beyond his control have left him with only one practical solution to this unforeseen circumstance of a potential contempt of Congress citation for his Attorney General. He raised executive privilege and ordered Holder not to take any more crap from those fascist Republicans.

Naturally, he could have raised executive privilege as long as two years ago when Holder first began lying to Congress about what he knew and when he knew it about the deaths and gun-running. But he was swamped fending off all those other unforeseen circumstances and fate denied him the opportunity to act on the issue until Wednesday. Obama has learned that when faced with complicated circumstances beyond your control the best thing to do is nothing and pretend you’re doing something constructive.

But the President remains undaunted by cruel fate. When the going gets tough, the tough get out of town. And Obama picked the perfect place to visit until circumstances are more favorable to him. He’s going to Mexico. As best I can decipher the move, he’s going to talk with the Mexican President about the unfortunate and unforeseeable circumstances overwhelming them both coming out of the presence of scores of high-tech deadly arms now owned and operated by the Mexican drug cartels.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Keep The "Bad" News Coming!

Every day I think I’ve covered the issues that matter and then people do stuff and more issues appear. I’m starting to think blogging is a Sisyphean task? In any event, we’ve got more sour grapes advance-excuses for Team Obama, bad news for Madame Pelosi, the NCAA and more!

The Big Mo in Michigan: Romney has moved ahead of Obama in Michigan. Yes, Michigan. That’s the state with the “eternally grateful” autoworkers whose very lives were saved by Obama. That’s the state with all the Muslims who hate and fear Republicans for their evil. I don’t put much faith in polls, but I do put faith in momentum in the polls and Romney’s got the Big Mo.

Cry Poverty: Obama’s campaign is not in the best financial shape. After all this talk of him raising a billion dollars for this election, the funds have actually been few and far between, and he’s nowhere near a billion. To the contrary, he’s only raised $261 million so far. At this point in 2008, he’d raised $296 million. What’s worse, he’s spending money faster than he’s bringing it in. Last month, he took in $39.1 million, but spent $44.6 million. At the same time, Obama is now worried that Romney will actually hit a billion dollars ($1.2 billion to be precise) and Obama will earn yet another historical distinction – being the first incumbent to be outspent by a challenger.

Prog-not-stication: Pelosi has been claiming for a long time now that the odds of them retaking the House “are better than 50/50.” I would like to put down five grand on “no f-ing way.” Now the Cook Political Report, which is usually pretty good at guessing Congressional races, says it ain’t happening.

Using simple math, Pelosi needs only 25 seats to retake the House. However, only one time in recent history has an incumbent President’s party gained more than 25 seats in the House in an election: Johnson in 1964. So this is unlikely in any event. But there’s more. Because of redistricting, the Republicans will likely gain 8-12 seats. That means Pelosi likely needs 35 seats. That ain’t happening. Moreover, Cook predicts that the Democrats will gain only 10 seats. So much for Madame P’s ability to see the future.

Interestingly, one race which blew up on the Democrats involved California’s new voting law. Last year, California decided that rather than letting both parties select their own candidates, everyone would vote and the top two vote-getters would move on. The idea was to ensure that lots of races ended up with a choice between two Democrats. Well, something went wrong and a district which voted for Obama by 56% will now have a choice between two Republicans. Ha ha! Look for the law to be changed again in light of this. Maybe this time they’ll just ban Republicans from running?

Prog-not-stication: What do you all think of Tim Pawlenty as Vice President? Honestly, I liked him and his ideas, but he quit awfully quickly and I don't see him having the killer instinct the job needs.

Playoffs? Playoffs?!: Finally, slightly off topic, the NCAA has let it leak that they will do a college football playoff system starting in 2014, with a committee picking four teams and then letting them eliminate each other with extreme prejudice. I personally don’t like this idea. I think it caters to the obsession of finding a single best team at the expense of the traditions set up within college football. As the system stands right now, it means something to win your conference and win a bowl game. Dozens of schools can gain glory and fans love it. But under the new system, only four teams will be relevant and only one will matter, just like in the NFL. But you may disagree. Thoughts?

