Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year

With New Years Day happening sometime in the next thirty hours (give or take a smidge) and with the Christmas thread entering moderation as it's now more than seven days old, it's time to open a new open thread and wish everyone a Happy New Year.

Here's a sad thought: between Sunday and April 12 of this year, every single penny you earn will go to Uncle Sam and his 50 wards! You generous slave you!

Then until mid-May, you're working to pay your non-tax taxes like Social Security and Medicare, which Uncle Sam steals from Algore's lock box in the dead of night.

But after that, it's clear sailing! :)

Post your New Year’s Resolutions! I resolve to stop paying taxes.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas And Happy Hanukkah

We at Commentarama want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season. We will be taking the next week off (barring major breaking events) to be with our loved ones. We hope that all of you will be able to do the same. We invite you to add your holiday wishes, and during the hiatus, feel free to post anything you find interesting whether it relates to the holidays or not. Happy New Year, and we'll be back with you on January 2. Like Santa, we'll be watching you, and we'll know if you've been naughty or nice. [+] Read More...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas Everybody

As we inch ever closer to Christmas, it’s time to reflect on this past year and the coming year. More importantly though, it’s time to cheer everybody up before we start the annual Commentarama Christmas vacation. Read on. . . and smiles everyone, smiles.

Politically, 2011 was a bit of a dud. With a record number of conservatives hitting Washington, there were big hopes for change. But alas the Democrats still controlled the White House and the Senate and they stopped anything real from happening. But don’t despair! Change is coming.
● The Supreme Court looks likely to strike down ObamaCare.

● The voters will give the Republicans a huge majority in the Senate, which means undoing the Obama years can begin soon.

● Obama looks finished as President and his crappy ideology is in disgrace.

● Climategage I and II (electric boogaloo) have disgraced the enviro-socialist movement.

● Crying “racism” no longer has much power (if any) with the public.

● The corrupt unions are finished outside the government and now people are targeting the government unions too.

● The next wave of Republican leaders (Ryan, Rubio, West) are genuine conservatives and fighters to boot.

● MSM journalism has reached an all time low in the public’s perception and no longer controls the debate or the flow of information.

● MSNBC is failing.

● And we can look forward to more liberal on liberal sniping like this:
Matt Damon: “I’ve talked to a lot of people who worked for Obama at the grassroots level. One of them said to me, ‘Never again. I will never be fooled again by a politician.’ You know, a one-term president with some balls who actually got stuff done would have been, in the long run of the country, much better.”

Obama responds: “I’ve even let down my key core constituency: movie stars. Just the other day, Matt Damon – I love Matt Damon, love the guy – Matt Damon said he was disappointed in my performance. Well, Matt, I just saw The Adjustment Bureau, so – right back at-cha, buddy.”
Life is good too. We live in a time when we complain about our wants rather than our needs. Every day brings something new and wonderful from new medicines to new-found planets to new ways to hang out. And speaking of the internet, it just keeps getting better and better. It lets us communicate with long lost friends and people we’d never have met, we can buy anything, find anything, and it even entertains the heck out of us. Moreover, we are on the cusp of a truly free age as the internet is finally starting to give people ways around the roadblocks set up to keep the system in place. . . publishers, record companies, movie companies, retailers, even journalists have all lost their monopolies.

Blogging has been fun too. It’s often hard to tell why some people blog. Some do it for publicity, some are just narcissists. Some. . . I have no idea. I do it because I love the community we’ve created. I love hearing your thoughts and insights and humor. And you all have made 2011 great! Hopefully, 2012 will be just as great. Also, next year. . .
● Bev will be joining the CommentaramaFilms Debate series on Sunday mornings, so make sure you join us for those.

● CommentaramaFilms will be adding a regular Tuesday morning article -- Star Trek Tuesdays. Some of these will be political (the Politics of Trek series) and others will be Scott and I debating everything Star Trek. Tell your nerd friends!

The Conservative Guide To Films should be finished by the end of summer and will be both in real book form and e-book form. I’ve even got an illustrator working on some cool pictures you’ll like.
So all in all, that’s not bad. And while sometimes things may seem a little depressing, don’t get down because we have much to be thankful for and even more to look forward to. Unless the Mayans are right, 2012 should be a pretty darn good year.

So Merry Christmas to everyone and let’s make it a great New Year!

.... and tell us anything you’re looking forward to below.

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We'll Never Forget Ol' What's-His-Name

I was shocked to hear that former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is leaving the Republican primaries. Almost as shocked as I was to find out that he had been in the Republican primaries in the first place. He was not so much a dark horse as an invisible horse. He will leave the GOP and run as a candidate for the Libertarian Party. I wonder if they know about it yet.

Johnson was regularly excluded from the Republican candidate debates because he couldn't get enough apparent support to justify adding yet another unexciting candidate to the already-full panel. So Johnson decided to pick up his marbles and leave. The GOP's loss is the Libertarians' loss, er, gain. Johnson is the most exciting candidate to come along since John Huntsman.

Maybe the Republicans should have taken a little better look at Johnson before excluding him from the debates. Republicans harp on the idea of future presidents having some business experience. Johnson built businesses from the ground up. In 1976, he founded Big J Enterprises (a construction firm), starting with one employee--himself. He built the business rapidly, and within a few years landed a lucrative $38 million contract with Intel to build its adjunct facilities in New Mexico. He sold the company in 1999, at which point the company employed over 1,000 workers.

In 1994, largely self-funded with $500,000, Johnson entered politics. He ran against a popular Republican in the gubernatorial primary, and eked out a narrow victory. That was his last narrow win. He won the Republican nomination for governor, and defeated the Democratic incumbent by ten percent. In the next gubernatorial election, he ran against a Latino Democrat in a state with one of the largest Hispanic populations (percentage-wise) in the nation (40 percent). Again, he won by over ten percent. In fact, he was so popular in his first term that the New Mexico term-limits legislation (one term only) was modified to allow him to run for a second term.

Republicans want candidates with executive experience. Johnson has that experience in both the private and public sectors. But what about fiscal responsibility? During his first term alone, he vetoed 200 out of 424 spending bills, and gutted many others using his line-item veto. He kept his promise to reduce the state's budget by 10%. He attempted to cut taxes deeply, and succeeded in many of his fights with the Democrats in the legislature. Yet he also managed to increase spending on core subject education while fighting the good fight for school vouchers. When test scores improved only marginally with the public school expenditures, he went full-bore for the voucher program.

Among his accomplishments in office were shifting state Medicaid to an efficient "managed care" system, fired over 1200 public employees, set a record for budget vetoes, balanced the state budget for 6 out of 8 years, and left New Mexico with a $1 billion surplus. He was less successful with his school voucher program, but he never stopped trying. He vetoed or line-item vetoed nearly 2000 bills during his eight years in office, and of those, only two were overridden by the legislature.

His Libertarian side also showed during his two terms. He attempted to decriminalize and legalize marijuana use and distribution. He pointed out that half of New Mexico's law enforcement resources were devoted to drug-related offenses, and said that the problem should move from the criminal arena to the medical/social arena. That is a Libertarian stand, but one that was also supported by such notable conservatives as William F. Buckley.

In the 2000 elections, the Libertarian Party attempted to recruit him to run for president, but he demurred, saying that he was a lifelong committed Republican. Nevetheless, in 2008, he endorsed Ron Paul for the presidency, seemingly setting up his own status as a Republican/Libertarian. That now seems to have come to full fruition with his abandonment of the run for the Republican nomination in order to court the Libertarians.

This could get interesting (or not). There have been strong rumblings of a Ron Paul third-party run at the presidency on the Libertarian ticket. How Paul would treat a rival who previously endorsed him is entirely unknown at this point. In any event, it certainly raises the specter of a "spoiler" election in 2012. How badly that might hurt Republicans remains to be seen. For the time being, Paul has said he will not run on a third-party ticket because it might hurt his son's political future in the Senate.

In a third-party scenario, absent Ron Paul as a candidate, Johnson's is one of three candidate names proferred with name identification between 1% and 10%. Public Policy Polling puts him at 9%, as opposed to New York City liberal mayor Michael Bloomberg at 8% and Independent/Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. In the same poll sampling, without Johnson, Republican Mitt Romney beats Obama by 47% to 45%. With Johnson in the race, Romney beats Obama 43% to 41%.