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Am I My Keeper’s Brother?

The loony left has been in such disarray recently that they’ve forgotten how to focus their own vile rhetoric. They claim that all opposition to socialist Barack Obama is based in racism. They find hidden messages in every criticism, all of those messages pointing to the alleged racial inferiority of blacks. And most of all, God forbid a conservative should use the word “ape” in any reference to Democrats and particularly to President Obama.

As always however, the left feels free to say any damned thing that comes into their minds, however offensive and racist. They don’t even try to justify it because they firmly believe that only conservatives can be mean-spirited and therefore what liberals say is always sugary Rodney King-like “can’t we all just get along?” Some of these closet racists are at least moderately subtle, but that doesn’t apply to Bill Maher, Monarch of the Mad Mouth.

HBO’s resident leftist cuckoo (also occasionally known as Lord of the Loud Mouth) has just hit his favorite target—Republicans—and he has done so by using the very “ape” language about a rising star in the Republican Party that even a Ku Klux Klan grand Cyclops would be tempted to avoid. Right after declaring that Republicans have nominated a man for the presidency who belongs to a religion that is stupid but very much in keeping with a nation that is also stupid, Maher went after Rep. Allen West. West is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, a conservative, and, uh, black.

So this past Monday, Maher sneered his best sneer and called the Republicans the Party of the Apes. Without taking a breath, he then called Republicans crazy for not rejecting West’s allegations of communist sympathy within the left wing of the Democratic Party and at the White House (pictured is Maher after being told a daily ration of bananas is not in his contract).

Now there’s simply no way of getting around what the two statements run so closely together actually mean. The thought is simple. Republicans are the Party of the Apes, and Allen West is the most dangerous ape in the party. Nice, huh?

Two names, just by themselves, prove that West is neither crazy nor stupid. Van Jones and Anita Dunn are former high-ranking advisers to Barack Obama who were tossed under the bus only after highly-public revelations of their philosophy and loyalties overcame the administration’s attempts to downplay Obama’s leftist sympathies. Jones is an [allegedly] former member of a communist-front group and spouts Marx on a regular basis, and Dunn named her favorite political philosophers—Mother Theresa and Mao Tse-Tung (pronounced “mousey dung”). So much for Rep. West being crazy.

In case you didn’t catch the reference the first time around, Maher wrapped up his mad rant with a discussion of the past two decades in politics with: “The idea that the blame for our government’s dysfunction is equally shared by the parties is just a giant, steaming mound of horses—t and anyone who pays attention to politics over the last twenty years knows it.” And now, returning to his original thought, he concluded on his blog with: “Or as I like to call it, ‘The Rise of the Party of the Apes.’”

Maher claimed that Rep. West had said that there are eighty communists in the US House of Representatives. That is not at all what West actually said when discussing communist influence on the views of certain House members. And West didn’t even bring up Barack Obama’s beloved communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis. He could have added “and one communist-inspired resident in the White House.”

Maher skipped right past the usual liberal pejorative and didn’t call Rep. West an “Oreo.” He pointed straight at the trees and called a black Republican an ape. I know I’m stating the obvious here, but I need to say it before I explode. If Jay Leno, for instance, had called the Democrats “the Party of the Apes led by Barack Obama,” he would instantly have been terminated by NBC and sent back to his automobile and motorcycle collections. But when it comes to a leftist defending leftists, the mainstream media either entirely ignore the vicious and racist remarks or explain them away with “well, he’s just a comedian, so you can’t take it too seriously.”

Barack Hussein Obama and his Democratic colleagues have no legal or political obligation to denounce or even recognize Maher’s venom. But don’t they have a moral obligation to do so? Particularly in light of Maher’s million dollar donation to Obama’s campaign? I guess that’s another liberal one-way street. The liberals and the mainstream media will circle the wagons and defend this comic’s right to be both racist and unfunny. But at least as Eric Holder might put it, Maher’s not a coward about race. Maher is too busy frothing at the mouth to hide his inherent racism.

God, it felt good to put that “racist” shoe on the other foot, even for a brief moment. Unfortunately, I won’t have a lot of company, and none at all in the mainstream media.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Some Thoughts On Blade Runner

There are seven known versions of Blade Runner. This weekend, I watched the three BIG versions of Blade Runner back to back to back. Yes, yes I did. Why? Because one of the HBO channels was showing them. It was fascinating watching all three and seeing the differences and this got me wondering about a couple things I’d like to discuss. Feel free to share your own views and add any other issues you’d like to discuss.

Click Here To Read Article/Comments at CommentaramaFilms
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“Obama Will Lose” Omen No. 472

Back in September 2010 (LINK), I wrote an article predicting how the left would react to the pending failure of Obama. I said that when the left knows things have gone wrong and they’re going to lose an election, they whip out the sour grapes. Specifically, they start writing articles telling us that “it’s impossible for anyone to govern!” Well, we have achieve grapedom.

As I said before, liberals are big on defense mechanisms, and their favorite defense mechanism when their candidate fails is the old idea that “nobody could do it.” Indeed, every time one of their leaders fails at something, they rush to warn us that this had nothing to do with their beliefs, it was because the thing was simply impossible – often couched in terms of “this is impossible because democracy allows Republicans to obstruct us.”

And when their Presidents fail utterly, they really step it up and we are treated to a whole slew of articles lamenting the fact that America itself is ungovernable. Carter gave us the clearest example of this. When it became obvious that he would fail, liberals everywhere started writing articles about how America was too big to be governed by one man, and how the ancient presidency just wasn’t up to the task of running a modern country. It really infuriated them when Reagan proved the doomsayers wrong.

With Obama following the Carter plan to the letter (hyperinflation, gas price problems, no jobs, soaring debt, falling currency, war in Afghanistan, crashing poll numbers), it was only a matter of time before the media decided that the problem wasn’t Obama, it was that America itself is ungovernable. Enter the Washington Post and an article obnoxiously titled:
“Can any president succeed in today’s political world?”

Of course they can, they just can’t succeed when they are doing stupid things. And Obama, like Carter, does stupid things. Obama had the House and a supermajority in the Senate. He could have done anything if he had the political leadership skills to simply outline what he wanted. But he didn’t. The failure was his own with an assist from the genuinely stupid ideas of his party. It wasn’t the result of some inherent defect in our system. But that won’t sooth the Washington Post. Here’s what they blame his failure on:
Consider this: We are in the midst of more than a decade-long streak of pessimism about the state of the country, partisanship is at all-time highs and the media have splintered — Twitter, blogs, Facebook and so on and so forth — in a thousand directions all at once.
Ok, stop right there. This the same paper which said to run the Republicans over when the Democrats had the majority. Apparently, partisanship wasn’t a problem for them then. Pessimism isn’t a problem either because policies work on their merits, not on the hopes of the people who implement them. As for the media “splintering” why would that matter unless the Post thinks the only way to achieve anything is to force groupthink on the public?

Now watch them flip this around:
Layer over the constant stream of news with the fact that Twitter, blogs and cable television turn every slip of the tongue, misstatements or gaffe into a mountain — “the private sector is doing fine” being a prime, recent example — and it’s clear that the idea that the president can drive the hourly, daily or weekly message of his choosing feels outdated. The bully pulpit may still exist, but it’s far less bully than it once was.

That’s especially true not only because the fracturing of the media makes it hard to push a clear message but also because roughly half of the American public doesn’t want to hear the message (whatever it is) because it is of the other party.
Wrong. Notice that the first problem is the inability to reach the public because there is no single all-powerful (liberal) media telling people what to think, somehow that makes it impossible to govern. But then they flip that right around and whine that all these blogs and twits brainwash the public. How can the public be lost in a splintered media wilderness on the one hand, but simultaneously that splintered media can exploit any story and brainwash the public on the other? Then we flip it over one more time and finish with no one being able to get a message out because the media is splintered again. Consistency, thy name ain’t liberal.