At this early stage, I have no idea what to make of that. It's certainly well within the margin of error in what promises to be a much closer general election than most people think. New Mexico's five electoral college votes could determine the outcome, either giving Obama a victory or throwing the election into the House of Representatives, thereby giving the Republican the victory.

To add to the confusion, New Mexico is one of nine states (along with Illinois, Hawaii, New Jersey, California, Washington, Massachusetts, Washington DC, Vermont, and Maryland) which may enter into the "national popular vote" compact which gives its electoral college votes to the candidate who wins the most votes nationally even if a different candidate wins the popular vote in New Mexico. The bill passed the New Mexico House, but has been hung up in the Senate. The other nine states have already passed the bill in both houses and it has been signed by the respective governors.

Johnson's entry into the race as a third-party candidate may have an effect that is more apparent than real. Still, this will be a general election in which almost anything could happen, and small shifts in voter preferences could make for some wild results.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Uncle Sam: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Every year Tom Coburn puts out a list of the 100 most egregious examples of wasteful government spending. This year, he listed $6.5 billion worth. Let’s look at some of those. Then I’ll show you why our economy has stalled.

While $6.5 billion may sound like a lot, it really isn’t to a government that spends $3 trillion a year. Nevertheless, Coburn’s list is important because it shows our government’s attitude toward our money. And make no mistake, this is our money. When you go to work tomorrow, every hour you work, Uncle Sam is reaching into your pocket to fund these kinds of programs. What kinds of programs? Observe:
● $484,000 for a hippie-themed pizza restaurant in Arlington, Texas. This is part of a national chain called the Mellow Mushroom. Why are we giving money to a private business? And where is Commentarama’s grant dammit?!

● $764,825 to study the mobile phone and social media habits of college freshmen. Huh? Why should anyone pay for this? For one thing, we already know about their habits. Who needs this much money to study something you can look up for free on the net?!! And why does this require federal money at all?

● $136,555 to let a group of English teachers retrace Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in England. W.T.F?!! Why are we paying for some a-holes’ vacations?!

● $175,587 to study how cocaine use affects the mating habits of quail. Yeah, you read that right. Cocaine + bird sex.... brought to you by you the taxpayer!

● A down payment of $130,987 on a million dollar study to determine whether “a dragon-shaped robot can enhance toddlers’ learning skills.” At least they’re not using cocaine this time. And wasn’t that a movie -- The Toddler With The Dragon Shaped Robot?
This stuff is mind-numbing. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry or sign myself up? I want a dragon or a federal-government supported pizza restaurant. Why can’t I have one? Heck, I'd even take a freezer full of blow-fed quail.

And this is just the tip of the largess iceberg. There’s money for a video game preservation center, salaries paid to dead employees, another bridge to nowhere, money to study online dating, money to pack butter, a Hawaiian chocolate festival, to build a magic museum, iPads for kindergarteners, and hundreds of billions of dollars to government employees who do nothing but grind the country to a halt.

I want my tax money back.

And while we’re talking about grinding the country to a halt, check this out. You know how regulations stall an economy just like higher taxes? Sure you do, unless you’re Paul Krugman.

Well guess who’s been burying the economy in regulation? According to George Mason University, the number of “economically significant” regulations being issued has been souring. An “economically significant” regulation, according to the government, is a regulation that imposes at least $100 million in annual costs on the economy. Clinton issued an average of 56 per year. “Conservative” George W. Bush issued on average 62 per year. And now his downgrade-ness is issuing on average 84 per year. Here’s a handy chart:

What this means it that during Clinton’s eight years, he added $44.8 billion in regulations to the economy. Bush added $49.6 billion. And Obama’s already added $25.2 billion in his first three years Add that up and we’re over $100 billion in new regulations in the past couple decades. If you’re a Keynesian, that’s half a trillion in damage to the economy every year. Using Krugman’s stimulus math, that means a loss of around six million jobs!

And keep in mind, these regulations actually cost well more than $100 million, we just don't know how much because that data isn’t available. These could well have been three, four or five times as expensive.

Also this is only the biggest regulations, this doesn’t count the thousands of regulations scored to stay just below the $100 million level. It’s likely those add up to way more than the numbers above. But let’s assume for the sake of argument those smaller regulations total another $100 billion. That’s another six million lost jobs for a total of twelve million lost jobs.

Now this may be purely coincidental, but you might remember that our economy is currently “missing” 15 million jobs over the past decade. Gee, I wonder where they went?

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The Boiler Room Elves’ Top 5 Santa Films

As Boiler Room Elves, we’re usually pretty busy around Christmas time. There are cookies to bake and the boilers need extra attention in winter. But we don’t go in for that whole making presents for free thing. We may be unionized, but we’re not communists. So when Bossman Andrew asked us to write about Santa, we told him we didn’t have the time. Then he showed us our contract. Grr. So here are our five favorite portrayals of Santa.

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Anybody But These Guys: Our Broken System

Two weeks ago, Newt Gingrich was cruising toward the nomination. His poll numbers were soaring and his advantage over Romney was growing. He became the inevitable candidate, and that was depressing. But then people actually started listening to him. Now Newt’s lead has collapsed and he’s headed in the other direction. Of course, that doesn’t help with the depression because none of the others are any better. Something is wrong with our system and I blame the media.

First, let us dispatch Newt.

There have been lots of signs Newt was in trouble. For one thing, there was the baggage he never managed to unload. It followed him everywhere. Then, when he started making his positions known -- things like amnesty for illegals and regulating global warming -- his upward moment stopped dead. Soon the nastiness reappeared and the crazy talk, and people were wondering if the old Gingrich was back. In truth he never left.

And that’s been the problem with Newt. The more you know, the more you fear the guy. Newt as nominee shoots from the hip and says stupid, offensive things. He comes across as nasty and is unpalatable to the independents we will need to win the election -- not because he’s a conservative, but because he’s nasty. Newt as President is even scarier. Newt thinks government can be used to remake society so long as the right people are doing the remaking. This is wrong. And with Newt’s ego over principle approach, it’s too dangerous to let him anywhere near the presidency.

The polls are reflecting this. Indeed, the last Gallop poll shows this:
In twelve days, Newt has gone from a 15% lead over Romney to a statistical tie and falling. Some Newt people claim this is only the result of negative ads being run by Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, but those ads are only being shown in Iowa. The truth is, Newt is poison and conservatives know it.

But if Newt is poison, then Romney is white bread -- substance free and bland. He’s no conservative and even if he was, he wouldn’t have the fiber to act on those principles. The rest are even worse. . . idiots and clowns with no understanding of conservatism, no grasp of what America means, and no ability to lead.

How did we get to this point? There has never been a better moment in time to get a genuine conservative elected, and yet there isn’t one in the race. Instead, we have fools and weirdoes. . . conservative pretenders. Why?

I blame the MSM first and foremost. They have turned the election process into a game show designed to find the very people who should never be trusted with power. They seek to destroy, not reveal. They see the candidates as targets to be attacked with phony narratives and dirt dug up from lying sources and then critique their responses. They attack the candidates’ families and harass their friends and business partners. They have turned the primary system into a non-lethal version of The Running Man and no one but megalomaniac scum would subject themselves to that process.

And as if that weren’t enough, the MSM ensure that only those without integrity can win. Indeed, to prevail in this contest, you must be prepared to slander and liable all around you and absolutely must be willing to promise the unpromisable and declare soundbite solutions to the questions that have plagued mankind for millennia. In other words, only the liars and the fools can thrive in this environment.

What’s worse, conservatives are to blame for falling for this. They should know better, yet they go along with it. They lap up all the crap the MSM produces and some even gleefully join this witch-hunt process in the hopes of destroying the competition to help their preferred candidates. It’s like sports fan praying for penalties on the other team rather than excellence from their own.
Candidates should win this process, not be the last man standing!!!
It is despicable that burger companies wage their wars for customers with infinitely more integrity than our politicians handle the electoral process.


Sadly, I have no answer on how to fix this except to keep making the point and to hope that people listen. And maybe it’s time to consider serious electoral reform? Maybe it’s time to have all the primaries on one day to stop the endless horse race and pandering? Maybe it’s also time to let politicians sue the media for their tactics. . . no more reporting unsubstantiated rumors, no more stalking politicians’ kids? Maybe it’s also time to end the debates and replace them with interviews? Heck, even infomercials might be better.

What do you think?