The problem here is that liberalism fails, but liberals don’t want to believe it. So instead, they scratch their heads trying to figure out what could have possibly gone wrong. And the only answer they can come up with, before they start talking about betrayal, is that the whole system stinks. Good grief: “I can’t bowl a 300 game, so bowling must be flawed.” Yeah, that makes sense.

Look for more of these articles for a while and enjoy them while they last because they will soon give way to the bloodbath phase as our liberal friends start to tear each other apart. In fact, we’re already seeing the preliminaries on this as the West Virginia delegation and Hillary Clinton are saying they won’t go to the Democratic Convention. It’s going to get ugly(er), so grab your popcorn and enjoy the show!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

You Sir, Are Doomed

Excuse me while I laugh. . . ROFLMAO(twice). Sorry, but sometimes the news makes me laugh. It doesn’t make the Democrats laugh, but I sure do. Here’s the latest:

Item 1: Enthusiasm Gap

First up, we have Obama’s rural problem. Obama won the Pennsylvania primary as expected. Nothing to see here, right? Well, some worried leftists looked a little deeper and discovered a wee hint of a problem. Let’s call it an enthusiasm gap, shall we?

Obama ran unopposed in Pennsylvania. But when PoliticsPA looked at the voting data, they found that in 27 of the state’s 67 counties, more than 30% of Democratic voters didn’t vote for Obama. That’s right, they left it blank.

Think about that. These people were enthusiastic enough to turn out for a primary, but then chose not to voter for their own Presidential candidate. Fascinating. They couldn’t even be bothered to lift their pens or chad-pokers or whatever they use to vote in Pennsylvania and poke a hole for old Obamy. Wow.

And this isn’t a new problem. In Arkansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia, Obama lost 40% of the primary vote to “not him.” In West Virginia, he actually lost 8 counties to convicted criminal Keith Judd, who is serving time in Texas. In Oklahoma, Obama lost 18% of the vote and 12 counties to an anti-abortion protestor. He lost 12% of Louisiana Democrats to a lawyer from Tennessee. And so on.

Until Pennsylvania, none of these were states Obama was supposed to win, so it didn’t freak too many people out. But Pennsylvania is supposed to be Obama country and it tells us he’s got serious problems. If even 2% of his supporters don’t turn out, he will lose, and this suggests that 30% of Democrats are, to put it lightly, not enthusiastic about voting for him. Moreover, Pennsylvania gives us a strong bit of insight into the key states of Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan. The man is doomed. Maybe he should buy some overalls?

Item 2: I Am Woman, Hear Me Whine!

A couple of chicks just threw an interesting hissyfit about the mistreatment of poor, noble Elizabeth Warren, as well as other representatives of the double-X chromosome set everywhere. What upset them? Well. . .

According to these brainiacs, when male candidates attack female candidates, they always attack their honesty. Why? Because “female candidates generally have an advantage on honesty and ethics,” i.e. they are more honest. So male candidates must destroy this perception. Hence, when male candidates challenge them about their honesty, it has nothing to do with politics as usual or the actual issue being brought up. Nope. It’s just a strategy meant to undermine the biggest advantage female candidates have. . . and that’s sexist. Whined the chickies, “It’s upsetting not only because it is a cheap shot, but also because it is a tactic that disguises political games as a genuine push for transparency.”


For starters, how in the world can something that is true and goes to a candidate’s honesty, integrity and ethics be considered a cheap shot? The cheap shot is actually the idiot who lied and then tries to hide behind their chromosomes to get immunity. Secondly, how is this a “woman’s issue”? Name a single male candidate who hasn’t had his honesty and ethics challenged?

Also, where are the examples of other women similarly attacked? The other examples they give in the article are Nikki Haley being accused of infidelity and Alex Sink losing the voters when she decided to play with her cell phone during a televised debate. Well, let’s consider these. The accusation of infidelity is nothing new. In fact, I can’t think of a Republican who hasn’t been accused of mystery infidelity by the Democratic machine. How is the attack against Haley anything special?