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Obama's 21st Century Navy

Ever-vigilant about America's military power and the ecology, President Obama has rolled out his plans for the new energy-efficient Navy. Pictured is the brilliant innovation for battle cruisers and destroyers. Instead of using ecology-destroying fossil fuels, the new Navy has found a way to harness the wind.

They haven't quite figured out how to configure the wind-utilizer engines (aka "sails") on aircraft carriers, but just give them time and a few hundred billion taxpayer dollars. And if you think those wind-driven warships are brilliant, wait until you see the solar-powered versions. But until those ships are built, we'll have to make do with our present surface Navy. Still, this administration is not letting any grass grow under its feet in the area of green technology.

This past August, Obama announced his biofuel initiative for the military. It is budgeted at about $510 million over the next three years. He calls it an investment in the future. Of course, that's what he called Solyndra and LightSquared too. But let's not kick a dead horse. Congress has not yet funded this "investment" (read: taxpayer dollars thrown down another rathole). It's unlikely that it ever will. But that won't stop Obama.

Obama recently compared himself to Teddy Roosevelt, a fellow progressive. In 1907, Congress refused to fund a world tour of America's Great White Fleet. TR announced that he would send the fleet anyway--he had enough in his presidential contingency fund to get the fleet halfway around the world, and it would be up to Congress to get it home. Obama now wants to conduct the Navy's 2012 summer war exercises using the "Great Green Fleet" carrier strike force. Following in TR's footsteps, he has already made a deal with the Navy using $12 million in Defense Department procurement authority to purchase 450,000 gallons of biofuel.

Unlike those impure and un-green traditional fossil fuels, this fuel costs about $15 per gallon. It is the largest biofuel purchase in history, so you can imagine where most of the proposed $510 million will go if that "investment" is ever funded by Congress. Now this is an important military development. So who better than Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to make the first big public statement? Combining green-energy (?) with Obama's hurry-up play on the economy, Vilsack said: "This is not work we can afford to put off for another day."

The administration's idea of supporting the military during belt-tightening time is to spend $15 per gallon for biofuel that is questionably "green" in order not to spend $4 per gallon for the current JP-5 fuel. If Obama truly intends for the military to cut $1 trillion from their budgets over the next ten years, this is not an auspicious start. Paying nearly four times as much for fuel which may ultimately prove to be inefficient and more damaging to the environment than the old fuel is bad strategy. On top of that, the high cost of that fuel, in the midst of cutbacks, means less money for genuine military upgrades.

Now that I think of it, that is probably exactly what Obama intends.
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Monday, December 19, 2011

A Gift of Christmas Light

Buried in the thousand or so pages of the much-debated and much-delayed compromise spending bill was a small Christmas gift for most of us. The House passed the bill last Thursday, while the Senate voted favorably on Saturday. As the bill currently stands, the upcoming ban on good old-fashioned incandescent lights was overturned. The President is expected to sign the bill after bellyaching about it for awhile.

It seems that the light bulb will not be one of the points of contention when the next last-minute "government shutdown" spending bill comes up. It also seems that even a lot of Democrats hate that ghastly pall cast by the compact fluorescent bulbs, and few of them want to call a hazmat team if somebody drops one of the ugly little buggers.

Some of the newer conservative House members objected that the bill only funds the government through the end of the fiscal year, thereby once again kicking the budget can down the road. But at least that's one unnecessary crisis averted until September 30 of 2012. The Republicans gave up many of their proposed restrictions on government regulation and policy, but wouldn't budge on the light bulbs.

Not only is the ban on incandescents little more than ill thought-out green weenie nonsense, but its deeper meaning is another bureaucratic nanny-state interference with the market and the personal choices of millions upon millions of Americans. Although the issue wasn't as big and obvious as cap 'n tax and other leftist bureaucratic schemes, the issue of what kind of light bulb the American consumer should buy became a freedom of choice issue that doesn't involve taking an innocent human life.

Pro-incandescent bulb advocate Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) led the original charge to end the ban with specific legislation. But his bill was defeated when it went to the Senate through parliamentary stalling by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid D-La La Land). Burgess has vowed that he will hold his troops together to retain the provision in any future Congressional action.

In order to be added as a rider to the bill firming up the spending budget, the bulb provision does not actually amend the 2007 law banning incandescents which was scheduled to occur in increments starting with 100 watt bulbs and eventually extending to all incandescents. What it does is effectively the same thing, only with an additional slap at the eco-wackos. The new provision prohibits the administration from spending a single dime on enforcing or in any manner carrying out the idiotic standards. Your house can now remain free of lightbulb mercury poisoning a little longer.

It's a shame the Republicans had to use trickery to get a common sense bill past the ecofreaks in the Senate. And in this case, it happened largely because the administration was getting heat about the Democratic Senate failing to act on the year-end spending bill which had not so long ago seemed to be hopelessly deadlocked. The Republicans had also attempted to add riders to cut back the administration's nuclear waste policy, "family planning" policy and environmental policy, but for multiple reasons (most of them good and logical) decided to defer those actions for a later time.
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AP Top 10: Politicized News

The AP has put out their Top 10 news stories of 2011. As usual, they’ve politicized the list and they aren’t good at separating the pointless from the significant. Here’s their list followed by a sneak peek at the top stories of 2012.

No. 1. The killing of Osama Bin Laden. Yawn. Let’s be honest. Osama meant nothing by this point. He wasn’t giving orders and he inspired no one. Subsequent events have shown his death changed nothing in the war on terror. I’m glad he’s dead, but he doesn’t belong atop this list.

No. 2. Japanese Disaster. Earthquake, tsunami, nuclear meltdown, 20,000 people dead, $218 billion in damage, 100,000 homeless. This one deserves to be on the list. It’s too bad so many Hollywood types thought this was a good time to crack racist anti-Japanese jokes.

No. 3. The Arab Spring. This one probably deserves to be the top story. Even The Economist is now worried that the thing “no one could have possibly foreseen” is happening, i.e. radical Islam taking power. Expect this one to cause a lot of carnage in the coming years.

No. 4. EU Crisis. Eh. Reality doesn’t quit. When you create a currency that anyone can print and you have no way to keep people from running up the bills, it’s only a matter of time before it all blows up. The real story would be if the Europeans learn anything from this.

No. 5. US Economy. Huh? They actually identify this as our economy growing and “unemployment rate finally dipping below 9 percent.” Don’t make me laugh. This recession will get worse before it gets better. Seasonal Christmas hiring won’t change that.

No. 6. Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal. If you care about Penn State, sure. But shouldn’t the bigger story be the recent arrests of Hollywood pedophiles? Oh that’s right, only some pedophiles are bad.

No. 7. Gadhafi Toppled. Wasn’t this part of the Arab Spring? Also, riddle me this: so what? Seriously, how does this change the world?

No. 8. Fiscal Showdowns In Congress. Kabuki theater at best.

No. 9. OWS. Morons crapping in the streets. More theater.

No. 10. Gabrielle Giffords Shot. Yeah, because this changed everything. Some crazed leftist shoots Giffords and the left blames Sarah Palin. The left calls for a “change in tone” while famous leftists joke about killing Palin and her family. Been there, done that.

Notice how they put this list together. First, they went liberal. Most of these are meant to aggrandize Lord Obama’s policies: Obama’s triumph over villains bin Laden and Gadhafi, Obama finally taming the economy, and the masses showing support for Obama through OWS. Several of the rest are meant to explain away Obama’s failures: the evil Congress that can’t fix the budget, the Japanese disaster that blasted our economy, and the murderous right-wing opposition that tried to kill Giffords and is determined to stop Obama. Of course, NONE of that is true, but truth doesn’t matter to leftist. They only care that it can be spun to make Obama look good or explain his failures. This is Obama’s campaign resume brought to you by the AP.

But even beyond helping Obama, look at the ludicrousness of this list. This entire list is aspirational, not based in reality. They hoped killing bin Laden would change the world. They hoped the Arab Spring and killing Gadhafi would bring peace to the Middle East. They hoped the Giffords shooting would end America’s love of guns. They hope the economy has turned around. They hope OWS finally means something.

And isn’t it interesting they ignored the elimination of “don’t ask, don’t tell”? I guess that didn’t turn out to be so popular with the public. They ignored the tornadoes across the Midwest and Southeast. Why? Because Obama never bothered to help those people because they don’t vote for him. They ignored Solyndra and MF Global and Fast and Furious. They ignored the Pelosi financial scandals and the retirements of dozens of Democrats. They ignored the attempt to force a union on Boeing. They ignored the left’s failure to recall Wisconsin Republicans. They ignored Climategate 2 and a bevy of global warming scandals. They ignored the courts striking down ObamaCare. . . something we were assured only lunatics could think would happen.

Gee, I wonder why?

Anyway, here’s a sneak peek at the top stories of 2012:
1. Tebow wins Super Bowl
2. Obama loses in landslide
3. Republicans capture 58 seats in the Senate
4. First case of cannibalism at OWS occurs in NYC
5. Egypt invades Libya
6. Mysterious explosion at Iranian nuclear plant
7. Germany quits the Euro
8. ????
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

John Kerry's Strange Associates

Over the years, Sen. John Kerry has gotten his ideas of how the world works from people ranging from the Viet Cong to Alinsky radicals to Yale professors. Having pretty much successfully worked with his fellow Democrats on making the United States a social democratic government-dependent nation, over the past few years he has turned his attentions to foreign affairs.

Kerry is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Currently he is basking in the warmth of the Arab Spring. Like his counterparts in the executive branch, Barack Obama, Kerry seeks advice from those who can be trusted to tell the truth. Like Obama and his White House free-speech meeting with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Kerry has chosen to get his information on political developments in Egypt from the Freedom and Justice Party. The FJP is an arm of the Muslim brotherhood, which now (along with the even-more fundamentalist Salafists) controls about 70% of Egypt's legislative seats as of the most recent round of elections.

Let's face it. It would have been almost impossible for a man like Kerry to resist getting his advice from men who represent a party that has both "freedom" and "justice" in its name. So Kerry invited three honchos from the FJP to come to his Senate office. It's not as posh as the White House, but not bad. The three are Essam El-Erian, vice chairman of the FJP, Mohamed Saad Katani, Secretary-General of the FJP, and the big falafel, Mohamed Morsi, chairman of the FJP.

These men represent the best of Egyptian secular democracy (irony intended). Day-dreaming a western-style democracy in Egypt (and the Middle East) is a Democratic habit. Despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, back in February the Obama administration announced without even twitching that the Muslim Brotherhood is "largely secular." And Kerry has the quotes to prove it.

As for secularism, Katani agrees with the Salafists (really militant Islamists) that "Nobody dares oppose the application of Sharia law." El-Katani and El-Erian previously issued a joint statement saying: "If you want to know what principles guide our party, let me tell you: the principles of the Islamic Sharia law."

But there's still the "freedom and justice part," right? Says peaceful chairman Morsi: "Israel is a Zionist usurper that has been created by international terrorism and injustice. Israel must be destroyed and any nation that supports it is perpetrating genocide against the Palestinians." Kerry seemed entirely unruffled by that remark, unlike his reaction to Newt Gingrich referring to the Palestinians (correctly) as an "invented people."

Kerry's friendliness toward the Brotherhood was bolstered by an earlier statement from US Special Coordinator for Transitions in the Middle East William Taylor who had said that the US would be satisfied with a Brotherhood victory. Kerry's domestic partner at the meeting was Anne Patterson, US ambassador to Egypt.

Prior to the latest Egyptian elections, the Muslim Brotherhood had at least feigned a moderate stance toward secularism, democracy, and Israel. Since those elections the facade has begun to crumble. Even the liberal and Islamo-friendly The New Republic sensed there was something rotten in the state of Egypt. Correspondent Eric Trager conducted a series of interviews with FJP and Muslim Brotherhood leaders. He concluded: "Far from being moderate, these future leaders share a commitment to theocratic rule, complete with a limited view of civil liberties and an unmistakable antipathy for the West."

Kerry mustn't read TNR these days, or watch TV news stories about new outbreaks of anti-Christian violence and the storming of the Israeli embassy in Cairo. The Islamist masses have been considerably emboldened since their electoral victories. The FJP plans to follow strict Sharia law including, but not limited to, banning interest-bearing banking, banning alcohol, requiring women to wear clothing that covers everything but their faces (covering them will come later), and banning any speech which is critical of Islam or promotes in any way another religion. It's not clear whether they intend to make apostasy a capital offense, but leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood have made it clear they would like to.

Given all this, you might think that the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee might be a little cagey about whom he invites to his office and how far he would go to encourage them. Silly you. After the meetings, Kerry announced that he had learned just how good the intentions of the FJP are. In fact, they're so good, he first praised the "transparency and integrity" of the elections, then pledged his support for Egypt's new government. He also promised that he would do everything he could to get the International Monetary Fund to support the fledgling Islamist government (paid for largely out of the pockets of the US taxpayer).
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The Great (film) Debates vol. 19

A couple weeks ago we talked about our favorite James Bonds. But who would Bond be without a cool villain?

Who is your favorite James Bond villain?

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

Saturday, December 17, 2011

How Did We Ever Live Without...

Smoke signals, messenger on foot or horseback, telegraph, telephone, telex, facsimile machines, internet, cellphone, wireless internet, and smartphones. Did I leave anything out? Since 1837, we humans have been on the fast track in developing newer and faster ways to communicate over long distances. For thousands of years, we communicated between villages, towns, and continents in a matter of months, sometimes years. Families would learn about births, deaths, marriages, and world events only when someone happened through a village or town entrusted with information that may or may not ever reach the recipient.

Most information was exchanged verbally because mostly people did not know how to read or write. As more and more people learned to read and write, faster and more organized ways of exchanging information over long distances developed. With the discovery of electricity, we were off to the races. Expansion of the railroad and the accompanying telegraph brought communication between towns from months or years to weeks or days.

Then came the telephone. Suddenly, we could communicate in a matter of hours or minutes. Within a matter of 50 years, we have graduated to the internet, email, cellphones, wireless/mobile internet and smartphones. With all of this we have gone from communicating in minutes to mere seconds.

With each successive upgrade, it is hard to remember how we ever lived with only smoke signals. But, are we better off? Now that we can carry handheld instant communication devices in which we can share all of the most intimate details of our daily lives as they are happening to anyone in the world, do we communicate better or just faster? What do you think?
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Friday, December 16, 2011

It’s a Wonderful(ly Capitalist) Life(!)

by tryanmax

It’s a Wonderful Life, the quintessential tale of selflessness, gratitude, and the blessings of friends and family—traditional values all—is for many as much a holiday tradition as trimming the tree and baking cookies. So it may seem odd that Frank Capra’s beloved tale should be considered by many to be strongly anti-capitalist. Indeed, back in the HCUA days the FBI fingered the film in a memo entitled “Communist Infiltration of the Motion Picture Industry.” And just last year, Glenn Beck got into a back and forth with a progressive blogger over the issue.

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

Barack Obama And The Free Speech Folks

Pictured are three "Friends of Obama" enforcers of free speech on loan from the United Nations. Following the UN Durbin conference on destroying racist Zionism and keeping women barefoot and pregnant, President Barack Hussein Obama invited the Organization of Islamic Cooperation ("OIC") to the White House to discuss implementation of the UN's resolution condemning religious intolerance.

It was vitally important that he do so. With growing Islamophobia in America, including the cold-blooded murder of thousands of Muslims for their religious beliefs in Rhode Island and the mass deportation of Muslims from Iowa, it has become a priority item with the Obama administration. Obama is barely holding the fort against the forces of evil in America. He has pleaded with Americans to reject voter ID since it discriminates against blacks, the poor, the lame, the meek, the mentally-defective, the young, and, oh yes, Muslims.

So what could be wrong with the administration's invite to the OIC? To start with, the organization hardly represents the pinnacle of free speech and religious tolerance. It is certainly not the only world religious organization. Its fifty-seven members don't represent even a majority of the United Nations membership. He invited the group to his palace because there are so many hurt feelings in the Muslim world over intolerance toward Islam. No other religion has ever even been spoken ill of, while Islam suffers daily from the brickbats of bigots and those who question the religion of peace.

The second reason for inviting the OIC is that Islamic rights at the UN are slipping away. For years they have been able to get resolutions passed against defamation of Islam, then defamation of religions, and then vilification of religions. As you can see, a conspiracy of Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists has slowly but surely been chipping away at Islam's status as sole sufferer.