As for Sink looking at her cell phone, notice first that this is not a smear by her opponent, it is something she did herself to hurt the public’s perception of her seriousness as a candidate. Hence, it doesn’t support the argument the chickies are making. Not to mention, this is no different than Mike Dukakis flaming out because he looked stupid in a helmet, Howard Dean flaming out for a scream, or a dozen-dozen other examples. Again, this isn’t a gender issue.

The fact is Warren is flaming out because she’s a liar and an idiot, and she never learned the first rule of politics, which is to stop shoveling when you find yourself in a hole. She tried to sell herself as something she is not and her attempts to defend her lie blew up in her face repeatedly. The fact that she’s a liar and an idiot means she should not be trusted. This has nothing to do with her gender. . . whatever that may truly be.

P.S. Don't forget, it's Star Trek Tuesday at the film site.

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Obama Gets There Firstest With The Mostest

Magic Man Barack Obama seems to have lost a great deal of his mojo since the Hope, Dope and Change campaign of 2008. His well-organized fund-raising and internet campaigning that made the difference against John McCain are coming unglued. But he hasn’t lost his ability to pander to “victim” groups, and for the first time in awhile his timing, however cynical, was excellent.

His method may be called into question, but his executive order to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was truly good timing. Figuring he won’t lose a single black vote no matter what, Obama has concentrated his demagoguery on the next largest ethnic voting bloc—Hispanics. He was losing support among Latinos for having done nothing to move the immigration debate along. Even with solid majorities in both houses of Congress, he couldn’t get his beloved DREAM Act passed.

So by fiat, El Presidente has changed the rules in the middle of the game. Napolitano has been ordered to cease all deportation proceedings against any illegal immigrants under the age of thirty who were brought to the United States by their illegal immigrant parents before age sixteen, have been in the US for at least five years, have no felony record, completed high school, gotten a GED, or served in the US military. An accelerated path to citizenship is not addressed in the order, cleverly avoiding the word “amnesty,” but the very nature of the executive order presumes that will come soon.

This move was both good strategy and good tactics. He couldn’t have picked a more sympathetic or blameless group than these particular shuttlecocks in the badminton game of immigration reform. Even those who are harshest on illegal immigration (myself included) have been trying to figure out a way to accommodate this particular immigrant demographic without rewarding them for their illegal status. “It’s not their fault” has to be balanced against “but nevertheless, they are here illegally.”

This was clearly a preemptive strike, and a good one at that. It is well-known among political insiders that Republican candidate Mitt Romney has been looking for a way to address this very narrow immigration issue. Senator Marco Rubio, considered to be a front-runner for the Republican vice presidential spot, had already proposed something similar to Obama’s executive order, albeit with more restrictions, emphasis on not creating a fast track to citizenship, and an act of Congress rather than an executive decision.

Obama took a position that has enthusiastic support among a large segment of the population, and little angry opposition on principle. Those who oppose the action entirely are comprised mostly of those who don’t want to discuss any kind of immigration reform beyond “deport ‘em all.” This is not the DREAM Act in disguise, but rather a bowdlerized version of one small portion of the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act was/is quite simply a complete large-scale rescission of existing immigration law replacing the law with the legalization of 12 or 13 millions illegals and putting them on a fast track to citizenship.

Obama’s executive action is both cynical and effective. It sends the message to the Hispanic community that he is finally addressing their issues. It’s a small but very highly visible step. And as always, he avoids proposing anything truly radical, having found one small niche in which he could operate while leaving the issue of massive changes for a later day.

It serves another purely political motive. He has managed to steal Romney’s thunder, and to a lesser extent, Rubio’s. Obama can now point out Romney’s stand on securing the borders and deporting (or "self-deporting") illegal immigrants while at the same time turning Romney’s potential views on this specific issue into a “me too” position at best. Obama can wink at Hispanics, indicating that this reasonable solution to a thorny issue is just the beginning of his slow-motion war to enforce complete illegal immigrant legalization. At the same time, it allows him to say that what he has actually ordered is simply fair and reasonable, without any serious implications for the immigration issue at large.