The OIC couldn't even get "defamation of religions" passed as it was blocked by those religious oppressors at the Sixteenth Session of the UN Human Rights Commission back in March. They fared no better at the current Durban Conference. That might seem like a victory for the other side, but it ain't over 'til it's over. The OIC has informed Obama that they intend to reintroduce a specific resolution against defamation of religions as soon as feasible.

For now, they've settled for a less specific freedom of speech resolution, though as recently as August the Islamic News Agency (an arm of the OIC) said that the meeting at the White House would be about implementing the religious aspects of Resolution 16-18. That resolution purports to criminalize incitement of "imminent violence based on religions or belief." That sounds very similar to our very own "clear and present danger" test. But then the wording gets muddier in 16-20, sounding more like the plethora of European-style "hate statutes" that are also being enacted in the U.S. "We hereby condemn any advocacy of religious hatred against individuals that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence."

"Any advocacy." That wouldn't survive a Constitutional test in the United States. The expression is "vague and overbroad." What is advocacy? With the wording of this part of the resolution, criticism is easily elevated to the level of incitement. "I don't like the violent portions of the Koran" becomes "I don't like Muslims," becomes "Let's go out and kill Muslims." Even advocacy of violence is protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. It is a long-established precedent that even advocating the overthrow of the government by force and violence is protected speech unless the threat is real and has a reasonable chance of being carried out immediately. This is why we can't censor communist drivel.

16-20 was just too much even for the American negotiators. The government, led by Obama and Hillary Clinton signed onto the resolution, but added a reservation to any attempt to enforce the provision relating to "advocacy." In a written statement that sounds a lot like "but we're only fooling," the US government clarified its position for the White House gathering: "The US will work with the UN and OIC in urging states (nations) to take effective measures as set forth in Resolution 16, consistent with their obligations under international human rights law, to address and combat such incidents." In other words, every nation should quash any advocacy or harsh language as it relates to religion (read: Islam).

What the OIC and the UN are doing with the assistance of The One is to bring in through the back door what it couldn't bring through the front. In fact, Hillary Clinton's State Department says the administration's cooperation is based on the need to denounce and criminalize offensive speech. That's even broader than "defamation of religions." Her department also says it is dedicated to upholding the God-given right to free expression. I don't know what logic classes they have at Yale, but I don't see any way those two concepts can be reconciled.

Of all the religious and/or political organizations he could have chosen to invite to the White House, Obama invited the representatives of nations which call any criticism of Islam blasphemy, punishable by sanctions up to death by beheading. Nations which almost casually murder Christians and Jews while burning down churches and synagogues. Nations which consider apostasy a capital offense. Nations whose populations have massive rallies declaring "free speech is the enemy of Islam." Nations whose people declare "all infidels who defame Islam must die."

Somehow I don't think that group is going to come up with any good contributions to freedom of speech, religion, or expression. But since that's an American First Amendment issue, and since Obama has never read the Constitution, it's understandable why he would invite the OIC. As for Resolution 16, all that has been done is scramble and soften the words of prior resolutions without making any substantive changes. Same crap, different package.
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

T-Rav's Sockpuppet Theater Presents: Children of the Corn 2!

Because the last one worked so well, they're doing it again tonight! Live from Iowa, it's Children of the Corn 2: Pandering Boogaloo! Join us, tonight on Fox at 9:00 PM EST, casual dress, overalls preferred, B.Y.O.B. Farm subsidies for the first twenty people through the door!

Come one, come all....
... will Newt insult us all?
... will Romney say something memorable?
... will Ron Paul praise our new Iranian overlords?
... will Rick Perry shake the Teletubby?
... will anyone finally realize Santorum offers us utopia?
... will Bachmann don black-face to attract Cain's supporters?
... will Huntsman finally become a 2%er?

All this and more, tonight! Leave your thoughts below.

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Time’s Person of the Year: The Idiot!

When I first heard Time had chosen “The Idiot” as its person of the year, I couldn’t help but scratch my head! Actually, I’m joking, but only a little. Time has chosen “the protester” as the person of the year. Which protester? The OWS protester, the whiny Greek protester, and the Arab Spring protester. Laughable.

The Person of the Year Award is supposed to be about people who actually influence the world. I can see picking the Arab Spring protesters because they really have changed the world. They’ve brought down corrupt repressive regimes and could, I suppose, usher the Middle East along toward becoming a responsible part of the world where you don’t have to worry about being executed for sorcery or store clerks molesting your vegetables. COULD is of course the operative word as they could just as well end up ushering in a new set of repressive veggie loving regimes. It will probably be the latter, but who really cares?

But the Greeks? The only reason they’re protesting is because they ran up their credit cards and now the bill’s showed up in the mail and they don’t want to bear the consequences of their own actions. They’re just whiny, overextended debtors. Why in the world would anyone honor them?

And choosing the OWS protesters is ridiculous. What have these dipships achieved? All they’ve done so far is rape each other, murder each other, sell each other drugs, endanger their own children and act out Animal Farm without any costumes. They have brought about 0.0% change in the universe. Not only have their demands not been met, they haven’t even been considered. Nor have they inspired sympathy in the general public. To the contrary, their single achievement has been to provide amusement to conservative bloggers and to annoy the liberal citizens of liberal towns who wasted tax money making sure these idiots didn’t rape anyone beyond their imaginary borders. These turds were so ineffective, even the Democrats won’t go near them anymore.

What would Time Man of the Year alums Adolf Hitler (1938), Joseph Stalin (1939, 1942) and the Ayatollah Khomeini (1979) say about these fools joining their elite club?

Even more ironically, there WAS a protest movement that actually did change the world a couple years ago. It was called the Tea Party. But Time didn’t honor them. Apparently Time didn’t think that millions of Americans rising up against a corrupt American government was all that interesting. Instead it honored Ben Bernanke who gave us the Great Recession.

You know, I’m starting to see a pattern here. Clearly, you have to be an idiot to win this award. Apparently, I was right the first time. So in that vein, let’s nominate some people who deserve it:

I nominate Obama for trying to let the morning after abortion pill be sold over the counter to teenage pranksters and creepy boyfriends everywhere. Here honey, drink this.

Alternatively, I nominate Fosdick Corporation, the inventor of the Snuggie.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Problem with Judd Apatow

By ScottDS

Whenever the media does a story on today’s “Hollywood comedy renaissance,” one name continues to crop up: writer/producer/director Judd Apatow. While I’m a huge fan of his earlier work in TV (The Larry Sanders Show, The Critic, Freaks and Geeks, and Undeclared), his cinematic offerings leave me wanting. I don’t believe The 40-Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Funny People deserve half the praise they’ve been given.

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

Dems: “Obama Sucks and It’s Bush’s Fault”

California Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D), a Blue Dog Democrat known primarily for replacing murder suspect Gary Condit (D) in the House, has come out with an interesting article in which he blasts Obama as arrogant and alienating. He also blames everything on Bush. Dennis is retiring in 2012, so it’s perhaps not surprising he would finally work up a little courage to speak his mind about Obama. And what a little mind it is:

Dennis says Team Obama suffers from “idea disease.”
. . . because thinking is not considered a good thing in Democratic circles.
More specifically, Dennis thinks Obama “rolled out a new program for the country” almost every day, but then failed to prioritize or support these ideas. Thus, Obama could never develop a clear message because he kept stepping on his message each day.
. . . this is hard to believe since Obama really only rolled out five issues: Stimulus, ObamaCare, Cap’n Trade, Financial Reform, and gays in the military. Let’s see, divide 365 days by five programs. . . carry the one. . . yeah, not even close to “a new program almost every single day.”
Nevertheless, Dennis says this “tainted the president’s personal appeal.”
. . . right, because having ideas makes you unpopular.
It also made the Democrats feel like they were “drinking out of a firehose.”
. . . if five issues constitutes a firehose-like “blast” of water, then it’s no surprise that liberal cities like Chicago and San Francisco burned to the ground because their definition of “firehose” and mine are apparently very different.
This in turn made it easy for Republicans to block the agenda. Which they “did with relish!”
. . . it always comes back to the evil Republicans, doesn’t it? Oddly, the Republicans I remember were so far away from a majority in the House they couldn’t even introduce bills. And the Senate had a Democratic Supermajority that could do anything it wanted. Can Dennis really claim those powerless Republicans stopped the Democrats? Clearly, Dennis is at high-risk of being mugged by toddlers.
Oh, and the real problem for the Democrats was trying to fix the failures of the Bush administration.
. . . Dennis forgets the Democrats already controlled the House and Senate by 2006, so these were Democratic messes. Maybe he took too many hits off the firehose to remember?
Now we start making progress. Early in Obama’s presidency “Professor Obama” proved to be somewhat arrogant. “Obama projected an ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’ demeanor that alienated many potential allies.” How so? “He would admonish staff, members of the Congress and the public, in speeches and in private about what they could learn from him.”
. . . yep, that’s narcissism for ya. I have no doubt Dennis is right that Obama is an assh*le, but how should that alienate allies? Would allies really give up their goals just because Obama is an ass to them? And if the O-ssiah was such an ass, why the continued hero worship until 2010? This sounds like after-the-fact whining to me. There must be more to this?
“The president concentrated power within the White House, leaving Cabinet members with no other option but to dutifully carry out policies with which they had limited input in crafting and might very well disagree.”
. . . that’s it! Obama’s a dictator. I almost forgot. And Dennis doesn’t like having a dictator in the White House. Strange though, Democrats usually love dictators. . . FDR, LBJ, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Saddam Hussein. But no love for the O? Must be racism because he is the only black guy on that list.
Dennis continues, “these areas have also been responsible for much of the president’s harshest critiques.”
. . . really? Who could have guessed that ideas forced on the public by a small cabal of arrogant narcissists would be the things the public likes the least? Perhaps the Democrats should rethink their platform, because that seems to be their governing philosophy.
“One former administration official told me directly that the people in the White House ‘NEVER TALK TO REAL PEOPLE.’”
. . . obnoxious use of all caps. Anyhoo, three points. First, that’s how narcissist roll, Dennis: they don’t care what other people think. Secondly, if they weren’t talking to real people, were they talking to imitations? Is this something I should be worried about? Third, of course they weren’t talking to normal people because normal people tend to object to abject stupidity. If you want to do something truly stupid no matter how many people will object, then you purposely keep normal people out of the loop until after you’ve intercoursed the canine.
One Obama staffer “confided” in Dennis that Obama doesn’t mind giving speeches, but he just doesn’t like people: he “avoided personal contact with members of Congress and folks outside the Beltway” and he “avoids individual contact.”
. . . hey, who doesn’t? This is not news, Dennis. Anyone who wasn’t drinking Obama’s urine (yeah, that’s where the Kool-Aid came from) knew this guy was an unlikable bastard who hated people. And besides, he thinks he’s royalty, and royalty don’t mingle with us peasants. . . we stink on ice. Did you really not see this, Dennis?!
A TOP housing official (one of those guys who knows where the Ark of the Covenant is stored) told Dennis that despite the fact Obama “was responsible for crafting policies to stem the foreclosure crisis, he had personally never met with a homeowner who had been foreclosed on.”
. . . hmm. I’m of two minds on this one. First, this is pathetic logic. How can meeting a homeowner help? Policies require input on a statistically significant scale. Meeting one homeowner or two or even a 100 just isn’t relevant. This complaint is like saying “Obama tried to explain football without ever having met a football player.” That’s nonsense. Secondly, I don’t believe for a minute that Obama came up with any policy. The guy can barely read and there’s no way he could come up with a coherent polic. . . ah. Never mind, I stand corrected.
Finally, Obama is a horrible campaigner. He went to some must-win state and only told the local Senator about it the day before, causing this outburst: “He was totally off-message for what my people wanted to hear. Doesn’t the White House get it? I don’t need him, he needs ME!”
. . . well, no, they don’t get it. Obama thinks he’s king of the world and you idiots who can’t handle five bills a year are weighing him down. Also, I hate to break this to you, but telling people what they want to hear is what got you into this problem in the first place. Just sayin’.
Dennis thinks Obama still has time to improve his performance before November. But what are the odds Obama even can improve his performance? Pretty low. Yesterday David Axelrod spoke about Newt’s monkey-butt. Debbie Whatshername-Schultz denied reality. Obama fundraiser Jon Corzine perjured himself before Congress. And Obama spent the weekend whining that he “sure done wished he knew how bad the economy was before he took over.” Yeah, that’ll help.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kagan Sets Up The Sucker Punch

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself from the upcoming appeal of the State of Arizona challenging the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which struck down the major enforcement provisions of Arizona's tough immigration enforcement law. She has done the right and ethical thing.

Simply put, Arizona's law included among other things a provision that during the course of a lawful stop or arrest, the police officer could inquire into the individual's immigration status if he had a reasonable suspicion that the person was in the country illegally. The police could then hold the suspect pending determination of his immigration status. If the person turned out to be in the United States illegally, the Arizona authorities would then turn the suspect over to the federal immigration authorities. The Obama administration successfully took Arizona to court, claiming that this was unconstitutional interference with the federal government's sole authority over immigration.

Arizona argued unsuccessfully that it had a compelling state interest in protecting its lawful citizens, and that the new law merely provided a means by which the federal authorities could be made aware of an illegal immigrant by use of ordinary and established state and local police procedures. The law did seem to grant power to the state to establish its own rules on immigration, and did provide for certain non-investigatory detention beyond the initial inquiry into the person's immigration status. The law did not allow or require the state to take any further action against the detainee such as deporting him from the United States, but there were some criminal sanctions for being present in Arizona illegally. Arizona argued that its law merely reported illegal immigration, while the Obama administration argued that it regulated immigration, a solely federal prerogative.

The law does make it a crime for an undocumented worker to be present in the state. And the law makes it a crime to fail to register with the federal government or attempt to take work or hold a job without government authorization. Unlike the "reasonable suspicion" provision, these provisions do seem to skate very close to the edge of federal supremacy. In any event, all the provisions mentioned were stricken by the federal judge, and his ruling was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It will be up to the Supreme Court to sort these provisions out.

A federal judge and ultimately the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found against Arizona. Arizona appealed, and the US Supreme Court has now granted certiorari (agreed to hear the case). Justice Kagan immediately recused herself and made a public statement as to why she was doing so. As a senior attorney at the Justice Department (Solicitor General), she had played a major role in the early litigation against the Arizona law. Good for her. She did the right thing. Why she did the right thing may yet turn out not to be quite so honorable.

Caution: What follows is comprised largely of my opinions about anyone or anything having to do with the Obama administration, combined with a healthy dollop of paranoia and suspicion. I'm not stating anything except the jurisdictional matters as fact, and if this turns out to be a debate over Kagan's intentions versus my wariness, that would be a good thing.

I'm sure that every one of you is sophisticated enough to know that the state challenges to Obamacare will be wending their way to the Supreme Court. Different appellate districts have made diametrically opposite decisions, and it's up to the Supreme Court to resolve them. Mounting evidence shows that Justice Kagan was deeply involved in the preparation and final versions of Obamacare while she was Obama's Solicitor General. In fact, within just a few days before the passage of Obamacare, Kagan wrote to the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel that a lawsuit was being prepared to block the House from "deeming" the measure passed by a quirky procedural rule if it didn't get enough votes. She not only alerted them, but made suggestions as to how to defend against the lawsuit.

She even went so far as to alert the Office of Legal Counsel of all the arguments which were being prepared against the procedural trick (by a former Tenth Circuit US Appeals Court judge who is now Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford University). During her confirmation proceedings, Kagan was asked for a written response to the following question posed by the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee:

"Have you ever been asked about your opinion or offered any view or comments on the underlying or constitutional issues related to any proposed health care legislation, including, but not limited to Pub. L No. 111-148 PPACA (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) or the underlying legal or constitutional issues related to potential litigation resulting from such legislation?" Kagan answered "no."

Kagan's early opinions of the efficacy of socialized medicine offered as a professor of law at Harvard (pictured) would not automatically require her to recuse herself from considering the Obamacare cases at the Supreme Court. Every professor of law (except possibly Barack Obama) has legal opinions. They'd be pretty dumb if they didn't. Most prominent law professors have written law review articles (again, except Barack Obama, editor of the Harvard Law Review). Those articles frequently go against current prevailing law. But those opinions are largely political abstract law in nature until they start coming down from the bench. So her early legal career was important to the process, but not necessarily to her ultimate confirmation.

So where am I going with this? From everything I've seen and read, Kagan's involvement in Obamacare was at least as deep as her involvement in the Arizona statute controversy and litigation. Her self-recusal from the Arizona case leads me to think that doing the right thing in that case was a red herring, designed to draw attention away from Kagan's personal views and actual involvement in the preparation of the Obamacare legislation.

She, her liberal Democratic friends and their errand boys in the mainstream media can now point out how upright, honest and ethical she is about not hearing cases in which she has been personally and professionally involved. When she refuses to recuse herself from the Obamacare decision, as I expect she will, they can all say "why look, she recused herself in the Arizona case, so if she doesn't recuse herself here, it's because her hands are clean and she is justified in hearing the matter."

Along with her "recusal credentials" she is likely to claim that if she has to recuse herself, the same should be required of Justice Clarence Thomas. Well, hooey. Thomas had no personal or professional involvement in passing or litigating Obamacare. His wife is an ardent anti-socialized medicine advocate. So what? She's not sitting on the bench, he is. And unlike Obama, Thomas does not allow his wife to make his decisions for him. Double red herring.

Maybe I'm just getting old and cynical. But I suspect Kagan's self-recusal in the Arizona case is even more cynical. Sorry, folks, I just don't trust their phony good intentions. So, what do you think?
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Fruits, Newts and Nuts

Let’s keep is simple today. Let’s do a bit of a news roundup mixed with some discussion questions. Feel free to add your own thoughts on anything else that comes to mind.

You Dirty Fruits: Check out the article Patti found (HERE) dealing with Islam’s war against the perverted fruits and vegetables that will lead women astray. Not coincidentally, Saudi Arabia just executed a woman for “sorcery.” The religion of peace, huh? Sounds like an Erectile-Dysfunction-Idiocracy.

Our Impotent President, Part 507: Speaking of impotence, the military lost a drone the other day over Iran. Obama failed to allow the military to destroy the drone. This news has gone virtually unreported, but here’s why it’s important. In the 1990s, when Clinton decided to bomb Serbia, a stealth fighter crashed. The US failed to recover most of that plane. It is now believed that Chinese agents acquired the parts and used them to engineer their own stealth fighter, which they recently showed to the world. Letting Iran have this drone was stupid. It gives Iran the capability to make very long range, cheap drones. If a fleet of these things appears over Israel in a couple years, think back on Obama’s decision.

Tebowmania: Is Tim Tebow for real? How far will Denver go? Is this the greatest story or what? Where does all the hate come from against this kid? And do you think God really is helping Tebow... maybe just a little?

International What?: With Climategate 2.0 heaping fresh disgrace upon climate change enthusiasts, the UN has gone on the offensive and proposed an International Climate Court of Justice to make Western governments pay for their climate crimes. This would impose a mandate to “respect the rights of Mother Earth” and to pay a “climate debt.” If you ever had doubts about the motivates of these enviro-fascists, this should settle it.

Liar of the Week: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the vile DNC Chair proved yesterday that she’s delusional as well. In an interview on Fox, Debbie Dumbass actually claimed that it is a myth that unemployment went up under Obama. She repeated this several times, finishing thusly:
“Unemployment is nearing right around where it was when President Obama took office and it's dropping. You just said it's been increasing and that's not true.”
For the record, unemployment was 6% when Obama took office, it’s 9% now and that’s after millions of people stopped looking for work and thus stopped counting against the number. So is Debbie Dumbass that stupid or is she just a pathological liar?

Newt Watch: I have resigned myself to Newt being our nominee. Hail Nero! But some conservatives and moderates (and whackos) are trying to warn us:
Glenn Beck: Beck said yesterday he would support Ron Paul in a third party bid before he would vote for Newt.

Rep. Pete King (NY): King credits Newt with winning back the House for Republicans in the 1990s. What does he think about Newt as our nominee? “He’d be a terrible nominee.” Why? Because Newt’s destructive and he’s in it for himself: “It’s not like, with Newt, you end up dying for a noble cause. You end up dying for Newt Gingrich, because he puts himself in the center of everything.”

New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu: Sununu gave the most direct warning:
“He has a personal priority over all else. The country comes maybe second or third. Philosophy comes maybe fifth. This is a man who is unable to prioritize needs in a constructive way. And frankly, his colleagues saw that when he was leader. . . This man is not stable.”
Former Gingrich collaborator Marvin Olasky: “Wisdom is knowing the difference between good and bad ideas. Newt is very intelligent; he has lots of ideas. But I’m not sure he always distinguishes between good and bad.”

NYT RINO David Brooks: “Gingrich loves government more than I do.”

National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru: “The people who know Gingrich best — the ones who worked for him, or worked with him, or watched him closely as journalists in the 1990s — have almost all concluded that he is a bad fit for the presidency. That judgment is shared by conservative and moderate congressmen, by people who support Romney and people who want an alternative to [Romney]. The common denominator is alarm at what Gingrich would do to the Republican party as nominee and to the country as president.”
Write Ins/Drop Out: Finally, a question. Several readers (looking at T-Rav and Indi) have said they will write in the name of a suitable candidate when they get to vote. The Elves seem to be contemplating moving to Singapore. I’m buying a new pitchfork. Anyway, given the other available choices in this primary, it’s hard to say a write in would be a wasted vote. But do you think writing in someone’s name helps?

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Debate Wrap: We’re Doomed (with bonus rant)

For those of you fortunate enough to miss it, we had another debate on Saturday night. To put as positive a spin on this as possible, at least we now know six people who should not be President. The debate summary and a bonus rant follows! :)

Overall Impression: What?! For the first half of the debate, I wondered whether I had damaged my brain. Everyone was speaking, but no one made any sense. They seemed to spout random thoughts, mindless slogans, and pure idiocy. It was nonsense. Sadly, it turns out my brain wasn’t the problem.

Loser: Newt/Romney/Perry/Bachmann. Childish, petty and vile. They spent the night calling each other names: serial hypocrites, liars, whatever. There was NO (0.0%) substance in this debate, there was no order in this debate. It was like listening to a group of whiners trying to tell you everything they hate about their boss in 20 seconds.

Loser: Diane Sawyer/ABC. Sawyer either has a drinking problem or mental health issues. Her questions were rambling, confused and pointless. And most of them were borderline-retarded, like when she wondered aloud: “why can’t people who disagree just come together to agree for the good of the country.” Gee, I don’t know Diane. Why don’t we agree for the good of the country that you will hand me all your money while I beat you with a Jack Daniels bottle? Maybe that will help you answer this seemingly intractable quandary?!

Winner: Pandering. The level of pandering was pathetic. It truly was a dignity free night. They all heaped fake praise on Iowa, calling its crappy colleges and cities the best in the nation and identifying their subsidy sucking politicians as personal heroes. In hindsight, it’s a bit of a shock none of the candidates wore overalls or tried to eat corn on stage.

And that was only the beginning. Newt tried to claim Libertarian instincts when he favored forcing people to buy health insurance and he tried to win over Perry’s supporters by telling us how Perry taught him about the Tenth Amendment. Perry thinks he’s the only Christian. Santorum and Romney laughably made plays for Paul’s supporters. And Michelle Bachmann took the cake when she kept praising Herman Cain and his 9-9-9 plan which she had previously derided as his “6-6-6 plan.” She even came up with a catchy new name for her plan: “the win-win-win plan.” Now she just needs a plan to go with the name.

Loser: Yo’ Momma So Po’ Contests. At one point, Diane Sawyer slurred a question about whether or not the candidates had ever been poor. This was a stupid identity politics question, but that didn’t matter. The idiots were off to the races.

Rick Perry grew up in a septic tank. . . Mitt Romney wasn’t poor, but by God, he had a father who taught him how to be poor! Rick Santorum not only had a father who wanted him to be poor, but he had a mother who wanted him to be poor too. . . Michele Bachmann was raised by a single mother, below the poverty level, who put Michele to work in a mine at age 13. . . Ron Paul grew up during the Depression and had to have a real job (until his wife paid for his medical school). . . and Newt didn’t always fly in private jets and get lobbyist-created $500,000 expense accounts at Tiffany’s. This was like watching stereotyped “old rich white people” in films pretending they like rap.

Least Loser: Ricky Santorum. Rick Santorum won in the sense of someone winning a nuclear war: he came across as least radioactive.