I have to give the devil his due. He has shored up his Hispanic base while at the same time putting his Republican opponent on the defensive. Romney accurately reacted to the news of Obama’s move, but it was just that—reaction. “First of all, we have to secure the borders; we need to have an employment verification system to make sure that those who are working here in this country are here illegally; and then with regards to these kids who were brought in by their parents, through no fault of their own, there needs to be a long-term solution so they know what their status is. This is something Congress has been working on. And I thought we were about to see some proposals brought forward by Sen. Marco Rubio and by Democratic senators. But the president jumped in and said ‘I’m going to take this action (emphasis added).’”

Romney also said accurately but reactively “I don’t know why he feels stop-gap measures are the right way to go.” Well, let’s hope he does know, or we’re in for a rear-guard action on immigration throughout the upcoming campaign season. He has to come up with something better than this: “If he felt seriously about this, he should have taken action when he had a Democrat House and Senate. But he didn’t. He saves these sorts of things until four-and-a-half months before the general election.”

Romney got the thrust right, but failed to hammer at the real issue in a way that non-political junkies and non-constitutional scholars would easily understand. Not only did Obama have those majorities, but if he had really cared about his Hispanic base, he would have gone the proper route of getting Congress to act on this single, sympathetic issue rather than trying to ram blanket amnesty down America’s throat. Instead, he has used a highly-questionable and possibly unconstitutional executive order to accomplish a goal he should have been able to accomplish with the consent of Congress.

This is not a permanent victory for Obama, nor a serious loss for Romney, but it is a strong hint as to how this campaign will be conducted. Obama cannot run on his record, so he needs to attack Romney and put him on the defensive. Painting Romney as a “me too” candidate has a long history. Kennedy used it successfully against Nixon, and Obama used it successfully against McCain. Romney needs to get aggressively in front of these issues and present the real version of his agenda and platform before Obama can define them for him.

For one thing, Romney needs to work with his team and his PACs to hammer home the idea that the greatest critic of using an executive order to advance immigration reform was, you guessed it, Barack Obama himself. He told his Hispanic base that he had to work with Congress, blamed the Republicans for derailing immigration reform, but justified his own inaction by saying that a president doesn’t have the power to accomplish these goals by executive order. In fact, he said that such an overreach by the executive branch might be wholly unconstitutional.

Obama is going to try these same tactics with foreign affairs, race relations, expansion of government and the economy (I put the economy last because it is obviously the biggest issue of the campaign and Obama’s weakest position). But this preemptive attack on Romney’s immigration position is a very good thing to be used as a learning experience for Romney and his handlers.

Obama’s action, Romney’s position and Rubio’s proposals on this small part of the immigration debate are not really about blanket amnesty, or even about passing portions of the DREAM Act by stealth. They are about the cynical manipulation of a portion of the minority population by a master demagogue using extra-legal means to enhance his own image at the expense of his opponent’s. Romney needs to make that the issue rather than let Obama define the debate.

My advice (for what it’s worth) to Mitt Romney: “Attack, attack, attack. Never take a defensive position, and never allow yourself to be put into a defensive position.” Obama is a master at pointing out his opponents’ weaknesses while hiding his own. If Romney plots out an aggressive ahead-of-the-pack strategy rather than using defensive tactics, Obama will finally have come to the end of his political career. Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

From "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" To "Tell Everyone"

Barack Obama has recently told us that he has always been in favor of gay marriage, even though his past formal statements and campaign speeches said exactly the opposite. Pure political claptrap, but the gay marriage debate has a long way to go before it satisfies the majority of Americans. The other side of that coin is the reversal of the military policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Current events indicate that the former policy of keeping one’s sexual preferences out of one’s military commitments is going to change much more quickly than gay marriage. Just a short time back, our gay military personnel couldn’t tell anyone about the sex of the person they were sleeping with. Overnight they are free to announce it to the world. In many ways too numerous to mention here, that is probably a good thing.

As my favorite old grande dame in San Francisco said: “I don’t care what they do, as long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses.” As for the military, I don’t care what they do as long as they don’t do it in the barracks and upset military discipline. I say that recognizing there is not yet any proof that gay and lesbian military personnel would do that at a rate any higher than that of heterosexuals. What they do on their own time, off base, is their own business. What they do on base is the business of the particular unit to which they belong. Punishment for the goose is punishment for the gander.

But before anyone says, “I really don’t care about gays in the military” as if that disposes of all the related issues, I want to take a quick look at a couple of things we may be facing if the sexual orientation issue isn’t handled properly and efficiently. In the gay marriage issue, the relationship between the parties has always been regulated by the various states. Even if the Supreme Court rules that gay marriage is a right, it will probably still leave it to the states to determine how they wish to accomplish protection of that right.

But military discipline has always been the prerogative of the federal government. No state has the right to interfere with the conduct of the military during the performance of their duties on federal property. That means that without any intervening “cooling off period,” the federal government has done a 180 degree reversal of two centuries of military tradition. But even that might not be so bad if it weren’t for the gay lobby, political-correctness crowd getting into the act by influencing military decisions at the highest civilian level. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has decided to celebrate Gay Pride Month as if the Pentagon was City Hall in San Francisco.

The seeming injustice of don’t ask, don’t tell (DADT) is not going to be remedied overnight by a sudden embrace of the military’s gay side. DADT went the way of the dodo largely because of its clear discriminatory nature—gays versus straights. The treatment was indeed discriminatory, and based largely on moral beliefs with little legal or constitutional coherence. But Panetta wasn’t satisfied with ending discrimination. Nope. He unintentionally announced his support for rights exclusive to gays and lesbians by saying “at last we will have diversity in the military just as we do in the civilian world.”

“Diversity.” A word which has wreaked a certain amount of havoc in the civilian world. It is a word that stands against the word “unity.” But the civilian world’s needs and requirements are not the same as those of the military. A little chaos in civilian life stirs things up and gets people talking. Chaos in the military is a recipe for disaster. The very uniformity of action and obedience that we would consider stifling in civilian life is what makes a solid military work. Panetta has tipped his hand that a sexual life choice is going to become a great deal more than a simple personal choice having nothing to do with active military service.

As a lawyer and labor relations consultant, I have seen some pretty ridiculous discrimination complaints since the “normalization” of homosexuality. Vexatious litigation was and still is a big part of tying up courts over gay “rights” involving dress codes and public displays of affection, among others. Even what kind of “family” photograph can be placed on an employee’s desk has produced fireworks in Human Resources offices and courtrooms. It’s a major annoyance, but complete discipline and uniformity are rarely major goals of the business world. They are everything in the military.

Another facet of this overnight enthusiastic embrace of all things gay is the noxious parallels the left have made between gay rights and the civil rights movement (largely concerning race). Color of skin is a matter of human genetics. Being gay may be genetic as well, but it’s also a behavior which is related solely to sexual desire while skin color is essentially immutable and has little to do with behavior.

Think of it this way. Long before Brown v. Board of Education, President Harry Truman determined that racial segregation in the military was plainly unconstitutional, and issued an executive order ending it. It met some resistance, but military personnel adapted to it. Military discipline and acceptance of policy solved most of the problems rather quickly. The military became a model for what much of civilian America wasn’t yet ready to accept.

It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears before racial segregation was officially ended in America. The transition wasn’t peaceful, and it took decades to accomplish what Truman accomplished with the stroke of a pen. Of course, the reason it worked is that black, white, yellow, red and brown behavior wasn’t involved in the transition. A black soldier or a white sailor didn’t behave much differently after the executive order than before the order. They just shared barracks for the first time.