Double-Down Loser: Perry/Romney. Perry claimed he read Romney’s book, which we know is impossible. He claims he read something offensive in it. Romney denied that. Perry said, “yuh huh!” Romney said, “Wanna bet $10,000 on it?” Perry looked panicky and thereby proved he’s a coward who doesn’t believe the things he says. Romney looked way-out-of-touch and came across like some jerk trying to buy a poker pot. What’s worse, they were arguing about a technicality in a book no one takes seriously.

Winner: Herman Cain. This was our first post-Cain debate. And the utter childishness we endured is a testament to the power Cain had to keep these career politicians acting like adults. I guess the presence of a businessman makes all the difference. Essentially, Cain is to the other candidates what Peyton Manning is to the 0-16 Indianapolis Colts.

Loser: Us. Not one of these clowns should be allowed to visit the White House, much less live there. And if it weren’t for the fact Obama is 100 times worse, I would probably endorse him at this point. . . that’s how bad the performances were last night. These people are clueless, gutless panderers with no ideas, no leadership ability and no sense of self-respect. Our democracy is becoming a joke.


Yahoo annoys me. Not only do they hide stories written by their ignorant, borderline- illiterate bloggers among wire-service stories, but they’ve started messing with their news headlines. Instead of the reputable headlines you find at other places -- things like “Romney Challenges Perry to Wager” or “Bachmann Praises Cain,” which are informative and tell you whether you might find the article interesting -- Yahoo has gone to headlines like: “The Shocking Thing Romney Did” and “Bachmann’s Amazing Claim.” These are headlines for stupid people. These are headlines you see at gossip rags: “Clooney’s Humiliating Mistake”. . . “Is Famous Star Gay?”. . . “What Matt Damon Doesn’t Want You To Know.” This is crap. These are teases spit out by celebrity gossips who get off on self-importance. They are designed to trick you into opening the article. They are a declaration by Yahoo that they think their audience are suckers. This is what the MSM is becoming now that it’s lost our trust.

In Aliens Sigourney Weaver asks: “Did IQs drop sharply while I was asleep?” I get that felling all the time.

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Two States, But The Same Travesty

Justice delayed is justice denied. That is a thought which most Americans support. But usually, we think in terms of a criminal defendant or an aggrieved civil litigant when citing that dictum. On far too many occasions, the justice is denied to the victims of a violent crime and the people of the state in which the crime occurred. So it is with a pair of unrelated prosecutions--one in California, the other in Pennsylvania.

In California, the system-gamer is one Michael Morales. In 1981, Morales was convicted of murdering seventeen year old Terri Winchell. It was a particularly brutal and vile murder. Morales bludgeoned, knifed, strangled, raped, then finally snuffed out the life of a young woman. The evidence was clear. The conviction was quick and firm. The case was appealed on procedural grounds twice through 2005. Each time, after considerable legal maneuvering, rescheduling and unnecessarily lengthy deliberation, the appeals were denied at both the state and federal levels.

After twenty-four years of delay, none of which involved a scintilla of argument that Morales was innocent, a date was set for execution of the death sentence he had so richly earned. Not so fast, said Federal Judge Jeremy Fogel. With the needle of justice in preparation for insertion into Morales's worthless hide, a last-ditch appeal was filed in 2006. The latest fad among opponents of the death penalty was to challenge the ultimate penalty as "cruel and unusual" because it is "so painful." Nobody really believes that. But liberal federal judges are able to suspend disbelief with alacrity. Fogel found that there was (get this) less than a .001 percent chance that Morales might feel some pain as he shuffled off this mortal coil. But that was enough for Fogel to order a stay of execution.

Anyone who has had major surgery and undergone general anesthesia can tell you that the doctors could have cut them in half and sewed them back together backwards, and they wouldn't have felt a thing. The same type of general anesthesia is the first injection which a condemned prisoner is given. For the patient, any possible pain would be felt after coming out of the anesthesia. In Morales's case, there was no intention that he wake up. That's why it's called the death penalty.

God forbid that the man who tortured and raped his victim before killing her should feel the slightest bit of ephemeral pain before expiring. Yes, I know, we're supposed to be "better than the violent criminal." But for crying out loud, .001 percent chance that he might, possibly, maybe feel something for a brief and fleeting moment?

Problem solved in 2008 (or is it?). Taking up the identical issue from a Kentucky case, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the state's three-drug execution protocol. Lest there be any doubt, in 2009 the ultraliberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes California) upheld the protocol of the state of Arizona, which is identical to that of Kentucky's. So let's get on with the California execution, right? California's protocol has been scientifically proven to be as effective or more effective than that of Kentucky's or Arizona's. Nevertheless, the case will now be heard no earlier than September of this year. Thirty years of delayed justice and counting.

A new and different federal judge has gotten into the case. He wants to review the new, improved California protocols which are designed to be even more humane than the previous protocol. Of that, the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation says: "California's execution protocol is equal to or better than those already approved by the Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit. There is no legitimate bases for further delay. If the judges wanted these cases to go forward, they would go forward."

About the caption photo: The case in Pennsylvania is so horrific that it has taken me some time to compose myself before writing about it. You may remember my having written previously about the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal (real name, Wesley Cook). Coincidentally, Abu-Jamal also commited his heinous murder in 1981. He was on the street watching as his brother was pulled over for a traffic violation. Waiting for the police officer to write a ticket while facing away from him, this son-of-a-b***h pulled out a concealed gun and shot the officer nearly point blank in the back, execution style. The officer managed to turn and return fire and shoot Abu-Jamal four times before dying. There were multiple witnesses. His own brother (William Cook) refused to testify for or against his brother.

Investigators found Abu-Jamal and his .38 in different locations, but matched the gun and bullets to the round pumped into Officer Daniel Faulkner, and established his ownership of the weapon. Eyewitnesses and later two hospital workers where Abu-Jamal was treated for the bullet wounds matched to Officer Faulkner's gun testified tht Abu-Jamal kept repeating "I shot the motherf****r, and I hope the motherf****r dies."

His guilt and the police/prosecution actions have been upheld on multiple occasions on appeal, only to have a new round of appeals start up, time and again. The last round, thirty years after conviction and sentencing, was aimed at the death penalty itself. By now even his cheering-section had given up on claiming he is entirely innocent, and instead claim he is the victim of a racist society which caused him to shoot the police officer.

Abu-Jamal was just too perfect a model of what limousine liberals, armchair revolutionaries and Hollywood perverts love to hold up as role models for the people. They just couldn't help loving that man of theirs. So he got plenty of legal and financial support to move his frivolous appeals along. He is a self-proclaimed Marxist, revolutionary, and former Black Panther defender of the poor and downtrodden black folks.

College students wear "Free Mumia" tee-shirts almost as often as they wear the one with their other murdering icon, Che Guevara. Among his better-known megafans are Hollywood folks like Danny Glover, Mike Ferrell, Sean Penn and Johnny Depp. That is not even close to being an exhaustive list. Of course the ACLU, the NAACP, and the Socialist Workers of America also yearn for the sight of the dreadlocked murderer outside a prison.

But here's why it took me awhile to calm down enough to write this article. Awhile back, after years on death row (often within days of execution), the appeals process had finally worn down the prosecution and the family of the slain police officer. The prosecution, along with the bereft widow and children, finally announced that they would no longer pursue the death penalty for Abu-Jamal. They just couldn't go through another decades-long appellate process that would affirm the death penalty he has dodged on appeal three times before.

In the Morales case, justice has been denied by delay. In the Abu-Jamal case it has been denied permanently. While this is truly an example of the legal dictum, there is one additional point that turns my stomach. American society has a large, depraved, and amoral segment that has no shame whatsoever. As soon as the prosecution announced its decision not to proceed with the death penalty, the murder fans cheered wildly and prepared for their next move. Not satisfied with having spared this scum's life, they are planning a rally and fundraisers to keep the process going until this lowlife walks out of prison a free man.

Their rallying cry has always been "Free Mumia." But they tie that to claiming a black man was convicted solely because of racism. Abu-Jamal himself hates mightily, and blames all of society's ills on racism. But here's the important part that makes this whole carnival freakshow so disgusting. Abu-Jamal's sentence was reversed multiple times, but always on procedure or the death penalty, never on guilt or innocence. Racism was involved, all right. It was nothing short of a racist execution of a white cop, a fact which Abu-Jamal himself has never denied in court. He has never said he was innocent, but has maintained all along that "they never proved it."
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