If Truman’s Secretary of Defense had decided that the Chief’s executive order meant it was time to announce “celebrate your skin color month” or “ethnic identity month,” he would have been considered nuts and sent packing. The best thing to do was to let the dust settle, work out the kinks, and move on to other improvements in the military. But Panetta has made it clear that being gay and not having to hide it isn’t good enough. You must celebrate your sexuality and expect others to approve.

Maybe I’m being overly pessimistic, but I see trouble coming. And if you think the left and the gay lobby don’t have an anti-military agenda, just consider that they have presented traitor Army Private Bradley Manning as a gay martyr, facing serious military discipline solely because he is a homosexual. Meanwhile Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama has said he will be doing a salute to gay troops. The wry jokes that could go with that announcement are legion. But I'll leave that to you.

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It’s Because You’re Stupid

The MSM has finally found a narrative they can all get behind: criticism of Obama by conservatives is racist. Forget that they’ve leveled plenty of their own criticism, because hypocrisy doesn’t matter to them. Any conservative who criticizes Obama is a racist.

The line that criticism of Obama is racist goes way back. Jimmy Carter whined in 2009 that the entire birther movement was racist. Then he claimed Republican Joe Wilson shouting “you lie!” during Obama’s campaign speech to Congress showed that there is “an inherent feeling in American that a black man should not be President.” In September 2011, MSNBC claimed that all criticism of Obama was because of “the color of his skin.”

Calling Obama “cool” was declared racist the other day. Before that the words “cocky”, “flippant” and “arrogant” were declared racist “code words.” Last month, Team Obama themselves said that trying to link Obama to Jeremiah Wright was racist and hate-filled.

Now we have Neil Munro, a reporter for the Daily Caller, interrupting Obama during his latest campaign speech from the White House where he tried to buy Hispanic votes by proposing amnesty for young illegal aliens. The MSM was immediately outraged, and quickly decided this was racist. Said MSNBC:
“I think it's a very important question because I think this is the first African-American president. We've never had a white president been told by the opposing party to shut up in the middle of a major address to the Congress. We've never had a president like this heckled so disrespectfully. We've never had this otherness afforded to any other president and I think the right wing has some explaining to do because to me it's patently obvious.”
Well, actually, that’s not true. Indeed, as the Daily Caller immediately pointed out, Sam Donaldson used to do this to Ronald Reagan all the time, and yet the MSM never accused him of even bad manners.

Naturally, the MSM went to Sam Donaldson and asked him if this was true. Guess what he said? He lied about doing this to Reagan. Indeed, he said, he “never once interrupt[ed] a president in any way while he was making a formal statement, a speech, honoring awardees or in any other way holding the floor.” Of course, that’s a lie, but no MSM reporter can be bothered to go find the dozens of example disproving this.

Then Donaldson said exactly what you would expect from a leftist hack. He charged racism:
“Let’s face it: Many on the political right believe this president ought not to be there – they oppose him not for his polices and political view but for who he is, an African American!”
This is pathetic. Do I think Munro should have interrupted Obama? No. It pissed me off when Donaldson and the rest did it to Reagan and I don’t think anyone should be doing it to Obama either. But it pisses me off even more that the MSM is pushing this crap about this being the result of racism.

People criticize President "Downgrade" Obama because he’s incompetent. They criticize him because he’s an arrogant ass. They criticize Obama because he’s ruining the country and trying to destroy large parts of our economy. It doesn’t matter what color he is, the man is a menace to our nation.

Moreover, the real racists are on the left and within the MSM. It’s the leftist media which sees the world through the prism of race, not the rest of us. The rest of us have moved beyond race. We now judge men and women by the content of their characters and the competence and quality of their actions, and in that test people like Obama fail miserably. Race doesn't factor into it for us, that only matters to the race-obsessed MSM.

So in the spirit of providing proof, give us your Top Three Biggest gripes with Obama without mentioning his race?

OT, For those who regularly visit Patti's site, she's talking about my book today and there's a Q&A! Check it out! LINK

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